Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jack 33 Months

Oh precious boy, you are growing too fast and I don't want to forget a thing!

...like how you finally, finally learned to actually smack your lips when you kiss me
...how you always grabs my cheeks to turn and face you so can try and lay a wet one right on my mouth
...how you give me unsolicited I love yous
...how you tell knock knock jokes: knock knock. Who's there? Interrupting horse. Interrupting horse who? Moo!!!
...or your latest favorite: knock knock. Who's there? Nevermind!
...how you say "ackshilly" for actually and just how often you say it
...how you like to run up and whisper in my ear that you want a baby tiger
...how you insisted a deer we saw was "ackshilly a cow"
...or how you told me that the goose poop we were trying to avoid was "ackshilly tiger poop"
...and then later "ackshilly it is elephant poop I mean"
...how you uses phrases like "I mean"
...how you asked me if we could stay in Sunriver always
...how you can be so unexpectedly timid about just about everything like slides and riding down hills on mommy's bike
...how you love to hold "babies" that are pretty much the same size as you
...your obsession over Thomas and then Gordon and now Spencer
...how you ask me to snuggle you
...how you got your first bee sting on your chin and how you told me proudly that "the bee died"
...how you ask to wear your Seahawks shirt so you can play baseball 
...and how you asked me to sign you up for a baseball team
...how you think each and every Flintstone vitamin I give you is "a baby ballerina"

You are stubborn and precious and I am 100% smitten.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jack 2 1/2 and beyond!

JACK!!! You are mama's boy through and through and I'm pretty much ok with it.

You asked for months for a "Gordon birthday" (which was really your half birthday) and I did my best! You were thrilled with your Gordon train "cake topper" and he immediately took the cuddle place of honor in your crib.
I love it how you run to greet and snuggle me when you see me. I could have been gone all day or 5 minutes and you are always happy to see me. Sometimes you are silly when you hug me and you twist your head back and forth as you press it into my leg, like you're giving me a noogie with your head. I'm not sure where you picked it up but I'm pretty sure it's one of the ways you express your affection. I'm trying to teach you to give kisses but you are still sticking with a cheeky lean with absolutely zero smack. 
Your speech is developing in leaps and bounds! You used to be a pretty quiet fellow (I think your sisters did all the talking for you!) but now you are having full on conversations and I can tell you understand even more than you are able to express. You have obviously been watching us and learning how we respond to and interact with those around us. We were at a restaurant recently and the waitress came to ask how we were doing. You were quick to respond with "We're good. We're great!" It made me grin. The next night, we had just finished roasting s'mores around a shared fire pit. There was another family there and as we were gathering our stuff to go, you turned and wished them an unsolicited "Enjoy your night!" You little sweetheart, you.
The other night at dinner, you turned to me and asked "Mom, you sign me up for a baseball game?" I was floored that a) you said that in a complete sentence and b) that you knew baseball games required signing up. I proceeded to buy you your first plastic bat and ball. How could I saw no?

Though you are pretty fond of trains, our recent trip to the Kropf farm introduced you to some new fun vehicles: TRACTORS!! You temporarily replaced Gordon with a singing tractor as your snuggle buddy at bed and nap times. We will see if it lasts. It's hard to identify which parts of the farm were your very favorite but you sure seemed to enjoy riding on the tractors (both real and toy) AND watching the frequent trains pass by was definitely a bonus also. On the way home, we were driving on the freeway and you spotted a semi truck pulling two trailers. You exclaimed "It's a road train!" I questioned him "A road train?" and he responded "A little road train, that's right." (Side note: I love it how he says "That's right!" when you are trying to figure out what he's talking about and finally get it correct). 
You are pretty sensitive to food temperatures and often insist that "Mommy do it" when your food needs to be blown on to cool it. But on rare occasion, you take on the task yourself and you get all up in there with your plate and food and blow with all your might. Watching you practically get on the table and blow your pizza from all possible angles at the pizza parlor was one of Daddy's highlights of our trip!

