Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Picture-less posts

Well fiddlesticks. I tried to upload pictures and got a message saying I'm out of space. I'll have Nate help me figure things out but that's a bummer. I was going to post pictures from Thanksgiving. We set up a make shift photography spot and my sister-in-law, Karen, took some great family pictures for us. I used some of the pictures on our Christmas card but I was going to upload some of the funnier pictures where Malakai is trying to grab Sanaa's hair, Layla has her fingers in her nose, the kids aren't looking, or someone is just being goofy.

We did have a good Thanksgiving. It was a fairly relaxing day of eating and hanging out. We spent the day at my parents house and since it wasn't raining the girls enjoyed playing outside and running around.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're heading into a really busy couple of weeks. So don't be surprised if you don't find any new posts. Between this Saturday (Dec 1) and Friday (Dec 14) I have 4 flute concerts with the Rose City Flute Choir. Sanaa has her Christmas program at church, I have the final MOPS meeting to plan and prep for, and all that is on top of our normal activities of school, Bible study, and swimming lessons. I enjoy the holidays but each year it sure seems to get busier!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Malakai - 5 months

Our little guy turned 5 months old today. He is a pretty happy baby. He has started teething and chews on anything he can get his hands on. This includes toys, blankets, stuffed animals, fingers, and toes. He swipes at anything within reach and will try to grab it.

He sleeps okay. Most days he takes at least one good nap in the afternoon. His morning nap tends to be short. He typically only takes 2 naps during the day but if his naps were short then sometimes he'll take a third nap around 4:30 or 5:00. At night he still wakes one or two times, which is quite tiring. One good thing is that I can lay Malakai down fully awake in his crib and he'll put himself to sleep. I've done this a number of times when I've needed to help the girls with something. I always intend to return and rock him but 70% of the time he's fallen asleep before I can get back to him.

Malakai is a fairly hungry boy and my milk supply can't keep up with him so at night before bed he now gets one bottle of formula and he'll drink anywhere between 4 and 6 ounces. We haven't been feeding him solids recently and that has a lot to do with me being lazy. I had hoped the solids would help him sleep better at night but it didn't. So I quit feeding him cereal and we started giving him a bottle of formula at night instead. I've tossed around the idea of starting solids back up again after Thanksgiving but the month of December is incredibly busy for us and I'm not sure I want to. So we'll see. I do have quite a bit of food made and frozen for him already.

Last week we were blessed to receive a good amount of formula from various people and I think we have enough to last us a good 6 months if not longer! I got three 8 ounce cans of powder formula from the pediatrician on Monday. On Wednesday one of the moms at MOPS asked if I used formula and I said I just started supplementing with formula. She handed me a bag with three 8 ounce cans of powder formula, one 12 ounce can of powder formula, 8 small single serving (4 ounces) packets of powder formula (great to throw in the diaper bag!), five 8 ounce liquid containers, and one 3 ounce liquid jar of formula. Then on Friday a package arrived from Nate's parents with five 22 ounce packages of powder formula. I nearly broke down crying on Friday when I realized how much free formula we had received. It was/is a huge blessing and while I really want to keep nursing as long as possible it is reassuring to know that we have a lot of formula on hand to feed our hungry, growing boy.

Malakai is doing some rolling. He doesn't roll to get to places but flops over when he feels like it. He's rolled from his back to tummy a few times (never when I'm watching) and frequently rolls from his tummy to back.

Here are some pictures from today.

I didn't have time to print out a paper that said 5 months on it so I scrounged around until I found some toys to use instead.

Wrestling with the bear.

"Hey. You lookin' at me?"

Malakai really enjoys hanging out with his sisters. I tend to have more pictures of Sanaa with Malakai than Layla with Malakai. Sanaa will sit next to Malakai and show him toys where as Layla will lay on him or make silly faces at him and then rush off.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple Cider making

Last weekend (Saturday, November 10) we made apple cider with my family. It was a small operation with just my brother, sister-in-law, parents, and my aunt LaVerne. In previous years it's been nearly all of my dad's family that does this together but the group has gotten so large and it's quite an ordeal with 30+ family members that this year the extended family did not make apple cider together. Instead we all met and ate apple dumplings. Yum! However, we still wanted some apple cider so my dad borrowed the cider press from his brother Norm. We ended up making 34 gallons apple cider!

Here is the process:
We scooped all the apples off the back of my dads truck and rinsed them off in buckets of water.

Then we cut the apples in halves and fourths. If it was a small apple it was just cut in half. A larger apple was cut a tad smaller.

Nate and Karen posing as they chop apples. Ariana was hanging out and watching the process.

Next my dad dumped the cut up apples into the cider press where they were ground up into a pulp.

The pulp is then squeezed down.....

And out flows the cider. The cider is strained through a large strainer to catch any large chunks.

The final step is to take the apple cider and strain it through a cheese cloth (or some other cloth with small holes) and funnel it into jugs.

Here Aunt LaVerne is helping Sanaa pour the apple cider into a funnel that has the cheese cloth over it.

Layla helped Aunt LaVerne as well.

Layla also got a chance to turn the wheel on the cider press and squeeze the cider out of the apple pulp.

Sanaa scooping apples with a large shovel. I'm surprised at how strong Sanaa is.

