Saturday, July 30, 2011

Feed The Moose!

Owen is a happy little guy.  I may have mentioned one or two or five hundred times already.  He just so chill and relaxed, it's a wonderful break compared to nearly-three-year-old-little-girl-DRAMA.  There is one thing Owen is pretty serious about, and food.  Owen came out hungry and puts his big sister to shame in the appetite department.  Hunger is really the only thing that drives him to frustration and crying.  Happy day when we started solids!  Owen was ready and hit the ground running with baby cereal and purees.  Just the other night, I had nursed him and sat down to eat dinner with the rest of the family, and as Kristoffer put food into his mouth, Owen (who was sitting on his lap), continued to get crankier and more upset.  We couldn't quite figure out what the problem was until Owen had finally had enough and reached his little hands up with an open mouth and grabbed at daddy's fork.  Still hungry?  Yeah, I think so.  So, even after a full nursing session of about 4-5oz, he pounded down 3/4 of a banana and about 2/3 cup of cereal.  Then, he was satisified.  Feed the moose!

Not sure how much the little guy weighs, but I'm guessing it's somewhere around 17+ pounds, he is one solid dude.

Owen started with some pureed pumpkin...I had some frozen from November and broke it out to use it up before we moved.

 Ready and raring to go!
 Ohhh, this is the face mommy gets when I don't get it in his mouth fast enough.
 A nice little faceplant into his butternut squash-banana.
 Thanks yummy!
 There's my sweet boy (excuse his tired eyes), so happy!
 And, the picture doesn't fit with the others, but it was too cute to leave out.  Owen has been a little rolling fool these last few days as he realizes his mobility.  He just about rolled himself under the couch tonight, silly boy. 
And, ya see those fingers he is sucking on?  Those are his chosen fingers...the first two on his right hand, he sucks on those fingers quite a bit, his own little pacifier.  No complaints here!  If he can self soothe...more power to him!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arrive and Conquer

We've arrived!  Sunday afternoon we rolled our groggy-selves into town and unloaded most of our 24 foot truck into a tiny yet lovely 2 bedroom house.  We've downsized as much as possible and have the rest of our belongings that we don't need locked away in a storage facility.  We've already unpacked quite a bit, but anyone that's unpacked knows you just keep going and going and going....boxes just don't seem to disappear!  Marin and Owen now share a room and are fortunately adjusting accordingly.  Owen eats around 8pm when we put the kids down, then I wake him up to eat at around11pm and Marin sleeps while I sit in the rocking chair with Owen, and then both kids wake up around 8:15ish.  Although...the last couple of days, we haven't been able to locate our door handle child locks, so Marin has climbed into bed with us at 7:15 or so. 

And our trip?  Surprisingly smooth, and as well tolerated as can be expected with 13 straight driving hours and 2 small car-seat bound children.  We bought a portable DVD player for Marin and headphones and (don't judge), put the extra screen up for Owen to see.  Marin was happy to watch movies all day, and Owen, well, it at least gave him something to glance at now and then.  We took the trip slowly and stayed in motels along the way.  What a relief to have family here to welcome us!  We're very grateful indeed that we all made it safely with no issues with the truck...Kristoffer especially!  Considering his last experience with a moving truck was enough to send anyone into the corner rocking in the fetal position, yuck!  I'll spare you the gory details, but lets just say it involved another 24 foot truck, a car trailer with car, one dog, one cat, breakdown x2 at 1am, scant cell phone service, sleeping in the truck, unloading and reloading a new truck, broken fuel gauge and an empty tank. This time around, it was verrra smooth ;) we are!  Kris ran into an old frat buddy here and is hoping to get an interview with his company here soon, but we will wait and see!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Packing Update...

I'm sure you can imagine that I have no pictures for you with THIS fancy title!  I figured I should give a quick update before we get to Utah.  Packing is going....surprisingly well!  We are so astounded at how smoothly everything is going.  I'm not sure what the difference is this time around, but it's been one of the most pleasant moves I've experienced, and that's saying something with two kids!

We have pretty much the entire upstairs packed in boxes and our suitcases packed for living out of for the next week (kids included).  The garage upper shelving is pulled down and boxed up and ready to go.  I have some friends coming over this afternoon to help with boxing up the kitchen and cleaning, so that should go pretty quick.  I know we'll still have the random boxes at the end that you toss odds and ends into, everyone has those...but things have been unusually organized and non-chaotic this week...weird! 

