Wednesday, November 30, 2011

4 Years Already

"I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk..., I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head."
Ezekiel 16:10-12

Emma got to get her pictures taken on her actual birthday which was a huge hit for her because it meant she got to dress up and go to a store which was almost a present in itself. (She would like to wear gorgeous clothes everywhere we go, but sadly she has a more practical-ish mommy who won't let her.)

I was surprised at how red her dress turned out in the pictures. In real life it's more of a purple burgundy and less of a scarlet burgundy, but I'm not going to complain about something being too red. We went back to the same studio that did Ricka's pictures and to my delight, the same photographer was able to take Emma's pictures as well. She took one look at Emma, and came up with about six stunning pictures in less than three minutes. That always makes it hard to choose when you have to narrow it down to only one or two poses.

But narrow it down, we did, and I ended up ordering a sheet of wallets in two different poses from the package pose. This picture with the white background and the big one in the collage below.

Emma is always busy - usually organizing her siblings in complex plays or playing dress up/quick change act where she appears waltzing past me in a different outfit every 5 minutes. Some days (usually when the older kids are at school), I'll be at my computer and suddenly I'll notice she's on some great story/narrative with Butler as her faithful assistant - him either being the quietly listening audience or (on cue from her, of course) interactive participant. This is when I try to type out as much as I can hear/understand. Here's one I recorded last week:

Emma: Ok, Butler, can you get dat wittle chair?
Butler: Yah.
Emma: Ok, come with me. Hurry up! Clickaly! (quickly, they march to the living room with plasic chairs from the bird room)
Ok, go on that side, it's meeting time. Sit down. I gonna get hats... (she darts off to the bandanna basket)
Butler: I get hah too!
Emma: No. You don't need a hat.
Butler: K.
(they get seated at the coffee table)
Emma(whispering): Butler, pick a song.
(he starts whisper-singing 'Jesus Loves Me')
Emma: No! wait, we have to pray first. (He stops singing, she prays)
Emma: (in a strong preaching voice): A man told Noah to put da animals into da ark.
And da elephants went into da ark first.
Can you hear me?
(aside to Butler)No.
Butler: No!
Emma: And nobody did could unnerstand.
It was very sad. Nobody was laughing.
Butler (sympathetically): Yah.
Emma: Noah was right by da other people.
He was dare and Noah put da animals in da ark.
God made a rainbow and...
(voice change and volumed as to be coming from the back of the congregation)
30.... Chapter 1.
(another voice change - closer to the front)
(normal voice again) Ok!
(and they sing something resembling a Gregorian chant).

And it's time to go get the kids from school... so I should post this before I get distracted again.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I have a new Niece!

Thank you, everyone who prayed for Tina. She could have died. Instead she's back at home now with a brand new baby girl.

Her blood pressure was so high when she reached the university hospital, that they wouldn't do a cesarean unless she was crashing for fear she'd bleed out. So, they induced labour, kept her on meds to lower her BP and after 19 hours, she delivered healthy 4lb, 13oz 35week-er.

Welcome, Ember Brooke! And congratulations,Boots and Tina on your little princess!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pray ____*Updated*

UPDATE: (Friday 7:15pm)
I called Tina at 6 this evening to get an update. They reassessed her this morning after they transferred her to the university hospital and decided not to do a c-section. Her bloodwork came back positive for hypertensive pre-eclampsia so once they got her blood pressure low enough, she was induced for a natural delivery. She was in the early stages of labour when I called.

So, while we can keep praying for a safe delivery and a healthy baby (the ultrasound put the baby at about 4lbs), we can be thankful that she won't be delivering at the hospital she was afraid of and that she'll probably deliver naturally instead of by cesarean.

Other than that... Boots is with Tina at the hospital, and they have a friend of theirs watching the boys at home. Maybe pray for the lady watching the boys too. She's also an army wife (whose husband is currently overseas) and she has four of her own children ranging from 6years to 9weeks old. If I think my own 5 kids can be a handful at times, I'm sure eight children (that are not all yours) under 8½ could get overwhelming all by yourself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pray for Tina today.

