Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beach Trip

Life is pretty busy around here. I love the holiday season, but it always seems to just slip on by in the doing of things. It can be a difficult time of year to sit back, reflect, and enjoy the little things. What I love best about this time of year is the focus on family. Which reminds me...I wanted to do a quick blog about our trip to the beach. It was so much fun for all of us. In fact, we extended the trip by a day and for several days after getting back home, Wedly would ask "beach tomorrow?" It was a spur of the moment decision. I can't believe that we made it out of the house with pretty much everything we needed. We found the house at the website for VRBO and I immediately began to cook up some meals, so we could cut costs by not eating out at all. The beach house is perched on a hill with the MOST beautiful view. And the best part? Cell service is scarce and you have to pay extra for internet service and since I have a very frugal husband, we declined. So there we were for 3 nights, 3 days...our little family with no distractions. No e-mails to type, no to-do list calling our names. Did I say it was wonderful? I have this feeling that we will make spur-of-the-moment trips to this particular house as often as we can.

Tillamook Air Museum

the view from the house

Wedly and I playing in the ocean. Fun but oh-so-cold.

Roger and Kathy joined us for a night, which was super fun.

One of my nicknames in high school was Rudolph. Apparently my son takes after me. Poor kid!


...and lots of relaxing

Pinochle - Kathy and I creamed the guys!

Heading out for a hike - It was beautiful!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting our Christmas tree and celebrating Advent

We had a fun time getting our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago. While we were picking one out we passed a little 3 1/2 foot tree a few times and each time we passed Wedly said "that one, mommy!". It was a pretty ugly Charlie Brown tree. After picking out our real one (which was 17 feet tall! Sheesh. But it only cost us $15), I was telling the owner of the tree farm about this little tree and he told us to go cut it down and take it for free. And so we did. It turned out great because in celebrating each day of advent, Wedly and I are making an ornament each day. We got the idea from my sister (of course...she has all the great ideas!). We ordered an e-book called "Truth in Tinsel" which you can find it here, in case you are interested in it for next year. There is a word clue each day that coincides with a scripture that you read for the day. I'm not sure how much of the scripture Wedly is soaking in each day, but he does listen for the code word (ex. Bethlehem) and then when the word comes out Wedly yells "Bethlehem!". And he's really enjoying making the ornaments, though most of the time he wants me to actually do the ornament while he watches. It's been fun for both of us and most days he asks about when we are going to make the ornament. Then he excitedly shows it to Dan when he gets home from work. Here are a few pictures, of course.
Putting up Christmas lights
Wedly's tree

Enjoying cocoa at the tree farm

In all her glory

Our littlest reindeer

making ornaments

The advent tree
Cookie making with cousins (which by-the-way was a little too successful). We decorated Spritz, made Peanut Butter Blossoms, flavored Oyster crackers (yummmy - reminds me of my grandma), Chex mix, cinnamon candy, and peanut butter balls .Oh dear.

Mr Bright Eyes

Who me?

Gabe and Levi enjoying each other

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Haircut

Gabriel has some interesting hair. He has hair all over his head, but so far, the only hair that has grown is his bangs. And they have gotten LONG! So, a few weeks ago I finally decided to give him a trim when it got below his eyes. It wasn't the easiest task in the world and I'm sure it'll only get more difficult in the months to come. I'm going to have to ask around for tips from other moms on how to keep their little ones still.

Monday, November 26, 2012

4+ months with Wedly and a happy half-birthday to Gabriel

Our little man Wedly just keeps getting bigger and bigger. He is using more sentences, some as long as 6-7 words long, which is awesome! A common sentence around here is "Mommy, Wedly do it!" and "Wedly did it!"  Although he typically doesn't say Wedly, he usually pronounces it "Ledy." The other day, Dan asked him if his name is Wedly or Ledy and Wedly said "Daddy, it's Wwwwwedly!" Then he gasped and said "Ledy did it!" One thing I love is that more and more he's been telling us what he wants and/or needs. Fits are a bit more common around here, but as our social worker has told us, this is a really good thing, because normal 3 years old throw the occasional fit when they don't get their way. They have opinions and if they are comfortable, are willing to voice their opinions. Sometimes loudly. So I try to grit my teeth and remember that his occassional fit is a good thing, even if it is frustrating.

He's been doing better eating-wise. He isn't quite as slow as he used to be (though he is still fairly slow) and is doing better with eating his vegetables. He went through a phase of getting really pouty during dinnertime until one of us would pull him into our lap. He still requests to sit in our lap at most meals, but asks for it more appropriately with his words. We try to accomodate as often as possible.

While getting ready for church on Sunday, Dan was upstairs getting Wedly some socks and he grabbed out some white socks. Wedly looked down at Dan's socks, which were black, and Wedly then asked for black socks too. He loves to mimic us in any way possible. In fact, he will no longer use his toddler toothpaste. Every night he points at our toothpaste and says "that one, daddy." So we have to be diligent to make sure he doesn't swallow it. He does a really good job, actually.

We have a little baseball bat and some really soft balls, which we have been using over the past month. He's actually pretty good at hiting it - probably hits it 50% of the time, depending on who is pitching (Dan's a little bit more accurate). What's interesting is he is definitely right handed when eating/drawing, but he typically hits the ball left-handed, though sometimes switches to his right. He also loves his blocks and color-coordinates things nicely. He loves for us to build him helicopters out of his legos and his favorite thing to build himself are semi-trucks.

