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Archive for November, 2008

First Smiles

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been starting to catch Liesel’s smiles on camera. James is best at getting them. She enjoys being naked and James’ “wookie” sounds. I love toothless baby smiles!

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Liesel has changed so much that I’m really not sure who she looks like anymore. My mom’s diagnoses is that around the mouth, she looks like Katie (my sister-in-law), around the nose and eyes, she looks like me, and her forehead looks like James. I don’t really know, but I do think that she’s beautiful. She’s also a really long baby! It used to be easy to hold her in one arm when she’s asleep, but now she gets too heavy very quickly!

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While being naked makes Liesel happy when she’s awake, she loves to be all bundled up when she is asleep.

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And, since I love to be bundled, I naturally bundle her whenever we’re leaving the house. She outgrew the width of her blue body coat,  and me mom gave her this lovely white one.

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And I haven’t forgotten about my three men. I actually got kissed by all of them at the same time!

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And here they are showing off their new sweatshirts. Aslan got one with a polar bear because he loves the adventures of Lars the polar bear. Shiloh got one with an excavator. As Scott Ramin always says, he’s going to be a heavy equipment operator.

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Last week we were invited to a Poker Night at the Lawrence’s. It was late for the boys, after 9 o’clock. While all of the other kids were dancing to Michael Jackson or drumming on the toilet,

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Aslan and Shiloh hid in the bedroom to look at books.

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They are way too much like me! Actually, though, they had a great time. I had to do my first backing away from my motherly instincts. When they were playing with Damon, Corban, Devin, Ira, and Kane, Aslan grabbed a pillow and was happily shoving all the other boys off the bed with it. I scolded him and told him to be more gentle. Damon responded by saying, “It’s okay if he pushes me off the bed.” I was put in my place! For most of the rest of the evening, I let the boys be boys. I had to run home and get my camera when they all took off their shirts off. Later, though, when Damon wanted Aslan to be a dog on a leash, I had to rush to take the belt off of Aslan’s neck. We all had a blast. I have a feeling I’m going to have to do a lot more holding my tongue, while at the same time keeping a sharp eye, so that the boys can be boys without killing each other.

One more quick story. This will make more sense to those of you who know Aslan and Shiloh. A few nights ago James was putting the boys to bed. Aslan can be quite…I tried to think of a nicer word, but I couldn’t…anal. He wants certain blankets under him, others over him. He has like eight stuffed animals of varying sizes that have to be in the correct spot with the blankets over their bodies, but not their faces, etc. James was trying to be patient, but Aslan was being completely unreasonable. Eventually James had to say, “You just have to accept what I’m giving you. No more crying!” He then turned around to Shiloh and started to put the blankets over him. Shiloh throws up his hands waves them flippantly in the air singing, “No, no, no, no, no.” James was about to discipline him when we realized that our two-year-old was totally making fun of our three-year-old! Even he could see how ridiculous Aslan’s complaints were! James and I started laughing, and even Aslan laughed as Shiloh laid there singing, “No, no, no, no, no.” That was a better rebuke for Aslan than anything James or I could have done. He was put in his place and able to laugh about it. I’m so thankful for those two boys and how different they are. God has given them each a great gift in the other. Aslan is serious and thoughtful while Shiloh is such a sweet little clown. And they both adore their baby sister. Kids are such a blessing!

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Our 1-month old!

On Saturday, Liesel turned 1month old! I can’t believe it. At her four-week well baby check-up she weighted 10 lb 7 oz. She’s growing fast, getting chub on her legs, and a hint of a double chin. Here she is on her mini birthday.

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Each month I plan to take a picture of her with this doll (Natalie) so that we can see her growth.

Here are a few other random happenings:

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This picture was taken when Liesel was about 2 weeks old. “Bedrest with Three Kids.”

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Milo is enjoying all of the comfy baby things around the house.

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At the moment this picture was taken, Liesel’s hair looked red. It didn’t before and it hasn’t since…but it still got our hopes up that she might become our little red-head. Nobody has red hair on my side of the family, but James’ beard is red, so she has a chance!

