Headshot Project 2017: February

You better believe this pic is my current wallpaper.  In other news: AUGGIE IS A WALKER!  Finally, at just two weeks before 18 months old.  He caught on quite quickly once he finally committed.  And he is EVERYWHERE.  Going to the park with my girlfriends is no longer an easy outing.  I’m following this little daredevil around the entire time.  He is just busy busy busy!  Sacrament meeting is one of my offerings to the Lord because it is NOT easy for us.  But man, these three boys are so fun and cute together.  Auggie is talking a ton, even though he finds it much more efficient to just screech (still!) until we figure out what he wants, but he has a ton of words.  It is still just as thrilling this time around as it was the first two times our babies started talking.  And it’s also been confirmed again that the 18 month mark is HUGE for our family’s stress levels.  The first year and a half is so wonderful and special, but once they are 18 months it’s sort of just FUN.  Because NURSERY, among other things.  We actually sent Auggie to nursery a few weeks early because #threehoursofchurch and he’s done great.  It’s a whole new world!  A dazzling place I never knew, for sure.  He’s got crazy amazing curls and pulls the hammy squishy grin pictured when his brothers ask him, “How do you get out of jail, Gugs?”  His screeching levels are really stressing me out, though.  Like, reeeeaaaaaalllly stressing me out.  But I love him.

Charlie is seriously perfect, except this last week as been ROUGH.  I went on a girls trip and re-entry into authority around these parts has been hard.  I think I might have to get my squirt gun out again and squirt babies who sass and boss again.  I thought we were past this, but we’ll make it through.  He was just seriously the most angelic kid on the planet before I left on my trip.  At one point, Matt George told me he wanted Liam to be just like Charlie when he got bigger.  So sweet.  But he’ll adjust again and we’ll make it.  He has been full of cute little Charlieisms this month, but I wasn’t great at writing them down so I could post them here.  And they were the more subtle type quirks that can all basically be classified under the “you-are-the-cutest-three-year-old-on-the-planet” umbrella.  He did say a cute little funny thing that I did write down–we were driving and he was talkingtalkingtalking as usual when all the sudden he got a little quite and looked a little nervous.  He said, “Mom? remember when I threw up by you?  Well, my sickness has returned…”  He was fine, just a tad carsick, hehehehe.

James is the most sensitive, deep-thinking kid I know.  It’s something I need to be very prayerful and deliberate with as I parent him.  If he gets in trouble for anything he takes it very personally and thinks he’s a horrible person for making a little mistake.  We are trying really hard to teach him the way he needs, which involves me apologizing a LOT.  He really tries to be good all the time, anyway, but once in a while he is sneaky-mean to Charlie and it sends me over the edge.  It just seems so out of character for him and his Jesus-obsessed personality.  Then other days he will be the most affectionate, selfless brother you can imagine.  He’s not the type of kid I can react to, I guess.  I really need to bridal my patience and comments so that I don’t rip his dreams of pleasing me out of his heart .   The other week we were chatting on the couch and it somehow came out that James feels that whenever I’m grumpy or stressed it’s because I don’t like him.  This made me want to throw up because I realized that every time he frantically tried to help me and do nice things for me when I was grumpy was not him trying to help me feel better, but him trying to earn my love back.  Most shameful mother moment so far, let me tell you.  We just want to give him our best, so we think about how to approach his personality a lot.  But he’s also just SO.MUCH.FUN!  He’s got a great sense of humor and loves me more than anything else.  His friendship means the world to me.  He’s tender and thoughtful with me and is so merciful with me when I’m grumpy.  He’s also so nice at school.  A mom to a classmate of James came up to me one morning and said, “I just have to tell you something.  The other day Kyra wasn’t feeling well at school and decided to sit down and rest in the play kitchen.  She came home that day and said to me, ‘Mom, James was the only one who came over to me and said he was sorry I wasn’t feeling well and asked if I was okay.'”  That same day I saw a little girl tumble off her bike at recess (a little over-dramatically, she was totally fine) and James jumped off his bike and ran over to her to see if she was okay.  He was the only one who did that, too.  Notice how both of the kids he showed concern for were girls?  That’s John’s doing.  These boys have a good dad, no doubt about it.  Another time at recess, James started coughing and was very obviously not feeling well.  One of his friends started yelling, “James is sick! James is sick!  Run away!!”  I hung back a moment to see how James would respond to this, thinking it was a very legitimate reason to become upset over, but what did he do?  Instead of letting his feelings get hurt or getting embarrassed, he started zombie-walking towards his friends who had run off and moaned, “I’m going to get yooooouuuuuuuuuuu….”  I was so proud!!  Lastly, my favorite thing James said this month comes in a little story.  We had Uncle Matt and Aunt Meredith over for dinner one night and were talking about their dog, Dasha.  Charlie kept referring to the female dog as “he” because he refers to every gender as “he.”  We kept telling Charlie, “Char, Dasha is a girl, so it’s a “she” not a “he.”  James seemed a little confused and asked, “Wait, Dasha is a girl dog?”  I thought boy dogs were called “dogs” and girl dogs were called…… what’s that word again?”  And all the adults’ eyes started getting huge and worried….. James continued, “Oh yeah, I thought girl dogs were called…….cats.”  NOT what we thought he was gonna say!!

