Saturday, December 27, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 64

Our last Photo Friday of 2014!

Kate, one month old

And of course, Christmas!

We had a big family party on Christmas Eve.  With eight kids age eight and under, it was a bit chaotic, but lots of fun.  It was my first Christmas with my family in nine years, so it really meant a lot to me!

Kate with her girl cousins.

We attempted to get a photo of my grandparents with their seven great-grand kids, with about this much success.   

One of the things we requested for our boys this Christmas were dress-up outfits.  They got some great stuff: train engineer, doctor, army fatigues, and these too:

 Caleb the construction worker...

Greg the pirate - Argh!

About mid-morning Christmas day it began to snow!

 This morning we had several inches, and the boys couldn't wait to get out and play in it.

Of course we put them right to work clearing snow off vehicles.

 Brian was happy that the snow blower he fixed two years ago was still working well.

Until next year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 63

Kate is getting into the festive mood with her reindeer pj's.  We're getting some genuine smiles this week, which has been a lot of fun:

When the cousins came over, Kate got lots of time with Madi.  What a change from being held by her brothers, who are enthusiastic, but not exactly calm and gentle. 

 Fun at the playground in December!  (Gotta love Colorado...)

It's a good thing dad was there to actively play with the boys.  Mom isn't much fun when she has an infant strapped to her in the baby carrier.

 I got some short "mom hair."  I actually went in with the intention of getting it cut even shorter, but the stylist sort of talked me out of it.  She said my hair is way too thick and anything between this and a pixie cut would leave me with a really poofy head.  I guess I'll keep it this length for a while and then decide if it's worth the risk to cut it shorter next time.

That's all for this week.  Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

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.

 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!]


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!