Wednesday, October 31, 2012

trick or treat!

 Leia and Commander Rex.

 Leia is not impressed. I will try to get a more cheerful picture of her in this, because when she smiles, it's absolutely adorable! Blake wore the mask a tiny bit, but it hampered things like seeing after dark, and it smooshed his nose something fierce.

Three of the daring marauders who plundered yon village. Even Rob and I have quite a haul, mostly because only four groups of trick-or-treaters made it this far north in our subdivision. The homes get a bit few and far between, and I'm kicking myself for buying the enormous goodie bag from Costco, when a single bag of fun-sized Snickers would have been plenty!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

four months old

Four months old, and those ears aren't going to quit. I almost made her Yoda for Halloween, but what we ended up with instead is SO STINKING CUTE that I think you'll forgive me. Especially when I post the pictures.

 This is her relaxed pose in the bouncer. Doesn't that look relaxing?

Poppa and Nonna got to join us for breakfast in Billings on their way back home from the eastern states. We got a smile out of Cec (HURRAY!), but my kids were absolutely not cooperating.

This is how Grammie makes up for missing grandbabies: smashing into them. And it makes me giggle every time I look at this!

Monday, October 29, 2012

so much love, and yet i keep thinking, "this is just a precursor to shingles"

Vesper loved Aunt Ernie, and Aunt Ernie loved her right back!

Two pretty girls.

We went to the hay bale maze (not easy with a stroller, even a small one - I should have seen THAT coming!), and Grammie Gee graciously indulged all of Blake's requests. Cotton candy...

The bungee trampoline...

Scarecrow pictures... 

Ok, a serious one this time!

"This is what I think of serious pictures!"
Also, look at that snow on the mountains. What a lovely place we are privileged to call home!

These kinds of props don't work from a side angle. Or with your hands draped over the front. Or a "ANOTHER PICTURE?!" frowny face.

Vesper was not impressed, but WAS awfully cute in a pretty new hat!

< The best pic of the corn pit. We found corn in his pockets for days, and then found more in the car.

Blake got his hands on Ernie's sunglasses and struck a rock star pose. >
Terribly fuzzy, but Dan-O was a great sport and gave Vesper a bottle so I could continue doing whatever it was I was doing. Possibly drinking my own bottle of... something.

During the in-law visit, we had Vesper baptized. Side story about that: neither Rob nor I are from an "infant baptism" tradition. In fact, quite the opposite, where baptism is an outward expression of inward faith. HOWEVER, both of our positions on this have shifted, become more malleable, and rather than seeing baptism as something an individual does for God, we see it as something God does for the individual. Also, we are members of a church which practices baptism (but not dedication - in their view, a dedication is merely a dry baptism), and we submit to their authority. Finally, I have more thoughts/feelers on this, but that's the snapshot for those of you thinking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" If you're curious, just ask. I'm happy to have a dialogue about it!

Rob's folks came through town before the baptism, on their way through towards the eastern half of the U.S., but were unable to stay. My folks came up for the splashing and lunch (though were cheerful and frank in their "Oh, we don't believe in infant baptism. As far as we're concerned, it was merely a damp dedication."). Margie, Steve and Patsy, and Dan and Erin are all big Blake's family, and it was so special to have them join us as well.

Vesper is more patient than Blake is at waiting. For now.

He loves her so. It warms my heart, and she smiles and coos extra big just for her brother. I hope they will be fast friends and that not too many LEGOs are ingested on the way to that goal.

Pastor Bryan included some kind words, sharing what I had told him about living my own version of Joel 2:25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten." God promised me abundance while I was a grieving widow, and He made it very clear to me that His abundance would include another husband and more children. I just didn't know when. I had to constantly remind myself that Yahweh was not late, a truth I had inscribed on a ring that I wore faithfully, right up until Rob and I had it melted down to be incorporated into his wedding band. Vesper has been a sweet answer to so many of my tear-stained prayers. It was a joy to be able to share that answer with my Rob, my Blake, my actual family, my married-into family, and my church family. I got choked up more than a few times during the weekend, for the richness of it all. And I cried through the entire baptism, which is why I look so puffy (at least, that is what I am claiming, because otherwise I look like was stung by bees all over my face!).

"That was fun! Let's do it again!"

Saturday, October 27, 2012

a few rando pics before I move on to the really good stuff

 Rob got a Kegerator, and I got fat. Seriously, there is no accountability with this thing in the garage. When I'm drinking from a 12-pack, I generate empties and think, "Ok, time to be done!" When I'm able to just pour a pint and when Rob brews damn good beer? Well, I say "Thank you sir, I'll have another!"

Last pic of the Huns this season. They have gotten shy and only come around when the light is poor. Maybe we'll still have a flock in the neighborhood this winter and they'll stand out better. For killer cat predation. Maybe they should migrate after all.

 Everyone made it to Billings for Audrey's dedication and my Grammie's visit, and this is the ONLY photo I got. All the grandies in one place was pure wonder. Chaos. Whatever. You can't see Sawyer, in the corner of the shower by Blake, and I think even Jetty got in there after I snapped this pic. The lesson from this? My parents have a BIG ASS shower, and I really should take more pictures.

