Saturday, July 30, 2011

Express Yourself

Clara is (just a sec while I check the calendar) ...12 weeks old! I have totally lost all concept of time and space since she was born. My dad took these pictures of her precious face yesterday at the park. Her expressions crack me up! Check out those slobber bubbles! She's a bubble blowing champion.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Splash Pool

Ruby is one with nature at Grammy and Papa's house. She can watch a turkey and a baby fawn jump around in the woods while she splashes around on the porch.

Clean Clara

Clara does NOT like taking baths, but she DOES like getting all wrapped up in a towel after her bath, so that's what we took a picture of.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jumping Bean

A few days ago on Sesame Street, during Elmo's World, there was a part about "jumping" that showed all these kids jumping and explaining how to jump. Since then, Ruby has been jumping everywhere. My favorite part about her jump is that she hardly gets her feet off the ground. I love it.

Friday, July 22, 2011


  1. Planking cracks me up.
  2. I love Aussies.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our New Town - The Giant Eagle

It's always funny to move to a new place. There are so many things that are entertaining and different the first time you encounter them. Because of this, I am dedicating a series of posts to "Our New Town." This is the 2nd one.

We love the Giant Eagle (or as Ryan calls it, the "Massive Eagle/Really Huge Eagle") grocery store at the end of our street. We didn't have these in Michigan.

In the short time we have lived here, Ryan has learned the ins and outs of maximizing savings at the Giant Eagle. For every dollar spent, you earn points toward discounts on gallons of gas. Many people we have met have been getting completely free gas for years. Pretty much, in addition to groceries, if you buy gift cards from Giant Eagle for stores you're planning to go to, you earn a lot of gas points. Eventually, once you need gas you can get up to 30 gallons of discounted gas in one shot... and since our cars only hold 18 gallons, we picked up a couple of 5-gallon tanks at Lowe's to get our 30 gallons worth. Smart, eh?

Planning a shopping trip to Lowe's this week? Why not stop by the Giant Eagle to pick up a Lowe's gift card? Got an order on Amazon coming up? Pick up an Amazon gift card at the Giant Eagle next time you're there. 

We waited until the van was running on fumes, then filled up the van and both gas cans.
... FOR FREE! 
As soon as we got home, Ryan fueled up the Mazda 
... ALSO FREE! Check out that $95 savings!
Yeah, we're "those" people.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Homestead Park

This morning I took the girls over to a park not far from our house. It's called "The Homestead Park" and it has all sorts of age-appropriate play areas and it's FREE!! There is a train station with an actual caboose to explore, a butterfly garden, a water area with a castle that has water cannons and hoses all over the place, a huge sandbox, a couple of playgrounds, a toddler area full of water tables that the kids can put rocks in. You get my Ruby girl some rocks and water and she is good to go for hours!

So today we checked out the sandbox area. She loved it.

"You hear that helicopter?"
She found a lot of rocks. she could not be more excited about rocks.
This was the weirdest swing I've ever seen. As Ruby was swinging and laughing she kept yelling, "This is a huge one!" over and over. So funny.

"This is a HUGE ONE!"
I could take Ruby to The Homestead Park everyday, but to a different play area and she would think it was a totally new adventure every time! Yes. I think that's what I'll do. Otherwise, she'll just sit at home in her "Baby Dawn's" stroller saying, "I can give you a ride!?!?" which, when translated from Ruby language means, "Mommy, can you give me a ride?"
"I can give you a ride?!?!?"
And here's Clara girl, practicing her kangaroo hands while watching her monkey.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our New Town - Homedominiums

It's always funny to move to a new place. There are so many things that are entertaining and different the first time you encounter them. Because of this, I will dedicate a series of posts to "Our New Town" starting with this one.

Our place where we are renting is really funny. All the houses look the same. When I go for a walk, I have trouble finding my way back to our house. Every street I look down looks the same. I decided to start parking the van outside to help me find my way home from the playground. Ruby likes to play "spot our van" with me. Sometimes she finds our way home for us, and I appreciate that about her.

For safety reasons, this is not a picture of our homedominium - but you get the idea.
I got my hair chopped off last week (just 5 inches) and the girl who cut it told me she calls these types of neighborhoods "homedominiums" which I think is really funny.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Ugly Cry is Not the Best Way to Make Friends.

I've been looking forward to today for many weeks. Today was the day that I got to go to the first "Side by Side" event. Side by Side is a group of Christian women who happen to have spouses in the medical field. Here's what it's all about:
Life as a medical wife can sometimes be difficult. Many women struggle with resentment, exhaustion, loneliness and isolation. They've often been uprooted from their families and moved away from home, in order for their husband to build his career. For those who have children, they often feel like a single mom, with almost all of the child rearing responsibility falling on them.
That's where Side by Side steps in. We believe there is something unique about the support other medical wives can offer each other. We offer women a place where people understand what they are going through, where they find friends and surrogate family members, and where they find help and companionship.
Sounds like the perfect place for me, eh? I think so too! I'm so excited about getting totally involved in every aspect of the group and hopefully helping other women in the next few years while I'm here in Columbus and then starting my own Side By Side group when Ryan is an Attending Physician... but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So here's where the story gets interesting.

