Seaside, Nov. 14

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Time Flies

As we bust through winter with sloth-like speed, we are encountering a new family season.  Zeke is now 6 months old.  I cannot believe that it has been so long, but feels so short.  In the last months Zeke has learned to roll over -- from front to back and back to front.  He makes us laugh with his preference of choosing the harder skills, like rolling from back to front, and deciding that there is only one correct way to roll . . . and that is right :)  His personality is blooming daily while we cannot seem to find enough bibs to entirely soak up his drool.  Recently, as began fussing on his tummy (because he has refused to roll from back to front) I decidedly helped him roll over and found that my hand and arm were covered in drool.  That day I found out that he enjoys consuming his hand and arm :)

He's also growing like a weed.  I've had to put away all his 0-3 month clothing, some of his 3-6 depending on size, and breaking into the 6-9.  He's not up to speed with his same age  counterparts in height, but I'm not too concerned about that :)  At the doctors he weighed in at 14 pounds but his height and head measurements weren't taken . . . 6 month checkup to come soon.

Solids seems to beckon his attention.  Frequently when Mike and I are eating, we sense that "someone's looking at me" feeling only to look over and see Zeke staring with intense desire.  He watches the spoon carefully and seems to be downloading the mechanics of eating.  Unfortunately, he still has his extrusion reflex -- sticking out his tongue to eat -- and can't quite get the hang of swallowing just yet.  I can only imagine that that boy will be eating us out of house and home too soon!

Work seems to be going quite well for Mike.  He is always busy and frequently seems to have extra.  We are so blessed to feel secure in such rocky economic times.  Just today, he is headed to the coast to check out a job in Newport and texted me a picture during his lunch break.  It was so beautiful I was a bit jealous :(

"Work" is going well for me as well.  Three days a week I watch Abbi.  Before I go any further, we've got SUPER news!


The last couple weeks have been filled with box packing whenever we have a spare moment.  And although we felt somewhat good to move, there are always so many extras.  We planned our move well and this week has been dedicated to moving the small things.  Hopefully we will be done very soon.  I don't much care for the preparation of moving, but I die for the ability to put away our stuff into all the new places.  It does seem to be box after box (which means we really should donate much of our . . . junk . . . to Goodwill), but soon enough our new place will feel more like home.  It already does.

The neat part?  We are living with some good friends of ours . . . Abbi's parents!  So their commute, and my preparation time are slim to none :)  There will definitely be some roommate issues, but we've already got a plan to deal with them!  I'm just so excited because of the place.  Check out this link to view our home -- without all our stuff in it.  I'll try to post more pictures once it's not ruled by boxes and junk.

So back to Abbi . . . she is quite a cutie-pie and Zeke is starting to notice too.  She is in the stage where she only wants what others have, so there might be a floor full of toys, but she wants the one Zeke is playing with.  He still has reflux, although not quite as bad, but when he's in the bouncy seat (which used to be Abbi's), she'll walk over and want to "bounce" him and "gently" touch him.  Eventually, this leads to her trying to whop him on the head and redirection is only so good :)

I am doing well considering.  Days seem to fly by during my exhaustion while I try so hard to have enough energy to keep both kids challenged and occupied.  During nap times, if they are asleep at the same time, I try to put away boxes.  I'm quickly noticing that the kitchen seems like the most fun.  Because of our move, we've eaten out so much I'm sick of it.  Hopefully soon, I'll be cooking away.  The new house also has a backyard that my friend and new roommate Tonya are drooling over.  There is enough space to put in a garden and we're already planning on putting in a backyard.  It'll take some elbow grease, but we've got gloves ready :)

No pictures this time, but hopefully more soon.  We need to be better at documenting our little one's life :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

