Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy 3!

My Dear Violette,

What a fun year it has been! I obviously haven't even documented anything since last year's Birthday post so let's go back and see what you've accomplished this year!  Last winter you learned how to ski.  We went with our friends the Schkrohowski's to Idaho for our yearly ski trip and after about 3 runs going down with me holding your little back pack, you pushed me away and said, "do it self, mommy, do it self!"  You were determined to do it all by yourself and you did!  You would start to go down and I would tell you to turn to stop and you did it perfectly many times, and fell a few times too.  You have a "no fear" personality which sometimes scares me but it's also really fun to watch you climb up rocks, jump off rocks into my arms, run fast as the wind and play with all the big kids.  One time you were walking the llamas and the one you were holding started to trot.  I was too far behind to catch up with you, but you held on to that leash and ran in a full out sprint until the llama stopped.  I fully expected you to trip and get road rash all over your face and body but you held on and was able to keep up with a trotting llama at two years old! I predict you will be my runner. 

Vivi, you are definitely the most animated of all of my kids.  You are always dancing all around the room and you're very inspired by music.  Once while we were heading into a hotel in Las Vegas you stopped at the doors to listen to the swanky music that was being played and you thought for a second, cocked your hip to the side and started slowly bouncing up and down to the beat of the music.  Everyone cracked up! You are always willing to perform in front of people and your dance moves are very impressive.  Your favorite moves kind of look like Indian Bollywood dance moves.  It's just the cutest! You also love to sing while you dance and constantly make up your own songs that are usually about the temple, Jesus, mommy, or how much you love to dance.  You are constantly chatting and you move your arms and head a lot while you speak.  Your facial expressions are also very animated and you are always smiling.  Because of this, everyone tells me you should be in movies and many people have commented that you look similar to the Olson twins.  Maybe an acting career is in your future! You started ballet class this year and I'm so excited for you to be in the performance with your sisters this summer!

This summer you took swimming lessons even though you were techinically not old enough to start.  I had to fib on your registration so you could be in swimming lessons and you passed off the first two levels with flying colors!  When you got to preschool level three, you had a lot of trouble because the teacher was a boy and you do NOT like being taught by a boy.  You told me he was mean to you on the first day, which wasn't true, so you could go back to the girl teacher.  You had no problems going down the water slide and jumping off the diving board at the last day of each session.  Since then, you've learned how to tread water, so I'm hoping that this summer you'll be able to swim without your floatie! You and your siblings love to swim and your hair is constantly green.  Speaking of hair, your sister Clementine decided to give you a hair cut the day before your Birthday photos.  I hid it well and luckily you have a super short hairdo, but she got some right in the front and chopped off your curls on both sides.  Ay yai yai...

This summer we went to Hawaii for the first time.  You got to ride around in a convertible mustang the whole time but you didn't like the wind.  Most of the time you would cover your head with your blankie.  I would snorkel out and find tons of weird sea creatures and you had no problem holding all the crazy things I brought back to shore.  You and your siblings created a "zoo" that other kids came to see.  Most of them and their mothers were afraid to touch them and some of the moms even freaked out when their kids came over to look.  You aren't afraid of anything though!

Another trip we took this year was to Havasupai, one of my most favorite places in the world.  It's a subsidiary of the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon and it's also a Native American reservation.  We got to fly in the helicopter to get there and back.  While we were there we had to climb up and down a very treacherous cliff to get to the best part of the river and you did it with help from your daddy, but had no problems at all.  Some adults that climbed down before us said that, "it was the scariest thing (they've) ever done" and you did it when you were 2 years old.  Ha!

Most of your free time is spent pretend playing with Clementine and Bea, but now that Bea is in Kindergarten, you've bonded even more with Clemmie and you play and play all day long together.  She is definitely your best bud!  You love to pretend that you are a baby and when you play baby, your name is Rosie.  Bea puts binkies in your mouth, makes beds for you and takes care of you.  You always play along, crawling all over the place and pretending to cry.  Bea is so lucky because a real baby would not obey all her demands.  I am entertained all day long by your imaginative characters and voices. 

Vivi, you are a big helper on the farm.  You help me collect eggs, take the llamas on walks, feed the chickens and sweep up the messes.  You aren't afraid of any of our animals and were picking up our giant turkeys until they were as big as you and got too heavy.  You are an expert chicken catcher and people who come visit are amazed by how easily you can snatch any animal you have your eye on!

