Logsdons Blog

Learning As We Grow

   Dec 14

2014 Family Update

Yeah, yeah, my monthly blog has literally turned into a once-a-year blog.  However, it IS a great way to wrap up a wonderful year!  Here you go:

family newsletter

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ChristmasCard (1)

   Feb 20

Big Family Update

Well, apparently three kids is what does it to me – I finally fall off the monthly blog wagon and have completely and utterly slacked.  At this point, our life is documented on Instagram (@namastemamarose and @nathanlogsdon), so I’ll try to keep the gazillion daily pictures on there…which I typically share on Facebook…I’m so connected).
It’s a new year, and time for a big ole’ update on the crew.
2013 Big Family Update

Um, I digress.  First, Merry Christmas!

Now, moving on to 2013.  First one up, the token male in the household.  He holds the role well and happens to be the best man in the world so we’re pretty lucky.  I’m pretty sure that’s a fact, too.  I am a pretty unbiased, un-opinionated person, typically.  😉

Just look at that handsome devil.  
Nathan is an official Realtor now!  After some serious cramming, he took all his tests, passed with flying colors, and is now working part-time with FYK Group as a buyer’s agent.  Tiffany and Joshua Fykes are friends of ours with very similar family and personality styles, so this is a great fit for Nathan and allows him to connect with people and help them through the house-buying process.  He’s really excited and enjoying it – if you are looking for a house, you know the perfect Realtor to talk to. 😉
His first investment purchase – now rehabbed and rented out!
Not only is he working part-time with Tiffany, he is also still checking out real estate properties after a year of studying under some incredible real estate investors and dear friends, Connie and Sheila.  At this point he’s managing three rental properties and looking for our first big flip!
First time ice-skating!
Outside of work, he has definitely experienced a different lifestyle over the past few years since leaving the bank.  He commented the other day how different it is this time with an infant – this is the first time Nathan has been home all day instead of working an 8-5 with a new baby! We both love it so much.  We’ve been having these freakishly warm days lately so we drop everything and go “creek walkin” with the whole crew, or run errands, or do anything together as a family, even if it’s in the middle of the day. I  love that!  We love playing during the day, being able to talk and catch up at any point in the day, eating our meals together, and generally being around each other!
Eyes only for Daddy
One of my most favorite pictures from one of our afternoon walks.  In January, no less. 
Nathan really is a hands-on (and costumes on) Dad
On to wonderfully witty Clara.  Man, if I thought four was fun, it was just because I didn’t have a five-year-old yet!  She is such a hoot, and it’s really hit us that she is not a preschooler anymore.  She’ll be six in just a few months (and believe me, we are corrected if we say she is five.  She is “five and a HALF”)!  Her imagination and creativity always astound me – she can spend hours just playing out the vivid stories she creates in her head.  I love to look at her lost in her own little world and lock that image of sweet contentment in my mind:
Here are just a few of her highlights:
Making Marshmallow men.  This is “StrongMan”
And “Funky Lady”, I believe
They play it ultra safe in the bathtub.
This is our first year of officially saying we are “unschooling” Clara.  Technically, our kids have been learning since they were born.  Hasn’t everyone?  We’re simply trying to equip them with the desire to continue learning for the rest of their lives.  If you’d like yet another unusual term for what we like to think of as education, check out this hackschooling video by a brilliant 13-year-old.
Even her food becomes a creative endeavor
Anyway, this is my vision and goal for schooling.  Yes, I want my kids to learn math, science, grammar, history, etc.  I plan on enlisting the help of not just Nathan and me, but every educational resource – books, online sites, videos…and people.  Gobs of people.  Man, we have so much to learn from everyone we meet. I believe whole-heartedly in apprenticeships and mentors as well as the power of simply connecting and learning from watching others pursuing their passions.
She may not ride in one, but she knows how to build one!
In this vein, we have found a golden opportunity for Clara at Cool Springs Montessori.  They are starting their first ever pilot class for homeschoolers in March, and Clara is IN!  I’m so excited.  It’s for ages 5-12 on Mondays and Tuesdays:

 The twelve-week program will guide students through a study of World Geography and Earth Science, while integrating literacy throughout the curriculum.  Students will also benefit from working with traditional Montessori materials to help them develop the foundations for Mathematics and Language by reinforcing the understanding of: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, grammar, sentence mechanics and writing.  Each week will also include a collective art lesson where students will create their own masterpieces under the guidance of our art instructor.

Clara is already creating masterpieces left and right.  This was “Swiss Family Robinson” for Aunt Rhoda
 So…back to my education rant.  Yes, I want my girls to learn the essentials.   But, more than that, I want my focus to be on equipping them to learn…and to love doing it.  I don’t care so much that they have reached each educational checkpoint as laid out by the public school system.  I care that they get excited about learning and growing and opening their minds to new things each and every day – regardless of whether it’s titled “curriculum” or “educational lesson.”  Life is an educational lesson!
(Step off mini soapbox…now.)

One of Clara’s little village creations
On that note: Clara told YiaYia that she is very smart – she gets some from her parents but a lot of it she was just born with.  HA.
Also, Clara is a master artist – she has made some fabulous creations using various mediums – art, paper, pipe cleaners, playdough, markers, etc.  She’s had her art up at the local library and she loves to get into her art box every chance she gets.  Of course, her artwork is her daily self-expression as well.

