Monday, September 30, 2013

Take Your Son to Work Day

On Liam's last day off-track, he got to go to school with Will. It was a little long, but he got to play on the computer for much longer than he would have gotten to at home. He also got to participate in Will's school's video announcements. (These daily video announcements are created, directed, filmed, and edited by Will's students under his direction.) Liam's contribution aired last week. His announcement appears about 1:30, and he reappears in the wrap up at the end:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Penny Pie

(I started this post quite some time ago. It's about time it was posted, eh?)

Penny, where to begin?

Penny was my easiest baby by far. Content, peaceful, patient, undemanding. Ah...those were the days. She was exactly the baby I needed even before I knew what I needed.

(Somehow along the way she turned blond and now looks so unlike me, but we still share the same scrunchy-nosed smile.)

As a toddler, she's been pretty much what you'd expect a toddler to be like. Constantly into something, making messes, adorable, and learning at the speed of light!

 (Standing in the water table. If there's water, there's Penny, and TROUBLE.)

Although at fifteen months she was my latest walker, she mastered the ability quickly and will now generally prefer walking over being held.

She is a girl after my own heart and loves shoes as much as I do. Will jokes that it took her fifteen months to learn to walk and two days to learn to walk in heels. One of her favorite pastimes is to sit by the shoe drawer and pull out pair, after pair, after pair, trying on each one.

She also LOVES babies and doggies and can spot them from a mile away whether alive or play toys. She thinks the sole purpose of the iPhone is to find pictures of babies on the web. The toy that keeps her attention the longest during Sacrament meeting is this tiny, two inch plastic baby and accompanying stroller. Who knew something so small could be so engaging?

Ah, Sacrament meeting (our church's main Sunday service)...this is where Penny really puts us through our paces. Keeping an almost 18 month old entertained while keeping the older two quiet is, um, difficult. It doesn't seem to matter how many activities I pack, she's through them in five minutes and ready to use her little legs to explore and her little voice to express. We've spent a lot of time in the church halls these last few months. Wow. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Will and I were recently asked to teach two different Primary classes (junior/children's Sunday school). The Primary leaders took pity on us and allowed us to take Penny to the nursery a month early. I think Penny's incessant wandering and trouble-making during the group portion of Primary influenced their decision. Both Penny and her parents have been quite happy with the arrangement. I don't know if it is because Penny is such an easy going child or because she got to go in a little early, but she has had the easiest transition to nursery of any of my children. No problems. I might be in for it now that I've acknowledged it!

...That's where my blog draft from around April ended, but there are a few other things I'd like to include about Penny. (Oh, and we still have had no major problems with Penny and nursery in our ward! Yay!)

Every morning when Penny wakes up, she has her diaper changed and enjoys bringing the diaper and wipes to you and throwing the soiled one in the garbage herself. She is also greeted each morning with an ecstatic, "Penny!" from her adoring siblings. I would have expected this to wear off by now, but at this rate she may wake up as a married woman with five children visiting home for Christmas to a joyful exclamation of her name by her siblings. She loves them just as much as they love her too. When one or the other sibling is absent, boy does she notice and will always ask, "Where's Tigi?" or "Where's Leo?"

 (Penny always wants to be in the middle of all the fun.)

She wants to be just like them, and mimics everything they do. They find particular enjoyment in getting her to repeat things they've said.  Potty-related words are a BIG hit. These days she will repeat just about everything quite clearly. I love to hear her repeat prayers. She must have noticed because now she repeats anyone she hears praying whether or not it is her turn.

She also adores her Papa, my dad. She got used to seeing him so much as he helped up fix up our house, and somehow developed quite the attachment to him. She was his little shadow for quite a while. Whenever she sees power tools or photos of our unfinished house, she calls out, "Papa!" Now that work has moved down to the basement of our house, the muffled sound of hammering will often cause her to start looking for him. There is one particular area in our front room that creaks in that same muffled hammer way, and whenever I step on it Penny looks up and asks, "Papa?"

Although she loves her Papa and her Dado, she is a momma's girl. Sometimes the only thing that can distract her when I have to leave is playing with Legos. She loves them, particularly the little Lego Friends (the Lego girl minidolls and sets). She happily sings along with the Lego friends song from the website as her sister plays.

Speaking of singing, this little girl was born with a song in her heart. I've always considered my other children musically interested, but Penny has far surpassed them in her musical inclination. She hears singing at church or other places and can't help but join in, nevermind not knowing the words or tune. Play a beat and she can't help but groove.

