Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Card Rejects

Santa's Little Helper & CRAZY Hair



???



Do you see what I see?



Snuggle Bunnies


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lila Turns Six Months Old

Lila dear,

The last six months with you have flown by. Frankly this time has mostly been filled with trying to take care of your needs. We've recently felt like you are becoming aware of us and can interact with us a little more than the occasional smile, which makes our time together much more fun. You've started engaging us in an occasional game of peek-a-boo, and will play happily with just about any toy you can get your hands on. Sometimes this playing can be very vigorous, and we even captured a video of a recent play session where you really showed the stuffed giraffe who was the boss.

video


Now that we are out of the wilderness of those first few months, this time is full of many fun "firsts" for you. You've recently started your first solid food, though you don't appear convinced of the appeal of rice cereal just yet. You've also had your first ride on a swing a the playground, and (to no one's surprise) you seem to love it. You've also gone from the occasional flip from your back to your tummy (and only in one direction) to becoming a rolling machine that can cross a whole room in just a few seconds.


You are a lucky girl to have a big sister who not only loves you, but is intent on taking care of you. One of Adah's primary joys in life is to bring you toys to play with, so you are rarely without a treasure or two (or 10) to shake or rattle. Adah is also trying to master some new skills of her own (jumping, dancing, spinning until she is dizzy and falling over), which often makes you break out into a gregarious laugh.

Seeing your personality emerge a little more over this last month or so has also shown us that you have the same independent streak that your sister (and your parents) have. For example, you will sometimes boycott your last nap of the day, despite the fact that you can barely make it through dinner without a complete meltdown when that happens.

We love you, little one, and we look forward to seeing more of your personality emerge over these next few months. You also have a sister who loves to "mother" you, and can't wait to play with you when you learn a few more games.

Playtime with Daddy





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


Happy Halloween
from the Butterfly and Little Ladybug


(yes, for those of you who remember,
the ladybug costume was used by Adah last year
... poor fortune to be a second child!)







Adah has been learning some new words for the occasion:
* Pa pa (pumpkin)
* Care Crow (scarecrow)
* Guts
* trick tree (Trick or Treat)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adah Turns Two

Adah Love,

I can hardly believe that you are two years old! When I look back at pictures from 12, 9, or even 6 months ago, I see the “littleness” of you that is now somehow absent. You are still little, but everyday you seem like you get bigger, more mature, more adventuresome, more knowledgeable … more you. And we, your parents, watch you grow (with a bit of reluctance and a great deal of admiration).


You are a sweet, sweet girl with a generous spirit that is quite unlike most other kids your age. Whenever I set your sister down, you always bring her toys to entertain her, setting them on her belly saying “Here Lila.” And when your sister cries, you rock her chair while singing her name to calm her down. And when we are at the park and you notice another child wanting to play with whatever treasure of a toy you have found, you often offer it over without prompting or protest. You have your challenges as you enter this two-year-old phase of your life, but possessiveness is not one of them and for that I admire you.

You also continue to revel in your desire to be helpful. The other day when I came to pick you up from pre-school I noticed you swiffering the floor under the snack table with such determination. Your teacher explained, “If I would let her, she would do this all day!” Apparently you have found jobs to do at school too!

Your language has really exploded these last few days and sometimes you really take us by surprise with your new words. For instance, you belted out the word “CAKE” with such clarity and enthusiasm the other day in the store … how appropriate to learn that word just before your birthday! Also, about a week ago your sweet little voice called out “HOME” from the back seat as we rounded the last corner in our neighborhood and came into view of our house. I am glad that our home is something you look forward to! Some of my other favorite new words include: owl, yellow, purple, play, pool, Elmo, & Ohhhh Kaaaaaay.

You also continue to have a particular way of doing things. My favorites of late include:
  • You raise your glass at every meal so that we can clink them together and say “cheers"
  • You must make sure everyone takes their shoes off and YOU get to put them in the shoe closet.
  • On a related note … you look your Daddy up and down each morning and then pick out appropriate shoes for him to wear … and, to our amazement, you get it right 99% of the time.
  • You sometimes sing along with a tune on the radio or a cartoon jingle. However, if I join in with you, you often shoot me a sharp look and definitely say “no,” as in “this is not something you get to do, Mama.” Still, your backseat “la, la, las” bring joy to my days.
  • When your Daddy goes to work, you sit on the step to the garage, wave goodbye, and blow him kisses. You also wave and blow kisses to all the cars that drive by our house, including the garbage trucks.

I can’t say that these days are without their challenges. You are two, after all. You do whine, test boundaries, and (consequently) spend time in hallway “time out” spot. I have learned, particularly with your whining, that you have quite a bit of stamina in you. It has been my challenge to keep my cool in these times and be the non-anxious presence you need. I have to say that I am still mastering this skills.

On the flip side of that coin, you have been cuddlier than ever before. You will sometimes come up and ask to sit on your Daddy’s lap … and will even stay there for more than a few seconds. You are also very free with your kisses and hugs, which we love, but has taken some visitors by surprise.