New costume or outfit creation all day, every day.  Complete with body tattoos.
At the Thrift Store with Daddy
Clara has perfected her negotiation skills.  This morning she came to me with a perfect plan – present a request she knows will get a no: “Can I watch another movie?” with another one she hopes I’ll give in to: “Then can I give the chickens a bath instead?”  Riiiiiight.
I love this one.  A tank top and snow boots.
Clara has to have her special kiss and say “I love you beyond  more than infinity – iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou!” every night or when I leave.  She’s very particular about the order in which this is given, and that we do the same routine every time.
She tends to be the ringleader on playdates, oftentimes leading them down the path of playing cheetah…and sometimes decorating themselves as such.
Playing with friend Olive, as cheetahs, of course
Speaking of, Clara has an alter-ego when she’s naked – it’s a Cheetah named “Speed.”  We have to refer to her only as Speed and she only growls.  *Update from Clara:  “Speed has two sisters that are very sneaky.  Sparkle and Jewel – Ellie happens to be one of these.  Speed is a boy and he’s poor.  His brothers are very mean to him and they don’t like him.  They are part of an army, but I don’t know their names.  Also, Speed has a kid.”
Clara’s new friend obsession is Bradford.  She announced a few months ago that she was going to marry him.  Since then, this conversation has been an almost daily thing in our household.  The other day, Clara was talking about her friend Bradford and how they are holding off on getting married and having kids – they will just have a lot of playdates.  But she still wants to marry him because he’s different.  “We are on the same cord – he just gets me.”  WHAAAA?  Thankfully, Bradford is the sweetest boy ever.  
Clara and sweetheart Bradford, holding one of the many, many pictures she has drawn for him.

I was just reading an article about first crushes and am just cherishing these moments talking with Clara about Bradford.  When she talks about what she likes, it has nothing to do with the surface – it’s all about how they are best friends, how they imagine and explore together, and how he is so considerate and kind (I swear, this precious boy says “yes ma’am” all the time – I love him, too!)  It’s amazing the wonderful conversations that have come up due to Bradford – ones that are laying the foundation, I hope, for positive deeper relationships in the future.  

Cue us to today.  I actually got the question: “Mommy, how do babies get in your belly?”  Only 5 1/2 and it’s here.  It led to us watching a video on egg implantation, learning about sex (“so will I have setz?”), why grownups have it, why kids don’t, conversation about private areas on our bodies and who is allowed to touch there, birth control (geesh – she wanted to know if you have a baby every time you have sex), puberty, and kissing (“So you have a baby when you kiss, too, right?”)   Wow – I was not prepared for this to happen today.  She’s so young!  However, I remember well me learning all about it at age five.  From a little missionary girl, no less.  And then I went to my Dad to verify the story.
Her other love is animals.  She claims one day she’ll have a zoo.  She wants to be an artist and a zookeeper, and she’s hitting us up every day for more animals.  The latest have been a parakeet (actually two so they can have babies), lizard, tadpoles and a cheetah.  Not so sure I can follow through on the last one.  
Finally, Clara has a book about her!  At the 48 Days Christmas Open House, Clara was present to autograph her book, “I Know Who I Am” – YiaYia wrote it about her (it’s the fourth in a series of books about the Miller grandkids), and it’s complete with lots of purple and cheetahs, just like Clara loves!  
    Next up….Sweet Ellie-Belly!!

