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. :)