This is the fourth autumn that we have spent at our little house. I have memories of moving in and raking up the tremendous number of leaves supplied by our large maples (I think I counted nine, with a few other deciduous varieties to boot) while very pregnant with Jude. And here we are now with two more sweet boys. God has truly blessed us beyond measure.
Simon just passed the six month mark last week and I discovered (much to my dismay) that he just cut a couple of teeth! Gummy smiles are some of my favorites, so I’m enjoying them now, knowing that they will be gone soon. His height, weight, and head circumference are all at about the 50th percentile — I had always wondered what an average sized baby looked like and now I have one =) Simon really enjoys standing up while holding onto your hands and he is good at getting up on his hands and knees, although he lacks the coordination required to crawl. Nonetheless, if I leave him on the ground, I can always be sure he will not be in the same place I left him. We started solids with him around his sixth month birthday (I have been enjoying the ease of breastfeeding and decided to put it off about a month later than I started the other two boys) and discovered that he loves food and figured out the mechanics of swallowing very quickly. I was going to do soft finger foods and allow him to feed himself from the start, but this method frustrates him, so we are currently using our finger or a spoon to give him soft bits of what we are eating. He has become pretty vocal about his likes and dislikes and I feel like he is distinctly more high maintenance than he was a few months ago. He has such wonderful facial expressions and is really responsive to people’s smiles. He laughs and squeals and makes all sorts of delightful baby noises — in short, we are all pretty crazy about him. I love snuggling with him on the couch in the evening when he’s really supposed to be in bed. I sniff the top of his soft downy head and try my hardest to remember it.
Jude is no longer a baby — he turned three last week! He has grown up so much in the last year, particularly in his ability to speak. Right now he likes to add “That’s for sure!” to the end of his statements and it is adorable. Probably his favorite part about his birthday was his new chair for eating at the table and his balloon, which I think he played with for hours. Jude is an independent little boy – he does a great job playing by himself, and likes to do some things himself – but at the same time he adores his older brother and loves to play with him. He asks Ransom questions all the time and Ransom (pleased, of course to be considered the local authority) matter of factly gives him an answer. It is really fun for me to listen to these exchanges. Jude really likes to make believe right now and will inform us of what animal he is pretending to be. It can come in handy (in his mind) at times:
Me: Let’s go potty, Jude.
Jude: I can’t! I’m a mouse! Mouses don’t go potty!
Me: Let’s go Jude, we need to go inside.
Jude: (Dropping to the ground) I can’t! I’m a slug!
Well slug your way up the hill then…
His favorite song is “Shoo fly, don’t bother me!” and has been for months now, I rather feel like it epitomizes an aspect of his personality — I love hearing his little voice sing it, or anything else for that matter. Jude also enjoys snuggles and books. Shortly before he turned three we started potty training him and he does really well. We waited much longer to start training him in earnest and it went much more quickly and smoothly than with Ransom. He is still an avid thumb sucker and I admit that I still lack the drive to work on that one. Jude’s smile and laugh constantly melt my heart.
[insert pouring leaves on mommy here]
We put Ransom in a private Christian preschool this year even though we are hoping to eventually homeschool him and I am convinced it was the right decision! He LOVES his teacher and has matured so much through the experience. He doesn’t talk a lot about class, but it is obvious that his favorite activity there is woodworking. He is becoming more outgoing and likes to joke and sing. I think Ransom has gained more energy as he has gotten older! He runs and runs, whether it be inside or out. He is still cautious about doing things until he feels capable of them and is very safety conscious, for which I am grateful. Ransom is very nurturing and he is great about helping me with Simon and other things we ask him to do. He is also a very creative and an independent thinker – if he has his mind made up about something, it can be hard to dissuade him, and he doesn’t care if a peer thinks differently. He also makes little inventions and tells me about them all the time. He seeks to please us — the other day at dinner time we were dishing up and he enthusiastically said “I will eat whatever you give me!” even though the choices were not his favorite. His best friend is Jude, which of course does my heart good.
Husband and I are doing well! I started working part time again in September and it has made our schedule a little bit more hectic, but it has gone well and I enjoy my work a lot. We feel incredibly blessed by the three children God has given us to raise. I really love watching their interactions with each other and enjoying the unique relationship that I have with each. It is hard work and sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the challenges that get more complicated as everyone gets older, but we pray for wisdom and do our best.
Sometimes a mom just can’t get everyone to smile at once, especially when you’re on your own taking photos.