Thursday, February 25, 2010

The First Weeks

We're back...we've been a little busy around here these days. First of all, thank you to everyone for your kind comments and congratulations.
These first days of Nora's life have been so fun. I just love this time of life, aside from the sleep deprivation, of course. I could spend all day snuggling her soft little face into my neck and smelling her sweet baby smells. Ahhhh!
Her big brother and sister can't get enough of her either. They do a lot of holding her and talking to her. Ezra has requested that I bring her bouncer seat into his room so that she could watch him play. All three kids played in his room together for a good half hour, in fact. Ezra also enjoys showing Nora picture books while mommy gets dressed.

And...Grandma came to help us out. She's been here for a little over a week and we're not sure how we'd be making it without her. She's doing lots of cleaning and holding and breaking up fights, etc. I'm not really sure how we'll do it next week after she's gone. I'm not thinking about it until I have to. Last night Grandpa showed up to enjoy the last 4 days with Grandma here.

Hey Jill and Mia! We need you here to join the girls club!

Ezra still likes to play outside as much as possible and this was the sight out the window yesterday.

Let me zoom in on Miss Kine's attire for you. Yep, that's right, she's wearing sunglasses and mowing the lawn in the snow.

Excited big sister. "Mommy, we match!"

This beautiful fruit basket was delivered to the front door today--thanks Miss Kim!

And last, but not least...the attitude that has come with big-sisterhood.
*A side note: don't try to put your wedding ring back on too soon after pregnancy. Yep, had mine cut off this afternoon by Fred Meyer jewelers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another One Walking the Path With Us

It's a girl! She's here. She's healthy, she's happy and she's ours. Loaned to us by the Lord for a short time on this earth to love and munch on : )
And...she was our Valentine. The one day that I had decided I didn't really want to have a baby on. However, when I felt the first real contraction at 7:24 AM, I knew I wasn't ready to wait until the 15th just to avoid having a Valentine's baby.

I'll spare you all the gruesome details...but give you a little glimpse.
Like I said, contractions started around 7:30 in the morning. They were very painful, but never regular--coming in hard clusters and then taking breaks. So I sent Tadd and the kids off to Sunday school. I hemmed and hawed and really didn't want to go to the hospital to be sent away. Then I called Tadd, told him to leave the kids with his parents and come home. Good thing. When he got here he took command and told me we were leaving...who cares if we got sent home. Praise the Lord he did. We realized that our time until having the baby was quite short and poor Tadd had to break the law by quite a lot in order to get to the hospital. He helped me crawl (literally) through the elevators and into labor and delivery where we safely delivered a baby girl about half an hour later. As soon as I saw all the dark hair, I just knew it was a girl--just like Caroline looked at birth!

The nursery ladies give all the little girls a hair-do and a bow.

Grandpa and Grandma Idaho brought Ezra and Caroline up for a visit that evening. Both kids had skipped naps, fallen asleep in the car, had to be wakened to come up to the room...and were very cranky. They were also quite nervous to be in a hospital room and see me on that scary bed. But, with some food and coaxing they warmed up. Caroline claimed Nora as "my baby" and didn't want to put her down. Ezra settled for snuggling with mommy on my bed.

And we managed to get our first official family picture. Did you notice that the kids out number the adults? Yeah, we did too. Frightened out of our minds!

Daddy has three girls to keep happy now. I hope he's up for the job!

She has the signature chubby cheeks both her siblings sported.

And we'll be using the girl blanket : )

We brought her home this afternoon. Right now Tadd is with the kids at "gym night" helping them to run off some energy...and allowing himself to work off some stress in a game of basketball. And I am enjoying a quiet evening at home.

Check that...not quiet anymore. I hear little Miss Nora Liv calling my name...

Oh yeah, for those of you wondering about stats:
Nora Liv (pronounced Leev)
born February 14th at 12:24 pm
7 pounds, 8 ounces
20 inches long

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"God is love." I John 4:8

Quotations taken from the most beautiful love letter ever written.

May you bask in the love of Christ, our Lord and Saviour this Valentine's Day! Remember His perfect gift of love today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine Cookies

We finally got our V-day cookies finished. I won't post the recipe because I'm lazy and you can type in "" on your browser and find it yourself. But I will give you my "review" on the recipe.

