Monday, December 31, 2012


...into our December. Life with four kids under six, gearing up for the holidays, homeschooling, enjoying each other. All is not calm, but all is bright.

Mason is one month old!

Tree-trimming party. We made popcorn and set out chex mix. "Popcorn AND chex mix?!?" said the amazed children. We must deprive them of snack food or something.

It's been hard to figure out grocery stores with four. Because Laina can't be trusted to stay with me yet, she needs to be in the cart. I had thought I'd put Mason in the ergo, but honestly it's so much faster to just carry him in his car seat, and he's usually asleep when we get there anyway (blessed car ride!). But with Laina in the front seat and Mason in his car seat in the back of the cart, there's nowhere to put the groceries. So I've started letting the boys push a second cart. How on earth did they get so big? They do great (with constant coaching from me: "Watch out for that lady. Turn here. Stay in a line so we don't clog the aisle. Etc."), and I've only suffered one skinned heel.

Iain loves holding his baby brother.

Our church threw Mason a baby shower. So much fun to celebrate his life with my friends! We had a Mexican dinner, too. Yum.

(look how generous they are! All this, diapers, a stroller, and a baby swing!)

Typical school day. We have a dress code at our school: costumes only.

A Happy Birthday Baby Jesus party with our dear friends and homeschool comrades:

Sibling love:

Mason's drink, and Mama's drink:

"Make a sad face, Laina!"

 "Now make a happy face!"

I wanted to make these for an adoption fundraiser, but never pulled it together. This one is now happily outdated!

Six stockings. So thankful.

Cory: Look Mom! I'm Louis! (from The Trumpet of the Swan. We love some nerdy literary humor here.)

Jeremy reading our Advent story from The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Early December Days

The short and sweet version:

Cutie pie.

Love the bear on the bum.

Beautiful weather. I so love being outside with these kiddos.

At the park with Chris, Liz, Penny, Jenna and kids, and Kelsey.

Learning about stones.

Four kids in footies!

First year celebrating St Nicholas' Day.

Iain said this was Daniel Boone vs. Pirate, fighting Jackie Chan style. Um, okay.

I spend a lot of time here with this little guy.

Cory is a GREAT big brother.

Hospital Photos

The hospital photographer took these photos of us with Mason. She also took some of Mason with his birth mom, and all of us together. They are beautiful and treasures! So thankful to have them all.

Winding Down November

Phew. I have a lot of catching up to do...tonight, before the new year is upon us. Like my self-imposed deadline?

The transition from three kids to four has been tough for me! I find it interesting that different people tend to have a harder time with different jumps-- for Jeremy, going from two kids to three was much harder. I've been treading water, trying to find a new rhythm with a baby who eats every two hours around the clock and needs a lot of care (I haven't had a newborn in almost five years! I forgot!), along with a two-year-old who is testing all boundaries (albeit with a sweet smile on her face the whole time), an almost-five-year-old and a six-year-old. Again I say, phew.

So. Tonight as the world counts down, I sit in front of my fireplace, capturing the past weeks before this time disappears. It's hard to remember baby days later on. 

This was our fridge for a few weeks. It's where Jeremy wrote down Mason's name for the first time, right after he was born. I was on the phone booking flights and he came out and wrote it. And we both knew it was the right name for our little man.

Mason's first bath! I've never had to wash so much hair on a newborn! And compare his little self with his brothers' first baths. Iain has a good pound and a half on him, and Cory has two.


(They're going to love me for posting bath photos on here someday. Ha.)

Of course, if Mason keeps doing so much of this, he'll catch up in no time:
 He was 6 lbs, 6 oz at birth, 7 lbs at three weeks, and 8 and a half lbs at five weeks. He went from the 9th percentile in weight at three weeks to the 16th at five. Go baby go.

Way too much adoption paperwork left. But three handsome boys to watch me do it.

Coloring together.

Drinking chai together.

 The kids went bowling for the first time for their buddy Sam's birthday party. They loved it! Cory did remarkably well, too. After bowling, they did laser tag and the arcade. With his tickets, Iain bought a shot glass. He calls it his little cup and loves to drink (water!) out of it. It cracks me up.

November: done!