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:)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bawl and Crawl

Have I taken a photo of any of my kids lately where they don't have something on their faces? It's impossible!

Violette is exactly 8 months old today and she's just starting to crawl. As she struggles to move around the floor, searching for food scraps left behind by Henry and Bea, she breathes very heavily and moans and groans at the difficulty of movement.  I know she'll be happier once she gets moving, but for now, she goes backwards more than forwards and she doesn't like being on her stomach.  In the past week, however, she's become a pro at rolling over and pushing herself up to a sit from her stomach.  Pretty soon she'll be totally mobile! It's been so easy having an immobile baby, especially during this time we have been moving into our new house and I'm dreading having to control two babies who have no concept of danger, but it had to happen some time! She is so happy though and just like all my babies, I don't think she would ever cry if she didn't have siblings fighting over her all the time.  All the kids just adore her.  Tonight Bea played mommy and I watched her put on an apron, cook dinner for Vivi, then make a bed for her on the floor with blankets and tuck her into bed.  Bea will be a great mother someday, just like her clone who is Justin's sister, Stefanie who is also pregnant with baby #5(I'm praying for a girl!).

Violette is also loving food! I didn't feed her until she was 7 months old because I was crazy with the move and all I could do was stick a bottle into her mouth, but she is loving the oatmeal cereal, which none of my other kids liked at all.  She doesn't really love it when I mash up what we're eating yet, although I'm trying to get in as much Italian food as I can because I know that's what she'll be eating the entire month of August,  She gets a few tastes in every day and then refuses it, but we'll just keep trying until she loves it. We love you Vivi Lu!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sitting Pretty

 Violette is now sitting up very well.  Her favorite spot is a really long tuft of grass in our back yard by the bird feeder where she is thoroughly entertained by birds, cats, dogs and the kids running around everywhere.  Yesterday as I was cleaning out our yard, I felt truly relaxed and happy for the first time I had moved in.  Even though I was doing work, it was work I actually wanted to do and enjoyed.  I am surrounded by the beauty of the earth, my darling children, great neighbors and animals all over the place.  I couldn't ask for more.  Violette is such a sweet and happy baby and I am so excited to raise her on a farm. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

First Food: Bananas

I love those eyes

I let you taste a mushed up banana the other day.  You had fun chewing on the spoon, but I don't think anything got down your throat.  You sure liked how it tasted though. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Noisy Tongue

Check out that tongue action
 Violette likes to stick her tongue out to the side and then vocalize making all sorts of inappropriate sounds during Sunday School and soaking all her clothes.  It is pretty cute though.  I caught her in the act while I was taking a photo with her and Henry.  I just love it when personality starts showing through.  She is such a sweet little one.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Longing to grow up

As Justin played baseball outside with the older kids, Violette looked longingly out the window, no doubt wishing she could participate in the fun.  It was a sweet moment to see our little baby interested in the family activities.  I, however, had to intervene.  Hopefully she forgot that she had been left behind.
These photos are a little snotty and slimy.  All my kids have colds right now.  Sorry.

Look at that adorable smile though! She's a real sweetheart.

Add caption

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Color Orange

What a happy girl
I don't know how many of you know that I love orange.  I love my orange ski jacket, orange puffy coat, I named one of my daughters after an orange and my babies are all born with orange hair. My favorite paint color is Saffron from the Restoration Hardware paint collection, which is the most perfect peachy yellowy orange color that changes when the light hits it. 
My little Henrietta.  She is the female form of Henry. 

Here is my sweet little Violette with orange hair, wearing a swimsuit with orange slices on it and holding an orange parasol that my mom got for her.  Her cheeks and lips are even a nice peachy shade of orange.  Orange just makes me happy.  How about you?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cute photos

I haven't taken many photos with my camera of the baby but somehow I always get some good shots with my phone.  Here are a few cute ones I got at church.

I think this is a hilarious face.  This is what she looks like a lot because she's always saying something

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Prego no no

My one redeeming feature is my buff looking shoulder.  Thank you Clementine for keeping my arms strong!

