Friday, December 31, 2010

So Long, 2010!

2010 has been a great year...a very trying, but a great year. We accomplished much this past year. We got out of debt, we moved--a couple of times, we had our darling baby, we found out we're pregnant again, among other things. I spent the first part of the year with no husband...in fact, it was really the first HALF of the year since he was living in the bay area while I was in the mountains until June. Nevertheless, our main goal was to get out of debt and we did it. I feel so much more free going into this next year. My goal for 2011 is to become CLUTTER free! I'm working (ever so slowly) on getting our home in order. My life is extremely busy, somewhat chaotic and rather disorganized...but I'm going to work with what I've been given and do my best, with the strength of the Lord. I'm going to re-adjust our schedule, our curriculum, our budget, our menu and the general way we do things. I'm looking forward to an interesting and challenging new year as we adjust to life as a larger family. Each day is a gift, each day is a challenge and each day is a blessing. I'm endeavoring to savor each moment of each day as the gift that it is, relishing in the large and small accomplishments, struggles and victories because this, my friends, is my wonderful life! So long, 2010! Hello there, 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Favorite Guys


2 of the Troyer men need to teach the other how to be a power sleeper. 2 of them LOVE to nap, the other, not so much. He's still little though, maybe he'll catch on soon--I'm sure he'll have it down by his teens!

Babbling

Aaron has officially found his voice. Over Christmas he started squealing. I think it was a combination of my dad squawking at him in Donald Duck and all of the noise of everyone there for the holiday. He's been doing some really cute squeaking ever since, but he just recently has started doing the oh so adorable, "dadadada" babbling...which sounds EXCEPTIONALLY cute when he's upset and he sounds like he's cursing us! I just love the little developmental stages they go through, the little noises they make...and as Jeremy has said, "He makes all of the cute baby noises, just like he's supposed to!" So cute!

A Conversation with Luke

Mommy: "Lukie, don't ever grow up."
Luke: "I am, HA HA!"

Mommy: "Luke, what can big kids do that little kids can't do?"
Luke: "Big stuff!"

There you have it. He wants to grow up so he can do big stuff and there is nothing I can do about it. If I could keep him this age forever, I'd be tempted to...he's PERFECT at this age--just don't ask his sisters what they think!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He's just a baby!

Today my day started on the rough side. I was helping the girls with their scrapbook stuff they got for Christmas and taking the pages apart proved to be a challenge I simply was NOT up to first thing in the morning...especially before breakfast (as my blood sugar was plummeting, so was my attitude!). Luke was being, well, a boy and Aaron was fussing. I lost my temper, I raised my voice...I was not operating with the meek and quiet spirit I want to have. In short, I failed. Aaron was fussing, so I took him upstairs, swaddled him and put him in bed. He started wailing. Usually he's fine...he may fuss a bit, but usually he'll fall right to sleep (staying asleep is another story), but this time he screamed as soon as I left the room. I went back, gave him his paci and left. Again, he CRIED. I had to do something so Savannah went up for me. She was singing to him (even though I had specifically asked her just to give him his paci and leave), and she said that every time she tried to leave, he would cry. I had to let him cry for a few moments because I was in the middle of something. When I went up there, it was the same thing...cry, cry, cry. I was SO frustrated. I feel like I just can't get a break these days. Every moment is so full, so demanding and so frustrating. I finally gave in and made a bottle and went to him, picked him up and gave him his bottle....he fell asleep within minutes and took a decent nap (for him-probably around an hour). As I sat there, holding my precious little blessing, it dawned on me: He's just a baby! The poor little guy. I expect so much from him because I'm spending so much of my time fighting off the angst of having ANOTHER baby in 5 months. What will I do if he doesn't sleep like a dream? What will I do if he doesn't put himself to sleep on his own??!?!! And I lose it. But as I looked at that sweet baby face, and kissed those darling little cheeks I thought, "WHO CARES?!?!" Who cares if I'm giving him a bottle and rocking him to sleep? The poor guy...he's just a silly little thing who needs his mommy's love and snuggles. He doesn't know that he's supposed to sleep independently. He doesn't know much of anything. All he knows is that he's happier sleeping in mommy's arms than anywhere else...only 6 months ago he was in my tummy, in that perfect, warm, happy little world of his...and now I expect him to be independent??? I thank God for this little bit of insight...I'm still very freaked out about having 2 babies...but I know I will get through on God's grace alone. I know intellectually that that is the best way to get through life, fully dependent on Him and His grace...but in reality, it's a very scary prospect. As I lie in bed, listening to Aaron fuss for the 8,952nd time that night, I wonder how in the world I'll ever do it...I wonder WHY does it have to be so hard when God KNOWS I have these other blessings to care for. I beg and plea for a full night's sleep...and I have to trust that His grace is sufficient...and that He knows best. It's really hard.

Foot in Mouth

Aaron discovered his feet a while ago, and enjoys playing with them, especially when he's wearing the ultra cute outfits with the little critters on the feet...but in the last 2 days or so, he's started putting his sweet little toes into his mouth! Today I was changing his diaper and he was happily sucking away at his little tooters. I love this milestone, it's just SO cute! I'll have to see if I can capture it on camera.

A Luke funny: The other day I had a bag of baby carrots on the counter and Luke went up to them and said, "Hold on carrots, I got'cha!" he tried to liberate them from their plastic bag, but he couldn't figure out how to open it...so he turns to me and says, "they can't breave!". How cute. He's always saying silly and funny things, he's definitely the clown of the family.

Savannah got her ears pierced today. She and Abby had them done together about a year and a half ago, but Savannah had an issue with her ear and we took them out and couldn't get another one back in. So she got a gift card for ear piercing for Christmas and we went today and had them done...they look BEE YOU TI FUL! :)

I got the girls American Girl Bitty Twins for Christmas. Only Savannah had asked for a doll for Christmas, but I thought that maybe if I got one for each of them, they'd play with them together. As I suspected...Savannah LOVES hers and Abby couldn't care less about hers. It's kinda strange because Abby LOVES real babies, but really couldn't care less about playing with dolls. I told Abby that if she wanted to, she could give her doll to Savannah. Of course Savannah thought that was a fantastic idea, but Abby felt bad because she didn't want me to think she wasn't grateful for the doll. I told her it was okay, since she hadn't asked for a doll and I kinda thought she wouldn't care much for it. So now Savannah has two babies, and she's just loving it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Learning to do things differently.