Every night when your Daddy puts you to bed he tells you that you are smart, beautiful, kind, helpful, and funny. I hope that you will always believe him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baptism


There is something quite special about baptisms, but even more so when it is your own two girls who are carried in front of the church in their sweet white dresses and claimed as God's children. Your Dad & I made promises to you, the church made promises to you, and the children of the church made promises to you ... to pray for you, to care for you, and to nurture you in your faith. May your journeys be well traveled!



"He has shown you, oh man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. --Micah 6:8

"Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -- Phil 4:4-7

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

Today was Adah's first day of school ... OK, it's just preschool two mornings a week, but it's still a big deal for us all. She came home tuckered out, so that was a good sign that she had fun.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Game Day

At the Rozell household, we are preparing for the next Michigan football season. Some of us are a little nervous about it, others of us are eager with anticipation, but we all are ready to cheer "Go Blue!" Here are a few shots for game day...

"Yeah, I'm ready for game day."



"When's the game going start?"



"What's Coach Rodriguez going to do this year?"



"Hail to the Victors Valiant!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adah: A "Just So" Kid

Adah, the more I see you play with other children your age, the more I see your personality emerge. I am realizing that you are a wonderfully unique child. Here are just a few of the quirks that I love about you…

  • You love tupperware and consider the drawer where we keep said items your personal space (not to be invaded by others).
  • You feel the need to close every open drawer or door that you pass.
  • You take roll call throughout the day of each household member, but always skip yourself. (Adah: "Dada?" Me: "Dada's at work." Adah: "Lila?" Me: "Lila's sleeping." Adah: "Mama?" Me: "Mama's right here. I'm Mama." *pause* Me: "What about Adah?" Adah: "No.")
  • You always sit in the same spot to read books (and direct me where to sit as well).
  • You like to walk around the house with a hat over your eyes trying to feel your way through the rooms, giggling the whole way.
  • You bring your favorite stuffed animals to your sister when she's sitting somewhere by herself.
  • Sometimes, when I am talking to Lila, you push me out of the way and mimic the exact thing I was just doing to Lila yourself.
  • You often pack up a bag, wave good-bye, blow kisses and leave the room (to go to “work” like Dada does). You return within minutes bursting through the door to "come home" with kisses and hugs.
  • You kiss and hug your panda bear, bunny, and blanket every time you get up out of your crib in the morning.
  • You have to turn your light on and off every morning before leaving your room.
  • You give the toy frog drinks of bath water before you get out of the tub.
  • You clap when we finish brushing your hair after the bath.
  • You have started "reading" books to your stuffed animals and dolls, complete with the same motions your Dad and I add to our orations.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, Little One, and I love every bit of you.



Lila: Tummy Time & First Laughs

Lila, you are a tummy magnet these days. A few weeks ago, you figured out how to roll over onto your tummy ... and you haven't stopped since. You roll over as soon as we put you down on your back, especially in your crib. I have to admit, this new skill is a bit of a blessing for me, as it has led to some decent napping habits (FINALLY!). I, for one, am singing praises ... Yeah Tummy Time!

Unfortunately, you have also become a spit-up machine (maybe not unrelated to your new rolling skills). Rarely do I make it through the day without spit up somewhere on me and often we go through one or two burp cloths a day. You are giving our washing machine a work-out, girl!

However, our greatest joy these past few weeks has been seeing your new found expressions and hearing your laugh for the first time. Here are a pictures and a short video clip to enjoy ...




video

Thursday, July 23, 2009

To My Girls

God gave me a great gift in the two of you...

Lila Bug, you can melt me with your smiles ... especially in these intense care-giving days when exhaustion is a constant state of being. We are still working on getting you a decent amount of sleep and milk each day ... and I spend MUCH of my day working on these two tasks. But in the moments in between, you are a pretty good baby with engaging eyes and a sweet smile. You are transitioning from the groggy state of newborn to the more alert babyhood and it has been fun to watch you "wake up." You are entertained by the simplest of things: a smiling face, a hanging toy, a bath, etc. I look forward to our days ahead together when you can start to explore the world around you more.

Adah Love, you are beautiful and loving and also strong-willed and challenging. I am learning new ways to engage you every day, especially since we have been stuck in the house a lot lately due to your sister's napping needs. My stand-by engagement activity is to have you help me around the house, which you seem to take much pride in. You have certain jobs that you know you can do (and get upset if we do them without you), including: closing the garage door, emptying the plasticware out of the dishwasher, putting out the recycling, helping prepare vegetables for dinner, bringing condiments to and from the dinner table, sweeping and dusting, etc. In fact, the other day you handed the duster back to me and then pointed to the places you wanted me to dust. Way to take charge, little one! You are also learning to communicate more and more each day and new words abound. My favorite of your current vocabulary: Mama, Dada, Lila, sister, "nigh-nigh," "shh" (as in "quiet, sister is sleeping"), "mo" (as in "more"), teeth, hat (with a strong emphasis on the "t"), shoes, eyes, eggs, and "I did it!" (OK, this one is more of a hand sign and a high pitched squeal in the pattern of the phrase, but I know what you're trying to say). You are also learning that Mama actually cannot fix everything. The other day you broke a crayon and handed it to me to fix. When I told you that I couldn't, you just kept handing it back to me as if you were in disbelief. Yes, it's true ... things get broken in life and Mama can't always fix them. This is a good lesson for you to learn.

