santa! i know him!

santa came to light up our town the day after thanksgiving. we'd never been before but quickly discovered that it was quite the local celebration. hundreds of people crowded the town square (or "the diamond," as we call it) to watch a parade which culminated in santa's arrival by trolley, accompanied by miss ligonier's court. it was freezing, and dylan was a bit overwhelmed, but all in all, it was quite the festive family outing.

a few more pictures from the weekend with my family who came in from philly and brooklyn:

i think we are out of the woods with the swine flu, praise God. thank you for all your prayers!



i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

--e.e. cummings


possibly the most un-well-child visit, ever

i took dylan and james to the doctor yesterday for their two year and one month check-ups, respectively, and we left with a script for an ear infection for dylan and a lab order for blood work for james, who was running a fever.

some well-child exam, huh?

also, how did i miss that my baby was running such a high fever? i feel like an awesome mother.

i took both kids to the hospital for the blood work on james' tiny little baby arm, and it turns out he has H1N1.

my baby has swine flu.

if you are a praying person, would you lift him up? he's so little, and because of that, susceptible to complications. he's doing well so far, nursing and staying hydrated, and his fever is not so high, but he is just so little!

presumably, dylan is the one who exposed james, and we think jim might have had it this summer. i had a fever and flu symptoms last week but i think it was mastitis, not swine flu, so i could still get sick. and my family is coming for thanksgiving.

nothing like really creating a welcoming environment for guests, huh?

our decision to order thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant is looking wiser and wiser. i know, not green at all, and not in keeping with my love for cooking, but at least we can hope dinner is being cooked far away from contagion.

and i can have both hands free to cuddle my sweet, sick boy.



i neglected to mention earlier that jim took two deer during archery season this fall: a doe and this nice eight point buck.

he's a regular legolas, if legolas shot deer instead of orc and traded his blond tresses for a camo balaclava...

notice dylan's complete lack of horror. our friend patrick got a deer first, and when it was hanging (i know) and i was out at a MOPS girls' night, jim took our toddler up to see it and let her pet it. all week, all she she she could talk about was "pet pat's deer! see pat's deer!"

oh, we country all right.


happy birthday, 2 year old!

happy birthay, dylan elizabeth. you bring so much joy to our hearts and home.

you are bright and inquistive, and your eye for detail continually surprises us. you are constanting observing, processing, and learning from the world around you.

you're a tough kid: when you take a spill, dad tells you to "shake it off," and you do, every time:)

you make us laugh all the time, like when you clench and raise both fists and declare "excited!" or when you point at me in a tank top and count "two milks: one, two!" (note to self, no tank tops in public for a while!)

you are your father's daughter, imploring always to "go outside," "shoot bow," and "see deer." and of course, you're my girl, too, with your love of books and words.

you never met an animal you didn't like, and you love your family, far and near. you are already a fantastic big sister--kind, affectionate, and so helpful.

we are so thankful for you, sweet girl!

poor thing was sick for her birthday--fever and everything--but we still made cupcakes and our sweet friends came over , figuring they'd already been exposed.
this (and most) of these pictures are ridiculously blurry, but not anymore ridiculous than those sunglasses;)
licking the beaters is the best
checking out the great kitchen set from grammy and poppy

even today, she's still not all better. (her b-day was yesterday.) we'll probably skip church and have a low-key day at home tomorrow.

something must have clicked with dylan turning two, because tonight she is asleep in the big girl bed that that she's been refusing to sleep in for about two months. amazing!


sweet baby james

i realize that i have an infant son and like two pictures of him, but the thing is, i'm ALWAYS holding him, and if he's not nursing or sleeping, he's pretty much crying. not exactly a formula for great baby pics. yesterday, i did get a good crying shot, complete with down-turned lip and quivering chin (oh, the quivering chin!), but even if i wanted to post it i couldn't. our internet and computer situation is less-than-optimal. we have two hand-me-down computers--a PC that refuses to go online but stores our photos, and a Mac that barely goes online. it's letting me type this, but it's only partially reading the page and deleted my post the last time i wrote it. so, no picture posting in the immediate future...

shall i just tell you about the baby?

he is getting BIG. at three weeks james weighs almost 11 lbs, a milestone itty bitty dylan didn't reach for months. of course, he's still a wee little newborn, but he's so much bigger than he was at birth. he's a good nurser, evidenced by his chubby cheeks and double chin;)

james is STRONG. he was actually born with the thick, muscular thighs i never thought existed on babies. his strong legs make diapering a little bit of a challenge!

and speaking of diapering, we tried out the cloth diapers i got on ebay, and it turns out, they weren't such a great find after all. they were listed to fit an 8-20 lbs babe, but they are already too small. they must have sent me size newborn instead, and as james doesn't have scrawny newborn legs, they're unusable. boooo. we have usable covers and prefolds, but i was really looking forward to having little fitted diapers for him.

james is a good sleeper. he only wakes twice a night, so we're actually feeling pretty well rested, which is a huge praise. the downside is that he's sleeping with us now, and we'd really like to get him into his own bed. i hope that once he has more wakeful time and begins to establish more regular sleep patterns, we'll be able to get him to sleep on his own in his cradle or pack 'n play for longer stretches. but in the meantime, it IS nice to snuggle with my sweet baby:)

well, james is actually contently awake in my arms, which hasn't happened much, so i should go enjoy. of course, dylan is having a tantrum. you can't win 'em all!


a lively sense of your presence

"dylan, i've got a song for you," he said, strumming his guitar.

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

--"Forever Young," Bob Dylan

our internet has been down, so i'm just now posting pictures from last weekend, when my parents, sister bethany, and her boyfriend came out to visit and meet the baby. we had such a nice time together and were blessed with unseasonably beautiful weather.

we took james to church together for the first time, and our priest asked us to come forward so they could pray for our family. it was so meaningful that i wanted to record it here:
Dear friends, the birth of child is a joyous and solemn occasion in the life of a family. It is also an occasion for rejoicing n the Christian community. I bid you, therefore, to join Jim and Suzannah in giving thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, the Lord of all life, for the gift of James to be their son, and with Dylan, for a new brother.

Let us pray.

O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever received a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself: We give you thanks for the blessing you have bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


when we were three

i took this photo of dylan and jim in the yard the afternoon before james was born and we became a family of four.

more wordless wednesday: 5 min for mom and momdot


trick or treat

kids in animal ears = one of my favorite things
it is nearly impossible to capture a real smile on this child, but at least this beats the wide-open, mouth agape that we often get when we request a smile!

that tail!
we took dylan out for her first trick-or-treating, and i was so glad not to miss it. the business district in our town hands out candy to kids, and it was such a festive atmosphere. dylan really enjoyed herself and was such a polite trick-or-treater. then we met up with friends, and jim took dylan up another street while james and i hung out. he did not wear a costume; he just slept in the sling the whole time. maybe next year he'll be a kangaroo--it's actually size 6-12 months!

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