Monday, March 30, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This One's Mine

This video is actually a month old, and Libby's voice sounds funny because she had a cold. But I love it.

Kitchen Before and After



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

Miss Libby is definitely mine. She happily hangs out, content to stay in one place and watch all that's going on around her. Occasionally she takes a little "roll" out of the room to see what's happening in the bathroom, but she has found no reason to get serious about crawling or moving on to any of the next developmental levels. While I have not been in a hurry to have her on the move (hello...I am Adam's I really need to be pulling more kids off the chandeliers?), it was actually getting a little worrisome that she wasn't showing any interest in finding a more appropriate way to get from Point A to Point B than rolling.

Apparently all she needed was for me to leave town for a little bit. While I was at our church's women's retreat over the weekend, Libby started army crawling! It's awkward and slow, but she's definitely scooching herself forward bit by bit. And she didn't stop there. She now pushes herself up into a sitting position, claps her hands (and is oh-so pleased with herself), and "talks" up a storm. She's even named the little lamb toy on her changing table "Ba-ba." Really! She came up with it on her own and says it every time she sees it. It's so funny that it all happened practically overnight. It seems each day she shows us a new trick. What a joy it is all over again to watch each new little one of ours blossom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Nichols Family Goes to Church...Lord, Have Mercy

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

I've been feeling frustrated with church lately...mainly by my not being in it. A slew of ear infections have kept Libby out of the church nursery and me home with her throughout the winter. Now she seems to be on the mend, and we are back in our seats at church...with the addition of Adam, who has aged out of the toddler nursery and has joined us in "big church." All in all, he's done better than I expected, but he does announce (loudly) at the end of each song/prayer/announcement, "OK. Let's get out of here." So even when I'm there, I'm not really there.

As the service began on Sunday, Steve and I fell into our man-on-man defense -- he took charge of Adam, and I was handling Andrew. What with keeping an ear out for Adam's next inevitable public announcement and helping Andrew with the children's bulletin, I was quite aware of my inability to focus on the whole reason we were there. And while I experienced the familiar frustration -- when am I ever going to get to concentrate and worship? -- I had an overwhelming sense of assurance that this is just a season. Training for these little guys has to start somewhere. What a privilege to teach them, first to sit still and quiet, then to be able to sing and listen, and hopefully eventually to take to heart what they hear. It's just a little rough getting out of the gate.

And, as if in response to me letting go of my frustration, God gave me something to treasure up in my heart. Andrew, who hates all singing and who as a baby used to yell at me to quit singing the ABC's, began reading the words on the screen and singing, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on me." Watching my little boy mouthing the ancient kyrie did something to me. It's why we're there with our children. It's why we go back with them week after week -- May through October anyway ; someone's always sick in the winter -- for what sometimes feels like another round of parental punishment, picking up loudly dropped pencils and discouraging little feet from kicking the seats in front of them. So I may not be fully "there" in church for a while, but I will be looking for treasures where I can find them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bye-Bye, Helmet!

The day we've been waiting for is here! Libby graduated from her DOC band today. She now sports a beautiful round head, free of a flat spot and ready for hairbows! We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate. I would love to tell you that our family's favorite restaurant is some cute, trendy place -- that our kids yell "Firebirds!" when we ask them where they want to eat. Maybe someday. However, for now their criteria for a great night out at a restaurant is getting to throw peanut shells on the floor with impunity and seeing giant paintings of speckled bass and blue marlins leaping out of the water as they munch french fries and color their place mats. One place fits the bill...Logan's Steak House. And since they serve sweet potatoes (South Beach friends!) and I could drink their ranch dressing straight, Steve and I don't mind the kids' choice. Usually we don't take pictures at restaurants, but tonight we wanted to document Libby's first official night out without the helmet.

Monday, March 9, 2009

9-Month Stats

I couldn't resist another muppet picture...

Libby is 9 months old! Hard to believe when in my mind, I'm still pregnant with Adam. Anyway, we went to the pediatrician for her 9-month checkup today. She is 22 lbs., 2 oz. (94th %ile) and 30 inches (actually off the charts, so Dr. Ezzo put down 99th %ile just to be able to put down the official "putting down place"). I find it so unbelievable that this little girl whose sweet face and nature remind me so much of my tiny little 5' 2" Grandma Ruby and who came from my 5' 2 3/4" body is, well, kind of a beast. Guess who's going to college on a basketball scholarship?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Poppa Keith!

Today we went to my dad's to celebrate his birthday. It was actually yesterday, which made his birthday this year 03.06.09. I am unreasonably excited about that date since the numbers are successive multiples of 3. And he turned 63 (there are those 3's again!). I just find those number patterns happy and comforting. But I digress (in my own nerdy way).

