There Comes a Day…

…where you just don’t dress the small children anymore.  They get a bath and clean clothes at bedtime, then in the morning and as the day goes on they gradually lose clothing items to food, chalk, sand, mud, etc, and mostly, unless we leave the house, I don’t bother to put new ones on them.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s some great pictures I took at story time a few months ago.  The light was bad and the pics didn’t focus as well as I’d like, but I love how the three of them love each other so visibly.  SO SO SO SWEET.  Happy Father’s Day, Ben.  You are a great daddy and Ascher and Wilona think so to.  Love you.




In the quiet dawn before the day fully begins I am awake and taking mental pictures.  Wilona is in the middle of our big bed with her face and hands nuzzled up against my arm.  Ben and I are touching knees under her feet and his nose is just about in Wilona’s hair.  Ascher is on my other side, only half asleep, twiddling his toes under my side.  He always comes to our room when he wakes up in the morning, looking forward to having a snuggle in the last sleepy part of the morning.  This morning he toted in a teddy bear and a frisbee and he’s having trouble getting the frisbee to a good snuggling position(ever tried that?), or else I think he would have actually fallen asleep again.

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Sometimes I get up, after Ben is already away, and admire the gap that was my space between the babies.

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The constellation of a family feels complicated sometimes.  Parents orbit each other.  Tiny babies orbit mama.  Bigger kids make intricate orbits around mama and daddy and siblings.  Maybe parents orbit the kids too, I don’t know.  The whole system relies on the balance and gravity that God provides to keep in in top form but sometimes the system feels shaky as pulls adjust and balance changes.  I stress about dumb stuff(lookin’ at you, house cleaning).  They stay up too late.  No one communicates well.  Everyone always NEEDS me(cue dramatic huffy sigh).  A fast forward to nap time or gym time or give everything to Goodwill time or be anywhere but here time seems ideal.

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Little Buddies

Wilona – 8.5 months, 19 pounds

  • rolled back to tummy  2-7-14
  • first four teeth in a three week time span in February
  • loves to play copy cat and peek a boo and bouncebouncebounce
  • trying so so hard to crawl and starting to make progress with supporting herself on only three points
  • smacks and chews while she watches us eat
  • just starting to work towards a single long nap instead of multiple little ones
  • is a lovely loungey, snuggly baby when she’s sleepy
  • has beautiful chubs and is happy happy happy

Ascher – 22 months, 30 pounds

  • says!!  ball “bow!” and yes “des!” and Mam, Dad, bath, rice, Nana, Danna(his aunt Julianna) and lots more things
  • loves apples and peppers and milk – they are his most requested foods
  • recognizes that letters are something and points to them saying I, I, I, I!  Or E, E, E, E!!
  • starting to go to sleep mostly without us being in the room and is getting longer sleep stretches at night, finally
  • points to things and says “One…” and looks expectantly for the next number
  • LOVES to play outside
  • will pick “go” out of any of our conversations and run for his jacket and shoes and the door
  • points out animals to me by their sounds
  • would like us to read him books all day long
  • likes exploring new places to stuff himself


  • are always so happy to see each other
  • both like to make their animals growl
  • (and I) are trying to work on sharing and not allowing toy snatching
  • love to play together


All Night, All Day

Putting Ascher down for his nap has been easy lately.  We go to his room, close the darkening shades and turn on his music(Praise Baby).  Then I settle him into his little bed with his kitty and, now that it’s cooler, a little quilt.  Usually he’s asleep in three or four songs.

Today we got him settled in and I was rocking Wilona nearby and we listened to a couple songs together.  I was singing along, off and on, and when we got to Agnus Dei I heard Ascher chime in with his sweet little voice.

“Hah-way-oo-yah,  Hah-way-oo-yah,  Hah-way-oooo-yah.”  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.  He kept singing it at all the right spots with just the same feeling as the singer.  “Hah-way-oo-yah, Hah-way-oo-yah, Hah-way-oooo-yah. ”  

Utterly precious.


I say it for me.

Every night before he goes to bed I tell Ascher “Jesus is watching over you.”  I hope that he’ll soon gain an understanding of what I’m talking about, but for now it’s more a reminder for me.  Jesus is watching over my babies every second of every day.  Even when I’m struck with random worries of tornadoes and housebreakers and floods and angry dogs and illness and car crashes, they’re in good hands.  My worrying isn’t going to make them a scrap safer.  So I say it for me.  Jesus is watching over them.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:37-39



Wilona, 4 Months and a Week

Wilona, precious girl.


