Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mom! Mommy! Momma!..."



Hollyn's bedroom door sits like an inch above the carpet.  She likes to hang out there, peaking underneath or sliding things under it into the hallway.  She also calls "Mom! Mooooom!  Momma! Mommy!..."hoping I'll let her out of naptime.  It's uncannily similar sounding to this clip below.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

We Really Tried

I love looking at all those pretty family pictures everyone else gets.  And oh how I envy them.  For some reason, my family can’t take a good shot to save our lives.  I love some of these with Asher making a face because it is SO him.  Unfortunately none of those are the best pics of all the rest of us.  Here’s literally the best picture we got:

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Kinda almost.  We do actually consider Brennan a valuable part of the family, despite what you see.

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Sigh

These ones were relatively good too.  ‘Relatively’ being the key word here.

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I see that Hollyn is following in Asher’s footsteps here

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May as well just go with this one.

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Or forget a family picture altogether and just pick the best individual ones.

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Or at lease some that more accurately show our personalities

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Some day I hope to have a family picture I can actually frame and display Smile

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

6 months


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 Happy Birthday to Us!  Kieran and I share a birthday/half birthday with each other.  Aren't we a cute couple of youngsters?

Kieran has turned into quite the roly poly these days.  He doesn't stay on him back so much any more.  I wouldn't say he enjoys tummy time yet - more like he almost tolerates it.  But it's improving every day.  As a result of rolling from front to back repeatedly, he's started to move all over the place.  Love that!


Let's see, what else... He can hold his own bottle pretty well.  Not perfectly yet, but well enough that I can often feed himself while I change his diaper.  That's always nice.


He started solids a month ago.  And loved it!  He's only had rice and oat cereal so far.  And actually ever since the first time he hasn't been as into it.  I'm not sure why.



Kieran sleeps pretty well.  Lately he's waking up once or twice a night again, but he's going to bed really early - sometimes 3:30 or 4:00pm and sleeps through 'til 8:30am with those 2 wakings. (Like, 11:30pm and 6am).  He naps well.  No regular schedule that I've noticed.  Maybe I just haven't paid as much attention.  Same thing happened with Hollyn - I just put her down when tired and she was super flexible.  I think Kieran's going to be the same way.

I sure love this little guy.  He is so happy, so easy, so chill.  He loves attention and is happy to get it from anyone.  No stranger fear yet.

I ended up phasing out nursing in exchange for pumping "accidentally".  I had to supplement, if you recall, quite a bit.  So he started resisting the nursing more and more.  A lot of waiting and work for him with very little payoff.  So I started deciding to nurse after the bottle instead of before.  But that didn't really work either, so I started pumping because I'd skipped the nursing.  And that increased to the point that it's been a month since he nursed at all and I put myself on a pumping schedule, just to do what I can.  My milk supply actually increased after the full switch.  Nothing close to what he needs still though.  Anyway, that's where that stands.  I like to keep a record so I can compare how these things went with each baby.  Sorry that other readers likely don't care. :-)


Some Minecraft buddies.  And yes, they're wearing matching outfits.  It says "King Pig Stole my Homework".  An Angry Bird thing.  And they think it's hilarious. :-)

Hollyn's still giving us a run for our sanity.  We can't take our eyes off her for a minute.  She's awfully cute though.  Good thing. ;-)  Hollyn still loves books, particularly the "Little a" (or 'b' or 'c' etc) ones.  The front and back covers have a picture of all the little letter kids together and Hollyn makes us sing the ABC song while pointing to the corresponding letter at least once each time.  She also likes to scootch the kitchen chairs to get into anything she wants.  She pours her own milk from the gallon jug.  She's only spilled once or twice and not much either time.  She's amazing adept at that.  She started a whole new level of tantrum screaming, reserved for nap times that she doesn't want.  She pounds on her door screaming her head off.  Thankfully not for more than a minute or two.  Put it's pretty dramatic.  And certainly nothing that the older boys EVER did.  She's quite the 2 year old.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last night as I was sound asleep I was abruptly woken up by Brennan.  He was already next to me and blurted out, starting to cry, "I went to sleep in my bed but I woke up and I was on the couch and I don't know how I got there.  I'm really freaked out!"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Snow Day!