About a week ago, he learned to draw a person. We got some paints and he was having me draw different people, then he picked up a paint brush, drew a circle and put two eyes and a mouth on it. He then proceeded to draw two sticks off it. When I asked him what they were, he said "hands, mommy!" His first official portrait was of his old preschool teacher Mateja. He loved her very much.

Helping Dan make Sunday morning French toast

Drawing out the Thanksgiving story

"Help mommy!" as he would say

Gabriel also has been growing like crazy. He is 28 1/4 inches long (95th percentile), 17 lbs-12 ounces (55 percentile). He is rolling and sitting really by himself pretty well, which is a development just in the last week or so. He went in for his 6 week appointment and was absolutely adorable with the pediatrician. He had big smiles for her and loved sitting on the exam table in front of the mirror.

I don't see any teeth poking through yet, but he loves chewing on anything and everything - toes, toys, you name it, he wants it in his mouth. We haven't started giving him baby food yet, but probably will in the next month since he's started showing a lot more interest in our eating. I have this feeling he's gonna love it.

He loves the sound of his voice and usually picks one word that he uses over and over for a stretch of a day or two. The last couple of days it's been "da da da da." before that he went through a period of growling,  a period of squealing, and several other different types of sounds. The sounds are getting more and more complex.

I think I need to get a few more toys for him. I only have I think 3 or 4 and he really seems to enjoy them. He plays with such intensity it makes me a little worried about the future and what his personality might be like! He still loves his Johnny Jump Up and enjoys sitting in his high chair with some toys.

His old man denture look. 

There are times where I wish I could go back and hold my little newborn Gabe, but in general, I'm finding that I enjoy my baby boy so much right now as he can interact more and is a bit more easy-going. Bath time, car rides, grocery trips, etc. are all a lot easier these days, which is wonderful!

I think his favorite person (outside of myself and Dan) is my sister. I don't know if it's because we sound and look similar, but she can almost always get some good giggles out of him. He oftentimes isn't super fond of other people, but he loves his auntie Heidi. That said, he's getting more familiar with his grandparents, as well. I left him in the nursery on Sunday and he apparently started getting fussy until his Grandma Kathy came and held him. He also usually has some sweet smiles for my mom and is almost always content with my dad holding him and walking him around.

I'm so thankful for my two little boys. They are certainly well loved by those around them!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

God knows when a sparrow falls and when a camera is lost

A week and a half ago we headed out for a few nights at the beach. It was such a fun trip (which I will post about soon), one I will probably remember forever, but it ended on a disappointing note when, on returning home, we realized we had forgotten our camera. And we were almost 100% sure we hadn't left it in the rental house, but had left it on the beach. I was so sad, I actually felt sick to my stomach. And I felt horrible because I had been the last one to take a picture on it. I had been taking pictures of Dan and Wedly wading in the ocean, had set it on the rocks close to our backpack, then had wandered to the car shortly after Dan and Wedly came up to pack things up and head back to the beach house. Dan grabbed the back pack, but didn't see the camera, so it was left.

We then headed back to the beach house where we cleaned up, packed up and headed home. At one point we noted that we weren't exactly sure where the camera was, but just figured we'd find it once we got home. Of course, that didn't happen. After realizing it was gone, I prayed that though it seemed impossible, perhaps could He help us get our camera back and if not, could he put it in the hands of someone else who could enjoy it rather than letting it end up ruined in the ocean. Getting it back seemed a long shot and Dan was such a comfort reminding me that it's just a thing and worrying about it solves nothing, so he told me over and over again, that it was okay, don't worry.

Fast forward about a week and Dan gets a call from our Pastor asking if we'd recently lost our camera. Apparently an elderly man, who has a beach home close to where we left it, had decided to head down to the beach for a quick walk. He wandered down, found our camera, and immediately upon finding it, it started to rain. He tucked it under his jacket and walked back home. He told us he really felt God led him to take that walk down to the beach. Anyway, we had no identifying information on the camera, so he spent the money to put a little blurb in the classifieds in the Oregonian, hoping that we might look there. Then he decided to dig a little deeper, asking his son to come over with his computer so they could look at our pictures on their computer. While there was no clues in the pictures as to how to contact us, strangely enough, there were two small word files on the picture card as well.  Dan isn't sure specifically where they came from, but likely from backing up some files in rebuilding a computer at church.  If you go in Microsoft Office documents you can see some details about the file.  In these files, there weren't a lot of details, but one that was filled in was "Company: Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene".  Having found this "clue", they looked up Ridgefield Nazarene Church and called our pastor asking if there was a family in his church with a little black boy and a little white baby. Well, it was pretty obvious who that was, so Pastor Brian called us and Dan was able to hook up with this couple to pick up our camera tonight!

When Dan knocked on the door, Irma (the wife) asked if he had brought his family with him. She seemed pretty disappointed when he told her he hadn't, so he pulled up Skype on his phone and called us.It took them a few minutes to figure out that they weren't looking at a video of us, but that it was live video phone call! What a joy it was to get to visit for awhile with this couple. They were super excited that after all their efforts, they were able to get the camera back to it's owners. Dave said he just wouldn't have felt right about keeping the camera and really, really was hoping to get it back to us. They were such a sweet couple, married for 59 years with 7 kids and I believe 19 grandkids, yet would love to keep in contact with us, either come to their house again in Portland, or next time we are down at the beach, give them a call to see if they are there and can get together.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. I felt sick over losing our camera, but now seeing how it all turned out, I'm so glad I got to live out this story.

And now for a few pictures... :o)

Dave and Irma

Skyping :)