Sep 29, 2010

Part monkey?

This morning we went to playgroup at the park. The outing wasn't originally on my agenda, but Gavin was driving me bonkers. I knew he needed to run. So off we went.

Gavin didn't spend as much time running as he did climbing. As I hovered nearby (hoping to break a fall, should he lose his balance), I was struck by how limber and dextrous he was. He never wavered, never lost his grip, never seemed unsure about his next move. He had absolutely no fear as he shimmied up to the highest places. I couldn't believe the ease with which he maneuvered his little body. He was fast, but he was careful. Perhaps I was naive, but he seemed pretty safe way up there. That's when I got out the camera (phone).

Judging from those happy grins, you'd never know this kid spent half his day in time-out for raiding the pantry, escaping the house, hurting other people, or yelling, "I HATE...[the car/the shopping cart/his booster/his mother/this house, etc]!!!!"

You'd also never guess that this kid is a super star in the potty training department. I introduced the idea pretty casually on Monday. He jumped on board whole-heartedly. He has only had two accidents since Monday morning, and one of them was during a nap (he refused a diaper). He has been on several long-ish outings, used potties in public places, and had incredible success at home. I am totally impressed!

I am also very, very glad he is asleep.

We buy in bulk

At 2:55 p.m., I read an email about this week's grocery specials in my area. One item caught my eye. Albertson's leanest ground beef was on sale for $1.97 a pound, which is about 50% off. The sale started today. I had to have some beef.

So with just thirty minutes before I had to pick up Zach and Tyler from school, the Littles and I ran to the grocery store. I really dread running errands because Gavin and Lexi are totally crazy in a shopping cart and extremely ornery if I strap them in a stroller. But I thought this errand was manageable because I only needed a few things besides beef. We'd be quick.

We spent 10 minutes in the store. I was sweating in the check-out line. Gavin and Lexi behaved just as expected and we were the spectacle of the supermarket. But as I loaded our items onto the little conveyer belt, I had to chuckle to myself.

We buy in bulk.

I bought 22 pounds of 97% lean ground beef. I bought 20 cups of Yoplait yogurt (each at 35 cents, which is a
great deal!). I bought 9 jars of Taco Bell hot sauce. And I bought bananas, because I buy bananas at any store I enter that sells bananas. We eat a lot of bananas. And beef. And yogurt. And hot sauce.

I guess we are a big family...with a big appetite!

Sep 28, 2010

More Letters

Dear Laundry Thief,

I knew you were hiding my kitchen towels and rags! I don't appreciate you stuffing them behind the dryer. Now they are all full of lint. I've got you all figured out now; you'll have to find a different place to stash the clean stuff. Zach can probably give you ideas, since his clean, folded clothing always ends up in the hamper.

Thank you,



Dear Walmart,

Why must you remodel? I can't find anything anymore.

Well, except for the Buttery Toffee Crunch 'n Munch, which you put on the "impulse aisle" and sold to me for $1.00. You know I'm coming back for more. Besides, I still need raisins (and more time to find them).


A fat, frustrated shopper


Dear Voice Male,

I love your HIMS II album, especially track 6. It speaks to my soul. Sadly, my children cannot tolerate your music in the car.

Musically yours,

Another Mormon Mom


Dear Primary President,

I know you mailed my kids' parts for the Children's Sacrament Meeting program approximately three days ago, but we lost them already. I know you offered to be my fairy god mother. I hope this isn't a deal-breaker.

Shamefully yours,

Sister Bartle


Dear Good Samaritan,

Thank you for scrubbing the graffiti off of the community mailbox. I know our teenage neighbor girl probably thought she was being cute by writing "be mine" and "i {heart} you" in pink marker, but it was still pretty annoying. I'm glad you have the time and initiative that I don't.

Warm regards,

Your neighbor

P.S. Have you seen the utility box on the corner? That needs some attention, too.


Dear Rams football team mom,

Thank you for calling me to follow up on football pictures. All of your emails went to my spam folder, and I would have been sad if Zach was the only one to show up in a ratty t-shirt instead of the team jersey. Plus, I want a team picture. Go Rams!