Headshot Project 2017: January

The sweetest, most angelic and deceiving little face.  Don’t get me wrong, Auggie is still as delicious as ever.  He’s just waaaaaayyyyyy more opinionated and entitled than any other kid we’ve had, and that all came out this month in the form of screeeeeeeeeeeching non stop.  But we are going to document the adorable bits from this month.  Auggie is slowly starting to test the walking waters!  He’s very close.  But he’s actually learning to talk before he walks and I always forget how incredible it is when a tiny human you made starts to say words and have thoughts and ideas!  So far he’s pretty good at copying words and sounds.  We’re working on him learning his brothers’ names and it is so cute when he yells them!  He also says “more” and “no no no no no no no no no no no…”  and at one point yelled out “GHOSTBUSTERS!” ( sounded like “go-buh-buh) as we were jamming to the song on the way to school drop off like we do every morning.  The boys and I were flipping out.  He’s great at waving goodbye and has really great fine motor skills.  It actually surprises me how good he is at stacking things and putting things through tiny slits, etc.  He also tries to get my attention at bedtime when he’s drinking his bottle and snuggling with me while I watch Netflix by initiating peek-a-boo and whacking my phone out of my hands.  And lastly, at dinner one night I fed him a bite that was too hot, so every time I moved a new spoonful to his mouth he would test the temperature of the food by tapping it with his tiny little chubby baby hands.  I’m pretty sure my baby is brilliant.

Sweet little Charlie!  He is just at the most WONDERFUL stage.  He was a tough two year old but is the sweetest most perfectly precious three year old there ever could be.  He’s so giving and thoughtful and grateful and really thinks of other people before himself.  He’s just a dream of a boy.  He copies James in every possible way.  As in, James will ask if we want to hear a joke, tell us the joke, and then Charlie will ask us if we want to hear a joke and tell the exact same joke.  I don’t think he had an independent thought this entire month, hahaha.  He also assumes I know where everything is at all times no matter what.  I’ll have been gone for a few hours and come home and the first thing he’ll ask me is, “Mom where is my hotwheel that I was playing with?”  One night I was tidying up the boys’ room, and I was on the floor putting blox away while Charlie was putting some clothes or something away in his drawers.  He said to me, “Mom, I think I wanna hug you.”  and I said, “Great, I could use a hug!” to which he replied, “Ok, here come my best arms!” and then he ran to me with his arms wide open and gave me the tightest hug.  It was a very heavenly moment.  Another night I was showering the kids with our removable showerhead.  The boys had lathered themselves all up and I was spraying them down and I had Char bend over and stick is bum up in the air so I could spray it off.  Then I said, “Ok Char, pull on your cheeks so I can clean your tush tush,” but he didn’t do anything.  I kept telling him, “Char, pull on your cheeks so I can clean you,” but he was just sitting there with his bum cheeks in the air, not responding at all.  I told him one last time, a little impatiently, and he turned to me, bum still in the air, with his two hands pulling on his face cheeks as hard as he could and yelled quite impatiently himself, “I’m mam, Mom!”

