Monday, June 21, 2010

Breathing Room

For the first time in several weeks, I feel like I have a little bit of breathing room. Life with three little ones is beautifully full. Everyday life isn't busy - we're home all day, almost every day - but the necessary routines of life fill our days to the brim. When we add anything to the usual pace of life, I find that we're overflowing.

In order to keep my teaching certificate active (something I've been counseled to do by a few older homeschooling moms), I am taking an online, graduate level literacy class. I've shopped for time and found expensive slots in the early morning hours, and I'm falling asleep with a highlighter in hand. It has been precious to see God's hand of faithfulness in this difficult time, as I'm completing the readings and assignments on time without sacrificing my primary duties. He's also provided perfect help at the perfect times. Daily, I'm having to trust the Lord to show me how to order my day; he is truly "establishing my steps". I'm particularly thankful that my professor is in France this next week and we have a bit of a "catch up" week. I'm hoping to get a little ahead in anticipation of a July 4th weekend.

Needless to say, the energy to blog is almost nonexistent. Life is stripped to the necessities right now, and I'm scratching out bits of our days and establishing notes of gratitude in a book I keep open on my kitchen counter. I'm planning to return to the blog in August, when the class is completed and we can settle back in to our normal, full routines.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nora is 20 Months Old

Oh, our passionate, wild Nora... how is it that you are already 20 months old? Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were Ruthie’s size? A few days ago, I was looking at some pictures from Christmas and I couldn’t believe the change; and yet, all of the changes happened imperceptibly. Nora morphed from baby to toddler in a twinkling, although, I suppose that is just the way it happens.

At twenty months old, Nora is...
  • speaking in full, three and four word sentences. She communicates really well, and I’m astounded at how much we actually understand.
  • finally getting those teeth! Three molars are about halfway in, and I imagine they’ll completely move in by the time she’s three.
  • in love with both of her sisters. On the off chance that Phoebe wakes up before she does and we scoot her out of the room so Nora can get a little more sleep, the first word out of Nora’s mouth is, “Phoebe?” And Nora loves to take care of her little sister, designating herself as official paci-put-er-in-er.
  • so passionate, riding an emotional roller coaster throughout the day. I’m trying to be more cognisant of times that she might need a break, and she’s trying to learn how to manage some of the outbursts. Bunny and nay-nay are often sweet, sweet comforts.
  • pretty much fearless, and can do just about anything Phoebe does. She loves to climb, twirl, dance, and swim...just to name a few.
  • singing her ABCs with pretty decent accuracy, counting to five (with help), and answering the first three questions in the children’s catechism.
  • in love with all things water - the swimming pool, watering cans, washing dishes, and generally, the bath.
  • happier with books than just about any other toy.
  • starting to play dress-up with her sister, though she seems to prefer fancy hats to fancy dresses.
  • a budding chef, as she plays at the little pink kitchen several times throughout the day.
  • a sweet helper. She loves to help load and unload the dishwasher, sweep the floor, wipe spots off the floor, load the dryer, and put away laundry. Strangely, picking up toys is low on her priority list, although she’s beginning to enjoy putting things in their baskets, especially at the end of blanket time.
  • particularly receptive to one-on-one time, and seems energized after some time on the counter talking to Mommy.
Nora is a precious, exuberant delight. Her dimply smile seems to beget smiles from anyone in its beam, and her requests for “hold you me” are irresistible. Oh, how thankful I am for this little person -- and what a delight it is to watch her grow!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ruthie is 3 Months Old

Seriously? Three months? I can hardly stand it. My tiny baby is officially no longer a newborn; even the clothes and diapers declare it, as she is officially way too big for either. After three months, it seems like she's been here forever. We are still just falling in love with this precious little bug, and I'm so thankful that God saw fit to give us this sweet girl.

At three months old, Ruthie is...
  • consistently sleeping all night, generally from about 7:30pm to 6:30am. She occasionally wakes in the early morning hours, but will take a paci and go right back to sleep. She also still likes to sleep swaddled, though I'm thinking it might soon be time to start the weaning process here.
  • eating every three hours, 4 ounces at every meal. She'd probably go longer, but I'm not willing to let go of our schedule yet. Ruthie also still eats one last bottle at 10:00 every night, but she usually only takes about 2 ounces at this feeding.
  • spitting up... a lot. Some days, we go through three or four outfits. (And by we, I mean we; I'm having to change, too!) We're learning how to manage this a little better, but she's happy when she spits, and doesn't seem to be uncomfortable. This may be reflux, but since it's not causing any apparent discomfort, I don't plan to seek out any medical help with this.
  • napping pretty predictably, falling asleep with only a few minutes of fussing about an hour and fifteen minutes after she eats. The 45-minute-intruder still likes to visit at many of her naps, but many times she will go back to sleep for another sleep cycle. I have to wake her to eat for at least a few of her meals each day. Ruthie also likes to sleep with a loud fan in her room, which hopefully drowns out some of the ruckus in the rest of the house.
  • so easy-going and happy! She seldom "squeaks", and she's content just about anywhere, anytime.
  • in love with her sisters, especially Nora. (The feeling is mutual on all counts.) Nora was the first to make her giggle, and Phoebe loves to hold Ruthie and snuggle on the bed. Nora is the nay-nay specialist, and Phoebe loves to play peek-a-boo and tickle her toes.
  • showing her excitement by kicking and flapping her arms. I love this "flying" on the bed when we change her!
  • desperately trying to suck her thumb, it appears, to no avail.
  • talking and squealing with fervor, and "blooming" into a smile whenever she sees a sweet, happy face.
  • wearing 3 month clothes and a size 1 diaper.
I am so loving Ruthie, and just enjoying every little moment with her. I'm in denial about her no longer being a newborn, so I m going to hang onto her while she's tiny as long as I can!