Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Larkyn 9 months

Larkyn turns 9 months tomorrow!  Thankfully, because she is still wearing 3-6 month clothing, I can hold onto my "baby" for a bit longer...however she is definitely growing up!  The big news this month is that she learned to sit up by herself!

 While the muscle strength has been there for a while, she would intentionally push her head back to tip herself over because she preferred to be on her back.  She loves playing on her back and rolling over everywhere!  While I still keep pillows behind her as she will sometimes still "tip", she will sit on her own now.

This give a whole new way to play!  I set her up with a bucket of toys, and she reaches in and grabs out things to play with.

 Here are a few videos of her playing...

Knocking Over Tower (This cracks me up - after I would build a tower each time for her to knock over she would knock it over with her head instead of her hands!  I didn't quite catch it on video but you can see her moving her head to knock the tower over)

Playing Piano


  She is also growing up in that she is preferring solids to nursing.  I think she is attempting to wean herself, as she barely nurses at all now before bed and eats very little during the day, even though I give her opportunity 4 times a day.  While I am definitely excited to be done with the nursing phase, I do know how healthy it is for her, so I will hope to "hang on" one more month if possible :).  Due to her lack of interest in nursing, I have started to try and teach her how to use a cup.  We have attempted several different sippy cups and she is starting to get the hang of it.  I usually put water or milk in it for her.  As far as solids, she eats most everything we do, just ground up, if it is possible to grind it up.  Otherwise she eats her veggies, chicken, or rice cereal for dinner.  This month we introduced eggs and small pieces of lunch meat, and she loves both.  She absolutely loves black forest ham!  She can feed herself crackers, but cannot yet pick up small pieces of food and get them to her mouth.  Due to her new found skill of sitting up by herself, she sat in her first restaurant high chair this month :).

 Larkyn has settled into a pretty consistent 2 naps a day.  She wakes up around 7am, takes a morning nap from 9:30-11am, and an afternoon nap from 2-4pm, and goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm.  She still falls asleep sucking her two middle fingers.  She will wait patiently and quietly for me to get her up (sometimes I don't even know she is awake!) and has started to play with some of the stuffed friends in her crib.

She has started babbling a lot more this month and her favorite word/sound right now is "Da-Da", of which Paul is quite happy :).  Here is a video:

 She can make a blowing kiss sound, wave (although I am not sure how intentional it is yet), and clap (however not on command - usually when we start clapping she stops clapping to watch us!)  Here is a little video of her clapping:

She has a special bond with both of her siblings, and it is fun to see them interact!  Colton will come give "Warky-Woo-Woo" hugs everytime he sees her, and Summer loves to try and make her laugh and smile.

My 3 musketeers

Summer loves to dress up Larkyn in hats, bows, and more, and always asks me to "put a headband in Larkyn's hair" :)

 Here is a video of Summer and Larkyn playing.

Still no teeth for this 9 month old, but she definitely puts everything immediately in her mouth!

She still is such a smiley, happy baby and truly a blessing!  Here are some giggles...

Click Here to see a cute 9 month video made on Magisto.   We love you, Larkyn Emery!

March Wrap-Up

Woops - I blinked - and now it is almost April!  I have got to stop doing that ;)....

We have been loving the spring weather this week!  Our snowman from last week...

Now looks like this....

Which means we can now do this...

However we still had many cold days in March, where we did things like...

playing legos

lots of silly!

arts and crafts

Indoor playground showroom

indoor playground showroom

Many play dates with lots of wonderful friends (we are so blessed!)  Here is one with Summer and Adry.
We babysat Cayden (one month apart from Larkyn)
These two babies are SO cute together!!!
 Here is an adorable video of Larkyn and Cayden...

We have done a little bit of school, including

Practicing our letters...

After practicing many "N"'s, Colton is now able to write his whole name except I make 4 "dots" to help him form his "N"
Practicing our reading and states...

Summer is continuing to bud into quite the reader, reading cereal boxes, signs, books, and anything she can!  She is also learning quite a few of her states.  (Sorry about the fussy Larkyn in this video's background - we were doing puzzles while we waited for Daddy to come home and Larkyn was getting hungry for dinner!)

Practicing our Letters/Numbers/Shapes/Colors

We did a mall scavenger hunt for letters/numbers/shapes/colors.

 Each kid had a clipboard with these things listed, and as we walked through our local mall, they would circle the things they found.

 They LOVED it.  The trickiest letter was "X", but our friend Ms. Rachael who works at a store at the mall, helped us find an "X" on one of the tags in her store :).

