Thursday, December 27, 2012

It was a fun Christmas

Everyone (mostly) well and sweet time as our little family of four celebrating Jesus' birth. We missed those far away but enjoyed telephone chats. Thanks to all who sent us cards! We didn't manage to make one this year. There will be more stories to share but here are a few photos for now.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

((the rest))

A picture from tea

I still haven't managed to post my photo album from advent tea with my mom, but here are a few teasers. :) This is Linnea's Christmas dress!

Another view...

Life size snow globe


Fun last Friday at the msft family Christmas party. :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

A breather...just in time

December 1-20 were days of illness in our house. Three missed Sundays of church (for me, the others missed less) and three weeks in a row of cancelled community group. Tim got off the easiest by popping the Sudafed, I had only one day of fever and chills, but poor Petey was sick for his birthday and had days upon days of congestion in addition to high fevers. Linnea was perhaps the most miserable with vomiting added to the fevers.

BUT... Today is a new day. Food is being kept down. Temps are normal. And just in time I'd say!

It's still been a pretty lovely season owing to so many simple advent activities we could complete at home. Plus, I got a lot of quality time with each of the kiddie when Linnea was sick because she actually napped (time with Petey) and Peter amazingly went to sleep in his stroller in the basement when Linnea was too sick to go out on our regular walks and drives. I got him into a jacket and all set in the stroller like I normally do, with the rain cover on and everything, but then just pushed him around in a circle mostly and down the hall like a vacuum cleaner. I was amazed that it worked...over and over again! He took 5 naps that way, and good ones, too! That's definitely a trick I'll be keeping in my pocket for the winter days to come.

So I'm thankful that we've turned the corner and can reasonably hope to enjoy the weekend's festivities, including brunch out as a family and the Christmas service at church. And maybe I'll get to post some of those other backlogged photos etc I mentioned in my last post.

(Alas, many days and nights of sickness has meant some of our shopping is left undone, so certain extended family members will be hearing from me about those late arriving gifts...maybe something to look forward to when the space under the tree is bare on Tuesday morning?)

I'm thankful for healing and wellness, and family and friends who have been checking in with us!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Our days are blessed

**I am home sick from church and spent a little time trying to post to the blog. I have a lot of pictures and a video that aren’t loading, but I looked through my drafts and found this from last summer (7/30/2011). Though our circumstances are a little different and we’re coming off of 2 weeks of sickness, my feelings are much the same. We are in a blessed season with Peter nursing only 4x a day, napping pretty regularly, and of life just being more manageable than it was when he was a newborn nursing every hour. I have a year-end thankful thoughts post brewing in my head but was really blessed to just read this and remember, again, how much I have to be thankful for in EVERY season.**

I am sitting on the couch and it is hot and Tim is on his way home and Linnea is in bed.

This week has just been amazing. Last week was tough. Every where I turned Linnea was resisting me, defying me instructions and getting hurt in the process. There are few things more heart wrenching in motherhood (other than the obvious major catastrophies) than seeing your child get hurt because of disobedience.

But this week her little heart has been responding well to correction and we have just been having the best time. The days have mostly been sunny and we are soaking up our time together. Our weekly schedule is pretty full but usually it doesn’t feel like a burden. God has blessed me with enough energy to plan ahead for things like time to do chores and pack lunches for picnics when we are on the go; and he’s given me enough grace for myself to sleep an extra while in the morning rather than forcing my tired body to work out for vanity’s sake. Exercise is healthy but mentally I have not always seen it that way (more like an obsession and fear of gaining weight…I was pretty obsessive last time around).

Yesterday Linnea and I had a fun and hilarious time careening around Fred Meyer in one of the giant car carts. It was red. It was nearly impossible to steer. But we just laughed together as we nearly knocked over aisle displays and I tried to snatch little toys off shelves without her seeing them (surprises for an upcoming flight). We love to be silly together and it is just the BEST. She is such a helpful little shopper, too, and I fully feel the joy of running errands with my girl (as long as I don’t stretch her patience too thin with too many things) as compared with the high-level stress bouts I had when she was an infant who HATED to be in the car.

