Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seven-montha...oh, forget it!

I have been getting later and later with each month's post. Perhaps I will make it on time one of these months. Perhaps not. I think I will blame it on much quality time spent with two flu-ridden babes and a severed finger this month. But really, it is just life. So no more complaining or excusing. Here are some pictures of one recovering-but-smiley-not-yet-crawling-but-it's-safer-that-way seven month old.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Six Monthaversary

Now that we are days away from seven months, I figured I better get the six month milestone documented.

Miriam, you are such a happy, easy baby! You rarely cry for others, reserving it for me in your most tired or agitated moments. You have sadly been sick recently...and teething...and still you are mostly smiles and babbles until later in the evening. Even then, as soon as Daddy walks in the door, you are all smiles again. You love your Daddy so much. And you make these crazy flirty eyes at him! I think he would do anything for you!

You are still waking periodically to nurse, even though you eat a hefty dinner. But you go back to sleep after about 10 minutes, so it is hard to complain. Considering your brother has taken to waking more often than you, I have a hard time not cuddling you in the night too.

You don't crawl yet, but you love to be on your tummy and roll around. You get on your belly and kick both legs at the same time while flapping your arms. Daddy says you are going to be a butterflyer.

Two teeth have come in since the first week of December. You sit up reliably on your own and can reach over and grab things without toppling. You love love love to kiss and will hold my head in your hands and kiss my mouth. Or you will nuzzle your face to my kisses. So sweet.

Your babbles are beautiful! You sing when music is playing and make all sorts of coos when we are talking.

Eating is a highlight of your day. Once you got the hang of it, you gobble down anything I bring your way. So far, you have had avocado, green beans, peas, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, banana and oatmeal. Yum!

You and Nathan have started to interact in a really fun and exciting way. He is getting a bit possessive of his toys, but overall you have a wonderful brother who adores you and loves to care for you.

You did a great job at your 6 month appointment (though Mommy was scolded many times by the pediatrician). You got a few shots, "scored" in the 80th percentile in weight and height, and put up with a lot of poking and prodding.

We love you, sweet Miri Ruth! 

Miriam vs Pooh Bear

Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Rugged Tree Tutorial

 As we were going though our storage closet last weekend, I realized that in the chaos of our moving experience, all but three Christmas decorations went to storage. In Augusta. Five hundred and forty nine miles away.

I wish that meant I had the opportunity to go out and get all new ones, but that is not how it works in fellowship (or most of life, let's be honest). So I sucked it up, stuck our gingerbread lawn ornament in our front planter and lit a candle. Then I started thinking (candles are inspiring, don't you think?).

So this weekend when Danny had some free time, we piled in the car and drove 20 minutes to the Home Depot that is less than a mile and a half from our house (gotta love D.C. traffic...even on the weekends). I convinced one of the guys in an orange apron to give me a wooden pallet from under the bags of cement. When we got home, I explained to Danny where I wanted it cut and he did the rest! 

A few lights later, we now have this glowing but rugged tree to remind us of how, through humble circumstance, the LORD of the universe became man to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. And those walking in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2).

So here is the quick How To:

1. Obtain a pallet from your local hardware store. Don't buy the ones they sell...they tend to have less character and not have the single center plank. Yours might. But then you just spent $25 that you could spend on a manicure. Or legos. Or a goat in Yemen.

2. Sketch two lines going from just right of the center plank to just above the bottom cross beam (that will remain intact as the base) and just left of the center plank to just above the bottom cross beam.

3. Cut. A circular saw works best. A hand saw would be a work out.

4. Use the sides labeled "b" for the front and back wings. Lay the triangle labeled "a" on the floor and place one of the sides "b" on top, with the wide ends flush with one another (this is important so the tree has stability). You can nail it in if you have elf hands. Otherwise, you may need to use a powerful power drill. Measure out where it will go, drill pilot holes and then flip and repeat on the other side.

5. Screw in the first wing and then stand the 3/4 of a tree on it's base and screw the other wing in place, taking care to keep the bases flush.

6. Stand back and feel proud of your free-cycled Old Rugged Tree!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One More Time (we hope)

This week, we were faced with yet another life-altering decision. We had five days to decide where should Danny put into practice what he has been learning over the past FOURTEEN years (yikes!).

