mmmmmm Waffles

We went to Holly’s place last night with Marlene and Gary and made green waffles (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day). I have a really nice waffle maker. It makes waffles taste better – really.

Gary was in charge of making strawberry syrup.
Marlene was in charge of buttering the waffles and keeping the endless supply of kids occupied with waffles.
Holly was in charge of eating the waffles.
Oh yeah, she also made whipped cream – that’s REAL whipped cream. Cool whip just isn’t going to cut it for us connoisseurs. She also supplied the genuine maple syrup. That’s the stuff from the trees, not the stuff from Wal Mart.

We learned a game that I can’t remember the name of, but even though I never really had any strategy, and everybody was making fun of me, even in my ignorance I won twice. (I also came in dead last once.)

Rachel’s job was to be cute as a button, at which she succeeded, as always. This photo is not from last night, but come on, how cute is that? With the bookshelf behind her, I might just use this photo for her application to go to law school. She is very well read.

The entire event was an unqualified success.

Developing Your Talents – an essay by Rachel

I think it is really important to develop your talents. I mean, it says so in the Bible, right? Well, I have a new talent I would like to share. Rolling over? No, that is so last Monday! This is a little skill I like to call Razzberry Cereal.

You know how to blow a razzberry, right? First you lightly place your lips together, maybe even slightly protrude your tongue for effect, then blow. You should achieve a nice spray of saliva. Go ahead and try it. I think you’ll really enjoy it. I know I do.

Add a little cereal, nice, thin, runny cereal, and voilá! If you time it just right you should get a nice spray of cereal, and if you’re lucky, maybe you can get it all over the place, especially in Mommy’s face. That’s really funny! Of course, you can usually expect to get some on your own face too, but the sacrifice is totally worth it.

Rachel is rolling over – and it’s not just a mistake anymore!

Well, it has happened. Rachel is finally rolling over consistently. She had done it in the past, but it was very unpredictable. Now it is for real. She starts on her belly thus –

Next she holds this position for a while –

Finally, with a little twist of the hips she is on her back –

Frankly I have mixed feelings about all this. I have greatly enjoyed her immobility, but it is also fun to see her achieve these milestones. Yesterday she rolled over from her back to her belly. My baby is growing up. Before you know it she will be graduating from high school. (The horror!) Rachel is definitely enjoying her new skill.

Here is the whole thing in real time. My narration is for the unique purpose of encouraging Rachel. I would like you to turn down your volume because I sound like an idiot!

More Snowy Fun

We got quite a lot of snow. I’d say it was about a foot. That may not be so much for the mountain dwellers, but in these parts that makes for a pretty good storm. Jeff cleaned off my car, but left a pillar of snow to see just how much we got. We put Rachel next to it to give some sense of proportion.

Rachel was feeling quite creative in the snow, and made a snow baby. Here she is displaying her artwork.
Scout got into the action a little bit too. He briefly escaped the confines of the yard, and when he was running back through the deep snow we got a bit of a chuckle. We recreated the moment in the back yard by playing a little fetch with him. He really likes the snow a lot!

I wish it were Christmas again.

Finally – a good snow storm, bad timing.

So far all winter long Jeff has lamented the lack of snow. We have had ice storms, and even the one time when a decent amount of snow fell we had sleet afterwards which left a thick sheet of ice on top of the snow. It was okay, but not exactly my favorite. Well, today it is really snowing. It looks llike we will get a decent amount, too. I don’t love the timing. I am supposed to go out of town tomorrow (Saturday), and I don’t relish driving on slick roads.

Rachel has started reaching for me when I reach for her. It is so sweet. In fact, when she is on her back she reaches for me with her hands and her feet. It makes me feel very loved.

So this morning when I was feeding Rachel her breakfast I made up this little song. It is a pretty snazzy song. Don’t be surprised if you hear it on American Idol next season. Of course the lyrics are pretty specific. It only works at mealtime in the winter (specifically when there is snow outside). I think that the impressive quality of the tune compensates for the limited appeal of the lyrics, though. I officially give my permission for you to use the song, as long as it is not-for-profit.

Rachel is getting to be such a big girl. We love her so much. Here are some recent pictures:

Random Thoughts

7:00 am – I fed Scout and took him outside to do his business. (It’s one of those not-for-profit businesses.) There was just a hint of warmth in the air. I thought, “Maybe I’ll take Rachel and go to the zoo today. It is such a nice day.”

7:30 am – I took the contents of Rachel diaper pail outside to the dumpster. It was sprinkling. It is amazing how just a little rain makes it feel so much colder. I thought, “Maybe we won’t go to the zoo.”

8:00 am – Jeff and I were just sitting down for breakfast (Honey Nut Cheerios and Orange Juice). Rachel was still asleep. All of the sudden there was a long rumble of thunder, then hail was falling from the sky. I thought, “Cool. Where’s the camera?”

So here is a photo of the hail falling in our back yard.

Rachel is kind of an active sleeper

Rachel likes to roam around a lot in her sleep. I always put her down to sleep following the long axis of the crib (the 12:00 position of the clock). When I get her out of bed she is always rotated as far as possible. If the crib were wider she could probably make it all the way around in a 360 degree circle. As it is, she is just too tall, so she gets stuck at about 2:00 position. Very rarely she sleeps so completely soundly that she is in the same position when I get her up that she was in when I put her down. Typically, though, she looks like this in the morning (notice her arm is even poked through the rails of the crib):


Jeff’s dad called the other day and invited him to go to the U of L/Notre Dame basketball game which was last night. Then, yesterday afternoon he called me to say he had one more ticket available, and did I want to go too (with Rachel). So we got to go to the game. It was a great game. It started with U of L very much in control. They had a fantastic 1st half. The 2nd half was going pretty well until the end when Notre Dame started hitting all kinds of threes that they hadn’t been hitting the whole time. U of L struggled at the free throw line. It was getting kind of dicey with just a few minutes to play. U of L had a few break away dunks, and they held on for a 90 – 85 victory. It was a lot of fun.

