Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pre-Summer Pictorial (by Owen)

Alternate Title: The day Owen got my phone and took pictures of the floor.

Enjoy!




Friday, May 27, 2011

Owerly

If at first you don't succeed, right?

These two are still figuring out how to deal with each other. (ok...you put your left arm there and I'll...no...wait...falling...ok, try getting your right arm higher. Let's switch sides, ok, kinda better like that...nope...still falling.)

I probably helps that Everly is getting older and bigger (sturdier). It probably doesn't help that one week I'm like "DON'T wrestle with your sister, she's too delicate" and the next week she's trying to take him down.

Trying to figure out what you can and can't do with a growing baby is tough for a toddler.

He usually does great. Calls her 'sweetie pie' and pets her head. Says 'nap, nap Ever!' when she heads down for a nap.

Which reminds me.

I am really loving that they are on separate nap schedules. She sleeps in the morning and late afternoon and Owen naps right smack in the middle.

I know some parents want the synchronized naps and I totally get that.

But right now it means that I get a good chunk of one-on-one time with each child everyday. That's worth being tired and have a kitchen full of dirty dishes at night.

Especially to have leisurely time to nurse and cuddle Ever. Without simultaneously having to sing the ABC song. Again.

So hooray for quiet time where I can nibble baby toes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Late Spring



Doesn't Owen look miniature in this picture?

He and I took a wonderful walk earlier this week. We stopped to watch ants carry food across the path. Picked up flower petals and smelled them. Stuck sticks in the ground to mark a 'garden' plot. Biked 'fast' down a small hill (he made me go a few feet ahead of him to 'catch' him as he glided). We heard a branch fall from a tree and he hiked into the woods to put it back on.
I love the 'Oh! Look at dat, Mommy!' moments with my little partner. He is so insistent that I appreciate the specialness of whatever has caught his interest. Repeating the command to look, "see dat? see dat, Mama? see dat?"

He'll ask a question and then absorb the answer, usually with a 'huh?' to hold the space while he thinks. Shortly after he usually returns with, "ohhhhh" and repeats my answer to clarify.

It's been hard for both of us to be mostly confined to the living room during the last two weeks of potty training. Going outside again was like a revelation for both of us. The world looks so different, so alive. It's amazing what two weeks of growth (and rain) can do. Glad I have a pair of fresh eyes to help me catch everything.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Shot


Sweet baby

Monday, May 23, 2011

Right Now


Owen ran upstairs, jumped on his bed and asked for books. I hear him upstairs reading to himself. I love how independent he's getting.

Everly is still enjoying her morning nap. I miss her.

I just finished my to-do list for today. Finished writing it, that is.

Lunch is bubbling on the stove and smells amazing. (I should put "Eat Lunch" on my to-do list so that I can check it off.)

And Jon. He's at work. He's also a warrior.

Especially considering he survived a 5K mud race with his co-workers this weekend. And jumped through fire. All with no training either. He just naturally dominates.

Proof: post race, post clean-up, in his natural habitat (with turkey leg) and traditional garb.

Dominates.

You rock.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Footsies


It makes me so happy when I carry Ever and she hugs me tightly with her little feet. It's one of the little things that make this age so special. I was looking forward to when she'd be able to hold on to me with her hands - but the feet hug is just so precious.

Sigh. Those babies. They know how to get you.


Speaking of precious and feet...

(Notice how Owen dumped half the sandbox on the steps?)


I love how Ever rubs her feet together. And when she's happy she kickskickskickskicks them. I think she's foot-sensory. Pretty sure that's a real thing, too.

The rubbing her feet together part she got from me.

The pinching me with her toes deal, though, is totally inherited from her father. Thanks a lot, Jon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thoughts on Fatherhood: Daddy's Girl

This post could also be titled, "Balancing the Love".

Since Everly joined our family just over five months ago, a transformation has happened within me. People always say that when you have a second child that your heart expands, rather than having to divide up some limited resource of love between the kids. I think this is true, but also a misrepresentation of the actual process.

I equate it to finding love that wasn't there before. It's like a part of your heart gets unlocked, and with growing intensity you move from knowing that you'll love this little person to actually caring deeply and protectively for them.

And girls are most certainly different than boys. Owen has always filled my heart with joy... for the bright and precocious little boy that he is, but also for the man I see him ultimately growing into. I always want to see him learn or grow into the next thing, and am constantly looking for indications of that growth.