We've been able to get rid of a lot of stuff too, either donating to DI or selling on Craigslist.  We've sold the guest bed, the guest nightstands, a bunk bed we couldn't use, a bicycle, a dresser and mirror, a hammock, a dog pack, an air conditioner, AND my CAR!  And we're hoping to sell the TV we bought out here.  The TV is HUGE and weighs 216 pounds!  No WAY that thing would make it to Utah intact....and we really don't want to move it.  It's been very helpful to sell this stuff, we've been able to have cash for groceries and repairs, so helpful!

Thursday we pick up the truck at noon and pack it up that night, then we have the carpets cleaned Friday morning and have a walk through with our devil-property management company who have the WORST customer service EVER (but who's bitter), and are hoping to be on the road by 1pm Friday afternoon!

We are taking this trip with no expectations for early arrival.  I am NOT pushing it with a 3 year old and nursing baby...too much stress for me ;)  Hopefully we can roll into town by Sunday...?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow the Feeling

I have been waiting patiently for the right moment to publish this post, and the time has finally come.  This is going to be a bit of an emotional post, as it involves some very big changes for our family, but exciting none-the-less.

My husband has lost his job and we will be moving to Salt Lake City, Utah.  We have had some strong forewarnings about this for a few months now and are grateful, since it has allowed us time to make a plan and prepare.  Fortunately, we have some wonderful family members who are willing to take us in for a few months while we figure out our next step.  We plan to be out of the state by Saturday the 23rd of July, 8 days away! 

Amidst all of the chaos that typically revolves around a tumultuous job and fear of job loss, as soon as we made the decision to head to Salt Lake, we immediately felt at peace, and still do.  Kristoffer has no job lined up in Salt Lake and we are, in essence, Following the Feeling.  It is a HUGE test of faith for us as a couple to know that the Lord will provide a way, when we have no idea what is next for our family.  We are uncertain if Utah is a stopping point for another place we need to be, or if we will remain there for years to come.  The only knowledge we will be taking with us is that our Heavenly Father loves us and is so very aware of our needs and will take care of us. 

So many things have brought me comfort recently and I will share them with you:

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom; Lead thou me on..."
*What an inspired hymn.  I find so much solace in this lovely tune, knowing that I have a bright, beautiful, loving Savior to lead and guide me amidst life's gloomy and disparaging trials.

1 Nephi 4:6-  "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."
*This scripture was part of my YW lesson this past Sunday, and I broke down in tears in front of my class as I told them we would be moving and bore my testimony of how I wanted them to know so badly that I had a testimony of my Savior and His love for me.  How we had no idea what was to come for our family or why we were being led to Utah, but knowing that that's the place we need to be.  And how comforting it was for me to know that I don't need to have ALL the answers ALL the time.  As a person and a nurse and a mom, my job has always been to know the answers...what joy I experienced when I realized that I DON'T need to know ALL the answers all the time...that I can be led by the Spirit, and things will be ok....even if I don't know what's in store for me or our family, the Spirit never deceives.

"Be still my soul:  The Lord is on the side;  With patience bear, thy cross of grief or pain.  Leave to thy God, to order and provide; in every change, He faithful will remain.  Be still, my soul:  Thy best thy Heav'nly friend, thru thorny ways, leads to a joyful end."
*My favorite hymn. my favorite hymn.  Such a beautiful tune and lyrics to match.  Our time here in Oregon has been wonderfully challenging.  We have faced an incredible amount of trials here from bad housing to towed vehicles, 4 bills in collections (!!!) from faulty billers at the doctor's offices, breaking down vehicles leaving me stranded in the middle of the road with 2 children, unexpected ER visits with accompanying bills, streching a budget beyond belief, a tax audit...I could go ON!  You name it, we've been through it these past 12 months.  In a moment of despair from the culmination of all of these and the realization of the weight of these struggles, I fell to my knees a few months ago and wept...I was so weary.  So weary of fighting.  He has given me an understanding that He is there for me, and will lead me through these thorny ways, to a joyful end.  Be still, Samantha, the Lord is on thy side.

