Monday, December 26, 2011

An unexpected Christmas gift

Around 8:15am yesterday morning my brother called me. I knew that meant only one thing. Their baby was coming! But I was wrong. Their baby was here! My sister-in-law had her water break late Christmas Eve night and my newest niece was born bright and early Christmas morning at 4:55am. 

Arianna Elizabeth is the newest member of our family and my brother and sister-in-law's first child. Mom, baby, and dad are all doing well. They are quite tired considering they were up all day Saturday, all night on Saturday, and all day on Sunday.

The tired but proud new dad.

Friday, December 23, 2011


This week has been very busy. Nate's parents flew in for a visit on Monday and then left early this morning. We had a great time with them and I need to write a post on that with some of the pictures we took. 

This weekend we'll spend time with my family and I'm honestly not sure what to expect. You're probably wondering why in the world I said that, but my brother and his wife are expecting their first child. Her due date is December 26. Right now we're just waiting for her to go into labor. So, while we're planning to spend Christmas day together, we all understand that plans may change at any moment! 

On top of that, my grandma (mom's mom) was hospitalized earlier this week. This morning she needed surgery, which was unexpected and we were told she had a 50/50 chance of coming through the surgery. She came out of surgery fine and is recovering very well. But this morning things were very uncertain. You can continue to keep my grandma in your prayers. I know we'd all appreciate it.

On a completely different note, a little daughter of mine has been rearranging and adding to our nativity. I like the giant sheep that has become part of it! When I first saw it I chuckled because I saw the small sheep on the roof but didn't see the donkey anywhere. Then I noticed the donkey on the roof as well. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. I've stopped rearranging the nativity back to the way I had it and would rather Sanaa spend time with it so that we can talk about the real reason for this Christmas season.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last girl standing

Since last Wednesday we have been battling the stomach bug in our house. It hit me Wednesday night and Thursday. Then late Friday night Sanaa got it. She was pretty wiped out the entire weekend. By Monday Sanaa was doing better and Nate and Layla were still healthy. We made it though the entire week with no one else getting sick and I thought we were finally done with the stomach bug...... until this morning when it struck Nate. NOOO!!!!!! I'm really hoping this is the last of it and somehow Layla manages to escape the bug. She's the only one left to not get it.

Needless to say, this bug has not helped me get ready for Christmas and now I find myself scrambling to get things done in time. I'm not sure when our Christmas cards will get mailed, but I figure if the cards show up after Christmas that will be a nice surprise for people. 

Sanaa sleeping on the couch. This is where she spent most of the weekend.

Nate and Layla doing yard work on Sunday. Since Sanaa was still sick we stayed home from church.

Working on puzzles. This is one of Layla's new favorite pass times. She does really well with the puzzles and needs very little help from me.

Even Sanaa has been enjoying puzzles. It's nice having them work on quiet activities every once in awhile.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pre-concert photos

Trying to get a good picture of Sanaa in her Christmas dress.

Layla played well while we waited for Sanaa's concert to start. She spent a lot of time drawing and coloring. Layla also enjoyed the concert and danced along with the songs the kids sang.

A fun sister picture.

Sanaa's first preschool concert

In November, we enrolled Sanaa in preschool. She's been attending for just over a month and has loved going to school. She attends twice a week for 2 1/2 hours. This past Tuesday Sanaa had her Christmas concert. I meant to post this on Wednesday but the stomach bug knocked me out of commission for a good 24 hours. Sanaa did not sing all and looked scared. During the last song she started crying which broke my heart. After the concert she told me that she was sad because she wanted to be with her family. Maybe next year's concert will go better.

Monday, December 5, 2011

18 months old

Last week (on Thursday) Layla turned 18 months. Only 6 more months till her 2nd birthday. Wow! On Friday she had her 18 month check up. It went well and she didn't need any shots. The pediatrician said she is growing well and has no concerns about her health. Layla is a very petite child and only weighed 21 pounds (that was fully clothed with her diaper on!). That puts her in the 7th percentile for weight. She was 30.5 inches tall and was in the 18th percentile for height.

Layla is a very active child and loves to climb on anything. I'm frequently pulling her off of the table, off of the bathroom counter (where she likes to turn on the sink water) and off of her rocking chair which she prefers to stand in instead of sitting. She tries to jump off of her rocking chair and laughs about it.

If you leave your food on the table, Layla will find it and finish eating it for you. Below, she found Sanaa's breakfast and finished it.

Layla is talking a little. Some of words in her vocabulary include: daddy, apple, up, more, "quack," "meow," llama (sounds like mama), "baa," cracker and "dop" which means thank you.

