Monday, December 5, 2011

Party time

Last weekend was party weekend around here. We got to celebrate McKenna in tea party style. She had the fanciest cupcakes I've made, real china, girlfriends, Russian Tea, and other sweet treats. Celebrating my kids' birthdays is one of my most favorite things as a mother. I look forward to each one...

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Sandwiched int he middle of his prayer tonight I heard Samuel say, "...Thank you God that you made Mommy say yes when I asked to play the wii."

Caitlin gained 3 pounds last month. Lovin' her thigh rolls.

McKenna is practically counting the hours until her birthday.

Anna and I got to go shopping together--thanks Gran Gran!--for a couple of hours today. She replaced the last of the fall festival fish with 6 new fish. The one that kicked the bucket today (Sparkles turned Dollie) has been replaced. They all have names, but your age has to be in the single digits to keep up with the names.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

8 weeks

So, our sweet Caitlin has arrived at the 8 week mark. She has ditched her pirate eye look. She has finally started to smile. We've seen her smile frequency increase daily at this point. She is sleeping well at night (11:30 to 8:00) when we use the "banana split". That's the name that McKenna gave to the Fisher Price Rock 'N Sleep that we borrowed from Rebekah. It's a beautiful thing, I say.
The kids attended the Fall Festival at church. It's a fun tradition that the kids are already looking forward to for next year. Anna was a gymnast, Sam was Batman, McKenna a fairy, and Caitlin was either "Baby Anna" or "Baby McKenna" (depending on who she looked most like). I was pleased to make Samuel's cape. It's just too bad that I procrastinated and waited until about 3:00 on 10/31 to start it. His mask was the easy part--snipped from the back of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch box.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Month

Today commemorates what might be the quickest month of my life. Caitlin is up to 9lb 4oz per our visit to her pediatrician today. I think she's gained all of her weight in the last 8 days. I didn't see much of a difference until then. Since then I see her changing daily.

Today also marked the end of Samuel and McKenna's soccer season through the YMCA. They were fun to watch. Their personalities were evident on the field which was one of my favorite aspects of spectating their games. McKenna did a lot of twirling. And skipping. Samuel spent much of his time on the ground. He was always the dirtiest kid leaving the field.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Well. How many posts have I composed in my head in the last 4 weeks? Just one, actually. But I've done it every day.

Miss Caitlin Raye made her grand entrance on September 6th. I don't remember the weather. I don't remember the cost of gas. I don't remember anything except the hours of labor and her arrival. It was physically painful and emotionally wonderful. A great day for all of us.

Since coming home she has found herself at home with us. She's been to cross country meets, soccer games, gymnastics practices, Bible studies, co-op classes, music classes, job interviews, overnight trips to see family, church services, and ice cream socials. We didn't miss a beat, but are enjoying her at home snuggly moments as well.

Caitlin isn't a loud baby, but she's a noisy baby. She has more grunts, squeaks, squaks, and gaks than any other baby I've ever known. She's loud when she's waking up, falling asleep, eating, and breathing.

The other kids have adapted well to Caitlin as well. Anna took about 30 minutes to go from standoffish to melted heart. She has designated herself the diaper changer. And she has changed many a diaper. She loves to get Caitlin up in the morning, unswaddle her, change her, and bring her to me. But before bringing her to me, the girls all have a bonding moment. Anna and McKenna do a "morning dance" with Caitlin. I have yet to see this. Part of me says maybe I don't want to. But down deep I think I want to see it. I love to watch Anna and McKenna interact with her. They love her so much.

And Samuel. Samuel is so gentle with her. He has said many times, "I could hold her for hours and hours". And collectively he has. He gives the sweetest kisses and sings the most caring lullabies. He so wants to have her sleeping in his room. He does, however, want the next pregnancy to result in a brother. (oh dear)

**Side funny: As I nursed Caitlin when she was about a week old Samuel walked into the room and stopped in his tracks. He looked puzzled and said to me, "I thought the thing that she sucked on was on the other side." He had no idea that I could use both sides!

