Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finn's first week

Our first week home with Finn has been good, and pretty uneventful. He learned to nurse in about 10 seconds flat when he was just a few minutes old and has been a champion eater ever since. He continues to eat every 2-3 hours day and night, so we are hoping that those nighttime feedings will start to get less frequent sometime soon. He also occasionally decides to binge in the middle of the night - he wants to nurse constantly for a few hours at a time! - yikes!

It is good to know that he's eating well and growing though. He had his one-week appointment with the doctor on Friday, and was already up to 8 lbs, from 7lbs 12 oz at birth. Yay, Finn! We also took him back to the hospital to have his jaundice levels checked, and they were fine - no lights needed - despite his bad orange spray-tan look this week. =)

sun bathing to get rid of his "tan"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Elijah's Prayer

Last night, Elijah was praying for Great Grandma Jennie:

"Dear God, please bless Great Grandma Jennie and keep her from sickness and death in between a rattlesnake."

I'm not quite sure that anyone will ever know what that means.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The new kid in town

We are so glad to welcome this sweet little man into our family!

Finn Patrick was born at 5:09 pm on Friday. He was 7 lbs 12 oz and 19 1/4 inches long. Finn and Mama are both well and we got to bring him home from the hospital on Sunday.

Finn looks a lot like both his big brother and sister!

The proud big brother and sister!

Praise God for a healthy baby boy and a safe delivery. Now we're a family of five! We'll be putting up more pictures soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Elijah at 5

Wow, I am still getting used to the fact that our Elijah is five years old. I don't know why it's been such a big shock to me, but I just can't seem to get used to it. Five sounds so grown up! I suppose it's the age of starting school, and there just isn't anything left of the little toddler/preschooler that we used to have around here. He is so tall and thin (yes, I know, he always was - but even his cheeks and hands have thinned out now!) and becoming so independent. He was 46" tall (95%) and 44 lbs (70-something?%) at his exam on Monday. He is learning to do more and more things on his own, and taking more responsibility for himself all the time. He does a great job making his bed, keeping his room tidy and cleaning up the toys and books downstairs every night. I think he is ready to learn to help out even more around the house, and I am planning to give him a couple more chores, but I just haven't had the energy to teach him yet. I'm sure we'll be working on those things in a few months when we start to settle into a routine with the baby.

Elijah has been reading on his own for a while now, and very rarely comes across a word he doesn't know or can't figure out anymore. He is still a very early riser (he's generally up between 5:00 - 6:00 am) and it's been great that he can read to himself in the morning until Molly and I are ready to be up at 7:00. He is much more content in the mornings, and I love that he is happy, safe (and pretty quiet) in his room. He still sleeps for a while at nap time almost every day, although we skip his nap sometimes when we're away from home or something exciting is happening. I think his very early mornings are the reason he's still ready for a nap in the afternoon. Even if he doesn't sleep, though, he still spends nap time quietly in his room - reading, of course! When he is not reading, Elijah is full of energy and loves to run and play. He still enjoys building his train tracks, which get more and more elaborate all the time, and playing with his trains, and has started to enjoy building and playing with Legos, too. He loves to play with Molly, and they have been playing pretend more and more lately, as well as chasing, playing tag, wrestling, and trying to play hide-n-seek. Neither of them really understands the rules of hide-n-seek, but they have a blast playing and finding each other anyway. Elijah loves to play outside, and is happy to spend hours in the sandbox or at the playground, even if it is hot. We are excited to have a yard, and to be able to spend more time helping him learn some of those outdoor skills that he hasn't had much opportunity to practice, like catching a ball and riding a bike.

Elijah usually has a lot to say, and is constantly telling me about the things he learns. He is very interested in dinosaurs and all kinds of vehicles and animals, and has a long list of places that he would like to travel to, including the arctic, Africa, Australia, Japan, a big construction site, outer space, and California. He often says that he would like to be a scientist, but sometimes claims that he is going to be a cowboy, firefighter, or a construction machine driver. He enjoys puzzles and playing games and painting, and loves to sing and dance (when he decides to, but almost never when someone else asks). His favorite song is "mnah mnah" from the old Muppet Show. Most of his favorite songs now are silly ones, but he also likes to "rock out" to U2 with Daddy, and he loves the mix CD and the Clancy Brothers CD (Irish folk songs) that I made for the kids to listen to in the van. He is not at all shy, and often starts up conversations with strangers around him out in public. He loves to ask people how they slept, and if they are having a good day, and usually announces that he is going to have a baby brother soon. Elijah would like to name to baby Jo-Jo or Thomas or Jed. He is going to be a great helper, and has already decided that it will be his job to bring me diapers and wipes and whatever I need.

