Ray, 15 months

My little Ray. You are hilarious. You always have a ready smile. You’re pretty easy to entice with games and distract. We love to make you laugh. Your brothers love you a TON. Both are totally enamored with you. Here are a few bullet points about you right now:

– Liam calls you “Yay” (he can’t say his R’s).

– You don’t walk yet. We’re all concerned. Your 10 month old cousin, Emily, is taking steps and you’re holding strong on the ground. But you are a SUPER fast crawler. And you move along furniture pretty quick too. Your feet and legs are so stiff, it’s so funny. You’ll get there.

– Noah sings to you in the car, all the time. To calm you down, to cheer you up, to make you laugh … and you seem to love it. Your eyes really sparkle when Noah comes around.

– You love opening and closing things; putting things in and pulling them out again. You have nearly broken our cheap IKEA dresser drawers with all the opening and slamming shut they get from you.

– We just moved into a house with 2 stories. At first, 6 weeks ago, you didn’t know how to climb stairs … but that didn’t last long. Within a few days, you learned. But you never learned how to come down the stairs. We’ve tried a few times, teaching you, but you haven’t caught on. As a result, you’ve tumbled down the stairs to the landing twice. You are now scared of coming down, so this is what happens everyday, about 14 times a day: you climb up the stairs fast, like a maniac, then you get to the top of the stairs and call down to us “dee-da! Da! … unnnn, da! Dee, dee da!” And we come and carry you down the stairs.

– You have very specific opinions about things. Last night we had fish sticks and carrots for dinner. Daddy and I were eating some yummy sun dried tomato hummus with pita that I got at the Farmer’s Market. Noah and Liam did not want the hummus and pita, but you refused to eat fish sticks. We offered you the hummus and pita and you downed it!

– You have the cutest nursery in, possibly, the world. I worked very hard on it, and made sure everything was at your level and interactive for you. However, you don’t play in your room. You always crawl down the hall to Noah and Liam’s room and hang out with them and the Legos. sigh.

– you take one nap a day. It is from 10 am to 12 or 1 pm. That’s it. You seem tired around 3 or 4 pm, but I have tried to get you to go to sleep in the afternoon and you won’t do it. You really need it. So do I. You get so ornery in the afternoon … right when I need to make dinner.

– You don’t really love the water. We take you to the pool and at least you don’t scream (like you used to), but you don’t seem super excited about it either.

– You fold your hands when we pray. You just grasp your fat hands together and look down. You picked this up all on your own. Nobody taught you how, you just started doing it. I love that.

These pictures I took of you in the bath. There was no natural light in there and I am still learning how to figure out the lighting thing, when it comes to photography. These bath pictures are not the best photography-wise, but you were so happy, I had to share these shots.


Good way to spend September

It’s still pretty hot around here … like in the 80’s kind of hot … like you wonna go to a Farmer’s Market and then play in a fountain kind of hot. So we did. Aria, Christina and I went to this Framer’s Market in Rancho Cucamonga at this shopping center called Victoria Gardens. And it was a beautiful day. Sometimes the boys are crazy and fight and it’s too hot, but not today. It was wonderful. We bought flavored honey sticks (they had rootbeer honey!), strawberries and the best hummus on the planet along with the greatest pita bread. Then we went to the fountain, let the boys run around in it and sat and talked on a bench in the shade with the babies. Dream. come. true. The boys continued playing by running around on the grass once they dried off from the fountain. And we watched and handed out food and water when they ran by. So good. So fun. Such an awesome way to blow a September day, eh? This is Fall around here I guess :)

Honey sticks

Luca turning his honey sticks into, of course, a gun.

Now this is a rare siting … Rocco in a picture.


I blame ridiculous faces like this on Daniel. Daniel makes the same faces when I hold up the camera ….

At least this shows how Noah has lost his two front teeth and his adult teeth are coming in.

Now Luca is just a child model. He is so gorgeous. His luscious lips (which you HAVE to appreciate in person) and the perfect tan skin and deep, dark, brown eyes. He is just so pretty!

you’re welcome.

Then there’s Chiara, who is THE perfect baby. She was sick today. But still beautiful. I look like someone hit me in the face with a frying pan when I’m sick, but Chiara dons sickness a little better than me.

Emily painted her toes for the day.

Thank you Daniel for creating weirdos that don’t know how to pose for a picture …

Enzo, telling me something.

Zacky. He is fun. He embodies what fun is.

He is being a zombie in this picture.

A little chilly with the wind blowing, but it was 84 degrees. It must be so fun to be Zacky. Eating pita bread, running in fountains, being a zombie for a minute. It’s the life basically.

The sun dried tomato hummus. Ben is taking a swipe with pita bread. So yummy.

Nice moves in the water by Liam.

Noah knows how to get air when he jumps. Noah is a fierce player.

Emily got in on the fountain action too. This girl is a thrill seeker!

Ray … not so much of a thrill seeker.

The scene

Cousins. I don’t know if I ever tire of seeing my boys lined up next to their cousins, enjoying life.

The End :) courtesy of the Blackburn boys.

Ray is one!

He’s been doing this little “o” face for a week now. Sooooo beautiful.