She just called me (7:30 her time) to say she was in hospital about to be transferred to a university hospital for a cesarean. Her baby isn't due until December 30th.

Last night she called me and said she was concerned about pre-eclampsia again. She has been terrified of delivering her baby at the local army hospital (for a list of reasons), so although its good news to her that they're taking her somewhere else, she is still afraid of the unknowns of cesarean.

She had to cut our phone call short because the ambulance crew had arrived, so I don't know how far away she's being taken or when they'll actually perform the surgery.

I'll post an update later, but for now, just pray. For safety for both her and the baby and for the comfort and assurance of her mind.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Editor's note: It's ok to laugh after you read the first paragraph - I did when I discovered it in my draft posts folder the other day. This post was actually part of a messenger conversation I'd had with Sir one day in August while he was at work. After it was all typed out, I realized it was post-worthy, so I copied it here to add the pictures and edit names. But it took me until the end of October to get the pictures off the camera to my computer and by that time I'd forgotten all about the post.

August 30th,
I thought I'd share another one of our summer days here before they're all gone and it's back to the schedules and rush that September brings. I love the summertime it always makes me sad when it ends so quickly.

The other day after lunch, the kids went back outside to play. A few minutes later I brought out some dessert options for them to choose from as long as they ate outside. While three of the kids were deliberating over what they wanted, a squirrel ran across the back fence toward the garden. Only Emma saw it and she nearly went into hysterics trying to get the other kids to stop what they were doing and LOOK! After they'd all chosen their desserts I went back in the house and was busy at my computer when the screen door slammed.

SLAM! Thump thump thump thump thump - a kid ran past me, but I didn't look up. Then they ran back past me and the door slammed again. 30 seconds later the screen door slams and I glance up briefly to see PC sprint into the living room. Then I hear nuts rattling in the nut bowel on the side table beside the couch. He was helping himself to a handful of nuts. "What are you doing?!" I demanded. "Uh.. nothing. I mean, getting nuts." he stammered. "Why?" I ask. He stood there frozen in place for a second before answering, "Because, well, Dolly did." slowly he started to walk toward the screen door. "What are you doing with the nuts?" I asked him. He'd made it to the door by this point, "We're feeding them to the squirrels." he said and with that, he dashed out the door before I could say they were or weren't allowed to do what they were up to.

I followed PC outside but immediately got sidetracked at the sight of the bottom part of our extra birdcage, sitting on the deck where it could be stepped on and broken. "Put this back in the birdcage." I order the nearest kid. "But Mommy!" Dolly protested, "We're trying to catch a squirrel!" I looked out into the yard from the lower deck. There in the very middle of the yard was the birdcage with it's door wide open, and inside were the handfuls of nuts the kids had smuggled out there. "We want to have a pet squirrel!" Dolly quickly explained, and then in order to assure me that the food costs wouldn't be so bad, she added in a more coaxing tone, "We'll feed him nuts!"

Now all four kids are 'hiding' behind the railing on the lower deck while they wait for the unsuspecting squirrel to, 1. hop into the cage, 2. stay there long enough for the kids to thunder down the stairs and across the yard to the cage, where 3. they can close the cage door and catch their coveted rodent! Makes sense right? After all, simple plans are the best.

I just went out to check on the squirrel catching project and PC greeted me with, "Hi Mommy, we're gonna catch a squirrel!" "You are?" I responded, "Yeah, one for me and one for Dolly." "Hmm." I said. "Yeah!" Dolly exploded in my ear, "There's a black one in that tree (pointing toward the garden) and a pretty one over there (pointing toward the tree house)". "And.." PC continued, "I'm gonna give my cat to Emma!." "You are?" I asked "Yeah." he nodded. "After you catch yourself a squirrel? I clarified. "Yeah, and then I'm gonna give my cat to Emma."

The cage has been moved against the back fence and when I was last out there, PC asked, "Mommy, what is a good trick for getting squirrels?" I think he's beginning to realize that their method might not work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Emma's opinion on my outfits.

