Monday, December 31, 2012

"Brown Paper Packages"

When Grandma Charlotte's Christmas box arrives each year, it is like an early Christmas morning! This year, there were five boxes from Grandma & Grandpa. I cannot begin to describe the excitement at our house.  

December 22, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Anna Smiles

She's awake!

 December 23, 2012

And Smiling! 

 Every one of Anna's smiles is greeted with pure delight--we love her beautiful smile. So fun!

December 27, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Look at those sweet faces. These are the days I will look back and treasure forever.
Merry Christmas one and all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas to Me!

We're moving!  To a 3 bedroom house. With full size appliances. There will be more space and hopefully more sleeping. Maybe I can have people over for dinner. And people can walk through the front door without tripping on toys... I may be getting my hopes too high!

And so here it is.... our new house!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Auntie Wonderful

When the chills and sweats hit me, the aching all over, I put Abigail in her crib with a stack of books, and climbed into bed myself, worried how I would care for the kids when I couldn't walk or move. Certainly I couldn't load the girls into the car to drive to the school for pick-up.  I texted Elizabeth, a.k.a Auntie Wonderful, and asked her if she could pick Joseph up from school and drop him home.  She immediately agreed and offered to take Abigail and Joseph until Marc got home from work.  She was a lifesaver. Marc said he wasn't sure he'd ever seen me so sick. It was horrible, but thankfully the worst is over and today I still feel sick, but a normal sick, not a dying-person sick!

Thank you Elizabeth for saving the day! 

Auntie Wonderful and Abigail, photo courtesy of Gwen's blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guess Who is Home from School Sick?

And guess who doesn't mind one bit? 

Abigail scooted right up on the couch next to Joseph after I brought him home from school sick.
 Joseph missed Friday also, and we had a great day (despite the fact that he felt awful!!).  We had a Christmas movie marathon (White Christmas and the classic cartoons of The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph). We made snowglobes out of babyfood jars I've been saving all year. This is the first craft project I've been excited about in forever. They turned out kind of terrible, but the kids had fun and that is all that really matters. 

December 13-14, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Christmas

What we've mostly been doing this Christmas is enjoying the simple delights at home like getting a fresh cut tree, making paper ornaments to decorate it, sitting by it and watching the lights, singing Christmas carols around the piano (Abigail likes to play along--it works as long as I have her play in the treble clef), and overdosing on holiday music on the radio. I was thinking about how different our life is now with three children than it was when we had Joseph and we were always out and about, traveling and exploring.  Different phases of life. I enjoyed all the adventures we were able to take, but we're enjoying our "homemade adventures" now too.

Abigail set up her camp chair RIGHT by the tree to chill out
I think Abigail is at the most delightful age for Christmas. Everything is new, everything is magical. She loves every light, every decoration we pass. She loves the songs, she loves to hear the nativity story.  She just soaks it all up.

Joseph is also fun because he remembers what it is all about and has little traditions already. We hang our stockings early in the month and it has just grown into tradition that Joseph fills them with his homemade drawings and projects throughout the month. I find him closed in the storage closet cutting and pasting and drawing.  Very sweet boy. He just finished a puzzle for Anna that spells her name. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


I realized I rarely get pictures of Anna because I am holding her or she is in the Bjorn carrier. I decided to try to take a couple shots myself.

 But then had a better idea--and got Marc to take some when he got home.

Joseph actually took these shots for me--to capture the way she rests her head on her hands.  She is so sweet and cute! We love our Anna!

And here is one of her in her bouncy seat.

December 2012

Christmas in Washington

 On Marc's first day back to work, Joseph had early release from school. I decided to brave it and take all three kiddos to the Botanical Gardens for the Christmas display.  This is one of our favorite D.C. Christmas activities, and I'm glad I took them all--even if I ended up hauling a crying Abigail under one arm back to the car while pushing Anna in the stroller with the other arm!
 Joseph was old enough this year where the fairy "homes" were more exciting than the trains. He was excited to show Abigail the fairy home inside this knothole.
 Then Joseph took some pictures of the fairy homes--I'm surprised how well this turned out!
Notice the organ pipes made of reeds and the acorn cap candle sconces.
 There was a tunnel to walk through with three little fairy displays inside. Abigail gave tours.  A couple elderly ladies came by and Abigail showed them the displays and pointed out all the things she recognized (talking very excitedly and jumping up and down to emphasize certain words). The ladies were smitten with her. I held back and just let Abigail do her thing, but was surprised to see the elderly women start jumping with Abigail.  So cute! 

Imagine "Christmas trains" being excitedly shouted by Abigail.
December 12, 2012

Pants Update

As requested, here is a follow-up to my pants post. I wore pants. I saw three other women in our congregation wearing pants. I was surprised (and disappointed, I confess) at the low numbers. I had a couple people come up to me: "You did it!" and "I wondered who would do it!" and "I chickened out."

With all the uproar leading up to it (threats of violence, facebook taking down the event page, coverage by Chicago Tribune, LA Times, NPR, in addition to local Utah news outlets), I think the actual day came and went without incident as far as I know.  I've heard stories of women (and men in their purple) who participated all across the U.S. as well as many other nations.

Here some photos taken after church. I was taking them myself or enlisting Joseph's assistance.  So blurry or not, here is proof.

I also dressed Abigail and Anna in pants.  It was Anna's debut Sunday--she also had a darling knit hat with a purple flower. Solidarity among the Moore-Oliphant women.

