Sunday, December 30, 2007


How the two older ones survived without their mom for 24 hours is a miracle in itself, they were SO excited to come with daddy to the hospital to take mommy home it even got a little emotional...
One of many upsides it turned out to be a girl is the wardrobe she'll inherit....
Daddy and two baby girls, sweet sweetness
OK, take me outtahere... (you may remember, Cecilie was half this size when she came home - after two weeks)
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The personality

She's quite happy about all the visitors, good people most of them...
...but she also possess stoic qualities
She's almost as big as auntie Kierstin...
Hanging out with Uncle John...
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More of our visitors

Baby Annika brought gifts to her siblings: a police boat and REAL ballet slippers with ties

Lars is cautioning the (Un)Official Pediatrician to "be careful and don't squish our baby, Grandpa!"

Looks like Annika is having her first big belly laugh at Grandpa (a time-honored family tradition!)

We were lucky enough to have Uncle Robby (Depew) in town to welcome new baby
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Okay, so not ALL of her 9.5 lbs is in her cheeks, but otherwise she is pretty skinny...

Lars was the very first to hop in the chair and hold baby sister - he is so PROUD!

Biggest sister was a little shy but equally proud

Delighted to be the official Big Sister of the crowd
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Baby coming

Two days before...
The view from the delivery suite, the Baltimore skyline...
The very first picture...
Never did champagne in a styrofoam cup taste quite this delicious... (toasting the end of The Babymaking Factory!)
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Christmas in the air

What was waiting downstairs
....and what christmas is all about...

Santa's little helper
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Christmas magic

We sped out of the gate this year and did it all one day earlier, so this is Christmas Eve meal on the 23rd, with one child refusing to take off his fireman outfit, one child making sure he gets all the juice he can possibly down and the team airhead, mildly confused about the whole shift in calendar thing
Nothing is better for teething than a gnawing on a cold beer...
"the children were sleeping all snug in their beds..." This is what happens when you stay up too late to catch Santa (yep, at that point it was really academic that it only was 8.30 on the 23rd...)
Stockings were full in the morning, regardless of what day it really was...
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Sunday, December 23, 2007

More christmas cheers...

...the singing never ends, this time it's "you can't put Jesus' love in a box) -you go figure the Christmas connection
A certain wise man, a couple of weeks early for epiphany...
...but adoring and adorable nonetheless
practicing some ring bimbo skills, for a later career
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Pre Christmas Cheers

Christmas Chapel at Cecilie's school
I suppose it is a little brother's right to embarrass his big sister during the processional, and the cousin's right to wonder what in the world is going on...
I think they were shouting it from the mountains or something, to great effect!!!
this one is here just to show that Lars is indeed his father's son (in case you weren't sure...), it is a little bit washed out, but this frown can not be faked, trust me...
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pregnant Pause, Old Hand Version

Firstly, let me say that staring labour & delivery in the face for the third time doesn't make me feel much of an old hand. But reading Amanda's highly entertaining & thought provoking blogs on the pros & cons of her first pregnancy compelled me to reflect on the matter from the privileged position of being on the other side of (almost) 3 pregnancies.

I am now more pregnant than I've ever been - both of my 1st two had arrived by now! I have been alternately impatient, irritable, resigned, and nervous about having this baby. I finally realized that these extra weeks are a gift: I have been given the gift of a true Advent. I have spent my month quietly (as quiet as it gets with a 5- and 2-yr old!), doing the advent calendars (all 5!) with the kids, coloring our Christmas projects, making batch after batch of cookies with Lars. We are waiting, waiting for the birth of a special child, and more than ever I am so aware of what Mary was asked to do. I mean, seriously - a 4 day road trip on a donkey?!!?!?! She HAD to have been anxious for that baby to arrive, Holy Child or not!

In this time of Advent then, I have been racking my brains about how the pros & cons might shift with the benefit (limitations?) of experience. This evening, it finally hit me. It has to do with one of my favourite passages in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3. You know: to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under under heaven. I watched Torbjorn referee some battle between the kids, giving me a few seconds to NOT mother & take a load off, and the lightbulb pinged above my head.

I realised that just as there is a time to be a new mother, there is a time to be a mother to a pack of kids. There is a time to spend reflecting on your last few days as a woman - not a mom- and there is a time to reflect on creating more chaos as part of the big cycle of life. There is a time to treasure your husband for being totally involved in your pregnancy and singing to the baby in your belly every night; there is a time to treasure your husband for loading the dishwasher, reading all 6 bedtime stories to the kids, and bending over to pick up all the toys off the floor & water the Christmas tree. There is a time to plan carefully for the nursery and fold all the new clothes over & over, just as there is a time to drag all the gear from the attic for the last time and smile over the memories that each piece holds. There is a time to be horrified by just how big your body can get, and a time when you can't remember what exactly you started with and being ok with that. There is absolutely a time to pore over the pregnancy/parenting books, searching for The Answers, and equally there is a time to accept that the kids have the answers, and they will let you know what they are if you can train yourself to be still & pay attention.

There is so much more. But perhaps the most telling is the thought that occurred to me as I started this: just as there is a time to be blown away by the powerful thing it is to love a tiny person THAT much, there is a time to be blown away by the exact same feelings for the third time. I guess that no matter how many times it happens, it doesn't lose its magic.

Torbjorn is intrigued by the philosophical implications of having time to reflect on these things and put words to my thoughts simply by dint of the fact that the baby didn't turn up as early as expected. I am intrigued by WHEN this damn baby is going to turn up!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

St Lucia meets the Nutcracker

Lars categorically refused to be Star Boy this year (what boy out there wouldn't be a little apprehensive at 6.00 in the morning?), but isn't St Lucia sweet even without her entourage?

One somewhat willing Nutcracker Prince (Aiden), and a gaggle of enthusiastic girls for Lauren's (center, pink tiara) birthday party
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Random December

Here's what we found in the hatchery the other morning...
We had our annual pilgrimage to the check out the Norwegian baazar (which includes a model train display) at Union Station, in DC
Daddy sharing "Troika" (that's nougat, marzipan and strwawberry jello in one glorious norwegian chocolate bar) - this stuff is banned in the rest of the world for being TOO DELICIOUS!!! You can obviously see that the kids are really enjoying their Norwegianess...
This guy has a serious waterfountain addiction
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