James is just the coolest guy.  Something that has been unspeakably valuable to us is being forced to volunteer in his class once a week.  I mean, ideally I’d love to be able to be in my child’s classroom regularly but if I’m not required to then I’d probably not prioritize it, you know?  But every Wednesday I am in his class (John does it about once a month, it’s so exciting for him!).  It’s so amazing to see how the other kids respond to James and to see him grow and become empowered with knew knowledge!  And his teacher just ADORES him and has sort of changed our lives.  One of the weeks I was there in January they had a jump-roping station where a parent volunteer was teaching kids how to jumprope.  James really took to this and was determined to get better at it.  It was a sunnier day and James just kept jumping and jumping and started to sweat.  He came into me at my station and exclaimed, “Mom!  I’m getting so sweaty jump-roping!  I guess this is the day I finally wear a man bun.”  You can imagine how excited I was about that, but the man bun only lasted about three minutes before James decided it wasn’t worth it.  He also is really into accents and really hamming them up.  One night he was doing a magic show in what he referred to as an Australian accent.  At the end he concluded,  “THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!”  But in his “Australian” accent, that last word sounded exactly like another F word and the fact that he basically yelled it and was being so cheesy with it and had no idea about any of it made for some of the most genuine belly laughs I’ve had in a very long time.  One last little quirk that I loved about James this month was him saying, “Oh, his goodness!” when something alarming happened to someone else.  He’s just an all around fantastic human.

2016 Headshot Project: December

A headshot and update of each of our babies, each month of the year 2016.

Auggie could not have been cuter this month! He’s really turning a page in his development and is actually turning into a little toddler now, even though he STILL isn’t even walking.  He much prefers to be carried around like a sultan. He turned 16 months on Christmas Eve!  He nods if you ask him questions, even though he doesn’t really understand what you’re asking.  He points to communicate and I maintain that there is nothing cuter in the world than a chubby little Bugle finger poking out of a chubby little hand in the direction of something specific. He’s getting more used to the idea of playing with his brothers instead of always wanting mommy alone time.  He does the most amazing squish face smile when he’s feeling really satisfied with his cuteness, which isn’t nearly enough because it’s a rare treat to catch him doing it.  He’s pretty consistent at puckering up his juicers and giving kisses, so that’s amazing.  We try to make him love it by throwing a huge clappy celebration after every time he does it so he does it more often.  It’s so cute to see the boys do this with him.  He got the stomach flu the week before christmas and it was so sad.  We all got it, but he got it first and got better last.  I love our nightly ritual of snuggles while he drinks a bottle (and while I watch Netflix…) and then going around the room and saying goodnight to things like shoes, jewelry, hats, lights, blankets, doors and hooks on the wall by patting each thing a few times.  Auggie just remains a joy.

This picture of Charlie is extra special to me for some reason.  I feel like it really depicts his innocence and gratitude or something.  Anyway, December was chalk full of hilarious Charlisms.  One time he woke up really groggy from a nap and came into me and immediately asked, “Mom, will you get me a banana in case I need a banana?”  He remains addicted to sugar.  Another time, he woke up from a nap and came running out all frantic and exclaimed, “Mom! I can’t find the bag of candy I hide in my pillowcase!”  I had no idea he hid a bag of candy in his pillowcase.  James must’ve discovered it because it went missing, never to be found again!  We made wookie gingerbread cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and left the plate of cookies with a glass of milk in the boys’ room so that they could guarantee Santy coming in to check on them while they slept.  After John and I had set up Santa’s deliveries, we went to check in on the boys ourselves before we called it a night.  They were soundly sleeping with little smiles on their innocent little faces.  Then we noticed that every single head of the wookie gingerbread cookies was bitten off!  Charlie just couldn’t handle those cookies being so close to him without him getting to eat any of them!  Thinking about his little thought process cracks me the heck up.  It really was a magical Christmas, Charlie is right at the age where he really understands it and dives into the excitement.  I can’t believe next Christmas Auggie will be two and a half years old!

James, too, is friggin hilarious lately.  I don’t even know where to begin!  Christmas really was magical with the three boys, I just can’t explain it adequately.  After Christmas we headed to Utah for a few weeks and to celebrate a few more family Christmas parties there.  At one of them James was talking to his three-year old cousin, Jack, all about what he got for Christmas.  He was going on and on and then all of the sudden he caught himself and considerately asked, “Wait, do you celebrate Christmas?”  SUCH a Silicon Valley kid, that one!  On Christmas Day we had a church at 1:00, just for Sacrament meeting.  It was a lovely Christmas program, but James had just had the best morning of his life full of opening tons of toys he wanted to be playing with, so at one point he exclaimed, “CAN WE THE HECK LEAVE ALREADY??” I definitely didn’t blame him for feeling that way, poor kid.  I mean how could we actually expect him to sit through church when all those things were waiting for him at home? This Christmas break was the vacation of Breezy Bear for James.  Breezy is his cousin/best friend and they pretty much fell madly in love this break.  They kept asking us if they could get married, and at one point James even made a grand gesture of getting on one knee, holding up a ring to her and proposing in front of the whole rest of the family!  We kept having to explain that cousins don’t get married but that they could still be best friends.  As we were leaving a family get together, we had to practically pull James away from Breezy.  Finally he surrendered and yelled across the room to her in one breath, “Bye Breezy! I love you and I wish I could marry you but we’re cousins so we can’t but we are best friends so that’s great!”  Other things I want to remember from this month: James taught himself how to snap and it is the cutest little tap of a sound when that finger hits his palm.  I never knew a snap could be so magical to listen to!  He’s also learning to read and really loving it and he always ALWAYS asks, “Wanna hear a funny joke?”  He also slept over in my room with me a few nights, just cause.  It was special to me.

