Friday, April 25, 2014

Brothers & Baby

{As of yesterday, the boys have been with us four full months!}

Look! Sophia is so big, she's doing school with us!

Every time I prepare Sophia's monthly posts, I come across lots of great pictures of her with her big brothers. As I’ve mentioned on Facebook, they are Sophia’s BIGGEST fans! I love their enthusiastic adoration of every little thing she does. Why, she’s the best, smartest baby in the world!

“Look, she turns the pages of the book all by herself!”

“Look, she laughs when I tickle her feet!”

“Look, mommy, she can sit up!”

One of my favorites, heard frequently when Sophia is looking in a mirror: "I think that when Sophia talks to herself, she's saying "I'm SUCH a pretty baby!""

And they constantly coo to Sophia:

"You're the most BEAUTIFUL baby in the WORLD!!"

"When I see you, my heart lights up!"

"Queen of the world...!!!"
And on and on.
If anything, they spoil her, and plan to spoil her even more when she's bigger ("I'm going to buy her candy every day!").
When she's having tummy time, one will inevitably come by and turn her back over, because "She was suffering, mommy! I had to RESCUE her!" One day I had to prohibit them from "rescuing" her anymore, ha.
Today I bought her a sippy cup, but so far she hasn't had to work very hard for the water herself because there's always a brother around to hold it up to her mouth!  
Michael took this picture while I was busy in the kitchen. I'm sure there's some story behind the dog with a cross on the paper around his neck...

Michael's abundance of energy and drama makes him Sophia's favorite entertainer. He can get her so wound up that all he has to do is shake his head "yes" and she giggles her head off! Jake and I try but with much lesser results.

Particularly in the mornings, or when Sophia has just woken from a nap and "appears" in a room, Michael leaps up, holding his hands dramatically over his heart and swoons, "Don't TELL me! There is a PRINCESS in this ROOM! Oh, my HEART!" Or something to that affect, all in flowery Spanish.

A few weeks ago I filmed him going on and on to Sophia. Makes my heart melt every time!


When Michael came down with a cold a few days ago, I thought I'd constantly have to remind him to stay out of Sophia's face (and from giving her constant kisses). But Jake and I explained once, and he hasn't forgotten, although he groans at least once an hour that he's just dying to kiss her again.  

The other day he declared he thinks it would be better if she just stayed “abuelita” (grandmother) the rest of her life, because she is going to cry so much when her teeth come in and HE will not be able to stand it!
Every one takes a turn holding Sophia when we watch a "barbas" (Spanish for "beards", also what our boys call "Duck Dynasty")

Joel giving the baby a little spin while music plays:

Dancing with big brother

Joel just told me "Mommy, Sophia screams REALLY LOUDLY now! She could break the ear dreams of a...of ANT!!" (No kidding!! The volume has really increased the past week or two!)

I took these shorts off the clothes line only to be told the owner doesn't live here. (Huh?) Then somebody got the bright idea to try them on Sophia.

One of baby's many nicknames is "Oscar the Grouch". Here Michael decided she should be put back in her trashcan home (actually used for clothes, don't worry). She often brightens up and begins to "pose" for the camera nowadays!

More pictures of the baby "doing schoolwork" the day after we bought her highchair.

This one looks more like "hard at work in the office", ha!

The scissors were immediately removed after this photo...

The boys were so cute. One of them drew a stick figure and then told Sophia it was her model. She preferred to have the pencil in her mouth, however, so someone suggested bringing her favorite pacifier from the crib to suck on instead. Then she "doodled" and the boys took her work from her, Joel rated it 100% and "excelente", then proudly carried it to the father of the pupil. 

One evening while making dinner, the boys were helping me entertain Sophia and prepared this special "bed" for her. It's actually a plastic box with wheels, so they were rolling her around the house. Looked like her special throne or carriage to me!


For a while, it was all the rage for the boys to play in their "camitas" (little beds) or "cunas" (cribs, to be like Sophia) UNDER their beds.

On this day, the boys excitedly called us in to see the bed they had made for Sophia.