And yes... I did help. I spent a good portion of the time scooping the apples and washing them.

I also helped squeeze out the apple cider.

Ryan and Karen dumping apples into the press.

Nate squeezing out the last bit of apple cider.

It was a fun day and we're really enjoying all the apple cider we made!

Monday, November 12, 2012

It just wouldn't be a Monday.....

..... without a trip to the pediatrician.

We have been having a rough few weeks around here with stomach bugs, croup, and now double ear infections. Last night Layla was up from midnight until early this morning crying. She slept a tiny bit but not much. She often fusses when Nate puts her down and really likes to have Nate rock her to sleep. But last night she just wouldn't stop fussing and we had no idea what was going on.

This morning Nate called the doctor's office right after it opened. Then I packed up the kids to head the doctor while Nate got ready for work. Layla now has a double ear infection. It's no wonder she wouldn't sleep. The doctor prescribed some ear drops to help numb her ears (so we can actually get some sleep!) and an antibiotic.

The one positive about visiting the doctor today is that the receptionist did give me three small (8oz) cans of formula for Malakai. Since we've been feeding Malakai roughing one bottle of formula at night receiving those cans was quite a blessing. I honestly can't believe how expensive formula is!

Sanaa was the first one to wake up this morning around 7:30 and then we just laid on the couch for awhile.

We did have fun on Saturday. We made apple cider! Yum! Hopefully at some point this week I'll get those pictures up.

Friday, November 9, 2012

3 sick kids = 2 very tired parents

Today is a day of rest. All of the kiddos are sick. Yep, I said all. While they are doing pretty good this morning, they definitely need a day to stay in pjs, watch tv, and just lounge around (well... as much as a 2 year old and 4 year old will lounge around).

We've been battling croup, upper respiratory viruses and colds all week. It began on Monday after Layla spent the night barking like a seal. I had planned to take the girls in for flu shots on Monday but instead took Layla in to be seen for croup while Sanaa got her flu shot. Layla was given a prescription for 4 doses of oral steroids. That really seemed to help and by Wednesday she wasn't barking nearly as bad as she had been.

Monday night Malakai began coughing and it resembled a seal. I immediately thought he had croup as well. Nate called the doctor Tuesday morning but the nurse said he was too young to actually have croup and it was more likely he had caught an upper respiratory virus. We did not take him to the doctor but instead kept a close eye on him like the nurse suggested. She did give us some symptoms to watch out for.

On Wednesday Sanaa woke up coughing but it wasn't a bad cough and didn't sound like croup. She continued to act normal but the cough sounded like one of those coughs you have in the morning when you're dealing with a lot of drainage.

Currently all three kids are still coughing and have runny noses. But they also appear to be doing somewhat better. Layla is back to her normal energetic self. Malakai is mostly himself. He's been napping and sleeping more (the only one of the three to actually rest while sick!). Sanaa slept until 9:15am this morning! She's never slept that late but since she also won't nap anymore I know she really needed that rest.

So today, we're staying home. It would have been nice to have gone to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) but we have a fun Saturday planned and I want the kiddos to be rested and feeling even more like their normal selves before tomorrow.

Even though this week has not been fun Sanaa and Layla have managed to melt my heart. Layla just ran up and gave me a big hug and said, "I wuv wuv my mama." And yesterday Sanaa said, "I really appreciate you mommy." Awww.... getting hugs and hearing those words makes being a mom so rewarding.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Apple picking

Yesterday the girls and I went apple picking with my dad. They had fun, although they did tire fairly quick. There is an apple orchard near my parents that is not tended to anymore. My dad checked with the owners and asked if we could pick their apples and they said yes. We spent about 3 hours picking apples because next weekend we'll be making some yummy apple cider!

My dad and I picked about 130 gallons worth. We each had two 5 gallon buckets that we filled 26 times. Basically one 5 gallon bucket of whole apples will get us approximately 1 gallon of cider. We'll see how many gallons of cider we actually get since many of the apples we picked were rather small and we might not get as much juice from them. I wish I had taken a picture of the back of my dad's truck after we had all of the apples picked but maybe I'll remember to get a shot before we begin making cider next weekend.

A shot down one of the rows of apples.

While some of the trees looked loaded with apples, upon closer inspection the apples were either rotten, really small, or wormy. But we were able to find enough decent apples to pick. Next week I'll share about our cider making experience. In the past we've done this with my dad's siblings but this year it'll just be my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. I think the days of a large family gathering to make cider are over. Last year we made over 100 gallons of cider with the extended family and it took nearly 8 hours.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sanaa says

"Mommy, when you're older and have white hair maybe you can have a bike like that one (points at her tricycle) and you can have a bell too." (11-1-12)


After I got mad at Nate in the car (10-31-12)
"Ooooo.... somebody's in trouble."


Anytime anything breaks, whether it's a toy, head band, appliance, or a torn piece of paper.
"Don't worry. Grandpa can fix it. We'll take it to his house."


Sanaa: "Mommy I want a baby sister."
Me: "But you have a baby brother. Isn't that good?"
Sanaa: "No. I want a baby sister."
Me: "Well, we aren't going to have anymore babies in our family."
Sanaa as she reaches out and pats my belly: "Yes we are! I feel one in there now!"