Saturday, January 28, 2012

Handley, Party of Five

Beatrice turned 4 months old this week, and oh what a difference a month can make!  At 3 months, she really woke up and started to notice and interact with Matt and me.  But now, at 4 months, she has discovered...her siblings!  She spends much of her time craning her neck to see what they are up to, and I often find her with "offerings" placed on top of her by her doting brother and sister (blankets, stuffed animals, books, toys).  They get a huge kick out of making her smile, and she is only too happy to oblige.  Her happiest moments are spent propped up, watching them play.  I often hear "Ohhh, Beatricey," "Look Bea!" and "It's OK Baby Bea," and "She's smiling at me!  Come quick Mommy, she's SMILING at me."  We are really starting to feel like a family of five now!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Museum Adventures

Last week I joined with my good and adventurous friend Anna and we took our (collective) six children downtown on the train and city bus to the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.  Getting there was at least half of the fun (and work), but it was worth the journey.  My kids' favorite part was definitely the "Snow Much Fun" exhibit with indoor "ice skating" and snowman dressing.  Luckily they got in some snow fun there, because we've been to sick to enjoy the real snow we have falling outside this week!  Even Beatrice got a few minutes of fun in between her naps, snacks and snuggles!

Monday, January 9, 2012

All is well at 15 weeks!

Beatrice, 1 week old
Beatrice, 15 weeks old

Several people have asked me lately how little Beatrice is doing.  I thought it might be time for an update.  After a somewhat rocky start to life, she is now 3 months old and doing really well.  She is still keeping us on our toes with her habit of giving her meals back to us (thanks so much Bea, but really, you can keep it), but she is delighting us with lots of smiles and coos.  She is a true Handley baby- chubby and balding- but oh, can she make chubby and balding look good!

She is starting to wake up to the world a bit more and delights in watching her brother and sister almost as much as they delight in playing with their Baby Bea (which often means setting toys on her face so she can SEE them, Mommy).  And to answer the inevitable baby question, she sleeps like a newborn.  Sometimes well, sometimes not, up now and then, keeping us guessing.  But happily, we are sleeping pretty well and not too concerned about her early breathing issues (there were days where I wondered how I would ever sleep again) She still sleeps right next to our bed for now, and will until I feel comfortable with her bunking in with Violet (college?) but she loves to nap in her crib with her Winnie the Pooh mobile.

As you can see from the pictures, she's come a long way in three months...her coming home dress is now more of a shirt (and check out those thighs)! We are so thankful to have her here with us safe, sound, and growing like a weed!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Last year, I wrote about one of our favorite hobbies, geocaching, in this post.  This year my family traveled to Galena, Illinois for the week between Christmas and New Year, and had the opportunity to find several geocaches in the area.

This was particularly fun and special because we had 4 generations working together.  Matt located 8 caches on and split us into two teams: (Great) Grandpa, my Dad, Matt, my brother Hans and Matias were on one team, while (Great) Grandma, my Mom, my sister Hannah, Violet and even Baby Bea were the other.  That's right- boys versus girls!

We had 2 hours, 4 caches to find each, a GPS or phone per team, and instructions to meet for lunch at 1pm downtown Galena.  Both teams found all their caches, and we got to see some treasures of Galena that we never would have found otherwise- mansions, natural springs and historic firestations.  If you haven't geocached before, you really must try it!  It is fun to do around the area you live (there are a dozen just in our town), and a great way to discover a new place as well.

Here are a few pictures from our caching!

After using a sign to get our final coordinates, we discovered a large cache tied under a bridge.

Then we discovered how to get to it!

The natural spring we found.  Yes, that figure deep in the woods is my awesome Grandma!

Found a tiny micro cache attached to a bench.

Inside was a tiny rolled up piece of paper to write your initials on.

We never would have seen this beautiful home if we hadn't been caching.

We found this one inside the sleigh.

Caches often contain little trinkets.  Violet traded a chocolate coin for a rubber bouncy ball.

Even Beatrice got in on the action!
I will add some pictures from the boy's team when I get them!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year!

With resolutions popping up in conversation, status updates and blog posts, getting a fresh start seems to be on everyone's mind. And though we all know that come mid-February, they will be long forgotten, there is still something special about making them.  Embracing the new, moving forward from the old, changing things up a bit, cutting off the cookie binging, finally grasping at one of those brass rings on the long-term list.

This year my goal is to be more present with my children.  Catchy, but what does it mean, right?

::It means that I stop seeing them as interruptions to my job- and realize that they are my job.

::It means that I say yes to them, unless I have a really good reason to say no (and using the computer is not a good reason!)

::It means that I focus less on my "to-do" list and instead view it as an "I did too" list.  At the end of the day, when I feel like I accomplished nothing, I can say "wait, I did, too!"

I played 7 games of Old Maid, read the same book 5 times, poured 15 glasses of milk, nursed the baby 8 times, changed 10 diapers, helped with a hard puzzle, talked to the pediatrician, swaddled 6 baby dolls, nobody starved or was buried alive under laundry or dishes.

And I enjoyed it, too.

So take that, perfectionist, to-do-list-making self.  I may rarely have 5 consecutive minutes to complete anything.  And it may bother me, but I am trying to get over it...because honestly, Old Maid is fun too.  And for the moment, I can still win :)

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