After shopping I turned on my phone to find the closest park, and lo and behold there was a wonderful hidden neighborhood park right across from Tim’s office complex. I know my life would be great without the convenience of a smartphone but it was just the perfect thing at the perfect time: getting her running around and sliding down slides between and errand and dinnertime, and we even got to see Tim who was going to be a little late and miss dinner and bedtime. I am really just basking in thankfulness these days for little things like the trails around Microsoft we got to walk on for 15 minutes while hanging out and eating a Reese’s cup.

Something that has making my days really joy-filled—and I know joy transcends circumstances, but this truly is from God—is feeling our prayers heard about Linnea being easier to get to sleep and sleeping longer through the night. She’s been super easy to get to bed lately and my new trick involves having her burn off a little energy with me lying in bed next to hear (she rarely lies still) and then having her be in bed by herself with me in the rocking chair until she falls asleep. I honestly think she needs this more grown-up step as she is falling asleep so much faster than before when I was more hands on. We don’t always do it and it was a little sad at first to see her being more independent (though I have longed for it) , but it is very freeing and much less labor intensive for me, which I need at this point not being able to lie on my back anymore in the pregnancy.

I’m going to keep going with a few more details because I just want to remember this day and this season God is gifting us with in terms of things being pretty peaceful, organized, fun and predictable. My biggest worry with having a second child has been that all the “easy” and predictable things we’ve now experienced with Linnea will be trumped by a newborn’s difficulties. And even if that’s true, I’m kind of at peace with the chaos that will come as a new family of 4, and learning to really appreciate each full and wonderful day with my sweet girl, my little daily companion.

Today we had a pretty chill morning playing and being silly and looking for birdies in our ridiculous holly tree. We warmed up pancakes and sausage from last night’s breakfast for dinner and said bye-bye to Daddy, then headed out to my OB for an easy appt in which Linnea happily sat in her stroller with some books and a granola bar. I got an appt time switched for convenience and then we swung by a friend’s to borrow something I needed. We then headed to the park by our house before lunch, had something delicious to eat, and though she took a bit longer to go down for her nap she slept well and I got some stuff done. It was a great morning with a balance of stuff I needed to do and something just for her. This afternoon it was sunny and nice and instead of leaving the house we took advantage of our yard! We took the tent outside and drew shapes and wrote friends’ names with chalk, watered plants and sprayed ourselves with the hose, ate goldfish, looked at the mail, walked barefoot in the yard, swept off the deck, and just hung around. It was lovely. After that we made a delicious simple dinner which Linnea ate a bunch of and had a quick bath before running to the grocery store for ice cream and hot fudge to have on top of brownies. We ate our brownie sundaes in the cool of the front porch before reading a bunch of stories for bedtime. She went down quickly and then Tim came home all excited from finishing something pressing at work.

Those Christmas jams again…and the cuties who wear them

DSC_0213

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Great Grandma Jean &BONUS: Linnea's nicknames for Peter

Cards will be on their way to one and all who helped make Peter's birthday memorable, but HERE is a photo thank-you of Peter in one of his new shirts. Adorable. Thanks, Grandma!

BONUS
Linnea's current nicknames for Peter:

Noodle
Pookie
Tootie
Choosey (as in, "Choosey moms choose Jif!" though she's never heard that)
Teetie (variant of Teeter)
Simon (how biblical!)

And of course the regular Petey. She's accustomed to addressing him by each and every one of these within the first 30 minutes of waking up. Hehe.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Peter!

Happy birthday to my sweet one year old boy!

Unfortunately today and yesterday have been pretty rough for our little guy. We think he has roseola. His fever broke Tuesday and he has the telltale rash plus some other symptoms. The worst part is that, though it appears like he only has a cold in addition to the rash, he has been SUPER irritable... Like, the world is ending upset over anything and nothing. Plus he's teething. Not his normal happy self at all.

So, it's a good thing we planned a low key family dinner with Naina and Papa because we would have had to cancel a party. Poor little buddy. And we haven't gotten to all the gifts yet. But he does love the rainmaker from Uncle Dave and Aunt Mandy, and the SIGG water bottle from Linnea (finally his own like big sister!) and the handle cars I got him. We'll have more pictures besides this blurry one soon.

It's been kinda a tough day so I'll keep it short and add more later. But I sure do love this sweet little pickle and we are so blessed to have him. Thank you, Jesus, for little Petey!

