Monday, June 14, 2021



In my head, I was behind two months.  This is true for my blog, my house work, my check-off lists, my planner, the calendar hanging on the wall, etc. In reality,  I haven't posted since January (🙈).  This half of the year has been tough, but so, so fun to watch the kids grow, interact, and become little brothers.  I'll give a life update. 

Grant is no longer 3 months, but 8 months.  He's a great baby. He's sweet, happy, and very, very mobile.  The other week, he woke up and decided he was going to crawl and cruise around furniture.  It took us by surprise, but he's handling his own with his brothers and finding himself right in the middle of their play time. He's also got a mean snatch, that is perfect for grabbing cookies, donuts, or toys that are desirable. He seems to be behind the curve on getting teeth (boy those suckers are SLOW to come in), but figuring out food just fine.  He's a solid 20lbs and 28in. And while the picture is vaguely misleading, he's got big blue eyes and brown hair.  Isaac is holding his own as our sweet red-haired boy.

Isaac recently turned 2. He's fiercely independent.  The little guy walks around with his step stool so that he can access everything his brother can.  He is talkative and his mood can easily be changed by some music. He can light up a room and quickly becomes the center of attention with his goofy all-in personality. He is a great big brother and just recently started running to get Grant's paci when he cries (but is not too keen on Grant stealing his pacis). 

Nolan is now on to first grade. He still seems to be motivated by Legos, but is recently dabbling in Pokémon. He's a fantastic big brother. He's so patient with Grant, and finds humor in Isaac's shenanigans.  Just last night, Isaac somehow escaped his room after being put to bed and found Mom, Dad, and Nolan reading together during Nolan's bed time. He sat down and started pointing to the pictures and engaging in the book as if he was a part of this process every night.  I thought Nolan would be annoyed that he was missing out on some one-on-one attention, but he happily engaged Isaac with the book.  It's certainly not always perfect, but they are doing such a good job becoming our little musketeers.

As for the rest of the family, our little kitties are coming up on 10 years. They're good little guys, and do great with the rest of the family.  Floyd loves the outdoors. We recently fenced in our backyard and Floyd has found his little safe-haven. He has a favorite bush, a nice little walking trail around the perimeter, and enjoys all the plants.  Orie is still a scaredy-cat, but he occasionally will go off the porch for a little adventure. 

Scott and I are working a lot, but I'm going to be taking a year (or two) away from teaching to focus on the needs of our family. We've been managing 3 kids nicely, but doctor's appointments, sick days, and all of the other needs in a house haven't been the easiest while still giving everything to teaching. I hope to be back and will miss it greatly this year, but we'll see how I do staying at home.  If anyone has some excel sheets to sort and mine data, I have nap times available. Or, I'll maybe finally finishing organizing our office files, basement messes, and my garage.  Or, convert these blogs to a baby book. 😃

Monday, January 4, 2021

Hello 2021!

It's hard to believe that Nolan is already six.  As timehop memories come up, it seems like just a few months ago that Nolan was running around in Isaac's size clothes. Kindergarten really makes kids grow up right under your nose. It's crazy! 

He's busy and social, two qualities that haven't quite had their needs met during a pandemic.  We were so torn about sending him to in-person school (which later turned out to be virtual school), but seeing him come out of those school doors today (being the first day back after virtual school and break) reassured me that all of our back and forth conversations resulted in the right choice for him.  You could tell his love languages were met. While I'm perfectly capable of creating a fun kindergarten experience (heck, I'm a virtual teacher), there's something about learning from people outside of our family, doing it alongside friends, and coming home for a different change of scenery. And, if I'm being selfish, I'm glad to have my dining room back. 

When not socializing, he still enjoys LEGO (both building giant sets with directions and creating his own moving/transforming sets). The days of doing the builds together as a family (or more precisely Nolan and dad) seem to be dwindling... which I think is the most sad for Dad. He also enjoys reading, asking questions, and playing outside on his bike and scooter. 

In other notable steps, Grant turned 3 months. While he's not as eventful as Nolan, he's certainly making progress. He is determined to sit up and quickly tightens his abs to a sitting position anytime he is relaxed against a pillow.  He loves watching his brothers run around and has to gurgle along to make himself heard alongside the noise.  He's silly, loves eye contact, and prefers never missing a moment (mom is wondering how little of sleep is required). 

