Monday, June 28, 2010

The View From Here

This is the view from the back seat when we are all together in the van as a family. By the way, he should be wearing his glasses while driving.

For a long time Mike wouldn't let Tyler drive with the little girls in the vehicle but I guess they are both getting more confident in Tyler's driving skills. I try not to think about it and trust God. I also realize that if I was pregnant there would be no way I could stand riding in the back with his herky-jerky, not-so-smooth driving!

You may remember how we all used to fit in the van. Amanda reached the rear-facing weight limit for her seat so now Christiana is in the middle position of the second row. Talitha is behind the driver's seat. That's the only seat in our van with the LATCH anchors.

Tony sits in front of me next to Christiana and Amanda sits in middle of the back seat in her new seat which has a rear-facing limit of 45 lbs. The middle was the only position where I could get a secure fit.

On Sundays when we all go to church together, Mike or Tyler will carry Talitha out to the van and snap her seat into her base. Mike will flip Tony's seat forward and have Amanda climb into her seat. Then he buckles her in through to back lift gate. Tony carries out the bags and I carry Christiana. I buckle Christiana and climb in back next to Amanda. Then Tony flips his seat into position and we are ready to roll. When we get to church the driver grabs Tali in her car seat, Tony grabs the bags and the stroller frame, and I unbuckle Amanda and carry Christiana.

If I'm going somewhere by myself, I will carry Tali in her car seat, the diaper bag and Christiana out to the van. (Don't tell my chiropractor.) I put Tali down outside the van and have Amanda climb back to her seat. Usually that passenger seat is flipped forward. I buckle Christiana into her seat and then buckle Amanda's. Then I pick up Tali and snap her seat into the base. Upon arrival, I get the stroller frame and snap Tali's seat into the frame. Then I push the stroller to the other side and unbuckle Amanda and then Christiana. I usually put Christiana into some kind of carrier at this point, too.

It's quite a production getting everybody in and out and we haven't completely got a handle on how much extra time that requires, but we're managing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

True Friends and A Bat

Here's the whole crew that was part of the water fight. We staged this photo because I was having trouble capturing the action. They would burst out from one side of the house or the other, totally soak each other and then say, "Did you get that?"

The extra kids belong to my friend Jamie. Our husbands were good friends and played softball together, so we've been hanging out together since high school. She is really the only friend from high school that I have kept in contact with. That is, before joining Facebook last year.

She's been my steady support, accountability and partner in crime. She has truly impacted my growth and development in so many good ways. When I said, "I have no desire to drive to Florida." She said, "But your husband does." She's a real friend.

We were hanging out inside getting our baby fix. They have five kids, too. They were staying in the area for the week while the kids were in a play. It's a really neat week long program. The kids practice the play intensively for a week and then perform on Friday night and Saturday morning. This year they performed a story from Huckleberry Finn. It was the story about the con man who claimed to be the king of France. I wished the boys had come with. Mike read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to the boys so I wasn't familiar with the story.

By some bit of insanity, I decided to take the three little girls up to watch the play and take some pictures. The girls were so good! It was in a school gym and we ended up sitting on the floor in the front. Christiana was in a pouch, Amanda was in my lap and Talitha was in her car seat snapped into the stroller frame. After a bottle, I let Christiana get out and crawl on the floor. She never went very far away from me. Amanda never left my lap and Tali was quiet through most of the play. Thankfully, it was only about an hour long.

Jamie's three older kids were in the play. The girls were River Rats and her son was a bat. His job was to run back and forth across the stage "eeping." It was too dark for pictures but I caught it on video.

Two other home school families we know were in the play, too, as well as a very large multi-racial adoptive family(somebody I need to get to know). It was a lot of fun and I'm glad we went.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Besides the obvious differences between adopting a child and giving birth to a child, I've been trying notice if there is anything else. It has occurred to me lately that when I look into Talitha's face, it looks familiar. It's like I've known her for a really long time. Amanda and Christiana are very beautiful but they are a mystery and have faces that are very new to me. Perhaps it because Tali's eyes remind me of my nephew, her smile reminds me of my grandpa, and her chubby cheeks remind me of Tony when he was a baby. Or it's just because I see her so often since she never wants to sleep.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

That's One Way to Cool Off

It started with a few water balloons...

