A Kitty Birthday!!

Last night before my baby turns 2 pictures!!  It’s always hard to send them to bed when you know they’re going to be officially older in the morning. haha

Of course, my kids never want to be in pictures until I want to do a picture of just one of them alone.  Then, the jealousy bug kicks in and they are all swarming over like flies. hahaha

The big birthday started out with a fancy dress and muffins.  Elly was pretty excited about that!

Breakfast was followed by a tiny photo shoot outside, because little miss turned 2 and that only ever happens once in your life you know!!  She spotted something very important and concerning.

Jellybean has been wanting a kitty themed birthday for a long time now (this was prior to us actually having baby kittens), so it wasn’t too long before she ditched the ruffles for her kitty shirt. Cool Kitten on her strider.  Rule #2 of being cool: never go anywhere without your shades.. B-)

Our kittens were born around April 14th, and I had told the kids they could hold them for the first time on Elly’s kitty birthday.  This was Elly’s first time getting to snuggle one.  Can you tell by her “I’m actually in heaven right now” expressions?!  So cute. ❤

One of our first picnic lunches of the year.  They’ve been a long time coming with this slow spring!  Keep those crumbs outside!  WOOO!!!!!!

We didn’t actually send out any invitations for Elly’s party, because we opted for just doing an immediate family celebration this time around.  Her birthday was awkwardly in the middle of the week and we were busy the Saturdays surrounding, so that’s how it went.  She didn’t seem to mind. 🙂  If we would have invited guests, the invites would have looked something like this. 😉

Kitty banner up and ready.

This was my hurried attempt at a kitty cake.  Elly thought it was great, but Evelyn critiqued it as looking too much like a tiger.  She wanted an orange kitty cake though, sooooo there is only so much one can do!!

These were the marshmallow paw print sugar cookies.

Kids didn’t know what to do when I let them have one of the cookies for an afternoon snack…. (not sure what I was thinking.  Sugar overkill never goes well hahaha)

What’s a kitty birthday if you don’t dress the birthday girl up as a kitten??

Present time after Daddy got home!  She got a doll pack ‘n’ play, which continues to be a huge hit.  She was instantly loading it up and carting it around the house.

Cake and song time fun!

Daddy didn’t get a pic of Obie as his was devoured before we could, but he enjoyed it as well. haha

Happy Birthday, big 2 year old!!  This was the best we got of us with her, courtesy of Abby. 🙂 ❤


Eliana is 2!!


Eliana is 2 years old!!  Wow!  Two seems like you’re no longer a baby anymore, which is kind of sad. haha  She definitely hasn’t seemed like a baby for a while now though.  She is a seriously independent child.  We always laugh how Elly often does more for herself than her older sister, Evelyn. ha!

Jellybean weighs 24 lb 12 oz and is 32 1/2 ” tall.  She is probably long overdue for a doctor appointment, because I am the worst at getting those done.  The constant vaccinations are so annoying. haha  Especially those first couple years.  It’s like they’re always due, so might as well wait and get more bang for your buck.  Oh, you’re finally showing up?  Your kid is behind on like TEN SHOTS!  Alright, fill ‘er up.  Glad we waited.  Now maybe we can hold off for at least 6 months.

As I mentioned, Little Twerpy is extremely independent and as do it yourself as she can possibly be.  She’s been climbing in and out of her crib forever, dressing and undressing herself forever (minus her shirt which drives her crazy that she can’t do yet hahaha), getting her own socks and shoes on, brushing her own hair, putting her dishes by the sink, riding her strider (self-taught because we haven’t taken the time to help her, poor soul ha), using our little pink chair to put her toilet seat on the big toilet and go on her own, walking like all the other “big” kids at grocery stores because she’s not sitting her hiney in the cart if that’s considered a baby activity, getting on and off the trampoline, and a million other things I’m probably forgetting.  Oh, and watch out if you try to assist her with any of these activities. “No, no, no, no, no!  I do it!  I do it!”

Elly is also extremely helpful and on top of things, which I love!!  She seriously would help me with cleaning all day if she could.  She loves to wipe things, clean up toys and messes, and fix things that aren’t right.  She’s my speedy, ON IT, little miss!  After we finish praying at Bible time, she is racing for the bathroom screeching “Brush! Brush!” as she snags all the kids’ toothbrushes and toothpaste and races back out.  For a while she was grabbing everyone’s pajamas too and hauling those out.  She is generally one of the first ones ready when we’re heading out and the first one to get her stuff put away when we get home.  I love her get it done attitude, because that is totally my personality. haha  One of her biggest fits is when she doesn’t get to help with something (especially if older sisters are helping) or if I do something for her that she wanted to do herself.

Elly is such a zoomer when it comes to transitions, that she is often helping Obie (who struggles a bit in the get it done and speed capacities….) get done too. haha  During the colder months, Elly usually took it upon herself to undress him from his winter gear as well as getting her own stuff off.  It was great!

Although her older sisters would love to play Mama and Baby games with Elly, she generally won’t have it in the least.  There was a span of like 3 days where the big girls actually convinced Elly to be their baby (albeit a rather feisty, demanding baby!) and it was both weird and kind of hilarious since it was so out of character for her.

Here’s goony with her old bink she found.  She didn’t really remember how to use it, but she definitely realized she was being a nuthead. haha

While I am grateful that Elly Hope isn’t a pushover when it comes to her big sisters, she can still tend to be a bit of a bully.  I am continually amazed at things she will do to them and the lack of retaliation they give back.  Especially Evelyn will often be screaming, “Elly’s hitting me!  Elly’s hitting me!” as she’s cowering and Elly is beating her up with some kind of toy.  Like…. MOVE.  Or maybe outrun her?  Or maybe hold her hands down?  Something?  Anything?  Abby is getting a little more mean in response, but Evie continues to be Lil’ Miss Helpless.  Elly often will take toys from the others or yank things away from them too.  She doesn’t get away without consequence, but it’s interesting how much she perseveres in these behaviors.

It’s hilarious when Elly notices one of her older siblings being naughty.  If she’s right by me and knows I saw too, she will turn to me and go, “Oh!  Ah-bee!” “Oh!  Uh-vie!” or “Oh! Obie!” depending on the child.  She says it real fast and intense, like, they are SO naughty she can’t believe it!  I really need to get it on video. #bossbabe

I love when she calls the other kids too.  When she thinks I’m trying to call them, she takes it upon herself to screech at them.  “AHHHH-BEE!  ‘MEERE! (come here) ‘MEERE!”  “Uhhh-VIE!”

Calling the other kids in for lunch with our little triangle.  She was taking it pretty seriously until she saw me taking her picture.

Although the kids spit spat often, they also have times of playing together kindly.  Those are always some pretty fun times! haha  Elly doesn’t know how blessed she is to have two big sisters and a “big” brother as well as two (sorta) baby sisters.

Belting out a song. ha

Boxes always are the best.  Why toys when you can play in a box?!