These days I am learning having my own learning process as well. What are my lessons?: to learn to be more patient and understanding, to be present in the moment, and to take time for myself to recharge whenever I can get it. You girls have intense needs right now and it takes all of me to take care of you both. But I am finding joy along the way. Thank you for letting me be your Mama!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Easy Baby?

Does the "easy baby" truly exist? Being in the trenches myself, I'm not so sure. (If you have or have had an easy baby, now would not be the time to tell me so.)

I truly love my girls. They are the heart of my heart. Yet I find the work of caring for them simply the most difficult thing I have done in my 33 years on this earth. These two can bring me to tears.

It is with this thought that I must inform you that blogging is not happening very much these days. For those of you who need your Adah & Lila fix (mainly you grandparents), I will try to continue to post pictures on our online photo album (see link on the side nav bar).


Sleeping Beauty
(a rarity these days)



Big Sis, Little Sis

Friday, May 29, 2009

Twins?

We have been asked by some who Lila looks most like. My answer: she looks most like her sister Adah. Seriously. Take a look for yourself....


Adah


Lila


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baby Lila Arrives

With great joy we've just welcomed a new daughter into our family. Lila Hovey Rozell was born at 12:28pm on Sunday May 3rd (not more than 40 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, I might add). She was 18 3/4 inches long, weighed 6lbs 11oz and had a head full of beautiful dark hair. Everyone is healthy and we are now home from the hospital.


Adah thinks her new sister is pretty funny (for now), but we have had to remind her to be a little more gentle than she is with her baby dolls! She is doing much better with this than we expected. She pats Lila gently on the tummy, strokes her hair, or gives her kisses. Adah watches what we do with Lila very carefully and often tries to imitate us. We are blessed to have these two little girls in our family and couldn't be happier that they now have each other.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

39 Weeks

Yes, the shirts are tugging and the baby is trying to kick it's way out of my belly. This one will be with us shortly! Someone actually stopped me in the grocery store the other day to say with much sympathy, "I hope you're due soon." (I think that's on a list somewhere of things you shouldn't say to a pregnant woman!)


Friday, April 24, 2009

Adah Turns Eighteen Months Old

The last few months, we have found ourselves quite busy. With our second child's due date fast approaching and an active toddler on the loose, our time for blogging has been pushed further and further down the to do list.

Adah is continues to grow into herself and exhibit her independence. She is learning to communicate a bit more calling out an "uh oh" when something is dropped or signing for help when she can't do something on her own. Actually, "uh oh" has become her favorite word. She sometimes uses it even before dropping something (as a warning, I guess). This is quite amusing to us! A little less amusing, however, is entering the stage of toddlerhood where Adah is testing us and protesting our refusal of things she wants. She has developed a real sour face (where she furrows her brow, scrunches her nose, and pouts her lips) in response to our saying "no, no, Adah ... don't do that." She has also been known to scrunch her body down into a ball and fall onto the floor in protest. Sometimes the face is so exaggerated or the fall to the floor is so dramatic that it is hard not to be amused by it. Still, we persist in choosing our battles and sticking to our "no" when it is important. Unfortunately, I think this testing may get worse before it gets better (or at least that is what I am told).

Collecting and sorting are the favorite activities of late. In the waiting room at the doctor's office the other day, she helped the staff collect all 7 of the etch-n-sketches from around the room and put them with the others away on their shelf. At home, she collects her favorite Tupperware containers, coasters, and magazines. She then stacks them in one place then moves the pile to another place. The joy she finds in these type of activities amuses and delights me.

Adah has also moved into her "big girl" room ... a bit of a transition for us all! It's been fun to decorate a room that suits her developing personality ... complete with bright colors and frogs, fairies, and butterflies. Getting back into a good sleep routine has been a challenge though (especially since the room transition also coincided with getting rid of the pacifier and dealing with a couple of colds and new teeth).

Adah's physical coordination is also improving. She runs around the house, park and yard with relative stability. She also rides around the house on the little scooter her uncle gave her for Christmas, and has great facility for climbing all sorts of things (furniture, stairs, parents, etc.). She is working on using silverware all by herself, and (when she wants to) can actually get most of the food in her mouth surprisingly often! She is also getting very good at matching blocks of different shapes to their corresponding holes on one of her toys and completing puzzles.

Below are some pictures of the last month or so. Frankly, it's hard for us to believe that our baby has grown up to become the beautiful little girl in these pictures.


Adah in Her New Room



Easter




Swinging at the Park ... and Loving It!



Too Cool for School

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Birthday To You ...

Happy Birthday Chris!

Yesterday we celebrated Chris' Birthday with a family lunch and lemon cake. (We also used the occasion to test our new tripod.) Here are just a few pictures from the day.


Chris' favorite playmate


A Family Portrait
(Adah helped her Daddy with the bows)



My Growing Belly