Monday, May 23, 2016

Three Month Owen

Somehow this sweet boy turned three months last week.
I can honestly say that this picture (above) honestly depicts his normal personality. He's a happy-go-lucky chap. Last weekend, while in Pennsylvania for Gigi's memorial service, he became known as "the happiest baby ever." And overall, I believe he is very content.
If he cries, he normally has a good reason for it. He dislikes having a wet or stinky diaper. He doesn't want to be left without attention for too long, though he's often content to play or banter on his own for a little while. Or he's hungry or sleepy and mama's let him go a little past his thresholds.

His cues are easy to pick up and therefore that doesn't happen very often. Maybe it's because I'm a veteran mama, but maybe he's also just a content baby who's pretty savvy at communication already, too.

Owen LOVES to babble and blow raspberries!!! He makes these adorable high-pitched squeals when he's happy and smiles through his raspberries, dripping drool all over his bib or shirt.

He makes all sorts of wonderful faces. One of my favorite things to do is to run my palm and fingers over his forehead and to the back of his head. Every time, he opens his mouth into a gaping smile and turns his head toward my hand. He's done this since the very beginning and it's just the sweetest.
This boy has so much control of his hands, now!! He easily gets them to his mouth and loves to suck and chew on them all day long. Sometimes he manages to get his thumb into his mouth for a good suck.

He is also able to pick up items that are lying around him!! Owen totally surprised me last week when I came into the room and found him holding his chain toy in the opposite hand from the side where it had been lying next to him on the floor. WHAT?!? He had maneuvered himself close enough to not only touch it, but pick it up!!!

Since then, there's been no stopping him. That chain and little green ball with holes have become his favorite toys. He's either holding one of them, or working his way toward them on the floor.

I was just telling Jim that I think he's finally worked his way through a particularly frustrating stage. There were times when he'd have his thumb in his mouth and then "lose it" and not be able to get it back and it obviously was upsetting to him. Not anymore! Same goes for the toys. If he drops them, he can easily get them back. We've moved into a new stage when holding an object is a fun and welcome past-time. This will be quite helpful on the next long drive; it was something we didn't have going for us up to Pennsylvania during the two weeks prior.

Owen continues to grow long and lean. Make no mistake, he certainly has fabulous baby rolls, but he also just seems to get taller, as he gets stronger and stronger.
Your head had a few spots that Dr. Tobey wanted to work on to round out. We had two appointments and now she says your head is perfect (a couple places where the plates overlapped). Nursing, though mostly fine before, has no clicking sounds anymore and you seem to have less gas. She said this could have been related! Woo!
This chap. Life without him is unimaginable. His smile is everything I never knew was missing.

Owen has started taking an interest in rolling over. He cranes his head and entire body to get a better look at objects and people around him. With Ian zooming all around the house, Owen is a fantastic tracker. He loves to keep an eye on Ian's goings ons and this new ability to crank his body in different directions is certainly facilitating his new talent.

Ian, fortunately, really enjoys interacting with Owen. Yesterday I glanced into the room to find Ian singing songs to Owen and talking in the sweetest, gentlest voice he could muster. Adorbs.

We haven't done a ton of purposeful tummy time with Owen, but he's obviously not struggling in this area.
I love this one. He'll crank his neck WAY up, eager not to miss a thing. A rubber-necker like his mama :)
The poor boy has had a stuffy nose on and off for most of his life, but you'd never think that he was bothered by it. Perhaps it's because he hasn't had enough of life without one. The struggle is real for the second child and germs. The Nose Frida is his best friend, and mine. How did we survive stuffy noses with Ian? Thank goodness we have one now.

One thing's the same as with Ian... I cannot just choose one picture. These may all look the same to you, but I need every one of these adorable photos of Owen to cherish ;)
Owen, I don't want to forget one expression. One sound. I cherish each moment with you.

You love being worn in the carrier, held close to our chests, and sung to. You sleep often and without fuss. I sing you a few songs before lying you on your sheepskin, where you nestle in for a second before lying still and asleep. You sleep large chunks of the night. I actually feel rested in the morning.
This face is what we get after we smile at you. Every time.
You make our hearts leap and sing. You are one joyful little boy.
Happy 3 Months, Sweet Boy!