A flakey mom


Dear Land's End catalog,

I love you. I can't afford anything you sell, but if I could, I would dress my kids exclusively in your clothes. I'm not very preppy anymore, but the buttoned-up side of me really likes your cardigans and khakis. You would be appalled at what I wear instead. So would Stacey and Clinton. Don't tell.

Your devoted fan


Dear Halloween,

You used to be my favorite holiday.

I don't know what I was thinking.


A frazzled mom


Dear Costco Macaroni and Cheese,

You were sooooo good at the sample table on Saturday. I'm really hoping you'll make an excellent dinner tonight. I was going to pair you with a side of broccoli, but the broccoli I have is rotten. The kids will be thrilled.

Hungrily (and lazily) yours,

An unmotivated cook


Dear treadmill,

Remember how thrilled you were a few weeks ago when someone was using you for something besides a rod for clothes that need ironing? You probably thought someone was going press the "on" switch and give you some real attention. Instead, people took you apart, stuffed you in the bathroom, and then put you back together on the new carpet. Do you like the way you face the TV now?

I promise that soon I will help you fill the measure of your creation. But be warned: I weigh more than I did the last time we were friends.

Much love,

Mommy Beluga


Dear Blues Clues DVD,

Oh wait, I already sang your praises. Still love ya.



Dear End of Fiscal Quarter,

My husband tells me I won't be seeing much of him this week because of you. Boo hiss.

Thank you for releasing him from your grip long enough so that I can visit teach tonight.

Thank you also for keeping him employed.

Forever in your debt,

The wife


Dear Stanley the Giant Stuffed Bear,

When you joined our family Saturday (at the same time as the mac and cheese), you probably didn't know that Gavin would start potty training two days later. I did. And that's why, after Gavin fell asleep at naptime today, I helped you sit up at the other end of the bed. I knew he'd pee his pants and didn't want to ruin you so quickly. After all, you don't fit in the washing machine.

You owe me.

Mama Bear


Dear Facebook,

As you know, I'm a little obsessed with you. I'm starting to think that it's a little unhealthy for me to have a triple-digits number of friends online and a single-digit number in real life. Should we break up?

Forever yours (maybe),

Heidi Dixon Bartle


Dear Makers of Children's Motrin,

Why did you mess up in production and have to recall your products? I really, really like Motrin for teething, and so do Lexi's gums. I'm tired of generic Tylenol and look forward to paying full price when you are back on the shelves.


Disgruntled Mother


Dear Hanes,

Next time you introduce a line of little boy underwear, would you please print the design of the cartoon character on the FRONT of each brief? My potty-training boy must wear all underwear backwards so he can admire Diego/Buzz/Spiderman while he sits on the toilet. His wedgies are driving me crazy.

Thank you,

A toddler mom


Dear John M. Graham,

Two years later, we are still getting your mail. Some of it looks important. What's the deal?


Current Resident


Dear Grandpa in the Target parking lot,

No, I wasn't torturing my child. He just screams like that when he has to wear the safety strap in the shopping cart and when I put him in his car seat. For a minute, though, I was pretty sure you had sent the cop that pulled up behind me at the traffic light.

Warmest wishes,

Mother of the Year Finalist


Dear First Grade Volunteer Coordinator,

Can the Littles come to the pumpkin patch field trip?

Please say yes.

Thanks much,

Tyler's Mom


Dear Holly-not-in-Arizona,

Can you babysit tonight? Garry is working late and I have two visiting teaching appointments. It is the 28th and I can't reschedule for a third time. I'm guessing you can't check my blog (or even know it exists) from your high school class, so I'll just call your mom. K? K.

Sister Bartle


Dear Garry,

Your drill is in the garage. I know you need to use it, but I can't look at it on the counter anymore. Thank you for the cabinet locks. They have improved my life immensely!




Dear Garbage Men,

It's a good thing you're so nice. My trash can was WAY too full this week. But if you could see the organized corner of the garage and the empty flower beds, you'd know why. I hope you don't charge me an excess fee.


