Sunday, March 21, 2010

what the bishops are up to...

We bishops have been snuggled away for the winter.  the cold and snow and grayness of west michigan has had us almost ready to go stir crazy.  I am not a cold weather person so Lorens and I did not go outside much (ok, like not at all if I'm being honest)... So we have been so excited with the warm weather the past couple weeks.  What a beautiful start to spring!  To bring you up to speed...
LORENS
He is growing like a weed.  Mostly just upwards though.  He is pretty tall for a 16 month old - in the 85%! (He doesn't get that from me.) He's still sporting his poofy, duckie-like blond hair, (although now growing into quite the mullet...I don't even care)... He is getting a mouth full of teeth (much to my dismay)... and usually has a smattering of bumps/bruises/scratches/cuts all over his little body.  He had his first bad fall about a month ago which ended up in 3 stitches right above his eye.  Pretty traumatic for a fifteen month old...and for his mama since josh was in CA at the time.  He still owes me for that somehow.  These things don't faze Lorens though.  He's onto the next death defying experience as fast as his little legs can carry him.  He is running and climbing all over the place.  I'm still finding out that nothing is safe from him.  I walked into our living room a few weeks ago to find him dancing in the middle of a room completely covered in smashed rice chex cereal.  I promise you he wasn't alone for that long...he's quick.  He is learning all his animal noises and is getting quite good at them.  He is also learning to say the names of everyone in the family.  He will so far say MorMor (sounds like MoMo), FarFar (yaya), Kirsten (Keeteh), Ben (buh), Matt (mah), Grandma (ganah).  Sorry everyone else, its still a no go.  If it makes you feel better, I'm a solid "mama!" at home (yes, an exclamation mark was added because he never says it without yelling it), but "dada!" out in public.  what does that mean?  :) He's also working on his ABC's - he'll repeat alot of the letters to us.  He's starting to repeat a lot of what we say, which is the cutest thing ever, when he's never done it before.  Today we gave him a teething biscuit and Josh called it a cookie, and Lo yelled "cookah!!!"  His favorite foods are raisins, blueberry pancakes, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, berries, avocado/beans and his "green monster cereal" which is oatmeal/applesauce/and a kale, collards, chard mixture.  He loves to sing, booty dance, "read", color, and basically destroy my house in his path.  I love a clean house, so this is my biggest frustration.  Josh likes to take pictures of what the house looks like when he comes home because it is that ridiculous looking.  Aaahhh, and I'm proud to say that MY son loves shoes.  He DID get this from me.  He got some green rain boots for christmas (thanks mere!) that he has insisted on wearing everywhere the past couple weeks.  He actually likes picking out his clothes and shoes already...i love this kid!  He is super quirky, sweet, joyful, stubborn, and cracks us up constantly!  There is never a dull moment here.
MICHELE
I am still working part-time and am really happy to be doing something I love, and am good at. I'm mostly happy to have a good job in this economy!  Josh and I are thankful for this all the time.  Aside from taking care of my little jumping bean, and working, I decided to train for the Riverbank 25k run in May!  I started really training in January and quickly realized that training for an almost 16 mile run is almost like having another part-time job!  I got up to 10 miles this weekend.  I'm running somewhere around 9 minute miles, which is good - I surprise myself everytime I'm able to add another mile and I don't die at the end.  Although I've been a runner for like 13 years, running this type of distance is something I never thought I could or would want to do - and I'm doing it!  I'm planning to do this race with my dad which is my main inspiration for doing this run - I've always wanted to run a race with him.  Its no Chicago Marathon, but will do the trick!
JOSH
Is still working full-time at Mars Hill and loving it.  He has been doing the job of student ministries (5-12) pastor for about 2 years now.  He also took the plunge this past winter and applied to Michigan State's Master's of Social Work program.  He just had his interview 2 weeks ago and is now waiting to hear if he got in - they only accept about 25 people per year - we'll know by the first week of April whether our lives are going to drastically become double busy.  It's an online program so at least he doesn't have to commute very much!  The program will take him 3 years to do - so we'll be in Michigan for a while longer!  (boo...but happy to stay with friends who are like our family and keep living in a city that we are in love with.)  Josh also just recently ended a 4 year battle with chronic knee pain from a pretty devastating basketball injury.  After what seems like a hundred doctors and therapies, he got fitted for some custom orthodics (he won't tell me how much they cost, probably wise...) and it seems like they are really doing the trick!  no pain and no swollen knee - praise God! 

