October

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Reading Aunt Candace’s Tennyson.

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My mom brought some of my old things, like this dress from Oman

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We spent a relaxing afternoon at the beach
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Our way TO the beach and our time there were relaxing… but then S had a nasty diaper and while we were changing it Ellie started getting hungry, but we decided to risk waiting so we could get home to get dinner going. Ellie got hungry on the way home so we pulled over at a convenience store and Ezra, S, and Candace ran in to get us snacks while I nursed… and a mosquito got in the car. So we ate our snacks while chasing down the mosquito. And then took a wrong turn on the way home…

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Only 2 plates – Ezra was gone for a few days and my mom and Candace were gone too.

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gifts for Ellie from my grandma

 photo 12 October - jinbei 8_zpsfusxbrdl.jpga summery enough day to put both girls in their jinbei… for all of 5 minutes.

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you can nurse a baby and crochet at the same time in a pinch (= baby needs to nurse half an hour before you go to a birthday party and the gift isn’t finished yet).
Also, Ellie’s outfit is a Japanese one. But based on their baby clothes, Japanese babies are wide but not long… this is the smallest size I can find (3-6 kgs, so should be perfect) and she is swimming in it but it only reaches her calves…

 

 photo 19 October 3_zpspgmonidy.jpgwe stumbled across a band practicing and S chose to stay there rather than go to the playground.

 photo 19 October 1_zpsruutmc1i.jpgsince Ellie has been born I have been trying to involve S more in chores, so she still feels like it’s special time with mommy or playtime but she’s learning and I can get work done! She especially likes sweeping and playing in the water while I do dishes.

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one of the hardest moments this month was receiving a baby gift from my great Aunt. My great Uncle passed away at the beginning of September and the grief had been overshadowed by Ellie’s birth, until I received a card that was just from her and not from them both.
We knew it was coming for a while, then knew it was close for a month, but thought we had longer, that he would hear of Ellie’s birth. But we celebrated her twelve days after we began to mourn him.
I will forever be so overwhelmed with gratitude that we got to see him in good health last summer and that he got to meet S, and all the years before that he fed us spiritually and welcomed us as his own grandkids after Grandma Elizabeth died.
It’s different to walk through grief when it’s so much closer than ever before, and even more different with a toddler watching. To say ‘Uncle John is with Jesus now.’ In tears makes me wonder what goes on in her head – why is mommy crying that he is with Jesus if Jesus is so great?
May we all meet again on the other side. || earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal

 photo 19 October 14_zpsiv3hql2v.jpgWhen Ellie turned a month old, it was a year since we had been in Japan for almost a month. I hadn’t really met anyone outside of our work community and while they were (ARE!) so fantastic with physical support I was starving for the kind of community we’d had through Church in San Diego, despite having tried so many churches in that month. I remember thinking a number of times “I could never have a baby here.” Well… God obviously changed things since Ellie is 1 month old (we celebrated by taking our first trip in the car and out in town alone… Ellie celebrated by spewing all over me the minute we stepped into the store…). A friend of a friend connected me with S, who got me involved with the English Class and connected me with W who told me about Bible study and another church. As soon as we walked into it I was so positively overwhelmed because I KNEW that was our “place” and we could have a baby here.
Now almost a year after that, it’s amazing to look back and see all the friendships that have grown in that time and how in the last month that’s turned into so much help and support for us as we have welcomed Ellie into our family – knowing someone that has been there with postpartum depression and can ask me upfront about that, others babysitting, being willing to be at the birth, bringing meals, sitting with us at church to help with S, coming over to hang out while Ezra is at work… God is good… and excited as we are to go to Washington it will be sad to leave Japan in only 2 months.

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the weather was still warm but the leaves were finally turning and falling halfway through October!

 

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 photo 28 October 1_zpswodjfgdw.jpghow S eats her apples…

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S may have had silent reflux, but Ellie spits up more! I feel like I have to bring a whole change of clothes everywhere I go! I cut out gluten and dairy and haven’t been eating beans, broccoli, cabbage, etc. and there is improvement, but we also noticed she had a really hard time nursing sometimes so have been better about burping her and she hasn’t spit up as much.

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preparing to move by sorting through all our stuff. My first and last (at least for now) pairs of ballet shoes. The first pair is now in S’s dress up.

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S asked me to sing, so I asked her to bring me a hymnal. She ran off and returned with Handel.

 photo 29 October 8 - cuppin_zpsib6o8731.jpgjust a girl and her “cuppin.”

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Went up to the clothing store after getting groceries and scored some wool socks, a flannel, warm pants, and a rain shell that fits in a little bag. I hate the cold but at least I am a little more prepared now. It was actually my first time buying Japanese clothes for myself. I have always been too nervous to without trying them on – sizes here are so different. I am still getting used to often being a medium!
And while I browsed the racks, S enjoyed pushing the almost kid sized cart around the store.

favorite recipes// I’m thankful to have not cooked much since Ellie was born! With my mom, Ezra, and meals from Bible study I cooked for the second time when Ellie was 6 weeks old. So most of these are recipes others made for me. 🙂 // yogurt flat breads // elderberry syrup (it’s cold season!) // hearty chicken stew with butternut and quinoa // nut and coconut free paleo muffins // apple pie breakfast cookies // grain free banana coconut “cookies” (much better than expected!) //

best of online// abide with me (my friend sings it better though!) // raising my Ebenezer (posted before, but such a ray of hope for me in these days of adjustment) // what it means if your mind wanders while you practice // dear mom who refuses to rest (I LOVE how this wasn’t so much about physical rest as doing what makes YOU feel rested. With few exceptions, naps usually just make me feel like I wasted time since I don’t fall asleep) // how do we prepare our children for suffering? // School of ABT Workshop Live from the Lincoln Center // May you not be weird and 30 other prayers for my future husband // simple advice about mommy advice // spiritual depression (sermon) // to moms of one or two children (so helpful. #2 I think is what makes the second baby easier – you find “your way” sooner… and also are better about “mommy advice”) // comparing and contrasting healing diets // We watched My Love Don’t Cross That River (on iTunes, not sure if the trailer-only rental has been fixed on Amazon) and really enjoyed it // 10 Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage and 10 Ways to Grow Your Marriage While Having Kids (also previously posted but always good to reread!)

reading of late// Walking with God in the Seasons of Motherhood (Kruger) // Let Me Be a Woman (Elliot) // War and Peace (Tolstoy)

thinking about// lots on adjusting to two kids, finding “our way,” how the second kid is easier, and postpartum depression. I hope to blog about all of that more in the future.

what brings joy// S kissing Ellie // walks with a stroller and ringsling // quiet moments with just S // Ellie smiles // His presence

The Munchkins//
S i
s almost 2! She repeats pretty much anything we say and will pick out words from songs and sing them. She adores Ellie and is sad when Ellie has to sleep (but then gets jealous when Ellie is nursing…).
Ellie continues to amaze us with how well she sleeps and how easy she is! Our only complaint is that she’s a bit of a night owl and likes to comfort nurse but won’t take a pacifier which is only a problem since I have too much milk so we have some cranky evenings because of that, and sometimes lots of spit up. She smiled pretty much right at 5 weeks and her first smile was at S.

writing// nothing on the creative writing front, but I expect it to be quite a while before I get back to that, if I ever do. But I wrote one and polished a second paper for the counseling certification I am working towards!

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