Wednesday, July 31, 2013

S's First Oregon Activity Days

S, remember Activity Days in Brooklyn?  You may not, in the heat of having the baby and moving we did not go that much. But you, S, desperately wanted to go and I wanted to take you my spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak . . . and by the time Activity Days came around I was too exhausted to think about going anywhere. 
Your leaders, Natalie and Brin were so fun and warm.  You're going to love it, even though I know you're going to miss Sister Yam!
The goal of the day was to fulfill some of the daughter/family goal from your booklet. I was holding the baby or taking photos most of the time so you did a lot of the activities with your new friends.
R, you helped too by holding K.  K, I love your baby hair and that dear cowlick on the back of your head. Even now, I want to rush up to you and kiss it (but you are sleeping and I know you need your sleep, so for now I will just imagine breathing in your baby scent and kissing your cowlick). R, I love your tender and helpful heart so dearly!
The mummy relay we did as a family!  I had to work fast to get this shot. R, you were our mummy.  We got you about 1/3 of the way wrapped when everyone else took off so you did too.  We were all laughing!

S, you loved every moment!
T, you got the left over streamers from the mummy-making relay.  Ellen did all the races for this activity and she's from my hometown. It's a small world, isn't it?
R and T, you thought this toy was fabulous.
Aw, I love mother/daughter photos.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wilson Park Pool

Portland has this amazing pool with a water slide, pool accessories for all, a "river," a wading pool, and a lap pool. It was perfect for you kidlets because you could each go to the place that you wanted, only thing was it was really crowded and I'll be honest, keeping an eye on each of you was a challenge and secretly I was praying very hard for your safety the entire time we were there. 
B (5) had a new pair of goggles that he didn't want to take off for anything--even when they got foggy. I loved his desire to keep them on and presuming that someone was doing it to tease him, until condensation was explained to him and that it was his face moisture that was doing the foggy work.
Can you spy A (7) on the pool accessory? (Hint: he is gliding about on something yellow). 
It made me smile to see you playing together in the "river" S and R.  At one point S, you couldn't get out of the mini whirl pool and R, you came and pulled S out after she called out that she wanted me to come help her.  R, I loved that you wanted to take time with your siblings even though your favorite thing there was the water slide and that you protected my camera from any pool wetness by helping S. Thank you!
This photo made me laugh because of the people that are not really the focus of the shot staring at the camera lens. We do not know the people actually looking at the camera.  I hope they are well and had a nice day.
K, you smiled a lot at me--which I love, love, love!!  Then you slept.  I love kissing your adorable cherub cheeks! You and I stayed in the dry shade keeping an eye out for your siblings.
A lost his front teeth (prior to the pool outing--of course) and has a fabulous smile!  What cute dimples!
When everyone got out you were beyond simple hunger! It was pool-induced starvation!  We had some food for the ride home.  You adore your new friends.  A's favorite toy is Legos just like you, R.  Every time they come over, even if it is just to go someplace with us you both seem to disappear upstairs to show off your newest creations.
Erika B. the pool play date organizer!  Thank you very much, Erika!
T, you liked going on the frog on your tummy with your feet first. T, you loved the green frog slide, though it took you a few minutes to warm up to it. You also loved the pool accessories and glided around the wading pool on them. 
Another successful frog run by the professional "frogger" T!  
We met some of our other new friends there too! But I didn't pull out my camera until right before we left. We were the first ones there and the last to leave from the group of us that were meeting there.  
S, you kept the skirt on the whole time, for the sake of modesty!  I love you, my little princess.
Isn't it nice that we can just go hop in our car, right next to our house, not search for it for up to a half hour, and drive places?  I love that! I also love that there is room for our friends to park right next to our house too, if we decide to carpool.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy letters and the Pioneers

You all got letters from your dear friends, Garrett and Caleb.  You were so excited to get the letters!  You opened them right up the moment you saw them, taking a teeny moment to enjoy the pixar stamps and happy writing on the envelope.  Oohs and Ahs erupted from you as you studied the beautiful cards.
T, you said, "I miss our friends."  