    Ellie has had quite a big adjustment lately, giving up her baby role and taking on the new double-task of being both a BIG sister and a LITTLE sister.  She is navigating it fairly well, and sometimes requires an extra dose of mama love.
    Ellie is wearing her “hair” – she will walk around for days with her “long, bootiful haya”
    again with her “haya”
    For a while, she seemed to really be off-kilter.  On top of being ousted as the only baby, she has embarked the world of 3-year-olds: highly opinionated and emotional but not fully able to regulate the extreme feelings in a positive way.  I’m all for kids feeling both positive and negative emotions, and being able to fully express them.  But a negative emotion still has to be checked if the solution is to release the anger by a punch in sis’s face.  Yes, it’s happened.  I won’t tell you how many times.
    With the amount of things Ellie uses as a “phone” already, I have a feeling she’s going to be on it a lot when she’s a teenager. 
    We started to see an insane amount of aggression – not just physically reacting, but a major inability for impulse control.  Her constant movement, high aggression, and complete over-reaction on anything had us questioning whether there was a deeper issue going on.  Ellie is a sweetheart and we were starting to see more sweet-tart (especially tart) than sweetheart.
    Soooo, we started experimenting.  First thing to look at was Ellie’s diet.  We cracked down and have eliminated gluten.  We’ve been gluten-free (for the most part – not die-hard) for a month now, and WOW.  We have definitely seen a difference.  It’s funny – she is still wonderful Ellie, without the insane button!  When she’s upset, it’s legitimate.  At the beginning, she would get upset, and then laugh at the absurdity of what she was getting so upset about.  She has become…reasonable.  (okay, “reasonable” for a 3-year-old).  She has better impulse control.  She is generally more even-keel.  It’s amazing.  And we know this how?  Because her valentine’s party at preschool was complete with a chocolate chip cookie cake loaded with gluten and bright red icing.  Wild child returned.
    Pink hair day.  And tattooed-nose day.
    Next up?  Eliminating the majority of sugar.  We aren’t going die-hard with either the gluten or the sugar – but we’re preparing ourselves now so that in the rare instances the kids do eat them, we can brace ourselves.  We’ve adopted the gluten-free diet for the whole family, and will continue to have gluten and sugar as a very rare (if ever) addition to our household kitchen.  Going to other peoples’ houses and restaurants, we’re willing to be a little lax.  I’m so, so grateful that this is simply a lifestyle choice for us and we don’t have anyone with a horrible allergy.  We are very lucky in that regard.
    Speaking of food, when Ellie’s tummy is “scrumbly” she is ready to eat.  And…if she’s “drinky” she’s up for a drink.   If she wants to be specific, then she’s “juicy.”  When I was little, I was always hungry and thirsty at the same time, so I was “hunky-tursty”.  I love seeing Ellie coming up with her own combinations.
    Those are Hokey and Pokey…yes, playing in a tent.
    Not sure how much fun they were having.
    Exit is the other way, gals. 
    Since El has had a lot of adjusting to do lately, I’m cherishing the extra requests for snuggle time and trying as much as I can to give her extra love.  With her evening out some, we aren’t cringing with her overly physical touches and we get sweet hugs and fun times with her.  I love it.  And…she can’t go to bed at night without her “lovingkiss.”  Sometimes two.  😉
    Ellie’s first Valentine for me.
    “It’s a cobra building and Grandma Bit”
    Random…the other day Ellie was sitting on the counter with me where the iPad was playing Pandora.  The Jackson 5 came on and Ellie exclaims, “It’s the colored people!!”  I about had a heart attack and then noticed she was pointing to the screen where is showed the album cover – silhouettes of the Jackson 5 with a rainbow background.  Nice.
    Ellie has come up with her new favorite “fairy-princess, Tankerella”.  Yes, that’s “Tangled” (Rapunzel), Tinkerbell, and Cinderella all rolled into one.
    Poor Ellie has had some serious sicknesses in the past few months.  First, in December, we finally had to break down and get a nebulizer for her – we all had a persistent cough and Ellie’s was so bad she was having a hard time catching her breath.  For a while she had to do the “funky chicken” at least three times a day.  No fun.
    Next was just last week.  “Aunt Rhoda” came to visit and I swear she wasn’t here for an hour before Ellie was in my arms puking.  Thankfully it must have been a 24-hour thing (that no one else caught, thank God!) because she was back in the swing of things pretty quickly with only two throw-ups.  I still remember that awful day when I was in my first trimester with Ellie and Clara threw up 26 times in 24 hours.  I never, ever, want to relive that day.  Can’t watch Kung Fu Panda without remembering it.  It was a movie day for sure.  
    Just look at that sad little face
    Ellie is queen of the hats.  I finally broke down and went to my cousin Elizabeth’s Etsy store (Little Bucket Boutique) and, um, got addicted.  First was this owl hat.  Then I learned quickly that this was not a hat to be shared, but to be worn by Ellie, all day, every day.  
    Temp was about 40 degrees at this point.
    Had to wait ten minutes outside before she finally decided she needed a sweater.
    Just in case you haven’t gotten enough of her cuteness in that hat…
    All my silly girls and Jules with her Austin Powers pose
    Ellie loves Juliet and is getting better and better about being sweet to her.  Jules lights up with both girls, and I love seeing them sing to her and want her to play with and watch them!
    And now, precious Juliet!
    Wait, wait…that’s not a happy baby….   Ahh, we’ve learned why.  She wasn’t being held!!  This child is a saint…every second she’s in Mama’s arms.  When she’s not in my arms…it’s hit or miss.
    Keeping track of Daddy’s Apple Pie Moonshine
    Really, she’s a pretty easy-going babe.  She is definitely taking her social cues from Ellie and just lights up when she can watch people.  She is very relational, just like her sis, and her whole face just glows and she squirms like she’s gonna pop when people pay attention to her.  And who wouldn’t with that cute face?
    The many faces of Jules
    I’m overdue for these shots.  I swear I took a 2 month picture and I can’t find it anywhere.  So I guess I’m doing the 3-6-9 month pictures instead.  Oops.  I had such great intentions.  I can’t believe she’ll be five months this week.  
    New with baby #3 is my venture into cloth diapering.  I was going to go halfway because I was skeered but I admit I’ve gone all in.  I love it and can easily see becoming a cloth diaper junkie with all the cute little diapers.  However, I will also say I could eat these words because happy little breastmilk poop is NOT the real deal.  So, the jury is still out on how long I’ll cloth diaper, but so far, I haven’t used disposables since the first week or so, and I haven’t wanted to!
    Maybe she just gets bored without me. 
    Thankfully, Jules has a pretty good sense of humor.  She is very patient with the girls and allows them to deck her out in all kinds of madness.  I have a feeling they are going to be a pack of musketeers as soon as Jules is mobile.
    Speaking of mobility…Jules is taking her time.  The token baby of the family, she is perfectly content to wake up all through the night, sleep in our bed, and be carried/worn all day instead of doing any of this stuff on her own.  She is working on sitting up on her own, and rolls over, but isn’t too interested in staying on the ground much (remember the Mommy holds me thing).  So…she’ll get there…eventually.
    This used to be called my side of the bed.  Now I have a tiny sliver.  
    I am loving so much of this baby-ness.  However, I’m also reminded how difficult it is to get things done when you are holding a baby in your arms all the time!  Jules had her first bought of sickness last week with a 102 fever.  I didn’t even get to put a shirt on that day- just wore her skin-to-skin in a baby wrap and she slept on me all day long.  Look at those eyes – so pitiful!
    Jules talking with her big sis.  And yes, that’s a glove/balloon/man, Chavez Chavez. 

