Friday, May 26, 2006

Can't believe I forgot ...

See just a little encouragement goes a long ways with getting me to remember to add posts. (thanks for the comments -- comments from all are always encouraged and appreciated.)

I realized later that I forgot to add a few things (and then some likely) when I did my quick update post --

--Nessa now officially has 5 teeth has her fifth one came through last week after a week of night waking and I'm pretty sure there are a couple more ready to burst through

--Nessa gives kisses!!!! :-) And not just to the baby in the mirror any more! Yes, we have all been blessed with Nessa kisses (no puckering yet in case you're wondering) and it melts our hearts.

--Megan has officially declared: "I just know we're going to have lots of fun in the future" while playing with Nessa. I just smiled although I considered asking for it in writing.

Well, we're off to the great north of MN for the weekend so I'm sure I'll have lots to post next week along with even more photos! When we get back there is sure to be extra long grass waiting to be mowed and a clogged drain still in the main bathroom sink ... but we'll still be glad to be home ... we love to travel but sometimes I wonder if I now love home even more because home is where my wonderful family and my whole heart is...

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Megan at her music concert

Jumping on (in?) my bed

Thursday, May 25, 2006

So much to tell...

so little (non-work) computer time!!!

I'm constantly thinking of great blog titles -- "uh-oh,", "she started it," "bye bye baby bed," d@mn allergies, dumb weather ... oops; I guess I started to vent, but you can guess that our home is rarely dull these days. I thought I would quickly send out a quick update before we go away for Memorial Day weekend. I'll try to post some photos tonight from home -- but no promises.

Yes, Nessa's first completely distinct word other than "ma ma" and "da da" is "uh-oh!" She came out with it yesterday in the car and it has been clearly repeated many many times since then. We've often thought we've heard other words, but this is the first word that even a stranger would recognize AND she repeats over and over. :-)

Nessa is also very, very close to taking off walking on her own. She has been walking with assistance or around furniture for quite awhile and would stand on her own for over a minute but really didn't seem interested in taking steps on her own until yesterday. Now she will move one foot forward and then sort of lean into her destination. She is still extremely fast on her hands and knees though so it will be interesting to watch the transition from crawling to walking as an actual way to get around. I'm actually looking forward to not having to worry about her poor little knees getting all red as she crawls around with bare legs. And I'll finally be able to let her wear all those dresses hanging in her closet on a regular basis!!!!

Nessa is also discovering more and more fun ways to play with her toys and interact with us and the rest of the world. We're delighted daily as we watch her play and learn. Much to Shawn's delight her current favorites include trucks and tractors (Shawn thinks the boys at day care have been a great influence in that regard) and she loves to push them all around the living room. Nessa also loves all of the animals in her farm and Noah's ark toys and currently loves to line up the animals on the window sill -- too cute.

Another change for Nessa will be saying goodbye to the Amby baby bed -- at nearly 14 months of use we certainly aren't rushing things. :-) It has been great and we love it, but Nessa is starting to use it like a trampoline (sitting not standing though!)when she decides she's not tired -- usually before sleep not after!!! And I often find her head at the bottom of the hammock rather than the top when I go in to check on her before I go to bed. I just hope the transition doesn't mean she'll wake up more at night for awhile!

Megan has been hard at work with the end of school activities (music concert tonight!), playing outside when the weather is nice, and working on her vision therapy exercises. Much to our surprise, we also heard her utter "she started it" the other day in response to my reprimand of Megen and Nessa playing a game at dinner consisting of making faces at each other and sticking out tongues -- yes, at dinner. Why did I think that a seven year age difference would prevent such comments?! Silly me!

Megan is excited about summer while I keep wondering what happened to Spring.

And now I'm wondering where the time went this morning ... so it's time to get this published ... stay tuned for photos and more updates as time permits. :-) (Hint, the more feedback I get from loyal readers the more inspired I'll be to post.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mmmm Good...

... and messy!!

