Monday, December 30, 2013

Sick. Again.

It seems like since October, we've had sickness cycling through our house. Ugh. Thankfully, none of it's been serious, but I always feel on high alert with Sophie.

She's got another case of pneumonia now, very mild but with a nasty cough that's interfering with her sleep. We've been up with her a lot, poor baby.

But I'm enjoying the late night cuddles, after we've wiped tears, suctioned her nose, and put on fresh, unsnotty tubes!

We're going through these like there's no tomorrow

And her inhaler has been put to GOOD use this week
When she does fall asleep, she is OUT! Not even me taping on her pulse ox (machine with a LOUD alarm that checks her O2 level) or taking photos of her (!) wakes her up

Hopefully this is not a sign of what 2014 is going to be like! She's had a relatively healthy year so here's to another one!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Favorite Things

Or favorite people...some of our favorites came for a visit today. Never enough time together! Thanks for stopping by McDowells.
Luke and Sophie...alternately the caption could be "Duplos and Tubes" :) All four of the kiddos played so nicely together the whole visit!

Group shot, without Hubby though. Amazingly we're all looking!

Love this lady. She's a keeper!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

Apparently I can't think of clever titles to my blog posts.

I'd like to say it's just tonight, but it seems to be a permanent problem. I console myself with the fact that those who read these boring posts are mostly family members who are much more interested in seeing recent photos/doings of my children than reading a clever post!

 Ok, where was I?...Ah yes, see blog title :) At least my boring titles always let me know right away what I'm supposed to be posting about!

Christmas morning we opened a few presents and consumed a lot of monkey bread. Yum!

Jack gave Sophie a bottle for her dolly. They had the best time feeding Dolly!

We then got dressed up and headed to church to celebrate and remember the reason for the day, Jesus, our Rescuer coming as a baby to save the world.  My absolute favorite Christmas song is "Here With Us" by Joy Williams. The lyrics are perfect:

It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small,
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King,
You're here with us
You're here with us

It's still a mystery to me, oh,
How His infant eyes have seen the dawn of time
How His ears have heard an angel's symphony,
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Jesus the Christ, born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save, to save the souls of man

Christmas pics after church
After naps we let them open their stockings, which they loved. They were a little confused about the orange at the bottom! Since it's a tradition in both Russian and English cultures, we're keeping it!

They spent most of the day playing with their Legos/Duplos from Nana and Grampa

A blessed and peaceful day for our family. And a HAPPY CHRISTMAS season to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all our dear family and friends, near and far, a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I didn't get my act together to send cards so to all of you dear ones, please accept this as our Christmas greeting. And thank you to all who have sent us such beautiful and meaningful cards this year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sugar High!

Gingerbread time!

More candy was eaten than used in the decorating of this house...needless to say, supper was a bust!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Birthday Fun

Sophie's birthday, despite being cold and rainy, turned out to be a really fun day!

We started the day off with Dutch pancakes and sunflowers from Daddy

Then it was present time! Jack gave her a Noah's ark set (which he loves more than she does!)

And her first baby doll from Mummy and Daddy along with a crib and a stroller from Nana and Grandpa
And a beautiful doggy which arrived in the mail from our dear Ms. Donna and Mr. Carroll

Tickles for the birthday girl

And then Nana arrived with a diaper bag for Dolly

And a new dress and the cutest plate ever!

After naps we had a birthday tea party, complete with china and candles on the cake

Sophie got two more packages in the mail and the kids had tons of fun playing with the fishing set from Aunty Kirsty all the way from Australia!

Of course Dolly got lots of love

Lovely blanket from Baba

Dolly's "Os" were not well received and have remained in the diaper bag!

And after baths, stories with Nana. A wonderful end to a special day!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Our baby girl turned two today!!! And yes, I just have to say it, as I'm sure I'll say every year, I cannot believe it's gone so fast! I vividly remember the day she arrived and she's been nothing but a joy these past two years. We are so very thankful for this little lady!

She hasn't gone for her 2 yr old check yet but at her pulmanology appointment last week she weighed 21 lbs
and is 33 inches tall. Her doc was very pleased with her and isn't hearing as many crackles in her lungs these days. Not sure if that means anything, as her O2 needs remain the same, but we'll take it! He may be doing some genetic testing in the new year so we'll see if that shows anything new. She may also be participating in some research studies in the next year, and we would be thrilled if these studies revealed anything new in understanding NEHI.

She really enjoys people and although hesitant around strangers, she warms up very quickly. She still adores her Nana (and looks just like her!) and loves being with Nana & "Papa" as she calls him, any chance she gets. They gave her a stroller for her birthday which was a hit!

She tries to say words a lot now and is getting better at pronouncing correctly. She is stringing two words together all the time and now tries three words occasionally. Here are a few of her favorites: 

Sow-hee (Sophie)
Dackie (Jack)
Meemie (Wynnie)
Mema (Emma)
Dussie (Aunty Nessie)
Beebie (baby doll)
Jeejee (Jesus or when she wants to pray)
Teet (treat)
Me ba (me bounce, when she wants to jump on Jack's bed after their bath)

And oh, her hair!! It's still very blonde and oh so wispy and fine. There's not a hint of a curl anywhere on that head! I trim the back often just to keep it looking neat and to let the front catch up...and Daddy likes to make it crazy after bath! She is still as brown as a berry, even in winter, has very high muscle tone and is really strong and agile for such a little thing! She loves dancing and music and is starting to "sing" to herself a lot.

