Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shrove Tuesday

We are entering another significant season today: the season of Lent. Our family has really benefited from learning more about the traditional Church year and so we are excited to embark on this season once more.

This year, we have the added fun of celebrating with our friends as well. So here's where we were last night:

Thanks, Alleyn, for documenting this for us! And thanks for all the great pancakes, games, lessons, and even the Gilligan's Island Psalter song. :)


This evening I had to leave for a few hours (back to SAT tutoring work) and it was a time for me to appreciate my brave husband! I actually worked last week as well, but Miles was only 9 days old at that point and slept pretty much the whole time I was gone. This week he's been awake more, so tonight was the first real test for Pete to have to watch all 4 kids. As I prepared to leave, one kid was folding laundry, 2 kids were taking a shower, and 1 kid was getting a bath. But as I walked out the door, I heard one kid singing, one kid yelling, and 2 kids crying. I didn't know whether I should grimace or chuckle. Either way, I appreciated Pete's courage!

And by the time I got home all 4 were asleep -- including Miles, who really should have been awake so he'll sleep tonight, but that's ok -- so I'd like to nominate Pete for Daddy of the Year.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Colsen Concerns

Is this something I should be concerned about?
Colsen loves to play with Miles... He always uses his high-pitched voice and says things like, "Hi, Baby Miles. I want to kiss him. He's so cute. He's so little..." etc. But several times now he's also thrown this in: "I I love his head. I want to take his head off." And in case I don't quite get his meaning, he adds, "I want to take him apart."

So, we'll just file this under, "More Reasons to Not Leave Colsen and Miles Alone Together."

Meanwhile, Cole's had his own concerns to deal with...
The first few times he saw us change Miles' diaper, he was very alarmed to see the umbilical cord/belly button on him. He kept pointing at it and asking in a distressed voice, "What's THAT?!" We tried to explain it to him, but he was never very satisfied with our explanations.
Then, the other day I had to change Colsen's diaper, and decided to just change him downstairs since I had a box of wipes we were using for Miles there anyway. Colsen started freaking out about it though, saying, "Don't use Miles' wipes! Don't use his wipes!"
I couldn't figure out what the big deal was -- wipes are wipes, right? -- until he said, "I don't have a Bilical Cord! I don't have a Bilical Cord!"... and apparently he was afraid they were contagious or something!
Poor little guy... so much to figure out in this world.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And let the "helping" begin...

Yes, that is a sword in Miles' crib.

Colsen apparently thought Miles needed this... I found it later when I went to check on him.

This isn't just a sword either... According to Colsen it's a leaf blower, and he carries it with him all the time, blowing the leaves out of the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc. I'm not sure which is scarier -- that he gave Miles a sword, or a leaf blower.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Miles' first photo shoot

James very kindly came over on Saturday to get some newborn shots of Miles. He had some creative ideas, as you can see here! We have never done this with any of our other kids, but since they all look so much alike, I figure we'll just slip some of these shots in each of their baby books and tell them the pictures are really of them. We'll see if they buy that. Anyway, here are some of my favorites!

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Miles Quentin got his name

In case you were wondering (a few have asked), here is how we arrived at his name…

First of all, the name Miles means “merciful.”

Last year, Pete designated 2008 as a “Year of Mercy” for our family, with the basic intent that we would be intentional about trying to show mercy to others consistently throughout the year. I can’t say we were tremendously successful at that in terms of our actual actions, but perhaps this child, conceived in that year, will show the world great Mercy in future years.

Although I originally was not a fan of the name…. see my initial thoughts, back in October, here: I have gradually come around to like it. But the clincher for me was when we were having a verbal tug-of-war over 2 different names, and Pete said, “I don’t know… it’s just when I put my hand on your belly and feel him, I just think his name is Miles.” How could I argue with THAT?? So within 12 hours after hearing that comment, I was on-board.

And because I like themes and patterns and consistency throughout things, I immediately set to work to try and figure out how Miles would fit in with our other children. I told Pete I had come up with this sentence to tie us all together:

Striding along, under the Rays of the sun, through seasons of hot and Cold, we journey through the Miles of life, and for Pete’s sake, we try to be Amiable.

Pete said I was pushing it too much. I don’t care, though… I’m sticking with it. ("Corny" should be my middle name.) If anyone can come up with a better sentence, I would definitely love to hear it! (Don't let me down, Mom!)