If the kids play this much together NOW, I can't imagine all their fun when Sophia can walk and talk. (Talk back I imagine, LOL!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daddy & Baby

Harking back to earlier posts, Life with Daddy and More Fun with Daddy!!, here are recent pictures of good times with Daddy. :)

Flying in the kitchen
Hairy kisses!
Just back from our highchair shopping expedition in the market.

This is how Daddy gets work done with the baby

Sophia's first day of (help) washing dishes!

Mommy is so glad that Daddy took over this special task (nail clipping) from the very beginning! Sophia should be glad, too. :)

Ahh, that's better.... After a fussy evening, Daddy needed a nap, too. :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the Beaty Family!

Jake has been leading us in reading about Jesus' final days on earth, death, and resurrection. I wanted to make Easter Day special with meals since my crew always loves to eat!
It's not obvious here, but I'm using my new huge bowl from the market (1 foot inner diameter) to mix up the 12 cups of flour for my cinnamon roll dough 

Last night till late I churned out 32 cinnamon rolls with more dough to spare! Guess I misread the recipe, which I thought said it was for just eight rolls. EIGHT rolls would be inhaled by my family, so I upped it by a third... And somehow will have nearly FIFTY rolls in the end. Huh? Jake will be taking some to school this week...

 Samuel was first to the table this morning.

 I could breakfast like this every day....

At church, we first had a friend snap some family pictures for us.

 Jake and sons

Is it bad that I can't wait until their hair grows back out again?!

 Jake and daughter (LOVE this picture of them!!)

Jennifer and Sophia (who is wearing a smocked dress that Jennifer wore as a baby) 

Sophia was in a grand mood for most of the day (NOT)....
During the afternoon, the boys finished writing about our recent trip to Torotoro National Park. I supervised that while Sophia slept (briefly), Jake slept (a little longer), talking to my mom, and beginning tonight's big dinner. Oh and the boys peeled the potatoes for me! And Jake helped with the baby most of the time I was cooking, while she was very fussy. AND peeled 10 cups of carrots. It was a group effort!

Honey Yeast Rolls, Cayenne Carrots, Roasted Chicken, and Pioneer Woman Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes (a new fave with our family!)

Over three hours in the kitchen was worth it - one of the rare meals where the boys didn't just scarf down their food and ask for more! There are even LEFTOVERS, wonder of wonders!!

Unfortunately, this afternoon we realized that Michael has a raging cold. No wonder I was hearing so much sneezing this morning! First real "sickness" in any of our kids - ever! I've started him on natural stuff and drinking plenty of water, but I don't have high hopes that it won't pass to his brothers since they are constantly together and share everything... I think Sophia already had a very mild cold after our trip this week, so hopefully that was it for her. I keep rubbing her down with a lovely essential oil blend of lemon and rosemary in coconut oil, which I've now made for Michael with the addition of "On Guard" blend, so we'll see...

Sophia trying out one of her new spoons (she LOVES playing with spoons!)

Coconut Pie for dessert.
Doesn't look so appetizing, but might help to explain that that's nutmeg on top, not black pepper.

I used all but a bit of THREE KILOS (6.6 pounds) of flour within 24 hours this weekend. That's what I call doin' some baking! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy 6 Months!!

And a happy month it’s been! Sophia is really coming into her own now! She’s getting to be LOTS of fun, and like Jake says “spazs out” less. :)

Much or most of the day now, she’s downright pleasant to be around. She also sleeps less, but even so is generally happier. Sometimes, even when she’s tired, if you try just a little to make her smile, she smiles or giggles before going back to fussing. Amazing!! On the increasingly rare occasion of a 2 or 3 hour nap, I start to miss her sunny face and am glad to see her again. Her meltdowns are still really hard, but no longer last hours.

I took down her crib mobile for a while because she was bored with it. I put it back a few weeks ago and she LOVES it again, as one can see in the video below.


She’s the boy’s best entertainment (and vice versa). I almost have more pictures of the baby with her brothers than without them from this past month, but want to upload all those pictures in a separate post.

I love reading to her when she's in a happy, alert mood. The boys read to her a lot, too. Joel at least can read her "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" in English.