    I have to put a little snippett about our other little girl, Harley McQuinn.  She’s come a long way from being that tiny pup we brought home in April!  This dog has got some energy!!  She also is fond of the most awkward sleeping positions ever.
    She has grown into an incredibly gorgeous and good dog.  Nathan has worked hard to train her and he’s done an amazing job.  She is awesome…as long as we walk her and pay attention to her.  And if not, destruction ensues, like eating toys, eating 16 fudge cookies off the counter (really bitter about that one), or eating a hole in Clara’s down comforter (really, really bitter about that one).  Needless to say, Nathan takes her on a walk daily.
    This was even more uncomfortable looking in real life
    She is Clara’s best friend and sleeps in bed with her most nights. On the top bunk.  That pup is extremely patient with the girls, and I’m so glad they have her around.  We definitely made the right decision in getting another dog so soon.  She’s been perfect for us all.
    Lastly, and I’ll make it quick…there’s me.  Hi.
    Guess which one is me?  I’d say we’re all pretty distinct, but it was still fun pulling together the pictures:
    So what all is new with me?  I’m still “Chief Inspiration Officer” at 48 Days, managing the business so Dad can stay focused on coaching, writing and speaking.  I work as his personal assistant, handle clients, marketing, sales, shipping, social media, new product development, web development, and customer service with Nathan.  Missy is my right-hand woman for all things techy, and recently, I came on as a Virtual Assistant in her business, iSimplifyVA.  She works for me, I work for her.  It’s fun.  I’ve got three additional clients through her, and the work I get is always new and different.  Fun for me, and great extra cash.
    Babywearer.  Always. 
    Granted, it’s a lot of work.  I’m working a lot right now.  But I know this is just for a time, and I’m looking at ways to be more of a manager and not so much of an “I have to do it all myself-er.”  I want to make sure I get plenty of time to be with my girls.
    At Christmas this year, we made most of our gifts for people.  A lot of it was food.  I made 8 apple pies and didn’t get a single one for us!  Well by golly in January I made a pie just for Nathan and me and we devoured it.  Yum.  Also made quite a few new Pinterest recipes I was really excited about.  Love love love baking.  Now I just need to look for some more fun Gluten-Free options!
    Yes, those were some of the cookies Harley devoured.  
    I’m also loving getting back into painting.  I pulled some of my old pieces out of the dredges of our closet to update a bit, and immediately sold both of them!!  I was pretty excited about it and I’m eager to do some more.  Since Clara and I have been so crafty, I’ve started a Pinterest Board that is just our artwork.  You can check it out here.
    My very first painting sold – to Patsy Clairmont, no less!
    That’s pretty much me.  I’m counting down the days until I can get outside and start our garden, plus I’m brewing with ideas for our family hall and for repainting rooms inside.  I’ve got a burst of creative energy lately and I might as well take advantage of it!
    This has become an insanely long blog update, but hopefully you now know the latest of life in the Logsdon realm, so when you say “what’s new?” I can say…read above.    
    Much love to all of you and wishing you an incredible 2013!!

       Nov 18

    Happy Birthday Ellie Rose!

    I swear one day I’ll have better updates, but for now, I’ll let pictures do most of the talking!
    The big news for October…Ellie turned three!  I can’t believe she’s getting to be a big girl – sometimes she’ll start to have a conversation with us and it’ll just hit me that she’s not just a little toddler anymore – she has a creative imagination and can come up with all kinds of entertaining stories!
    Ellie showing off her sweet outfit from Aunt Rhoda – she loves it!
    Ellie loved her little “gift” here…but definitely enjoyed playing with some of the other gifts more.
    I think I wrote in the last blog that Ellie told her Grammy that when she grows up she wants to be a “big, purple sunflower.”  Needless to say, it was almost a requirement for me to make a big purple sunflower cake for her birthday!
    We started out her birthday celebration day with a breakfast playdate with pancakes and whipped cream!
    Yes, this is how she holds up three fingers.  She tries to do the “I Love You” sign like Clara and this is what happens.
    She dove right in to the whipped cream
    We had a great time with Kristen and her girls Olive and Alice, Chevi and her girls Jasmine, Qwinn and Zoe, Melissa and her girl Kate, and Sarah, and her girls Tigris and Saoirse.
    Later that evening we had a spaghetti dinner with all the family – YiaYia and Papa, Poppa D and Grammy, Uncle Clay, Cuckoo Bill, Uncle John and Aunt Shelley and Grandma Bit.

    Ellie loved her new costumes from Grammy/Poppa D/Grandma Bit!

