Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Just In:

Paisley's bottom tooth! At 7 months and 6 days old, sure 'nuf--it popped through and it's sharp! I didn't even see it coming because she has remained her happy, peaceful self. Though I don't know what she'll use it for since we can't get her to eat a lick of solids. Seriously, you just try to put a spoon in that girl's mouth and she starts screaming! She's all breast milk and she'd be wise to not use her new tooth for that.

Here's a funny story: I was nursing Paisley at church last Sunday. Despite the cramped space, lingering smells, and squeaky chairs, I like the mothers' lounge because I get to talk to other mamas and in a new ward it's helpful in getting to know people. So I struck up a conversation with Stephanie who was feeding her 3-month-old son, Liam. She was telling me how she has a 4-year-old daughter and I said that I also have a daughter who is almost 4. She responds that she thinks it's such a good spacing between the kids. She goes into her explanation of how she thought about having a kid every two years but she's really glad she didn't because that's just crazy, etc, etc. To which a reply, "I also have a 2-year-old son." Talk about a conversation stopper! No, seriously, it was funny! I told her that, yes, it is crazy having 3 kids so close together, but it's fun. Stephanie was nice about it and I don't anticipate any awkwardness at next Sunday's nursing. And maybe our 4-year-old daughters can still be friends! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Over the river and through the woods

To Mammaw's house we go!

We went down to Turlock to spend the night at Brad's grandma's house Friday night--just for funsies and because we can!We made Mam's famous and dangerously delicious molasses cookies. Soooo tasty--as were the BBQ ribs and kale soup. Seriously, you haven't eaten until you've dined in "Bev's Kitchen."Paisley watched the kitchen action while she wedged herself under the buffet.We played outside. Mammaw's backyard is a kid's paradise complete with a dirt pit to dig in. Finn is so happy and playful.We picked flowers. Galla loved the roses and violets.Paisley took a bath. She's a water baby like the other two.Finn took a nap in the king size bed. So cozy!This sums up our Saturday. Yeah, Brad is using a magnifying glass to try to pop a kernel placed on a molasses cookie. He already burned holes in the paper towel roll that Paisley is playing with. All this outdoor fun, I almost forgot it's January! There's nothing like being at Mammaw's house. She is an all-star lady that we all love dearly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Home is where you...let the kids run around and be as loud as they want (or as much as my head can handle). We L-O-V-E being in a house and out of an apartment!Taking a Sunday stroll. Typical scene here with Galla running full steam ahead and Finn bumbling behind. The weather here is so great--we actually played at the park today with some friends and the kids were comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt. Brad's blue "B" birthday boy cake. He turned 28 this week and we had a low-key celebration. The poor boy has always hated his birthday for being right after Christmas. I think next year he deserves a big bash! Chillin' in the tree out front. My little monkeys :) Galla and Finn really like riding their trikes. Here they are riding off into the sunset.

Oh, won't you be my neighbor?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Falkes move to Folsom, and other festivities

What a December! Isn't moving a joy? It has been wild, but we are so grateful that things went well. This hit the day before we were scheduled to load the 26-foot-Camry-in-tow Penske:Those of you that live in snowy climates may think it's no big deal, but when Portland sees snow, everyone goes into freak-out mode! Church was canceled (the day this pic was taken), schools were canceled for Monday (the day we were to load the truck) and roads were closed down. We decided to go forward with our plans and it's a good thing we did. Thanks to some faithful home teachers and missionaries (ask me to tell you the story about the missionary spilling my unmentionables all over--hilarious) we got the truck loaded on Monday, Dec 15. On Tuesday we cleaned the apartment, tied up loose ends, and began the trek down I-5. Here are the kids all ready to leave our empty apartment:I got a little emotional as we said our final prayer there. That apartment was the longest Brad and I have stayed in one place since married and we brought 2 babies home to Troutdale Terrace. Portland has been so good to us. We made amazing friends and had some great times and I was sad to see that chapter of our lives come to an end.

Tuesday we made it to Medford to spend the night. The driving was slow and at one point it took us an hour to go 5 miles. By far one of the worst hours of my life. But I was reminded that things could be much worse when we were cruising at about 60mph in a dark, curvy, hilly area and a semi swerved half-way into my lane. I swerved onto the shoulder and narrowly avoided a side-swipe. Whew! Talk about the sympathetic "fight or flight" response kicking in! Once we got to the Holiday Inn Express we all got clean and cozy and had a good nights' sleep.

Wednesday morning we got on the road at a good time and made it over the Siskiyou pass before the second, more severe storm rolled in later that day. Seriously, we got out at the only time possible. Portland saw the worst storm they've had in heaven knows how long. Everything was completely closed down, including the freeway by our house. We heard that our exit was at the center of the news reports and buildings were covered to their roofs in snow drifts! Had we decided to wait a day, we would've been snowed in--surrounded by boxes in our cramped apartment until well after Christmas. That would've been sad and I'm quite certain I would've gone insane.

The rest of the drive went smoothly, minus a car-seat staining blow-out from Finn. The poor little guy had been sick with the "spew and poo" bug as I call it since a couple days before the move. Finn's a tender little guy who followed me around saying "I need hug" and requiring that I carry him around. This made packing and cleaning very difficult, but who can resist a sick and sad little boy that desparately wanted cuddles? He loved riding with Brad in the "big yellow truck" for the whole trip and was accident-free. Then on the very last leg of the journey we decided to switch it up. Galla and Paisley got their turn in the big yellow truck with daddy and Finn joined mama in the Suburban. At only one hour away from our new house, I smelled something suspicious. I pulled over on a random country road and cleaned up a huge disgusting mess that needs no explanation. Why couldn't he have done that while he was with Brad?

We pulled in to our wonderful new (rental) house just after 5:00 on Wednesday evening. Several guys from our new ward came to help us unload and we had the truck emptied pretty quickly. Let the unpacking/organizing begin! Check out Gal in our backyard:Total California girl already, right?! The kids love it! And I'm a way more relaxed mama when I don't have to tell the kids to stop running/jumping/yelling on account of the noise for the neighbors. The house is awesome and we got all unpacked just in time to enjoy Christmas.So fun decorating the spacious new living room and watching a little "Elf." We actually packed the Christmas tree down from Oregon. They are much cheaper there since that's where most of them down here come from anyway. Christmas Eve we spent as our little family. We got up Christmas morning and opened presents.Paisley was pretty happy in her new bumbo chair with a toothbrush and socks on her first Christmas.Finn is a big fan of his cowboy hat--like Woody from Toy Story.Galla is "princessed out" as usual.After presents we drove down to Modesto/Turlock to visit family. Brad and I haven't been home for Christmas since we were married and it was so nice. Paisley and her cousin Conner are good friends already.This is Brad and his bro with their sons sitting by the outside fire pit.
Here we are at Brad's grandma's house. I like how there is a Christmas tree and a cactus (in the picture) behind us.

We are so happy to be getting settled here in California and to be close to family. After all the moving we've done, it's crazy to think that we plan on living in the area forever! We are so grateful for all of our family and friends, no matter where we know you from, and want you to know that you're always welcome to visit. Happy new year!

P.S. Doc Marten update: Donated. I did it! (see 2 posts down)