taylor funnies

Taylor has hit a new level of vocabulary and verbal proficiency that is just cracking us up daily. It’s like she’s 2 going on 10. I wish I had a voice-activated recorder lying around because very often she comes up with something or we have a conversation that is just TOO MUCH. And I really wish I could capture her inflection in writing, because she has this adorable up-talk in her speech that I can’t explain. It sounds like she’s inquisitive, but she’s not.

Here’s a meager sampling, since we’re dependent on my memory…

Recently, Grandma Char had plans to come visit, but the day she was going to come turned out to be a day of snow. The drive is an hour and a half in good weather, so she very wisely stayed home and rescheduled. Taylor asked me, “When Namma tuming?” I explained that she couldn’t come because of the snow. Taylor replied, ever the problem solver, “Her tood put her boots on and walk here!” Well… 🙂

Trying to open the fridge: “I’m BIG! I’m OLD!” Unsuccessful: “I’m too wittle.”

In conversation with me: “Merember that, Mom?”

The other day, Kyle was at a meeting when Taylor woke up from her nap. It seems we have a bona fide Daddy’s girl on our hands. “Where my dad dough (go)?” “He’s at a meeting.” “OH! I YOST (lost) him?! Well, I miss him.”

“I ALWAYS yike to wear dose doves (those gloves).” (Always is a new qualifier of the week.)

“Mom, mom, mom, Johanna!” (I didn’t even know she knew my name. Then when I asked her if she knew that was my name she said, “Your name Mommy.”)

Me: Taylor, here’s your banana. Taylor: Thanks, honey!

Her version of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”:
Who let the dogs out? Wuff, wuff, wuff.
I don’t knoooow!


Grant Joins the Crew

In a week, Grant will be three months old. I’ve had his birth story waiting in the wings, but its been a busy three months, with the holidays, friends visiting from out of state in January and a plaguing stretch of illness that has beaten us all for the better part of six weeks. 😦

So here, finally, is the story of Grant making his grand appearance.


Our third child was due on Thanksgiving day, but a week past that date, I was ready to get this show on the road. I wasn’t miserable, but I was tired of waiting. So that meant talking about inducing. My awesome doctor and I had made a plan together that I was mostly comfortable with, but still, I had my reservations about being induced.

So the plan was: go to the hospital Thursday night the 5th, check to see how far progressed things were. If they were favorable enough, go home and sleep and then return in the morning to start pitocin. If not, try Cervadil to prepare for induction with pitocin in the morning.

We got to the Birthplace around 6:15pm, and got all checked in. I needed Cervadil – all the contractions I’d felt over the past week only had me dilated to a TWO. So we settled in to watch the live Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. My friend Kelsey came to hang out and take pictures, hoping baby came that night. My mom came a little later. The Cervadil did its job and contractions ramped up and by 11pm I was having steady, firm contractions. But by an hour or two later, they totally petered out. Kelsey went home, and Mom, Kyle and I tried to get some sleep here and there.

In the morning, my wonderful Dr. Barrett stopped by on her way to the clinic and broke my water, hoping to kick things back into gear. My contractions had never quit, but they had gotten much weaker and further apart – certainly nothing I had to work through. I could walk and talk and smile…it was definitely not active labor.

Breaking my water helped – things started getting more real again. But in an hour or so, it wasn’t progressing, and contractions had dipped down to Easyville again. At this point, I was bored and slightly frustrated. I was ready to have this baby! I wasn’t totally exhausted – I was just ready to get this show on the road and finally meet this little person who seemed far too comfortable in their watery, warm nest. :-)

Thankfully, all along the way, the baby’s heartbeat was steady and happy as could be. Around 10am, I made the call: it was time for the “get the baby out cocktail”. “Dear nurse, just juice my IV with pitocin, please and thank you.” They “gave me a whiff” (their words) of pitocin at 10:30am and it was onward ho!

FINALLY things started getting real. I was so relieved to actually feel like I had to concentrate on relaxing through the contractions. They got hard and fast in a hurry, and by 1pm I was feeling like the end was near. My doctor arrived for the delivery – it was finally time to push this kiddo out!

Once again, Dr. Barrett coached me so well. I probably pushed for 15-20 minutes, and at the halfway point I asked, “Why isn’t he coming out?!” because of how quickly Taylor had come. I thought maybe this time would be even shorter, but as it turned out, this Incredible Hulk child was quite a bit bigger than Taylor had been, so that could account for the “slower” pace of pushing. :-)

Anyway, our baby came into the world at 1:59pm and Dr. Barrett and Kyle announced in tandem, “It’s a BOY!” as his wet, sweet, beautiful self was placed on my flushed chest. Grant Richard, our sweet surprise, our second son and third child, was finally here. My first thought was “Jack is going to be so excited to have a brother!” :-) We were overjoyed.


