a glimpse into our home: february 23, 2017

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“Look, mom! They growed!”

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gracie’s first two weeks

At 5:50am on January 21, 2014, we became a family of four.

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Our sweet Grace Katherine entered the world.

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Her birth was perfect. I had a few issues after she was safely in our arms, so we ended up spending a night in the hospital. It was cozy and peaceful, and soon enough we were headed home.

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The next days included lots of cuddles and rest and gazing at our Gracie Kate.

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Luke spent a few days with Opa and Oma, then came home to join us. I was amazed at his instant adoration and love for his baby sister. It feels like magic to watch them cuddle, and to constantly hear his little voice say, “hi little Gracie!”

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Grace is quite adorable,  I do believe.

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She spends most of her time sleeping, as a new baby should.

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I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have a baby in the winter, since Luke was a summer baby.
Turns out it is super adorable when they are all bundled up.

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Grace is pretty easy-going thus far. She puts up with her older brother’s loud and invasive affection, as long as she gets lots of cuddles from mom and dad.

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She unknowingly joined the 12th man mania.

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We are adjusting to being a family of four. It feels like stretching – sometimes it feels just perfect, like when Luke wants to drink his bedtime milk next to Gracie. Other times it feels like a huge change that takes some getting used to. We are working it out, this little family of ours. Ian took some time off, and we are treasuring this time together. And we are thankful – we never expected to grow our family this way, and Gracie fits in just perfectly.

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our little chatterbox

IMG_7425Luke talks. A lot.

This morning, he woke up a little earlier than he should, so I sat on the bed and tried to get him settled back to sleep. In about two minutes, he rattled off the following conversation:

“Luke, do you want me to tuck you in?”

“I want daddy to tuck me in.”

“Daddy’s already at work.”

“Daddy’s at work? He’ll be back soon. Who’s coming over? Is opa coming? Opa will come back soon.”

“Opa’s coming next Tuesday.”

“Tuesday. Someday. Opa’s coming on Tuesday, and he’s going to play with me. He’s going to play with me. He’s going to play… barn! He’s going to play barn with me. With the horse and the sheep and the pig and the cows and the bull. The cows and the bull! The cows and the bull! What’s the bull doing? What’s the bull doing there? Oh, man. Opa’s going to come and play with me and the cows and the bull.

What’s that? Did someone toot? Mama, did you toot?”

“No, that was my stomach rumbling.”

“Rumbling? Rumble bumble jumble. Rumble bumble rumble bumble rumble bumble. Rumble bumble dumble. Dumble. Dumble. Dumbo. Dumbo! Dumbo! Dumbo is a BIG elephant! Dumbo!

I’m a baby! I’m a little baby, aaaww. Or am I a big boy? I’m a big boy baby. I’m going to play horses! Horses and elephant. Big elephant! You seen my big elephant? Please I get my elephant? I’m going to ask daddy, and daddy’s going to find it with me. Someday. My elephant book! Please I read my elephant book from the library?”

Around that point, I realized that this kid was not going back to sleep. Not only that, but he’d probably already spoken more words than I would in the next few hours. It’s so fun to hear what is going on in his world, but so crazy how much comes out of his little mouth!

the last of luke’s nursery

Sigh. The day finally came when we decided to move Luke to his “big boy bed” (aka teeny toddler bed).

We had talked about doing it on a week when Ian was working an earlier shift, so we’d have a good amount of time for an extended bedtime routine if we encountered any difficulties. But when we looked at our calendar, we realized that most nights we had commitments that were going to push bedtime back anyways. So we made the switch kind of spur-of-the-moment on a Sunday morning. Which was for the best, since it didn’t leave me time to be overly sentimental about “his last night in his crib” and whatnot. Which I tend to do.

Anyways. We did it – Ian put together his toddler bed and we re-arranged all the furniture so that it fit. Luke and baby sister will be sharing a room, so we had to be creative about fitting everything in a small room. But it will be cozy and cute and Luke is really excited about sharing his room. Once we’ve settled everything in and decorated, I’ll share some photos. But don’t expect it before December!

I loved how Luke’s room was for the first couple years of his life. When he was born, we had a bare skeleton of a room – a crib with no mattress, and a couple dressers. Hey, when you have an adoption come through after the baby is already born, you don’t exactly have time to nest before bringing him home! So it took a couple months to come together, but it was a sweet room that worked well for us. And honestly, the style of the new shared room won’t be that much different. If there’s a theme to the room, it’s probably a woodland theme, which I still love. But I wanted to remember what Luke’s first room looked like.

