Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter 2011

This Easter was BUSY! With me singing in the choir now and Nate playing hoops at the church gym with some buddies before 9am Mass, adding a newborn (and Easter) to the mix makes for a hectic morning . And Serin is a DREAM baby. But I still have to feed and change her sometimes. Such a pain. :-)  It was a great church service - very joyful. After church we went to Joanne and Chris' house in Lincoln, out in the country. It was great to just let the kids run around and have their 2nd Easter egg hunt for the day.

The Easter Bunny (a.k.a. Granny Peg) filled the kids' baskets with lots of fun stuff again this year. We  don't keep the magic alive with the Easter Bunny the way we do with Santa Claus. At least St. Nick is based off a real person. The bunny just seems so ridiculous and Finn never really bought into it anyway. They always love the thoughtful gifts Granny Peg gives them though, and on Easter they can thank HER!

Friends from church before the egg hunt.

Egg hunt #2 at Chris and Jo's house.  The ratio of kid to egg was much higher here!

Selah had opened almost every egg plastic egg she found and stuffed her cheeks with jellybeans before I realized it and made her stop opening them.  Selah + sugar + no nap = meltdown.

 We colored all the brown and blue eggs from Chris and Joanne's hens, which made such great rich colors again this year. We were thinking of getting a few chickens for our own backyard, but we get so many eggs from Chris and Jo every week, why bother? :-)

All in all it was such a relaxing Easter, after the morning busyness. I love hanging out there at Chris & Joanne's, under the grove of trees, watching the kids explore and no worries of them running out into a street of busy cars. They've got such a great property for kid exploration and parent relaxation.

And of course our little princess slept through most of the day, and I never really got a great photo of her in her cute little Easter dress. But that's par for the course these days. This was the best I could do.


In an attempt to get the perfect, or even a good photo of the kids, I usually end up with a dozen weird ones. They always crack me up though, so I don't delete many of them. But what's the point of them just sitting in a file on my hard drive when YOU can enjoy them too?!

The faces of Serin.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Family Update

Well, it's been a really interesting and rewarding 2 weeks. A LOT has happened since April 2nd, when Serin was born. For starters, I'm realizing that we've picked a name (again) that can be pronounced a few different ways. So here's the way we say her name. (Ser - IN), with the stress on the second syllable.  It doesn't rhyme w/ Karen, and it doesn't sound like serene. Like my clever friend Anna says, "it's like "syringe" without the g".  That's an unromantic way to think of it, but there you have it.

To back up a bit, the delivery was not my first choice. I had a c-section. We tried to bring labor on for the week or two before the due date in every single way we could besides medically inducing it. We were trying to avoid the same shoulder dystocia we had with Finn, which can be very serious and damaging to the baby, and is more likely with bigger babies. But labor never happened and the doctors and we didn't want to risk having an even bigger baby. Under the circumstances, it was a good decision and the whole experience was almost enjoyable! The staff was great, and I was the only c-section there for the whole morning. So everyone was taking their time. My pre-surgery nurse and I were like old friends by the time I moved to the recovery room. My doctor came in on that Saturday just for me. He is such a great doctor! He takes his time and listens to me, always makes me feel so comfortable, AND he broke a few rules by letting my mom be in the O.R. with us! It's such a bizarre thing to have major abdominal surgery while you're awake! The anesthesiologist was great - I didn't feel a thing, even less than last time.  I just held Nate's hand, and we looked at each other while we waited to here the big announcement....I was pretty surprised when they said "it's a girl"!  My mothers intuition failed me, as I sort of pictured I'd have a boy, but of course I'm so thrilled with another little girl!

I mean, look how sweet she is!

A friend of mine from Finn's preschool gave birth the very same day at the same hospital! She sent me a text that she had had her baby a week early and that she was recovering down the hall! So Nate and I spent some time hanging out with Ericka and her husband, and Serin had her very first play date with baby Bellamy!