    So did Clara…
    Jules got her dose of lovin’ as well
    We are loving little Jules, and the girls love on her a lot.  Ellie…perhaps a little too much!  Poor girl – she wants to badly to love on Juliet, but she is just rough as all get-out.  We have to really watch her because her “helping” to put a pacifier in oftentimes constitutes smothering Jules and shoving it down her throat!
    The girls had their first bake sale – we did a garage sale and they sold butterfinger fudge, caramel/chocolate thumbprint cookies, and salted caramel pretzel bark – yum!  Poppa D had to um, come visit for that one.  😉
    Here is is almost Thanksgiving…and next week Jules will be 2 months.  Oh well- here is from Month One photo session – I never did this with the other two – might as well start – the drawing on the chalkboard are compliments of some of the girls best friends, Tigris and Saoirse:
    Playing with Sarah, Saoirse and Tigris

    We didn’t get many Halloween pictures – here are just a few – we stopped by Grandma Bit’s place first.
    A cowgirl and her horse, and a purple polka dot princess/witch (she went back and forth on the witch idea)
    Grumpy teddy bear
    Going through the loot at Grammy/Poppa D’s
    We decided that, in order to cure them of their treat obsession, we would just serve them “dinner” one night of a whole plate of their Halloween candy.  We’d let them gorge, melt down, and be sick of sweets….right?  Wrong.  They told us we were the best parents ever, ate 3/4 of their candy, snuggled up with us on the couch to watch a movie and went to bed like angels.  Hmm.  Score one for being a fun parent, I guess?
    The aftermath.  The beer is Nathan’s, promise.  
    I’ll elaborate a bit more in the next post, but even without traditional school, the girls are busy every day with different school activities.  Here is one of the many friends we’ve made with our homeschool groups – I just loved this picture:
    Flying kites
    I just have to share the latest artwork from Clara – she continues to amaze me with all the fun things she does!
    Her abstract art from her homeschool enrichment program
    She drew little people in every one of these windows, and a flying banner behind the plane – love it!
    She loves to tie things up.  Unfortunately, it becomes quite cumbersome to undo. 

    My favorite – Clara’s “bug hospital”
    The art doesn’t stop on paper – they dress up Daddy as well.
    And of course the girls are walking artwork always!
    I had my own craftiness day.  Since I’m doing cloth diapers with Jules, I have quickly learned it’s a heckuva lot cheaper to make my own stuff.  So I put together some goodies for my friend, sis-in-law, and me:
    Flannel baby wipes and wipes spray
    Wet Bags and cloth diaper detergent – a little goes a long way!

    Sweet Jules is growing and grinning, and the girls love to help out!
     Okay…check out Clara’s ring.  Wow – Clara came home from school last week announcing that she was going to marry Bradford (a sweet little boy in her class at preschool).  Apparently he gave her this ring he found on the playground…and since Daddy is already married, she is going to marry Bradford.
    I did a video of her saying why she liked Bradford.  When she’s 16 and running after some hot jerk, I’m going to play it for her and remind her of why she was going to marry Bradford: “Because he’s thoughtful and cares about me.   He talks with me and is kind.”  Seriously – she knows what really makes a man!
     We’ve had the pleasure of some family visits the past few weeks – everyone had to get a baby fix!
    Aunt Kathy, Uncle Rod, Cousin Chris
    Us with Aunt Paige, Abby, William, Grandma Bit and Uncle Will

    Cousin Abby

    Sweet Daddy…passed out on our date night at 8pm.
    Poor Ellie – bad bought of bronchitis prompted a nebulizer, aka the “funky chicken”
    Since I’ve posted we’ve celebrated not only Ellie’s birthday, but Poppa D’s as well.  He was a happy man with all his little granddaughters around him.  Our birthday gift to him was a breakfast feast made by all of us – eggs, hashbrowns, bacon…and chocolate chip muffins made by the girls.  I should have taken a picture of the placemat they made, with silverware with party hats on and a portrait of Poppa D.  A wonderful piece of work!
    The first smile I captured!
    There’s our update overload – so for now….Happy Thanksgiving!

       Oct 07

    Double Big Sisters and Baby Jules!

    It’s obviously been quite some time since I’ve done a family blog update.  It’s amazing that the blog has been going for so long…honestly this is about the longest in between I’ve gone, and I’ve been doing this “monthly” update since right before Clara was born – over 5 1/2 years!  Essentially, this is the family book – no baby books or anything like that.  Since we lost a hard drive with a gazillion pictures, some of the pictures on this blog are all we have of some years!  

    I’m going to cram a lot of pictures in and hopefully give an overview of the past few jam-packed months…

    Clara has been such a hoot – she and Daddy got “married” and had quite the ceremony:

     Our big trip in August was to Little Saint Simon’s Island for a mini-reunion with some of the Folger family.  We LOVE this place – the best food and beach in the southeast!  Notice all the people on the beach.  Yep, that’s Nathan and the girls.  Seven miles of solitude on the beach. 

    The girls loved looking for horseshoe crabs and we even stayed up late one night for a turtle hatching.  Unfortunately, they didn’t hatch that night, but we got to see plenty of turtles on Jekyll Island at the incredible Georgie Sea Turtle Center.  Loved checking it all out and remembering why I love turtles so much!

    Love this one of Uncle Fred, Adelaide, Uncle Steve and Daniel!

    Two months before baby and I was already huge.  Didn’t stop me from biking all over the island, though – it was so fun!

    Ellie and baby Daniel
    Ellie and Adelaide…cousins…somehow?
    There are a TON of gorgeous shots from St. Simons, of course…you can see more HERE.

    On to randomness, the girls are all smiles most of the time.  I have some great Ellie and Clara sayings…

    Ellie:  “Look, the sky is lellow!”

