Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Silly Baby


Happy thirty-six weeks to Maxime!  Another week down…these weeks go by so.dang.fast!  I have a hard time keeping up with it all…shoot, I have a hard time keeping up with life at times.  My little baby is becoming not so little each and every day.  I know it is crazy, but I can still get that baby itch at times (yes, I know I still have a baby and yes, I know I already have four kids)…I panic as times knowing my baby days are gone…but I also have a sweet peace about it all…lots of conflicting emotions…darned hormones (still!).  I am really enjoying this sweet boy – I feel like life is more relaxed for me here despite being away from all our extended family…I still always have so much to do, but it just feels more relaxed because my to-do list is in the home…hard to explain, but I feel like I can be more present and enjoy our last baby (and enjoy our three crazy, older boys as well).  I am thankful to God for blessing us with this season – His kindness is seen throughout every aspect of our lives…and especially through little Maxime.

So, what did week thirty-six bring for Max?  Yes, he is still sleeping in the Woombie.  I’ll just lay it out there.  Nope, didn’t even try one time to break him from it…I even woke him up to put him in it when I forgot to put him in it one night…truth.  And, I am okay with that…totally okay with it all.  Moving on.  So, I think Maxie is teething…not one hundred percent sure, but fairly certain.  He has been crying out more, drooling a lot, a little cranky (emphasis on little because nothing really gets Maxime down)…so, I am going with teething.  I am trying the amber necklace on him to see if it will help with the pain, drooling, etc…we’ll see.  I am so crunchy…I figured that I lather him up in essential oils, I might as well slap an amber necklace on him.  He doesn’t notice it at all, and I really don’t want his brothers to notice it…I fear they would choke him with it.  His sleeping has been fine this last week EXCEPT he has decided that afternoon naps are very overrated.  Honestly, the big issue is I nurse him to sleep (and no, I don’t feel guilty about rocking and feeding him to sleep…he is my last baby (wait, I did it with all my babies…we are Babywise failures))…like until dead asleep…BUT I can’t stay that way with him…sadly, I have to lay him down.  It works fine in the morning – he sleeps great, but not so much in the afternoon.  The thing is he can fall asleep on his own when he wants…and he doesn’t want to for his afternoon naps.  However, Maxime will learn that his Mama is no quitter when it comes to naps (I don’t ever joke about naps…ever)…so, we’ll just keep working on it.  The missed afternoon naps do make for an exhausted boy by the end of the day, but he is still a happy boy for the most part. 

He has been sitting more and playing…he loves it.  He still falls over, but a lot of times I don’t even know he has fallen over because he doesn’t make a peep (thank God for big, strong heads)…seriously, I’ll find him in the laundry basket on his back just playing…this kid makes me laugh.  He is still eating like a champ, but I have realized that Max does not enjoy eggs…we have finally found something that Maxie doesn’t like…shocker.  He is still nursing…short and sweet, but working out for now.  I can still be in shock at times that I don’t have a relationship with a pump this time around…crazy for me…and so thankful.   He still shows no interest in crawling…he has no idea what it is and is content to hang out and play with whatever is in front of him.  I know this won’t last forever so I am happy with him being chill.  Max is totally in a licking phase and will lick whatever you put in front of him…sadly, his brothers know this as well and they think it is quite funny…disgusting for Max for sure…poor buddy.  It is funny though when I am holding him and he starts licking my arm, my shirt, my face…whatever.  He is the dog Jake has always wanted.  Maxie finds his voice more and more every day…he can be so loud.  He needs to compete with his three older brothers.  I love how whenever I see him, he will burst into the biggest smile…melts my heart.  I love that he searches for me in the morning.  He is such a silly boy and is always making me smile.  It is so hard to believe these days are numbered (can’t even think about it because I start crying).  Max is as sweet as can be – lots of smiles, laughs, and cuddles.  He is such an amazing blessing to this family!!!

Hard to believe we are half way through this summer already!  I think we are having a good time this summer.  It has been really rainy, which doesn’t surprise me at all…it rains A LOT here.  The funny thing is everyone will tell me that this isn’t typical Swiss weather…all I know is that I have lived here for almost a year and it rains at least three times a week.  I am not sure why the Swiss cannot embrace it…your country is beautiful and green…and it is green for a reason because it rains ALL.THE.TIME.  Honestly, I haven’t minded it at all…it seems like one week it is warm and then one week it cold and rainy…I am use to Arizona summers so this is a welcomed change.  I am sure in a few years I’ll be saying the same thing and believing it doesn’t rain all the time here.  I pray the next few weeks will be great and I will have patience with my sweet boys (that can definitely run low at times)…and maybe (however, very doubtful) it will stop raining.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Hubey!!!

