Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grandmother's Visit:

As an adult I realize that these quick family visits may never stick in L's young brain. But I hope that even the fuzziest memories can be recalled years from now by viewing these precious pictures. Our visits were filled with playfulness, smiles and sweets! We learned new and exciting things: Great-Grandma N. is the proud owner of many talking/singing smiley face dolls, as well as a pretty shiny bead necklace, a bird named Tweety and a fantastic and rather extensive spoon collection. Great-Grandmom has a fascinating bed with remote that makes it go up and down and up and down... you get the picture, and lots of family photos to look at, and a drawer full of fun things to explore (the calculator was the favorite.) Over all, a quick trip up is hard but completely worth it!


Sadly we did not get any snow in Columbia! But we went to where the snow was... Asheville! The blanket of snow covered the mountains and even accumulated around 8 inches at my mom's house. Off we went to visit the Grandmothers and play in the snow! On the drive up we read and learned about snow. As we began to see white melting patches on the side of the interstate, having never experienced snow, Levi began and kept asking, "What's that??" The excitement in our voices did not make sense until we exited the vehicle in a land fit for Frosty. Here are the first moments of exploration...

The consensus.. we like the snow! Oh, and it's cold...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First (real) Hair Cut:

We have been tossing around the idea of getting L.'s hair trimmed for a little while now. I posted about the few little chops we took a while ago and how hard it was for me. So, I'm amazed at how well I did with the actual event. I think because it was more spontaneous it was not as emotional as I thought it would be. Plus, he was looking terribly scraggly!

We ran into a quicky cuttery store front after dinner out with my sister last night. So here are the action shots of the first real hair cut! The hairdresser was very good, and L. astonished me with actually letting her do the job! I suspect the promise of a sucker and a balloon made it worth it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


You might wonder why we would care about and celebrate the holiday of Chanukah as we're not Jewish. SO here's the short version: The God of the Old Testiment never changed through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. He is still the creator, sustainer and protector of his children (e.g. Adam and Eve, Noah and the Macabees). We celebrate Chanukah because God (Yahweh) performed a miracle there... just like the rest of the OT miracles we learn about and celebrate. The miracle was when the temple was regained by the Jewish people, cleansed of pagan worship (a very vile desecration) and worship resumed there... the place that Yahweh set aside to come meet His people intimately (that's heavy, man.) There was not enough oil to keep the lamps continually burning but by faith they were lit, and they remained lit as the oil did not run out, thus the lighting of the menorah. The festivities of Chanukah may be traditional but the Feast of Dedication IS mentioned in scripture. (John 10:22) We enjoy celebrating Yahweh all through the year because it is our heritage as well.

This is our first Chanukah:

Aunt Connie's Visit:

We had a delightful time hosting Aunt Connie. She was here for a long weekend that was great. We visited the Zoo, ate, visited the zoo again and ate some more! Levi enjoyed playing and reading books and generally entertaining Connie. Here is a smattering of pictures from our time together! (Unfortunately for me, all the good pictures were on Connie's camera! We'll get them soon I hope.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby #2

All is well, #2 is kicking around in there, having a grand ole' time and we're feeling great! I've had mild heartburn, a few leg cramps. but lots of energy as we entered the third trimester! Countdown here we go! (3 months left!!!)

The profile shot at 24 weeks. (I'm about 25 now...)

Friday, November 27, 2009


Frist Hair Cut:

I cried for 5 minutes solid.

Background might help... We have had a love-hate relationship with L.'s beautiful curls for a a while now. Steve and I both just couldn't bear the thought of cutting his gorgeous baby hair. It has such a lovely curl to it, so delicate and innocent.. that is until it started to MATTE up. After bathtime was the best, after nighttime was the worst. Every mother knows the fine baby hair just doesn't want to cooperate. Detangler and a comb could fix the knotted problem but it was wearing on my patience.

Thursday morning before leaving for Thanksgiving lunch, I was in position with a squirmy kiddo, the detangler spray and comb and thought *sigh*, "It sure would be easier to not be dealing with this..." So I mentioned it to Steve. He brought the scissors to me but I just couldn't do it. The mother in me couldn't take away the innocent curls of my firstborn, my baby, my boy! So, Steve did.

In a matter of seconds his lovely lock was gone. And I cried. For a long time. Steve took the lock and glued the end to keep it bound together, and later I placed it lovingly in a keepsake box on my dresser. The significance for me is hard to explain in words. I feel a little better seeing the curl there, next to my lovely pregnancy photo, and L. at 5 months. Stages of life, a very fluid and very fast time. I love every minute of it.
Best of all I can look forward to all the wonderful memories we will make as a family of four, with Baby #2. (If it's a girl, I'll never cut her hair!!)

