Saturday, January 24, 2009

"I Relly"

It all started when we got out the 2T size hand-me-downs from cousin Faith. Amelia thought the princess nightgown was so cute and she asked to wear her "Rella dress" most nights and often during the day.

When the weather turned cold we began layering it over her fuzzy pj's.

Amelia became obsessed with Cinderella and watched the movie over and over and began dressing up in fancy dresses all the time. Any fancy dress became a "Relly dress".

She got a princess crown for her birthday in September and once the dressing up started, she wanted to wear her "cown" all the time, too.

Grandma Lynette (Brian's mom) got Amelia a new dress for Christmas that had a matching dress for her baby doll. Oh, she loved it! She slept in it on Christmas Eve and wore it all Christmas day.

When the girls stayed with Grammie during Mackay's birth, Grammie bought Amelia a new "Relly nightgown" that gets worn both day and night.

The girl is so obsessed with Cinderella and princesses that she even wears her crown to bed!

Amelia can often be heard declaring, "I Relly!" She figured out how to get some clip-clop dress-up shoes on her feet and these have completed her ensemble.

video

I love this video because it captures Amelia's personality right now perfectly. Cute one minute, a nasty screamer the next, immediately followed by sugary sweet again. The girl can turn on a dime!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Little House in the Moonlight

I've been wanting to get a picture of our little house at night with smoke coming out of the chimney. The perfect opportunity came on January 10th when there was a full moon. It was so bright out with the moonlight reflecting on the snow, you could see the mountains clear as day.


The little house wouldn't be complete without our trusty dusty Honda Accords. Old school- 1987 and 1989.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Becky to the Rescue!

I was talking to my sister Becky last Friday and I'll tell you this: the woman recognizes a cry for help when she hears one. I was bemoaning the whole "my house is a wreck" thing and she offered to come help. Becky just closed her in-home daycare on Friday so she is now a free woman. And as chance would have it, her husband Zen was off work this week and able to stay home with the three older kids. So Becky and Emma (7 months) drove up from Rock Springs (about 2 hours) on Monday and stayed till Tuesday afternoon.

We accomplished a lot in that 24 hours! Remember how nasty the kitchen was looking in my last post? Well here it is now after the Becky intervention:

It seems so big and spacious without all the crap spread out everywhere. It's so empty, in fact, that it seems like it echoes in there now! Becky had the brilliant idea of folding down the leaf on the table when the girls aren't eating to make extra space. Why didn't I think of that? Becky even brought the bouquet of flowers my Mom sent her on Friday (complete with a card that said "Happy Breaking Up". Read Becky's blog post here and it'll make sense). It really cheers up the kitchen, thanks Beck!

Here's what we accomplished in addition to the kitchen: took down the Christmas tree and stored all the decorations in the shed (Becky basically did this by herself, including repairing all the ornaments Amelia broke), picked up and swept/vacuumed in the living room, cleaned out my closet and vacuumed my bedroom (I'm not going to admit how long it's been since I vacuumed in there), put the crib together and cleaned out some boxes in Mackay's room, did some laundry, and mended some clothes (there's no "we" in this one, this was ALL Becky).

One thing I did manage to accomplish on my own last week was rearranging my scrapbooking shelves to make a changing station. I'm in love with it because ever since Amelia was a baby we've just been changing diapers on our bed or the floor. My knees and back say "thank you" every time I stand to change a diaper.

My complete lack of sewing skills has often been a source of teasing from Dan. Just the day before, Dan had shown me a work shirt with a big hole in the elbow and said, "You have two days to mend this or I'm going to Cabela's and buying something new." I responded, "have fun shopping!" Then before Becky left her house she called and asked if she should bring her sewing machine to do any mending. Shazaam! I told her that she was shaming me as a woman by mending my husband's clothes for me, but I had no problem with that.

Becky also finished a third blanket for Mackay. She made two at my Mom's house on New Year's Day. This third one has little cowboys on it and the other ones have penguins & snowflakes and stars & stripes in blue, green and yellow.

The visit was completed with a gift for the girls.

She brought them each a dress-up horsey that she'd used in her daycare. A total hit!

Thanks, Becky, for coming to my rescue! You were such a great help. I love you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adjusting

Well, we're slowly adjusting to our life as a family of five.

It's been a pretty big adjustment for me. I'm finding that it's true what many moms have told me, that the third child really puts you over the top. Suddenly, all I can do is try my best to meet the needs of my children and everything else takes a back seat. I'm having a hard time even keeping up with the housework. I used to think that once I quit working as a photographer, my life would be much easier and my house much cleaner. Ha!

Here's the typical state of my kitchen since baby Mackay came home:

Note, to the right, how the dishes are stacked up to the faucet. Boxes and unpacked groceries take up much of the already too small kitchen. I work on it a little each day, but it's never enough to make much of a dent. I think I've cleaned out the sink once or twice, but that's it.

Aside from feeling like I never get anything done (except for checking Facebook several times a day; it's bordering on addiction) the biggest challenge is balancing a newborn and a two-year-old. Amelia demands a lot of attention. She can often be heard saying "I want you" or "I want snuggle on couch". She's slowly learning to share.

She's fairly patient during the daytime in understanding when I have to help Mack, but at night she's ready to send him out into the snow and have her Mama to herself.

