Monday, March 31, 2014


Our house has been a revolving door with visitors the past 3 months.  Since the New Year, we have had visitors on 8 different occasions- whether overnight or for an extended stay.  Good thing Hotel Andros is always open. 

My younger sister and her husband asked a few months ago if they could come and visit during their Spring Break from college and to celebrate their first year anniversary!  My mom decided to hitch a ride with them to hang out with us as well. 

Just like Motel 8, we left the light on for them.  Literally.  To make the most of their time off work, Cath and George decided to drive through the night on Thursday, March 6th.  They picked up my mom on the way and arrived at our house around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning.  I was just finishing feeding Olivia around that time, so I snuck down and said hi before heading back to bed.

Grandma brought Livy a new Spring outfit.  That Friday was a gorgeous sunny day and the perfect day to try it out.

When the big kids got home from school, Mitch wanted nothing more than to play basketball with George (he's slightly obsessed with that man).  All the kids got in on the fun.

Nice shot, Mitch!

Having fun aunts and uncles makes for happy kids!

To keep enjoying the nice weather, all of us decided to go to Mitch's baseball practice, which was at a nearby park.

Livy loved the swing!

All of my kids love swings.  The twins roped George into pushing them for quite some time.  It's blurry, but good thing the girls have their own "colors."  Pink Lexi and Purple Leah. :)

On Saturday, we went to Chloe's basketball game in the late morning.  Since we were out, we talked everyone into eating lunch at our most favorite Chinese restaurant.  We ordered 8 dishes and put them on the rotating Lazy Susan in the middle of the table.  So, so good.

For those of you who have asked, it is called "King Wha" and it is located in Burien.  It is a bit of a drive (past the airport), but if you're ever close or wanting to try the BEST Chinese food in the state of Washington, you must go.  Their lunch menu, Monday-Friday, is super inexpensive- most plates are $5.95- with good portion sizes.

Livy was so smitten with Uncle George (and I think he was equally as smitten with her).  Every time I looked over, he was holding or playing with Olivia.  She was always happy with him and he was a huge help all weekend, with ALL of the kids.  He was constantly playing with one or many of the kids their entire stay.  If I ever needed a manny (male nanny), he would be the first person I called.

Cath instigated a rousing game of "Headbands" after church on Sunday.

Catherine is very competitive (she's a Blakeslee, after all) and mixing her with my kids in this game was pretty funny.  My kids love this game, but love to give too many clues (or just say what's on the headband outright).  Aunt Catherine tried to keep them in line. :)

On Monday, the kids randomly had school off, so George and Cath offered to buy the kids lunch at McDonald's.  We went to one with a playland and it was a fun way to let the kids play on a rainy day.  Livy got some more quality time with her BFF. 

Tuesday, their last day here, was gorgeous!  Cath and George went to downtown Seattle to celebrate their anniversary.  My mom and I took the kids to the park to enjoy the weather.

We walked to the park and Livy got to rock it in her stroller.

Leah squeezed into a baby swing!

This is a baby that loves the swing!

The sun, the park and Grandma- these are a few of our favorite things!

Livy was held constantly almost their stay.  A baby could get used to that!

Wednesday morning, our visitors had to take off.  Livy was happy for one more snuggle with Aunt Cath.

Grandma's traditional photo with the grandkids.

What Cath and George would look like with 5 kids...  It totally fits them! :)

We were glad to have them come and sad to see them go.  Their stay flew by.  Until next time!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fire Station Field Trip

March 6th was the twins' fire station field trip for preschool.  They are excited about anything to do with preschool, especially field trips.

The fireman give us a tour of the entire station.  One of the first places they show us is the movie/theater room. 

All lined up, listening intently to Mr. Fireman

The fire fighter let all the kids hold a piece of equipment.  They were so cute passing that thing (whatever it was) down the line and all taking a turn seeing how heavy it was.

Lexi loved "lifting" the tool that they use to cut cars open to help people escape quickly in an emergency.

Getting to be inside the fire truck is the best part!