I tend to have a bit of a negative mindset when things aren't going the way I would like them to be going...especially when my life doesn't seem to measure up to where I think it should be. Now is one of those times in my life. My time is extremely limited, my body is sore (due to pregnancy, but mostly due to a fall I took down the stairs the other day, landing directly on my tail bone--ouch!), and my baby is a bit of a pill. An extremely cute pill, but a pill nonetheless. I've had the thought more than once lately that my life is not going to be "normal" for a very long time...if I think it's hard now, wait until this next little bundle arrives...then it's just going to be straight CHAOS! I've caught myself thinking this and I've realized that I'm so wrong thinking this way. I've had to repent of my negative thinking and instead replace my complaints with praises for the blessings the Lord has bestowed on me. Yes, they're very time-consuming blessings, very TIRING blessings, but such wonderful blessings. I wouldn't trade the life I've been blessed with for anything, what I need is to have a change in perspective. Not only a change in perspective, but a change in the way I approach everything. I'm naturally a fairly lazy person. I like my comforts and my peace and my sleep. Yes, especially the sleep. HOWEVER, I'm realizing (yes, I know I'm quite slow) that the life I have doesn't necessarily match the lifestyle I'd enjoy at this point in time. Free, quiet time does not happen often. If I want that time, I have to get up *gasp* EARLY in the morning--which means I have to go to sleep earlier (I'm a night owl, so this is hard for me). I need to change my priorities, I need to change my perspective, I need to delegate work to my children (and not feel guilty for "overworking" the poor dears), and I need to come to a point of acceptance that my life may not be perfect, but it's perfect for me. It's been a very interesting journey, especially for a selfish, unorganized person, to learn to yield to the Lord, to follow His prompting and to fully realize what He means when He says, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." I understand intellectually what that means, but to have to surrender to that fact and to glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9)
So, as I said before, I'm an extremely stubborn, slow learner, but God's grace is sufficient for me...He is so good to me, so patient with me and such a gentle teacher, and thus I am learning how to rework my life in order to bring Him glory, to raise these blessed children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to keep a clean, comfortable, God-honoring home, to be the wife my husband deserves and to do all this with a joyful heart. It sounds like an overwhelming if not impossible task, but I have learned from the examples of other wonderful, godly women that it is not only POSSIBLE, but what is required of me. I have to die to myself, to MY wants, to MY hopes and instead hold on tight to the Lord, the author and perfecter of my faith as He guides me through this crazy adventure. There will come a time in my life where I once again have "free" time, where I'm not constantly feeding, changing, wiping for cleaning up after someone...but for now, I praise God for the privilege and honor it is to raise these little gifts straight from heaven!

So, my task for today (between laundry and vacuuming, mopping and cookie baking) is to rework my schedule so it works for me and my family at this point in time...stay tuned.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Experienced Daddy

This maneuver is not for the amateur father. It requires much skill and years of practice! :)

"Family Time"

You gotta love how an iPhone brings the family together. Plants vs. Zombies, good, quality family time.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Luke's Lip vs. Playground Post


Here's the photo of Luke, the day AFTER he slammed his lip on the post of the playground. The first thing my dad said to me yesterday when I met him to pick up the children was, "Luke had a little accident, but he's fine". Lip injuries always look so much worse than they are! Luke insists it doesn't hurt...well, only a teensy, weensy bit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back Home

My 3 big 'uns went to Grandma and Papa's house from Sunday to today (Thursday). They did all kinds of fun stuff--saw the movie, Tangled (in 3-D no less), went to McDonald's and played for hours, I'm sure...got a Christmas tree and decorated it up there, etc. They also got to visit their other "grandma", our pastor's wife, Sharon. She's taken them under her wings as her adopted grandchildren and she also has a granddaughter who is 9 years old that my girls just adore. Sharon has been such a blessing to me because while I was living up there, she would watch my children for me while I had appointments or what not. My children have grown very close to her and her granddaughter, Grace, and hope to see them EVERY time we go up there. The last time we were there for Thanksgiving, Sharon had just had back surgery, so she wasn't up to having them over, although they stopped by for a short hello and some very gentle hugs. They were thrilled that they got to go spend an entire day there this time. They also got to visit a friend and walk his dogs, go to the park with Papa and do all kinds of stuff I'm sure I'd never let them do--let's just call it "Papa's Prerogative".

Today Aaron and I drove up to Sacramento to our usual meeting spot to meet Papa and the children. As usual, it's nice to have them gone and get caught up on stuff (and not have to do OTHER stuff--like cooking, laundry, etc.), but it's always SO nice to have them back. I've kept their bedroom door closed while they're gone because, well...mostly because it was cold (I had the window open so it could air out while I had all of the bedding off of their beds), but also it's just sad to look at their empty bedroom! So tonight it was so nice to kiss them and tuck them into their beds again. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder...and I was already pretty fond of them.

Tomorrow I will share what Luke looked like when I picked them up. Let's just say, it was Luke's lip vs. a playground pole! Ouch!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Half Birthday To You!!




It's that time again...another day, another half birthday! Although this time it's very special because it's a half birthday for our little half-year old!! Happy Half-Birthday, Aaron!!

It's amazing to think that he's already a half a year old...the time has FLOWN by! He is so incredibly strong, he can pull himself up to sitting in his car seat if there's something he's really interested in looking at. He's rolling all over the place, he's started to jump like a total maniac in his exersaucer. And the coolest thing of all is that just a few days ago, he started sleeping on his tummy! I've been swaddling him since he was first born, but he's so strong, he's been breaking out of it. So this weekend I started just swaddling him in one blanket, so it's easy for him to fall asleep. Then he can easily get out of it and roll over onto his tummy. He did it for the first time the other night and he was sleeping SO well, I had to go check on him. When I snuck into his room, there he was, all unwrapped and on his tummy! It's amazing how much better babies sleep on their tummies. The past 2 nights he has hardly awakened and before he was waking 2-3 times EVERY night. Last night he slept thru all the way until 4! Ahhhhh yeah!

He still doesn't like food. We've tried him with cereal and veggies, cereal and fruit and he thinks it's DISGUSTING! See photo below! :) He likes eating Veggie Straws and I'll give those to him to munch on. I'm thinking of getting him some teething biscuits too. I think I may get his booster seat set up and chop up some soft foods and let him feed himself and see how that works out. That's how I started Luke because Luke wasn't a fan of "baby" food either!



Aaron loves Baby Einstein (I know, I know, I should be so ashamed), he does okay with playing on his own, although he'd prefer to be held all of the time--other than when he's rolling around on the floor. He's taking 3 naps a day usually--he's not the worlds best napper, but as long as he sleeps well at night, that's all I REALLY care about. He's wearing 9 month clothes mostly. He was 16 1/2lbs the last time I had him weighed--BIG boy! He drinks 4oz bottles every 2-3 hours and almost always sits up and lets out a huge BURP! :) He's a little charmer and I have to be sure to allot at least another 15 minutes when I go out for people to admire him. He winks those beautiful, big eyes at them and they're captivated! It's still hard to tell what color his hair is going to be...although it still looks on the auburn side to me. His bald spot is almost completely gone now too.

I'm very much looking forward to having my sweet little guy celebrate his very first Christmas soon...what an exciting time of year. I feel so blessed to have this precious little addition in our family. Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I *heart* Luke.

Luke came up to me today and said, "Yesterday, when you were at church with the girls and I was here, I was smelling your jacket and it smelled like YOU." Awwwwwhhhh. I have a very special place in my heart for that little boy, he's definitely a blessing!

Christmas Preparations are Underway!


I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year! I love the lights, the music, the smells, the whole energy that surrounds this wonderful, magical time of year. The children and I have been busy decorating and baking and thinking about Christmas. Our home is decked out with beautiful lights and greenery, it's simply lovely! Our lights haven't been turned off since we set everything up, it's just to beautiful to wake up in the morning to all of the lights. Yesterday, the children and I made Pfefferkuchen. Nothing says Christmas to me like Pfefferkuchen. I love the other traditional Christmas cookies that we make, but Pfefferkuchen has the taste and smell of Christmas. As we were mixing up the dough yesterday, Luke smelled it and said, "Mmmm...that smells like CHRISTMAS!" Yes, he's got it right!