This week marked a new start for me.  I have always wanted to stay at home with my children and become a talented housewife.  These are the core years to teach my children about God, life, and education in the world’s terms.  Although Mike and I have paved a fairly good road until this point for me to do this, we are still slightly short and need to make some extra money. 
God had a perfect idea for us.  One of my friends recently had a baby girl (7 mos) and she wanted to know that her little one was being cared for.  In our area, finding reasonable childcare is quite difficult.  And when you can find a reasonable price, there is typically something a bit off about the provider.  She conveyed to me how one provider informed them that the television was left on all day--without skipping a beat, like it was normal, one had dicey moral artwork on the wall, and one let her young daughter watch the children at times.  Hmm, not the information a mother wants to hear.  So our two families created a plan for me to watch her.  
During the days that she is here, she and Zeke have wonderful and detailed staring contests with each other.  I can just see the thoughts flying through their heads.  Plus, I am able to stay with my son and teach him.  Too cool.
Mike also had a fairly good week.  One day he came home so excited . . . Maybe even a bit more than Christmas.  Upon walking through the door he exclaimed, “I got to see a waterbed roof today!”  I was quite perplexed by what he meant.  He then explained how a client called him up in a panic asking for him to come out immediately.  Mike is quite flexible and although most issues aren’t immediate, he adjusted his schedule to go.
Upon reaching the client’s roof, he began walking around to find the difficulty.  Fairly soon he stepped on the roof and felt like he was going to fall through because the roof was so soft.  He subsequently figured out that there was a 4’ x 4’ section of roof filled with 4 ins of water beneath the roof!  When he stepped on the surface, the supposed-to-be-solid roof rose and fell like water at sea. Needless to say, Mike needed to make some phone calls to make sure this man still had a place to live.
Mike was also able to head out to the mountain (Mt. Hood), White River Snow Park to be exact, for Search and Rescue.  We call it SAR for short.  This week’s mission was for the trainers to hike back into the woods and find a place to “get lost”.  Next week they are staging a mock rescue and Mike “gets to” get cold and act drunk for the other SAR volunteers.  He is very excited that he can use his skills for some good.  
The story of the day there was how one of his volunteer trainers thought it might be a good and funny idea to drink a swoosh of alcohol and then spray some on himself to make the situation realistic.  Mike was thinking a bit more globally and responded, “Yeah.  And when the cop pulls me over on the way home . . .”  He didn’t even have to finish before his team members had a good chuckle.
On the home front, Zeke is growing well.  Friday we were able to see the doctor who gave us quite a bit of information.  Typically when an infant is born early, doctors adjust the percentage charts back to their due date.  For example, because Zeke was 5 weeks early, we wouldn’t consider him to be 3 months (which he actually is), we would consider him to be 2 months (adjusted for the “gestational age”).  When he showed us the charts and how Zeke measured up, we all had a good laugh.  Even without any adjustments, our little tyke seems to meet the normal percentages.  It comes from the Drexler side :)  We’ve gotten so many comments about his feet size and “wow” looks when we tell people his age.  We love it!
He is also beginning to imitate our faces!  Mike and I are having a hoot of a time staring at him, smiling, and watching him smile back.  Although it takes a while for him to understand the game we are playing, it is well worth our time.  First he looks concerned and like he is contemplating how to imitate that face, and then slowly, his smile begins to creep in.  Small at first, and then so large his cutie pie dimples show.  God is just too good!  We are also working on sticking out his tongue and trying to act excited, but that just results in a confused face from Zeke.

I can’t wait to share new stories with you, but I think that might also mean a bit more mayhem for me.  Ah well.  I knew what I was in for from the beginning :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Season

We were pleasantly surprised on December 23rd, leaving too late, we didn’t encounter much traffic. The drive went quite smoothly even with little Zeke needing a feed partway through. It’s become quite interesting for me to nurse in awkward places. This time it was in the dark at a gas station a bit off the road. Unfortunately, it was quite chilly and lil man had to get changed in super chilly weather. He wasn’t too happy about that.

