Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

catch the moon

noah and i recently found this video surfing around on youtube. elizabeth mitchell is one of our favorite singers, and here she sings with lisa loeb. they also have another fun one called stop and go.

i was inspired to share this after i watched the video eden shared on her blog. this one is of a nyc school choir singing the innocence mission song, "there." it's really inspiring.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sealed by the holy spirit

isla louise was baptized on november 2, all saint's day, at saint paul's episcopal church in bellingham. it was a lovely service with about 10 other candidates! we felt sad that isla's godparents couldn't be present, but her grandparents stood in for them. and we count you all as her extended community, and therefore charge you to "do all in your power to support this person in her life in christ... with god's help!"

grandma made this gorgeous baptism dress. i wanted something wintry and very simple, made from cream with a little pale pink. grandma mixed and matched a few patterns to come up with this. it is so lovely. and so is its wearer!

she is sealed by the holy spirit and marked as christ's own forever. hooray!

Monday, November 17, 2008

alaskan friends

we recently hosted our friends andy, jenny, maia and blaise for almost two weeks. they live in petersburg, the island in southeast alaska where aaron and i spent the summer after our wedding.

they just built this gorgeous house there.

the winters in petersburg are cold and dark, and so our friends came south to spend a few months in ashland, OR with jenny's family. and bellingham is a convenient stop on the way.

(to read more about their housebuilding project, go here to the cool blog of a friend of theirs in portland.)

the cowans were here two and a half years ago as well, during the weeks before, during and after noah's birth. then, as now, they were great guests--cooking, cleaning and generally being helpful. it's been hard to get back in the kitchen since they've gone!

they brought special treats like smoked salmon, black cod, alaskan coffee, and best of all, a ton of yellow cedar and hemlock boards aaron will use for trim and kitchen cabinets in the house.

noah had lots of fun with little blaise (about three months younger than him) and maia (five years old). there was also a good deal of bopping, grabbing toys and general unrest. it's hard to share your home and your things with friends. but we know this about community living--the good parts make the hard parts worthwhile.

we had a fun trip to the pumkin patch at stoney ridge farm.

jenny chillin' in the yard.

maia and isla--two girls in pink.

such a long lineup!

one of noah's favorite things to do is make lineups with his cars and trucks. last night he made maybe the longest one ever! he was very proud.

(the funniest part is that often he'll have his tow truck somewhere in the middle towing another car.)

isla talks

some more news from a little girl

Saturday, November 15, 2008

expressive girl

she is telling a very important story.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


i just posted lots of recent pictures here. thanks to isla for snoozing for so long so i could do it!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

a terribly two-year-old week

for the most part, we have not found noah's second year to be terrible. instead it has been super fun to watch our little boy grow. he's so physically competent, he's very communicative and inquisitive, he's hilarious and loving. every day he learns new things, and teaches me a thing or two as well.

but last week, for whatever reason, was terrible. i think it was for a few reasons, actually: we'd had our friends the cowans visiting for almost two weeks, which was fun but also hard; noah had a terrible cold; we all got his cold; and i was grumpy and stressed out. this all led to a few days of very naughty boy. aaron and i broke out the parenting books. we asked our friends what their kids are like, and how they deal with discipline. i talked to our doctor about it. i cried. a lot.

even more than being upset at the naughtiness, though, i felt saddened by noah's grumpy, distant attitude. and the thought that somehow suddenly my funny, sweet, warm little boy was no longer any of those things. the idea of this loss was too much for me. i felt really really sad.

but just as suddenly as the terrible week began, it ended. noah is not a mean boy who doesn't love his mama. he is a two-year-old who had a hard week. and this week he is a mama's boy again, cuddling and laughing and listening. we are friends again.

but i think it was important for us to go through the terrible week. reading the books and talking with friends have inspired us to make a few changes in the hopes of making life easier--less conflict meaning fewer opportunities for noah to be naughty or for me to lose patience.

here are some ideas:
  • have routines (while still being flexible). help him know what to expect, and what's expected of him.
  • help him be independent. he has his own shoe box by the door now, and we're working on taking shoes off right away when we come in. we want to put up some coathooks by the door at his level as well.
  • don't plan things i know will be stressful. (like shopping) one thing we found out is stressful for a two-year-old is sharing your small house with another family of four for two weeks. and sharing all your toys with another two-year-old boy.
  • feed him good food. but don't stress if he doesn't eat.
  • make some things choices, but others statements. for example, oatmeal or eggs for breakfast? no big deal. but other things he doesn't get to choose: it's time to get into the stroller, not, do you want to get into the stroller? hopefully understanding these types of expectations will actually take some stress off him.
  • have a few basic rules that, if broken, lead to time-out. i'm not sure what these should be yet.
  • try to use positive language as much as possible. talk about what he can do.
  • go outside every day.
  • make time for just noah.
  • remember that he is a two-year-old, and, in theory, incapable of empathy, sharing, and understanding consequences. crazy!!
  • oh, and PRAY! when i read this suggestion in dr. sears' book, i thought, wow, what a great idea! why didn't i think of that? i want to start praying more for noah and also with him.
dr. sears says that discipline is about raising a child in the way he should go (and when he is old, he will not part from it)--and takes that to mean the way that particular child should go. to do this, above all you have to know your child and help discern the way that child should go. and knowing our children better so we can help guide them better is a wonderful and practical idea. discipline is not about punishment, although that might be part of it. mostly it should be about helping our children feel right and act right. i want to do that.