So, I've got the majority of my shopping done...there are a few last minute things that I need to do, but I'm almost there. My children are going to visit Grandma and Papa next week for a few days, and while they're gone, I'll have the opportunity to get everything wrapped and ready to go up to the mountains for Christmas. I've got to send everything up in advance because there just is NOT room in our car for everything! Oh how I dream of the day when we can have Christmas in our own home and not have to travel on the holidays. Maybe one day.

The girls and I have been reading an advent story to keep our focus on Jesus through this season. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the traditions and fun things associated with Christmas, and it can be difficult to keep ones mind focused on Jesus, and the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I find myself falling into this trap all of the time because I DO so love the traditions of Christmas. I love the coziness of it all...I love the things that really have no connection to the real meaning of Christmas. Honestly, I feel that if Jesus is not your focus all year long, then why bother at this time of year? HOWEVER, I know there is a danger in replacing the celebration of the birth of my Savior with the celebration of worldliness, so I try to find a balance. It's not an easy thing to do. So while I sing along to the worldly Christmas music and enjoy the lights and the presents and the cookies, I will make a concerted effort to thank Jesus for coming to this earth for me. For humbling Himself and coming, not as the King of Kings that He is, but as a tiny baby...ready to experience every difficulty we face so that He could truly empathize with our plight...and understand that yes, we truly ARE made from dust...we truly ARE encumbered by the flesh and we truly ARE in desperate need of a Savior. Thank you, Jesus...for experiencing this life we live, and for doing it PERFECTLY, without sin, able to present Yourself as our perfect, unblemished Lamb when the time came. You experienced all of our temptations and You prevailed. Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's My Half-Birthday!

I just realized this, even though the day is nearly over. When I was a child, my half-birthday was always a big deal to me. My mom would humor me and throw a little celebration for me. How fun...I should do that for my children, you never know what little things will stick out in their memories when they grow up.

Random Musings.

I'm officially 12 weeks pregnant today. The first trimester is flying by. Officially the 1st trimester ends at 13.3 weeks, since a pregnancy is 40 weeks long. I love it when my Grandma and my Mom would say, "You've got it so easy these days with epidurals and all", to which I reply, "Yeah, but back in YOUR day, a pregnancy was 9 months...these days it's 10!"

I'm feeling a lot better...no real nausea to speak of anymore, Praise God! I'm still very tired...and I think that it's just something I need to learn to adapt to and overcome. I'm not sure I'm going to get much energy back for a while...so I'm trying to rest in the Lord and let Him be my strength (easier said than done as I tend to walk much more by the flesh than by the Spirit).

I'm very excited about Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to traveling to the mountains for some time with the family. It's been exactly 2 months since I was up there, when my Grandma passed away. It'll be good to see everyone again. Unfortunately, they've been getting DUMPED on with snow!! EEK! I cannot even express how happy I am that I don't live up there this year. I think if I never saw snow this year, I'd be thrilled!

Aaron was sleeping pretty well...he was having a few nights where he'd go until 4:30ish without waking up. But lately he's gone back to waking 2-3x a night. Last night he woke up at 11 or 12ish, I really don't remember, then at 2:50am--I decided not to give him a bottle at that time because I didn't want him waking AGAIN at 6ish, so he woke again at 4:30am and I gave him his bottle--which he drank rather quickly, he was HUNGRY! :) I've learned that the whole night waking thing is just something a mommy must endure. It's not fun and I'm sure there is something I could do to "train" him to sleep better, but sleep training in the day is not fun, it's REALLY horrible at night...so I just grin and bear it and trust that the Lord would give me the rest I need, and He always does. Aaron IS napping pretty well. He usually has one short nap and one long nap a day. Some days he has 3 naps, but it's usually 2 a day. It's the afternoon one that's always a bit tricky because I want to be sure that he sleeps past 4:30pm, otherwise the evening is going to be miserable since he doesn't go to bed until 7:30-8pm. He's so cute in his bath these days...he kicks and splashes SO much. It's almost unbearable!! The entire floor is soaked when he's done. It's rather amusing though. He can sit up in his tub like a big boy, but it's still easier to lie him down. It'll be fun when he can bathe with the big kids, I know they'll LOVE that!

Luke can spell AND write his name now. See:


Here is a photo of Aaron from the other day, I just think he's so adorable! I love this little guy SOOOOOO much!


More updates to come soon...right now the tortellini, ravioli, homemade alfredo sauce, sauteed zucchini and garlic bread are calling...and where, oh where is my husband???

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wilderness Soup

So yesterday the girls come running into the house,
Daughter:"Mommy, mommy, you've got to taste this soup we made! Trista brought over some veggies and it's just delicious!"
Hmmm...what could this mean? I asked for clarification...
Me:"What do you mean you made...SOUP?"
Daughter:"Trista brought over some vegetables and we got a bucket and we made soup! Look!"
Me:"BUCKET? What bucket?"
Daughter:"This bucket..." holding up my disgustingly dirty mop bucket.
Me:"OH MY GOODNESS, DO NOT EAT THAT!!!!"
Daughter (getting teary-eyed): "But we worked REALLY hard on it!"
Me: "DO NOT EAT THAT...there are GERMS all over that bucket!"
Daughter: "No...I washed it."
Me: "You washed it with what?"
Daughter: "I washed it with water...WARM water!"
Me: "Oh my goodness...sweetie, water does not make things clean, there are still germs all over that, DO NOT EAT IT! Besides, how did you cut up those vegetables?"
Daughter: "With a rock!"
Me: "UGGGHHHH...please dump it out!"

Sooo...what is a mommy to do with a disheartened child who worked "SO HARD" on wilderness soup? After a brief lesson about how germs are microscopic and you cannot see them or taste them but they can still KILL YOU, I gave them a clean cutting board, knives, washed their dirty vegetables (literally covered in DIRT) and had them wash their hands. I cleaned the table outside and let them have at it. They cut up an amazing amount of veggies...we threw them into a pot with some chicken bouillon and at the end threw in some alphabet noodles and viola, it was DELICIOUS--and edible!"

Children crack me up with the things they come up with, and the things that they thing are totally appropriate! I have to admit, it was very cute...very disgusting, but very cute. I'm glad I took the time to help them create a soup that they could actually eat because they were so proud of themselves. It was at the time when I should have been napping (both boys were snoozing), but I decided for a change I'd forgo my nap and help these girls do something creative...I'm so glad I did. Plus, then I didn't have to make dinner! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Vomit.

Yes, poor Aaron had his first vomiting episode this afternoon. :( He woke from his nap and coughed and threw up...I at first thought it was a big burp because he ate alot before his nap and didn't burp...then he did it again, and again. You know you're a mommy when you don't care how much they throw up on you as long as they're okay. I even switched shoulders from the yucky one to the clean one so he wouldn't put his face in the yuck. Poor sweet baby. He was happy in between bouts, and he hasn't done it for about an hour, but it's so heartbreaking to see a little baby get sick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

5 Months Old!

Today Aaron is 5 months old. He's getting so big and is just so cute. He has been a little on the fussy side lately, not so much fussy as he will go from happy to unhappy in a very short time and then he gets absolutely hysterical. I'm not quite sure what that's all about, he seriously acts like he's teething, but I cannot believe that one of my children would be teething so early. You never know though because I'd never guess that one of my children would be sitting up so early and guess what?!?! Here he is:

What a big guy!

