Happy October 31st!

Whatever you call it...it makes for the best photos. Here are a few.

Insert your own captions...I think the last one looks like Elly is informing Cam of her plan to get the largest possible amount of candy! :)

My Husband's Kind of Pumpkin Carving

So...we're a little different. Caleb will forsake much for the final product to be fantastic, especially if it requires artistic touches. I am SO glad he's like this - it will make for much more exciting holidays for our children! :)

What a fun Daddy!! Look what he did with Cameron...

The "Pablo Pumpkin." You know, from The Backyardigans? Cam's fav.

The intentionally-scary Vikings football pumpkin. Yikes! Complete with face mask and logos on his helmet!


My Kind of Pumpkin Carving

So...here's an excellent way to waste time. No mess, no stinky pumpkin guts. Fun.



The pure joy of baby laughter! Caleb showed Cam how to give Elly "raspberries" and now he won't stop...at least they both enjoy it!

I love the way Elly looks at Cameron - she adores her brother!!

Ear Infections 'R' Us

Why are my babies "sick magnets?" It seems we cannot go even a week without contracting some new virus, infection, or going through a stage in life where they feel icky. I truly wish I could take on the sickness and spare their poor little bodies. I really, really hate baby fevers. They make me feel helpless.

Cameron slept about two hours on Friday night, he was in so much pain. Finally got him to urgent care yesterday after trucking him around to the XC meet (what a trooper!) His left ear in infected and his right ear is VERY infected according to the doctor who said she recognized me! Ha!! I didn't know I spent that much time at the hospital (I'd never seen her before)!!

Elly was an ANGEL at the meet -- no crying in her carseat, letting everyone hold her, being generally snuggly, etc. But this was explained by this morning's 101.5 fever. We'll see how she does and consider the doctor tomorrow.

I had all the necessary medications on the counter, ready to dispense at a moment's notice and it looked so funny, I had to take a picture.

The lineup, left to right: Cam's tylenol, Elly's tylenol, Cam's ibuprofen, Elly's ibuprofen, Cam's antibiotic.

This doesn't include the levothyroxine Elly takes each day, the vitamins they each take, the nose drops and booger sucker which help me clear the airways, or the baby orajel for teething. I feel a bit like a short-order pharmacy tech??!

So - I'm trying to REDEEM this season instead of resenting it. Trying to enjoy the moments of cuddling with my babies, no matter what time, day or night. Thankful we have an HSA and we can pay for medicine and dr visits tax-free. Thankful we have health insurance and are able to treat them. Thank you, Lord, for these things. Even when they're sick, they're the very sweetest babies!!!


I'm a Bad Aunt

(NOTE: This was supposed to post on Friday late at night, but apparently it saved as a draft. Kinda ironic, considering I was apologizing for missing something already...ahh).

I forgot to call my niece today - it was her 11th birthday. Caleb and I had a miscommunication. He thought I was calling, I thought he was calling. I feel horrible.

Ashley Christine is her name - she's the oldest grandchild on the Sieh side and she's sweet as can be. She has the most generous heart, the most sensitive spirit and the most contagious giggles. She's everything you could ever want in a big sister, niece or oldest cousin. She takes care of everyone and even dishes it back to Caleb when he gives her a hard time (GO, GIRL)!

I just want everyone to know that I am celebrating my sweet niece today! I love you Ashley and you are truly a blessing in our lives!!

Jocelyn, Caleb and birthday girl Ashley. Last Christmas.



Why is it that hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week I can't make up my mind? At one moment, I think that I could keep having kids forever...however many we can responsibly take care of and/or the Lord blesses us with. The very next, I'm wondering how I can handle feeding two kids at once, potty training Cameron in the upcoming months, etc. I'm back and forth all the time!

How can something like Elly cutting her top teeth fill me simultaneously with joy at seeing her grow up and acquire more abilities, and sorrow as she inches farther away from the mama who carried her everywhere just 5 months ago?! How can I be rolling on the floor, enjoying Cameron's hugs and kisses one second, then almost burst into tears thinking of how he'll go into kindergarten in just 4 (3?) years?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a ball of emotion just waiting for the next opportunity to shed a tear. I'm fully invested in that part of my life. I have resolved, however, that no matter how many babes our family is blessed with -- even if it's only precious Cam and sweet Ells -- I am going to try my hardest to enjoy every moment of every day. To redeem the interruptions, curveballs, and changes, not resent them. This I learned at our Bible Study this week with Kathy Strandquist (oh, how I LOVE her!). More about this later...

