Thursday, June 23, 2011

Haley's Boyfriend

Some of you saw pictures from the valentines dance.
Well, Haley and her friend were reunited for another hand holding adventure.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see more...

Haley's bug

My internet access has been in and out for a variety of reasons (storms and mac power cords...) and may continue to be so over the next few days (traveling...) so sorry if posts have been and will be scarce again for a while.

But here's a quick Haley story to make you smile.

Today after story time at the library we went to the park. There were 4 other kids there that Haley knows but she mostly kept to herself, eating her snack and wondering around our newly discovered playground. While she wandered the 3 bigger kids caught bugs. And occasionally brought them over to Haley for her to look at.

Fast forward about 6 hours.

We had some dinner guests and sent Haley to the fenced in backyard to play in her sandbox while we chatted at the table. At one point Haley came rushing to the door saying "bug, bug" with a joyful, proud grin on her face.
Squished between her two fingers she held her new little friend.
She tried to bring the bug inside and I was hesitant to let her enter with her bug in tow. At first glance it looked like a piece of dirt. But I was a little worried she would be bringing some sort of spider into the house. (We've had a lovely lightening bug in our living room the last two nights, but I think a ladybug is the only other critter I would gladly accept inside)
I leaned in closer to examine Haley's bug and saw a little head with antlers. Hmmm... I thought, is that an ant?... No. (Haley's fingers loosen and the bug begins to wiggle away, revealing little yellow and black stripes) a bee! (and not the friendly honey bee kind, the yellow jacket, sting you and make you cry, kind) I don't remember exactly what I did next but I'm pretty sure I smacked it out of her hand and yanked her inside away from it's pointy stinger.
Luckily she was not stung, and I'm sure she still doesn't understand why I didn't like her little friend that she was so proud to have captured.  Makes me think of "I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee" and I was proud that she wasn't afraid of the bugs, but we might have to work on deciding which ones are ok to bring home. All this while being careful not to impart my arachnophobia on her. (One of the Dad's at the park was doing such a great job of teaching about how good bugs and spiders are. The whole time I was thinking, yuck! spiders. eek! )

In Liam news

last night we went to bed at around 12:30. We didn't wake up until about 5:45.
I woke up and I looked at the clock to see what time it was. I immediately looked over at Liam to make sure he was ok, since he usually wakes up every 2-3 hours. I put my hand on his back and felt him peacefully breathing in his happy sleepy place. The panic left as quickly as it had set in and I smiled knowing my little boy practically slept through the night.

Liam's bed at the home :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tears and Rain

Some of my favorite images from my most recent download. 
They really do look alike

First Real Tears

Staring at the Rain

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Head strong...

     Liam still hasn't gotten much face time on the blog. He's sleeping in my arms which makes it difficult to type so this will be brief. But I promised more posts and I want to deliver on that promise, even if the attempt is limited, including rough pictures, poor grammar, bad spelling, and general mediocrity. I tend to have big ideas for posts and little followthrough. I guess 2 kids and a job with 8 extra kids will do that to you. And like I said before, some of these pictures and things may be seriously outdated. 

     These pictures are from May 21st. My little guy was not quite 4 weeks old. Now, I may be biased, but I think this is pretty impressive for that age. The kids got major head strength- serious tummy time skills.  I think think this just reinforces the fact that I gave birth to a 1 month old. Yep, a 10 pound 7 ounce one month old. 

     In other news

  • Haley's hair is getting super long and I refuse to cut it yet. So I've been getting more creative with her up-do's. 
  • Liam was 12 pounds at my 6 week check up. His 0-3 month clothes are getting awfully snug.
  • Haley's skills as an artist are drastically improving. She can focus on trying to color a specific character and she is much more intentional about drawing loops instead of just random lines.
  • Liam most recent nickname is puddles, due to the massive amounts of spit up he produces. I'll let you in on some more of the nicknames soon. 
  • Haley has started learning to throw her little basketball. She is quite horrible at it; but it's adorable when she says "weddy" and she loves chasing the ball around.
  • Liam is about the noisiest eater I've ever heard, plus he snores when he sleeps. He is generally just a kid who likes to be heard. (Hmmm.. like's the sound of his own voice- wonder where he gets that from)
  • Haley's vocabulary is rapidly expanding. She's a pro at her body parts, and animal names and sounds. She is quickly learning her colors and types of clothes and we've been starting on numbers. She's also linking words together, especially possessives (Haley's ball, Mommy's key). And she's doing great with the names of her family, her little friends, and the boys. 
  • I have been keeping with running every day (a few days more pitiful than others, even one night of doing butt kicks and high knees down my hallway for 5 minutes, but we'll count it.) Zach joined me one night last week, and my friend at work joined me tonight, it feels good to run with company. Also we're planning to run a 5K this fall. I'm pretty excited to have a goal set. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kind of like Sisters

