Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aroha, Arohanui

Last night I had an interesting experience with Lily. Around 1am she woke up and was whimpering. I left her for a few minutes, hoping she would soothe herself back to sleep. Slowly she started crying and I got up and went to her. She nursed hungrily for awhile, and let out some nice toots- something made her gassy I guess (who knows, this girl can toot with the best of them!). Anyways, after nursing for the better part of 90 minutes I was exhausted and she really need to go back to sleep. I had tried putting her in her bed a few times, but I guess her belly hurt too badly. I tried holding her belly to belly on me, but that made her arch her back and scream. The only position she was happy in was literally, her 'happy place'. Well, I wasn't up for that so I got her binky, and tried again to hug her to my chest. She was screaming but I took a deep breath to remain calm and started singing a song I learned in New Zealand to her...
Aroha, Arohanui
When a baby smiles, out comes the sun
Aroha, Arohanui
Love to all, love to everyone

Well... it did the trick! she was calmed down by the time I completed this short song one time, and asleep shortly after that. It may have been just a fluke, who knows. My girl and I have had this kind on connection since hours after her birth. The Peds doctors wanted to keep her with them for observation overnight, but the couldn't get her to settle and stop screaming. The minute they laid her next to me she was sound asleep. My Lily Girl. I can't believe she is 10 months old in a few days...

When I looked up the meaning of the Maori words this is what I found, it makes perfect sense to me :)

The word “Arohanui” is a Maori word and, as with many Polynesian words, there is no direct translation into English. The literal meaning is “big love”, or “much love” or “great love”. And, like most words in most languages, it has several meanings. In naming this book, “Arohanui: Letters from Shoghi Effendi to New Zealand”, “Arohanui” is used in its more expressive meaning, “enfolding love”, or “that love which binds a community together”, or “that love which creates bonds of mutual trust and loyalty”, or “that love which builds and carries forward culture or civilization”.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.....

Christmas is creeping up on us here in sunny Florida. Preparations are in full swing but it is difficult to truly get into the spirit when its in the 70's every day (not that I'm complaining!)

We originally wanted to get a real tree- one that we could plant after Christmas, but we found such an amazing deal on a 6.5' fake one that we couldn't pass it up. Besides, our yard is pretty full as it is! It was pretty special to decorate it. TQ and PopPop sent up a box of ornaments that were mine as a child, and Grandma and Grandpa also sent a box of pretty holiday things. I had such fun explaining all of the ornaments to John, including the egg shell that I remember making in first grade with Mr. Ramsey- Alexis' Dad. Oh, the memories.

John and I had planned on having a few of his friends over to decorate gingerbread men over the weekend, but instead John ended up at the Doctor on Friday after school and on breathing treatments after that... Oh well. Fingers crossed that we are all feeling better for Christmas!

Lily looks on as John learns how to use the nebulizer.

Poor baby.

To wrap it up... here are a couple fun pictures!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


My boy. As active as ever. Many of the photos I try to take end up looking like this:

He is making so many great friends at school. Today, he had a friend over and I heard the most amazing laughter coming out of his bedroom- what a joy! We've been working on his letters and writing lately, our front porch tiles and some sidewalk chalk have
turned out to be a great spot!

4 can be such a trying age, but there are many little things that get us through- just look at that sweet smile :)

9 months

Lily turned 9 months on Thanksgiving day- November 24. She had her well baby check the other day and is weighing in at 17lbs 15oz and measures 28.5inches. Our baby is saying a few words with regularity- Daddy was the first word but has since included BAH BAH (bath) and NonNon (JohnJohn) and when she is really upset, Maaamaaa! She loves to eat and would gladly sit in her highchair snacking away for hours at a time. John will tell you 'Lily eats what she sees' and its the truth!
She truly is a delight... and a ham! Such a little model, always stopping to pose for the camera.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Playing Outside