While I'm sad to see the holiday season gone so quickly, I'm eager to see what is to come.  I have high hopes of dramatically increasing the number vaccinated (Scott has had his first dose, and I'm ready to do the same).  I can't wait to show my youngest two the thrill of large family gatherings, museums, rekindling friendships, and, dare I say, play gyms ( or, are those too yucky to even consider anymore)? Until then, we'll wait. And maybe explore West Michigan's finest sledding hills. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

'Tis the Season

I decorated really early (along with every other family), and I must say, it was refreshing to have a "new" space to look at for the next few months. I feel like I've been overwhelmed with all of the frustration/sadness of high COVID cases, extended (but necessary) shutdowns, positive tests of people we know, virtual learning until who knows when, etc. But, the joy of our kids' faces when they see Christmas lights, wrapped presents they're eager to open, and advent calendar surprises has made the season feel a little more normal. 

I know I'm going to miss these memories that we're making when the boys are older. 

Isaac, now 18 months, is such a fun guy.  He's either glaring at you for not following his plans, or unable to sit still with belly-laughs that knock him over or sheer excitement to be a part of something.   Because of the whole excited wiggle worm who was eager to watch his brother build him yet-another train track (his butt accidentally knocks them all down), you get to see the glaring Isaac. 

His speech is slowly coming along.  He can say a rendition of Grant, cookie, thank you, candy, snack, (sense a theme?), Baa for sheep, uh oh, and bye bye.  He's currently perfecting his nods and shakes of the head... and you get the above look if you offer him something he has shook his head "no" to. He's all personality, and I can honesty say Mom, Dad, and Nolan adore this stage (Well, Nolan's hit or miss. He appreciates his comedy at the dinner table, but not while he's building things). 

Grant, on the other hand, is growing nicely. He's trying to babble as much as his older brothers do. He's easy to get to smile, and has pretty, big, dark blue eyes. He adores watching his big brothers, and is continuing to be easy-going (thank goodness). We do think he has a bit of reflux as feeding has been hard, but we're hopefully going to solve that issue soon with some meds. Luckily, Isaac was already down this road, so it seems par for the course. 

Until next time, take some moments to step back and enjoy the Christmas season. I saw a parent screaming at their kid because they saw a gift in their cart.  It made Scott and I stop and reflect on just how hard things are right now: financially, and emotionally. While I certainly miss the "quiet hours" of being able to accomplish things while Dad took them somewhere (or vice versa), their excitement seems to be just like every other year.... even if they accidentally peak at something in the cart.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

A Distanced 2020 Halloween

Over the summer, we had our first run-in with a wasp.  While it was a traumatic experience for Nolan, it set the stage for lots of learning about stinging insects and inspired our Halloween costumes.
*Note: the cats were supposed to be butterflies, but shipping is tough in 2020.

Meet Nolan: the beekeeper, and his bees: Isaac & Grant. 

We enjoyed the beautiful weather as we strolled the neighborhood, while being able to say hi to our neighbors from the ends of driveways. I don't think we're quite ready to see bare trees and prepare for the first snow.

As always, here's our annual pumpkin carving video. We loved that the kids were so into carving this year!

I apparently did the stack of three pumpkins three years ago.  I have no recollection of this, or am just really sleep deprived.  But, with three kids, it seemed more appropriate this year than three years ago. 

Party of Five!

For once, I feel as though we have way too much for a blog post.  I'll break it into two posts for the night.  It looks like I need to get the baby blog going for number 3, so he doesn't feel left out when he's older.

Most importantly, while a month late, welcome to the world, Baby Grant! Grant Joseph was born on September 26th.  He was our largest baby at 8lbs 11oz, and 21inches. He's been such a sweet addition to our family.  He's a sweetheart, loves to cuddle, and is very calm.  I'm sure that will change, but for now, I appreciate his easy-going demeanor. 

As for the big brothers, they are welcoming the new brother better than I had anticipated. Nolan has really taken to his big-brother status. He affectionally calls Grant and Isaac "his babies" and is the best at helping me get random things on the other side of the house, being an extra pair of hands and eyes, and singing/reading to them. I expected to have a big regression from Isaac, as he is pretty content laying claim to being the baby in the house. But, he's been a blast to watch take on being a big brother.  He did steal one of Grant's two pacis (that makes the score Grant: 1, Isaac: 6), but he's been okay letting him have one. He likes putting the paci back in Grant's mouth (or taking it out until we notice and then he will put it back in) and likes putting diapers in the trash.  He will do anything if it results in the cheering of "yay Isaac!" with lots of clapping. He gives him kisses and pets him nicely.  Yes, I said pet.  He also has sat on him and meowed at him... he gives equal treatment to Grant and Floyd.  He also recently enjoys running and beating me to the baby swing, where he sits and stares and smiles that he got it before the baby.  All in all, I'd say he's adapting perfectly. 

