Monday, February 28, 2011

Rapunzel, Rapunzel let me pull on your hair

This post is a long time coming. It is one of Emma's biggest favorite things and yet here I am just barely getting to post about it. Emma has always been a very tactile child. She loves blankets and all sorts of fuzzy fabrics and different textures. So it shouldn't have surprised me when at about three months old she started to take an interest in my hair. When she would nurse she would reach up and take a strand of my hair and hold onto it and rub it between her fingers. It hasn't stopped since. In fact it has gotten worse. She is a hair fanatic! When I pick her up and hold her she reaches her hand around my neck and gently grabs a piece of hair to hold onto. If she is in my arms she has one hand holding onto a piece of my hair at all times. If someone else picks her up the first thing she goes for is the hair. Brenn's thick beautiful hair is like her dream and whenever she sees Brenn her eyes get big and she smiles and reaches for it. The last time we took her to the pediatrician the lady leaned down to listen to her heart and Em's hands shot out and started touching the women's dangling hair. It is hilarious. About four months ago I had to find a solution for my neck and my scalp. Even though she doesn't hurt it still kept getting my neck stiff. Avery was sitting one day playing with her Ariel doll and combing it's hair into a ponytail when it dawned on me. Give Emma a doll. I handed Emma the Ariel doll and she started putting her hands in the hair and playing with it. She loved it. Soon she wanted Ariel all the time so she could play with the hair. Ariel is Ave's favorite however and so she soon got tired of sharing and asked me if she could please have her doll back now. Off I went on a hunt for Emma's first baby doll. Needing to find a doll with a good sturdy head of hair that was suitable for an infant. After checking WalMart, Target, Toys R' Us, and any other store I could think of I was frusterated. Every doll with hair was not for an infant and all the "baby" dolls for little ones were completely bald. We went to see Tangled which was the cutest movie I have seen in a long time and of course made me think of Emma and her hair fettish. I decided I would find her a Rapunzel doll. Again out I went searching for a cute Rapunzel only to find nothing besides Barbie dolls again not suitable for my infant. Finally starting to think I maybe was going crazy I began negotiations with Ave on the sharing of Ariel. A few days later she came home from preschool and told me that one of the girls in her class had a Rapunzel baby doll with long sparkly hair. It is ridiculous that I quickly called the mom to find out where she got the doll. Disney store....of course! Think MeKell think! So off I went to check out the doll. When I got there with Emma and Avery we found her right away. There she was big doe eyes, little freckled face and seventeen inches of blond hair with sparkly strands in it. I showed Emma the box and she started smiling and kicking her legs excitedly and fussing to hold it. I turned the box around to see that this darling little beauty was, oh yes $24.99. Pausing momentarily I picked up the doll and headed for the counter ignoring the 3+ age sign on the box, deciding that I was good with being crazy. The lady at the counter turned to Avery and said, "Are you getting a new doll? She is so cute." Avery looked at her and then at me as if it was my responsibility to explain my craziness. "Actually I am buying it for her" I pointed down at my eight month old in her carseat. "She kind of has a hair thing I said smiling." Any question about my sanity was sealed by the look on this woman's face as she said, "oh...well that's very nice" and handed me the bag. After I got home Emma was crying to hold the box and it was starting to sink in that I had just bought a $25 doll for my baby that was literally the size of her sitting up. Right. For at least three days the doll sat in the box while I debated with myself about the decision I had made. Everytime we passed the box Emma reaching out and crying for it. Finally I decided that I was taking it back. The doll was for someone Avery's size not Emma's I would just have to keep looking until I found something else. Feeling almost bad for buying the doll, never opening and then returning her I took her back. This decision didn't sit well with me either. After a week Brenn and I were out on a sister day and we went to the Disney store and bought another one. Surely Brenn my sister a person who knows me more than almost anyone would straight up tell me if she thought I was nuts. When we got there she agreed that the doll was perfect and we had a good laugh this time around watching the lady at the check out almost completely repeat the reaction of the first lady from the other store. Completely satisfied and resigned to my insanity now we headed home to Emma to give her the doll. As soon as we got it out of the box she was giggling and reaching for it. Wiggling her chubby little fingers to get a hold of it. As soon as she had it she put it on her lap, wrapped both hands completely in it and smiled at us. It was perfect. It is safe to say that she loves that doll. As soon as she sees it she gets so excited. It is her favorite and goes everywhere with us. She holds it while she plays or when she is tired she will take a strand and rub it on her cheeks or on her face. Sometimes it goes in the car with us or sometimes she crawls around the living room dragging the doll to the side of her by its hair. She loves her. I love that she makes her so happy. My neck and scalp are grateful too. Even though Rapunzel is her favorite she still loves all the dolls in the house. The Ariel's and even the My Little Ponies. When we were up at Grandma's house she sat for half an hour with a lap ful of ponies and rubbed their manes and tails. You should see the doll two months later. When I bought her her hair was all straight and sparkly and smooth. Now it is matted and knotted and clumped together in a sort of dredlock fashion. The other dair I seriously spent thirty minutes trying to comb the dolls hair out. It will never be the way it was at first. I definitely made an improvement but within a couple of days it was all ratted up again. What can I say she is truly Tangled. Emma still loves my hair, she still loves to hold a piece of it as I walk her back to her room and lay her in the crib to go to sleep. It is one of her quirks and it is precious to me. It is just so true to her cuddly, snuggly nature. She is enjoying Rapunzel so much and hey if someone has to go bald better her than me. Sorry Rapunzel.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Way to go Hunter!!!