I loved his little crib area. I designed his birth announcement, and my mom made it with her mad crewel embroidery skills (I’ve already given her baby girl’s design to work on!). My mother-in-law got those super cute animal prints from a local artist – Luke still loves to point out the animals and make up stories about them. The little collage area over his dresser is a modge podge of fun little crafted or thrifted goodies. Both the dresser and the lamp is from my childhood. The lamp also plays a lullaby and the crib figurine rocks when you wind it up (it totally freaks Ian out, but I love it).

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This room gets some nice light, and it was nice to have his changing table under the window. The stork always looked great there – I’m excited to be adding a new heart to it soon! To the left of the window is a photo of Luke’s first father’s day (only a couple weeks old) and a bib that my oma made for one of my mom’s best friends when she had a baby boy. When I had Luke, she was so sweet to pass it on to me. I absolutely love it. I don’t have a full photo of it, but my mom made the Noah’s ark hanging above the closet. She made it for me before I was born, and it always hung in my room growing up. That’s probably Luke’s favorite art in the room since he’s obsessed with Noah’s ark. 🙂

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This side of the room is fun – I made the trio of woodland animals before Luke was born. My BFFs made the little raccoons and twig tree for my baby shower. The good ol’ IKEA expedit has served us well, and will continue to do so!

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So that’s the grand tour – I did say his room was small. 🙂

And here’s a photo of the big boy in his new bed. I made the quilt for him – my first since the lap quilt I made in high school home ec! It was actually a remarkably smooth process, and Luke loves it. Overall, he’s adjusted well to his new bed – bedtimes are great, naptimes are usually fine, though he definitely uses his freedom to get up and play for a few more minutes before settling down. We are thankful for a kiddo who generally likes to sleep, so we try not to get too worked up when we have a shorter or skipped nap day.

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I’m excited to put together their new room… once that nesting instinct kicks in, I guess!

summertime fun

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten around to updating this blog, so I’m going to cram the last couple months into this post.

First up: Luke’s debut at the local all-comers track meet.

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You can see he was quite serious about it.

I don’t know if I can really ever stress it enough to people, but Luke loves running. Like, really loves running. I know all two year olds like to run around, but Luke loves running for the sake of running. He would run circles around our swingset all day long if someone ran with him.

So I thought the all-comers meet would be great. And he did like it – unless he hated it. He just didn’t quite grasp the concept of only running during your race. He got pretty worked up waiting for his races, and then again after his races when he had to stop running. So yeah. He’s two.

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The “mini-jav” event. (Not pictured: his turn at the long jump pit, where he ran full speed and then veered into the other long jump pit (with the older kids) at the last second. Luckily it was clear at the time).

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Running his 50m race with mama.

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This guy keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure. We had our family vacation at the end of July, and it was great. We kicked it off with a day at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

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He’s started saying “cheese” for the camera, and I kinda love the smile it produces.

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After a spending the night at Ian’s grandma’s house, we continued south to Seaside, OR. Ian’s mom met us down there the next day, and his brother Jamie’s family joined us a few days later. We had a great time – Luke loved playing on the beach.

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IMG_6922He also rode the carousel numerous times.

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We also made a trip out to the Tillamook Cheese Factory – Luke and I may have gone through the sample line a couple times.

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Luke adores his older cousins, and whenever we walked anywhere, he’d quickly turn to find them so he could hold their hands.

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Adorable Miss Reese loved playing in the kiddie pool. All the kids enjoyed lots of pool time – so nice that our resort had a shallow kids’ pool that they could happily play in.

Back home the next week, we attended a Bellingham Bells game with our small group. Things were going fine – Luke was running around with the other kids down in front of the fence along left field, where we were sitting.

Between innings midway through the game, they let all the kids run across the field, from left field to right field. Ian went with Luke, who of course loved it. And it was no surprise that he kept asking to do it again afterwards.

What was a surprise was when he and our friends’ kids managed to open the gate in the fence during the seventh inning stretch. Luke bolted and ran off onto the field, with Ian in fast pursuit. Luckily the ball wasn’t in play yet, and Ian managed to nab him to the sounds of the cheering crowd. One of our friends caught their exit on his phone.

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Our next baseball outing was to the Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame night at Safeco.

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It was so great to see the pre-game ceremony. Luke even enjoyed the first 10 minutes (having dinner didn’t hurt either).

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After those 10 minutes, the kid got squirrelly and spent the first half of the game running up and down the ramps and escalators with Oma. Eventually he was able to watch part of the game from our seats. He really just wanted to run on the field himself, no surprise there.

