Sunday, September 20, 2015

Introducing Anna Joy

So Anna Joy was born over a month ago. She weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 inches long. She came on August 13th, three days before her due date, making her the first of my children born before the due date. The doctor encouraged me to induce early because the ultrasound seemed to suggest that her growth had drastically slowed down,and they were worried my placenta might be breaking down. Everything went smoothly with labor and delivery. (The exception being the amount of times they tried to put in my i.v. It was actually fairly comical. I think I ended up with 5 pokes, and quite a bit of bruising.) Here are a couple of pictures from shortly after birth.
Little Sister
Sweet sleeping beauty
We are getting used to what it means to be a family of six. Nora is adjusting better than I expected. She was the one I was the most concerned about, since before Anna was born she said things like, "No new baby at my house." and "I the baby." But after Anna was born Nora took great delight in telling people, "I'm a big sissy!" So, for the most part she is embracing her new role. Sometimes it is still a little hard for Nora to share Mommy so much of the time... which is to be expected. 

Anna has been a pretty good baby. She has her fussy times (often in the evenings) but for the most part is easy to calm. She loves to eat and loves to be held. And the most exciting thing from the past week or so is that she has started to smile at us! Now we'll start to see her little personality more and more. So exciting. 

A couple days ago (at 5 weeks) she weighed in at 10 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 1/2 inches long. That puts her in the 86th percentile for weight and 68th for height. I can't believe how much she has grown. She is getting big. And those cheeks... those cheeks are huge

Monday, July 6, 2015

Just a Little Paranoid

So a few weeks back we played with a group of friends at a park and then went out to pizza with all of them. Later one of the moms texted to say that she had found nits (lice eggs) in her daughters hair that night. I thought back to our kids playing together and realized that Jonathan and Nora had not really played with the little girl in question. I also couldn't remember Leesi playing with her too much the day before, and certainly not in such a close way as to transfer lice. But just as a precaution I combed through her hair, carefully checking the scalp for any sign of nits or lice. Nothing showed up.

Fast forward to today, I noticed the girls both scratching their heads. Now, it has been unseasonably hot and they have been awfully sweaty. So a perfectly reasonable explanation for the itchiness would be sweaty heads. But I couldn't get the idea of lice out of my head. So I decided to comb through her hair again, just to check.

Right away I found some white specks near the scalp at the back of her head. Thus followed a solid half hour of combing hair and combing the internet for pictures of nits, and advice on how to tell the difference between nits and dandruff.

Finally I decided that it was just dandruff after all. I commented to the kids, "Mommy's just a little paranoid." A few minutes later Leesi asked me, "Mommy, why are you hair annoyed?"

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Fun!

Boy has it felt like summer! We've had unseasonably hot weather and hardly any rain for most of June. And we have been packing our summer full of adventures. To kick off June Greg and I headed to Chicago sans kids to celebrate our 14th anniversary. Mom and Dad watched the kiddos while we explored the city. We visited both the Art and the Field Museum, watched a live taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, saw Once (the musical), and ate lots of good food. We were also able to see some friends we hadn't seen in awhile. Greg had gone to Chicago earlier than me for his ACSD conference.  So he saw lots of old friends. Once I arrived some of our JBU friends were still around and so I was able to have lunch with them too. Overall it was such a great trip. And the kids had lots of fun with Grandma and Papa while we were gone. When we got back they filled me in on all of their adventures: the zoo, swimming, splash pads, Mariner's game, Taco Bell. :-)

