Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm back

I have obviously been absent from the blog world for quite some time now (like 4 months or so). I have a good excuse. I swear! I mean, just look at this face, can you blame me? :)

On St. Patrick’s Day we welcomed our dear Miriam into the world.

After much drama with a dangerously low heart rate in utero which made my scheduled C-section an “emergency” one, this little girl entered the world perfectly healthy. What a blessing! Over the past few months we’ve had the typical newborn sleepless nights accompanied by lots of snuggling, binkie sucking, over-the-top hugging and kisses from her big bro and big sis,

and developing in the way newborns are supposed to. Unfortunately, over the past couple weeks Miriam became a fussy eater which took us to the docs. Turns out she wasn’t gaining weight so he ordered blood work (just in case). A couple hours after the blood was taken (via healstick) we were called by the on-call doc informing us of the results of Miriam’s labs: critically high potassium levels which can impact muscle function including cardiac muscle. Off we went to the ER to obtain a venus blood draw. While there, Miriam was such a charmer, gazing at her caregivers and eliciting compliment after compliment on her “pretty bright blue eyes.” Thankfully, the second round of tests indicated “within normal limits” for most of the labs. Now our focus is beefing her up by feeding her more often and supplementing with formula. Our prayers are being answered as she weighed in at 11 lb. 4 oz. today - a whole pound more than three weeks ago when all of this started. Praise God! Now, if we could only get some sleep...

Miriam adores:
• stuffing her hand in her mouth

• grabbing at anything particularly necklaces, shirts, and her cow
• tickles
• bouncing
• faces
• staring at her Snoopy mobile

• supported standing
• “talking” (babbling, gooing, cooing)

Meanwhile the “big kids” have finished up a school year
Lydia at the end of the year "candy scramble". She got so much she was stuffing her bucket down to fit more in ;)

Lydia on stage for her final MDO performance

Tobias with his MDO teachers whom he adored. :)

End-of-the-year ritual: Ritas.

After a few days of mayhem when school ended, I implemented a “letter a day” lesson to provide some structure (and sanity). The kids latched right onto the idea of “lessons” and we’ve really had some fun with it. It’s amazing to see their thirst for learning. Now, just in case you are wondering, I totally do NOT make up these activities on my own. I get a lot of ideas from various homeschooling blogs who provide free printables and ideas. I also get encouragement and inspiration from my dear friend, Melanie who has directed me to resources and shared her knowledge and experiences (she's way more into the online homeschooling world than I am!) for which I'm so thankful. It's fun to share our flops and triumphs while keeping each other motivated...
Here they are creating "habitats" in shoeboxes.

Tobias telling me what he sees

Driving Trucks on the "T" after being dipped in paint

Tobias points out his favorite letter EVERYWHERE – T’s really are pretty popular, from crosses in church, to exit signs, to the pattern frames are hanging on a wall.

Lydia is having a BLAST with her summer activities. She just finished up a Nature Music Class,
Her class was featured on the CVSM Facebook page. Here she is being a butterfly

she's currently at her 2nd Vacation Bible School, and continues with ballet for another few weeks. It’s remarkable that the comments of her teachers and adult leaders are the same: they marvel at her enthusiasm.

Since Miriam’s arrival the kids have truly watched their fair share of television. Naturally a little “mommy guilt” accompanies this truth. However, I smile with pride when these two bring their TV characters into our world. They pretend they are “Diego and Alicia” or “Toby: you are Steve and I am Blue”. They “save the sloths” and “find the clues” documenting them in their “notebooks.” To get this photo I put the Apple TV on "pause"...

Both kids adore going outside. (If we could just get them to remember to shut the door – the AC goes out with them and the bugs enter in…)
Whether it's picking strawberries,

Spending the day at Fuller Lake,

Or splashing in the pool on our deck.

Last week Lydia found a barely alive cicada. With daddy’s help she proceeded to let it crawl all over her shirt and arm. Then, she and Tobias built a house for it. A little drama followed when it passed to cicada heaven (and then disappeared!) but it’s remarkable to me that they love nature so much. In fact, both of them slept in a tent in the backyard with daddy on 4th of July weekend. Well, if you can call a 4:45am wake up by Tobias “sleeping”. They had a blast chasing fireflies with their bug nets, making s’mores, and using their flashlights in the tent.

One of the running “themes” of our big kids’ play is “baby.” (I wonder why!) They take turns being the “baby” and the other fulfills the responsibility of feeding, napping, playing with, and generally ordering around. A glimpse into our world…