"Don't call it 'Catching Up' or anything, because that's what ALL our blogs are titled"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We just noticed that we've only blogged a total of three times in 2011. That's a bit sad. Sorry to any of you who actually use this as a way to keep in touch with us. It must seem we've abandoned all pretense of friendship. Such is not the case! We're just busy people who don't really blog naturally.

First things first, I suppose. The biggest development in our lives in the last several months is the upcoming addition of another baby to the family. We're expecting Baby the Third at the end of April 2012. Meagan's first trimester has been picture perfect, with hardly any morning sickness (a bit of nausea, some headaches, but no throwing up!). The biggest problem she's had is a bit of fatigue. No matter how much she sleeps, she's always tired.

Ellie and Lydia may have something to do with that. Ellie started walking in August, and has been an unstoppable force of nature ever since. Add in Lydia's potty training (successfully accomplished, thank you very much) and the general homemaker lifestyle, and it's pretty clear that Meagan has every reason to be exhausted.

Unfortunately, I'm not much help most of the time. My second year of med school (started in August) has proven to be much more trying than my first. An overwhelming amount of pharmacology, pathophysiology, microbiology, and other -ologies like them has been keeping me at my desk for hours and hours through the day and night. So far I'm managing, but I keep hoping to get my grades up a little bit more. I finished last year at the very bottom of the top 20% of the class, and I'd really love to stay in that percentile, if not go up a bit. Only time will tell.

A bit more on the girls:

Ellie is a delightful little person. She is frequently smiling and very quick to laugh. She's a sweet girl, but she has a mischievous streak a mile wide. Her favorite activities include pulling dishes off the table (it's even better if they have something in them), running away when you tell her to bring you what she has in her hand, and believing the entire world is a game for her entertainment. It's tough to get mad at her. Sometimes we have to scold her for a minute, then leave the room to get our smiling and laughter out. We can't let her think she's gotten to us. Oh, and Ellie's first word is "nana" in clear reference to bananas. We still can't get her to say either of our names, but she excitedly yells, "Nana!" any time we pull out her favorite fruit. Hopefully we'll get into her vocabulary sooner than later.

Lydia is a sweet girl with a strong personality. She enjoys jumping on her trampoline (often bouncing to the cadence of "jump...ing...on...tramp...line!" repeated ad infinitum) and playing with her trains. Man, this girl likes trains a lot. At home, at nursery, wherever she goes; if there's a train there, she'll find it and play with it the entire time. She also loves to color. She'll sit at the table with a box of crayons and notebook for hours. She's picked her favorite color (brown...yeah, we don't know either) and has recently started drawing faces. Meagan loves these pictures, which Lydia described as "a smile" and "pail."

Pail is a character on her new favorite TV show, Blue's Clues. And it's not a favorite like you and I have, like, "Oh, I like that a lot!" No, this is a full-blown obsessive crazy addiction. She eats, sleeps, talks, and breathes Blue's Clues. She has the episodes memorized. No kidding, she will request to watch an episode based on a little two minute vignette. She can identify which episode has been put on, despite the fact that Meagan and I cannot see any identifiable markers to indicate it. It's almost supernatural. Lest you all think we're just selling Lydia's brain to the TV, I'd like to point out that we have a pretty strict two-episodes-daily rule. In fact, some of Lydia's biggest fits lately have been pitched because she can't watch a third episode.

Lydia and Ellie have an odd sort of relationship. They can play peacefully side by side for a long time. It's quiet, but they're both in their own world. There's not a lot of interaction until someone has a toy that someone else wants. It's Lydia just as often as it is Ellie. This is when the screech fights begin. They don't get particularly physical (they both pull at the toy, that's about it), but they keep trying to yell louder than the other. Ellie's screech tends to be a high-pitched, wordless yell, but Lydia is often yelling, rather ironically, "BE NICE TO SISTER! BE NICE TO SISTER!" If Meagan is in the room, all eyes go to her, expecting her to mete out wisdom and justice like Solomon of old. Her choices seldom meet with mutual satisfaction, but they are grudgingly accepted. If a victor is declared, she walks haughtily away, clutching her prize. The loser is left to find some obviously inferior toy and to wallow in her shame. The Mom giveth and the Mom taketh away.

We've done some other things (summer trips, etc.), but really, there's not a lot to tell there. We've had a good time the last several months. Sorry we didn't share any of it.

To close it up, here are some pictures! Everyone who isn't a grandmother can stop reading now.

