Sunday, March 29, 2009

Moving On Up

When we moved Phoebe's new bed into her room, we went ahead and moved Nora into Phoebe's old crib. Phoebe loves to have Nora in the room with her, so we figured there was no point in waiting to make the move.

Unfortunately, Nora still has to do a little fussing at night in order to settle on in. We told Phoebe that Nora might be sad for a little while, but that she (Phoebe) needed to still stay put. True to form, Nora had some difficulty settling down tonight. After a few minutes, Michael went in to check on Nora.

He found Nora's leg stuck in the crib slats and Phoebe singing softly to herself in her bed. When Michael got Nora out of the crib to make sure she didn't have any trapped gas, he sat in the chair between the beds. When he started to pat Nora's back, Phoebe started to pat her own leg. (She thought this was hilarious, by the way.) Eventually, Nora got back in the bed and Phoebe settled back down.

It isn't really a slumber party if there aren't some giggles, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Without fanfare and without tears, Phoebe slept in a big bed. It was no big deal. We tucked her in, reminded her of the rules, and then she slept. She and Lamby both fell out a few times the first night, but even that wasn't an issue. The next day, naptime crept up. And while I feared that our wonderful naps would disappear with the appearance of a big bed, those fears were for naught. Phoebe took a big girl, long-enough nap... and called when she woke up. And just like that, Phoebe is sleeping in a big girl bed.

We were at the beach with Michael's family, so all four of us were sharing a room. (Nora, praise the Lord, was in a closet in the pack and play.) When I came to bed the first night, Phoebe was stretched out, head on the pillow, arm tucked sweetly around Lamby. Her breathing was loud, and her curls were framing her sweet little face. And while she was there, laying in a big bed, I couldn't help but think how small she looked at the same time. She is big enough to sleep there, without any crib rails holding her in, yet small enough to cry when Lamby escapes her arms. Big enough to be there, and yet she barely took up any space in that gigantic-looking bed.

Two, so far, has been just that: a small girl doing big things. Two has been utterly delightful for us. Phoebe consistently surprises me with the big things she does and says. And yet, when she snuggles into my lap after a long day of play, or when she lays down sweetly for a diaper change, I am reminded that she is still so small.

I'm so thankful that this tiny little girl doesn't grow into a big one over night. In a bizarre way, she's growing mercifully slow... and yet, mercilessly fast. I blink, and she grows. But I'm terribly thankful that she won't be three for another fifty weeks or so. Perhaps I can keep her small a little longer?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Awfully Busy

We're all fine. In fact, we're more than fine... since we're listening to ocean sounds! I didn't intend to take such an absence, but we'll be returning home late tomorrow. More to come then!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Very Pink Birthday

For whatever reason, Phoebe is totally into the pink right now. Unless she's into blue. (She has a very hard time deciding between pink and blue. Go figure.) Anyway, I knew I wasn't going to go crazy for Phoebe's birthday, but what I did know is that there would be pink.

Our gift for Phoebe was a pink (and white) kitchen that, already, I'm thrilled we got. We wanted to wait to give her a play kitchen until she'd really love it... and, well, she loves it. (She's particularly into the hot dogs from the play food? Why?) We had hot dog tea with our breakfast today. Nice.

Our menu for the day was a little more refined than hot dog tea, of course. I planned an (easy) feast of a nugget tray, fruit, and strawberry salad. Michael's mom indulged my own personal craving for her potato salad, and brought that, too. Hello, easy!

And of course, the cake was pink. Phoebe is still talking about making the pink cake -- I think that was more fun for her than eating it! Every time I bring out vanilla for something, she remembers that we used it in the icing. And today, we did a fun little activity with pink water that required food coloring... and she totally remembered that from the cake baking, too. I have a feeling we'll be hearing about the pink cake for a long time.

Speaking of cake, Phoebe was very dainty with it. Last year, she went all in. This year, I couldn't wipe her fingers fast enough! She was determined to eat it with a spoon, which for some reason was difficult for her. Either way, she enjoyed her sugar rush!

The grandparents doted on our girl with all kinds of sweet gifts, too. I think some of the highlights were her tea set (unbreakable, hallelujah... and why we had hot dog tea today), some new pink cowboy boots, and her Memory game -- but really, she loved everything. We are so blessed to have family that loves our girls so big!

Nora partied hard, too...and in fact, partied herself right into a virus. Her temperature spiked during the party, and finally came down Monday night. Our littlest is still having some residual stomach pain at night, which is no fun. But she loved the excitement of her big sister's birthday.