1 Nephi 3:7- "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them."
*Need I say more?  Just Do It!  THAT is what Nephi is saying.  The Lord would never ask us to do something without preparing a way for us...that would be terribly cruel of Him if He did (which He never would).  It may be hard and seem impossible, but if He led you to it, He will lead you through it!  Satan would have us believe we must always be in control, and in moments such as this...we are both fighting the urge to give in to the natural man and start fretting about how we will never make it and we don't have a plan and this and that.  When the Lord is asking us to have faith...our way has been prepared, just keep the faith!

We know that we will be blessed for our faithfulness and know we have been blessed with such wonderful family members everywhere who are assisting us in this process.   We are not scared or frustrated, we are peaceful and taking deep breaths!  We will of course miss our friends we've made here in Oregon in just a short year, but appreciate so much their friendship while we've been here.  Moving is always so bittersweet. So...Utah, here we come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home...

...Glad As I Can Be!

Typically Kristoffer walks through the door at around 5:20 after work most days.
20 seconds later...he's clobbered with the rest of the family. 

Marin is usually first:  "Dadddyyyyyyyyyy!" (cue pattering little feet and a running leap into daddy's arms)
Then me:  "Hey babe, welcome home!" *smooch*  ;)
Then Owen:  *big smile*....*arms waving up and down*....*happy gurgles*.

Look at that proud daddy.  You don't think he likes us, do you?

Happy Birthday Babe!

Saturday was Kristoffer's Birthday!!!  I can't believe my husband is 31, only because I can't believe I'm 27!  When did THIS happen?!  Although I had to work on Saturday, we bookended his birthday with some wonderful things.  Friday night our good friends watched the kids and we went on a *MUCH* needed date.  His request?  BBQ.  So we went out for BBQ and then walked around in the mall for a bit...coming to the bitter conclusion that both of *desperately* need new a matter of dignity!  Then Sunday after church we celebrated with some friends.  I don't care how old you get, everyone deserves to have a happy and wonderful birthday and feel loved.

And how did we celebrate on Sunday?

With THIS...Kris's *favorite* pasta dish.

 And THIS...some very manly pulled pork sandwiches.  Mmmmmmm.
 And some of these...I mean, our friends of course!
 And what would a birthday be without that...a's more a mound of luscious chocolate frosting ON cake.
I just love the look in Marin's eyes as she ogles the cake with magical gleaming candles on top.  Such wonder and anticipation!
 And yes, we DID sing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy.
 So Happy Happy Birthday to my amazing man and the wonderful father of our children.  I couldn't have asked for a better husband!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Say What?

"Marin, did you get some new panties?"  I call from downstairs. 
Her response?  "Noooo, I got mine duck insteeeaad!".

And this is a classic Marin face.  She is just so sweet.  I caught her in a moment of complete surprise, before she realized I had the camera and had a chance to turn away.

 What a goofball she is, silly girl.
 Someone found my high heels!  And I didn't even have to tell her to pose...somehow she knew what to do on her own.
 So pretty, we had fun drawing on the sidewalk with chalk and blowing BIG bubbles!  I had to show her how to wave the wand "slooowly", and from then on she would gently twirl from side to side with the wand and repeat to herself:  "Sloooowly, slooowly...".
 On mommy and daddy's bed.  She has great pleasure in jumping on our bed...I warn her that if she keeps it up, mommy is going to jump on her bed.  She doesn't like that so much.  I do let her jump on her own bed, you're only a kid once right?  But our bed...not so much.  I have only a few things I try to keep 'kid-free', or at least 'minimally-damaged' and our bed ranks pretty high.
 Silly silly girl, hiding behind the pantry doors from her little brother.  She loved having the audience and Owen loved watch and was happy to oblige!
 On the swing, caught in a moment of contemplation.
 This is what dinner is like.  A pushed away plate of food and a very sad and pouty Marin.  Every night.  Unless of course we are having macaroni and cheese for dinner...which is rare.
 Getting all the brownie mix off of the whisk.
 She found those heels, again!  She has good taste, those are some of my favorite pumps, my purple Steve Maddens *sigh*...I remember buying shoes....
And Marin:
Favorite food:  Mac and Cheese
Favorite movie:  Tangled, Cars (yeah), Bug's Life, most Pixar fliks.
Stuffed animal:  Piggy
Favorite game:  Being chased
Favorite toys:  Anything involving food and cooking.  Always cooking us food, all the time, everywhere with whatever she has on hand...marbles, pennies, dimes, stickers, etc.
Favorite cereal:  Kix
Dislikes:  Lunchtime, Dinnertime, anything involving any type of food other than 'snacks'.  Most vegetables, being told what to do, being told 'no', being told to 'wait', any type of play that involves doing what anyone else wants.  Are you sensing a pattern here?