August 16, 2011

"Mommy, I'm gonna tell you a pretty secret."
(dramatic pause as she tiptoes to whisper in my ear)
"I love your skirt and your shirt."
I thanked her, gave her a squeeze and as she scampered out of the room, she explained, "...they're vwerry beautiful and I just love them!"

August 1st, 2011

Last week:
Emma: Mommy, do you want me to get your new red shoes?
Me: No, Emma, I already have tennis shoes on, I don't need to wear my new ones.
Emma: I think you should wear your red ones, because if you wear them, you will look nice.
Me: These ones are just fine Emma.
Emma: Because, these shoes.. (she leaned in as if she was revealing something very special) they don't go with your outfit, but if you wear your red ones, they will go with your outfit, and you will look vwerry beautiful. For real.

September 23, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Right on Track

Aside from being born with a full head of blond hair, Ricka's claim to fame around here are her two front teeth.

As I discovered today on Tuesday, she just cut her two front bottom teeth and was only a little more sleepless than usual for a few days to show for it. At 5 months and four days old, she took the title of 'youngest tooth getter' in our household. Dolly previously held that record at 5 months, 2 weeks.


"oooh! This looks interesting." ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ "It's pretty good, you should try it."

She spends a lot of time in the swing - well, she used to, now she leans as far forward as she can... which causes the swing to stop... which results in a complaining Ricka.

Sitting up.
Other than that, she's sitting without being held upright, although she does still tip over after a while - but it's a gradual tip-over now instead of the sudden crash style. She rolls over onto her back with all the confidence of a well seasoned veteran - she's still working on the other direction but is very close to success. And for Ricka, tummy time no longer holds the original horrors all babies insist of, because she can cover surprisingly large areas on her tummy by going in circles to reach her desired destinations. I watched her cheat and pull the bouncy chair to her this the other afternoon so she could get the little toy car that she was after. And I actually took pictures of that progression, so I'll stick them here as well:

"I want that car."

"Hmm, 'can't quite reach..."

"Ok, what if I try... this!"

"Got it!!"

When I grabbed all the pictures off of the camera this last time, I was surprised to see so many shots of Emma and Ricka posing together. Here are a few of the best of them - just for fun:

November 2, 2011

Serious girls.

November 11, 2011 - Five months old.

Grandma C. made these jumpers for Dolly and Emma.

November 13, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011


After the kids were finally in bed and the doors were all closed and most of the talking had quieted down, Sir and I retired to the couch. He with his laptop and me with Ricka to nurse. We'd just started to enjoy the peace and quiet when some voices murmured in the boys' room. Then some little feet slapped across the bedroom floor and then the door to the boys' room slowly opened.
"PC! close the door." one of us called out. The only answer was the sound of the little feet making a beeline back to the bottom bunk and the noise of the plastic mattress cover as Butler launched himself back into bed.
"Butler, you stay in bed! Do NOT open your door." Sir reminded. This is when I told Sir that PC probably told Butler to open the door since it opened just after the talking had occurred.
"Mommy....?" This time it was PC.
"PC, come here." Sir called. Almost instantly PC was in the living room - he must have already been on his way out to talk to us.
"Why did you tell Butler to open your bedroom door?" Sir bluffed.
Our guess was confirmed by the shocked 'how did you know?' look on PC's face.
Sir: Why did you tell Butler to open your door?
PC: I donno.
Me: Why did you want the door open?
PC: So I could talk to you.
Sir: Then why didn't you open the door yourself?
PC: Because.
Sir: 'Because' is not an answer.
PC: It was dark in my room.
Me: So, you told Butler to open the door, so you could walk out of your room to talk to us about what?
PC: Mommy, can I change my pajamas? These ones are too hot.
So, he changed out of his pajamas and went to bed and they were quiet after that.
It seemed fitting that Butler was taking orders from PC (prince charming) and opening doors for the higher ranking sibling.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Ricka still nurses about every 3 hours. And every afternoon between 2 and 3 we're gone for school pickup. So, this is what happened the rest of the time last week which might explain why I'm looking forward to sleeping trying to sleep in tomorrow.

