Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy 3 Month Birthiversary!

We certainly hit the jackpot! Magnolia Grace continues to be a joy. Nearly everyone that meets her comments on how social she is. I'm not sure how such an extroverted child came from two pretty introverted parents. But I enjoy all the smiles, giggles, and cuddles just the same.

While her growing has slowed down -- 14 lbs 13 oz and 24.75 inches long -- her development is taking off and she is on the verge of many new things. She loves to see the world and so now prefers facing out when held. Though still not a favorite, tummy time is no longer a horrible thing. Her hands are in her mouth almost constantly, and the drool machine was turned on. She still has not rolled over, but continues to do crunches to get to her side. She can rotate her body 180 degrees around her playmat with a system of alternating crunches and straighting out. Magnolia has begun to grasp things -- she held a rattle on her own for the first time a few days ago. She also has showed signs of being ticklish, much to her father's delight, and has the cutest giggle. Maggie also has begun to find the silly games we play with her hilarious.

As far as parenting milestones go, Brian and I have had a month of adjusting to me being a "working mom" and he being a part-time "house-husband"/part-time school bus driver/part-time graduate student. We have two more weeks of the craziness then I will be off for the summer and in the fall we can began this learning anew. We did switch to cloth diapers (bumGenius) this month for economical and environmental reasons. It has been great -- no more blow-outs!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This weekend, with our car packed to the brim, we headed up to our friend Eric's family property near Mt. Baker. It was great to be outdoors, eat tinfoil dinners and s'mores, and enjoy down time with friends. Like her parents, Magnolia enjoyed the outdoors, especially sleeping all bundled up in the cool fresh air. She slept her longest yet -- over 6 hours! Trudy and Otis fully enjoyed camping too! Otis was usually off exploring in the woods while Trudy constantly wanted to fetch. When one of us would tire of throwing her ball she would carry around her Chuck-it hoping to entice someone else to throw for her.

The weather was beautiful until the second afternoon. We started hearing thunder and seeing lightning and decided to pack up before the rain hit. Camping in the rain with little ones didn't sound fun. A few minutes into packing up the rain began dumping. We all scurried around, packing as fast as possible, soaked to the bone. Memories of the infamous summer of '99 at Camp Firwood, when I met Brian, came flooding back.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arizona Trip

Hi! Magnolia here. I'm writing because my mom has been real busy since we got back. But I thought you might be interested in knowing how the rest of our trip went.

We had a great time! It was really hot and bright, so I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. I got to go in the water a lot. The water outside felt good because it cooled me off but I like splashing the warm bath inside even better. Everyone was constanty putting these weird things in their mouths; they called it food. I prefer my fingers.

I got to meet new relatives, my great uncle Mike, my Uncle Jeremy, my Grandma Pat (She doesn't want to be called Great Grandma. I don't know why -- I thought she was pretty great.), and we even got to see Great Grandpa in the hospital. He thinks I'm beautiful. I think I cheered him up.

Mama got a Flickr account upgrade for her birthday so she can post more pictures. They took 300 pictures on our trip -- most of them were of me! So if you want to see more about our trip click here.

Oh, and by the way, I was so worn out from the trip that I slept throught the entire plane ride home!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Nana's time with her special little someone

I know you've all been dying to hear about my beard.  "Enough with all this baby talk," you say, "give me more beard!  Maggie's cute and all but, please, the real reason anyone comes to your blog is obviously the beard."

So, with a little further ado, I present for your hairy enjoyment, some pictures of Nana and her favorite grand-beard.  You might remember her hilarious comments a while back?  Here's a sampling of those heartfelt sentiments:

I'm so proud of the furry mass that you've created Brian. The next time I'm up I would like to take many photos so that I can start a small photo album to show all my friends. I bragged about you yesterday in the grocery store. The checker didn't believe me when I told him what you have been able to produce in such a short amount of time. He and several other shoppers who overheard my bragging would like to see pictures of the thick, full, reddish brown masterpeice that has come out of your face.

I was so touched I told her she could take little beardy to the zoo. Unfortunately the battery died while they were looking at the baboons, so all we have are these darling photos from before they left:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my 30th birthday! Today is my mom's 50th birthday and Sunday is my grandma's (mom's mom) 70th birthday. (I was a little late for that tradition with Maggie--10 years!)

My dad had planned a huge surprise party for my mom, but her father, who has been wintering in Phoenix, had to have surgery last month and has had a complicated and difficult recovery. My mom has been in Arizona caring for him in the ICU and supporting my grandma. So my dad canceled the party and decided instead to fly my family and my siblings down to celebrate the three birthdays together.

The start of my birthday was less than ideal, with us frantically packing and trying to catch a plane in Seattle. Even with an easy baby like Magnolia, I imagined traveling with an infant wouldn't be easy. I dreaded being those-people-that-brought-the-crying-baby-on-a-plane and having no where to go to quiet her down.

