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Happy birthday little dragon!!! We simply cannot believe that you are officially a little kid now – 3 years old! When exactly did you walk your way out of toddlerhood and straight into being a preschooler? Somehow we blinked and all of a sudden you can zoom down the street on your balance bike with your feet up in the air and a grin from ear to ear, you can read and write your own name with startling clarity, and you proudly march off to preschool with your very own backpack set squarely on your shoulders. What hasn’t changed though is the fact that we continue to be amazed at how totally and completely awesome you are, every single day. You began calmly and intensely observing your world literally the minute you were born, and you’ve never stopped since. One of our absolute favorite things about you right now is how you hold your own during family conversations over the dinner table. No matter what the topic, you are always able to understand what we’re talking about and relate it to something you know, and these connections you make actually make real sense. Where did you get this amazing brain? It blows us away constantly. We love that you are our resident mindfulness instructor, gently leading us through calming breathing exercises when we get a little too upset over this or that. We love that even though you’re learning how to assert your independence in increasingly defiant ways, you’re still utterly sweet and loving to the core. Especially first thing in the morning, when you wake up eager for what the day will bring, and you reach over to cup our cheeks and gaze lovingly into our eyes and say time and again the cutest, sweetest things. Ever. We can’t believe you’re not a baby anymore, little dragon, but if you’re going to be this ridiculously awesome all the time then we’re ok with it. Love you BG!!!














Happy Birthday Luca!

Happy 5th birthday to our little monkey! What a journey it’s been to watch you grow and to witness your mind unfolding and comprehending more about your world. It’s astonishing to see the level of depth and complexity at which you process things and we are constantly impressed with the types of questions this leads you to ask. Who knew that at this age we’d be discussing city infrastructure and the inner workings of public water systems, or the layers of what lies below the streets and roads, or front vs rear wheel drive and how this determines how a car will be hitched to a tow truck? And of course how many hours have we spent comparing and contrasting the feeding habits and levels of speed and agility of various sauropods, theropods, ornithopods, etc? We love your excellent sense of humor, your absolute dedication to anything you set your mind to, and your incessant curiosity. And you are hands down the best big brother any two little girls could ever hope to have. You are full of energy, too full at times, and that whirlwind of excitement definitely keeps our house alive. But you are also the sweetest little guy we know, sentimental and romantic to the core. Thank you for all that you bring to our family, and for just being you. We love you!






We had a joint party to celebrate Autumn’s and Mia’s birthdays!

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We got started with the presents right off the bat. Our little artist Autumn enjoys her new markers and erasable drawing mat.

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Big brother Luca lends a hand

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It says Autumn!


Practicing her letters

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Mia spent most of the party sleeping


and being passed around from one set of arms to another

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And she even skyped with Uncle Travis!


Mom and Dad enjoy some down time together on the couch

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Luca picked out a super cool dinosaur landscape that folds up into a nifty carrying case for Autumn’s birthday gift. And wouldn’t you know it, but he also happens to love dinosaurs – what are the chances?!


Luca and Grammie test it out


While Autumn and Pop Pop played just about every game we own

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Finally it was time for cake!

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Go big or go home. That’s my girl!

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Then we moved the party outside to burn off some of that energy. Autumn and Grandpa decide whether to ride bikes or draw with chalk.

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After-party secret cake session. You get to do that when you’re the birthday girl. No plate needed.

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Welcome Mia

Mia Mae Bowling arrived 9/24/2014

7lbs 6oz, 20″

Our little ohana welcomed its newest member last Wednesday.  We knew the time was getting close since Kitty was having trouble sleeping the previous three nights and started taking late night baths.  Late Tuesday night I was in our bed with Autumn, who had also not been sleeping for the previous three nights, watching an episode of Curious George.

Kitty came in the room and asked me what time it was.

“10,” I replied.

“The exact time,” she questioned again.

“I don’t know it’s 10.”

“Exactly 10?” she asked.

Agitated, I looked at my phone and said, “OK! 9:59pm.”

“Ok,” she said, “because I’m timing my contractions.”

This being our third pregnancy, and knowing Kitty, I knew what that meant. Before the next contraction even kicked in I was up and getting everything ready.  I called Libby who started on her way over to watch the kids. Kitty called the midwives who started asking questions about the timing of the contractions.  Kitty, also having been through this and knowing her body, just told them, “I’m coming in.”  We headed downstairs to wait for Auntie Libby.

On the scene was first responder Autumn Ann.  Autumn, sensing what was going on, set up a yoga labor area for her mom.  Apparently the white foam roller marked a line that was not supposed to be crossed, and when I crossed it and kicked the calf stretcher out of the way I was promptly removed from the area and lectured by Autumn.

Like this mama

Once Auntie arrived Kitty and I headed up to the mountain on which the OHSU labyrinth was placed. As we checked in the receptionist and nurses were asking an impatient Kitty about her contractions and how she was feeling.  You could tell Kitty was thinking, “Hey this baby is coming! Lets go!”  Once in the room the midwife came in and before she could even finish asking, “should we check…”  Kitty replied, “YES”. The midwife starts checking how far along Kitty has progressed… then says… hmm.  The nurse asks 8….9cm?  “Nope,” said the midwife, “she’s complete. You can start pushing whenever you feel like it.”  That was at 11:15pm.  Mia Mae was born at 12:19am.

Momma and baby did amazing, and later our pediatrician would tell us how surprised he was that, given the speed of the delivery, the Apgar scores were also 9.  He and everyone else couldn’t seem to get over how Kitty came into the delivery room fully dilated, then labored for an hour before delivering our little Mia.