On Saturday I finished icing Emma's birthday cake and we had a birthday party for her that evening.
On Sunday we went to meeting. Then we went shopping for fishing bait on our way home.
On Monday there was no school, so Sir took the day off from work and we went fishing at a lake 45 minutes from home. We invited Grandpa and Grandma C to join us and agreed to meet them at the lake at 8am - except we got stuck in traffic the whole way there so we were late. And it rained ALL day long. We fished in the rain from 9-3 anyway and didn't catch anything. So, we ordered fish and chips and had Grandpa and Grandma C. and Dee over for supper.
On Tuesday I took the dog to the vet for an infected foot. Then I swapped stuff around in the storage unit so I'd have more jars at home to can with. The rest of the day was spent doing load after load of laundry because everything got wet and muddy on the fishing trip. Then Sir and I went out on a dinner date and left Ricka for the first time! It was really nice.
On Wednesday the kids and I went shopping for more canning stuff. I spent the afternoon chopping vegetables to add to our garden tomatoes for salsa. Then we went to meeting. Well, the kids went to meeting. I got there and spent most of the time in the nursery with Ricka. When I wasn't in the nursery I was picking Sir up from the skytrain so he'd get to meeting before it was over.
On Thursday we drove Sir to work and then Emma and I canned the salsa when we got home. I picked the kids up from school 15min early and took Dolly to the dr. for an infected eye. After we got home I finally got the laundry folded so the living room looks a bit less like a laundromat now. And (gasp!) I played a game of Age of Empires between interruptions like homework, chores, dinner, baby etc. (Hey, at least the little people in the game keep doing what I told them to do until its either done or I tell them to do something else - it's therapy :))
And today... well, I am going to take a shower if it's the last only thing I do! I also need to blanch and freeze the corn before it spoils, and the plan is for me to go across the border after school for gas and a package pickup. We ordered a shop vacuum so we can clean the wood stove before we start having regular fires.
But for now... I'll start with my shower.

Friday, September 09, 2011

If You're not Tired

On our way home after a late night out:

Dolly: Do I have to brush my teeth when we get home? 'Cause I'm really tired and I don't feel like brushing my teeth.
Me: You're going to brush your teeth... it won't take that long.
Dolly: When we get home can I just get my pajamas on, go potty, brush my teeth and tell Daddy 'good night'?
Sir: Yes... Isn't that what you do every night, Dolly?
Dolly: But do I have to drink water!?
Me: No, you don't have to, but you can if you're thirsty.
Emma: Can we brush our teeth without aksking?
Me: Emma, you're just going to get ready for bed like normal. Just do it quickly. It's very late.
Dolly: Yeah, like almost the middle of the night right? I'm not gonna have any trouble going to sleep 'cause it's soo late and I'm really tired.
Emma - in a matter-of-fact tone: But if we're not tired and we can't go to sleep, we can just talk. Right?

Right. That explains a whole lot!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ricka's 1 Month Portrait

"And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions."
Genesis 24:60

This was Ricka the day after her 1 month birthday. Because I was behind on some of the other kids' pictures, I tried a different photography place, and the lady that did these pictures was probably the best photographer I've ever had. She was creative, patient, and fast! Well, fast when it came to capturing poses - it took longer to prepare them. She also gave me a great deal on the package that I was buying, which is why I ended up with so many poses this time.

This is actually the picture I chose for the package. The top photo was the 10x13 for my wall, and I could choose a different pose for that picture since it was an extra cost. But this picture was the best one of Ricka with her clothes on. She decided to pull a 'PC' and be unwakeable for her first professional pictures. Which means she wouldn't even open her eyes until she was down to nothing but a diaper.

