Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Minute in the Life (#7): Ivie on the Monkey Bars

For the longest time, Ivie has asked Dale or me to assist her on her way across the monkey bars on our playground. But, at the same time, she would talk quite often about doing the monkey bars at school with her friends. So last weekend, I questioned her a bit about how the monkey bars at home were different than the ones at school, and why she needed help here, but not there.

Her response? The bars at school aren't as HIGH as the ones at home.

So, after practicing "dropping" a couple of times, she was ready to give it a shot by herself. And we weren't at all surprised that our little "monkey" doesn't need our help any more.

Here's the proof!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Slice of Bryce (#16): Seven Months!!!

I know I sound like a broken record, but what a month for the B-Man! I LOVE this age...

1) He went from toppling over about 15 seconds after sitting him up, to never falling over at all!

2) I don't remember the last time I had to nurse him in the middle of the night. In fact, many mornings, I have to wake him up at 7a to get him ready for school.

3) We made the move to Size 2 baby foods. He gets cereal/oatmeal in the morning, a fruit at lunch, and a meat/veggie for dinner. Still no sign of cutting back on his breastmilk intake, which is starting to stress me out, as my body is starting to think it doesn't need to make as much these days. And my frozen supply is dwindling...

4) The spitting up has still not stopped. Though it doesn't seem to bother Bryce at all, I, for one, am eagerly awaiting that day.

5) B is starting to become more verbal, talking to his sisters quite often. And Ivie is still his favorite person in the world. I think the feeling is mutual (as you'll see in one of the pictures below).

6) When I put Bryce to bed at night, I always put him on his back, with his head toward the left end of the crib. When I go in to get him in the morning, he's always on his belly, with his head at the right end of the crib. I think he's trying to tell me something about his preferred sleeping position.

I think that's it! So many changes, yet still the cutest and sweetest baby boy I know!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day of spending time with friends and family and, most importantly, giving thanks for all of the amazing blessings that God has given us...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Interview with Macie

For quite a while, now, I've been wanting to get Macie talking on video. She's at an age where some of her word pronunciations are just too cute! So before she self-corrects these, I wanted to be sure to preserve them on film.

Finally, on Saturday morning, I conducted an "interview" of sorts with her. I had been keeping a written list of words in our kitchen for months, so it felt good both to complete my goal of the video, as well as to finally be able to recycle the notecard!

Monday, November 21, 2011

School Pictures: Fall, 2011

School pictures from the fall have arrived! We've got some transitions to get used to, as we now have Ivie on her own in her school pictures, and it's Macie and Bryce who join forces for the daycare shots. All three of them, as you'll see, decided to cooperate and smile for the photographer, which makes Mommy very proud!

Fall, 2011
(Ivie, 5 1/2 years)

Fall, 2011
(Macie, 3 years)

Fall, 2011
(Bryce, 6 months)

And, finally, Macie and Bryce's first formal picture together. While it's not really a smile on Macie's face, it's an expression that Dale and I see pretty often. It's her "I'm going to pretend to listen to you right now, but it doesn't really matter what you say, because I know who's in charge here" look. And B? Is it possible for him to get any cuter?!?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Macie at Gymnastics

I know that Ivie's Gymnastics video was part of my "Minute" series, but Macie's turned out to be nearly three minutes long, so it doesn't meet my self-imposed criteria!

Macie is LOVING Gymnastics. Maybe because it's the first formal activity that she's been able to experience. But she's also improving every week, so I enjoy watching the progress she's making. When she first started, for example, she couldn't do a forward roll. Now she's a forward-rolling fool!

Here's a clip of the various activities that they do in her class...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Slice of Bryce (#15): Play Time!

I've gotten a couple of videos of Bryce during his play time in the past couple of weeks and finally had time to upload them this morning. Watching them now, it's amazing to me that this first video was taken only two weeks ago, because Bryce was still, at that point, falling backward when he tried to sit. Now, though, he doesn't fall over at all!

He's also starting to love to swing on the playground. Taking after his sisters, as this is their favorite activity, as well!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chomper #2

Last Monday night (11/7/11), Bryce had his worst sleeping night in a while. I put him to bed around 7:30p, like normal. But he then proceeded to wake up to eat at 11:30p and 3:30a. Mommy was not a happy camper...

Until the next morning, that is, when I felt a new tooth (at 6 months and 16 days). Good work finding an excuse to keep me from being upset with you, Buggy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Confessions of a Sometimes-Overly-Frazzled Mom (#2)

Sometimes on school mornings (and particularly on mornings when Dale is out of town), our house is a bit chaotic. Rarely, but sometimes, I allow the circumstances to bring out the worst in me. Like this morning. So here are my confessions from a morning that I, the adult in the house, let get out-of-control to the point that I need to apologize to all three of my kids.