You love: smiling gaping smiles (!), grasping the chain toy and green hole-y ball, rolling slightly onto your side while on your back, babbling with anyone who will reciprocate, blowing raspberries, craning your neck to watch the action around you.

Life with you is fantastic.

The blue blanket in this photo is one I brought back from my grandparents' home. My parents gave it to them and I remember it being in their house. It felt fitting to use for this month's photo shoot with grandma's newest great grandchild.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Last weekend was my grandma's memorial service. The little boys and I drove up to Paris and then up to NW Pennsylvania with my dad. Dad had some plants he wanted to drop off at our cabin prior to heading to where we would be staying for the weekend. When he pulled off the interstate, both boys and I were sleeping soundly. We could have made it to my aunt's without stopping, but Dad insisted on going by way of the cabin, which would take a bit longer.

I'm so glad he did.

When we got to the cabin, there in the front was a bed of blue flowers.
We never get to the cabin in the month of May. Our time there is usually in the summer months of June through August. It was a total surprise to us to find this beautiful blue blanket. Not only that, but three different kinds of blue-ish flowers greeted us there.

Dad and I were thrilled. These flowers were a perfect memoriam of Grandma. It was fitting that on her memorial weekend, these flowers were thriving. She's now in a better place, a place where all things have been made new again.

And these flowers were a sure sign that she was and is with us.
My mom and siblings arrived the next day. They, too, swung by the cabin. When Mom arrived she said, "You know what those flowers are called? Forget-me-nots."
So, so beautiful.
In the place where I have a million and one memories with my grandma, there she was, still with us.
Certainly never to be forgotten.
She surrounded us that day at The Pinery.

It really moved my dad.
The whole weekend was just as Grandma would have wanted it. 
Our family trekked in from Florida, Virginia, and Pittsburgh. 
We had a huge gathering down at their old house, where my cousin lives now.

We sat around a campfire and shared laughs.
Then, on Saturday, we all wore our finest blue, her favorite color, and went to the church to celebrate and remember her.

Many of us sang "I'll Fly Away" as the final prelude song, my dad played a beautiful folk hymn called "Resignation" with the lyrics to Psalm 29, my uncle Mark played a flute piece she requested be played at her memorial, my uncle Eric and his wife did the remarks, and my aunt Beth led the choir (and anyone else who wanted to join in) in a final piece called "Go Ye Now in Peace." The memorial was full of music and it was so beautiful to watch her children each offer something to the service. She was one beloved mother.

"Borning Cry", the hymn, took me down to tears, as it always does. Whew.
Top L-R: Phoebe, Mom, Matt, Uncle Mark, Aunt Charlene, Aunt Beth, Julie, Jake, Aunt Charlotte, Kaelen, Izzy, Willem, Aunt Aimee, Uncle Eric, Lisa. Bottom: Dad, Owen, Ian, Me, Hazel, Heidi. Four generations.
After the service, the whole family returned to the compound (where my aunt, cousin, and grandparents live/lived) and much of the family had a sharing time. Some goodbyes were said before everyone rested for the afternoon.

That night we all went out to dinner, sitting at a very long table in a restaurant. Grandma's treat.
This summer we'll hopefully all reconvene on the river for another celebration of Grandma's life and a little family reunion. Stories will be told, dirty jokes she loved and would love, music, and a whole lot of warmth.

We never took a full photo of all of the cousins, but here's who was left on Sunday morning. Missing three cousins and a second cousin, my bro & sis and Marianne & Annie.
I'm so grateful for a very talented, funny, caring family. There's never a dull moment with this crew. 

A legacy of my grandma and grandpa. Never to be forgotten. 

Those blue Forget-Me-Nots have a totally new association for me now.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Today was a BIG day! We chopped off ALL of Ian's hair for the very first time. And, for the first time ever, he was allowed to have a lollipop. He ended up having not one, but two, lollipops before this cut was over.

He certainly doesn't look like a two year old anymore. He looks like a little Jim; very similar to Jim's childhood photos. It's taking some time for us to get used to.

As soon as his hair was sheared, it was as if he shed a ton of bricks. His energy level was through the roof! He was the energizer bunny. I'm sure it will feel SO much better as the hotter weather comes.