Strawberry Icing

I tried this recipe from Taste of Home for my siblings and some of my nephews/nieces for Valentine’s Day.  I thought they were pretty tasty, but the cookie part of the recipe was too time consuming and needed some tweeking.  Because of that, I’m just going to share the strawberry frosting recipe here, because it was kind of great.  I would not use it on an overly sugary cookie as it is very sweet.  You want more of a shortcake kinda taste.  It would be really yummy on certain kinds of bread too.  It was so good. haha

Strawberry Icing

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sliced, fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Additional sliced strawberries for topping

Combine butter, strawberries, and milk in a bowl.  Mash with a fork until well combined.  Gradually add in powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.  You can store extra in the fridge.  Just let it set out a while before using again and it will soften up.

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Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Okay, this is my go to cheesecake recipe when I’m not skimping with minis.  It’s not a fast recipe, but it’s seriously delectable.  I make this very rarely as a special treat for Cabz (and well…. by default, myself).  Cabz loves cheesecake and approves this one since it has no sour cream in it.  Also, it’s probably the best cheesecake we’ve ever tasted, and we both really like cheesecake.  I found this winner recipe on Allrecipes.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 1 Cup Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 10oz bag frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips (Don’t skimp. Get the tasty kind.)
  • 1/2 cup half & half cream
  • 3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

I usually throw my Oreos in a hearty ziploc baggie and smash them up with a hammer because it’s a lot more efficient than a rolling pin.  Get ‘er done.  Mix your cookie crumbs up with your 1/4 cup butter and press into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.

Combine your raspberries, 2 tbs sugar, cornstarch, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Melt your white chocolate chips and half & half cream in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.

In your large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in your white chocolate mixture and vanilla.

Pour about half of your batter on top of your Oreo crust.  Drop a few tablespoons of raspberry sauce around on top and swirl in with a knife.  Pour the rest of your batter on and repeat with raspberry sauce.  You’ll have some leftover to use as topping for individual slices.  (If you don’t want any for on top, just make about half of the raspberry sauce.)

Bake for around 55-60 minutes or until filling sets.  Cool completely before opening your springform pan.  Then, refrigerate overnight before cutting and serving.  Yummo.  This picture below was from about 6 years ago when I made this for the first time. haha  Cabz was probably just finished telling me how foolish it was to take his picture with the cheesecake like he was 10.  But I love pictures of my guy!  He’s too good to me. ❤

Josanna is Five Months!!!!!

Five months is starting to sound pretty old.  Six months is the age I consider them a big baby, and that’s now her next milestone!

In spite of her age, Josie babe is a teensy little muncher.  She’s been gradually dropping on the percentile charts, which I assumed would happen.  She eats well and is healthy, but is so tiny!  Josie weighs 12 lb 13 oz which puts her around the 6th percentile for weight (1 pound more than Evie was, 1 pound lighter than Elly was).  I can’t remember how tall she was at her doctor appointment, but she was 25th percentile for height.

Little One still sleeps really well overnight.  She will sometimes wake up to nurse once before I go to bed or shortly afterwards.  She typically wakes up to nurse once in the early, early morning.  I don’t mind because she’s really fast and then goes right back to sleep.  I kinda think she just needs that extra little boost to get through the night.

She is still sleeping in her rock ‘n play.  I fully anticipated crib training her this past month, just because I expected her to outgrow her rock ‘n play, but she didn’t, so I didn’t. haha  I tried one day of crib fun and it went okay, but I just enjoyed her usual amazing sleep schedule so much that I didn’t completely make it happen.  Mom fail?  I don’t know, but I do know I love how she sleeps. haha  Also, she just looks SO cozy and snugged up in her rock ‘n play and the crib looks so cold and sprawled out.