We really had a wonderful, wonderful time... and I still can't believe Phoebe is TWO! Already, it's terrific... what a great way to kick off her third year!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Two Year Old

Instead of our usual "month day" post... I wrote Phoebe a letter on her second birthday. Since this is the closest thing to a scrapbook I've got, I'm posting it here. It's long, and it's really for her... so you won't hurt my feelings if you don't read it! I'll update with birthday pictures soon!

My Dear Phoebegirl,

You burst into our lives early in July of 2006 when I discovered a second pink line on a pregnancy test. I was so unbelievably excited to know that you were coming, and yet I was terrified that I would have no idea how to be your Mommy. We spent nine months anticipating you...and all of that anticipation was worth it. We certainly weren't disappointed!

When you joined our family, we had a sense that God would do great things through you. Named for the Phoebe who delivered Paul's letter to the Romans (Romans 16:1), our hope for you is that you will one day be a servant of the Church. But already, God has used you to transform us as your parents, and to pour out great blessings on others.

I think the greatest thing the Lord has taught me through you is that I am not in control. While we seek to "train you up in the way you should go", you, Phoebe, have an independent spirit. You shattered my expectations of what my first little girl would be -- and I'm so thankful! You have been "far more than I can even ask or imagine". What a delight you are to all whom you encounter.

At two years old, you have blossomed into such a precious little girl. While it's impossible to describe you accurately, I'm going to try -- since this is about the best I can manage for a "baby book"!

Your daddy and I have prayed that the Lord would tender your heart, and that He would draw you to Himself at an early age. We see the working out of those prayers almost daily in you; God is gracious! You are learning to pray, even though it's hard to sit so still and quiet sometimes. You love to read your story Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible), and you do so alone in the mornings and with us at night. You're especially fascinated by different characters in the Bible, which is no surprise -- you love people! Some of your favorites to find right now are Leah, David (and Goliath), Peter, and Saul (Paul). Your favorite story -- and you ask to look at it almost every day, sometimes many times a day -- is the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Phoebe, we pray that you have a heart that wants to wash the feet of others!

You have also been working so hard at sitting still so that you can join Mommy and Daddy in church. Last week we decided you were ready -- and you were! It is a blessing to worship with you, my little girl. We continue to pray that the Lord will draw you to Him so young, that you may never know a time that you didn't know Jesus. We would have "no greater joy than to know that you are walking in the truth".

At two, you are learning so much! You love to count -- sometimes even all the way to four! And Phoebe, you love learning about letters. Your favorite letter is P (for Phoebe, of course!), but you can name and identify so many more. Just today, you surprised me by knowing the letter M. You're especially good at finding letters, like it's a game of hide and seek. Before you went down for your nap, you wanted to practice writing the letter P. You are so enthusiastic! You also love talking about colors and shapes that you know, and you always are asking "What is it?" -- even if I have to remind you to use your words! Phoebe, you are always learning, always observing -- what fun it is to see you learn!

Phoebe, it seems like there's no limit to what you can do or learn -- even at two years old. You might be small, but you are always doing big things! You love to help out -- in any way that you can. Although we do a lot of playing and learning together, you seem happiest when you are working alongside me. We do so many things together in which you really are a helper. You love to unload the dishwasher, and now you even like to load it, too. Sweeping is always fun (but you're not so sure about the vacuum cleaner anymore). You can feed Jake all by yourself, with just a few reminders about how many scoops our big dog really needs. You're wonderful about picking up your toys and putting things away, but you almost always need to be asked. That's okay; Mommy needs reminders to pick up, too! But you don't need any reminders to wipe up messes at the table; I think your favorite "utensil" is a napkin. You've gotten very particular about little spills and messes when you're eating. And you love laundry day! It's so much fun for you to carry clothes into the kitchen and stretch up on your tippy-toes to drop the clothes into the washing machine. You always go back to get the clothes you dropped, too! The only part of laundry you don't seem to like is the folding part! Is that genetic?

Phoebe, one of my favorite ways to spend time with you is in the kitchen. You've started to be a great helper in the kitchen: eager and obedient! You are almost always involved in making dinner for the family, eagerly trying to drag your chair over to the counter where you can watch and do. (I hear, "Phoebe do!" a lot at dinner time!) Some of your favorite things to do are putting things into bowls, stirring, cracking eggs, and most of all, tasting! You helped bake your pink cake and make the icing, and your favorite part was definitely the tasting part. Every good chef tastes along the way!