Hunter has always loved reading. He has also always had a great vocabulary. When he first started talking he moved from single words to sentences almost instantly. People were always amazed at the things he could say. At two he could hold a better mini conversation than some adults. I am not kidding. Since he has learned to read it is like he can't get enough. For about the last year Deke and I have been reading chapter books with him that are about a fifth or sixth grade level. It has been so cool because he comprehends it all and we even stop and have discussions about the book and talk about new vocab words as they come up. We are amazed at night when he reads scriptures. Last week he came running off the bus holding up a piece of paper and yelling "Look Mom, look!" It was a certificate. As part of their reading curriculum in first grade they do work with an online program. With this program they read passages and get points for fluency, comprehension and accuracy. They are then scored on quizzes about what they have read. It is a state wide program. Hunter's certificate was for this program. He was #2 in the State of Arizona for 1st grade in his reading scores!!!!! In the state!! The certificate was given to him by his principal which of course he was elated. Deke and I were beaming. We are so proud of him and this accomplishment. You are awesome buddy! We are so happy that he loves reading, he soaks it in like a sponge. On a side note about Hunter he is still loving LEGO's and since he is reading the first Harry Potter book right now with Deke he is quite Potterified. I had to post a picture of this recent little creation. This is Hunter's version of a Mandrake. If you have read the book or seen the movies you will understand. This cracked us up. It is a great rendition of a Mandrake. I think he is currentlyl working on his version of Hogwarts castle. It should be fun to watch.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Brittany comes home

Last Friday Brittany came home from her mission in Italy. It is amazing how fast time goes and we were all so excited to welcome her home. We went over to Lisa and Lonnie's house and ate pizza and visited with everyone. Then we all piled into cars and headed down to Sky Harbor to wait at the international gate for her to arrive. Papa easily entertained Emma by showing her that she could see her reflection in the back of the balloons which kept her happily occupied. It was really neat to watch Lori's excitement as she waited. With each person that would come out the door we would get more and more anxious. Finally we saw her and I don't think any of us had a dry eye as we watched her and Lori hug for the first time in eighteen months. The people sitting around us waiting were looking at us a little odd since there was like twenty of us with balloons and signs and cheering when she walked out. She looks great. She was definitely exhausted and was having a hard time remembering to speak English. We are all so happy to have her home again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fat caps

Emma is definitely our chubbiest baby so far. She has thinned out quite a bit since she started crawling but still maintains her little bulldog cheeks. I love my babies cheeks. They have all had them. They just hang all yummy and delicious just waiting to be kissed and munched on. When Emma was born she had chunky little thighs. There was so much skin from her thighs that it rolled down her leg overlapping over her knee. Deke thought this was so cute. He told me she didn't even really have knee caps instead he said they were "fat caps." I loved that he chose this name for her little rolls. Ever since then we have lovingly called them her fat caps. I wish I had taken a picture of them sooner when she was smaller and they were really distinct. They are still there but are definitely starting to diminish the more active she gets. Here she is at 10 months old with her fatcaps. Standing by the sliding glass doors in her diaper watching birds outside sitting in her tree. She is so delicious. Don't you just wanna munch?

