Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fun stuff with the girls

While Hunter is at school us girls stay busy having fun. Emma is loving her playmat that my mom gave her and it is the only way I can get her to have some tummy time. It cracks me up when I look at pictures of her right now because she is all eyeballs and bald head. I hope her hair starts coming in even though her little noggin is still really cute. Lately she gets a kick out of getting a ride in the laundry basket surrounded by pillows. Avery also gets a kick out of this activity and sometimes may get a little overzealous when "helping" to push her in it. It is amazing how many hard belly laughs we can get out her by simply pulling her in it back and forth across the living room. We have taken a couple of picnics to the park this week since it is finally starting to cool down a little which has been nice. Emma like to sit under the trees and look around and Avery yacks my ear off about every person, bug, cloud that goes by. Speaking of Avery I had to take a picture of her the other day when I told her she could go to the bus stop with me and she came out looking like this... hilarious. Can't go to the bus stop with out her purse and bracelet, who knows who she might see :) :) Then in the afternoons just watching them hang out together, even if they are not playing anything right then. Just them being together, feeling lucky to have them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Hey there gorgeous"

That has been daddy's little nickname for her since she was born. "Hey there gorgeous" he would say to her when she would wake up in the morning, or just be laying on the ground kicking her feet. Yes she is. She has the most perfect little features. A round head, little nose and gorgeous big blue eyes. She has a sweet little dimple on the side of her cheek when she smiles that melts us. When she smiles her eyes light up and they turn up like they are smiling and it is contagious. Her eyes are so beautiful. I love the way these pictures capture all these things about her. Emma, you are gorgeous.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This year six moms from the ward all decided to get together and do preschool for our four year olds. We decided to rotate houses every two weeks each taking our turns teaching. It is great because it is two days a week for a couple of hours. My turn to teach was first which I was excited about and I dusted off my teaching supplies and set up a little area in my family room like a mini classroom for the kids. As I pulled out all of my stuff and start preparing my lesson plans I felt the excitement building in me. The concepts I had to teach were the letters A and B sounds and how to write them, the numbers 1 and 2, capital and lowercase letters, review colors and introduce vowels and consonants. Over the course of my days teaching I have had such a blast. We have done activities like shaving cream writing, life cycle of a butterfly and making butterfly wands, Wonder One art activities, fingerpainting number two hats, days of the week songs, puzzles, matching games, vowel hunts, show and tell etc. etc. etc. I have constant actvities going on the whole time they are here. I LOVE TEACHING!!! I didn't realize how much I miss it and it is even more special to get to teach Ave The kids are great. I love to watch them grasp the concepts and hear their little stories. It is fun and always exciting to see what each of their personalities contribute to the mix. She asks everyday if it is a preschool day and can't wait for her friends to get here. It has been fun to watch her in a group setting. She is often either the last or second to last to finish her work because she is worried about it being perfect. When she colors it is always perfectly in the lines. If something is supposed to be red then she will only use a true red. If she starts to color with an orange-red or a red-violet she will quickly abandon it for a true red crayon. When we were learning to write a number 2 she became frusterated because she couldn't do it just perfect like the example that she traced. She would try one and then look at it, shake her head and then erase and try again. I had to go over and explain to her that she was learning and that she just needed to keep trying and that it was okay that her numbers didn't look exactly perfect yet. It was so sweet. She has really good fine motor skills for a four year old. Considering she is definitely my free spirited, independent child I didn't expect that she would such a perfectionist when it came to her learning but she is. side note: At three she could make her own twin bed and at four she can comb and put her own hair into a ponytail. She loves being self sufficient. If any of the kids mess with their nametags or turn them upside down it drives her crazy and she asks them to fix it. She loves the music part of our preschool day and is usually the one singing the loudest. In true Burch child fashion she of course is the socializer of the group which I have to help her reign in sometimes :) Just one of the things that I love about Avery is that she has never been and I don't think will ever be a follower. When all the other girls in the group pick pink paper she picks yellow because she likes it and it matches her shirt. When they all say they like Cinderella Avery happily says that she loves Ariel the most. I love that she knows what she likes and who she is and is confident about it. I hope she will always have that confidence in herself and that awareness of who she is. Because Avery who you are is definitely someone wonderful :)

This is her tree.