Nap time Today:

Bushed from all the celebrating lately L. crashed in a very unlikely place. He normally gives a mild to moderate fight when it comes to nap-time. Today he just played, then drifted off.... with blue bear on his head and yellow bear snuggled in his arm. TOO CUTE. (and yes.. we were both still in our p.j.'s...)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

3-2-1 Contact!

Yes. Yes he did take a picture of the first poopy in the potty. And then promptly censored it out. (For which I will forever be grateful.) But I am VERY grateful for the actual event! We're making progress!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Conversation with a two year old...

I can't believe that my little baby boy and I have conversations!
Today as we were entering the library I said, 'If you want to run we can!'
To which he replied, 'Not run, just walk!'
so we walked...

In other news: I'm taking a 7 day Green smoothie challenge! Yes... it's dumbed down version of the 30 day challenge. Happy Foody has the motivational pep talk (and how-to video) I needed jump in! I've only thought about starting it like a million times. So here I am, pleased with myself and the first green smoothy I so very clumsily concocted. She has the fancy blender I could never afford.. but between the juicer, blender and 43 different bowls, spoons and knives I succeeded in Day 1 smoothy making. Tomorrow I'm going to just dump it all into my sad little blender to see what happens. Day 1 smoothie was near perfect texture though. I might just have to employ all electrical appliances to get my health on track. I confess I have had horrible horrible horrible nutrition lately. Thus the green smoothie challenge.

Enjoy it with me, wont you? Here's to our health! (Oh- and baby #2 is flipping... literally.. over it! :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

To L.: On Turning Two

You're growing fast little one!

1. You have 18 teeth, are 33.5 inches tall and soaking wet weigh 26 lbs.

2. Your favorite foods: ice cream and cheese top the list!
Eggs, bread, potatoes, french fries, chicken, grapes, kiwi, banana, apple and peanut butter, hummus and chips, broccoli and dressing. In general you're a great eater. My crazy palate must have rubbed off on you during your time in utero, "Curry? No problem..." The last thing you tried and liked... fresh pomegranate. And anything I can't get in you, we juice!!!

3. Your favorite toy right now is your measuring tape. The obsession began with Daddy constructing around the house. He would help hold the tape and CRY when it was taken away. So, kudos to my mom and dad for giving you your very own *real* yellow measuring tape for your birthday. You're a regular Bob the Builder, kiddo! (And you already can sing the theme song, too!)

Other toys you love:
Tools (!)

4. We co-sleep so we have a more fluid view on bedtime routine. But your current routine is dinner, bath (usually short, you're not a water baby), snack, vitamin, reading books, brushing teeth with daddy, sing and cuddle with mommy and then sleep. You're so sweet to cuddle! And lately sleep nestled into the crook of my arm. I cherish your cuddles!

5. You love to talk to Yahweh... You are always ready to pray at mealtime (sometimes multiple times), when you have an ouchy, or when someone else or thing has an ouchy. You love singing church songs and "In the Garden" is your most requested song to sing. "Wheels on the Bus" is usually second runner up. You are a kind boy, L.! You play well with others and always share. I just know you'll be a great big brother. I love that about you!

6. You're learning lots! Just this morning you told me about Noah, the ark and the turtles. (I suppose the other animals were there as well...) Your book of the week is "Bumpity Bump!" by Pat Hutchins. Our outings to the library are always a thrill! I love to hear you count... 1..2..3..H..I.. It warms a mother's heart! But to hear you, at mere 2 years old, singing what you can recall of the ABC song while playing with your toys is a reminder that you are really a smart kid! You're observant as well, spotting the tiniest creature or detail and taking pleasure in finding new discoveries.

There are a hundred things you say throughout the day, I wish I could record. Little memories tucked away of my darling first born son I'll cherish always. Thank you for being wonderfully YOU!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2nd Grand Opening: Adjusting

One would think it would take fewer months to adjust to being pregnant and yet here it's taken 4 months.
No we did not fall off the face of the earth, nor did we get raptured without you! Mama's just getting back into the groove of things.

So, what filled the past 19 weeks?

After vacation I parked my tushy on the couch to study. In August I took and passed my NARM exam. Praise Yahweh. Around 6 weeks pregnant all energy drained my body and I slept, er- hibernated for days on end (or at least it seemed to Stephen that it was days...)

Following the exam chaos there was approximately a week when L. sprouted 2 lower molars and thus, put us through the preverbal 'wringer' at night. For about a week and a half he would wake anywhere from 3-6 times a night. 'Kill me now' was my mantra....