The fireman was super nice to let all the preschoolers have a turn sitting in the drivers seat and playing with the steering wheel. 

Leah loved pretending to drive!

On second thought, I think the kids loved jumping around the in emergency life boat the best.

My favorite part is when the fire fighter gets all dressed up in his gear, piece by piece, to show the kids what it would look like if a fire fighter was in your house during a fire trying to rescue you.  They always try and teach the kids that although they might look scary, they are the same person underneath all the gear and that they are there to help them.

What a cute group!

My favorite shot of the day.  Lexi with Smooth Man Mr. Austin.

The girls were thrilled to be sent home with fire hats and a "bag of treasures" as they called it.  I found their "treasures" (pencils, stickers, erasers, etc) all over the house for days and days.

This isn't my first time on this field trip. 

Mitch's class came in 2012.  The twins were 2.


Chloe's class came in 2010.  The twins were there, but stayed in their stroller the entire time.

Here they are just a few days before that trip- just 4 months old.  Can you tell who is who?  (And who has the bigger head?)

I know Chloe's class went again in 2009, but I can't find any pictures of it.  I must not have taken my camera with me that very first trip. 

Our 4th year going was a hit!  It never gets old.

Happy Half Year

Our little Olive Morgan went and turned 6 months old last week- a whole HALF year.  What a sweet half year it has been.

This smile really depicts how our whole family feels about this little lady. 

I love this picture- she loves sucking on her pointer finger.  It's a classic "Olivia."

Her half birthday fell on St. Patrick's Day. I moved her up to her 6-9 month clothes for the first time that day and luckily there was a green outfit.

This little peach has been working so hard at sitting up the past 2 months.  She is just like Chloe was- started sitting up for the first time at 4 months.

Around 5 months she was pretty good, but we still stacked pillows behind her to soften her hard and abrupt falls.  Those hard falls did not make her happy.  Sitting up, however, does make her happy.

Now at 6 months, she is a PRO!  She still falls over occasionally, but can sit for an extended period of time- 30 minutes or more before falling over.  And she needs to fall over in order to roll over and be on her tummy.  She loves rolling and enjoys tummy time too.  At her well child check last week, the doctor was super impressed at how well she was sitting.  He watched as she sat on the table and would balance herself with her arms on each side, steadying out any wobbles.  He commented that this was a 7 month feat and that sitting up this well with this amount of core strength was a great indicator for other milestones later in life. 

This is my favorite stage.  I love when little babies are old enough to sit and have a little pile of toys in front of them.  They can entertain themselves for a decent amount of time, but aren't mobile yet.  It's so perfect.

Lexi loves to sit behind Olivia, or hold her like this on the couch.  She is growing so fast and soon won't need anyone to sit behind her and support her anywhere. :(

For the past 2 months or so, Livy has wanted to be right in the thick of whatever we are doing, including dinner time.  Even though she wasn't eating any solid foods, we would put her in her high chair so she could be with us during dinner.

At her 6 month check, the doctor asked if she was eating any solids yet.  With all of my other kids, we started baby food at 4 months.  It's always a fun milestone and cute, but so, so much work, especially at that age.  You spend weeks getting past the "one spoonful in, one spoonful spit back out" phase.  Cute, but time consuming.  I decided to wait until at least 6 months this time and didn't regret it at all.  I was in no rush to start, but my doctor told me that now that she's hit 6 months, breast milk wasn't going to give her all the iron she needs that she could be getting from iron fortified baby cereal and veggies. 

And the bigger kids have been asking me for weeks when Livy would get to eat food.  They were so happy when I bought some food last week.  When I told them that it was the night for her first solid meal, they were so excited you'd have thought I'd just announced we were going to Disney Land.

How many kids does it take to feed a baby?

All of us!
The kids loved taking turns shoving a spoon in her mouth and watching most of the rice cereal come back out. :)

I could tell a huge difference between starting solids at 4 months and 6 months.  Livy was not super impressed with Rice cereal.  She didn't hate it at all, but with little flavor, it did little to excite her.

