Thursday, December 08, 2011

Margot 15 mos

Ahhh, blogging. So little time, so little brainpower, so little creativity, so little desire. However, I refuse to let time fly by at the speed of light and not take a minute to jot down a little about our growing girl.

As a side note, my mom took the boys for a few days before Christmas. I was blown away by all the free time. I wondered what on earth I did all the time when I just had Micah as a young toddler. I felt so lost. I lamented to Matt that I don't even feel like my own person anymore. Who am I? What do I like to do? It's easy to get down in the dumps when you buy into the world's mentality that we are all our own separate entities and that we need find "ourselves." I got a book for Christmas that was a really fun read, so practical, and so encouraging. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Rachel Jankovic's Loving the Little Years. It's like she read my mind and wrote just what I needed to be reminded of right there in chapter 12. Here is an excerpt:
We are like characters in a story. Our essential self is not back in the intro, waiting to be rediscovered. Who you are is where you are. If you suddenly panic because it all happened so fast and now you don't recognize yourself, what you need is not time alone. What you need is your people. Look at the people who made you what you are- your husband and your children. Study them. They are you. If you want to know yourself, concentrate on them.
Those women who try to find themselves by stripping away the "others" will find that they are a very broken little thing. This will lead them to resent the people who they think made them that way. She may say "I used to be so energetic, but all these people take, take from me and now I have no time to just be me!" And the world gathers around and comforts her and says she needs some time to follow her dreams.
But the Christian woman needs to see, "I used to be so boring! Now my character has some depth, some people to love, some hardships to bear. Now I have some material to work with." People, people everywhere and no time for yourself. But remember, this is your calling. It belongs to you. They belong to you. If you want some quality "me time," make a date with your husband. Do something special with your children. These people are you. Your identity is supposed to be intertwined-that is the way God wrote the story, and it is the way He intends us to read it.

So encouraging and so true. Really, there is no person I'd rather be. Whoever I was before, she is gone. Now stands the tired, overextended mom to three young children and wife to one amazing man. And truth be told, I am loving it. I love these people I live with. I love that they are my story.

And the newest piece of my story is getting bigger every day. She is growing like a weed-31 3/4 in. (80%) and 22.5 lbs (50%). She is continuing to stay tall-it is so funny to hear that she is in the 80% when I'm used to hearing 25% for the boys. I'm thrilled for her that she may get some height from her daddy. She is not only walking now, but running. She wants to be a big so bad. Watching her brothers all day has taught her a lot- for better or worse! She talks so loudly despite all my efforts to get her to use a gentle lady-like voice. She wants to be heard. She makes many demands like her oldest brother did, although she is much more easily contented when things don't go her way. Even though she fights for her rights here at home, we see her introverted nature come out in public. She will get quiet or cry upon entering unfamiliar places. She does well with a babysitter at our home, but will scream until I have to pick her up if we try to leave her in the church nursery. This is a challenge because once she is back with us, she talks loudly and makes requests until one of us has to take her to the car. Alas, it is a season. We will one day all be in church together for the full hour and a half. She is so clearly a little girl with big brothers. She will often be running around playing football while wearing "so petty" necklaces, bracelets, and perfumed lotions. Or, she will be pushing her new baby in her stroller while wearing some of her big brothers shorts. She cracks us up every day. She loves to brush her teeth, dress up, read countless books, dance, eat, and sleep. She loves to tease her brothers, then ask them for multiple kisses before leaving the room. She loves her dada, and I'm pretty sure I rank pretty high on her list too. I think, since we are seasoned in this stage, we are much more apt to take it all in. We are truly enjoying watching her grow and studying her little personality. The Lord has blessed us beyond what we could have hoped in these children. We tell each other daily, even amid the struggles and exhaustion, "we love these kids!"

Here is a little video of the way she danced to this particular Christmas hymn. She even chimes in to the "gloria" refrain but it's hard to hear her.

Friday, December 02, 2011

This is How I Do It

My little elf. She can whip dinner up lickety split!


We traveled to Little Rock this year for Thanksgiving to visit my dad. He happens to live on multiple tree filled acres-a little boy's dream. We had a wonderful time hiking, climbing, building a campfire, riding the four wheeler, eating, visiting, watching games, and playing our own games.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

My One Year Old

These photos were taken by our dear friend, Taylor Brown, while we were visiting for Labor Day. She was only 11 months, but they capture her personality so well (she always has and has had that furrowed brow!)