And, to keep up with our other patterns, Quentin was the ideal middle name. First of all, it’s the name of a character from a trilogy of books from one of my favorite authors, Stephen Lawhead. Quentin, similar to the characters our other boys are named after, starts off as a humble boy, but ends up as a king in the end, after a long journey of Truth searching and character testing. (And Quentin starts with Q, so we kept the pattern of “S,R, Q, P” (alphabetical letters backwards) with the 4 kids (first or middle names), as was one of my goals in our initial name search).

So, that was the thought progression. Oh- -- and it was pretty unanimous among the kids, too. Every time we tried to suggest a different boy name, we kept hearing, "No! We want Miles!" And I have to say it's pretty darn cute hearing Colsen call him "Baby Miles" all the time...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Look who's here!

Arriving 3 days early and after 3 ½ hours of labor, Miles Quentin has joined us finally! He chose to make his appearance on his great-grandmother’s birthday, and we were excited Mor-Mor got to have this special birthday gift. (When I talked to her later that morning, she said she had mysteriously woken up right when he was born – at 5:58 am! Maybe there’s a special birthday connection there. Colsen also woke up at that same time… probably sensing his whole world had just been dramatically altered.)

My brain is still having trouble stringing words together to make full sentences, having not slept for a period longer than 1.5 hours in the last 48 hours… so I’ll let the pictures just speak for themselves here. J

(special thanks to my bro-in-law James for taking most of these pics!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mom, don't read this.

Knowing my mother's abhorrence of snakes, this would not have been a fun activity for her to be at, or to hear about.... but for our kids, it was a different story.

This morning our friend Elizabeth turned 7, so Rayna went to her party. The whole family ended up crashing, though, when we found out what the activity was... a man with all kinds of live animals!. The guy had quite a show planned... from the very beginning when he pulled a snake out of his front shirt pocket, to when there was suddenly a lizard on the top of his head, to when he hauled out a 25-lb tortoise that Rayna was convinced was coming after her.

The first big attractions were the snakes... including a python that for some reason the kids (and a few of the adults) thought was fun to wear as a belt. Crazy if you ask me.

And there were other creepy crawlies, like geckos, bearded dragon lizard things, frogs, turtles, as well as the cute and furry animals that everyone loved to hold. In each case, the man brought around the animal and each kid got a turn to hold or pet it.

Strider clapped with glee -- literally-- each time a new exotic one was lifted out of its secret crate, and at one point turned to me and said, "This would be the BEST job!" Rayna was a little less enthusiastic about some of the creatures, but she did think the huge tortoise was pretty cool... once it wasn't chasing her. I remained mostly a hands-off observer, having inherited a small/large bit of my mom's fear and distaste of reptiles, I guess. But I kept myself entertained by constantly swatting my kids' hands away from their faces and reapplying hand sanitizer every 5 minutes... Something about the combination of a bunch of kids with runny noses, exotic caged animals, and the fact that I'm about to bring a newborn into this world was making me a little wired.

It was quite the fun birthday party, though... afterwards we all went outside and played in this spring-like weather -- beautiful. And the kids are not likely to forget this experience for a long time!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How old does this kid think he is?

This morning as we were heading out the door for church, Colsen was getting himself ready as well. Here are some of the things he asked me:

Can I take my phone to church? (Since his phone was just a folded-up baseball card, the answer was "Sure.")
Where's my iPod? ("You don't have one, sweetie")
Can I wear my Crocs? ("You don't own Crocs.")
Can I have a dog? ("Nice try".)
Can I have a cat? ("No.")
Can I have a monster? ("Ok.") He then proceeds to talk in a growly monster voice for the next few minutes.

Sometimes I think he thinks he's 26 years old, instead of 26 months old!

(Although then later at lunch, Strider tried to refer to him as a toddler and Cole said "I'm not a toddler! I'm a kid!".... so maybe he really doesn't think of himself as an adult yet... just a kid who should be surrounded by some brand-name things.)

This afternoon has been a fun time for all the kids... Strider and Pete have been outside practicing their secret football plays (with covert signals and everything) as they celebrate Super Bowl Sunday...Rayna danced and scootered...

And once we found Cole, he announced he was playing "hide-n-seek!"

In other words, this has been one of those beautiful Sunday afternoons.... so much to be thankful for!