Eliana has gotten lots of practice at being a big sister with our little 8 month old.  She’s going to need it come late summer, but I think she’ll be ready! 🙂

It’s exciting when we’re driving somewhere, because Elly has been in a point out the same daily objects fifty million times stage.  Her usual things to point out are diggers, tractors, ponies, cows, some trucks, campers, and ALWAYS water!  She adds “Eee” before everything she says, which makes it even better.  (although I think that is phasing out some which makes me super sad)  “Eee pony!!”  No, Elly.  Those are cows.  “Cows?”  Cows.  “Oh!  Eee cows!”  It’s adorable when she sees one of these very normal sights and freaks out, wanting all her sibs to see as well.  “Eee cows!!  Obie!!  Eee cows!  Ah-bee! Cows!” haha

Sweet Cheeks generally likes to use books as hymn books, singing at the top of her lungs while carrying one around opened up, but she has started finally showing more of an interest in actually looking through them as well.  She is starting enjoy being read to quite a bit too, which is fun!  She was obsessed with one of those David baby books.  There was one page in particular that had a picture of baby David in a full, lumpy diaper and it says, “P.U.”  She would flip to it and just stare at it saying, “Poopy!  Poopy!”  Yup.  That’s my girl.

Telling me something intense.

Poor Elle is usually a pretty calm kid, but it’s hilarious when she’s somewhere further away from me, like in the back bedrooms by herself or across the yard and if I call her, “Elly!!  Where are you?” she will often go into freak out panic mode and start shrieking “Ahh!!!  Ahhh!!!!” as she pelts toward me.  She especially does this if there’s a car coming or somewhere around, which is probably a good thing. haha  Other times, she remains calm and just let’s me know, “I ‘ere!” (here)  She cracks me up.

We really have done very little school activities with Elly, but she’s starting to pick up on some colors.  She sides with Evie so far and her favorite color is always “blee-ew!”  There may or may not have been multiple fights over blue items in our house between these two.  #pickadifferentfavoriteplease  Blue kefir cups are where it’s at, guys.  Also, she looks adorably funny in this picture.  hahaha  Talk about your hair sprouting!

Babes went through a long phase where she was crying every single bedtime, like throwing a big fit in her crib actually.  She still had to go to bed and eventually worked through it for the most part, although she is still generally really rough when we have company over during bedtime.  Lately, she has been panic pottying right before bed, because I put a diaper on her over night and she is paranoid of peeing in it.  “I poopey!!  I poopey!” is her constant freak out cry.  We really want to move her out of her crib because she’s way too old for it anyways (when you’ve been potty trained for months and capable of getting out on your own, it just feels like it’s time to move on to a toddler bed haha), but haven’t gotten it done yet.  I think we’ll just disassemble it and put it back up in our room and then have her sleep on a toddler mattress in the same spot until we get her a toddler bed.  Anyways, in the mean time, I’m having her sleep with undies on and just have been putting the potty in her bed with her and that actually is going really well.  Kind of weird, but we’re making it work. ha

I still lay Elly down for her afternoon nap, but she has more and more frequently been holding out on the actual sleeping part.  She enjoys reading, using her potty, playing with her babies, and sneaking out of her crib to get more toys.  At least she’s generally fairly quiet.  She still sleeps more often than not, but the skips are so annoying you remember them more. ha  This was a forced wake up after a late nap.  It’s tricky being woken up. ❤

We’re really excited Elly is finally starting to talk more.  She was pretty mum until recently.  Definitely a much slower talker than her two older sisters.  They were on it. haha  It was actually kind of nice to have a slower chatterbox.  Jellybean is hilarious though, because she often talks in a little old man voice.  At least, that’s what we call it. haha  Some things she often is saying are, “I huuuunreee!!” (hungry)  “I wanna draaaaaaank.” (drink)  “I tiiiwerd” (tired)  “I eeert!” (hurt)  I loved these next ones she used during the colder months.  She didn’t realize she could say she was cold.  Instead, she would say things like, “Eee brrrr!  Eee freezy!”  She thought she was cold all the time for a while and enjoyed finding a blanket to bundle all up in.  What a cute little cuddly goose! ❤

Every time we go somewhere, as we’re pulling out of the driveway, Elly is crying, “Bye Sunny!!  Bye Sunny Baby!  Bye chee-chees!  See later!”  Sunny is our cat and the “chee-chees” are our chickens.

Speaking of Sunny, Eliana is always worried that Sunny is hungry “Sunny!  Igh der! (right there) Hun-ree!!” and our plants are always “tirsty” (thirsty – also, that one is probably true most of the time. I stink at watering my plants. ahhhh 😦 sad)

“MOM!!!  I want you!!” was a common yelling phrase for a while.  Respect is a little sparse around here most of the time.

I can be a little impatient when I’m driving behind slow cars and Elly picked up on that.  She will often shout, “Doe tars!  DOE!!!” (go cars go) when we’re sitting at a stop light.  Oops.

Elly’s favorite hymn to burst into has been “Whatever our God Ordains is Right.”  She still sings (often!) at the top of her lungs around the house.  Her favorite one words from hymns to burst out are, “REJOICE!!!  Rejoice!!” (from O Come, O Come Emanuel) and “HawewooooJAH!” from “All I have is Christ.”  A favorite phrase she’ll sing out is, “He uh yi!!” (He’s alive) from a chorus of one of our songs.  It’s super funny because she will usually sing it as an echo when we’re doing it as a family and it actually kind of works. haha  She really is such a little twerpy twerp though.  If I ever want to get her to repeat something adorable for someone or to video, she is absolutely never going to do it. haha  All I ever get is a poker face (she owns that face!) or a smirk with a low chuckle.  Needless to say, I have to pull out allll the sneaky tricks to get this little troublesome tot to preform. haha

Elly also thinks it’s great fun to sing my, “Be friendly, Be Nice” song.  She’ll sing the quieter part and then get shaky as she gives it her all to screech as loud as possible for the louder part, “BEEEEEE ICE!!!!!!!” (be nice!)

Cabz and I both thought the following was completely hilarious.  We were in our giant van driving somewhere and I called back to the far back seat, “Are you guys super excited to go camping with Callie this weekend?!”  Now, our van has some issues and some serious air flowage is one of them.  It kinda sounds like a window is open all the time, so it can be decently difficult to hear from front to back and vice versa.  Plus, Abby is half deaf all the time. haha  Abby screeches back up, “Camping??”  Me: “Ya!  Camping with Callie this weekend!”  A: “Camping with Cowie?”  Me: “YES!!  CAMPING WITH CALLIE!!!!!!!”  A: “Oooooh!!”  Sometime following this, Elly decided she wanted to repeat the conversation and it was just so funny.  E: “Ee Camping?”  Me: “Yes, Elly, camping with Callie this weekend!”  E (a little louder): “Ee Camping? Cowie?”  Me: “Yes, Elly.  Camping with Callie.”  E (screaming at the top of her lungs now): “EE CAMPING?? COWIE???”  Me (also screaming back at the top of my lungs): “YES, ELLY!! CAMPING WITH CALLIE!”  E: “OOOOOOooooh!!!”  Unbelievable. hahaha ❤

The three older girls went down to play in the basement one day a while back and came up all dressed up.  This was what Elly came up looking like.  I was cracking up over it. hahaha

Elly Hope always makes me laugh when she’s eating.  I have no idea why and other people probably don’t find it funny, but she just makes the most hilarious expressions and is usually sitting all bundled up on her knees.  I don’t know.  She just is a hoot.  I can’t stop laughing when I watch her eat.  #momprobs

Why do little kids always put sunglasses on upside down?  Is it really more natural or easier??  Seriously.  They always do this. ha!

She was big on phone chatting on her shoulder like Mama does while watching children.  I don’t stick my hand up straight in the air though. lol

Being outside fun!!!!!!

Check out Evie.  She’s really enjoying her giant wad of ham hanging out of her mouth…… really now.

