Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our New Addition

Yes we have a new addition in the family.

PSYCHE!!!! I GOT YOU ALL! I imagine your blood is racing and your heart is beating really fast, but you can relax now. Our new addition isn't a baby. That was just a joke. Our new addition is something that we have been waiting a long time for. We've also been saving up and spent quite a while shopping around. We made calls to B for advice and dragged my dad to different stores. We even got him to do some of his salesman magic and work us a deal.

This is our new addition (our new baby):

Neither Daniel nor I play well but we have high hopes of practicing and trying to get better. We hope the kids will have the desire to take lessons too. We have only had the piano one day but Daniel and I stayed up rather late last night working on a couple of hymns. We are really excited about our new addition. We are excited for our family members that actually play the piano to come visit so we can hear the full potential of our "new baby" (we'd love to have our family members that don't play come visit too :) ) .

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dear Baby!

This is my Dear Dear Baby! These are her 3 month, 1 week and 4 day pictures. Some of you will be getting these in the mail, but since it takes me so long to get things out I wanted you to see them now. I just couldn't wait. Plus I don't have enough for all my friends and extended family so this way you all can take a peek too.

She seems so squishy and has plenty of rolls in her legs but I was at the doctors on Friday and it appears that Piper has only gained one pound and 3 ounces in the past 2 months. (That seems so low to me considering that MacGregor was gaining about 3 pounds a month!) She has dropped from above the 50% to below the 50%. Piper caught the cold that Ainsley had for weeks. Ainsley finally saw the doctor and antibiotics cleared up her infection. So I wanted to make sure Piper's cold hadn't spread to her lungs or ears. Luckily she just has a cold and the doctor wasn't worried. Her well check up is next week and the doctor said they would examine her weight vs length a little closer then. I guess she's just going to be bitty.

Daniel calls her "knife tongue" because she always has her tongue out. It sort of points at the end too. She loves to lick anything that gets close to her mouth, sometimes even the air.

She's still just as bald as can be. I have tried to trim her long wild hairs she was born with but I have noticed that I haven't gotten them all. We used to refer to her as "crazy haired cross-eyed baby". Luckily she doesn't cross her eyes nearly so much now and fine little fuzz is beginning to grow on her head.

As soon as I saw this picture of Piper, my mind flashed to Daniel's 3 month picture. The shape of her eyes and her laugh lines mimic his as the same age. We just love her and all her smiles. The photographer commented how easy and fast it was to get her pictures. I am thankful for that because I usually dread picture day! We are having so much fun and hope she continues to be so sweet and pleasant!

Spikey Hair

Ainsley hadn't gotten her hair cut since about midway thru Daniel being gone. He's almost been home as long as he was away so her hair had really grown out. I think it's cute long but only right after a bath and a fresh brush thru. It is just too thin and stringy.

I took her on Friday to get her hair cut and she emphatically informed me that she wanted hers cut "spikey" like the boys. I told her that would be too short and she would look like a boy. Is that what she wanted? She said "yes." I briefly thought to myself if I should let her get a very short haircut. She would probably not like it too much and then never want that again. Get it out of her system, as it were. But then as we were flipping thru the hairstyle guide I found this hairstyle. I asked Ainsley if we could compromise on this one. Not as short as the boys yet still somewhat spikey. She agreed and this is the end result.

It does have to be styled but it only takes 3 or 4 flips with the curling iron and it's done. It gives her so much body!! And if we don't style it, it's just a short little bob. She seems pleased and was absolutley beaming when her daddy came home and told her that her hair was BEAUTIFUL! He told her it was much nicer than having a spikey boy haircut.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Are we having fun yet?

We got 8 to 10 more inches of snow on Friday. Luckily the snow didn't start until around 10am and the kids already had an early release day so they didn't have to take another snow day. It snowed til late Friday night and the youth basketball tournament was canceled for Sat morning. :( By Saturday afternoon the roads were mostly clear so we drove up to my parents for some sledding.


Here's Chase after a run-in with a thorn bush. My parents have a small stretch of woods behind a rock wall at the far end of their yard. Normally that area is off limits because there is so much poison ivy back there but I guess Chase figured since the ivy was dormant it would be fun to go try it out. We aren't quite sure if he fell or if the branch flung back in his face but he had a half inch thorn sticking out of his face just below his eye (we're thankful it didn't go IN his eye). Daniel pulled it out and patched him up.