Some pictures of Eleanor

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here are some pictures of Ellie.  I don't have much time to write, but I did want to load these pictures from the last few months.  I haven't taken many pictures of Lydia, primarily because every time I get the camera out, she runs over to me because she wants to see the screen on the camera.  My brother-in-law, Michael, did take several cute ones of Lydia at Eric's wedding last week though, and here's a link to that album.





My Other Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I just realized that I should probably mention that I have started another blog.  This one is focusing on education.  I am planning on homeschooling our girls, and am blogging about it as I go.  I've started a few little preschool things with Lydia and plan to use that blog to update about things like that.  Here's the link in case you are interested.

100th Post

Hey, this is our 100th blog post!  Also it's going to be a quick catch-up post on our family over the last 4 months or so, because we've been neglecting our blog and it's always hard to get up to speed.  So here goes.  Also, in order to not overwhelm you with pictures, you can see pictures of most of these events on my facebook page at www.facebook.com/meaganseverson

After Thanksgiving, but before Christmas, the girls and I got to go to my parent's house in Texas.  It was quite the adventure to drive 12 hours one way with a 2 year old and a 2 month old, but I managed somehow.  It was good to let my dad and a few of my siblings meet Ellie.  Lydia enjoyed the attention of aunts and uncles who know how to read as well, an often took advantage of that fact.  Here's my mom's photo album of when we were there (combined with pictures she took when Ellie was born).

A few weeks later, it was Christmas break and again we traveled.  This time it was with the whole family up to Tyler's parent's house for a few weeks.  For Christmas Lydia got a little wooden train set that she loves and lots of other toys from her adoring family.  Ellie got a few little odds and ends.  The day after Christmas we blessed Ellie.  She had an adorable little dress and we were able to Skype the blessing to my family in Texas.  Technology is neat.  Anyways, it was good to see all of Tyler's siblings and it was their first time meeting Ellie as well.  Here's a photo album of those times!

Since Christmas life has slowed down considerably.  Tyler and I have instigated a strict healthy eating policy and we're both loosing weight and eating much better than we were before.  Tyler continues to excel at medical school, and the girls continue to grow and be fun.  Ellie can roll over and pick up her toys and loves to smile and get smiled at.  Lydia loves to "read" still and loves to be read to.  If you agree to read one book, you must be prepared to read 8 more, because she insists on more once you get started.  Lydia is also going through a little "terrible twos" whiny thing right now that is fun.

Well, that's our little world in a nutshell.  Here are some pictures and videos I've loaded on facebook or my other blog, but that I thought might be fun to post here:


Friday, October 15, 2010

So I'm now nine weeks into medical school. It's been crazy times, filled with...well, studying. Seriously, I'd love to share some hilarious anecdote with you, but it would be something like, "Oh, and THEN I realized that phosphatidylcholine can be made via TWO DIFFERENT REACTIONS depending on the tissue of synthesis! OHHH!"

And now you are all bored.

So, instead of witty tales of sphingolipids, I'll share with you something about my method of study. I'm sort of a tactile learner, I guess, because I can remember something really well after I write it down. As such, my study regimen has come to center around hand-copying the notes I take on my computer in class. Then for each test, I rewrite a condensed study guide of the major points from each lecture.

This is no mean feat, friends. I have killed three pens so far. They were good and faithful companions for about a week, after which they pretty much kicked it. My pen habit was going to get expensive, I could tell, because I had grown accustomed to a well-shaped gel pen.

Upon killing off number three, I reached into my drawer and realized that the only economically viable option remaining was use of--I am loathe to say it--a BiC pen.

Now, nothing against BiC.


No, pretty much everything against BiC. The price is the only attractive feature on these things. They're little sticks that dig into your hand and do not make for comfy writing, especially when you're going for the marathon like I often do.

I tried using a BiC, but after just two minutes of writing I could feel my fingers aching from where its hard plastic pressed into my flesh. This, I thought, will simply not do. But what would? I can't justify buying expensive gel pens just because they feel nice in my hand!

Then the wheels started turning.

I had a pen carcass with no soul, no essence, but a perfectly viable body.

I had a BiC with a usable cartridge, but no beauty that man should it desire.

I felt a mad scientist laugh well up within me as I realized that I, Doctor Frankenstein, could raise my beloved pen from the dead by forced transfer of a foreign lifeforce!


Frankenpen allows me to use BiC cartridges to my heart's (and wallet's) content, but sheathed in the surgically altered shell of my beloved gel pen.

What could possibly go wrong?