The lady who tips

P.S. Next week the can will be full of rotten apples and grass. Pump some iron before Monday.


Dear Blue's Clues DVD,

I really don't know where you came from, but Gavin loves you. So does Lexi, which is amazing. You are not long enough, but Gavin knows how to hit "Play All" when the menu comes back on.

Hugs and kisses,

A woman who is getting something done while her children vegetate


Dear Yo Gabba Gabba,

You have been replaced.

With respect,

A Foofa look-a-like


Dear Colorado,

It is officially Fall. Will you cool off a bit? Lexi has outgrown her summer clothes but it is too hot for long sleeves. Also, I don't want to water my lawn anymore.

Much love,



Dear House,

Did a tornado hit while I was sleeping last night? Surely that's the only way that our belongings could be strewn about in such a manner. I really do love you, dear house, but I have many interests besides keeping you clean! Sorry if you feel neglected.

Much love,

Your owner

Exploring the back country

On Monday afternoons, Tyler takes a music class. I was a little skeptical about its value at first, but now I think the semester is going to be fantastic.

A little free advertising...

The class meets from 4:15 to 5:15, but each student's family joins the class for the last 15 minutes. This is a mostly exhausting venture for me, but I am happy that Tyler is having such a fun and unique experience.

Yesterday during class, Zach, Gavin, Lexi, and I explored the terrain behind the music teacher's house. The rocky outcroppings, sandy earth, and prickly bushes everywhere made our "hike" a bit precarious for me (I wore sandals and was balancing a baby on my hip), but Zach and Gavin were completely thrilled with the adventure.

We managed to dodge all of the cacti and avoid major spills. When we were done out back, we ran up and down the isolated, hilly road in front of Miss Ro's house. Lexi enjoyed chasing her shadow. Zach and Gavin exhausted themselves on the incline.

The best part of this adventure was its effect on the 15 minutes of family participation at the end of Tyler's class. Gavin and Lexi actually paid attention. (Maybe the drums helped!) At the end, during the "good-bye song," Gavin AND Lexi sang their parts at the appropriate time. That has never happened before!

I was very sad that my phone battery died just as we walked into class so that I couldn't get pictures of Tyler in his element. But since we'll be back every Monday, I will have many opportunities to be better prepared!

Sep 27, 2010

Gospel insights

I am in the midst of preparing my next Relief Society lesson. While on the hunt for a specific quote, I have come across some fantastic messages. Here are a few gems I'd like to remember:

"There is a lie -- a vicious lie -- circulating among Latter-day Saints and taking its toll among the young. And that is that a 'balanced man' is one that deliberately guards against becoming too righteous." [
Carlos E. Asay]

"If you judge people, you have no time to love." [Thomas S. Monson]

"It is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent." [John Bytheway]

"The men and women who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kkindgdom will find that they must do battle every day...Thus let every Latter-day Saint protect and guard his little [garden] against every effort of the enermy to assail, and secure a foothold therein. Let us see to it that we are ready for the enemy, to battle him at every point, contending bravely aginst him until he is repulsed." [Brigham Young]

"We promote the process of strengthening our faith by doing what is right -- increased faith always follows." [L. Whitney Clayton ]

And then this amazing talk by John Bytheway from the 2008 Campus Education Week at BYU: "Weed Your Spirit, Grown Your Testimony." It's a long one, but worth every minute of listening! I took tons of notes. Maybe I just love the gardening analogy.

Are you looking for a way to talk to your kids about keeping gospel standards? This talk is incredibly informative and inspirational, yet fun and entertaining.

I have a new favorite blog:
Mamas Who Know. It's full of inspiration for mothers trying to raise their children in the gospel. I absolutely love it, even though I've never met the author. Someday, maybe! :) Recent posts have included lots of links for activities to keep kids occupied during General Conference. Check it out!

While I was listening and browsing and perusing (during nap time), I was also making strawberry jam. It's the most satisfying afternoon I've enjoyed in a long time!

Sep 26, 2010

Awesome Saturday

Our family had a great day yesterday.