This was the last time she just fell asleep in my arms.  She even did her little tongue out thing, which I still find adorably hilarious. ❤

Josie is still following a similar sleep schedule to last month.  I nurse her and lay her down around 7:30/7:45 (depending when the other kids are in bed – I usually do her last).  She usually wakes up once to nurse in the night quick and lays right back down.  I like the rock ‘n play because I just haul her out and up and then can lay her back down quick afterwards.  She gets up around 7:15/7:30 a.m. and lays down for a morning nap at 9:30 or a little after.  I get her up by 11 if she hasn’t woken up already.  Then, she lays down for her afternoon nap after I get the other kids in quiet time spots, usually around 1:30.  She still does an amazing afternoon nap, sleeping until 4 or 4:30 even some days!

Josie Faith is really into her play mat these days.  Her favorite toy is the flat, blue, rubbery lion hanging down.  She has also realized she can snag things when she rolls up on her side and reaches.  Holding toys for more than a couple minutes doesn’t happen too often, but she’s getting better at it each day.

Big sister, Elly, likes to hand Josie toys to practice with.

Okay, these next pictures crack me up.  A couple weeks ago, Josie became aware that she has a tongue, mouth, and lips.  That revelation was followed with an awful lot of hilarious expressions. Enjoy some of them.  It made it that much better that she was wearing her, “Mommy thinks I’m cute” onesie when I took these… hahaha!!

Babes is wearing 6 month clothes for the most part.  Also, Josie got some new headbands this month, which I kind of love on her. ❤

I mean, is this baby adorable or what?! ❤

Hanging out with her big sister, Chloe.  These two are almost like Irish twins. haha  They are actually 11 months and 1 day apart.  Chloe officially became our daughter on January 23rd when we were finally able to adopt her.

Matching jammies!  Since our kids’ sizes are too spread out now, we didn’t get everyone in matching jammies this year.  We could have done the whole family pajama route, but I couldn’t find any I liked that much, so we just did matching pairs.  Cabz had the brilliant idea for us to match as well with my gray sweat pants (as much as I try to get him to wear sweats of his own, he is an athletic shorts and t-shirt kinda guy no matter the weather hahaha) and our Rustic Run t-shirts. ha!

Having a good time with big sister, Elly. ❤

Just workin’ on a little tummy time.  I have been seriously lacking on giving this girl floor tummy time.  The doctor said it accomplishes the same thing to have tummy time on my chest though, and between me and the big girls, Josie gets plenty of that.  Plus, being carted around by children gives your body a serious strength workout…. lol

There hasn’t been a rolling over revelation yet.  Maybe by next month! 🙂

My big girls are still great baby carrying helpers!  They (usually) do so without complaint.  Evie and Josie weren’t really ready for this picture, but I had to use it here because Evie carries her around like this all the time and I think it’s so funny/cute looking.  🙂

Josie often gets to listen to the xylophone book when she needs cheering up.

Another “cheer up Josie” resource is the trampoline.  She gets laid on there and gently (at least in theory) bounced.

I’ve tried feeding Josie some food, since she has such an interest in it.  So far she’s eaten little pieces of meat, breads, carrots, and oatmeal.  She would happily down half a banana every day.  I try to give her one at supper time each day, but it’s tough getting it all done and she’s doing well on just milk which is easier.  Living life in the hood.

I still love when she does the eyebrow raise.  I kinda sorta caught in here.

Josie isn’t too big a fan of her bumbo chair yet, which is kind of surprising.  She’s quickly outgrowing her bouncer chair, as she is strong enough to lean herself way forward and flip it up.  She isn’t too close to sitting up on her own at the moment, but that happens quickly once they do figure it out.

I love that she has ears like Elly.  I can’t handle the cuteness of their tipped out ear tops. hahaha ❤

Our tot likes to sing (loudly) during song time at church & home.  She also gets a thrill out of talking (extremely loudly) during church, so Daddy is usually pacing out in the cafeteria with her.  I think she just gets excited that she can hear herself making noise, since she’s usually in an environment where hearing yourself is nearly impossible (our home). ha

Such a happy baby most of the time!  She did decide to have stranger danger as of 2-3 weeks ago and will start crying when someone unfamiliar takes her or gets in her face.

Don’t give me that look, pretty girl.

Spending time with Daddy – there’s never enough of that! ❤

We love our little Josie Faith!  She likes her Mama time and is really good at spotting me when one of the girls is holding her.  Her eyes will follow me as she starts fussing for me to take her.