Here we are in front of Buckingham Fountain.
Lou Malnati's pizza. Yum. Seeing it makes me hungry.
The next adventure was a trip to the coast. Some friends had graciously invited us to come with them to their family's beach house. We were happy to oblige. We had a great time hanging out with them and spent lots of time on the beach. It had been awhile since we had been and it was so nice to relax there.
As usual, Jonathan with his truck.
This beach was fairly rocky and had some cool tide pools to explore.
At this beach someone had built a little driftwood house. The kids had so much fun playing inside it. 
Everyone even went in the water a little.
Nothing says Oregon Coast quite like sweatshirts and jackets on the beach and ice cold water. 
We had only been back from the beach a couple days before we headed out on our next adventure: camping with my parents for two nights at Silver Falls. It was a super nice campground with hot water in the bathrooms and free showers. We explored just three of the ten waterfalls. They were breathtaking! Absolutely gorgeous hikes! One afternoon we swam in the river. It was a great way to cool down on a hot day. Overall, it was a great trip - so much fun!

Jonathan hurt his foot the very first night and limped for the rest of the weekend, poor kid. Greg had to carry him on all the hikes. The kids had trouble sleeping the first night. At first they were too excited to sleep. And then they got too tired and cranky. Leesi and Nora had trouble staying in their sleeping bags through the night. And Jonathan's foot woke him up. But the second night was much better. I think maybe next time we'll try for three nights and see how that goes.

Beautiful Falls 
Jonathan and Nora catch a ride on Greg and Papa's shoulders.  
Nora and Papa
Jonathan floats on the Rice Krispie Raft. 
Nora in her sleeping bag. It was very exciting to get new sleeping bags!
We got back from camping just in time for Leesi to participate in a show. Leesi has been taking dance class for a few months now at a studio close to our house. The studio put on a big show for the end of the year called, "A Bug'z Tale." Her class did a dance to "All the Colors" or as we refer to it, "the rainbow song." She was able to go and see the show with me on Friday night (a different class did the rainbow dance in that show) and then dance in it on Saturday night. Everyone enjoyed watching it. The songs from it are still stuck in my head.

Leesi posing after the show with her teacher. 
We've certainly had a busy and fun June. July should be a lot more low key. We'll be hanging around home a lot more. And then in August the baby comes!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Jonathan's thoughts and doings

So, I can officially say that Jonathan can read now. He still gets some words wrong and there is some guesswork involved, but he regularly tells me what things say (e.g. today at the doctor's office he told me, "these stickers say 'smile makers'") especially if it's something he finds funny. And he can read a whole book too (easy ones, that is). I realized that he had really gotten it and that reading had clicked for him when he read me all of Green Eggs and Ham. He seems to prefer to sit quietly and read them to himself, but sometimes he will read to me too.

His mind is always working on something. Recently he's started coming up to me out of the blue and telling me answers to math equations. "Mommy, 8+8 is 16." etc. Yesterday Leesi was working on her math homework and struggling on a problem. Jonathan walked up and whispered the answer in her ear. Ha! We were both surprised

He just finished preschool for the year. We've really liked his preschool and his teacher. She always has fun crafts and interesting activities for the kids. She is great with the kids. But if we ever say anything about learning something in preschool Jonathan will correct us, insisting that he doesn't learn at preschool. "It's not really a learning kind of school. We just play."

They had a special Mother's Day Tea a month ago and the kids were so sweet. They sang songs for the Moms and gave us all kinds of handmade gifts. It was a very sweet time with my special guy.

Me and Jonathan at the Mother's Day Tea at his school. He made me a special corsage.
The other day Jonathan told me, "The first day ever wasn't a tomorrow. There was a first day, and it wasn't a tomorrow. Other days have tomorrows, but the first day was never a tomorrow. God was there."

He has started doing speech therapy to work on some of his articulation. He doesn't yet produce a 'l' sound or an 'r' sound, instead he substitutes w's. There are a handful of other sounds he doesn't make quite right either (among them th, s, and j). I am glad that he is doing speech therapy and will get the help he needs. But there is part of me that will probably miss the "Mommy, I wiwy wiwy wuv you!"

Let us eat lettuce!

