Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to Business


Forty weeks! Yikes! Max is getting too close to a year old. I cannot believe that my baby is almost a year old. I pretty much wish everyday that this boy would stop getting bigger. I wish I would have enjoyed all my babies as much as Max, but I think it takes time to grow into being a mother...a mother who can relax and enjoy all the little things (at least it did for me...and maybe (just maybe) I am not alone in this boat). Also, I know Max being my last baby plays into savoring every last bit of this baby business (I wish someone would have told me to savor every moment with each one of my kids like it could be my last...oh, well...moving on). Of course, I want Max to grow up, but it is hard...caught between two worlds...the baby world (where I have been since 2008 and am now leaving...very slowly) and the growing up world (where I have been since 2008 and will be for years to come). I feel like I am always going over this in my head...I am crazy, but we all already know that. Anyways, I love the growing up world...but I love myself a baby! Sweet baby Max...I couldn't have imagined a better ending to this chapter of our lives!


So, what did week forty bring for Maxime? Well, no teeth...maybe he'll be a toothless wonder?!? The skin is broken through on one tooth...but nothing is coming up. It doesn't affect him too much, which I am SUPER thankful - our kids have gotten progressively worse with their teething (however, I don't think it could get worse than Sam)...so I was worried Max might be brutal, but in typical Maxie fashion, it isn't too bad. It does wake him at times, but nothing a little Tylenol doesn't fix. Hopefully, those teeth will make an appearance this week! He does seem to be having a little bit of separation anxiety when we leave him...he doesn't need to be held or anything, but likes the company...which he almost always has (when you have four children...someone is always there to be an entertainer...it takes a village), but his panicking lasts seconds and then he is fine. And, if he can see you then he is absolutely fine. He is still showing no signs of crawling or any interest to crawl...all in good time (seems to be the motto with Maxie). He is content to sit and play right now, which works great for us all. He loves toys and figuring everything out - he played with balloons and those were a big hit. He is just so curious and silly. He loved being a part of his big brother's birthday party (he has a special love for Judah...and Judah is super sweet to him...love it!). 


 He is still being super loud and demands to be heard. He does this thing where he shakes his hands and is laughing (heavy breathing)...so funny...he just wants attention. He will also stare at you to get your attention - he does that a lot to Jake.  And, when Jake gets him in the morning, he normally always has to make sure he can see me (just see me...not be held by me) or he panics a little bit (sweet boy). People can't help but love this little boy - he has big smiles for everyone (except for this one guy from church who always makes him cry). He is such a sweet cuddler too - he lays his head on your chest (oh.my.word...melt my heart) and just rests...it doesn't get any sweeter and the world stops in those moments (because I know they won't last long). He is still giving me lots of kisses and I absolutely love it when he grabs my face to give me a kiss. Love him. He is still eating well - willing to try everything (love that about him!). Sadly, he still spits...and I hate the spitting! Ugh. I know it won't last forever...then it will be some other eating habit that drives me batty!!! There is still no self-feeding going on at all...one day...all in good time. However, we are trying and hopefully, one day it will stick. He is still hit or miss on naps and we have yet to break the Woombie (kill a girl for wanting a good night of sleep!)...maybe the breaking will happen this week...we'll see. Just taking one day at a time. Love, love, love each day with this sweet, little boy!



Well, summer is holiday is over...officially over...break my heart. I would love to have all my boys at home all the time, but that is not reality. So, school for Hugh starts tomorrow and school for Judah starts the following week...back to the crazy school schedule...and this year having to drive Judah...ugh, but I'll manage and will survive (definitely first world problems). It was a great summer. So many fun memories with my awesome boys. I love being their mom - it truly is a blessing, one that I pray I never take for granted. God is so kind to me. Here is to another school year - let the crazy begin!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Time!!!

(Ok, so I wrote this post when summer first started...but never got around to posting it...oh, well.  I should probably get this posted now since we are in the last week of summer holiday!)

This kid,



Is awesome. End of story. At two months shy of five years-old, he started a new life in Switzerland. A life away from everything he knew...his grandparents, aunts and uncles, his beloved cousins, and his friends...and he has rocked it this year.

He never shed a single tear about going to school...a school with a whole new language...(at least one of us stayed strong)...and everyday he would tell me he had a great day. He struggled the majority of the year with making friends, but he made some (and even had a little girl with a bit of a crush on him...who can blame her, he is a cutie) and his "lonely" days (as he would call them) never bothered him...ever. And you know what, he can speak and understand French...a lot more than he leads us to believe (thankful for other moms who sat in class and observed him easily following along and speaking French). I get that he doesn't want to speak it outside of class...it is overwhelming...trust me, I get that 100%.

