John is 9 Months!

Dearest Baby John,

Gosh, we love you. I didn't know it was possible to love you so much.  But I'm here to tell you, it is! I say it every month and here I am doing it again: you are an ANGEL. I honestly don't know what we'd do without you.  Every single one of us is crazy about you.  What was life without you in it? I've learned so much about the Lord's timing by having you join our family. Mostly about how perfect his timing is.  I was getting impatient for another baby to join our family, but YOU were the one for us. I believe this with every fiber of my being. You are supposed to be ours. We love you, angel baby.

This month I think you've finally plateaued on your growth.  You're no longer terribly heavier than other babies your age (though you're still bigger than your small brothers!), but you are still pretty tall! You are about to outgrow 12 month clothes length-wise.  I've had to buy you some new 18 month winter clothes for the upcoming season, since your brothers were in 12 month a lot longer than you.  You still have gigantic and adorable thighs and I love them. You're chattering so much, really all the time, but I wouldn't say you really use any words.  Still figuring those out.

You're eating more and more, though you're still pretty picky. You're definitely a fruit over veggie kinda guy, like your brother and father before you, and you're not huge on different textures, like your dear old mom. We've started giving you some finger foods, and you have chewing down pat, as long as you want to chew it.  Otherwise, just like pureed foods, you spit it out.  Sometimes forcefully. It's see how many spots of food I have all over my clothes and face after one of your meals. You're by far the messiest eater of all the boys.  I am hopeful that you'll find finger foods more to your liking than pureed stuff.  You do love most fruits though, and I think peaches are your favorite. Too bad they're not really in season. There is something, and I haven't figured it out yet, whether in my diet or yours that's causing your eczema to bother you.  Some days you're completely fine and then others you dig at the the back of your knees. I don't even know what it could be! Your skin stresses me out, boy. I just feel so bad for you, since I know it is uncomfortable.

You are getting a little closer to crawling. Maybe. Sometimes. You just roll around whereever you want to go, and you're even getting pretty good at navigating.  Recently you have started to get your belly pretty much off the ground on your hands and knees, but then you push yourself backwards and flop back onto your belly. There are bets on your cousin Eleanor, only 6 days younger, on whether she'll be walking by Thanksgiving or Christmas.  And now there are bets on you whether you'll be crawling or not. You just take your time sweet boy.  You're content with rolling and being a little less mobile, and so am I. In the meantime, you still like to clap and you're working very hard on waving. That's cute.

We were all sick this month with what I thought was a minor cold.  It was pretty minor for the rest of us, but you ended up getting a terrible cough, and your breathing was much more labored and quick.  Then you got absolutely miserable, which is so unlike you, so to the doctor we went.  Thankfully you didn't develop pneumonia, but you had developed an ear infection, so you got your first antibiotics. That was an interesting 10 days trying to get you to take them! Ha. You beat Ethan on the how long can you go before antibiotics game (he was only 27 or 28 days), but you lost badly to Jacob (5.5 years).  Hey, that's ok.  Your cough finally went away about 10 days later and now you're back to normal! I'm so grateful for that. 

And I'm so grateful for you.  I just adore you.  We do. The first thing the boys do in the morning is "give John a hug and kiss!" and one of the first things Jacob does when he gets home from school is come find you. Your dad could lay next to you forever.  And I always need my baby John snuggles. When you're snuggling with Momma, all is right in my world.  You are a light in our lives, and I hope one day you can be a light to others in this seemingly dark world.  Be an angel to others, as you are to us.  I have so much hope you will do great things. I love you baby John, now and forever.


9 MONTHS OLD! And not doing a normal smile because he was distracted by big brothers. 


Posted by Anna Wilson | at 12:08 AM | 0 comments

A Letter For Ethan's Fourth Birthday

Dearest Ethan Man,

I love love love you. You are a sweet, sweet, sweetheart. You have a terrible temper, and are so very sensitive, but you have a heart of absolute, pure gold.  I'm tearing up just thinking about some of the sweet things you've done in your life. I hope we can get your temper under control, but I also hope you never lose your sweet nature. You are just always thinking of others, and things that would make them happy. And you are a kind boy.  Ethan, I'm telling you, being kind is so important in this life. Be kind, be kind, be kind.  The world is a much better place with kindness.

