Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
You are turning one month old today! As was the tradition with your sister, I will try to remember to write you a note every month. Thus far, I have to say that you are a remarkable baby. You seem to generally be pretty content with life, and happy to relax in a bouncy seat, swing, or someone's arms and take it all in. When your eyes are happen, which is happening with greater frequency, they are so big and round. I wonder what color they will end up being, dark like mine and your daddy's or bright blue like your big sister!
You sleep like a pro, generally going three to four hours between feedings at night. Also, you are happy to accept both breast milk and formula, which has been wonderful. I pretty much expected that I would not be able to feed you with only breast milk, as was the case with your sister, but unlike Emily, you will take either without much fuss, which has been great for both of us.
When you do fuss, I have determined that you like to swing sideways and I am glad that your cradle swing, which we lovingly selected for you, has this feature. You also can often be found with several toys at your side because whenever Emily sees you awake and without something to do, she loads you up with baby toys. Also, you poop. A lot. Well, whenever you decide to poop, there is a lot. Enough said.
Sophie, this has been a hard month, but it is not because of you. We have packed up our entire home and moved to a new house in a new city in the first month of your birth. And through it all, you have been (mainly) a source of joy. I can't wait to get know your personality more in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Emily helps Grandma Evonne make the turkey soup from our leftovers.
Story time with Aunt Kara. I think each adult read these Babar books about five times over the weekend.
Making blueberry muffins with Grandma Ruth. Emily really likes to put all the cups in the muffin tin, and she's quite good at it.
Sophie snuggles with her mommy. She was quite sleepy for most of the weekend, but she's waking up a lot more these days!
Sophie warms up after her parents had the audacity to give her a bath!
Kristy, Josh, and Micah Manion. They are such a photogenic family! We captured this one on the first try.
Tala, Val, and Tiona Sakala. Little Tiona didn't look so small next to our newborn!
Uncle Rick and Aunt Joan Plantinga reminisce about when their three children were this tiny!
Grandma Ruth arrives in town a few days after Sophie's birth and quickly snuggles with both kids!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
After some quality time with Grandpa, Grandma, and Emily, and explaining that babies eat milk, not saltines, we welcomed some more visitors. Andy and Sarah Fox dropped by, and were so adept with Sophie that we thought they might like to have one of their own soon.
Next came Uncle Jeff and Aunt Kara, who rushed over from work, and couldn't have been happier to meet Sophie. Sophie is already their eighth niece. With only one nephew, Jeff and Kara began to consider doing their part to even out the gender ratio.
Finally, we welcomed the Kruis family, consisting of Noah, Megan, Jonah, and Eden. Although they all enjoyed meeting Sophie, as a big brother Jonah seemed especially well versed in how babies work and how to listen to them with a stethoscope.
We loved sharing the joy of Sophie's birth with so many visitors, and will look forward to more over the coming days and weeks.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Now that this date is almost here, I'm once again anxious and excited. But this time, I'm not really that anxious about the arrival of a newborn. In fact, it's my hope and plan that I ENJOY our new daughter's infancy more than I did with Emily. I questioned every decision when Emily was a baby, responded to every cry, and was - to be perfectly honest - a little astonished when she hit her first birthday and I had managed to keep her alive that long. There were many times that my family exchanged looks with one another (yes, I saw them) when I demanded that Emily be woken up from a nap exactly on time, or not fed until she was scheduled to be. (Though, to be fair, my rigid schedule had our baby sleeping through the night by eight weeks and never looking back). And, my poor husband more than once had to remind me that our daughter was a baby and not a robot when she wasn't doing what a particular book said that she should be doing. This time around, I'm hoping to be a little more relaxed, and to spend more time cuddling our new daughter even if the books say she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own!
My anxiousness this time around is focused more on the other members of my family. I worry about losing what little free time Eric and I manage to spend with one another when Emily is asleep or in her crib for quiet time. I worry about focusing even more of our energy and time on our children, and not paying enough attention to each other. And, while I think that in the long run, Emily will love having a sister (I know I love my own sister SO much), these are going to be a tough couple of months for her. She is going to have to adjust to a new baby, less attention from me, and a move to Pennsylvania, leaving behind life as she knows it here in Grand Rapids. She's an easy going kid, and I'm sure she'll be fine, but I've been conscious to try and enjoy these last few days of time with her, trying in some way to prepare her for what's ahead, and stock up on our time spent together. To that end, here are a couple of pictures of Emily from this past weekend while she is still an only child!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
In case you need some translating, the words are:
Heavenly Father, Heavenly Father
We thank You, We thank You
For our many blessings, For our many blessings
Saturday, October 23, 2010
One more thing we can check off our list. Now we pray steadfastly for the right people to find our Grand Rapids home! Here's a picture of our new place.
Monday, October 4, 2010
44 - Days until Baby Plantinga #2 is due to arrive.
68 - Days until we are planning to move to Pittsburgh.
90 - Days until Emily turns 3 whole years old.
3 - Number of classes I have left to teach this fall.
12 - Days of work I have left (my last day is 11/5/2010, but I only work part-time).
2 - Number of tours that our current favorites to rent our house have been on. Our fingers are crossed. Please cross yours too.
7 - Number of houses that our on our list to tour and possibly rent in Pittsburgh.
1,050 - the estimate of the moving truck company to get our 4 BR house moved to Pittsburgh.