Every baby has something that keeps their attention or calms them down when they are fussy. For Emma it is this tree: When she was first born and had a little jaundice I would lay her by the sliding glass door so that her skin could get some sunlight and I noticed that she was staring up at the tree intently. Everytime she would be on the floor and start to kind of fuss bored with toys I would put her mat over by the door where she could see the tree and she would stop and stare at it. She is fascinated by it. Out of all my kids she is the most sensitive to noises. She does not like loud noises even loud laughing will scare her and make her cry. Toys with too loud of music or noise she doesn't like. So I can understand the appeal for her. The tree is bright and colorful with bright yellow flowers and she can see up in the sky with the clouds. When the wind blows it shakes or even in a breeze it sways. It is a honeysuckle and so there are always bright busy hummingbirds drinking the nectar. We all laugh at her interest in it is so funny. When I find myself saying to her "do you want to go lay by your tree" it kind of cracks me up. I guess it is her time to "become one with nature" and let's face it I guess we all need that :) :)

Loving my life.

I love my everyday life. Life is so full and blessed. It is a time of peace and joy in our household and I am soaking it all in. I have five beautiful children. Three of whom I am enjoying raising right now and sharing in their experiences. They are all at such fun stages doing such amazing things. I love getting to learn about them as individuals and watching them interact together as siblings. They each bring something wonderful and unique to our family. I am having so many new experiences as a mom and my life is busy and I love it. I will always take the busyness over the overwhelming quiet and emptiness that I have lived through before. Thank you for the busyness. This week has been particularly exciting for me in mom world. Last year since the wouldn't allow volunteering in his school I never got to be in Hunter's classroom which was really hard for me. This week I was able to volunteer in his classroom at his new school for a couple of hours. I went in and helped with reading groups which was so much fun. It is so neat to watch Hunter interact with his peers and yet a lot of his behaviors are exactly what I figured such as the incessant need to socialize :) He is such strong reader I am so impressed with his reading skills. When asked by his teacher to introduce me he loudly announced that this was his mom MeKell Rose Burch and that they should call me Mrs. Burch because that is respectful. Thanks bud, nice intro :) It was nice to finally put a face to the names of all the friends I hear about afterschool and meet the "friend that is a girl" that he has been talking about. Quick side note: the second or third day of school he came home and told us that he had a girlfriend and all about her. Deke and I discussed that it was okay to like girls and have friends that are girls but that we don't need to hold hands or kiss or have girlfriends until we are old enough to date. The next day he came home distraught and told me that this little girl was now mad at him. When I asked him why he told me because after our talk he had gone to school and told her that he wanted to break up and then to his astonishment she got mad at him. First of all we never used the word break up so I can only imagine this was an education given to him by his peers and second of all he obviously didn't understand the term fully because he was confused as to why this upset her. We sat down again and explained. Two days later he came home with a bracelet on his wrist from her and announced that they were okay again and that she was now his friend that was a girl. Okay that will work. Also to be noted he has worn that bracelet from her like everyday. Anyways then we headed to McDonald's to have lunch just the two of us and over a Big Mac and happy meal a riveting conversation about the complexities of first grade. Pure mommy bliss. Two days a week I am doing a preschool with five other mom's in the ward for a couple hours a day. Avery is absolutely loving it, so is mom. The other day sensing a much too quiet moment I wandered into her room expecting mischief and saw this: a tea party in progress on her bed. Oven mitts on her hands as she applied ketchup to the hippo's hot dog and asked Squirt if he would like another bite of peas. I snapped a quick picture and then left her in girly happiness only left wondering why the coveted Moo cow hadn't been invited to the party and remembering my own tea parties as a little girl. Contentment. On another day of this eventful week Hunter at school and Avery napping I am finding quiet time for me and the littlest one of this bunch. Laying on the floor in a quiet house with blankets reading story books and playing on the floor with toys of all sorts. By the way Miss E has finally decided to start rolling over for us which is so cute. Can't believe she is starting to move, not quite ready for that. Enjoying her little giggles as she plays and this quiet time without noise or distraction to take in all of her new little facial movements and watch her display her new skill. In the quiet overwhelming feelings of gratitude and love for this tiny daughter. Loving my life. Grateful for my life.