But it ended like this...

Keep in mind that is COLD well water. It's probably close to 40 degrees! Good, clean fun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Bushel and a Peck

This winter Mike bought a Veggie Tales Lullabye CD for Amanda to listen to in the van. I thought it would like their Silly Songs so it was a long time before I listened to it. It turns out that it's a really great C.D. It's full of cute lallabyes and lovely hymns. I taught Amanda how to turn on the C.D. player so we listened to it all day everyday for several weeks. When the C.D. isn't playing Amanda is singing the songs. These are a couple of the songs she was singing on the way home from church.

Tali's on the Move!

Warning: Four minutes of a baby wiggling, swirming and squealing. That's it. I love it. It makes me happy but I'm just warning you in case you were expecting a bit more excitement.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eleven Months

At eleven months, Christiana weighs about 18 lbs. and is about 27 in. long. She is crawling and beginning to pull herself up on furniture. She claps her hands, bounces to music, waves "Bye-bye" and makes kissing sounds with her mouth. She is generally cheerful and giggles and laughs very easily especially at the sight of her sisters. She is often fussy in the evening between 5-6 pm before she goes to bed. She usually goes to bed around 6 p.m. and sleeps until 7 or 8 a.m. She still takes two naps during the day. She has four bottles of breast milk during the day along with meals consisting of things like sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, peaches, oatmeal, carrots, garbanzo beans, green beans, peas and applesauce. She can feed herself toasted oat cereal and she can hold her own bottle although I purposely cuddle her while she's eating most of the time.

She is usually afraid of strangers and screams if I'm not holding her when there are other people around. She often cries in her car seat but she is better when I'm sitting in the back. She also cries in her stroller when we go on walks so lately I have been strapping her on my back instead of Tali. I try to ignore her complaining as much as possible but, for the courtesy of the rest of the people in the car, at the park or in our neighborhood, sometimes I just do what keeps her quiet. I'm just going to assume this separation anxiety is a sign of healthy attachment and enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Four Months

Tali was 15 lbs. and 25 in. at her four month appointment yesterday. She's rolling and squirming like crazy. The other day I put her on a large blanket and on some diapers and she managed to wiggle and squirm so she could pee on the carpet. She grabs at toys and our faces. She giggles, coos and squeals. She nurses every three to four hours and usually has one long stretch of sleep between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sometimes she has trouble falling asleep in the evenings and I had expected her to be sleeping better by now. I've done everything I can think of to help get her into a better pattern of sleep so now I'm just waiting things out and hoping things get better soon. She still spits up quite a bit. Our carpets desperately need a good shampooing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Capturing the Rain

It all started because somebody said it was difficult to capture images of rain. I took that as a challenge.

These are photos I took while standing with the patio door open and looking out onto our deck.

Pretty soon this little bug crawled out the open door. She can be so fussy about certain things so I thought she's be upset about the cold rain falling on her head. She wasn't. She thought it was pretty funny.

While I had been taking the rain photos, Amanda had been standing between my legs. She never considered going outside. She was a little worried when Christiana crawled out until I told her that she could go outside, too.

They had such a good time romping around the wet deck. They're so silly.

Mike came home while this was going on and thought I was bit crazy.
I figured they needed baths and their clothes needed to washed anyways. They came in and warmed up in the tub. I'm glad Christiana is enjoying her baths again.

Why was Christiana wearing a bib? To keep her shirt dry, of course. You know, because she drools so much.

Monday, June 14, 2010

They Did Again!

Those fabulous people at the local Catholic church helped with another bedding need.

It happens like this. I get an email from my friend Amber. "Do you know anybody who needs a toddler bed?" (Last time is was a crib.) I email her back quickly, "Me!" I had been watching Craigslist and checking out the occasional garage sale looking for a toddler bed. We had a single bed that Amanda was sleeping in but her room is so small and when she would occasionally wet the bed is was such a chore to wash all the bedding. She tells me to contact Deacon Dave because he has the details. Apparently, generous people contact him because they want to donate an item. So cool. God rocks and provides for all our needs.

Amanda loves her little bed and she loves Mickey Mouse. If fact she's so excited about sleeping in her new bed that she is still awake at 10 pm. However, for once, Tali is not awake so I best try to get some sleep in case she doesn't stay that way.