Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today I had an ultrasound to check out the growth of this wonderful kicking baby in my ever growing belly. I already had my 20 week ultrasound 7 weeks ago, but the results showed a slightly larger ratio in head size to body size than normal (I sort of had to chuckle when they told me that because a larger Monley cranium is no news to us......) But I humored them and went along with a follow-up ultrasound for a later date (today) to see if the ratio had changed. They said they weren't worried, it's probably fine. I said I wasn't worried either. I know my kids have big heads, and I've tried shopping for hats for my's because he's so smart!  :-) You have to hand it to Kaiser for being extra extra diligent. They screen for everything under the sun. I also had a 2nd glucose test today for gestational diabetes (I had one at 16 weeks....drink nasty sugar water, wait an hour, get blood drawn) just because my babies are 9 pounders. Anyway, I think a doctor will analyze the results of today's ultrasound and give us an official report, but the tech did say that "the head matches the body more now." And then before I left he questioned how far along I was because......the baby is measuring 2 weeks larger than the due date suggests! We might be looking at a 10 pounder folks! Just when I was getting excited about a possible VBAC delivery.....yikes!

Since both later ultrasounds the baby was face down, we don't have a cool profile shot yet. So here's one from our very first ultra sound, when Baby Monley's arms and legs were still little nubs.

December has been a month of babies! Between good friends and my sister, we've welcomed 5 babies in December before Christmas (including a set of twins!). I think they delivered them all in reverse order too! The ones who were due at the end of the month, had theirs early and my sister was due a bit earlier and had hers last. All healthy! That's what matters. 

I had the honor of being present for my sister's delivery of precious little Taylor Kathleen Berry. She was born a few days before Christmas in what must have been the speediest delivery of all time. I was there along side my mother, ready to encourage my sister through this amazing experience that usually lasts more than 30 seconds...right!? Taylor was born before I could even get comfortable in my position as holder of Joanne's right leg. It was so incredible to watch and my sister made it look so easy! She's a rock star mom!
Happy family of five. And...two big proud brothers to give all of her future boyfriends a hard time.

Baby Taylor a few days old, I am in love with her!

At 8lbs 14oz I know she's a bigger newborn, but all newborns are just so tiny! She weighs nothing!

And fresh off the press, here are some professional shots of the little one-week old, Taylor. Isn't she so cute!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Nate and I have really tried to drive home the REAL reason for the season with the kids, in talking about Jesus' birth and the importance of Christmas to us as Christians. Now....what about all that other Christmas stuff? It must be confusing as a young kid. Maybe they just compartmentalize it all. There's Jesus, born in a stable, while three kings and shepards followed a bright star to find our Savior. And then.....there's Santa Clause...and Rudolf, and the chimney......... That stuff is so fun as a kid. I'm not ready to squash the Christmas magic for Finn & Selah just yet. The other night on Netflix instant watch, we came accross this cute movie:

 I like it! They did a good job of tying together the current idea of Santa and the story of St. Nicholas and gift-giving because of what God has given us. It was cute.

So, anyway.....Santa sent Finn a video message again this year! Finn was very attentive while watching it. He didn't say much....just in shock I think. Click HERE to see Santa's message.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Thanksgiving was really nice. We have so much to be thankful for. This year we headed to Chico to my cousin Avery's house. I got to catch up with a bunch of aunts and uncles and cousins and the kids just took care of themselves and each other, basically.  This was the first year in a long time that there were really no babies! But with two on the way (my sister and I) next year is back to passing a babe around, leaving mid-conversation to nurse in the other room, packing a high chair...... It was so nice this year that our "big kids" played like I remember playing with my cousins when I was little. They just ran around exploring the newly landscape huge backyard the whole time, despite the cold.

When Selah would come in to get warm, she stayed mostly at this window arranging and rearranging the votive candles on the windowsill.

 Finn was totally enamored by my cousin's collection of dragon stuff throughout the house, starting with this knocker. Isn't it spooky? Finn is at that stage right now where he likes scary stuff.

Finn followed slightly-older cousin Jeremy around. They made a game with 8 year old Brit, called "Get Brit!". They just chased him around....simple game. I so remember making up silly games like that. Ah...childhood.

When she wasn't rearranging the candles inside, Selah just ran around insisting that 10 yr old cousin Elaina chase her back and forth across the lawn, down the path, under the railing, onto the deck, off the deck....repeat. I would peek in on them sometimes and saw Elaina constantly being on guard for what Selah shouldn't enter the coi pond, or climb too high on a big rock. We should have paid her for all the babysitting she was doing out there.

