Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Miriam: 5 months

Our sweet Miriam is 5 months old! Hooray hoorah!

I don't have any official stats (those will come at her 6 month checkup next month) but I weighed her this morning and she's about 14 lbs. Way to grow, baby! 

Sleeping patterns: Still doing that wake-up-around-4-and-6 thing. Lately, I feed her sitting up at 4 am and put her back in bed, but for the 6ish one I often bring her into bed with us so I can fall back asleep easier. Oh, and she's now sleeping in a pack and play, on her tummy! (Once I can get her to sleep through the night again, I think she'll go into Niko's room. Wish us luck on that one!) Also, she might be teething? Question mark? I have no idea, guys. Just making this up as I go along ;)

Nikolai really wanted to be in the picture. When I asked him if I could take a few pictures of just Miriam, he insisted on his foot being in the corner of the picture :)

Eating habits: Still breast milk every 2-3 hours, but yesterday she tried pureed green beans for the first time and loved them! I've been thinking for a few weeks that she might be ready for "solid" food, but I waited a few weeks til she was a little older. I guess we'll more or less be starting in earnest now!

New discoveries she made: She has feet! And ears! No really, she's been playing with her feet like crazy (happy baby yoga pose, anyone?) and just yesterday started playing with her ears. It was kinda like she reached up and was like "oh, there's something on my head here? I didn't know that! Cool!!" 

Accomplishments: Rolling over tons and tons! I barely lay her on her back these days before she's flipping over to her tummy. She regularly traverses the whole room, occasionally getting stuck on pieces of furniture but mostly finding new and interesting things to experience. 

Rolling over to go see Nikolai!

Places she went: The museum with mama and dad and the lake, but mostly she stayed home (we were mostly carless this month, because the car was broken a significant amount and when it wasn't broken, Jesse had it for work).

Special memories: There's not one exact moment, but we sure have had a month filled with delightful baby laughs and smiles! Just about every day Jesse and I comment to each other "she's such a nice person to be around!" 

Look at that little tongue sticking out!!!

Miriam, thanks for being a part of our family! We love you so!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Roller baby

Miriam has been rolling up a storm lately. (Side note: I guess I say that phrase a lot because lately when he hears her coo, Niko says, "she talkin up a sorm mama!") 

I hardly lay her on her back before she's rolling to one side and over to her tummy. 

She's not as good at rolling to her back, but she does it sometimes. 

And finally, a video of how sweet and shouty she gets when she's tired:


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby Niko and Silly Niko

I recently bought Nikolai a babydoll from a good friend of mine (who made it herself). Niko has been pretending various stuffed animals were his baby for awhile so I wanted to get him his own baby! After trying out a few various names, Nikolai decided to name the doll (very originally, I might add) "Baby Niko." 

Baby Niko now has a pair of shorts that I made and will have additional clothing as soon as I gather some more creative energy ;)

Silly Niko has been enjoying jumping on the couch lately. Despite the fact that this chair was $15 at a thrift store, I'm beginning to worry he'll break it with his shenanigans, so the other day he did this instead:

I thought it was a pretty silly alternative :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Indepedence Lake

Last week, a few of our neighborhood friends were heading to the lake and had extra seats (hooray for kind friends with minivans!) so Niko and Miri and I tagged along.

You guys, this day was RIDICULOUSLY perfect (and that includes the sunburn I got!).  The weather was awesome (upper 70s), the kids were well-behaved and happy (including like 6 babies) and the company was wonderful. We also lucked out and had a section of the beach all to ourselves!

Nikolai was a little wary at first, but warmed up to the water pretty quickly. 

Before long he was super into it, shoveling and splashing for the next 4 1/2 hours with nary a complaint.

Miriam was awesome, spending most of the time sleeping in the baby carrier.

Note the look of hubris on my face. I'm certain I had just gotten finished telling someone, "oh, I don't think I'll put on any sunscreen. I never burn!" Hubris!

All the kids were so awesome:

Miriam got to play in the water some too, though I didn't get any pictures of it. In short: she loved it!

A snapshot of a few of the sweet kiddos (many had left by this point):

It is such a blessing to have such awesome people to hang out with! Thanks for being wonderful friends!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The zero percent chance of rainstorm

Have you ever had one of those moments where you look around and think, "This is a happy memory"?

I had one of those the other day.

Our car has been overheating again (as it turns out, a broken head gasket is beyond my car-fixing abilities) so the other night we took a family walk to the library to return some books and check out some new ones. 

Before we left, I checked the weather forecast to see if we should bring an umbrella (this being Michigan, after all) but there was a 0% chance of rain so we headed out sans rain-protection.

It was a nice walk--about 1.5 miles of partly cloudy skies and the best conversation partner a gal could ask for (hey Jesse, that's you!). 

We were headed up the final hill to the library when it started to drizzle. I grabbed a blanket to cover the kiddos a little and Jesse suggested I lock the front wheel of the running stroller, "just in case we need to run." 

Moments later the heavens opened and it started to rain. We ran.

I looked over at Nikolai, who squealed gleefully, "It raining! It raining!" Miriam kicked her legs excitedly and chortled. Jesse pushed the stroller up the hill as fast as he could, and looked over at me and smiled. 

In that moment, even the stress of a broken car couldn't keep me from smiling back. 