Although we spend an awful lot of time working together, that isn't to say that you don't love to play, too! Like most things you do, you play big. Your favorite thing to do is to play outside -- whether it's twirling, digging, hunting rocks, or racing Daddy. You also love to read, both on your own and with us. And what a good pretender you have become! You love to care for your baby doll and push her around in her stroller, or carry her in her car seat. And you also love the new kitchen that you got for your birthday; just yesterday, you cooked up some hot dog soup! Phoebe, you also love to create things. (Maybe you'll be artistic like your daddy?) Already your artwork decorates our refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. You especially love to paint and glue things, and you just discovered the beauty of mod podge. No matter what you're doing, you make it fun!

Speaking of fun, you are so much fun to talk with! Just a few minutes ago, we were concerned that you might need help learning to talk. Silly us! You are the perfect talker, blooming at just the right time! And Phoebe, I love talking to you. You always seem to have something important to say, even if you don't always have the right words to say it. It seems like every day, I am surprised by something that comes out of your brain through your mouth. It's exciting to see you find names for things and to describe what's going on around you. You're even stringing some words together into short, toddler sentences! After your naps, I always hear "Dada home soon?" half a million times, until he comes through the door. But my favorite thing to hear you say? "I love you." (By the way, I love you too!)

God is really working on me through you in the area of relationships. Phoebe, your introverted Mommy is pushed into all kinds of social situations because of your sweet extroverted personality! You love to interact with people, and make friends easily. On your birthday we went to Panera for breakfast, and you might as well have been the official greeter for the restaurant! At the grocery store, you love to wave and make friends with shoppers and employees alike. Through you, we've really gotten to know several employees -- especially Papa and Miss Kim -- and I truly believe that God is working in lives through your delightful smile (and fashionable boots). You draw me into community all the time, and that's sometimes hard for me -- but I know it's what God wants.

There are so many people that you love so much. Your Daddy, of course, is your hero. From the minute you wake up from your nap, you start asking for him by saying, "Dada home soon?" You miss him so much when he's at work! And just recently, you've fallen in love with your little sister. It's taken time, but I think you love that she "tickles" you during diaper changes...and that she loves any attention you give her! You've started lavishing big hugs on her, and you're good at bringing her appropriate toys (even if you sometimes want them for yourself). You also love your Mops, Pops, Nan, and Boompah so much. You talk about all of them often, and are always delighted to spend time with any or all of your grandparents. Don't worry, they're just as delighted to see you, too!

Your affections are not limited to family, though! Your favorite friend is Callahan, and any time we talk about going to the park or going to play, you want to know if she's going to be there. You also love your Sunday School teachers, Miss Ann and Miss Sue. We will be sad when we graduate you up to the two-year-old class and you have to leave them...but don't worry, we're going to wait until Callahan turns two, too! Miss Katherine is also a favorite on Sunday mornings; she's watched you grow from tiny baby to confident toddler, and you've started to love her back! We are so blessed to have a community of people that love you -- and that you love back!

But Phoebe, just as we say every night... of all the people that love you, Jesus loves you most of all. He loves you all the time. He loves you when you pray, and He loves you when you thrash about in a fit of frustration. He loves you when you pull your Bible down to read it, and He loves you when you rip pages (on purpose) in your books. He loves you when you're happy, when you're sad, when you're lonely, and when you're afraid. And as great a delight as you are to us, you are an infinitely greater delight to the Lord.

Happy Birthday, my sweet two year old. This is going to be a terrific year with you!

I love you!

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Happy Birthday, Phoebe girl! We love you!

Friday, March 13, 2009

We Interrupt This Program...


I am unashamed about my love of Chick-fil-A. I've not had it in over a week now, knowing that we're having 120 nuggets on a platter tomorrow for the birthday girl... and I'm getting the shakes just thinking about it.

A friend had this on her facebook today... and I had to share. So if you love Chick-fil-A... or even if you don't... enjoy.

Edited to Add: Yes, I am aware that the video jacks up the rest of my blog. I don't care. I will fix it another time, when little people are not waking up needing food and snacks and markers!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carbs with a Side of Dirt, Please

Phoebe spent the day with Nan and Boompah yesterday while I got a few things checked off the to do list. I missed her terribly, and was anxious to pick her up and bring her home after her nap.
Now that she's talking, I can actually ask her about her day...and she can tell me! She loves to play with the garage sale kitchen Nan has upstairs, so I asked her if she cooked anything. This was our conversation:

Me: Phoebe, did you cook anything today?

Phoebe: Yes. Cook!

Me: What did you cook today?