No school today.  I should have taken a picture of our neighborhood.  ALL the kids come out (and there's a lot of kids) and they all played  together as a group.  It was fun to see.

 Brian went to work, and left a giant hole in the driveway!
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I was thinking that Hollyn wouldn’t remember being in snow.  She was only 1 1/2 last winter.  But she must have remembered because the first thing she did was grab a handful and eat it.  Hahaha

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If she wasn’t eating it, she was rolling in it.  The boys always approached snow cautiously and decided they were done quickly.  Hollyn just jumps right in and could stay out in it all day.



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Kier-Bear’s First Snow!  He wandered around outside with me for a bit.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dear Santa, I believe you igsist and I try my best...

 Brennan wrote out Asher's letter to Santa for him.  "Dear Santa, I want Lego Krio Megatron for Christmas.  I belive you igsist and I try my best.  From Asher."  ♥ it!

 Asher's "Thankful Turkey" he made at school.  He's thankful for Noodle[s], brum (drums), Apples, Dad, and bugs.  I'm not even on there.  Apparently I rank even lower than noodles and bugs. ;-)

 Don't you just love a good messy face?


And this guy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Job

I feel really blessed.  Being humbled, or sent through a refiner’s fire, can kinda hurt.  On the other hand, it’s the best way to receive blessings and really appreciate them.  So I’m grateful for the various trials we’ve been facing the last couple of months.  Sunday night was kinda hard.  Things looked a little bleak. Brian’s been putting in like 80 hours a week on job hunting, interviews, phone calls, etc.  And things have been moving along, but the process is just slow.  Send an application, days later a phone call.  A week later a phone interview.  Another week before the second interview.  And that’s if things are moving quickly!  In the mean time though life keeps moving. 

Anyway, I was feeling discouraged Sunday night because things just aren’t moving quickly enough.  Brian is officially being let go at the end of THIS month!  That’s a scary thought since all of this takes so long.

But yesterday Heavenly Father reminded me that He’s still aware of us.  That He’s watching out for us.  Brian had a busy day.  He got 3 calls on his way to work, spent his morning calling them back and receiving more calls.  He texted me around 11:30 and said he had a phone interview at noon, another one from 1-2, a video call at 3, studying and preparing all night, followed by today’s 6am video interview and something else today as well!  At 12:30 he texted again to say he was going to Eugene right THEN!  He’d met with this company last week and we were surprised not to hear back from them right away.  They need someone to fix things that the last web guy broke when he was fired.

Anyway, long story short, Brian has been hired by this company.  Originally we were thinking he stood a pretty good chance of being offered the job, but felt apprehensive.  Should we take the first offer that comes along because we don’t know if there will be another?  OR, do we hold out hoping one of these other balls in the air is “the one”?  It was an uncomfortable thought.  But here’s the great thing about what happened yesterday.  The Eugene company was trying to decide what they wanted – some wanted Brian (or whoever) to come on full time and stay forever.  They were also debating outsources to a firm though, among other things.  In the end, what they offered Brian is work starting NOW, to fix their problems – taking about a month or so – and then they’d see what they want to do, with a good possibility of offering him long-term work.  But this first part is just a contract job so he wouldn’t have to feel guilty about moving on after the month.

So basically, Brian has a job that can carry us through as things at Corvallis Technical are dying down and ending, but he will continue to try for one of these other appealing jobs.  It’s exactly what we need.

All of this took place the day after Fast Sunday, where many of our family I believe were fasting in our behalf.  And I know many have been keeping us in their prayers as well.  I’m so grateful for that.  I’m thankful to have family that cares about us, prays for us, and offers WAY more support than we deserve.  It’s not easy to accept so much support some times, but we are thankful to have family that loves us enough to offer it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

Kelly gave birth to her little baby Faith yesterday.  I’m excited to meet her!

