Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update on the Girls

Sam has been the best big sister between her patience and attention to Ella. She really has found a nice balance between being herself and being a sister. She has learned to sing Hush Little Baby (the non-materialistic version by Sylvia Long) and likes to sing it to Ella. The best advancement in her language, and there is a lot of talking going on, is when she learned to pronounce her Ls because of her sisters name. The day she came to the hospital she was sticking her tongue way out when saying Ella's name. I could not figure out why until my sister pointed out that it was the first time she had really used an L. She can say her Ls now without sticking her tongue at you!!!Ella is growing like a weed and gained 1 lb the first 10 days of life!!! She is a great eater and great sleeper (thank goodness). She started smiling at us on purpose the week of Dec. 13th and sucked her thumb (twice) the eve of Dec 19th. It was so cute to see her joy in finding her thumb, but painful for the ears when she can't find it:)

Friday, December 3, 2010


My sister has been running a blog carnival called Three Things Thursday as a way to connect with everyone around the globe. She presents a theme and everyone reveals 3 of themselves in relation. Please check it out and participate to let us know more about you!!

1. It is amazing to have insightful support from all family members. My husband had the pleasure of taking the month off to bond with our growing family. It passed by too quickly. We just discussed last night how balanced we are with each other, in a way that is incomplete without each other. When I am at my wits end, he is calm and patient, when he is boiling over, I find peace. Is this what God meant as "one!"
2. The most insightful has been our babies!! As Sam grows so quickly and learns to manipulate our every move we can't help but learn and grow. Sometimes I wonder if we will be able to keep up with her quick little mind, and feet too!! Ella thankfully has allowed us to slow down and really notice and enjoy each little up and down. It is so nice to really observe the infant stage without worrying about just keeping them alive!
3. Our parents, the grandparents, just want to be the legs of our table as we find our balance. They wish to help and hold us up with all the mundane chores while ever so slightly guiding us through listening.
Thank you to all our family and friends for participating in our journey:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blessings II

Ella Lorraine O'Brien

We did a blessing for Ella with the immediate family here in Colorado. Present were Grams and Pop pop O'Brien, Grandma and Grandpa Cribley, and Aunt/Uncle McCracken. We placed the hoopa with our wedding cloth draped over the top in our living room with beautiful light and out of the cold winter day. AJ read a poem he wrote and everyone else gave blessings both traditional and from their hearts. Our loving families desire the best for this new gracious little girl!
Your Dad wrote and read to you...

What is a name like Ella Lorraine?

Ella was the name that we initially agreed,

while Lorraine was the name after a special great Aunt to me!!

Ella Lorraine you arrived with minimal pain in a dream like state,

While your parents looked at you in a wondrous stare with mouths agape.

We were dying to meet you
Your sister Sammy couldn't wait to squeeze you!

The past 9 months of not knowing who you were or what you would be was a mystery,

But the mere illusion of Dad knowing was the ultimate hilarity.

You were asleep when I first saw your face,

As your nurse Diana pulled you of your comfy space.

I will never forget when you were presented to me,
With the lingering question, well is it a he or a she?

In that point in time it was hard to get past,

All the poop that covered your bare a__!

Everyone was looking at me with pure excitement to be,

It's a girl I said with pure glee,!!

It's another girl to complete me.

You and your sister are everything I have hoped for and more,

I cannot wait to mess with the boys that arrive at our front door!!

Your name will always bring me a smile,

and I pray that our families' journey will take a long...long while.

In closing I'd like to say,
Thank you for being my dream come true
each and every day!!

Poppop O'Brien read...

Ella your first name is of German origin your second from the French. What you don't know is your great, great Grandmother on your father's side was Ella, short for Ellen. Your Great Grandmother's sister was named Lorraine. Both of these people were examples of love and generosity to others. They helped those in need during the financial depression and a depression that comes from within. May this tradition of love and generosity to others follow you all the days of your life. Let the smiles of all who gaze upon you bring you the warmth that comes from love and kindness to others. It is said that of all things important, the most important is love. As we look upon your family this day you can see and feel that this is true.

Albert read....
Deuteronomy 6:3-9

Grandpa Cribley read the following...
Grandpa also helped Sam to read...
Sister Samantha's Blessing
A sister is a special gift
given by Yahweh
who understands
our need
for someone
who can be even
than a friend
is why Yahweh Gave us sister's

Grandparent's Blessing
Blessed is Ella who comes in Yahweh's name
You are blessed from this house of Yahweh

We all read...
May Yahweh make you like Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah
May Yahweh bless you and safeguard you
May Yahweh show kindness and be gracious to you
May Yahweh turn his countenance to you and establish Shalom for you

