Friday, August 31, 2012


It’s a word that came out of my mouth, but I’m not sure what it means.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Yesterday Raven and Julia had their 3 and 5 year checkups, respectively.  Though Raven isn't quite 3 and Julia won't be 5 until November, due to daycare needs, we need to take them for their Well Child visits in late August.  So, here are the girls' stats.

37" tall (45th percentile)
30.5 lb (51st percentile)

(For reference, Julia was 36.5" tall and 29.5 lb at the same age.)

41.25" tall (40th percentile)
35 lb (24th percentile)

Anna's four month checkup is in a few weeks, so I'll report and compare then.  Considering that she's already wearing 9 month clothes, I'm curious and excited to see how she is growing compared to the two older girls.  Look for a chart!  :)  I'm excited to do some math and stuff now!  :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anna and Mama

Forgive me if this post is written poorly today.  My ability to string words together this week outside of bullet points is a failure, and so I only hope that what is running through my head can be coherently relayed on "paper".

Anna is 15 weeks old today.  I doubt very much I'll have a picture to post later, but I wanted to say it no matter what.  I thought I'd be done with the weekly posts once she turned 3 months old and then switch to monthly posts, but the last two weeks have been hard and by posting that she's 15 weeks old, I have an opening to discuss it.

Anna is only 15 weeks old.  She doesn't roll over that much, she can't crawl, she can't talk... she's still a very small baby.  An infant.  Despite her size, she's no different than any other 3 month old baby.  So it shouldn't be a shock to me that she's having a hard time dealing with separation from mommy.  And, I'm not shocked, but maybe surprised a little that the reaction was a bit delayed.

I'm not talking about separation anxiety.  She does well at daycare, is a champ there with the bottle now, and generally has good days.  What I mean is that when we are in the same vicinity of each other, she needs me.  She craves me.  She cannot live without me.

This is good and bad, no?  I don't mind it.  It actually is a balm to my soul.  But, at the same time, it causes me a lot of heartache to experience her need for me so strongly in the evenings and in the middle of the night, and I don't know how to change life for her so that she needs me less.  And, this is where I have a hard time conveying what I'm thinking here.  It's not that I want her to need me less.  It's not that I mind.  However, at the same time...

... it's hard to watch her with Adam, where she screams and writhes in his arms because she really just wants me...

... it's hard to tell my older children that they need to leave mommy and Anna alone so that mommy can soothe Anna.  They don't understand.  They both want their mommy too, and they want to spend time with Anna.  But their noise and their flurry is too much for Anna when she's trying to drink in the one person she's been craving all day...

... it's hard to make dinner.  That sounds silly, but it is.  I have plans for dinners for each day, but even if I prep it the night before, I am having a hard time cooking because Anna doesn't want to be set down.  And I can't do everything one handed and I don't want to risk her getting burnt.

... it's hard to tell Julia that I can't read a book right now because I can't even think over Anna's screaming when trying to settle her down.

There's more.... but those are the immediate things I think of.

Here's the sticky part in all of this.  She's only 15 weeks old.  These are expected reactions in a lot of ways.  I don't want her to "get used to" being set down and ignored, and of course she wants alone time with me where she's not being hovered over.  And in time she'll grow to enjoy being with her daddy - he's a fun guy.  It's just that right now we're in this stage... a stage that I was expecting right when she started daycare, only to have about three weeks where she didn't enter it, and then to be hit with it about a week ago.

So we're adjusting to a new normal.  That is all.  But it's probably one of the more difficult normals I've had to adjust to since Julia was born.  And that's okay, but it's there.  And it affects me in more ways than I thought it would.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tutu Too

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Around 3 pm today I wondered if it was the best idea to have signed up for a ballet class.

At 5:30 pm, running late with the kids, no dinner prepared, and a crying baby… I was certain it was a bad idea.

But.  I have a husband who is wonderful and made dinner for the family.  And, we have blessed babysitters from our church group.  And, when I told the girls that Cameron and his mom were coming to stay with them, I got a lot of “YAY!” and “Bye, mommy!” and “Aren’t you leaving, mommy?”  and “Mommy, they are here, you can go now!”

So I knew that I should go.  Maybe I didn’t want to, but I had paid.  And I had babysitters.  And I really needed to do something for myself.

One word describes how I feel about the class.  Love.

I am so glad I went.  And I am really looking forward to next Thursday.

Little Dancer

Julia started ballet / tap this Monday (the 20th).  Even though we had discussed waiting until she was in school before starting an extracurricular activity, since she is in the same class (pre-K) this year and learning the same material again, we thought it would be fun and good for her to have something outside of daycare / pre-K (though, according to her teacher, she is a BIG help to all of the new kids in her class and it makes Julia feel very special to be her teacher’s helper). 