I got this amazing little collage from my friend Alissa in July when Justin finished taking his board exams, but just barely figured out how to take a screen shot so here I am, pregnant with little Vivi Lu.  I'm wearing a dress that is not maternity and don't look at all as spectacular as I thought I did that night.  I was trying to go for pregnant/sultry(with the red), but I'm just bulging out all over the place! haha!  I pretty much had the fattest pregnancy ever with this tiny little girl. 

Anyway, this is the same day I forgot Justin's clothes and we all ate a super fancy dinner up at Sundance while we were all dressed up and Justin had no shirt on, a coat, biking shorts and biking shoes.  He could have cared less though since he was so happy about being done with all his tests. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Neck Cheese

Happy, Chubby, and Clean!
I have to admit that up until this month Violette probably had about one bath per month.  One day I was nuzzling her neck and smelled something horrid. I looked in her neck folds, which wasn't easy btw, and saw a collection of all sorts of things from curdled milk to lint and spent the next half an hour scraping it off her neck and bathing her.  Since then I have been more regular in bathing my little Vivi Lu.  She actually enjoys her baths and she can't wait for the day when she can be in the tub with all her sisters!  Clementine also had a bout with this stench, but it was in her armpit fold.

I have had such productive weeks lately and it's all thanks to my super sleeping baby! Violette sleeps next to me on the bed and now sleeps about 12 hours straight and she's the first baby I didn't have to do the transition with a few nights of screaming.  She just naturally goes to sleep on her own with a binkie and a blanket over her eyes and falls asleep.  I wish I had a crib I could transfer her to so I could get my room back, but hopefully soon we'll move to a new house that has more rooms and we can put all our kids in their own rooms.  They'll eventually share rooms but not until they're a little older.  Henry wants to be with Violette and Bea wants to be with Clementine.  Sounds good to me. 

Violette is getting close to rolling over. She tries to twist her body and I think she'll roll pretty soon.  She is also close to sitting up, my favorite stage.  I can't believe how fast this has transpired.  The more babies you have, the faster life flows along.  She smiles, talks a lot, is playing with toys, is holding her bottle and starting to enjoy being awake and isn't just sitting around doing nothing during the wakeful hours. Welcome to life little one!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Like Brother, like Sister

Blue eyes, red hair and red lips.  Doesn't get cuter than that!
Thank heaven for toys that make the crinkly sound.  They're the only ones that keep her attention for longer than 30 seconds.  Violette is like Henry in so many ways, which scares me to death thinking about her as a toddler, not that anything could be worse than Bea right now.  I just remember how hard Henry was too.  Anyway, Henry wasn't that into toys and neither is Violette.  Bea and Clementine would sit and play for long periods of time but Violette likes to be interacted with and held and looked at by people.  She loves to laugh at the kids and it's a good thing I have so many kids who love her because she gets entertained almost all day long.  Even though she gets bored quickly with toys, she doesn't complain too loudly and if she's cranky, she usually just whimpers until I can come get her. 

My three girls! I'm the luckiest mom in the world.
 Violette is growing well now and has a fair amount of chub on her tiny little body.  She's still really short, fitting in her 0-3 month clothes still but her head and weight are back where they should be.  Henry was also pretty small until he was about 9 months, got chubby and then around 18 months started to get really tall.  Hopefully she'll be the same. 
Bea loves her baby sister

She is sleeping in my bed with me, which is different than all my other babies.  It's just more convenient when she wakes up at night, plus Justin has decided to sleep in the guest room until next month when she'll be forced to sleep through the night by none other than mean mommy.  The day you turn 5 months old, I'm not coming in anymore.  Sorry baby doll.  That's the way it goes.  That's the day Daddy moves back in!  Back to the sleep issue though.  So, I never snuggle with her when I'm sleeping or anything so is that still called co-sleeping? I never got into that, but maybe I'm doing it now.  I really don't know. 