You are a loving, snuggly, and gorgeous little person.  You are exceptionally chubby(17 pounds!), exceptionally happy and exceptionally strong.  You are starting to try being sitting up without support and have always enjoyed trying to stand and are working on getting stronger on your tummy.  Toys and books are interesting, especially now that you are getting coordinated enough to grab at them and move them to your mouth.  You suck on your own fingers or thumbs pretty regularly, sometimes even with you’re nursing.  Daddy says you’re trying to train the milk to come out of your thumbs so you can eat whenever you want.  I think you’re welcome to eat whenever you want anyway.  :)


You have lots of nicknames.  For a while after you were born your daddy called you “Little Tomato” because you were so little and red.  Now he calls you “Widget” and “Shortcake” and “Little Fritter” and sometimes “Lona Widget”, “Nona” or “Chubby Cakes”.  I frequently use “Dolly”, “Little Daughter”, “Beautiful” and “Lovely”.  Suffice it to say your daddy is more creative in the nickname department.  :)


Watching the world and seeing people is like the best thing in the world.  Brother and your daddy are your favorites, but almost anyone can coax a smile from you, especially if you’re safely snuggled with mama in one of your carriers.  You loves games and bounces and being smiled at and talked to.  We’re pretty sure you’re going to be doing most of the talking for both you and your brother, pretty soon here.


Wilona, you are a marvel.  You are happy, day in and day out.  The only time you cry is when you’re really tired.  Even at night when you need a snack you rarely do more than a quiet grumble until I hear you.  Sleep is your friend and at night, once you finally work through a series of eat/burp/nap/burp/eat/nap over the span of a couple hours(which admittedly can be exhausting for mama, sorry, babydoll) you usually get a 5-9 hour stretch, which is absolutely amazing.  You wake up with a smile on your face(and after that much sleep, so do I!), ready to chat about any and everything.  Once again, I’m saying that I’m happily surprised by what a happy baby we got(and after how happy Ascher was/is I was sure we’d get a grumpy baby, just for balance ya know).


You exceed all my best expectations, little one.

Love you lots.


DSC07141Ascher’s 4 month post.

Day 22 of 31 – Living to Learn

One of the things that has been really valuable to my parenting toolbox this month is being really attentive to what actions or parts of the day cause moments of stress for me and/or Ascher.

For example, there are the basic baby problems of hunger, tiredness, boredom, temperature and diapers.  I’ve been working with those for a while now and they’re mostly pretty easy to recognize and act on.  Wilona’s needs are in this more simple stage still.


At this point Ascher’s problems are all of the above and frequently in combinations that can’t be fixed with a single action.  If Wilona is hungry and tired I can nurse her and she’ll go to sleep.  For Ascher, if I realize he’s hungry once I’ve started trying to get him down for his nap all the wishful thinking in the world isn’t going to get him to sleep.  Even if we’re both tired I have to get us up and get him a snack and the sooner it happens the less stress we’ll both have.

Along the same lines – if I try to get him to sleep and realize he’s not ready yet I have two choices.  I can repeatedly lay him back down over and over and over until we’re both stressing out and frustrated and still not sleeping or we can get up and go have fun until he is ready to sleep.

I’ve also been trying to remember that some actions are just boredom needing redirected and trying to give “yes” alternatives when I find myself saying no repeatedly.  No, you can’t throw toys at your sister, but let’s throw these balls into this box.  No, you can’t get in the pantry, but here is your drawer of kitchen things, etc.


My most recent realization is that it really matters to him that I do what I say I’m going to do. if I say we’re going to go get a snack then we need to go get a snack.  It’s not just if I were to say that we’re going to get a snack and then I do nothing.  Obviously that’s straight up lying to the poor kid.  I’m talking about if I tell him we’re going to go get a snack and then on the way to the kitchen, I straighten couch pillows, gather laundry, drop it in the laundry room and restart the dryer.

I know it’ll only take a minute and that I’m fully intending to feed the boy, but all Ascher sees is me doing anything but getting him a snack and he has no idea how long it will take.  So he starts whining and fussing, reminding me that he’s starving and needs help and in the back of my head I start getting frustrated because “this’ll only take a minute, why are you so worried?” which can lead to unnecessary mama grump.

Right now, when they’re small, I need to be establishing mama trustworthiness.  They need to know that I’m going to do what I tell them I will.   And right now, they need to see me being exactly honest with what I tell them because I want them to trust me later, when things aren’t so simple seeming.  Obviously there is a time and place to be training them for patience and later in their lives task efficiency will be encouraged, but right now, there is less stress for all of us if I focus on doing what I told them I would, without detours.