At today's get-together there were 25-30 women who were all there for the same reasons as me! Needing a support system so we can be better supporters of our husbands during their medical training. A bunch of them have kids too, and there are weekly bible studies and events, like my MOPS group was, but with all medical wives. I got this picture from their website. Look at all those kids!

Well, as one of the leaders was talking to us about how she would love us to consider her a surrogate mom during this time when we are away from our families, something inside of me broke. I totally lost my marbles in front of everyone who I was hoping would be my new friends...

This wasn't just a couple of pretty little tear drops in the corner of my eye, no. This was a full-fledged, face in my hands, shoulders heaving, ugly cry. I knew my face as red and blotchy, but I decided to look up anyway because I wanted to try to let everyone know that I was just really happy... but then, at that very moment I got super sweaty... like, my whole entire body sweated all at once.

Basically, I could not have made a more memorable first impression. Unfortunately, it was not the impression I hoped to leave with all of my new friends. I am now the "unstable, emotional one who can't hold it together and apparently is not doing very well as a doctor's wife and really needs a friend" person in the group.

Hopefully in this case everyone will get to know me eventually and I can try to re-do my first impression.

In related news, I just called my doctor from Grand Rapids and asked her to prescribe me a different birth control... the one I'm on is apparently making me insane.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Clara Update

Clara is 8 weeks old already. She is a button. Cutie cutie button. She spends quite a lot of time being fussy during the day, but sleeps like a champ at night. Right now I feed her a late-night feeding around 11:00pm and she sleeps until 6 or 7am! Ah-maze-ing! Pretty soon she'll be on a 4-hour feeding schedule instead of 3, which I'm really looking forward to.

She is so much like Ruby but so different at the same time. Her hair is darker and I think it might be curly. Her little face when she is sleeping looks just like Ruby's did, but when she is awake her expressions are all her own. She has been cooing and blowing bubbles for   a couple of weeks now. I love seeing her getting chubbier and more interactive everyday.

Speaking of expressions...

Tuesday she has her 2-month appointment with our new pediatrician, so I'll know more facts about weight and percentiles and whatnot, but for now, here are some things I know about her.

  • One of my favorite things about her is her ability to cope with her big sister. Ruby lays on her, constantly smells her and announces to everyone around, "She smells like lotion" or "she smells good!"
  • She always sneezes twice.
  • She does not like to be in her car seat, which is a bit of an issue since we spent somewhere between 30-40 hours in the car from the day we moved until now.
  • she loves having her face covered with a blankie, especially when she is napping.
  • she is the happiest when she has a ceiling fan to stare at.

We had a rough start since we packed up our house and moved here right after she was born, but now that we've got some routine in our life and my stress level is SIGNIFICANTLY lower in general, she's doing great. I love her more than I can explain.

This video documents her first month of life, so I am a little behind. I'll catch up one post at a time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ruby Update

Ruby is everything that a 2-year old should be. She can whine and scream and throw fits like the best of them, but she is more often quite pleasant to be around. She loves making friends and talking to any kids that she comes in contact with. I'd say she is a bit of a sparky, sanguine, extrovert type o' gal.

Ruby's favorite game at our new house is finding roly-poly bugs on the floor and flicking them. It's a bit disturbing. Her other favorite game is when I lay on the ground she tries to pick me up, and says over and over, "I can't pick you! I cannot pick you mommy!"

I took this video one of our last mornings in Grand Rapids before we moved. It makes me laugh a lot.

Last week when we were at the lake for a little family vacation Ruby, Clara and I were sitting out on the pontoon parked at the dock and Ryan went back to the house to get Ruby some juice. On his way, the neighbor started talking to him, but from Ruby's point of view he was hidden behind a tree. After awhile, she looked at me and said, "I hear daddy. I hear him not getting juice."  HA! 

Some other funny things she says these days:

  • "It's too fit" - When something is too tight.
  • "I waked up!" she is so excited about this every morning and after every nap.
  • "I'm covered in goose juice" - Ryan says this to her whenever he cleans her up after a meal, now she says it about herself.
  • She has switched from saying she wants things to always "NEED"ing them.
  • "some nother one." instead of "another one" or a "different one"
  • She repeats EVERYTHING she hears. We were at the park and this mom was yelling at her daughter, "Sheyanne! Sheyanne!" over and over while we were there. A little while later, Ruby was yelling from the top of the slide, "SHEYANNE! SHEYANNE!" It was really funny. I'm not sure the other mom thought it was as funny as I did.
I love her joy. Everything is the most amazing, wonderful, incredible thing she has ever seen. Rainbows, lighting bugs, cottage cheese, the fact that she woke up in the morning... it's all equally the best thing that has ever happened. I want to be more like her.