So, a few weeks ago, I signed Julia up for a ballet / tap combo class at a new dance studio near us that is being run by a woman who has taught dance for 30 years, Ms. Diane.  She is a peach!  Julia had her first class Monday, and if you can’t tell, she was VERY excited to go!

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So far there are only two little girls (Julia and Isabella) in her class, so it’s almost as if Julia is getting one-on-one attention with her teacher, which is pretty neat.  I’m excited for her and what she learns this year.

And, I decided to also sign up for a beginning adult ballet class.  I am stoked!  It’s always something I’ve wanted to do (again – because I took ballet for all of a few months as a little girl) – either that, or ice skating – so I signed myself up and even got a discount because I had a child in another class.  I start tonight (Thursday!).  Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Anna is 14 weeks old!

Anna was 14 weeks old yesterday.  I can’t believe how quickly she is growing!  She is mostly in 9 month clothes now… at least the long sleeved / long panted ones… summer clothes that don’t need to fit her whole body is still 6 months… she’s so long!

She’s back to sleeping completely well again and only waking once in the night, which has been a Godsend considering that I’m in my fourth week back to work.

Girlfriend loves her mama – each night when we reconnect she pretty much needs to be connected to me (not necessarily nursing so much as just being with me) until she goes to sleep.  I love it – so far it is more enjoyable than overwhelming, but it does make it hard to get a good dinner on the table at night. *grin*

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I received a really beautiful necklace from a dear friend for my birthday… thank you so much!  (You know who you are!)  I love it!  It’s not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.  Awesomeness!

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Update: Swaddling

After my last post on swaddling, I have to let you know that Anna has been sleeping soundly in her swaddle ever since and has stopped breaking free. 


I started adding a sleep sack into the mix.  While it might *seem* too hot at night, and some nights it was, these last few weeks it's been getting down into the 60s at night and Anna has a window right over her bed.  Remembering that the older girls slept in three layers (jammies, sleep sack, swaddle) and realizing that we kept the house in the mid-to-high-60s in the winter during the evening made me think that maybe Anna was just too cold at night, and not being warm enough caused her to wake up more and thus, break out of her swaddle.

So, I added in the sleep sack, and since, she's been back to her once-a-night nursing right around 3 am... ah, much better, and we are both sleeping SO much better!  So, we'll keep the swaddle for a bit longer, since she really seems to like being swaddle and we haven't had any Houdini acts since the sleep sack was introduced to add an extra layer of warmth.


Anna takes regular naps in her bed now, but six weeks ago she still slept anywhere and pretty much in any position, including in her Boppy pillow.  This particular nap I remember because she slept for close to four hours – one tired baby!  These were taken as she was starting to wake up.  Don’t worry – I didn’t wake my sleeping baby!

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Jefferson, CO

Adam went down to Salida in mid-July and loved the mountains in the early morning light.  He wanted to take us for a drive to Jefferson so that the family could see this same view, and two weeks ago (August 5) we left fairly early in the morning to take a mountain drive.

So oops, we missed taking 470 down to Hwy 285 and “had” to drive past Red Rocks.  The moon was still “setting” to the west as the sun was rising in the east.

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As we drove along, we began to lose sight of the moon complete.

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We arrived in Jefferson and stopped at their market for a treat.  I had to laugh and took this picture as a bit of a joke – seems like every “touristy” spot needs to sell fudge – I think it’s a requirement.  Friends of ours who visited us in June made this observation while we were out at Buffalo Bill’s gravesite so this picture is mostly for them – fudge is EVERYWHERE!

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One thing I love about small (almost non-existent) towns in Colorado is their use of color for their buildings – I have an equal love for those buildings that work hard to blend into the landscape and for those that do whatever they can to completely stick out.  The contrast is awe-inspiring and makes me want to simultaneously build a cabin in the woods and buy a bright purple house.

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We enjoyed a mid-morning snack at the little market.

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I loved the old orange theater seats against the turquoise building.  Too bad I didn’t think to set this shot up differently so that I still had the brilliant colors but the girls weren’t squinting in the sunlight.

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Anna and I spend a lot of quality time in the van while we’re on road trips that last longer than two hours….

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Jefferson is located in a valley, but really I think technically it’s located on a high plain.  The immediate area is flat, but the view is amazing, surrounded by mountains on all sides.

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It was super hazy that day, so it was hard to get clear shots from far away, but this picture shows two things – one, the little town of Jefferson we had just been in and two, proof that there is still snow on top of the mountains even in August.  We’ll most likely start to see accumulation within a month.

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At the pull-off where I wanted to take pictures, I found these aspens, which had been scarred with initials and love notes over the years.

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Here we are at the Kenosha Pass.  We’ve turned around and are headed back home again.

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Many of you may have heard of the rampant wild fires that are still attacking the West.  There are still fires now in states surrounding Colorado (hence, much of the haze we’ve witnessed this summer.  Signs like these are common.