This was a special delivery for me as well. Not only did I provide love and support, fetch water upon demand, and provide the necessary back massages during contractions, but I also delivered Mia myself.  The midwife was standing by but I actually had the honor of guiding my baby girl into this world.  There is nothing more amazing than a mother creating and giving birth to a child and so I was humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to have such an intimate role in the delivery.

Proud parents see their baby girl for the first time

The delivery and aftercare went so well that we actually left the hospital the same day! But before we could leave we promised Luca he could visit Mia in the hospital after pre-school. Luca had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his new sister and is completely in love with her.

Luca says hello to Mia for the first time


Autumn also wanted to check things out…

and came bearing gifts

We are all settled* back home now and having a little party this weekend. We are so thankful for our family and friends.  We love all of you and thank you for all your love and support.


*settled – a relative definition.

Luca – Playing with two new dinosaurs and correcting Dad on the difference between a Sarcosuchus and a Suchomimus

Autumn – Telling mom to hold her and not Mia

Kitty – Trying to find anytime to sleep

Mia – Sleep, Eat, Poop, Poop, Sleep, Poop

Chris – Discussing dinosaurs, watching dinosaur movies, and reading about dinosaurs. Distracting Autumn with games, silly dances, and yogurt. Trying to make time for Kitty to sleep.  Changing diapers. Taking breaks by cleaning the house.  Loving every minute of all of it!!!


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Happy Birthday Autumn!

Our little dragon turned 2 today! You have been such a delight to have in our lives, and the quiet intensity with which you observe and discover the world around you is truly astounding and never ceases to amaze us. We love how sweet you are, and how much you enjoy every single little moment. We love watching you interact and grow with your big brother, and we can’t wait to see you become a big sister very soon! We love how you sing quietly to yourself all the time, how you do silly walks and roll around on the floor like you have all the time in the world, and how a few quality minutes with crayons and paper can cheer you up. Thank you for all the sweet kisses and for that intensely loving gaze that can melt us from all the way across the room. We love you so much!






A couple weekends ago we had a party to celebrate our little monkey’s 4th birthday! What a big boy he is now: he can button his own pajamas, he can efficiently open and close the safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, he can go into the pantry or the refrigerator and get himself something to eat, he can fix the train tracks on his train table all by himself after a certain little sister comes along and messes them up, and he can even read a few words! He is also very good at telling us how he thinks things should be, and he’s getting more and more clever as he has started to use our own rules against us at times (too smart!). He is also insistent that he can do just about anything on his own now, including slicing an apple with a sharp knife.

 Alright, time for presents!





Next up, cake! Mama made a fun chocolate construction cake this year.



He couldn’t wait to try out each little truck


Ok enough playing. Let’s eat!


That’s some cold ice cream!


His favorite silly face. Our sweet silly boy. Love you Luca!



Happy Birthday Luca!

Somehow our sweet, silly little monkey is now 4 years old! How did this happen? Luca, we are amazed everyday by your caring, loving nature, your intense ability to continually study and question until you fully understand something, your fun and creative sense of humor, your limitless imagination, your deep love for books and stories, and of course your beautiful spirit. Thank you for sharing these treasures with us every single day. We love you so much!



Time for your birthday party Autumn!


Let’s make some mini cupcakes




The guests are all here and we’re ready for presents!

I love these blocks!


Look I don’t even need any hands!


Autumn and Luca get serious about testing out the popcorn popper


Autumn tries her hand at ring toss


A fun dragon pillow for the little dragon


Luca takes a break in the middle of all the chaos for some quiet book reading


Hmm, I think I liked the Puff the Magic Dragon jack in the box…


Yeah, I think I was ok with that


Well, hmm, I’m not so sure actually


Um, no, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t ok with that


Nope! I didn’t like that at all!


Mama, that was scary


Ok, enough with the scary presents. How about a Happy Birthday song and some cake!


I’m seriously considering grabbing that bright, shiny thing


Mmm, a whole chocolate cupcake to myself


This I think I like


Yup, this is yummy


Happy birthday baby!


Thanks for coming to my party everyone!


Blowing kisses goodbye


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Happy Birthday Autumn!

Happy birthday to our sweet little zen dragon! This has been an amazing year and we are so fortunate to have you as part of our family. Thank you for all of your smiles and laughter, nuzzles and cuddles, and for your beautiful free spirit. With much love, your mama, dada, and adoring big brother Luca.

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Happy Birthday Luca!!!

It’s hard to believe but our sweet boy is 3 years old today! Nothing better to do on your birthday than play with your train set of course!

Going up the hill

Keeping a close watch

Over the bridge

Going down!

These things are best viewed at eye level

Harold the helicopter joins in

Last stop before the station!

Happy Birthday to me!

We celebrated Luca’s birthday with a relaxing family gathering this weekend. Luca and I spent Friday evening baking and decorating a classic bunny cake, and on Saturday morning when I reminded him about his party he said, “my family is coming!” Such a sweet guy. 🙂 We have a feeling 3 is going to be much more challenging than 2, but we’ve never been so proud, awed or humbled by our thoughtful, loving and compassionate boy.  Happy birthday Luca, we love you!


Look at these trucks!

Singing “Happy Birthday” and of course pointing to all of us

Blowing out the candle

I REALLY want to lick the frosting off of this candle…

I wonder if they’ll let me eat it

Tasting one of the jelly beans

Hmm, jelly beans sure are sticky on my teeth

Cake!! Fork not necessary.

We somehow managed to get a decent group shot after several tries. Way to go family!

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