John has a cold, Lily is starting to get stuffy- ahh change of seasons... John spent most of yesterday afternoon in bed watching Cars 2 and resting. By around 4 he was overflowing with energy so we went outside to play. John has really been practicing his bike riding, determined to get those pesky training wheels off, we raised them up the other day but all that did was give him more clearance to do his 'tricks' (riding over the hose, pieces of wood etc.) He was riding in circles in the backyard and Lily was in the middle watching his every move.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween Roundup

Halloween went on forever down here. It fell on a Monday this year so the celebrations started on Saturday with Boo Fest at John's school. We all 'dressed up' this year, John was Buzz Lightyear and Jeff, Lily and I were the 3 Little Green Aliens from Toy Story. Sadly, we didn't win the family costume prize (we were robbed!) maybe next year...

Sunday was the Lincolnville Farmers Market. We all dressed up again and John got to trick-or-treat at the market stalls. The highlight of the day was when he met another Buzz Lightyear- it was truly a face off! I like our Buzz wings better :)

Monday was Halloween and there was a class party at school. He mixed it up a little and dressed as NASA-Buzz, in his orange NASA jumpsuit with his Buzz Lightyear belt and wings. It also happened to be one of John's classmates birthday so in addition to the Halloween festivities his class had pizza and cupcakes! We are so lucky to have a very active parent group in school, I think we had the best class party there, I mean, who could compete with freeze dance to 'Thriller' and 'Monster Mash'?!?

Monday night it was time to Trick-or-Treat in the neighborhood. After dinner John got dressed up yet again and he and Jeff went out walking. Lily and I stayed home and handed out candy, she had a blast dumping out the basket of candy and playing with it. John and Jeff were gone for hours, they met up with one of John's friends Reef and his parents and the boys had a great time trick-or-Treating together!

At some point during all of the hoopla John said to us "Halloween sure does last a long time" I think he was getting a little worn out with all the activity. He ended up with a ton of candy, most of which he doesn't eat (John doesn't like most candy, lucky us!) so the 'Candy Fairy' made a visit to our house. You see, you can trade candy in and get a toy, book, game etc. John decided this sounded like a good deal (he was pretty sure he'd get another lego Buzz) so he traded. He didn't get Lego Buzz, but he did get a Solar System mobile to hang in his room. We put together all of the planets and followed the directions on how to hang them around the sun. We have yet to paint them, we are waiting for a quiet day while Lily is napping, but it is hanging in his room and we have done a lot of talking about the planets. When asked, he now says he is going to be an Astronaut when he grows up. In fact, the other day he said to me "Its about time for me to get to the Moon." I don't think I'm quite ready for that!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011


Lily at 8 months...

My darling Lily,

Today you are 8 months old and I don't know where the time has gone! You are growing up so fast. Lily, you have 2 teeth now and I'm sure more are on the way soon. You chew on EVERYTHING and drool constantly. Today you decided to start crawling- such a milestone for the 8 month mark! We vacuumed the carpet today because you are determined to pick up (and eat) even the tiniest thing you can pick up.
You are an independent little soul, Lily. Quick to show your temper when things aren't just the way you want them. You are a flirt, oh so social. When we are out and about and there is nobody but me to talk to you sometimes get a little grumpy, but as soon as there is someone new to talk to you are all smiles and dimples... Oh dimples. You have 2, but they are both in the same cheek! Someday I will capture a photo of them.
Lily, you are so special. I love the way your face lights up when you see your Daddy. I love the way John makes you laugh, a full genuine belly laugh. I love the way you need me, the way you calm down in my arms when you are sad or scared. I love the way you clap your hands. I love the way you cross a room just to get at a tiny piece of paper. I love your wispy hair that seems to grow while you sleep. I love the way you pose for the camera and crinkle your nose when you smile. I love your giggles when I change your diaper and tickle your tummy. I love, You.