We were blessed with two opportunites that, to us, were equally wonderful in professional promise and location: Augusta and Charlotte.
Knowing that we belong to the LORD and that He has ordered our steps, we went to Him in prayer trusting that He would direct our paths (Prov 3:5). 

In addition to the invaluable lessons we learned about constant communion, His concern not only with the where but with the who-you-are-when-you-get-
there, and our unquenchable longing for home, He directed our hearts to join the practice and community of Charlotte, NC.

So at the end of June 2013, when Danny completes his fellowship here in D.C., we will be packing up and heading south once again. The practice he will be joining is upstanding and strong, comprised of men of integrity and the winning personality innate to all good urologists. He and one other doc will be spear-heading their branch in Monroe, NC, about 20 minutes south of Charlotte. We will likely live just outside the city, taking advantage of the land available while still having access to whatever it is a city has to offer (I still love whatever I can find in walking distance!). We are so grateful for what we have here in D.C., but will be ready to "settle down." The far more painful move will be packing up our storage unit in Augusta and really having to say goodbye to that sweet, sweet city. God blessed us abundantly there. It will always be our most cherished memories together and, of course, where the lives of our children began. We will never have another church like First Pres, and we long for the day when we worship together again before the throne. But we must now turn our eyes to what the LORD is doing in Charlotte and how He has called us to join Him there. Danny is thrilled at the prospect of finally getting started, and maybe even having dinner with us before 8pm. 

Thank you all for walking with us on this journey whether it was for miles or just rejuvenating spurts. If we are called to mind in the coming months, here are a few ways you can pray for us:
-We want dearly to cling to the somewhat simple life have lived while in training, confident that this will be a challenge in the midst of such a city.
-We need a church. Leaving our church was, hands down, the most difficult part about saying no to Augusta. We have hope that there is an active and sound church for us to call our own. 
-In the joys and trials of the coming year, we must remember to fix our eyes upon Jesus, just as we have during this challenge, knowing that He who promised is faithful.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Five Monthaversary

 Miriam Ruth! You are well over five months old now, but I am trying to get this stuff down on "paper" nonetheless. It makes me turn on my vintage [read: old and unfriendly] camera and take some pictures of you while you are still a baby. You are growing up much faster than Nathan did,  I am sure of it.

Nathan wanted to help with pictures more than be in them, but I caught him on camera anyway.

 He is all about helping with you now more than ever and wants to "shoosh" you without my help (he does a great job), reposition you (yikes!) and even change your diaper! He is still getting the hang of the snaps, but he pours the wipe solution, wipes her and folds and places the new diaper under you. You get a kick out of it and, quite frankly, I do too.

Miri vs. Pooh
5 Months

 At Five Months you:

~sit up on your own with a tumble (intentional?) when you get tired of the position and want to get to something far away.
~make fun new babble sounds with y's and n's and we are sure we heard you say "da-ddy" even if by accident on two separate occasions!
~tried your first bite of solids (butternut squash) the other day and did a great job!
~have graduated to the next size in your diapers---all the snaps are undone! I guess that is what girl bums are all about!
~play with toys! Nathan is overjoyed (except when he is afraid you will spit up on a truck or choke on a block).
~still do well with strangers. You stayed with your first babysitter last week when Mommy went to Uncle Joe's swearing in ceremony. You took your bottles and even napped well for her!
~ADORE your Daddy! The way you look at him is like no one else! So precious.
~have been waking up at night (around 3am) to eat. You go back to bed easily, but I am not a fan. What happened? Hope you get back into the groove after this cold is passed!

Your brother loves you so much and has loved watching you grow this month. He sings to you and loves to dote on you. This is so classically Nathan! Climbed in your crib with a truck to play you a song and make you smile, leaving his underwear by your head. (Even more impressive was the picture of him stepping over her head pant-less as she stared straight up at that crazy sight. Traumatic.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's...

time for candy!

The big treat kick-off started on Saturday at our neighborhood's Fall Festival. There was a pet parade and kid's costume contest, games, face painting, goodies and crafts. The weather was perfect and, even though I had spend the better part of the morning at the fabric store, Nathan was still running around like a mini Cierre Wood when I got there. Miri had a good time, too, getting a little extra lovin' from all the baby sitting-types.

