Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Perhaps nesting has started.  (Hurray!  Brian's been waiting for this!)  All I know is I've taken on some impromptu projects this week.  On Monday I walked into Hollyn's room -  and I use that term loosely because other than her mini crib and dresser, that room has been PACKED with junk that has nothing to do with her.  It was a extra room before her, and all I did was squeeze her into it after she came.  Oh, a couple of times (literally) I went in there and straightened up a little since she's been born.  But I mostly just tidied piles.  As mentioned before I was keeping the bags of her outgrown clothes around, firstly to catch stragglers and because babies/toddlers grows so fast.  And then I wasn't sure if I should store them at my house or take them to Mom's for the next girl baby in the family.

Anyway, I walked into her room on Monday and thought.  Just do it.  Say goodbye to the clothes and get them outa here!  So I did.  Then, since that opened a nice chunk of space in the room, I kept going.  I was moving furniture and rearranging.  I threw non-room stuff into the hallway creating a large pile out there I had to deal with.  I vacuumed!  It seriously went from something straight out of "Hoarders: Buried Alive" to an actual room!

So that was unexpected, but nice.  The next day (yesterday) Brennan thought he felt sick and ended up staying home.  But it became clear he was fine.  Woke up with a dry throat, maybe sore, but ultimately felt fine shortly after.  But I didn't feel like taking him to school for the last half. (heh heh).  Anyway, on another whim I asked him what he thought about moving the toys currently in the downstairs half-height closet back into his and Asher's room.  Every year I switch them up again, rotating between that closet, their bedroom walk-in-closet, and their main room.  Nothing seems to help the toys from ending up on the opposite floor they belong on though.  But currently they seem to be taking more and more into their room than into the living room.  Anyway, Brennan thought that sounded fine, so I had us get right on it.  If he had known how much work it is, I'm sure he never would have agreed.  Their room was already a disaster zone to start with, so lugging stuff back and forth wasn't easy. But he and Asher were good sports for Mom's sudden project.  It also included moving Hollyn's/baby toys into her room.  Which meant I had to figure out how to split the available storage/shelving.  Whew!

Today I've done some more of the toy organizing, particularly Hollyn's which hasn't previously been organized very well at all.  And consequently she doesn't usually play with her toys much.  (Even on the rare occasions she could get to them within the toy closet.)  She and Asher and I hung out for quite some time in her room today, getting re-aquainted with her toys, (me) looking at the floor that I haven't hardly seen the last 21 months.  Feeling some natural light (since she only slept in there previously there hasn't been a reason to open the curtain.)  Now on to the rest of the house.  Good thing this baby isn't due for another 4 months.  At this project-a-day rate, I may just get to every space. ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy 5th, Asher!

Sooo... There were other pictures of Asher's birthday, but the card filled up so Brian did a quick dowload onto my computer.  Somehow it's all gone though.  Everything since Christmas, basically.  So that's sad. :-(  Hopefully it can be found.
Anyway, Asher had a great birthday.  He invited two friends (that's all he wanted.  And one of them is Brennan's age/friend.) and we had a casual "party" at Papa's Pizza.  The manager was very nice, getting us a great table and even giving Asher a T-shirt, even though I hadn't bought any sort of party package.  Later that evening Grandma and Grandma Templeman came over for present-opening and cake.
Whenever someone asked Asher how old he is now, he'd reply, "5 and a half!"  I think we've got him straightened out, more or less, now.

