Thursday, February 27, 2014

7 Months Old!

Well, 7 months old and 9 days, but who’s counting?


Wearing size 6-9 mo and 6-12 mo clothes, size 3 diapers

Taking 2 naps a day: around 9-10 am and around 1-3 pm

Going to sleep at 7 pm, waking up only once (yay!) around 3 am, and then sleeping until 6:30 am

Nursing 5-6 times a day (including the night feeding)

Eating 1-2 baby food meals a day – favorites include green beans (!), sweet potatoes, carrots. She much prefers jarred food to the food that I make!


Paige started sitting well last month! She also started army crawling at 6.5 months – same time Meredith did. Unlike her sister, Paige doesn’t get into much. She is pretty content to sit and watch the chaos around her. Occasionally she’ll see something she really wants (usually one of Russell’s cars) and go for it. She can move pretty quickly when she wants to.

I guess this should be included in next month’s (since I’m so behind in writing this) but since I’m already here: I was so worried about Paige earlier this week. My happy baby turned very fussy, wouldn’t sleep, would nurse but not eat baby food, and had a low-grade fever. She and I were awake from midnight to 2 am on Monday night – unheard of for her. I was positive she had an ear infection, especially since she had just had a cold. I took her to the doctor twice, 24 hours apart. The first time, the ped couldn’t find anything wrong. The second time, she noticed that her first tooth had broken through, and the second is close! Good grief. I guess she’s not an easy teether!


Paigey, you are growing and changing so fast! I’m cherishing your sweet babyness!

Paige’s 7-month photos

I have taken 6 month old photos of all of my kids…but Paige’s turned out to be 7 months. I took them this afternoon. My computer crashed a few weeks ago, so I don’t have my usual editing program, but I’m trying to make do. Anyway, here are my favorites. She is so easy to take pictures of: smiles are plentiful!




My favorite:


Monday, February 24, 2014

52 Things to Do - #1

So, for Christmas I gave Jason a pack of cards called 52 Things to Do in Chicago (or something like that). On Saturday, we checked one of them off the list: the aquarium!

After Paige’s morning nap, we drove into the city (around 10:30). We had looked up parking in advance so we didn’t have to pay outrageous rates.

Our first family drive into the city, looking at part of the Chicago skyline:


When we drove into downtown, I just couldn’t believe how “big-city” it was. It’s been 20 years since I’ve visited New York, and when we were in CA this summer we didn’t really see LA, so this is much, much bigger than anything I’m used to! We ended up parking about a half-mile from the aquarium, and took the kids in the Beco (Paige) and the double stroller (R and M). I can certainly see now why it’s called the Windy City. The temps weren’t bad, but the wind was cutting.

We had a great time at the aquarium, and that can’t be understated. However, we learned a lot of things we’re going to do next time – like not bring our own food (who knew that was against the rules)?, and remember my SD card for my camera.{So yes, the picture quality in this post is terrible, since I had to use my phone : (   } 

We paid for the basic entrance fee, and that was more than enough to keep our kids’ attention- and ours, for that matter! You’d need a very full day or two to see everything in the aquarium.

Meredith watching a duck and some catfish:


The kids LOVED watching the divers feeding some of the big fish. In fact, they were pretending to be divers feeding fish this morning!




All 3 kids loved this little replica of a canoe near a fake tree – it was supposed to represent all the canoeing people do in the Amazon River.


We saw seahorses, catfish, jellyfish, big turtles, otters, sharks, sea stars, and many more beautiful creatures. We also saw the largest fish from the Amazon, which is 3 ft long. (I don’t remember its name, but it was truly huge.)

We had an awesome time – as evidenced by this miracle here. I think this was the 3rd time in Russell’s life (at least, since he turned one) that he has slept in the car:


One thing down, 51 to go Smile

Monday, February 17, 2014

What is it like…

What is it like…

to leave everything you know?

to know no one?

to move to the cold?

(A picture of our house today – we do love our new house!)


Well, we’re working on our positive attitudes – all 5 of us! But to say it’s easy wouldn’t be true. I feel a little like we’ve moved to a foreign country (and I can’t even imagine how my missionary friends and others who actually did move to a foreign country feel!) The midwestern accent is very different to my ears. (Ours is different to them too – they immediately ask where in the south we’re from!) The ground is completely white all the time. We have found the necessities: Target, McDonald’s, a church (we think), the library. We are getting the boxes unpacked. We are (I am) learning to drive in the snow.

(Zero degrees. We’ve seen negative numbers too!)