My parents live on a big hill. Their yard slopes down from the street and just keeps going. Along one edge of their property there is a row of large pine trees that divides their yard from their neighbors. The best sledding route sort of cuts diagonally across the property from the top to the bottom. Inevitably the sleds end up under the pine trees. We have tried to emphasize that you must roll off the sled before it hits the trees. Ainsley went down a few times in the beginning but the riding was a bit slow - the sled path hadn't been worn down enough. She landed under a big pine but luckily hit feet first.

Here's Uncle Brigham:

He built a snow ramp right in the middle of the sled path. He caught some air and then the sled turned so that he was going down backwards. He was moving rather quickly and never bothered to turn and look to see how close he was to the trees. He also landed at the base of a large pine after his face took out a lower branch. His neck and back were a bit sore as well. We saw him hit the tree from the house and he laid there for quite a few minutes. We thought for sure he was faking as he normally does, but when he came in the house all bloodied we apologized for not running to the rescue.

Ainsley really liked the snow ramp too. She went down as part of a triple. She was the front, MacGregor in the middle and Daniel pulled up the rear. The snow ramp had just been repacked but unfortunately not tight enough. With the weight of the triple sledders, the top of the ramp came off in a huge hunk and landed right in Ainsley's face. Daniel said she had snow packed into her eye sockets, nose and hood. Poor thing!

Although there were injuries, in the end everyone had had fun and lots of good rides down the hill.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Business Trip

March 2-5 Dan went to Florida for a business trip.

Business trip? Uh-huh.

Looks like a lot of work!

Me? Home with all the kids for 4 days? Priceless
(oh, I mean - Lucky Me!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Little B-Ball

Saturday is the Stake one day youth basketball tournament. The young women were having their one and only practice on Tuesday night before mutual activities (not anything like the old days in Dover, DE and Valley Forge, PA where you practiced once a week and played a whole season). Typically I only teach on Sunday and can't go to the mutual activities because Daniel has cubscouts and it wouldn't be very productive for me to show up with 3 children I have to watch. But since this practice started before cubscouts, I called the YW president and asked if I could come help out. It was so funny because I had these giddy excited feelings - "I was going to play basketball!!" "Lucky Me!" I kept trying to talk my body out of these feelings, saying things like, "it's just a dumb practice", "you don't even know if they need you to play etc...", "Why are you so excited?"

Well the YW president called me and told me that she was really happy that I was coming because she was having some conflicts so could I please run the practice and help out coaching on Saturday. WHOA - that's a whole different set of circumstances. I've never coached before. I know how to play but I don't necessarily know how to help others learn to play. So I thought of some very basic drills and explained the rules etc... We worked on a few things, I worked with some of the newest younger players one on one and then we scrimaged for 25 -30 minutes. AND.....I GOT WORKED!! Oh I hid it well, I kept up and played every open position, and beat the fast breaker down, but I was huffing and puffing while trying to call out explanations and techniques etc...(I couldn't let them think I was that old, infact I could probably play with them at the tournament and no one in the stake would know the better) But, my throat was burning and ears ringing, not to mention that my face turned the color of a turnip. And it was MAGNIFICENT! As I write this now, my heart is racing and I feel excitement and I really miss basketball.

In the past the ward has called someone to be the YW sports specialist but the girls haven't really liked the coaching styles. Our girls are not extremely athletic or really competitive and haven't liked the intense "gotta win" attitude by their past coaches. So I was really worried about my coaching since #1. I'd never done it before and #2 I like to bark out what I see, what needs to be done (get open, hands up, follow your shot etc...). I was really excited when the YW president called me later that night and said she had a lot of positive feedback. The girls had had fun and some of them said they finally "get it". The YW pres. also told me when she walked in during our scrimidge that it was some of the best ball she'd seen them play. WHEW!! She said some of the girls expressed interest in coming to play once a month before activites and would I want to play with the girls since I can't find any women who want to play. YES YES!! I'll get to play basketball and the girls will have a chance to learn and practice techniques throughout the year and not just one day before the tournament.