Mama loves to hold you, sweets. ❤  It would be a sad day without any Josie holdings in it.  Just look at that little goof with her lip silliness.  Hamming it up for Mom.

 

A Chocolate Chicken Birthday

Obie has been awaiting his birthday with great anticipation.  I’m pretty sure he thought it was called his “Cake Day” though….  Every single time anyone even mentioned his birthday he would quickly respond with, “I hahv CAKE!” (have with an accent ha)  So, yes.  He was REALLY EXCITED about the cake.  I like to let the kids help stir their cake up for their birthday.  These were from a couple days prior when we were assembling.

I could hardly get Obie to look up from the cake to give me this half-hearted smile.  He was very focused on his cake.  Although I warned him multiple times that we were not actually eating it at this point, he threw a fit when I put it in the oven and he saw it wasn’t going to be instant gratification.  Sorry, bud.

Night before with my (barely) 2 year old!

Birthday morning started out pretty typical with Obie in a rush to get his “Oh-gurt!!”  Again, food times are no smiling matters.  He did oblige me by stopping long enough for me to snap this though. haha

After the necessary morning activities were wrapped up (breakfast, Bible, school, everyone dressed, babies fed), the kids headed outside to brave the snow.  This was on the way back in.  I had his boots off before I thought to snap this. ha

I think I heard Obie ask, “Time foh cake??” (for) about 600 times throughout the day.  He also had quite a few meltdowns over waiting, which I kind of figured would happen.  He cheered up considerably when I let him get dressed up nice for some birthday pictures.  He was pretty excited about his snazzy duds!

I was loving these cute pictures!  He is normally pretty tough to get authentic smiles from, but he was pretty excited for his birthday (cake) and was giving me lots to work with! haha

Obie Job has been obsessed with chickens for quite a while now.  It only made sense to find our two Duplo chickens (dearly beloved by Obie) for our photo shoot.  He seriously loves them. hahaha

Long lost meeting! (it had probably been ten minutes)

Alright, here is the birthday boy’s request: A Chocolate Chicken Cake!!  Don’t laugh too hard at its creepiness. haha!  Chickens really are kinda creepy looking, so maybe that’s accurate.  I cut the chicken body out of a normal sized rectangle cake, frosted it, used brown M&M’s for the wing, and graham crackers for the feet, wattle, comb, and beak.  I found that if you use a small paring knife you can gently carve shapes out of graham crackers.  I think I had one that broke too soon, but it went fairly well.  The eye is just white frosting blobbed on with a brown M&M stuck in the middle.  As strange as the cake was, it was a huge hit for Obie.  Win!

Again, it was fairly difficult to get him to take his eyes off the prize, but I finally got him!

Blowing out those candles!

Abby and Evie were pretty cute and had been all excited about making birthday cards for Obie.  I tried to write what things were for your viewing benefit.  Evie’s card first:

Abby apparently did the writing for her.

Now for Abby’s card.  First, I have some pictures of the wrapper her card was in.  One side was a rainbow.  The other had heart balloons on it and “I hope you have a great birthday.”

Then, the card itself.  I was pretty impressed with her chicken drawings.

Obie enjoyed sporting his 3 year old sticker from his card from Great Grandpa D.! 🙂

Present time!  Obie got two of the Shleich toy roosters.  We wanted to get a rooster and a hen but Farm ‘n Fleet was out.  My parents had some at their Theisens though, so he scored two hens later on (and a tractor and a truck because Dad thought he needed those too haha).

Next up, a lot of very interested sibling bystanders.

Enjoy this progression….  First, a very interested Elly.  Next, “A present, Obie!  That’s fun!”  Followed by, “Can I see, Obie?” as Elly skillfully lifts a friendly hand.  Ending up with Obie gratefully relinquishing the opening job to our busy little Elly.

Toy food it is!  Woop woop!

We love you birthday boy! ❤

Obadiah is 3!!!

Obie Job is three!  What a little ham – I mean, man!

This handsome lad is up to 25 lb 8 oz and is 33 inches tall.  I was really excited to see he gained in both areas since 6 months ago.  He gained a pound and an inch.  Yay!!