    Clara: “not ‘lellow’, it’s Yellow.  Ya.  Ya. Yellow.”
    Ellie: “ya-ya-lellow.  ya-ya-lellow.”
    Clara: “That’s not right!”
    Ellie: “CLARA!  I didn’t say lellow, I said…PLAYDOUGH.”
    Clara: “When I grow up I’m going to be a zookeeper and a paleontologist.”
    Ellie: “When I grow up I’m going to be a big purple sunflower!”
    Mommy: “We’re going to do a few errands before we go to Grammy’s house.”
    Ellie: “Well is there juice at Errand’s house?”
    Some of the things the girls love…
    • Skeletons (Clara)
    • Big Purple Sunflowers (Ellie)
    • “Hanitizer” (Hand Sanitizer)
    • Tell me how much they love me – for Clara, that means “I love you more than infinity!” and a special kiss.  Over and over again.  Seriously.  Over and over and over again. For Ellie, it’s always new and fun, like “I love you more than an eyeball” or “I love you beyond like a pancake” to name a few. 

    Clara has had all kinds of awesome art creations.  On this picture, she chose to crumple up green paper to look like leaves.  When “Ms Dorsey” asked why she chose to do that, she said “Because it feels more like a tree.”  That’s a true artist – she really gets into it.

    Ellie is starting to really love art as well, although she’s definitely more of a performer than anything that requires staying still for too long!

    In celebration of upcoming baby, some of my incredible friends threw a “blessingway” for me – it was amazing – a truly wonderful and heartfelt experience with some of the closest women in my life – not like a typical baby shower at all.  You can check out all the pictures HERE. I definitely felt the love both for me and baby-to-be – and am honored to call those women my dear sisters. 

    Harley the pup has turned out to be the best dog EVER.  She has truly been such an amazing addition to the family – Nathan works with her most every morning and evening on their walks and she will stop in the middle of playing in a field on his command.  She is wonderful with the kids and generally a wonderful dog.  If I could figure out how to eliminate fleas from the world, all would be perfect. 


    I asked the girls today who their best friends were.  They immediately replied each other.  Although they still have plenty of kid squabbles, they genuinely have so much fun together and love to get creative.  Below was an 80 degree day.  However, they had just found a box of winter clothes I’d pulled down.  They are dressed for anything!

     This was after an incredibly awesome birthday party for one of our friends’ daughters.  Mustaches appeared all over the house after that, and it was all we could do to get them to not wear their teeth to bed. 

     Our first hot cocoa of the season.  Also on a day that I’m pretty sure ended up being in the high 70s. 
    I just love this picture – all cleaned up and so excited about meeting their new sister – this was the day before. 
    Clara had her first produce sale – she created a sign with the prices for all the stuff, and then picked peppers, tomatoes and basil from the garden plus 18 eggs from our chickens.  The neighbors from behind us came over as her first customers, along with Cuckoo Bill, and she racked up $7!

    This is the night before Juliet was born – Grammy and Poppa D grabbed the girls around 4 the night before so Nathan and I had the chance to go out on a date.  And yes, I wore heels.  First time in a year, I think.  Of course, 40 weeks pregnant is the perfect time to do it, right?

    We had such a wonderful “last supper” together – a great time to just chill out and reconnect before we went to the hospital in the morning.  

    We spent an incredibly sleepless night tossing and turning in anticipation of going in to the hospital at 5am the next morning.  One of the times we woke up was to coyotes howling and cackling right outside out windows.  We opened up the windows and saw two of the biggest coyotes – the size of German Shepherds – that I’ve ever seen!  We looked up coyote totems and thought it was very interesting – one of the links told us part of the “trickster” deal is that Murphy’s law is inevitable.  Well as she came out, she immediately pooped on me. Then pooped on Nathan twice in the recovery room.  And, like clockwork, every time we change a diaper, she poops either during or right after.  Nice. 

    We had an extraordinary birth story – I wrote all about it HERE.  Please check it out!

    Juliet Grayce Logsdon
    8 lbs, 13 oz
    19″ long
    Born September 25th, 7:14am
    We didn’t have a name picked out before we went into the hospital, and we debated and debated on names.  Juliet was a name that Clara suggested completely out of the blue when I first got pregnant.  There was no reasoning behind it, but it just really stuck with us.  We have a Julius, Julianne and Julia in the family, so it’s a little in there, but we liked that it was old yet uncommon, didn’t end in “a” or “ie”, and that Clara chose it.  We wanted to use “Gray” in honor of Nathan and his grandfather, but Nathan really loved “Graycie” as well.  We chose to spell Grayce as tribute to Nathan and also Papa D’s favorite aunt Grace.  

    The girls are so enamored with her – I absolutely love it.  Since she didn’t have a name during pregnancy, it’s taking us a while to get used to calling her “Jules” or Juliet.  The girls call her “the baby” most of the time, and Ellie wants to show everyone her “born baby.”  Love it. 

    I think she’s another little Logsdon girl – looking like she might have the same beautiful smile as Clara, her Daddy and Grammy.  