I think we're most often asked about his hair color.  While most of it is shedding, he's definitely our darkest haired kid.  It doesn't look red, or at least anywhere close to Isaac's coloring. His eyes are a dark blue.   As my family has pointed out, it seems like we have hit the Neapolitan trifecta: dirty blonde, bright red, and dark brown.  We'll see if it stays that way. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Growing too quickly

Isaac is officially 15 months (closer to 16 months, but 15 is when the picture was due). 
He seems like such a different kid than when we took his one year photos.  Isaac has tons of personality.  He's got a bit of a temper but has the best facial expressions, and he loves to be involved in everything.  He loves to dance, cares for his kitties, loves making messes, and finds a way to escape everything. He adores his big brother's attention, can be found next to dad anytime dad is home, and requires no less than 4 pacifiers to sleep. While he keeps us on our toes, he's the best cuddler, "roarer", and can weasel his way on to any available lap. He and Nolan have their own bedtime routine, that, while crazy, makes me look forward to the bond that they're developing.

Isaac doesn't have many words yet, but he finds ways to communicate his wants very clearly.  Sometimes I worry that the pandemic has caused me to expose him to less than we did with Nolan, but I'm sure that every parent with young kids feels the same. I'm thankful we've had a healthy family and cherish all of our family moments. 

Speaking of the pandemic, we also moved across states in the past 3 months. It's been a crazy journey, not without its difficult (unexpected replacement of the HVAC system, new washer/dryer, delayed furniture, etc.), but we're thankful to be closer to family and friends, see Grandparents regularly, and establish some sort of "permanence" again. I have had a sign in my house for years that says "Grow where you're planted," and I think that captures the last few years well.  We're slowly making this new house our home, and we have enjoyed filling the walls with pictures and making new memories. 

As an update on our medical journey (the whole purpose of this blog originally), we are adjusting to life not "in training", though Scott would say he's still very much training at this job.  Starting a new job during a pandemic has had its challenges, but we are enjoying some consistency/predictability in schedules. Nolan has also started his new job as a kindergartner, and I've started my 10th year of teaching. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Isaac is One!

It's certainly hard to believe that our sweet, red-headed little peanut is one! Where did this year go? It's certainly been an odd year to enter this world, but he definitely makes everything a bit brighter.

He adores his kitties, big brother, and snacks.  Also, anything can be made better with his 3 pacis.  He throws each one (one by one) out of his crib if he wants some more visits from mom and dad, and is quickly comforted by their presence when he adds another bruise to his collection.  While he's not yet walking (we're close... he just has no desire to take that independent step), he loves to show off his balance as he crawls and then stands to destroy participate in whatever Nolan is working on.

He's a bit of a stinker too - but the cute kind that you have to turn your head away as you hold back laughs while trying to discipline. He enjoys smiling back when you say "no", trying to make himself fake cry, and getting into just about everything.  If he's quiet at all, he has likely found a toilet or cat fountain. We also enjoy how he yells back at Nolan if Nolan is upset or frustrated with him, or when he has to babble just as loudly as Scott and I when we are trying to get through a conversation. He is a bit manipulative into finding ways not to sleep, but his smile and big grins are very persuasive.

I am happy we had the chance to celebrate Isaac when everything is calm.  More on this later, but in the upcoming month we have another big move, and Scott finishes his training. While we are excited about what the next month brings, we would be lying if we said we weren't nervous, anxious, and a little on edge about moving during a pandemic. I would also be lying if I said I wasn't eager to finish work for a couple months and truly enjoy my kids instead of constantly trying to juggle too many hats during the work day. Teachers, we're almost there. 

We're eager to, hopefully one day soon, re-introduce Isaac to all of our family and friends. Oh, and get him and daddy a haircut. Mom doesn't want the guilt of messing up dad's, and first cuts on little guys seem incredibly difficult. Until then, we cross our fingers that science can make visits with our family possible and safe soon.