We finally got Obie’s genetic test back from months ago (this was after calling them multiple times) and we confirmed he has some stuff going on.  We’re pursuing further appointments etc. and hoping to get more detailed testing done asap, but everything takes forever in the medical field.  He had an echo done a couple months ago, just to check if there was anything wrong with his heart.  We had good news from that – all looked well.

We are still seeing quite a few issues with Obie.  We laugh about the way his physical therapist put it, “Obie is…. quirky.  And, I think he’s always going to be a little quirky.”  haha  He is quirky, but we love him. ❤

We’re still working through Obie self-inflicting.  When upset, he will smash his head (hard) on floors, concrete, whatever is near.  He will also box his head or body.  We definitely believe he has an abnormally high pain tolerance.  He still will scratch his hands, face, and body obsessively, in spite of me constantly redirecting him.  Food contines to be a huge issue with Obadiah.  Although I would say he has had significant improvement with maintaining his self-control during meals, there are still issues with that.  There is no indication that he can regulate intake either.  It’s still scrape the plate clean, no matter the amount.  In addition, he continues to have rough behavioral issues prior to and directly after every meal and snack time (so…. a huge amount of each day).

He often struggles to interact appropriately with peers and prefers to sit one on one with an adult figure, often speaking repetitively to them and struggling to move on unless guided elsewhere.  He will impulsively interrupt and attempt to direct the conversation to himself when an adult speaks to another child.  (Example: “How old are you Elly?” O: “I THREE!”) Other people usually encourage these behaviors unwittingly because he’s so interactive.  His vocabulary is still mainly a pack of direct quotes (mostly from me) he has heard.  I couldn’t possibly list them all, but I will try to list some of his most common in the quotes section below.

After much encouragement and effort, Obie finally mastered the skill of building Duplo towers!!  It was such a fun thing for him to figure out.  Moving up from bystander and helper to doing it yourself.  Just what I like to see!

In usual Obie fashion, he was pretty proud of himself.

Daddy’s hilarious failed, “Hold your tower up above your head!” photo idea. hahaha

Two other super exciting things Obie learned how to do (after much, much practice!) by late summer were climbing up on the little park we have (He learned that around the time Elly figured out how to go across the top of the park, so we had to get a picture of the two of them doing their new tricks. ha!) and figuring out how to go down the slides SITTING.  For the longest time, all he could manage was fumbling down via very ungraceful belly sliding, crashing into his head at the bottom.

Obie loves to be his own biggest cheerleader.  He likes to cheer for himself over things he has known how to do for like 6 months to a year. haha  It just never gets old!  This was from one of those times and it was slightly better than normal because of what he was cheering over….  We were at the Christmas Tree Festival and he was playing his free game (homeschool day, guys).  It was corn hole and he was running up and dropping the bags directly in the hole.  I mean, practically shoving them into the holes.  This was followed by uproarious clapping and cheering (by him).  Um….?  Great job there, babe.

Obster has always loved animals.  He really likes cats.  He enjoys petting them when they meander over and rub his legs.  I also think he likes the fact that they aren’t jumpy or in your face.  Obie likes to cuddle and hug, but also can get really finicky about touch.

Puppies are fun when they’re young enough too.

He was not so much a fan of holding our butterflies.  He always thought he wanted to and then would completely freak out when I let him.  Thus the reason I’m holding his hand here.  The butterfly can thank me for its life.

For a (very long) while there, Obie had a really rough time doing outside time with just the kids.  If I was out there, no problem, but if I was in the house, he would stand as near the door as I would let him and alternate between screaming at me and bawling at the top of his lungs.  We worked on this daily and he eventually started “playing” with the other kids outside.  At first, this meant he would pick up a stick and stand near them holding said stick. haha  Him and Evie developed a little bond over their fascination with sticks.

These days, Obie typically finds something near the other kids to lounge against.  At least he does it with a smile.

During the warmer fall days, finding soybeans in our field was a pretty fun activity.  Obie didn’t necessarily enjoy trekking through the field as it was a little challenging for him physically, but he did like harvesting the beans.