Nessa loved her snack of raspberries and blueberries (and graham crackers)!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Top 10 Things I Like About Being A Dad

Shawn here. I've been telling anyone who'll listen that being a dad is so much more fun than I ever thought it could or would be, so I thought I should list the best things about being a dad. They are:

10. Watching Nessa when she's sleeping.
9. Watching Nessa exploring her world and seeing her learn something new.
8. Hearing Nessa laugh.
7. Watching Nessa and Tami when Nessa is nursing.
6. Singing lullabies to Nessa at bedtime.
5. Seeing the joy in my parents' faces when they hold Nessa.
4. Seeing the joy in Tami's face when she holds Nessa.
3. Snuggles with Nessa, especially when they lead to...
2. Having Nessa fall asleep in my arms.
1. Getting a big smile when Nessa sees me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wonderful weekend -- complete with farm photos!

We had a wonderful and busy weekend ... and if this post works you'll get a total update!

Friday night Shawn and I went out for fish and to the theatre while one of our favorite babysitters played with Megan and Nessa and tired Nessa out so that she fell asleep in the stroller and slept right though getting her diaper changed and her pajamas on!

Saturday we were up bright and early to check out the rummage sales in our neighborhood. We started with the stroller so Nessa could snack as we found her "new" toys and books, and then she decided she needed some snuggles so we put her in the ergo carrier on my back and she ended up taking a morning nap too.

Then we all got ready and packed everything in the car and headed up to Ridgeway for a surprise family gathering at the farm -- timing was a bit tricky for everyone due to various activities going on so we didn't get to shout "surprise" for mom, but I think she liked her birthday surprise anyway. We had lunch and then set out to plant that family garden.

I let Nessa play on the grass for a bit, but she was getting tired and cranky so out came the ergo again. Then I walked the corn rows to check for any uncovered seeds and a few rows later I heard baby snores ... two naps on mom's back in one day -- what a lucky girl!

Unfortunately Jake wasn't feeling himself and only wanted his mom (smart baby) to snuggle him close.

Ellen also was feeling under the weather but still took charge of the girls as they planted beans, peas, carrots, sunflowers ... and I'm not sure what else since Rebecca was removing the labels. :-) Anyway, we hope something grows! And Ellen did a great job with the girls both with planting and with making stepping stones (see below). Thank you Ellen -- we really appreciate those teacher talents! No wonder Charlotte told Ellen that she wanted Ellen to be her teacher this next year when she goes to kindergarten!

Later in the afternoon we all sat around and chatted and played with the kids as we waited for mom and dad to return from a nearby retirement party. Nessa woke up after a couple of hours so after a snack and a diaper change she was really ready to explore a little herself. She loved playing with a volleyball we had out and even initiated "playing catch" (rolling it back and forth between our legs). For some reason she also loved the gravel driveway and would crawl across the lawn and then onto the driveway several times. The rough rocks didn't seem to bother her at all.

unfortunately sticking her hand or foot in wet cement did bother her so Nessa's stepping stone doesn't have a hand or footprint on it (although several other kids accidentally stepped in it early on -- luckily Ellen was able to save it every time). The stones did turn out beautiful but I didn't have my camera with for pics on Sunday -- anyone else have a photo of the finished product?

Nessa also enjoyed sitting on the riding lawn mower -- although she wasn't truly happy until we let her have the keys! :-)

Shawn, Nessa and I ended the night with Pizza at the farm house (and Nessa ate at the table like a big girl -- no more picking off the toppings for her!) and then headed home as we were very tired. Megan stayed overnight with Grandma and Grandpa at the farm along with Ellen, Lance and Ahnika.

It was a great day though and it was so good to see everyone. I hope to post the rest of the pics I took on an online photo site soon. I only feel bad as I look through the photos that we didn't actually get many pics of mom and none of all of us together!

Sunday was truly a day of rest, well for the most part, but Megan and I did do a bit of shopping as well as the entire household taking naps.

