Sunday, September 25, 2011


News About Our MunchIn

At her 1-month appointment, Naomi weighed in at 8 lbs 7 oz and stretched out at 19.75 inches. That equates to the 17th, 3rd, and 30th percentiles for weight, length and head. Seventeenth percentile?! At 4 and 2 years old, I don't think that either one of her siblings ever made it to the 17th percentile. Heck, I think Justin might have broke double digits for the first time this year. Yep... Naomi Janelle... our big fat baby. Only in this household with the 17th percentile earn you that title. Hilarious.

Otherwise, things are going well. She's up to about a 6 hour stretch between meals at night, and so our sleep patterns (and hence lives in general) are starting to stabilize some. She's lifting and turning her head like a champ and also starting to make some occasional cooing sounds. In all, I don't know what's more amazing... watching her development, or thinking about how little we remember from Justin's and Jasmine's infant stages. Simply clueless. Thank God for blog entries. Time to browse the archives.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yes... They're Crazy

When starting a new job, moving to a new state, buying a house, having a baby, and starting preschool just isn't enough change to make your life interesting... get a dog. Meet Tasha (she came with that name): Our 7-year-old Great Pyrenees stray rescue. Or as mommy calls her, our big stinky dog.

We've been a family of 5 for four weeks... and a family of 5 with a dog for 3. We're not sure how long this experiment is going to last. But as they say at Olive Garden; while she's here, she's family.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Something Screwy

If you're ever trying to call me and I don't answer my phone, there's pretty good change that I'm somewhere in the house changing a light bulb. New house tally: 103 light bulbs, total. 79 inside. 24 out. And 1 homeowner holding his breath in anticipation of the first power bill.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Milestones XXIX

Justin's recent milestones have been trumped (and rightfully so) by Naomi's arrival, but alas it's time for him to shine again. This week is officially his 3rd week in preschool! Much to his delight, we marked the occasion with his switch to a booster seat; and things just took off from there.

In truth, it's almost a good thing that I haven't been able to blog about it all because the whole experience has been so amazing to me that I probably could have written a new entry about it every day. But now I'm forced to summarize, which is probably not a bad thing. The bottom line is that he loves it and looks forward to it each day. It turns out that he left home with a pretty good foundation, and so we can't say that he is learning a whole lot with respect to academics. However, the non-academic parts of the experience are shaping him in ways that are just too numerous to name. Justin is our weird combination of free-spirited, introverted yet talkative, reserved yet rambunctious, independent yet needy for attention; and this experience is definitely allowing him to figure out how to combine all of those attributes in a way that works for both him and the world outside of home. Granted, he has been in other multi-kid structured environments away from us; but none that required any magnitude of attentiveness (think "free play") or that had any level of consistency, permanence, or intent to add value to his life.

For the first time in his life, he gets to decide all by himself who will be (and won't be) his friends. That's just one simple thing, but it's little things like that that make this so interesting to me. It's the constant thought process that he now must participate in. There's growth everyday in how he thinks, how he talks about things, how he interacts; and it's all very apparent. I'm sure it'll wear off at some point, but for 3 weeks the highlight of my day has been arriving about 20 minutes before dismissal just to hide behind the big oak tree next to the playground and simply watch him come into his own. To watch the decisions he makes, the way he interacts in our absence, and more than anything else; the simple and pure joy on his face as he runs through the yard. For every other minute in the day, I don't think I see him as anything else but "our son." Just Justin. But for those 20 minutes, he's not just our son, but an individual. A real (little) person, if that makes any sense. And it just tickles me to watch and suddenly think of him so differently. It's hard to explain, but the point is that it makes my day every time.

All along, our thought was that school would be a very temporary thing. In truth, it was never about him at all. The original objective was simply to decrease the kid-count at home from 3 to 2 for a while as Venesa adjusted to all the life changes we've made (new state, new house, new baby). But now... well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. On the first day of school, I was glad simply to not be the parent of one of those kicking and screaming "don't leave me here" kids. But now I'm wondering if the kicking and screaming might come when we tell him that it's time to come back home.


2:32 am. I'm woken up by violent shakes... "Babe... Wake up... I need your help."

And before I fully come to, 1000 different thoughts flow through my head. House on fire? Nah... she's too calm. Naomi running a fever? That sounds like the right level of urgency. Or maybe there's a bug somewhere. Man, if I see another water bug... But she wouldn't wake me for that... unless it was someplace really crazy... Maybe one of the toilets or sinks are leaking again. Great... more water damage.

After about five more shakes I'm finally awake enough to hear the end of her plea: "Babe.. There's a frog in the pantry. I need you to get it out!"

And all I could think was... WHAT?! You could've given me 1000 more guesses, and I would've never guessed that one. Oh yeaaah... Frogs in the pantry. We're officially country.

Disclaimer 1: The frog in the photo is not the one from the pantry (it's actually not a frog at all... it's a toad... but I digress). The one in the pantry was actually a lot smaller. It almost looked like a tadpole, it was so small. The one in the photo is one of our garage frogs (err... I mean toads). The bottom line is that they're everywhere. Maybe it's time we start naming 'em.

Monday, September 5, 2011

19 Days

To think that, if things had gone "according to plan"; Venesa would have still been pregnant for the past 3 weeks. The way that she was (or should I say was not) getting around pre-Naomi, I couldn't even imagine her going the full 40 weeks now. But thankfully, here we are: post-delivery and 19 days into life with 3 kids. And somehow it seems like we've been here forever.

Last night, Naomi ate at around 10:30, passed out, and slept until about 4 am. Granted, that's not exactly the norm. However, it's a fair testament to the fact that things have continued to go well with our newest addition to the fam. Besides the occasion request to kiss Naomi, Justin has pretty much gone about his business. Jasmine, however, is ready to open a daycare. And it's not just her intentions. Her level of help has truly been off the charts. She's so quick with a diaper and wipe that you'd think she was wearing a super hero baby changing utility belt (you simply think about changing a diaper and BAM there she is). From lactation consultant to baby shampoo attendant, that girl is on it. In the midst of her strong-willed, independent nature, she totally has continued to demonstrate the heart of a servant. A bit ironic, but a total joy to watch.

Mom and Dad? We're hanging in there, too. We're enjoying all of the extended family that has come and gone. We're also steady getting the house in order, and taking a moment every chance we get to simply enjoy this busy yet unique moment in time.

Baby Stats: As babies typically do, Naomi probably dipped below her birth weight during the first few days by at least about 6 or 7 ounces. But she was back up to 6 lb 12 ounces by her week 2 check-up. Not a single picture I've taken seems to demonstrate just how much smaller she is compared to her brother and sister during their first weeks of life. Funny how much of a difference a couple of pounds can make at this stage. As of now, we can't figure out if she is getting noticeably bigger every day (it sure seems like it) or if we're just a little less awed by her "teeny tiny-ness" everyday as we get used to her. Like most things, I'm willing to bet that it's a little bit of both.