Thank you Lindsay, Garrett and Caleb!
 Tuesday we went grocery shopping Brooklyn style, thanks to a van outage (refer to the gripe below) which made me remember Brooklyn and the memories we made there.  I saw four other people on the sidewalks on our way to and from the grocery store and, at your insistence, the dollar store. 

You were all dearies, but please, let us work on listening and obeying in the stores.  The isles of any store are not made for hide-and-seek and I did get a look from a discomforted person in one of the stores. We will be working extensively on this and I will be rediscovering the art of keeping children occupied in the store.\

You are loving the house. I mean really loving it. At least once a day one of you comes to me and says, "Mom aren't you glad we live here?!"  I am filled with gratitude for our lovely rental home and am trying not to fall in absolute love with it because it is important that we find our own house that I am going to throw my soul into. On the plus side, not personalizing the house has kept it looking cleaner.  That's nice and it kind of makes me like it more.  I needed a light place where I feel like me and like I can put things away and it will feel clear and clean.  And there are no mice or cockroaches and that makes me very happy!!!

On Sunday, because the van was out of commission, Daddy walked to church and you, R and T walked home with him the nearly two miles.  Daddy talked to you about being pioneers.

T, you told me, "Mom, I don't want to be a pioneer!"  Too late bud! I think you are bound to be a pioneer of your own sort--which is a wonderfully awesome thing!

Then when I was lying by you right before you went to sleep you told me your second favorite song was "Pioneer Children." Then you made me sing "Here Comes the Oxcart" five times.  I love you!

A moment to gripe. It is almost laughable, but our new to us/used van has proven to need a new battery $100, the airbags alert light came on the moment we drove off the lot, we have one key (the last owner lost the other one and we've yet to receive a new one--replacement probably around $600), the automatic side door stopped working a week after we got it, and the speedometer is off by a few miles.  It reminds me of Matilda and the part where the Dad tells his son how to "fix" cars, ( -- go to 2:45 minutes in to see the part I'm talking about) and I begin to wonder if our minivan has been "fixed" in such a way.  We won an IPad (as what we think is a consolation prize and I would be lying to say that I didn't love it and have wanted one since I saw Ben Stiller filming with one) and that it nice, but I would really like the things on my van to work and to have a second key (especially considering my record with keys).  Now, if I were a pioneer, I would smirk at what the me of now wrote and probably think, "Oh you poor soul. Please, cry me a river. A thousand miles in air conditioned comfort would have been nice." Okay, thanks, gripe over.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Instagram Life

Here is a shot 15 second video of you:

We've been doing a lot of things. Summer vacation is the best because we can do so many things together. 

I love you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

To K:

Oh dear cuddleable youngest:
Most baby photo ops are done with the baby all snuggled and warm, but I wanted to see you flail your dear arms and legs about and I wanted to show you the beautiful dress that your namesake (your first name-sake) wore when she was a baby, sewn by hand by your great-grandmother.
You are two months old and I am trying to figure out how these last two months have flown by. You are so dear to me.  
You had a severe case of cradle cap.  It was even in your eyebrows.  It got to a point where anytime R, S or T held you they wanted to scrape it off for you.  Today I put olive oil in your hair for a few hours to loosen it up.  It didn't seem to be working so I put triple antibiotic ointment cream in (I read about it on the internet), the combination seemed to help and I was able to carefully comb it out. It took awhile and when T kissed you tonight he was pleased to see that it was all gone.  T kept calling it "cradle crap." You have some cute neck folds that are rank, but I clean them daily.  
You smiled at me about ten times today in three different sittings (a new record). I love our conversations.  I have discovered that you use the sort-of word "Ga" when you are happy and "Maa" and "Waaaa" when you are sad.  I am trying to treasure every moment we have together.
We don't have a stroller for you yet, so I have been carrying you in my ergo carrier.  I love having you near me and the moment you are in it you go right to sleep so I figure it is a win-win situation for all of us. You dislike the car seat most of the time.
I love those blue eyes!  Do you see the loving needlework?  You are loved by generations before you.