And now another birthday post...that should have happened back in October when Hugh actually turned five...I cannot handle any judgement right now. Hugh is kind, smart, sensitive, an incredible brother, and a huge help to me (he is always asking me how he can help me out...sweet boy).  He can cry easily when his feelings are hurt, but only people he is really close to can actually hurt his feelings.  He doesn't mind being a total loner at school, but when he is home he always wants someone to play with.  He tells us that he loves God and Jesus, and we pray faithfully that God's word would continue to impact this little boy.  Love this sweet boy!  And now, the interview with a five year-old...

What is your name? Hugh
How old are you? Five
What is your favorite thing to do? Play on the iPad (shocked that he said that since I am a mom who never allows that...right :))
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite food? Pasta with Alfredo sauce, bacon, and veggies
What do you like to do with your family? Color (we color all the time together as a family...hmmm)
What is your favorite toy? Legos
What do you want to be when you grow up? A boat driver (then he goes into this thing about how he can't tell us because his teacher told him not to...weird)
What makes you happy? When everyone plays with me...no, wait...when someone kisses me (what?)
What makes you sad? When someone slaps me in the face (what is going on at that school?!?)
What is your favorite show to watch? The Little Mermaid
What is your favorite book? Silent Night (first book he sees out on the table...clearly, this interview was done around Christmas time)
What do you love to learn about? Mama (I am a unique creature...there is a lot to learn.)
What was the best part of your birthday? When everyone gave me presents.
Where do like to go? Disneyland
Who is your teacher? Ms. Patricia (and Ms. Rossana...but he didn't mention her)
What is your favorite treat? Suckers
What do you dream about? Mama (he must always be having sweet dreams...truth)
If you could meet someone famous who would it be? God
What was your favorite birthday present? Bow and arrow

We love this boy!!!  Hard to believe he'll be six soon!  


Thirty-five weeks!!!  Thirty-five weeks!!!  I can hardly believe it.  How is our little Maxime already thirty-five weeks and eight months?  I swear the last eight months have gone by so quickly, it blows my mind.  Hard to believe that Max will be a year old in less than four months.  The last eight months have been such a blessing to us…I can honestly say that I cannot imagine my life without Max.  My life is fuller and has more joy because of this little boy.  This season of life is so crazy at times, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all…but it is very much worth it…even if I end up with all gray hair in the next two years (trust me, I am well on way…for reals)!

So, what did week thirty-five bring for Max?  Well, after a VERY long and rough night (not all Max’s fault)…I broke down and stuffed that little boy back into his Woombie.  Yep, I sure did.  When you realize you are probably only going to get about two hours of sleep, you bag the whole week of sleep training you did and you put that baby back into his swaddle.  You also spend hours crying thinking about how you are destroying your child for keeping him in a swaddle for too long (I can thank Jake for this).  Anyway, it was a long night and I did what I had to do and you know what, Max slept like a baby…the sweet baby that he is (even when he is not sleeping).  So, he has been back in his Woombie this whole week and he is sleeping all around (naps and nights) SO much better.  I just don’t think he is ready to break out of the swaddle yet.  Yes, I know that most babies are ready around four months…but not Max.  We will try again around nine months…but for now, everyone is happy (well, not Jake…he still wants him out of that swaddle) and sleeping.  In other news, Max is sitting up all by himself now!  Yay!  He is doing great and I actually leave him to sit by himself…not for too long because he does move his big head all around and then he falls over…and our floors are not the most forgiving.  When I need him to sit for longer than I think he can handle, I just put him the laundry basket with some toys…you got to do what works, but I have learned to lean the basket up against a wall because he has fallen over in the basket as well…that darned big head of his.  He loves sitting and playing, and I love it too.   