Rachel slept through the entire 1st half, but saw the 2nd half. I’m pretty sure she is going to be a great ball player pretty soon.

Working Out

Back around Thanksgiving I started attending a yoga class. We had to miss several weeks in a row due to bad weather and illness, but last Wednesday we got together again after missing about a month. During that month I started thinking that I need to get more serious about getting exercise, so I decided to attend my Tae Kwon Do class again. (I used to practice TKD quite a lot, but my schedule got to be too demanding after I got married, so my attendance became erratic at best.) So the same Wednesday that I went to yoga after missing a month, I returned to TKD after missing a few years. May I just say that I am SORE! I feel muscles on my ribcage that I didn’t know I had.

Five Months Old

It is amazing how quickly time flies! It just seems like a few days ago that I posted on Rachel’s four month birthday, but today she is five months old. I can’t believe it.

I took Rachel to the doctor yesterday. It wasn’t her regular check-up, but she had a little problem that I wanted the doctor’s opinion about. Everything is fine, but I do need to treat a little personal issue she has. This is hardly the place to discuss it in detail! I bring up the doctor’s appointment because they weighed her. We didn’t take off her diaper or her onesie, so we need to take that into account, but the diaper was clean (I had just changed the biggest poopie in the history of the planet!). She weighed 20 lbs even. Un-believable. I have asked her I don’t know how many times to STOP GROWING! But she just goes on growing like my request means nothing. She is so cute, though, don’t you think?

The Beginning

On Wednesday at a little before 5:00 I stopped at the drive-in at Dairy Queen to buy a blizzard. While I was getting my blizzard and paying for it my phone rang. It was David at LDS Family Services. He told me that our baby’s birth mother was going to have the baby either the very next day (Thursday) or Friday, and that she would be calling us later that night.

Jeff’s mom and I went to Wal-Mart that night to buy a few absolute essentials (like a car seat, bottles, onesies). We had the chance to talk to Anna (the birth mom) some that night, then we drove as far as Martinsville where we stayed at the home of my brother-in-law’s brother.

We drove the rest of the way to South Bend the next morning.

Rachel’s Journal

2007 Sep 20: My birth mommy came to the hospital today to have me be born. But she found out early in the morning that the hospital wasn’t expecting us. But then the hospital called back and said our doctor had expected her to be there. So she was told to arrive at 12:30 today. My other mommy and daddy were going to hang out at a friends house all that day but decided to head to South Bend to be there for my birth. When we go to the hospital my birth mommy found out that there was no room at the hospital for us. They told her she would need to come back tomorrow at 11:00.

She met my mommy and daddy for the first time and they all spent the day viewing the Notre Dame campus and chatting and getting to know each other. It was a good day. My birth mommy is feeling much better about the adoption and knows that I am going to a good mommy and daddy.

2007 Sep 21: Today we made it to the hospital. Since I am turned sideways the doctor is going to turn me. I hope it doesn’t hurt. My birth mommy is having to fill out all sorts of paperwork and answer a lot of questions. My mommy and daddy have also arrived with my grandma. I am so glad they are all here and are friendly with each other.

Well, the doctor turned me and it was very easy and fast. I think I am ready to enter into the world. My mommy and daddy got to see me on the ultrasound. They saw my heart beat, my head, body, and legs. Daddy thought that my heart was beating very fast, but the doctor says it is normal, about 130bpm. They’ve been listening to it all day.

It is now 10:00 PM and I have been enjoying my time in my birth mommy’s tummy. In fact, much to the frustration to everybody on the outside, I decided to turn back around put my head where I enjoy it most, in my mommy’s liver. The doctor got me back so that my head is down. But I have not been to quick to make my way out. Every so often, I’ll feel this pressure and I know I must come out soon. For the past 10-15 minutes, these spasms happen every couple of minutes. My birth mommy has received some medicines to help me come out. I wonder if I will be out by midnight.

2007 Sep 22: It is now about 2:00 AM. I’m still happily enjoying life in my birth mommy’s tummy and the doctor has just found I tried to turn yet again. My shoulder is now where my head should be. My birth mommy has just gotten some medicine to help her relax and not feel the pain. Oh! is this where they want my head?

It is now 6:30 AM and the doctor has come in. I have felt my birth mommy trying to roll back and forth to help ease my coming out. I’m not liking this at all! This is actually quite upsetting… I think I’m outta here!

6:35 AM and I have just entered the cold world, but I hear my two mommies and one grandma nearby, but I don’t hear my daddy or my other grandma. I hear a lot of other strange voices… I think I will try my own voice.

8:35 AM: I have been exercising my lungs and feet and all my loved ones are around. I have been poked and prodded and stuck with a needle. I have been weighed and measured and I am told I’m a big girl. I suppose so, 9 lbs 13 oz is pretty heavy and 22″ long is pretty tall. My head 14.25″ around. I wonder how I ever got my head into the world.

Rachel and her birth mom.

Rachel with her birth family.
Rachel with her grandma (Jeff’s mom)
We have no idea what we are getting into.Hitting the road.
So peaceful and sweet