Steve's folks came for a week stay over Labor Day weekend. A blessing to the mama, who has had much more nausea and vomiting than last go round. Donna was a dream in the kitchen cleaning and helping around the house. We enjoyed having Cal around to entertain L. as well! We kept trying to sell them on the wonderful southern life in hopes they'd come permanently... but I don't know that it worked.

My sister had her baby in September, which was wonderful! I was blessed to be her doula and watch her powerfully bring my niece, Anna Clara, into the world. My mom, L. and I stayed for a week helping her as best we could.

During our 10 day stay in Atlanta my darling 23 month old weaned breastfeeding. Much to my delight, as pregnancy had NOT been kind to the girls, that chapter was closed. I loved nursing L. and probably would still be if it hadn't been so painful. I completely owe it ALL to my mother who would put him down for me at nap time and night time. The last nursing we shared was nap time the day of Clara's birth.

Since then I've been feeling much better physically. I've entered into the 2nd trimester a new lady and have arrived at being excited about being pregnant. We have decided to let this baby's gender be a surprise to all as we did with L.. We are due with baby #2 mid to late March 2010.

I have reopened my Etsy shop, listed under Onnalee13, Sheared Sheep Bottoms. I began the process while Steve's mom was down. We attacked my pile of sweaters and the machines have been whirring since then. Send your cloth diapering friends my way for a wooly great deal on covers!
Pictures on specific events will be forth coming.
This concludes the 2nd grand opening of A Family Experience! Welcome back!

Sept 17th: Welcome Baby Clara!

On September 17th we welcomed our newest family member, Anna Clara! She is a darling little bundle! We wish she didn't live so far away, but were blessed with the time we were able to spend with her and her mom and dad. I will brag on both of them, they're great!

Oct. 6th: Family Fall Fun

We decided to take advantage of my frequent trips to the upstate by making this day a family day! We gathered all gear necessary for midwife appointments and apple picking, plus lots of toys for entertaining. We found ourselves at the acclaimed Nivian's Farm. Levi enjoyed running around and playing, looking at the animals, but had a look of 'I'm over this' by the time we hit the pumpkin patch. We did find one for cooking! Hello Pumpkin Pudding and Pies! Overall a great family day!

Our view from Apple picking:

Papa Bear:

Mama Bear:

and Little Bear:

Ready to go!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tennessee Trip July 11- 15

Our trip to Tennessee was great! We enjoyed hanging out with my dad and Tara. My sister and her hubby were here for a day as well! We spent time at the pool, watching videos/TV and eating lots.. the stuff GREAT vacations are made of. With the kid size pool and helpful family I go to really enjoyed the swimming. Just around the corner is the Grand Ole' Oprey. We enjoyed walking around the convention center, where there is an incredible indoor garden. (There is even an indoor river with a boat in it!)

Other outings:
After a great Lebenese dinner, we visited a great park down town Nashville. It's just off Vanderbuilt Campus. There was a walking trail around a pond, an Air Force fighter plane from the 40's on display as well as an actual steam engine. If you havn't been directly next to a train you've not lived! It was amazing. HUGE, to say the least.

We took L. to his first movie Theater experience, which was a sucess. He was captivated for most of the film. Of course the big animated elephant was a fairly interesting thing to watch in Horton hears a Who.

We visited the actual Grand ole Opry, we went into the gift store and through their free museum. It was interesting enough, considering I'd never heard of 99.9% of the people. (I knew Elvis, and Minnie Pearl...)

But above all we enjoyed being together with family!

Under construction:
Will be adding a few more pics when they arrive.. thanks for your patience!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Puzzle Maniac

L. is a puzzle maniac.

I'm serious. Like, certifiable. He walks into my mom's house and first thing he asks for: "puzzle?"

We do this one particular floor puzzle like 10 times a day. And then there are the cars, trucks and tractors, planes, boats and (outside of the box) the set of train tracks. I lucked out at finding a sack full of stimulating puzzle tiles. It's a simple montessori style exercise that he really enjoys.

Last night Steve and I were able to go on a date (a very predictable but fun dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, window shopping and a hunt for a new puzzle for L.). We didn't purchase the floor puzzle but a discounted Alphabet puzzle. I'm a Mellissa and Doug snob... there, I admitted it. There are lots of new words to learn and fine motor skill to perfect!

He's already mastered it. Sigh.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Potty Learning Victory #1

We had voluntary success!

This morning while I was chatting on the phone I looked up and L. had sat and went #1 on the potty ALL BY HIMSELF!!!!!

A moment to let that sink in.
I was ecstatic!
I was elated!
I was overlooking of the dribble that missed on the floor!
I made a BIG deal and praised L. thoroughly.
I wiped up the dribble, but this time, with a grin on my face.

The Proof:

June Photoshoot: 18 months

Photographer Sarah Jokerst captured L's heart...