Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daily Life

Just some shots and stories of daily life...

My little rock star. She put the orange/yellow barrette in.

Mark took Lydia home from a church dinner last week in the truck. Her comment was, “Daddy, mommy drives fast!” BUSTED!

Tummy time for Toby - and the rest of the household (I love how Guinney just plops right down in the midst of the crew)

Lydia continues to be a riot. We’re having a rough time with her going to school. She cries when she’s dropped off pleading, “Don’t leave me, mommy.” Her teachers say she calms down quickly and does wonderfully during the day. In fact last week their comment was, “We wish we had a whole room of her.” Pretty flattering. She serenades the class at lunch. Two weeks ago was “Jesus loves me.” Last week was the “ABC’s”. Lydia actually naps there this year (last year she had to be separated from the other kids because she’d talk to them while they were trying to sleep), but awakens quite disoriented and upset. The past couple weeks she has sobbed for about an hour after school. Naturally this adds a significant amount of stress to my otherwise lovely “mother’s day out.” I shall persevere and pray this phase passes quickly.

Boxes are great fun. One of the kids' Christmas presents arrived in this box. It was ready to go out for recycling when Lydia claimed it by getting her blanket and baby and curling up inside.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Autumn adventures

Lydia falling asleep on "Aunt Jen"'s lap chilling on her deck after grilled hot dogs and s'mores. Life just doesn't get much better than that!

Here are some snapshots of our pumpkin-picking and hayride...

Our darling little pumpkin head before we headed out

Every year of Lydia's life we've gotten a shot on the horsie.
2 weeks old

1 year old

2 years old

Lydia LOVED the mini-hay maze. She went through it at least 4 times and would have gone more had we not (almost forcefully) redirected her to the pumpkin patch

"Hug the big pumpkin"

I love her pose here.


After fussing, this is how Tobe spent the remainder of the time at the pumpkin patch

Lydia, on the other hand, got a 2nd wind when she got to feed the goats.

We went to a corn maze in Mercersburg last weekend with a group from church. The whole way there she exclaimed, “We’re going on a hayride!”
Hangin' with mommy on the hayride

Tobi spent the hayride blowing bubbles

What she didn’t know was that she would get to meet pigs up close and personal.

She then got to hold a bunny and was in absolute heaven.

And she really seemed to get the concept of the corn maze. She would come to an intersection and say, “This way or this way.” And proceed to take off running.

She got so tired that at one point she fell face down and couldn’t get up. I suppose a corn field is just as good a place as any to nap. After mommy took a turn, daddy shouldered her load. Whew!


Three weeks ago we visited Mark's family in MD. We had a lovely time - all together, much love and joy.

Tobias & Ally meet for the first time (Toby is 3 weeks older than his cousin)

To update many, my beautiful niece was born with a heart defect. After receiving care at Hopkins for 6 weeks she came home with a nasogastric tube to ensure weight-gain and home health services. After three weeks at home where she smiled, cooed, put on pounds, interacted with her 2 year old sister, a week ago she was readmitted with heart failure. She has just been weaned off the heart-lung bypass machine however, the left portion of her heart is not functioning properly. The doctors are baffled as they can find no concrete reason for her crash over the weekend. She is now on the heart transplant list as a fall-back plan. If this story moves you, please pray for her - for miracles of healing, wholeness, for God to preserve her precious life. Our hope rests in Him, the Lord of all creation who holds her in His powerful, loving hands.

Beautiful Ally

We took the girls to a local park on this perfect autumn day

Mommy & Lydia


These cousins were a riot! We asked them to "hug" goodbye and once they got ahold of each other, they wouldn't let go! Simply precious moments...


It's hard to believe but my friends kids just keep getting cuter. Enjoy...

A "Gummy" teaparty at the Dortenzo's

Darling Riley with tired Tobe and Lydia

All 4 sitting together for one, brief, moment

Riley lovin' my kids

Brave Maeve


Happy Anna


Coop and his beautiful momma

Proof: Toddlers CAN share!

Owen and Lydie squinting

Jude and Toby: Happy boy, Sad boy

Ava & Lydie being silly

Jude is one week older than Tobias

Blowing bubbles...

Very very silly (I love how the boys are totally oblivious to both the frivolity of the moment as well as the fact that they are falling over)

Avery is practicing for her job as "big sister" in a couple weeks


The newest member of the bunch...Welcome, Natalie!

Tobias is 3 months old!

With the days of constant screaming behind me, I am finding more joy in this child each day. He is developing a relatively regular eating and sleeping schedule (including 8 hours at night – horray!) and his “awake” times are much more pleasant. He is cooing and smiling for extended periods of time. He bats at his dangling toys with much more purpose now and really studies them. He gazes at his hands then stuffs them in his mouth. He loves to be held upright (that reflux still gets him sometimes) and facing out so he can see what’s happening. He grins from ear to ear when daddy sings him “Do-Re-Mi” (daddy’s scales can sometimes be a little off-tune – hilarious to Tobelerone). And even laughs when his hands are played with. Nothing compares to a squeal of delight! He’ll follow his sister with his gaze as she prances around the room. He still primarily rejects “tummy time” but today I got him to tolerate it and he did so well with holding up his head. I think he may have even enjoyed it! We sure are enjoying him!

He truly is "so cute" in hats

Look at those chubby cheeks!

A favorite activity... hand sucking

Smiles from Tobe = priceless!

Tummy Time

Daddy's boy

Daddy returned from MTEC tired, but thrilled - He didn't miss a minute of the Giant's game! Don't they look alike here?

Toby in action