Sunday, July 31, 2022

Summer & Guilt

 We looked at each other as the kids started to quiet and we thought of the chores left to do.

"Beastie Blog!"

This whole summer has felt like that. All this build up to the Florida trip and then... COVID... and now summer is almost over! Everett is heading into his last week of day camp, Imogen has two weeks before JrK starts, and Adelaide is understanding more than ever (ex: "go give this to Daddy," and SHE DOES).

When we sit and catalog all the things, we did do quite a bit... it just never feels like quite enough. Not enough play dates, not enough cleaning up around the house, not enough living "in the moment," oof. The guilt can really run away with us.

Then you add that we went on a big vacation and came home with COVID (along with some or our family), and the guilt takes up a lot of space.

We can't go back in time, so we did try to set up a couple fun things to round out the summer. And for now, we'll think back on what we have enjoyed the last couple months and the memories we want to hold on to.

Waddle Walk

In what has become a pattern, we were late for the Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) Waddle Walk. We made it our three miles thinking of Obie, talking about him, and - yes - responding to endless complaining. Will these kids remember these hikes and lovingly exploring nature and taking in the majesty of California? Or will they remember whining and squabbling about who walks in front or who sings what part of which song? There's absolutely no way to know. 

Waddle Walking up to Coyote Point - July 4, 2022

Everett Turns 6.5 

What more is there to say? He's a legit "kid" now, almost a bona fide first-grader. He reads almost every day - trying to accumulate minutes for the library's summer reading program. Kiddo is driven to finish anything he starts... which is good? Right? That's good? It can be trying, but at the end of the day that tenacity will serve him well if he can harness it.

6.5! - July 7, 2022

While his progress in swim class been slow at best, his progress on land activities has been pretty wild to see. From hula hoop to batting practice, four square to flipping on the back yard bars, he's come a long way.

He's also developing quite a knack for strategy and gameplay. Now to figure out how to manage those big emotions when things don't go his way... 

New to the repertoire - chess! Maybe Mommy and Daddy need to brush up on some chess strategy because we are just... winging it.

Imogen The Performer

She missed her recital to be in Florida, then COVID delayed our "recital encore" backyard bash. Thankfully, a few of her preschool friends came by to hang out and show off their moves. One friend even put on her costume to perform with Immy! 

It is clear this girl loves a stage, and we need to do better getting her actually on one next season. She loves to wear fancy dresses to school and has even tried out purple hair! We love that she expresses herself in such fun ways and are making wonderful progress on using our words when things are upsetting. 

Oh yeah, she also did the big hill at the bike park! And also had a couple falls and a fat lip. Thankfully, no missing teeth for this one.

Adelaide Racing Into Toddlerhood

She is just... amazing. So good natured, so hilarious, so loving, so silly, so bright! New skills include: repeating words more consistently, following simple instructions, self-feeding with a spoon, climbing onto the couch (yikes!), dancing alllllll the time.

Also new this month: top front teeth and a pony tail. 

Girl still loves nursing, but other than that it really is feeling like the "baby" phase is winding down, and fast. 

Winding down, and fast? Just like this summer. 

COVID vaccine #1 for Bitsy!

And big sister!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


We almost made it to vaccines for under 5s without getting COVID-19.


We let our guard down, we went on a big out of state vacation that we'd been planning for almost a year (assuming numbers would be down in the summer months again). And now there's two little lines on the home tests for the adults. So far, the kids are all clear, but there's not a lot of hope here that it will stay that way.

This waiting for the other shoe to drop thing... it is terrible. If you asked us today if it was worth it, we'd say no. We should have canceled and waited another month for the girls to be vaccinated. But ask us in a week (or two), and we might feel differently. If we can get through COVID with mild symptoms, and better yet if the kids can get through it without infection... then it will have been worth it.