**Side frustration: I struggle with getting the pictures where I want them. I suppose I should just be glad I got them posted.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

McKenna, this time around

McKenna woke up this morning and was lamenting about how much she wanted donuts for breakfast. I wasn't in the mood to go get any at a moments notice so I offered to make cinnamon rolls. You know, since no one delivers donuts. She agreed that cinnamon rolls would suffice. We went downstairs and I. kid. you. not. there were donuts on the table. Apparently, on a whim while picking up some milk this morning my dad decided to pick up three iced and sprinkled donuts. And delivered them back to the dining room table. (This reminded me of the time that McKenna sadly looked into the yard on a Sunday morning and said, "I wish we had a play house..." At that moment dad was in the garage assembling the one that had been purchased the day before. It was constructed and in the yard before we got home from church.) This girl has some odd timing for her requests.

Yesterday McKenna was circling the toys that she would like from a specialty toy catalogue that came in the mail. Samuel looked over her shoulder and asked if she would like to have the laptop. "Laptop? That's not a laptop. That's a 'learning tool for the next generation.'" Seriously.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On the night that the girls got "twinkle toes"

Laura was here tonight.

Anna was showering.

Laura looked a bit confused.

"Is that Anna?"

I replied. Yes.

I realized. Not everyone is used to the white noise that our family has grown accustomed to when Anna showers.

Anna sings.

She sings loud. She sings opera. (Or at least opera-like) She sings in what sounds like Latin.

And we don't even notice.

But Laura laughed. She laughed because we didn't even notice that there was a second grader singing Latin opera from the bathroom.

Doesn't that happen everywhere?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It only took 33 years

At the expense of my dear children, and over the course of two days, I may have just won my first game of monopoly. Ever. Until today I thought I had mastered losing with efficiency. I loved playing with the kids, though. They were so excited about it. They were SO into the game. At one point near the end of the game Anna looked at me and said, "You can have all of my properties (all of which were mortgaged) and give my $2000. Take it or leave it, Sister." I have no idea where she gets her competitive nature (smirk).

Monday, August 22, 2011


Samuel has had such sweet prayers lately. They have one consistent element. "Dear God, please help Caitlin to get unstuck and for mommy to not have public pain." Love. It.

Anna is coming around to the idea of having a baby in the house. She will deny excitement if asked directly about her enthusiasm. If you just talk to her about the Caitlin in general she is very excited.

McKenna is just nervous about me being in the hospital. She's not looking forward to me being gone at night. How quickly she's grown accustomed to me being home at night. Not going to lie, I have, too. Going back to work whenever I do will be easier at night than during the day, but I sure do enjoy my nights at home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Season still pending, and more

With the potential end of the NFL lockout later tonight, it is fitting to report that there were some football conversations at home today as well. I put McKenna's hair into a ponytail this morning, using the first ponytail holders I grabbed. They were green and white and McKenna looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. "Mom, those are JETS colors! (audible gasp)" She later asked me for Colts tickets for her birthday this fall.

Samuel spent part of the evening outside driving his race car. He was completely outfitted with his racing vest, gloves, and cap. At one point he jumped out of the car, stomped up the sidewalk, and went into the house. When he came back out moments later I asked him what was the matter (after reminding him that there was a heat index of 115 and to kindly shut the door to the house, of course). He responded by pointing with an accusing finger to his pedal car and said emphatically, "My car stalled!"

Anna is still lobbying for a dog. I have decided that I might pay for her first tattoo before I pay for her first dog. Tattoos are less maintenance. I wonder if my position might be too hard and fast on the whole dog thing. I have no desire to add a dog to the family, but I absolutely love to watch Anna play with other people's dogs. You know, the ones that the other people take care of.

We were able to capture Caitlin's heartbeat on a recorder today at the OB. Build-a-bear, here we come. Again.

At our last appointment, we had another ultrasound and the tech asked if we would like her to turn on the 4D imaging. Um, yeah... We were able to see some amazing images of our little girl. I think she looks a lot like Samuel. It's so odd to think that already, instead of merely wondering if she who she will look like. The tech said that it looked like she already had some visible hair. THAT leaves me wondering. We've had such baldies that I can't imagine having a newborn with any substantial amount of hair!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

(Still nameless)

It's old news around here by now, but the scales will officially be tipped to the girl side with the arrival of our (still nameless) baby in September. We took the kids with us for the ultrasound earlier this month. Anna went in with her "I-still-don't-want-another-baby-in-the-family" chip on her shoulder. It was fun to watch the monitor and be able to recognize things before the technician pointed them out. I was much more excited, after working at Riley for a year, to see a complete spine and other body parts than I was to know if the baby was a boy or girl. I think that's ultimately why I didn't even want to know the gender. I just wanted to see the heart, spine, palate... The technician asked the girls if they could read. They responded that they could, and McKenna popped out of her chair to come over and see that the tech had typed "GIRL" on one of the images. McKenna yelled out, "It's a girl!"