She hasn't slept through the night a single time since Mack came home. At least once a night while I'm up nursing Mackay, Amelia wakes up crying and comes into the living room. Once she sees that I can't hold her all by herself, she throws herself on the floor kicking and screaming. It's super fun!

The adjustment has been a little easier for Dan, although he says our house suddenly got very small. When Amelia was born, it was a lot easier than when we had Lily, I think because we were experienced and we didn't freak out about everything. But it was kind of a shock to go back to the needy newborn stage. This time around, Dan says it just feels like more of the same. We're essentially used to getting up at night and having a really high maintenence child. And to be honest, Mack seems like a piece of cake compared to Amelia right now!

For the most part, Lily has been a huge help and a great big sister. The only problem is that the girls have been fighting a lot more since Mack arrived. Amelia's at that age where she only wants something if someone else has it, so there's always arguments about who has what toy or who's sitting in what chair. And Lily tends to pester (think Bill Cosby "Will you stop touching me!") Amelia which really ticks her off. There's been a lot of screaming from Amelia and a lot of "She always gets what she wants" from Lily. The fighting has begun to taper off in the last few days, though.

I vacillate between being glad when Lily's gone at school because there's no fighting and being glad when she gets home because she's a huge help with the baby. Both Dan and I have been amazed at how she can sit and hold Mackay for long periods of time (especially if there's a movie on). Usually she's the kid that can't stay still for two seconds.

Lily and Mackay, 4 days old, at Grammie's house.

Lily and Mackay, 5 days old, on his first day home in Cokeville.

His chin and cheeks were still chapped from learning to nurse.

Amelia saw all the pictures being taken of Lily and Mackay and she was like, "See me?!" She kept stepping in front of the camera and cheesing in her princess crown.

Amelia and Mackay, 9 days old. She is liking Mackay more and more everyday. At first she would hold him once or twice a day for less than a minute and then basically pay no attention to him at all for the rest of the day. She's progressed from "I hold it" to "I hold him" and when I took this picture she said, "I Sissy!" She likes to pet his head, is very vigilant about making sure his binky is always near, and she says "My baby" all the time.

When Mack was nine days old I realized that the poor kid should probably get a bath. I was going to wash him in the kitchen sink, but it was full of dirty dishes so I decided to just put him in with the girls. He loved the warm water and was totally content (please try to ignore the fact that he's searching for his next meal). Lily thought it was so cool to hold him in the bath and Amelia was amused by being in charge of the washcloth.

Ahh, fresh...

Dan has been really great about making sure that the girls get some personal attention and fun activities while I am staying out of the cold with the baby. He built a snow cave for Lily in our front yard last week.

And who can resist a good ol' sled pull down the country road?

Three kids is an adjustment, but we'll be in a good groove soon. And there are still times when the stars align and everyone gets along.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just a teaser

I have a post with a bunch of pictures that I've been trying to put up for several days, but every time I sit down to type at the computer, someone cries or needs something. And the stinking movie machine finally broke, so now if I want some peace and quiet, I have to let the girls watch a movie on the computer, thus further preventing me from posting.

So here's a picture to tide you over while the girls watch a movie and I go wash some dishes.

Mackay, 2 weeks old.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And Baby Makes Three

The girls had vastly different opinions about the new baby when they came to the hospital to meet Mack on December 29th. Lily was instantly in love, as I expected.

Amelia was initially intrigued by the new "bee-bee brow" (baby brother)...

...but it didn't take long before she was WAY more interested in eating my pumpkin pie.


video

Monday, January 5, 2009

Might as Well Have the Best

He finally has a name.

Mackay Filson Richardson


How did we arrive at Mackay? It wasn't on our list, after all. From the first day in the hospital, Dan was persistent in calling him Filson. He would smile whenever he said it, so I thought he was just teasing me. Then my Mom and Lily both agreed it was a good name. Still, I couldn't bring myself to name my son after a clothing manufacturer. Plus I thought Filson Richardson was a bit much, with both ending in "-on". Dan assured me that it wasn't an homage to the brand, but that he just liked the name.

After four days we were no closer to a decision, so Dan started a new list and we each picked 7 or 8 new names. Dan said he didn't mind Mack or Jack but that they were shortened versions of other names and he didn't want his son to have a nickname for a first name. So I looked for names that started with Mack and came across Mackay. I liked the sound of it and when I read my new list to Dan he didn't veto Mackay right away and said, "hmm, maybe." We tried out the name for the afternoon and it grew on us right away (although Lily kept insisting "no, I wanna name him Filson!")

I was partial to Beau for the middle name because it means beautiful boy. Throughout my pregnancy, ever since I found out we were having a boy, John Lennon's song "Beautiful Boy" ran through my head (I added it to the blog, so turn up your volume). Plus, if we named him Mackay Beau, his initials would still be M.B. like Mystery Boy. But Dan said if we weren't going to use a family name for the middle name, he wanted Filson. I liked the fact that it was a unique name and that it had a very masculine sound, but mostly I wanted Dan to love the name we chose for our son.

So huzzah, after four days our boy finally got a name! Mostly we call him Mackay or Mack, but he's already acquiring an arsenal of nicknames. Lily likes to call him Beautiful Boy, Amelia calls him Kay or Baby Mack, and I sometimes call him Beau as a little pet name. But no matter what we call him, he is a sweet and welcome addition to our family.

And if you check out Filson's slogan, it fits our Mackay perfectly: "Might as well have the best!"