We love you, buddy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent

Advent is the season of anticipating the arrival of Christ. Last year I bought some cute little homemade cards counting down the days and strung them up in our living room with twine. I had intended to do a fun Christmas activity every day until the25th, ranging from baking cookies and coloring pages to our annual tree-getting outing, but then Peter was born. We got our tree from Costco, and all but abandoned the list. (For the record, the Costco tree was the nicest, and cheapest, Christmas tree we've ever had.) 

This year I'm going kind of big on Advent. I don't have a newborn, and while I don't necessarily feel more well rested or organized, the advent list (coupled with a real advent calendar from my mom and daily bible readings, when I remember them) helps me parcel out the fun and craziness I look forward to this time of year. Regular traditions like getting our tree are included, as well as Peter's birthday and our new tradition of going to the Kirkland tree lighting. I planned out in advance when we would bake cookies and take to neighbors, things like that. Mostly it is simple stuff like reading Christmas books or making a paper chain. Today, the 6th, is St. Nicholas Day and this morning the kids found treats in their shoes. I'll post more later but it has been fun to plan and do, though by no means perfect in execution or a fully formed tradition.

Above photo is kids opening new Christmas jams. They are adorable and exactly what I wanted after a long search (yay Hanna Andersson!).

Linnea on the phone to Grandma Mary last night

Monday, December 3, 2012

Art lesson

Mostly for Grandma Mary, but also for anyone else who wants a good laugh.

Linnea was flipping through that blue book of Christmas carols illustrated with fine art paintings today. I was doing something like making lunch, I don't remember. I think I told her to count how many times she spotted the baby Jesus. Suddenly she says from across the room, "Mama, look at this picture where baby Jesus doesn't want to nurse. He's looking all around. He's not nursing!"

I come over and, opposite the music for Coventry Carol, is this curious painting where Mary is sitting bolt upright with Jesus on her lap. He's sitting up, too, facing her open dress but, like Linnea said, "looking all around... Not nursing!"

They are sitting in a road or something and behind them are trees and people walking in the distance with a donkey, kinda throwing back a glance at the new mom placidly offering her breast right out in the middle of the world.

"Why doesn't she have a nursing cover? They're on the path! That's public!"

Linnea is delighted and amused by this bizarre picture and I remember thinking it was strange when I first saw it last year. We talk about how they probably didn't have nursing covers back then, and about reasons why Jesus might not be interested in nursing right then. He might not be very hungry. Or maybe he's distracted.

"That's funny!" Linnea concludes, and then busies herself in going through all her observations again.

So there's a very 21st century interpretation of the nitty gritty of the Christmas Story for you, as told by a three year old who clearly has her mama's brain. Oh dear. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One year ago

This was Peter's due date. I had a horrible cold. We had just had Thanksgiving and I was discouraged he had not appeared. But God knows best! In only 9 days we will be celebrating Peter's birthday! I am so thankful for this boy and how far we have come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Popping in tonight to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We did a little "thankfulness tree" craft today and in the photo you can see a smattering of what we are thankful for. My favorite part, second to the leaves Linnea cut out (see if you can guess which are hers!) is the fact that Peter's name appears multiple times. Every time I asked Linnea what she was thankful for, she answered without hesitation, "Baby Peter!" She wouldn't let me write it just once. :)

See if you can guess which are Tim's .

Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Linnea's plans

Some of Linnea's favorite topics of conversation are which toys and articles of clothing she plans to pass on to baby sister (we have been talking about the as-yet-unconceived baby sister Linnea is hoping for for a year now - yes, since before Peter was born),

and

what she wants to be when she grows up.

Today it was garbage day, and the trucks made her think of ice cream trucks. "So you want to be an ice cream truck driver?"  I clarified.

"Yes! And I want it to be piiiiiiiiiink!"

That, and the astronaut and the artist you heard about before.

And a mommy, of four kids. "And I hope the baby will be a girl baby," she said.

