Friday, June 14, 2013

"New Baby Comes"

These were the words spoken by Axel when we asked him what we should name the new baby.  He was quite consistent with that response.  Well, "New Baby Comes" has finally arrived -- nearly 3 months ago!  Our apologies to Axel, for selecting a different name, to Tobi, for not having a baby girl (which she had already named Carly), and to the new baby, whose blog post was left until months later while his father was trapped in the service waiting room at a car dealership and finished in the airport on the way home from a business trip.

Although we've disappointed our children -- certainly not for the first or last time -- we are quite excited by the arrival of a small, kissable, round-headed person whom we have named Soren Isaac.  Now that I've had a longer observation period, I would have to add the adjective "worried-looking" to the previous list.  I don't really blame the little guy, since most of the facial expressions occur when his older brother is forcibly implanting Soren’s pacifier into his mouth or jumping onto the couch from the coffee table -- inches away from his head in the (semi-permanent) feeding position.  Come to think of it, I've seen the same look when his older sister sat on him.  You show discernment beyond your...months, baby is wise to be slightly terrified of your two siblings and to already have some instinctual sense of self-preservation.

Shauna and I both came across the name Soren separately...we're still not sure who suggested it first, but whoever it was, the other had already been thinking it.  There was only one problem...the meaning of the name Soren is "severe" or "serious".  It didn't change the fact that we liked the name, but we were still undecided when Shauna went for a pre-op appointment 3 days before the scheduled C-section.  I was at home with the kids in the middle of the work day when I got a call from Shauna saying they were sending her to the hospital to monitor her blood pressure.  After her blood pressure normalized and was no longer a concern, OUR level of concern was bumped up a few notches...what if they decided to do the C-section NOW?  We still have 3 days to prepare, right?!  Maybe not...

With the pressure on, it was time to get serious (see what I did there?) about choosing a name.  At this point, our call had ended, and we were using possibly the best method of marital communication. No, I’ll expand that...possibly the best method of all communication currently known to man -- text messaging.  As technology allows special moments to be immortalized forever, this fine example is no exception.
Without further ado, I share with you the intimate details concerning the careful consideration of our third child's name (Ben’s comments in blue):

And there it is -- Soren Isaac's name was decided over text.  Just because I find it funny, and it helps me understand where my older kids get their whining tendencies, here's the update from two hours later:

“Usual” at the house has become many wonderful moments and laughter, peppered liberally with others of frustration, temporary feelings of desperation, and outright insanity.  Basically, parenthood in general – amplified by having 3 children under 5 (including one Axel).

Welcome to the craziness, Soren Isaac…we love you!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Axel turned two this week!  He is so very two!  He is getting himself into all kinds of trouble...but he is a riot and makes it hard to laugh even when he is being disciplined.  He is coming out with all kinds new words and phrases on a daily basis.  He loves to have us watch him do all kinds of silly things.  "Mommy, watch!" "Daddy, watch!"  Climbing, jumping, running, spinning around (or rounding, as he likes to call it), throwing any kind of ball (or really anything!), playing with anything Tobi is doing are among his favorite activities.  Food is tricky right now.  One day he will gobble up a meal and the next day proudly declare "Not like it chicken!"  Most days I can't win...and end up picking up lots of food off of the floor.  He loves fruit..just about any kind...and he still guzzles milk like it is going out of style....and the thing that seems to send him over the edge is a donut or munchkin ("dowut" or "munkish").  "More dowut! More dowut!" Of course a cookie or piece of candy will not be turned down, but those treats are appearing less and less as the good for you food keeps hitting the floor. 

We celebrated with a family party on Sunday even though his actual birthday was on Monday.  This provided quite a bit of confusion for Tobi.  She kept asking all day if he was really two.  I told her that he would actually turn two while he was napping since he was born at 3:23 pm.  So after I got him up from his naps he went right back to his old antics (which sadly include pulling Tobi's hair and hitting her if he feels somehow his happiness is being jeopardized by her).  Finally Tobi just had to ask me if I was sure he was really two now, since he still looked the same and was still doing all the same things.  I guess she really had high hopes for this birthday! I won't tell her that it's probably going to get worse before it gets better for her.... Nevertheless, she is a great big sister.  She "reads" to Axel any time he will actually sit and listen.  She is often eager to share her toy or food to help appease him...and she really tries to include him in her play.  She also loves to help keep him in line...letting me know when he might need a timeout. 

