Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Leah is TWELVE months old!

twelve month stats:
Height: 31 inches (96%)
Weight: 21 pounds, 12 ounces (79%)
Head: 47 centimeters (94%)

Let this month be remembered as the beginning of a full nights sleep -- for both of us.  Oh, hallelujah!  Just a few days into the month your fragmented sleep turned into the most heavenly, uninterrupted eleven and a half hours.  It was overdue, but I'm so thankful that it came at all!

You spend a lot of the day chasing around your brothers, trying to steal their Lego pieces, and love to get in on the action when they're running around playing Star Wars. 

You also protest and insist on being held a lot of the time when I'm in the kitchen.  But I get it.  The view is better up there, and you can actually see what's happening and keeping your mama busy.  So I'm really good at holding a baby with one arm and making dinner, cleaning up, dispensing medicine to a sick brother, or whatever else is happening with the other arm. 

When the house gets too quiet I know to first check the bathroom, then my bedroom, and when one time I still couldn't track you down, I hunted until you were discovered in the garage.  You are on the move, curious, and your rascally personality makes for trouble sometimes.

And speaking of rascality, let's talk for a minute about trying to take some soon to be one year old pictures of you.  It was nearly impossible!  As soon as I set you down on the grass you were taking off, making faces, and rocking backwards.  It was all laughs for you though, I mean, look at some of these outtakes.
  That's a whole lot of personality coming out right there!

Hugs are still your favorite.  We're not hearing the cute "Ahhhhh" sound as much when you give hugs, but you are a lover for sure.  You give sweet open mouthed kisses every once in a while too.  Too many kisses make you giggle, so I try to smother you every once in a while.  You also love it when we play peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.  It's so fun to see you cover your own eyes and initiate playing the game.

You are a great eater!  I can't think of anything you absolutely won't eat, except for some gross cardboard flavored baby crackers I shouldn't have bought.  Can't blame you there. But your favorites include cheese, chicken, avocados, eggs, bananas, and pineapple.  This month you figured out sharing and like to reach out to give me some of whatever you're eating.  You sweet girl! 

I love this stage where you just seem to be understanding more and more every day.  When I ask, "Where is your paci?" you look down to see if it's attached to your shirt."  When I've said, "Grab your diaper," you pick one up next to you.  Even though your words are limited, that exchange between me talking and knowing that you understand is so fun.  You are repeating sounds, and we've heard you say 'this,' 'up,' 'apple,' and 'go.'  You also make a really cute turkey sound when we ask you to say gobble. 

Twice you took a step, but clearly, in your mind, that was enough.  You are NOT interested in walking.  Often when we stand you up, you immediately collapse like a wet noodle.  Hard as we try, you have definitely communicated to us that walking will come on your terms, and we just need to be patient.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

To My Favorite FOUR Year Old

Sweet Luke,

You are FOUR! I think you're most excited that being four means you get to play on the 'big kids' side at the gym.  But there are so many other amazing, wonderful things about you right now. 

You are passionate and determined.  Sometimes that works in your favor, like learning to ride a bike, and other times, when it's mixed with a sprinkle of stubbornness, it earns you a time out.   But all is well in the end. 

This year over and over you have been bold and brave.  Dad and I try often to give you opportunities to try new things.  This year it was things like playing soccer, riding a bike, climbing the hill at Livermore Park alone, and jumping off rocks in Tahoe.  We love that you are so willing to give things a try.  And that includes foods too. 

You are competitive.  You love to win and are learning it's o.k. to lose -- every once in a while.  It's so frustrating to you that you aren't as fast as a runner or bike rider as Noah, but I'm sure that will even out in time.  I love being with you on your bike.  Some how your personality expands and you become even more boisterous and silly.  You talk louder, sing, weave back and forth on your bike, and ride with complete confidence.

Because of you our home is filled with laughter.  You make up all kinds of words like turanjo (a piece of your aircraft carrier that you turned into an instrument) and Mr. Lahootie.  And speaking of words, some how your 'ou' sound has a Canadian hint to it.  Dad and I shake our heads every time we hear you say words like outside, house, and boat.  Where did you get that Canadian accent from?

You are smart.  Being competitive has its advantages, and wow, you are trying to keep up with Noah.  You can count to 30 (at least), skip count by 10's to 100, know all of your uppercase and lowercase letters and sounds, and have even started to sound out simple words.  The other day you were writing and sounded out N-A-T.  You were so proud that you could (almost) spell Dad's name.  Whether it's a song or scripture, you memorize quickly.  This year as a sunbeam your scripture assignment was JSH 1:17, and you said it all without help.  The other day you started singing a Justin Bieber song that is only on the radio every once in a while.  You just pick up tunes (especially) and words really quick.

