In the name of not losing the sweet moments of life that seem to be slipping through my fingers as fast as so much sand at the beach, I'm writing a catch-all blog post: Ivy Grows + Family Moments = Things I Don't Want to Forget.
Ivy is a delight. She is the definition of delight. She sparkles.
She has her own sense of style, this one. With strong opinions about what she wears (and what she doesn't!), Ivy tends to pick out her own clothes and accessories, with a little help from me or Laina. She loves this octopus shirt, as well as anything with cupcakes or sparkles. And headbands! And bows! And SOCKS! And her sprinkle shoes (silver glittery Sunday shoes, which she wears all week long, with socks on). She does NOT like to wear jackets, even in freezing cold weather, but I win on this one. She has specific ideas about hair too, choosing between a headband, one spout, two spouts, or a ponytail.
(Ivy is my buddy--she says she's "Mama's baby!" unless she's saying she's "Daddy's baby!")
(She got herself dressed to go to Target, complete with sprinkle shoes and a backwards hat.)
Ivy is very verbal, able to say pretty much anything she wants. She regularly puts together four- or five- (or more!) word sentences. She has ideas and can communicate them well. And if all else fails, there's always a well-placed shriek.
Sometimes I rock her at night until she falls asleep. Other times, Jeremy walks her around the dark kitchen and sings to her. But before any singing can start, they have to look out the window and find "da bess-ed moon!" (the blessed moon)
Favorite toys: her Little People house and any baby dolls, but especially Laina's Bitty Baby. Nona got her the Little People dollhouse a few months ago and she plays with it all the time. For Mason's birthday, we got him the camper and we got enough specific Little People to make our family. They both LOVE this. They talk about the people as Little Iain, Little Laina, etc. Ivy likes Little Ivy and Little Mama best, and they do a lot of talking to each other (ADORABLE!) and kissing each other. And dancing, which looks like jumping up and down. I love watching her play, and seeing her amazing imagination come out.
And she's getting her own Bitty Baby for Christmas/Birthday. Don't tell. :)
(sweet baby sleeping)
Call me no fun, but I was relieved when our church decided not to do Trunk or Treat this year for Halloween. The costumes the kids wanted were SO complicated and I just didn't want to spend the time and money! But it ended up being perfect: we were invited to join friends at another local church's Trunk or Treat, with very little warning. If they kids wanted to go, they had to make up costumes with stuff we already had. Of course, they did, and had a great time!
Iain was Obi Wan, Cory was George Washington, Laina was a Rwandan princess (love it!), Mason was Batman, and Ivy was a minion.
Ivy has started to love dressing up. Kate Burton passed on these princess dresses to Laina years ago, and Ivy's using them now. She calls them her ballerinas.
Tell me these aren't the sweetest sisters you've ever seen?
Ivy is happy now to go to her class at church. She's been our easiest one, once she decided she wanted to go! One week, she was walking in the hall with me (I was hall coordinator that week), and she saw that, in her class, there was a green plastic chair. She wanted to sit on it. I stuck her in the class, and she sat there and ate puffs and looked at books. And she's been happy to go to class ever since.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my girl. Except that she's so BIG. My heart!
Meanwhile, out in the yard, the kids play nonstop. This is the latest thing: a fort that takes up almost the whole side yard. They ADORE it and work on it all the time. I'm sure the neighbors love us.
Donuts with sprinkles. Nothing makes her happier. She literally jumps up and down at the thought.
(this guy is one of her favorite people.)
The highlight of the kids' year: going to Survival in September. Jenna and Curtis run TeenPact Survival camps all fall, and this year, they invited us to come to the one in south Georgia. We were there from Wednesday to Saturday and the kids loved every second of it.
The boys sat in on classes in water filtration, making fires, making rope, camouflage, and more. They played games--including one where they put their camouflage skills into action and then crawled through the woods. I think these few days were their favorites of the whole year. Seriously.
(Mason's favorite part was the rope swing.)
(Ivy in the rain--and not too sure about it.)
(Ivy and Lina, best buddies.)
(This was Ivy's favorite part: sliding down the trailer door on her back, over and over again.)
Common questions we hear from Ivy:
"Can I sit wif you?"
"Can you up me?" (pick me up)
"Can I do my fingernails with markers?" (seriously. She colors them pink with highlighters almost every school day.)
"Where's my cuppie?"
"Shoes on? Socks on?"
(to someone who is crying) "You sad? Okay. You hurt? Okay. You feel better? Okay."
Jeremy and I celebrated our eleven-year anniversary in October, with a hike up Pine Mountain. A lot has changed in eleven years (namely with the addition of five kids!), but this hasn't changed: he is still my best friend.
(This was after family pictures this fall. I love these crazy nuts.)