You just started going to preschool even though it's technically a year early.  I didn't want you to be the lone child at home while the other kids got to go to school so you go with Clementine twice a week to a school that mainly focuses on playing and socializing.  You're also learning your letters, which you love.  You always sing the ABC song and are eager to learn. 

One of my favorite things about you is that you always want to pray and you say such thoughtful prayers.  Your prayers always include, "thank you that mommy will feel better(ankle problem), daddy will come home tomorrow, Jesus will come to our house, thank you for my sissies and brothie".  It's just wonderful to hear what you're thinking about.  You just have such a sweet little soul.  You have such a darling little smile too.  You have a slight underbite, but definitely not as bad as Bea, and you smile all day long.  You're the only kid in the family that has a natural looking fake smile, which I appreciate when I'm trying to take photos!

One great thing about you is that you want to be friends with everyone you meet.  You go up to strangers and melt their hearts by asking them, "are you my friend?" in your sweet little voice.  You've brought 20 year old girls to tears and have made old hardened men crack a smile.  When you were at the park with your Nanna B you asked a little girl if she was your friend and she turned to you and yelled, "NO!" You were devastated and cried and cried, but come to find out, that little girl had Downs Syndrome and wasn't expecting you to ask for friendship so quickly!  I'm just proud that you see everyone around you as equals and want to befriend them. 

Thank you for being such a wonderful part of our lives.  Everyone loves you, especially your Father in Heaven.  You love to sing about the temple and I know you'll get married there someday.  You're sweet spirit fills our home with joy.  I love you my wonderful little girl.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Late Birthday Wishes for my sweet Vivi Lu

Violette enjoying her Birthday chocolate mousse.  Yum!

Wow Violette!  I really dropped the ball and haven't even written to you on your Birthday!  And, it's actually my Birthday today, so that's funny.  Your Birthday was on October 6th and because I've been frantically trying to dry and preserve all the fruit in our garage, as well as making apple cider, and hosting many parties, I haven't had a moment to sit down and relax!  We just had our apple cider party yesterday and now that that's done, I have some free time and I can't wait to talk about you!
Keeping warm at Lake Tahoe
Violette, you are so precious to me.  I am cherishing every moment of your beautiful little life.  You are a very lucky girl because you have never had to live with a pregnant mother and be neglected and yelled at because I wasn't feeling good or was too tired to notice all the cute little things you do.  Your brother and sisters had some difficult years with me being sleep deprived and sedentary, but you have had my attention at my full faculties your whole childhood.  You are loving it and so am I.  It's funny that when you don't have a younger sibling, you still think of your youngest as a baby.  To me, you're still a baby!  It helps that you don't say much yet, but even though you're two years old now, I still baby you and I love doing it because I'm a baby hungry kind of girl and I hope I can live with not having any more babies, so thanks for still being my baby. 

You really love Clementine
Violette, you are such a feisty little thing!  You look and act just like I imagine your father acting as a child.  Your face resembles aunt Courtney to me, who looks the most like Justin and you are an extreme sport junkie already.  You have zoomed down the driveway at a million miles an hour, smashing into the rocks on the other side of the road in a walk along car toy, you climb up and jump off really high rocks, you are a super hiker and love going on fast rides like the alpine slide and mountain coaster.  You truly have no fear.  You get attacked by our mini roosters and you never hesitate to come out to collect eggs with me and still run right up to them, provoking a fight, but usually mommy launches them with my super kick before they can get to you.  Maybe you'll be my pro mountain sport athlete!  We've got to have one in the family!
You and your sisters love eating apples!

Playing in the cat tails in St. George
Violette, you are so adored by all your siblings.  You act like the cool kid in school who everyone wants to play with but doesn't care about it.  Your siblings beg you to play with them and hug and kiss them and you usually just turn your head and say, "no", so that when you actually do interact with your brother and sisters, they really appreciate it.  Clementine puts up with so much abuse just so you'll play with her.  She lets you body slam her and tickle her and chase after her as you play monster.  They are always holding their arms out for hugs and asking for kisses and you're very selective to whom you dole them out to.  You're just a natural for leaving people wanting for more.  Clementine is usually your first choice and you rarely leave her hanging.
At the Zoo with your siblings(and cousin Colton picking his nose in the background)
Because of the fact that you can wrestle with your siblings with no consequences, you think it's okay to wrestle with anyone, including babies.  You are famous for wrestling boys a head taller than you to the ground and putting them in legitimate wrestling holds(saw it on tv once).  You do have a tendency to push kids and body slam them if they fall to the ground, but you'll say sorry and give them a hug and usually stop when you're reprimanded.  Which leads me to your best quality...