The skies when we arrived at the library

Miriam, pretty content even after getting all wet

A little rainsoaked but plenty happy

Friday, July 17, 2015

Miri stands

Miriam really likes standing up while holding our hands these days, and it is sort of ridiculous how cute she is when she does it:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer game

Our library has an awesome program in the summer called the Summer Game. At its most basic, you read 5 books and get a prize and some points. Additionally, you can do essentially what amounts to a trivia scavenger hunt through their catalog to learn new things and earn points, as well as get points for how many pages/minutes you spend reading. At the end of the summer, you can spend your points for items from their Summer Game Shop, which has everything from oven mitts to giant chocolate bars with their logo.

Some of their badges are more like treasure hunts, with clues that lead you around places in the community. 

Last week, some of my friends and our kiddos headed to Cobblestone Farm to hunt down some points!

Here was the first clue:

To ensure that you park in the correct [parking] lot, you will find your first code there. See the 2 port-a-potties? Your first code is the 10-digit phone number for John’s Sanitation. Be sure to enter it in with no spaces and no dashes.

So we wrote down the phone number pictured below, and entered it online later for some points.

A later clue read,

"...walk up to the cobblestone house. The front door faces Packard Rd. There is a bronze plaque there designating it an Ann Arbor Historic Structure. The Name of the house and date on the plaque are the next code (be careful spelling the first name!)"

All our sweet kiddos, lined up on the stoop:

Our last clue was 

"Next walk a bit further up the path and find a green sign holding information about the Wet Meadow. You will see some cards with the names and photos of plants found there. The common name of the plant in the lower left corner is your final code."

I've been doing lots of badges lately (on topics ranging from cosplay to the Colossus of Rhodes), but the other day a friend tipped me off to an easy way to get lots of points (Download of the Day). I got a little carried away and ended up as number one on the weekly leaderboard for that kind of points:

I'm like 300th in overall points--some people in this town are crazy!

Anyways, this is something I've been having a lot of fun with this summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sleeping babies

The other day, I didn't realize just how sleepy Miriam was until she curled to one side, grabbed ahold of a bag of clean laundry, and promptly fell asleep.

It reminded me greatly of when I found Nikolai curled up with the remote, around 8 months old:

Are them babies cute or what?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Birthday picnic

For my birthday, Jesse planned a lovely surprise picnic :)

We packed up the kids, took the bus to the Arboretum and had a nice little hike before settling down for some delicious treats.

Our boy, always in motion:

Our picnic: fresh fruit, blue cheese, crackers and sparkling cider. Mmm!

Cloud watching:

Playing bad guy and boy:

Gosh guys, it was really nice to just be out in nature with my favorite people :)

When we got home, Jesse gave me some lovely vibrant flowers, and made an awesome chocolate cake (that we proceeded to eat with every meal for the next several days :D):

Singing happy birthday:

Thanks for such a lovely birthday, Jesse!!!

Birthday twins

My birthday was last week! Jesse got to be off for my birthday (hooray!!!) and as we were planning what we'd do, I discovered that I share a birthday with the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo:

We also remembered that the Detroit Institute of Arts was towards the end of hosting a special exhibit about her and her husband, artist Diego Rivera--and that on her birthday (my birthday!) they had cheaper entry tickets and birthday cake to celebrate :) 

Well, they had me at "free cake," so on my birthday we dropped Niko with some friends and drove to Detroit!

The exhibit was really incredible. I didn't know much about Kahlo before, but I made sure to read up on her a little before we went so I could appreciate her art better. 

They didn't allow any photography (or even sketching!) in the exhibit, so I've included one of my favorites below, titled "Self Portrait Along the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States."

Most of her art that moved me the most was created after her time in Detroit (during which Diego Rivera was commissioned to paint the murals pictured below in the DIA). While there, she experienced a miscarriage, and she coped by turning to art. 

Diego described it well in his autobiography,"Frida began work on a series of masterpieces which had no precedent in the history of art -- paintings which exalted the feminine qualities of endurance of truth, reality, cruelty, and suffering. Never before had a woman put such agonized poetry on canvas as Frida did at this time in Detroit." 

That feeling really came through in her art--so many of her pieces are incredibly personal, in a way I haven't found in a lot of other art. (By the way, if you're interested in reading more about this, here is a great article)

After the exhibit, we headed to the mural room to see again the Rivera's incredible work:

Being there brought to mind this photo that we saw in the exhibit:

In it, Frida paints in the mural room while Diego works. The painting she's working on is one from after her miscarriage, when she was trying to express and cope with her pain through art. 

There was something about being in the same room where she painted that was really powerful for me. 

Channeling some Frida with my braids: 

And then we snagged some free cake:


Monday, July 13, 2015

It was for freedom, from myself and from the land

The fourth of July was lovely and quiet for us, the main events being a nice potluck with friends and neighbors and some small fireworks in the church parking lot.

As for Nikolai, he thought the fireworks were AWESOME. 

 He liked the sparklers but mostly he wanted to light the fireworks themselves. I told him when he's older he can help me, which he grudgingly accepted ;)

 One of our friends bought a mondo giant huge package and set a bunch of them off at one time, which was super fun.

Nikolai enjoyed himself, even though he doesn't look like it here:

Miri really enjoyed it too!

Every time a firework was lit, Miri would hoot and coo and wave her arms excitedly, which obviously made the rest of us smile:

Happy belated fourth of July :)