I think it’s safe to say he was a much bigger fan of harvesting our own apples earlier in the year.  That often ended with the kids getting to EAT an apple, which may or may not have been the ultimate highlight for him.

Bedtime is always a production at our house.  6 kids 6 an under makes for a lot of chaos.  Not too many dull moments with this energetic crew.  These two toddlers (we can get away calling them that at least until Elly turns 3, right?) can be such an interesting duo.  Whenever I send Obie to get his pajamas for the night, Elly thinks it’s her job to run and help him.  It definitely takes two to carry a pair of 2T pajamas, right?  Uh…..

They are pretty adorbs in their matching bear jammies though. ❤

Look at all these kids we have!  Seeing them all lined up like that is kind of overwhelming.  I mean…. whoa.  It’s one of my favorite pictures though. ❤

Matching jams fun! haha

Look at this crew I take grocery shopping once a week with me (to 2 stores, guys).  It doesn’t always go perfectly, but we do have a system and we always make it. haha

Obie received physical therapy through the AEA for the past couple of years.  He officially aged out of their system when he turned 3.  His therapist said she thinks he will do well enough without it now anyway.  He is obviously still pretty behind physically, but the best thing we can do for him is keep him moving and working on new skills as much as possible.  He still gets special shoes and will probably need to continue that his whole life, although that might look different as he ages.  His most recent pair of shoes were EXTREMELY exciting!  Although they are the brightest shade of yellow one could imagine for a pair of shoes….. I’m not complaining because I DON’T HAVE TO PUT HIS BRACES ON WITH THESE SHOES!!!  AHHH!  So nice.  It’s so much quicker to just slip on a pair of shoes in the morning.  The reason he doesn’t need them is because these are such tall shoes, they accomplish the same task of supporting his ankles.  He doesn’t realize his shoe color is anything less than desirable and is super proud of his new kicks.

Speaking of doing a lot of moving….  Obie had a huge milestone back in late October.  We went on a 2 mile hike (which was fairly common for us) and he did the whole thing with NO moaning or whining!  We have done a lot of family hiking and although Obie would hike with us, he would usually moan a LOT of the time.  It was so pleasant and encouraging to have an entire hike where he was cheerful and clearly enjoying it all!  I can’t even tell you….

Football star in the making?  Well… probably not, but he has learned how to throw it which was almost just as exciting.  It took him a long time to be able to release something instead of just walking it to his targeted person. haha

This is one of my favorite pictures of the four bigs.  We were taking a little swing break on the bike trail.  Obie can’t pedal or ride a strider bike yet, but maybe this will be the year!  We’ll keep trying and eventually he will get there.  Meanwhile, the babies and I get a walking buddy. 😉

Looking at the above picture, I admit I am getting sort of desperate for spring.  The next picture was one of the first days of cold and just like that I was back to the 15 minute ordeal of getting kids ready to brave the outdoors. haha  Just look at those poofy coats.

“Helping” Daddy get some branches out of our yard after a big wind storm.  Aka, there for the wheelbarrow rides. ha

Leaf pile run!

This lad is going to learn how to understand a woman before he grows up.  His future wife should thank us.  Welcoming baby #6 to the family!  Obie’s FIFTH sister.  For the record, he was super excited about another sister.  It was kind of cute.  Not sure he will be as he gets older, buuuuuut. haha

Although she was a part of our family since she was 5 weeks old, Obie got to officially add Chloe as his sister the day before his 3 year old birthday.  Pretty great present, if you ask me. ❤

A couple of Obie’s sisters (Chloe & Elly) get a naughty sense of enjoyment from teasing Obie from time to time.  He can be overly sensitive about getting touched.  Also, if someone takes something he was still using he doesn’t hesitate to start freaking out.  Frequent scenarios we deal with are: Chloe crawling towards Obie, him cringing away from her yelling, “NO!  NO!” and swatting at her – Elly poking her feet at Obie and tapping him lightly, he starts screeching “no” and moves away.  She scoots closer and repeats – Chloe uses Obie’s chair at church to stand herself up, he shoves her hands off, etc.  They can all be best buds the next minute though.  Just don’t be fooled.  I mostly just capture the good moments. 😉

Obie likes to play on chairs and still typically eats his food off a chair while standing.  It’s easier for him to eat that way and it helps him to go slowly.  It’s also easier to monitor him, which he still needs due to his shoveling/not chewing enough/swallowing whole tendencies.  If it is anywhere near a meal time, WATCH OUT if you are a sibling and are so bold as to touch his chair, or, heaven help you, actually SIT on it.  Sparks will fly.

