Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Equinox To You

Early Fall Color It's officially Fall. Although Spring is my most favorite season, I think Fall is second. I love the crispness in the air and the leaves changing colors all around me. I think too, the melancholy mixed with cozy happiness feelings Fall inspires go with my personality quite well. The weather has been so strange this year, so far it hasn't felt like Fall at all. We've actually had some of the best weather of the summer! The last few days though, have been chilly and much more Fall-like.

Christoph was out of town for the weekend at a church retreat. when he got home on Sunday I decided to take a little walk to get some time to myself. It was beautiful out and I was noticing little touches of fall color everywhere. It got me very in the mood for Fall. One of my favorite things since moving to the northwest is seeing the migrating Canadian Geese. I love their patterns in the sky and their slightly mournful honking. There is a big field near our house where they tend to gather for a rest in their flight. I've been longing to have a better camera so I could take some cool zoom pictures of them. Wouldn't you know it, after four years, I get my camera and the farmer totally plows up the field! So, right now it's just a huge expanse of dirt and I haven't seen any geese there this year! I'm bummed. I do know of another place I've seen them, so one of these days I'll have to leave Christoph with the kids and go on a photo taking expedition. Anyway, happy Fall to you all! Make yourself a cup of something warm, snuggle up with someone you love and just soak it in!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Milky Smiles

There's a little phenomena that happens between a mother and her baby that I will call a milky smile. I've seen it with all three of my kids, but managed to forget about it until recently reminded by Micah. For me at least, it doesn't seem to be a long phase, it mostly happens when a baby first starts to smile and is exercising their new skill as much as they can. And of course, you have to still be breastfeeding. I want to remember it this time. The unabashed delight at seeing me in the morning, contrasted so sharply against my five year old's crankiness as I pry her out of bed to get ready for school.
Have you ever noticed that babies are almost always morning people? At least at the beginning. They may outgrow it later, but early on everyone is a morning person. Maybe it has something to do with all the naps during the day. So, here's the set-up. Take a snuggly, warm, just woken up baby. His diaper is changed and he is just soo hungry since it's been four hours since his last dark, nighttime feeding. As soon as you sit down, he almost lunges for your breast, sucking greedily. Then he glances sideways up at you, and he's just so happy to see Mommy, he can't help but get a huge grin, but he can't stop eating to socialize, he's much too hungry for that! So, it turns into this hilarious lopsided smile wrapped around a breast with milk dribbling out everywhere. You just can't help but smile back. It's so funny and cute looking at the same time. Then back to eating, but wait there's Mom-Milky smile-back to eating, and repeat.

Why do I think this is so special? Only a Mother will ever see that face, that angle, that expression. A baby can smile around a bottle no matter who's feeding him, but there just isn't that same intimacy, that same angle with the sideways glance. It's something unique between a breastfeeding Mother and her baby. A little slice of pure joy to soothe your sleep deprived consciousness and get you started on another day.


Congratulations to Kristen and Rebecca. I wish you many moments of joy, and here's hoping I win something for once! =)

Virtual Baby Shower

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Indian Summer

I think it was Anne of Green Gables (via L.M. Montegomery) who said, "My life is a graveyard of buried dreams." It sounds like something the dramatic, young Anne would say. Well, my blog is a graveyard of buried posts. I get idea for posts all the time, but it seems I only get around to writing about a third of them. This summer we did so many fun things. I wanted to write about a lot of them, but it never happened. Part of the reason is I had so many pictures I felt overwhelmed in sorting through them and figuring out which to include. So, I turned to Flickr. I've spent a lot of August playing around on Flickr. It's wonderful and addictive. My thought is that instead of cluttering up my posts with lots of pictures like I usually do, I'll have one or two, directly linked to Flickr, and the die hard (ahem-Grandmas) can click and see more pictures there. Well, by the time I got that figured out, summer was over and no posts! So, I thought I'd just give a little summary and a slide show and call it a day. Too bad for me I didn't know that dumb wordpress has a bug that won't let me display the slide show I made. So, I'll include a link at the end.

On July 4th we took off for California. We spent a little over a week visiting friends and family and having fun. It was great to see everyone! One of the many highlights for the girls was picking lemons straight off the tree and making lemonade out of them. Thank you Heastys for opening your home only two weeks after having a baby and Bartles for giving us a place to stay all week and entertaining us to boot! Thanks to all of you who fed us and gave us great fellowship-you know who you are! We had a blast.

A few weeks later we went camping for the weekend with a group from our church. I was nervous about going camping with a six week old, but it went surprisingly well. The girls had a blast being out doors surrounded by friends for two whole days.

This was followed up by a visit from my Dad who got to meet his new grandbaby for the first time. I love having my Dad around. It's really fun watching him interact with my kids.