I was fearful for awhile there that you were giving up naps. Now that you are in your "big boy bed" (a crib with no side) and you have access to your toys, sleep is a lot less appealing! You go in waves though and never seem to be able to make it longer than a 4 day stretch without sneaking in a nap. You typically save those naps for days when Grandma and Grandpa are here, not when mommy really needs a break. ;)

You are almost always singing, singing, singing. You've mastered (mostly) the Thomas and Friends theme song and the whole family knows it now because of you. Other favorites include Wheels on the Bus, the Firetruck Song and now Old McDonald Had a Farm. I hope you grow up to be a musician like Daddy.
We got you a scooter for your half birthday and you've been scooting around like crazy, both inside and out. We also finally bought a bike seat for you and it is SO MUCH FUN taking you out for a spin on the front of my bike! You LOVE it and it brings my mama heart so much joy. I hope you stay small for a long time so we can eek some more rides out of that seat this coming year while the big girls are at school. We are going to have a lot of free time to play together!

You continue to be fairly easy-going. You are pretty content to play with your toys and I can mostly trust you to play safely with minimal supervision. I'm waiting for the day when that changes. You have figured out how to unlock and open all the doors so that has made showering a bit more tricky for me. The other day I got out of the shower and noticed all the neighbor kids were smiling and waving toward our house as they passed on their way to school. I called your name and realized I didn't know where you were. I ran outside. Sure enough, there you were in the garden, waving a big stick and greeting all those going by.
You have become quite the little fish! We accompany Isla to swim lessons every week and you are growing more and more accustomed to playing in the pool, kicking and getting splashed. The piece I am most excited about, however, is that you've mastered the art of showering! And without a washcloth to wipe your eyes with even.

A few weeks back Grandpa brought you some nifty Thomas underwear. You were pretty thrilled and thus began an exciting 24 hour adventure: you sneaking off upstairs to remove your diaper, replace it with underwear, and get redressed, all unbeknownst to us. Too bad you didn't understand the other important piece of wearing under is actually using the potty. Let's just say I did a lot of laundry that day. And cleaning of my sister's carpets. After 3 outfit changes, you were ready to return to your diaper and mommy exhaled a giant sigh of relief that I still have a short while before I take on the potty training project.
Other tidbits about you...your favorite color is blue, you tell us that you are going to marry Hadley, you are kinda digging Lightning McQueen now too, you don't like berries (???!!!), you want to wear jeans every single day.

You are in that almost-impossible-to-photograph phase because you are either a) never looking or b) always on the move. But boy do we love you so!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Emma 55 and 56 Months

On March 29th, something BIG happened in the Crozier family. Emma asked Jesus into her heart! Right there in the Trader Joe's parking lot. It was a precious moment to be a part of (even if her asking was precipitated by a discussion on hell). Emma is the most sensitive of souls and has been known to randomly burst into tears exclaiming she doesn't want me to die because she "will miss me so much." Sweet, sweet girl. Now I get to tell her we will be reunited again for all eternity! What a precious gift.
Emma is our adventurer. She loves to climb trees, rocks, statues and sledding hills. Her initial timidness rarely lasts for long and she's definitely not one to miss out on any fun (unless of course it involves getting water in her eyes - then she is most certainly, definitely out. You will never catch her without goggles on a slip and slide and the top of her head is ALWAYS dry when she emerges from the swimming pool). 

Emma LOVES preschool and comes home every day with all sorts of hand-made projects like the woodworking masterpiece pictured below. Her favorite station remains "the art cart" and she's graduated from drawing hearts every day to girls with long, long hair.
She's a classic middle child and sometimes it's easy to lose her in the mix. She often contentedly plays alone, bathing her my little ponies in the sink, or caring for one of her many stuffed animal "pets." One morning last month, I couldn't find Emma and eventually discovered her and her kitty "Skye" sunning together happily on my window sill.