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Liesel still facinates her brothers. They are awesome helpers!

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And as Liesel grows into 3-6 month clothing…I put her in a dress for the first time! Isn’t she such a little lady!!!

Well, I’d better tend to that little lady. She’s calling me!

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Sunday Morning Dance Party

(and other happenings at the Lyon’s house)

Our Four-Year Anniversary

On November 5, James and I celebrated our anniversary. I can’t believe we’ve been married for 4 years, and together for 5! It was fun to look back on some of our first emails…

I also wore a memorable shirt. It was one that I picked up for really cheap in Germany. When James and I first started talking and liking each other, he complimented me on it one Sunday evening. This wouldn’t have much significance, except that I had gotten all dressed up that Sunday morning in a cute skirt and blouse to get his attention. Then, in the evening, when i had just thrown some clothes on after a long day, he compliments me! I couldn’t believe it! This was also the shirt I was wearing when James proposed to me.

Instead of going out, we cunningly kept the boys on a pre-daylight savings time and had them in bed at 6. James ordered take-out from the China Wok and picked it up on the way home from work. Our activity for the evening was going to be playing with legos, and possibly designing our dream-home with them. When James got home, I had Liesel asleep in her favorite wrap. We decided to eat with her in it so we knew she’d stay asleep. After enjoying all the food on our plates, we used our chopsticks to eat all of the food out of her hair that I’d accidentally dropped on her. Her head was nice and shiny from all the grease!

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After taking Liesel out of the sling, she did wake up, and she was cranky. We took turns calming her, but we didn’t get much built out of our legos before we were too tired to continue. Oh, well, we enjoyed the evening, and we’ll have plenty other opportunities to hang out.

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Liesel’s Life, Never a Boring Moment

The boys are always making sure that Liesel is well taken care of. They’d pile 20 blankets on top of her, keep toys surrounding her, and drag her everywhere if I would let them. They always want me to show her pictures in the books we read, and they are disappointed that she doesn’t drink from a sippy cup yet. When we were leaving a friends house, I put Liesel down so that I could put on my shoes. I told Shiloh to go out with Papa. He freaked out and ran over to Liesel because he was afraid I was going to leave her there. He refused to go out the door until I came with Liesel. Last night when we came home, they were all asleep in the car. When I went to take out Liesel, I noticed that Aslan was holding her hand. They love their baby a lot!

The other day when Liesel was especially attentive to them, they made a line of stuffed animals to stare at her. It took a lot of convincing to get them to put the animals about a foot away from her face, instead of a couple of inches, but finally they conceded.

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Branding our Baby

After a really REALLY long nap, Liesel finally woke up. When I took off her clothes because her diaper had soaked through, a lego piece fell out. We have no idea how it got there, but since she was sleeping on her back, it left an awful mark. She didn’t seem at all bothered by it, but James and I felt horrible! The redness and the imprint went away after a couple of hours.

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Sunday Morning Dance Party

Sometimes we just can’t help dancing. Not that we’re very good at it, but Liesel likes to have music playing. Yesterday we ended up dancing like crazy to The Killers and The Raconteurs. James held two kids and I held one. Laughter exploded from the boys (even if it doesn’t look like it in the photos.) Every time we put them down they begged for more. At the end we were exhausted, but we managed to get the first picture of the 5 of us together! I love it, but it’s staying under wraps for a while because we plan on sending it out on our first ever Christmas card! If you would like to be on our Christmas card mailing list, please send your mailing address to briannacorinne@yahoo.com.

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Random Pictures

These were too cute for me to leave out!

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That’s all for now! Don’t forget to send me your mailing address if you want a Christmas Card!

(Since it is now after Christmas, here’s the Christmas card photo.)

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All three of them!

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Help! She’s making a loud noise!

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It doesn’t seem right to smile…

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Hooray! She stopped!

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We’re supposed to get closer to her?

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Put your hand down, Liesel.

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Sooo cute, my favorite.