     As I think I've mentioned, we have the pleasure of sharing our home this summer with some of our great friends. Zach has a fellow seminary student/ preacher to discuss theology with. I have a wonderful friend to talk to, laugh with, be motivated by, and learn from. And Haley has a big sister. 
     Having them in our house is a huge blessing. We can share the responsibilities with the kids, allowing for late night ice cream runs, mid day solo trips to the grocery store, and showers with our spouses (all luxuries that can be tricky to come by with little kids). We take turns with cooking and cleaning, meaning a few night off each week. They are wonderful parents who we are constantly learning from, especially since they rock at discipline, they have done an excellent job teaching their 3 year old to listen and obey. They are generally just good people who we enjoy spending time with and learning from. I am so excited to spend our summer together. 
    I think Haley and Ryann are loving this time together the most. These two love playing together. Ryann drags Haley around on her adventures, and Haley looks up to Ryann with wide eyes, ready to copy her every move. They do occasionally fight like sisters, and we are still trying to work out the nap time situation but their days usually consist of playing and laughing together. They play on the swing or in the sandbox, putting on tutu's and dancing around, pulling all the books off the shelves, or pushing their dolls around in their strollers. It is a joy to watch these two play together. 
     These girls are so similar. They are such typical little girls in many ways, and even look kind of like sisters. But, It is a neat to see their differences. God has crafted them as unique individuals, their personalities already shining through and setting them apart. I look forward to watching them both grow up, and seeing how he will use their passions and gifts to advance his kingdom. They both already have so much love to give, and I believe they truly do care about each other. I hope they will always be surrounded with great friends who will bless them as this family has blessed me.

The girls in their elements, Ryann with an arm full of dolls, Haley with a book. 

They love playing together at bath time.

We love our snuggly clean girls who give us sweet hugs and kisses good night. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


     At work last week we had an awards banquet. Part of the decorations were a long string full of balloons. The perfect opportunity to take colorful photos. Haley wanted to hold them, but she didn't want me to help and she kept letting go. I tried tying the string to her shirt; she didn't like that. I ended up trading back and forth which end I was holding as she fought me for it. 
     While balloons are fun and bring a lot of joy, they also bring tears. It is a blast to watch them float away, but when a toddler realizes they can't have their cake and eat it too, beware the storm of tears. Balloons slip out of fingers, float away, and pop in the grass. So in light of the discovery that balloons are in fact evil. (hang with me here) 2 of my co-workers/ friends started creating an album full of songs about balloons. It is a hilarious undertaking involving Weird Al style lyrics with Jack Johnson style melodies. I think one of these pictures may be the perfect album cover. Enjoy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Haley's Plant

  Haley and I took a trip to the tailgate market that is open on Saturday's all summer long. We bought a tomato plant and a few days later Haley used the gardening tools she got for easter to help me plant it next to her daddy's blueberry bushes. The next week we got a green pepper plant and we planted it with Ryann's help too. I'm hoping to get at least on pepper and one tomato and I will feel like we have an accomplished first garden. With these plants and the blueberries that are already producing fruit Haley will have a green thumb in no time. 


     A funny story: The market is a small gathering of vendors behind a local church. There are about 15-20 little tents set up selling organic local produce, homemade bread, plants, soaps, chocolate and small crafts. We live about 4 blocks away and love to walk to the market to see friends, neighbors, and puppies. especially the really big ones that look like teddy bears. As we walked around the market for the first time this summer Haley enjoyed sampling chocolates, strawberries, and other treats. Then when I turned my back on her to sample some chocolate she reached up to the neighboring table to take one of the treats they were selling, then took a big bite out of it. She looked up at me with a "mommy, this does not taste very good" look. and then I laughed as I pulled the goats milk soap out of her mouth. 
     Do not take things without asking: lesson learned. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Hike

     Last Sunday afternoon we decided to go on a hike with our friends who are staying with us for the summer. As we were leaving Zach's mom and brother showed up (they ended their backpacking trip a day early). Brennan decided to join us on our hike, and it was a good thing too since we forgot our hiking backpack in the excitement of the moment.  Haley's buddy Ryann was a champion hiker, backpack and all. Haley did pretty well on her own two feet, but was really slow and easily distracted (I have no idea where she got THAT from), so her dad and uncle took turns carrying her up to the summit. 