She thinks riding in the Honda is THE BEST THING EVER and begs for me to take her for a spin in it when Daddy is home. 
Emma and Jack have a pretty special bond with one another. One evening, we were driving and I looked back to see this:
Though she claims to want to be a ballerina when she grows up, I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up working with animals. She LOVES all things living (including her cousins' new chickens). She is fearless around them, even when the now-nearly-full-grown ones climb up on her shoulder. She is constantly updating me with her most desired pet of the day, ya know, in case I suddenly decide to go out and spontaneously pick up a meerkat or something (her latest choice). Other pet options include a baby tiger, a bunny or a crow. 
Emma is my most-willing kitchen assistant. She usually asks if she can help when I'm in the kitchen cooking and she isn't shy about getting right up there on the counter and diving in.
I often feel like I'm still trying to fully get to know this kid. Her personality is unique and awesome and a whole lot of fun. She's tender and gentle and appreciates all aspects of life. She's easily-excited, she's an encourager and she also has a bit of a stubborn streak. She insists on wearing long sleeves and pants and socks, all day, every day. No matter that it be 85 degrees. At bedtime, she adds socks to her hands in addition to the ones on her feet. When the nights are hot, she sweats and sweats in bed but absolutely refuses to remove a single article of clothing. Instead, she helps herself to a nice cold washcloth which she lays over her forehead. If I try to remove her socks in the middle of the night while she is asleep, I awake to find she has somehow managed to replace them. Silly girl! My new mantra is "some battles just aren't worth fighting.
I just love my girls! (And ice cream).
Emma and one of her favorite dogs, Louise. She thinks it is pretty much the best thing ever when she gets to hold the leash. We're so thankful for friends with dogs who help her get her fill!
I'm pretty sure Emma would accompany where ever I go if she could. Every night, she asks me "Are you going anywhere tonight?" and if my answer is yes, expect the floodgates to open. She happily runs errands with me all the time but when given the choice, she requests one-on-one dates at Starbucks. She loves to bring pencils and paper or paints and do art together at the coffee shop. Here we are attempting some "adult" coloring pages.
Earlier this month, Emma treated me (and my mom who had been babysitting earlier in the day!) to a special Mother's Day celebration at school. She went all out with the homemade gifts/art projects which included a corsage for each of us, tissue paper flowers, a hand print place mat, a canvas with a picture of her on it and tons more. Her class performed some special songs for us and, true to her personality, Emma waved at us excitedly over and over. When her teacher explained to the moms that the kids had set us each special places at the tables, Emma piped up and loudly told us that she had two places for us - mom on one side and Grandma on the other. And that she of course would be in the middle. :)

Here is the little project she put together about me:
I told you she only wears long sleeves and pants. Well, that and the occasional two-big onesie sleeper when gardening....
The other day we were picking up Isla from school when Emma ran up to me exclaiming "Some boy I don't even know just came up to me and kissed me right here!" And so it begins, folks, and so it begins.
Emma's other favorite pastimes include dressing up in frilly costumes, hanging out with her uncles and cousins, doing gymnastics (see video below), swinging on the hammock and borrowing other peoples toys. 
We just adore her!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Six going on sixteen

  This girl. She is strong and gentle; she’s a firecracker and a cheerleader. She is wild and all over the place and leaves ALL of EVERYTHING in her wake. She’s creative, she’s an entrepreneur. Doubters do not faze her – nothing is impossible in her little head. She is the kind of friend everyone wants to have. She has tons of emotion; she’s a feeler. She is a force to be reckoned with. She is six going on sixteen and she is freaking amazing.
Most day she blows me out of the water with her wisdom and mature perceptiveness. Her encouraging nature is a gift. Other days, when she is being flooded, helping her manage her emotions is a bit like putting ones face in front of a fire hose, the stream shooting straight up your nose.

Like for instance when she can’t possibly find ANY pairs of pants to wear to school. Which by that she means all of her 12 pairs either have pockets or tags or seams or some other unfathomable string hanging from them that make them absolutely UNWEARABLE.

Or like the times when she finds one of her “precious papers” in the recycling bin or that used popsicle stick she “was saving for a special project” in the trash. Or those times when she catches me literally running to the car with a cardboard box covered by blanket. She has a sixth sense, that girl, when anything is in-route to the thrift store. Sometimes we have to take teary pictures of her with her no-longer-a-baby baby brother’s toys to help her say goodbye.
Earlier this week, we hit a little speed bump in our morning when the sleeves for the T-shirt she wanted to sew BY HAND for the 6 year old neighbor boy BEFORE breakfast just weren’t working out quite right. And then her sister got the purple knife at breakfast. And some critter was eating our green bean seedlings and she just wanted green beans SOOOOOOO badly.

