Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Cousin!

We are so happy that little Samantha Christine Schrage has made her appearance! Our children finally have a cousin! Kevin and I are now officially an uncle and aunt. We are overjoyed. And congratulations to Shannon and Jeff!

Last night after Samantha was born, I asked Kevin how it felt to be an uncle. We talked about how there is more fullness-of-family than before. It’s an absolutely wonderful feeling. We already love Samantha so much, even though we haven’t even met her yet.

And we look forward to another cousin when Megan and Kc welcome their little boy into the world next month. It will be so fun watching the three babies grow up.

Update on Three

A while ago I speculated on how life would be with three children. Here is the verdict: It was more difficult on me physically to be pregnant with two preschoolers, than to have a newborn with two preschoolers. I’m really very glad to be on this side of pregnancy. Except for being tired from being up throughout the night with a baby, I feel so much better.

The most challenging thing now is that I’m a lot busier. I have no time to take naps. There have been a few days when I think I’ll get lucky and be able to squeeze one in. But, inevitably, the baby needs to be fed again or there are other fires that need to be put out. Each day, I go from one thing to the next thing with my mind in a fog.

I have risen to new heights in multi-tasking abilities. I thought I was pretty good before but lately I’ve had to learn to be better in order to survive. My multi-tasking prowess is especially evident when I have to nurse the baby and take care of the issues that arise with two preschoolers in the house—cleaning up spills, nurturing wounds, breaking up fights and disciplining children, changing loads of laundry, etc., all while breastfeeding. You should seriously see me in action! I am woman, hear me roar.

Lately the most trying thing for our family is dealing with some of Sophia’s burp/gas issues. She cries a lot at night because of the pain. I am trying to eliminate dairy, broccoli and onions from my diet to help with this. So far it seems to be helping a little bit. It’s made me realize how much eating the foods I like bolsters the quality of my life. It also has made me realize how much food I eat mindlessly. I’ve never had to be careful with my diet before. I would put dressing on my salad without even thinking. I can’t do that anymore.

I asked Kevin, “What if I had to do this forever? If I had to live the rest of my life without being able to drink mochas, would life even be worth living?” He said, “Yes, you would just have to learn to like soy mochas.” Thanks, Kev.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Growing and Visiting





The picture below was taken a week ago. The pictures above were taken today. Our little girl is growing and changing every day!

Melissa and Meredith have played for hours and hours in the snow!


After her first "real" bath. Third-borns get a lot of sponge baths!!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Fat Cheeks

Sophie's cheeks are getting fat (both sets). ;-) When I'm holding her on my shoulder I love to rest my chin against her soft, plump cheek (the facial set). She still has that sweet-smelling newborn skin, too.

Sophie is already starting to get a very light blue ring around her pupils, so we predict another blue-eyed Koons girl! She's very alert when she's awake and she is constantly craning her neck to see stuff. At her three week doctor appointment last Thursday, she weighed 9 lbs., 1 oz. and everything appears very healthy. We feel very blessed.

Here are some pics I took today of my baby girl:




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Snow and Ice

Several mornings last week we woke up to the most beautiful ice formed on all the trees and bushes behind our house. Breathtaking. We've been getting a lot of snow here, tho' not as much as our friends in D.C.!!



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Friday, February 05, 2010

How to make Snow Ice Cream ...

First, you pray that it will snow lots of white, fluffy snow in your backyard. Then, you collect the snow in a big bowl:

Then you add sugar:

Then you add vanilla, while your little sister eats the extra, spilled sugar:

Then you add milk, while your sister is still trying to eat all the spilled sugar:

Then you stir it really, really good:

Then you get to enjoy it, preferably with sprinkles:

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A Real Live Baby Doll



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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Life After Birth

After dinner last night Kevin and I were taking in the scenery—the brightly colored newborn paraphernalia that now dots our living room, toys scattered by playful preschooler hands, dinner lovingly prepared for us by someone else, served on paper plates. We have probably killed three trees in the last month with all the paper products we are using.

Clara had been smiling and making her little toddler jokes, which are funny not because of their content but because of how she says them. And for a full 30 minutes, we had been trying to convince her to just take “three more bites.” We are constantly amazed at how torturously slow she eats dinner.

Then we looked over at Meredith, who was lying on the floor. She is the third person in our family to get the flu bug this past week. I was first in line. Then it was Clara’s turn. I had never been so sick in all my life. I had no energy. Kevin had to carry me from the bathroom to bed. It was really awful. Thankfully Sophia finally took formula because there was no possible way I could breastfeed her. Poor Meredith looked so bad last night, lying pale and limp on the floor.

We groaned in anticipation of another long night, feeding a newborn, and helping a sick child to the bathroom. And Kevin really couldn’t afford to lose more sleep, since he has some pressing deadlines at the office.

I asked Kevin, “So, are you doing okay?” He got a twinkle in his eye and quipped, “Yeah, just living the dream.” With that comment, I lost it and started laughing my head off. He joined in and we both had a really good laughing session.

Seriously, though, after having the flu with an 8-day old baby, I don’t see how things could get worse. So, I’m cautiously optimistic that life is going to be okay now. I feel that we are starting to get back into the swing of things. Yesterday I got all three kids ready for an early morning departure and things went surprisingly smoothly. (Granted, I did do most of the prep work the night before!) Sophia is doing well and gaining weight. I’m starting to get my energy back. Heck, today I even fit into a non-maternity pair of pants. Life is good!!

One thing I want to say is that there is no possible way that I could have gotten to this point so quickly without the outpouring of love we have received from friends and also Kevin’s mom (and dad too!). Kevin’s mom, dear Laura, has bailed me out numerous times—taking the kids for the afternoon or day, and also helping to make sure I was cared for after getting the flu. I am very blessed to have had her there for me.

I am also completely overwhelmed at how many meals we have received, and are still receiving. One person who brought a meal is someone I hardly even know—I’ve only ever had two brief conversations with her. Yet, she made this amazing meal that was obviously prepared with care and concern. Another person works full time and has two small children and I know it must have been a hardship. We have had church friends, three different neighbors, and also my MOPS friends bring us dinners. I am blown away by how generous people have been. All in all, it adds up to about 20 meals.

With each meal I receive and eat, I am more determined to give back more than I receive. It has made a big difference for me and my family. Thank you everyone—not only did you meet a physical need, you also inspire me to bless others more.