Dad made a big breakfast of poofy pancakes (we have Rachel to thank for the yummy recipe).

I made a major grocery run (including a few birthday gifts for Zach) at Walmart with Lexi in tow. It's truly amazing how pleasant shopping can be without a two-year-old.

Garry took Zach to his football game warm-up.

I followed an hour later with Tyler, Gavin, and Lexi.

We watched the last three quarters as a family. It's truly amazing how pleasant the sidelines can be with two parents and happy children.

During half-time we walked over to Prospect Lake. Gavin dipped his toes. The best part was watching Daddy and the Littles together.

Gavin and Lexi were pretty cute, too.

Then we watched the rest of the game. Zach is still trying to get the hang of tackling. His team beat the Panthers 34-0.

After the game, we went to BJ's Velvet Freeze for ice cream. We were hungry for lunch, but only got dessert. Then we went to Costco for the bulk portion of our grocery needs. (I haven't shopped for a few weeks!) We sampled lots of delicious things (lunch!) and made a couple of impulse purchases: macaroni and cheese from the deli and a giant stuffed teddy bear for the kids.

Then I went to the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast at the stake center. The broadcast was absolutely fantastic! I was riveted from word one, took copious notes, and had personal revelation during the meeting that has given me a lot to think about.

I came home to a family who had cleaned the kitchen after dinner. Gavin and Lexi were in bed. Garry and I folded laundry while Zach and Tyler read a chapter from 2 Nephi out loud to us. That was a choice experience.

Garry and I fell asleep on the couch watching an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond," my favorite show EVER. I laughed so hard....and I'm not sure how I fell asleep between fits of laughter!

Last Wednesday, I was surprised when comments to my post were sympathetic. I didn't mean for that post about my day to have an ornery tone -- the day wasn't so bad. I thought I was just being matter-of-fact.

So to be clear: Saturday was terrific. I love my family.

Sep 22, 2010

My day

Well, it started with mopping the floor (once to get it clean, and once to polish it). That took about two hours.

The boys were late for school.

Then there was the Oreo Incident.

I stepped in the shower to find that my leather sandals were also bathing. (Thanks, Lex.)

I blogged too much.

The Littles escaped.

We went to playgroup at the park (mostly a disaster).

Then I climbed through this window because I left my keys at the park.

Then early naps for the Littles and a healing phone call for me.

I attempted to make peanut butter play dough, but the end result was anything but malleable. Hmph.

So I started to clean out the garage, and found a quart of spilled (but dried) paint. I discovered it peels right off of cement. Score. That corner is more organized now.

I picked up the boys from school in pouring rain and drove to the scout store for Bear supplies. We dropped off junk at Goodwill on the way home and the kids enjoyed free Tootsie Pops.

The boys set up the electronic keyboard (I'd really like to sell this beast). We have a grand piano that is rarely touched, but hey -- the keyboard has demo songs.

Garry came home at five, and then Tyler and I went to Kohl's for new shoes and Michael's for supplies to decorate his bag for music class. The impulse purchase of the night was Silly Bandz.

My visiting teaching appointment was canceled because the lady we visit is sick. I wasn't feeling so hot myself, so that was OK. I ate dinner with the family instead.

When I got Gavin ready for bed, he hugged me and said, "You're the best Mom ever." And then he put my pajama pants on his head.

Lexi trotted around in a Batman mask.

Then we all read 2 Nephi 25 and the kids went to bed. I plan to follow very soon.

The end.

He's a bear

Last night, Zachary was thrilled to advance in rank at his Cub Scout pack meeting. He earned his Wolf badge after almost a year of hard work. I haven't been a terrific scout mom (my efforts are sporadic at best), but we reached this milestone together, a month before his ninth birthday, so I think we're doing OK.

At the pack meeting, which had a jungle theme, Zachary got his awards and a painted face.

Then we went to Baskin Robbins (Zach's choice) for ice cream to celebrate. Since it was just the two of us, I tried to engage Zach in conversation. I wanted to hear about school and football and scouts and his life. Zach offered one-word answers and a rosy view of the world, which hasn't really been our reality at home. Despite my confusion, I was glad for a happy evening with a happy boy.