Along with dancing, and singing, she also enjoys eating. For some time, "Num num," meant: "I want your food." These days she asks for food by name. Although for a while, all food was called, "pizza." Any liquid, however, is currently referred to as "water" something. We have "water," "water milk," "water juice," and her personal favorite, "water ice." Every sippy cup of "water-water" must contain ice. I'm not sure if she got that from her sister who loves to use the water and ice dispensers on the fridge, or if it is because our un-air-conditioned house is just too hot. No matter what she eats or drinks though, she struggles with portion control and will often cause herself to gag by eating too much at once.

She also LOVES the swings and the slide. Any opportunity to be outside and she is there.

Well, there you have it in a giant-sized nutshell...our little Penny girl.  Life would not be complete without her.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tigi Wigi

Being that I haven't posted regularly in quite some time, I should probably reintroduce my children. The last post was all about Liam, so let's continue on down the line and describe our three-and-a-half-year-old Teagan. (Again, it is wordy, but there is so much I just don't want to forget about this stage in life.)

If I had to use one word to describe Teagan, I might have to use the word "joy." She is a darling three-year-old with eyes that smile. She doesn't walk. She dances. She sings as much as she talks and has a sweet little laugh that just bubbles up from deep inside her.  When I think of Teagan, I think of the line from a nursery rhyme, "...and she shall have music wherever she goes." 

She is girl to the core. Pink, princesses, fairies: she loves it all. She changes outfits five times a day but can normally be found in a tutu. That's not to say she hasn't picked up a few masculine interests from her brother, but even then she is always the "pink ninja" and fights back with her own special "sparkle power." Watch out if you try to do her hair without some sort of distraction though or you may become the target of that sparkle power. Apparently, princesses don't mind their hair hanging in their eyes.

She knows her own mind. Ask her a question and she gives you a definitive answer, but somehow manages to be an easy going, go with the flow kind of kid. 

When she gives a hug, her little leg pops up right behind her like in the climax of a chick flick, and you can bet on her to say something hilarious that breaks the tension in a room.

She is a great shopping buddy and has no problem putting things back on the shelf when Mom says "No." Her favorite treats to bring home when Mom says "yes" are: pickles, doughnuts, and the beloved Oreos. Don't let that list fool you though, she loves to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as much as anything and has been known to cry when she's afraid that there is no more broccoli. 

With all the enthusiasm and energy she puts into life. there are the occasional pitfalls. Sleep deprive her and you are in for a nuclear fallout. Her moods at these times can change like the weather. Tears and screaming one minute. Wild laughter the next. A few weeks ago at church, just after the daylight saving, was one of those times. She fussed loudly about some crayon disaster, tears and all, but as soon as Dado found a solution, she laughed, smiled, and went on her merry way. Our friend the theater teacher sitting behind us recommended acting lessons for this girl who was obviously gifted in drama.

Liam is her best buddy and occasional worst enemy. We have finally reached the point where they will get up and happily play together instead of immediately waking up Mom and Dado. I love waking up to the sound of their laughter.

Teagan is a compassionate big sister who loves to make her little sister laugh. As with Liam, Penny can also bring the greatest joy and sorrow to Teagan especially as Penny gets older and is starting to hold her own a little better. I suppose that's the way it is with families.

I tell Teagan over and over that I'm so glad I get to be her Mommy, and every day I find that statement to be more true. I sure love that little girl.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Still here.

I love this time of year. New year, new start. Resolutions, goals. Can you guess what mine is this year?

I'm going to start blogging again!

These days there's a lot more life to be lived and a lot less time to write about it, but I am determined to keep a better record of it.

Over the next few months be prepared for new posts and the appearance of long lost posts detailing events from the past year yet undocumented.

Brace yourselves because we are back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Grade!

(I just found this unpublished post that I started on Liam's first day of first grade. It's a rather wordy description of Liam as a six year old. You don't have to read it all. I just mostly wanted to document it. It basically says that Liam is awesome, and we sure love him.)

My sweet Liam.

Liam is such an intensely motivated kind of kid. When he is into something, he gets into it full throttle. When he was little it was Buzz Lightyear, Transformers, Wall-E, or Cars. He could tell you all the characters and their special features. He loved to wear all their licensed merchandise. Now I find he has graduated to super heros, Legos, and Star Wars and still loves them with the same intensity.

If there is something he wants done he will come up with as many ways to accomplish it as he can until he finds the perfect solution. He is quite the problem solver. My favorite story about Liam is the story of the Smurfs:

A while ago, a friend of ours was asking around to see if anyone had any excess McDonald's Happy Meal Smurf toys that she could use to put together a Christmas present for her little boy. I had a bag stashed away in a closet where they had been for MONTHS awaiting a trip to the thrift store because my kids just didn't play with them. I offered them to my friend and when she came to pick them up Liam watched in horror as I handed them over. For weeks afterward, Liam constantly reminded me of the Smurfs and how he wanted them back. He came up with all sorts of solutions: buying new ones and trading them to get ours back, finding the other little boy a different toy, asking nicely, and on and on.