Phoebe: Rice

Me: Did you cook anything else?

Phoebe: Dirt.

Me: Oooh, did you eat anything with your dirt to make it taste better?

Phoebe: Noo-nles (Noodles)! All gone!

Clearly we need to expand this child's cooking repertoire. And also, I might need to supervise her in the kitchen for just a litle longer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Balancing Act

I still can't believe that less than two weeks ago, we had two inches of snow. For the past few days, we've spent every possible minute romping outside. Phoebe loves to buzz and twirl about while she's outside, doing nothing in particular. She's just happy to be outside. Nora also seems to love being outside, whether on a blanket, in the bumbo, or wrapped up next to me.

We're finding all kinds of simple pleasures outside. The other day, Michael grabbed a piece of wood leftover from the bathroom project and made a balance beam for Phoebe. She loved it! She walked across with ease, and without fear. When Michael tickled her or tried to throw her off balance, she simply giggled and kept walking.

I think we have a budding gymnast on our hands!

In other news, our camera has called it quits. After 400,000 pictures, it's got some little piece malfunctioning that's going to cost us an arm and a leg to repair. We're trying to decide if we repair it or invest a bit more to upgrade the camera body. So sadly, there will be no new pictures of the girls for a little while. Fortunately, Michael's brother will let us use his for Phoebe's birthday coming up this weekend! Hooray!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nora's Five Month Day

Somehow, Nora is already five months old. But don't get me started on time flying by, because someone has a birthday this weekend, and I can hardly even think about how big that someone already is. But this is not that someone's post.

This little someone is a sweet little five month old today! Really!

Yesterday, Nora was the lone ranger in the bed babies class while Michael and I taught Sunday School. The ladies remarked on how happy this little girl is. And really, she is that happy! Nora usually wakes up talking and smiling, and she generally doesn't get sad unless she's tired or hungry. She would be spoiled rotten if she was an only child. I have so much fun with Nora, and I'm so thankful that she is generally thrilled to just tag along with our typical antics. (Don't worry, she gets plenty of one-on-one time, too!)

The second half of this past month has been better than the first. Lately, Nora has been following a fairly predictable schedule (and oh, how I hesitate to even mention it, because as soon as I do it will change) for eating and sleeping. Nighttime sleep has also been better. I seriously think it has to do with the cereal she's finally decided to eat -- think what you will. However, Nora has gotten so long (tall) that she's bursting out of her swaddle blankets. Therefore, we're probably going to be kicking it to the curb in the next couple of weeks...which means we will probably no longer be predictable for a little while!

So that I can remember, here's Nora's "typical" day:
7:00 Wake up, eat 4-5 oz + 1 Tablespoon of cereal
9:00 Nap, lasts anywhere from 1 - 2 hours. (She naps longer if we're at home.)
11:00 Eats 4-5 oz + 1 T cereal
12:45 Nap (this is usually her best nap, lasting up to 2 1/2 hours, especially if she had a shorter morning nap)
3:00 Eats 4-5 oz + 1 T cereal
4:45 Nap (about 45 minutes)
6:30 Eats 4 oz
7:30 In bed, usually fusses about 5-10 minutes (but can fuss much longer) before falling asleep (Nora has been doing this weird wakeup thing about an hour after she goes down, and it's hit or miss whether or not she'll go immediately back to sleep. She does stay in the crib, but this is by far the most frustrating part of her day for us.)
10:00 Eats 4 oz

This month, Nora has really begun to blossom. Here are some of the things that Nora has been doing lately:
  • Can roll over from front to back and from back to front, but does not roll over often. She worked really hard at learning to do it, but once she did it... I think I've seen her roll twice since then. Go figure!
  • She's starting to eat cereal, and it's starting to end up more in her than on her. Really! Nora prefers a more thickly textured food, much like her sister did.
  • Nora is losing her hair. All of it. Born with lots of dark hair, her new hair (which is now visible) is blond. This means that we're finding her hair everywhere she goes. Her sweet little bed is covered with spots where her hair has rubbed out. As of right now, she has one little spot on the right side of her head and one tuft on top that have yet to fall out.
  • She's starting to be much more focused on things: feet, toys, her paci, etc. I can tell that she's really starting to take notice of the world around her, and she loves it! I've mentioned before that she loves her feet. She also loves to take out her paci and examine it, and she's gotten really good at holding and manipulating toys. Nora does get frustrated a little when she loses a toy that she's not yet ready to be done with. Another thing she loves to focus on is her sister -- especially her sister's clothes!
  • Nora loves to be tickled, especially by her own hands. She thinks this is hilarious.