She's not sitting up yet, or anywhere close to that, and she's not rolling over and hates to be on her stomach, so no serious progress yet.  She's just smiling and laughing up a storm.  We love our little redhead.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Poor neglected baby

Sweet Smile
Violette, we took you up to Snowbird today at the end of the day to watch the kids ski and to go hot tubbing in the awesome outdoor hot tubs and you were miserable.  By the end of the day your little eyes were red and your little voice was hoarse.  It's probably hard to be the fourth child and be neglected, and less considered.  I'm sorry that we drag you around, even when you're sick and tired and that you don't have a perfect schedule for your naps.  I'm sorry that Bea hugs you too hard and sticks her feet in your face many times a day.  I'm sorry that when you cry, I usually can't come to your aid right away.  I wish I could just hold you and be sensitive to all of your needs.  Just know that I have a special place for you in my heart and that I love you Vivi Lu. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For the Record

Look at her double chin emerging and those rosy cheeks.  No more starving baby here!

So just for the record I have to document Violette's first few months of life since we basically have no photos because our camera broke and because it was the holidays and it got hectic around here.  Also I have to document that I have been trying to breastfeed her and no matter how much I feed her, she doesn't seem to be getting enough milk, possibly because she sleeps so much at night and even if I feed her every two hours during the 12 hours she's awake, my milk supply seems to be confused.  When I stopped pumping exclusively at around 7 weeks and just try to start breastfeeding I got thrush again for like the umteenth time and had to get on serious medication.  Thankfully it went away, but during that time I was in such pain that I would just put off nursing for one more hour here and there until I was only nursing like 4 times in a 24 hour period and Violette had so little energy that she wouldn't even cry, but just slept all day long.  She went 12 hours one day without even waking up and that's when it hit me, plus that same day I looked at her and she seemed to have that "starving child" look:Hunger in her eyes and cheekbones poking out.  I took her to her appointment and she had indeed lost over one pound.  I felt horrible and cried in agony at my neglectful behavior.  How could I have not known? I guess it's because she never cried that I thought she was fine.  Thankfully, our pediatrician immediately had us pump her full of extra milk and formula, which I did, and now she's three months old, doing great, gaining weight and smiling all day long.  She still sleeps about 7 or 8 hours straight from when I put her to bed until I wake up in the morning, which is a huge blessing for me, then I nurse her and she sleeps until about noon if I want her to.  If not, I get her up and she's awake for a couple hours before needing to take a really long nap.  All in all, she probably sleeps around 18 hours per day still if I let her.  The least amount she will sleep is about 14, but then she's usually really cranky and wants to be put to bed.  All I have to do is swaddle her, nurse her or put her binkie in and lay a soft blankie over her eyes and she'll fall right to sleep.  She really is a sweet and easy baby.  I even love hearing her little cry because it's so soft and unoffensive.  I just wanted to admit to your history that you had a continuation of a rough start and that I'm sorry little one.  I felt horrible but now you're my 1st priority right now.  I just love you so much!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What's in a name?

Violette's blessing dress made by my mom
So, "Violette?", you ask yourself? "What was Amelia thinking?" you say to your spouse? Well, I'll tell you.  Justin has two grandmothers, one named Viola(Vai-O-la) and another named Violet.  I always had Violet on my baby name list and it seemed to be at the top, but something just wasn't right. I didn't like any of my other names as much, but I didn't love just plain ol' Violet so I looked up the variations and when I read Violette, it just stuck and it was the one.  I briefly considered Violetta, the Italian version, but for some reason I don't like names ending in an -uh sound because it makes our names sound like full sentences like Bea's middle name, Isabella which is gaggingly overused.  I could make a sentence out of it.  "Isabella Hohl" changes to, "Is a bell a whole?" There are so many names that we couldn't use because they either created bad concepts or other full sentences like my personal favorite, Phillipa, which is a name I would have  totally used.  I LOVE that name, but put it all together and it says, "fill up a hole".  There is no way.  A, P, and I names are out of the picture and then I have to be careful of names ending in -es -is or -as for obvious reasons.  Since I like unusual names, you'd be surprised at how many names I couldn't use that I would have considered. 

Violette starting to smile.  She looks just like Henry to us!
I like my concept names like Jackson Hole, Whole Clementine, Be Whole and now Vivi Whole which also means "Live Whole" in Italian.  I'm trying to embrace our last name and turn it into something interesting instead of naming my kids really boring, normal names to downplay it.  All our kids have ties to ancestors, but have an international twist.  Even Clementine is French.  Henry doesn't respond to his name anymore, so I call him Enrico most of the time.  So there you have it, we have two Italian and two French babies.  Would you expect anything less from me?