Life has been busy here in the Friesen household. Hence the reason for my negligence in creating a new post. It just wasn't a priority. I figured I should finally update it - so I stop feeling guilty for not doing so. Mostly because it is a great way to reflect back on the kids and where they are at (helps update the babybook easier). Plus I figured it was time seeing as my littlest bear is almost 9 1/2 months. Lots has happened since the last post. Hmmm...let me see...where to start.
At the end of May we headed to Whistler for the Spring Resident's retreat. We had a great time and the weather cooperated very nicely. I had never really experienced Whistler before so it was fun to look around and enjoy the sites. Graham biked on Saturday with a few others and most of the rest of us went hiking. Our first trail wasn't the hugest hit but the second one was beautiful. There was a suspension bridge with some rapids below. I didn't get to enjoy this hike for as long due to nap time needs but it was still lovely. Sunday I got to spend the afternoon without kiddos! I had a manicure and pedicure and enjoyed some shopping with friends. Evenings were spent eating fabulous group dinners, trying to get Shae to sleep, hanging out and playing games! It was a great getaway with a great group of residents. We are so fortunate to have such a great group of people to hang out with and to care for us!
There was still some snow in Whistler thanks to our extended Spring weather.
Shae enjoying the backpack!
Graham was biking so Jackie offered to carry Norah. Norah didn't mind :)
On the suspension bridge - I was suprised that Norah didn't show more fear.
The views from each side of the bridge. It was beautiful.
Friends cooking supper and hanging out!
Puzzling with Kelly
Lots of fun playing a rousing game of (not sure what to call it) but kinda like donkey. Let's just say we had a lot of fun and played for over an hour! Here we are arranged tallest to shortest.
Us with dear friends Kevin & Jackie.( It has been heard many times from Norah that Kevin is her best friend :)
A night out without kids!
All the residents from the past 2 years.
Hmmm....what else has been happening? Graham has started a really busy rotation which leaves him gone for many evenings. We've been managing so far but it sure will be nice when it's done. The rotation is another three weeks after which we head to Manitoba on vacation! Oh and by the way he is now a 2nd year resident!!! Graham's parents have been out visiting. It's always nice to have parents come out and help with the kids, cook and just give breaks to us tired parents. It's also nice to have them around because we like them and it's good company :) We have wonderful parents and we truly are blessed. This last week has been busy as we had a banquet for the graduation 2nd year residents and also welcomed the new residents to Chilliwack. I think they will be a great addition to our resident "family". We've met a bunch of them already. God has blessed us with another couple that has kids. Dave is a new resident and his wife Sarah is a stay at home mom to there two little girls (3 and 1 1/2). Get this, they also love Jesus and we like them - a lot!! We've spent a bunch of time with them already and have really appreciated them and look forward to spending a lot more time together.
Shae has changed a tonne since my last post. It's crazy actually how quickly they can change. They start to learn a new skill at the start of the week and by the end they master that - crazy how smart little kiddos are. Anyway, I will try to recap her changes and some happenings in her little world:
May 8: We participated with Shae in the baby dedication in our church here in Chilliwack. We committed to raising Shae for Jesus to the best of our ability as parents and yet also recognizing that it is Shae's choice whether or not she makes a commitment to live her own life for Jesus. \
May 21: (8 months): Shae started the army crawl. It was so cute watching her shimmy along the floor. She would pull along with her hands! She also started walking while being led.
May 26: We started giving her chunks of food to eat. She isn't so great at picking them up herself yet at this point but seems to like being able to have "real" food. Once again - it didn't take tooo long (maybe 2 weeks or so) before she was putting most of the food in her mouth on her own. So now she feeds herself! It's lovely. So far she isn't too picky. It's funny though - she won't spit any food out so if she doesn't like something she just tolerates it or starts to whine.
June 3: It didn't take Shae long to get on all 4's. She rocks on all 4's at this point. Also very cute to watch.
June 6: Starts saying bababa more frequently and has become much chattier. She also puts her hands together as if she is clapping. But isn't really clapping - if that makes sense.