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This post is inspired by Rhea’s note entitled “Say No to Goats” which describes an incident where a goat jumps through a glass window into her house. Though not quite as traumatic and weird as that story, here is our ear-piercing experience with goats.

James and I had been married for about 7 months. I was also 7 months pregnant and we lived in a little house, about 400 square feet. James worked on Shaw Island with a family who had 14 baby goats. I spent a day out on the island us to see where James was working. A young girl named Liesl from the family showed me around the mini-farm. She loved the goats, especially the hand-fed runt named Lexus. I thought Lexus was adorable, and Liesl carried Lexus everywhere.

A couple of weeks later I came home late in the evening to a baby goat standing in our kitchen. Suprise! I was shocked. James was very excited and exausted. I was very quiet, but newly married and wanting to be supportive. We really REALLY needed to sit down and talk. The problem was that James had been up since 4 that morning and was super tired, and the goat started screaming at the worst possible pitch any time James wasn’t giving his full attention to her.The most we were really able to communicate before trying to get to bed was that this was Lexus, but we decided to call her Liesel in honor of the little girl who had loved her so much. (At the time I didn’t know that she spelled her name without an e.) We were going to discuss things further in the morning.

Our sleeping situation was interesting. Since this was Liesel’s first night away from her mother and now James was the one feeding her, she insisted that she sleep with James. We couldn’t put her outside because we lived in city limits with close neighbors in a rental house. James hadn’t anticipated a goat being quite so loud and obnoxious. We were finally able to keep her out of our bed by setting up a box for her next to our bed. James had to keep his hand on Liesel’s back, though, to keep her asleep. After James fell asleep, every once in a while his hand would slide off the goat. Immediately she would wake up and start screaming. Eventually I left the bed and went to sleep on the living room floor.

The next morning we got up, both of us sleep deprived. We discussed the fact that we could not keep the goat at this house, even though we both thought we might like goats at a later date for their milk. Once we bottle fed Liesel (which was so cute!), we had to be on our way to a prenatal appointment…with the goat. James stayed in the car with Liesel. At the appointment, I must have looked like a wreck. Michelle, our midwife, asked where James was. When she heard the story about the goat, she laughed and laughed and had to come out and take a quick look at our goat.

Since we had decided not to keep the goat, we were just able to enjoy her for a few hours that afternoon. She was hilarious with the bottle. She’d get on her knees and suck as hard and fast as she could, dripping most of the milk on the floor. We also built a ramp for her outside for her to run on and jump off of. Then, later on, James and I took a ferry trip over to Shaw Island to return the goat. By that point, we were both really attached to her, but we said goodbye.

Here are some pictures of us with Liesel:

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So, the story seems to close, but James and I had not quite learned our lesson. The next week, James found out that all of the baby goats were going to be auctioned off, and then butchered. Our little Liesel was going to be butchered! He called me and, together this time, we decided for him to bring home two baby goats, Liesel and another one. That way, we figured, they could keep each other company and be kept quiet. We put up a fence for the goats and James put together a shelter for them to sleep in. We were still convinced that we couldn’t keep the goats, so we planned on giving them to a good home. We couldn’t let our first ‘baby’ go to the butcher!

We named the second goat Luna. She was not hand-fed so she was very skiddish. The goats did well overnight (or at least while it was dark, so we were up with the sun), but during the day I had to be outside with them because Liesel taught Luna that she should scream whenever James and I were out of sight. I read books in the sunshine all day for a couple of days. While James was riding home on the ferry that first day, I had to go to the bathroom. I left the phone with the goats so James could talk to them while I was gone in hopes that he could keep them from screaming. It didn’t work, but James was able to record their screaming onto his phone. Those goats were soooo loud. I wish we still had that recording… I tried to find one online to show just how awful the sound was, like fingernails on a chalkboard, but none of the goats sounds I downloaded did justice.

We spent a couple of days trying to find a good home for Liesel and Luna. Finally we found a goat rescue society that would take them. We sadly dropped off our two little goat babies. We’ve gone back a couple of times to see them, and we’re still hoping to have a goat or two of our own one day.