Finally we reached the Drexler’s house in Kent and were only too happy to hit the hay. Zeke needed to feed and I was trying just as hard to keep my lids open long enough for him to eat. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jason, and Aunt Julie were all truly happy to see him.

I was happy to watch family spread the love on the little guy. Although he doesn’t get to see them too often, he seemed quite mellow while staring into all these “new” people’s eyes. Recently he’s been quite the detail man. Watching with eyes wide open he’ll track objects with distinct colors until his head won’t turn any more. This made Christmas quite entertaining for him as most people he saw wore bright reds and greens.

We were able to stay with the Drexlers for two days and visiting was wonderful. Jason and Julie had come from Ohio to visit for the season and it was only too sweet for us to see them again after a year of phone chats. Wendy was a gracious host and Grandma--as always :) while Wayne was only too happy to take Zeke off our hands. Zeke was only too happy to let the joy be spread around.

Late on the 24th Mike and I headed out to Battleground to visit the Mitchell’s. Around halfway there we received a phone call from Connie wanting to know how close we were. The Mitchell’s have a time-honored tradition of opening a present on New Years Eve. As little girls, Melissa and I always wanted the big one, or the one we thought was from our list. We came to understand that it was the little teaser we could open. Connie was only too eager for us to arrive.

So at 10:00 pm, Mike, Zeke and I strolled in the door, said our hellos, and we went straight to the tree for Christmas Eve’s present goodies. Again, Mike and I were only too happy to lay down our heads. Zeke is still on his own schedule, so he didn’t care when we slept. He’d let us know when he needed something.

Christmas morning came quickly and the Grandparent's seemed like the first to wake. As noises of morning routines began to fill the house, our excitement rose . . . as much as two people with no sleep can. Grand Mitchell’s, the Strong’s--Aaron, Melissa, and niece Zoe, and us settled in for the present opening fiesta.

Many smiles were exchanged and I think my favorite of the day was my father. Connie began our present charade by opening a present she had given to herself. My dad followed by asking her what it was and her response was “honey, you got it for me.” Of course, she had bought it for herself. Cute, Mom. And then after all the presents had been opened, there was a slight pause in the air. Dad broke the silence by excitedly announced as he read the “tag”, “To Dad . . . From Dad”, and pulled out a golf club with a grin only matched by children. All of us chuckled right along with him.

These are some pictures, the rest are at

Kicking off the New Year!

Mike and I are jumping in with all “those other people” making weight loss goals for the new year. We have been chatting about needing to act for so long that our tummy tires have rounded out. Mike is going to give Power 90 a try, while I am hooked by Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I’ve already begun the monotonous routine of turning on the TV, watching the pre-show I’ve watched too many other times, only to wait too long for the whiplash of no breaks and “encouragement” that we need to work this hard. If you ask me, the FBI warning is just a bit too long to think twice about waiting to sweat!

Somehow, I have to make sure that the little guy is actually sleeping before I get ready. Sometimes by the time I believe that he is actually down for a nap, it’s too late and I’ve just gotten into the warm up. I guess the warm up is better than nothing :)

We’re very excited with little Zeke’s progress. We weighed him the other day and he has doubled his birthweight--quite a feat for a preemie. He seems to be eating and sleeping well, even though the good sleep is during the day. He is so long now that he’s grown out of his newborn clothes and entered the 0-3 closet. We don’t think he’ll be there too long as some of the clothing is already looking a bit short . . . one reason Mike and I won’t be investing too much in clothing. It’s not to savvy to buy really cute outfits that look really cute on the hanger, but don’t fit the kid :)

The most exciting part of his development seems to be relational. Although he was smiling from birth, he now seems to be imitating people’s smiles and producing some of his own. His new found ability melts my heart. I am so deeply touched with him and what he means to me that I find myself uncontrollably smiling while also shedding happy tears. When I do this and am looking at Zeke, he smiles with me and then stops. It seems to me like he’s not quite sure how to “do that face”.

All in all, we had a good holiday season and look forward to writing new history into our Drexler family.