Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Fun


Easter is a little confusing for Haley. Besides the complicated religious subject matter, there's the question of the Easter Bunny. It doesn't help that we have real rabbits in the neighborhood and we often see them in the back yard nibbling on my tulip leaves. It also doesn't help that Rob and I love to have fun at her expense and try to play up the myth. So after church we went in the back yard to see if we could spot the Easter Bunny. We walked all around the yard and when she wasn't looking I snuck inside and brought her basket out on the deck. Then I told her I'd seen Mr. Bunny himself hop across the deck, drop the basket, and hop away. You can see the confusion in her face in the pictures. Her basket is, after all, about 3 times as big as the rabbits we see. Of course couldn't have cared less once she realized there was candy and toys for her, but she did keep saying how nice it was for the Easter Bunny to bring her "so many great things."

The myth of the Easter Bunny also came in handy a while later when I had to convince Haley to take a nap. We were all sick, but she stopped taking naps months ago and didn't like the idea one bit. So we made up some convoluted story about how only once she was asleep would the Easter Bunny hop into our house to our fridge to get the eggs she had decorated so that he could hide them in our yard - I can already see that we're going to have to practice our stories if we want her to believe past age 4. Anyway, she took a nap, hunted for eggs, and had a great time, which is all we were after in the first place.

Her basket got so heavy that it dragged on the ground and she started losing her loot.

Jake slept through all of the excitement; coloring the eggs led to SO many questions - I think we have a budding scientist on our hands. Why? Why? Why?

Adjustments For All


It's hard to believe it's been a whole month since Jake joined our family. Which is odd, because there have been many days and nights where I swear time has frozen and I fear we'll be doomed to live out our days holding a fussy newborn. Fortunately Rob is an amazing husband with no qualms about changing diapers or burping Jake at 4 in the morning. We're also extremely blessed that Haley is such a sweet big sister. If he starts fussing she'll rush over to him and slide his pacifier back in like a pro. This morning she asked to rock him in her mini rocking chair and he gave us one of his first real smiles (we'll remind them of that moment in 15 years when they're fighting over the phone/remote/car). The adjustment hasn't been seamless - she still loves to pretend she's a baby and play with his binks, car seat, bouncy seat, etc. - but it finally feels like life is settling down a little bit...hopefully I won't be kicking myself in a few days for writing that.


Some things Jake might be trying to tell us:

"Hey! Pooping is hard work and it hurts like *%^$! I'll cry about it if I want to."

"I DO NOT LIKE HATS! Is that clear? NO HATS! They cover up my fine faux-hawk, so if you put that 'cute' thing on me one more time I'll scream bloody murder."

"I am NOT my sister (duh!), so I am in fact bothered by wet diapers and gas. Please don't be so lazy with the changing and burping."


As mentioned in the last post, this past week has been amazingly warm and sunny. The brown grass is turning green, the forsythia is blooming, and we might even see some daffodils in a few weeks. It's hard to believe that less than a month ago we were still wearing our winter coats.

Haley loves that she can escape the confines of our house, and I'm thrilled that she's finally old enough that I can let her go out on the deck without worrying that she'll fall off (yeah, it's only 2 feet high) or wander off. I can't remember the last time something kept her so entertained (well OK, Aunt Katie did) and she's already talking about getting out the swimming pool and helping me plant seeds in the garden. Every day she asks, "Is it Spring now, Mama?" or "Do I look so Spring-y in my capris?" We definitely need to start looking for a job in a warmer region!

Thaw 2006


It's hard to convey how much our life revolves around the weather here in North Dakota. Rob teases me for obsessively checking the Weather Channel, and I can understand why. You'd think that darn cold is darn cold, no? And it's true that we've decided 40 below zero doesn't feel that different than 20 below zero - you won't be taking the kids sledding either way. But around this time of year there are so many weather variables that impact how I'll plan our day: 55 and sunny with no wind? An hour at the park with a warm coat. 62 but cloudy with 25 mph gusts from the north? Better use Sam's Club as our playground. 47 and breezy? Haley will last 30 minutes bundled in the jogging stroller, but I'd better leave Jake at home with dad. 72 and gloriously sunny? We'll throw open all the windows and spend the entire day in the back yard.


Spring snuck up on us this year just as we were beginning to doubt it would ever arrive. When Jake was born a month ago it was dangerously cold and we still had 18 inches of snow on the deck. But we had a few warm, rainy days and suddenly spring was in sight. So was the river! In case you weren't paying attention in 1997, Grand Forks was the site of a devastating flood - the combination of a late-winter blizzard and lots of spring rains. Since then a massive dike system has been nearly completed and was tested this year when the mighty Red began to rise over its banks. The water reached the 5th-highest level ever recorded and yet we didn't see a bit of it in our newly-finished basement. All but one bridge between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, MN were closed, and you can see why in the picture above. We walked one afternoon along our favorite greenway trail, until it disappeared under the river (below).

Two weeks later the water is slowly receding and we've been enjoying day after day of temperatures in the 70's...mosquito season must almost be here!

Welcome, Baby Jake


On Tuesday, March 14th, Baby Jake was ushered into the world - although he probably would have been content to stay in the womb for a few more days. But I was so ready to NOT be pregnant anymore and Grandma and Grandpa Wood and Aunt Katie were in town to take care of Haley. So when the option of inducing was offered we jumped at the chance.

It was very strange to have an appointment for birth and to know that the bump we'd been calling "Baby Brother" would be born that day. Within an hour of checking in the doctors broke my water and began giving me Pitocen - labor was on the way! Everything went very smoothly and quickly - almost too quickly. As with Haley's birth, the epidural did not get placed in time for the delivery, so once again I experienced "natural" childbirth. Fortunately for me he was not a large baby and I only pushed for about 5 minutes (grateful for every crunch and sit-up I'd ever done) before Jacob Robert entered the world. He weighed 7.0 pounds, was 20.5 inches long, and had a full head of hair - our perfect little son!

Haley was so excited to meet her baby brother, but quickly realized he wasn't much of a playmate. She would stop in the middle of playing to touch him and exclaim "He's so cute!" before promptly returning to whatever it was that was more entertaining than Jake. A few days after he was born I said wasn't it so great that Jacob was out of my tummy so we could see what he looked like - she replied, "Yeah, because I really didn't think that he was really in there!" How bewildering this miracle of birth must be to toddlers. At least we have a few more years before the real questions start...