He has also been sleeping from bedtime until about 4:30am the past couple of nights, which is FANTASTIC! I'll take all the sleep I can get. I'm still swaddling and will probably do it until he's around 6 months, that's what I did with my other children and it seems like a good time because the novelty of rolling over onto their tummy wears off and if they DO roll onto their tummy, they can either get cozy or roll back over to their back.

I've started feeling better--Thank God! I've been pretty much nausea free for a week now! It's fantastic to feel mostly human again.

Our weather has been CRAZY lately. Yesterday and today we had a high of about 80 degrees. WAY too hot for this time of year if you ask me, but apparently no one is asking me because no matter how much I dislike it, it doesn't change a thing. Thankfully the evenings are cool, but I could enjoy some cooler days, not that I want it cold or anything. Man, I'm so picky!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Facebook...

I've noticed that I spend way too much time on Facebook, updating my status for people who don't really care and in the future, I'll have no record of all of the wonderful little things that I post on there...so I'm going to make an effort to come HERE instead and write updates, so that when I come back days, months or years from now, I can read about what was going on! I love having this as a record...whether anyone reads it or not, I love being able to go back in time and see how life was. I only wish I would have started earlier, but it is pretty fun that I've got posts from before I had LUKE!

I'm now 11 weeks pregnant. I'm starting to feel human again, I just noticed that as I finished the last drops of my morning cup of coffee, I'm enjoying the flavor again--Praise God! :) I had a bit of a rough time this pregnancy...it flew by, I have to admit...not because it was shorter, but I think more because I was so incredibly busy that the days just fly by anyway. But I felt so incredibly nauseous this time. It's funny how in my past 3 (including this one) pregnancies, the nausea seems to last EXACTLY 4 weeks. With Luke and Aaron, I remember it starting at 8 weeks and being gone by 12 weeks. This time it started at 7 weeks and was pretty much fully gone at 11 weeks. I'm definitely exhausted, I could sleep all day I think, but at least I'm feeling well again. I've been going to bed at 9pm and sleeping to at least 7am...albeit with many wakings...and it feels SO good. I've had a few days this past week without a nap, but I still feel like I NEED a nap. Other than that, I still find it hard to believe that I'm not only pregnant, but nearly done with my first trimester already. It's amazing how quickly time passes when you're super busy.

Aaron has been sleeping pretty well lately. In general, he has one waking a night. This past week he's had 2 nights where he went until 4:30am! GLORIOUS!! :) I've found that if I swaddle him and Jeremy puts him to bed, he will sleep nice and long. If Jeremy swaddles him, he comes loose and wakes up early. Either way, his night sleep is improving significantly. I've been trying to get him to take his naps in his crib as much as possible...the other day he took all of his naps in his crib and one was 2+ hours, so that's fantastic. Normally I'd do the morning one in his crib and the afternoon one in his swing, so I can get a nap in too...but there is no guarantee that his nap will be long in his swing. So I decided to try him with all of his naps in his crib. I can put him in there completely awake, with a pacifier, and he goes to sleep like a dream. He generally takes 2 naps a day, but it has to be timed just right. He seems to do better with 3 shorter naps, but for me it's really nice if he naps at the same time as Luke so I can get a rest (which may or may not actually happen).

I've been searching on Craigslist for an exersaucer for Aaron. He's getting to that age where he doesn't want to lie around all day long...he's rolling over from his back to his tummy now, but there is only so much lying on his tummy that he can tolerate...he's got his bouncy chair that he likes, but again, that's pretty much like lying on his back. He's been SUPER grabby lately, if anything passes by him, he reaches out and tries to grab it. So I thought, he's definitely ready for an exersaucer...he'd enjoy sitting up, playing with stuff, etc. So I found one on craigslist yesterday and Jeremy went out and got it. At first he didn't think it was worth it to spend $30, but this is a deluxe exersaucer and after he saw how Aaron LOVES it, he's a believer! TOTALLY worth the money, especially considering we'll have another one to play with it in no time! The big kids play with him and he just loves it.
He's started pulling his legs up underneath him when he's on his tummy and sticking his little buns up, like he's trying to crawl. I'm sure it's quite a ways off, but it's so fun to see these little developmental things happening. It seems like at the beginning, all of the things they do happen so slowly...then all of a sudden it's sitting, then crawling then walking...and it all goes so fast!





I don't think that I had mentioned that Abby had to have a tooth pulled. I know I wrote about her tooth that had come in behind the other, but when we went to the dentist, he said it would be better if he pulled the baby tooth in order for the adult tooth to come in more "normally". She was a bit apprehensive--for good reason, but the dentist did a great job and she didn't even know he had pulled it! :) It still had a MAJOR root on it, so it was a good thing he did pull it otherwise it would have been a LONG time before that sucker came out on it's own. I'll have to take a photo of her teeth now...the one in the back is slowly moving it's way up to the front. She's most likely going to need braces, hopefully she's our only child. I don't want to think that her crooked teeth are the result of extended pacifier use, but that's probably what happened...I hope Luke doesn't follow suit. He still has his and we'll get rid of it in March when he turns 4. Aaron takes a pacifier but doesn't like it other than if he's not completely asleep when we put him to bed or if he's really tired (like in the car). Hopefully we'll be able to phase it out quickly and we'll have one less child's dental work to worry about.

Well, there is much to do today...it's Sunday, another Sunday we will not be going to church. It seems like since we've been living here, someone has a cough EVERY week. Abby was treated for asthma a few weeks ago...she had a cough that just wouldn't quit. She was put on an antibiotic, a steroid and an inhaler of albuterol. That cleared it right up. Now Savannah has a pretty bad cough and Jeremy and I both have a tickle in our throats. There's definitely something to be said about living in isolation! When we lived in the mountains, we were NEVER sick. I really would like to be going to church, but maybe this is a season in our lives when it's just not going to happen. If only we could get it together and have home church, then I'd feel a lot better.

Get it together, yes...that's what I need to do. There is SO much I feel I need to get together. When we moved in, it was hurry, hurry, hurry and unpack. But when I hit the deadline of school starting after Labor day, I just didn't have the time to do much more. And now that I'm pregnant, even if I have the time, I don't have the desire or the energy. I really need to go through EVERYTHING and organize and eliminate. I'd love nothing more than to have a well-organized home. My pantries are absolutely OVERFLOWING. Not due to an abundance of stuff, but more from a lack of organization. So I guess my prayer this next week or month should be for the energy and opportunity to get things in order. That would do much for my peace of mind.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sleeping thru the night!!

So a little while ago I started to supplement Aaron with formula. As my other post said, it was a tough decision, but he always seemed to be hungry, so I feel it was the right decision. Ever since I started, he's been happy and has been sleeping better. It took about a week and he was sleeping from 8ish until 3ish. That was a HUGE blessing as that meant only ONE night waking for me because he'd then sleep until about 7ish in the morning. Ahhhhh. Well, now I've started giving him just a tiny bit of rice cereal...like I said, the little guy constantly thinks he's starving, and he's eating it pretty well, so why not?!?! He has been so content, in fact, that he's been taking 80% of his naps in his crib (previously it was in his swing). I say 80% because often he'll wake after an hour from his afternoon (his longest) nap and I'll put him into the swing and he'll sleep longer that way. Well last night I put him down around 8:30pm and I woke up at 5am and he was STILL sleeping. Of course, being a mommy, instead of being thrilled, I'm concerned. So I got up to check on him. While I was using the potty before going into his room, I heard him. So I would officially consider 8:30pm-5am sleeping through the night! Great Job, Aaron. He's 4 months, 1 week and 4 days old. Not too shabby.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Baby Girl is 7!!