You and I are doing a homeschool preschool type thing this year, and you've learned so much since we started just a few weeks ago. You are writing your name so well, and are working hard on writing the other letters and numbers.  You're working hard on learning the shapes, and you've got the colors down.  Your favorite is still red, by far.

We traveled by airplane this summer, and now you are obsessed with airplanes! You love the movie Planes, you love watching real planes landing or taking off above our house, looking to see what kinds of planes are parked at the airport, and checking out every book you can find about airplanes at the library. You have aspirations of becoming a pilot when you grow up, but you also want to be a train driver, because you like trains, too! Really, you are interested in any kind of heavy machinery.

You have a few other things you are obsessed with: magazines, mail, papers, coloring sheets, and more.  There are magazines and paper ALL OVER THE HOUSE. You and Jacob have monthly subscriptions to two magazines, which is fine, but you also collect catalogs, coupon magazines, neighborhood circulars, etc. Then you add in your papers. You color papers almost every day and refuse to throw any away. I once threw away a restaurant kids menu that you colored, and you lost it. You demanded that we return to the restaurant right away, which wasn't feasible, and you just cried and cried. Your feelings were so hurt. I believe you have every single magazine and each of the hundreds of paper you have collected memorized, and for some reason cherish each one. We need to maybe go through some of those and get rid of at least some, or you might start drowning in them. I just hope you aren't a future hoarder.

You are a pretty rough and tough guy.  You are very physical, you like to play physically, you need lots of physical touch. Sometimes you're a little too rough--a few weeks ago you jumped onto my face and gave me a nice black eye. You are always hurting Jacob (he's not the toughest) and baby John, not usually out of anger or anything, just because you are a rough guy and don't realize your own strength sometimes.

Speaking of your brothers, you sure love yours. You follow Jacob around, usually do whatever he tells you, and want to be just like him. You are so excited to teach John everything you know, you love giving him hugs and kisses, and helping in any way you can. You are a great brother, and they are lucky to have you.

Just like your daddy and I are. Almost every night we talk about the sweet things, the several of them, that you did that day. We love how you can be such a stinker, but then flash your darling, darling smile and be completely forgiven. We love how caring and giving and kind you are to everyone around you.  We are so glad to be your parents, so glad you are in our family.  We can't imagine life without you, and are so proud of who you are and can't wait to see who you become. Happy fourth birthday, Ethan. We love you.

Forever and always,

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 3:10 PM | 0 comments

Halloween 2017

I'm not a big Halloween person, but I admit it is so fun with kids. They have so much fun!

This year, we had a trunk or treat at church, actually carved pumpkins for the first time in since the boys were born (why does it have to be so messy), and had so much fun during our neighborhood trick or treating.  I think Jacob enjoyed passing the candy out at our house just as much as going out himself. It was just fun.

Jacob decided to be Darth Vader for the second year in a row.  Because Ethan wanted to have a blaster, he chose to be a stormtrooper, and someone lent us a Yoda costume for John.  It was so cute.

Glad John was so excited! 

The boys designed their own jack-o-lanterns.  Jacob wanted a happy one, and Ethan wanted a "lonely" one with a heart nose, "circle eyes with a circle inside," and a "lonely mouth." Did the best I could with those instructions.

Ready for trick-or-treating! Bryan took the big boys around and John and I held down the fort at home.  We could hear Ethan all the way down the street. They came back after about 45 mins-an hour and passed out candy the rest of the time. 

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 11:24 PM | 0 comments

Big Bone Lick -- Fall Break 2017

On Jacob's second and final day of fall break, we went hiking at Big Bone Lick State Park. It's a favorite place of ours, and the boys are becoming good little hikers. It was a very pretty, albeit a little chilly, day. We hiked, then picnicked right next to a bison that the boys believe was napping.  There are lots of baby (maybe toddler?) bison and they were frolicking and it was so fun.  Usually when we are there, they're usually just laying around, so it was neat to see them more active.  I never saw a bison until we moved here, and now the boys I think just assume it's pretty normal to see them.  They're spoiled, I guess.

