birthday

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For Luca’s 6th birthday he chose to go ice skating with his family, a pizza dinner, and homemade pumpkin and berry pies!

At the rink gearing up

Kitty helps Autumn

On the ice!! 

Break time 

Auntie Kimmy watched Mia while we skated

While the pizza cooked Luca colored his new poster

Presents

Time for birthday pie!

Luca Mom and Dad love you in all the dimensions for all of spacetime

A great time with family on Luca’s special day

Well that’s it.  The day was over.  All was calm… until …

someone handed the controls to Luca’s new monster truck to dada!!!!!

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Happy Birthday Luca!

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It’s your birthday monkey moo! Wow, 6 years old. Now you’re an expert at kindergarten, riding a bike with multiple gears and hand brakes, building awesome things out of legos, reading and writing, running as fast as The Flash, and of course using your imagination. You’re a sweet and helpful big brother (when you want to be), and we love that you continue to be loving, thoughtful, empathetic and inquisitive. You challenge and amaze us, you test and teach us, you push us to our limits and you make us so proud. You have shown us how to see the world differently, and your intense commitment to every single moment has helped us to grow more than we could have imagined. We love you so much chunky choo, more than the amount of gravity that exists within a black hole. Happy birthday!

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Happy Birthday Mia!!!

To our dearest little chickadee,

You are one today!!! That means you were born an entire year ago, which by all the laws of space and time just doesn’t seem at all possible. What an utter joy it has been to welcome you into our family this past year! You are the ultimate definition of a happy, happy baby. We just adore your good natured and peacefully content personality, and we love your silly sense of humor. We love you super scrunchy smile with your two little teeth poking up, we love how animated you get when we come home or when we simply walk into the room, and we love how you clap your hands and bounce up and down during our family dance sessions. The way your excitement and happiness radiates from your eyes and your outstretched arms as soon as the music comes on always brings a bit of a tear to our eyes. It is innocence and beauty in its most pure form. In our busy, fast paced, and somewhat chaotic world you are a constant little fountain of serenity right in the center of it all, overflowing and reaching out to every one of us with the power to melt our hearts and soothe our spirits. Thank you for sharing this with us every single day – you are truly a gift! Happy happy birthday to our lovely Miss Mia Mae. We love you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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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!

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Practicing her letters

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Mia spent most of the party sleeping

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and being passed around from one set of arms to another

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And she even skyped with Uncle Travis!

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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?!

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Luca and Grammie test it out

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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!

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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!

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

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He couldn’t wait to try out each little truck

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Ok enough playing. Let’s eat!

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That’s some cold ice cream!

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

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