Of course, babies are adorable in any state of modesty (or lack thereof) and this picture is one of my favorites. You wouldn't know that I was only able to hold this pose for all of 2 seconds because of how much Ricka was kicking and squirming, but the photographer managed to take at least 4 shots in that time to get the one she was looking for. This was also about when I decided I had a new favorite photographer. :)

Anyway, we did a few of the classic poses. You know, 'baby in the basket' 'wedding rings and baby toes' 'naked baby positioned just so to be barely modest' to name a few. They were all excellent shots and definitely begging to be added to the package, but I really did have a bottom to my pockets.

Then while I was hemming and hawing over which pictures to choose and how much extra I could afford to spend and admiring all the enhancements they put together to entice you to spend even more, the photographer asked me if I was to choose a collage photo which one would it be?. There were about a dozen enhancements and a handful of beautiful collages, but none of those are an option when you're just purchasing the basic promotional package and a few extra wallets. Anything else starts to really add up, so I told her, that as lovely as the collages were, I wasn't going to be ordering them because I had a budget I needed to stay within. "Yes, I know, but IF you were to choose one, which would it be?" she pressed. After a split second to scan over the collages enough to give her an answer, I pointed one out, but told her I still wasn't going to be able to add it to my purchase. "That's ok." she said, "I'll just throw it in for free!" And that's what she did!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our little Freckles*

"Mommy! There's a green spider in the bathtub! Do you want to come and see it? Come on, Mommy! It's a green spider and it's MOVING!"

Since this was such an urgent and exciting matter, and Ricka had eaten enough to fall asleep on the job, I put her in her bassinet and followed Emma to the kids bathroom. She did a little dance in excitement as I peered into the bathtub at her latest find. "Can you give it to me, Mommy?! Please, can I have it?" she begged. I scooped the badly maimed grasshopper up and carefully put in in Emma's outstretched palm and then went to find my camera.

Emma slowly followed me, never taking her eyes off her treasure. "Isn't he nice, Mommy? He's soo cute! Don't you think he's cute Mommy?" I assured her he was and took a few pictures of her. Then the rest of the kids came in and Emma proudly showed them her bug.

"Can I hold him?" Dolly asked as she was already trying to get the insect from Emma's shirt sleeve to her own. When Emma realized she was being relieved of her pet, a short scuffle ensued and order was restored once the bug was returned. Dolly tried a different approach, "Can we keep him, Mommy? We can put him in a little cage, and give him grass to eat..." Emma's eyes lit up and suddenly they were best friends on a mission.

("Oh! That is a real one.")

Then PC came by... "Oh! That is a real one. The other ones don't have wings. Let's feed him to the chickens - they would like to eat him!" "No!" both girls screamed in protest and then Dolly remembered that we don't have any chickens. "It's ok, Emma, We don't have any chickens, so he can't do that." After that they all traipsed outside to 'make a house'.

Home sweet home - complete with flowers.

They named him Charles.

*As in Gene Stratton-Porter's book character.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Memory Verse Musings

"I am the LORD, I change not".
Malachi 3:6

This is the new memory verse, and we asked the kids on the way home from meeting what they thought it meant. Of course they all answered, "I donno." so we took smaller steps...
"What does it mean to change not?"
PC: That it's the same?
Dolly: It means that God is God and he's not gonna change.
"Ok, who can tell us what God is? Can you think of a verse that might tell you?"
Dolly: "God is love"!
PC: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall have everlasting life." So, He's gonna love us forever!
"So, what is 'forever'?"
Emma: Forever and forever and forever.
Dolly: Never gonna stop.
PC: Always!

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Hebrews 13:8

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
Jeremiah 31:3

Have you ever just stopped to really think about what these verses mean?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some things Make you Thankful

I started making my teriyaki sauce marinade at about noon today. First I measured out the soy sauce, and then got sidetracked warming up leftover pizza for lunch. Once I got the kids up to the table and served, I got back to the sauce project. I started measuring out the sugar, got halfway through that when I ran out of sugar in the main container. As I headed to the pantry, thankful there was a refill sugar to grab, one of the kids had some urgent question that they insisted needed my attention. I answered the question as I walked back to the kitchen with the sugar. Please note that my pantry is a whole eleven feet from my kitchen stove (and yes, I measured that distance especially for this post).