The lettuce has taken off. We are eating tons of salads and we still can't quite keep up with the amount of lettuce that we're getting. I picked the lettuce this morning into my biggest plastic mixing bowl. It was heaped to the top and overflowing, and still the lettuce patch looked like I could pick some more.

My biggest bowl heaping with lettuce. 
The lettuce after being picked. There are 12 heads in three square feet. Probably four different varieties. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015


So now that early pregnancy has passed and I am feeling better, I am really enjoying being outside and working in our yard. I try to talk myself into doing the dishes or the laundry or picking up toys, but if it's decent weather out the dishes usually get neglected and the laundry sits for a little longer while I work out in the yard.

A month or so ago Greg built a 8x4 raised bed for me, and filled it with dirt. Since then I've been working away on planting in it, as well as a few other places around the yard. So far in the garden box we have kale, onions (several kinds), shallots, spinach, lettuce, and marigolds growing. And I'm still hopefully watching for carrots and dill to sprout. Peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers will go in soon.

I built a sweet pea teepee for the kids to hide out in, and am watching with glee as the peas they planted sprout and grow. Once the peas are done, I plan on planting beans in their place.

I just planted four tomato plants in one of the planter boxes on the front of the house, and am planning on planting a few more in the garden box in the back and training them to grow up a trellis (square foot garden style).

I hope to get strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries this year from plants that we've put in.

Greg ripped out a lilac bush that was beautiful, but hopelessly unhealthy, and we planted a dwarf peach tree in its place. So exciting!

There are also quite a few flowers, both ones that we've planted and ones that were already here, that are starting to make an appearance.

I have lots of plans for more improvements to the yard and garden too. I guess I've caught the gardening bug.
Snails are always fun to find and watch.

We have dogwood trees in the front! Beautiful!

We have a few of these in our yard too. Leesi took this picture. Pretty good, right?

Little lettuces.

The hyacinth were beautiful this year. 

My helpers.

Other garden bounty.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The little things I want to remember

So, once again, it's been awhile since the last post. But I have a good reason. Baby #4 is on the way! We have been hoping for a baby #4 for awhile now, and so we were ecstatic when we found out I was pregnant. But early pregnancy always takes its toll on me, with nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. So, the last couple months have been a bit rough. I'm 16 weeks along now, and starting to feel better every day.

Meanwhile, life has continued in all its messy, loud, glorious splendor.

Today it hit me just how much I want to remember everything about these days. I want to remember Jonathan as a five-year-old, and Nora at two and a half, and Leesi as a big first grader. So, once again, back to the blog. I'll blog about today, about the everyday moments. The days are beautiful, and painful, and mundane, and fun, and tedious. And I want to remember all of it. Or at least, I want to remember pieces of each part of it.

So here goes...

Today I braided Leesi's hair. It's been hard getting up in the morning lately. And I can't move as fast as usual. So, it's made for some hurried mornings... wild hair and granola bar for breakfast kind of mornings. But today, I had time for a braid. Little things to be thankful for.

Jonathan and Nora have been sick. So, Jonathan stayed home from school again today. Nora was cranky and snotty in the morning. Jonathan and I played Candy Land and Operation in a sun patch on the living room carpet while Nora sat on my lap. Nora clung to me, scared, whenever the Operation buzzer went off.

Later in the morning Nora and Jonathan were screaming because they were both so frustrated about a fishing game that Jonathan had gotten out. I felt completely at a loss to help them deal with their frustration. Then when Jonathan yelled at me, I unleashed my own frustration at him and carried him upstairs and plopped him on his bed. I definitely still have a lot to figure out in this whole parenting thing.

We went outside a little later, into the beautiful, unseasonably warm March day. I worked on painting the shutters red, and the kids rode their various riding toys. A better mood prevailed.

Lunchtime, and then Nora's nap. I often read to Jonathan during the first part of Nora's nap and then become so sleepy that I have to take a nap myself. Today was no exception. After Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball, I found myself curled up on the couch for a fifteen minute nap. Then off to pick Leesi up from school.