In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room - Magic Kingdom, June 23, 2022

As crestfallen as we are right now, it was wonderful for the soul to see family. Some we haven't seen in person since pre-pandemic. Watching our kids play with cousins they haven't seen in almost three years warmed our hearts. The kiddos finally made it to Camp Sanibel where they promptly demanded to spend more time at the beach and in the gulf.  Hugging parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, it was all wonderful. For now, we seem to be the only family who came home with an unwelcome visitor (and we hope it stays that way).

Camp Sanibel with G&G Thoma - June 18, 2022

Deel Family, Clearly Siding with the Rebels - June 20, 2022

And now, quarantining, wearing masks around our home, our kids are playing pretend Disney World games - creating their own rides, rushing to rope-drop, pretending to be cast members, and it is every bit as adorable as it sounds. We made memories, and hopefully in a few months we'll be able to focus on the good memories without the complication.

Now... we mask up, wash our hands (a lot), and hold our breath. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Last One

One of the front-runner names for Adelaide was Novalie. In our name research, somewhere it said that the name Novalie is of Swedish origin and means "the last one." The last one-year-old. The last first birthday. 

Adelaide Agnes Fiorani Thoma - One year old (plus a week) - May 7, 2022 
Photo: Rachelle Haun Photography

It's an odd mix of wistfulness that the true "baby phase" is coming to a close after 8+ years of being solidly in it, and glee getting to give away items we no longer have use for (baby bottles, the giant play pen, mountains of adorably and barely worn baby clothes). 

Newborn life is challenging, exhausting, worrying, and all-consuming... and now it's over. It's true what they say - the days are long and the years are short.

Despite the pandemic and embracing the fact that baby parties are really for the parents - we celebrated Adelaide turning one the best way we know how. With friends and a pun.

ONEder the Sea Party - May 7, 2022


Our littlest bear, our itsy bitsy beastie, is growing up! She can walk well, went from being totally chill to having big opinions (especially when Mommy sets her down or walks away), loves eating salmon, thinks her siblings are the coolest ever, and gives the best hugs.

She's one! - April 30, 2022

She makes our lives brighter and we can't wait to see what our girl learns next. It is heartwarming to see how Everett and Imogen react to her growth, they really love their baby.

We also made it a year breastfeeding. Without a new baby to hope for, there's no pressure on weaning. Elizabeth only pumps once a day at work now (instead of three times), but Addy still nurses 3-4 times a day outside working hours. 

Rachelle Haun Photography


Four and a half! Our spirited Imogen is starting to (sometimes) learn how to control her emotions and reactions. We are so proud of her maturity in this area. She has also tackled a pedal bike (racing around the block mostly on her own the first time she rode it), hiked up to Obie's bench (and farther) and back on her own, writes letters, and graduated Preschool! We think she's going to love Jr. K and learning so many more things. 

Spring 2022 Preschool photo
Hair Design: Imogen Thoma

Immy also loves singing and dancing, and her current favorite is Newsies. Especially Medda


Only a kindergartener for a few more days. He has really flourished this year. He loves his friends, his teacher, learning, biking, playing basketball, art and activities... everything! We are proud of his academic accomplishments, but more proud of his friendly and social demeanor. He is handling his role of a big brother very well, and we try not to put too much on him in that regard. While Imogen is not as big or as mature as he is, he is also only six and needs our support.

Showing us their class garden at Open House - May 17, 2022

Fun new things we got to do with Everett at school this month include listening to his concert live (outside), Open House where we got to see his classroom (and the science / music rooms!), and the Olympics-themed Spring Fling.  


Leaving the baby phase means saying goodbye to some of the items we used with Oberon and then his siblings. It is tough to let those things go, but at the same time it doesn't do us any good hanging on to a baby bouncer. While we have found comfort in using some items for all our children, Obie is not his things. Leaving the baby phase doesn't mean leaving Obie... although it can feel that way. He remains our son, our first born, our little bee. We carry his memory and the love with us. 

Hiking up to Triple Falls at Uvas - May 21, 2022

It's Mother's Day month, and that meant a return to Uvas Canyon County Park and a hike up to his bench. Next month, we will fundraise for Pregnancy After Loss Support as part of the Waddle Walk 2022