Learning from God's Word

And we of course, have been learning from our daily Bible readings.  After reading through his Beginner's Bible more times than I can count and completing the Big Picture Story Bible twice, we have moved onto the Read and Learn Bible with Colton, which has a little longer stories.  I love our time together before quiet time where he sits on my lap, and rests his cute chubby fingers on my hand :).  We are currently reading in the time of David and Solomon.

This past summer, Summer and I started reading a Bible we picked up at a garage sale last summer, The Children's Bible, which is actual excerpts from the Bible instead of a re-written account of the stories.  It still however has pictures on each page.  It amazes me that she loves to read this Bible because some of the accounts are written in tricky language.  However, she loves it, and often asks me to explain the story after we read it.  Because instead of stories we are reading actual chapters out of the Bible, it has taken us many months to get through the Old Testament, however, we just finished the prophets this week and started the New Testament.

Daily Bible reading is a priority in our home because I want to create a habit and love of God's word in them while they are young so that they will hopefully continue on their own while they are older.  God's Word currently keeps ME grounded so that I am thinking about living my life in the right way and keeping my priorities straight, and I notice when I skip days, my attitude toward life changes and I start focusing more on myself and trivial things and less on others and important things with eternal value.  All this to say, Bible reading, focus, discussion, and memorization is a huge part of our day!  Here are our last two verses of the week:

Psalm 135:6 The Lord does whatever pleases him in the heavens and on the earth.

Isaiah 63:7 I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised.

This month of March I have been thinking a lot about this last verse, Isaiah 63:7.  March was a challenging month in many ways for me because we dealt with a lot of sickness and lack of sleep.  Besides having all 3 kids be sick for an extended period of time, we also had some strange stuff with Summer.  I think it was because she was so overtired from sickness, but she had some freaky strange night terrors where she would "half" wake up and just cry and cry and we couldn't get her to all the way wake up and talk to us.  I felt so helpless.  My mind raced and I started to fear - mostly irrational fears - but nevertheless - real fears.  At this same time, Colton was coughing through the entire night for almost 2 weeks straight, and I nothing I tried would take his cough away and give him rest.  I again felt so helpless.  As desperately as I wanted to, I couldn't help my kids.  One night as I was "sleeping" while holding Summer on the couch, and reassuring her when she would half-awake cry out, that "Mommy is here", an exhausted and helpless me fought back the tears as I prayed acknowledging to God that I had no control over this situation and I didn't understand it, and I needed him to take over.  I had nothing left.  And....he DID.  A peace overwhelmed me that he was in control, and was always in control, and would always be in control.  Nothing I could do would change that, and I just needed to trust him.  And that "handing over the reigns" so to speak allowed me so much peace.  I realized that in my the moment of utter helplessness, I saw His kindness more than ever.  And so, in this blog post, I decided that

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised.
Isaiah 63:7

Monday, March 23, 2015


We had so much fun spending a week in Florida with my parents, sister, and her husband!  We are so grateful to my parents generosity in renting a house and inviting us to join them!  Here is a compilation of pictures/videos from all of my family members.  It was an awesome trip that went way too fast!

We arrived at the airport at 5:15am on Saturday morning.  The kids did an awesome job of pulling their own luggage around the airport (See this video of Colton)!
Uncle Eric and Summer both had pink suitcases!
Larkyn did really well on the flight and waiting in the airport.
 Once we arrived in Florida, we waited at the airport while Grandpa went and picked up our rental car.  Uncle Eric and the kids played on a luggage cart.

My parents rented an 11 passenger van so we could all drive around together.

Eric and Kristin rode in the back, with the kids in front of them.  Paul, Larkyn and I rode in the second row with Grandma and Grandpa in the front.

My parents rented a cute yellow house that was only a short walk from the ocean.

The kids favorite part of the house was the bunk beds!

We all loved the pool!

Larkyn loved watching the ceiling fan with Daddy and they enjoyed cuddling and watching it together every day (seriously!)  Larkyn and Daddy had a lot of special moments including slow dancing together (see video).

I loved having Paul with us (not at work) for a WHOLE WEEK and eating lots of delicious food without having to cook was a bonus!

Grandma and Larkyn :)

One of my favorite parts of growing up was listening to stories my dad would make up and tell us.  He has continued the tradition with my kids, and the kids got to have many "storytime with Grandpa" sessions!

On Monday we went to the turtle hospital, a place where sea turtles go to be rehabed from various tumors and injuries caused by boats, trash, and pollution in the ocean.

It was very interesting and the kids got to be up close with over 40 turtles.

They even have ambulances!

The group at the turtle hospital

One of my favorite meals - SHRIMP!

Larkyn was so flexible, sleeping wherever she could, on days when it didn't work to be at the house for a nap!