June 11/12 ish: Not sure exactly what date it was but Shae transitioned to having a bottle during the day. She didn't seem phased at all by the transition to formula and bottles. I started her slow. I began a while back pumping and giving a bottle, then slowly gave one bottle of formula a day and then it didn't take long and she was getting all bottles during the day and then I nurse her before bed and at night. If we do need to go out (doens't happen to often without kiddos) - then I can pump when I get home and she'll take a bottle. There is a great amount of freedom in this and it seemed the right move for us. I will admit I had to kinda ignore feelings of guilt for giving formula as I had no other good reason besides that I was ready. I've been told that that is good enough reason. I am happy I have continued to nurse at night and hoping that Shae will continue to be fine with this for a little while longer.
June 13th: Shae starts crawling on all fours. At the beginning she still would mostly army crawl - however, it didn't take to long and the crawling on all fours trumped army crawl. She can now get all over the place and pretty quickly to! Norah never crawled like this - she skooched. So it's fun having a crawler as well!
June 19th: Shae starts pulling to stand in her crib and by the end of the week is pulling to stand on anything that she can. It's fun to watch her crawl around to one object- pull up, sit down and then go to the next thing. She keeps busy :)
June23: Says dadadada way more consistently and this week I have started to hear papapa. She does say mamama but usually only when she is crying and upset.
June 27: starts to dance/bob up and down when she hears music/singing.
Well, that brings us to today!! Shae is such a joy in our house. Generally very content and has lots of smiles! However, she can also be very serious if she is unsure of someone new. Norah seems to still love her sister and loves to "play" with her. Shae adores her sister and has big smiles for her in the mornings or after naps when we go into Norah's room. Shae continues to NOT be the best sleeper. She still wakes up 1 to 2 times during the night and then is up between 6 and 7 am. She is going to bed a bit better but still takes a bit to settle completely for the night. Oh well, she naps pretty well so I can't complain to much. I will admit that I am getting used to being up early and taking my time in the morning. It's not all shabby being up so early :) Shae is a snuggler and a mamma's girl. There are many times I just want to eat her right up!! Soo soft and sooo cute. It's been a fun stretch seeing her crawl and learn to explore!
The changes aren't as evident in Norah and yet I have seen her mature and grow up in the last little while. Her vocabulary continues to expand and make her sound so much more grown up. For example the other day she was playing in the living room and I made a statement of some sort to her. She responds with : "You are right mommy". It just sounds so grown up to me. There are many other things she says but I can't remember it all. She continues to love to play pretend. Polly's and Strawberry shortcake dolls are a favorite. She also is loving Barbies. We have had to recently move all her little toys into her room though as she has a little sister who puts everything in her mouth. Norah's coloring skills are improving drastically. She is starting to do more than one color on a page and also is working on staying in the lines. She has spent a lot of time coloring lately. Norah also loves playing with chalk outside or playing in her sandbox. In the middle of June Norah finished her last dance class. She loved dance and you could definitely see improvement over the 5/6 months of class. Maybe one of these days I will post a video. Norah loves Shae although doesn't always want to share toys with her and doesn't always play gentley. I think she is just waiting for Shae to be able to jump on the bed with her (her ultimate friend love language). When Shae wakes from her naps Norah is often the first person in her room. It's really neat to see the bond developing between the two of them. Norah loves her friends. She has many good ones here and she is so fortunate that she gets to spend a lot of time with them as they are involved in a lot of the same activities (i.e. dance, sunday school etc.). She also absolutely loves the playground. She could go every day - a couple times a day if we let her. Norah also loves to sing and tries to sing along to hers and our music when it's on! Norah is a fun loving girl and we love her to pieces. She brings lots of laughs into our home.
We've been trying to do a bunch of hiking. Here are some pics.
Vedder Mountain Ridge Trail
A Father's Day hike at a place I can't remember. It was in Maple Ridge and it was really pretty!
Othello Tunnels in Hope with Graham's parents.
Here's a few more to end with....
At Cultus Lake on Mother's Day.
Waiting for a bath while mommy cleaned up the powdered formula they were playing in :)