2016 Headshot Project: November

A headshot and update of each of our babies every month of the year 2016.

This may or may not be the best time to write up this summary because my kids are literally driving me crazy right now so this post might not have the most endearing voice.  But that’s life, so here it is!

Auggie has discovered a new talent for screeching at the top of his lungs to communicate!  As in, ANY time he wants to communicate!  Particularly when he wants a bottle in his car seat or when either of his brothers looks at him sideways.  It goes without saying, then, that if either of his brothers tries to show him any kind of physical affection (it’s not like boys are physical, though), he screams AT THE TOP OF HIS TINY BUT MIGHTY lungs to communicate that they are not Mom, ergo they are not allowed to touch him.  I admit that I go to his rescue too much so I basically taught him to do this for my attention but it’s just not wonderful.  He is going on 17 months and refuses to even stand up, let alone walk.  Both my other boys walked at 16 months, which I thought was late.  Auggie will probably be crawling his way right into nursery.  I have also taught him this because I cannot help but hold him all the time.  So he has no motivation.  The kids loves to snuggle me, so he figures why mess with a good thing.  I will say, though, it’s fun to have at least one of my babies obsessed with me.  Not that my other babies don’t adore me, they are just at stages of toddlerhood where they wrestle each other and cause trouble together more than team up to mind their mommy together.

Charlie John, the cute little stink!  He may be driving me insane right in this moment but he’s actually had a pretty great month.  He up and decided one morning that he was done with diapers and just potty trained himself!  That is the best gift any of my children could ever give me and so far I’m two for two!  James potty trained himself, too, back in the day.  Guess if you wait long enough peer pressure starts to parent your children.  My very favorite Charlie story ever took place this month and regards Charlie’s potty trainingness.  I have to preface the story by explaining Charlie’s vocabulary these days.  He has started to add “ness” on the end of words for whatever reason.  For example, instead of saying something like, “Mom, it’s wet.” he will say, “Mom, it has wetness!”  So instead of saying “there is pee in my undies” he says, “My undies have peeness (say it fast, you’ll get it).”  Now for the story:  We were driving home from the store and all the sudden, Charlie’s nature called and he was starting to panic.  I told him, “Charlie, keep it in your tummy!  Squeeze your tummy really tight and it’ll keep the peepins in your tumtum!”  I saw his little face tense up with concentration and he paused for a moment before he exclaimed in the highest little voice, “MOM! I THINK THE PEENESS IS SNEAKING THROUGH MY SQUEEZENESS!!”  Mic drop.  Another favorite Charlie story:  James got a tummy bug and was puking all day.  Every time he was heaving over a garbage can, Charlie would gently remind him, “You got it buddy.” 

James has been extra rambunctious lately (hello October through December…) but is just such a great kid.  He got sick a few weeks ago, as previously mentioned, and OH THE DRAMA WHEN HE IS SICK.  It’s actually kind of entertaining.  The moans, the groans, the “I am the sickest boy in the whole wide world”s.  Have you seen the man cold commercial?  That.  In all honesty, though, he actually gets it from me.  I’m not a very good sick person.  But all the drama that is James Henrie he inherited from his mama, I admit.  I have been in denial my whole life about the degree of drama in my personality and raising James has really opened my eyes.  He’s also just the most loving and understanding boy, though.  He basically just feels very deeply, every emotion, and wears his heart on his sleeve. I admire his compassion.  That he inherited from his dad.  Also a noteworthy story: He rarely eats what I make for dinner but one night he took a bite and exclaimed, “WE HAVE A WINNER!”  Too bad I don’t remember what I made that night!