And yes, she's potty training. She's doing pretty well too, but I haven't braved the outside world yet. We only do it at home. Bad mom award!

She loves Jack like crazy and if I ever give her something she immediately asks for one for Jack. She loves to make sure everyone has something and is included. Long may that last!

Happy birthday dearest little Soph. You are such a blessing. Thank you, God, for this child. For her life and health and the joy she brings. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Christmas Tradition

Making English Christmas mincemeat is one of THOSE traditions in our family: Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without mince pies! Having English/Welsh grandparents on both sides of my family and growing up in an "English colony", mince pies are a generational tradition now. But don't ask me where it gets its name from! People always look askance whenever they hear the word "meat"! Let me assure you, there is no meat involved...I might have to share the recipe in another post :)

So each year the girls in my family like to get together and make our mince meat at the same time. It's more fun and everyone has a job to do which makes the "making" go all the faster! And each year we let whichever Littles are around, do some stirring. Here's our newest batch of babies, learning the art:

Wyn (21 months)

Emma (21 months)

Sophie (24 months)

The big kids (they're pros since they've been stirring for quite a few Christmases now!)
And Nana with her babies. She taught us and now she's teaching them!
Since Mum and Dad are in town for the weekend, it was nice to have them around for this Christmas tradition. And we all enjoyed some mince pies for tea this afternoon!

And just for fun, here's a look at Christmases past, when the three big cousins got to stir for the first time:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Nice Day

Our Saturday...
Started off with nutella covered waffles for breakfast

And included a fun morning at a local park
Then both kiddos napped well and we ended with a family "pizza and a movie night" which the kids always love! We have free movies on our On Demand channel and this week it was "An American Tail". That happens to be the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater...good memories!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Church Coats

Had to steal these from my sister's blog...Emma and Sophie outside church last Sunday in their winter coats!

Holding hands

Leaning in for a hug

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Littlest Ones

Well, despite our best laid plans, the Lord orders our steps. So we are staying put for now, as plans to head up north didn't work out due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances. So we'll get to enjoy all the Fall and holiday things down here in the south :) Especially being near the cousins!

Wyn (19 months old, Emma (19 months old) & Sophie (22 months old)

These three are so cute together. They can all walk now and hoard toys and say important things like, "NO!". But the hugging, hand-holding and sweetness when they see each other is adorable! And of course we love dressing them alike :) Praying they grow up holding each others hands through life!

Friday, October 18, 2013

22 Months Old

Our girl was 22 months old on October 9th.

We seem to be hurtling towards her second birthday and I'm NOT ready for her to be that OLD. But she is. When asked her age, she already says she's two!

I finally took her for her "18 month" photos today. Did it really take me that long?!!  She wore the dress my Mum made her for her dedication back in January. AND, she still fits into it with room to spare! She weighed 20.1 lbs yesterday at the pediatrician and is 32 inches. Still little bitty!

But TOUGH! She never stops, this girl! She had a great July and August, healthwise, but September/October have been harder as she and Jack have been swopping little viruses back and forth resulting in a nose that hasn't stopped running for 6 weeks. Not great eating which means not great growing.

Her O2 levels haven't been great either lately.

Sometimes NEHI just baffles me. It's so unpredictable! But her spirits never seem dampened and she's such a little bubble of joy around here!

We've been working on reading alone time, in bed and she loves it!


Well, it's been quite busy around here the past two weeks. Birthday celebrations, really good time with girl friends, consignment sale-ing (selling and buying), packing, and nursing sick kiddos, although nothing dire. Jack has a cold/cough and pink eye, while Sophie is dealing with a staf infection, probably MRSA, that developed in a cyst in her nether regions. Poor baby.

Oh, and I almost forgot, a wonderful time last Sunday night at the Keith and Kristin Getty concert! Some dear friends were coming into town for it and we were able to spend the evening with them, eating, talking and worshiping together. Refreshing. And thanks to my brother for babysitting!

Beautiful worship concert with Keith and Kristin Getty

Enjoying the last of our warm weather

Having a cuddle with my Sophie

And packing is what I've been doing today...and these are just Sophie's clothes! Ha ha...the cuteness that is little girl clothes!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Quiet, please

Yes. So the library.

I love that place, sans children. The quiet, the browsing, the endless rows of stories to choose from.

Not so much with two toddlers in tow. So one of my goals this Fall is to train them in library etiquette. And to like it, by golly!

Yesterday commenced library boot camp and Jack passed Library Voice, Choosing Ones Own Books, and Reading Alone Quietly with flying colors.

No Shenanigans Behind Bookcases and Pushing Your Sister Off Her Stool might take some extra tutelage!

Said sister was a different story. She pretty much flunked all round and scored particularly miserably in subjects such as Pulling Books off Shelves, Hiding Headbands and Pacifiers Amongst Mystery Novels, and Climbing.

Here's to hoping that next weeks scores are much improved!