Our little miss loves to get in my can cupboard and sort and organize all the foods – as well as sneak “Raise! Raise!” (raisins) as often as possible.  Keepin’ things regular.  Ohhhh, Cutes. ❤

Pony ride fun!

hahaha I loved this.  She was feeding her super tiny dollies these giant pieces of toy food.  They were living it up big time!!

Jellybean is a serious gamer girl.

Oh, this precious little babe!  She’s so cute I just want to squeeze her all day! ❤

We love our fiercely independent little tot!  Her laugh and cry are difficult for people to decipher and she always has a (very strong) opinion on everything!  Don’t help her unless you want your head chopped off, but she is also my clinging little cuddler when the mood arises (generally when it’s like 100 degrees out and I’m drenched in sweat, after naps when she’s overtired, when people are over at our house, or when we go places like church).  We love your hugs and my favorite is when you say, “I yuv oo!” before going to bed at night. ❤  We kind of wish you wouldn’t grow up so fast, but that’s life.  Love you, Sweets! ❤

Elly was trying to look super precious in the above picture with her Daddy.  I think it worked. haha ❤

Eliana is Twenty-one Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My lil’ baby is getting older!!  She may only weigh 23 lb 3 oz and be on the shrimpy side, but she has a mighty personality!

Double-chinnin goofy goober! ❤

Yes, I did the “make my kid wear my old glasses I found, because kids in glasses are adorable” thing for all my kids.  So, if you haven’t seen them all yet, yes, they’re still coming.  Just look at this little squish!  Cutest.

*Disclaimer* This next pair is definitely NOT mine, guys, but we had someone accidentally leave them at our house and this was necessary before returning them.  If only she knew how to make the, what’s it called? “duck face?”

We still call this little twerp, Jelly Bean, all the time.  It fits her perfectly.  I don’t think she even knows her actual name is Eliana because she is either referred to as Jelly Bean, Elly, Elle, Yelly, Jelly, or Baby.  Can’t win them all.

I’ve been trying to switch Elly over to wearing 2T lately.  The sleeves and pants are all a little long on her though.  18 month pants still fit her best. Some of the 18 month shirts were getting a little snug though.  This girl might be low on the growth charts, but she does have quite the pookey little belly. ha!  You can kinda see it in this picture.  She was lounging on the chair (sick) with her drink and I let her “use” Evelyn’s “computer” for a few minutes.  She couldn’t really figure it out, but she thought she was living it up BIG.

Speaking of getting dressed…. this is what it looks like when you ask Daddy to get one of the kids dressed.  She came out in her brother’s shirt, pantsless, and looking slightly confused.  hahahahaha

Jelly Bean is OBSESSED with footwear.  For a really long time, finding a pair of boots to wear was one of her first activities of the day.  She would put them on herself too, of course! (Miss Independent herself!)  Just drinking her morning keifer with her morning hair-do (Who am I kidding??  This was probably her all day hair….) while wearing her stylin’ boots!

These rain boots were Elly’s absolute FAVS for a while.  She was so attached to them, she often wore them all nap time. haha

This little girl is probably our most independent one so far.  She is much more ambitious than Evie was at this age and is always attempting (and often successfully so!) to do anything and everything.  She’s the child who is often discovered in the kitchen preparing herself a snack, or almost completely dressing herself for an excursion outside, the one who has been climbing up (and down) from the girls’ bunk bed for the past couple months, the one I actually have to go looking for because she’s off who knows where doing who knows what, the tot who gets all the toothbrushes and toothpaste at bedtime and brings them out to Daddy, and who already undresses/dresses herself better than big sister Evie could a few months ago. haha

Yelly has her own sense of style too.  As I mentioned before, that usually involves boots.  This is her modeling Evie’s pink cowgirl boots and a headband accessory she added on part way through the day.  Hey, if Mama doesn’t get your hair fixed, you just do it yourself around here!  Elly has been enjoying building Duplo towers for quite a while now.  This one even got graced with a cow!

A while back, when Elly first started realizing she could handle undressing herself, I would often find something like this when I peeked in on her before my bed time…..  Ohhhh, Elly! ❤

You might notice the diaper in the above picture.  Although Elly has been day and nap time potty trained for months now, she still gets a diaper overnight.  Mostly because I don’t want to get up to take her in the middle of the night and she is always wet in the morning, soooooo…. I’ll work on it eventually.  These were from a while ago at our old house.  Sometimes you just need to get comfy when you gotta go.

We had an extra nice winter day sometime back in January and spent some time playing on our tennis court (aka, bike pad).  Elly was stuck with a trike for the first part.  She was a little frustrated with it because it was so slow.

I thought she might be a little tiny for it, but I eventually brought down the strider to see what she’d do with it.  She hopped right on and with great determination was practicing for about 20 minutes before getting off again. haha  She was so smug about it, I could hardly get her to smile.  She though she was just like the big girls!  After observing the way her sisters were riding bikes, she decided to try picking her feet up at one point.  It didn’t go well, but there were no tears.  She just got back up and tried again.  I have a feeling this girl is going to master the strider soon after warm weather hits!

Elly Babe often wants to be big, big, BIG!  She loves taking care of our baby, which is adorable. ❤

She laid by her in the boppy pillow one day for about 20 minutes.  It was the cutest.

Sometimes she thinks she’s a bit too big.  Trying Daddy’s shoes on for size…

She loves taking care of her babies just like Mama takes care of our baby.  It’s so funny how kids respond.  When Elly was a baby and I was nursing constantly, my girls always had their shirts up feeding their babies.  Now that Elly gets to watch me bottle feed our little one, that’s the go to method. haha

She loves taking care of her babies.

This girl is a nuthead on our trampoline.  She loves to lift herself up from the bar and hang there and she can jump hilariously high.

Although she does like to be a big girl, every once in a while we have some reverting. hahaha  Feeling a little foolish lounging in the baby bouncer.

Putting on sock mitties like Baby gets to wear. ha

Sometimes you just need bundled and cuddled by your Mama.  Elly has been quite the cuddler lately, which I’ll take any day!  I love cuddle time and my kids are usually such busy babes they won’t sit still and cuddle.

In our old house, when Elly was still in a crib in our room (due to lack of space), one of our routines was getting her up and taking her in to wake up the big girls (who slept on the floor at the time ha).  They loved it.

I’m kinda obsessed with Elly’s hair in a ponytail and her sort of side bangs out.

This was Elly’s silly face she was super into for a while. haha  She couldn’t help cracking up over it too.

Ohhhh hats! ❤

For a few weeks, Elly went through a wake up early from nap and think she’s done phase.  I would bring her out to the living room because otherwise she’d wake the other kids with her screeching and she’d promptly cuddle up and pass out again.  She moved on, but it was kind of fun while it lasted. 🙂

Elly can be a bit of a bully.  I probably need to crack down on it a little more firmly so we can move on, but it never ceases to amaze me how she can bully her older siblings around.  I mean, she will be hitting Abby and Evie on the head with toys or shoving them or taking their stuff and they’ll be screaming for me to help.  Say what?!  You are like at least twice her size, guys!!  Come on now!  Pull it together girls!  Obie I can understand a little more.  He’s not quite as physically with it just yet.  For a while she would see him standing in the middle of the floor and run at him with arms outstretched and he’d be flopped to the floor.  Of course, this isn’t always the case.  Sometimes he will fake a shoving when I’m standing there and watching and Elly doesn’t even touch him, so they both have their issues. haha  These two have cute, playing together moments as well, which is always a nice change of pace.

Little snow monster cutie.

Sledding with Mama.

Elly and her snow baby.