It's been almost 7 years since we left Valley Forge where I got to play basketball on a regular basis. I have really missed it and although I am totally out of shape and my body is really sore today, I wouldn't change it. I look forward to playing more often, getting my body back in shape and getting my shot back (I'm terrible).

Wish us luck on Saturday!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rolly Rolly

Since this is my record keeping for the time being, I must take note that Today, March 13th, Piper rolled over. She was laying on her tummy, which she doesn't enjoy for very long, and then leaned her head to the right. In an instant she was on her back. She repeated this scene 3 times in a row.

I guess we'll see if she can do it again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3 months

Ok so it's really 3 and a half months (in fact in less than two weeks she will be 4 months). I still have to post now though cuz I have some really cute pictures.

Piper is really a joy to everyone in our family. She is pleasant and happy and smiles easily for everyone. She receives many kisses all over her head from her sister and her brothers talk to her often.

Thank you Grandma Sharon for this super cute outfit. She looks like a little feminine doll.

Her big mile stones this month have been reaching for chain links that we put on her bouncy seat and laughing out loud (see below). This poor baby has had no toys except for a cloth book she got for Christmas. I finally made myself take the time to find some old and purchase some new toys for her. She now has brightly colored chain links that hang from her car seat and bouncy seat. She also has some brightly colored rubber dinosaurs that she enjoys sucking and gnawing. She smiles when we squeeze the dinosaurs and blow air in her tiny ears. We ask her what secrets they share but she never tells. Her favorite thing to look at is her "valentine". My mother sent her this valentine and at the time I thought what a waste to buy and mail a card especially for Piper, but then I showed it to her. I thought she might like the bright colors and WOW she couldn't take her eyes off of it. She follows that card with her eyes wherever you move it and will gaze at it until you take it away. It's almost been a month and she hasn't tired of it yet. I think I will laminate it and put it in her scrapbook.

She likes to talk. My mother said rarely has she seen a more social baby. She began talking by cooing and gooing but then moved to a spit gurgle. When she would make eye contact, her eyes would light up and she would say "key" or "cur" with lots of spit. She would go on and on for minutes. In the past week or so the spit gurgle has lessened.

She still loves to be wrapped tight and rocked to sleep with your cheek against the top of her head. I think she still loves the skin to skin feel. Although she loves to be rocked she sometimes makes it easy to ignore her cuz she will fall asleep wherever she is. . . . on the floor, in the swing, propped against a pillow. I find myself getting busy at home and have to force myself to sit and hold her or rock her for a while because she is too good natured to demand it from me. This is a huge change from her first month of life where she demanded to be held at all times. I told Daniel he is our "good luck charm" because since he arrived home Piper has been much more pleasant and easy going.

We love to laugh at her! (OK, part of the reason is that we make her look ridiculous (thank you Debbie Wright for this silly hat)

And in return she gives us lots of smiles back. She has even begun laughing out loud when tickled along her collar bone or when she gets very excited.

She still isn't sleeping thru the night but we are slowing trying to work on this. I no longer feed her when she wakes up in the middle of the night. I will rock her and hold her but I try to limit the feeding to last thing at night 10-11pm until 5-6 am. My doctor told me they don't need to eat in the middle of the night anymore but if every time they wake up we feed them, then they will expect to be fed every time they wake up. So we are slowing working on this, hoping that if she isn't being fed she will begin to sleep longer each night.

We sure are loving her!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Traffic Jam

This is Ainsley's favorite thing to do. She spends hours lining up her figures and cars in all sorts of formations. She plays "chess" with her figures and tells me they are at red lights.

They drive to the store and get stuff for me. (Isn't she sweet). She aquires anyone's and everyones' figures. She has the boys horses from their castle set and all of the rubber dinosaurs we just got for Piper to chew on.

I love the imagination of children! (The only down side is that these lineups are always in a walkway and can be really hard on bare feet :o )

**I don't know if any of you Hens noticed the Steelers jersey Ainsley has on. It was Daniel's when he played popwarner football. She is the 3rd of our children to wear it to bed. (We'll see if it has enough strength for one more little Hen)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day Late and a Dollar Short

I am always a day late and a dollar short - Ask anyone if they have ever received an early birthday gift from me! Nope - it's never happened. I am late on my blogs as well. I am just finding it harder and harder to have the uninterrupted time to sit and write.