Asher is a hilarious individual.  On the one hand, he is so very serious, but he also chats everyone's ear off and loves being funny.  The other day he approached Brian and I upset because Brennan doesn't believe him that Transformers are real.  He explained that he knows they're real, because he's seen some of them in car form in real life.  He was really rather mad at Brennan about it, lol.
I could never explain the funny things Asher constantly says.  I can't do them justice.  It makes me sad to know I'll forget all these things and can't adequately capture them.
Asher still loves playing in room - loudly!  I've tried to record it, but it's just not the same.  You hear some of the bangs as he crashes into the door and walls in the video below, but in person it's quite a thing to hear!  All over the house - even when I'm in the shower! - I always know when Asher's playing in his room.
Asher enjoys, and is quite good at, video games like Minecraft and especially the Lego games (Star Wars, Batman) on Playstation.  He spends his day alternating between movies and games and playing in his room, switching off about every half hour. I worry about my current lack of time limits, but I honestly can't complain about a lack of exercise or using his imagination.  He's rather bored while all his friends are in school.  And there's no yard to send him to even if it were warm enough.  So I guess until summer and then school he gets to just do his thing.  Anyway, the point I was originally going for is that he is amazing good at games.  Not like a prodigy, but better than me.  I suspected my children would learn to play these things, but I never thought I'd see them at 3 and 4 doing it!  Even Hollyn enjoys grabbing the remote and thinking she's playing games on the TV!  Man this world we live in.
Anyway..  Asher is a pleasure to have in our family and I'm excited to experience 5-year-old Asher, seeing as how much fun 4-year-old Asher was.

Update on Hollyn

Oh Holly-boo, so many fun things, mixed with so many less-than-fun things about this age!  She's 21 months old now and still getting into EVERYTHING.  Well, that may be lessening, actually.  She's moving into just MOST things. :-)  She loves to help though.  With anything.  But there are some specific chores that she now expects to be able to do, and doesn't like it much if you don't let her.  For laundry, she loves to help me get the clothes out of the dryer, and then she'll drag the basket out of the laundry room for me and over into the living room.  She'll then come back to help load the dryer, and MUST be the one to shut the dryer door when we're done.  She loves separating the clean clothes and thinking she's actually putting each item into the correct person's basket.  And she loves to take her basket into her room, and put all the clothes into the dresser.
She loves baths and showers and if you mention either word she races up the stairs, complaining all the way if you aren't following her.  I have to spell them now, but Brennan always says them outloud to confirm he got it. :-)
And she loves to empty the dishwasher.  For a while now she's been a helper there, handing people the items for them to put away. But the other day I wasn't in the mood to do that chore, so I told her she could do it herself.  She looked at me like, "really?" and got busy.  Video below shows it.  So now that's her thing.  She just does it herself. (Since she began helping months ago, I started removing the sharp things first thing, even if the rest gets left for later.)  And surprisingly, she'll put things where they actually go.  She memorized my kitchen!


One of Hollyn's best attributes is that she smiles at us a LOT, and it's always in.your.face.  She'll climb up onto your lap, cock her head to the side and just smile nice and big. Then cock her head to the other side, going back and forth until the game is done.  She loves silly faces, and getting people to interact with her.  She often comes up behind one of her brothers and grabs them around the waist.  They then start walking with her as the caboose and both get a big kick out of it.
She's saying more and more things and it's blowing my and Brian's minds how fast she's growing up all of a sudden.  She understands SO much, and get's her own concepts across so well.  It's terrible!  Why won't kids stay little for much, much longer?  Or at least, why don't we have the ability to remember everything like this with perfect clarity?  The hardest part is knowing you forget most of these things as they slowly move into new stages that feel like they were always in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Bunch O’ Pictures


As Hollyn’s reach seemed to grow, the ornaments were moved higher and higher.  Then one day she realized she could just bring a chair over. *sigh*



Thanks for the p.j.’s Grana!


I got a picture with all my kiddos.  Is this a first?



Fun with stockings.  Hollyn was all. over. that candy Winking smile



Boys received Guess Who game for Christmas and we’ve played many games already.




I love a man who can cook!  And the fudge turned out perfect, as usual.


After watching her brothers in costume the night before, Hollyn had her own go. Ah, brothers! Smile



December 2012.  There was still school, so Brennan missed playing in it. Sad smile


Up next time… Asher’s birthday, and hopefully some updates on Hollyn and everything she’s been up to lately.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting Real

It's been an emotional few days.  I was looking extremely forward to our ultrasound last Monday.  All went well with that - baby looks healthy and all is as it should be.  And we found out it's a boy.

Wow.  A boy.  Brian and I stayed pretty quiet the remainder of that appointment.  As well as the remainder of that day.  We'd both been hoping for a girl.  And not getting what I was hoping for and expecting left me rather somber.

