Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Night Before Christmas

(As read by Cassie and Adeline)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, 
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

What? Where? 
No where, there's no mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, 

Where are the stockings?
Right there.

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds. 

Are those the kids?
Is that the mommy and daddy?
No, those are more kids. 

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. 

Who is that? 
That's the baby.

And Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bad to see what was the matter. 

What's the matter?
Nothing, he just heard a noise. 
Outside his window.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the luster of midday to objects below. 

Right there. On the lawn. 

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. 

What are those? 
Those are the reindeer. 
What's on them?
That's their fur. 
What's that?
Santa's sleigh.
Santa's sleigh. 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "No, Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!" 

Where's Blitzen? 
Right there. 
That one?

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" 
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle...

There. The house is the obstacle.

....mount to the sky, So up to the house top, the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too. 
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 
As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 

Where's St. Nicholas? 
There, in the red suit.
That's St. Nicholas?

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he flung on his back, and he looked like a pedlar just opening his pack. 

What are those?
What are they doing?
Helping Santa, like elves.
What are those?
The toys.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. 

Who is THAT?

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. 

Who is that? 
The dad.

He was chubby...

Right there?

...and plump--a right jolly old elf--and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. 
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; 

Up the chimney. 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle; and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night." 

What is that? 
A twisty tree.
I wanna read another book......

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
(slightly modified)

Alabama, Arkansas, 
I do love my Ma and Pa
Not the way that I do love you

Well, holy moly me oh my
You're the apple of my eye
Girl, I never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you're my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain't nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, stars at night
Ain't nothing please me more than you

Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I'm with you
Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I'm with you

La la la la
Take me home
Mama, I'm coming home

I'll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I've never loved one like you

Moats and boats, and waterfalls, 
Alleyways, and payphone calls
I've been everywhere with you (that's true)

Laugh until we think we'll die, 
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you

And in the streets you run afree, 
Like it's only you and me, 
Geez, you're something to see 

Home, let me come home, 
Home is wherever I'm with you
Our home, yes, I am home, 
Home is when I'm alone with you

Home is when I'm alone with you
Home is when I'm alone with you.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bubby and the Bean

Since Reyer was born, he and Adeline have become as thick as thieves. She often shares with us, "He's so special to me. I love him." 
 She likes to be near him at any cost.

He seeks her out too, since she has a lot of wisdom to impart. She has taught him to roll and sit and follow her. Who needs a puppy when you have a little brother?

Adeline likes to be in on the action of comforting and feeding him, too. She's so proud of him. When people ask his name, she chimes in, "That's Reyer Simon! He's my brother!" 

Reyer is finally starting to play in ways that are fun for Adeline. She has liked forts for some time, but he is enjoying them with her now. 

"Adeline? Are you in there?"

 "I think she's lost forever."


 "It's cool, guys. I found her."

 Bubby and the Bean. Best Buddies.

And Adeline, too!

 So, we have this other kid that's growing like a weed, too!
Here's what she's been up to. 

 Adeline got her first hair cut back in January. Her hair had finally reached the point where it wouldn't look like a mullet if we cut it. We took her to this adorable kid's salon and she was in the height of her glory. They distracted her with toys and movies and glitter! The girl enjoys the finer things in life. Can I get my hair done there, too?

She looked so mature to us afterward. She's a new woman. 

Adeline is a wee bit obsessed with sleeping on the floor, with or without permission. Sometimes, when we check on her before we go to bed, we'll find her toddler bed empty. We look down and see that she has built a little nest for herself to sleep on. Crazy kid. 

We had a few adventures through the winter and spring. She and I made this incredible snowman. Don't see it? It's on the right. The snow was too hard to pack. would have though we built Olaf himself. She was perfectly satisfied with our little snow friend. 

Gerrit and I took her on a special day out to the zoo for her birthday. Her favorite part was not the exotic African creatures, but the fish they feed to the polar bears. Go figure. She knows what she likes. 

We had so many birthday celebrations, due to our long-distance families having different availability, that she started to think everyday was her special day! And to her, it really is. 

She's a lesson in contradictions. One moment she is pushing us out of the doorway of the bathroom yelling, "No! Wait your turn!" 
The next she is rubbing our hair, saying, "You're so precious to me. I love you all the time." 

This is Addie's world. The rest of us just live here. 

Reyer Grows Before Your Eyes!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Reyer is a pretty easy-going guy. He gets a hoot out of life. Here are some highlights. 

In his first week home, he delighted me with smiles in his sleep. 

He's a great conversationalist. 

But it does wear him out. 

Reyer is a super cuddler. He needs someone to touch him every few minutes to feel good about life. He'll check in, get a snuggle, and squirm away. 

 He ate his first baby food at around 4 months. He was pretty okay with it. Since then, he hasn't met a food he doesn't enjoy. He wants to eat ALL.THE.THINGS, so much so, that he has little interest in nursing or bottles. He takes milk to survive and then looks at us like, "What else ya got?"

Adeline has had fun decorating him. Again, he's okay with it. 

You would think she is telling us that she wants a sister. But she loves him so. She constantly asks, "Where's my brother?" when he is napping. 

At around 5 1/2 months, Reyer started sitting up on his own and thought he was pretty hot stuff. And he really is. Look at him go! Between 6 and 7 months he was army crawling around the house. And not long after he decided knee crawling is better. 