Looking back, I cannot believe how in control, calm, covered with grace, and able to concentrate I was during his labor. It was really awesome. I was so present, so able to focus, and was a lot more verbal – i think that helped me push through the pain in a better way. A lot of people were praying for me – I could feel it. Kyle and Mom were so helpful to get me through the most challenging points. And Char, my mother-in-law, ended up arriving to cheer me on for the last half an hour! Love my labor team. :-)

From the point when my labor REALLY started to his arrival was only 3.5 hours. Grant was easy on me, and he nursed right away like he was born a pro – latched perfectly and settled in for almost an hour before we finally weighed and measured him. We were all slightly shocked to learn he was 9 lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long with a 15 inch head. My little beefcake baby. He wins the prize for biggest at birth, coming in at 3 ounces heavier than Jack was.

We had such fun introducing Grant to his brother and sister and the rest of our family and friends that stopped by the hospital. He was doing so well that we were able to get home the next evening and continue to rest up in our own beds.


Grant has the most sweet, cheerful and happy-go-lucky personality! I cannot imagine our lives without his sunshine, so I’m ridiculously glad that God surprised us with his beautiful life. Welcome to our family, Granters. Mama, Daddy, Jack and Taylor love you SO much.

Grant (2 of 49)photo by Sarah Smith – Grant, one week old


two years with taylor


at two years old, Taylor:

  • weighs 28 lbs. (70th percentile)
  • is 2 ft. 11 inches tall (80th percentile)
  • has almost all her teeth – those two year molars are still coming through…sigh.
  • runs and jumps and loves to walk or ride her plasma car.
  • talks up one wall and down the other – her vocabulary and communication skills surprise me every day.
  • is a total fashionista. She frequently tells me exactly what she’d like to wear and loves shoes and tutus. 🙂
  • still loves her Pooh lovey and her “blankek” (blanket).
  • adores her daddy, her “Namas” (Grandmas) and Granpa and Papa.
  • thinks Jack hung the moon, except when he is touching her stuff.
  • enjoys “Boos Coos” (Blues Clues) and Georgie (Curious George) and Dannel Tider (Daniel Tiger) for TVand
  • her favorite songs to sing are “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “You are my Sunshine”.
  • loves Sandra Boynton books, especially “The Belly Button Book” and “Pajama Time”.
  • loves to play “Ring Around the Rosie”
  • points out “trators” and “big trucks” when we’re on the road.
  • we still call her Tay or Tay-Tay for nicknames.

Taylor is my sunshine. 🙂 She makes me smile and at the same time, boggles my mind with her smart little self and so much personality. I feel like I know less about parenting her than I did about Jack, because his personality is more similar to mine and her’s is not. Where he likes to follow the rules, she would like them not to exist. 🙂 But oh I love her. She is a treasure.

I can’t wait to see what her response to her baby brother or sister will be and if she’ll love being a little mommy. She likes babies a LOT, so i think that will be in our favor.

She recently started singing along when we have family worship time – its so precious to hear her little voice singing “Bwess the Yord” and other sweet words of praise to our Jesus.

Jesus, Taylor is your girl. I pray for her to know you and love you. Please help Kyle and I parent her well. May she know your love because of our love for her. May she know your heart is for her. Amen.

Happy 2nd birthday, Tay-tay! We love you.

shocking. I’m actually writing.

“tap tap tap. hello? is this thing on?”

<blows dust off the mic>

<clears throat>

warning: tumble of thoughts with no real connection ahead.

today is a grey, blustery morning. the sort that is made better by a steaming mug of coffee with cream and sugar and a pumpkin muffin. mornings like this inspire me to write…and since there’s really nowhere urgent to go or anything pressing to do besides clean the house, i shall write.

last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought of how easy it should be to write down thoughts from the day – just spend five minutes before my evening routine to crank out some words. I miss the way I used to blog/write/process life and I think I would benefit from getting back in the habit of pounding out my thoughts.

Kyle is off at the Desiring God conference today, and we have an extra kiddo around – a sweet little red-headed girl for foster respite. She’s seven, and her flaming curls are how Jack remembers her. “When is that curly, red-haired girl coming again?” he asked me repeatedly. It’s nice to give her mama a break. I know how glad I am for a break from my little people. 🙂

I hoped to take the kids to the apple orchard yesterday or today, but the weather isn’t exactly cooperating. Perhaps we’ll go anyhow, rain be damned. 🙂 We can at least eat caramel apples in the van and pet the goats in the barn, I suppose.