So going back several weeks to Valentines day - that was our first of two snow days. The roads were terrible and everyone stayed home. We had had a babysitter lined up but canceled because of the roads. On Friday however, Daniel called during his lunch hour to see if we could go to dinner that night. I was able to get a babysitter on short notice and we went out for a little alone time. His arrival from work that day greeted me with these gorgeous roses. He had bought me roses shortly after his return from Iraq but they never opened. The buds just hung their heads and died, but these red roses bloomed the most gorgeous blooms I had ever seen. They are actually still in my kitchen in perfect form and almost completely dried. I have never had flowers dry in perfect form, usually the petals fall off or the flower begins to hang and droop.

Our dinner was great, we went to Chilis and got my favorite chips and salsa. We also got their hot spinach and artichoke dip. Then we shared an entree. We have begun sharing the entree at restaurants and this allows us to enjoy an appetizer and/or dessert. Plus we leave feeling satisfied and not overly stuffed. Another added bonus is the bill which comes to the same or less than we've typically paid. After dinner I made Daniel go to the fabric store with me. I picked out some fabric to make a rag quilt for my sister's baby. They were having a sale and almost all the flannels were $2 a yard. But because we don't know the gender I had to get all greens and yellows. (later when I showed my mother the fabrics, she had gotten many of the same fabrics for receiving blankets. Oh well, there are only so many gender neutral fabrics out there).

Sunday, the 18th, we had dinner at my parents house to celebrate birthdays - my father's and mine. It was a very nice dinner and my favorite part was not having to do any dinner preparation or clean up! I got to just sit and hold the baby! :) It's nice to have a day off now and then. I got a game that I have been looking for for 2 and half years. It's a cranium game called Hoopla. It's fun for a group of people and it's everyone against the clock. Daniel found it at TJ Maxx of all places. My sister got me my favorite apples from this specialty choc/ice cream place run by members of our old ward in Valley Forge. It's a large granny smith apple dipped in thick caramel, rolled in toffee crumbs and drizzled with white and dark chocolate. SCRUMPTIOUS!! I also got some money that I will be mulling over how to use ( I always spend a lot of time thinking of what to buy cuz once it spent, the options are over) and a few new clothes - all black and white. I was sort of feeling boring when I was talking to a friend I really admire (who always seems to look great and usually has black and white (or sometimes blue) on) and she says if you stock up on black and white then you always have coordinating outfits that you can pick out fast in the morning. Also they are classic colors that won't go out of style so you can wear them forever. I don't feel so boring now - I feel rather practical.

On Monday, the 19th - my actual birthday, the kids had off school for inservice. I had completely forgot it was my birthday until Daniel called around 10:30 am to wish me a Happy Day. He brought me home this candy boquet (the kids have really been digging this, although it's the last thing they need) and the promise of allowing me to take some quilting classes. That's what I told him I wanted. So I got my first one that Friday night (23rd). It wasn't an actual class, it was a "sew-a-thon" where you go and work on any unfinished project you have. They give you a time a place to work and feed you dinner for $10. Not a bad deal. It's at this specialty quilt shop near my parents. The class is the last Friday of the month from 6pm-11pm. Because Daniel didn't get home from work until about 5:45, I missed the first half hour or 45 minutes but it was FANTASTIC to have several hours with no interruptions to work on a project. Daniel took the kids and hung out at my parents and fed the baby a bottle so I truly got to work the entire time with no worries. I brought the quilt pieces for a quilt I had started 14 months ago. It's a double irish chain, probably the most ambitious quilt I have emarked on (lots of 2 inch squares). I will post a picture when it's complete.

I know I have gone on and on but that's what happens when you delay. Too much to catch up on. Next I will have to do Piper's 3 month update (now that she is 3 and half months).
This picture is just cuz she's cute!!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Tonight at dinner, Ainsley informed us she did not like one of the choices.

She said, "I don't eat SPA-KER-A-PUS."

Do you have any idea what she was referring to??????? Although I immediately knew what she was talking about a few people at the table were a little baffled.

She was referring to asperagus.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Can you find the baby?

Maybe you can see now - a little closer.

Piper is definitely not suffering from lack of attention. Infact she Loves it!

Here's the culprit!