At one year old, sweet Margot, you:

-Continue to be such a blessing to us. I love that, with your intense personality, you have so much to keep you busy. Two older brothers definitely help keep you entertained. Maybe that was the problem with Micah at your age: he was so bored!

-Are extremely precocious. You want to do more than your body is ready for. You have so much to say and you want to know about everything. You point to things constantly and ask what they are. You drag out book after book for me to read to you so that you can point to all the pictures and practice saying new words. You talk a lot for a 12 month old. We estimate that you have 50 or more words. You don't have the best pronunciation, but we can usually figure out what you are saying. One week, you went into your brothers' room and lined up all their stuffed animals. You were not content until you mastered all the animal names and sounds. Some nights I would carry you in tears to your room. You would just get so worked up, I felt I needed to rescue you from the undue stress you were putting on yourself. Ahhh, another overachiever. I wonder where you get that from? :) You succeeded, little girl, and now proudly tell everyone what lions, monkeys, elephants, bears, and porcupines say(Dada taught you a joke and you reply "uh oh" when asked "what does a porcupine say". You think this is really funny and we are pretty sure you understand that you are being silly).

-Took your first trip to the hospital. You had a little tumble off the slide one night while having fun with Owen. We didn't think anything of it as it was not a very scary fall. You cried most of the night and next morning. When you began standing like a flamingo, I decided to take you for an x-ray. Thankfully, there was no break, and you recovered pretty quickly.

-Love food! Anything we put on your plate, you eat. Your brothers were good eaters at this age too, but there was always a few things they would spit out or gag on. I have never seen you turn away anything. I love watching you eat plates full of colors and hope you continue to love them so much.

-Are still nursing. I really don't know how long we will keep this up. You have had milk in a cup and do great. Since nursing isn't really tying me down, and I really have nowhere else to be, I think we will continue for a little while longer. I'm just not quite ready to let you go.

-Take one good 2-3 hour nap a day. You also still sleep roughly 12 hours each night. Every once in a while you sleep extra late in the morning or take a really long nap. You had been waking up once in the middle of the night. This was my fault as I let you continue with this bad habit. We have been doing some sleeping boot camp and you are responding well. You seem your same chipper self in the morning despite the tears at 3 am. Thankfully, I think this habit is already almost broken after a few nights of dada coming in instead of me.

-Stand by yourself. You have taken a step or two, mostly when no one is looking, but you are too nervous to attempt any further distances. I am very ready for you to walk and think we are about to devote some serious time to teaching you how. Your left foot still turns way in after a few steps, so it might be a challenge to learn good balance. The doctor assures me this will straighten itself out in the next few months.

-Are 21 lbs. and 30 1/4 inches long. This puts you in the 50% for weight and 80% in height. You are slimming down but keeping you length. You definitely did not get your height from me, but I think you will enjoy being taller if you stay on this track.

We love you sweet girl and are so thankful for your first year of life. May the Lord grant us many more.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Golf Tournament

Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out! --Romans 11:33

This past weekend, we enjoyed Micah's third golf tournament. On the way there, we were reflecting on the past year. One year ago to the day of the tournament we were driving to Micah's first golf tournament. I was 38 weeks pregnant. We got a new car that same afternoon. It was a big day for us, and we were feeling great-excited about what was in store. We had no idea. What a gift that God doesn't give us a window into the future. I loved being at that golf tournament thinking everything was right in the world. I'm glad I didn't know I would have such a rough post-partum after Margot was born. I'm glad I didn't know how sick my first born would become just three months later. I couldn't have walked so carefree that morning, loving life, had I known.