This library book...

Hunter is such an attentive big brother. Just like he was with Avery when she was a baby he is so helpful and loving towards Emma. Since he is a little older he appreciates her in a different way. He was so excited when he found out that we were pregnant and we told him he was going to be a big brother again. Bless his heart but he worried a lot about me when I was pregnant and worried a lot about the baby. He misses Ethan and Dylan a lot and talks about them a lot. Sometimes at night he will start to cry and just tell us he misses his brothers. It is heartbreaking for Deke and I. Even though we have taught him about the plan of salvation it is such a huge concept to grasp. I didn't realize how much he had worried about why I kept getting sick (not understanding morning sickness) and why I couldn't crawl under the table in his forts or run at the park with him. One day about halfway through the pregnancy he came in to me and we were just talking about the baby and looking at the week by week book of what growth the baby was currently making. "Mom, is this baby going to die too?" he asked me. A mix of shock and emotion hit me like a forcefield sending me reeling. Within seconds a million possibilities of answers flooded my mind. Should I tell him everything was going to be fine even though I couldn't guarantee him that? What if I told him that and then something happened would that damage his trust in me and further complicate his understanding. As I started to tell him that I didn't know but I hoped so the words stopped short and I felt a calm peace. "No Hunter, this baby is going to be just fine" I blurted out. He smiled at me then rubbed and kissed my belly and headed off to play. I questioned my answer and then decided to rely on the peace that I had felt. I found myself whisper a quiet pleading to Heavenly Father to please let that nothing happen to the baby not just for Deke and I but for Hunter and Avery. Fear and panic started to creep into my thoughts. The thought of them going through another loss was unberable to me. Calm feeling, have to extend my faith and trust. Even at school his teacher had mentioned that he talked about missing me a lot and worrying about me. After Emma was born she told me that he had gone back to being his carefree self and that he had definitely been worrying about me and the baby. At Christmastime at his schools "Santa's workshop" he had bought a little panda bear rattle for her and wrote on it, "to my baby." The night we brought Emma home Hunter just held her and held her and kept saying how much he loved her. He is still five months later extremely protective over her. If she cries and needs anything he is right at her side helping her. She looks a lot like him. Big blue eyes, balding head, fair skin, bulldog cheeks. There are a lot of times when Deke and I are with her and feel like it is Hunter as a baby all over again. He wants to help change her diaper, bathe her, make her laugh etc. etc. A week ago Hunter got off the bus grinning and told me her had to hurry home to show Emma a present he had gotten for her. Curious I followed him into the living room where he unzipped his bagpack and pulled out a book. "Mom, I found this book today for Emma at the library and I want to read it to her." "Look Emma, look what brother got you" he exclaimed as he dropped his shoes and backpack on the spot and laid down next to her. "Brother is going to read this to you" he told her as she looked at him questioningly. I watched from the kitchen as he then proceeded to read her the entire book slowly pointing out different things in the illustrations that she might like. This moment made my heart burn. He is such a sensitive kid. I don't know how many other seven year old boys would pick out a book for their baby sister during library time but he definitely would. I am so impressed with him. I always thought it would be so neat to have a big brother and I love that Ave and Em have him. They love him so much. Whoever thought so much love could come from a library book. (You better believe that I pretty much scanned every page from that book to put in her scrapbook :) )