It has been a year about growing up for this boy...and praise God because Hugh has stepped up. He is still five and can whine and complain with the best of them, but we asked a lot of this little boy this year and he stepped up!

Thankfully, he'll have his same teachers next year and some of the friends he has made will be in his class next year (except for the two sweet girls (and their mothers who I love!) from his class...sad), but we also pray for new friends for him and we'll keep up with his old friends as well...he'll be back with his original class for his third year (yep, they have a different system here...we get it all now and are good with it...we think). And, you know what...he'll step up, he always does...so thankful to God for this sweet boy!!!



So, here is to a great summer!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Holiday, Celebrate!


Crazy that it has been two weeks since my last post and Max is now thirty-nine weeks! I will do a look back over the last two weeks...we all knew I would NOT be posting on vacation (come on, this is my fourth kid...give me a break already). Hard to believe that two weeks ago I was dreading Jake being out of town for a week and just hoping to survive to be able to make it to the beach holiday! Well, I did survive that single parenting week by God's sweet grace (honestly, those weeks get easier and easier...ONLY by God's sweet grace) and now, vacation is over (I could actually start crying...we totally get why Europeans go on two week holidays!). Our holiday (yep, I say holiday now because I am super Euro) in the French Riveria (we so fancy) was AH-MAZING!!! We had the best time. The drives to and from were quite painful (PAINFUL)...the traffic was unreal - worst traffic we have ever seen in our lives...but such is life and we chalk it all up to being able to take the holiday. Overall, Max did quite well. And, I became that mom that unbuckles her baby from the car seat on the motorway to feed him...while Jake was driving (we were barely moving...didn't seem all that dangerous)...and yes, I did this on the drives to and from...yes.I.did. Sad that our holiday is done, but darn glad those drives are done as well. I would say Max enjoyed himself on his first trip to France...quite the world traveler!

 

So, what did week thirty-eight and thirty-nine bring for Maxime? Well, it was a week away from Daddy and then a week with Daddy (thankfully, we all survived and Max slept at night...that is key to me surviving a solo parenting week...babes that sleep). And, Maxime said his first word...Dada. Dada...of course. And, I  actually think he knows what he is saying...another Team Jake member. But, I really don't know if I would say Team Jake...yet. I am sure he will get there for sure, but Maxie has A LOT of love for Mama. So, I will let Jake steal this joy from me and I won't be bitter...not one bit. Max is still sitting up well and I have no problem leaving him. He will scoot himself backwards on his tummy, but still shows no interest in crawling. I almost thought he was thinking about pulling himself up the other day, but he wasn't...all in good time. I was very thankful he wasn't mobile for this vacation - it was nice to just sit with him in the sand versus him trying to crawl everywhere. He was so content to just sit and watch all the action. He loves sand and he loved being in the water. He has to brace himself for the cold water, but he rarely cries in it and he actually fell asleep while Jake was holding him in the waves...sadly, a big wave came up and rudely awoke him...poor baby. He did great on our beach days and pool nights. Always smiling and having a good time. He did great on our trip to the aquarium...and, I even nursed him in the middle of absolute chaos in the aquarium with no cover (I am SO Euro...crazy.). He isn't a huge fan of the nursing cover and sometimes, you just got to feed a hungry baby. And, of course there was no cover with all the nursing on the beach...but there are boobies out everywhere on the beach...no one was noticing me. Honestly, people are totally immune to it here and it is nice.

 

 He seems to be slowing his love of food a bit...he still eats a lot, but is not the bottomless pit he once was...he gets burned out. He is still nursing when he feels like it. And, I do not believe I have any supply issue so it works out. I was worried Max was going to sleep like junk on vacation since it comes with the territory when you go on vacation with your kids, but for the most part he slept great, which was awesome. And, we only napped him once a day which is always his preference anyway so it was a win win for all. He seems to be stretching his awake time during the day...honestly, I'll be ready for him to be on one nap a day...one VERY long, afternoon nap a day; however, he just can't last until the afternoon...not a chance...so, we push on with the decent morning nap and junky afternoon nap...we will all survive.  He had lots of fun in the pool, even though, he was freezing a lot of the time. Max is still very loud and lets you know when he wants to be heard - I just pray I don't have another screamer (Sam is a horrible screamer)...I CANNOT handle another screamer! Max is still pulling hair and loves to rip out Jake's chest hair...and Jake's loves it as well.  He likes to shake his head no and throw himself around like a silly boy...he makes me smile. Honestly, Max is sweet about ninety-eight percent of the time...he has smiles ALL the time and he loves, loves, loves to cuddle and just be sweet. Love this little boy SO much!!!