I remember the kids' reactions more than Chris' or mine. Anna sat with her arms crossed and announced, "I wanted it to be a boy." (Naturally.) McKenna was all smiles, bouncing around the room. Samuel sat by my side, trying so hard to be stoic. His little chin and lip just quivered until he meekly said, "I wanted it to be a brother."

The updated status is that Anna seems to be much more excited. The hasn't in the last week made any comments, to me anyway, about not wanting another baby in the family. She's been excited about the purchases we've made for the (still nameless) baby. She's spoken in much more positive tones about her. Anna still thinks that Montana should be the name of choice. McKenna is talking to the baby every day, rubbing my belly, telling the (still nameless) baby how much she is loved. McKenna has been suggesting names that are reasonable, just not ones that we want to use. Samuel has come to terms with being the only boy. He's about as verbal about baby-excitement as I would expect a 5 year old boy to be. He thinks that it's pretty neat that he and I will be the only two in the house who have three sisters.

Anna recently asked to learn to play monopoly. We spent an afternoon this week (in May) sitting in front of a fire, playing monopoly. All five of us. So fun. Until Chris and I realized that we grew up with completely different sets of house rules. Still fun.

Some more Samuel moments that I don't want to go forgotten.

1. There is nothing better than watching Samuel hoe the garden, see an airplane fly low overhead, and go chasing it across the yard. Unless it's followed by watching that same little boy eat an ice cream cone on the swing. (sigh) Love these moments.

2. At dinner the other night Samuel looked at Nana and said, "I know what you mean by (insert hand gesture quotations) 'your girls'." And he listed Nana's daughters. But seeing the hand motions was so cute.

3. The kids were listening to "Stayin' Alive" in the van today. Sam was singing along then yelled, "Take it away, Girls!" And the girls started singing right where he left off. I was thankful to be stopped at a light because I was in tears I as laughing so hard!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Time Fillers

So lately, my girls have been spending a lot of time playing three things.

1. Day Care
2. Orphanage
3. Runaway Slave

I'm left wondering where they are getting their inspriation.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's left of my memory

The last time I posted, I knew we were pregnant again...but now I don't remember if anyone else knew or not by then. I've thought more than once, "oh, I should post that." You know, so that someday I'll remember. But then I don't remember to post it once I sit down. And so it has gone for the last three months.

As many of these posts have been, forthcoming is a smattering of things that I remember that I don't want to forget. And I don't want to know how many I've already forgotten.

Plane tickets have been booked for the kids and I to hit the skies and head to DC to visit Carrie and Jordan for a couple of days before the crowining glory of the summer. The annual OBX trip. Nothing compares. Except maybe seeing how excited the kids are to fly to DC and eat at Georgetown Cupcakes. Samuel had a bit of concern evident in his voice this morning, though. He said over breakfast, "I hope we don't get on the wrong plane..." I assured him that I would make sure that we got on the right plane, told him about the tickets, checkpoints, etc. Anna said she didn't want to end up in Iowa. Wouldn't that be a letdown compared to DC... McKenna, the voice of reason, piped up that it would be OK if we ended up on the wrong plane, as long as that plane took us to Mexico. "I can do all the talking if we end up there since I know Spanish."

We've had a lot of conversations about Spanish lately, actually. Not in Spanish, just about it. For example, why is Spanish the language spoken in Mexic? I went into a little talk about explorers and such and McKenna sat with mouth open wide. "Wow, that must have been a LONG time ago." Yes, indeed it was, by the standard of her few years. "It must have been before 1985..." Yes, indeed it was.

We only have 5 more days of officialy schooling this year. And that's just because I'm drawing it out. Again. I think I don't like to end because that means that then we'll have a kindergartner, 1st grader, and 2nd grader. And I'm just not ready for that. It's my "Rebekah inspired mentality". I'm not ready to be a parent of K, 1, and 2 students...

