Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The boys are going to want to kiss these.

I mean really, has any baby ever had lips that are this perfect? Isla is getting some chubs, and she has even given us a few little smiles. She will be six weeks old on Friday!

My dad came to town to see this pretty little girl and do lots of jobs around the house. He got stuck here for three extra days due to hurricane Sandy. We are enjoying our last day with him!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bike Rodeo 2012.

I had never heard of a bike rodeo until Carson came home with a flier about it. Of course he wanted to participate, and we even took a family walk to the school the night before so he could sort of practice going through the exercises. The bike rodeo is to promote safety, and the riders earned points based on how well they could ride as slowly as possible between two lines, by riding in a circle also between two lines, steering around a series of cones, and there was one more that I can't remember. 

Good thing Carson learned to ride a bike this summer! There were lots of training wheels in Pre-K, and even in Kindergarten and first grade. We're proud of Carson for purchasing this little bike with his own money at a yard sale, and for being brave enough to learn to ride it!

Carson won first place for Pre-K and got a trophy!
He and his friend Adison were actually the only ones who rode without training wheels, I think.
The winners with their principal. (Carson takes things like this very seriously and rarely smiles about them.) We'll see if we can make winning the bike rodeo a yearly tradition!

Baby Isla today.

She is still a dream of a baby! She eats well, sleeps well, doesn't keep me up too much at night, and is a good snuggler. She likes to be swaddled and mostly sleeps that way, wrapped up nice and tight. (Her sister hated the swaddle!) She's pictured here on a quilt made by a good friend's mother. Isn't it pretty?

The girl's got some nice lips, that's for sure!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

these kids.

Was just going through pictures and found a few from a month or so ago, before Isla was born. (She's one month today!) Just random pictures of funny times with these kids!

These were from a day when they played in the rain... I honestly can't remember why Everett has blue all over him.
Carson and I have a nice little quiet time together in the mornings while he eats breakfast before school. His awesome teacher gives him extra worksheets and things to keep him interested.
Sometimes they dump out the dress up bin and go to town!
I think he wore this at Christmastime when he was 7 months old. Now he likes to use it for dress ups all the time!
Wow. When Rick is home with the camera we sure get some lovely photos.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

She fits right in.

Baby Isla was born and sort of jumped right into our family activities. We went on a family walk to the park the day she came home from the hospital. She ran errands with us the next day. And her for her fourth day of life, she accompanied Everett, Faye and me to the petting zoo. 

I thought Faye would be all over the animals, but she was pretty cautious and didn't like getting too close.
Everett and three other three-year-olds do a little pre school where each of us moms teaches once a week. This trip to the petting zoo was their first field trip.
He said he wouldn't ride the pony, but I think he knew I'd put him up there anyway.
This little girl fits in just perfectly!

Friday, October 5, 2012


It has felt good the last couple of days to be in a normal routine again after having a baby and then an unexpected trip to VA. Library, grocery store, baking day. Back to the gym with baby Isla snoozing in the car seat next to my treadmill. (They had a little "class" for the new mothers before we left the hospital. I crossed out the part of the handout that said no intense exercising for six weeks.)

Just a few days before Isla was born, we started hearing the news that Gram, my dad's mother, was in the hospital and not doing very well. Her heart and kidneys grew weaker quickly, and she passed away on Saturday, September 29th. Isla's first week of life was full of interesting emotions for me. I had all the excitement and thrill of just having given birth to a perfect little thing. And then I had the sadness and heartache for Gram and the family taking care of her in her last days. Rick had a week off of work to help with the new baby, and those days were a strange mix of this perfect bliss of our family of six all having fun together, and then me tearing up when I would randomly think about not being able to see Gram again in this life. 

There was no question that I would go out for the funeral, so Isla and I hopped on a plane right away.  (Well, after lots of planning and setting up friends to babysit my other three kids for a couple of days!) Traveling with a week-old baby was pretty much heaven on earth. I sat down on the plane and realized that I had three whole hours to do nothing but snuggle my baby! Amazing!

The short trip to Virginia turned out to be this wonderful family reunion: much more a celebration of Gram's life and posterity than a mourning of her death. It actually felt like Gram was there, rather than any empty aching feelings like I maybe expected. I think that is a testament to Gram's life and character. She lived joyfully without her husband for 16 years. She raised seven children and mothered them with this calm, soothing and perpetually cheerful attitude. Before Gram passed away, she talked openly about dying and was happily looking forward to seeing her husband again. So I think it is fitting that we, her family, were all talking and laughing and having a great time together at the events around her viewing and funeral.

I think all of us granddaughters of Gram hope to be just like her. She was classy, wise, loving, forgiving, funny, and selfless, among lots of other things I just can't put into words. (I would love to paste the whole eulogy here so everyone can enjoy the stories and memories of Gram; there are some good ones!) I am SO grateful to have been born into the Dickson family, with Gram as a perfect example of the mother and grandmother I hope to become.

Sarah Shaw (Sally) Higgins Dickson.
Salem and I serving dessert at my parents' house. Never thought I would get to see Salem so soon!!
Pictures of Gram.

A cousin and her husband made this poster of Gram and Papa's family. Seven children, 38 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren.
I put baby Isla on the floor for  a second to do something at the viewing. When this girl sleeps, she is totally out!

Wish I could have these two as my mother's helpers full time!!
Baby snoozing in her car seat during the family dinner after the funeral.
Nursing mothers need lots of food! 
Five tiny babies! Gram's newest great grandchildren.
Libby, Soren, Whitney, Isla and Claire.
Everyone else admiring the babies!
I also didn't think I would get to meet Ashley's baby until he was big! So glad to have been able to see them.
And this is us, packing to go back home. The bed is covered in spit-up spots, and the jelly bellies are keeping me going. (My plane got in at 12:30 a.m.; I crawled into bed after driving home and taking care of baby at about 2 a.m. Of course baby eats again in a couple of hours, and then up with the kids to resume normal life. I'm still waiting for the intense sleep deprivation to hit me!)
And here is our Gram one more time, with Faye at the Outer Banks. She will be missed greatly, but I am already trying to be a more patient and loving mother in her honor.