 

And, our summer is winding down...I cannot believe Hugh has only one more week of summer holiday! This summer flew by and I wish he didn't have to go back. I LOVE having him home...school cramps our style. It has been a great summer...and honestly, I am thankful we were Switzerland for it. Summers in Switzerland are about a thousand times better than summers in Arizona (except we miss our families very much!)...it has been so nice to play outside, be able to go to a beach, ride trains, and sometimes throw on a jacket because you are cold in the summer!  So nice.  I am so thankful my boys are experiencing all of this.  I am thankful God has tempered my heart over this summer and is truly teaching me to relax and enjoy this time.  It has been a great summer...one I will remember for years to come.  It is also very hard to believe that we celebrated one year of living abroad this past week...seriously, time goes by so fast...it is crazy.  Now, back to reality...meal prepping, cleaning house, and the list goes on...but such is life so I better do it all with a smile.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Another Week...


Yay, Maxie is thirty-seven weeks! That means my baby boy will be a year old in fifteen weeks...no!!! I seriously want Maxie to stay a baby FOREVER. I am dead serious. He is such a sweet baby and always just goes with the flow, which is a huge answer to prayer because a high maintenance baby would break me...for reals.  By the way, a high maintenance would still have been an answer to prayer, but I am thankful that God blesses you with exactly what you need and gives you the daily grace to survive it all (trust me, I know...I have lived through high maintenance babies). Honestly, this last week has been a little tougher for Max...he had amped up the crankiness a bit, but it really isn't that much. I know it is those teeth...I am certain of it! I swear I can feel those little, bad boys and they are making Max sad...darned teeth! Oh, well...I guess everyone needs some teeth and since he wasn't born with a full set of teeth (zero for four on that creepiness...dodged a bullet) we'll just have to battle through these days (I should also mention my sweet two-year old tells me about the teeth he is getting as well (super fun molars for him)...so two teething babes!).


 

So, what did week thirty-seven bring for Max? He is still loving to play and his absolute favorite thing is to play with his brothers. Max loves those boys! Oh.my.word. They can ALWAYS get him to smile and laugh. They can also get him to cry...sad, but they mostly get him to laugh. Maxie did learn that he doesn't like loud noises...especially when his brothers like to roar at him. It made Max so sad. Max doesn't mind loudness when it comes from him...he can be SO loud. He knows he needs to keep up with his brothers. Just what I needed...another crazy boy! Max not only loves to play with his brothers, but he also loves to play with their toys. His brothers are already pros at the swapping and redirecting game, which we all know won't work with Max forever. I have felt like Max is reaching for me sometimes. I am sure it is just wishful thinking, but I am excited for him to reach for me. He does reach for me with his eyes though...for reals...he'll just give me this look because he wants Mama (yes, I am crazy, but this is my last baby and I can be as crazy as I want to be). I also think I may of heard him say "Mama", but I'll be honest...I heard him say "Dada" first. I haven't heard either one again...oh, well...I have three other boys who yell "Mama" at least eight million times a day...for reals.


Maxie is still eating everything and nurses when he wants, which is fine. He will seriously eat anything...love it. We hope he stays this good of an eater (but we know better). His naps are still hit or miss, and I am sure the teething plays a role in it all, but he is sleeping at night...so, I am thankful for that. I should mention that I am not sure if the amber necklace helps with teething or not...I do believe it cuts down on the drool, but now I cannot find the necklace (story of my life...I would lose my head if it wasn't attached to my neck). He still shows no signs of mobility whatsoever, and I am still super ok with his lack of movement...all in good time. He enjoyed some time at the beach again and some pool time. Maxie loves the sand and is a total water baby so he was as happy as could be! Maxie still gets crazy excited about random things - swinging his arms, laughing...who knows what it is, but Max just loves life. He is super sweet and cute as can be...we cannot get enough of his kisses and his snuggles...love this boy!!!

 

So, I am in survival mode...solo parenting week here I come! I pray I have an extra measure of patience and grace this week...I definitely need it. I love my boys to pieces, but solo parenting is so hard...the days are LONG. I just need to survive this week and then it is vacation...yay! I know vacation weeks with little children can sometimes be more stress than regular weeks, but it is all about attitude...and I am going to have a good attitude, because I can choose my attitude. We all love the beach (despite sand being in my food...so gross!)...and I am so thankful we can take this trip! With God all things are possible...here is to killing it this week and living it up next week!!!