Despite our frequent (though less so!) rides on the emotional roller coaster, I am amazed at all this girl is capable of. 

Whether it is taking her siblings on a spin on the stand up paddle board all by herself or making a really awesome lemonade (scratch that, “LIMEanade”) stand complete with paper bunting out of items in the recycling bin. She is driven and she figures things out and when she has an idea, there is no stopping her.

She has an immense imagination and has a particular affinity for fairies and other imaginative creatures (leprechauns, tooth fairies and the like). In her dream world, one such character would come and live with her in one of the Lego mansions she constructs for them on a fairly regular basis. Just this morning she asked me what tooth fairies do if you lose your tooth while in Canada (where we are heading for the weekend). I love her!
Sometimes it’s easy to think she is letting her imagination get the best of her. Like when I find myself comforting her after she bursts into tears because no one has invented a computerized fairy that can talk to you and comes with a locking box and key for storing valuables. Her response when I told her these didn’t yet exist? “Have Daddy make one.” In her eyes, Daddy can make anything. J It finally dawned on me that she’s my little visionary. It can be awfully tempting to try and ground her with a reality check, but instead I’m really thankful for this realization and I love that I get speak encouragement into her life and tell her this world NEEDS people like her to keep the big dreams coming.

And speaking of encouragement, I think it her gift!! She has been an incredible source of unexpected support for me over the past couple months as I’ve been dealing with a couple of disgruntled neighbors. She checks in with me often and frequently writes notes like the following:

“Dear Mom, I am sorry you had a bad talk. Why do you think people are not caring about their own gardens? I love you! I love being in your family. Hope you feel better. Keep praying about the meeting. I am praying for you. Isla"
And then the other day out of nowhere in particular, she says: “Thanks for doing the best job you can parenting. I can tell you’re working really hard to be the best parent you can be.” This kid! She is a joy.

She can rapture a crowd in 30 seconds flat with her incredible leadership skills. She is making so much progress in reading now that she is beginning to be able to have story time with some of her peers.
Thanks for being in our life, Isla June. You make the world a better place.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Jack 29 Months

 Ask him if he's a baby and he'll be quick to tell you "No! I a big boy!"
And he's starting to live out his big boy-ness in his day to day mannerisms. We encountered our first clue that he was growing up when we went away for a weekend earlier in the month. We were surprised to have him toddle out of his sleeping quarters after we had put him soundly to bed in his pack and play. We figured his sisters had come to his aid and lifted him out but they were the first to tell us proudly "No, he did it ALL BY HIMSELF!"
And so was the beginning of the end. A short week and a half later, back at home, we could hear him sneaking out of his room to play in the bonus room, long after we put him to bed. His crib-scaling adventures were short lived and after 2 nights of offenses, we saw broken limbs in our future and quickly removed the front railing. Now he's the proudest little dude in his big boy bed and my picture reel is filling with photo captures of his freestyle sleeping antics.  
Though he does a great job of getting out of bed when we are trying to put him down at both night and nap time, he hasn't fully realized that he can get himself out in the morning hours too. Usually we wake to him yell-chanting some new phrase over and over. He does it in this sing-song yet monotone way that is difficult to describe but oh so very funny. First he began with "Sheet are weh-et, sheets are weh-et" over and over until we finally upped his diaper size to alleviate the issue. Now we hear things like "Nose is run-neeeee, nose is run-neeee!" Or "Nose is running again, nose is running again!" Then the first night in his new bed he threw us a new one: "Bed is broke-ken, bed is broke-ken!!" We hurried to his room to discover that, sure enough, his crib is not actually "convertible" and half his mattress had capsized onto the floor. It was sort of hard not to laugh. I have yet to capture his chants in action but I did get him to do a pretty good reenactment here:
I've said it on more than one occasion in recent weeks - I hope this kid comes with 9 lives! He's becoming quite the little dare devil as of late. We get to swim in the shallow end during Isla's swim lessons every week and HE HAS NO FEAR. I'm trying to teach him to at least count to 3 before he jumps in so I can do my best to be somewhere in the vicinity when he inevitably goes under. He will jump regardless of whether anyone is around to catch him - crazy kid!

