Saturday, December 09, 2017

We've had a hectic week. We went and cut down our Christmas tree last weekend, got it all decorated, tied up some loose ends around the house, and then Dan had foot surgery, and he's out of commission for the discernible future. He's being a real champ about it. We got him one of those wheelie knee scooters, and he even used it to get up off the couch today. Jean took the big kids for the weekend, and Hetta has been enjoying her alone time, crawling under Dan's foot rest, climbing onto the coffee table, stealing chips, breaking things. Today she even enjoyed her first memorable snow (I'm sure it snowed plenty in the months she lived in South Bend, but I don't think we took her out in it when she was so little).

Watching her tv program all by herself.

Sitting on the coffee table, making lunatic faces at me because 1 year old children are unmanageable lunatics.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Hetta is One

Well, she's 1+ by now, but we had to postpone her first cake tasting until Tuesday when she was already 1+4 days, so I wasn't in the retrospective headspace on her actual birthday. There's so much I could say about her as she naps high on my shoulder so my hands are free for typing (the soundness of her day sleep in great contrast to the quality of her sleep at night), but no word so succinct as the meaning of her name, "refuge from war." Even when the war is her own doing, she always offers the sweetest respite with the deepest snuggles, a tearful smile, a well-timed coo, a silly look. She has stolen even the stoniest of our hearts (for example: my brother who has used the following descriptors for my previous children: children of the corn, Vladimir Harkonnen). She regularly charms everyone in the preschool pickup line. She soothes the weariest Grandparent soul. And she is the last of the people on this planet who will love me the most, with totality. I love her so.

A year of this precious human face. She's come a long way from the induced but healthy 7 and a half pound baby who dropped to 5 pounds in a week, who got an anterior tongue tie clipped while her dad was out of town and her mom was feeling desperate (and maybe a bit swindled), who, for months, would only eat breastmilk through a plastic barrier (a bottle and a nipple shield), who didn't reach a growth curve for weight until her 2 month appointment (and, even then, at only 3%). From the dear newborn who cried a constant pitiful hungry cry (that was discernibly devoid of anger) to the cheeriest picture poser in the family. Happiest when I'm holding her, just as I'm happiest when I'm holding her.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Last night we celebrated our first Halloween at the house where our kids will grow up, in the neighborhood they will call their own, and it was awesome. We only walked around the block, and we handily filled 2 buckets nearly to the brim. Joash was ready to take his mask off, and Ammi wished to retire in order to "enjoy (her) candy." The older kids from our street went on to walk the next block, and I imagine their buckets were overflowing. All the candy giving adults were out by the sidewalk, and lots of people had their fire pits going, which fostered a warm, inviting ambiance, even though it was just under 40 degrees. PapaGrandma came to push Hetta in her stroller, and our friends Kenny, Korie, and baby Sam, whose neighborhood does not have tricks or treats, came to rep our house while we were walking around. Then we all came back and watched Charlie Brown and sorted through candy. There are definitely worse ways to spend an evening.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

We made our yearly pilgrimage to an apple orchard to take family photos and get our bushel-ful. It was actually our first year doing so in Cincinnati, having previously procured apples in Michigan (oncetwice) and Indiana (once), so we weren't sure where to go or what to expect. My original intention was to make the trek to Tuken's Orchard, but it was farther than we wanted to go on an uncharacteristically busy weekend for us. To A&M Farm Orchard we went. And it was the right mix of festive and unfettered. We might check out Tuken's next year, but A&M was the perfect fit for us (though I could be persuaded by some apple cider doughnuts).

Hey, and now we finally have family photos with baby Hetta (who turns 1 in 1 month!).

A&M Farm Orchard 2017 from serenity johnson on Vimeo.

Friday, August 18, 2017

We're New England Vacationers now. Dan had vacation time to use up, and we wanted to go to the beach, but we didn't want to go somewhere hotter (because we are not summer people). Furthermore, as an avid Babysitters' Club reader, I've always been enamored by Connecticut, home of the cool and classy Stacey McGill. So it is that we settled on the New Haven area of Connecticut. We actually stayed at a hotel in Milford, which is around 20 minutes away, but pretty centrally located for all the things we ended up doing. The trip was lovely, the weather was perfect, and we're basically buying a summer home now (just kidding, the kids love hotels too much and hotel fun figures prominently in our vacation happiness).

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The end of May and much of June was spent on near constant house renovation. My dad came to do all our big projects (siding, closet combining, front steps building). My brother came to get addicted to The Block. It was a busy and special time. We ate lots of Frisch's, lots of Izzy's, lots of ice cream. I unwittingly and owing to my characteristic impatient laziness turned half my clothes into paint clothes. Joash laid on my laid up brother and watched him play hours and hours of Zelda. Hetta giggled every time Grandpa came into the room. Ammi deigned to dole out a few stingy hugs. I finally got to watch the season finale of Fixer Upper. Big stuff, people. Big stuff.

And, now, July. Bonnie came for an overnight, and we forced her to play Russian Roulette with Bertie Botts Every Flavor Jelly Beans (some of which are vomit flavored, some of which are cherry flavored), and now she'll never return. Yesterday we had Kenny and Korie and Baby Sam (with whom Ammi is free with her affection) over for a patriotic lunch, a kiddie pool splash, and some smokey fireworks. The kids but barely made it to the end of the day for smores and sparklers, and no one woke up from the cascade of fireworks that I peeked through the front blinds to watch. It was the kind of day that makes you extra thankful to have a place of your own. We were in and out of the house, up and down those stairs my dad put in, and I couldn't stop that urgent gratefulness that wells up from tender moments of actual satisfaction, not too much, not too little, exact enough. It's a good feeling.