29 September 2013

Self (Family) Portrait By H

After a recent outing we came home and my boy promptly drew this.

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It made me so darn happy.

We go to Costco regularly. It’s not difficult for me to take all three kids there, thanks to the huuuuge carts and all the free food. And we eat about two buckets of spinach a week so I can’t go long between visits, obviously.

As you can see, this is us unloading the goodies into the back of the van. He even drew my big shopping tote with handles inside the shopping cart. And in case you were wondering, we already loaded the baby into her carseat in the van and that’s why we don’t’ see her here. I put her in first because one day I got scolded by a stranger when I left her in the cart. True story.

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My older girlie also drew a picture. This one is more open to interpretation?

:)

28 September 2013

Don’t Chew That, Chew This!

Guess what I did a couple weeks ago?

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I sewed. It was so fun. I’d like to do it again sometime.

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A friend of mine had sewn these covers for the straps of the very best ever ERGO Carrier, and I copied hers! Except she did snaps and I did Velcro. The issue is that baby rides in the carrier (my baby has spent a LOT of time in this carrier lately) and she is in that chew on everything all-the-time stage. But it’s not good in the long-term to chew on the straps. So I made strap covers.

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And I made ‘em pretty too.

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Just simple little two-sided flannel rectangles with velcro and a little ribbon loop to hook a toy to if wanted. I excel at sewing things with straight lines. Squares and rectangles are my friends. Can I get an Amen?

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Not bad, eh? It took me a couple hours to whip up two pairs.

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27 September 2013

Goodbye Tours–Tea Lady

One of my all time favorite things to do in our city was go to the tea lady.

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Tea ladies have their little stands all over the city. Street corners. City parks (if you can call them that). Bus stations. Small alleys. Everywhere. They are surrounded by stools and small tables.

Women did not traditionally drink tea with a tea lady. But I often did. I couldn’t have achieved ‘traditional’ lady no matter how hard I tried. If I did go drink tea by myself, with out my husband, I did make a point to sit near the tea lady and chit chat a little with her and not the other men sitting around.

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Over our years there, the re-bar and string stools were slowly replaced with plastic chairs… which I hated, by the way! I loved sitting on a low stool sipping tea. Plastic chair was just not the same. But times were a’changin’ and what could I do about it?

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If you went during the right morning or evening hours the ladies may also be preparing ‘zalabiyya’.  This day the children got a front row view.

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Basically deep fried donuts with sugar on top.

Basically yum.

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And tea was served. Chai with nana (mint) for Mikey and I. Caffeine-free hibiscus tea for the children.

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This particular morning we knew was going to be our last visit to the tea lady. I was sad.

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But Sweet N was carrying with her usual business of dirt digging and rock collecting

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With a little donut eating in between…

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Goodbye tea lady.

Cozy Spots… To Remember

This post is mostly for my forty-four year old self. That’s how old I’ll be when my oldest is eighteen. And it’ll be so bittersweet. And I’ll want help remembering what it was like when they were small. These are such amazing years while we have small kiddos that can be so challenging, but so very special. I often think about a phrase that a friend told me in Texas this summer… “The days are long but the years are short.” That is oh-so-true. I want to fully love and appreciate each season for what it is. Jesus, help me.

Anyway, I just want to remember my kiddos little beds. With all their snuggle-ups (a handful of which were brought back from Africa with us and have given them a bit of comfort and continuity) and special blankets made by dear ones who love them so much. They have such sweet and cozy spots to carry them to dreamland in our home that is such a gift and a blessing in this season. The nights that I tuck them into their beds I crawl into bed with each of them and I wrap my arms around their little bodies and we talk and pray and my heart fills up like I never knew possible before I was a parent.

“The days are long but the years are short…”

Parenthood is such a gift.

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My boy’s collection of little friends. Each of them special, with a story.

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And my older girlie’s. Thank you God for clean, cozy, comforting beds for my babies to be tucked into every night.

It’s the little things…

24 September 2013

Bags Bags Bags and Stuff

Three kids = lots of STUFF. Especially when on the road.

When we were traveling around the country this summer, I was especially aware of how much stuff we took preeeeetty  much everywhere we went.

For example, this was just a couple hours at church.

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Purse, baby bag, big kid activity bag and Mike’s laptop bag. Oh, and the baby and her carrier. We have to carry those things too!

But in actuality it looked more like this…

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Um, giant mess! Woops.

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This pile o’stuff I believe was just for one night spent away two and a half hours away. One stinkin’ night. That’s a lot of stuff. But we were prepared!

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This was what the kids needed to spend a few nights at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Not too bad? Maybe? Honestly I’ve lost all frame of reference as to what is and is not a ‘normal amount of packing’. Although my husband could confidently tell me (and does) that I always pack too much.

Whatever.

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This is another morning spent at church here in Colorado. Ack! I feel a little self conscious sometimes of how much stuff I haul in and out of places, but what can I do? Pack less? Psssssshhh!

I think I’d totally regret packing less when I need just that one thing that I must have put in this big bag somewhere for just an occasion like this…

23 September 2013

Little Mama

I remember when we were trying for a third child how my heart yearned  to make Sweet N a big sister and how devastated I was when we lost that third baby and I wasn’t able to make her a big sister/little mama (yet).  I knew she was going to make the best little Mama. I knew it was going to be great.

And I was right. She takes very good care of her baby sister.  And in this case, her baby doll too!

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One day recently she just decided she needed to give her baby doll a bath, and she did so, very carefully and thoroughly. It was so fun to watch her.

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Although when the time came to take the classic ‘baby is all clean and snuggled up tight in her baby towel with a hood while Mama holds her’ photos, Sweet N was all done and was having none of that. Ha!

22 September 2013

House Tours

Today the kiddos invented a new game…

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They called it ‘A Tours’: giving the baby tours of the house in a plastic box.

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Baby girl voiced no complaints and the big kiddos thought it was great fun.

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Look at the face peering through the end of the box as her brother shows her the bottom of the table…

But don’t let this game fool ya, baby girl has no trouble getting around on her own.

Sweet things.

She Sits!

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It’s the little things, you know?

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Brother is so proud of her.

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And wants to squeeze her and play with her all the time!

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It’s so fun to watch her grow and learn!

19 September 2013

Lil’ A’s Six Month Portraits

A few occasions over the past weeks I have tried to get some decent portraits of my baby girl. I think I did okay. In two of these (the first and last sets) she is wearing vintage family hand-me-downs. This green dress is one my sister and I wore, I believe. And this hair bow was her big Cuz’s.

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That grin, those baby blues… and those cheeks!!

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Happy girlie.

So beautiful.

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And these next ones make me laugh. This is the other vintage dress. This one goes way back before my sister and I. My grandmother wore this hand sewn pale pink dress, if I remember right.

When I took these a couple weeks ago, baby girl wasn’t sitting up very well on her own yet. I had to hold her hand and steady her. But now, by the time I am posting… she’s doing very well sitting up!

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First one, decent smile.

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Second one, pensive.

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Third one, what do you call this face? A sneer?! Pirate face? I have no idea! Babies are so funny.

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Finished off by none other than the spit-up action shot. Hehe.

What a joy she is. What a gift.

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