Happy birthday to my sweet little Abigail Mae! 7 years ago at this moment, I was sitting in the hospital, getting ready to have my water broken. It was 2 days before my actual due date, but given the fact that Jeremy had missed the birth of Savannah and was getting ready to go onto night shift at work and would be gone for a few days, 2.5 hours away, we decided to go for an early induction. It's very strange because I gave birth to Aaron 4 months ago in the same room I gave birth to Abby in...so the memory is so fresh in my mind. I was so excited to meet my baby girl, so nervous as to how Savannah would react as she was such a sensitive little girl...so nervous about having 2 babies, so close together (they're 17 months apart). My water was broken and no labor started. Around 1pm they started pitocin and she made her entrance into the world at 5:33pm. I still remember that sweet, fuzzy baby head--she had a lot of dark hair. I remember the look on Jeremy's face since this was the first birth he had seen. He gave her her first bath and would NOT put her down. One of the biggest things that stands out in my mind though was hearing her first cry. I remember thinking, "OH LORD, PLEASE don't let that be her cry!!!" She was so shrill, so loud. I couldn't help but to think, "Savannah will NOT like this!". Hahahaha. Well that was indeed her cry...and it still is. Abby is loud, boisterous, passionate, and impulsive. Everything she does, she does with her whole heart. She is also SO sweet, thoughtful and helpful. She is truly a blessing to our family and always keeps us on our toes. I know the Lord has special plans for this little girl, and I look forward to seeing them unfold as the years go by. My prayer is that the Lord would give me the wisdom to lead her in the right direction, to love her unconditionally and to understand her quirks and work with them to lead her to serve the Lord with her whole heart. She is definitely my more challenging child, but with great challenge, comes great reward. Abby is a blessing and I'm SO thankful that God saw fit to bless us with her 7 years ago today. Abby, today we celebrate YOU!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leave it to Abby.

The other night Savannah was looking in Abby's mouth and noticed that she has a tooth growing through the roof of her mouth! We had wondered why Abby hadn't yet lost her second front top tooth...well, now we know! She goes to the dentist next week to see what, if anything needs to be done. I tell ya, if something out of the ordinary is going to happen, it'll probably happen to Abby!

Little note: The other night Luke was playing a game and I was holding Aaron...Luke stopped what he was doing, looked up at me and said, "Aaron is a blessing!". Awwwwhhhhh....Aaron IS a blessing....and so is Lukie!

A Very Tough Decision.

I've had to make a very difficult decision--yet again. With every one of my children I've had the goal to breast feed for a year. With Savannah I was successful, but she was really tiny, which I would not have expected for MY child. With Abby I started supplementing early to be sure she'd take a bottle, because Savannah would not. I ended up nursing for 6 months and had to quit due to supply issues. With Luke it was pretty much the same as with Abby. With Aaron, I was convinced that if I could take herbs and pump and nurse as much as possible, I'd be successful. Aaron was doing great (as all of my children for the first 2 months or so), but at his last appointment he didn't gain as much weight as one would expect. His doctor did not seem concerned, as long as he had gained, which he had. I kept taking my herbs and nursing every 2 hours or so...even throughout the night. I was tired, he always seemed hungry and although he certainly is not skinny, he was not sleeping well. I recently found out that I'm pregnant with #5 and I had to stop taking the herbs. I kept nursing all of the time, but the lack of napping and the frequent night wakings were really starting to get to me. If I was making enough milk, he wouldn't need to eat every 2 hours at nearly 4 months old, right? It was time to face the facts...under the best of circumstances my milk supply isn't the best. I always say, I'm made for making babies, not feeding them. It is a very, very difficult decision for me...it breaks my heart to stop nursing. Not only is it such a sweet experience, I know it's also best for his little growing body...but I need rest, he needs nourishment and this little bean growing inside of me needs everything I have to offer as well. So I'm gradually weaning him to the bottle. The first time I gave him 2oz of formula, I put him down for a nap and he slept for 3.5 hours--for the first time in weeks. The other night he woke up 3 times and after the 3rd time, I was so tired I could have cried...I had to decide that formula is going to keep him through the night better...and I desperately need rest. I can't help but to feel like an absolute failure...even if rationally I know that I'm not. I've done a good job--we made it to 4 months without supplements of any kind. He's happy, he's healthy and he's OHHHHH so loved! I know once is all said and done it will be fine, I'll be fine...it's this transition period that has always been a bit difficult for me. I do have to admit that there are a few things I'm looking forward to though--like tonight, Abby gave Aaron a bottle! She LOVED it, it helped me out and now others can have the bonding experience of feeding the little cherub. I can go to the store alone if I need/want to. I can go to doctor's appointments alone...AND, when the new baby arrives, I won't have to worry about how I'm going to deal with a baby who is entirely attached to me and me alone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm not fat, I'm pregnant!

Well, okay...maybe I'm just a tad bit fat too. What can I say, I'm still recovering from the birth of #4--it was ONLY 4 months ago, what in the world was I thinking?!?! Well, here's what I'm thinking. Children are a blessing from the Lord. The more Jeremy and I have been thinking about this, the more we are realizing the truth behind the verse:
Psalm 127:3-5
Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Although we do not wholeheartedly subscribe to the Quiverfull mentality, we definitely believe in receiving the gifts that the Lord has for us--one at a time. I will not say that I'm going to blindly say, "We'll take as many as the Lord blesses us with", my faith is not yet that strong...especially now that I'm pregnant so quickly after giving birth, the thought of doing this again, and again frightens me to death! However, that said, we understand that one cannot take their fertility for granted. If we decided to have more children further down the road, there is no guarantee that we'd be able to. Just because it's never been an issue for us in the past does not mean that it never will be. So for now, we consider ourselves blessed, INCREDIBLY blessed. And going through this pregnancy with a little one in tow forces me to rely fully on Him for all of my strength, peace, patience, etc. and that, my friends, is a good place to be. We'll see what the future holds for us for other children, but for now we're praising God that He trusts us enough to give us another blessing to raise for His glory, and praying that He would give us the wisdom and patience to do so.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TOO HOT!!

It has been in the mid '90's for the past couple of days...this summer was particularly mild, but man...it is D R A G G I N G on!!! Time for fall, please! Not winter, just fall!

Jesus is "Magic"

Today we were reading a story from our children's bible and Luke looked at me and asked, "Why did Jesus die on the cross?". I told him that we do bad things and because of that we can't go to heaven, so Jesus came and took our punishment so we can go to heaven--He died on the cross for us...BUT, God made Him alive again!" Luke looked at me and said, "WOW, that's like MAGIC!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

3 Months, 3 Weeks and 3 Days.

That's how old Aaron is today. He is an absolute doll, so sweet, so smiley, so bright-eyed...such a blessing. He slept for 5 + hours straight last night...ahhhhh...it was fantastic! He woke at midnight and slept until 5:15am. It feels so good to get such a nice, long chunk of sleep.