Love you, Zach.

Welcome to my

A hefty portion of my life is spent keeping my kids out of things.

A great chunk of my vocabulary is dispensed saying, "Don't touch that! Leave it alone! Get out of there!"

A significant portion of our income (it seems) is divested in child-proofing mechanisms.

And Gavin still gets into everything.

It's exhausting.

But here are a few of the many systems we have devised to attempt to eliminate some hazards.

This one is my favorite -- the best invention since the cupboard latch -- a lock for bi-fold pantry doors. It's simple, inconspicuous, and 100% effective (when in use). Since Gavin likes to climb the pantry shelves like Tarzan in a tree, and since spilled sugar is a big fat pain to clean up, I really like these pantry locks. We have them on three other closets in the house.

This is the latest solution for keeping Gavin out of the fridge. At first a simple loop around the handles was sufficient. The figure-eight configuration became necessary when Gavin discovered he could s-t-r-e-t-c-h the bungee cord and still access the fridge. My least favorite thing has to be discovering the Littles' treachery with condiments and eggs.

Also in the kitchen: the death-trap known as the oven and stove. The natural gas stove is a seriously life-threatening appliance. Gavin likes to light the burners and watch the fire. So I have to remove the knobs when the stove is not in use. If Gavin is present when I am using the stove, I have to turn on a burner and then remove the knob. We also have a lock to keep the door closed. I haven't figured out a way to keep Gavin from scaling the stove, however. He has discovered the microwave (built in above the stove), and that is easy to access when he stands on the stove.

I recently installed a tension rod to keep the sliding back door closed. I am pleased to report its efficacy. Gavin has to come to me to have the door opened. Excellent!

In other door news, this makes me think of TV shows where people living in the 'hood have sixteen deadbolts and chains. We aren't too far away.

However, in spite of all these precautions, Gavin and Lexi still got out of the house this morning. One of my neighbors called to see if I was OK because the Littles were wandering past her house at the end of the street. She figured I had fainted or been murdered or something. In reality, I was collecting snacks for playgroup and lost track of the kids. I'd like to think I'm not that negligent, but it sure doesn't look that way!


I have a guilty secret. I keep a bag of Double Stuf Oreos in my night stand.

Sometimes I bring a cup of milk to bed and delight in a few Oreos, like a little nightcap. They go perfectly with an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Then I brush my teeth and go to sleep.

It's a terrible habit, and certainly to blame for my ever-widening hips and fattening belly. I know this. And yet...the Oreos are there, and I love them. (But only with milk.)

This morning I was busted. Gavin and Lexi raided the stash. It's really amazing that they haven't discovered it before now. They probably ate two-thirds of the package -- I had only finished one row of cookies!

After I laughed, I thought, "Better their hips than mine!" I let them each keep the two fistfuls of cookies they hadn't consumed.
I didn't offer them milk.

Someone looks more guilty than the other. I promise I fixed Lexi's hair later...

Is this the first step of repentance?

Sep 19, 2010


Friday turned out to be a pivotal point in my illness. I didn't feel any better, but people started hearing that I was (and had been) dreadfully ill. The sudden offers of food and childcare allowed me to sleep all afternoon and evening. The P.A. I saw Wednesday finally prescribed an antibiotic. Garry came home at dinner time. All good things.

Then, on Saturday, Garry took over for the entire day. While I slept in, he fed and bathed the kids. He took them to Home Depot and the grocery store. He took everyone (but me) to Zach's football game and out to lunch. He brought home dinner and flowers. He cleaned up. Being the Mom, I am intimately acquainted with the effort required to keep our four kids out of the house (or quiet in the house) all day long. It's a Herculean task.

I spent the entire day in bed. I wasn't always asleep, but I really rested in the peace and quiet. It was absolutely glorious.

And today, for the first time in 12 days, healing is taking place. I have a voice! I'm not quite so congested. My head doesn't feel like it's going to explode, and I'm hardly coughing at all.

People say that laughter is the best medicine. For me, it is sleep. And service.