On February 25 I drove Micah to the doctor and then to the hospital. He had been sick for a month and was taking a turn for the worst. He wouldn't come home for a month. I watched him get sicker literally by the hour and felt my life spinning out of control. I remember the day we had a turnaround and were allowed to put Micah in a wheelchair. We got to stroll him around the hospital. We bought him ice cream. I remember Matt and I thinking and saying "if this is the best we get-we are okay with that." They were telling us to expect a long recovery. Micah's inflammation was some of the most severe they had seen. No one knew if our child would walk again, let alone play golf. We were just so happy he was alive. The Lord is so good to us in that He works our trials for good. I would not be the mom I am today without this past year. I soak up every minute I can-life is fragile. I remember to be joyful even when I am so tired. I remember that one day I won't have these little people wanting my attention, and I relish in reading them one last chapter. I remember that babies get big-fast, and I relish that one last snuggle from my baby. I remember that life is hard, but life is such a gift, and I try not to take the small things for granted. His ways are not my own. I would not have chosen to walk the path I did this past year. But, I also likely would still be sulking in my own self pity of not getting enough "me time." I would not have chosen for my son to endure what he did, but I wouldn't have been able to see his faith grow, the Lord working in his little heart, the wide-eyed wonder my boys have of their Creator who heals diseases.

This weekend was amazing. Again we were loving life, walking around the golf course watching our miracle boy make one fantastic shot after another. He had a goal: shoot a 25. He made his goal and was so proud. His face was priceless when they called his name to receive his first place trophy. We had a wonderful day watching our son accomplish his goal. And you know what? I'm glad I don't have a window into the next 12 months. Oh Lord, deal gently with us.

Right before a great chip on his first hole of the tournament. This was his second shot, the video is below.

Calling his name for first place!
so proud

Owen, look what I won for us! Micah wants to keep the trophy on the dresser so they can both see it from their beds.

from Ginny Morrison on Vimeo.


The above videos were his first two shots of the tournament. He went on to putt for par! It was a great way to start off the morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Day in the Life

Of an 11 month old baby girl. Last week, you turned 11 months old. I realized I needed to get out the camera and snap some photos. I don't want to let my annoyance at our outdated, fuzzy imaged camera deter me from capturing these days with you. You are one busy girl and are growing so big right before our very eyes. We are so blessed to get to be your parents and brothers, Margot!

We start the day nice and slow with breakfast and play time in our pj's. You pull up and stand most of the day.

You love to put things in this drawer and pull them out for a taste. EVERYTHING goes in your mouth. We really have to watch out for you. Thankfully, your brothers help us with this challenge.

You also spend a lot of time over by the boys' school table. You want to be all up in their business all day. They try to be patient with you as you pull down their papers and crayons. I tell them it won't be long before you are sitting there with them.

Then we head upstairs to get dressed. You love to stand and look out the boys' window. You also love to explore all their toys in their room. In this picture you are laughing at Owen. He is so good with you-very nurturing and always making you smile. You can also see your dimple under your left eye in this picture. Owen has the same one.

Now that you are adamantly opposed to taking two naps a day, we try our best to prolong the morning by taking a walk. Your new schedule is: wake up at 7:45, nap from 12-3, bed by 7:30. I actually like this better as we are not bound by two naps a day and you are asleep nice and early for me in the evenings. You still nurse 3-4 times a day. This makes me happy as your brother's were self-weaners at this age. You eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. We haven't found many foods you don't like. Asparagus is your favorite vegetable, cantaloupe and mango your favorite fruits, and salmon and tilapia your favorite meats. Breakfast is oatmeal every day and your favorite snack is yogurt.

Since I was in camera mode, I told the boys we would take some pictures of them too. Owen was willing, but too shy to look at the camera on most attempts. Micah told me he wasn't handsome and wouldn't smile for me, hence the above photo!

The boys are always having so much fun, and you always try to be a part of whatever they are doing. I am hoping this will entice you to walk soon as crawling on the concrete is not good for the knees or clothes.

Convinced Micah to give me a good smile :)

"Listen to me! I have a lot to say these days too!" You can say "dog dog" and "ball" and that is what you like to talk about most of the day. You have many other words, you just have your horn stuck right now. You also love to read books and point to the pictures in them.

Micah and Owen try to help you stay on your feet and teach you to walk!

On the way home, Owen was telling Micah a secret. It ended in a hug, and I had to snap one more! Then it was home to make lunch. We met a special surprise...

You love your Dada. Big smiles and waves make him so happy.

We'll be back so soon with a happy birthday post.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vacation! month later!

This year, we had the privilege of being invited by some wonderful friends to enjoy Dauphin Island for an entire week. This is our family's longest stretch of vacation ever! To say we enjoyed ourselves and made many lasting memories is an understatement. We were a full house with 9 adults, 9 children (Micah being the oldest), and two courageous, outstanding nannies. It was a lot to keep up with for sure: long walks to the ocean, many mouths to feed, little swimmers who were sometimes too brave, and crawlers who put everything into their mouths (that would be Miss Margot!). We couldn't have done it as enjoyably without those wonderful selfless girls helping with all our small children.