He's now pulling up on everything, cruising on the furniture, and loves to bounce, bounce, bounce on a lap. He could do that for an hour if one let him. He's a darling little guy, and is starting to get a bit mischievous. This is evident in the unrolled toilet paper and the clock on my night stand that he keeps knocking over by reaching through the slots in his crib. 

He'll be 9 months old soon! He's a handsome devil, no?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hey Guys! We had a baby!

Wow. So, times flies when you have two kids, huh? Suddenly changing diapers, bathing, eating, and surviving come before blogging. Weird. Who knew?

Let's back WAY up to December 7th. 
I started having contractions in the wee small hours. They were strong enough to wake me up and came every 30 minutes. I was pumped to be nearing the end of pregnancy, but also terrified about going through labor a second time. Ignorance of labor pains was no longer my reality. I KNEW what was coming. 

Long story short, my contractions last ALL the live long day and didn't get much closer than 20 minutes apart. Well, that just wouldn't do. My parents weren't sure whether to come over from Wisconsin or not (they did). Months earlier, we had arranged for my sister to watch Adeline while we were at the hospital. By 8 pm, we were torn about whether to put Addie to bed or to go to Carey's. 

Eventually (and by that I mean, 20 minutes later), we decided to head over to Carey's to put Addie to bed there. We could always spend the night, but at least we'd be closer to the hospital. 

Being a part of another woman's labor is Carey's nightmare. She'd rather get a phone call when the baby has arrived and be the friend that brings 5 meals over to be helpful. She just doesn't want to worry the whole time. So, here I am...on her couch, having contractions. Poor Carey. 

My mom kept asking, "Are you going to leave yet?" 
"No Mom, my contractions are 12 minutes apart. They'll send me home."

Since Gerrit had been timing my contractions all day, my dad took over once we got to Carey's. He was falling asleep next to me with his timer. I would nudge him every 10 minutes or so to mark the time. I am actually having a contraction (and not laughing at SNL on TV) in the picture below.

Around 11 pm, I had had enough. More accurately, my family had had enough of waiting and made me call the Baby Line to ask to come in. The nurse was hesitant to let me come in, since I have a high pain tolerance and didn't sound like I was dying over the phone. But since I had been having contractions since 2 am, she allowed it. Golly, thanks Nurse Lady. 

On the way to the hospital I told Gerrit, "I can't express how badly I don't want to do this." Oh yes, I wanted to have Reyer, but I certainly didn't want to push a baby out. Ugh. No, thank you. 

When we got there, I was plenty dilated and having contractions I wasn't even feeling. Every ten minutes, I would feel a very strong one, but I was having smaller ones in between that I was unaware of. To the labor room we went! 

The nurse said she would give me some meds to help me sleep to keep my strength up for later. I agreed, thought it over, and said, "Actually, can we just get an epidural going? I missed my window last time and I'm not interested in natural labor again." 

Booyah! Epidural ordered...on time! Labor dreams coming true! 
I was hooked up to get IV fluids and had several intense contractions that made me swear a lot in my head. I had a lovely mantra of cursing going on internally. 
Mr. Anesthesiologist Tom came in after my IV fluids. What a wonderful man. I mean, I don't know anything about him personally. But he had the needle and I loved him. I will love him forever and ever, Amen. 

Fast forwarding a few hours, when I drew nearer to pushing time, Reyer's heart rate was decreasing to an almost unsafe rate when I was on my back or left side. We found out afterward, that his cord was just slightly wrapped around his neck and would tighten when I turned. Because of this, I had to push while laying on my right side only. Such weird way to go through labor, but I was willing to do whatever worked and kept the kiddo safe! Around 7 am, I pushed for about 30 minutes and Reyer made his entrance! It was so fast at the end, I could hardly believe he was here. 

And what a good looking boy! Seriously, the kid looked amazing right away. Certainly better than I looked at that moment.

A few hours later, our families got to visit. Adeline was really more interested in eating my pancakes than seeing her new brother. 

But she warmed up. I was surprised that she took to him so quickly. She also seemed to understand that this was the baby that had been in my belly. Throughout the first week, she kept saying, "Reyer was born!!!" 

 We got to take him home on one of the coldest days of winter. He didn't seem to mind a bit. And that's how he's been ever since: easy-going and happy. 

Welcome, Bubber! We're so glad you're here! (Sorry it took Mommy so long to blog about you.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We Now Interrupt Your Life to Bring You This Pregnancy

 Sometimes, while pregnant, I feel like my life is on pause. 

 Sleeping comfortably must wait. 
Eating what I want is on hold (gestational diabetes = no fun, and with Thanksgiving around the corner, possibly torturous). 
Simple tasks like bending and reaching are difficult until the babe is not hindering movement.

The autumn clothes I long to wear hang lifeless in the closet....until next year, my friends.
If I were into exercising regularly and vigorously, that would have to wait as well.

But the obvious truth be told: Life has gone on.

 In the 35 weeks of my pregnancy, 
I left a job after 5 years and started a new job -- the first one since graduating college where I have used my degree. 

Addie turned 2, started sleeping in her toddler bed more regularly, and began potty training.
Gerrit and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.
Old friends have gotten married.
My sister announced her own pregnancy.

We finished one year and began another year of Bible Study.
Gerrit became an elder at our church.
Seasons have changed.

Oh, AND....
God grew a human in my body!!!!

Life is never on pause. It passes whether I am ready or not. It goes on whether I choose to stop and enjoy the season of life that I am in or not. 
So, I would rather choose to enjoy this season. For it too shall pass.