In general, Obie gets a little crazy when someone is doing something he doesn’t want them to be doing.  It might be they are doing something they’re actually not supposed to be doing, like Chloe chewing on dirty shoes.  Or, it could be something that he just doesn’t want them to do, such as rocking in a chair.  I’m working on teaching him that he is not the boss in our house.

Being a kind big brother and helping out with baby Josie. ❤

Obie isn’t capable of holding Josie independently yet, but he still gets a kick out of assisted holding or having her in his lap.  These next two are some of my favorites of them. ❤

These two can go from spit spatting to bffs in literally seconds.  Always our dynamic duo….

Abby and Obie get a long quite well for the most part.  Abby is usually seen as a big person in Obie’s eyes, which helps their relationship significantly.  He LOVES when she reads to him, builds Duplos with him, or let’s him bring her endless Duplo pieces for something she’s making.

These two go on spurts where they play together and spurts where they virtually ignore one another.  Just depends on the day. haha  For a while they were loving playing games where Obie was Evie’s kid.  She would hold his hand and drag him all over the house.  It was kind of hilarious.

Potty fun.  Although Obie has been mostly day time potty trained for about a year now, he still isn’t in underwear.  This is because he will still pee in his diaper once in a while.  Generally it’s done as a rebellious thing, since he knows very well how to use the potty.  Although he can’t get his diaper off himself, he goes to the toilet totally unprompted 90% of the time.  He will pull his pants down and loudly announce, “I haf uh go oo uh bafroom!” (I have to go to the bathroom).  He does this obsessively when I’m trying to cook, nurse Josie, or he’s done eating and supposed to be playing somewhere other than the kitchen.  He usually does about one pee in the diaper per week.  Otherwise, he normally uses the same diaper all day and then sops it overnight.  Here’s to hoping 3 is the year we move to underwear during the day!

When you’re really getting it on the can.

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Reading is still Obie’s favorite.  He loves reading books and LOVES being read to.

Games with Daddy are always pretty great too.  The Crow Game is his favorite.

Hat fun in our post-halloween special.

QUOTES!

– Whenever I ask Obie why he did something, “Cuz, that’s why.”  Thanks very much.  That explains it completely.

– Obie tends to talk on and on and on.  He likes to spend the entire day as near to me as possible, talking to me, generally with a few extremely repetitive phrases.  It can get tiresome.  I admit there are times I stop responding.  One of those times when I wasn’t answering he finally goes, “MOM!  I talking to you!!”

– “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” (this is said really fast and generally for no reason other than to get my attention)

– “Oh why??” (this was the response to literally everything for a while there)

– Elly put a headband in her hair and Obie commented, “Pee cute!” (pretty cute)

– “Awww, dat’s cute!” (that’s cute – he says this whenever I get the girls dressed up.  He lives in a girl house, guys.)

– He still LOVES singing hymns and enjoys walking around with his “hymn book” (any book) and singing them at the top of his lungs.

– His favorite hymn is “Haw-uh-woo-ya For!” (Hallelujah for the Cross)

– My all time favorite was when he was practicing stepping up onto the fireplace step.  He was talking to himself and growled, “I CAN’T!”  Then he replied to himself in a really snarky, high pitched tone, “Yes you can!”  This was a sassy mimic of me, because I will often say, “yes you can” when he says he can’t do something. hahaha  It was hilarious.