Have I mentioned I LOVE this time of year? September and October are seriously two of my favorite months. May and June might be the others. 🙂 Oh and sliver of December. But truly, what’s not to love about this season, especially here in my home state? The chilly mornings give way to warm, sunny afternoons with fresh breezes. The leaves change from green to shades of riotous red, orange, rust, yellow and auburn. Apples are in season! Pumpkin permeates my baking and cooking and drinking. Kyle and I celebrate our anniversary. Taylor’s birthday rolls around. (Ack! She’ll be two in less than a week – how?!)

Yes, Anne Shirley and I agree on many things, this being one:

Jack started one-morning-a-week preschool earlier this month. He’s loving it. I like his teacher a lot and he seems to be enjoying the class, but the thing that seems to have made the most impression so far is that some kids in his class are Badly Behaved. Each week when I pick him up and ask what he did, he replies with some variation of “I obeyed my teacher.” 🙂 And while I’m very glad that he IS well behaved, I hope he doesn’t gain some superiority complex from the experience.

Like I mentioned, Taylor will be two next week. TWO. I’m having fun planning her little birthday party. Birthday parties are my favorite. 🙂 I hope she’ll enjoy the day. She’s a delight and a joy – spunky and sweet.

and with that, I’m going to scoot and get the kiddos ready for our little apple orchard excursion, damp though it may be. If I’m good, I’ll be back with more soon. 🙂

taylor lately

From my baby girl:

  • hork! = fork
  • airpape! = airplane (always said with much enthusiasm)
  • blankek = blanket
  • no, pease = no way, no thank you, i don’t want it. (unfortunately a favorite phrase at the moment)
  • happy, happy, happy and more happy = please sing to me: “You are My Sunshine” and other songs.
  • shoooo = shoe. This girl loves her shoes. 🙂
  • go, go, go = what I hear from the backseat when I slow down for traffic or stop at a stop sign or traffic light. My girl likes to be on the move!
  • She wants to do whatever Jack does and be wherever Jack is. She really missed him this past weekend when he was fishing with Kyle. It was sweet to see.

trying to ride her brother’s bike

mothers day 2013



My kids and husband made my Mother’s Day so sweet yesterday.

It began with Kyle instructing me to stay in bed while he got up with the kids. I gladly complied and read all kinds of things in the quiet while he, Jack and Taylor made happy surprises. About an hour later, they burst into my room with cries of “Happy Muver’s Day!” and kisses and hugs aplenty.

Kyle had helped them make a card for me, and Kyle also wrote me a sweet note. Jack and Taylor gave me a gift card for Starbucks, and Kyle found a beautiful and unique magazine for me and gave me a subscription. It’s really unique and lovely – I can’t wait to delve into the pages.


For breakfast, the kids and Kyle made puffy dutch pancake and yogurt/berry parfaits, which we all heartily enjoyed. Then it was time to get ready for church – baths and showers and hair combed and clothes on and teeth brushed. And coleslaw made to take to the in-laws later in the day.

Church was so pleasant and good. Wonderful worship and a great sermon. After church, we ate lunch at Culver’s – they were giving mom’s a free sundae, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂 The kids devoured their cheeseburgers and an older couple complimented us on the kids and our “sweet family”. Hooray for manners in public! haha.

We made the trek down to Farmington to spend the rest of the day with Kyle’s family. (My mom and I had celebrated together on Friday because she and my dad were gone for the weekend.) It’s so fun when his whole family is able to be together and it had been MONTHS since we all were able to be there, so it was extra special.

The dinner of kebabs on the grill was a big hit and Jack loved playing golf outside with his dad, Grandpa Rick and Uncle Daniel (who, for some reason, was called simply Uncle by Jack all day, haha). Taylor couldn’t get enough of the swing and trampoline – we all are so glad to be outside whenever the weather is nice, which is far more often now, thank goodness.

As we drove home, I thought about the day, my sweet kids who have made me a mom, the wonderful mothers who have gone before and shaped my mothering, the amazing women who are on this journey of motherhood with me now, the women I know that long to be mothers, and the kind of mom I want to be for my kids in the future. Lots of thoughts. Lots of joy. Lots of grace needed.

A very happy mother’s day indeed.

out of the mouth of jack 4.0

You know your kid is a Minnesotan when you’re outside on one of the first 40 degree days of the season and he exclaims, “Mom! It’s so warm, it’s like the desert!” (In his defense – there was no wind, LOL.)

“Oh no! this is TERRIBLE!” (I think he got that from Daniel Tiger, but I’m not sure…and I can’t remember what it was in reference to.)

Jack was putting on his jammies and got his head stuck in the shirt. When he got out, he said “goodness snakes!”

The other day I took him to the library for a special preschool reading time because Curious George (stuffed costumed person version) was there. They read two CR books and then the kids could get their picture taken with George. In the car on the way home Jackson totally made my day by saying, “Mom, it made me really happy to take a picture with Curious George, because I really yike him.”