And in other, almost as big news, I discovered today that Kieran is breaking his first two teeth!  I know what you’re thinking. “Wait, what?!?!  He’s only 5 1/2 months old!  Although that’s not unreasonably early, for your kids it is!”  I’m sure you recall that my other three babies all got their first tooth on their 7 month birthdays.  So I thought I had another 6 weeks.  This does explain the last two nights though.  After a month or more where Kieran was waking up just once a night or not at all, (the latter happening consistently the last 2 weeks), he woke up twice or more the last couple of nights.  And didn’t nap as long as usual either yesterday.  I had just been telling Brian about it, speculating that K must be growing or something, when he flashed a nice smile and I saw the culprits.  Poor baby.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday-isms

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“Asher, when are you going to stop loving me?”  I quizzed.

Without pausing for thought he answered. “When you die” matter-of-factly.

“What?!?!” I exclaimed.  “You’re going to stop loving me when I die?!?”

“Yep.”  Then added, “But only a little bit…. The more you die, the more I’ll stop loving you.”

Wow.  Tough critic.  He did go on to explain though what I think meant once the dying process is done and I’m dead for good that he’ll love me again.

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As I typed that Brian just came downstairs to tell me that he was checking on Hollyn in the bathroom.  He found her using the toilet.  Making stern eye contact he said, “No playing in the toilet when you’re all done, o.k?”  “o.k.” she’d softly responded.  He continued staring her down to make sure his point was made.  Until she said, “o.k. you-a go now.”  Lol

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Aah, Life

Part of me really wants to write about everything going on.  Part of me really doesn’t.  I suppose I’ll leave it at the last 3 weeks have been the worst, hardest, most emotional, and in some ways sweetest of probably my life.  I’ve suffered some trials that caused me to sink into a terrible depression.  REALLY terrible.  Like, I lost 6 lbs in 5 days.  Ugh.  On the other hand, I totally upped my spiritual study and pondering and was rewarded with a wonderful increase in understanding.  Understanding myself, how I receive revelation, how I feel the spirit, increased understanding for others, etc.  The trials are unchanged but I am starting to accept things a little more.  Still, I appreciate any prayers in my and my family’s behalf.

 

Hollyn had an appointment at OHSU last week for her eyes.  The background is that last May she started displaying “lazy eye” tendencies.  The occurrences quickly increased until it was quite apparent.  During June for a few days the frequency decreased, but went back up.  In August it started decreasing again and by her appointment time with her physician she only did it right at the very end of the time with him.  So she was referred to specialists in Portland.  However the occurrences of her eyes not tracking together continued to go down until by the end of August she was no longer doing it.  Since the appointment at OHSU was scheduled 3 months out I figured I should keep it because I didn’t know if the problem would manifest again.

 

So that took us to last week.  She was seen, she did great.  The problem never did come back since August.  We learned that her eye-sight is great.  No problems at all.  So the question is, what happened?  And that remains a question.  Dr. Karr (who she saw) told us that what happened with her is very unusual.  The most common reason this can happen is from inflammation in the muscles behind the eye.  But even when that does happen, it doesn’t usually last 3 months!  And it’s usually associated with joint problems (like rheumatoid arthritis).  But she hadn’t been showing any signs of joint pain or problems when that happened, or ever.  So basically, she’s a conundrum.  Or what happened last summer is anyway.  I guess it’ll just remain a mystery unless it ever happens again in which case we’re supposed to get her in while it’s still happening

 

Hollyn’s doing well though.  She’s a big ol’ turkey who drives me crazy all day.  Then I take her somewhere else and she’s all cute and whispers and behaves like a shy little perfect angel.  What the heck, girl!  She’s really into books.  Always has been, but the obsession isn’t waning.  It’s nice and all, but she whines and cries when I can’t tend to her every second of the day.  Sigh.  At least she wants to be around me, I suppose.  Anyway, she likes “yetters”, and points them out whenever she sees them.  Like the computer keyboard or elsewhere.  She often identifies an individual letter as “A”, regardless of which letter it is.  Today a PBS show was on and the character asked us to say the letters (for the word Snail) and Hollyn blurts out the sound “ssssss”.  Between that and nailing the letter S when we sing the song – pointing to the letters – I’m beginning to think she knows that letter and/or its sound.