Even though being 8 months pregnant and chasing a toddler is wearing me out quickly...I love Axel's little personality.  He is a bundle of energy and excitement...but he is a funny, happy guy (except when he isn't) and he can also be very sweet.  He often calls himself "Akel-boy".  Other favorite sayings include:  "Akel dood it", "Mommy, good!", "No like it", "I'll get it", "Found it!", "hiding" and so many more.  He makes us smile everyday!  We love you, Akel Boy!  You are one of a kind!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

O Christmas Tree....

After waiting 2 weekends for a good day to go cut down a tree, like we have the past 2 years, Saturday was rainy again.  Ben decided to run out and just buy a tree from one of the local places selling them.  This was the heaviest, fattest tree we've had...

Tobi was a pro at carefully placing the ornaments on the tree and spreading them out nice and evenly.

I wasn't sure how "helpful" Axel would be with the decorating...
...but Tobi was a good monitor for him.

 As it turns out he wasn't at all concerned about putting the ornaments on the tree, or taking them off for that matter...he was much more interested in carrying as many as he could in his hands at one time.  Why would you put these toys on a tree anyway???
 He did get into the spirit of it for a few minutes...

 Time to put on the star....
 or not!  I guess it was a little higher/further than she wanted to go!
 So, on to plan B.
 Or plan C....that star is bigger than I remember.

Not sure...but MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 A little posing...
 Look at what I found under the tree!
 Sibling love!
 Project completed!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stark Park 10-13-2012

This year we went back for our annual photo shoot in the park.  Sadly I left my camera somewhere and so I was down to my iphone.  Considering the limitations I still managed to grab a few good shots.

After the park we decided to make a total fall day of it and head to the apple orchard....where we did not pick apples, but we did buy apples and apple cider donuts and pumpkins.

 More donuts plaease!!!!!!

 Oh and one more from the park...I think he has a career in modeling in his future!!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fantastic Fours

So...I told her she wasn't allowed to do it and she kept telling me she was going to anyway...and it turns out she was right.  I have been telling Tobi for months she wasn't allowed to turn FOUR.  I just wanted to keep her three for a while longer.  Three seems like I could still put her in the toddler category...but alas she has been seeming very four for a while now and there was no stopping it.  The day came and she, sure enough, turned four years old.  It's just a day and a number but it seems so impossible. 

It helped a little that we've been celebrating her birthday for about a month now, so when the day actually came the sting wasn't quite so painful.
We started with an island celebration when we were with Grandma and Grandpa R-B.  Since we wouldn't be together on the actual day we celebrated early with cake and gifts.  Tobi was most excited about her new princess castle...right up this girls alley for sure!

The next celebration was mid-July and we had pool party for 3 lovely ladies who all celebrate birthdays in July.  It was just a perfect day (which you have no guarantee of when you sign up to rent the pool...feeling lucky since we really didn't have a plan B) for a day in the park.

 Love these girls:  Tobi 4, Sadie 4, Kayla 6





What's a party without balloons and a baby in a diaper? 

After a week of music/art camp we were looking for a low key way to celebrate on the actual day.   By low key, I mean I didn't feel like cooking.  So we asked Tobi what she wanted for dinner and as expected she voted for hamburgers.   If given a choice I'm pretty sure she would choose Wendy's as her restaurant of choice but we tried to steer her in a slightly different direction.  We ended up at Cactus Jack's and, as you can see, it was met with approval from the birthday girl!  

Then we headed back to the house for some more cake and ice cream and presents.  (This girl is going to need celebration detox). 

I cannot even begin to sum up what I think about this girl...she is most certainly her own person and I love every bit of her.  It feels like almost everyday I am trying to remember all the funny, smart, strange, cute, loving, or sometimes not so loving but still creative things she says and/or does.  She is a great big sister most of the time...and that is saying a lot since Axel's favorite activities include hitting, biting and jumping on her (all in love of course).  She loves to be helpful...picking things up, setting things up, dishes, laundry, cooking...I'm just hoping this attitude lasts until she can do it all by herself...that would be amazing!!!  She loves "kids movies" and would like to watch shows about 15 hours a day...but she opts for the one hour (over the alternative - 0) most days.  Loves Max & Ruby...but also is into Diego, Curious George, Strawberry Shortcake and quite a few more.  Looks like she is heading to a couple of days a week of preschool in the fall and I'm sure she will love it.  She loves playing with babies, playing pretend anything (house, school,etc.), playing outside, drawing, coloring, doing activity books and so much more. 
It really is a blessing to be her mom...and I'm so thankful that I get to be that everyday!  So I'm wiping the tears as I say goodbye to "three" but I wouldn't want to miss "four" for anything!!!!  Here we go....