Most of all, you love.  At least half a dozen times in a day you tell me you love me.  From the moment you laid eyes on that little sister you have certainly loved her.  Countless times this year I've caught you climbing into Leah's crib to play with her.  You have fetched diapers, shared snacks, and learned to share your mom just a little more.  It's pretty obvious Leah can feel your love, because she loves you right back with big hugs and laying on top of you when you'll let her. 

You are a remarkable little boy: so full of life, energy and goodness.  I'm so thankful you were sent to our family!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Luke's Birthday

 For the very first time Luke's birthday came after Thanksgiving.  And for the first time, his cousins from Bakersfield were in town to celebrate with him.
 He was so excited to have Olivia, Sammie, Abby and his other other cousins there!

Pancakes and pajamas on the day after Thanksgiving seemed like a perfect way to celebrate, and it sure was a fun time!  Luke loved his 'cake' made from a giant stack of pancakes, but I think he was even more excited that there were four candles on that cake.

Oh, he was sure being four would never, ever come.

His gifts were perfect: Legos, Star Wars, super heroes, and Power Surge Optimus Prime.  He couldn't believe that he got exactly what he asked for.

 We made sure to squeeze in the traditional birthday kiss sandwich.
 Wow, I love this boy, and I love celebrating him.

After everyone left and things quieted down the boys in the family headed out for a birthday bike ride.
 And then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's to squeeze in just a little more time with those Biron cousins before they headed back to Bakersfield.  Luke wanted In 'N Out for his birthday dinner (for the second year in a row), and was excited that everyone in the family decided to join us.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October Bits

 The California Capitol Airshow probably deserves its own post, but I'm cramming it into this month's bits instead.  Nate and the boys met up with Tyler and Brennan and Grandma and Grandpa at the airshow.

It's little (and big boy) heaven to explore and learn about those big, mighty machines.
It was disappointing that the Blue Angels had to cancel at the last minute because Pilot 1 was sick, but you wouldn't know it from these faces. 
It was especially cute though that without being prompted in any way both Noah and Luke mentioned Pilot 1 in their prayers that night, asking that he'd get better and be able to fly the next day. 

Leah loves the 'selfie' mode on the camera.  She's all smiles when she sees that cute baby smiling back at her.

Nana gave us a little scare and earned herself an overnight stay in the hospital.  Thankfully, it wasn't a heart attack like it seemed to be in the beginning, but we still don't know what caused her symptoms.

Pretty much every night until October 15th was a late one for Nate, so we squeezed in FaceTime whenever we could, including when the boys were taking a bath.  Leah loves seeing Daddy on the phone.
 I went into check on the boys before going to bed and found Luke's bed empty.  After peeking on the top bunk I found he and Noah fast asleep. 
 Noah explained the next morning that he invited Luke up for a sleepover.  I love that they are the best of friends.  

This girl could swing all day every day.
And this was such a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. 
 My grateful mama heart was about to burst.  I've got a fierce love for these two and their sister, and some snuggle time was just what we all needed.

Nate took Luke on a walk around the temple before Stake Conference started.
 We've both felt little pricks of inspiration that this sweet middle child needs a little more individual attention.  It's been fun sneaking in simple little moments with just him and seeing how much he loves and appreciates it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


This year's Halloween inspiration centered around our little pumpkin.  
Both Noah and Luke wore the same costume at the same age Leah is now, and I wanted to get one more Halloween out of it.

And take a look at these three pumpkins.  Leah on the left, Noah on the top, and Luke on the bottom.  It's crazy that they are all essentially the same age in each picture.  Too many birthdays too close together, but, wow, what a fun comparison!
The best inspiration I could come up with to coordinate our trio was a take on classic Halloween charaters.  So, in addition to our sweet pumpkin 
 we had Noah as a vampire
 and Luke as a spider.
I count myself among the lucky that these boys are still quite easily persuaded in the costume department.  I know it won't last long, but it sure does make for a cute Halloween picture.  And, that's what really matters, right?
So we trunk-or-treated our hearts out a couple of days before Halloween, and then had such a great time on Halloween night with friends and family. 

I love this tradition of dinner together and then trick-or-treating.  Now the four big boys run ahead as one group and Camille, Leah and Kate take their time.  But it just fun to have it happening year after year as our kids grow up.