Elly loves her Daddy. ❤  She saw him laying on the floor one day and thought he needed cuddled up, so she got her blanket for him.  Sweetest.

Bath time goofy hair!

Three little troublemakers in a tub!

We had pizza one night and this kid was just making me laugh.  Prancing around in her jammies, munching her pizza smugly…. what a goober.

Elly got to hang out with Great Grandpa D. when we visited Urbandale in January.

She ate in his old high chair too, because it’s tradition!

Little Miss was licking ice off the window and eating it one morning (ya…. our windows may all need replaced ha).

My slow teething kids…..  I think this is still about all she has in there! haha

Our four little tots. ❤

Elly is still a pretty silent Sal.  She will spurt little sentences out or a word or two here and there, but she doesn’t exert a lot of effort in the speech department.  This is often the face I get when I ask her to say a word.

However, when she WANTS to, she can really let the ol’ volume up.  Examples: in her bed after we lay her down for the night (“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!  MOM!!  MOOOOM!!”), screaming when her sisters take from her, or my personal favorite, her hymn singing.  She is still obsessed with holding her “hymn” book (usually a big, hardcover, collection of stories type of book) and belting out songs at the top of her lungs.  It’s pretty funny.  Some of the words you can pick up while she’s singing are hallelujah (ha-way-woo-ya!) and He’s alive! (Ee awive!).  This is not an angry face, but an intent, I’m singing VERY LOUDLY over here, face. hahaha

Our household has been GETTING it with sicknesses this winter.  It’s just like one thing after the next.  Little kids grubbing on every germ imaginable when we go anywhere will do that to you I suppose.  Phew.  Anyway, Elly picked up on my mode of coping when I’m in the throes and she often will say she’s “Code!” and grab a blanket and cuddle up on the couch.  Sometimes she’s feeling friendly and a big sister gets to cuddle up by her. ❤

Matching winter jammies are way too fun. ❤

Elly loves doing whatever her big sisters are doing.  She is never one to be left behind!  She’s starting to work on learning a few colors now (ya, I don’t work with her as much as I did Abby, buuuuut life, guys…) and told me she wants a kitty birthday when I asked her.  Way to go, Sunny, you are rocking our kids’ world.

This is often how Elly’s hair looks, because she isn’t a fan of me putting it in a ponytail and try as I might with consequences, she always rips out her hair tie at SOME point, unless it’s the little super tight rubber band kind and I get tired of putting those in and out.  They take some decent effort!

We love this little ball of fire!  She is a very busy tot.  One of her favorite activities is dumping puzzles out and putting them back.  The worst is when she dumps two at once…. ya, we’re working on that.  She’s a goober when someone says they’re going to tickle her.  She’ll shriek, “No, no, no, no, no!!” really fast.  I love asking her, “Do you know Mama loves you?” and she’ll squeak, “Ya!”  We love you always, always, always, Elly Belly!! ❤ ❤

Eliana is Eighteen Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our little Jelly Bean is a year and a half old!  She is growing up faster than I can believe. *sob!*  I need more babies, guys.  I always feel like I should give a warning: incoming, about fifty million pictures.

Little Elly Belly weighs 22 pounds .  She may be tiny, but she’s also mighty feisty!  Watch out for this little firecracker….

We took away Elly’s beloved binks about a month and a half ago, and she was not a fan.  At least, I assumed she was a little upset about it when she screamed ferociously at me and proceeded to throw everything else (blankets, pillow, dollies, and books) out of her crib for the first few nights every night and nap since.  Our breaking point was our Wisconsin trip when we over used it to get her to be quiet for travel.  She picked up on abusing it and would whip it somewhere in the van, then proceed to bawl at the top of her lungs until I scoured the van to retrieve it and plug her back up.  #parentingwin  Regardless…. the bink days are over. haha  Although, she has tried to swipe our new little baby’s pacifiers when I’m not looking.  *Oh Elly*

There may have been once or twice (or half a dozen times) that I thought about reliving the binky days, but thankfully Cabz kept me on track.  “She is SO sad!  She’s screaming her head off!  She doesn’t feel well… Awww…. plus she’s driving me nuts.  Can we give her back the b….”  “No.” “Not even for just one…”  “No.” ha  Side note: Elly has always had the absolute best frowny face ever.  There are all sorts of baby beauty contests.  My question is, why don’t they have frowny face contests?!  Discrimination!  Elly would win though.  It wouldn’t even be a competition.  Just look at this little grumpy buns!  I just want to smooch her cheeks while she whips her head away with an angry “Mmm!!”

Although Elle doesn’t jump into her crib with a giant smile, she usually just cries for a few minutes before settling down and sleeping like a champ.  I am so thankful that she is normally a very decent sleeper.  She takes one afternoon nap that lasts about an hour and a half and bedtime is from 7:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Typically she is quiet all night.  Once in a great while she will wake up in the middle of the night and whimper or cry a minute, but she always goes right back to sleep.  I always put her things back in after she’s asleep. ❤

Little Yelly (I give my kids all sorts of nicknames, and this one fits her well because she is tiny with a mighty voice as needed) loves to be my helper.  Sometimes she gets so excited to help that she overdoes it a bit.  I’ll ask her to bring me a diaper and she comes over with a stack so big she can hardly hold it.  Uh…. thanks, babe?  She is the best little grocery unloader helper ever though. ❤

Her favorite time to pitch in is during meal prep.  She is always extremely busy “helping” me while I’m cooking.

We thought Evelyn was going to be our unique wild child.  And then Elly happened.  If anything, she is crazier and more of a daredevil than Evie was at this age.  (yikes, right?!)  We have a kid picnic table and she will climb on top of it, stand up, and then jump off.  Yes, she falls every time, yes she has gotten hurt doing it, and yes she continue to laughingly do it with zero amount of fear.  She has always been such a troublesome climber!  The only sort of restraint is her height.

Parks are always nice and terrifying….

If the big sisters do it, Elly thinks she should be able to do it too.  Watching them climb trees from down below makes her m-a-d.

Kind of like the time Abby got to sell brownies at our garage sale and Elly was told she was too little….  Insta fit on the cement floor of the garage.

Swings are Elly’s favorite (until you make her get out)….

…but she always has to take things to the next level or it’s just not fun.

Elly doesn’t know how to pedal, but she does enjoy riding trikes.  She knows how to use her feet to go forwards and backwards.

Of course, she has done this down our driveway (I ran faster, don’t worry) to prove she’s not just a baby.

Lil’ Trouble has known how to walk down stairs for months now.

I did not approve of her going down our deck steps (to cement!) at first, but she is always careful to hang on, so she earned free reign.

Our lil’ Jelly Bean doesn’t say many words yet (she is definitely my slowest talker), but here are a few fun words she uses:

“MOP!” – She will yell this at the top of her lungs and end the ‘p’ sound with a tight pout lip.  She’s calling me.  I think it’s her version of ‘mom’ with a hint of sass.  The first pic is the actual face she makes.

“Yi yi yi!!!” – When Elly comes running out from a back room yelling this is a concerned voice, I know there’s trouble.  This is her way of telling me she did something naughty (stood on the toilet and turned the hot water on in the sink, colored on something other than paper, broke something, climbed somewhere she shouldn’t have, etc.).

“Ot!!” – (hot) Whenever I’m cooking, she runs over and is sure to remind me that everything is, “Ot! Ot! Ot!” (as she tries to fall in it of course).

“Code!!” – She will screech this (cold!) after bath time when I’m getting her dressed.

