January Highlights

January was a fun an exciting month, here are just a few highlights.

Matching hair "bobbles".

Hibou moved to a Big Girl bed (which, so far has not been a huge success, but then again, it's not any worse than when she was in her crib, so whatever).  Here she is practicing sleeping.

It's been cold. So we have been desperate for outside time. I think we managed 20 minutes on this day.

It's even cold in the car!

I love how kiddos love playing with babies.  I also love having a house full of Little Ones!

We spent some time with an artsy friend, who helped the girls make these adorable hair clips.

Papillon loves babies. This baby (Baby D) is a particular favorite.

Hanging out with our Artsy Friend, and also our favorite little Baby.

Doing some baking with friends.

More friends. Everyone we interact with gets roped into reading books.

Visiting friends and matching hair-dos.

All these adventures are exhausting.

We discovered that our car can, in fact fit 4 carseats. Yay for adventures with friends!

Yes, this really is how she sleeps.

Her head was cold.

Papillon drew her first "people". This pretty much made my month.

Baby Froggy: 14 weeks

I guess it's safe to say that the blog has died. 3 months of no posts is pretty bad.  5 years of consistent blogging is really not too shabby. Especially for someone whose never kept up any hobby or journal for more than a couple weeks.  Success! 

I don't know how or where I am going to find the time to revive the blog, but I am determined to do it. Too many sweet memories documented here to completely abandon it.  Fingers crossed that I can bring it back to life! 

I partially blame the death of the blog on instagram...I am addicted now and it seems to satisfy my need to document random memories.

I also partially blame an exciting new development, who we affectionately refer to as Baby Froggy. 
Baby Froggy is 14 weeks along at this point; due July 20th.

It seems that it is true what they say about subsequent babies showing earlier. Yikes. Combine that with some holiday eating (yay for first trimester hunger coinciding with Thanksgiving and Christmas) and a little stress eating (post-miscarriage pregnancies are very stressful).  

I haven't weighed myself recently, but its safe to say that I am currently significantly ahead of my historical average of a pound a week from week 1.

I also think that this baby bump is much higher than my previous bumps. Even though the baby is still way tiny and obviously way down low, my Baby Bump starts way up at my ribcage.

Also new this pregnancy is the exhaustion. I remember being kind of tired with previous pregnancies, but this is a totally different beast. I have napped every day since about week 5, almost without exception. If I try not to skip a nap I simply fall asleep unwittingly....in the midst of typing an email, or even at the library in the midst of reading a picture book to the girls. 

Perhaps the reason for the exhaustion is that it seems this baby is a mover. We've had a fair number of ultrasounds and in every one Baby Froggy is nonstop moving....kicking, sucking his/her thumb, rolling over, holding his/her feet, looking around.  He/she has a tendency to disappear off the ultrasound screen altogether.  Neither Papillon nor Hibou moved much at all inside me. A sign of things to come??

Hibou officially gave Baby Froggy gave his/her nick name. We showed the girls one of the early ultrasounds. Papillon declared that it didn't look like a baby, and Hibou promptly declared it a "Froggy!".  It's a good nickname, and it's stuck. 

On a bit of a sidenote: I am very glad this Baby has a good nickname cause I find I don't like to think about or refer to this Baby as Baby R. #3. Cause he/she is really Baby R. #5. Which is something I can't/won't ever forget, but at the same time it feels weird and confusing to refer to him/her as Baby Risner #5.  So, Baby Froggy it is.  Our 5th tiny little blessing.

Both Big Sisters are very excited for Baby Froggy. Conveniently, we should find out Baby Froggy's gender right around Hibou's birthday. And Baby Froggy should make his/her appearance right around Papillon's birthday.  This makes it a little easier for the girls to put some kind of timeline on Baby's growth. 