I'm a lucky girl.

Sep 16, 2010

The third child

Mr. Wigglepants got a haircut this morning.

Looking at this picture makes me smile. I love this boy. Really...a lot. I do. While he sits quietly in my bed, watching cartoons without a care in the world, it's easy to love him.

But I'm still not sure we are going to survive his childhood together. Oh, this boy!!

Yesterday I hauled my sorry self to the doctor. I have had a heinous cough, sore throat, fever, congested head and chest, and debilitating fatigue for nine days now. For most of those days I haven't had a voice. Sometimes I cough so hard that I throw up. Despite my belief that I have been suffering from a nasty, untreatable virus, I woke up Wednesday morning with the thought that I owed it to my family to make sure I couldn't be doing more to heal. With a big push from an out-of-town friend, I made an appointment for 9:00.

Gavin and Lexi accompanied me. I knew this was a bad idea but didn't feel like I had a choice. (Asking for help isn't my strong suit.) While in the waiting room, Gavin kept running out into the hall. He grabbed magazines from the rack and threw them around the room. Despite my ample bag of snacks and activities, he would not sit down and enjoy them. In the exam room, things got worse. He pinged off the walls like he was high on speed. He ripped the paper cover off the table. He tore the pillow into shreds. He emptied the pamphlet display case. He banged his fists on the walls...and me. He dumped my purse and my diaper bag. He yelled and screamed so that I could barely have a conversation with the P.A. who was trying to help me. I lost control of my emotions and left the office in tears. We made such a scene that the P.A. called me later in the day to check on my mental health.

Because I have been so sick (and the extreme household upheaval that the carpet installation caused at the same time), our routines at home haven't been as comfortable and consistent as usual. I think this is contributing to Gavin's heightened mischief. He has dumped ketchup and Bisquick and powdered sugar onto our new carpet. He has raided my cough drop stash and eaten dozens of them in one sitting. He has eaten an entire batch of "puppy chow" (Chex cereal covered with chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar). He has gotten into the medicine cabinet again. He has microwaved random things (while standing on the stove). He has ripped a giant hole in the front window screen and nearly broken the rod that controls the blinds. He has been mercilessly rough and mean to his little sister.

Then, yesterday, he almost died.

I was watching the kids play in the front yard. Gavin was pushing his tricycle, which has a big handle behind the seat. He ran up the driveway and crashed into the closed garage door. I was at the end of the driveway and watched it happen. I actually laughed at how hard he bounced back. I thought he must be a pretty tough kid to not even cry at that kind of an impact.

When he turned around, I realized he was in trouble. He was screaming a silent scream, and even though there was no blood, I knew he was hurting....and not breathing. He stumbled toward me. I ran toward him. Just before we reached each other, he crumbled to the ground, face first. I caught his head before he hit. When I turned him over, his face was gray.

In my raspiest voice, I yelled, "Gavin!!" I smacked his cheeks and blew air on his face. He made a gurgling sound, his eyes rolled back in his head. I repeated my efforts, yelling his name over and over. The seconds that ticked by seemed eternal. Finally he took a breath. He moaned and shuddered and rolled over. I knew the crisis had passed.

As we both sat recovering on the driveway, both hearts pounding out irregular rhythms, gratitude rolled over me in waves. I am so glad I was in the right place at the right time to help Gavin in his moment of peril. What if I hadn't been there? Breath-holding incidents like this have happened before, and I am sure they will happen again. Gavin does everything with such intensity!

Despite this adrenaline-fueled moment of gratitude, by bedtime Gavin had driven me to the brink of insanity again. When I attempted to sing him bedtime songs with my crackly voice, he told me to stop -- I was hurting his ears. We called Daddy on the phone for bedtime songs instead.

This morning Gavin threw a huge fit about wearing a diaper. He thinks he needs to wear Diego underpants without responsibility for his bodily functions. Once again we have agreed on the undies-over-diaper compromise, only the undies have to be worn backwards so the big Diego picture is on the front.

I think I can live with that. I have more pressing matters -- like keeping Gavin alive -- to worry about.

