Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Good, Full Life

I have written so many blog posts in my head that never made into the real thing. I feel like Charity's life has had so little recorded about it!!  A condensed version of her life would be that the first 5 weeks of her life was miserable for her and me. She was not a good sleeper and just cried and fussed her way through SO many naps unless she was being held. I don't know how many of her naps I laid in bed with her on my chest so we could BOTH sleep. She was a good eater, she didn't have unusual amounts of burps or gas. There was no rhyme or reason. Sometimes she slept great, others she didn't. And she wasn't spacing out her feeding times, either. I finally had a light-bulb moment when she'd had a few great days and then suddenly she was having a horrible time of sleeping again. I thought and thought and thought, going over each and every single detail of what I had eaten, where we had gone, what she had done over the last day and realized that I had eaten ice cream 24 hours before. I had been surviving on ice cream and yogurt for my "I'm starving, I don't have time to make food, there is no food ready to eat RIGHT now, I am so tired (caffeine isn't really an option)..." snacks and "get me through to bedtime" meals. I quite eating dairy and she turned into the happiest, smiliest baby just like I thought she would! Thankfully I don't have to read labels, but boy oh boy do I miss cheese and yogurt and ice cream! Hooray for Almond Ice Cream and other non-dairy frozen dessert things that I enjoy from time to time. She is just now to where I can have Parmesan Cheese on Spaghetti again. Yummy!! :) She sleeps through the night, from about 10/10:30pm to USUALLY about 6 or 6:30am. Now if I would go to bed at 10 or 10:30... ;)

 Daniel's work never had a slow season this spring. That seems typical of our baby years for some reason! He just came out of two 75-ish hr. work weeks so we are really looking forward to the 3-day weekend this week!

We make the most of his time at home when we're awake and can visit and hang out as a family.

Susannah and Sylvia adore Charity. :)  Susannah has developed and interest in the written word. She spends big chunks of time writing our names and from time to time other peoples' names. She is showing an interest in reading, too, so learning how to read may be in her future for this fall!

One day I decided I was going to make a set breakfast and lunch menu for a week, and we just go 'round and 'round with that. I eliminates 2 things for me to think about and figure out each day. :) I enjoy it and so do the girls. Ice-cube tray lunches are one of their favorites!  It changes a little each week depending on what fresh fruit and vegetables I have, but it's usually similar to below.

L-R: Organic Animal Crackers, Strawberries, Lunch-meat Roll (cut into wheels), Cheese, Avocado, Ranch Dressing, Bell Pepper, Croutons, Cucumber

I love being mama to this sweet girl!!!  It is strange, though, to look at her sometimes because she just has peach fuzz for hair. Both Susannah and Sylvia had at least 1" long, dark hair by this age. :) Charity looks a lot like Daniel when he was a baby.

Walking on the ceiling is fun when Daddy's home
 And sleeping on the ceiling, too... :)

In Daniel's "spare" time he has been busy building a large chicken house onto the back of our shed. We are very eager to have chickens again!!  He has made a lot of progress since I took this photo, and we hope that he will be able to have it chicken-ready very soon!!

I don't plan to leave you all hanging for another 2 1/2 months before I post again, but for now I must go see about dinner. Happy 4th!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Never-Dull Life

One Saturday the girls - with Daniel's help - picked me some bouquets of  dogwood blooms. We put them in a vase on the table and enjoyed them for a long time. "Long time" as in... ahem, I just threw out the dead twigs and dried petals yesterday. ;)

Susannah has a very creative imagination these days. That may be an understatement; I'm not sure. She also doesn't have much of a filter between her mind and tongue so I get to hear just about every thought that passes through her brain. It makes for quite the entertainment sometimes, and very tired ears others. Most consistently, though, has been her imaginary kids/friends, Iryn (pronounced "eye-rin") and Hepsabah. She has conversations with them and talks about them as if they are real people. Most of the time when we go somewhere, at some point on the way to where we're going she'll say "Oh! We forgot Iryn and Hepsabah!" I'll respond by saying "well, tell them to come hop in!" She'll move her arms around and then say "They jumped in!" and then she'll verbalize how and where they are sitting in the car and so forth. Sometimes she'll say "Where's [either Iryn or Hepsabah]? ... oh, he's being silly and running beside the car! He needs to jump in!"

Last week she was outside playing, and I heard her come in the back door doing her best fake wailing. I asked what the matter was, assuming that Sylvia had done something she didn't like or some such aggravation. She continued with her fake emotions and said "Iryn died!!" I quizzed her about Iryn's death, and she said he had died because his body got old (most of the time he is either 69 or 70 years old, even though he's her "boy"). She put on some very good fake sadness over his death. About an hour later I asked if Iryn was still dead, just in case he had miraculously resurrected. She was again sad and said that he was still dead; he had died because he had a "sore froat".

A few days later Iryn came back to life and is a regular part of her imaginary play again. :)
Susannah and Sylvia asked me to spread their blankets out 
so they could join Charity in having some blanket-time.

