Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ascha's First Trek to Montana, My Brother's Wedding, and My 10-Year Class Reunion

We had a lovely break from normal life (not that life has been normal lately, anyway, what with the new house, the new baby, and lots of company) while the boys played and played in Montana with Grammy and Grumpy. Jeremy and I enjoyed lots of sleeping in (without our early riser, Aric, waking us up at 6 or 6:30 at the latest) and getting to spend lots of quiet time with Ascha. However, we missed our big boys terribly and we were so thankful to get back to them.

On Wednesday, we decided to head toward MT around the middle of the day. We took Hwy. 14 from Vancouver all the way across southern Washington. Although it lengthens the trip by about an hour, it's a beautiful drive and we really enjoyed ourselves. We stopped for the evening in Couer d'Alene, ID and stayed with our great friends there. It was wonderful to spend a bit of time with them and their kids! In the morning, we pressed on to Missoula, where we met up with our boys, plus Grammy and Great-Aunt Lynn, for lunch. We were all excited to see each other again!

On Friday, Jeremy got to go up to the lake for his tri-annual ski. :-) Poor guy - once every three years is just not quite enough! He had a nasty wreck and is still feeling the after-effects of bruised ribs. That evening, we all went to the beautiful property where Amos and Meredith were going to get married. We had a rehearsal and then we all drove to a steakhouse in the beautiful Skalkaho area and enjoyed the rehearsal dinner.

Saturday was a whirlwind of a day. My mom and her friends were in charge of making 530 shish kebabs, which was quite a task! I attended the picnic portion of my 10-year high school reunion. It was good to see old friends and reconnect with people I only "visit" with online. Then it was back to my parents' house to get ready for the wedding. After the whirlwind of getting everyone ready, we headed over to the wedding where the boys got to be the "ring bears." They did a stellar job, and were incredibly handsome to boot. :-)

Sunday morning came all too soon and we had to head back to Washington. We got to stop in Idaho for a few minutes so the kids could see their friends while I nursed the baby. Then we trekked onward, stopping in Plymouth, WA (not much there) and again at Crow's Butte, WA (pretty pond and lots of water foul to see).

After 13 hours, we finally made it home to figure out what our new "normal" is going to be as a family of five in our new home. We're still working on figuring that out, but it's a relief to not have any huge events "pending" for a while. The boys are glad to be home and Ascha's still trying to recover from her days of sleeping and sleeping. Her daytime schedule has yet to recover (and she is changing all the time, anyway, as she becomes more alert for longer stretches), but her nighttime routine seems to be a fairly consistent 5 or 6 hour stretch, which we are SO thankful for!!!

Ascha is now one month old! I didn't ever get any good 3-week pictures, but I captured some acceptable one month pictures this morning. For some reason, I find it hard to capture my kids' personalities at this age and I'm usually unhappy with the pictures because I don't invest the time in making them look "just right." Oh, well - perfectionism has to give way to reality, so here's a picture of Ascha smiling at her Daddy this morning. She's started working really hard at smiling "for real" and it's so fun to watch. She opens her mouth really wide, then curls the corners of her mouth up into a smile, complete with dimples. Then she closes her mouth and the corners stay turned upward for a little while (this is the "phase" captured in the picture). She is already growing up too fast! The boys are both wrapped around her little finger (and, ok, I'll admit it, so are her parents! :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catching Up

I meant to post these right after the 4th of July, but I somehow got behind. :-) This was the boys' first experience with sparklers, and I think it's safe to say they enjoyed it!

The boys are having such a great vacation in Montana with Grammy and Grumpy. They have gone fishing, had numerous playdates, ridden motorcycles, helped feed calves, played in sprinklers, stayed up late watching a fire and eating s'mores, and today, they are at the lake. I can't wait to hear whether or not they were brave enough to be pulled behind the boat in a tube!
We miss them a lot, but it's been a blessing to have this relatively quiet time to ourselves to get to know Ascha. It's also been a blessing to get to sleep in! Aric almost never sleeps past 6:30, but after Ascha's morning feeding, she's quite happy to go right back to sleep, so we've been enjoying a more leisurely morning pace the past few days. Ascha's doing really well. She does have the normal fussy evening period, but after she calms down for the night, she sleeps really well. She's been nursing at 11pm, 3am, and 7am, and last night she stretched it even longer between feedings! We really hope this nighttime trend continues! When Ascha went to the doctor for her two week appointment, she had gained 12 oz. over her birthweight. She is in the 90+ percentiles for both weight and height, and she seems to be growing like a weed! We're so thankful that she continues to be healthy. I realized today that I haven't taken any pictures of her since "the grandmas" left. She is three weeks old today, so I have a pretty good excuse to break out the camera again. I'll try to post those pics later.
Jeremy and I are trying to finish up some house projects before the boys' return. I'm trying to unload boxes and sort through as much as possible while I have the leisure of leaving things spread out all over without anyone traipsing through my piles! Jeremy's working on getting our last two sink faucets hooked up, doing some finish work on the doors, and completing miscellaneous other tasks. There will be quite a bit on our to-do list for a while longer, but it's so nice to be living in the house, and it really is very liveable. I guess I also need to take updated house pictures now that we are all moved in to display "the final product." I'll try not to keep you waiting much longer for those. :-)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

So, perhaps you've noticed the wordless posts, often posted at strange times. I tend to only be on the computer while nursing, and while I can navigate the mouse just fine, typing with one hand is a bit of a challenge (especially in the middle of the night when I'm already sleep deprived! :-)

A bit of an update is definitely in order, though. Ascha is now two and a half weeks old and still healthy and beautiful and wonderful in every way! :-) We're all pretty enamored with her. Even Aric has decided that he not only loves her, but likes her, as well. Both boys love to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to her whenever she starts to fuss, and from day one, she has seemed to calm in response to their singing. We're debating what color her eyes will eventually be, and the other day, Jeremy said they looked "Pewter Gray." Taylor piped up, "I think they look COMPUTER gray!"

Speaking of the boys, they are in the midst of a great adventure right now. They traveled back to MT with my mom and will be there for eight days of "vacation" (from Mommy and Daddy :-) before we rejoin them. We will take a quick trip back next weekend to attend my middle brother's wedding (CONGRATULATIONS, AMOS & MEREDITH) and bring the boys back to WA with us then. My parents have wanted to have the boys for a "big boy vacation" for quite some time, so it's nice for them to have this time, and it's a blessing for Jeremy and I to get acquainted with Ascha and to have some intensive time working on getting things organized around the house.

Without the boys here, things are extremely quiet compared to what we're used to. My mom, obviously, is gone, too, and Jeremy's mom is headed out this morning to visit her folks in Canada, so we're transitioning from a very full house to a quiet, empty house.

Oh, yeah - an afterthought before I wrap this up. Today (July 10 - it's taken me two days to get these few paragraphs typed!) is our ninth wedding anniversary! (Kinda anti-climactic this year with all the other exciting things going on right now.) How did we get so old? :-) I am so thankful to be married to my best friend, and I'm looking forward to many more adventures together in the years to come. Thanks for all you are and all you do, Jeremy!