Friday, August 29, 2008

College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame is in downtown South Bend. I took the boys on a driving tour around the city, and we ended up there Sunday evening. Having not anticipated going to the Hall of Fame, we didn't bring a football, so the boys had to improvise. We found this little green ball there. Wait, you think you've seen that ball somewhere before? Here's a closer look.
There was a group of kids (a Big Brother group of some kind?) already playing there. When they needed a couple extra players, we were fortuitously in possession of a couple extra players. A couple extra players that have been missing the glory days of playing intramural football together.
And a couple of little cheerleaders doing what they call "team watch."
The most important element of "teamwatch" is placing all four extremities on the ground. Having your head also on the ground is just extra enthusiasm.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Always Fun When Uncles Come. . .

. . . when uncles come, Hooray!!
My younger brothers David and Robert came to visit on Saturday. Rob left Tuesday morning, and Dave had to leave today. It's so much fun to belong to a family that wants to come to my house and see my new baby. I had a simply delightful time with Rob and Dave. I hereby re-extend my open invitation to any and all family members and friends. Please come. We do fun stuff.
Like visit Fat Johnnie's. Fat Johnnie's is in Chicago, where Rob served his mission, and it is not in the best neighborhood. And I probably couldn't make it back there because Rob did all the driving in the city. Fat Johnnie's is a hot dog stand, a fairly famous one, from what I understand. I do not eat hot dogs. Ever. However, I heard from all those who do that the hot dogs were delicious. Mimi was especially delighted, considering that hot dogs are her favorite food ever.
I thought the ratty picnic tables were an especially nice touch, as was the 4"x4" hole through which you order your meal. Very picturesque.
After Fat Johnnie's, we visited the neighborhood where my parents lived while my dad went to law school at the University of Chicago. Rob pointed out all sorts of great things. Then we went downtown to see Buckingham Fountain and Millenium Park. Unfortunately, I was carrying the baby and left my purse with my camera in the van, so I have no pictures of the girls playing in the sprinkler park there at Millenium. (Dave--when you read this, can you e-mail me some of the pictures from your camera?) That was lots of fun. We even ran into Miss Erin, the girls' swimming teacher. She was visiting Chicago with a friend of hers from France.
Also going on next to Buckingham Fountain was Viva!!--some sort of Latin music festival. I think we were the only non-Spanish speakers for a couple miles. Very exciting. We ran into some exotic looking girls who are, apparently, minor celebrities with Mum2, which must be a television station. They were signing all sorts of autographs and giving commentary all over the park.
Then we had to visit Giordano's, of course. Delicious. It would probably be sacrilege to visit Chicago without eating Giordano's pizza.
Mimi left her swimsuit (which she had packed in her backpack, along with all the Little People, two Polly Pockets, and a dress-up dress) at one of the other tables in the place. It was ceremoniously returned to us halfway through dinner.
After such an eventful Saturday, this is what I found Sunday afternoon. Mimi didn't want to nap by herself, and apparently, after church, she put her swimsuit on underneath her playclothes. It was too hot to nap in both layers, so she simply removed the topmost, and snuggled up to Uncle Dave, who was already taking his Sabbath nap.
We did more, much more, but this is enough for one post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Helping Dad

We have a beautiful tree in our front yard. Tall and full, it shades the front room windows and makes the whole lawn a much cooler place to relax. Unfortunately, it also sheds these little seed/leaf/pod things all over. ALL OVER. And I haven't been diligent about raking or mowing them up lately. So it was a delight to see this the other day. John had been watering the lawn, and the girls had been using the sprinkler as their personal waterpark. However, who wants to play in a water park when you can help dad rake the seed things? Holding the bag "open wide" was a difficult concept to master, but with such happy helpers, who cares?
And it is wonderful sometimes to be the only one not working. I sat on the porch. And this was my view looking down.
Such a good baby.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yellow Polka Dots

My brother Mike got married yesterday. We were supposed to be there, with plane tickets reserved and everything, but Annabel showed up a little later than anticipated. So, we scrapped our plans (at first with some bitterness), and are happily enjoying the week's vacation here in South Bend. It's lovely to have John around so much.
These dresses were made more than a month ago for the girls to wear to the reception. We wore them today to church, instead. I love having all my girls match, and I'm sure their willingness to match is not something that will last forever.
I caught some extra pictures of Bella. This one, with her funny, double-chinned, unintentional smile made me giggle.
And this is the picture that shows how she is most often when awake. Alert and happy. What a blessing to have such a good baby.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


11:34 a.m. *Sniff*2:37 p.m. Hooray! Hooray!
Isn't that a wonderful face to see?