~mb

Monday, November 2, 2009

september summary

sorry for my blogging absence! Its been a busy fall and I have a hard time finding the energy to go through pictures and update my blog! But here is a wrap up of September!

Lorens had a tragic fall right around Labor day when he started taking his first steps. He was standing and playing in his carseat (under his dad's supervision...) and took a nosedive into our sidebar. Below is what resulted... A goose egg and a dark welt. It looks worse than it was. It never bled but scabbed and is still healing over a month later. It kind of blends in with the rest of his bumps and bruises now... I have a very active child...


I rediscovered my hotsling wrap that I bought before I had Lo. I had all the best intentions of using it when he was a baby, but I thought it was very uncomfortable, hard to get Lorens into, and he seemed just as uncomfortable as I was. So I ditched it and bought a Moby wrap. Love, love, love this wrap. It is super comfortable, easy to wear (once you figure out how to wrap it), and would put Lo to sleep instantly. I also used our babybjorn carrier a lot as Lo got a little older. It was nice for Josh to wear too. However, now that I carry Lo on my hip everywhere, I decided to try the hotsling again in this position. I'm so glad I did! We love it. I now use this more than my other carriers.
This is me and lo on our way to the Eastown street festival...very artsy and eclectic with bands playing...it seemed like they had a really great turnout this year...it was packed all day long!
I went to a big mom2mom resale event when I was in Virginia this summer and got some really great deals on toys and things for Lorens, so I decided to check out if west michigan had any...yes it does! They have a great mom2mom sale 4 times a year. I think it cost me $3 to get in, but it was so worth it! I ended up spending $50 and got 20 pieces of clothing/outfits, shoes, hat/mittens, books, and a carseat (just for our second car)! What a great deal!
We have had a lot of fun introducing Lolo to all kinds of different foods. We started giving him corn at 9 months, and he LOVED it on the cob. this corn is straight from our garden (the BEST corn we've ever had! and he sucked that thing clean.)
Making my own baby food continues to go really well. We made a TON of food in early September and we are still going strong with it in November. I've also made my own brown rice cereal with lentils and different beans in it. It's a little tricky to get the consistency right, and I think I need more work on it... but I enjoy doing it! The introduction of rice and corn for us was life altering as we can now feed Lorens rice and corn chex cereal. its so wonderful being able to reach into a bag of cereal and give this kid a snack. (we are doing a different food introduction scheudule based on allergy avoidance and a healthy gut). Oats dont come for another 3 months, so we haven't been able to give him the typical cheerios or puffs...(although i'm pretty sure he has had them during nursery...hmm)


We had a pretty sad turnout in our garden this summer as far as tomatoes go. All our romas were mealy, our better boys got eaten by slugs, and our cherry tomatoes never got very red. sad. I had big plans of canning a bunch of our tomatoes this year...try try again next summer! We tried something new this year and bought a half bushel of peaches and made 12 jars of peach jam as well as a ton of frozen cut up peaches for pies and stuff. This jam is so good and definitely worth all the trouble!


I admit, I never thought I'd become this domestic after having a baby. Before Lorens, we pretty much only cooked in the summer when there was good produce, we were lucky if we swept our floors, thought my grandmother was the only person who could can things, and went grocery shopping spur of the moment before we cooked dinner. horrible.


I actually meal plan now. and cook dinner 4 times a week. and want new cookware for christmas. i got a steam cleaner vacuum for my birthday which i adore and use once a week now. how did i become (no offense) such a mom in under a year?


I'm planning on 2 more posts - Lorens's birthday celebration and halloween! but Josh just informed me that I'm only allowed one post per day, so I'm hoping to post again this week!

~mb





Tuesday, August 25, 2009

oh pictures!

A few weeks ago, we went on vacation to Virginia to visit my family and the Chesapeake Bay to visit Josh's family. Here are a few pictures from our week on the Bay!

(what a doll baby)

Lorens had fun getting tickled by his cousin Cade, playing in a tent outside, and swimming...



We spent a few days in Virginia with MorMor and Grandaddy and my cousins...Lo loved all the attention! And it was wonderful to see MorMor looking and feeling better. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for her. Keep praying that the next rounds of chemo go well.


