Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A New Nephew

My little sister gave birth to her first child this past Sunday, March 27th.  Tyler was welcomed into the world nine days after his estimated due date.  My sister was in labor for eleven and a half hours before birthing her beautiful baby at home in a birthing pool. She was assisted by two licensed midwives (and some family). My sister did amazing! 

Tyler Allen
7lbs 12oz

He's been a thumb sucker from day one.

Mama and baby are doing well and the whole family is in love.

And what do my girls think about their newest cousin?  They are smitten!  They cannot wait until their own baby sibling is born in about seven months.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Strawberry Soup

When I was a kid, my mom would make Strawberry Soup on special occassions, like Sabbath brunch.  I love Strawberry Soup!  I hadn't had Strawberry Soup for years, until the girls and I came back here for a visit. We've been here almost two weeks now and my mom has spoiled me with this special treat several times already.  Arin likes it ok, but Ella cannot get enough of it.  She loves it as much as her mama does!

Cold Strawberry Soup
makes 6 servings

Strawberries (fresh) 1 pint (or a little more)
Sour cream 1 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Ginger Ale 1/2 cup
Sugar 3 oz.
Vanilla 1 tsp.
Lemon Juice 1 TBS.

Combine all ingredients except ginger ale in blender; blend until smooth. Add ginger ale.  Blend quickly (quick swirl)  Chill; Serve in frozen bowls or cups (my mom always serves it in champagne glasses) Garnish with strawberry slices (optional)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raking Leaves

We've been staying at my parents' house for a little more than a week now, while waiting for my little sister to have her baby.  She's four days late so far.  There were two different days that we thought labor was going to begin, just to fizzle out after a couple of hours.  Bummer!  The girls and I have been keeping very busy visiting friends and family while we've been here.

On Sunday afternoon, after playing in the park, my dad started some yardwork.  Arin has been enjoying helping grandma and papa with different projects since we arrived.  She went outside and asked my dad if there was anything she could help with.  He put her to work raking leaves.  I was not outside with her during her first raking session, but my dad said she was a diligent, cheerful worker.  While she worked, she also educated my dad on different things like squares and rectangles both have four sides and four corners, triangles have three sides and three corners, but ovals and circles don't have any sides or corners.  She also told my dad that springtime is so nice to be outside, but summer gets really hot, but that's when she gets to swim a lot.  Finally, she reminded him that her birthday is just four months away in July.  Silly little girl.  She did keep my dad entertained.  I later went outside and took pictures of a second raking session.

She raked and raked.  (see the pile of leaves that she raked to the right of her in this picture?)

Then jumped in the pile of leaves.

Then raked some more.

For her cheerful work, Papa rewarded her with a dollar!

Big Birds

This was the scene in my parents' front yard this morning.  There were eight of these cranes all together.  Arin and Ella loved looking at these big birds.

It was quite a sight to see, but as quickly as they came, they also left.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: 9 weeks

I had no intentions of updating my journal this week.  There's not been anything too new to report, until today.  Today is my birthday.  Today is also my little sister's due date.  Too bad her baby has not shown signs of appearing today.  However, today was my sister's midwife appointment.  Her midwife comes to her house (she's planning a homebirth).  So while her midwife was here, we asked if she'd listen for my baby's heartbeat.  She said she only had the regular doppler with her (not the super sensitive one) so it would be doubtful that we'd hear it this early, but she'd try.  She tried and before long WE HEARD THE HEARTBEAT!!!!  Seriously, the BEST birthday gift EVER!

Fun at Tyson's

We were able to visit one of our best friends yesterday. I completely forgot to pull the camera out while Jaxson was there playing with the kids, but did get pictures of Tyson and the girls.

Feeding the fishies.
Remember how scared Ella was of this lion?  This time she couldn't wait to see the lion and climb all over it.  Amazing what a change in three months!

The kiddos played a game of soccer.  Arin was the ball hog *ahem*

Arin helped Ty's grandma plant flowers.
Group photo ~ this is ALWAYS the biggest challenge!
Thanks Lynn & Tyson for a fun playdate!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Future Mechanics

Arin and Ella loved helping their daddy change the car battery this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: Week 8

It's week eight and I feel great!  Last week, I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday on bedrest.  It was rather boring and even a bit difficult to do, but also very necessary.  The girls LOVED the extra tv time and laying in bed reading books with mama!  Andrew took Thursday off from work to make sure that I stayed off my feet.  He took excellent care of us.  He waited on me hand and foot.  He fed us, cleaned the kitchen, cared for and played with the girls, grocery shopped, etc.  Friday afternoon, I was released from bedrest, but still put on no lifting restrictions.  Andrew has continued to do much of everything around least everything that has anything to do with lifting, including grocery shopping.  This is a big deal because he does not like to grocery shop, but he has been doing it without complaint.  I always feel like I have a mile-long to-do list, but I have had to put much of that on hold this week while I take the extra time to rest and grow this baby. 

Last week, we met with a midwife that is about 45 minutes from us.  We liked her and decided to go with a homebirth.  As this week progressed, I started wondering if I had made the right decision.  I liked her, but I hadn't interviewed anyone else.  On a whim, I contacted my sister's midwives.  They are located about three hours from us, so I knew they would not be able to assist me, but perhaps they could refer me to someone.  They did.  They let me know of a birthing center that is right here in our town, only ten minutes from our house and four minutes from the hospital (should baby or me need to be transferred).  They offer homebirths, birthing center births, water births, etc.  We toured the place yesterday and met with the head midwife.  I liked the first midwife as well as these, but this place seems more practical.  It's closer, it's cheaper, they take my insurance, they have more birthing options, etc.  So I feel comfortable that we'll be going that direction.   While we were there, the midwife attempted to hear our baby's heartbeat, but being just barely eight weeks, it was still too early.  That didn't surprise me.  We never heard our girls' heartbeats until after 10 weeks, but it was nice of her to try.

This week I have started to feel more pregnant.  I haven't actually been sick, but there have been several times that I was sure I was going to be.  It's not a pleasant feeling at the time, but it makes me feel a little more reassured during these first few critical weeks.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Backwards Alphabet

Arin was challenged to learn the alphabet backwards.  She started practicing yesterday and this is what she sounds like today.
It's hard to hear the "z" but she did start out with it.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Arin: "Daddy, don't these people look like grumps with that line on their forehead?"
Daddy: "Yes, why are they grumpy?"
Arin: "They're not really grumps, they are just Uncle Todd and Aunt Sarah!"