After long months of deliberation, we decided that the best thing for Elijah this year would be another year of preschool. His preschool teacher agreed, which really helped me feel confident with our decision. I am excited to let him have another year of exploring and growing before he has to start "real" school and head to Kindergarten. I think it will be really helpful to give him another year to develop socially and physically, and I'm not as concerned now about him going back to school right after the baby comes. We're very fortunate that his preschool has a class just for kids who are/will be five this year, and that a few friends from his class last year will be in his class again this year. I am looking forward to seeing how he will learn and grow this year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Molly at 3

Today we took the kids in for their annual well-kid visit to the doctor, so it seems like a good time to do a little update on how each of them is growing and changing lately! Molly turned three a few weeks ago. They measured her standing up this time (and on the scale instead of the wall, plus she was not at all pleased to be on there, so I'm not sure how precise a measurement they got), and she is 39" tall (87%) and weighs 38 lbs (still 95%). She feels to me like she has stretched out and gotten a lot leaner in the past 6 months, but I think this is the first time that she's had a higher weight percentage than height percentage. The doctor said that her proportions are still great. Molly was anxious about the whole thing, especially about the doctor examining her, but she still did pretty well. (Sitting on Daddy's lap through most of the exam really helped.) She had one booster shot, and I was very thankful that Patrick was there to hold her - she really did not want that shot, but she calmed down pretty quickly.

Little ballerina in her leotard and tutu.

Molly is (mostly) quite a lot of fun to have around! She is a little chatterbox, and loves to talk and tell stories and sing songs. She makes up silly words and silly little songs all the time. She keeps us all laughing, and spends a lot of her day grinning about something. Her favorite toys are her baby dolls - she loves to dress them and take care of them, and would prefer to take them everywhere she goes. The other day in the van she was crooning away to her Bitty Baby, “oh, it’s ok, I’m right here,” over and over. So sweet! But she also loves to play trains with Elijah, with her pretend kitchen/dishes/food, and outside in the sandbox. Elijah and Molly have really been playing well together and like to make up silly games and pretend together. Miss Molly also loves to read and look at books, work on puzzles, and do any kind of art. She likes to dress up and pretend to be a ballerina or a cowgirl. The ladies in her preschool class at church say that she is "an angel" at children's church and is always willing to share and let everyone have a turn.

Molly is still very shy with new people, and usually takes a little while to warm up each time she sees people (even those she sees regularly). Molly is reserved around others at first, but she’s never quiet at home! She always lets us know what she’s thinking, and she laughs (and fusses) quite vocally. She does sometimes still have trouble when we leave her somewhere, like church class or with a babysitter, but usually calms down and has a great time once we’re gone.

Molly is still sleeping in her toddler bed for now, and says that she doesn’t want her big bed yet. She is potty trained during the day, and almost never has accidents, but still wears diapers for sleeping right now. She speaks very clearly and has a lot to say! Some of her favorite songs are “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and Psalm 23. Her favorite books are Bear Snores On, Goodnight Moon, Red Hat, Green Hat, and I Love You, Goodnight. She also loves Hello Kitty and everything PINK! She is very excited for her new room to be pink. She is always especially excited to see her own name, or any of the letters in her name or Elijah’s. She thinks we should name her little brother Molly Beth, and she is very excited to help take care of him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quote of the day

From Elijah, as we enjoyed an afternoon snack on the back deck:

"There's nothing better than a yummy smoothie pop on a beautiful summer day."

That kid cracks me up!

Still moving in - and some new house firsts

So, I think I would say we're 50% unpacked. It's the really important 50% that is done, which is good, but there's still plenty to do. We got some new appliances to fill in what was missing or not working here, but we've had some issues getting everything to work correctly. Our new dishwasher wasn't draining correctly, so Patrick did huge loads of dishes by hand this week, and we've mostly still been using disposable plates, but the maintenance guy came today and it seems to be working again now. Yay! We did not replace the stove, but did have to get an electrician come and fix the power to the stove last week, then discovered the gas to the stove was not on, and then discovered that the oven does not work. Patrick got it all figured out, and the part ordered, so hopefully we'll really be cookin' again soon. =) The washing machine and dryer that we got seem to be working fine (once we got the gas to the dryer turned back on!) but we did have some wiggling and scooting to do to get them to fit into the 2nd floor laundry closet correctly. I can now open and close the closet doors and the washer and dryer doors, but the detergent drawer is still a little tricky. =) We also had the electrician install the boxes for overhead lights in the kids' rooms, but haven't actually gotten any lights to put up yet.