You took swimming lessons this summer and were the youngest one of them all.  You're so obedient though that they made an exception and let you in.  You really loved it!
You're so obedient!  Every time I tell the kids to get their shoes on because we're leaving, there you are finding your shoes, coat, blankie and baby and are waiting at the door to leave while the other kids haven't even budged.  I never have to ask you twice to do anything.  If you're on the table, I ask you to get off and you do it right away.  I tell you to sit in your booster seat and you do.  I tell you we're going to change your diaper, and you find another one and lay down with your legs in the air.  Many other adults at church and out in public have also noted how obedient you are and I really appreciate it! 
Butterfly face at the Park City Arts Festival
One fun thing you have just started doing is saying the prayer.  Every time I ask who wants to say the prayer, you raise your hand and say in a loud voice, "me!!"  One thing you can say is "thank you" which sounds like "Ae- yoo" so we just say a long list of thank-yous in the prayer and you just copy me.  The kids can't help but giggle at your pronunciation but you do such a great job. You also copy them while they're saying their own prayers which usually leads to an angry Clementine or a giggling Bea and Henry. 
Looks like you're going to be a pediatrician someday!
Vivi, at this stage you're kind of a picky eater(compared to the other kids).  You'll try anything and eat a little, but often you will abandon your plate and ask to be removed from your high chair only to find yourself on my lap eating the exact same food....which was mine.  You walk around the house asking for apples, and good thing we have about 10,000 apples in our garage because you take them and eat them all day long.  I frequently find apples with one bite taken out of them all over the house.  I think you got one bite of a honey crisp and you'll never go back to an old mushy golden delicious again! You love to eat seaweed snacks, eggs, soup broth, pasta, fruit, dried fruit and nuts and fruit leather and any kind of delicious steak or fish.  You still struggle with some vegetables, but as I always say, roasting tastes the best and you'll eat a roasted carrot but not a boiled one. 
You will chew a carrot up, suck the juice out and spit out the pulp...and usually choke a little during the process. 
 Even though you are quite rough and tumble, you also have a wonderful nurturing side to you.  You love babies and I watch you wrap them up, hold them and shush them all day long.  You love to push them around in strollers and pretend to be their mommy.  You love to read books, especially the ABC book we read every night.  I have read it to you every night for a month now and I've taught you all the ASL signs to all the objects and you are so amazing at doing them all!  I decided that because you have a hard time speaking I needed to teach you some more signs to build your communication skills and boost your confidence and you're really catching on and loving it! After we read your books at bedtime, I turn off the lights and you fall to sleep on top of me as I hold your tiny body and sing you to sleep. I just love how you try to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in my ear.   Justin can't figure out why I take so long to put you and your siblings to sleep, but that's my most favorite part of the day.  I love spending individual time with each of you and snuggling with you one by one.  I just love having your little head on my shoulder and feeling your breathing and you heart beating.  I am so grateful for your presence in my life.  Vivi Lu, you are such a blessing in my life and I couldn't imagine life without your fun personality and sweet smile.  I enjoy every moment we're together and I just love looking into your super light blue eyes.  You are so wonderful and I love everything about you.  Love, Mommy
You love the tire swing in the back yard

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mute Child

You can't wait to be in ballet someday! I think you'll have to wait another year though and you might be devastated. 
By now(20 months) all my other kids were talking up a storm and you are content to say just a few words and sign everything else.  I'm pretty in tune with what you want and you're really great at gesturing what you want, but you won't say much you little trouble-maker!  The only things you actually say are...
1. Dada
2. Mama
3. Owie
4. Vivi
5. Heh-rie(Henry)
6. Miao(cat noise)
7. No(but only sometimes.  She usually shakes her head for no and nods for yes)
8. B-B(for baby)
And that's pretty much it.  Clementine would say Bea all day long, but you won't even attempt it!  You're picking up a ton of signs so I guess that's great so you don't get frustrated, but we would like you to start speaking soon! 