The other day I was taking some photos of you and when we came inside you cried, I think because you wanted to be outside. You love gazing out of the windows.
Another day I ran to the store with S and when I came back I could hear you crying. Daddy said you had been crying for 15-30 minutes, I had been gone over an hour.  When you heard my voice you immediately quieted down. 
I love your mmmms when I feed you. I love counting your toes. I love your expressions. You love to wave your arms. I love lightly pinching your sweet baby arms and legs and tickling your tummy. I love that sweet little cowlick in your hair on the back of your head.
R and S love to hold you!  S is super great in the mornings and is usually the one to get you up.  She dances with you around the house.  People are always slightly shocked and want to reach out to help her hold you when they see you in her arms.
 R holds you in the afternoon and at night.  You are very soothed by him and often fall asleep in his arms.  T, begs to hold you every day. He'll hold you for a minute or two then ask if he can carry you around. We tell him not yet.
You've got a case of colic. Every night from about six on, you want us to hold you, walking around.  You and R were the only ones needing that.  You like to sit and listen to me sing.  Tonight I sang to you for forty-five minutes before you nodded off. 

I am so glad we have you. This family needs you! I love you!



Friday, July 19, 2013

Brooklyn VS Portland

To some they are just great cities on opposing sides of the nation.
We're hoping here to change the lot of our station.
To thriving family from poor students now,
From ten years of post-grad school we'd like to bow.
Portland smells great and is so serene.
Brooklyn is not like that,with much less green.
Portland has space for fields and farms.
Brooklyn has some sports fields, so it has it's charms.
Portland has opportunities for shopping, like I have never seen.
But having that fruit store below made me feel like a queen.
The major airport is about the same distance away.
And the both's traffic makes you feel like you're there to stay.
We can still see the lights of our neighbors
and the house next door hosts a nest of blue birds.
Our tree, for a week, had a nest for birds known for humming.
Instead of the leftovers from last month's scaffolding.
Our neighbors don't walk by and say "hi" anymore,
Instead they drive by in a car built for four.
We don't hear swearing from people across the way.
There is no bar or raucous fights
Instead it is very quiet during the nights.
The police, meter maids do not watch as I unload my car
I park in my garage and don't walk near as far.
If we need milk we have to use gas and go to the store.
Instead of the milk store that was almost next door.
No matter where we live or do
What makes me glad, is that I have you!

I hope you enjoyed my attempt at poetry! I love you!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Once Again Amazed

K, you consciously smiled at Daddy today.  He was brimming with pride and joy. We are so glad we have you! We love that you can roll onto your tummy when searching for food and that you seem to handle five people giving you loving snuggles and kisses almost all at the same time, exceedingly well!

The people of Oregon are amazing and so kind!

We went to Fred Meyer today and literally every ten feet I had people stare at you, K and say, "Oh, isn't she sweet!" 

In fact, at one point a man, who was following his wife, stopped short at the isle we had just started down and said, "I can't come right now! I am looking at a gorgeous baby."  Apparently my New York paranoia (okay, it probably has little to do with New York), and I let your tender voices that had been admonishing me in no small length of time (we're talking around 5 hours, twisty roads, 2+ public bathroom breaks and a diaper blow out) that you would like to return to our abode. I couldn't bring myself to look up and acknowledge such a kind compliment. (Sorry, sir. Your kind comment meant a lot to me). 

As we were checking out the cashier was very sweet.  She talked with me and made me feel like the most important customer at the store and like every other person you kidlets meet, she found out we had just moved here and that you, K are a month old. As we were getting ready to leave she looked me square in the eye and said, like she really meant it, "It's good to meet you. I hope to see you here again." 

I was slightly taken aback.  "Oh, thank you! It's good to meet you (I glanced down at her name tag), Joni!"

I just can't seem to get over it.  The New Yorker in me still asks in a shocked tone of voice, "Are you for real?" and even that NY part of me has to smile and say, "Oh yes. Yes Oregonian kindness is real! I must be near heaven."