Since then, we said goodbye to our good friends Jon and Chaeli and their son Brennen. We will miss them so much, but we are excited for their new lives in Texas! Lo was teaching B how to play the piano. Brennen always has this look on his face I think. Very puzzled...

A few random pictures of Lorens...
Jon and Chaeli returned our bassinet and Lorens figured out how to climb into it, but couldn't get back out. :)
He loves to make faces on our glass door at Josh

Another one of his favorite things to do...
teething! These top two teeth are taking forever!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our summer...so far...

I tried to take a bit of a break from the blogging world this summer - concentrate on taking care of my family and myself! We have had a mix of a busy/fun/relaxing summer!

Lorens is growing like a WEED. At 9 months he is 16 lbs 15 oz (still a pipsqueak!) but is 29 in. long in the 75th percentile...hmmm...could be that he has a tall, skinny dad. About 1 month ago, in the span of 4 days he started to crawl, sleep through the night, say mama, and pull himself up on furniture. A couple wks ago he learned to wave, say dada/baba, and walk along furniture. Last week he learned to climb out of his crib (followed by hopefully learning a very valueable lesson to NOT climb out of the crib), climb up our entire flight of stairs, and can completely stand by himself and lower himself to the floor without falling. phew! he is on the go and wearing me out! This video is lo waving for the first time on our vacation to the chesapeake bay with josh's family. How adorable is he?
video
We've spent ALOT of time this summer making our own baby food. We have loved being able to go to the farmer's market every week to buy organic, local fruits and veggies to make for lo. He is a fantastic eater. His favorite foods are kale, collard greens, squash, avacado, and blueberries. He also is in love with these sweet potato fries I made for him. We are being really careful with his food introduction, so he still has many more months before he gets any sort of wheat/gluten - so its forced me to become creative on what kinds of finger foods I can give him. most fruits were too sliipery for him to pick up on his own, but the sweet potato fries worked awesome! he learned how to feed himself on them. :) We finally have a good system for making our food - its been a fun challenge for me, and now that I have an extra freezer (thanks to my mom and dad) we now have a freezer full of food! Josh and I constantly joke that our friends and acquaintances must think that we are crazy people for the way we take care of our child. (feeding, diapering, medical care) It's work obviously, and not for everyone...but in the end I know that we are just doing things the best we know how. Now if only Josh and I could take care of ourselves this carefully... :)

Josh has been spending quite a bit of time outside with his other baby this summer...his garden! And oh my, is it ever a garden! He's growing a few different herbs, corn, squash, zucchini, green beans, 3 different kinds of tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, cantalope, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, and onions. Most things are growing great so far - we've already picked a bunch of lettuce, squash, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and herbs! still waiting on the rest to mature...but its really a beautiful garden. I'm also working on getting a permanent clothesline put up back there. Josh has a makeshift one up, that I have yet to really use. I just have to get over my stupid fear of bees that are back there. stupid bees ruin everything. ..

Well, not everything. Lo and I have had many adventures going to the park - we make the 5 minute trek over to Reed's Lake a couple times per week and have lunch and play and take walks...this has been tons of fun for both of us. I have gotten some good use out of my jogging stroller this summer as well! It's definitely much harder running/walking with a stroller...burning more calories though right? :)

I hope your summer is as enjoyable as ours has been so far! picture update to come!!!

~mb

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

dear baby,

you are 7.5 months old going on 7.5 years old! We can't believe how much you've grown! It was like yesterday that I gave birth and you were just a teeny baby in my arms. I look at myself holding you now, and I'm holding this bright-eyed, bouncy, squirmy, wriggly, KID! The cliche is true...it just gets better and better. You are so much fun and the light of our lives. All that to say, you must know that your momma and daddy think you are crazy. You definitely have one BiG personality, and are the quirkiest baby. You have been kicking and squirming (and jumping i believe) since you were 20 gestation weeks old. You were standing and bearing weight at 2 weeks old and started jumping soon after. Jumping is still your favorite thing to do. Your calf muscles are huge. In fact they may be the only big thing about you...you are still very much a little pip-squeak, but you pack a lot of punch.

