Brisk Me Away


Annie's 3rd bday party

Annie loves Minnie Mouse and both the big kids love watching Minnie's Bow-tique, so I had been talking to Annie for a while about having a Minnie Mouse themed party. She liked the idea, then would also bring up princess and Frozen, but I always steered her back to my Minnie Mouse idea!:) She was so happy with her party. I think 3 is really when they start to understand and fully enjoy their bday celebrations. I always say I'm going to pare down their parties right after we've had one, but then I forget and get all caught up in planning them when the next one rolls around! It's a good excuse to clean the house and get things in order while also having friends over that we wouldn't necessarily normally have. And let's face it, it's one of the only times that all the family comes together at the same time. I think it's neat that the kids get to experience that for their bday. They will look back and see they were loved and celebrated year after year, so to me it's worth the hassle, and I usually really enjoy doing it. Below are some pics of the Annie's celebration! They are not in the exact order I'd like, but they'll do. :)

This is also suppose to look like a Minnie Mouse head:)

Best buddy from school Connor

And other super friend Ezra!

Mom is doing great after surgery less than a month ago. She's a trooper.

Baby friends Elijah and Ruby!

Friends Blakelyn and Heather

Our wonderful babysitter stopped by to gift Annie with this Frozen doll

I have to brag on Steven. I baked the cake in the pan, but then had a hundred other things that came up and it got way late. Then I tried to follow the instructions on how to outline and star tip the sucker, and let's face it, following directions is not my strong point. In comes Steven who took over and decorated the whole thing! He did perfect of course, and Annie was so happy with it on the morning of her party!
Annie was so happy all of her party but broke down when I served the cake. We realized she had her heart set on a pink cupcake and I had cut her a piece of the actual cake. Heaven forbid!!

She perked right up once she licked the pink icing off that coveted cupcake!!

Opening gifts! She got some great stuff!

Henry having fun with pin the bow on Minnie

Cousins and my mom and Marie came from TN

Ottander friends came too!!

This was prior to friends arriving. Henry and Annie were thrilled that there was lemonade at the party and begged for at taste before everyone got there! AND with paper straws! They kept coming back and asking for more.

Grandpa and Peggy

She was so excited to have candles and bday song sung to her!

I love how kids flock to the cake area:)

Thankfully Grandma was on baby duty the whole time, because mama was kinda busy!


She conked out for nap right after the party in her new Hello Kitty sleeping bag and both of her Minnie Mouse stuffed animals. Big day for a little girl!


11 months!

Ruby turned 11 months on 6/9. My how time is flying! She's a true delight...easiest baby ever...and we are so thankful! Here are a few things from the past month.

-She uses her arms to rotate around and around when sitting up. She can get to what she wants really easily this way! She isn't moving forward or backward, but just around and around in circles. She makes herself go from sitting to laying down on her tummy when she wants something she can't get to in.

-She gives high fives and says uh-oh appropriately! She was sitting beside me on the sofa with a bunch of toys in front of her and started dropping them off the side of the sofa and would say uh-oh after each one, then lean way over the side to see where it went! She has also just started doing this with food off of the side of her high chair...and so it begins! And once she gets going on high fives, she does it over and over!:) She holds her hand out and she is hard to ignore!

-She's mommy's girl (not just this month, but I want to note it!) and fusses for me and cranes her neck to see me when someone else is holding her. When she is playing, and we make eye contact I get the sweetest smiles and waves. She melts my heart-I'm glad the feeling is mutual!She says "mama" all the time. Oftentimes it is lovingly, and sometimes she's yelling MAMA!!! And then sometimes just "ma!" like she's from Boston or something:) But that is her go-to word right now. She loves her siblings, but she has started seeing them coming in with their love and neck hugs, and she fusses pretty quickly about it!

-She's gone thru a phrase of not being thrilled to be left in church nursery on Wed night. I think she's tired and knows it's going to be a  long night! They have to work to keep her happy on and off I think. Otherwise, though, she's happy to be dropped off at church in the mornings and also was always happy at school. I hope she will be that way when we return!

-Sleep is interesting with Ruby. She lays down at about 7-7:30 each night and has an early wake up time around 5-sometimes earlier! I try to let her fuss or go in and just soothe her if it is earlier than 5, and this works for a little while, but she always wakes back up so I just feed her if it's after 5am. I would love for this to stretch further especially since I am getting closer to weaning her, but I'm also weak in the early morning and just want to pacify her so I can go back to bed  myself. I will have to work harder next month to get this all figured out, but in reality it's really not that bad. She still takes 2 naps a day-one around 9:30 and another around 1:30. Sometimes these are spread further apart and sometimes she does not get a morning nap which she handles just fine. She reminds me much more of her sis than her bro in that way.

-She blew her nose into a tissue this month! She watched me, and then I put it up to her nose and she blew into it. So cute and she just grinned and laughed each time afterward. She was really proud of herself!

-She is totally into Maggie and every time she sees her she pants big and we talk about "dog" and say "woof woof". It is one of her trigger words, because we will be saying dog in passing conversation, and Ruby will evidently hear and start her panting and smiling as soon as she does! I was nursing her and Henry was right beside me talking, and he asked me if Maggie was an adult. I said, "Well, in dog years, she's 70" and Ruby pulled away from eating when she heard dog and did her panting and grinning at me. We both died laughing. She is both curious and nervous about Maggie. If I am holding her she will reach out more for her, but if Maggie makes any sudden moves Ruby jumps! The few times Maggie has laid down beside Ruby on the ground have made her fuss look for me. Maggie IS a big dog, after all, so I don't really blame her!

-She signed "all done" on 5/27 and does it quite a bit now! She also raises her arms up to show "so big!!" when we ask, "How big is Ruby??"

-I trimmed the sides of her hair on 5/28! Her Jewish man sideburns are no more! She is looking more and more blonde now, too.

-Ruby is basically eating everything now. She got a special little bite of donut from Daddy this month and also a bite of cupcake at our friend's bday celebration-also from Daddy! He held it right in front of her face, and she just stared at it and grinned so big and looked up at him! Then she eventually took a bite and loved it of course. I am holding out hope that she might go for her cake at her first birthday. Grandpa also has already introduced her to vanilla ice cream this month! We got blueberries this month and she eats them like candy!! So fast, and I love watching her pick them up from her tray and put them in her mouth. It is absolutely AMAZING how fast babies develop. Just to think a few months ago she was exclusively nursing and a few before that and she couldn't even sit up and a few before that she couldn't hold her head up! I am also having LOTS of memories of Annie at this same phase of life-probably bc they are both summer babies-I vividly recall Annie picking blueberries and then gobbling them up at VBS which is exactly what we phase we are in currently. And they are wearing so many of the same clothes. I don't think the actually look much alike in reality, but these types of similarities cause me to do a double take. Crazy!
-She had her first ear infection on 5/26. She and Annie had had runny noses for a few weeks, and I thought we had skirted ear infections, but as those symptoms subsided she started to act less like herself and then after a night of waking up several times, which is uncharacteristic of her, I took her in and sure enough she had one. She also had a low fever on and off for a few days that caused me to think it might be ears, too. They are all 3 different when they are sick, so I am having to learn her specific cues!

Oh, you are a precious baby, Miss Ruby Jane. We all just could eat you up! You have an adoring family watching to see what sweet thing you will do next!