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Once we were finally goat-free, we were able to focus on the arrival of our first human baby. Though the name we had picked out for a baby girl had been Arielle, James begged for Liesel. I refused to name our child after a goat. It turns out we didn’t have to worry about it because we had a boy, Aslan. During the next pregnancy I was not as fond of Arielle, so if we hadn’t had Shiloh, we would have had Liesel. Throughout most of this last pregnancy, a girl was going to be Lorien. Then, a couple of months ago I was talking with the boys about the baby and I accidently slipped and said Liesel instead. Shiloh repeated me and said Liesel so cutely that I fell in  love with the name all over again. Iasked James if Liesel could still be an option and he excitedly said yes! From that moment on we hoped that Liesel was the one wriggling and kicking in my tummy and she was!

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It’s amazing! We think (and really really hope) that we have a Schnuler baby.

(By the way, Schnuler is German for pacifier. It is one of three words that I thought were English until sometime in elementary school when I was shocked to find out that other kids didn’t understand me and I realized that I was using a German word. The other two words were Putzelbaum (summersalt) and Pompsie (fart). For some reason it comes more naturally to use these words with my kids as well.)

Well, Liesel has been really calm for the most part. We’ve been to church, shopping, small group, and driving with no complete meltdowns, even if she has been a bit fussy from time to time. In the evenings she seems to have a longer awake time with some fussing that takes our attention, movement, and loud music to calm her down. On Saturday, though, she hardly slept. She was fussy continuously and would take little cat naps in our arms and then be awake again. We were exhausted by evening, and there was a stressful atmosphere from all the crying and loud music. The boys were emotional, whinny, and constantly hurting themselves. It was not a good afternoon and evening!

James and I talked about how we had been able to handle all the stess and work of having a fussy baby when we had our first baby, and even our second, but that having a fussy baby with two other young children who don’t understand why they are stressed is not right for them. We need to try to keep the house peaceful, so we decided to try a Schnuler. We had tried with Aslan, but he refused to take it. We didn’t make a whole lot of effort to get Shiloh to take one. I had purchased a pack of good-quality girlish ones last week. So on Saturday night I sat down with Liesel when she was semi-content, and I insisted that she take a pacifier into her mouth until she figured out how to suck on it. It was strange, but cute, to see one of our kids with a pacifier. We took this picture.

Then on Sunday Liesel slept most of the afternoon and woke up shortly before the boys went down for bed. James and I were dreading a long evening of crying. Instead of turning on music and walking around to calm her down, I gave her the pacifier. On one of the first attempts she gagged on it and spewed out the contents of her stomach, but after a few tries she was sucking on it again. For at least an hour I rocked her and every time she spit the pacifier out, I put it back in her mouth. When she absolutely refused it I tried feeding her, burping her, and changing her diaper. If she didn’t take the pacifier I let her be without, but if she started to cry out of boredom, I gave her the pacifier. It worked! James and I were able to have conversation with an awake baby who contentedly looked around and listened to our voices! Later, James took her and held her with the Schnuler until she fell soundly asleep for the night. It was still work, but our evening was so peaceful, and we actually got to hang out together.

It’s possible that this was all a fluke and that we’ll still have plenty of fussy evenings to come. Maybe she was still so exhausted from Saturday that she couldn’t stay awake, but I hope that she will remain our Schnuler baby who can be held and loved a lot without stressing out the whole house with her noises. I hope that by using her mouth to suck instead of cry, she will only cry when she is in need of something and not just because she’s bored. She seemed to enjoy yesterday evening as much as James and I did. She was relaxed and entertained by what she could see and hear instead of tense with screams and tears. I hope, I hope, I hope! We’ve had fussy babies before and I know we’ll get through whatever we need to go through with her, but for the boys’ sake, I don’t want to have to deal with a fussy baby for hours every day, especially when James is at work.

And speaking of Schnuler baby, I have to post a couple of pictures of what James called “Bubblegum Ball Baby.” This is Liesel all dressed up for a trip to town.

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