Reincarnated As A Mother

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's Out. School's In!

I'm torn. Part of me is thrilled that school has started again. And part of me mourns that summer flew by so quickly. Happily though, the girls were all excited for their first day and really excited about their new teachers. By the way, I had grand plans to get up and fix the girls a first day of school feast. Those plans were foiled when I went to get Kean up and found that he had pooped out of his diaper and rolled all over in his crib in the goop. What a lovely way to start the morning.
Needless to say, the girls had bagels for breakfast.
Here they are walking down Grandpa Bodily's driveway... waiting for the bus with our neighbor Meagan...

and then they're off.

Poor Reesey has another week before pre-school starts. It's considerably quieter around our house now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A little perspective

Fallout from the fire:
  1. The first good rain after the fire didn't take away the smokey smell... it just made everything smell like a wet campfire.
  2. A little wind and rain makes the black hills not look so black after a while.
  3. Many of the birds that fled during the fire have not come back. (We used to have to close our window to our bedroom in the morning-- the chatter was so loud in the trees. Now it's near silent).
  4. Our beloved bees stayed. I think because they are "welfare bees". Byron regularly feeds them sugar water.
  5. We still have Grasshoppers galore! Byron sprayed Seven and that has helped some.
  6. If you ever have a devastating fire and lose everything, make sure you are a high level exec. with State Farm. The neighbors two houses up-- had crews on site two days after the fire. They already have new house plans approved and are about done excavating and prepping to pour their foundation. The other three houses that burned still look exactly the same. Hmmmm.
  7. Insurance adjusters (at least ours) don't call back when they say they will.
  8. People are kind and good and compassionate. Nearly everyone has asked us what can be done to help our neighbors who have lost everything.
  9. The little things can be the most touching! Someone at church anonymously gave Greer an envelope containing two dollars and labeled "For the Barker Girls Disneyland fund". (Their moneymaking project-- the berries-- burned up).
  10. Everywhere I go, people tell me they were praying for us that day. Oh, to feel so loved.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Each summer we throw a "Cousins Party" with a different theme.
Last year, while I was in the hospital, my mom, Rachel, Dana, and her mom, Nedra did a Cowgirl party. A couple years before (I was pregnant with Reese), I was in charge of the Camelot party. Look at how young the kids are!

And this summer, while the Texas cousins were in town, we threw a Hawaiian party. Believe it or not, this one was a simplified version of those from years past. Most of them start with a little gussying up. At our Hawaiian party, the girls had face painting and island tattoos.

Then we hot glued flowers to the must haves of the season-- grass skirts. (Yes, I know Greer is skinny... I swear we feed her).

Once the girls were decked out-- we had the token boy cousins-- Soren and Derek-- escort them into the party...

Where Grammy and Nanny (Dana's mom) gave them leis and welcomed them.

Nanny used to live in Samoa-- so she put on a little cultural class about the Polynesian Islands.

My assignment was to teach the girls how to Hula. Thank heaven for Internet tutorials!
Aunt Dana taught the girls how to make flower hair clips. Greer has about 12 in her hair!
Kean and my dad served as the audience.
While I made lunch, my mom read some children's stories from the Islands.
We had great plans to have the guys dig a hole and roast a pig-- but the fire two days before the party kind of threw a wrench in that plan-- so for lunch we did fruit smoothies and Hawaiian Pizza. Hey, close enough!
After lunch, the kids played all kinds of games... a Hawaiian relay race...
Water games... like the ol' slip 'n slide... (since we don't have a beach, we had to improvise)...

Here are all the girls... before we changed into our suits and went swimming at Grandpa Bodily's.
We ended the day, with what else? More eating.
Boy, did the kids sleep good that night (and the moms too)!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sweets for the Sweet!

Aunt Rachel just sent some new pictures she took the night of Kean's big soiree'. I couldn't resist sharing. I don't think he quite knew what to think of the big red blob in front of him. ... the lighting of the candle...

...or of the big crowd watching his every move.
"What's all the fuss about?"
"Oh... now I see what I've been missing!"
We moved him to his high chair for "mess control". I think this was his first real taste of birthday cake!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer + Cousins = FUN!

Aye, yai, yai... this summer is sliding to an end. We finished up school supply shopping yesterday. My mom is a saint (I know I say this all the time) for coming and helping me wrangle 4 kiddos and too many stops. And while we didn't go on any huge trips this summer, my kids have some great memories.

Grandpa Bodily has been most generous with his pool. Not only does he let my kids swim almost daily-- he lets the cousins dive in too.

And now for a special treat-- the first time I've captured it on camera. Each year, Grandpa Bodily (our darling neighbor) surprises the kids with this little get-up!

Kind of reminds me of an older version of "Where's Waldo"! Suffice it to say, it's a summer highlight. I sure missed it last year. And this year he had quite the audience!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not a moment of peace...

There's no need to question whether Kean gets enough stimulation at home. Poor guy... I knew this shot was inevitable with three sisters! And I know, I know, he's now officially one-- but he's still eleven months old-- adjusted age. So here he is with his milestone card.

He's pretty darn close to being able to sit without me holding him up. We're getting there...

Slow and steady wins the race!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Best Cousins

We've had tons of company of late-- including my Sister-in-law, Rachel and her three children visiting from Austin, Texas. As far as the cousins go -- Kean is the caboose. But just up from him, is my nephew, Soren. He's 2 1/2. Clearly, Kean loves Soren.

And Soren loves Kean.


Ever since the fire, these little critters are everywhere!!! We can't even walk outside without one of these little buggers hitching a ride on our shirts, our hair or whatever we're carrying. Byron sprayed our garden to try and protect the plants from being devoured. Keep your fingers crossed that the 'Great Grasshopper Invasion of 2010' is about over.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, It's the Birthday Boy!

Talk about milestones. This is a biggie! Kean is the big one! We actually had his birthday party last night (on his birthday eve) since his cousins were in town from Texas. I made the fire truck cake-- it just seemed so appropriate after the happenings of the past few weeks!

He was spoiled rotten and got the cutest gifts (and if you notice, he had lots and lots of help opening his presents.
Before the big party, Byron took a few pics of him with his adoring fans. That's Roxy, our rabbit in the cage behind Reese.

It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it was just one year ago, that he was still little Spartacus fighting in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit and we were reeling with the news that he might have Down Syndrome.

Last year at this time, my pillow was more like a soggy sponge. I was scared out of my mind and mourning the loss of the dreams I had for my son. I could barely walk, Byron and I were exhausted mentally and the best word to use to describe how we were feeling is NUMB. We were the walking wounded-- okay, well maybe he was the walking wounded. I was more like the wheelchair wounded.
But oh, what perspective one gains in a year.
Kean is healthy now, an absolute joy in our home and I can already see what a loving impact he's having on those around us. Everything is as it should be.
Happy birthday my sweet, sweet boy. Here's to many, many more!