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


The end of October was a busy month, too busy to be having a baby. AJ celebrated his 40th on the 28th and I had to prank the silly guy. We did manage to have a wonderful family day to celebrate his getting old and with the help of his friend Chris I managed to do a little something to his beloved Camaro. Unfortunately he was quick to figure out that the reason the car wouldn't start was sabotage and not the oil and broken parts underneath. Chris did a great job and we at least got his blood pressure up for a few minutes, he thought his racing was over until he could afford a new engine. Anyway, we love you Mr. Comic and hope you enjoyed your 40th!!!
Of course the best birthday present came the next day when.....
Around 3 pm AJ decided to go to the gym while Sam and I took naps....only I wasn't napping because my belly began seriously contracting consistently every 15-20 minutes apart. Keep in mind that I had a midwife appointment that morning and at 10:30 am I was only 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I certainly was not thinking anything would be happening that day. By the time AJ got home we were stopping to breath deeply about every 10-15 minutes. AJ kicked into labor coach, adorned the stop watch and began preparing. We needed to pick up our CSA veggies and I wanted to have dinner before going anywhere (we all know that the hospitals don't feed you). So the entire family, including Sadie, jumped in the car. It wasn't so bad, I just had to BREATH every 10 minutes or so. We got home and AJ grilled some chicken while Sam helped my prepared some roasted spaghetti squash. As we ate and debated taking showers the spasms came every 5 minutes or so and my thighs began to quiver. Grandma was quickly called to take over Sam and Sadie (Sam had her first sleepover!!) and we jumped in the car. I called our midwife Diana to let her know we were on our way. She was still in Littleton and said she would meet us at the hospital. She was especially excited because she left for Hawaii the next day and thought she would miss the second babies delivery all together.

We checked into the hospital around 7:20pm and were in the room being checked by Diana at around 7:30. She couldn't believe it, I was 9 cm dilated and ready to push.
Ms. Ella Lorraine was born at 8:27pm, October 29th, 2010.

Pictures by Cora Kemp

Before we talk about the glorious expansion of our blessed family we must reveal some fabulous pictures taken by our friend Cora at CkempShoot Photography. We spent a few hours at Chatfield Botanical Gardens capturing Sam's 2 year Birthday and Mom's 8th month pregnant belly. Please enjoy and if anyone in Colorado wants a fun photographer please consider Cora!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ella Lorraine Arrived!!!

We will post stories and pictures in the next few days. Thank you to everyone for the notes and especially THANK YOU to Grandma and Grandpa Cribley for their help with Sam, Sadie, feeding us for 2 nights and just being around:) I'm off to rest with Ella, Dad and Sam attempted Storytime to get Sam out of the house for some sort of normal.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pictures of the Girls

Just wanted to take an almost 37 week belly picture and then Sadie and Sam wanted in on the action!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Play Date Celebration

We had to wear our Birthday Hat with our morning leche!!

Sam, Mom, and baby had a nice relaxing day. We baked cupcakes in the morning with lots of whipped honey cream on top and in the tummies!!! Then we painted some cards, got all clean in the shower, and took a great nap. When Sam woke up Dad was home and got the biggest hug after Sam ran into his arms with him singing Happy Birthday!!!

The beautiful fall day then set the stage for a fun play date in the park with, most IMPORTANTLY, Haty Birtday Cupcakes, and our friends Zane and Aveleen!! Plus mommy got some girl time with Hunter and Kim, thank you ladies:)

The evening was then topped off by a relaxing tasty meal with Grami and Popop from Albuquerque. More Birthday events to come this weekend....Her dress was drenched in bubbles so she spent the last half of the play date in her True Birthday Outfit!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Singing a Song to Wake Up

"How old are you today?" TWO stated with the utmost authority!!!

Sam wakes up some mornings singing a song to herself while lazing in bed, it's such a joyous way to start all of our mornings!!! Today was a glorious day for such an occasion because the song is well known to all..."Haty Birtday to you, Haty Birtday to you!!" That's correct we have been blessed with 2 glorious years in Sam's presence and are so impressed with her every day. The latest amazement are the 5 word sentences she uses to describe nothing less than what SHE WANTS....
"I want to look at picture!" "I want a new song" 'I want to see daddy!"

Look for some fun pictures to come from Birthday, and family events!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This weeks menu

Mon - Roasted chicken; veggies

Tues - Chicken/Apple Dogs, corn on the grill

Wed - Leftovers; Beet salad

Thurs - Sam's 2nd Birthday!!!!! Coconut Cupcakes with Sprinkles!!
Beef Cabbage slow cooker

Fri - Sam's Family Birthday!!! Flourless Chocolate Ice Cream Cake!!!
Green Chili Chicken Stew

Sat - Eat out for Popop O'Brien/Grami Birthday

Sun - Curry Chicken w/ Veggie and brown rice

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Day at the Races

Mom and Dad Cribley got AJ some wonderful gifts for his Birthday this year and gave them early so that we could show them off. We have extras for when anyone visits to go racing with us!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Busy End to the summer

Well we've managed to make a trip to Miami with family to visit family, get the outside of our house painted and finish glamorizing Sam's room!!! Now we just have to celebrate birthdays, finish getting the house ready for winter, and, oh ya, have a baby!!!!

Her are some highlight pictures....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Best part of Camping.....