    YiaYia and Papa meeting Jules

    Poppa D got to get his snuggle time in once we got home from the hospital.
    We’ve been using Instagram to capture all kinds of great shots…
    Leave her alone for two seconds…and lipstick covers her and the floor.  Love this girl.  She keeps me on my toes. 
    She’s not always so serene.  But…most of the time, she is. 
    Big sisters putting Jules to sleep.
    She’s never hurting on decorations with her big sisters!
    Clara picked this out, of course – tutu and skeletons.  Her favorites. 
    My first trip with 3 to the zoo – went with their buddies Olive and Alice.
    They definitely had the most fun at the gift shop.  Just monkey’n around. 
    Clara says she isn’t just the big sister.  She’s the “double big” sister. 
    I love this shot of Ellie – you can see the love there!
    Unfortunately, completely legit wound.  Blocks chucked at you by older highly irritated sisters tend to do damage. 

     I have so many more pictures and great stories, but after months of buildup, this is already incredibly long!  The next post will hopefully be to show off the awesome pre and post-baby photos my friend Cassie took – the maternity shots turned out awesome, and we do baby pictures next week!

       Jul 13

    Family Time!

    I’m gonna make this short and sweet because I have a gazillion pictures and I could be lengthy here!  Some highlights in the past month:

    My beautiful niece Saoirse Sky Angaza was born!  I had the honor of being by Jared and Ilea’s side throughout the delivery – it’s completely different being the observer vs. the one in labor!  Ilea had a long and hard delivery and Saoirse spent a week in NICU – however, the bottom line is that the whole family is home, adjusting, healthy and happy!  I can’t believe Saoirse hit one month old today!  (I’ll post more sweet pics, but wow – I LOVE this shot of her!)

    Next up is the family reunions! We had a week chock-full of family coming into town from both sides.  My brother and sis-in-law from Colorado with their 7 kids plus one extra, my aunt and uncle from Ohio, and my cousins and their spouses from Virginia – all in all, 23 people visiting for a week.  That makes for a lot of fun and a lot of eating!  The highlights of the trip for me…flashlight tag till midnight, nighttime sing-along, and the day at the pool!  You can see the WHOLE album of pictures HERE:

    Next up…the Texas Folgers (Nathan’s aunt, uncle and cousins) came up for a day and we squeezed in a few more pictures, and then Nathan’s other aunt and uncle (the Mattinglys) from Ky came up to visit as well – another album of goodness HERE.

    Family highlights…
    Ellie has become the drama queen.  She never just needs to do something – it’s always “I REALLY REALLY need to go potty,” or “I’m REALLY REALLY hungry.”  Everything is REALLY REALLY with her.

    She told me the other day she was “drinky.”  Brilliant Uncle Clay helped me figure out she was actually thirsty.  Love that.  She is a hoot and a half – at least when she drives us crazy her cuteness makes up for it.  She’ll randomly come up to me, give me a kiss and say “Your bootiful, Mommy.”  Now THAT is an ego boost.  On the other end of the spectrum, Clara told me today “That shirt looks really good on your big fat belly!”  Ego…deflated.

    Baby is growing and dancing to techno in my belly.  I can’t believe she’ll be here in eleven short weeks!  Seeing and holding baby Saoirse definitely makes me excited about this little one as well.  The one thing missing?  A name!  We haven’t come up with anything definite, and we think on this one we’ll have a few ideas and wait until she gets her to decide – different than what we did with our last two!

    Lastly, the new family pup has been incredible.  Harley McQuinn has proved to be a brilliant dog.  She is training very well, incredibly smart, and has the most ferocious bark ever – which is really funny when you look at this little puppy!

    We got a kickin new camera – thus the gazillion pictures.  We got some good ones!  More pictures HERE.

    That it all in a very, very, VERY small nutshell.  July has been so fun and family focused – we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it all!

       Jul 13

    More June-ness

    Apparently I missed a blog of goodness.  Here are a few more sweet pictures from June!
    This was my first ever Picaken – spice cake with apple pie and vanilla pudding frosting.  Weighed a ton.  Was delish.  The next one I did was an incredible peanut butter pie inside of a devil’s food chocolate cake with cream cheese icing – even better!

    Ellie and Grandma Polly..next picture is with her boyfriend Bob.  Polly has been a man-hater as long as I’ve known her!!  Apparently Alzheimer’s made her forget that little detail and she and Bob are happy as can be.

    Clara painting the chickens’ toenails.  When they were chicks they had different colored feathers.  As their adult feathers came in, the were all red – no way to tell them apart!  We have Goldie, Elvira, Beezus and Ramona, but no clue who is who!  At this point, they should be giving us eggs any time now, and unfortunately one of them became a very tasty dinner for a fox who hangs out close to our home!

    Mother’s Day picture with Grammy and Grandma Bit…

    Love these shots of Ellie eating a lime!

       Jun 10

    The Ultimate Zipline

    Nathan and Papa installed a 320′ zipline at Papa’s house…was pretty iffy getting it up, but at this point, even YiaYia has gone down it!  Here are some great shots from it:

    Sweet moment with Papa…

    These pictures were taken this past week on a MUCH cooler camera than mine!

    LOVE this picture of Ellie!!

    And my favorite of Clara!

    Picture- perfect Harley – hard to believe she’s double this size already!!

       Jun 09

    Happy Birthday Clara…and WHOOSH, there goes April, May and June!

    I can’t believe my little Clara turned five in April.  I pulled up some pictures from my first blog post announcing her arrival and am hit that once again I’ll be bringing another one home in just four short months!