When I got back to the stove, I couldn't remember how much sugar I'd already put into my pot. Eventually I figured out how much more sugar I needed to add (that involved dissolving and tasting) and I turned the burner on to start heating the sauce to a boil. But by then the kids were done eating and I was sidetracked with washing them up, stirring the sauce when I remembered and being thankful that I was supposed to heat it on a low burner setting each time I stirred it and found it was still unburnt.

Then the phone rang - it was Tina. While I was talking to her I discovered Butler had a dirty diaper so I changed him while I talked to her on the phone. By this time it was almost nap time, so I put him to bed and walked back to the kitchen just in time to find my teriyaki sauce had finally come to a boil and was about to boil over. It did start to boil over as I moved the pot off the heat and then it continued to boil over for a couple seconds as it cooled down. So, I had a huge mess to clean up on the stove top, but I was thankful it was a glass top and that I'd wiped it clean before I started the teriyaki project and that made it a little easier to clean. Besides, it gave me more time to talk to my sister (I've found that you can talk and clean at the same time very effectively).

It wasn't very long before it was time to feed Ricka again so I put the rest of the kids down for naps and sat down at my desk to reply to an e-mail while she nursed. When Ricka was happy again, I took the meat out of the refrigerator, measured out the teriyaki sauce, mixed it into the meat and then started putting the ice cream buckets of meat (there were four of them) back into the fridge to marinate. The second bucket I grabbed, slipped out of my hand and fell onto the floor perfectly upright. The impact had split the bucket down the side and around the bottom, so when I went to pick the bucket up it started to dump. Then I was thankful that I had half a dozen more ice cream buckets in the cupboard just inches away. That made salvaging the meat that didn't dump out easier.

I put the undumped meat into a new bucket, picked up and rinsed off the two cups or so of meat that did dump out, added them to the bucket and measured out more teriyaki sauce which made me thankful that I'd made an extra large batch of sauce today instead of making exactly what I thought we'd need for my marinade. Of course, I don't have a lot of extra teriyaki sauce now, but I didn't have to start over either.

And when I got to cleaning up the huge puddle of teriyaki sauce that leaked out of the cracked bucket, I was thankful that the bucket dumped AFTER I'd put the kids down for naps so I wouldn't have to worry about them walking in it.

It's only 3:30 and ALL five of my kids are asleep! And that is definitely something to be thankful for.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

4 weeks and 200 pictures later....

This is the only proof that my mom was ever here.
And it was taken about one hour before she went home.

I guess the other proof of her visit would be the fact that I still have some of my sanity.

Ricka was due June 19th. Toward the end of May, my mom called me and said she was thinking of coming up to help us around when the baby was born, but everything depended on schedules and doctor's appointments down in California and she'd get back to me around the 1st of June. I was ecstatic - it really sounded like she might actually make it up here, but knowing from past experience, nothing is set in stone.

Of course, I heard nothing on the 1st, and started talking myself into the idea that something could always come up and it was possible that my mom might not make it up here after all. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high.

On June 2nd, my mom called back and it was planned. She was going to come up here and stay at least THREE weeks starting around the 13th! It was like an impossible dream and I was so excited....

(and that is as far as I got on this two weeks ago.)

Anyway, On June 3rd, Sir's mom, Grandma C. got hit by a car while riding home on her bike. She spent the next few weeks in the hospital getting surgeries and scans and all sorts of stuff to start fixing all the things that were broken. She's still recovering, but at home now and we're very thankful for that because the accident was pretty serious.

Previously, each time one of our children has joined the family, Grandma and Grandpa C. have taken the older children while we were in the hospital and then Grandma C. would come nearly every day during the first week or so to help me get adjusted to all the changes one more little one brings. So, when Grandma C. was going to be recovering for months after our baby was due, it was even more of a relief that my mom was planning on being here to be a help.

3 days old.