...early morning coffee by the fire!!!!
Oh, and the spectacular scenery, stress free days, and pure relaxation.
Sammie kept very busy all weekend:)
We enjoyed the time with our friends, Sam and Thomas were constantly wanting to be together!!
We went on a 2 hour hike down the Colorado Trail...simply beautiful!

Forget the towering trees, colorful bugs, and tasty dirt....we want to play in the truck:)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Menu and to go Raw or not

Raw milk was on my mind and I was seriously thinking of changing to a farm that a friend of mine uses. I still will most likely but it's going to have to wait a few months. Why? Because my mother saw a movie the other day that involved a woman losing her child to Listeria infection from raw milk. This lead to research into the risks while I'm pregnant. Well, there is nowhere out there with great central data but my bottom line at the moment is to wait until the baby is born to avoid what appears to be a slightly higher risk exposure to Listeria with raw milk. There you have it!!!!

As for food we have a ton of good veggies from the Grant Family CSA so here is our exciting menu including a camping trip at the end of the week.

Look at the beautiful Beets(red/white stripped), Zucchini, Kale, and herbs that Sam and I prepared for dinner tonight!!! All courtesy of Grant Family Farms:)

Mon - Chicken nuggets, sauted beets and Chard
making Kvass and Kimchi

Tues - Gnocchi w/ veggies and pesto

Wed - Lamb Burgers; Potato and Fennel on the grill

Thurs - Crock Pot Collards and turkey

Fri - Taco Salad

Sat - Buffalo Burgers; grilled veggies including zucchini, squash chard, pepper, onion

Sun - BLT; Baked Fries

Next week try
Crock pot cabbage rolls
Chard w/ Green Chili

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2 great gifts and 3 things thursday

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Cribley for the wonderful presents, a high tech swing for the new baby and a Fun Pod for everyone!! The fun pod will be a chair for Sam, highchair for the baby, and a stand for all kids to help out in the kitchen or wherever. My mom made a great connection in the UK with the mom-inventor of this great product and had her ship it over!!! Check it out at Little Helper!!!

My sister has started a new weekly meme....or something to motivate blog writing and link back to learn more about others. It is a fun way to write Three Things Thursday and who knows maybe learn more about ourselves as well.

This week it is Three Things from childhood that make you who you are today!

1. As a new mom myself I learned through recent discussions about parenting that my mother made sure to enforce my dad being involved in my growing up. I must thank them both because I truly believe that it incited in my character the positive qualities of both, my passion and analytical rational.

2. At 13 I was becoming overwhelmed and so competitive that my parents made me choose between ice skating and horse showing. I took a month off from ice skating and loved the sleeping-in (skating was every 5 am) so much that I never looked back. I'm a great sleeper to this day and also seem to be very focused on my direction in life and lack any clutter in time or space. Thank you Mom and Dad.

3. The horse show decision led to a purchase of a fancy horse with my college investment. Not only did the investment pay off, I had a great time showing Willie, but I am very financially savvy and frugal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Challenges to come

I'm watching a couple of kids for some friends tonight...a 4 and 1 year old. I quickly learned a big challenge coming in the near future......

letting the toddler play with her toys while keeping the baby in check around the big kid toys.
Notice how tall the 1 year old appears!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gram G

A Tribute to AJ's Gram Galluccio, Sammi's Great Grandma, mother of Gramsi Sandy:

AJ wrote these memories and read this at her memorial.

I confess that I have been selfish, I thought Gram G would be with us forever, that she would outlive us all. Gram G stood about 5 feet tall, but it was her heart that was larger than life. Speaking of her heart, after her bypass surgery the doctors said it would be good for approximately 10 yrs, that was 30 years ago. It was her brain that Alzheimers may have taken, but it never claimed her heart.

Things I remember about Gram G:
She was....
never in a bad mood
always smiling
never cussed or yelled at her mischievous grandsons, the worst she would say was that we were being FRESH!!!!
incredibly generous and money to her was not to spend for herself but so that she could see others smile

Her laugh always encouraged Tim and me to joke more. She had this picture of me from college graduation with the dean handing me the diploma and I have this huge smile. Gram G would reminisce about how happy I was at that moment. My response to her was "Gram, I was only smiling because I had fooled them!!" and Gram would laugh and say how proud she was. There was never a doubt of how proud she was of Tim or myself. I could have been a mass murderer and she probably would still say how proud she was! She was very easy to please and extremely patient. The way to her heart was as easy as York Peppermint Patties and Hot Tamales!

Final note to Gram:
You would be happy to know that your granddaughter Sam loves to dust all like you, and yes she settles me like you always tried.
You probably already know this but I'm still cussing and acting "Fresh," at times, but it is still an ongoing process. I hope that you and Aunt Lorraine can be advocates for Tim and I to the man in charge, or el Jefe, to consider lowering the bar for admission before we apply. You and Lorraine would always say when someone was being rude or brainless, "It's hard to be perfect like us!" You were right in soooo many ways.

Sunday, June 27, 2010