As many of you know, Brian and I have never been the most punctual; now with a baby its even harder. We've missed flights before--yes, plural--so in an effort to not repeat, Brian dropped me off to check our bags and get our boarding passes. I took Maggie 'cause she needed to feed, which she did as I waited in the check in line. The nice man behind me kindly helped me right my faulty rolling suitcase and pick up the things that kept falling out of my diaper bag as I alternated between replacing fussy Magnolia's soother and searching for our ID. Moments like those give me a new appreciation for my husband and empathy for single mothers.
When we arrived at the gate, boarding was well under way. Magnolia made it possible for us to cut to the front of the line. We settled in, with our uneaten breakfast, and both audibly sighed. I got set up for nursing Maggie during take off -- I heard that it helps their ears during the altitude change -- and searched for her soother just in case the nursing didn't work. Gone! There was the clip, but no soother. It must have come detached when the diaper bag went through the security conveyor belt. Three hour flight + no soother = uh-oh. Or so I thought. But Maggie had different plans:

Mama liked my Mother's day gift so much I think I will give her the same thing for her birthday. I'll be the happiest baby ever.
And she was! She spent most of the flight mesmerized by the back of the seat in front of us, getting to know our flight neighbor, and talking back to the pilot's voice on the loud speakers. She even took a nap so Brian and I could too! I wish I had a picture of the three of us -- Maggie curled up on the Boppy pillow, Brian's head on my shoulder, and my head on his!

Here's us snacking while we waited for our ride in Phoenix:

When we got to the hotel Magnolia enjoyed meeting more relatives -- her uncle Jeremy (below), her (great-)grandma Pat, and her great uncle Mike.

After a quick nap we had a yummy Mexican birthday dinner. Magnolia's ability to keep up her birthday present waned, but we had lots of help.
Unfortunately, her energy wore out at 11:30 and Brian spent the next hour and a half trying to get her to sleep without our bag of tricks -- one of Brian's birthday gifts to me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My First Mother's Day

I woke up Mother's Day morning to a beautiful bouquet and card with MAMA! written on the front. The card was touching and made me laugh out loud. Here is an excerpt, 
"Maggie told me she wanted to make you a craft but I had to gently remind her of her less than impressive motor skills and she wouldn't let me help. Finally she agreed to dedicate every smile today to you."
Throughout the day, whenever Magnolia smiled Brian reminded me that it was for me.

After church we headed up to White Rock, BC to Brian's sister, Lori's house. It was Magnolia's first time in Canada and her first time meeting her Great-Grandma Batiuk.  We ate take-out Chinese food and then headed to the beach for a stroll. That was my favorite part of the day -- I love being near the ocean. The rest of the day was pretty normal, but I did cherish every one of Maggie's smiles and there seemed to be more than usual that day.

I'm one happy Mama.

Our Little Weed

Saturday, May 10, 2008

While Brian was in Portland...

Magnolia, Trudy, Otis, and I headed to Everett to stay with my parents. While we were there...I taught Magnolia how to play Mexican Train.

My mom was rejuvinated by Magnolia after spending the last three weeks caring for my ill grandfather. (That's the same chair she rock me in)

Nobody made it through the movie (Alvin and the Chipmunks) we tried to watch.

The dogs wrestled with their cousin Murphy.

In an effort to save some money, I asked my sister Alli to give me a haircut. It was her first girl haircut besides her own. I think she did a pretty good job.

After a long morning of yard-saling, Taylor and Maggie sacked out on the couch.

My dad enjoyed talking "philosophies" with Magnolia.

But adhering to his own fatherhood philosophy of only dealing with education and entertainment, quickly passed her back when she started to get fussy.

He also decided this weekend that he can never eat guacamole again after an unfortunate incident at Azteca. Let me just say that I spent the majority of our time at the restuarant in the women's restroom cleaning up Magnolia, myself and the carseat. Warning to all other new parents: If your child has been in their carseat for a long time and you suspect they might need a diaper change, do not pass them across the table to an eager grandparent without first checking said diaper.

Learning to Juggle

When you first have a baby you have to get used to being a mom; caring for their every need and trying to care for your own basic needs. Then eventually you have to integrate being a wife back into the picture followed by being a responsible adult that does things like pay the bills and clean the house. It seems like there is an adjustment period as each new role is added when you feel like you are not succeeding at any of your roles. I'm just learning to juggle and someone keeps throwing new balls into the mix!

About the time of my last blog post I headed back to work bringing about the next adjustment period. One of the balls that got dropped was blogging. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me blogging is therapeutic and falls into the category of self-care. Hopefully, the fact that I found a few moments this morning to blog is a sign that I am starting to adjust and not that I am dropping a ball somewhere els--

Gotta go! One of my balls is whining to go out to the bathroom.