My favorite part of the hike, though, was when Ethan told another family, "I'm going to chop you up!" He was pretending to be a tractor that was busy mowing, but I'm not sure they caught that.  They probably just think we're raising a murderer...

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 8:01 PM | 0 comments

Evan's Orchard 2017

Jacob had fall break so we visited Evan's Orchard for our annual fall outing. Unfortunately, no cousins or aunts or uncles could come, but Mimi was able to have some fun with us!  I was so pleasantly surprised at how much more Jacob tried and did! He's gotten so much braver since turning five, and especially since starting school.  He's growing up! They all are. In my head, I pictured all of the wonderful photos I was going to get, and then almost none of the photo ops turned out as I had imagined.  Oh well. This is real life, I guess!

Jacob picked these shirts for everyone to wear, and they looked so cute.

The boys played hard when we got to the orchard.
Last year, Jacob wanted to get to the top, but was too scared.  This year, he climbed right up there! Ethan was sad that he couldn't get up there.  Next year, he will for sure though. 
I don't know why they always do this so strangely. 
Ethan driving a train. 
Racing rubber ducks.  
Jumping.  It was about this time that I heard Ethan's temper tantrum screams and turned around and saw him throwing over a picnic table and tossing plastic food everywhere. Doh! 
After Ethan's timeout and cleaning up his tantrum mess (the tantrum was because they didn't have any plastic tools this year, ha!), they played in the corn. 

More jumping. Ethan got some air (for our kids, anyway). 

We ate lunch. I love their pulled pork BBQ made with the apples, and I had promised the boys some cider for being brave during their flu shots the day before.  I also treated myself to a fried pie, which I ended up having to share so I should've gotten more.  If you can't tell, the way to my heart is food. It's basically all I think about. After we ate, we fed the animals! Ethan kept saying to them, "No, no. No fighting!" because they all wanted the food. I think they both liked the sheep the best.  Jacob was disgusted by the pig after it got mud (at least that's what I'm pretending it was...) on his hand with its nose.

 I always ask if the boys just want to buy some apples at the market and have more playtime or go pick some.  They always choose the apple picking! So we did that. I had big dreams for a darling picture among the trees, but John fell asleep.

He always looks so thrilled in photos. ;-) 

Mimi treated us to a tractor ride, which is always Ethan's favorite thing. I tried to snap a few photos while we waited. John wasn't as cooperative as usual. Jacob was as cooperative and thrilled as always (sarcasm). Even Ethan wasn't very photogenic, because he saw the tractor coming. He had some big smiles on the ride though!

John on the tractor ride. 
Here's their growth.  John's didn't work out very well, but maybe next year he'll look much bigger. He should be walking and standing by then!

And a few other photo ops:

Ethan is such a sweetheart. Sometimes it is like whiplash watching him throw picnic tables one minute, and being such a sweetie the next! Love these boys, even when the perfect photo in my head doesn't happen (in my head, Jacob is smiling, John is awake and smiling, and I'm not hanging onto my nursing weight...). But it always makes me happy to see pictures like this, because it so accurately portrays our current life. 

Jacob had everyone say "ORCHARD!"

I decided to take John on the big slide.  I injured myself getting on the slide with him (I've had some knee issues since he was born), and then he was less than impressed, so I probably injured myself for nothing. He makes me laugh.

It was a wonderful time as always.  One of my favorite annual outings. I hope they never grow out of it, or at least will humor me for a long time to come. Thanks, Mimi for having fun with us!

And finally, we enjoyed some cider donuts.  I miss quite a few things about living in the Northeast. Having access to quality apple cider donuts all fall is one of them.  So, we enjoy these while they last (which isn't long)!

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 9:05 PM | 0 comments