Don't get me wrong, it's nothing against boys.  I LOVE my boys to death!  I'm just left awfully confused.  Since having Hollyn, a part of me doubted whether I could handle the pregnancy thing again.  It's rather torturous for me (and Brian) to be SO sick for SO long.  And is it even responsible for me to knowingly get myself into a situation where I can't parent the children I have?  Isn't that wrong?  Anyway, I had my doubts, but also thought, "if again, just one last time."  And when I'd have those latter thoughts, I felt to a degree that there was a little girl waiting.  At the very least, I felt done with boys.  I was ready to give away for good the boys clothes, to weed out the boy toys as Asher outgrew them.  When I picked out new things for Hollyn like her carseat and cloth diapers, I almost allowed myself to choose girl-themed patterns.  I was SURE there would be no more boys.  It was just a feeling.  But, being practical, thankfully I didn't act on those suspicions, ya know, just in case.

Then upon getting pregnant at a time when Brian and I have been fervently praying for other blessings, I was consoled by the fact that I was pretty sure this was Hollyn's sister.  Since Hollyn was born I've kept all her outgrown clothes out, accessible, because I had a hunch I may need them again soon enough.  I was consoled that we'd be perfectly split - 2 brothers, 2 sisters.  The bedroom arrangements would be perfect.  I had plans for Hollyn to share with her sister.  I felt that I could handle the delay or NOT getting the blessings we've been praying for, because at least this little surprise would be a girl.

So here I am.  Not yet, if ever, getting what we've been praying for, and now expecting a child that I wasn't prepared to fit into my vision of our family.  And I'm confused.  Where did all those feelings and impressions come from the last 21 months?  How am I going to cloth him, since my sister is expecting a boy as well 2 months before me?  Where is he going to sleep?  How will he have the bond with his older brothers that they share with each other, when he'll be so much younger than them?

And I'm sad.  I realized that those clothes Hollyn outgrew, well, I guess I can take those out of the house. I wasn't prepared to say goodbye to them.  To love them through only one daughter wearing them.  To have only Hollyn's hair to make pretty. If I had thought for one second that she might be my only daughter, I would have tried to appreciate these things more.  I can't stress enough how sure I felt that there would be another girl (which would be this one, since it was to be my last.)

The day after my ultrasound, I had a grieving day.  I'm pretty good at reminding myself of the good in order to shrug off the disappointing, in general.  But last Tuesday I just felt like feeling the sad feelings.  Everything remotely disappointing in my life bubbled to the surface.  I'm sad about medical/health challenges.  I'm sad about life situations.  I'm sad that Brian didn't get into the Navy after he distinctly felt like that was supposed to be what he did with his life.  I'm sad we've had to deal with the same trials our ENTIRE marriage.  Overcoming something, ANYTHING would feel so good.  Or so I imagine. And I'm sad that my impressions and expectations could be so very, very off.

So Tuesday I didn't answer the phone.  I didn't chat with friends.  I just felt.  And cried.  And prayed.  And by the end of the day, as I thought about yet another disappointing aspect of having a little boy, a thought popped into my head of a counter blessing in my life that far, FAR outweighs the disappointing thing.  And I just can't help it.  Apparently, I can't help thinking of all the good in my life, even when I try. :-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Neat Experience

I sent Brennan and Asher outside to play for a bit today.  After a time, Brennan came running inside telling me he needed a paper because he wanted to make something.  He started explaining how he was talking to a man near our play-structure who had just laid some cement.  (As my eyes got big, Brennan included, "but he wasn't trying to kidnap me, or anything." :-) So he got a paper, wrote his sign, and taped it onto a stick.  The sign read:

Wet sement!
Do not step!
Sement is driing [drying]
Do not disterb!

While making his sign he told me that the man was guarding the cement while he waited for his boss to come pick him up.  Brennan finished his sign and took it back out.  Not too long after that Brennan returned, sign in one hand, holding something in the other.  He walked in and showed me the dollar bill and pile of coins in his hand.  Apparently, he'd taken the sign and sat on the bench, watching over the cement while the man talked to his now arrived boss.  He returned to Brennan, handed him the money, and told him "thank you for guarding the concrete."  Brennan was incredibly surprised, to say the least!

