24 December 2008

Snowed in for Christmas Eve

We were snowed in today. We were supposed to go to Dave's folks' for our Christmas Eve celebration, but the weather was not cooperative. In fact, the weather has not been cooperative all season. Above is a picture of the front of our house. We have a wrap around deck that extends across the entire front side and wraps around the porch to the back of the house. As you can see in the picture the snow is as high as the deck. Our windows in the front of the house sit lower than the snow line right now. We are continually shoveling a pathway from the front door down the stairs and out to our car. I am used to snow. I grew up in a lakeshore community where "lake effect" was a term that was well known and dreaded, but I have never experienced snow quite like this!

I had to rescue our mailbox this afternoon. Whenever the plow goes past (as infrequently as that happens), our mailbox is knocked off its post and goes flying into the ditch. This often results in us not getting mail. Today when I went down into the ditch to retrieve the box, I promptly found myself in snow past my waist. I got a little panicked when I realized how deep I was in and that the embankment that led back to the road was as high as my head. It was a significant struggle but I managed to get both myself and the mailbox back onto the road.

Below is just a nice picture of the pond on the side of our house. It looks so beautiful . . . Oh, and if the pictures look a little "blurry" it is because it was, of course, snowing when I took them today.
So, how did we amuse ourselves in our snowbound state? Well, I made chex mix so that we could at least enjoy a typical treat we get at family get togethers. We watched a couple of movies and I finished wrapping the last couple of presents. But we also were privileged to some new "Chloe-isms."

Chloe says the darndest things sometimes. The other morning she was still covered and I was feeding the baby on the couch. Chloe started talking to me to try and convince me to get her up for the day, but I was preoccupied with Sylvia. I am used to her "hellos" and "whatchyadoin's" but when I heard "It's time to get up!" that got my attention!

This morning she announced that "Chloe is a girl." And when Dave filled my glass a little too full of milk Chloe informed us "That's a problem." This bird just cracks me up sometimes.
We also managed to get in several loads of laundry today. Folding the clothes involved sorting out Sylvia's 0-3 month items to box. This made her daddy so sad when he found her shirt that says, "I'll always be daddy's little girl." He placed it over her little body and told her that while the shirt is now too small the sentiment remains the same.
And Sylvia got some quality time with Mama today as well. I noticed her looking, actually looking at and studying, her hands today. I went to get her wrist rattles, so that is what she is wearing in the pictures.

This has not been our typical Christmas Eve and we were quite disappointed that our plans had to be altered (again!) because of the weather, but we still managed to have a nice day with just the three of us (well, twelve, if you count all the indoor animals).

22 December 2008

Merry Christmas To All!

Sylvia is finally feeling much better. This morning we were talking together and she was just so happy. I simply had to take some pictures. Almost every single shot I took she was smiling. It was too cute. She is too cute. Her multicolored giraffe came from the Dutch family and the colors match her nursery perfectly. Other "big" news is that I washed all her 3-6 month clothing today and boxed most of her 0-3 month. She is a little small in weight for the 3-6 but she is so long, so I decided to say goodbye to the smaller size and start her on the larger. My, how time flies!

And from our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe and warm and enjoy this blessed holiday.

19 December 2008

A New First

There are lots of firsts in a baby's life. Sylvia's first this week was illness. Out little pumpkin has a horrendous cold. She is so stuffed up and her cough-- Oh, her cough! It breaks her mama and daddy's hearts. This picture was taken yesterday during her happiest period of the day. I was able to play with her frog and "Ba" and make her smile a bit. Otherwise, the last couple of days have been spent in misery. The poor little pumpkin! I can just hear her thinking, "Mama, why can't you fix it? When I am hungry, you feed me. When I am wet, you change me. Now there is something really wrong with me and you aren't doing anything!"

Sylvia turned two months this past Wednesday. I was hoping to get some really cute two month birthday shots, but she was just too sick. And so, no two month birthday shots and no nine week birthday shots (today is nine weeks since her birth!).

I was supposed to take Sylvia to her two month check-up today. She was scheduled to get her first shots, but I was planning on rescheduling the shots, as she is miserable enough with the cold. No need to add salt to the wound. But when we woke up this morning we couldn't even open our front door there was so much snow! And for most of the morning and early afternoon I couldn't even see the pond in our own front yard the whiteout was so bad. And so, we canceled her appointment all together.

Tomorrow is Sylvia's first Christmas family event. Hopefully she'll be feeling better and can "enjoy" the day.

13 December 2008

8 Weeks & Sylvia's First "Friend"

It it truly amazing how quickly time does fly. Of course, part of that may be the sleep deprivation that makes everything blur together. I have been told by many that the first three months after your child is born are nothing more than a haze in one's memory. As I cannot even remember what I wore yesterday, I am inclined to agree that this assessment is indeed an accurate description of a mom's early motherhood memories. (Hence the reason for the blog!) Sylvia is indeed eight weeks, nearly two months already. She is looking more and more like a little person and less like a generic newborn. (I tend to think that all newborns look somewhat similar.)
And, okay, I am going to admit that I may be a horrible parent. First, my child already has a serious addiction. Second, I may be submitting her to inhumane treatment. But if you lived with her you would indulge her addiction and take the same course of action as I have. This girl is completely addicted to her pacifier. Let me explain in detail:

First, there is only ONE type of pipe that she will take. It CANNOT be found in stores. She got it from the hospital and I had to hunt it down online to get more.