God has been very good to us throughout this pregnancy.  He's given us so many little reassurances along the way - from the undeniable exhaustion, to the timing of ultrasounds (one of the early ultrasounds measured exactly 1 day past the official age of one of our miscarriages...oddly comforting!) 
I am relieved to be past the first trimester. Though I must confess, I still find myself quite anxious. I've had an appointment every 2 weeks since the beginning, but this time I have to wait the normal, 4 weeks. Which seems like forever and a day. How did I ever go 4 weeks between appointments??  But I am trying to remember that this Baby is in God's hands no matter what; and in general I feel very confident that God wants us to meet this Baby come July.

Children's Museum Adventures

At long last, we found time to visit the legit Children's Museum in our city.  It was a lovely time!  Overall, I would say it's a really cool place, though, for various reasons, I don't think it's a place we need a membership to. A once a year kind of visit is probably sufficient. 

That said, we did have a lovely time. 

There was an art room.

A pretend store (sponsored by Royal Farms...with a marked lack of "real food"...and an over abundance of processed foods. Weird)

There was a cool water room that smelled way too strongly of bleach to be any fun. There was a cool diner that was probably the coolest room. There were also some seasonal displays and a few things that were a little to "old" for my girls.  Perhaps next time...

Train to Grandad and Grandma's

For many years now, we've talked about how fun it would be take the train from our house to Mon Amour's parent's house.  They literally live a block from the train station in their town.  Practicality has always won out and we have just driven; it takes about the same amount of time to drive as it does to take the train.

But earlier this month, thanks to a gift from my parents, we had the chance to take the train!

Here we are waiting for our departing train.

No true Amtrak experience would be complete without a multi-hour delay, so we shouldn't have been surprised when our departing train was 2.5 hour late.  Thank heavens for "Trunki" the suitcase with wheels; it makes a nice make-shift "pet" to play with to pass the time.

It wasn't supposed to be dark on the way down. But thanks to the delay, we got to see some fun Christmas lights on our way south.

The weather was lovely at Grandma and Grandad's house.

Mon Amour escaped a couple times in our short visit to have some kid-free time.  This hot-chocolate is pretty tasty!

The girls enjoyed having breakfast with Grandma and Grandad.

Group shot!

All too soon it was time to take the train home. Trains can be loud...

Weekend adventures are exhausting.

Enjoying the train ride home!

Tired of the pictures.

Though definitely not the most efficient way to get from here to there, it was truly a fun experience and one the girls will be talking about for some time!

Marge's New Home

For some time, our dear sweet Marge has been quite ignored.  Sure, we fed her (most days!), let her outside, and once in a blue moon took her for a walk (when it wasn't too cold out...).  From time to time the girls would love on her.    But really, we had come to grips with the fact that we were just co-existing with Marge. 

While we loved her too much to to really get rid of her, we had said for some time that if we could find her a good family to love her, we would consider giving her away. 

Well, wouldn't you know it, the right opportunity arose. A family with 4 kiddos had a hankering for a dog, but needed one that would be low maintenance.  Low-maintenance is Marge's middle name.   So after a few chats, and one lull in the conversation during which I actually assumed they were no longer interested, Marge went to stay with her new family.

Her new family picked her up Christmas Eve. She was a Christmas present for their older son.  The first couple weeks were officially a trial run, but all went well, and before long, we officially declare marge theirs. 

Not gonna lie, I've shed a few tears over her. But I can't really say that I've missed her. I haven't accidentally gone to feed her or anything like that. The girls also took it well. I am not fully convinced that they completely understand that she is gone forever. They mention her from time to time and remind each other that Marge now lives at their friend's house.  But they insist that she also still lives with us. 

The nice thing is that she does live close. We intend to visit now and again.  

It really is a great deal for everyone. Marge gets 1000% more love than she was getting. I don't' have to feel guilty about not walking her...or forgetting to feed her.  And we can still visit. Win-win-win. 

That said, Marge was basically the World's Best Dog. So loving on the girls, so laid back, so wonderful. Back when we lived on the farm, she was essential to my sanity. And for that I will love her always.

Here is a couple pictures of Marge and Hibou from shortly before Marge went to her new family.