Finally, this was taken from the east side of our house, facing the Bridgers, to show how bad the smoke was for most of August (yes, I'm that far behind in pics). I'd take another photo to show you what you SHOULD see in this (mountains in the entire left background), but the cloud cover has been too low lately. Also, I am lazy. And I'm writing this at 11:00 pm. There are lots of reasons, really.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

because we've gotten some snow, and this makes me feel better

Remember when I wanted to help landscape but was too knocked up? Yeah... Doesn't that green grass look pretty? Wait... scroll down more. This is a before picture.

And next year is going to be even better! I planted spring bulbs in front, I'm going to fill my enormous pots with lovely flowers, and the perennials my mom and a friend donated will be more lush and I will probably add more. I know we just had our first snow (that stuck), but I'm already really excited for spring. Which means I'm totally screwed, because that's approximately nine months away. And no, that is not a pregnancy reference.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

quick, before he loses another!

Taken after he lost his second tooth in four days (the lower left in the photo). The top one gave up the ghost during dinner, after lingering FAR longer than necessary. The bottom one popped out painlessly while he was prying LEGOs apart with his teeth.

 And today, he yanked a third that came loose quite suddenly. That's three teeth in six days, folks. Beginning to wonder if he's just trying to manipulate us out of our money.

Vesper looks increasingly concerned as well. He sang "All I Want for Christmas" to me today, and noticed that he can whistle better WITHOUT the front teeth. Go figure! I think I'm going to paint him orange for Halloween. He can go as a jack-o-lantern.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

and yet... i am content

"Where have you been?!"

Well, let me tell you. A mother's life is so glamorous. First I had a pile of in-laws in town for Vesper's baptism (went off without a hitch, have pics, cried almost the whole time for the memories of the first baby I had baptized), then I got a call from the school about Blake (apparently he needs training on what NOT to do with scissors), then we all went to a friend's house for dinner and dancing. The next day, we also bought Just Dance 4, and I plan on roping as many people as possible into dance parties with my family. I also noticed that the stabby pain I'd been experiencing had finally morphed into something visible: a rash in a sensitive area. Hmm. No new soaps or detergents, no change I could recall at all in products used.

On Monday, it had become more painful and begun blistering. OWIE! The doc graciously checked it out after Vesper's four-month shots (yeah... four months! Where does the time go?), and promptly declared I had shingles.

My immediate response: "DAMMIT!"

Turns out that stress (though the time with the in-laws was delightful, that many visitors is just stressful, no way around it), suppressed immune system left over from pregnancy, and fatigue (my late bedtimes are doing me no favors, and now I have proof) can trigger shingles in otherwise healthy young folks. SHINGLES.

SHINGLES! from dooce on Vimeo.

Thankfully, I seem to have gotten a mild case, despite the fact that it was centered in my groin region. The pain was intermittent and not so intense I couldn't function or, you know, wear clothing. My biggest concern was giving Vesper chickenpox, which would have required her ingesting some of the fluid from the blisters: easy to avoid, since common decency required I keep the area covered at all times I wasn't showering anyway. We seem to be out of the woods on that one, since the blistering is done and the pain is decreasing in intensity and frequency.

I've spent the last week resting vigorously, which means I've watched obscene amounts of TV and gone to bed at more reasonable hours (mostly). My floor is gritty, my laundry has piled up, the dust is making me rethink black furniture, and I don't even want to open my eyes in the bathrooms. Wait... maybe that is adding to the bathroom problem?

But... I have been able to laugh at the absurdity of my post-pregnancy body woes. Blake's lost two teeth in the last few days and told me all matter-of-fact that he knows I am the tooth fairy. Rob and I are at a great place in our relationship. Vesper doesn't have chickenpox. I got to see two of my dearest friends and a newborn this weekend. Life is remarkably sweet, and I've realized recently that I'm unusually and peacefully content. It is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

i'm too cute to go to sleep

Vesper is getting more and more chatty, so much so that, a few weeks ago, Rob had to leave church for the majority of the service. This is from that evening. I'm surprised she continued after I got the camera: any time she tunes up and I grab a phone to call a grammie or auntie to hear, she zips her lips!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

grammie is missing sweet v, so...

... here you go, Grammie. Love you lots!

She sucks her thumb. Rob can't decide if he should apologize for this or not (he was a thumb-sucker), because it's so stinking cute.

Look at those ears! I love them. V's too.

"Mom? Mom! I'm slipping!"

"This is much better. I will cross my ankles, like the lady I am."
Three months old. (Couldn't find the Ewok for this pic.)

My little bunny rabbit, demonstrating that the outfit Lane found short and wide on Audrey fits our squat, chubby, sweet girl to a tee.

B: Will you take our picture, Mom?
A: Of course. You both have really beautiful skin.
B: What?
A: Nothing. You're very handsome.

Our beautiful punkin head (the orange isn't true to color in this pic - click the link to see the real shade). The hat was a gift from my friend: buy all her stuff, because it's awesome and super soft and ridiculously adorable.