You take after your sister, Bea and are also kind of a baby killer, Vivi.  I take you to the gym every morning and while your siblings take tennis and mommy exercises, you hang out with all the babies and you are so mean to them!  I even caught you slapping our friends' baby in the face while no one was looking, over and over while his poor little head was in your lap.  You pull hair and push the babies too.  Your sisters don't do it to you, so I'm not sure why you feel like that's appropriate.  I will attribute it to the fact that Bea had that same tendency and now she's super nurturing, so it means you're just ultra interested in babies but don't know what to do with them.  The nature in you is just coming out very intensely. 

Other than that, you're very obedient and you smile and laugh all the time.  You're really fun to be around and you have a shy personality sometimes that's really endearing.  You love everyone in our family and even when you haven't seen someone in 5 minutes you're excited to see them and give them hugs and kisses.  Henry loves you the most and he tries to hug you, but you mostly just pull his hair...but you always say sorry(sign) and give him a real hug later. 

I just gave you your first hair cut but I don't want to cut off the red.  It's turning blonde just like all the other girls and I'm sad to see the red go.  It's really streaky and thin right now and I feel like I want to give you that short A-line cut that Bea had for so many years, but I would have to shave off all your red and I just can't do it yet.  Maybe at the end of summer. 

You are still such a little baby to me and I love playing with you and snuggling with you and tickling you.  You are just such a fun little addition to our family.  We love you so much!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vivi's shoes

Violette getting into a cupboard while wearing Justin's running shoes
 Every morning Violette protests as I change her diaper, put on a new shirt, pants, and do her hair, but when it's time to put socks and shoes on, she's all attention.While I put her socks and shoes on, she sits very still and holds each foot out until I've finished.  Vivi has a fetish with shoes more than any of my other girls.  She will find any pair of shoes and put them on and walk around for as long as she can until someone takes them away.  She is so confident in her walking ability that she even takes my step father's shoes, that are probably a size 15, and slowly tromps around their apartment.  She tried to take Justin's giant clogs that probably weigh 5 lbs each and inched along all through the kitchen.  She just loves to wear shoes and I love watching her adventures in them. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

fifth generation snowsuit...maybe more

Many of you will recognize this snowsuit.  It was given to me by my sister in law after her daughter, Kaitlin used it and then I used it for Bea.  It was given to her by someone else who used it for her daughter, or maybe even daughters.  Anyway, it's been used at least 5 times and it's still the cutest, puffiest and most hilarious snowsuit in the world.  The sad thing is that Violette really hates being in it and does NOT like sledding at all.  The other girls couldn't wait to bomb around in that suit at that age.  I hope she bucks up and starts enjoying it soon.  We have like 2 feet of snow on the ground with sledding hills, snow tunnels and snow caves all over our property!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Vivi Lu!(October 6th)

My three girls sharing the umbrella stroller in France
My Dearest Violette,

Of all my children's first years, this first year has gone by the fastest.  I feel as though I missed a lot of things you did that I was fully aware of with the other kids because of all the changes that have taken place in our lives this past year, but the one thing that hasn't changed is the love that I feel for you every time I see your smiling face toddling toward me.
Can you not love a little squishy baby
You have many nick-names.  I call you "Vivi Lu", Lucy calls you "Vio" and your siblings still call you "the baby" or just "baby".  I try to call you Violette as much as possible because I just love your French connection.  In fact, when we were in France this summer, everyone was in love with your French name, fire red hair and your extremely clear blue/white eyes.  Bea, Clementine and you all have blue eyes and with every child, the blue just kept getting lighter and lighter.  I don't know if blue eyes could get much lighter than yours.  Unfortunately, you also have a developing under bite like your sister Bea, so some serious braces or surgery might be in your future.  So sorry little one!
Eye Close up