She enjoys playing with her big sister and will follow Sanaa around. I do hear a lot of fighting between the two but there are also some peaceful moments when they play nicely together.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Around the house

I'm still not feeling the greatest. The first trimester of pregnancy and I do not get along at all. The only thing the first trimester is good for is losing weight on my part. So, I still haven't finished unpacking. My goal each day is to survive and attempt to keep Sanaa and Layla entertained. Luckily, they have started playing fairly well together. We do have issues with Sanaa not sharing toys, grabbing toys from Layla, and playing a little too rough. But Layla is a tough girl and it won't be long before she fights back. 

Exploring the floor vents. In Texas our vents were in the ceiling, so the girls get a huge kick out of feeling the warm air coming out of the floor.

"Working" at daddy's new desk.

Ranger Sanaa. She likes to pretend to be a ranger, but this picture makes me think of a safari.

Having a picnic before bed.

Doing yard work.

Playing in the tub. I have no idea why they like to play in the tub but they do.

Monday, November 28, 2011


This Thanksgiving we got to spend with my family. It was Nate's first Thanksgiving (ever!) with my family. We've never been able to come out to Oregon since we got married for Thanksgiving due to Nate's work schedule.

Sanaa chillin' with uncle Ryan and aunt Karen. Aunt Karen is due December 26th! We can't wait to meet the newest family member. Ryan and Karen have chosen to not find out the sex of the baby, so I'm guessing boy!

I didn't take very many pictures during Thanksgiving. I didn't even think about it. But we did have a fun, relaxing day eating a lot of food. The girls also had fun walking in grandpa's boots.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Making apple cider

A couple weeks ago I talk about apple picking and mentioned that my dad's side of the family was going to get together to make apple cider. Last Saturday (Nov 5) most of the extended family that lives in Oregon got together and made A LOT of apple cider. It was a fun, but chilly day.

My dad pushing apples into the cider press. My cousin Peter is in the red sweat shirt and his son Caleb is on the left side of the picture.

Some of my cousins kids sorting/playing on the apples in the trailer.

The truck was full of apples as well. A second trailer was used to dump the apple pulp in after the juice was squeezed out.

Washing, sorting, and cutting the apples before passing them to the next group to be pressed.

The women waiting for more cider to come so that they could strain it and pour it into jugs.

Layla had a great time helping. Here she threw an apple into the cider press.

Next Layla helped sort the apples.

Apparently tasting the apples was part of her sorting technique.

Nate jumped right in on the action and got to work cutting apples. You won't find a single picture of me working or helping with the cider making process because I was busy watching the girls. Nate had so much fun with my family and I was quite happy to just let him chop away.

Sanaa with some of my cousins kids climbing the mountain of apples.

More apple sorting.

A shot of the big operation from the end of the driveway.

They began making cider around 8:30am and wrapped things up around 4pm or 4:30pm. We had over 150 galloons of cider by the end of the day! I'm not sure what the exact total was since they lost count after 150 galloons, but that is the most they've ever made. My dad went home with a truck load of apples that didn't get pressed since we had so many apples.

We're hoping to do this again next year. I know my girls had a blast. We came home with 10 galloons of apple cider and it is really good. In one week Nate, the girls, and I have polished off 2 1/2 galloons of cider.

June 2012

June 2012 will be a very busy month for us. Layla will turn 2 years old on the 1st and Sanaa will turn 4 years old on the 30th. Somewhere in-between their two birthdays we will welcome our 3rd child into the family unless the baby decides to come early.

Yep. I'm pregnant and have been dealing with morning sickness for just over two weeks now. I had my first doctor's appointment this past Friday and got to see the littlest Pond on the ultrasound. His/her heart was beating wonderfully. My due date is June 24th but because I have had two prior c-sections, this third time will be a c-section as well. I've joked about having a 3rd child on June 15th and since the c-section will be scheduled a week before my actual due date I could possibly have my 3rd child on June 15th. I guess we'll see....

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I'm playing catch-up since we were moving into our new house over Halloween. The girls were dressed as princesses this year. Sanaa picked out her purple princess dress and then we found Layla a little ballerina outfit. Layla didn't have a clue she was dressed as a ballerina and Sanaa kept calling her a princess, so I just went with it.

I took the girls to Newberg on Halloween where my mom and I walked the girls up and down the main street and went trick or treating at all the local stores. The various store owners were dressed up as they handed out candy and the girls came away with a huge stash of candy! We got there early, but by the time we were leaving it was getting quite crowed. Sanaa was pretty shy the whole time and wouldn't talk to anyone. Layla caught on quickly and happily held her bucket out for more candy. By the end, Layla began to sign "more" in the hopes of getting more candy in her bucket. Sanaa is already asking when Halloween will come again.