Th girls paused for some hugs at the halfway point.  

Haley was not feeling it. 

First family of four hike photo!

Liam rode up the mountain in the moby wrap. I was glad to have an excuse not to carry the squirmy, quickly growing, toddler. 

All the hiking really wore him out. 

After a short fight involving some large sticks the girls were happy to say sorry and give hugs. 

Haley had a delicious snack after it smashed open in the diaper bag and spilled all over the camera. 

Brennan was a bit nervous holding Liam over the jagged rocks. 

I got the girls to stop for a minute so they could stand in this fun hollowed out tree that I love.

The perfect hiding spot.

     Even though I am crazily out of shape it was a lot of fun to hit the trails with the kids. In the 4 years I have lived in the mountains I have not spent a lot of time outside. I am hoping that this summer will be a new beginning of hiking and playing outdoors. I hope to instill in Haley and Liam a love for the mountains and an appreciation for God's creation.
     As a kid I loved Pipi Longstocking. One of my favorite lines describing her was that the mountains please her more than toys do. I hope that this will be true of my kids, that they will find as much or more joy in bugs, flowers, rock walls, and sunsets as they do in blocks, dolls, cars, and TV shows. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Liam - 1 month

My son is over a month old. Here are some observations from his first month. 
  • He spits up- a lot. And when I say a lot I mean that I have no idea how he is growing at all because he seems to regurgitate his entire meal after every feeding. 
  • He is very gassy. This is probably the only thing, other than hunger, that upsets him. But he kicks his legs and works it out... sometimes very loudly. 
  • He is a bit of a nocturnal creature, usually having his last awake period of the day from around 11pm to 1am. I usually stay up late whit him; we're on a college kid schedule
  • During the night he eats lying down and falls asleep in my arms. His gas and spitting up seem to be less of a problem at night. 
  • He is a noisy sleeper. He breaths very heavily and snores a little. 
  • He makes very sweet noises when he's awake. Especially when he's hungry. 
  • He has a hard time latching on when he eats, he just gets so excited that it's almost time for food that he can't stop shaking his head. 
  • He is content to sit in his bouncy seat for a long time, or even sleep there, but he would rather be in someone's arms. 
  • He has not peed on his mom and dad too many times, but he did manage to get the wall of the midwife's office once when he pooped. 
  • He holds his head up very well. I am amazed at how high he can lift himself off his tummy, especially if he's resting on someone's shoulder. 
  • I adore the way his legs stay tucked up when he is moved from place to place. He managed to latch them around his car seat buckle the first few times I tried to get him out and almost lifted the seat with his grip. 
  • All babies have a startle reflex but his seems to be easily triggered. He is a content but jumpy little guy. 
  • He is not especially fussy and seems to be very well tempered. Is is very patient with his sister and all of her friends who like to bounce him, cover him with blankets, and shove his inky in his mouth
  • He spent the first few days of his life resembling a turtle. Now I think he looks a little like a mouse. 
  • He smiles often. Especially when he's dozing off and you lightly stroke his cheek.
  • He only fit in his newborn clothes and diapers for about a week, and they were quite snug. 
We planned to hold off on giving Liam a pacifier until he was at least a month old lie we did with Haley, but he was constantly acting hungry and then spitting up his food, so we tried to hold him off with a pacifier so he could digest for a little while and keep some food in. If nothing else it gave me a little bit of a break from being a human pacifier.

I love almost nothing more than taking photos of my kids. They are precious to me and I love capturing little moment of their lives to be forever remembered. I love trying to turn everyday moment in to art. Sometimes my pictures seem to be sorely lacking. Other times, when I'm not even expecting it, I will get a picture that makes me smile over and over again, a picture that captures the essence of a moment, a day, a personality, a mood, or a time. With two kids it is a bit harder to set up photos like I did with Haley, but I have still tried to find the beauty in the mundane moments of life. I have never been great with words, so I hope I can tell our story through pictures. I will try to add more of these pictures soon, and hopefully I can set up a few more photos I really want to have in the next few weeks. As someone who would like to one day pursue photography, I hope to take advantage of the moment with my own children to try the ideas I have gathered from other more experienced photographers. 

The 1 month photoshoot. 

I am excited to see how Liam grows compared to a basketball. It will be neat to see him go from being the size of the ball, to being able to palm the ball in his hand.