Friday, December 12, 2014

We have a Chunkers!

Our little duffers is officially two months old!  We went to our doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and he weighed in at a whopping 14lbs-off the charts! I was so proud! 
 If nothing else, we are good eaters in this house. 
I know the clean plate club is no longer the fad, but papa and I are proud card-carrying members, so he gets his love for food honestly. 
 Leo was 23 inches long which put him right in the 50th percentile somewhere.  The good Doctor said this can be a tricky measurement at this age, since they like to scrunch up so much, and that he may be a smidge taller, and not to worry crazy mama. 
He is cooing more every day and gives smiles away like the free treat they are.  Eric and I are always wondering if he’s the smileyist baby we’ve ever know, or if we just get to see more of the smiles since we’re the parents. 
Either way we are thrilled.  When we talk to Leo or sometimes just look his way, we are treated to dimply grins and gummy goodness!  
He is making some noted advances:this week he discovered the toy birds on his swing and he stared at them intently as I finished putting up Christmas d├ęcor.  One morning we woke up to find him with one arm busted out of his swaddle.  
He can now sit up in his highchair...kind of.  He's so proud that he can sit up at all,
but he slumps over without help.  He likes faces, even those on stuffed animals, and smells are something of a delight.

 The other day he was fussing as I peeled a cutie orange, when that fresh citrus scent hit the air he stopped…and I’ve been using vicks vapor rub to help nurse his cold and that smell always makes him smile.  He has happy little sounds now like goos and gaas and it looks like he’s working hard to say something else too (I’m certain it’s mama)
One night this month he slept 6.5 hours straight., but the biggest news for this month…Leo rolled over.  One time only show and it happened to be during the 5 minutes that day that Mama wasn’t around, but Daddy was a verified witness…Leo was laying on his belly next to Papa, reached his arm in a stretch and just rolled right over to his back!  I cannot wait to see the action for myself. (I had been practicing with him for weeks)  I could go on and on about all of the things that make our Leo wonderful, but we’ll leave it at that. 

Two short months ago what a sweet fresh breeze God blew into our lives, and we are so very thankful.

Time to Give Thanks

As the Thanksgiving Day celebrations come to a close for our families,
I'm left realize how much we have to be thankful for, this year especially.  For many of Eric's family it was their first time meeting our Mr. Leo;
they were just as smitten we are.  
They snatched our little fellow up the minute we walked in the door and he was willingly passed from one doting cousin to another!  Eric looks forward to this get together every,
Calling all Giant great grandchildren 10 and under!
football-the big three for him!
I'm so very thankful he has such wonderful male cousins to spend time with, however rare that time may be.  I've told him more than once that I cannot imagine life without my dear sisters;
there is something special about the bond between siblings
Leah and Leo take a nap
(I think it's especially true if you are the same gender, but really what do I know as I ONLY have sisters?!) 
Grandpa Marquardt holds Leo for the first time
I am so thankful this year for the joys that come with bringing a new life into your home.  The sweet coos and smiles, the humorous squeaky whines, the endless hours cuddling.  Our baby has brought us more joy than we ever knew he would. 
Leo and Logan born just over a month apart
It's easy to get lost in the diapering and middle of the night feedings and laundry and dishes that come with this heaven-sent package...the daily grind can get to us all at times, but that makes the smooth days that much more of a delight!
Thank you God for all the good you've brought to my life...the wonderful family with which we are blessed, the kindness of friends, the satisfaction that comes from a hard days work,
falcon on our pergola
the beauty of nature in all it's wonder,
the love of a husband who is better than I deserve,
and this miraculous gift of our child.
 When times are trying Eric and I will say, "Give it a year; what a difference a year can make."
Eric and Leo Light the Night Fort Wayne
It's always gotten us through times when hope was slim and moral was low, and if you'd have told me a year ago now that we would have a baby of our own, I'm not sure I could've believed it.
What a difference a year can make.