“A-ee” – Abby

“Eh-wee” – Evie

“Buuh” – Bud

Da-ee – (Daddy) She usually places a high pitched emphasis on the “ee” part. haha

Mah-ee – (Mommy) Same ending emphasis as Daddy

Babbles followed by GO! – Here we go!

“Ehhhh WEE!!!” – (Elly) I am constantly calling “EeeeellY!” to locate my missing troublemaker.  So constantly, that the troublemaker I’m referring to will frequently run around the house yelling, “Ehhhhh WEE!!” with a big grin on her face.

Elly’s biggest accomplishment while she was 17 months was getting (mostly) day time potty trained.  Why do I say ‘mostly?’  Well, she does 100% excellent, as long as I abide by her stipulations.  She must be nude from the waist down (no diaper, no pull-up, no underwear, nothin’!) and Bud can’t be sitting on her potty when she has to go or she’ll panic.  Also, if I put something ON her butt, such as one of the aforementioned objects of clothing, in order to leave the house, there are no guarantees she will keep it dry.  So, while she potty trained earlier than either of my other two girls, it’s not as perfectly as they did.  I think she is well on her way and I just need to strap some undies on her buns and keep a close eye all day to help her figure it out.  She will typically stay dry even when I do put something on for a walk or a trip to the store.  She definitely wants to stay dry, but doesn’t quite know how to tell me when she needs to go.  I get a kick out of the picture of her with her pants.  When we were first attempting potty training, she was not happy about losing her drawers.  She would run and pull about ten pairs of pants out of her dresser and come running to me with an angry face. haha

I love Elly’s concerned face.  On the pink blanket it was her, “I found a yuck!” expression.

Elle Belle loves to get the colored pencils down and do some coloring.  Unfortunately she also enjoys spilling the can of pencils from time to time.  Making her clean them back up is not my favorite.

Sweet corn was a yummy part of summer.  Elly loved helping husk it with the big girls and Daddy.

Our baby is also a bit of a cheese monster.  She must get that from her dad.  She is thrilled when it’s a string cheese for snack kinda day!

Eliana has been a little food thief lately.  I’ve been letting her sit at the big girls’ table since it was easier for her to hop up and get on the can as needed.  This has its pros and cons….  She loves it and can make it to the pot when she needs to, but she is often popping up for reasons other than potty, trails food all over the house (worse than usual), and is right by the girls with easy access to swipe their food.  If they have something she loves and don’t eat it up before she finishes her portion…. watch out.  Blueberries?  Better eat those bad boys FAST.

Eliana got to try an icy for the first time this summer.  She thought it was pretty stellar.

She also came up with her own method of eating spaghetti.  Double-fisting it.  To each their own.

Someone still enjoys her little “bring cereal (or other) boxes over to Mama whenever I’m hungry” trick.

Elly quit taking morning naps a few months ago and we actually had an episode where one of our children fell asleep in their high chair!!!  I had to take a picture because although this is a common picture for many parents, this is something that literally never happens with our high strung babes.  Look in awe….

Little Toots finally has enough hair for little sprouts.  My sister gave me some little rubber bands that Elly is incapable of pulling out of her hair, which has helped us transition to constant hair sprouts.  Elle was the worst about pulling hair ties out the second she had an opportunity.

This little girl is always getting compliments on her hair.  It doesn’t show up quite the same in pictures, but she has sort of darker hair underneath with super blonde hair on top, so it turns out looking kind of like highlights or whatever it is women do to get that look.  I doubt it will stay, but it’s kinda cute while it lasts.

Yelly’s “say cheese” face.  Elly used to hate anything and everything to do with pictures, but has taken a liking to being in pictures.  She was my hardest kid to get pics of by far, so I’ll take it!

Scooters are tricky when you’re one.

A long while ago, the big girls randomly got these little rashes on their stomachs.  I would have them show me them to check progress sometimes and Elly started showing me her (nonexistent) rash.  She would whine a little and show me her “rash” hoping for some sympathy. hahaha  It was the best.

Parks, parks, parks!

We’ve still been getting out for our walks of course, but we sure do miss the warm weather when we could be out 24/7.  Boxes will always remind me how much we don’t need toys.

Walks, walks, walks.  This is how we all survive living in town. 🙂  Our usual is at least 2 miles a day, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon.  Lately, I have the one year olds ride in the double stroller, each big girl hang on to a side, and baby in the carrier.  It’s like our do or die routine. haha  Elly would get so excited on windy days that she would ride around with her hands up.

Elly’s favorite part of walks is when we do the park loop mile and stop at the park.  That means she gets to jump out of the stroller for the park path portion!  FREEDOM!!!!

It seems almost harsh to tell this story now, with it being so cold out, but in the HOT days of SUMMER I bring along a little spray bottle with cold water in it.  The girls love it when I spray them as we’re all walking along drenched in sweat.  Elly was squealing with joy in these pics.  Trust me.

Elly wanted to learn how to ride a bike too! ❤

I had Elly pose with the pumpkins.  She was really excited, until she realized they weren’t for snacking on.  She tried multiple times to bite one.  It was a bit disappointing to be honest.

Elly wants a puppy too.  It’s not just me, or Abby, or Evie, or Bud. 🙂

Trampoline hair is the best hair.

Hangin’ in Papa’s big tractor.

Elly is always happy to get a stick in her hand.  I have to say it can be pretty frightening though…. she swings them when she’s excited/happy and she swings them when she’s mad.  Moral of the story: WATCH OUT!

This kid.  She still hardly has any teeth!!  She does have a few more than pictured here, but for the longest time, her two little bottom teeth were her prominent ones.  Lil’ cutes!

This shirt was probably my favorite ever.  Too bad she grew out of it in like two seconds.  This is why I garage sale, people.

I didn’t get a picture of it, but this little twerp figured out how to side skip and it’s hilarious.  If only she would do things on command, I would already have a video…. *sigh*

Elly can be so completely ridiculous.  One of the other kids might take a doll away from her and she’ll scream in frustration.  I’ll have them hand it back to her like 2 seconds later and she’ll be so angry about it that now she doesn’t want it back.  And she’ll turn away and go, “Mmm!”  She gets this side from her dad I’m pretty sure.

She can also be quite the little obstinate twerp.  She heard me mention to Cabz that I wanted to get a picture of her in her capris because they just looked like pants on our short girl and it was hilarious.  This is the likes of what she proceeded to do for the next like 30 minutes while I tried to catch a picture of her standing.  UNbelievable. (also from her dad)

Elly loves her big sisters, although she isn’t generally very receptive to their assistance with, well, anything.  On a normal day, she gets to run in to Abby’s room and play with special big girl toys (little Legos, tiny rubber dollies, or pop beads) with her for about 20 minutes prior to nap.  It is one of her favorite times of the day and it’s so sweet. ❤  I didn’t get a picture, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Abby gives the best trike rides too!  They’re even wild enough to suit Elly!

And she’s always willing to sneak in there and hold Elly when Elly doesn’t realize she’s being held. haha

Big sister Evie is quite the riot as well.  There’s sure to be cuddles and wild play combined!

Elly can be the typical little sister at times….  this was a thinking area (aka time out) session for the two big girls.  Elly cheerfully ran over to join them.  It’s not so funny when it’s her turn. hahaha

We love our little girlies!  Pretty sure they’re some of the cutest! ❤ ❤ ❤

I’m not one to resist matching outfits.  I mean, how cute is this?!  They LOVE when they get to match!  Best day ever!