Love. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

This week

Leaves at the park
Playground (long big girl hair! I would also like to note that Linnea got herself out of her dance clothes and back into this whole outfit with the brown sweater and toggle buttons all by herself yesterday! I was amazed!)
Car cart at Thanksgiving grocery outing
Ballerina girl :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Elephant

Linnea made this elephant all on her own tonight. I didn't even know what she was doing until all but the last two feet were glued on, and I supplied the googly eyes as well. But yeah, she imagined, planned, cut and glued all on her own! She told me earlier today she wants to be an artist when she grows up. That, and an astronaut. Of course.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our Friday circus

There's been a nice break of sun this week, which came at just the right time since I was starting to get weary of the daily walks in the rain for Peter's morning nap. It's been working beautifully: he falls asleep in the stroller in 10 minutes or less, and then Linnea and I have an hour or so, usually more, to play at the park while he snoozes away. The benefit to being out in the rain is that we usually have the playground to ourselves, and it's good quality time running around and being silly, playing hide and seek or doing the scavenger hunt. It's also quiet for Peter to rest. Linnea lives to play follow the leader and go down the giant slide thee at Peter Kirk again and again. She has also learned to go up the big ladder pretty confidently by herself and after the first few times was asking me to stand back and not touch her. I guess this is where it starts! I'm proud of her but really do see my baby slipping away.

With sunnier days like today there are more kids, and lately Peter hasn't napped as long when it's busy, or I move us along to the lib where we do a potty break before heading home. But today he slept nearly three (!) hours that one nap, most of it at home after our hour at the park. That was the first remarkable thing. He must have been making up for short naps the last two days. The second thing was that this was the first time we've gone to the park when Linnea did not play with me at all. I'm always engaged to some degree, usually pretty actively, but right when we arrived two other girls her age showed up, and they ran around paying princesses and tag and hide and seek the entire time. I watched and talked with them a little, learned the girls' names (and met siblings), but mostly I was on the sidelines. Peter was sleeping so it was the strangest feeling. That I was just not really needed. I held myself back from swooping in when they were trying to decide who was hiding and counting when, and there was no problem. No fights, tears or hurt feelings. They sorted it all out themselves. I was vigilant, but I didn't hear or see everything. Part of the time I talked with a nanny. I was a little sad about this big girl transition my Linnea has reached, to be playing on her own with brand new friends, but mostly I was pretty proud. And thanks to Peter's epic nap, we girls still got a good chunk of alone time afterward.

My how past things change.

Peter is still bounding away into a big boy, too. He stands up and takes steps about as often as he crawls now, so it's about 50/50 and amazing to watch. And along with "dis," "dat," and "dada," which he's been saying for some time, he's saying "mama" and "nana" (Linnea). I love it. Bring on the walking and talking! Except, let him stay a baby just a little longer, please Lord? He is just the sweetest thing. I can't believe his birthday is less than a month away. I always look forward to new milestones because things keep getting more fun, but I'm really savoring each moment, too. Especially the nighttime snuggles and nursing. And the hugs that have started to come without a bite to my shoulder or lunge at my hair. Yep, he's still my little baby. :)
#End

Sent from my Windows Phone

Monday, November 5, 2012

Almost 11 months – and walking!

Peter started taking steps recently!

For the last few weeks he’s been standing up in the middle of the room on his own, and in the last week or so has taken a step a few times. But today we hit the jackpot! With Tim’s cell phone as the carrot lure, Peter was taking 15 steps or more at a time – halfway across the room! He is remarkably stable and even walked over a book without falling. It’s pretty awesome to watch the little guy teeter his way toward something he wants!

PS, some photos from Halloween. Cute bunny hats (there were mommy and daddy ones, too) by Mary and the dress Linnea’s wearing is courtesy of Great Aunt Lori for Jane at her wedding, I believe. The awesome overalls Peter’s wearing were Tim’s. They dressed up as Max and Ruby from the Rosemary Wells books. :) We had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and a little party in the evening with a few friends.

PPS go VOTE!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Overheard

"I'm the predator, and you are the prey."

Guess who said that to whom? ;)

Linnea has been wanting to talk about predators and prey ever since we saw that heron on Tuesday. I supplied the vocab, of course, but she figured out the context.

Watch out, Peter! Haha!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tranquility Incontinence Products

Hahaha.
I'm just going to let that marinate for a sec.








:)
No, they're not for me, but rather a last ditch effort for little T who leaks out of his diaper every morning between 6 & 8 am, which inevitably gets us off to a not so cheery start to the day (as I'm constantly changing jams and sheets).

Sooooo, I found these online when searching for overnight diapers. Many, many bad diaper reviews later, some other reviews recommended these and I hope they work. They just stick right inside his regular diaper.