Back to life; Back to reality

This week I returned to the working world.  Just for two days.  Just a taste; and it was delicious!  For two weeks leading up, I was anxious…so worried it almost consumed me.  It was my own personal D-Day…so much preparation, so much fear.  I was short with Eric, stressed about everything and just nervous.  Would I remember how to scale and polish and socialize with people older than say 8 weeks old?  Yes, yes and yes.  Would I accidentally break out in only-Leo-loves-it-song with my horrible singing voice in front of my patients?  No.  Would I be uncomfortably engorged and leak onto my scrub top much to the amusement of those around me?  No.  But I did cry (no real surprise for those who know me) and I cried a lot the day before and some the morning before I left Leo for the first time at my Mom’s.  Mostly, I put on my big girl pants, as we say around here, smiled and braved my way though the first day back.  Like riding a bike, it all came flooding back, and in some ways it felt like I never left.  My first patient came in gift in tow for Leo, and it all just felt right.  I love our Leo so very much and I thought of him a lot while I was working those 8 hours, but it was nice to feel like this part of my was still alive and well and I hope I’m a better mom for going back.  Today is my first day home again with him and I’m loving all of the snuggling and smiles.  He just wants me to hold him and hold him for hours and I have because I can.  It does my heart good to know he still loves me and knows I love him right back.  How very blessed I am.  PS Working day two I came home to a homecooked meal that I didn’t even thaw out, prep ahead of time, or plan…heaven.  Thank you Eric for your support!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Golden Dues

Guess what we did today?!
I'll give you a clue...
  It was finally time to collect the harvest of our thousands of hard working ladies. 
This is collection day at the hive when we took the honey supers off the hive
It was such a joy to watch that golden delicousness flow
...almost made all of this summers stings worth it!
I'm not sure if it was the pregnancy hormones, lack of care, or switch from Italian to Russian bees, but they were vicious this year;
Honey taxes due date, sorry bees, we're coming to collect
I was only able to make it through one inspection sting-free. Honestly, I shouldn't complain, these ladies were really the ones working their tails off...
the average life of a honey bee during the working season is only 6 weeks
 and she gathers only 1/10th tsp. honey in her lifetime
so, it takes 10,000 bees flying a total distance of more than twice around the world
flowers from the Thomas home
and tapping two million flowers to create one pound of honey. 
We collected over 5 gallons of this labor intensive honey...
Here is a frame with the empty comb just after the honey was spun from it. 
This is last year's neatly capped honey; where it looks white, that's the beeswax capped honey.
  The first step to actually collecting the honey is to remove the capping. 
water-filled crockpot heating knives
We used a few methods this year: cutting it off with a hot knife, and puncturing it with a fork.
Once the capping was removed we swiftly placed the frames into the honey extractor.
 Then you use the help of your strapping young lad (or two) to spin the handle like mad;
the force of the spinning pulls the freshly uncapped honey out of the comb and onto the sides of the extractor where it slides down.
  Eventually you open the valve and let that beautiful golden goodness flow into a series of filters before it's ready for bottling.
Thank you ladies for letting us rob you of your winter stock,
we truly hope we left you enough fruits of your labor to make it through the winter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Craft Monster

It's a blessing and a curse to love can give you an addiction to creating a "product" or create a sewing monster who is consumed with completion and MUST get it done-dishes and dinner and house cleaning be darned!  Well that little monster has been put to bed lately. 
With my latest and greatest product being that beautiful baby Leo,
and can you imagine a greater product?! 
But, last night a couple of my closest crafting buddies came over 
(they even brought dinner-yeah for mama!) and I got the bug again. 
Now my mind is full of all kinds of ideas I'd put on the back burner for the last month, and I can't wait to find the time to make some of these things happen. 
this is the pattern, Leo's will be ivory
So I've started knitting Leo's Christmas stocking (to quite that craft monster)
while Leo sleeps on my chest (really the best of both worlds!) and keep soaking in this time that is so precious, so sacred this time with my rapidly growing newborn. 
Because I know my little boy will not be little for long and the crafting...well, the list will always be there.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Leo's Baptism

Leo joined the church! 
It was officially Sunday when he turned one month. 
He didn't let out a peep as the water was poured on his little head
Fire from the Easter Candle, Holy Water, and Christening Oil
and Father signed his forehead with the spicy smelling christening oil.
Aunt Ruth and Uncle Mike were chosen as godparents; they are so wonderful with the four children they have, truly raising them up as children of God; hopefully they will have the same positive influence on our Leo.
His white garment was created from Aunt Rach's wedding gown, a beautiful tribute to new beginnings.

We celebrated his new life in Christ with a Mexican themed dinner
and Great Grandma's famous pies.
Aunt Ruthie helped with decorations...look at how talented she is with chalk!
And Aunt Rose was the self-proclaimed "behind the scenes lady" who held the whole show together.
Aunt Rose working so hard she didn't have time to turn around for the photo!
I could not have done it without them.
How grateful we are for the wonderful Church family
and biological families with which we've been blessed.
What a wonderful day of praise and thanksgiving and recommitment to the things that truly matter most.