Tonight the girls are with Jeremy at my brothers house because tomorrow they're all going to Great America. It will be a lot of fun, and I'm so glad I won't be there because I could NOT handle seeing my little Abby going on a scary roller coaster. I know she's so excited about it, but it FREAKS me out. Thankfully Savannah has some sense and doesn't want to go near them (that's my girl!). So tonight it's just me and Luke and Aaron. Luke had a bit of a hard time because he's gotten so used to sleeping with his girls that he doesn't like sleeping alone in his room anymore. Awwwhhhh. He asked me if he could sleep with me, but I know I wouldn't sleep at all if that happened, so I had to tell him no. Poor little guy. Oh well, it's just one night. We went to the park this evening and played a bit and then walked home and had baths, then Luke played quietly while I got Aaron to bed and I had some time playing blocks with Luke. It was nice to have that one on one time that we so rarely get. He's such a sweet little guy. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Half Birthday To You!!

Luke is 3.5 years old today!!! Do you know what that means?!?! In our home (yeah yeah, I know!) it means that pacis are for NIGHT time ONLY! I've found with Luke that things are fairly easy to implement if there is a definite time line for it. For example: When he turned 3, he woke up and I said, "Today you're going to be potty trained...NO more pull-ups and no more accidents!" It worked like a charm! This morning when I reminded him that he was now 3 and a half and took his paci away, he willingly gave it up...and he was just VERY happy to go down for his nap, because he gets his paci! If he was my first paci lover, I'd be a bit concerned...but the fact that Abby also love, love, loved her paci and no longer uses it (and hasn't since she turned 4) gives me hope for the future! Pacis offer me much peace, so no matter what anyone says (as Aaron happily sucks on HIS paci), I LOVE PACIFIERS and I will continue to use them!

Luke is funny.

This morning Jeremy and I were talking and Abby walked in and started talking to us, Luke looked at Abby and said, "Daddy's talking to MOMMY!" Why, thank you, Lukie! It's nice to have an advocate. Later we were watching a video online from The Survival Podcast about "Yoder's Bacon" of all things. The guy took the bacon out of the can and Luke said, "Jack, you do a good job with that!".

Luke never ceases to crack me up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I just want to sleep.

Dearest, Precious Aaron,
You are 3 months old now. It is time to sleep. Mommy needs rest again and the only thing preventing it is you. I love you, darling...but it's time to start sleeping better. Tonight would be a great night to start. I'll still love you with everything I've got if you don't, but it sure would make me happy if you did.
Most Sincerely,
Mommy

My Grandma.

My grandma passed away last night. I had the privilege of being there for her last breath. Aaron was with me and it was nice to have him there to lighten the atmosphere during those long, last hours. It was hard on my grandpa and my sister and my mom, but having a fresh, smiling, sweet little baby who readily gives the brightest, sparkliest smiles helped a lot. It was sad to see her go, but I felt more joy than anything else, knowing that she was leaving her earthly body...full of scars, cancers, tubes and pain for her heavenly body...her youthful, perfect, sinless heavenly body. I rejoice in the fact that she is now with her 3 children and 1 great grand child that went before her. When she passed, tears filled my eyes...tears for the loss my grandpa was experiencing, losing his bride of 50+ years...tears for my mom, losing HER mom...tears for my sister to whom my grandma was like another mother...and tears for my dad, who saw his father go through this not long ago and lost his own mother a year later. But most of all tears of joy at the amazing fact that those of us who believe will all one day be sitting at the foot of the throne of the Almighty, in the arms of our Jesus--perfected. No death, no pain, no sorrow, no tears. How can you not be joyful? She put up a good fight, she lived a good life, she gave everything her all...and now she gets her reward. I'll miss you, Grandma, but I'll be seeing you soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cute.

Yesterday I was holding Aaron and he was being extremely cute, as usual and Abby said, "He's so cute, I just want to SQUEEZE him!" Luke looked at her and very seriously said, "Abby, then we wouldn't have a baby anymore!"
Awwwhhhh...Luke loves his little Aaron. We all love Aaron. He's just plain cute. Unless it's 3am and his SECOND waking of the night...then he's just marginally cute.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Aaron at 3 months.


Aaron continues to be the sweetest, smiliest, happiest little guy around. He's almost too easy when it comes to getting him to smile. All you have to do is look in his general direction and he flashes a beautiful, sparkly, gummy grin. He's precious. He's easing into a pretty decent schedule. He's waking 2x a night--lately it's been some time around 12 midnight and then again around 4-ish. It varies a bit from night to night, but that's the general schedule. He's usually up just after 7 in the morning, s not too shabby. Of course, I'd love to be sleeping better, but it's nice to have the time to bond with him, even if it's in the middle of the night. He usually takes 2-3 naps a day. Most often he has one really long one--around 3-3.5 hours long. Bless his little baby heart. He's nursing really well still, but I'm starting to get a bit concerned about my milk supply. I've said this in the past, my body seems to be more into MAKING babies than FEEDING babies. He has only gained 1lb 5oz in the past 5 weeks--weighing in now at 12lb10oz. While he's still in the "safe" range for weight gain, he's right on the line. I would have been much happier if he had gained a couple of pounds, but it is what it is. I'm considering supplementing with something, but he's having some slight issues with dairy and/or soy. We were alarmed when we changed his diaper and he had a bit of blood in his stool. It wasn't very much, just the tiniest amount, but enough to warrant a call to the doctor. The doctor told me that 90% of the time that's caused by dairy/soy in the mother's diet. I've been off of both of them and it's gone away, but when I added either back INTO my diet, we had issues again. Sooo...when it comes to supplementing, I'm not quite sure what to supplement with. For now, I'm going to continue nursing, taking my herbal supplements and pumping a couple extra ounces to give him before bed and see if that makes a difference. He's obviously getting enough to be happy though because this guy just does not get crabby--unless he's tired or hungry.
When we go out shopping, he's perfectly content to fall asleep in his car seat. We walked to the park today and he fell asleep on the way there...and again on the way back. He even stayed asleep while I took him out of the car seat and swaddled him and put him into his swing.
Oh yes, I must admit...he's taking naps in his swing still. I'm completely ashamed of myself, but it happened when we moved...and it's working so well, why change it??
My theory has always been: do what works until it stops working...then find something new. So he's swaddled, napping in his swing (he does sleep in his crib at night, for the record), and taking a paci...and guess what?!?! I don't care.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Light Light Therapy


Light Light, Robot Puppy and Turtly Wurtly Gurtly. Those are the names of Luke's newest "friends". Light Light is a round, EXTREMELY bright LED light (actually a series of many lights that Luke calls "eyes"). Robot Puppy is an LED book light that looks strangely like a critter when folded the right way and Turtly Wurtly Gurtly is a toy off of Aaron's little bouncy chair.
Luke has been neglected lately--not that I'm not HERE all day long, but I think he really is at a stage where he needs more one on one attention and often will say, "PLAY WITH ME" to me. I'm not the most creative person in the world, especially first thing in the morning when I'm trying to get some caffeine on board (why can't I just take it intravenously?) and nursing a baby--so we've made a little before nap routine of playing with his friends for 4 minutes. I set the alarm on my watch and he goes right to bed without a fuss afterwards. So, what do we play? Here's where the therapy comes in. We basically have a nice little "chat". I'm Turtly Wurtly Gurtly and he's Light Light (Robot Puppy is just not as fun since he lost his little battery cover) and we "play". I ask him questions and he answers me--from his heart, but AS Light Light. Today he told me that "he" (meaning Light Light) is 3, will be 4 in March. He said he's a good boy but he always gets disciplined because he hurts his sister. When I asked WHY he always hurts her he said because she's stinky to him. So far we haven't gotten past that...I keep trying to encourage him to think of other things he can do than hurting her and he hasn't had a solution--yet. Maybe with frequent "Light Light Therapy", we'll be making progress soon. Regardless, it's nice to have the ability to have heart to heart discussions in a non-threatening way.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Little Boys