The next day we mixed in sweet potatoes with it and she took off.  She loves a little flavor and is eating really well.  We feed her at breakfast and dinner and she loves it.

Chloe also loves it.  All the kids love feeding her, but Chloe is definitely the best at it.  She offers almost every meal to not only feed her, but prepare it as well.  This comes in so handy as I'm usually trying to get dinner ready and on the table.

Miss O had her first "playdate" this month with an adorable friend from the ward.  They are about 4 months apart in age and destined to be best buddies. :)

I rarely pick the kids up from the bus stop, but decided to do it one day.  Livy usually rides in her stroller in her carseat still, but I didn't have time to strap her into her carseat so she got to experience the stroller like a big girl for the first time.  She got rained on but didn't even seem to mind.

The beginning of March brought another first for this girl- first time in a swing.  It fascinated her.

And she just loved it.

It took her breath away as she would swing back and forth, but she'd gasp loudly and smile.

Now that she's awake a lot more and aware of my every move, she doesn't like to be left out of stuff.  I have to get creative in how I incorporate her into my chores.

Helping mom with the laundry!

Livy is a pretty good sleeper.  My babies need a lot of teaching on how to sleep.

At night, she goes to bed at 6:00 p.m. (unless we're out and about running errands, baseball practice, etc).  Back at the beginning of January when we started our "Sleep Training Camp", I set a time that I would make her go to until she could eat.  I knew she could do 8 or 9 hours because she'd done it many, many times on her own.  So our time right now is 3:00 a.m. being the earliest I will feed her.  A lot of the time, she will sleep solidly until 3:00, sometimes after.  Other nights, she'll fuss for a bit (or awhile) and then go back to sleep.  My other kids seemed to have caught on quicker to the set schedule I have to impose.  She is doing well, but "forgets" occasionally.  Luckily she has a mom that sticks to the schedule to help remind her.  With her one feeding in the night, she'll eat and go right back to sleep and usually sleep until at least 6:00 a.m. or later.  If she wakes up at 6:00, I'll feed her again and she'll sleep for another hour to 3 hours, depending on the day.

She loves rolling onto her tummy to sleep, but waking up on her tummy makes her cranky.  If she sleeps on her back, she'll wake up and coo and talk until someone comes and gets her.  If she wakes up on her tummy, she sits way up on her arms and cries and cries until she is rescued.

Lately when she sleeps on her tummy, she sleeps with her face pressed into the bed directly.  I can't even see her eyes or mouth at all.  It is always startling to see and I have to check to see if she's breathing. 

For her 6 month birthday, I started putting this little Lovey toy/blanket in bed with her. 

It's cute to see it in her arms or close to her when she's sleeping.

Naptime for the past few months has been sketchy.  Her average nap has been about an hour.  An hour just didn't seem to be long enough for either of us.  I'd let her cry it out a lot of the time if it was less than an hour, with the intention that she'd learn to fall back to sleep, but couldn't seem to figure out a way to get her to sleep for much more than an hour consistently.  With only an hour nap at a time, she'd sometimes nap 4 times in a day.

Within the past few days, she has been taking a 2- 2 1/2 hour nap in the morning.  It has been wonderful.  After that, it's still an hour at a time, but it's progress and we'll take it!

She is still a binky girl and can now take it in and out at will and put it back in by herself.  What a glorious  milestone this is!

 Funny side note: this is the same binky she has been using since birth.  She uses the same one day in and day out.  I have this weird thing about hating to lose binkies, so we keep close tabs on this bad boy.  I have 2 back up binkies handy around the house, but we have only needed them like two or three times when her main binky went missing for an hour or two. 

I noticed the other day that the nipple of it was starting to yellow a bit, and the cute little design on the front had worn off, so when her binky went missing, I went and got one of her back up ones out and decided that we could make that the new "main" binky.  Chloe found the binky later that day and went and switched it out for the new one as soon as she found it.  I guess my weird habits have rubbed off on my kids.