There are great things about this area. We have awesome neighbors who have shoveled and snowblown our driveway/sidewalks, given us snow clothes for the kids, helped us install a garbage disposal. The parks department is very active here, and I’ve signed up Russell and Meredith for a sports class and me for a Zumba class – can’t wait to start! Our house is the perfect size: 4 bedrooms, a split level with a basement.

We are enjoying each other at home:

Setting up a small-scale Metra (like Jason rides to and from work):


Learning how to use a sippy cup:


Still doing school – on this day, Meredith was practicing number recognition/one-to-one correspondence, and Russell was practicing copying and finishing a pattern:


Setting up new roots takes time. We are jumping in with both feet.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Week with Pops and Mimi

In order for the kids and I to be out of the way during the moving out/waiting to move in/movers in our new house phase, we went to Pops and Mimi’s house for a week! We left our house in the morning on Friday, January 24, and stayed until Pops drove us up to IL on Friday the 31st.

I was definitely nervous about driving all 3 kids 5 hours by myself, but it went pretty well. We had an hour of crying (between Meredith and Paige) that was not so fun, but the rest went very smoothly.

I don’t have too many pictures of our week. We didn’t do much out of the ordinary. My parents both had to work a few days, so the kids and I tried to fill those days. We did get the special opportunity to visit my Grampy in what ended up to be the week before he passed away. I am so thankful we could do that. We also went to the playground twice, to a story time at the local library, did some of our preschool work, played a lot with Bogie, etc.

Stories before bed. (Paige goes to bed about an hour before the other two.) Meredith loved this Harold and the Purple Crayon book!


Sorting – easy schoolwork.


The “family dog.” Both kids have mentioned a few times now that they miss Bogie.


Just hangin’ out while the other kids napped:


They enjoyed playing cars during their bath times in the big tub:


Of course, Georgia got snow. I was really hoping we wouldn’t see any there. Russell loved it. Meredith is not a cold weather girl. (Paige did not get out in it.)


On Pinterest, I found an activity idea: making our own white play dough, and using buttons and various things to build play dough snowmen. This was much more of a hit than I thought it would be, thankfully!


At the end of the week, we geared up – and packed up – for our big, long drive. I packed snacks, DVDs, toys, books. I also found an idea (again, Pinterest) to have games for the kids to play – like car Bingo, looking for car colors, etc – and when the kids finish a game, they get a prize. My sweet aunt Jane had bought the prizes. The kids LOVED this, especially Russell. Anyway, here’s the stash of car entertainment before we left:


Thanks, Pops and Mimi, for the hospitality, food, fun, etc, etc! We love you!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Well, I’ve alluded to our busy-ness lately. And most of you already know this, but if you don’t: we’ve made a big move to Chicagoland (which is apparently the term for the greater Chicago area). Jason had an awesome new job opportunity that we couldn’t pass up! He began interviewing in September, thinking at that point that it would be a remote (work-from-home) position. In November it turned into an on-location position, which was then verbally offered in the middle of December, and the written contract was signed in the middle of January – just 2 weeks before his start date! Whew, we have been busy!

(First box packed – the kids were really excited to help Smile)


Jason did get a relocation lump sum, which didn’t cover all of our expenses, so we ended up packing most of the boxes ourselves. That was a piece of cake with 3 children to tend to Winking smile We probably packed 40% of everything the day before the movers came, which was a little stressful.

(Empty linen closet = new hiding place!)


Boxes were everywhere! The bottom right is a picture of a gift from Jason’s new company: a bottle of champagne and a Kindle Paper White.


In the midst of packing, of course, was saying “see you later” (not goodbye) to all of our wonderful friends and family in the area. SO MANY helped us with watching the kids while we packed, buying special snacks, stickers and games for them for the car rides, and throwing get-togethers for us. It really made an impact on us and made us feel special and loved.

Last homeschool co-op:


There was a pizza party at Heather’s house, which was the biggest gathering (and the only one at which I took pictures!) Heather had 30-some people at her house for a pizza dinner, sides, and desserts on Sunday, January 19. What a wonderful time we had!

Some of the dads watched the kids on the swingset outside. It was a little chilly (for NC; there is just no comparing it to Chicago):



Moms stayed inside Smile


Everyone came in after a while to socialize and eat.



Two of Russell’s favorite boys – I know he misses them!



I will miss watching the faces around this little table – saw sweet children eat here at least once a week at our homeschool co-op!


I should have gotten more pictures – I didn’t get photos of even half the guests! But I did have a great time; I guess I was too busy talking. Thank you, Heather, for having everyone over.

I have a lot of blog catching up to do – it will happen – in between unpacking and everything else that comes with moving!