I know he is constantly watching his brothers and is just itching to be with them, but he is not close to crawling.  He has no idea what it is and I am okay with that…all in good time.  Even though he cannot run around with his brothers, he still gets to play with them – the big boys are all over Max and take every opportunity to play with him. Max LOVES all of them…so sweet…I love to see the relationships growing stronger every day.  Our boys are very tight...love it.  Max still eats everything…honestly, there is nothing he doesn’t like…I thought yogurt was a fail, but I can safely say pineapple yogurt is a favorite of his (it is quite delicious here).  Seriously, I wonder at times what he won’t eat…it is so funny.  I have felt at times this last week that he is getting burned out with nursing.  He definitely gets WAY more excited about food versus nursing, but I am not concerned…I will accept the weaning whenever he is ready.  I am past the point of hating nursing…I really don’t mind it (who have I become?!?), BUT I won’t shed any tears when our nursing relationship comes to an end.  It will mean we are all ready, and I am good with it.  So, we’ll see what happens – I won’t be forcing anything.  I love that he is such a great eater and as long as you are feeding him, he'll eat it.  He has really been trying to feed himself this week, but is having little success…sad.  His fine motor skills are lacking (or non-existent…whatever)…but I am glad he is at least trying.  I know he’ll be feeding himself before long.  He is still spitting like crazy…ugh…drives me batty!  I will be glad when the spitting phase is over.  He had his first trip to the beach – he LOVED the sand and the water.  The motto with Maxie is “he loves everything” (except being out of the Woombie of course).  He gets super excited all the time – he starts swinging his arms all around and lets out this high pitch whistle…and then he starts hitting me in the face and laughing…oh, crazy boy.  He loves it when I whistle at him…he gets the biggest smiles and laughs…love it.  He is still giving lots of kisses and actually makes the kissing noise…so funny.   He really is such a sweet, easy going baby.  We are so blessed by this little boy!

Another week of summer down and I think we are having a great time! (Now, don’t go asking the boys…they may not agree.)  We have been getting out (thanks to some local girls from church who watch Max while he is sleeping) – parks, pools…it has been fun.  Now, it is raining again this week…so, we’ll figure something out.  But you know what?!? We are going on vacation in a few weeks!!! (Yep, we are throwing caution to the wind with our tax bills (thank you USofA for still taxing us like we live there…sometimes I love myself some Neil Diamond and I sing the “I am proud to be American” song, but I’ll be honest…I am not proud when it comes to our ridiculous tax situation for ex-pats…it is crazy…moving on) and medical bills…life is too short.) We are going to the beach in Cannes and the boys are thrilled…it will be such a great time.  Never thought I would say I am vacationing in Cannes…but I am!  Now, I just need to survive the next few weeks (one of which is a solo parenting week)…I can do this!  And, of course I can do this with the Woombie and a sleeping baby!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let the Training Begin!

Happy thirty-four weeks to Maxie!!! Well, it hasn't been a happy week (I think it is the first unhappy week of Maxie's life...sad.). We have broken him (or at least we are trying to) of the Woombie and he is sad...very sad. I know (well, I don't really know) that he is almost eight months and needs to be broken of the swaddle (but does he really?!?...Jake and I will agree to disagree :))...but I wish it would be a smoother transition...and I HATE hearing my babies cry (hence why Sam didn't sleep through the night until he was one...when he was ready). Max has been a great sleeper since birth...but I believe the swaddle played a big role in that great sleeper...so, no swaddle = junky sleep. I know it is a matter of training...one of the many things that will come in regards to training...and, I know it is a very minor one. It is just hard for this Mama's heart. And sadly, I allow a non-napping, crying baby to majorly affect my heart and attitude (I am working on it.). I am praying this next week will be better!


So, what did week thirty-four bring for Maxime? Well, obviously the biggest thing was the breaking of the Woombie...like breaking a stallion...it takes work. So, he has not been napping...at all...and it is rough...like crazy inducing...for reals. His night sleep also hasn't been great and he has been waking up early...too early for this Mama who always stays up way too late (because I will never learn). I am so not a morning person...someone just needs to tell my kids that. So, I know this is just a season...but it is definitely one of my least favorite seasons. We'll keep working on it. Honestly, (and I am sure this is completely irrational) I fear that this "crying out" will change Max...he is the happiest baby and I think this is going to make him jaded (yes, I know...irrational...I can be completely irrational at times). He has been cranky this week, but he hasn't been getting great sleep...ugh, that ugly cycle. Anyway, moving on... Max is sitting up more, but still can't leave him alone...he does well, but whenever I try to get a picture of him, he will fall over...oh, well. He loves to sit and play while his brothers play around him or play with him. His brothers still adore him and the feeling is very mutual - Max LOVES his crazy brothers and the brothers are a big help when I need a few minutes...they provide lots of entertainment to him.


His brothers can also get a little too rough and there can be tears at times, but it is all in good fun. Max does love to play and is great now with reaching and grabbing at whatever he wants. He still doesn't show any interest in crawling...he moves some by rolling, which is fine by me. He is still eating well, but is showing some slowing down...he will lock his lips when he is all done versus being the bottomless pit he was last week. He also spits, which is no good...we do not enjoy the spitting...not one bit. This last week he has just seemed a little disinterested in eating. We'll see how this next week goes. He is still not feeding himself...no interest in it...not one little bit. One day, one day we'll get there. He likes to pinch me, scratch me (he needs his nails clipped...not my job), and pull my hair...it is like I am fighting with a teenage girl...super fun.  He will normally just laugh at me when I try and correct him...even more super fun...he also pulls his brothers' hair...they do not enjoy it at all. Max seems to be very interested in the TV, and any time the TV is on, he likes to flip himself over and watch it...best mother ever for sure. He had his first visit to Bern - went to the zoo and saw the Bears of Bern. He did great - such a good sport. Despite his non-napping, he is still such a sweet baby (with a little crank thrown in for good measure)...love this baby boy so much...just wish he would sleep.