After naps on Wednesday, Nathan put on his costume and reveled in all the joys of Supermanhood. He kept saying he was getting something special at Trunk or Treat. When I asked him what we was going to get he said, "A lollipop, a chocolate and some granola!" He was a little deflated when I told him he shouldn't expect granola at Trunk or Treat, but I softened the blow by telling him he could have candy for dinner. Here he is just after changing.

I finished getting things ready while Danny was in the...ehem...bathroom. Forever. I started to get worried and sent Nathan in after him (he's a boy, too, right?). He reported back that Daddy was brushing his hair. Danny soon appeared in costume as Nathan/Superman's alter ego. I could not, then, go Trunk or Treating as a disheveled mom! I don't think anyone would even recognize I was in costume to be honest. So in 5 minutes flat I whipped up (see what I did there?) this brilliant bakers costume to compliment the sweetest cupcake in town, Crazy Maizie!

So Trunk or Treating we did go, at the church around the corner. It was amazing! They had 5 or 6 hug inflatables, one of which was an obstacle course and charmed Nathan far more than any of the trunks full of candy.

We finally persuaded him to collect a few pieces of candy for his football bag. The first trunk he went to was, of course, Superman-themed. I submit to you Exhibit A. This is what exactly happened as Nathan reached for his first piece of Halloween candy this year. 

Yes, those are a urologist's hands. And the fact that my grocery budget depends on them is probably the only reason I didn't smack it with my baker's spoon as it reached into the children's candy. It is that Reese's Peanut Butter. The man is powerless in its presence. 

But eventually Nathan got to choose some for his football bag and we moved on.

 The trunks were great but the costumes were even better! Nathan loved looking at all the superheros and familiar (an unfamiliar) characters all around him.

Inside, they had popcorn, hot chocolate and a free family photo. It was great to let Miri warm up indoors. 

When we got home, I helped Nathan dump out his candy (he was reluctant to pour it all over the floor but I feel pretty strongly that this is the right way to do it). Despite all the chocolate, all the gummies, he cared only for the little box of "Nerves." He wanted this one piece of candy and it took him over 24 hours to finish it as he ate them Ridiculous.

We had such fun! So much fun, in fact, that Superman stuck around well into Friday, taking great care not to get any yogurt on his uniform. It is so nice having a superhero around. Daddy enjoyed his stay, too.

This crash landing went on for a good five minutes post recording. But I figured you got the idea.

Hope everyone had a night full of laughs and sweets!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Summer Wrap-up

One of the best things about our townhome is the pool in our complex. It is only a street away and has a fenced in baby pool and a pristine full-size pool. We went most afternoons this summer. Nathan would splash in the kiddie pool while I snuggled Maizie. Finally I decided the kid really needed to get over his fear of the big pool. This required me to get in with him and pray that Maizie would stay occupied watching the clouds go by. She was a star.

Nathan put up quite a fight, and I am sure every mother in the neighborhood thinks I am heartless, but in the end he fell in love with the water. He is a bit of a control freak (I have no idea where he got that), but he is learning to relax and just have fun. 

By the end of the season, Miri was enjoying the water on her toes, too. Here she is confidently workin' the two-piece.

Just as the pool closed, gymnastics opened. He is the only boy in his class (most of the boys are in the class just before his, but that class is CRAZY!). But he is also the one that gets scolded for talking.

Fall is in full swing. We are keeping busy, loving our cuddle time and looking forward to more apple picking soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Somehow it is October and our little girl is four months old! 

She is all smiles and giggles lately, sleeping like a champ and interacting more with the world around her. Nathan loves how she will grab his shirt or try to chew on him or his toys. She loves her exersaucer, playing in the tub and rolling around on the floor.

 She's 14lb 7oz (more than two pounds less than Nathan was at her age!) and 25.25 in tall (a full inch taller than Nathan was). I am sure this will be the first of many things are are completely opposite between these two.
Miri vs. Pooh Bear

 She has great core strength, but we are still working on endurance.

Just a picture of the piggies
 We are having so much fun with these two, though the weeks fly by.

A few other fun things she started doing this month:

-cooing like crazy, she will talk to anything!
-loving those toes! Who needs baby toys when you can chew on your piggies?
-singing to the music
-giggling consistently

It is amazing how quickly this guy can go from industrial sound effects with his skid steer bulldozer to feeding his lovie baby. Nathan is way more than I could have even asked for in terms of being a loving and understanding big brother and just blessing my socks off. We have moments, but this kid is seriously awesome!