He's also getting pretty adventurous on his tricycle and is taking it down bigger and bigger slopes. He loves going "so fast" and will be riding the length of our hill into the cul-de-sac by summer I'm sure.
He's pretty particular about his wardrobe these days. He favors long sleeves and jeans and has about 4 shirts that he finds acceptable. He takes his shoes and socks off EVERY time I buckle him into his carseat (once I'm in my seat and safely out of reach of course). It drives me bonkers. There have been days where I've put those darn things back on 4-5 times in the course of an hour when we are running errands.

His favorite color is blue and his favor animal is the tiger. His favorite vehicle is the school bus but he's busily planning his Gordon (the train) half birthday coming up in the next couple weeks. He also has a growing interest in "diggers" and all things construction. Lucky for us, our church just demolished one of it's buildings and he got to be there to see the digger in action. Each week we come, he's thrilled to see all the (de)construction.
Yesterday was a big day for us. I took him on his first bike ride in a child carrier seat attached to the handle bars. He LOVED it and wanted to "go so fast." I can't wait for many more adventures like this together.

He's definitely my snuggler and is always game to accompany with a good book and blanket. Last night he climbed into my lap and laid down on my shoulder and whispered "I love you" in my ear for the first unsolicited time ever. Graham was in the middle of reading family devotions and I interrupted so that we could all celebrate and savor the moment. *MELT*

If you're lucky, you might overhear him saying one of his other favorite phrases that he picked up from his sisters: "I the BEST. BOY. EVER!!!" We wholeheartedly agree.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Happy 4 1/2, Emma!

Emma turned 4 1/2 this week too! And now she is already counting down the days until she turns 5! She CAN'T WAIT to start Kindergarten in the fall and she is registered for FULL DAY which fills me with great excitement and trepidation. She loves school and is disappointed on the two days every week when she doesn't have it. Boy am I ever going to miss her though!
 Emma's half birthday comes quickly on the tails of Isla's and so quite often "her" menu ideas share a striking resemblance to what was served at Isla's celebration a few days prior. Emma did select an individualized dinner menu of pasta with red meat sauce and raw carrots sticks (and that was it!) but she mimicked Isla's breakfast of sprinkle pancakes. Well. With the exciting addition of raw carrot sticks to make it truly her own. Yum!
 Thank goodness she changed her mind and decided at the 11th hour that she wanted a rainbow cake. Her prior request was for a tiger and I fear I was about to sorely disappoint her with my lack of decorating skills. She of course wanted "chocolate cake with strawberry frosting, " just like her sister, and maybe I should have made it easy on myself and served the leftovers like I've done in the past. But when she changed her tune and asked for a rainbow cake, I knew I'd have to introduce her to the novelty that is funfetti. She. Was. Thrilled.
 And she said my cake turned out "just exactly the way she wanted" (phew!!!) which is amazing since I used ziplock bags with holes cut out in the corners to pipe out the rainbow. She definitely is my little encourager and know how to make a girl feel good, even when I feel like she might be stretching the truth a little. ;)
 I think this one has a little bit of athlete in her blood. She is so excited to begin a gymnastic course next week and still asks me regularly for ballet classes. Last week we were at a park and happened upon a soccer ball and discovered she is a natural! That made her half birthday present shopping easy and she is now the proud owner of an orange soccer ball (her favorite color). I'm hoping to get her on some sort of soccer team in the spring to see what she really thinks.
Emma asks a lot of really good questions. Like if it hurts Jesus when our heart pumps the blood through (since he is residing there, she wants to make sure he doesn't get squished!) When she's not saying funny stuff to make us laugh, she's snuggling up to us to make us smile. She is more or less easy going except when it comes to getting dressed or buckling into her carseat...

She loves babies and gravitates toward any little one who she can take under her wings. She also LOVES dogs and is so sweet and tender with them. Happy 4 1/2, Emma!