Too Big For Me

We moved Cameron to a big boy bed last weekend! I didn't have much time to be emotional about it, but he's doing quite well. Nights have been a breeze, and we got a LONG, TALL rail a couple days ago to reign him in during naps. Now he and Elly are sharing a room! Feels funny to have the bedroom to ourselves again, without the lil' spy hanging around...

Here's my big boy! Thanks Doug & Linda (and Michael) for the generous donation of the wonderful bed to help us to this milestone!!

My grown-up baby boy. Sniff, sniff.


Prayers Needed

My fellow XC Coach and dear friend, Trey, has a blog as well. He writes today about a family who is in great need of prayer. I know many of you are connected to the NCU community, and this family is a part of that body. Please pray for God's touch on precious little Adah and her parents. Things like this just tear me to pieces.

Read his blog for the full story.

Secret Mission

I am making 3, count them THREE, better than [fill in the blank] cakes for a surprise event this weekend. You know, the kind with sweetened condensed milk, caramel, whipped topping...yummmmm. I don't want to blog too much about it in case the to-be-surprised individual would happen to read this.


I am also baking a pumpkin pie for Caleb since he won't be able to share the cake. The house smells amazing!! (I hope everything tastes as good as it smells...yikes!) I LOVE, LOVE when it's crisp outside and the inside smells like fresh-baked Fall treats!



As recently as a couple months ago, I witnessed toddlers interacting/talking to their parents in a completely indecipherable language. I could NOT figure out how parents actually had a conversation with these learning talkers, or even began to comprehend what they wanted or needed.

Now I understand! I have one of my own. I think only a child's parents or primary caregivers can truly translate this language (somewhere between first words and three to four-word phrases). Unless you know a child's habits and dialect, so to speak, only a small portion of their words will make sense (at least for a little bit, at least in boys).

Here are some of Cameron's habits:

- Cutting his word in half and only saying the second half. Just being a lazy talker! I know he knows the words, but sometimes he'll just feel like saying "Dee" for Daddy, "T" for eat, etc.

- When using words that end in "n," he almost always adds a "t" sound as well. I know he can say n's, because he starts words with them, but it is evidently much more difficult to end them that way! Examples: moon(t), spoon(t), down(t), bean(t).

- Adding a "b" sound to words that start with "u." Examples (b)up, (b)uh-oh.

- Mastering to perfection words that he doesn't use the most, or need to know necessarily, but enjoys saying. Things like pickle, einsteins, cookie, wipes.

I think this is normal - he's had his hearing checked and seems to comprehend what he needs to. He hasn't regressed persay. I'm trying not to get too overboard...I want him to speak well but I don't, for example, deny him things until he says the right word - that just ends in frustration. I feel like he knows it in his head, but until he decides to make a real effort to have it come out of his mouth...no dice.

Dice, by the way, is a word he can say quite well. ;)


A Caramel Apple...


I'm not much of a candy fan, but I love me a couple of these during the fall. The trick is to get just the right combo (you can kinda tell by looking through the wrapper) -- just enough caramel for sweetness and just enough apple for tartness.

Yay for cheap treats!!


All Smiles

Both my babies have slept through the night the past THREE NIGHTS! I am a new woman! Even with a weekend road trip to Iowa in the mix, I still feel refreshed!

On a side note, here are some pics of the cutest baby girl in the world and her "smile evolution."


It's the Oxycodone Talking

I've been wanting to blog about this for awhile, but haven't made myself sit down and do it. Tonight, I will. It's a funny story. Quite funny (to me at least).

After a complicated delivery and loooong recovery with Cameron, a c-section was scheduled for Elly. I heard a few horror stories, but most of all was told to prepare for the pain that followed the operation. Now to be honest, I considered my csect recovery a walk in the park compared to my prior experience...I'd really like to experience an uncomplicated v-delivery...but that's another story.

I was bound and determined to keep ahead of my pain and use all the available medication to aid me in my recovery. I pushed the morphine trigger constantly, then, when I was put on oral meds, asked for my pills every 4 hours on the dot and without fail. They asked me if, perhaps, I'd like to go down to one pill. Nope, I said, I really am a wimp and I'd like to do all I can to enjoy my first few days with Elly.

The scary part is, I don't fully remember my first night in the hospital. I know I called the nurse in and told her my chest felt numb, and my face felt tingly, and I wondered if it was a result of the medication. I'm pretty sure I was loopy -- and knew it -- so I talked her in circles trying to make myself feel like I made sense. I'm not positive, but I think she laughed out loud a couple times during the conversation. Who knows what I said??!

Caleb stayed with me in the hospital room, on that darned chair-bed, right next to the vent, which made it quite dry. My poor husband has sinus issues that cause him to deafeningly snore throughout the night, and snores are made worse by lumpy beds and overactive vents. Check. I was running low on the sleep bank and wanted to make sure I fed Elly every four hours to get my milk in. I didn't sleep much because I was so concerned I wouldn't feed her enough (this comes from Cameron being so skinny).