Eventually, they were mentioned less and less until one day six months later while Liam was playing with these plastic melty beads and peg boards. He arranged and organized and finally showed me his creation: a round angry face. "This is how I felt when you gave away my Smurfs," he explained. I am glad that he could so creatively and accurately express his feelings, but I would like to say once and for all that he never played with the dang things and had I discretely tossed them out, he NEVER would have mentioned them again.

His problem solving in conjunction with his helpful nature occasionally works in my favor though. After half a day of trying to get soap out of an empty dispenser to wash his hands after using the restroom, Liam decided to take matters into...well...into his own hands. He pulled down the soap bottle from the top shelf and refilled the dispenser, and kept refilling and refilling. Soon the soap was all over the counter, but he got the squirter back on the dispenser, washed his hands, and and came to proudly show me what he had done. I was pretty proud of him too for taking the initiative.

I'm sure I praised him that day, and I try to praise him often. Will and I have noticed how he thrives on positive reinforcement. You can just see his eyes light up when he has done something well and we notice and thank him.

The thing I find myself praising him for the most these days is for being a great big brother. He dotes on his baby sister Penny and lives to make her laugh and smile. He may at times be reluctant to do things for me, but if it is something for his baby sister, he does it in no time flat, no questions asked. If Penny is upset, he is right there doing something silly to try and help her be happy.

He's a different kind of big brother to his little sister Teagan. I think he sees her as more of an equal...which has its ups and downs. He includes Teagan in his play and always wants to share his activities with her. My favorite sound in the whole world is the sound of their laughter as they play together.  However, Liam sometimes forgets that Teagan is three years younger and is not as skilled or mature as a six year old would be and this leads to frustration. I didn't realize how often I said these words until I heard Tigi telling Liam one day, "I'm only three!"

Although six year olds may be more mature than three year olds, they still have some growing to do themselves. Liam is a cautious kid and is timid about new situations. He does well when he has set rules to follow, but new social situations with ambiguous rules about how to act make him nervous. He does better when he knows how what to expect, but overall, he likes to maintain the status quo. Last year during kindergarten's spring break he mentioned how he was so excited to have things, "just like the old days," when he got to stay home all the time, and honestly, it was really nice for me too. I love having my boy home.
With all his passing phases one thing that has remained the same is Liam's inventive and creative nature. He has wanted to build robots for as long as I can remember.

I look forward to seeing how he grows and changes over the next year.

I love you my big first-grade boy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Penelope Olivia Pettit

Penelope Olivia Pettit
7 lbs. 3 oz.
20 in.

Our little Penny arrived in record time just before Christmas, and she is perfect, absolutely perfect.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Save the Guy

Liam and Dado have been on a movie making kick. Here is their most recent creation:

It truly was a full cooperative effort in both storyline and editing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Liam has been learning all sorts of fun songs in Kindergarten. He even let me film him singing one! Here is the complete unedited version:

We hope you had a Happy Halloween too!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today was Liam's first day of Kindergarten! He had only the teeniest bit of a nervous look on his face as I said good-bye.  He was ready and waiting for this day, mentally and physically. He had his new Clone Wars shirt, Lego Ninjago backpack, and Lego shoes.  He loves what he loves, and now he has one more thing to love...SCHOOL.

On the way home this afternoon he chattered all about it. I don't know that I've ever heard the word "awesome" so many times in succession.  He had a great day! High points of his day included "eating a troll!" (cookie) and being able to "play inside and outside!" He can't wait for tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guess Who Lost a Tooth!

My baby's not a baby anymore! Liam surprised us by losing his first tooth just before starting Kindergarten! It was all he could talk about (with a slight lisp) for days.

"Look Mom! I can stick my finger in here!"

"Look Mom! My straw fits between my teeth!"

"Look Mom! I can see my new tooth growing in!"

Before the Tooth Fairy came, Liam kept asking me if I was the Tooth Fairy.  I could honestly answer him that I had never in my entire life been a tooth fairy.

The real Tooth Fairy had lots of practice and came that night bringing a dollar's worth of quarters and a lot of sparkly pixie dust that stuck to Liam's face the next morning. (I'm still finding it in his hair.) Unfortunately, those quarters somehow slipped behind the bed before Liam woke up.  "Mom, the Tooth Fairy took my tooth and didn't leave me anything!" Good thing she also left a note mentioning those quarters or we would have had a very bummed boy.

Just before breakfast Liam mentioned that maybe the tooth fairy was really his Kindergarten teacher and that she had used her magic wand to get into our house to quietly leave the quarters and sparkly dust. I told him to ask her all about it on his first day of school.