Caroline and I mixed the dough Saturday while Ezra went exploring in the yard with Daddy. We gave it some chill time while we ate supper and then got it back out. I don't love working with chilled dough, because it's not easy, especially with little helpers. This dough was especially crumbly...I'm suspicious that it is due to the dry conditions where we live. If you live where you are blessed with any humidity, I don't think it would be a problem. Eventually I spritzed the dough with a teensy water and that helped a bit. Also, for my round cookie cutter I used a biscuit cutter, which did have a fluted edge, but not defined enough, the "flutes" didn't show up at all once the cookies baked.
Another piece of advice is to watch carefully during cooking. These cookies can brown quickly. Our dough was not rolled evenly, and so some cookies on the pan would brown faster than others. We tried not to worry too much, just makes them a little more crispy.

For the frosting filling we made a 1/2 recipe of the cream cheese filling and tinted it pink with evil food coloring. We also made a 1/2 recipe of the easy fudge frosting from the "chocolate stack cake recipe". A 1/2 recipe of each is perfect for filling all of the cookies and having just a wee bit of fudge filling for snacking me, you will! By the way, I'm dying to make the "chocolate stack cake" but have to wait for an event. I can't just make desserts around here because Tadd is not a dessert guy and the kids love sugar, but not so much in cake form. They stick to ice cream, candy and the occasional cookie.

Overall, the recipe was as easy as any other cut-out cookie. I would recommend using it. I think the cookies turn out pretty and festive. Oh! I almost forgot. The recipe calls for you to sprinkle with vanilla sugar before baking. The vanilla sugar is easy to make, but takes two weeks of sitting in the container. We didn't have time for that, so I just used some raw sugar to sprinkle them with. I know the vanilla sugar would have made them taste even better, but that will have to wait for another time. I am planning to make the vanilla sugar to have on hand since it will enhance many other desserts and coffee and keeps the same as regular granulated sugar.

The taste testers gave decent reviews--Ezra finished his and Caroline opened hers, ate the frosting and "saved" the rest for later. We'll try to drop off the rest tonight on our way to play at the gym.

This is how we stay warm on cold mornings...huddle over the heat vents!

Dried cherries are a favorite snack around here.

And we especially like to cuddle and goof off after bath time.

What about you? What do you do on cold winter home-bound mornings?

No Baby & A Disclaimer

We start a new week and I have no news for you : )
But I do have a response to all the comments about me having lots of energy. Please, please, please don't think that I'm running circles around the house getting all sorts of creative things done, because I'm not. The cookies we were going to do are still not finished, by the way. And I DO take a nap each and every afternoon just as soon as I can get my kids to lay down for theirs. I just happen to have short little bursts of energy each morning, that's all. As for all the crafts and projects, well, that's what pre-school is all about and I happen to have files-full of ideas from my teaching days. Teachers are great about sharing their ideas and so whether or not I was able to do all the projects with my class, I could file them all away and save them for another time--like now--when I have a couple of busy toddler/preschoolers running around!
We'll keep you posted if a new little boy/girl shows up around our house!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ready? Or Not?

I haven't decided. Mostly I'm not sure how I'll adjust to this "zone defense" vs. the "one-on-one" that we have not yet perfected, but at least are used to.
As far as the "really need to have ready to go" stuff--I think it's done. The car seat is freshly cleaned, put together and in the back of the car along with the diaper bag and my suitcase for the hospital. We'll just have to throw the camera in last minute. I have both boy and girl blanket and boy and girl outfits in there.

The Moses Basket is all spiffed up and waiting beside my bed. Unisex clothes are brought up from the basement and cleansed of any mouse footprints, smelling deliciously like Dreft.

Little bits of love are showing up around the house.

These Valentine Aliens have landed in various spots. I posted a tutorial on this ridiculously easy craft last year.

We are reading books about Valentine's day and the love of God and posting them on our Valentine tree, which barely shows up since I used pastel crayons to draw it.

And we made all our valentines they'll be ready to give out and mail by next Monday.

Ezra just needs to finish signing his name on them.

By the way, greeting cards of any kind are great name writing practice! It's an easy way to change up the normal practice and get some art into the day as well.

He is quite proud that he can write his name all by himself, but frankly, he'd rather spend his days out in the yard.
The apron I was hoping to finish got stalled. I can't figure out what to do next and decided to simply wait for my mommy to come help me. There are plenty of other projects I can be working on--such as the heart cookies the kids are excited to bake sometime this week. If you want cute Valentine cookies, I recommend I always look forward to my February issue of Better Homes and Gardens because of their Valentine cookies. This year we'll attempt the vanilla dessert sandwich cookies with vanilla cream cheese and fudge filling. In years past we have made the lemon puff cookies and also chocolate cupcakes with sour cream frosting. Usually we like to take these treats to the teacher's lounge at my old school. This year that's too long of a we'll have to find someone to deliver the goodies to. If you live close enough and need a little love in the form of sugar--convince me with a comment : )