I love little boys. Tonight Luke told me at the dinner table that I was the best mommy, that I'm "so nice" and that when he grows up, he wants to marry me! Awwwwhhhh!
I had to tell him that I'm already married ("To who, Daddy??" he asks), but one day I'll help him find a wife just like me!! :)

Pufferbell

Yesterday Luke was playing "delivery man". He'd go outside and come back inside to me with a "package". He'd hand it to me, I'd open it and we'd chat about what was inside. It was pretty cute. He did it over and over again until I opened a "package" and said, "Awwwhhh what a cute little kitty!". (the children have been DYING for a new kitty). He came over and "picked it up" and "pet it", then he named it "Pufferbell". He "played" with Pufferbell for a while and then we put her on a pillow for a rest. The girls came in and Luke "showed" Pufferbell to them. THEY started playing with her. But get this, (this is my children in a nutshell *LONG, DEEP SIGH*) they started ARGUING over Pufferbell. Luke came in and told me that Abby wouldn't let him hold her!! Are you kidding me??? My children will argue over anything...even a fake kitty. It was cute while it lasted, but I'm glad Pufferbell seems to have climbed into a corner somewhere and is "hiding".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby Laughs

I love baby laughs and I'm so excited to report that I'm officially on the path of hearing a lot more of them soon!! Tonight daddy was playing with Aaron, making silly duck noises at him and Aaron laughed!! Not once, but TWICE! :) I called the girls in to hear, because I knew they'd ADORE his giggles, but as soon as they arrived, they distracted him and he didn't laugh anymore. :( Oh well, at least I know that from this point on, we'll be hearing more--YAY!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sleep, sweet sleep...

My sweet little guy slept from 8-2:40 and from 3-7am! He is getting so big and doing such a good job with sleeping--it's fantastic! He's also rolling over every time we put him on his tummy...no more tummy time for this little one!! He's 10 weeks now and he's looking so big...he's growing out of that "newborn" look and looking more like a baby. He smiles like you wouldn't believe...he'll stop nearly anything he's doing (including nursing) if he thinks he can catch you and give you a big ol gummy grin. When this little guy smiles, it's a full-face exercise too. He "sparkles" when he smiles.
When I put him on the floor, he'll lift his entire chest off of the floor--I think he's my strongest baby so far. I swaddle him in a muslin blanket and then a "miracle blanket" (the one with velcro) and he STILL gets out of it at least once a night!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What a crazy time it's been.

We are here and settled in our new home. We are a couple of doors down from where we were living last time we were here (10 months ago). I think we got a good deal though, we got the remodeled home I required, plus our backyard is a lot more private than the one we had before...and everything in here is fresh--refinished floors, fresh paint, etc. It has been quite a crazy adventure getting here though. We spent 2 weeks in a 2 bedroom apartment. Then we moved into our home and lived for a week and a half with no furniture. We are currently unpacking and the house is a wreck (but getting better each day). I've got most of the important stuff unpacked and we're finding solutions to our issues slowly...the biggest remaining issue is the elusive cordless telephones and pantry drawers, and finding a place for all of our clothing. When we moved, we got rid of a dresser--so now Jeremy and I have no place for OUR clothes. The girls had drawers in their beds, but now only one bed is set up due to space issues AND the drawer hardware is nowhere to be found--and they have no dresser yet. So there are clothes everywhere and I'm battling not to go crazy because although I'm not particularly organized, chaos makes me very anxious. So...*deep breath*, here we are. Everyone is doing very well. The children are very happy to be back here. Jeremy and I are struggling once again with the issues of lack of privacy and children around all of the time and trying to figure out how to manage the influences on our children. That is the biggest challenge of this neighborhood and we have yet to find a good, workable solution. I know what we NEED to do, but actually implementing it is harder than talking about it. This is where I need to pray for strength and wisdom and the willingness to do what it takes to do what's right for my children...this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Sooo...it's time for some updates! One of the great things about moving back to the same exact place you just left is not having to relearn all the stuff that comes with a new area: we have the same doctors, same stores, almost the same address! We tried to get the same phone #, but apparently it's now the # for a law firm!
Aaron went to the doctor for the first time since he was a week old. He gained 4lbs since birth and weighed in at 11lbs6oz. He's NICE and chunky and SOOOOO, so sweet! He seems to have gotten over the really fussy stage and is a very happy, sweet, easy-going baby. He LOVES to talk and makes the cutest little noises. That's something I never tire of is a sweet baby talking to me. We are now cloth diapering and it's going great. He seems happy and I'm happy to be saving the $ on diapers. Everyone always makes it sound like it's so difficult, but really, it's not. It requires a tiny bit more time to rinse the diapers and I wash a load each day (I only bought 9 diapers and will buy more if necessary--so far it doesn't seem necessary). I don't mind doing an extra load of laundry--I do laundry every day anyway, so it's no big deal to me. I have a ton of photos that I've taken, but I don't have a way of getting them online just yet....Jeremy is working on setting up my computer. Another plus about being in the same house as before: We know what worked before and what didn't and we know how we want to arrange the house this time to make it better than before. More info to come in the future as we make some interesting changes to this place.
Luke has been a bit of a pest lately. I'm quite positive it's because he just has not been getting much mommy time. I've been so busy trying to get this house in order that it hasn't been a priority to do things with him (how horrible does that sound? Yes, it really IS horrible). All three big kids are in the same room and they're doing well with it. Savannah likes to complain because Abby and Luke aren't angelic sleepers like herself. Abby talks and squirms. Luke wakes her up when he needs something (great for me--I am SO thankful for what she does to help him out so I don't get awakened). Aaron is now in his own room--it's a bittersweet thing. Jeremy and I haven't shared a room since we moved in with my parents, so it's nice to be back to normal like a married couple should be (although with the snoring he does, I kinda like the idea of separate rooms!). Aaron is sleeping pretty well--waking at 1am, 4:30am and 6:30am last night. He came into bed with me at 6:30 and we slept in until about 7:30.
When we were staying at the apartment, Savannah found a Razor scooter. Luke has been riding it and he's quite the little hot dog on it. I'm pretty impressed at his scooter skills! He even knows how to use the brake! Savannah is a total book worm, she's been DEVOURING any book she can get her hands on...she's been reading the Anne of Green Gables series most recently. Abby is actually starting to read a bit on her own too (very exciting for me as she's never been much of a reader). I'm getting ready to start school after Labor day and although I have some apprehension of how it'll be with 2 littler ones around, I'm also very excited. This is the first year I'm using a "boxed" curriculum. We're doing My Father's World and I'm very exited about it...it looks very fun and it'll be nice to have everything pretty much laid out for me and all I have to worry about is the extra stuff I want to do.