    She’s growing by leaps and bounds – we’re working on reading and she’s catching on very fast.  We’re officially unschooling her…and really consider that we’ve been doing it since the very beginning anyway!  While her friends go off to Kindergarten, we’ll continue with Judson Pre-K for 3 days a week for both girls while we adjust to new baby.  Fall of 2013 will be a different story – I still have my hopes up for a co-op to get the girls involved in,  but unfortunately, the amount of judgement I’ve faced either from not going to church or from no homeschooling the “right” way has excluded us from every co-op I’ve investigated.  Ugh.  I have a year to find one or great my own.  

    At this point, we have a lot of randomly connected friends.  With preschool, that’s 12 students (not counting parents and sibs), and that doesn’t even include our whole family and other friends.
    So, magic solution: an annual Easter Egg Hunt/Birthday party for Clara!  We did a big potluck out at YiaYia and Papa’s, and in lieu of gifts, people brought eggs to hide for a big Easter egg hunt for everyone!
    Clara opted for a chocolate chip cookie cake.  Unfortunately, there were no leftovers.  

    Party #2 was the day before her actual birthday (moved up spontaneously due to rain)!  This was just her preschool class, which turned out great!  We had a garden-themed party – worms in “dirt” (cocoa, graham crackers, sugar and a little butter), the cake I brought home from a cake decorating class, and party favors were them decorating a flower pot and planting their own purple petunia to take home.

    One of her best buds, Abby Lara.  

    And the big investment…a pinata.  Of course it couldn’t be just any pinata, but a unicorn one.  That we decided to do last minute, so I got to pay top-dollar. 
    It was worth it, though – the kids had a blast, and it ended with the only boy, Harrison, essentially decapitating the poor unicorn.  

    Days before Ellie gave up her paci for good….

    Grammy and Poppa D got Clara her very own fancy camping tent, so the girls had to try it out right away.  

    Cookie-pops Clara took to school on her birthday:

    And here are all the “mamas” in Clara’s life…Auntie Ilea, YiaYia, Mommy…

    And here they are with Grammy as well!

    Little Ellie is quite the big girl now – potty trained, no pacifiers, sleeping in a big girl bed in Clara’s room, talking 100 miles a minute….  She’s in a language study at Vanderbilt and they were testing her at a 6 1/2 year old level!  She is such a big talker it’s insane.  Between Clara and her, even  can’t get a word in edgewise!

    Considering I just got through April, I’m going to do a few more posts…

       May 01

    Sadness and Puppy’s Breath

    A few weeks ago, we lost our sweet, sweet dog, Kenya.  She was hit by a car and her death came as a huge blow to all of us (especially Clara and me).  I wrote about our grieving process in my other blog, because letting go doesn’t mean forgetting.

    Clara, especially, took it hard and has said every day for two weeks “I want Kenya.”  Even now, there are days we hear it.

    To make the process a little easier, we went ahead and decided on a puppy.  There is no replacement for Kenya, but welcoming a new pup in the family definitely helps for distraction!   And…considering my current baby in the oven, it was either get a pup NOW or not for another two years (one baby in the house is enough, thank you!)

    So, welcome to the family, Harley McQuinn!

    Since then, Harley has literally doubled in size in just two weeks:

    This is a hoot – loving her little personality!  
     To top it off, Harley isn’t our only addition to the family.  Hello Beezus, Ramona, Goldie and Elvira!
    Harley had to check them out…

    Goldie is Clara’s sweetheart.

    Notice the menagerie –  Khaki the rabbit, Harley the pup, and the four chicks by the fountain.
    Caught Ellie in the cage with the chicks – so cute.

       Apr 15

    More March Goodness

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love my family?  Check these sweet girls out.  Ellie is just all about accessories, and the PotatoHead glasses are a favorite of hers. 
    On Dr. Suess’s birthday, we had green eggs and “ham” (tofurky).  Kids dug it.  🙂
    Clara’s creativity is so fun to see:
    I  took Clara with me to my last OB appointment to hear the heartbeat – Dr. Schlechter let her hold the heart monitor and push the buttons – Clara was so excited!  Of course, we had to stop by Krispy Kreme first…
    Speaking of baby, here is the original ultrasound at 11 weeks.  I’m at 17 weeks now, and am counting down the days until May 7th.  Not only is it Papa’s birthday, we find out the gender that day!
    This is just a hoot – I’ve been doing impromptu playdates on Sunday mornings/afternoons while Nathan goes kayaking.  A few weeks ago we had a whole gaggle of girls.  Before we knew it, all clothes were off and the chalk painting began.  I thought this was great of all the cuties.  Tigris opted to keep her swimsuit on and contemplate the craziness she got herself into!
    Spring came way early this year – by about six weeks!  Our azaleas were gorgeous – definitely my favorite spring explosion at our house.  
    Clara on our dogwood tree smiling like a goob.
    The girls transformed a windmill at YiaYia’s to a perfect teepee (with a little help from us).
    My awesome henna tattoo.   I love, love, love henna – would love to get my own kit.  It fulfills my tattoo wishes and every 2-3 weeks I can change it up!
    Ellie taking matters into her own hands…
    Clara with her typical sass. 
    Sweet sisters – they have been playing so well together lately!
    Clara’s class at Judson with their awesome teacher, Ms. Amy.  Clara loves her!