2-3 - Days that the company estimates it will take to get all of our stuff driven to Pittsburgh.
91 - Days until Eric begins his Masters in Anesthesia Program at the University of Pittsburgh.
0 - What our income (from jobs, not loans/grants/etc.) will be for the first part of 2011. Are we crazy?!
1 - Number of times I almost had a panic attack this morning after making this list.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Emily continues to be a source of joy to us, especially in the midst of such a busy time in our lives. She both makes me laugh and want to pull my hair out about a hundred times each day. She is talking like crazy, and singing all the time. Most times whatever song she has in her head turns into Jingle Bells, so I think she'll enjoy Christmas this year. She has pretty much given up her nap completely, but will happily read books for about an hour in her crib every day, which has been a huge sanity saver. I'm a big fan of daily quiet time, and I'm not sure how easy this will be to enforce once she moves into a "big girl bed", but for now it's a good part of our daily routine. Emily has been mostly potty trained for a couple of months now, but was showing a bit of regression, so we instituted the M&M reward policy every time she initiates going to the potty and has dry underwear. Wouldn't you know we haven't had a single accident since we started that?! She really must be her mother's daughter!
I am continuing to feel good during this pregnancy, though I am feeling quite large now, and will be ready to have my stomach (or tummily, as Emily calls it) return to a normal size soon. I am struggling to have enough energy to get through everything on my long, daily to do list, and at the end of each day feel like I've run a marathon, but so far God is giving me the strength that I need to carry on!
Eric and I are also anticipating a move to Pittsburgh in the middle of December so that he can begin his masters program in anesthesia at Pitt in January. He's excited for a new challenge, but we'd appreciate thoughts and prayers during our upcoming transitions. Moving with a newborn and a toddler will certainly prove to be a challenge, as will finding the right people to rent our home, and finding the right home to rent in Pittsburgh, but we are taking one day at a time and trying to trust God with the rest.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Me: Emily, I'm going to the potty, please play with your toys.
Emily: What, why?
Me: because Daddy has to go potty
Emily: Oh, OK. Wait!
[Emily runs into the bathroom and puts the toilet seat up]
Emily: There, now you go potty, OK?
Me: Wow, thanks Emily!
Apparently all that potty training time in the bathroom has taught her more than just where the pee pee goes.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I also had the privilege of being the matron of honor, and making a toast at the reception. Here's part of the toast I gave to the happy couple:
In many ways, Elsa and Isaac are pretty similar. For example, they both have a flair for the dramatic, which can lead to some entertaining arguments. In other ways, though, they are exactly what the other needs. Isaac, I've never seen anyone that can make Elsa laugh and smile like you can. And Elsa, Isaac's affection for you is obvious, even in those moments when he seems to be utterly exasperated by you. Isaac, as you already know, Elsa is sensitive, caring, faithful, and extremely generous with her time and her love. I know that she'll always be there for you, and that in return, you will honor, respect, and love her right back. Please raise your glasses with me to the happy couple!
Congratulations Elsa and Isaac! We're so happy for you!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
In case you didn't catch that line near the end, Emily says "I have go potty about Jesus!". Although I couldn't stop laughing while listening to Emily read, I am nonetheless excited that she already seems to grasp the central message of the gospel: (A) Jesus loves you, and (B) we should announce this to everyone in a loud voice.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Then, yesterday, I went to my official mid-pregnancy ultrasound at my doctor's office. After carefully measuring the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, arms, legs, and several other body parts, it was determined that our baby is healthy and all looks great! But then, when she asked if we wanted to know the gender, a funny thing happened. She happily declared that we were having a girl. Um, what?! I was having a boy. Where did he go? It seems that our first results weren't as accurate as we would have liked, but this second set of pictures, taken with better equipment and at a later stage in the pregnancy, should prove to be much more reliable. So, now we're adjusting to having a second daughter join the family in a few months. And, we're trying to teach Emily that it's no longer a baby brother in mommy's tummy. So far, that hasn't been successful. She's a little confused, and to be honest, so am I! But we're happy, ecstatic even, that our baby girl is healthy and growing. Here are a few pictures!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The weather was great, and the water was just the right temperature for swimming.
Despite veering off course several times during the 1/3 mile swim, I was out of the water in a respectable 12:00.
After that, it was transition time and off on the 9.5 mile biking leg, which I finished in 39:58. I had a good solid bike ride, except for the home stretch, where I accidentally took the wrong road, costing me several minutes of carrying my bike back and forth through the woods. The 5.5 miles of running was much tougher, since I was both tired and not well trained. The highlight of the run was the aid station where Sarah and Emily cheered me on, and Emily ran at me yelling "Daddy!". After that, I tried to just keep moving until the end, and finished the run in 46:33, a pace of 8:28 min/mile. I finished 7th overall, with a time of 1:38:31, a mere 5 seconds faster than last year. If nothing else, I am consistent. My three clear areas for improvement this year were (1) deviating from a straight line during the swim, (2) a wrong turn on the bike course, and (3) a slow run.
After everyone had completed the triathlon, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with friends. We went out on the motorboat with Jason, Melissa, and Esther. Emily loved it, although she was a bit nervous at first.
Emily loved playing in the sand even more than the boat. She especially liked playing with Esther.
They ran around together like they were sisters.
Emily also discovered the Elenbaas's jumbo dog, which is almost as fun on land as it is at sea.
It was a fun day, and a great way to celebrate the independence day weekend.