A "best friends" moment on a day when there were plenty of NOT-best-friends moments. ;)
(Sylvia is saying "cheese!" with a mouth-full of food.)

The girls love to hold Charity.

My mom has been coming for a day a few times a month and my brother, Glen, came along the last time. Susannah and Sylvia loved having him here!

The Season of Worms. Ew. Gross. Creepy-Crawly. I don't remember what kind of worm it is, but EVERY spring here where I live, for a couple of weeks these worms are EVERYWHERE. They strip full-grown trees of their leaves, spin their long single-strand webs everywhere, and during the peak of their "season" it looks like the trees are raining worms because hundreds of worms dangle from their web-strings beneath the trees.

That was the preface to these next two pictures (you're welcome ;-) ). One afternoon Susannah came in really happy and excited. I quickly realized she was so happy and talkative about her WORMS! She had 3 worms on her hand and was talk about them, to them, and showing them to me. I was about to crawl out of my skin but she was loving it!!

When one started to fall off, she would talk to it and gently reposition the wormy so he could stay on her hand. **spine shiver** Anyway, I'm just glad she didn't try to convince me to let her keep them in her bed like she asked about doing with an earthworm a year ago...  I guess she still enjoys her wildlife.

Since Daniel's work has picked up with a bang, the girls clamor for time spent with him when he's home. I encourage it, too, because it makes a big difference in their behavior when they get some Daddy-time... and it gives me a little respite as well. Win-win. Anyway, Sunday afternoons between lunch and naps are one such time. They like to play a game, wrestle, read books or just have good fun together. Sylvia isn't quite able to play board games yet so she usually watches while she climbs all over Daniel. :-)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Cutest Monkeys!

These monkeys have pigtails and are named Susannah and Sylvia. :-)  With today being warm (around 90°) it is a good day to get lots of fresh {pollen-laden!} air, sunshine and exercise. During one of Charity's naps I went outside and pushed the girls on the swings for a while before they moved on to "monkeying".

Sylvia is still finding her Monkey-footing and Monkey-grip so I stayed close to her as she wanted to do everything her bigger, more experienced-at-monkeying sister did. Many times I heard "Wook, Mama, wook!!" as she climbed and hung and practiced.

Susannah has been monkeying for 2 years now so she's more advanced and is learning the art of free hanging and then regaining her footing.  A few days ago she had a minor mishap but was certain she was dying. I explained to her that "monkeying" involves risk, and if she was going to climb and hang she was also going to possibly fall sometimes. She said "ok!" and climbed right back up to where she had fallen from. :-)

My parents gave us this swing-set a few years ago and I really enjoy having it. It is a place for my kids to expel energy as they fly up to the sky on the swings, strengthen muscles and core balance as they "monkey" and probably most challenging, learning how to share and take turns.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Resurrection Sunday

Since Sunday was going to be a full day and we had to be at church early (ah, the life of a musician's family!!) I knew the only way to be successful and sane was to prepare as much as possible before going to bed Saturday. Since Resurrection/Easter Sunday is such a special event to us as Christians, it was fun to take extra time picking out our clothes to wear to church. I started with Susannah and Sylvia's dresses, wondering if I would be able to have us ALL matching this year. Lo and behold, with some digging around in my and Charity's clothes, I found us all clothes that coordinated! I was pretty excited since it doesn't happen very often and I think this is the first Easter Sunday that I've been able to do this.

Charity dressed and ready for church. As soon as she was finished eating her "first breakfast"
Sunday morning, I got her dressed. One down, however many to go!

After our wonderful, wonderful service (that I didn't want to end) Daniel and the girls went to get lunch while I fed Charity. They ate in the car and then we did a full round of potty trips before hitting the road for a 2.5 hour trek to my parents. We didn't have to make any stops and the girls traveled pretty well. I wanted to nap but only managed to rest and doze. Such is life!

When we got to my parents (aka "The Ranch") it was time to feed Charity again. As soon as she finished eating I re-combed hair and straightened bows and got a quick picture taken. (Sylvia hasn't warmed up to the idea of smiling with other people are behind the camera...)

Then the girls got to change into play clothes and the fun began.  My mom got out her wooden puzzles for Sylvia (a puzzle shark!) and she spent lots of time learning the new-to-her puzzles and involving other people to help her. Towards the end of our day there, my dad was sitting on the couch and she took puzzles to him to work on together.

Sylvia, Aunt Gail and Hannah

Susannah enjoys the vast expanse of books in Grandma's big library.

After dinner, a few big people went outside and hid the oodles of Easter Eggs that my sister and her husband provided. Then the cousins enjoyed an egg hunt!  It was a new experience for Susannah and Sylvia and they both got help from Aunts and Uncles with finding eggs. I'm afraid their experienced cousins had them beat in the number of eggs found, but they had fun and didn't care. :)

Sylvia and Aunt Gail

Susannah and Auntie Juls

At the end of the day we loaded up our tired crowd and made our way back over the mountain to our beds. It was a good day, starting out rejoicing in Christ conquering death that we might live, and ending with time spent with family.