Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Noah!

Noah turned 9 on the 4th of Feb. and it was a family party for him this year. The night of his birthday we watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure while we ate pizza. The kids loved the movie, and we've been quoting it ever since. Yay for Netflix!

I had to do a close-up of the boys' names that Brigham wrote. I LOVE Kindergarten handwriting!!

The next day was Saturday, so that's when we had our family party. Chris arranged for the three older kids to help out at an animal shelter in the morning. They had so much fun with the kittens! Later in the day we ate lunch at HuHot, which is a Mongolian grill, then we spent a couple of hours at the House of Bounce.

All About Noah:
Height - 4' 3"
Shoe size - 3 1/2
Favorite things:
Foods - pasta salad, pesto pizza
Things to do - run outside, swim, climb, hike, do gymnastics, read
TV show - Wizards of Waverly Place
Movies - Harry Potter, Earth
Friends - Cannon Tweed, Samuel Threlkeld
Books - Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Lost Hero series by Rick Riordin, 39 Clues series, Magyk by Angie Sage
Songs/Music groups - Hot Air Balloon, Hello Seattle, and Fireflies by Owl City, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, Beethoven symphonies 1-9
What does Noah want to be when he grows up? A wildlife biologist/botonist/zoologist

Noah, you have grown up so much this year! It is so fun to see all your many interests and talents emerge. I don't think a day goes by that I don't learn some new fact or piece of trivia from you. I hope you continue to love to learn. You have such a good heart and I know that you are trying hard to do what's right. We all love you so much and we're so glad that you are in our family!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


My friend Kathleen came over and took some pictures of Sylvie in her blessing dress. Here are some of my favorites. I thought she did a beautiful job!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Or not so screenless?

Okay, so if the kids are in front of some sort of screen for hours on end each weekend, does that cancel out all the other screenless days of the week??

Saturday, January 15, 2011

We're going screenless!

. . . at least most of the time. At the beginning of the year, I decided to propose to the kids that we don't have any screen time on school days. I had been reading a couple of books that suggest getting rid of (or seriously cutting down on) screen time in order to give your kids more free time to use their imagination, their creativity, and to just PLAY.

Initially I was a little nervous for a few reasons:
1 - I thought my proposal may cause a rebellion of sorts.
2 - I was afraid of my kids being bored, because I witnessed how the boys would use their imagination when they were out of screen time for the day; they used it to come up with creative ways to torment each other.
3 - I had come to depend on it a lot in order to get some time to myself during the day

But at the same time I had grown increasingly frustrated with how much time was spent in front of the screen. We had plenty of options for everyone: TV, desktop, laptop, and 2 ipods. Even though I had tried to limit the kids to an hour a day, I couldn't monitor it for everyone. And with Annie and Noah in school 6 hours a day, plus homework and other activities during the week, any free time they had was usually in front of the screen, even if it was for only an hour a day.

We are into our 3rd week of this, and I have been pleasantly surprised! When I mentioned my idea, Annie and Noah were totally fine with it, Hudson didn't really get it, and Brigham was the only one who was a little unhappy about it. I did tell them that I may let them in front of the screen in desperate times, like if I'm sick, or Sylvie has a bad night, and I need some serious rest. But otherwise, on days there are school, the screens are not on. Yes, there are definite drawbacks. I've had to tolerate more messiness (screen time is very un-messy!), and it's a little more tricky to rest in the afternoon (I'm still getting up at night with Sylvie), but most of the time I still can if I need it. But, on the other hand, the kids have played with toys that had not seen the light of day for months, they've made up games, we're doing more art projects and reading more books together. They're helping me more in the kitchen (is that a pro or a con??). And, on those days that they are on the computer a lot, I don't feel guilty anymore.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


So I haven't posted anything about the moonlighting that Chris is able to do. He set it up with a small group of Urologists in La Crosse, WI, which is just over an hour away from Rochester. One weekend a month he takes back up call from Friday evening to Sunday evening. We all get to come with him, and they put us up in the Grand Stay Suites. We stay in a two bedroom/living room suite with a kitchenette. We bring food up for some of our meals, but they have a continental breakfast at the hotel, and we usually go out to eat one of the nights. There's a church a few miles away, so we go there Sunday mornings. We go swimming, walk along the river (the hotel is right next to the Mississippi), play outside, watch movies, play games, and we just got a membership at the Children's museum. We have a great time! Most weekends so far Chris has just had to take a few calls, and once in awhile he's had to go into the hospital for an hour or two.

In December there was a big snowstorm starting as we were driving out to La Crosse. The next day Chris and the kids played out in the snow (I stayed in with Sylvie).

They had a huge Christmas light display right on the river by our hotel, so we walked around there and also got to visit Santa and his reindeer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sylvie at 1 month

It's definitely been the easiest adjustment after Sylvie. Not because she never cries, but because Annie and Noah are so helpful. I feel okay with leaving her alone in a room with either one of them. They are also able to make meals which we can actually eat!

The hardest part of our family's adjustment has been Brigham and Hudson. They both love Sylvie, and have been very sweet with her, but it's everything else in life that they have not been able to handle. I know it's just a phase, but I sure hope this phase ends quickly!

Like I said earlier, Sylvie has been our best sleeper. She's also a champion burper. At first she didn't spit up very much, and I was hopeful. But after a few weeks, she started spitting up quite a bit . . . and it comes out her nose as well as her mouth. Poor girl, that can't feel good.

Sylvie hates tummy time, but she's content as long as someone is holding her. She doesn't last a terribly long time laying down on her own, so we're usually holding her when she's awake.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Since Sylvie was due in November, I wasn't sure what was going to happen for Thanksgiving. All I knew was that I was not going to cook a turkey! I was hoping that someone would take pity on us with a new baby, and invite us over. Either that, or we'd be eating turkey sandwiches from the local deli. We talked about it a couple of weeks before Sylvie was born, and I mentioned again that I was not planning on cooking. Chris and Annie then decided that they could do Thanksgiving dinner. Annie got so excited about doing Thanksgiving with just our family (we've always been with extended family or with friends), and she said, "So if anyone invites us over, you'll say no, right Mom?"
I was surprised with how good I was feeling by Thanksgiving. Annie and Chris made the pies (apple, pumpkin, and banana cream), and on Thanksgiving morning Chris and I were busy little bees in the kitchen (I even helped with the turkey). With just a few mishaps (way-too-salty gravy, and rolls that ended up as biscuits, sort of, because they didn't get enough yeast), we had a feast!

I had to add that last picture; it's Brigham's plate before he started eating. He really went overboard and we had to reign him in :)

After we ate and cleaned up, we played some games, then watched My Fair Lady. It was a great day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We love Sylvie!

So, Sylvie is definitely the most popular one in the family right now. She doesn't get much peace with Brigham and Hudson in her face all the time. But she's pretty patient, and she has quickly learned to sleep through everything!

I think I have a picture of Chris asleep like this with all our kids. I love it.

Sylvie has definitely been our best sleeper right from the get-go. A good chunk of the time when I can tell that she's getting tired, I lay her down with her binky, and she goes to sleep on her own. Also, right from the beginning, she was going three or four hours at night, then going right back to sleep after she ate. There have only been a handful of bad nights. Before you get all envious, I have to say, I think we deserve it. None of our other kids slept this well for months.