Even if we have another leak tomorrow morning, I'll be smiling because the package gave me a good laugh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On the home front

We had a great visit with Aunt Jane, Grandma Mary and Great Grandma Enid, who came last Saturday and left today. Some highlights included going to the pumpkin patch after church Sunday, a walk to Juanita Bay Park where we saw a great blue heron hunt, catch and eat a frog (look closely in my grainy picture), and making a yummy trifle for CG that included pumpkin cake, white chocolate ganache and cinnamon whipped cream.

I don't have many pics of the visit, but Mary does.

In other news, Peter started clapping today, and Linnea built her own country out of blocks IN the block box, which she dubbed Kirkland Country. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oh Linnea

Some favorite shots of the week...

With an old tractor the last day of the farmers market

By the gourds given to her by a market vendor

And asleep on the couch one morning when she woke up too early :) Melt.

Just chillin

I love how she crosses her ankles like this! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nope, not pregnant!

We are still a family of 4!

I've gotten a couple of comments wondering if I've got a hidden message in the photo from the previous post.

You are correct, there are 5. My reasoning was that Tim's French press is tall like my green water bottle (the two parent items), but it was empty so I added in the coffee cup. I saw them as a unit, but some of you saw one as a baby. Sorry to confuse or disappoint!

I'll be more literal next time.

And for the record, Linnea has been asking when her baby sister will be joining our family since, oh, the end of my pregnancy with Peter; when it happens, you'll know. ;)

Our family

Monday, October 15, 2012

In other news...

Will Peter be a lefty? He always feeds himself with his left hand (love that little pincer grasp and LOVE the way he holds onto the tray with his right hand!). I thought maybe he was taking food with his left because I would feed him with my right, facing him, but this has been pretty consistent so we'll see.

And... Peter stood up all by himself tonight, from a seated position! He looked pretty surprised about it too. The object of his desire: Linnea's bible. Good reason to stand up, Petey!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another one

About six months... It's really fun to reminisce about her baby days and she asks what we did when she was a baby all the time! Already nostalgic at age three ;)

Our weekend (evidences of God's grace)

All of my favorite things converged this weekend, making for a very happy and satisfied Sunday night: time with family, time with friends, cooking with Tim, walks around our neighborhood, church, Peter naps, and alone time with Tim.

Some highlights were...

Brunch with my community group ladies at a chic and cozy spot, The Barking Frog in Woodinville

A family walk around Kirkland that ended with Peter falling asleep in the stroller and the rest of us enjoying an impromptu tea at newly opened Savrika Tea downtown

The purchase of special bowls for making French onion soup last night...mmmm

Enjoying both a croque madame and croque monsieur this weekend, one homemade

A ridiculous dance party to the Herb Alpert album I posted about recently, the climax of which was Linnea running out from her potty break buck naked to rejoin the fun. I seriously can't stop laughing

Happy kids in children's ministry this morning

Family dinners

Discovering a new park (Big Finn Hill) after a drive for Peter's nap in which Linnea also fell asleep, we got to chat over coffee, and then all walk through the woods on some fun trails

Watching a political documentary with Tim (his love language?)

Limnea and Peter playing in the tub together for the first time

Peter waving at his reflection for the first time! Melt

Yeah. It was good. Thank you Lord for all your blessings on our family these two days of rest!

(Photos include Tim stealing my flowery rain hat for our local walk and Linnea on the trails...plus a blurry Linnea in action on the playground, which is actually a very accurate representation of my wild child!)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little girl

Here's one of Linnea at six months. She was on a kick about looking at baby pics of herself recently. Just add some hair and I think she looks about the same!

Friday, October 12, 2012

MSFT family day

It happens once a month. We get lunch together on campus and there are activities for the kids. This time there were balloon animals and football activities (like field goal kicking).

Linnea kicked some footballs, got a butterfly wand, and Peter enjoyed crawling on the AstroTurf of the soccer field and trying to eat the net. :)

Fall cut out cookies

We got mini cookie cutters in fall shapes -- leaves, acorn, apple, pumpkin -- to replace Linnea's mini Christmas cookie cutters which I left in some homemade play dough (and ruined).

Last week we made some cut out cookie that weren't the most delicious ever, weird recipe, but they looked cute!