You are NOT a cuddler! oh no. As much as I struggle with you to hold you down and get a hug or a cuddle out of you, you are just way more interested in everything going on around you. You have always been super alert and don't want to miss a thing. You never stop. Even while falling asleep, I can still feel your little hands going and going untill you finally pass out. When I'm feeding you, you never just lay quietly and eat. You wriggle and squirm the entire time. You used to wind up your free arm as far back as it would go, and let it fly like a slingshot and smack me wherever it would land. I have battlewounds all over my arms and chest from your grabby fingers. You need to be constantly grabbing and playing with something.

Ok, this is weird, but your new thing is finding your way into my armpit and grabbing my skin and twisting it. You do this everytime...the things I let you do... In fact, I'd say one of your talents is being able to pull skin up off anywhere on your dad's and my bodies (even the neck) and twisting it. How do you do it? Your other weird thing is that you don't like anyone to touch your hands. You pull them away whenever anyone tries to hold them. Forget trying to teach you how to clap. That's a losing battle. You WILL let me hold them when we sing "itsy bitsy spider" though. What is it about this song that you love? You know it so well that the instant I grab your hands and start to sing it, you become still, watch me sing, let me do the hand motions with you, and then somehow you KNOW to stand up everytime the sun comes out...without fail.

All I know is that I am in trouble. What am I going to do with you when you become mobile? How will I harness all this energy?

You are so happy all the time! We have people come up to us all the time to tell us how happy and smiley you are. You have a smile for almost anyone willing to make a funny face at you. Your laugh is the best. It cracks me up. You think I am super funny for some reason...even when I don't do anything to make you laugh. (I give you the hiccups when I actually try to make you laugh because I can get you laughing so hard). When I come home from work and you haven't seen me all day, the moment you see me, you give me a huge belly laugh. It's the highlight of my day. Your dad wishes he had that kind of power over you. what can I say? :)

Other things you like are: to spit and blow bubbles, play with tags, shake your hands and grunt when you want something, play with your fufu (pacifier), throw your fufu, and play with your daddy's chest hair.

We haven't begun to feed you solid food yet, but I know you are chomping (literally) at the bit to have us start. Your momma and daddy have learned a lot about nutrition from a wonderful, wholistic, naturalpathic doctor. We really wanted to wait until you started to get your first tooth, but that toofy is taking too long! So we are going to give you your first foods this week! We really want you to get wholesome nutrition and to avoid any allergies, so we're committed to making all of your food homemade and as organic as possible. And we're going to feed you only fruits and vegetables for the next few months untill your body is ready and capable of handling meats/dairy/gluten. We hope to set up these same food values in you as you grow up.

We've also been cloth diapering you since you were about 1 month old. I was a bit shaky on this at first - as you chose me to be the person you peed on everytime, but your daddy and I have totally gotten the hang of it, and are so glad we chose to do this with you! I am happy we made this choice with every single diaper change. Plus, you'll be happy to know that you have never had a single diaper rash...which I whole heartedly tribute to your cloth diapers. I don't even mind the huge butt they give you. Besides, it kindof helps to hold up your pants for the time being.

Sleeping is our long ongoing battle with you. You have never been a great nighttime sleeper. You have been waking up a couple times per night to eat for months now. I'm pretty tired. I am thankful that your daddy helps me every night by bringing you to me and then taking you back to your crib when you're done eating...thankfully you fall right back asleep. We're pretty sure you aren't doing this out of habit but are just a little tiny thing, and need the extra calories at night to get you through. You have always had trouble with spitting up a bunch of your food during the day, so you don't always get all the calories you need while you are awake. I'm secretly hoping that starting solids will help you sleep better. But, wise advise I've been given over and over is, "this too shall pass", and even though I'm sometimes a bear at 3:00am, I look at you with such love, and am willing to do anything for you.

This past year has been the most amazing, most challenging, most incredible year of my life. It's hard to put into words everything I feel and think and know and love about you. Your daddy and I lovingly call you "crazy", but in fact we're the crazy ones, we're crazy in love with you...with everything from your funny little quirks to your blonde, fuzzy, chicky hair. You are now and will always be our 'little lolo'...

love,
momma and daddy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sometimes Lorens laughs at Michele because he thinks she is funny.
video



Sometimes Lorens laughs at Michele out of courtesy.
video

-jb

Saturday, May 2, 2009

sitting up

this is a long video, but so cute! Lo is learning to sit up and he's almost got it!!! he thinks falling over and me catching him is hilarious.


video

~mb