Since Mom is at Abby's helping with baby Mary Caroline, Lindsay, Gwen, and Whitney came home to help celebrate Dad's birthday as well. It was a gorgeous spring day (81 degrees on the way home!), and the kids had a ball wishing "Poppa Teef" (Adam speak, which always reminds me of this guy) many happy returns.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Cousin!

Andrew, Adam, and Libby have a new cousin! Aunt Abby and Uncle Adam welcomed baby Mary Caroline last week. Mary Caroline surprised everyone by showing up almost a month early. She stayed an extra week in the special care nursery -- apparently she really liked hospital food -- but was able to come home yesterday! We are all so excited and just cannot wait to meet Mary Caroline in person. Welcome, baby cousin! (Not sure why this picture is so miniscule -- I cannot for the life of me make it bigger!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Still Holding onto the Fantasy

So today Adam told the hygienist at the dentist's office that Andrew pushed him down the stairs. Yeah. I see another "legend of Gangee" story being born here...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Moonlight Reflections

This could have been a very different post. I don't even want to think about all the ways it could've been different. Steve and I were watching "American Idol" last night at 9:15 when we heard a horrible thumping, rolling, make-your-heart-drop-into-your-stomach noise. We knew what had happened even as we raced to the steps. Adam fell down the stairs. Our best guess is that he came out of his room to hang out/spy on us at the top of the steps and fell asleep there. Then he apparently rolled or moved in his sleep and took the tumble.

I'll give you the end of the story here to answer the most important question (and let the grandparents breathe): Adam is fine. No concussion, no injuries. Just a brief bloody nose. We did have to take him to the children's ER downtown to rule out a concussion. At first Adam was scared and disoriented. Of course -- poor kid fell asleep and next thing he knew found himself painfully awake in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. But by 10:15, when we were getting him dressed to go to the ER, it was clear to me and Steve that he was fine. As I bundled Adam into the car, drove downtown, sat in the waiting room, met with the doctor, and brought our boy home -- all during the hours when our little family should have been tucked snugly in bed -- my mind was racing.

  • I fear that Adam is beginning to equate mother/son bonding with midnight in the ER in the dead of winter. It's sort of becoming a yearly tradition.

Exhibit A: December 2005, 4 days old, jaundice.

Exhibit B: February 2008, 2 years old, croup.

Exhibit C: March 2009 (he's cutting it close to spring here but helpfully picked a freezing wintery night), 3 years old, possible concussion.

Adam did skip the ER the year he was 1 to go straight to the hospital with RSV. I do appreciate that he's offering a variety of reasons to go midnight bonding with me. Nice that he wants to keep us guessing. I would prefer a different bonding method altogether, however.

  • Children's Services will probably be visiting us shortly. While we were in the waiting room last night, I asked Adam if he remembered what happened. He said, "Yes. Andrew pushed me down the stairs." !!! Then he proceeded to tell the triage nurse the same a few minutes later. I assured her that the 5-year-old brother was not responsible for this particular mishap and was, in fact, sleeping in his own bed when it happened. It probably appeared fishy, though.

  • Gangee (Steve's mom) should be thanking her lucky stars that she was not mentioned last night. Years ago Andrew tripped down the last couple of the basement stairs at the grandparents', and Poppa jokingly asked Andrew if Gangee pushed him down the stairs. A year and a half later, Andrew was still talking in all seriousness about the time Gangee pushed him down the stairs. Gangee, I believe if you had been implicated in another stair-pushing incident, Children's Services would be at your door. And probably the FBI since you would have had to cross state lines to commit the crime.

  • To the owner of the apartment complex on Monroe Road which has been on the news as the scene of more than one murder over the years, I would respectfully submit the following: Hire a better PR firm. "Your Journey Ends Here" is not the best slogan for your complex. Yikes. (I know this has nothing to do with Adam, but you notice everything when you're driving down the road after midnight with no traffic.)

  • Last night's consult with the ER doctor totally reminded me of one of my favorite movies, A Christmas Story. You know the scene when Ralphie wants to ask Santa for the Red Ryder BB gun? He waits and waits and waits in line, enduring stares from the weird kid, rude helper elves, and annoying Wizard of Oz characters trying to break his concentration. He finally gets to Santa and asks for the gun, only to have Santa say, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" Same idea. After the big scare of seeing our little boy pathetic and crumpled at the bottom of the steps, driving in the freezing dead of night to the hospital, and (hopefully) convincing the triage nurse that Adam was not the victim of fraternal abuse, we finally got to see the doctor, who basically said, "Don't fall down the stairs again, kid." And honestly? We are grateful that those were the words we heard.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One Week and Counting!

And...just because she's so darn cute...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wiped Out

After playing in the snow, we had some tired boys! Here are Adam, Josh (Andrew's BFF), and Andrew recovering from their fun day. I love seeing them all snuggled up like puppies together!