Back at home, it was so nice having Nate home more often during Thanksgiving week. We didn't go on any long trips for a change. We were home-bodies. Nate built a fence! The kids and I gardened and we all just played and enjoyed the colder weather.

If you jump on the trampoline with socks on, this is what your hair will do.
 We did head out on a couple of outings while Nate had more time off. Our late afternoon Apple Hill journey started out as a bust, as places closed early, but we happened upon a cute little market that sold hot cocoa, apple pastries and hot cider, with an outdoor fire to sit by. The weather was yucky but the treats were soooo good and the fire was cozy.

This was the view from the market in Apple Hill.
And this was the view on the way home.

The other little journey we took last week was to the SNOW!

 Our favorite sledding place on the side of the road in Strawberry (cute little name for a mountain town) was too hard to get to this time because of the snow bank that the snow-plows made that day, but we continued up the hill until we came upon "Sled World" ...part of Sierra Ski Resort. It sort of sucked to pay $10 each to slide down a hill on our own sled, but Finn did have a great time. Selah and I played in the snow and in the little play houses they had there for the little ones.

 Mostly, Selah just ate snow. When she figured out she could eat the snow, it was all over. She wouldn't stop.

I am so glad the kids loved the snow. I hope we get up there a few more times this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kid Update

It has been a while since I've recorded where the kids are at these days. I love the ages they are right now. (I feel like I always say that.) They play together more now than ever. Just about every day, they play hide and seek, jump on the trampoline together or have dance parties together. They totally know how to push each other's buttons too, and have recently been working on their "peace talks." They're learning how to work it out themselves.

Feeding the fish at the Fish Hatchery

Tail-gating at Disney on Ice.

A fav with these two,  Fairy Tale Town.

*is still glued to his beads. They are in his hands or right by his side when he is reading, sleeping, eating, brushing teeth, jumping, dancing, in the car. He only touches his other toys when other kids are over.
*went through a big growth spurt this summer.
*eats two breakfasts every day.
*loves the Narnia books.
*Is fascinated by the creatures we find in our garden...and sometimes our house! 
*Started drawing a little! (He NEVER was interested in coloring or drawing. He will write his name for a birthday card or something, but only when asked to.) I'm so happy to see him pick up a crayon and give it a go!
*Has become obsessed with dental hygiene over the last few months. He has been known to turn down sweets if he thinks he won't be able to brush the "sugar bugs" off shortly after.  (it all started last year when the dentist visited his preschool.) Really it's great, but I've had to curb his paranoia a little. He also counts strokes when he brushes his teeth.  (I didn't teach him that either.)

Good for preschool exploration. Bad for tomatoes.
We found this big praying mantis in our living room! We put him back in the garden so he can eat all the bad bugs...after we stared at him for a while.
Finn's first family portrait.

*is SOOOO two!
*is almost completely potty trained!! I say almost because she has accidents once in a while but I've figured out her triggers and we're working on it. It all started a couple of weeks after she turned two. We would just find her on the little potty with the door shut sometimes. It's been progressing ever since and now she's doing great. We are done with diapers during the waking hours! Yay!
* loves to help mommy in the garden and the kitchen
*Plays dress-up now with her friends and likes to dress herself and undress herself throughout the day. She has become very creative.
*She LOVES to cuddle and pretend that you are lonely or hurt or scared and she is there to comfort you. She looks at you with sad sympathetic eyes and gives you a big hug, pats you on the back, gives you a kiss and says it's all going to be okay.
*Has gradually added more and more friends to her crib. Currently she sleeps with a sock monkey, a teddy bear, a baby doll, a hello kitty and a dragon. She tucks them each in with a blanket, leaving very little space on the pillow for her own head. I often find her doing the above-mentioned coddling talk them. (they are very needy friends.)
Some funny Selah situations:
*A couple of weeks ago at a friends' house she spilled some milk and after we all cleaned it up, she said quietly, "I'm so embarrassed."
*I was eating the other day and Selah came over to me saying "Mommy, I want to say sorry to you." "I want to say sorry to you". She kept repeating that while she climbed onto my lap. I said, "Why do you want to say sorry to me?" She grabbed a piece of bread off my plate and said "Because I'm going to eat your bread!" and quickly she shoved it into her mouth. I know it was a teaching moment, but I was too much in shock (and a little bit proud) that she thought up that sneaky plan all by herself.

You put those shorts on all by yourself? No kidding?

She thinks those princess tops feel "sticky" so she usually just pulls up the skirt for a tube dress.

Wings held on by a chip-clip. I do what I can.

The new line for Fall 2010! Everyone will be wearing this soon.

You say shirt, I say SKIRT!

Any toy can be instantly turned into a cell phone.

Is it mean to take a picture of your kid when they are in time out?