Everly, on the other hand, stirs a different emotion within me. Her sweet little smiles and infectious laugh touch a place that wasn't there before. People joke about little girls wrapping their daddys around their little fingers... and, while I'm conscious of that possibility and pull, my intense sense of protection over her grows each day in a way that I've never quite felt with Owen.

It's odd too in a way since I don't get nearly as much time with her as I did with her brother at the same age. Seems that most of my time is spent tracking down and corralling our (over)energized 2-year old, while my all-to-brief but utterly amazing interactions with my daughter come too few and far between.

The trick is making sure that Owen gets the attention and love that he needs during this time of mental and emotional transition, while also making sure that Everly gets as much daddy time as possible... which unfortunately is never as much as either of us deserve.

The good thing is that both Everly and I seem to cherish our brief moments together with equal exuberance. I am mostly unable to lay her down for a nap because, if she notices it's me, she snaps awake and refuses to sleep. This is a mixed blessing because I rarely get to enjoy the "quietly sleeping baby in my arms" joy... but it's also a nice reminder that our growing affection is mutual... that I'm not just some stranger who comes in and out of her world.

So each day passes and I am increasingly vigilant for ways that I can steal moments with her... to build our relationship... to strengthen our bond... and for me, as her father, to track her closely so I can cherish and nurture her into the woman she'll become one day too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What is it?

Any ideas (Ellyn)?

It sprouted from one of my garlic chive starters. I have two dinky garlic chive shoots and this monster.

The leaves are pretty hairy - which makes me think it's a mellon or squash of some sort. But the stalks aren't mellony.

And it's growing like crazy. The leaves are all larger than my hand already.

Any guesses?

It's probably a weed...darn.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Social Media Guru (Me)


Sabrina...this is for you. (But you probably already know about it.)

I'm definitely not an early adaptor - especially when it comes to social media. I figure Jon does that for both of us.

But when I heard about Pinterest the promise of an electronic image pinboard/categorization system got me really excited. My bookmark folders were crammed with images and ideas that I found online. And honestly - I would probably never have gone back to look at them.

Pinterest allows you to 'pin' any image you find online to any number of virtual 'boards' in your collection. You can create boards for fashion, kids stuff, interior design, weddings, parties, etc.

THEN they add in a social media component. You can look through other people's boards, follow them to keep current with what they are looking at or 'repin' their images. But I haven't really explored that side of it though, obviously.

The best part is that Pinterest also keeps track of where your images come from. They record the original url and embed it in the picture. A quick click takes you back. So you can save one image as a visual bookmark to a recipes or instruction. It's pretty cool.

No more piles of magazine cut outs or overstuff internet bookmark folders. Yay!

Thought it was interesting enough to share...check it out!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mango, banana, pineapple, orange popsciles



We are BIG popsicle fans here. By 'we' I mean me...and I'm assimilating Owen.

We finally replaced our broken popsicle molds and I was so excited to start freezing. I thought I'd just go with the usual suspect flavor - lemonade. However, a shortage at TJs left me bummed and waiting.

Then Owen got a bad case of diaper rash and I started looking for ways to incorporate yogurt into his diet, thinking it might help. So I mixed up some plain yogurt with a bit of fruit juice, froze it, and voila! Yogurt pops.

They were ok...not stellar. Jon ate a few bites of one and gave it to me to finish. His face was so sadly disappointed during those few nibbles. It's hard to expect something syrupy sweet and get a tangy mouthful instead. (which Owen and I like but, eh, it's not for everyone.)

These popsicles are super awesome though. I've stumbled onto my new favorite. Yesterday I was looking for a way to use a slightly overripe mango and banana sitting in the fruit bowl. This is what I came up with.

1 ripe or overripe mango - make sure to squeeze at much juice out of the stone as possible.
1 orange or juice of 1 orange.
1 slightly overripe banana
2 cups of frozen pineapple chunks

Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds. (makes about 10-12) Freeze. Wait impatiently. Yum.

You could also freeze into cups and stick a spoon for a handle (in once they get slushy so the spoon will stay straight while it finishes freezing).

I also threw in one cup of plain yogurt to a second batch...we'll see how those come out. You could stretch it with some water or extra juice as well.

Might be my new summer way to eat fruit. I love that it's the actual fruit...not just the juice. Gotta get that fiber!

Anyone else have any popsicle combo ideas?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So let it be done.


