Thursday, June 18, 2015

Daniel & Ridge

Watching my brothers with my children is one of my favorite things in the history of all families of all time. Daniel was in from Oregon for a few days and the kids got as much time as they could with him. 

One afternoon he was "roughing housing" with Ridge-newborn version. He called me in there because Ridge was entertained and smiling. When my brother has my newborn smiling, I sprint/stomp through the house to get my camera for a picture. 

Uncle rough housing is good at any age. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ridge's First Camping Trip

Over the weekend our new family of five went camping. Three days. Two nights. Ridge was one month old. Now taking a newborn camping is kind of crazy, but it's actually not. They don't know they're camping. They just keep on doing their newborn thing=not much. 

Burl and Fern regularly talked about taking Ridge camping-they were eager to introduce him to our favorite family adventure. Since we had to sit out of camping for a while because I don't do pregnant camping well, we were all itching to get back out there. 

We've had a lot of questions about how it went, so here's the low down: Ridge was easy. He and I slept in one tent and the John, Burl, and Fern in another tent. The only problem was that all his baby noises sort-of kept me awake at night, but no one gets a good night's sleep while camping. Other than that, Ridge was very easy. He was like most babies and was even more chill while being outside. He was a breeze. 

see the deer that the kids tried to chase?  

The kids also enjoyed being outside all weekend. Burl didn't wear a shirt for almost 24 hours straight, and that is reason enough to go camping. He's so cute. Fern just sassed her way around the campsite. We were all sweaty, dirty, exhausted, and happy. 

Routine visit from Pops, whose farm is very close to Fall Creek Falls

We weren't able to explore as much as we usually do, because nursing/diapers/exhausted. We were hoping to swim in the swimming hole, hike to the bottom of the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi, and go canoeing. Cue the laughter. Those things didn't happen, but we did what we could. We were able to play in the creek and do some hiking, but our exploring was drastically different. At one point we decided to get ice cream at the general store and drive the loop that had good views. 

Even though the trip didn't look like we thought it would, we still had a great time and made good memories. While we were there, I had to once again process my life (because I can't have a good time and just leave well enough alone). This is the first time that I've got to be part of a family that is intact. When we do cool, normal family things like camping, I have to pause and slow down so I can take in all the good feelings that come with happy times. They come rushing at me. Take a newborn camping? Heck yes I will because nothing about this is hard. This life is all so good and I'll enjoy it the way that I can. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Matching Seersucker

Thanks to my mom's dedication to dressing my children, Burl, Fern, and Ridge looked so snazzy for our first day back to church. The kids were beside themselves with excitement to match each other and show off their baby brother. 

When Burl first saw Ridge's outfit, he exploded into genuine laughter. "It's so girlish," he kept repeating. We all laughed at Burl's shock over his first exposure to baby boy dress up clothes. 

Since we were only a little late to church, I got a took a few pictures of my sweet children. Amazingly, they were all looking at the camera and I love this little picture!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Nashville For Nanul

When my brother, Daniel, moved to Oregon, the kids had a hard time letting him go-especially Burl. There have been many "I miss Nanul" tears, but we've made up for it with FaceTime and letters. 

We got the news that he would be in Nashville (with a few days in Chattanooga), and I decided if he's in Tennessee then we need to get in as much time as we can. My mom, the kids, and I drove to Nashville for some extra Nanul time. 

Burl was literally on top of him for most of our time in Nashville. 

Fern enjoyed the larger chair swing where she could ride side-saddle like real ladies ride.

They swing. I nurse. 

Ridge was a complete doll and went with us for the ride. 

The goodbye was easy because Daniel will be in Chattanooga on Monday and the children are already making plans for him. They love their Nanul. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

John's Rainbow Birthday

Bless my heart. I made this rainbow cake with the kids for John's birthday last week. Not to make HIS birthday about ME, but it is my blog so I'm going to talk about that cake. In passing, John mentioned that he wanted a rainbow cake for his birthday. If you've read my blog for any length of time, then you know that I'll go to great lengths to give my people what they want on their birthday. Let's cut to the chase: this cake basically took me all day. In between nursing and general life, the kids and I squeezed party preparations into every corner of our day. 

I asked John why he chose this cake (but I shouldn't be surprised coming from the guy who asked for a pistachio cake with candied lemon slices one year), and he said that he had always wanted to have one and he knew the kids would enjoy and remember it. 

The kids did enjoy the preparations. They hung "rainbow streamers" and tried hard to keep all the secrets. After an entire day of housework, it was nice to take the evening off and enjoy John's birthday. He's done so much for our family that he actually deserves more than one night of pampering. We love him and our whole house breathes a gentle sigh of relief when he walks in the door. He's so sweet to each of us. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ridge's Almost First Smile

It happened so quickly. We were all in the kitchen, and I was playing with Ridge. He flashed an almost smile. I squealed. The kids ran by his side. John grabbed the camera. We kept doing the exact same routine trying to get Ridge to smile again. We almost got it:

I can predict that we are going to act like fools for the next few weeks hoping to get that smile again. Nothing will have a person repeating the same phrase and activity like getting a baby to smile or laugh. We are all crazy about our newest addition.