Ivie, I know I apologized to you already for taking it out on you when the black Sharpie (with its very permanent ink) went through the piece of paper on which you were writing and left little black dots ALL OVER the nice white side table in Bryce's room. I'm a little protective of that table because it's the only piece of furniture in the nursery, besides the rocking chair, that wasn't a free hand-me-down from friends. So I was a little extra upset at the mistake. But, Ivie, I was the one that should have thought to have you use extra paper beneath the Thank You note that you were writing. I was the one that should have asked you to use a regular pen instead of a Sharpie. And I was the one that should have asked you not to put the little dots on the corners of your letters like you love to do, since that clearly could cause ink blotches to go through the paper onto the table.

Instead, I was the one who, after seeing the now-black-spotted top on the table, got frazzled and expressed my frustration verbally. While I was mostly upset at myself, it's easy to understand why you, at only 5 years of age, would think that I was mad at YOU. And that's probably why your attitude was poor for the rest of our morning time together. So I'm sorry for losing my cool over something as silly as a table.

Macie, I'm sorry I "forgot" to make your pancakes for the car ride. When you remembered them halfway through our trip to school, I told you that I had forgotten to make them, but that's not exactly the truth. The truth is that I remembered your request as I was climbing into the car. But, since we were running really late, I took the chance that you would forget you'd asked for them. I was wrong. When I remembered, I should have jumped out of the car, run inside, and taken the 21 seconds it takes to heat up 3 mini pancakes. In my haste to not be a minute later than I already was, your frazzled Mommy made a bad choice.

Bryce, you come from a long (3-deep, now) line of spitting Herman kids. For the past 6 months, I've known this, and have come to embrace (term used lightly) it. I know, as with the girls, that the day will come when I won't be able to remember the last time you spit up. On me or elsewhere. But we haven't gotten to that point yet, so it should have come to no surprise to me, as I carried you (fully dressed with your face freshly-cleaned) out the door to load up the van, that you would feel the need to regurgitate some of your morning bottle. Since I should have predicted this (it seems to always happen just after I dress you), I also should have been better prepared to thrust you away from me to protect my at-the-time-freshly-ironed work outfit. But it did (come as a surprise), and I didn't (predict it), so I wasn't (better prepared), and I failed (to protect the clothes). So to you, B, I owe my third apology of the morning. I shouldn't have said, "Ohhhhhh, Bryce!!!!!" in a tone that was a bit too loud for your liking, while simultaneously trying to wipe the spit from my pants to salvage them. It was my fault for not being quick enough, not yours for doing "what you do".

To top it off, when I arrived at our friends' house for carpool and apologized to him for being late, he said, "First of all, you're the most amazing woman on this planet. Second of all, you're not late.". After having the sort of morning I'd just had, those words stung a bit. I knew, at least on this day, that I hadn't earned them.

Kiddos, when you read this someday, I know that you will already know that I was far from amazing this morning. But, God-willing, I'm going to have many more chances to get it right. I intend to keep trying to do just that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bryce's First Halloween

Mommies always have such grand ideas about how Halloween night is going to "go". You'd think that by this year, my 6th with the best title in the world, I would have come to the realization that my vision of this holiday and what ends up being reality are far from the same. Maybe when the kids are 10, 8, and 5 it'll be different (though I'm not holding my breath)...

As I do each year, I entered this Halloween anticipating putting the kids in their costumes, getting adorable photos of each of them individually, and then together, eating pizza, and then hopping in the car on a clear and crisp (but not too crisp) fall evening to drive with the Devers to a neighborhood down the street for an evening of trick-or-treating. The girls would run from door to door squealing with excitement at their newfound candy stashes, while Bryce rode patiently in the stroller, looking all cute in his puppy costume.

That was my vision. In reality, we started off just as I had planned. I put the kids in their costumes.

Maybe someday we'll make it past Step 1 of my ideal.

Bryce hated his costume. Mostly, he hated the hat. And it was raining and cold (well beyond the "crisp" I had ordered) outside. And Bryce was still fighting an ear infection/cold and hadn't taken long enough naps at school, so he was tired from the onset of the evening.

So the pictures I got, while still cute in many ways, cannot be described as perfect. And the girls were so excited that their ears stopped working when it came to following instructions, so we had a few arguments before even getting them in the car. Finally, as I was struggling to get Bryce into his car seat with the extra bulk from the costume, he looked at me with his "puppy dog" (this time, literally) eyes, as if to say, "Mommy, is this really worth it to you?!? Cuz it's not to me...".

In that split second, I made the conscious decision to be flexible with my definition of perfection. For the Herman family, this night, perfection was going to be Daddy out trick-or-treating with his girls, running around in the rain (that ultimately stopped, thank goodness!), and Mommy staying home with her baby boy, in the dry, warm house, with Bryce free from the confines of his costume (not a moment too soon).

Since I wasn't out with the girls, pictures of their adventure will come later, just as soon as I can beg them off of Brooke. For now, pictures of BRYCE'S first Halloween (and a sneak peak of the girls' costumes, too!). B was an adorable puppy, for the 20 or so minutes that he could stand it...