After lunch we all loved watching the exuberant pelicans eat up the fish remains from the fisherman while he fillet -ed his fish.

Plastic flamingo!

We had quite the experience waiting 3+ hours to be seen at a clinic for a persistent cough of Colton's and a strange eye virus of Summer's.  After several trips to a pharmacy for medicine (they filled the prescription wrong twice!) we finally were on the road to health for the rest of the trip.  It was quite the day and full of, uh, interesting memories!

Cute sisters!

The kids had fun playing in the sand Monday evening

And burying mom's feet kept them both entertained for quite a while!

Trying on Uncle Eric's shades!

Summer's turn!

On Tuesday morning my parents watched the kids while Kristin, Eric, Paul and I went fly boarding.

Paul went first.  After getting suited up with life jacket and helmet...

He put on boots, which clip onto a board, which is connected to a large hose, which is connected to a jetski.  The water comes out of the jetski and propels the board.

After starting by zooming in "superman position" through the water, you stand up and let the water lift you into the air.  It is a little tricky to balance, but after a while we all got the hang of it.

The rest of us got to watch each other from a pontoon boat.
Here is a video of Paul learning...


 Here is a video of Paul learning how to correct his balance when he started to tip....

Here it is my turn.  You can see our guide in the foreground.  He controls the volume of the water which determines how high you rise above the water.  He also coaches us through a walky talky that comes out through our helmet so he can teach us.
It was so tricky to stay balanced but it was so fun!

If you lose your balance it is hard to get it back!  I love this picture of Kristin falling because it looks like she is doing a cool stunt!  Kristin's cheerleading flyer days helped her pick up the balancing very quickly!
Eric did the best of all of us and was able to get up to almost 30 feet off the water!

Afterwards, we met up at a cute lunch place, Robbies, where we got to eat outside by the ocean.


Right by the restaurant was a place you could feed fish that literally jumped out of the water to get the food.  Pretty fun to watch.  See this video.


Summer got some special Grandma and Grandpa time while her little sibs napped.

She loved the one-on-one time, as well as the kayaking!

Cute pic!
Big girl.

She also got special pool time with her Aunt and Uncle while her little sibs napped.  Its fun being a big kid!  See this video.

Auntie Kristin, Uncle Eric, and Summer.

Random cute pic of Larkyn

On Wednesday morning, the girls and the kids spent the morning at the pool (while the guys went fishing). 

Both kids loved playing with the landscaping rocks!  Our adventure for the morning was losing Summer's earring in the pool...and then finding it again!

The guys had a great time fishing.  Here is my stud with one of his fish :)

The best story from the morning was that Uncle Eric caught a shark!

Sweet girls.


On Wednesday afternoon, Paul and I got out for a mini kayak date.

LOVE this guy.
On Thursday we all spent a relaxing day at the pool.

 Here is a cute video of Larkyn splashing in the pool.

Larkyn and I cuddled while Paul pushed us around the pool...rough, I know :-)

On Thursday after naps we went mini golfing.   Here was Summer's first time!

Colton got the hang of it by the end (and lots of Grandpa and Daddy help!)

On Friday we went to the Theater of the Sea - an outdoor aquarium of sorts with many live animal shows.

Gorgeous grounds.

Beautiful flowers!

Sweet Larkyn

The dolphin show was incredible, with the trainers dancing with the dolphins
 Here are a few videos (seriously awesome!):

Dolphin jumping through a hoop
The sea lion show was probably my favorite. 
Summer with the dolphin trainers

Colton with the dolphin trainers.

Summer with one of the birds from the bird show.

Larkyn caught a cat nap with Grandpa before the open bottom boat ride.  Super cool up close with the dolphins (see this video)

Summer and Grandma
Grandma and Grandpa let each kid pick out a souvenir from the gift shop...Summer picked a Mermaid

Colton picked an alligator truck

Larkyn got a little dolphin book :)

Our last dinner was at a beautiful open air restaurant.  I couldn't help snapping this picture of Summer as I looked across the table at my big girl, breeze blowing through her hair.  When did she get so old?! :)

On Saturday morning, we flew home.  The kids loved watching the airplanes out the window as we waited for our flight.

As a thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood, our family made a "thank you" book, writing and illustrating our favorite parts of our trip.  Each kid signed the pages of the pictures they drew.  (Although I helped Colton with the "C" and the "N" in his name).  I thought the kids' drawings turned out really cute, so I will end our trip blog post with their rendition of our trip below.  The kids thought it was pretty fun that Daddy included a picture, too, and spent 20 minutes watching him draw every detail and commentating on his drawing, lol!

 Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for such a wonderful trip!