Brennan counted out the money ($3.80) and added it to his piggybank.  He was going to go upstairs to tell Asher, when I warned that Asher might feel jealous (he'd been out there talking to the man too, but came home while Brennan was making the sign) and that he might want to not tell Asher about it at all.  I was so proud when Brennan instead decided to share some of the bounty with Asher.  How very sweet of him.

Too bad they spent the rest of the day fighting like cats and dogs! :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year–2013!

Last night, New Year’s Eve, was super fun.  Had Mom and Dad, Shannon and Bryan (plus “Sunshine” spending the night), and Aunt Kim over for games, treats and watching the ball drop.  Nothing big, but I enjoyed it.  Sunshine shared the boys’ room with them and did great.  She only cried when she was waiting for them to join her in the room, but as soon as they did she went right to sleep. Smile  And besides some crib-shaking at 6:45am for a couple of minutes, never heard a peep out of anyone until after 8:30!

When I woke up today the sun was shining.  That’s right.  Gloomy ol’ Oregon got a bit of sun.  It made me feel really good.  Perhaps too good… I determined to get us out for a family hike.  I didn’t intend anything too strenuous, just somewhere new.  Brian agreed so we headed off.  Only I hadn’t gotten clear instructions on the location of the place I had picked.  We headed north on Hwy 99 for a while before I decided that the crossroad we wanted was somewhere else.  So we backtracked and I led us towards my hunch.  I was right, and we found a spot that was clearly the start of many a trail, but I wasn’t totally sure it was “the one”, so Brian drove on.  We enjoyed the drive through the country, fantasizing about living in one of these large beautiful homes with all that property.  It was magical, until Asher started getting carsick anyway.  We seriously had only been on winding roads for about 10 minutes. Sheesh!  I got him a Dramamine minutes before arriving back at the trail heads.

So we finally arrived somewhere hikable, and I had brought some warmth for us – gloves, jackets, a hat for Hollyn… but I overestimated how warm we would get from the exercise, and underestimated just how darned cold it would be in the forest.  It was… cold.  Very cold. My nose burned for a while until it adjusted, Hollyn’s was red.  Yet the boys didn’t say a word of complaint as we trudged up a path.  It was beautiful.  We took a small path leading away from the road and really got into the trees.  We considered turning around several times, but the top always looked to be just 30 feet farther.  Until it would flatten for a bit and continue climbing. Smile  And again, the boys never complained and even ran ahead most of the time.  We made it to the top, but there were so many trees, there wasn’t a view we could appreciate.  When we stopped too, our body temperatures suddenly plummeted again.  So we quickly headed back, this time taking the main way.  But it wasn’t quite as pleasant.

Suddenly, the exertion caught up with the boys and they were tired.  Very tired.  And I had previously been wearing Hollyn’s gloves because her hands were tucked into the backpack at her side (kid-sized, so they fit me great actually).  But for the decent her hands were out so I gave her the gloves and my hands were freezing!  She cried a bit.  Asher cried a lot.  I gave him a piggy-back ride, but he wanted down.  He kept complaining that he needed to throw up.  Eventually Brian scooped him up in his arms and carried him much of the way back down. I think the effects of the Dramamine – which generally knocks a person out – were a big contributor to his mood.  Brennan was tired too, but on his own.  He suddenly regretted being so old/big.

So, lesson(s) learned.  A) Bundle up.  Be prepared for WAY colder temperatures that aren’t offset by any amount of exercise.  B) Quit long before any signs of tiredness.  Obviously we were aiming for that anyway, and they didn’t exhibit signs of weariness when we did turn around.  But still, keep an eye on the clock and gauge it that way or something.  Interestingly, despite the fact that we all walked the same amount, Brian and I will be the only ones sore tomorrow. Kids are amazing.

At the top.  Nothin’ to see. Too cold.

A moment that hasn’t happened in years – Carrying a sleeping Asher!
But still smiling, somehow. Smile