On the way home, the kids ride their bikes ahead of me and Nora (in the stroller) and wait at each corner. As I come closer they motion thumbs-up and thumbs-down and wait for me to motion back the thumbs-up or say, "you can go!" Today Nora yelled from the stroller, "You can go, Jonathan, Leesi. You can go."

At home after chores and snacks, the kids watched a video while I worked more on the shutters. When I came back inside, I found them watching a youtube video of "I'm a little teapot" and doing the motions along with it. Leesi was Nora's instructor. "No, hold your arms like this Nora!" "I'm helping her learn the motions. She can't quite do it yet, but we're working on it!" I think that girl may be a teacher some day. I sat and watched some of the other songs with them. "Nora loves these toddler songs," Leesi told me. "Whenever she sees a new one, she just gets so excited and burstess into cuteness!"

I think they all have their moments of bursting into cuteness.

Jonathan has just about the most expressive smiling eyes you've ever seen. He is very loving - loves giving hugs and kisses. When he kisses Nora at night he plucks her paci out of her mouth and says, "Not like that Nora, you're kissing your paci!" He's also very creative. Yesterday he gave me a trophy he had made out of construction paper with a heart at the top. "What is this for?" I asked. "Best Mommy ever trophy?" He thought about it for a second and then agreed, "Yep." He loves doing the crafts at preschool, and always thinks of extra little touches to put on them. He's definitely an original. I rarely see him copying others in how he does his artwork. He has his own ideas. He's smart about how things work. There have been two times in the last couple weeks that Leesi has tried to do something unsafe and he has tried to stop her because he knew that she would get hurt. The first time, I heard him yelling at her and came to see what was going on just in time to stop some kind of laundry basket off of the back of the chair scenario. The second time, I wasn't around and Leesi didn't listen to Jonathan and she ended up with two big owies on her inner thighs from some kind of fall off of/onto the front porch railing. Later, she told Greg, "Jonathan tried to stop me, but I didn't listen." And Jonathan told me, "I knew she would get hurt because the wood was wider than the other piece." I didn't quite know what he meant, but I know that he understood it all perfectly.

Leesi is a school girl now. She likes school and is the model student while she's there. Sometimes I worry that she puts too much pressure on herself to be "good." When she comes home, sometimes all her "good" has been exhausted and she snaps and becomes easily frustrated. But I know she loves school and is learning a lot. She is an excellent and voracious reader. She loves library, music, and gym. She is very responsible. I can almost always count on her to follow the rules, and to make sure that her brother and sister are following them too. She has turned into an excellent hula hooper. She even puts on shows for us involving hula hooping and reading from a joke book at the same time. She can be very silly at home, but I don't know if she lets herself be too silly in public. Only around people with whom she's extremely comfortable. She is best buddies with Jonathan which sometimes means they fight. And she is extremely maternal, loving, and patient with Nora.

Nora is teetering on the brink of big girl. Sometimes she insists that she's the baby. Other time she tells me, "I not a baby!" Today I put her hair in a pony tail. That definitely makes her look grown up. She is funny. She copies whatever her brother and sister say, especially the things that get a laugh. Because of this, one of her favorite phrases right now is, "Poopin' with my bottom!" said in a sing-song kind of way. She has been extremely outgoing at certain times in life, but right now she seems like she's going to be shy. She's starting to seem timid about new people and experiences. She's still loud at home though. She demands attention, and she knows she has to compete to get it! She sometimes screams when she's angry or frustrated. Just a loud, shrill scream. I don't remember the other kids doing that. Maybe I've blocked it out of my memory. But the next moment she is just the cutest thing ever. She just "bursts into cuteness!"

With these three to keep me busy I know that the next few months will fly by and baby #4 will be here before I know it. Mostly I feel completely overwhelmed at the thought of another one. But excited too... in a "I think I'm a little bit crazy" kind of way.