I must start out this post by saying, "I can't believe how much stuff I have to blog about. I will try to get everything off my chest, but it will be hard to keep it from getting too long. Some of the happenings here in our home just today alone have made we want to not only cry tears of joy but also cry tears of disappointment in not only some of my children's behavior but also for my own. Some of the things that I have done today I feel really good and maybe even proud about while other things I wish I could have yet again done differently. Deep breath. But..... as I sit down and reflect about how today played out there isn't much that I would change. See..... it's all about living and learning and changing and growing as a family...... just as long as we don't forget that we are family and we are in this together through thick and thin, so let me get started.
Today I decided to see how Dennis would respond to being held and fed a nice bottle of warm milk. It was wonderful not only for him but me as well. He let me hold him, and drank from that bottle like it was going out of style. Not really sucking because of course he can't suck, but he bites down on the nipple so that it squirts the milk into the back of his throat allowing him to swallow. Well, that act of biting and swallowing seemed to put him in a trance as he melted into my body and it was heavenly getting to hold him while he was awake yet content as can be just resting in my arms.
I didn't realize that there would continually be so many amazing changes in my new son. As I had the pleasure of experiencing this bottle feeding, I also got to see Dennis clap his hands for the first time today, and enjoy just pretend feeding while sitting in his highchair long after he was done with dinner. Dennis' progress reminds me a lot of a post that I read here and I can only assume that little by little I am going to note even bigger changes in my new son----- which I can hardly wait to see.
Dennis is expressing interest in feeding himself------ what a big boy!
Today we made cookies. Adam and Caleb were my main helpers if you don't count my cookie dough eaters as helpers. ;)
Ever hear of Neiman-Marcus cookies? They rock! Here is Adam grating a Hersey bar.
Caleb was my mixer.
Have you ever seen a bigger bottle of vanilla?
Just as I am about done mixing up the dough, children start to hover around like vultures hoping to find something to eat----- a big spoonful of cookie dough in this case. Usually I am quite stingy with the dough because I think that it should be saved to be baked into an actual cookie before it is eaten (??) but today a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that it shouldn't matter if it is eaten in dough form or cookie form--- the point is that it will be eaten. So I was very generous and gave them huge balls of cookie dough to eat!
It is so cute to see how excited my kids are about school. Here is Caleb (post haircut) and some of the other kids getting their notebooks and backpacks ready for tomorrow----the first day of school and what do you know--- not a sarcastic comment could be heard.
And speaking of getting ready for school----
The girls invaded my bathroom after we all went swimming and I let them use the blow dryer and curling irons to come up with a hair style for tomorrow. I'm not into teaching my girls to be vain but I know that this is part of being a girl and it was so much fun for them--- that I felt it was important to supervise and spend this special time with them before tomorrow----- their first day at a new school.
I smoothed out Sveta's hair with the flat iron. I helped blow dry Annalyn's. I trimmed up Anna's and Rachel's hair and then moved on to bigger things.
Tonight, I made the decision to let Julia shave her legs. It was a big decision on my part--- one I've gone round and round with for for weeks. If you remember correctly, I just recently let my oldest daughter Rachel start shaving--- and Julia is two years younger.
This was a hard decision because Annalyn and Sveta are older yet they act so much younger. They just are not ready for the responsibility like Julia is, and it wouldn't be fair to keep Julia from doing something just because her sisters weren't ready to do it themselves yet. Besides, I also talked with Rachel to see how she felt--- maybe she would think it was unfair that she had to wait till twelve and Julia doesn't. But, Rachel was perfectly okay with Julia shaving and the other girls agreed that they weren't quite ready to shave but were "almost" ready. Of course with this privilege comes the continuing responsibility of acting like a "bigger" girl which includes not bragging about it, helping without being asked, not instigating arguments among her sisters, etc. And Julia tells me she can handle it.
Again, this was a special mother-daughter moment----- one I wouldn't want to miss.
This "party" could have continued all night!
Even Dennis couldn't stay away from the action!
Did I mention that he will hold his hands up now when he wants to be picked up?
The party finally started to wind down when Daddy came in to tell us it was bedtime.
But first, Annalyn thought he could use a quick shave.
Even Rachel thought his beard was a bit scraggly.
As soon as Annalyn finished up, the girls had to go to bed.
Even the boys prepared for tomorrow.
Andrew and Jonny laid out their imaginary "clothes people" who they thought were dressed pretty cool.
"Hey Mr Clothes People, I think you got your underwear on wrong! It needs to go under your shorts!"