Now that it's Monday and raining again, we're especially thankful for the gorgeous weekend we had as the weather was fair and sunny in addition to being able to spend time hanging out with our family. I wish it wasn't another dreary Monday, but at least the garden is getting watered!

Look at Nessa go!

We love watching Nessa use her walking toy(s) and it's especially cute when she takes her favorite toys for walk.

The first picture is from last week and the other three are from this morning. Nessa used to only walk behind something if we encouraged her to, but now she frequently finds her "walking buggy" and goes for a stroll. She still needs help turning around but otherwise is really taking off while walking like this. Of course she's still much faster crawling on her hands and knees and has even learned to take a few toys with her while crawling. Since she's so mobile anyway I'm hoping she masters walking soon just so I don't have to worry about carpet burn on her knees anymore and can dress her in shorts this summer. :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Megan: "Let's send her to grandma's."

That got my attention off course, so I looked, saw Nessa "ready to send" and had to take a picture. Megan thought maybe we should even include some toys for Nessa to play with on the way. Sisters are wonderful!"

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nessa's birth story

The story of my labor and birth with Nessa (including lots of background information) was recently published in VBACtoday ( The editor, Misha, did a fabulous job with a beautiful layout including some back and white photos done very tastefully -- it's gorgeous and will be a beautiful keepsake for us as a family. I also hope that my story can in come small way inspire other women.

Anyone interested in reading Nessa's birth story in its entirety can subscribe to VBACtoday (including back issues). Just let Misha know that you want the issue with Nessa's story in it! :-)

Tami --proud mom to three girls who have taken me on an incredible journey!

Since I can't seem to post photos ...

Grrr ...

You all get a general update instead. :-)

In brief --

Another month has flown by and Nessa will be 13 months tomorrow. She is babbling a lot and we're now convinced that she does indeed say "mama" and "dada" with purpose and she seems to make some distinct sounds around the cats too but we can't quite make out if she's trying to say their names or imitating our constant request of her to be "gentle." Nessa is also getting closer and closer to walking and the last couple of days she has balanced on her own a few times although that sometimes leads to a hard fall -- especially if she doesn't realize to put her butt down rather than landing on her back/head! Nessa is enjoying all of her new toys and is surprising us with all of the things she can do with them including putting several of her mega blocks together and fitting the correct peek-a-blocks on her train so that the item in the block twirls around. One of her favorite things to do though is still emptying the bookshelf of most of her books while she "reads" them one by one.

Megan is being as creative as ever as she continues to dream up books, artwork, songs, make believe balls and a few schemes. Megan and I are using the "just do it" theory to exercising lately as we encourage each other by having fun dancing, playing tag, jumping rope, etc. (Megan told me I was acting like a kid ... now if it would just make the grey hair go away) and we are also trying to do just 10 minutes of stretching and strength training each morning. Megan is also starting her vision therapy this Tuesday ( for some links from Family Vision Center)so we'll be adding eye exercises to the list as well.

This weekend was rainy but relaxing. Friday night Shawn and I had a date night where we just went out to eat and then hung out and went shopping for a bit. It was great and very much needed. Saturday we went to some rummage sales and then in spite of the rain kept our plans to visit the cemetery and put some spring flowers at Emily's grave. Later we watched a movie and had a relaxing night. Sunday I ended up napping after church and then played with the girls and got little else done all day (means more to do today!).

Last weekend it was so nice on Sunday that Megan and I wanted to go for a long walk and explore the walking trail near our house. We even took a picnic lunch and also stopped to play at a park near the end of the trail. It was about a 3 mile round trip walk plus play time ... so I got my first sunburn of the spring because I totally wasn't thinking about it when we left! Thank goodness Nessa was totally covered and Megan doesn't burn as easily as I do (just a bit of her nose and cheeks got a little red). My forehead even peeled a bit but I think now, a week later, it looks fine again. Sigh.

Those are all the little things that come to my mind --- please leave comments or send us an email to let us know how you all are doing. I'll post more as soon as I get photos to upload!