The rest of the summer was spent picking all kinds of berries, going to the pool, visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium and even going to the beach a couple of times. The summer blew by and now school has started and it's gone. I hope we made some good memories for our kids. If not, we made some for ourselves!

Slide Show 

**Well, in the process of moving/updating my blog I see that will soon be no more. All the pictures from the slide show are available as a Picasa Album, so if you'd like to look at them you can click on the link.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Off To School

First DayYesterday was the big day. We've known it was coming. We've discussed it and planned for it and tried to prepare you as best we could. There weren't any worries about you not being ready, or not being able to handle it. You are such a smart girl and you have loved going places basically since you were born. The only tears at the nursery, or daycare and preschool were when you had to leave to come home. You've been anticipating starting at your new school ever since you caught sight of the playground when we drove past it two years ago. This last week you've literally been counting down the days. Now, finally, it was here.

It wasn't quite as easy for me. After this you are officially a grade schooler. For the next 12 years you'll be spending hours of your day in school. It's almost like your first real job in a way. You're gone from home for six and a half whole hours. You have to navigate hallways and classrooms. You have to get out your lunch and budget enough time to eat it. You have to get along with others and you have to learn.

Our morning started off a little hectic, since we stayed up a little too late Sunday night, but you were so excited you didn't even mind being dragged out of bed. We rushed you through your breakfast and getting ready. I paused to snap a couple of pictures and you were out the door. And just that fast the moment was gone. Somehow in my mind it went by much more slowly. Daddy said when he dropped you off excitement was radiating from every pore, you could hardly contain yourself. He helped you get situated, find your seat and your cubby, then stood back to watch. The day started off with Spanish time and he was curious to see how you'd take it. Other then a few glances his way for reassurance, you seemed to take it in stride. You told me later the only thing you didn't like about Spanish time was you couldn't ask as many questions. He left about 40 minutes later and you were on your own. It was no surprise when he picked you up that you said you wanted to stay longer. When you got home you were happy to tell me all about your day. Big Girl There were a couple of stories that illustrated what a different world it was. You told me you really liked the lunch I packed, but the bell rang before you were done and you had to stop eating, even though you were still hungry. I was happy to see you had eaten all your carrots, crackers and cheese and what was left was some of your chips, your grapes and your cookies. Even when no one is watching you save the sweets for last. You also told me that during recess you lost track of your teacher and that made you sad. So you sat on a bench and a friend ("who wasn't in my class")kept you company for awhile. Then the bell rang and the friend left and you didn't know where to go.Then another teacher came and took you to your class. I have to admit that my mommy imagination runs wild with scary thoughts of you being vulnerable and alone on the playground. My mommy heart breaks at the image of you sitting there all alone, afraid even to play because you don't want to be lost. Together we'll make it over the little bumps, and before you know it, school will be old hat. In the afternoon you told us you wished you could go to school everyday. We reassured you that except for weekends you would be! This morning you were just as excited to start another day. You told Daddy you were starting to dream, but then you remembered you could get up and go to school, so you decided to wake up instead.

I know it the future there will be days you'll complain about school and talk about how much you hate it. So, for now I'll share in your excitement, nurture your love for learning, thrill in your discoveries of new things and making friends, and hide in my heart the twinges of sorrow that my baby is so big.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mellow Yellow

Three Months Three months old today! Where has the time gone? I knew it would fly by and yet I'm still surprised. Everyday you get a little bigger and a little more fun. You are such a contented baby. You are just happy to sit and take in the world. If you start to fuss, it's usually because you're tired and you want to be put in your bed.

You are so social now. You frequently reward us all with your big sunny smiles. Your sisters love to come over and talk to you, just to see your little face light up. In the last week you have started to get ticklish and also started laughing. It is so fun to run my finger across your tummy or blow raspberries in your neck and be rewarded by your funny baby chuckle. Every morning after you have your breakfast you look up at me and coo and gurgle and smile. You are so happy to great the day, and it makes my day better too.

SillyYou really like your bouncy chair now. It's so funny to watch your brow furrow in concentration and then your legs go kick, kick, kick. The music plays and you sit back and smile. You are also convinced that the ceiling fan is your best friend.

I sit in your room at night putting you to bed and just soak in the peacefulness. It's dark with just the light from the night light and your moblie which is playing it's quiet song. You snuggle up against me occasionally giving a little kick and making your baby sounds of contentment. In the other room I hear your sisters being put to bed and I know all too soon you will be part of the melee; yelling, laughing, begging for another song or drink of water. Protesting that you have to go potty one more time. Crying because you can't find your bear or blanket. So I snuggle you a little closer, breath in deep your sweet baby smell and just be.