If Elly didn't come wheeling in within five minutes of the hour, I called the nurse and asked for her. However, the morphine cocktail I was religiously downing was having adverse affects on my brain. I now remember that every time I called (again trying to be polite and explanatory), that I asked them if they could bring my son in to nurse. My son. I wonder if they looked at the room number on the bassinet and thought, hmmm, was she expecting something different? Is she in denial? Did we make a mistake and stick a bow on this little boy's head? Nope. My son is in Iowa with his grandparents, and he's 18 months old. My brain is just in survival mode and apparently calling on groggy nursing memories of the past. I'm sure the whole nurses' station was laughing every time I called.

Needless to say, Elly was brought to me each time I asked, so apparently they weren't too concerned. They did urge me to dial down the dose though, probably because I was annoying them with the same story about how my arms were numb and I couldn't feel my face. I was discharged two days later and given a bottle of Oxycodone to take at home.

I felt fantastic compared to the last time I'd recovered from delivery, so I was not going to let up on the pain meds that I thought were making this possible. I walked around in a fog for a few weeks, and my poor daughter mercifully was unable to understand me, or she'd have an identity crisis. Here are some of the things I said to her in this time period (actually every time I talked to her. I failed to correct myself unless I was dressing her in pink clothes or Cameron was right beside me):

"Who's the best boy?" "You're a big, strong boy!" "How's my buster?" "Good morning, Cameron!"

I don't think I ever made these mistakes in front of anyone, but I now FULLY remember them happening. Also, we waited until Elly was born to name her, so I wasn't used to calling her by name. That + strong meds = me calling her a variety of names because I literally could not remember what her's was (apparently??!). This is the cycle I went through:

First couple days: called her "my son."
End of first week: called her "Leila," the name of our friends' daughter born a couple months before Elly. (?!)
Second week: called her "Mariah," her middle name.

Third week: time to go off the pain meds. Caleb informed me of a few times I started to talk about odd things at odd times, my arms were still tingly and I was waking up sweating A LOT. So, we cut down on the hard stuff and moved to Tylenol. Honestly, it was fine and I still felt significantly less pain than the last time. The only addiction that remained was a highly unhealthy desire for Lorna Doone shortbread cookies that I developed at the hospital. My stomach growls just thinking about them. My [favorite] nurse would say, "You breastfeeding. You eat whatever you want. Here more cookies."

Thank you Jesus for the miracles of modern medicine that can keep me from feeling a four-inch incision in my middle, and for an excellent surgeon, and for a gracious family who didn't laugh in my face while I was loopy. And thank You, also, that I can remember these things for a good laugh now.

That must be strong stuff!!

Mama & Elly - one day old. I am posting this horrendous pic of myself for effect. I look drugged, eh??



Elly's top two teeth are coming in. Due to Bible Study and a little speaking engagement at NCU, we overshot naptime by 2 hours today. Cameron has eaten two bites of bagel all day...it's pouring, my poor friend threw out her back and cannot watch the kiddos today during interval practice.

Looking forward to 7pm bedtime!!!


The Significant Woman

This is the Bible Study I'm taking part in right now. Although Elly kept me in and out last week, from what I've read and experienced so far, it's amazing! It is aimed at finding your God-given gifts and talents, and setting out to use them in only the way God desires you to. Then, you create a personal mission statement.

Isn't is hard for us girls to sit down and talk about what we're good at?! It's so much easier to point out the bad in ourselves. The Significant Woman is quite refreshing (plus, I have a peer counselor that has two little ones, a boy and a girl, just like me! She's an amazing woman and mama and I'm so excited to learn from her)!


Just Sayin'...

Call me a brag, but, this is my son. Can't get any cuter than that. Although, have you seen my daughter...? :)

Elly's First Bite

Elly started cereal last week! She's still working on liking it. Thanks to Uncle Josh and Aunt Yanury (& baby cousin Allen) for the Twins bib she could sport while she enjoyed her feast!!

Singing for her supper!

Elly can't contain her excitement...

Hmmm, this isn't exactly what I had in mind, Mom. Your left-handedness also kinda wrecks the camera angle.

Eh, not all that great.

Forget the rice - I'd like to get my hands on that camera...

Cameron started cereal right about the same time, 4.5 months. He took to it a little easier than his sister. Seems this "taking to things easier than his sister" is a sort of pattern...the carseat, the bottle, sleeping, entertaining himself, dealing with life in general...

We love our lil' diva!!