Big K

This is my little kindergartner. Can you believe it? All of a sudden, and especially in this picture, she looks so grown up. Please, someone else tell me they still picture her as a teeny baby.
She had her backpack packed, her school clothes on, her hair done, and she was ready to walk out the door at 9:45 a.m. Unfortunately, afternoon kindergarten doesn't start until 11:50. We had some waiting to do. And lots of reassuring, in between the periods of frantic waiting.
This is her classroom. John says he drove her to school and helped her to line up with the other kindies, whereupon Mrs. Kobb told all the kids to tell their parents to go home, that they'd be fine. I'm glad it was John and not me because I might have burst into tears at that point. He cheerfully walked away.
This face greeted us when we picked her up. Looks like it was a lovely day, doesn't it? I don't think she missed us at all. She tells us she has two teachers (a student teacher as well as her regular one), she made a new friend at recess (whose name was completely immaterial--will we ever know?), and there is one other Olivia in her class--Olivia M. (this is better than the three or four Olivias that were in her preschool class). All in all, a success.

I simply cannot believe I am the mother of a kindergartner. (I also can't believe I have three kids, but that didn't sneak up on me the way this whole "going to school" thing did. ) She's riding the bus to school and home from school today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sister Love

Mimi: Mom, I thought you just had a whole bunch of food in your tummy, but it was really a baby! I'm so happy because I love babies more than food.

Olivia: Babies can't eat anything except milk until they can sit up. (She learned this at a sibling class we took at the hospital.)
Mom: That's right. So don't try to feed Annabel anything, please.
Olivia: But [she cocks her head and puts on her most worried face], I'm afraid she is going to get really, really HUNGRY.

And thank you all for all your lovely comments on John's posts. I'm glad he didn't get the opportunity to take any pictures pre-epidural ("Squeeze my hand harder, John, HARDER.") because those wouldn't have been nearly as pleasant. Annabel is a delightful baby, and we are so happy to have her home and healthy. I am even more happy to not be pregnant anymore.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Introducing Annabel Rebekah Wells (Bella Boo Baby)

After much mind changing and calling out names to see what the baby best responded to we would like to introduce Annabel Rebekah Wells.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Deliverance was Nigh

So here's Emilee at 5:30 AM getting ready to have this baby. She scores a 0 on the Escala de Dolor (pain scale for those of you who don't habla espanol)
This is pre-pitocin (which was originally made from the urine of pregnant mares) and would soon result in contractions though it didn't take much.
Post Epidural.....I don't think I can add more to this picture with words.
Wells Baby Girl and Mom.
Wells Baby Girl. So far in her first 30 minutes of life she's been very calm and a good baby.
Here's a little nanner nanner look at me and my coordinated tongue. Oh, I weigh 7lbs 12oz.

Disclaimer: Emilee was concerned about the perceived modesty of some of the shots but I assure you all it's only shoulder.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Olivia the Fish

Olivia's last swimming lesson of Level 3 was yesterday. I wish I could say that it was a fitting finale capping off her dazzling career as a swimmer, but I must admit she cried through about half of it. (Which, of course, highlighted my fantastic skills as a mother under pressure. I will say I am proud of myself for not repeating the phrase--which I used the first day of swimming lesson--"Get back in that water or I will throw you in.")
Her favorite is the backstroke. (Miss Erin walks by her because if she doesn't Liv will stop after only two arm motions. If she's there, even though Olivia swims by herself, she's forced to swim all the way across the pool.)

The second video is the backfloat. I wish I could have caught the whole thing, but she is fantastic at backfloating. She holds perfectly still and can float forever, but I just caught the tail end of the required 40 seconds.

And the diving board. Can you believe it? I swear, two months ago, she wouldn't jump into a pool from the side even into the waiting arms of her parents. I am so proud of that girl. And now, look at her.

Mimi capped off her career as a swimming student last week, but her fitting finale as a swimming lessons spectator happened yesterday about midway through. She was dinking around by the edge, dipping her feet in as we watched the swim tests and then SPLASH! She tumbled in headfirst. She had almost gotten herself out by the time I got to her. (I kind of wish I would have paused to take a picture, but I think it would have clinched my title as World's Worst Mother.)