Not really feelin the love

Ah Valentine's Day, a time to embrace one's love for pink, smell the roses, and indulge in some gluttonous chocolate consumption. My kids are usually busy with crayons, glue sticks and construction paper working on homemade cards. Deke is busy scheming up a creative gift idea for me. I am busy crafting and preparing gifts for teachers, neighbors, grandmas and so forth. The pantry is nicely stocked with sugary goodies of different varieties. The kids have little valentine's surprises all prepared by Deke and I. We have planned some sort of romantic night or date. This year at the Burch household...not so much. Oh it started out that way, I had started my little love countdown posts on the blog, I had already bought Valentine's shirts for the girls. They were perfect. Avery's said "I love Daddy" and Em's said "I love Mommy" which is true to their personalities. Ave is a daddies girl and Emma is a mommy's girl. I had been purusing the internet for cute Valentine gifts ideas and pondering on what to get the kids. Then on the Thursday before Valentine's Day Hunter came home from school feeling a little yucky. By evening he was running 102* and coughing pretty bad. Needless to say he went down pretty hard. I have not seen him that sick in a long time. Trying to quarrantine him from the girls and yet still take care of all three of them was challenging. He would want me to rub his back meanwhile I see Emma book it around the corner headed into the bathroom to get into who knows what. Washing sheets and blankets and fixing lunch and oh yes there is still a baby to nurse. Saturday I was exhausted. Only to find that from the time we woke up until we went to bed that night that the rest of the household was "dropping like flies" with the sickness. Avery was running 102* Emma was 103* all three were coughing up a storm. By nighttime Deke was running a fever and coughing really bad. Like a whirlwind I went through the house pulling sheets, administiring medicine, rewetting washcloths. Poor Emma was so larthargic she was just laying around on the floor in and out of sleep for a full 48 hrs while the high fever raged on. I would pick her up and put her to my chest, she was like a little furnace and she would just sleep and only stay awake long enough to eat or get a quick bath. It is interesting to me how much of their personalities still come through even when they are sick. Hunter wants me to rub his back and could I hand him Rusty to snuggle with he is sure that he is so sick that he is going to die. Avery coughed so hard she threw up all over the floor and yet has not complained once about being sick. She just lays and rests, every once in awhile asking me to bring her something. Emma just wants mommy and wants me to snuggle her. My neck is so sore from bending my head forward so she can play with my hair. ( A fettish I will write about later) all three of them wanted mommy to make them better all at the same time. Not to mention Deke was down in bed and feeling really crummy. I have never had all three of them sick at once and it was so exhausting. I have not been that tired in a long time. Then after running as hard as I could all day they would take turns being up and down all night. Even when they were all in bed then one of the four of them were coughing at all times throughout the night. We took the kids in and got an antibiotic for Miss E, by Monday Hunter was almost out of it and Avery was doing significantly better. Deke was diagnosed with bronchitis and started his medicine. I was exhausted. So for Valentine's day our day consisted of four out of the five of us laying around and sleeping, coughing and feverish. Mom taking care of everyone, cleaning like a mad women trying to kill the germs and wondering if she would ever get to leave the house again. Instead of giving them delicious treats a strict regimine of acadolphilus, vitamin C, Puff's plus tissue and Tylenol was given. Great. The highlight of the day was that we got a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's which was really cute. It doesn't look like a heart here and it actually looks kind of burnt but it wasn't and was very yummy. The advertisment for it makes a better picture: By Wednesday Hunter had gone back to school and everyone else was pretty much out of it so we decided to do a little late Valentine's Day celebration. We had ham an tiny little red fingerling potatoes with a nice green salad and some vidalia onion dressing. Plus I had found these adorable mini Martinelli's that were smaller than a water bottle so each person had their own. These are seriously so cute I had to take a couple of pictures of them next to a water bottle to give you an idea. Individual sparkling ciders, cute and delicious. I also snagged a couple cute pictures of the girls in their Valentine's Day shirts today. They are so sweet. We are all healthy now thank goodness and hey it doesn't have to be Valentine's day to enjoy something sweet so I'd say it's time to go out and get something :)