Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's a Girl!

I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a boy. So after 20 hours of labor, I was surprised and delighted when my second daughter was placed on my chest.

Latest Family Photo
Chester had wanted to keep this one a surprise after having found out the gender of each of the other children at the time of our 20 week ultrasounds. I wanted to know what we were expecting. He won the coin toss, and so I embraced the mystery of not knowing...
Tola, age 3, meets her sister for the first time.

The children, at home with Oma, eagerly awaited the news of their new sibling's arrival. They thought for sure they would know before bedtime on Sunday June 22.

We headed in for an induction after Mass that morning, thinking we would have a baby by day's end.
Tait, 5, couldn't wait to hold "it."

But this baby had other plans and she kept us waiting until 8:28 the following morning, Monday June 23.

Oles, age 8. Such a tender heart this one has for babies.
 Weighing in at 7lbs, 11 oz and somewhere between 19 and 20 inches. (The hospital said 19. The next day she had stretched to 20 at the dr's office...)

We did not have a name for her yet. She didn't have a name until today, June 25. We needed a little time to get to know her, to stare at her and try out different options.
Biggest brother Ziven, 10, the same age I was when my sister Colleen was born.
He's feeling protective already.
 Each of our children have Polish names, and so we scoured the lists of Polish girl names and tossed a few back and forth. Finally, we realized we kept coming back to one name in particular. And it just seemed to fit this sweet soul.

Oma and Tola with baby girl.
 And so, without further ado, we are happy and proud to introduce our daughter,

Zoja Florence.

Zoja (Pronounced Zoy-ah. In Polish, the "j" is pronounced as a "y") is the Polish form of Zoey, meaning "Life."

Florence was Chester's maternal grandmother, and it means "Prosperous, Flourishing."

Zoja Florence
Welcome to our family, sweet girl! You have 3 big brothers who simply adore you and a big sister who absolutely beams when she holds you. They all want to sit by you and hold you and kiss on you...You are well loved and we are so happy God brought you to our family! May you have a Flourishing Life!

Monday, June 16, 2014

8 is GREAT!

 My Oles is 8 today. How blessed we are to have this boy in our family! He is the child who is equally at ease playing with his big brother, his little brother, and his 3 year old sister. 

He's always got a smile on his face and a sense of humor that emerges more every day. He is tender-hearted, wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He loves everything outdoors--ice fishing, hiking, skiing, biking, snow shoeing.

He never complains of the hard work involved in such adventures, never whines of being tired or cold. This kid puts his head down and digs in! We are all better off for having Oles in our lives. God Bless you, Oles, and Happy, happy birthday!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baby Betting Time!

It's less than 2 weeks to d-day (d being "due" date, of course which, this time around, is June 22). Time for a little baby roulette.

To place your bets, leave a comment below. You don't have to register or anything. You can even comment anonymously, but if you don't leave your name somewhere in the comments, you forfeit any bragging rights due to inability to confirm.

A short history to help you place your bets: The earliest I've ever gone was on d-day. The latest was a full 2 weeks(!) past due. One had to be evicted at 1 week overdue. My smallest baby was 6 lb 14oz and my biggest was 8 lb 6 oz.

So step right up! Pick your date. Pick your gender (We don't know ourselves this time around. I have my guess but won't influence your bet by stating it at this time). You can even throw in a guess for birth weight if you'd like.

Winners in all categories will receive exclusive bragging rights. 

Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Impulse

Oles just gagged and threw up in the kitchen sink. As I ran out to the kitchen to investigate, I sent up a quick prayer--please Lord, not another stomach bug! My eye discerned a straw sticking out of the box of Kosher salt on the counter. A straw in the salt? Looking curiously at my soon-to-be 8 year old, I inquired "Did you just suck up salt with a straw?!?" With tears in his eyes and still trying to rid his mouth of the offending crystals, he nodded his head. "What in the world possessed you" but before I could finish with "to do that?!?"I started laughing. I couldn't help it. I mean, does it really matter what impulse led him to suck up salt through a straw? Could the answer possibly be anything but "I don't know?" The reality is, children do impulsive things. Just because the moment presents itself. No real reason. And since it's impossible to foresee, and therefore forewarn about, all the circumstances that could lead to a rash and impulsive act on the part of little people, I'm sticking with humor as the best policy...


This week has seen a couple of milestones for our younger 2.

Tait figured out how to ride a 2 wheeler, taking off like an expert as soon as his training wheels were removed. More than either of his big brothers, this one seemed like one with his wheels. Inside a week, he was zipping down grassy hills, gravel hills (with daddy biting his tongue and holding his breath the whole time...) and trying out various "tricks." And though I've seen 2 other children arrive at the independence of riding on 2 wheels, it never grows old to see the excitement on a child's face when they realize just. what. they. are. doing! "Look at me! I'm riding a bike!!!" Priceless.

Tola finally started swim lessons, something she's been dying to do for months as she's tagged along to countless sessions for her 3 big brothers. I had promised her she could start just as soon as she was done with pull-ups. Unfortunately, there was a month lag between saying goodbye for good to those diapers-in-disguise and the start of summer lessons. But oh boy was she excited on day 1! Around 8 that morning, she packed her own backpack with a towel, her swim suit, and a water bottle, grabbed her flip-flops, and stood by the door, dressed, pack on back, waiting to go. Her lessons started at 11:30... A little eager. I finally lured her away from the door with an episode of Curious George. Once she was in the water, she was one big grin from start to end. Again, not my first child to start swim lessons. And again, it never grows old...