Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kindergarten Concert

On May Day, Shirley had her Kindergarten concert. It was a very fun and exciting evening! She wore her Easter dress, and I couldn't have been more proud. What a beautiful big girl she is growing up to be!
She didn't even tell us beforehand that she had a special group dance she got to do during one of the songs! We were so surprised and proud!
It was a delightful evening.
There's our beautiful girl!

 Shirley and her delightful teacher, Mrs. S. :) What a gift and blessing this woman has been! We are so thankful for her.
The whole kindergarten class. I just wanted to get a picture so we could see the cheerful rainbow backdrop.
Here are the links to all the videos I took of the concert. :)

This is the one of her dance:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Baby Food Bonanza

Believe it or not, my babiest girl is almost five months old (tomorrow)! So it's time to start thinking about food. She hasn't shown much interest in food yet, but I think it's right around the corner, so it's time to start getting ready. 
With Shirley, I bought all of our baby food. When Richardboy was about 9 months old it occurred to me that I could make my own. This time around, I've learned some lessons and now can make as much food for Brynn as possible! I'm not sure it's worth the effort with fruit, but we shall see. 
I recently acquired half a bushel of green beans and about five pounds of broccoli. 
So, I cleaned the green beans and steamed them until they were very fork tender (you're looking for very little resistance to the fork (it's worth mentioning, I avoided the "forking tender" temptation here.)) in a big steamer pot. In two smaller pots I steamed about two cups of broccoli and a Fuji apple (cored, not peeled). Then, in this handy dandy steamer my mom gave me, I steamed five carrots (chopped, not peeled) in only four minutes! 
Really cool. 
Once everything was forking tender (I just. can't. help myself.) I combined the carrots, apple and broccoli in the food processor with about an eighth of a cup of water and let 'er rip until it was the consistency of baby food. I then spooned 2-tablespoon portions into snack-sized ziplock bags for the freezer. Then I rinsed out my processor and dumped in all the green beans. This batch didn't require any water since they had an awful lot of water in them and on them. 
Each batch yielded about ten 2-tablespoon-sized servings. 
I'm really excited about how easy this was and how prepared I feel for the future! It will still be about two months before she will be ready for this food, but it does more good waiting in the freezer than going rotten in the fridge. 
I separated out some portions for my niece, Charlotte, who is almost eight months old. I can't wait to see how she likes all of it! 
Next I hope to do pears, parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes. 
Since you stuck with me through this long, boring post, I will share a cute picture of Brynn "helping" me with the food processor. She thought it was noisy and fun—which, it was. 
The final product.

The happy helper. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baking cookies and bickering...

Tomorrow will be our fifth (sixth?) snow day this school year due to dangerous windchills and low temperatures. The windchill is predicted to be -40* tomorrow morning. Here's the tricky thing, though. Two snow days were after Christmas break, extending our twelve day break to fourteen days. Then there was a snow day after MLK day. Tomorrow's snow day follows an end-of-quarter break that happened today. We had one or two random ones in there, too. And don't forget that we had a baby at the beginning of the coldest winter in 40 years (Am I exaggerating? I don't even know anymore.). I can count on two hands how many times I've left the house on two hands in the last eight weeks. 
Now, before you feel sorry for me, we've been having some fun: 

 Bundled snow babe. (This was one of the times we left the house.)

Fun with hoods. 

And today we made lavender hot packs. So even if we freeze to death, at least we'll be relaxed. 

It's winter with kids. 
A mom must be creative
in this bitter cold. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brynn Felice

My last post said, "More posts coming soon...I promise!" That was in 2012. 
I've had a baby since then. Yikes. 
Believe me, I have plenty of mommy guilt about not blogging about my pregnancy with sweet Brynny, but I have to let myself off the hook for that. So instead, I will share my favorite pregnancy photo:
39 weeks and 4 days. Thanksgiving Thursday, 11/28/13. Three days before Brynn was born. 

It was a difficult pregnancy. Almost from the moment the stick turned blue, I could hardly breathe. I spent much of my pregnancy in a prone position because I felt so lousy. We moved into a new home on May 1, which I really don't recommend to a pregnant woman. I was focused on keeping people alive and as a result didn't do much nesting or home-making for the first six months we lived here. That was a real burden on my heart because of the enormous blessing we have received in this house. 

On November 30, we went out to dinner with my parents and Richard's dad and had a wonderful time. Then we took the kids home and went Christmas shopping. While we waited in line at Target I had a strange twinge in my chest. I thought, "I wonder if I'm in labor." And then I didn't give it another thought. 
We all went home watched a movie and hung out until late at night. Richard went to sleep around midnight and I stayed up goofing around on Facebook and playing with my new iPad. At 1am I had a contraction. I thought, "I don't waaaaaant to do this tonight." I let Richard stay asleep because, if we're being honest, I had more false alarms this time around than with either of the other two pregnancies.  So, after that first contraction, of course, I couldn't sleep because I was so anxiously paying attention to my body. 
At 3am I woke Richard up and told him to plug his phone in and make sure it was charged up because I thought we might be going in to the hospital tonight. His response? "Are you SURE this time?" Uh, no...I wasn't sure. But by 3:15 we had our answer. In that short amount of time my contractions became so intense we decided to call our doula. We talked and agreed to wait until 4am to call the hospital. It was going SO FAST, I thought for sure I was overreacting and I was going to be in for a very long night...or even night AND day. 
Alas, God had other plans. At 3:15 we called the hospital and were advised to come in...to make haste. Apparently, when you're on your third child, they don't mess around. At 3:30 I said to Richard, "Go start the car, wake up my mother and carry the suitcases out. Wait! Help me get dressed." My mom told me later that she heard Richard barrel down the stairs and into their bedroom in the basement to wake them up and didn't even have to say anything before she was on her way upstairs to help out. We left the house at 3:43. I remember this because I told myself it would only be seventeen minutes until we got to the hospital. That's how unbelievably intense and fast the pain was--I was focused on surviving each individual minute.
When we got to the hospital and got checked in it was about 4:15. From there, I don't remember much of the timeline other than that I asked for drugs and was told there really wasn't time. I'm fairly certain that asking for drugs was one of the last full sentences I uttered for the next two hours. I was dilated 4cm when we arrived, which didn't seem like much to me at all. But by the time Fern arrived around 5am, I was at 6cm. They let me get in the water birth tub pretty quickly after that, where I did an embarrassing amount of shouting and screaming. I was embarrassed even as I was screaming, but literally could not put that energy anywhere else. 
From the time I got in the tub, things went very quickly (for everyone else!). Labor progressed very rapidly until I started pushing on my own. I suppose I pushed for a half hour or so. I dunno. Richard said no one was talking or moving or breathing...because in "wasn't very approachable." LOL! This is so different than the first two kids. I chatted and joked through the pain. With Richardboy I even asked them to chat to help me remain focused. This time, things went so fast and so intense that chatting would have been unbearable. 
Anyway, I started pushing and Fern was literally running between my room and another room helping another mama deliver. So...when I pushed once, then twice and said, "My Jesus! My baby!" The nurse said, "Oh my gosh, is that a head? Is that the baby?" I briefly thought, "Am I going to have to deliver this baby myself??" Instead, the nurse reached into the water with only one glove on and grabbed the baby. Richard shouted, "It's a girl!" And that is how our Brynn Felice came to be. Born at 6:30am on her due date on December 1, 2013, weighing 7lbs, 5oz at 20.5 inches.