December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Present

My mom was here for two weeks, and then when she left, Marc took off almost 3 weeks of work using "sick days" that he had accrued. That gave us over a month of life revolving around baby. When our recently retired friend and neighbor learned that Marc had taken these days off, he reminded Marc that if he didn't use his sick and/or annual leave days, at the end of his career they pay it out (or increase your retirement benefit somehow).   I'm so grateful that we, for once, didn't think about our future financial security. Marc and I have the tendency to always be "investing" in the future. Saving, scrimping, preparing, sacrificing for some future day. I've learned sometimes you just need to live in the present.

No lump sum on retirement day would give us back this fleeting time with our newborn Anna. No amount of money can replace the memories of sleepless nights and hazy mornings, taking turns holding her and discovering her balled little fists and chubby thighs.  We'll never again have this time with two-year-old dancing, singing, eyes-full-of-delight Abigail; after these few weeks, she and Marc are thick as thieves--she has Marc wrapper around her little finger! I treasure her little voice, "Daddy..." over and over all day long. Or when all the kids find their way to my room and climb in bed with me--and I realize that there is nothing I would trade for having them want to be snuggled (or jumping) all around me. Joseph telling knock-knock jokes and displaying magic tricks, laughing at loud at a funny part of his Geronimo Stilton book series.  Marc sleeping in the kids' room to the delight of all, while Anna and I hunkered down for short nights filled with painful nursing, bouncing and pacing, and sometimes marathon sessions of Netflix to pass the hours.   Abigail running up to me, "Mommy, I yuv (love) you sooo much." 

These are the days that alternately to be remembered, endured, and enjoyed. But certainly not traded for some distant future day.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our World

Abigail likes to peek in at "Baby Anna" in her bassinet

Abigail, swaddled with her "paciflower"

The view of Abigail in her jog stroller on her way to pick up Joseph from school

Joseph on Pajama Day at school. They practiced writing "how to blow a bubble," which of course requires blowing bubbles

School is Out!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why I Am Wearing Pants This Sunday

I will be wearing pants to church this Sunday. I invite you to join me.

There has been a big brewhaha in the Mormon blogosphere. I don't think I can articulate it any better than what has already been written. Here are a few of my favorite posts on the "Wear Pants to Church" Sunday.

From the Huffington Post:

From blogger CJane:

From a blog, Doves and Serpents:

Music Girl

Abigail is at such a fun age. I enjoy her--through and through!  She loves music. In the car or at home she will often say, "I need music, Mommy" and wants me to turn on the radio or put in a CD. She has not figured out, however, that I cannot control the songs on the radio.  She likes to request "Feliz Navidad" and "Little Drummer Boy."  She excitedly runs from room to room announcing when "Rudolph" or "Silent Night" comes on.  She is amazing with song lyrics. I don't know how she does it! Of course, she knows the words to "Child of God" which we've sung a bzillion times. But, one day, I heard her singing the second verse.  I don't sing that verse!  Then, Marc must have introduced "Home on the Range" to her because yesterday Joseph and I looked at each other in amazement when we heard Abigail playing and singing, "Where never is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day."  Hearing a 2-year-old pronounce "discouraging" is always fun.

Abigail also loves to dance.  Like a little pixie, she prances on her toes throughout the house. Today, while watching "White Christmas"  she was absolutely delighted to watch "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" scene.  Aunt Rachel thinks Abigail is destined to be a ballerina. Maybe she's right.

Here's a bedtime rendition of "Over the River"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Countdown

This Christmas, we're taking everything at a newborn-in-the-family pace. We're doing things slower, or maybe just not at all.  I'm touched by how the children appreciate the simple joys of Christmas...such as the advent calendars from Grandma Charlotte.  Each day in December has a little piece of chocolate.

A few days ago Joseph asked, "Mom, when will it be 20 days until Christmas?"  He then turned to Marc and explained, "Every year Mom and I make a countdown chain when there are 20 days until Christmas."  I had to laugh because I'm sure that the "20 days until Christmas" came because I had forgotten to do the chain until December 5.  But somehow that became the tradition.  I love kids! They are so easy to please (sometimes!). So again this year we made our countdown chain and had dessert, and all was right with the world.

Our countdown chain flanked by advent calendars for Joseph and Abigail

Sunday, December 09, 2012

One Month

Anna is one month old. What a month it has been!

She is a sweet little baby. She sleeps quite well, and as of this weekend, I think we may have nursing conquered.  I don't want to jinx anything, but she has slept through the night twice in a row (that's six solid hours from 10 pm to 4 am!!) and with that she is making good progress to becoming my favorite child!

She likes to be held, will settled for being swaddled, and is taking being "number 3" in stride. She is strong and feisty (including her robust cry), which is reassuring because even though we keep her home, her siblings bring the outside germs home to her. She has case of the sniffles, but is fighting it off quite well.  

I love her beautiful baby blue eyes (that probably will change) framed by soft lashes, and I love how she rests her head on her folded hands on my shoulder. We often find her little feet crossed when we take off her blankets. So far, she seems like a serious, intense little person--we wonder what it is she is looking at with so much focus--and look forward to discovering her personality even more.

Marc heads back to work this week, and I will make a slow ascent from my hibernation in the baby cave. It has been a wonderful time together welcoming Anna into our family.

 December 9, 2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Beautiful Baby

We try to capture how cute Anna is, but it seems impossible to truly show on camera (at least with our photography skills)...

November 2012