My mom came up as soon as we told her Ricka was born and she stayed four whole weeks. I don't think I'll ever be able to describe how much of a help she was. Dolly was still in school for 14 days after Ricka was born, and when I'd trip out of my room in a panic because I'd missed the alarm and was already 20 minutes behind schedule, I'd find that my mom had already gotten Dolly up, served her breakfast and was making her lunch. Then she'd shoo me back to bed while she'd get the rest of the kids going and Sir took Dolly to school.

She did the big things like mowed our huge backyard and the front yard in a single morning (this job usually takes me about two days due to my allergies) and stacking piles of wood that I'd given up on toward the end of my pregnancy. She did the little things like making sure the table got cleared and wiped off after each meal, the floors swept and the kids dressed. When I woke up from a terribly needed nap one afternoon in a complete panic because I'd forgotten to make any plans for dinner, I staggered into the kitchen to find she'd warmed up every last leftover in the fridge and dinner was just about ready - at dinner time.

11 days old.

Every morning she got the kids to make their beds and by the time she left, they could do it themselves on their own. In spite of Butler saying "NAOooo" to just about everything she asked him to do, I discovered after she'd gone home that he not only would say 'pease' when he wanted something but 'prih-ee pease' (pretty please) - and that just about made me melt because it's as close to a signature phrase belonging to my mom as you can get.

7 days old

As my mom was loading her suitcases into her van, Emma said to me, "Mommy, is Grandma going back to California?" "Yes," I told her watching Emma carefully. Emma had developed a very special relationship with my mom and I was a bit worried how she'd adjust when my mom left. "She has a booster seat in her van, and the back seat can go down, and you can put car seats on it. You know that, Mommy?" Emma said. "I know," I answered, "that's pretty neat isn't it?" "Yeah, can I go with her to her house and have a sleepover?" "No Emma, Grandma's house is a long ways away. If you went with her you'd be gone too long." with a little shrug of acceptance, Emma said, "That's ok. Can I go with her then?" It was hard to watch her little face fall when she finally understood she couldn't go home with Grandma.

In the four weeks my mom was here, Sir and I got to go out on a 'date' 3 (THREE!) times and we spent one Saturday morning running errands together - something we NEVER do anymore since someone usually stays home with the kids. It was really special and the best part was, we never asked her if she'd mind watching the kids so we could go out... she was the one sending us out. "Why don't you guys go out for dinner and I'll feed the kids?" or "If he's going to go do errands, why don't you run with him? I'll stay here and the kids can help me with..." If she'd had her way, we would have probably gone out a few more times too, but we figured we ought to be a bit responsible every now and then.

4 days old.

By the last week, I realized I was letting my mom take care of things for me that I was perfectly able to do. I just knew she'd do it for me if I didn't get to it before she did. But there were still times that she filled in for me when I couldn't get to it, and those times made me afraid of when she'd finally go home. But we've been adjusting, the kid in the bathroom sometimes has to wait for me to finish nursing the baby before I get to them, the baby has to put up with another kid trying to get the soother into her mouth because I can't stop what I'm doing to burp her again, the house goes in waves of being relatively tidy to disastrous mayhem, but we're slowly getting that under control now too.

Since all the things my mom did for us would take forever to list, I came up with everything I could think of that she might have gotten from her time here with us instead. It's really not that much.
While my mom was here..
- she got to go to a couple of Dolly's school events.
- she got to see Dolly graduate from kindergarten.
- she was there when Dolly lost her first tooth.
- she was here for PC's 5th birthday party.
- she was here for Butler's first stitches.
- she got to go to Ricka's baby shower.
- and she got to have Emma as a constant shadow helper.

I guess to sum it all up... I'll never be able to express how much my moms mean to me. Both of them. Maybe someday I'll be a little bit like them.

11 days old.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Unto us a child is born"

7:43am, Saturday, June 11th, 2011.
8 lbs, 13 oz. 21" long

Mother and daughter are resting comfortably,
and expect to go home tomorrow afternoon.

It's Cold!!


What Is It?

Big Sister Dolly

Big Brother PC

Big Sister Emma

Big Brother Butler

Big Brother Butler (again)

The Parents (Photo by Dolly)