– Because Obie uses an excessive amount of repetitive phrases, I do not always respond.  I usually will once or twice and then I tell him I’m all done talking about it.  He started answering his phrases himself as a result.  Although I am kind of over laughing at it, it really is a comical thing to witness.  Here are a small selection for you:  “I patient. I calm. Cuh-grada-lations!” (Congratulations)  “I not grouching.  Good job!”  “I happy. Yup!”  “I not hitting and stuff soo…. That’s nice!”  “I sharing.  THANK-you!”  “I poop da potty.  Ya, you know dat!” (I poop in the potty.  Ya, you know that.)  “Thank you!  You’re welcome!”  Even when he’s apologizing to someone, he will often beat them to the forgiveness.  “Sorry!  I ‘give you!” “I love soup!  Me too!”

– “Let’s do this, right?”

– “I love chickens!”

– “I like lambs.  Ya, dare cool!” (Ya, they’re cool)

– Obie’s current favorite thing to say over and over and over is words, emphasizing the beginning sound like I did in a cd he listened to.  I’ll hear these ones the most frequently: “L-L-lunch!” “K-K-kangaroo!”  He does it for any word at all, which is actually pretty smart (although it gets old haha).  He will often even say the beginning letter.  “K-K-kangaroo!  Starts with K, right Mama??”  The best is when he mispronounces a word and doesn’t know  “lello. l-l-lello!” (yellow) or “nanna.  n-n-nana!” (banana) hahaha

– “Love God.  Not love food, right Mama?  Love JESUS!”  (a conversation we’ve had multiple times…. hahaha)

– Many comments Obie has revolve around food.  He will often say, “Soup! I wan SOUP!” (he often says it’s his favorite, but then again…. whatever he is currently eating is always his favorite too)

– “What you making?” (when I’m cooking)  “For me??”

– If I ever give a list of things we’re going to do and at some point say, “And then we’ll have lunch,” he absolutely freaks out, “Lunch time????  Time to eat???”  No, Obie.  No.  Not yet.

– “Thank you, Mama!  Thank you!”

– One of the very first things he says every. singe. morning. is “Oh-gurt!  Can I have oh-gurt, Mama??”  (he often eats his full fat yogurt in the morning and he is slightly obsessive about it.)

– One benefit of someone who likes eating too much is that they turn into a cleaning machine if I ever say something like, “Clean up the living room and then it will be time to eat!” haha

– “Cun I listen?” (Can)  He says this every time someone goes anywhere near a book.

A few months back, Obie started some really rough nighttime behavior.  It started with me noticing he was getting out of his bed.  I heard banging one night and went into his room to find him sitting next to his bed, tapping his head against the closet door.  I put him back in his bed.  This happened a few more times before things escalated.  He began getting out of bed and then screaming really, really loudly for hours in the middle of the night.  It was waking everyone but Caleb and Abby up (the good sleepers in the house).  We tried talking to him, putting him back in, consequences, etc., but none of the usual options worked at all.  The more we tried, the worse it got.  One night he screamed from around 2 to 4:30 in the morning!  His screaming was interfering with almost everyone getting any sleep and we were concerned he was going to hurt himself while out of bed in the middle of the night, (It would be several times a night I would find him out of his bed roaming around his room) so we decided to move him to the basement bedroom and put him in a pack ‘n play.  Hopefully he will move through this stage soon and we can get him back in a toddler bed.  Thankfully, he is still unable to get out of the pack ‘n play due to his physical delays.  The one time it’s a bonus!

Sledding with Mama!  I could only do it so many times, because I pretty much had to drag him back up the hill each time. haha  He thought it was pretty great though!

The four big kids! ❤

This guy keeps us on our toes and is definitely an interesting one to parent.  We are learning and relearning all the time with him.  He can be Mr. Friendly/Cheerful or extremely growly and sullen about everything.  We love him and love to see him learn and grow!  We have to slow down and rejoice over small successes with him, which is especially good for me. ❤

Daddy and his son. ❤  The first one was both of their “not excited about smiling for this” faces. haha  The next one was better. 🙂

C is for…

Corn!