Daddy also says to comment that you are getting to be excellent bargainers.  For example two seconds ago I told you to go hop in the tub because bedtime was in five minutes. S, you came to me and said, "Thirty minutes." "Okay, ten minutes," I said. "Please twenty minutes? (pause) Twenty minutes. Twenty minutes!"  By the third twenty minutes I had phased out to the blog. "Okay," Daddy said. Something quite similar to this happens every few minutes in or house.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

garage sale mishaps

Last Friday, we were out running errands when we saw the sign of a garage sale.  You may not in the future, but right now you seem to love to stop for garage sales, mostly because there are usually very cheap toys that you can purchase for under a dollar.

We stopped in hopes of finding a couch or drawers in perfect condition and meager price.  The place we stopped had dogs that loved barking at you and a lovely back yard.  I was holding you, K as we were walking out of the place after glancing at a couch when I stepped down, not expecting a step and twisted my ankle, so much that I could not put weight on it immediately and we went down.  I was so shocked and scared, but we fell on my elbows on the grass, thankfully and you were fine, K.  You didn't even cry.

My ankle began to swell right away. I called Daddy in tears and you; R, S, and T were beside yourself because I don't think you have ever seen me so utterly helpless and weeping from pain.  But, I took a few deep breaths and pulled myself together.  Enough that I asked for help to get back to the van and they gave us two balls and a pair of old crutches (how fitting).  We got back into the car and drove home.  Daddy carried me into the house.

I had a slight hematoma and the lady running the garage sale gave me a bag of ice. When Daddy looked at it he felt it and pressed it down with ice so it wouldn't get any bigger (at least I think that is what he did).  I remembered the hematoma that I had a few months ago in the hospital and how painful and bruised it was for weeks after so I clenched my teeth through the pain hoping that this way there will be little to no bruising.
Also, we won the i-pad monthly drawing! I am using it. It's a second generation ipad and really fun to use. I hope it lasts a long time and that we'll have a great time with it.  Daddy said you were so excited to get it, T!  There was a whole group of the people who work at the car dealership to cheer you on.  One of them said, "That is the third customer of J-- that has won the ipad."

Here is the funny thing, I know I have twisted my ankle on several occasions, but the pain dissipates within a minute or two. This was more severe, my foot is black and blue and a reddish brown hue on both sides of my foot.  But, the good news is that today, I can walk on my foot with no pain, get on my shoes  and walk up hills with minimal pain.  I hope you inherit my delightfully quick healing ankles.

On the happier side, after ten years of not using a lawnmower, I can safely say it took me two minutes to remember and 15 minutes to mow my little lawn. S and T you helped me mow after I got the edges (I was still holding onto the mower with you) and R, you watched little K. I learned never to start the lawn mower in the garage because you will get your fill of carbon monoxide very quickly and you will smell like gasoline for a long time afterward, and you'll still smell gasoline after a nice shower and you may ask everyone if the house smells like gasoline and they'll tell you no and things will smell and taste similar to grass.  That's good to know.  Now that I think of it, I think my dad told me not to start the mower in the garage when I was growing up.

Also, we can now receive mail.  You walked with Daddy to pick up the mail the other day. There was a huge pile waiting for us. :)   

And lastly, K you've been smiling.  Today you smiled at me two different times two hours apart for ten seconds each. It's a new record since yesterday you smiled at me once for about thirty seconds. I am going to post some adorable photos of you soon.

As always, I love you so much! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tithing and a Sunday Afternoon in Oregon

At church we had a lesson on tithing.  I had to skip out half way through to feed you, K.  But Daddy got to stay all the way through his lesson.  Tithing is an amazing thing! We willingly give 1/10th of our increase (income) to the Lord.  The Church uses it in many ways, including the building of temples and aiding those in need all over the world.  
Dad told you the story of Lorenzo Snow and the people of St. George. The people of St. George were having a horrible drought that threatened starvation and the church was suffering from immense poverty.  As President Snow spoke to the people he was inspired to tell the people to pay their tithing.  They paid their tithing and soon it rained and there was rain and the drought was over.
When Daddy finished telling you the story, T, you asked innocently, "So if we pay our tithing, it will rain?"  
You made us all laugh.  
Then Daddy made us laugh even more when he pretended to sheild himself from the rain after pretending to give the bishop the tithing.
One of our favorite things that we do as a family is laugh!  :)