I know I need to get things done.

Tonight it was to eat a salad and work on a paper I'm trying to finish. I also wanted to NOT eat cookies and NOT waste time online.

So far I have...wasted time online.

But now, in a feat of extraordinary strength of will, I am going to go make my salad, eat it (at 10 pm, gosh darn it) and get to work on that paper.

And I will NOT eat cookies.

So let it be written.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gratitude


If, on this Mother's Day, I was to thank one person who played a role in my own motherhood it would be our doula Shayla.

Technically she started as our birthing class instructor.

Jon and I were a tad behind the ball in signing up for birthing classes when I was pregnant with Owen. The hospital courses were booked through March. I was due Jan 30. No one told me that you need to sign up for a class the same day you see the second blue line.

It was one of the best things that ever happened to us.

After a little freaking out (by me) I did what I do best. Researched all our options, over and over and over again. We decided on taking some Bradley Method classes. They're 12 weeks long and I felt comfortable knowing that we'd be investing a little time to learn how this baby was going to make his grand entrance.

Shayla made the whole process seem so...normal. You hear the labor horror stories all the time, right? This was one of the first times I had heard that labor didn't have to be that horror story. That there could be dignity, support, ability, peace. And yes, work. But even then it seemed doable and as my due date drew closer I actually began to look forward to labor as if it was an amazing experience, a miracle that I'd been given the chance to participate in.

I was confident in Jon's ability to help me through the process. After 12 weeks he had mastered the basics. Massage, encouragement, massage, repeat. But we were a little nervous about all the remaining unknowns. What if something did go wrong? What if the baby was stubborn? What if the pain was stronger than I anticipated? Jon and I both felt like we'd be more comfortable if we had someone there to monitor the process, someone who'd translate hospital-ese for us if needed, someone who knew what I was going through and who could work with us even if the doctor or nurse wasn't there. Someone who could spot Jon if he needed a break.

Shayla jumped into that role and was amazing. She met us at the very beginning, two nervous, excited pre-parents, trying their best to stay calm and focused. She helped us in about a million ways during those 14 hours (and I probably only remember about a tenth of it all). And at the end, she made sure we were happy and safe before she slipped out, leaving us basking in the glow of our new baby boy.

It was hard, hard work. It amazes me that she helped us with such quiet grace and strength the entire time. The nurses stopped in periodically, the doctor was there for the delivery, but Shayla was there every moment.

Birth is a vulnerable time, especially for a new mother. I'm grateful that when I play back those memories I feel only peace. I'm grateful that those hospital classes were full of snappy, on the ball parents so that we had to look for other options. And, while it may be an unlikely pick for a Mother's Day shout out, today I'm thankful for our wonderful doula. If only everyone could have that kind of support there probably wouldn't be as many of those labor horror stories.

Thanks for being a part of our happy story, Shayla.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Children


"I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think that the same is true for human beings. We do not wish to see children "precocious," like sprouts producing a soft and perishable timber, but rather, better, as if contending gradually with difficulties, they are solidified and gradually perfected." - from the journal of Henry David Thoreau Nov 5, 1860

Five Happy Months!

Warning. Ever-fest ahead.







Really though, how could I pick just one?

Everly is five months old. (What? Why??)

She:
  • is finally on a schedule. I wasn't rushing her but she seems to have settled into a three nap routine. Works for all of us - although some of her naps end up in a wrap - walking around the lake, playing on the playground, or at Giant. 2nd children...
  • is working really hard on sitting up. She does great spending time on her stomach now that she has something resembling back muscles. She sits up straighter when we hold her and does that sllloooww baby fall to the side (instead of slumping into a puddle) when we let her sit on her own.
  • pulls everything to her mouth. Bowls, hair, toys, cats, Owen, etc. Pre-teething? I'm guessing a tooth with show up this or next month.
  • still loves to be sung to. And to 'sing'. Her happiest smile still includes a wrinkled up nose - it's adorable.
  • laughs at everything Owen does. Even when he's 'yelling' at her.
  • makes me so, so, so, so happy.Bulleted List

Monday, May 2, 2011

Link to Love

Need more family pictures? Or specifically, more pictures of Everly?

I know! Me too!

It's kind of like an addiction. A cute baby addiction.

Check out more of Gbenga's awesome work on his site.

(click below)



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Levitate

A little magic to celebrate
300 posts!!!