Love, Mommy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cloth Diapers- DIY Style

For awhile I've been wanting to try Lily in cloth diapers, actually since before she was born. But due to all the moving around we were doing it just didn't work. I have, however, had the chance to do a lot of research! We already had some g-diaper outer pants and Conor and Shannon gave us a FuzziBunz AI2 diaper. Also, a friend gave us a whole stack of flat-fold-diapers (basically a huge cloth that you fold to fit what you need). In my research I found tutorials for making your own inserts that will work both in the g-pants and the FuzziBunz. The real bonus was I already had all of the materials, so the out of pocket cost is NIL.

I used fleece and a swaddle blanket. Cut both to fit into the g-diaper insert- aprox. 5"X16". Cut 3 layers of the fleece and 1 layer of the flannel blanket.

(John took the photo of me sewing, pretty good huh?)

Once all 4 layers were sewed together (rounded the corners to fit a bit more snug) I put the insert right into the snap-in-liner and popped the diaper right onto Lily!

Doesn't she look adorable with her little g-bum?

It needs a bit of tweaking, but I think we're getting there!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Particular Day...

Mornings are busy in our house. Since school started it has been a race to get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door in time. To complicate matters, Jeff started working last week so now I have 2 lunches to make in the morning! Lily has been sleeping great (10 hours a couple times!) but wakes up early (6 or 6:30) which is actually good because I get quiet time with her to nurse before John gets up.
Typically- Lily was up at 6:30, John shortly thereafter. John watched PBS kids for a little while after inhaling a big bowl of cereal (he is growing, its like we can't feed him enough!). Lily nurses and then eats her solids around 8. I drink my coffee (I learned how to set the coffee timer so its ready when I get up!) and then I make lunches. Jeff sits with Lily (often catching up on email or ebay at the same time) and is out the door on his bike before 8. At some point John gets dressed, almost always by himself (yay!) I dress Lily- she has to eat her solids in just a diaper because food for her is a total sensory experience! And somehow I dress myself. By 8:40 John, Lily and I are packed in the car and on our way to school.

This morning was no different than other days, except for one thing. The car ride on our way to school. I hear "Hey Momma" from the backseat. "Yes, John?" "can you turn up the song?" We are listening to Jimmy Buffet's 'One Particular Harbor' and I hear John singing along. The lyrics are:

Ua pau te maitai no te fenua
Re zai noa ra te ora o te mitie

Which is Tahitian and translated means:
"Nature lives (life to nature),
Have pity for the Earth, (Love the Earth)"
"Bounty of the land is exhausted,
But there's still abundance on the sea."


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle take 2

Twinkle Twinkle

I've been meaning to post this for a long time. John adores his sister and loved singing to her when she was tiny- Lily is under 3 weeks old here. I'm so glad I grabbed the camera and caught this (through my tears!)...


Lily is one talkative little girl, I wonder where she gets that from.... :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bathtime Fun!

Since Lily is such a good sitter all of a sudden we've started having a lot more fun, especially at bath time! John is having such fun playing in the tub with her, and teaching her to splash Mommy!!

These are the fun times...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A photo catch up

We've been busy lately! Sorry for the lack of photos but moving into a new house with 2 small children is a big task... We are settling into our new house and I promise to write more about that soon. Until then here is a sneak peek into the kids rooms::

John's closet door, cool huh?

John's shelf, one of the 4 bookshelves that his Great Grandfather made.

Lily's dresser and shelves. These used to be mine, as did all of the Beatrix Potter figurines (and a few others) that now live in Lily's space.

Lily's chair, can you believe this beauty was on the side of the road?! Jeff just had to glue it up a bit and we washed the fabric cushions, its perfect for those late night feeds :)

Now onto the important stuff... Kiddos!
At 6 months old, Lily is loving food! She sits well and rolls all over the floor to get to what she wants. She is a persistent little soul, focused on the goal in front of her (usually a piece of carpet lint or something else she shouldn't have). She has been a pure joy to be around, especially since her moods have improved with her sleep!

Sweet John. What can I say? He is 4. He is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear and is a whiz on the computer. These days he is a sponge and asks questions that seemingly come out of nowhere, who knew he was actually listening to NPR in the backseat of the car? He starts preschool tomorrow, our little boy is growing up...