We’re already feeling stir crazy and winter has barely begun.  Yikes.  I decided to make the plunge and pull out our corn bin today.  We used my extra large die with the numbers 1-3 on it and played Fill Your Cup!  You take turns rolling and scooping corn into your cup until you fill it up!  Everyone plays until their cup is full and then they get to dump it out!  It’s pretty thrilling, let me tell you. 🙂

After we played a couple rounds, there was a lot of free play time, which involved a lot more scooping and dumping and eventually quite a bit of spilling.  It was inevitable.

Coloring!

We had a giant paper that came in an Amazon package, so we obviously had to do some major mural coloring!  The kids were working on this for days.

Josanna is Four Months!!!!

Josanna gained 12 ounces since last month, so she’s pretty much huge.  Weighing in at a whopping 11 lb 15 oz puts her on the 9th percentile for weight. hahaha

Hands in her mouth has been the theme of this past month.  I think she’s so obsessed with her hands that she’s slower than our other kids were with grabbing and chewing on toys.

Josie will grab at her play mat toys, but just started showing more of an interest in grabbing things we’re holding and will now actually hold a toy for a while and chew on it.

Rolling over happened accidentally at one point, but she really isn’t too interested in it.  She likes to roll up on her side and watch what the big kids are doing though.

Tummy time is still not her favorite, but she will tolerate it for small amounts of time.

Josie wasn’t too motivated to smile for the camera with me, but she is usually very smiley these days – which is super fun! 🙂

Computers, and screens in general, are so very interesting these days!

Reading books with the big sisters is usually a hit too.  Daddy wins for capturing this adorable moment. ❤

Visiting with Great Grandma Schumacher. ❤

Abby and Evie can both be quite helpful with Josie.  I often have them take turns holding her while I’m busy with another child or task.

Although both girls will have moments they want to be helpful and moments they don’t, Evie tends to be my more willing Josie helper.  She will often offer to hold her without even being asked and does a really good job keeping her happy for me!

These two are pretty good buds. ❤

At first it was a little frightening to watch Evie carry Josie all around.  We had a carpet only rule and she could only hold her when we were watching.  That quickly changed to, eh, whatever.  So far, we haven’t regretted that…….

Elly has been making some moves on the holding scene lately and has even been allowed to hold her on her own while standing.  Only with very near supervision though. hahaha  Looks a little heavy there, babe…..

Although Obie doesn’t get to lift her up without some serious help yet, he likes to cheer her up by talking to her and playing near her or showing her what he’s doing.

Everyone loves baby sister! ❤

Sorry, not sorry, but I’m obsessed with taking selfie pictures of Josie on my phone.  It’s because I get the funniest and cutest expressions that way!!!  Behold the faces……. the “smirky, I’m not gonna crack a smile”:

The, “I’m cute and I know it”:

The, “Who is that kid I see?”:

The “cute smiley baby” (my favorite):

The “fake-out sleeper”:

And some more, “I know I’m cute”:

Josie has started “singing” with us during our family hymn time in the evening.  It just wouldn’t be the same without her cute little baby moaning. haha

This isn’t the best picture of it (it’s so fast, it’s hard to catch!), but Josie is the queen of the one raised eyebrow look.  I LOVE it when she does it. hahaha  So funny.

This next bunch of photos are my favorites. haha  She’s just so cute I can’t stand it! ❤

Happy baby girl has been laughing and we think it’s the best ever!  The older siblings get pretty proud when they do something to make Josie laugh!

Last month, this baby was sleeping like a champ.  She still sleeps amazing and I certainly have nothing to complain about, but she did start waking up in the night again for a feeding.  I tried letting her cry it out, but that was not happening.  Currently, I just feed her and she lays right back down, so it’s not too obnoxious.  She goes to bed about 7:30/8 (wakes up once in the night to nurse) and wakes up around 7:30 in the morning.  She does an hour to an hour and a half morning nap and takes a super long afternoon nap.  I usually lay her down around 1:15/1:30 ad she sleeps until about 4:30!  I’ve never had such a good baby napper!  She does all her sleeping in the rock ‘n’ play still.  I haven’t transitioned her to the crib yet because she’s still super tiny and really loves her snuggly little bed. haha

We love you pretty baby!  You bring us all an awful lot of joy each day!  XOXOXO