Ray is one. Wow, that went fast … and slow, at different parts. But what does a one year old do on their birthday you might ask. Well, this is what you do:

You wake up peacefully, in your own room, with the blinds drawn and waves from a sound machine crashing (that sounds nice, right?). Then you start babbling and smacking things, you pretty much do whatever you want and then suddenly your mom shows up at your bedroom door with warm milk for you and sings “happy birthday” to you all soft and happy. While you drink away, she changes your diaper and puts you in cute jeans and a t-shirt (and awesome socks). When you’re done sucking down 8 oz of milk, you fling the cup out of your way and sit up. Today begins!

You eat bananas and bread for breakfast, you get carried into the car and you go to the gym play area. You crawl around, find an awesome and huge tub of large sized legos that only you get to play with. You keep your blanket nearby while at the gym, just for extra support. After the gym, you’re getting tired, so your mom brings you home and snuggles you into your crib with your favorite blanket, she shuts the blinds and turns on your waves. You then drift off to sleep pretty quickly (hey, you had quite a morning!) and take a 3 hour nap. It’s awesome to be one.

We’re not making a huge deal out of Ray’s first birthday, meaning, no huge party, no friends coming over, no presents really. Well, my mom is sending $50 and we’re going to put it in Ray’s savings account – thanks mom and dad!!!! We’re just trying to let Ray do things he likes to do and eat food he likes to eat and then tonight as a family we’ll sing and have him blow out his candle and dive into a carrot cake cupcake. simple. And Ray seems pretty pleased with the day so far.

Here’s the rundown on what he’s up to lately:

– he crawls like a maniac and he’s fast.

– he seems to have absolutely no interest in pulling himself up to his feet and walking. In fact, he seems scared of this. Yesterday, Daniel helped Ray to his feet and then let go to see how long he could balance. It lasted about 1-2 seconds and then Daniel and I applauded his efforts. Ray burst into tears. Daniel tried setting him up on his feet again and Ray was shaky and whimpering. It was sad to watch. So we stopped. No need to develop …. just yet.

– he loves me the most. He cries whenever I walk out of the room, or pass by him. On Sunday, I stood up from the dinner table (Ray was in his highchair) and walked over to the kitchen sink (5 feet away) to wash my hands. Ray burst into tears. He’s a tender soul.

– his happy sounds are this, “sh-sh-sh” or “sss-sss-sss”, with a big grin on his little face.

– he’s not good with change and doesn’t like to try new things, like new foods.

– he’s got a great set of little pinchers and good eyes. He can spot the tiniest piece of hair, fuzzy, piece of paper or string and once he spots it, he turns and plops down in a sitting position and gets out his forefinger and thumb to swipe it up. Once it’s in his hands, he continues to crawl around with his treasure gripped tightly in his palm. I’ll pick him up and open his sweaty little fist to find all sorts of garbage. It makes me think I need to vacuum more.

– he thinks Noah is hilarious.

– he loves his fuzzy, striped blue blanket. We bought it before we had Noah and all three have used it, but none have latched onto it like Ray has. He gets the fuzzy soft side of the blanket and rubs it against his lips.

– he has trust issues and even gives Daniel a sidelong glance if Daniel comes into a room where I am holding Ray. I think he watches Daniel closely to make sure Daniel doesn’t try to take him out of my arms. It’s funny.

– he laughs at big banging sounds.

– he’s not a snuggler and when I hold him in my arms, he has to be facing out. If I try to put him on my hip, he twists his body so that he’s facing out and leans forward. It’s very awkward.

– he has curly lips and an adorable clefted chin.

– interesting note? Ray’s cousin, Devyn Ray (Mina’s little girl), shares the same birthday. June 4th. Both Ray and Devyn Ray were named after our Grandpa Ray.

Here are pictures of Ray on his first birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAY!

I know a few of these were fuzzy, but they were cute. Had to post them.

spring so far

Well, Michigan did some good for a week solid and man, we lived it up! It was in the 60’s and 70’s and sunny … wha??!! I know. But this happens every year. I just forget. Michigan is mean and plays dirty tricks. Every spring it gets to be April and I’m pissed that it’s still freezing at 40 degrees, then suddenly, we get a stroke of good weather, for just long enough to think, “huh, maybe spring is here! Maybe winter is over! Maybe we will start warming up!” and then I buy a basil plant! And then it’s the morning of Mother’s Day and Michigan slaps me in the face with 39 degrees and says, “take that!” and I have to bring my basil plant indoors, or watch it wilt and die slowly outside like my hopes and dreams of good, warm weather …. but for a week, it was good.

Ray has four teeth now! And boy did we ever pay for those 4 teeth. Rough stuff. Teething is the pits.

Ray also started standing up in his walker! He’s a speed demon at crawling these days but not really interested in walking just yet. The walker standing up thing just happened.

Then this next picture is for Daniel’s face. It’s his excited face …. wait for it ….


And this next picture is for Ray’s face:

Noah got a jump rope from the “grab jar” for getting his chores done on time. So we spent some time outside with the jump rope.

I love action shots of Noah. They are so real to life. He is in constant motion, always moving forward, making goals. That is my Noah.