I still always say, “Oh, Elly!”

I don’t have a picture of this, but Elly loves to hold our new little baby.  She will run and sit down and then open and close her hands while she scrunches her face all up in anticipation.  This is her way of saying, “Um, hello!?  I would like to hold the baby right this very minute!”

Elly is usually VERY selective with her hugs and cuddles.  She will usually allow grandparents, family, and close friends hold her, but it’s always on her terms.  When she’s ready she will run over to you, lift her arms up, and expect nothing less than absolute joy on your face that she actually graced you with getting to hold her.  And when she’s done, she’s done.  She has recently been obsessed with my friend, Callie, from church. (just for you, if you made it this far hahaha)  Do her brothers and sisters get to hold her?  Hardly.  But Callie is allowed the special privilege.  What a little twerp head. (Elly that is… for clarification)

She can sometimes be a bit of a Mama’s baby, especially when she’s overtired, sick, or whatever other reason she has to be a little extra cranky.  I don’t mind though.  I only get so many baby days left with this one.  Love you, sweets. ❤

This little girl is stubborn, adorable, feisty, independent, determined, LOUD, and a whole lot of other things.  We love her to pieces! ❤











Eliana is Fifteen Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is even happening to our baby girl?  She’s just growing up like a weed!  Maybe not in the categories of weight and height (6th and 8th percentiles) but mentally and physically she’s growing leaps and bounds every day it seems….  She weighs 20 lb and 9 oz now, so she’s gained a solid 1 pound a month since she turned one.  Babykins goes to bed at 7:30 or 8 depending on the night and usually gets up between 6:20 (my alarm time) and 7 a.m.

Big ol’ 1 year old.  I just had Elly quit taking morning naps because she was only doing an hour for her afternoon one and I needed more. haha  The first couple days of transition, she only slept one hour in the afternoon.  Since then she has been doing at least 2 1/2 hours!!  WOW!  For my girls, that is AMAZING!  I will definitely take it.

Baby girl only has five teeth.  She got her front bottom two first, followed by one of her big top teeth and one to the side of it.  And finally her second top big tooth is barely peeking through as of a few days ago.  Kind of a random (and super slow) teether!

Eliana may be tiny, but she sure has a great big personality!  She is confident, determined, spunky, feisty, squeaky and tiny, followed by yelly and LOUD, busy, busy, busy, busy, BUSY!, independent, knows she is cute as a button, stubborn, helpful, energetic, a Mama’s girl, who is often looking for trouble.  We love her to pieces. ❤

Sometimes when we’re somewhere other than home, Elly will sit on someone’s lap or allow them to hold her and act like she’s all docile and content to sit still for hours on end.  False.  She is doing this alllll for the audience. haha  I can barely get her to cuddle on my lap for 20 seconds out of a typical day!  My kids are so hyper/active constantly. *sigh* haha

Little Yelly doesn’t let her size stop her from doing anything she sets out to do.

This baby is definitely our biggest climber so far.  She figured out how to climb up and slide down the kids’ park months ago.  At first she had a hard time climbing up and would slide down on her tummy backwards to have a safer trip.

It didn’t take her long to become more comfortable and fine tune her climb up and slide down.  She likes to grip in those little holes to help heft herself up.

Her more recent park accomplishment has been climbing up slides.  Not just our smaller scale slide at home either.  She will attempt any and all slides at large parks.  I have to keep a veeeeeeery close eye on this kid!  She’s physically capable of almost too much.  She doesn’t realize she shouldn’t do everything she’s able to.  I’m really glad she’s so short, because that at least is a slight restraint on her antics!

These are her, “I did it after lots of trying!” face. haha

In general, her “I’m climbing and causing trouble face!” looks pretty similar.

People often laugh when they watch this tiny tot running around like crazy.  She is so speedy and yet has such short little legs! haha!

Elle Bell is obsessed with apples (just like all my kids have always been!).  She gets soooooo mad if someone is eating an apple and she doesn’t have one!  I try to make her wear a bib when she’s gnawing on one or she stains her clothes up with the apple juice dripping all over.  It’s kind of hard to chew on apples with no teeth. hahaha

I really need to get this on video, but Elly recently started running around with her dollies shushing them.  It’s so funny, because when they first start that rocking “shh, shh, shh!” thing, their little baby bodies look like they’re convulsing as they put their dollies to sleep. hahaha  She gets all into it.  Watch out, big sisters, if Elly thinks you picked up a dolly she was playing with!!!  Tiny but ferocious!

Although Elly doesn’t eat much at all, (I seriously have no idea how this kid gains weight and manages to poop anything out) she has an obsession with food.  She constantly thinks she wants to snack on things.  Usually, when I actually give her something to snack on, she ends up crumbling it all over the floor with a naughty smirk on her face. Grrrrrr…..  Her method for getting snacks is to run to the kitchen and bring me a box/package of something.  She then points at it, shoves it in my face, whines for it, and if I put it up, she quickly runs to get something else.  Ohhh, baby girl!

Little Yelly is a blondie like big sister, Evie! ❤

I try to get Elly interested in sitting through a book, but so far she only enjoys bringing me books and listening to about half a sentence before she’s bouncing up to find her own book to read herself.

Yelly’s favorite way to use a book is as her hymnal.  This is learned from church and her big sisters.  All three of the girls will often find their “hymnals” and open to different made up songs and sing sweet melodious tunes (er… loud, painful tunes that is).  The older girls go through phases where they do it all the time and then don’t much at all.  Elly, however, has been on a daily kick with it for a long time now.  She will either sing tiny, squeaky, kind of sweet sounding music or SUPER LOUD, turn your face beat red as you belt it out, Yelly style music. haha  I prefer the squeaky….  She prefers the thicker, bigger books for her hymnals.  The set of Biscuit stories is her favorite.

This is Elly’s daily morning spot, waving bye to Daddy as he heads to work.  We miss him so much when he’s gone!  But, it’s so exciting when he gets back home! ❤

Sweet Cheeks finally has enough hair to have a little piggie in!! ❤  It’s so cute!  Eek!  I should fix her hair more often.  She still isn’t saying many words at all.  She’s capable of more than she lets on, as she will once in a while blurt out a clear word or sign something before realizing she let it slip.  Then, she will be careful not to repeat it.  Stubborn little miss. haha!  She says, “Mama,” “shh, shh!”, “please” (which is more of a friendly little squeak when I tell her to say please vs. screeching at me), “Daddy”, and that’s all I’m thinking of at the moment.  It’s pretty sparse.  She signs quite a bit more though. Baby, more, please, bed, stinky, all done, cracker, cheese, milk, shoes, and probably some more I’m forgetting.

Elly’s first time ever eating an ice cream cone was well worth documenting I thought.

This little girl still loves being outside!  She figured out how to ride a trike (with no pedals) already and goes backwards and forwards all over the place.

Elle enjoys anything and everything outside.  Sand tables, parks, nature fun (sticks, rocks, grass, leaves, etc.), snack time, hiking rides, and just hanging out.  FYI: in the stick picture, Elly’s destructive personality was shining through.  She likes to find big sticks and then hammers them on the ground trying to do some damage.

This is Elly’s go to, “I see something super interesting and everyone should look at it right now” expression.  She does this when people talk to her too much and she needs to redirect them or when we’re talking about something we see, she will always “see” something great somewhere too.  The furrowed brows, the intent gaze…. cracks me up.