The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.
Mary Shelley, Chapter 3, pg. 34

Family Update!

As of yesterday, Ellie is one month old.  She weighed 11 lbs 1 oz, so she's growing like a weed and is a bit of a chunker.  The time has both gone by quickly and slowly.  It definitely feels like she's always been here, although I'm still learning how to juggle two kids rather than just one.  In some ways it's not much more work.  Like cloth diapers.  It's very little extra work to cloth diaper two kids rather than just one.  However, taking them both to the store by myself is definitely a juggling act.  I've been  very lucky so far on that front, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.  So, just figuring things out.

Ellie is a very good baby so far.  She has had a fantastic sleeping schedule since she was born.  In the hospital, I decided I would keep her in my room the last night until she got cranky, and then I'd send her to the nursery.  However, she slept until 5 a.m. and then ate and went right back to sleep.  She has pretty much kept this schedule.  She likes to go to sleep at around 10 or 11 at night, and then sleep until 5 or 6, and then go back to sleep until 8:30 or so.  It is really a huge blessing to me, because sleep is something I don't cope well without.  Besides sleeping, Ellie LOVES to be held.  She's more of a cuddle bug than Lydia was and will snuggle and fall asleep on your chest.  It's nice.

Ellie does get bad gas though.  It's sad.  You can tell she has it when she cries really hard out of nowhere and then stops some and cries again.  We tried a number of different things, but recently we discovered a baby formula that works with her and significantly reduced her gas pains.  Now, rather than crying for a few hours at night, she lays there happily trying to smile at us.  It's a much better situation for all involved.

Lydia has reacted much better to being a big sister than I thought she would.  When I was in the hospital, she was weirded out by everything, but didn't get angry with me.  She didn't want anything to do with the baby, though, and that's mostly how things have stayed.  She calls Ellie "Baby Ella" and is not bothered by her presence at all anymore.  Sometimes she even likes to talk about her.  She says "Soft Baby Ella" and pets her head or "Baby Ella Bopful" (Baby Ellie's bottle) when I'm feeding her.  The funniest, though, is sometimes she blames Ellie for her misfortunes, like when she trips and starts crying, she'll say Ellie's name all accusingly, like it's Ellie's fault.  Hopefully she'll get over that.

In other Lydia news, Lydia has discovered a deep love of Winnie the Pooh.  Grandma Severson got her the original Disney movie on DVD, and Lydia asks to watch it almost every day.  She's learned all the characters' names and is generally delighted when the movie gets to parts she knows.  Also, her love of books has only gotten stronger, and she spends almost her entire day looking at them or asking me to read them to her.  Lately, she's started telling herself about what she remembers happening on the page.  It's fun to see her developing.

Tyler is doing extraordinarily well in medical school.  He already finished up his first two classes and received A's in both.  Right now he's taking two anatomy classes, and already got A's on the first tests for them.  He's really enjoying the material, and it's keeping him very busy.  He studies every day for several hours, on top of the time he spends in class.  It's stressful for him, but he is enjoying it overall.

As for me, I'm recovering quite nicely from my c-section.  I feel like I'm doing much better than last time.  Already I think my energy level is about back to what it was before, and minus a little understandable soreness, I'm managing the house and both the girls without too much trouble.  It's much trickier juggling two kids, but I love it.  I find it incredibly fulfilling to stay home with them and see them grow and develop.

We are very blessed in our lives.  We have a house that is going to make the next few years very comfortable, Tyler's doing well in school and it looks like we made the right choice, deciding to have him become a doctor, and our girls are both healthy and happy.  We are in a position where I can stay home with them, and somehow still manage to make our finances work out all right.  Overall, Tyler and I feel like we're getting more than our fair share of blessings, but you won't hear us complain about it!

Now, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.  They are in order from oldest to newest:

Still in the hospital.  This is one of my favorites from then.

The only time Lydia would come near me or Ellie.  She was very nervous about that baby, but a book enticed her.

Lydia reading her favorite book, Madeline, near Ellie.  She kept taking breaks and touching Ellie's head and saying, "Soft Baby Ellie, soft."

The last week or so, Ellie has been trying to smile.  It's hard to catch them on camera, though, and this was the best shot I could get.

I thought she looked a lot like Tyler in this one.

Baby Ellie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eleanor Faith Severson was born at 12:58 pm today. She measures 21 inches long and weighs 8 pounds, 14 ounces. Mother and baby are doing just fine, so I don't really have much to report. Here's some photos!