We've had lots of fun first experiences in our new house, and I thought it would be interesting to write them down, so I can remember how huge this was for us someday when we're all used to having our own house. =)

Just for a little perspective - this was our 10th move in the 8 1/2 years that Patrick and I have been married. We have lived in three states, owned our own home (a 3rd floor condo) only once before, and lived in only one stand-alone house before this (that we did not own).

This is the kids' first yard! Patrick and I had a yard for a while (7 years ago), but this is a first for the kids. We have a lot to learn about how to how to stay safe out there, since we don't have a fence yet, but I am so excited about this one!!!! I am so thankful for our yard and the space for the kids to just play. We will be even more excited and love it even more someday when the yard is actually grass, and not 90% weeds. =)

Along with our yard, we have our first driveway. (Again, we'll have to learn some new safety rules.) How fun to have somewhere to learn to ride bikes and stuff!

In this house we have a dining room! A couple of days after we moved in, Elijah pointed to the kitchen table (in the eat-in kitchen where we have eaten all our meals so far) and said, "Why is this still here?" When I asked him what he meant, he said, "THAT's the dining room! That means we should be DINING in there!" Well, I guess we'd better get busy and clear it out (that's where all the boxes that we are still unpacking are right now) so we can actually eat dinner in there sometime - it will make him feel a lot better. =)

We decided to use the formal living room space for a playroom. I love that all (well, almost, so far) the toys can be in one place, and that that place is NOT the family room floor! The kids are overjoyed to see a bunch of their toys that we have had packed away - we haven't had room to have them all out at once before.

I am still adjusting to the idea of having a more permanent address. I am so excited to not have to constantly update everything - once we're done getting everything switched over to this address, that is. I still have to log in to Amazon sometimes to check my address book - when I am updating addresses I often find the old address is actually one or two (or more!) addresses back, and I can't even remember all the street numbers and zip codes anymore. It's a good thing someone kept a list for me!

Some other things we had to/have to get - a second shower curtain and bath mat, more towel racks (it seems like we always need more towel racks, every time we've moved anywhere!), new toilet brushes (we've only ever had one before!), a lawn mower, and a broom. We also get to go through all of our cleaning products and give away the ones that we won't use at this house, instead of hauling around our collection of things specific to other houses. =)

In case you missed it earlier, I am excited to be able to decorate our new house! It's going to take me a while, but I'll try to post pictures as I start to get things done. So far, we've rearranged the living/family room furniture a few times, but that's about it. We'll probably be ready to unpack the fun stuff - books and pictures and all that jazz - pretty soon. I think I'll have plenty of time to think about anything I want to do beyond that as we continue to get unpacked and then bring home a new baby, before I'll actually be able to do anything. That's OK - then I will really know what I want! In addition to decorating and making it feel like us, we have plenty of little projects to keep us (Patrick, mostly - sorry, babe) busy, since this house was a little neglected when we got here. Neither of us is new to working on projects like this, but it's been a long time since these things have been our responsibility at our own house. Cool, but a little scary!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

We had a fun day - Patrick took the kids to a kids' parade and a new playground in the morning, and in the evening we all went to a BBQ with one of Patrick's coworkers. The kids had a great time playing, and we enjoyed eating good food and meeting new people. I took Molly home to bed when she got too tired, but Patrick and Elijah stayed up and watched the fireworks. It was Elijah's first fireworks show, and he loved it! We did miss our friends in Rhode Island and the over-the-top fun of the Bristol 4th of the July celebration, though.

Happy Fourth, everyone!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Elijah's 5th Birthday!

Happy Fifth Birthday, Elijah!

Wow! Elijah turned five yesterday! He is growing up so fast. It's been one week since we moved in, so we didn't get to do everything that we would've wanted to do for Elijah's special day, but it was still great! He chose blueberry pancakes for breakfast (anyone surprised?) and loved coming downstairs to streamers and his Lightening McQueen balloons.

Since our house was not really party-ready yet, Danny and Lorrie graciously hosted Elijah's birthday party. He loved celebrating with all of Patrick's family and we all had a fun time together. (We also discovered the night before that our oven was not working, so I was very thankful to be able to run over and bake his cupcakes at Danny & Lorrie's, too!)

We just did some simple cupcakes, but all of Elijah's cars helped make them fun and festive!

Yay, presents!

Elijah had a great time at his party, and wore that birthday hat all day. =) We had so much fun celebrating him! Love you, chum!

Five years ago.