Thursday, December 11, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 62

This week before we left Oregon, we made a trip to Albany to visit Christmas Storybook Land.  It's an annual event at the fairgrounds where they create an indoor forest and have on display scenes from children's stories.  My favorite is the teddy bear display:


And we waited in line to see this guy.  Greg was a little dubious because they switched out Santas right when we got to the front of the line.  Santa with the natural white beard left to go "feed his reindeer," and then Santa with the long fake beard took his place.  "How did his beard get so long?" Greg wondered.


Mother-daughter selfie taken at the ladies' Christmas luncheon at church.


One of our friends from church gave us the lovely Christmas dress.  She said that she couldn't resist getting it, as she has only grandsons herself and doesn't get much opportunity to buy pretty dresses.  What good is it having a daughter if you can't doll her up every once in a while?


 The boys continue to learn how to interact with their little sister.  Does she look a little concerned in this photo?  Caleb is doing much better with her, but an adult is always right there, just in case.


 She is a bit more at ease with Greg.

On Tuesday we flew to Colorado.  No photos of the travel, because Brian and I found that we didn't have any spare hands for snapping photos! 


Great-grandma couldn't wait to hold the newest addition.  Kate is the seventh great-grandchild. 



It makes my heart happy to see my boys sitting at the kitchen counter having a snack at Grandma's house.  The kitchen has been remodeled and the stools are different from the ones in my childhood, but I have so many memories of sitting at that counter as a little girl, eating apple slices, graham crackers, and grandma's delicious bran muffins.


 My parents waited to decorate the tree until we came.


 My parents have lots of Legos at their house, so this is who tops their tree!



 Three weeks old.  Man, that went fast...


Until next week!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 61

This week:
 
The boys' first experience with bowling!  Greg did very well...umm... he beat me, actually.  I'll just say that playing with bumpers threw me off my A-game.  (And one of Brian's strikes was bounced off the bumpers, so I'm pretty sure that's why he did so awesome...)







 Lots of interrupted sleep this week makes us a bit reluctant to get out of bed... so often the kids join us in the mornings.  So far Kate is proving to be a night owl, and the rest of the family definitely is not!  Notice that I am not in this photo.  Having kids "sleeping" in my bed is fun for like 3 minutes.  And then I start feeling claustrophobic.

Admiring baby sister


 The boys found Uncle D's old wrestling gear and have had fun playing dress-up.


 I know this isn't a real smile at this age, but it's still cute.

Until next week!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 60


This week was full of family, food, and less-than-ideal sleep.


Here is our Kate at one week old.





And for a little dose of reality, we see a lot of this too:



With the Thanksgiving holiday and the wedding of a family friend last weekend, we had a very full house.  Both of Brian's brothers were home, along with my sister-in-law and 1-yr-old nephew.  Perhaps not an ideal situation for bringing home a newborn, but at least I can say that I never lacked for a helping hand!  And it was nice to have everyone home to see Kate when she was brand new.

Kate's nighttime sleep has been typical for a newborn... meaning bleary-eyed parents in the morning.  My nephew was teething too, which meant that there was crying throughout the house most nights.  But we are all surviving!

We brought Kate home last Friday.  On Saturday, she and I had the house to ourselves, as everyone else went to the aforementioned wedding.  It was nice and quiet.

Then on Sunday, all the boys went on a special outing, designed mainly for Greg: a train ride!  They rode Amtrak from Salem to Portland and back.  Greg was thrilled!  (Caleb had fun too, but a train ride has been something Greg has been talking about for weeks).



At the station with Grandpa.


With uncle Darin.


In Portland, they visited the famous Voodoo Doughnuts before catching their ride home.


 It's been really fun getting to know my sweet nephew, and to hang out with his mom.


 Uncle Tim multitasking.... holding a nephew and niece while checking on his fantasy football team.


 I think that getting a chance to "hold that baby" every once in a while has helped Caleb adjust a little to the idea of not being the baby of the family any more.



 Grandma is always willing to take a turn holding her too!


We celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday.


 The whole crew.  I'm so blessed to have married into such a great family!

That's all for this week.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 59 [baby edition!]

FINALLY!

Only 12 days past her due date, we finally got to hold our little girl yesterday.  Yes, you heard that right - a GIRL!  (Brian told me when she was born but I made him double-check to be sure, because I didn't believe it...)


Kate Olivia  - born Nov 20
8lbs 10oz, 19in 

I had been having a frustrating start and stop early labor for several days.  There were at least two times when I was convinced that we'd be heading to the hospital that day, but little Kate always seemed to decide around bedtime that she wasn't ready after all, and contractions would stop.

My doc wanted to induce labor earlier, but kept pushing back the date, because baby was so darn healthy in there and showed absolutely no signs of distress, so it seemed a shame to force her out.  Finally we went in for induction yesterday.  It didn't take much though, as I was already on the brink of active labor (had been for a few days!).


Brian is a very supportive and attentive birth partner, as you can see here.  (Obviously this photo was taken early on, when I was still in a mood to joke about such things...)