Serin has been kind enough to enter our family without too much of a disturbance to our normal routine. I actually thought life with 3 would be so so different. I know it's only been 2 1/2 weeks, but things are going so well. To the kids, it's life as usual, with an occasional whimper from the new baby sister and a mom who's sometimes stuck to the couch nursing. When the kids and I play Star Wars (Finn's new thing) I'm usually Jaba the Hutt now...the big slug who just sits there stuffing his face.

New baby furniture = new places to hide.
Nate took a week off right after Serin was born. So while I was recovering from surgery and glued to Serin, he and the kids had some great bike rides and lots of outside play with Daddy. They've been playing so well together lately. It's really fun to see them connect more, and to listen in on their conversations.

I thought I would be really nesting at home a lot that first week with Serin, but as it turns out, we had some unexpected outings throughout the week and with those crazy birth hormones, I was not myself. Nate commented that he had never seen me cry before. He got to see it on more than 1 occasion that first week. I'm not usually a crier, but some weird hormone took over! The night we checked out of the hospital, I had to go all the way back to Roseville ER because of a weird reaction to my pain medication. All was fine. They just gave me too high of a dosage when they released me. It just freaked me out, and we had to pile everyone into the car in their jammies and they all stayed in the parking lot watching a movie in the car while I went in - not the first night home I was picturing. Also a good friend of the family passed away in a small plane crash that day.  That was so unexpected and just sad.  My first big outing was to his funeral, which turned out to be a wonderful celebration of his life and a huge gathering of people from my home town who I hadn't seen in a while.  That first week, Serin also lost more weight than expected, so we had to go back to the Dr. 3 days in a row. She's good now - not back to birth weight, but getting there. So, it was an eventful week.

Now we are settling in just fine. I am feeling GREAT! I have bounced back more quickly than both of my previous birthing experiences. And we have been SO taken care of! My mother and mother in law have been here for a few days each, helping out. And we haven't had to make dinner once! With preschool moms and my bible study moms and family and friends, we have been well fed and always have leftovers. What a blessing.

Since the weather has been so nice, we've been outside, walking by the river, and playing in the yard more this week. Serin just goes with the flow so far. I hope she stays this easy! I don't want to jinks it by saying it too early.....but she's been a great sleeper at night! I realize this might change.....
My new favorite baby carrier, the Moby. She's all snuggled in there.

First on camera SMILE!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Serin

I wish I was good at photography so I could always take cool pics of my kids. But my camera is just so so and so are my skills. We've only taken our family to a studio once for photos. We've always been so blessed with photographer friends and just try and take advantage when they come around, but it's been a while. So, when I saw this great deal for a professional photo shoot, I snagged it and decided to get some newborn glamor shots of Serin, 6 days old. She was a trooper.

This is my fav. I think the little popeye face is so cute.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Serin Hosanna Monley
 Dear Friends,
Serendipitous fortune has smiled on the Monleys once again! We are basking in the serenity of God’s love, rejoicing in the birth of our baby daughter, Serín Hosanna Monley.
Serín describes perfectly the tranquil little girl resting now in Katie’s arms, her midnight eyes, deep blue like serene water. It is the name of one of the most remarkable students I ever taught, the name of a songbird- serinus serinus, a name we’ve always loved.
Hosanna was the call of the palm-wavers welcoming the Lord into Jerusalem:
Hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna is a cry of praise to God, a cry we echo now as we sing praises for this beautiful little baby girl blessing our family. Hosanna for a safe birth, Hosanna for 9 pounds and 22 inches of righteous thunder!
So once again the bells are ringing in our home. The horns are sounding and the fattened calf is glancing around nervously. We have a brand new Monley, a brand new Summy, another branch on the woven grove of our family trees. We thank God for Serín Hosanna, and we hope all of you get to meet her soon.

With Much Love,
Nate, Katie, Finn, Selah, and Serín Monley