Friday, December 30, 2011


I can't believe Owen's already celebrated his second Christmas. And like many kids, he had to do what kids do best.

Get sick.

His stomach bug started two days before Christmas, actually. Just in time for him to miss his first daycare Christmas party and his cousin's birthday dinner. It was our first time dealing with Owen having the flu, so I thought we did pretty well making it to 14 months before ever having to deal with puke.

By Christmas Eve, he seemed better. And we had seemed to make it through without Dave or I getting sick. But he was having wierd spit up with a puke smell on the way home from church, so Dave took him home while I went to my parents for dinner. I missed Dave and Owen, but it's so nice of Dave to be willing to take care of Owen, so I could have some time with my family.

But that night, Dave came down with the flu. As did my sister, Stevie. So apparently we didn't escape the flu after all. Dave did make it down to the couch, so he could watch Owen open his presents (or me open the presents as Owen wasn't that into it). We skipped going to my mom's house for Swedish pancakes, but Owen and I went later for Christmas Day dinner.

And that night I came down with the flu. And so we had to cancel the family Christmas dinner at my house. My mom ended up having the rest of the family at her house, and Dave and I went over to celebrate while I stayed home in bed.

The stupid flu altered every single one of our Christmas plans. But while our plans didn't go as we wanted, it was hard to not be happy for all the blessings that I have. I have a wonderful son and husband and family. We got to celebrate Christmas without worrying about finances (although I admit that we got Owen's big gift second-hand. He won't ever know and won't ever care). We have health and love and laughter and stability. I couldn't ask for more.


Friday, December 23, 2011


Today, somewhere in the world (Haiti to be exact), little orphan children are waking up in their brand new beds. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes to think of it.

Two years ago was our first Christmas after our miscarriage. It was at that time, that Dave and I decided we wanted to help orphans somewhere in the world. We found ourselves parents without children, so we wanted to give to children without parents. It really helped me give a little bit of reason and hopefulness to our loss.

So we decided to help an organization called Healing Haiti. An uncle of an acquaintance of mine started the organization to help orphans in Haiti. They were building a new orphanage for the kids. As they built, they also provided food, water, education and love to those kids.

We've supported this organization when we could ever since. My parents and I attended a fundraising event, we've donated in honor of Chubby's birthday, gave after the earthquake. Anyway, today I woke up an awesome surprise.

The orphanage is finished! And the kids have moved in!

Here's a blog post by Krista giving her perspective of watching the kids arrive and how happy there were. "The children's screams of pure unbridled joy as they saw it were so loud they were heard in the vehicle that followed the bus. It was indescribable," she wrote. She also said that for the first time in their lives, they will get to use a toilet and end the day with a shower. Can you imagine?

And even better, here are pictures of the kids checking out and enjoying their new home.

Home. Can you imagine a better Christmas present?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

20 minutes in the life of Owen

At almost 14 months old, Owen is still not walking. He's just not interested in it. As excited as I am for that list big milestone, I'm ok with the fact that he still prefers getting around on his hands and knees. Because I consider a crawler a baby. And a walker, my friends, I consider a toddler. And I'm ok with my baby staying a little baby a while longer.

And let's face it. Owen knows how to get around. Let me show you. And just so that you're clear -- all of these pictures were taken in no less than 20 minutes.

Feeding the dogs his snack

Playing with wrapping papger

Playing with his toy (standing!)

Grabbing the dogs' paws

Opening Amanda's Christmas present (sorry!)

Pulling an ornament off the tree

Eating the ornament

Trying to put the ornament back on the tree

And this is why I'm content with a crawler!


Thursday, December 8, 2011


No Thanksgiving post. No 13 month post. No quick updates. I'm not doing such a great job of chronicling the life of the Balow bunch, huh?

Life has been crazy busy -- but in a good way. And we dote on our little man as much as we can.

He's not walking yet, but why would he want to when he can scoot all around on all fours. One of the cutest things he'll do is the hypervenilating-sounding laugh if you pretend your chasing him. Oh the things I need to get on video. He also taught himself to go down the steps (he's already mastered going up.)

I did get this on video last night -- Owen eating his banana. He eats them so fast, but I actually bought the biggest bananas I could find the other days, since he usually cries when he's done eating it. So he couldn't squeeze half the banana in his mouth like he usually does.

Other things Owen is doing: talking. He's got mama, dada, banana (nana), bye, grandma, doggy and all done (complete with the sign for all done). Banana (nana) is his favorite word by far, probably because saying the word results in him getting to eat his favorite food.

Another cute thing he does: simultaneously scrunching his nose and breathing loudly through it