Violette, you are much like your brother, Henry in many ways,  You have the same hair as he did, you have a similar round head, and you have similar temperament.  You are very active and now that you started walking, you don't want to do anything but walk around.  You also walked at exactly 11 months of age just like your brother, while your two sisters walked at 12 months.  You are extremely vocal and you already act like you have your own language, which is also the same as Henry. 
Posing with Pinocchio in Florence
Vivi, you love toys that can shake and you have so much fun walking around the house banging on a cake pan with a wooden spoon with your sister.  In fact, you really love  music and anytime you hear music you start to dance.  I think you see your sisters dancing to music all the time, so you join along.  We have family music time and you readily join in the fun, banging on drums, playing the baby piano or shaking things.  Just like your siblings you love singing and I have already heard you start singing your own little tunes in the car.  Now, I have four separate radio stations to listen to at the same time as I drive along.  No other music sounds sweeter to my ears.
Vivi riding a very strange baby swing in France with holes that babies could easily fall right through
Our house has three sets of two steps that go down to our living room, garage and off of our deck.  I was dreading putting the baby gates up but just after you learned to crawl, you learned how to crawl down all three sets of stairs, head first and has never even had a fall yet!  You also love to crawl up our long stairs but after almost falling down the stairs a while back, you never attempt to crawl down them.  I'm so glad to be baby gate free!
Violette posing with the most darling Asian boy we met on the street in Florence
 Violette, you love to eat any kind of food.  You really love tomatoes and any kind of fruit, but will even eat what the other kids will not.  You eat a lot of food and you have basically had diaper rash your whole life because you poop so much!  You have an opinion about what you want to eat and get very jealous if the kids are eating candy or a Popsicle and I usually have to cave in and give you some.  I agree, it's not fair little one!

Posing on a giant fake ship that was used for an old movie.  This is what we did when we couldn't find the church one Sunday:(
 Your siblings are obsessed with you and they are constantly trying to carry your places, hug you, make you lay down and put blankets on you, put you in doll furniture.  I have to say, you're not a very good sport and you cry even at the sight of Bea.  You don't mind Henry so much and Clementine is slowly getting on your bad list.  Clementine usually sits on you or is holding your legs as you try to crawl away.  You are loved by three sets of grandparents and many cousins.  You and your sisters make up 1/2 of all the girl cousins in your extended family and everyone fights over who gets to hold you. 
Vivi dancing to an all young boy band on the street in Chamonix.  It was like the Jonas Brothers all over again.

One thing I wish you did is give me hugs.  You are so stiff and don't EVER hug me or put your head on my shoulder unless you're asleep.  When you're sick you lay on my shoulder and that's always the silver lining to you being sick is that I actually get some snuggle time with you.  Henry was also the exact same way, so I'm not too worried because he's always hugging me and wanting to snuggle now.  So, I can't wait to snuggle with you someday
Violette eating peaches when we went peach picking.  She LOVES peaches. You can see her under bite pretty well in this shot.  Poor thing.
Looking back on this year I have to mention that you were the only baby that I actually co-slept with, only because the closet was already taken up by Clementine.  Justin left the bed after a few nights, so for about 6 months you slept on the pillow next to me, but I can't sleep snuggling, so you just slept on your side and I slept on my side, which I'm not sure actually qualifies as co-sleeping.  You are my worst sleeper because I had to wait until you were 7 months old to teach you to sleep through the night and you still wake up frequently and have a hard time putting yourself back to sleep since you've been tended to every time you cried.  It didn't help taking you to Europe for a month where you got even more attention at night so you wouldn't wake everyone up in tiny apartments.
Sleeping in the bike seat in Luca, Italy
You crawled at 9 months, stood up at 9.5 months unassisted and you walked at 11 months.  You have fire red hair, very light blue eyes, your body and walking style remind me of a baby gorilla, you have the largest head of all my kids(which explains the constant bruises on her forehead), and you are a walking maniac.  You are a survivor, you constantly smile with your underbite, and every time I see you, you melt my heart.  I love you little one and I am so excited for this next eventful year of your life.  Happy Birthday Vivi Lu!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012


So Violette just started crawling a few weeks ago and only a week or so after she started crawling she started pushing herself up to an unassisted stand.  That's all she wants to do.  She's so good at it now that she can do her crazy baby double arm wave and still balance.  I really hope she doesn't walk while we're in Italy.  That's going to be rough since I had planned on carrying her everywhere.  I don't want her getting any ideas that she's going to get any chances to walk on that trip! On the other hand, it's kind of nice because she's not that interested in crawling, so she doesn't travel around the house that much.  As you can see, she has some pretty sturdy legs!  I love to squeeze 'em:)