Five hours later, we had a very healthy little girl!






There were no complications in the birth itself, and we spent a nice quiet two hours afterwards with just the three of us (and the doctor and nurses of course...)  But then, just as a large group of family arrived to meet her, the nurses discovered that I was bleeding heavily.  So, Brian took Kate to another room and I missed out on our boys and the grandparents and others meeting her for the first time.  I got to spend a painful and anxious hour or two as they tried to stop the bleeding.  There was talk of a visit to the operating room and things were starting to get a bit tense (poor Brian was running back and forth between the happy relatives and the bustling, tense room where he wasn't quite sure what was going on with his wife or how serious it was), but thankfully they were able to get the bleeding to stop without critical blood loss.


 We're bringing her home this evening.  Greg is pretty excited, but this guy isn't too sure.  She's fun and all, but Caleb told us that we didn't need to bring her home.  Pray for a smooth adjustment to being a family of five!


 

Until next week!








Sunday, November 16, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 58

Still no baby.

I know, I'm as disappointed as you.  But it will come... one of these days.
In the meantime, here are a few photos from our week:

(The internet was out at our house most of the day yesterday, which is why I'm posting this a day late.)


The boys got matching Carhartt hoodies this week.




 These are the black boxes that the dahlia tubers are put into when we dig/wash them.  Caleb spends a lot of time carrying them around from place to place.  I'm not sure what his logic is, but he seems to know where they ought to go.



He fell asleep while riding the riding lawnmower with grandpa.  Grandma just laid him down on the floor of the greenhouse and he had a nice nap.



 Watching cartoons with his hard hat on.


video
 And finally, a video of Caleb.  He's been really into licking things lately.  I actually went for the camera because he was dancing and singing Jesus Loves Me in a very adorable manner, but by the time I returned this was all I was able to capture.

Until next week!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 57

Let me just apologize up front for the lack of photos.  I really didn't get my camera out much this week.  I honestly thought that this baby was going to come early (due date is tomorrow) and that I would do a post with cute newborn photos, and so I didn't bother taking pictures of anything else.  But, I am still pregnant, so you're stuck with the few photos I was able to dig up: 


This has been a large part of the week - digging dahlias.  Yes, that's me driving the tractor with all my boys on the trailer (don't worry - the little guys are safely anchored in some of those black boxes so they don't fall off the trailer)


Caleb sitting in the mud with a bucket of worms he and Greg have picked up while following the tractor.  (Lots of laundry around here lately!)



Greg thinks farming is fun!



 Chilly weather!  You'd think it was November or something...


 And one last Greg smile.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 56

Happy Halloween (to those of you in the U.S. where it is celebrated, that is). 
 Here is a look at our week:


 We carved Jack-O-Lanterns.  Caleb was in a lousy mood that night after missing his afternoon nap, so we gave his a sad face.  (He was actually pretty happy that it was sad, if that makes sense!)


Greg actually remembers Halloween (a holiday that isn't celebrated in Papua New Guinea), and so he is very much looking forward to trick-or-treating tonight.


As you can see, our little raccoon is not as thrilled about his costume as big brother fireman is.  I bet he'll warm up once he starts getting some candy though.



In other news, we started digging up the dahlias this week. 

Brian driving the tractor with the digger behind.


After the tubers are dug, they need to be washed - a wet, often very cold job.  Here's the dahlia lady herself, hard at work.


There is a tent set up with stations for up to six people to be washing at the same time.  I have always managed to be very pregnant or to have a newborn when we've visited at digging time, and so I've always gotten out of this job...


...but I'm not off the hook entirely.  I've been working at the much drier and easier job of sorting the washed tubers into their respective boxes (over 200 varieties!) in the barn where they will spend the winter.

And what do the boys do while we are working?  They put on their boots and get muddy of course!  Greg had a blast following behind the tractor and gathering up all of the worms that we turned up.  Caleb dutifully followed Greg around and copied whatever he did.


For the last week or two Greg has been collecting "raskol bugs" in this jar.  His favorite pastime has been to go down to where the dahlias are planted and to search for these little beetles.  He's caught well over a hundred.  I stopped counting.  I made him empty out his jar one day because it was so full I couldn't put any new bugs in without five escaping.  He took his empty jar out to the flowers and promptly caught 25 more.


A "raskol bug" in it's native environment.



Brian has been spending almost every spare hour out in the shop trying to fix up his parents' flatbed truck.  It has been a frustrating project and has taken much longer than he suspected.  He says he'll finish today.  Hopefully!


Daddy invited the boys and I to come with him on an early-morning run to the parts store in town.  Surprise! - it happens to be next to the local doughnut shop.  The boys were very happy with their breakfast treat.


We had one of those "oh yeah, we have third-culture kids" moments when we realized that neither of our boys had any clue what the  little cardboard milk carton contained or how to go about opening and drinking it.


 Still waiting on baby Frey.  Here's a pic of me this morning at 39 weeks.  I feel tired and very, well, stretched out, but otherwise fine.   Maybe some news for you all next week?  We shall shall see!