Samuel learned how to ride his bike last month. One of his training wheels was broken. He asked Pops to fix it, and the end result was that he rode around the driveway with just one training wheel for a couple of minutes before having the second training wheel removed. The first time he tried with no training wheels, he was off and riding. Seriously. I was dreading teaching him to ride this summer. I've already determined that I am not cut out for teaching bike riding. (Beowulf I've got covered, at least in the elementary version. Seriously. We did that this week. Bike riding? Not so much.) I about lost my mind with each of the girls the last two summers. As it turns out, nothing to worry about there. The bigger trick will be keeping him from going at breakneck speed all summer. It's a good thing I know the way to Riley. (For McKenna, too. She's taken to teaching herself tricks on the bike. Riding side saddle across the yard, letting go with both hands... Yes, it's a good thing I know where to park at Riley.)

Anna is our baby lover. Well, she's a baby lover, but not so much ours, though I see that changing ever so slightly in the last couple of weeks. She has verbalized some anxiety about how life will change after the baby is born in September. She's worried about how we'll still have time to love her with a baby that takes up so much time. Anna is drawn to every other baby in the world. I am certain that she will fall in love with this baby the instant that she sees it, holds it, loves on it. I would love for that to happen sooner, but I think that having her see Chris and I love her continually and show added love for her new sibling will be tremendously helpful. The most involved that she's been has to think up lists of baby names. Always topping the girl list are "Hannah" and "Montana". (She's never seen or heard Hannah Montana, just picked up the name from being out and about.) We've told her that we don't really want the name Montana, and that Hannah might be a little too confusing at our house. Really. Nana. Anna. Hannah. I would never call anyone by the right name.

Today (well, yesterday, technically) was Good Friday. After work I was laying on Nana and Pops' bed with McKenna and Samuel. We had just turned off their new favorite show (Jake and the Neverland Pirates) when I asked them if they knew what day it was. McKenna knew it was Friday and Samuel's eyes lit up and he squeaked, "It's GOOD Friday!" They were able to tell me what the significance of Good Friday is. They knew that it was the day that Christ was crucified. They knew that He didn't stay dead. They knew that we celebrate Easter because He rose again, fulfilling the promises of Scripture. He is our Saviour. He is the only means of forgiveness of sins. My heart was glad. I don't want it to be a trite story to them. It's not. It's truth. It's so so much more than a story. I want them to know the story, but also for it to take root in theirl lives. To change them. To transform them. I was taking all this in, praying silently for their futures. Samuel interrupted my thoughts and said, "Mama, I want Jesus to be MY Saviour. I want him to forgive MY sins and live in MY heart." Oh, sweet boy... And so, with his sister looking on, Samuel prayed to ask these things of HIS Saviour. To lead him in such a prayer, to see his heart is one of the greatest priviliges I have ever known. (To have done so with each of our children leaves me speechless.) I will continue to pray for each of them. For Anna, for McKenna, for Samuel, for the baby that is to come. That they will not be childhood decisions that are made for any reason other than pure desire for communion with the God of the Universe. The God that made them. Who loves them. Who sacrified His Son to do for them what they would never be able to do for themselves. What a wonderful Good Friday. And Sunday's coming. I can't wait! (It was so fun to see Sam run to Nana this afternoon and say, "I asked for forgivness! I asked Jesus in my heart!" He jumped up to her just the way a grandson could only do with someone who shares his enthusiasm and shares in this eternal joy.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


"Sam, your enthusiasm is wonderful. I love it!"

"I'm not enthusiasticity..."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Funnies

My kids love to read the comics in the Sunday paper, in any other paper they find, and in comic books from the library. Even without reading them, they would produce plenty of their own funnies. I present to you three of my favorites from the last month.

Dad was working at a job site doing something with a nail gun or a drill. (These are perhaps interchangeable since a similar story--on his part--occurred with each.) He inadvertently screwed his finger to a cabinet door. He doctored himself up, not needing the assistance of a medical professional. He relayed this story to us over dinner and then said that it had happened a few days earlier. In commenting that it had healed well and didn't hurt very much he said, "The next day I even had to look at my fingers to see which one it happened to." From across the table, Anna stared in wonder. Finally she said, "Did you pray? Was it a miracle?"

McKenna is troubled. She said in a panic the other day, "My hair is turning yellow!" (gasp!) When we asked what color it used to be..."blonde." She was serious.

Samuel... Drat. I can't remember. Although today in the OSU vs. Illinois game he said that he was going to cheer for Ohio. But, "Don't tell Daddy. He won't be very happy with me because he doesn't like Ohio."