Miss Red quite enjoys being on her tummy. She especially loves to push way up on her arms and be up high.

She also sneaks up onto her knees and I am not loving that.  She is mobile enough for me as it is right now.  She can roll both ways all over the place, and when she's on her tummy, she can turn herself 360 degrees around and very slowly "scoot" quite the distance on her tummy by just using her arms.  Ain't nobody got time for a crawling baby at 6 months.

The twins wanted to "teach" her how to crawl one day.  I have a feeling she's going to figure it out on her own soon enough.

She loves bath time.  I still lay her down to bathe and she loves to raise and drop her legs over and over again, which moves her all over the tub.  I have to move her down so she doesn't hit her head on the drain plug.

Ben's grandma just sent this adorable hat for her.  It will probably still get lots of use between now and summer.

6 month stats: 
Weight: 16 lbs, 10 oz (just under the 75%)
Length: 26 1/4 in (75%)
Head: 42 cm (50%)

Favorite things:
Nursing! She could and sometimes does still nurse every 1-2 hours some days.  What can I say?  I make delicious milk.  Maybe going anywhere from 8-11 hours without it every night makes her anxious to get as much during the day as she can.

Her siblings.  She loves all of the attention she gets from them and especially lights up when she sees Chloe. 

Loves being held.  She is a very content baby and doesn't mind being put down or strapped into a carseat, but as long as she's being held, she could stay happy for hours.  We were at the park the other night past her bedtime.  She was tired and hungry, but I was holding her and she was one content little girl.

Loves to rock back and forth.  She just started doing this within the last week.  When sitting on someones lap, she'll rock herself pretty hard back and forth.  The first time she did it with me, I about dropped her because it caught me off guard.  Makes me nervous that she'll do it while one of the kids is holding her.  The motion makes her happy and it's very cute.

Loves to be upright and taking everything in.  If she's laying on her back, she'll most likely roll over to her tummy quickly or lift her head up and hold it there, hoping to be sat up.  Being the youngest of 5 is no reason to be left out of all the "big kid" stuff.

Is awesome in her carseat.  If I want a guaranteed long nap, it's in that carseat.  She will fall right to sleep if it's nap time and will still sleep through a noisy car of kids or being hoisted in and out of the car running errands. 

I just recently started doing sign language with her.  Chloe was our best signing baby and it was so much fun.  It was easy to do with her being the only child at the time.  I've tried with all my kids but was the most dedicated and consistent with Chloe.  I'm hoping Livy will pick it up as well as Chloe did.  Chloe was signing a few things by this age.  I start with the basics- "more," "milk", "eat" and "all done." 

She has been a trooper at church.  We recently had our church time pushed back one hour- we now start at noon, and our schedule at church is all backwards now, with sacrament meeting last.  Noon isn't my favorite time, but it does allow her to get a full morning nap in.  She wakes up (or I have to wake her) right as it's time to go to church, so she arrives well rested.  And when she gets tired at church, she just needs a warm body to cuddle her and stand up and rock her for a minute and she'll fall asleep with almost no problem.  I'd take a dozen just like her.

Is in size 4 diapers.  Whoa!  She is my baby with the most poopy blowouts and I can only seem to contain them with bigger diapers.  I thought we'd be in size 3 for a long time- they fit her width wise great, but the top of the diaper was well below her belly button.  They were just too short and causing lots of accidents.  I'm hoping size 4's fit her for a long, long time.

Livy is wearing the twins' old clothes which have been working great until now.  The twins didn't start wearing their 6-9 month clothing until late April/beginning of May when the weather is usually much warmer.  March and early April can still be so cold, and the twins had a lot of skirts, play dresses and short sleeved outfits that just seem too chilly to put her in.  I see her little bare arms and get cold just looking at her.  I bought a few long sleeved outfits before she was born, but only 2 or 3 and it's hard to make those work on a week when it's cold and rainy every day. 

I have a feeling the next 6 months are going to fly by.  Luckily we love watching this sweet girl grow!