Little sturdy miss is a big fan of walks – especially when we do the park trail and she gets to get out of the stroller like the big girls!  I am a big fan of these pictures of her.  It’s so fun to catch her little expressions and body movements.  On the bottom she’s doing her “what” sign. ❤

“What?” again.

For a (very brief) time, Elly was really excited about holding big sister, Abby’s hand on our walks.  It was the cutest and I’m so glad I got it captured because her typical now is to scream grouchily when Abby offers her hand.  Oh boy…

Swimming has been a favorite outdoors activity for Elly (and all the kids) this summer.  Baby girl quickly learned how to clamber into the pool herself, although this was met with multiple mishaps.  Too many times she would flip straight under the water to Mama’s horror.  Never deterred, she was always right back at it.

The pure joy of pool time on Elly’s face here….. haha!

Her most enjoyed pool activities were typically “using” a squirter just like her big sisters or pouring water out of her little tea pot.

Tractors and lawn mowers are so much fun!

Helping Daddy wash the van makes someone feel extra grown up!

Swinging is the best.

Especially when you’re swinging with your big sisters!

This girl loves doing everything her big sisters do.  I don’t think she even entertains the tiniest thought that maybe she isn’t quite as big as they are.

Adorable, little, piano players!

I always think my big sisters have the best jokes.

Sitting on Abby’s lap at the big girls’ table and feeling like I won the lottery.

When Elly wakes up from nap before Evie, her first task post cuddle time is waking up Evelyn. *sigh*

Our tiny babe is notoriously a bit obstinate.  Many photo shoots have been brought to a quick close by this wee one.  Snapshot of real life happening now.

When taking photos of the girls, let’s just say I have always appreciated Evelyn’s quick smile.  She’s SO EASY to take pictures of!!  Abby tries, but it’s tough to capture her genuine smile and Elly…. well, as you can see, she doesn’t even try.  She goes into refuse mode.  I still manage to get some good ones of her, but I have to be on my A game.  As soon as she notices I’m trying to take pictures, she hides, runs away, or stops smiling.  My little Miss Trouble. ❤

Dressed up like cows to get our free Chick-fil-A!  Elly was old enough to get her own free kid’s meal this year.  Woot, woot!

Snack time is a great time of day.  Good thing it comes pretty much all the time.

Those cheeks!!

Literally, one Oreo later.  Never again.

She’s a winner in our book. ❤

Messy yogurt face.  Did she get any in her mouth?!

Little Twerpy enjoys rearranging the clothing drawers and randomly taking clothes and putting them in the laundry basket (ugh).  On bath nights, I have Abby put the girls’ jams, underwear, and Elly’s diaper in the hallway for afterwards.  If I’m not keeping a close eye, Elly will grab them and go stuff them somewhere troublesome.  Ohhhh, Elly! (I say this to her a lot)

The first picture is Elly’s yell face.  It’s not her angry yell.  Just her exclamation yell.  We see this face semi frequently.

Elle Babe went through a (thankfully) brief phase of throw down fits on the floor.  It’s so interesting how they come up with this stuff.  She has never seen anyone else do it and yet she came up with it.  Truly we are sinful at birth.  Just watch any kid ever and let me know if you don’t agree.

This kid’s constantly busy, but every now and then she’ll sit down for a few seconds and I run for the camera.

It looks like she knows she’s cute as can be (probably true), but she was really playing peek-a-boo here. haha

Trying to clean the couch cushions (or any housework really lol) with a bunch of babes is kind of slow work.

For a while Elly was on a tongue kick.  It was always out! haha

Waiting for supper is tricky when you’re one.

This is the extremely proud and happy grin produced when Mama discovers you with Baby Boy’s cup.

This face: I got to wear these new jewelry items before the big girls because they were still in Quiet Time!

Loud drumming noises!  YAY!  CLASH! BANG! Run!

Elle just decided to give little smacking kisses to Daddy the other night before bed.  It was the cutest!  She gave me some the next day too.  Daddy loves you, Sweet Pea! ❤

One of my favorite little things Elly does is run over and whisper real fast and intently to me.  She likes it when I whisper gibberish back to her and take her seriously. haha  Mama loves you too! ❤

We love watching you grow and learn.  Praying we will parent you as God desires, teaching you to see your sin and that you must turn to Christ if you would live.














Birthday Babe

Parenting win of the year.  We kept almost forgetting about Elly’s big FIRST birthday.  If it wasn’t for her older sisters, we probably would have! haha  Thanks to them, she didn’t miss out on her cake.  The morning of her birthday, they were asking me, “Is Elly gonna have a cake??  Does she get a cake or anything for her birthday?”  Oooooh, yes.  Yes, yes, she does.  Good thing it’s our Aldis day!  We’ll just add a boxed cake mix to the list! Woo!

I happened to have some leftover pink and white frostings in the fridge, so I made a round cake and tried to do a darker pink strip, a lighter pink strip, and a white strip.  So fancy, right?  haha  The sprinkled #1 on top made it all better.

Elly’s cake eating pictures were probably my favorite so far.

First, the cautious, “What is this stuff you put in front of me?”



That awkward moment when you look up and realize everyone is watching you stuff your face.

“Eh… oh well!  This stuff is too good to care!”

Double-fisting it!

*Sugar Coma*

Annnnnnd we’re done.  Mama intervention and cake time is over. haha

We didn’t have a present for Elly because, TOYS.  All over my house.  Constantly.  But I started thinking it would be kind of fun to watch her open one, soooo I wrapped up an old baby doll of Evie’s and we were good to go!  #regifting  #practicalparenting  #recycling  #toomanytoys

I wrapped Elly’s cute little present up and she took off running with it.  She thought it made a great accessory…..

….Until she became bored of the seemingly useless blob and threw it.

Our “sweet” little Eliana can be quite foul when she wants to be.  She wasn’t getting the “open it” concept very well, so I plunked her on the couch with it and gave her some extra encouragement.

She fiddled with it for a little bit….

And then got frustrated and kicked it to the floor while doing her squealy bratty yell thing.  So adorable, right?  Err…..

After practically opening it for her, she finally was motivated enough to pull the doll out.

She decided to be sweet again and gave her new baby lots of very wet kisses.

Then she ran her baby over to the window, but her chair (aka stepping stool) had books on it.  So she had to whack those off to the floor first.

Then she told her baby all about the outside world and gave her a few more kisses.

Time to open her present Emmy and Papa sent for her.

Well, that went well.  SHOVE.  KICK! haha

I opened it for her since she was being little Miss Attitude, and what did she do?  Shoved the clothes back in the back.  MMM!!

We still love you, Cutie! ❤ haha  XOXOXO



Eliana is Twelve Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ol’ ONE YEAR epidemic strikes our house again!  Or rather, it struck over a week ago and I am just getting around to documenting that exciting occurrence.

I’m ONE!  No, she didn’t hold up one finger on purpose.  Lucky shot. 😉 haha

Our precious little Eliana Hope is about the size of your average 5 month old.  She weighs 17 lb 12 oz which means she JUST doubled her birth weight of 8 lb 14 oz!  I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen!  (and I guess, since I took her weight a weekish late, maybe it didn’t, but close enough)  Her older sister, Evelyn, weighed 17 lb 6 oz at a year, and is still the winner for our smallest baby contest. haha  Elly gained about half a pound since her weight check last month.  That still counts as growing though!

Baby Girl still just has two teeth on the bottom.  I find it so funny watching her use them to gnaw on apples or bite crackers.  She has to really jut out that ol’ bottom jaw to get anything done! haha!