Honestly, it hasn't been my best week...we didn't quite have the epic first week of summer. It has been cold and rainy, and then sleep training a baby, and an unorganized Mama = not the best combo. Anyway, I have said it a million times...I rely too much on my children's sleep to dictate my day. I know my hope and joy comes from the Lord, but my attitude definitely doesn't reflect that. So, I pray this week that I rest in the truth of God's word...each one of these seasons is a blessing...even when I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need to get my heart in check...my boys are so awesome and I love them to pieces. I pray I can be thankful for this sleep training season...my last one. And, I pray I get smart and go to bed earlier (but we all know that won't happen!!!)!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Baby!!!

Another week...Max is thirty-three weeks! What?!? How did that happen? My word, these weeks fly by...it is hard to keep up with it all. I still can be in disbelief at times that I have four kids...four boys!!! I know I have had thirty-three weeks to process it all (on top of all the weeks I was actually pregnant with Max), but it still takes me by surprise. We are so blessed to have these four amazing boys. It is definitely crazy at times, but I love seeing these boys bonding and I am excited for Max to get in the mix as well. And, he desperately wants to be in the mix...when his crazy brothers are running, he starts throwing himself all around and laughing. It is quite funny. I know he'll be in it all too soon...but I can wait for it all. Love this baby boy so much!!!

So, what did week thirty-three bring for Max? He continues to be sitting up more and more. I still will not leave him alone while sitting...but, hopefully soon. I know it sounds crazy, but it is hard to sit with him sometimes to practice sitting up (I swear, sometimes when I actually put my thoughts into print I sound like the worst mother ever!)...I always feel like once we get down, something crazy happens (that happens a lot with four young boys) and I have to get back up. We'll get there...just slowly. He moves himself all around when he is laying on the ground, but he definitely shows no signs of crawling and I am okay with that...for sure. When Max gets mobile...life is going to be so crazy, I might lose the rest of the mind I still have...for reals. He is content to push himself around in his walker...that works for the both of us right now. He is still eating everything you put into his mouth (yep, fine motor skills are still very much lacking...however, he was feeding himself some crepes this weekend...but he is a bit like a T-Rex with a big head and little arms and he pretty much just slaps the food across his face and hopes he'll land something in his mouth)...we can't find anything he doesn't like! His favorite foods are fruit...applesauce is at the top of that list still...he can eat a bowl full...as much as I would give his brothers.

He is starting to put more and more chunk on and that doesn't surprise me at all with the amount of food he eats...all.the.time!!! And, he still nurses at least four times a day...chunky baby for sure. And, I love it! Hugh and Sam were my lean babies and Judah and Max were/are my chunky babies...there is something about a round face with chubby cheeks...love it! (However, I should probably stop calling him "fat baby"...I don't want to give him a complex.) He definitely likes to play and grabs now at whatever he can. He loves to pull hair, which is not so awesome. He still loves to give me kisses and is still grabbing my face to do it...it doesn't matter how hard the day can be, when he starts giving me kisses...I just melt. It doesn't matter that the kisses are with his mouth wide open and he slobbers all over me...I love it all. And, I am going to miss it so much when he stops doing it. He is biting again while nursing...that I do not love...and he just laughs at me when I flick his cheek...awesome. He is still hit or miss on his naps. I thought he was getting better, but the last two days have been terrible! No naps or super short naps...ugh. However, Max is still happy...naps or not, but his night ends early on his bad nap days. We tried to break him of the Woombie again...but it was a failure. Yes, I know he is almost eight months old and is still being swaddled...there are worse things...so, a battle for another day. Maxime is still the happiest baby ever (people cannot get over how content he is all of the time)...he is always smiling or laughing or making this silly face he always makes...such a fun guy...and we are all so in love with him!

School's Out For Summer!!! I am ready. Ready for this sticky, warm summer with like eight million bugs, no window screens, no air conditioning, no ceiling fans with four crazy boys summer. Living the dream for sure. Seriously though, I am looking forward to summer...I just wish the eight million bugs (that Swiss people swear don't exist...they be crazy!!!) would go away...I guess I'll just get use to them...living the dream (I just keep telling myself that). It will be a great summer. There is so much fun to be had...now, I just need to pump myself up enough to do it...and do it with a happy heart. Cheers to next week...the first week of summer!