Nora brings us so much delight; she makes me want to have about ten more babies just like her! Happy Five Month Day, Nora!

Friday, March 6, 2009

In Need of Spring

I know anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line will groan upon reading this, but it has been a long winter for us. I don't know that it's had much to do with the weather, but I have been so in need of something fresh. A clean breeze, shorter sleeves, and a long walk seems like just what I need to break out of my funk. Right?

Well, it doesn't hurt. Snack outside seemed like the perfect thing to do, and it seemed to lift all of our spirits -- including little Nora. Phoebe twirled freely, Nora kicked excitedly, and I happily watched from a spot on a blanket for nearly an hour. I love a lazy spring afternoon -- although I hesitate to call it spring, since we just had snow less than a week ago. There's really something wonderful about being outside, and it really is a natural mood lifter.

Except, it dawned on me that I shouldn't need spring to bust me out of a funk. Spring is all about fresh starts and new life, right? Well, I need to remember that I can receive new mercies every single morning. It doesn't matter if there was snow on the ground of my heart last week, or even last night! The Lord can do a work of springtime in my heart today.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

But truly, I am thankful for these bright, spring-like days that we're having. He is always faithful to bring the spring after a long winter, even if it is a winter of the heart.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Messy Much?

Since this is the closest thing I've got to a baby book, I probably should record here that Nora has finally decided that cereal works for her. And it works for me, because she's generally going longer stretches between meals now that she's got some groceries in her.

But see, Nora has this thing about her feet. She discovered them about a week ago, and she cannot leave them alone. Almost every time she gets a bottle, she holds onto her left foot with her left hand. And when I stick her in the bumbo seat to eat, I can't get her to keep her head up... because all she wants to do is gaze at those precious little feet!

So this, friends, is the result.

But honestly, who wouldn't love those sweet little piggies?

And when she isn't looking at her feet, she's usually munching on these:

I think I'll let her munch those sweet fingers... as long as she'll let me munch on her chubby little cheeks!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fun With Rice

Months and months ago, I made Phoebe an indoor "sandbox" with rice that I bought in bulk at Costco. I tossed a few measuring cups, funnels, and random toys in a tub with the rice... and then sort of forgot about it.

Phoebe wasn't really big enough to "get it" the first time I brought it out, so it's just sat neglected in the garage for the past few months. On Friday, we decided to break it out and have a little fun. We had a blast. We also made a mess, but Jake was happy to eat the (uncooked) rice off the floor for us, and the vacuum cleaner ate the rest.

For over half an hour, we played hide and seek with a cow. We poured, we sifted, we buried. And while we weren't doing anything special, it was a sweet time for us. It never ceases to amaze me how it's the simple things that I love best, that really make being a mommy wonderful.

And really, is it any doubt that we had a blast here?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Doing the Next Thing

It's days like today that I'm thankful for the automaticity of housework. Not much thought involved, just a busying of the hands and body. On days like today, I truly do need to think less and do more. Good thing I'm knee deep in laundry today!

Anyway, I've just finished an Elisabeth Elliot book, The Shaping of a Christian Family. In it, she includes one of her mother's favorite poems. It was encouraging to me today, and since I know that it's easy for all of us to get lost in our own struggles and situations, I thought I'd share it here today.

From an old English parsonage, down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration
Do the next thing!

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrow, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,
Do the next thing!

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His Hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,
Do the next thing!

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering -- be thy demeanor,
In His dear Presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then as He beckons thee
Do the next thing!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Wonderful

When I was in high school, school was canceled because of the threat of snow. We woke up the next morning? No snow -- not even a dusting. So I have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to winter weather advisories around here... especially when those winter weather advisories come on the first day of March.

Well, our ever-faithful James Spann (and a shout out to Dan Satterfield here, too) was right this time. In fact, I think he underestimated the snow accumulation -- since we had somewhere around two inches of snow by eleven. We practically had a blizzard yesterday!

Michael and I couldn't wait to wake Phoebe up. We'd just gotten an email from Jason saying we'd still have worship services (which meant we still were on tap to teach the K5 girls), so we needed to squeeze in some snow time before church. Phoebs was even more delighted than we thought she'd be. After a quick explanation of "snow" to her, we zipped on another layer of jammies, grabbed some boots, and shoved her out the door.

Her squeals of delight were priceless. The snow indeed proclaimed His handiwork -- and we couldn't help but praise Him for it. And honestly, if our God can give us snow in Alabama in March... He can do anything.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Psalm 19:1