 

Asher’s reading is also coming along.  The other demands of being a parent of young children/babies often comes at the expense of educational time with the older kids.  Plus I kinda hate helping a pre-reader learn to read.  Can I say that?  Well, I did.  I find the process very frustrating.  Like, “c’mon, just sound.it.out!  No, it’s a “b” not a “d” “ etc.  Anyway, I haven’t done a whole lot with Asher previously, but lately I have been taking the time to help him practice during our evening reading time and just in the last week of doing that he seems to have improved significantly.  I realized actually that the learned the sight-words (like “said”) really well and better than sounding out.  Interesting.

 

Brennan’s doing well also.  He loves having Mrs. L as his teacher again and she is perfect for him!  She gets his struggles with impulsive behavior and sees the kid who really, really just wants to be good and kind and sweet.

 

And Kieran.  Dear sweet perfect Kieran.  He was the perfect baby, but around his 4 month birthday he started getting really fussy.  And eating a ton.  I nursed as much as I could, but whenever he took a bottle he was drinking like 8-10 oz.  And I was making like 3 oz.  Obviously not enough.  My supplementing increased a lot.  Although I’m still nursing at every feeding, he now gets a full bottle afterwards, another 5-8 oz.  His mood has improved and he’s now back to his happy ol’ self.  BUT, his weight percentile continues to drop.  At his 4 month checkup he’d dropped from about the 50th where he’d stayed since birth, to the 8th all of a sudden.  It was noteworthy, but not necessarily of concern.  The Dr. pointed out he’d be starting solids soon so that should help.  Well that was before I started supplementing so much more, and now that his food intake increased, he was weighed last week and he’d dropped further, now at the 5th or 6th percentile.  I don’t see how that could possibly have happened since he eats so much.  The baby’s a bottomless pit!  I haven’t started solids yet though.  I guess we’ll have to see what happens then.

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Last Friday Asher took a spill on the pavement during recess.  I had to pick him up because he was trying to drop off to sleep in the school office.  He did fall asleep once home, but woke up feeling o.k.  He was terribly embarrassed about his wounds at first, which were even more obvious than this picture shows, and didn’t like having to explain what happened when someone inevitably asked.  But by the end of the day, when I took him to ta friend’s house to be babysat, he was happy to surprise them with his “zombie face”.  It’s healing well, but still getting a lot of questions from everyone who sees him

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Brian’s been playing in the pit-orchestra for the community theater’s The Sound of Music.  Isn’t he handsome down there?

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Friday, November 1, 2013

More October

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How sad that this was the best shot I got of the kids in their costumes.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember to take pics during events and festivities.

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Kieran at 4 1/2 months wearing the costume Hollyn wore last year at 18 months. Lol.  And no, Kieran’s not a fatso.  He’s below 50th percentile.  That’s just how small Hollyn is/was.

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Trick or Treating downtown with the Butlers.  Even the Courthouse participates

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I guess Iron Man 3 deserves 3 Iron Men

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Hangin’ at the soccer game

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Our soccer guy

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Almost rolling over.  This shot was him coming back because he saw me coming.  But he was rolling onto his tummy with one arm stuck under him.

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Asher decided to label his bouncy ball.  I’m impressed though that he managed to write it in almost complete MIRROR reversal.  Considering he usually writes his “S” backwards, then only the “R” is the right direction.

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If you fall asleep on the living room floor, you’d better be in “ready” position