16 on the 16th

I guess it won't be all that long until Lexi's real "golden birthday," but on this 16th day of September I'm content to celebrate the 16 months Lexi has brightened our lives on earth.

Lexi's loves:
  • Stacking cups - by far her favorite toy
  • Books - looking at her own pace (usually fast), not reading
  • Betsy the stuffed lovey - Lexi chews on her ears at bed time
  • Music - Lexi can groove to the tunes!
  • Standing in high places - play structure "fort," kitchen table, toilet
  • Her right hand - shows a strong preference much earlier than the boys
  • Stealing toothbrushes from the bathroom drawer
  • Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, yogurt, grapes, clementines, cheese, and meat
  • Being outdoors
  • Riding in the car
Lexi's schedule:
  • Wake up around 6:30 a.m.
  • Morning nap at 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch at noon
  • Afternoon nap at 12:30 p.m.
  • Bedtime at 7:00 p.m.
Lexi's physical stats:
  • 20 pounds with her clothes on
  • ? inches tall (we haven't been to the doctor for a while, but she is growing!)
  • Size 12-18 months clothes
  • Size 4 shoes
  • 12 teeth (4 on top, 4 on bottom, 4 molars)
  • Stick-straight, platinum blonde hair (she will finally allow a rubber band or two!)

Lexi is such a sweet, easy-going girl. She is cuddly and affectionate, happy and mellow, but definitely determined to find her way in the world. She is very curious, very confident, and very independent. Hm.....I wonder where she got those stubborn traits?

Lexi doesn't get into as much trouble as the boys did at this age -- at least not on her own. Unfortunately, she is often in the wrong place at the wrong time, or opportunities are made available to her through her mischievous older brothers. Yesterday's maple syrup incident never would have happened if Lexi had been the only child at home, but she sure enjoyed that sticky mess while it lasted!

Lexi is a chatterbox. We have never had a child talk so much and so early! What fun! She isn't producing sentences by any means, but she has dozens of words at her disposal. I love hearing the inflections in her tiny voice, and I love that she sings and babbles to herself when she plays.

It's hard for me to say whether these traits are part of being a girl or just part of being Lexi. Whatever the source, I love every ounce of my adorable girl.

Sep 15, 2010

For Sam

Today Lexi wouldn't take a nap. I desperately needed to rest, so she and I sat in my bed and scrolled through Facebook together on my cell phone. I visited a few friends' profiles to check out pictures. I landed on the page for Sam Shaha, who is quite possibly the coolest 12-year-old I know. He and Lexi have a special bond and our whole family misses him terribly now that he has moved to Arizona.

This is Sam's current profile picture:

Aw.....tender! We snapped this in our front room just before Sam moved.

Lexi and I talked about Sam and scrolled through his photos on my phone. When we came to this one, Lexi started exclaiming, "Sam! Sam!" She gripped the phone and wouldn't let it go.

So I grabbed the camera and took a sweet little video just for Sam.

We love you, Sam!

Sep 14, 2010

Morning project

This morning I sorted Lexi's clothes for size and season. A hint of Fall has been in the air, and I wanted to determine how much shopping I need to do for my pint-sized girl. It turns out that Lexi hardly needs a thing. I can't wait for the cooler weather to arrive so Lexi can start wearing some of the cute outfits I have stored away for her. Most are baby shower gifts, but some are things I added to my "baby girl hope chest" over the years.

One outfit was just perfect for today: a light blue shirt and adorable cotton pants with green and blue flowers. It fits her better than her summer clothes but is still cool enough for this warm day. She looked so cute that I decided to take a picture.

Lexi wasn't super cooperative during our impromptu photo shoot. Gavin charged onto the scene, determined not to be left out. I wasn't surprised. Most of the photos didn't turn out, but I loved a couple of the shots.

My photography isn't great, but I love what the pictures capture about their personalities. Lexi is a cuddlebug and loves to look at books. Gavin is a little daredevil with a soft spot for his sis. Seeing his arm around Lexi's shoulders makes my heart melt. For that moment, I was one content mama.

pass it on!

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