It was the hottest I ever remember being at the beach. The humidity was almost unbearable. In fact, almost every time I got my camera out to take a picture, this is what happened. Hence a post without many pictures. My friend, Raechel, did a wonderful job documenting our trip so I will send you over there to see her take and many beautiful pictures (and lovely new website too).

Thankfully, we had wonderfully breezy nights to enjoy the beach and ocean as a whole family. We didn't even attempt to take Margot to the beach during the day. She happily napped with Hazel and Rowan during the heat of the day in the nice, cool house. When the evening came and she saw her swimsuit, she would giggle. She couldn't wait to get to the ocean, gobble up handfuls of sand, and kick and splash in the waves. We have never seen a baby so happy to be in the salty, sandy atmosphere. She was in paradise. The boys loved the trip as well. They made up endless games in the waves, played countless board games with anyone who would oblige them, looked for shells on the beach with Beatrice, and made lasting silly memories with Oliver,

See Micah in the far left? He stayed in the ocean the whole time we were at the beach.
This last picture was actually the start of our trip. We decided to take a slight detour and stop at "the loveliest village on the plains." The boys loved running through campus and eating frozen yogurt, and we loved breaking the trip into two very doable drives. Micah declared that he loved Auburn, wanted to go to college there, and even wanted to move there! Matt and I dreamed about opening a satellite office and moving there ourselves. Oh, how we love and miss that place.

And because this has been so long coming, and because I just want to get this down and posted, here is a list of some of our favorite memories in no particular order.

-Watching my boys perform beautifully at our favorite restaurant in Auburn. It was a lot to ask for them to sit quietly and enjoy "adult food" after 5 hours in the car. Matt and I were silently praying they wouldn't embarrass us-we had forgotten Amsterdam wasn't the most kid friendly place. They both claimed it was their favorite restaurant while they ate their weight in smoked salmon dip. That's my boys!

-Seeing three small boys cuddled up on two twin beds to sleep. It didn't last long as my boys need their space. Owen ended up choosing the floor.

- Learning and playing many hours of cornhole.

-Hearing strange sounds one night, Matt and I quickly leaped up to save the day from the storm blowing in. As we were scrambling about collecting items, we realized that we weren't the only ones who heard. But... we were the only ones out there in our underwear!

-One night our family took a mini road trip to Gulf Shores to get Matt's and my favorite meal: a steamed seafood platter. Micah had one bite of king crab leg and declared "This is great! I think this is what we'll eat in Heaven!" "I think so too" I told him. Owen had a few bites too, but we wanted to be careful with his shrimp allergy. I packed a bottle of Benedryl and let him have a taste. Sweet boy declared his grilled chicken breast dipped in butter sauce his favorite meal ever. We followed dinner with a trip to play mini golf. Both boys made a hole in one!

-We somehow scored the master bedroom (our friends wanted to give us a nice welcome to the group vacation). The bathtub was a large garden tub. At the end of our nighttime beach trips, Matt got in the shower with all the kids. He bathed, I dried, lotioned, and clothed. Then, we would scramble to get the kiddos in bed at a decent hour, so we could enjoy some adult conversation and games.

-Watching/listening to my boys play with their sister in the car, so she wouldn't cry was one of the highlights. She isn't fond of sleeping much on car trips, and they would entertain her by tossing all their stuffed friends her way. She thinks they hung the moon.

-We played at least three full games of monopoly with Micah and Owen-including "joke monopoly" which is really the modern day version. You could buy airports for $200 million! Micah got a big kick out of that.

-On our last day at the ocean, the waters were tepid and there were rumors of jellyfish. After Owen, Margot, and I decided to call it a day, Micah held a slimy goop up in the air asking "what in the world is this?" Matt tried to stay calm as he told Micah to put it down right now and get out of the water. Micah denied for a solid hour that it was a jellyfish. We were so thankful he didn't get stung by one of the massive jellyfish that started washing ashore. He finally admitted that he held a jellyfish, but had to put in the disclaimer that it wasn't alive.

I know I'm forgetting many things, but this will suffice for now. Here's hoping for many future beach trips-definitely my favorite vacation spot!