Monday, November 30, 2015


For Thanksgiving this year Jesse's brother Andy and his son Jack came to visit! They flew in all the way from New Mexico and braved our chilly Michigan weather and we were so grateful for it :)

I am not good at remembering to take pictures of people who come see us but here's one of Jack wearing the cool hat he picked out for Andy:

This was my first year making a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was awesome! Our great friend Margo (from Jesse's program) came over and showed me the way her family has always cooked their turkey: Covered with strips of extra thick bacon to keep in the moisture (aka my new favorite way to cook turkey). Despite all my fears, the turkey turned out well! We also made our own gravy with the turkey/bacon juices and it was AMAZING.


A plate full of food!

Awesome dinner mates:

It was pretty exciting to have Thanksgiving at our house this year and we had such awesome people to share it with :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Miriam: 9 months

I get pretty excited when my babies get to be 9 months old because it means they've been out in the world as long as they were growing inside me! I don't know how big Miriam is yet (her checkup isn't for another week) but I know she's grown a good deal since her last appointment. She's still a small baby but she's growing!

Sleeping patterns: Goes to bed around 7:30, wakes up for an hour or so around 8:30/9, then goes back to bed shortly thereafter. We put her back in Niko's room last week and things have been ok! They wake each other up sometimes but we just let Miriam fuss herself back to sleep (the way we would if she slept in her own room). They wake up at a normal time in the morning (7 or 7:30) so things are looking good!

Eating patterns: Breastmilk every 3-4 hours with 6-8 oz of formula in the evenings and people food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's been eating lunch and dinner with us for awhile, but recently she realized that we eat food in the mornings too and threw a mild fit for a few mornings until we figured it out and started including her in the eating process. She frequently gets grumpy at us if we're eating something and not sharing, to the point that I've often remarked to Jesse "This is a baby that would have survived the stone age!" (You know, bothered her stone age parents so much for food that she got fed and grew up healthy and strong compared to the babies who didn't get grumpy and demand food. Also, I've just realized that perhaps Jesse and I are super weird for saying stuff like this to each other and not thinking it's weird...) Another anecdote to prove the point: Jesse was holding Miriam in one arm and a sandwich he had just made for Nikolai in the other and Miriam reached over and grabbed a chunk of the sandwich and stuffed it in her mouth. This baby knows how to get what she wants (and what she wants is food)!

Look at that tiny standing baby up there! So small! So standing!

New discoveries she made: Nikolai can give gentle hugs (sometimes) and she likes them!

Accomplishments: Being the sweetest baby we know :)

Places she went: Oh golly, all over! The zoo, the library, church, Josie's house. 

Special memories: I put this pirate eye patch (or as Niko used to call it, his pirate 'atch) on her eye and she thought it was HILARIOUS.


Hey sweet Miri, we love you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


(Arubaito = Japanese for "part-time work")

Well, I guess I will finally post about working! (I've been there for nearly 3 months so I suppose it's about time!) I'm working part time at a local library where I do normal (and wonderful!) things like checking books in, shelving, sending books off through the interlibrary loan system, and reading shelves to make sure they're in order. In addition to those things, I also plan and put on a weekly storytime for our library's smallest patrons. 

I have fallen in love with our little old library (which we are expanding as we speak--so exciting!) and my awesome co-workers. I love even the most mundane of library operations, and I love being a part of a place where so many people's needs are met. People come to our library for books and movies, sure (which, by the way, is a great way for the community as a whole to save money), but they also come to make their lives better. Truck drivers check out audio books to listen to on long hauls, students of all ages use our computers to type up homework, parents and children separated by poor choices come for a safe place to see each other, and local writers pick up books shipped in from other libraries to use as research for their own books. 

It's a really great place to interact with people that are both very similar to me (yay book lovers!) and people who are very different from me (patrons who check out books by Glenn Beck).

Some other time I should really write about what it's like for me to be a working mom (I think being a working mom, much like being a stay at home mom, is different for everyone!) but that will have to wait, because I've gotta make some dinner for some hungry people!

And because I can't write a post without a picture, here's one of every Christmas-themed picture book we have in our library:


They vastly outnumbered our Hanukkah (12) and Kwanzaa books (2) but in suburban/rural Michigan, who's surprised? 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Silly Niko

Item 1: On a balmy November day a few weeks ago, we took off to the zoo, where Nikolai asked me to take a picture of him in front of a statue and then promptly got distracted.

Item 2: We were having a family game night and managed to capture perfectly three hallmarks of having a three year old, those things being:

1) Sulking/throwing a fit when not getting his way

2) Playing, being sweet and saying silly things

3) Picking his nose


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Silly Miri

Miriam talking:


Does it sound to anyone else like she says "Hi"? I mean, I know I'm reading into it but still...

Musician Miri:


Saturday, November 21, 2015


Outside is a place we likely won't see much of for a few months (yay, winter! boo, winter!) but we had a lovely and warm November!

In the very beginning of the month, we had a few insanely warm days (in the 70s!) and some of our awesome friends busted out their kiddie pool for one last go. The kids loved it!

Miriam got in the pool at one point, but for the most part she just wandered around eating dirt and leaves and having the time of her life.

A few days later temperatures were back to normal (40s and 50s) but we still managed to play outside.

Miriam went back to eating leaves and generally loving the outdoors.

I do love winter in Michigan but it will be a shame to not go outside as much! We'll still try to get out some but it will take considerably more layers and such. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Small people

Having small people around all the time has its drawbacks (lots of whining, poop, etc) but there's also a lot of positives. Here's a few from lately:

Spending an hour reading books I brought home from the library (we're basically drowning in picture books these days and none of us are the least bit sorry!):

Also, in case you're wondering why Juwon is hanging half in, half out--at first his parents said he couldn't come in to read books with us because they thought he was bothering us, so he straddled the doorway until I finally convinced them that he wasn't bothering us at all! Then we all moved to the couch :D

Playing trains/duplos and drawing rivers and lakes with markers:

Yay, creativity!

A mid lunch selfie (because I finally joined the modern world and got a smart phone!):

By the way, don't you love Niko's face up there? Priceless.

And finally, some sibling love (?):

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Makin' a sandwich

Getting Nikolai to eat dinner is like pulling teeth (help!).

The other night we didn't feel like fighting him on it, so Jesse said that if he took one bite of what we were having, he could make himself a pb&j and eat that instead. He leaped at the offer and while we were disappointed that he wasn't eating what we made, it was fun to see him be so independent (ok, he had some help, but still).

It reminded me of this picture of myself at about the same age, making a tuna sandwich on toast: