Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let the Holidays Begin!

Winter Break is officially here- the kids are out of school and we are moving full speed ahead into our Christmas activities. The parties at school, with friends, and family have been so fun- and now we are getting set for our holidays in the Bay Area with my family and old friends on the block. We leave first thing in the morning for Napa, after one night there, will be in Oakland for a few days, then back to Napa for Christmas Eve and home to Weaverville late Christmas Eve night. I should totally be packing right now, but I decided to clear my camera and make room for are next set of Christmas 2008 memories. Here's what we did the past few days:

Owen's Preschool visited the Grandma's and Grandpa's at the Convalescent Hospital to sing their Christmas Carols. Grandma Linda joined us for this fun field trip!


Kylee's kindergarten class performed their Rudolph songs dressed in their cute reindeer costumes. They sang a bunch of songs with the 1st, and 2nd graders, too.


Santa came to Owen's Christmas Party, and Owen told him he is 3 years old and wants a Giraffe for Christmas.


Owen and his buddies love the cookies and punch.


Grandma Linda and Grandpa Paul's Christmas party. All the cousins in front of their stockings.


Grandma and Grandpa with all their grandkids


Uncle Adam feeding Madison


Our kids in their new jammies from Grandma


The cousins in their new jammies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Snowy Weekend!

Weekend's like this one make me just love where we live SOOOOO much! We woke up to our first dusting of snow Saturday morning, it was just enough to get the kids excited at the possibility of throwing snowballs at each other. Kylee had ballet, so they had to wait on the snowball wars... but no one seemed to mind because Grandma was bringing the cousins in to check out Kylee's class' little choreographed dance to the Nutcracker ballet. She danced really well, but my camera died two seconds into the show- so I don't have much video to show for it. It didn't snow any more Saturday, but Sunday it snowed all day long. Wes went out to chop wood, so I bundled the kids up in their gear, and sent them out to play. Madi and I had the important job of keeping the fire going inside. It was awesome! The kids would come in freezing every now and then, and I'd warm them by the fire and give them hot cocoa. We didn't get enough snow to bring the sled out on our sled hill, but they are saying we'll get 3-6 more inches today. We had about 4 inches when we woke up this morning, and the kids wanted to go play. We had to get to school- which went really smoothly considering we had friends over late last night, and we woke up a bit late, had to dress in extra layers and dig out the car- but everyone was a bit late today, so it was no big deal! Hopefully we'll be able to do some sledding after I pick the kids up.
Here's some pix...




Friday, December 5, 2008

Kicking off the Holidays

Sometimes its hard to get motivated for the craziness around the holidays, but having young children has made Christmas' so exciting the past few years. It always takes me back to being a child, and all the magic of the season just warms my heart! Here's a couple of little "moments" to help you get into the Holiday spirit, too!

Kylee's class had a "Polar Express" event last night. I brought Kylee and Owen to the school library in their PJ's and they "boarded the train" to her classroom. Her teacher read the Polar Express, and Santa came in for a visit. He handed out presents to all the students after they quizzed him on all his North Pole knowledge. Afterwards they enjoyed hot cocoa back in the library while the older students played Christmas music. It was such a fun night for the kids! They all loved wearing PJ's at school and I was smiling from ear to ear the whole time! The whole experience was so much fun, a great way to get into the holidays!

Ky and Owen walking to the school in their jammies!

Kylee, Natalie, Owen and Brian meet up in the library

Kylee's classroom door... with their cute "Elvis- Blue Christmas" Theme

Owen, especially,is fully loving all the talk about Santa, and is beyond excited for Christmas this year. His class wrote their letters to Santa, and they all say "Dear Santa, I would like such and such..." and it's very cute. Owen's letter says, word for word, "Dear Santa, I just love you very much. And that's it. Love, Owen" He's been learning all the Christmas carols at school, and is singing them all around the house. Here's a sample of his lovely voice...
video
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving and stuff...

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The past week has been a lot of fun- we've all been so busy, I just haven't had much time to sit down and post about it. My mom and dad and their dogs came up on Wednesday before Thanksgiving with the stuffing (or dressing? I still haven't figured out with the difference is) all made up and ready to be stuffed into a Turkey. They dropped it by my in-laws house that evening on the way to our house. When they got here, we had dinner together and talked about the holiday plans. Thanksgiving morning, Wes smoked our 13 lb turkey at our house while my parents and I took the 3 kids for a walk/run. Kylee is becoming quite the little runner- she ditched me, my dad, and Owen, who were a bit slower with the baby, the chihuahua, and Owen's shorter/"really tired" legs. Kylee sprinted to keep up with my mom and her crazy german shepard, and she did great! We got home to help make side dishes then got ready and headed to Wes' parents house for the feast. My mom's sister, Aunt Jeannette, and her husband and two teenage kids met us there- they have never visited us up in Trinity county, and it was such a treat! Uncle Fred's kids, Alex and Maria were AMAZING with Kylee and Owen- they played all weekend with the kids, who just adored their own personal playmates! Wes' mom, Linda, had her house set up beautifully- dinner ( with 2 more 13 lb turkeys!)was delicious, and we all had a nice relaxing time visiting. We took a group walk to the Salt Flat Bridge next to their house, to digest dinner a bit before diving into ALL the different desserts. Yum! Madison slept through almost everything, but opened her eyes every now and then to check out everything. She continued to win the prize for "Best Baby" throughout the weekend as she enjoyed snuggling with all her admirers, and barely fussed. Friday we drove down river with my extended family, to have coffee and breakfast at the Strawhouse. We got back home and went for a hike from our property and into the trail system with some gorgeous views of the Alps. Madi has been doing great hiking in her front carrier, when she needed to nurse about an hour and a half into the hike, I just found a nice log and sat while the family checked out the scenery. We got home and started snacking and enjoying leftovers, then Wes' brother's family and parents joined our big group and we all walked from our house to Main Street for Mountain Magic. This is where Santa comes to ring in the season, and all the cute little shops stay open late giving out hot cider, cocoa, wine, snacks, and freebies to all the people strolling the street. It was so much fun! Saturday my family headed home, and Wes and I hung out with the kids and worked on the house. We have been enjoying the fall weather, and though it is chilly, are still playing outside a lot. We need to start seeing soome rain and snow soon, though, the lakes and rivers around here are lower than I've ever seen them, and we need a wet winter to avoid another summer of wildfires like last year.

In other news, I took all the kids to Madison's 1 month check up yesterday. We are quite a "show" when we go anywhere now! But I just love my Dr's office, they have been treating the kids since Kylee was 2 days old, and they just love them, and the kids love everyone who works there. So, taking the whole crew was not a big deal- we're loud, we've got all sorts of bags and toys and snacks everywhere, but no one seems to mind. In fact, while I was taking Owen to the restroom- our FNP chatted with Kylee and watched Madi, and ended up loading Kylee down with more stuff than we came in with... some old soccer ball and basketball that she brought in to give to a good home. At the end of the appointment, which was a bit more fun than informative (I have a hard time remembering all my baby questions with all the managing of the kids during the exam...) we learned Madi still has a slight heart murmur, but nothing we are too concerned about. She is already 10 lbs 1 oz- where Kylee was 10 lbs 2oz at her 2 month check up! So all was well, we left after visiting the treasure box and getting loaded down with holiday rice crispy treats for the whole family! All in all, a great visit to doctor as a firstime mom-of-three!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful

I can't believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Where does the time go?!? We are getting ready for a fun weekend, with some of my family coming to celebrate the holiday with us. Kylee and Owen had their last day of school yesterday, before a nice long break for the rest of the week. Kylee's class had an adorable Thanksgiving feast at their school lunchtime, with all 55 kindergarters gathered in one classroom. It was quite a group, and was standing room only for all the parent helpers who came to the feast! I was able to bring Madison into the class on both days this week, so I could help the teachers make the Pilgrim and Indian costumes- it was fun to be back with all the kids! And it was a very special day Tuesday, it made me think of how thankful I am to have such a great place to send my kids to school, and how thankful I am for our life that allows me to be a part of all the wonderful daily activities the kids are experiencing. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones... and lots of yummy food!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Two Weeks

Madison is two weeks old and I am happy to say we are survivng life with a newborn again. I hate to jinx it- so I'm crossing my fingers as I type this post- but things are going really, really well. As the kids would say, "Madison is an AWESOME baby." And she is- she has been a nursing champ, poops great, and sleeps contently for long periods of time. I get more visits from the older kids during the night, who are having a week of scary dreams. And since I'm up comforting them, I wake Madison to nurse and change like one time, and then she's back to sleep til I get up to start the daily routine at 5:30. I don't know if it's because it's our third time doing this, or if it's because Madison just ROCKS as a newborn- or maybe it's becuase this is the first time around that we weren't frantically constructing a home to move into while living in a trailer... we had a nice cozy home already made to bring her home to. It really makes a big difference having a place to rock and change a newborn, plus easily accessible laundry is a huge plus. We've been doing cloth diapers this time around, which was fully inspired by my friend Jessey, who is a pro at using and MAKING her own cloth diapers for her three kids. It's going really well, just a little more laundry than usual, and a really GOOD feeling about not creating all that waste and not forking out a ton on the disposable dipes- I had the most satisfying moment as I walked through Target last week and didn't have to pick up one of those huge, expensive boxes of huggies.

We are hoping we'll have another big money-saver this year other than the diapers, Wes has been working on a new project with any spare time he gets. Last winter, the cost of propane was insane- we let the bills pile up and pretty much tackled them by the time summer rolled around. It has been weighing heavily on our minds as the weather is getting colder, and Wes decided we could heat our house more efficiently and cost effectively with a wood stove. We've got access to wood easily, and we are hoping that this will save us this winter as far as bills go, and still keep our newborn and kids warm. So, a few weekends ago, my handy husband got to work on the frame for the stove's "raised up" location in our dining room. The kids have enjoyed having a project to help daddy with... they unloaded every single stone from the trailer and wheel-barrowed them in and layed them out for Daddy and Grandpa- who helped out with the masonry. Lately, Wes has been out splitting wood after work til dark, and Kylee and Owen love stacking it and chatting with Dad about their day. This project has been a great way for the kids to have some special attention from Dad during all the changes at home, and they love making us proud by being "good workers" like Daddy. Here are some pics along the way.

The kids unloading all the stone

Laying out the stone

The frame

The stove is set!

And finally, the kids have really adjusted well to our family of 5. They love their sister, and always want to know where she is, what she's doing, and when she'll be able to play with them. They love showing her off to their friends and teachers... and are doing their best to help mommy- ESPECIALLY with our weekday mornings. Our school routine is the trickiest part of the day. Wes has been starting work a little later some mornings, so he'll drop Kylee off every now and then on his way to work- which is a huge help and gives Kylee a few special minutes with Dad, and mom a few more minutes to get Owen motivated and ready for his day. And this week, our weather has been beautiful, so I've been loading the stroller with my 3 kiddos and walking them- which is also a lot easier than the whole "in and out of car seats" routine. Also, the walking is great for mommy- who has been confusing many kids with my having a baby in the car-seat, and yet still having a tummy. Owen tells them that Madi is the baby that came out of my tummy, and there is now a "boy" baby in my tummy. Kids- gotta love 'em! I'm off to do some sit-ups in hopes for a quicker departure of the belly!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4

November 4, 2003 was an election day, as well. That election day, 5 years ago, we were sitting in the hospital with our newborn baby girl, Kylee. Well, today, Kylee turned 5 and shared in all the excitement of this year's presidential election. When she woke up I said, "Today is your special day, birthday girl!" And she said , "We also vote for President today." She made sure to check in with many of those who called with birthday wishes... to see if they voted and who they voted for. Who knew she'd be so into the political process?!? Here are some pictures from Kylee's day...

Kylee with her #5 pancake

The kids at Kylee's birthday morning breakfast

Great Grandma Joy comes to see the birthday girl, and to meet the new little one that was named after her.
Happy 5th Birthday, Ky- we love you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Baby Story

I know in my last post, I said I was going to post more frequently, well... since I last sat at this computer A LOT has happened! Since I totally failed to write frequent updates about the arrival of our 3rd baby, I'll backtrack and try to summarize the very EXCITING events of our Halloween 2008.

Thursday, when I last posted, I was having a day of contractions, that tapered off in the afternoon and I figured we were not having a baby that day. I tried to rest because I hadn't slept much the night before, but the kids were excited for the Halloween events that were coming up on Friday... so they tried on their costumes. We headed to Lewiston, which is where most of Wes' family lives, and they did their Trick-or-Treating at the Great Grandmas and Grandma's house.

Here are the pirate, Great Grandma Joy, and Rapunzell the night before Halloween

We stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner, and I did my usual Thursday night bookkeeping for the Construction company. I noticed my contractions getting more intense, and after talking to the nurse at the hospital, we decided to leave the kids with the grandparents and start on the drive to the hospital. We made it to Red Bluff in just over a 1 and a half hours, trying to drive safely on the newly slick from rain, and foggy mountain roads. When we arrived, it was 10 pm, and the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and very painful. I was a bit dissappointed to find out I was only 4 cm dilated and still had a long way to go. Wes' parents drove down the mountain with the kids, his mom came in and joined us, while his dad and the kids slept in the van. Within the first hour there, I quickly progressed to 7 cm, but was beyond exhausted between contractions and eagerly awaited the arrival of Andre, who was called in to give me my epidural. Just before 1:30 am, things got exciting. My parents arrived from Oakland in time to join us in the delivery room, and the nurse called my Dr. in because I was 9 3/4 dilated, and my water still hadn't broke. But I was having constant strong contractions, that were even felt on top of my epidural. My Dr. arrived at 1:35, and after a quick hello, and 2 1/2 short pushes, our newset daughter was born! Madison Joy Scribner entered the world surrounded by loving family at 1:50 am, October 31, 2008. That's right, she's a Halloween baby- weighing in at 8 lbs, 7 oz and 21 inches long!


Mom and Dad take a first look at their sweet little girl

Here she is on the warming bed

With mom

Grandma Linda

Grandma Sue

Kylee meets her new sister for the first time!

Sisters!

Owen is not too excited about waking up at 2:30am to greet the baby!

Madi's first bath with our lovely nurse, Eileen

Daddy swaddles his newest princess after her late night bath.


We are so blessed, she is absolutely healthy- slept wonderfully the first night, is a champion at breastfeeding, passed her hearing test and pediatrician check-up, they cleared us to go home with an early release that day. We had an amazing hospital stay at St. Elizabeth's, we had incredible nurses and pretty much a whole wing to ourselves since there was only 1 other woman admitted that day. Here's a link to the hospital online nursery- where you can catch another glimpse of her if all my pictures aren't enough!
Here are some Halloween daytime pictures at the hospital:


Madison looks super cool in her hearing test headphones

Friend Jen and little Jimmy come up for a visit.

Jimmy wants to scoot Madi around the room in her bassinette.

Heading home with our new baby girl

All ready for the road trip.


We were back on the road by 5 pm on Halloween, and home just as the kids were finishing trick-or-treating on Main Street with Grandma and Auntie Amy. Both sets of Grandparents, Auntie, and Taylor helped make a nice family dinner and get the kids all settled back in with us and our new baby after a very exciting and tiresome 24 hours!


And now there are THREE little munchkins!

Owen was much happier to meet and play with his cute little sister at a more reasonable time of day!

The boy cousins, Owen and Taylor, welcome baby Madison

After a sleepless couple of nights, Mom and Dad are completely exhausted, but glad to be home with a healthy baby girl.