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When we realized we were going to be late for second service church no matter what, we decided to slow down and enjoy our trip home a bit more.  This involved a stop at a winery, Aspen Peak Cellars.  We actually stopped at the tasting “house” and not the actual winery.

Here is a neat shed-barn building on the property.

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Raven has a super long tongue.  For those that didn’t know.

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Anna was less than thrilled to be in the winery and really wanted some more van time with mom.

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There was a really neat garden/lawn area outside of the tasting house and the girls enjoyed running around and playing.

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We sure had an enjoyable drive that day and are enjoying exploring Colorado with the girls.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Goofing Around…

As mentioned in my last post, we watched a lot of Olympics.  The girls envisioned themselves to be in gymnastics or as swimmers.  These are a few pictures of a late night of watching Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin.
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And, I just have to say, I love this last picture… I was taking pictures of Raven as she flew around the room but she was moving so fast and I was trying hard not to use flash and everything was a blur… and while the color isn’t great, I love that everything is fuzzy and in motion except for her face… her beauty astounds me.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I cut off my hair two weeks ago today.  SO FREEING!  I’m in love with my new cut and it’s SO easy to do!

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Anna is three months old today… Raven will be three in less than a month, and Julia turns five in a little over three months… it’s a day of threes.


Anna has worn a mix of 6 AND 9 month clothes this last week.  Growing like a weed doesn’t even begin to explain the length of this child.

Because Anna falls asleep relatively early in the evening (tonight it was 6:30 pm!), I decided to take pictures when we got home.  Always risky without Adam to help.  Today turned out similar to the last time I took pictures without Adam’s help. 

But… I managed a few fun pictures.

Julia wanted nothing more than to pick the spot and have her pictures taken by the flowers.

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Moved a bit so that cars weren’t our background… can you see who’s missing?  Someone is upset that she doesn’t get to hold Anna first.  Again.

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There she is.

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In case you ever wondered what the back of her head looked like or how long her hair is.  Oh, what’s that?  You’ve seen the back of her head in pictures before?  That’s right.  She’s 2-going-on-3.


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The best “threesome” picture I managed to get… we’ll keep trying!

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Someone definitely loves being a big sister, though.  For sure.

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Puzzle Fiend

We watched a lot of Olympics – hours daily – during the 2012 Summer Olympics.  The girls weren’t always happy with that prospect, but it got them playing and doing puzzles and drawing whereas normally they would have begged to watch a show at night.
A few months ago, I bought Julia a few 60-piece puzzles.  She’s gotten very good at doing the 24-piece puzzles by herself, so I thought she could try a puzzle with more, smaller pieces.  She needed help the first few times, but soon she got the hang of the smaller pieces.  During this particular puzzle episode, I helped her find the edge pieces, and then turned around to help Raven with her puzzle, and next thing I knew, Julia had most of the thing put together!
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That night after lots of cheers and excitement for really doing it all by herself, we put the puzzles away.  The next day I found it put together again in a different room.  Go, Julia!  So very proud of her mad puzzle skillz.  Now, if I can just get Raven to stop chewing on the pieces………

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

13 weeks old…

… and super loved by her sisters.

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On the way home from daycare today, the girls fought about whose baby she was.  “She’s MY baby!”  “No, she’s BOTH of our baby!”  “NO!  [insert pterodactyl scream in here] MY BABY!”

Guess who the pterodactyl is…it sure wasn’t Anna.

Best Pretzels Ever, I cannot lye!

Ever since our first trip to Germany in 2006 my wife and I have fell in love with laugenbrezen.  (first photo is a stock photo of real brezen) So when we came home we attempted many batches of of homemade pretzels but were convinced that lye could be substituted for baking soda (cheap, easily accessible and less dangerous).  Ever batch was pretty good, but none of them had the shiny crispy outside and the soft chewy inside 2012-08-11 pretzel balls (2)of a real brezel, until now.

I had some lye (sodium hydroxide or caustic soda as we brewers call it) left over from our soap-making project and thought I’d give the real stuff a try. I also wanted to make pretzels without having to roll and roll and roll and roll the dough.  My hands actually start to feel arthritic after one batch.  So I decided to just make quick and dirty balls then slice an “X” in them before baking.   Fantastic idea Adam!  Best batch yet.  This photo was the first batch, the 2nd batch I learned another trick that got them even darker brown without burning the bottoms.

2012-08-12 pretzel pizza (7) I also wanted to say that I think I have invented something new, or at least have come up with the concept entirely independently if this already exists.  Pretzel-crust Pizza!  We made a buffalo-chicken style pizza the other night but used my dough and lye on the crust. 2012-08-12 pretzel pizza (1) This was a real treat because when you are done eating an awesome pizza you get to eat a fat and chewy brezel-stick for dessert.  Best of both worlds.

Just need a Helles in my hand and…


Monday, August 13, 2012