Marin is a wonderful little girl, and she keeps me on my toes.  I am certainly learning much from parenting a very stubborn and dramatic 2 year old first-child little girl.  My oh my how I am learning!  I do love it when she runs up to me and tackles my leg and says "I love you mommy" just makes my day.  And she is very watchful of her little brother, always helping with binkies and diapers and being my little gopher...we certainly wouldn't trade her!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

We have been longing to hit up the beach this summer, and yesterday was perfect! Just a gorgeous skies, breezy and MONDAY! We drove to Rockaway Beach to steer clear of the other pretty crowded beaches and soaked in some sun. Well, I soaked in quite a bit more than Marin and legs are R..E..D!

And, for the record, can I just say that beach outings with small children is NOT easy? Oh my goodness, with all the paraphanalia you have to bring with you and the lack of privacy to nurse a baby and no restrooms for a tiny 2 year old was a challenge. I am really trying very hard to be more flexible with outings. A few months ago my husband accurately accused me of not being able to be take spontaeous trips...I admitted it, but I also gave good reason and a promise to work at it. Being a mom means circumventing issues before they even become issues...dads will often keep going until someone needs something. This is different with small children because they don't just say "I'm hungry", they cry and get cranky and won't eat because they are cranky and hungry (vicous cycle) and babies who are too tired won't sleep because they are too tired and don't have a familiar environment to go to sleep in. Hence: Chaos often ensues.

I still hold firm to the resolution that we need to be prepared before we go somewhere, because if we are going to be somewhere that I don't have my home envirnment to assist me with meeting children's needs, I at least need a well prepared/stocked bag of "stuff". Kris has been great at doing this for me (I still double check...I'm just a mom..don't judge me!) and it helps tremendously. So, I am making progress! While our beach outing had it's moments of frustration due to not being able to meet my children's needs, we improvised and things were fine. So just remember before you ask a mother with 2 *very* small children to go very far from her's stressful...but it can be fun!

Enough with the hard parts, on to the fun stuff!

Ahhh, the lovely beach! Warm sand and VERY cold water...brrrr! A few brave souls attempted to go out past waist height in the water, but soon turned around to head for the warm shore.

Oh my goodness, I laugh now that I see this. Our little Lyman Shanty on the beach. We brought our get-dirty-green blanket and our umbrella, which we ended up pulling in close to the ground because the wind was blowing it away, so we jimmy-rigged it to the stroller in which Owen was sleeping (it was pretty heavy), and our big pack of extra clothes and our big cooler (not shown) and our beach chair (under unbrella) and a partridge in a pear wait, that's not right...

Marin immediately got sand all over the place. After eating some cherries and getting sticky juice all over her face, the sand ended up on there too. But she had fun!

Our goal was to make Marin NOT afraid of the water. I can totally see why she would be afraid of the her height for a little one, looking at the big waves out there, it IS scary!

Marin got soaked (courtesy of daddy) and then rolled around in the warm sand to to warm up...but then the wind started blowing so it was cold again, so she snuggled with dad for a while.

Owen napping in the stroller. He struggled with it all. The wind was too much, the sun was too bright, the shade was too cold, so he napped it all away...thankfully!

We had brought some buckets to make sand castles with, but Marin was content poking holes in the sand. It's funny how kids are into totally different things than we think.

Sweet girl :) We took her glasses off for this outing, I forget how different she looks without them!
After we got home, we immediately showered and headed a few houses down to have dinner with a group of friends and then set off some fireworks. Marin had a BLAST watching the fireworks, she kept clapping and yelling "Again, again!". We finally put a very belligerent little girl to bed at 10:30, she would have partied all night!