Second, she wants to suck nearly ALL the time. And no, not even sleep can tear her away from this pipe. She will fall asleep with it in and we will watch her continue to suck even when she is completely passed out. When I go to remove it she quickly latches on for all she is worth-- in her sleep!

Third, she sucks the living daylights out of this thing and as a result spits it right out of her month because she is sucking so hard. This makes the average in-mouth duration only a mere second or two, five seconds if we are really lucky. And of course, when she loses the pipe she SCREAMS.

So, as you can see, this girl is a pipe-aholic. And she was running me ragged with her inability to keep the pipe in her mouth. I simply could not take it anymore, and so, the above picture reveals my previously named "inhumane treatment." A little piece of elastic and suddenly that pipe can sometimes stay in for twenty minutes straight. (She does still manage to spit this one out of her mouth too!)

And, finally, Sylvia's friend is Cora. We met Cora's parents through a "new parent" type class. Jen and Luke have a number of similarities with Dave and me and our daughters are just a few weeks apart in age (Cora was born the 25th of September, Sylvia the 17th of October). It's been fun watching the two babies together. Sylvia had her fist near Cora's mouth and Cora just started sucking on it as if it were her own. Meanwhile Sylvia is a BIG TIME fidgety child and would constantly slap Cora across the face. Ahhh . . . Must be the makings of a long-term friendship!

10 December 2008


Dave loves being a dad. The other night I caught him and Sylvia "dancing the night away" together. It was too cute.
I think Sylvia even kind of liked it. She didn't cry in protest and for her that is saying something!

In other news we have snow. LOTS of snow! Our neighbor did an unofficial measurement but we have 18" on our porch. Because of how our house is positioned I had to go out after 10:00 p.m. last night and shovel our front door free there was so much snow. The weather people say that we should get a break now, and I hope so. At least, for a while. We did, however, find someone to plow our driveway. He was the cheapest we found by a long shot, but it is still quite a bit of money . . . Alas, a not-so-nice "perk" to living in the middle of nowhere.

And in Sylvia news, and news I am hesitant to share for fear that it will "jinx" us, Sylvia has been sleeping 6+ hours at night! She is cranky from about 8-12 but then after that she is out until 6 or 6:30. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have a quiet house for almost the entire night. Next week Friday is her two month check-up (two months already!) and her first shots. I am not looking forward to that experience. I cannot stand hearing my baby cry. It just breaks my mommy heart.

06 December 2008

Seven Weeks and Snowing

Here is her seven week picture. Isn't she cute? She is getting so big! We weighed her this morning (on a not very accurate scale, mind you) and she came in at almost ten pounds. If I can figure out how to weigh her on my postal scale then we will get a very accurate weight. She coos and smiles and can stare at herself in a mirror for quite a while now. I think she is even beginning to really recognize who Daddy and Mama are.

Her onesie says, "Is it too late to be good?" We tell her yes, despite the fact that we already have all her Christmas presents.

Today Dave and I were supposed to go out to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have movie passes and were going to try and find an economical dinner somewhere (we're kind of poor). This was also supposed to be my day of "freedom." I love my daughter but being cooped up with her in a house in the middle of nowhere all week gets to be kind of a lot. Sadly, we woke up and looked out the window and were disheartened to see that we did indeed get the predicted snow and it is continuing to fall. We are snowbound. We also need to find someone who plows by us and for a reasonable fee or else Dave won't be going to work on Monday.

These are pictures I took of our place earlier this week after a fresh snowfall. It is absolutely stunning in beauty, but brutal in isolation.

05 December 2008

Between Anniversaries

Today is our "Between Anniversaries" day. For those of you who don't know, our religious anniversary (and the "real" one) is on the 4th of December and our legal anniversary is on the 6th. (No one told us there is a three day waiting period for a marriage license in Michigan!) Typically we decorate our Christmas tree the evening of the 4th, but this year this tradition was forgotten until 11:00 p.m. last night. I had remembered all week and we were very excited about it, but then when last night came and Sylvia began fussing we were too distracted. Needless, our tree is still not decorated. Perhaps we can do it the evening of the 6th.

It's been four years already. I cannot believe that much time has gone by. Four years ago we lived in a dumpy little apartment and I was stressed to the max working in retail management. Dave was employed by both the church and a historic restoration building company. We were also both in school full time; Dave for his first bachelors and me for my second. Since then we have lived in three additional places, have welcomed 21 different animals in and out of our home (plus Frank the squirrel in our first apartment that we didn't really welcome into our home but he came anyway), Dave has had countless jobs and I have had a few myself. We have experienced one pregnancy and now have one seven-week-old infant in our family. She is such a joy and a permanent reminder of our marriage and relationship over the years. This will be our fifth Christmas together in marriage and we are thrilled to be able to share it with Sylvia.

The changes and things we have experienced these last four years are truly remarkable and some of the stresses we have encountered have done nothing but strengthen our relationship and love for one another. In this, we have been very blessed.