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A couple weeks ago we took Luke to his first fair! He loved seeing all the animals.

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He got to ride one ride, the carousel. He was pretty pumped about it.

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We went with our good friends, “Papa Frank and Nana,” who rank very high in Luke’s world, since they often babysit him. (And yes, it was raining pretty hard, so we all got pretty soaked – Luke’s hair got super curly!)

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And of course the other big news around our house is that we are expecting baby #2! We were super surprised and excited to find out that I was pregnant – I’ll have to write more about it later, but here are some photos for now. This was me at 12 weeks along, just a little bump and a face that portrays the first trimester exhaustion/nausea that I was feeling.

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And this is Luke when I was 12 weeks, he stepped right up to have his photo taken, with deep seriousness…

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And both of us a couple weeks ago, when I was 18 weeks…

IMG_7094I think that’s about all I can muster for an update right now! We are all happy and healthy and usually incredibly tired at the end of each day (I think that has to do with all the running and chasing that happens around here!). Hope your summer is going as great as ours!

catching up

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Our little family at our church’s annual Easter egg hunt.

Wow, over a month has gone by since I’ve written in this space. I guess it was just the time of year – end of winter, Lent – when I tend to tuck into myself and my home a little more. But new life is all around, and it’s time to catch up a little.

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His little smile just melts me! (Also, he does have a diaper on in this pic, he’s not nakers!)

The biggest news around here isn’t really news, it’s just life – Luke is growing like crazy. Not so much physically (though I’m sure he’s grown a bit that way too, with all he eats), but in all the things he’s learning.

He kept putting eggs in other kids' baskets, too funny!

He kept putting eggs in other kids’ baskets, too funny!

His vocabulary is exploding, and he learns and uses several new words each day. It’s a little sad to hear him replace his baby words for more accurate pronunciations – “dol-dol” has recently become “dolphin,” and he’s started saying “dog,” so I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be using “pup-pup.” But it is so fun to hear him pick up on new words, and he is clearly proud of himself when he is able to say what he wants to say.

Showing his beloved orca and dolphin a bigger orca.

Showing his beloved orca and dolphin a bigger orca.

It’s so interesting to watch him pick up on the different uses of words – he knows that “help” can mean running to get his broom to assist me in cleaning up the dining room floor, as well as a request for me to get something for him that’s out of his reach. He usually says “help” very sweetly, along with “hand” when he wants to hold your hand or needs a little support getting down some steps. Warms my heart.

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He is also always.on.the.move. One of his favorite phrases is “run-run!,” which he generally shouts quite loudly. He runs circles around our kitchen – an activity that is especially fun if daddy chases and tickles him. He loves playgrounds, especially if there are other kids to follow around and smile at. Even though it’s still cold out, we’ve hauled out his splash table for him to play with on sunny afternoons. He loves being outdoors, so summer should be a lot of fun for him.

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Animals and books are still his favorite things. He has a bunch of little squirt toy animals that he plays with all the time. He especially loves “feeding” them (no surprise there). Sometimes we’ll line them up and I’ll ask him to point to different animals, and he asks to do that “‘gin!” and again. “‘Gin” is also a common request/demand for books – especially Curious George. He loves books about animals and a book called Jamberry, which he simply refers to as “Jam.”

Sorry it's blurry - he was feeding the kitty some hay.

Sorry it’s blurry – he was feeding the kitty some hay.

On the less pleasant side of development, we’ve definitely entered into the tantrum stage. He’s stubborn (hmm, like both his parents…), so if we aren’t walking in just the right direction or doing exactly what he wants, he breaks down and tries to exercise some control. And LOUDLY. We’re trying to be consistent and just walk through this stage of development with him. It’s actually improved a little over the last few weeks, and “bedroom time” seems to really help him when he throws a fit while we’re at home. He’s been known to walk himself to his room and shut the door, now that it’s pretty routine when he’s upset. I think he actually appreciates the opportunity to calm down by himself, in the company of his “night-night” (lovey blanket), of course.

(He was mad because I didn't let him see the photo on the camera after taking the picture)

(He was mad because I didn’t let him see the photo on the camera after taking the picture)

But mostly, it is a lot of good times around here. Exhausting for us sometimes – it’s like I can visualize this full tank of energy Luke has on his back, and my goal is to run it down to empty before naptime and bedtime each day! Our little dude eats like a kid more than twice his age, and he’s pretty slim, so you know he’s burning tons of energy each day. Praise the Lord for nicer weather and lots of parks to explore!

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Luke is such a joy and a blessing in our lives, and it’s crazy to think that he turns TWO in less than two months!