Future bookworm?! So intense!!
She loves back time, and tolerates tummy time much better! Today actually went better at church because I let her play on her back at our feet.

Kick, kick, kick, our favorite thing to do!
Right now she weighs 14 pounds, 12 ounces, (6.7 kilos) still perfectly on the 25 percentile curve! She's our small but feisty baby!
I just now "discovered" this set of pictures I took on March 20 and never looked at. So grown up in her little jeans!!

We're still huge fans of the pacifier and have obtained a few more, just for good measure. (Not something I imagined before meeting Sophia, but well...!!)

She's become pretty adept at getting her pacifier back in her mouth (actually a game that entertains her for long periods of time, so win-win). The boys think she's SUPER smart for doing that!

The boys, new fans of "Sesame Street", are partial to the Big Bird pacifier (often pronounced "Big Beard", ha!)

Sleeping through the night still doesn’t happen, at least by my definition. But I’ve also realized that “sleeping through the night” must mean different things for different people. After so many months of sleeping in spurts, my eyes have also been opened to the not-so-rarity of this situation. Before, I only noticed mothers who bragged that their babies were great sleepers. Now I realize there are just as many of us who want some sympathy for older babies who wake as frequently as ever! I find it strange that she would sleep 6-7 hour stretches from 1 to nearly 3 months of age (if not for a couple of hours on either end of that) but that ever since then, she rarely goes more than 3 hours at night without eating, same as in the daytime. Sometimes feeding her every couple of hours all evening will mean I get one 4 hour stretch—but often when I’m still up with Jake, catching some rare quiet time as all the kids sleep. So sleep deprivation continues.
But anyway, my baby was probably already set up for epic failure on this front. Ever since I’d imagined my own babies, I’d concluded that I had both the genes and training to have a baby who slept from the night very early on and was a great sleeper overall. After all, I and my sisters were! And I’m very much like my mother, so there. Then I learned that Jake was also a good sleeper and a baby who “never cried”, so double our great chances of having a baby who sleeps great!
Well, along comes Sophia, who sleeps more restlessly than any baby I’ve ever met, and upon a little further investigation I discovered that both of our mothers began supplementing breast milk by the time we were four months of age. Ah-ha! And like I’ve suspected, mine is not the only baby who backed out of sleeping all night as she grows. Jake’s mother recorded in his baby book that he was sleeping through the night by 1 month of age, only to later record that when he was 4 ½ months she added cereal to his diet so that he would stop nursing every 3 hours around the clock. As for our Casa de Amor babies, they are exclusively formula fed, which also helps stretch out sleep periods. 
So I’m now learning to appreciate firsthand what a challenge it is to exclusively nurse, something that gets me some strange looks from fellow Bolivian mothers. I’m aiming for 7 months, but Sophia is showing all signs (except sitting up steadily) of being ready for food, so I might introduce a fruit or vegetable or two around 6 ½ months.
All dressed up for church!

True girl! She was having a great time playing with her shoes this day
All ready for a morning downtown of paperwork with mommy and brothers!

Playing with her favorite toy on a hot afternoon
A HUGE accomplishment in the past week, once she caught up on missed sleep after our big Tarija trip, was learning to take naps WITHOUT THE SWADDLE BLANKET!!! Wow, I can't describe how terrific that is!! It took a hard couple of days, but it's been worth it. I was so fed up with what a crutch swaddling had become. Because her hands were in her blanket, she couldn't self-soothe or suck her fingers or put her pacifier back in her mouth, but mainly, she wouldn't KEEP her hands in. She would wake up hysterical because she'd come awake with her hands waving in the air. (Generally just the left hand, so we'd say she was riding at the rodeo.) Again, and again, and AGAIN... Jake even took thread and needle to our two blankets to stitch the opening smaller, and many other methods that would sometimes secure her for a nap or two, but it was a losing battle as she gains strength and size!

Sweet sleeping baby
As for sleeping swaddled at night, for once my plan has worked! When she pops her hand(s) out, it doesn't freak her out anymore and she can usually keep sleeping, hallelujah!!
Look for some posts soon about all the fun she has with her doting big brothers! But tomorrow we're headed out for another adventure/trip, so signing off for now... :)