Elly continues to eat pretty much whatever.  I still think she has the smallest appetite when comparing our three girls at this age.  She really likes to eat, but typically very moderate to small portions.

She even enjoys snacking on your occasional grass, sticks, leaves, nature.  Maybe she will really like salads…. ?

Elle has been the easiest of our daughters to switch over to whole milk.  No, I haven’t weaned her yet, but yes, she already drinks significant amounts of whole milk every day.  She usually downs about 2 full sippy cups in addition to her 3 nursing sessions!  Our other two girls would drink about a cup of milk over the course of the entire day if I remember correctly.  At least when we first switched them over.

The first time I had Elly try whole milk, it didn’t go super well, so I tried the chocolate syrup mixed in trick.  I added in enough that she liked it and thinned it out from there.  I was amazed how quickly she let me thin it down to plain milk!  Only a matter of days!  I am kind of thinking I’ll wait until she becomes less interested in nursing before I cut it out.  Mostly because she still really likes it and I think we’ll hit a point where she’s not as into it.

This baby can be trouble.  She is a major climber baby, which can sometimes end poorly for her.  I am constantly finding her on top of things she shouldn’t be.  Elly thought it was a riot when she realized she could climb up on the walker and hang out.

She also figured out how to (almost always) successfully get herself in and out of the walker.  It’s so much more fun when you do it yourself, right?!

We recently made a rule that Elly can’t climb on top of the big girls’ table anymore.  She absolutely loved it, but kept hurting herself.  Mostly, I think she enjoyed the fact that her big sisters couldn’t put stuff on their table to keep out of her reach anymore.

Monster Baby attacking the doll house!

Speaking of our wild baby…. this picture makes me laugh.

I think I’m the only one in our house that has always found this hilarious.  Baby in a “loin cloth.”

Elly started pointing a while back and I finally got around to documenting a few of those times.  She will point with just one finger sometimes, but often likes the whole hand approach.

This is my view when someone’s feeling needy…

Sometimes an applesauce squeezer will cheer Elly up a little bit during a cold.

Also, playing little Legos with the big girls – a coveted rarity due to frequent attempts to eat them.

Oh!  And extra snuggles with Daddy were yet another necessary when sick.

When this girl lets out some yelling she does it with her whole body.  Arms tensed, fists clenched, and her arms come in towards her middle a bit as she yells her short, jerky bursts.  Ahh!  Ahh!  Ahh!  She’s usually just being a goof.  Sometimes it’s because she wants more of some snack I’m sharing, but she never gets any when she yells at me. haha  She knows how to sign “more” for that.

Sweet Cheeks really enjoys it when I play chase with her and switch up running away from her and chasing after her.  She doesn’t get the concept of running away yet, but will come running to me with arms outstretched laughing away.  Her little hugs (leaning her head on me) are some of my favorites! ❤

When your baby is growing up on you, sometimes you shove a bink in her mouth and a bonnet on her head and pretend she’s still little.  #notmyproudestmoment  #reallymom?

Elly and Baby Boy have been bffs lately.  She enjoys climbing all over him (until they both end up sprawled out on the floor), hugging him, patting him, etc.  They really are a funny duo.  Elle is really obsessed with trying to feed her snacks to Baby Boy.  I don’t let her, but if I ever turn around for a second, she is over there trying to feed him and he of course is ready with mouth wide open.  They have an interesting relationship.  Sometimes they are all over each other hugging and talking sweetly.  Elly will pat him on the head (condescendingly or does she really think she’s older??).  Other times they’re yelling at each other and trying to get around one another.  Elly will rotate between finding toys to hand him and walking by nonchalantly and swiping whatever toy he has.  They are also quite jealous of one another and always want my attention especially bad when I’m giving it to the other.  #twinlife?

Here’s a rare picture of Elly crawling.  I’m afraid those days are seconds away from being over.

Sweet Cheeks started walking right at the end of 9 months.  By 11 months she was a pro.

The last few weeks Elly has been standing herself up without having to crawl over to something to get back up.  She didn’t realize she was capable of that new ability however until her birthday!  So cute!  With that revelation, the crawling days truly are coming to an abrupt close.  *sniff*

Baby walking is adorable.  That’s definitely not just me, right?!

This picture is great because it’s one of the few where our baby looks a little chubby! ❤

Although Elly has been over baby toys for a long time now, I’ve been working on packing them up lately.  She’s always been all about whatever those big sisters are into.

Little Miss is currently pretty independent of her big sisters.  She definitely wants to do what they are doing, but she typically doesn’t want their help or want them to hold her and she’s not shy about letting them know.  However, when she is in the right mood (over tired/hyper or supposed to be sitting quietly in church) she will crack up laughing at the slightest silly face they make.

When your oldest sister is WAY more smug about twinning with you than you are.

Someone is never happier than when they are JUST like the big girls!!

Watching the man power wash our siding.

Elly Hope was finally (barely!) tall enough to peek over and see the baby chicks at Theisens last time!  She was SO excited!

Eliana has been going up our steps for a while now and has been dying to practice going down.  I didn’t take the time to let her try until recently, so that is her new favorite activity.  Going up and down and up and down and up and down the steps.  Of course, this pastime works best when it’s supervised.  She ended up falling down the first carpeted flight of stairs once, gaining a minor scrape to the head.  She knows she’s trouble! 🙂

This next picture is the actual look she gives me when she (proudly) knows she’s going to do something naughty.  Right here she was busy reaching for my Bible which she knows is not a toy.

Playing outside is this little girl’s favorite!!  The older two often get outside before I make my way with the babies.  This is still Elly’s post while she waits for her turn.

She enjoys all the new things to explore and getting out of the house!

Parks are no place to sit in the stroller anymore.  Elly will have none of that!  She will go up the steps herself and barrel down the slides (with major supervision of course haha).

For a while there Elle would put her hands both straight up when she had a windy stroller ride.  Really feeling that ol’ breeze! ha!

Carrier rides are fun too!  Especially with Daddy! ❤

Swinging will always bring a smile!

Evelyn has always been our “super easy to make smile for pictures” child.  Abby would often LOOK but would look dead serious, even while extremely happy.  Elly is also usually a tricky one to catch smiling.  She is also tricky to take pictures of because most of the time she won’t even grace me with looking.  The following are what most of my picture attempts of her turn into.  Basically, she’s way too busy and simply doesn’t have time for me.

Elly really gets a kick out of whispering with me.  She acts all intense like she’s saying all these important things as she whisper babbles to me. haha  The other day I was whispering to her and she leaned in for a kiss and then licked me instead.  I’ll take what I can get, I suppose.

Little One likes playing with her baby dolls a lot more now.  She will give them kisses and carry them around, trying to mimic things her older sisters do with their dolls.  For some reason, I’m not quite sure she’s ready to handle the real thing….

We’ve noticed our Elly is quite easily offended.  She enjoys being a Mama’s baby around other people, and yet enjoys any attention she can get too.  It’s a fine balance, but she knows how to work it.  Just look a that little offended face! ❤

Good thing Daddy gives the best hugs, so she always has a shoulder to cry on. haha

She likes to do little yells as her whole body sort of jolts together in a feisty movement when she wants something (usually another bite).  She knows how to sign “more,” but obviously needs reminding once in a while…. ha

Reading is fun sometimes!

My wild, rocking chair, window watching baby!

Got this flower to stay in for like a minute.  Winning.

I love this little girl and her smile! ❤

Happy One Year, Sweet Cheeks!!  You’ll always be my baby. ❤