Okay, that's enough for now, I know that's not a whole lot of updating, but it's time for bed. Time is scarce these days!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Aaron updates

Aaron is growing like a weed. He is filling out so quickly, his little legs are all nice and chubby and he is looking SO big already. I should hope so too because this guy is an EATER!! He nurses very frequently and I'm very happy because I know he's getting everything he needs to be big and strong...and hopefully my milk supply will continue to be really good. Every day that passes it seems like Aaron becomes more content, more able to cope with life and more interactive. Today was the first day that he had some wonderful, purposeful smiles. He has smiled before, but they were those half asleep smiles that you know aren't because he's happy or wanting to interact...he's just slipping into sleepy bliss. But today he looked around a lot more, and he smiled quite a few times at me...ON PURPOSE. :) Soooo sweet. He's also been able to take baths. His umbilical cord fell off on the 4th of July, so he got his first bath that night and he LOVED it! He's the first baby I've ever seen who LOVED his first bath. Not only did he not cry, he was happy and almost fell asleep in the tub!
We have a tiny bit of a routine going on thus far...it's nice to have some semblance of a routine. I like my routine and it's hard with a newborn having everything thrown for a loop, especially where the older children are concerned. I don't like putting them on the back burner, I feel bad that their lives are off kilter, so it's nice to have a tiny bit of a routine happening. He usually takes his bath (which REALLY wears him out), I swaddle him and nurse him and put him in his bed. Last night he slept from around 8:30 until 12:15 or so. So he's doing really good...every night has a tiny improvement and he was in his own bed until 2am or so! :) That makes me very happy because I do not sleep well not being able to move and stretch at my leisure. Once he's in his own bed all night I will be one happy mama! Today he was crabby and he had been fed and awake for a while so I knew he just needed sleep...I swaddled him and patted him for a while and put him on my bed with his eyes still open...3 hours later he woke up! He's doing really well with being put to bed awake and dozing off on his own. So far he's taking one nap a day in his bed (usually) and going to bed at night nicely...so I'm happy. You know, you can't expect TOO much from a newborn, so I think he's doing WONDERFULLY! All of the children adore him and Luke has been kissing him pretty often. It's VERY sweet. Luke had a bad night last night though and had my dad up for quite a while...I don't know if there was another reason or if he is having some "not enough time with mommy" issues. I tried to spend as much time with him as I could today...poor little guy. It's nice that Aaron is letting me do a bit more though so that I can attend to my other children. Well, time to run...we found out today that we did not get the home we were hoping to rent in Marshall. We're bummed, but we trust that God has other plans for us.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Deja Vu

I can look back to a post I posted after Luke was born about how my time was more limited with the addition of a new baby and how difficult it was adjusting to that. Well, here I am again. Having a new baby hasn't been terribly difficult, actually, in many ways I think it's easier than it has been in the past--just because it's not a new thing anymore. The thing I'm struggling with is the lack of time I have for my older children. Previously I was at my children's beck and call...then all of a sudden this little guy comes along and I no longer have time for anyone! Every spare moment I have is spent cleaning, cooking, napping or trying to grab a quick shower or fix my hair (I've all but given up on makeup these past 2 weeks). Strangely I do seem to find the time for the computer *soooo ashamed*, mostly because the older children don't seem to CARE that I'm not available! I guess it's a good thing that they don't care, but I still feel guilty...mom guilt is alive and well. Oh well...I guess it's time to get over it, Aaron is awake again...time for nursing and then dinner prep!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I should be in bed

But instead I'm here. I just wanted to document a few things, just so I don't forget!
Today was a beautiful day...my parents took the bigger 3 children up to Tahoe for some fun in the sun (oh the burn lines!!). It was so nice to be home with just Aaron and take the time to just hold him and gaze into his beautiful little eyes. He is not a baby who likes to be put down. It's been a bit hard trying to get things done with having to hold him and nurse him all of the time, but I was reminded today of how quickly things change--how fast these sweet days pass--and I'm trying to savor every moment of it, even if I can't do much. Aaron is a very hungry boy...he likes to nurse CONSTANTLY. He literally nurses every 1-1.5 hours. He falls asleep a lot while nursing, but he's a big eater too! I cannot believe how blessed I am...he looks up at me with those big, blue eyes and it melts my heart. He is SUCH a doll.

When I first came home from the hospital and my dad was holding Aaron, Luke looked at Papa and said, "Papa...you love our baby?" It was so sweet how Luke seemed to be so proud of "our baby" and wanted to be sure that Papa thought he was as wonderful as Luke thought he was. What a good big brother.

The girls have been so helpful, they're still really loving holding Aaron. Abby always tells me that if there is something I need to do, she'll hold him for me. The other day she was holding him and he was cooing at her!! Awwwhh!! He's only coo'ed a couple of times, and one of those was for big sister.

I'm trying to get this Moby Wrap thing figured out so I can carry him around and get a bit more accomplished, but I'm not so great at it yet...either I'm not as bright as I'd like to think I am, or it's got a fairly steep learning curve. My friend, Faith is an expert baby-wearer...I've GOT to seek her help!

Okay, Aaron has been in bed for a little while now, so I had better head to bed and get as much rest as I can. I've been getting enough sleep, but still not as much as I'd like. It's not easy to sleep with a wiggly, grunty baby, but I sure am enjoying the snuggling time with him...he LOVES to be close to mommy and I think that's just too sweet!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I cannot imagine...

...being more blessed. My sweet children have been SO awesome with the arrival of Aaron. Today Abby said to me, "you know the one thing I DON'T like about having a baby brother? Not having as much time with everyone as before" I assured her that that would change soon and that that was also the one thing I don't love. She just smiled and went along on her merry way.

Tonight at the table Aaron was making cute faces and looking around (he's been VERY sleepy so seeing his eyes is a big deal) and my mom said something about him being a happy baby. Luke said, in his sweet little boy voice, "I'm a happy baby!" and he smiled really big--enough to melt my heart. He is SUCH a sweet little boy...he has really gone with the flow with all of the craziness of having a new baby. These children are incredible...the girls are SO helpful, Luke is so sweet...Aaron is such a blessing. What a blessed mommy I am!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Aaron has arrived!

I went in for my scheduled induction on June 15th at 7am. It was my mom, Jeremy and I when we checked in, soon to be followed by my in laws. They got me all checked in, set up on my IV (I needed antibiotics for a + test for Strep B). My doctor came in and said that he was going to break my water and see how things got moving. I was a bit apprehensive because of the fact that I wasn't SUPER dilated or effaced and not sure that my body was going to progress (I'm not sure why I was so concerned, I just think that with each delivery I go through well, I fear that the next may not be as good). So I asked him if it was possible NOT to break my water and just start me on a mild dose of pitocin. He is such a fantastic doctor, he really listened to my concerns and basically went along with what I thought was best. I so appreciated that about him. So I was started on pitocin around 8am, on the minimum dose. Contractions did NOT start. They kept upping the dose, very slowly, and around 10am we started getting a few contractions. Once I got to 3cm and 75% effaced, he broke my water (10:50am). The contractions continued, nice and steady (about 3-4 minutes apart) and nice and strong, without being TOO strong. It was actually the BEST labor experience I've ever had, it was what I would imagine a "natural" labor being like...slowly progressing, not unbearable by any means. It was JUST right. It was definitely longer than my last 2 labors, but the fact that it was slow and steady was awesome. The contractions started getting stronger and I was starting to shake, which for ME indicates some good progress, but when they checked me, I was only at 5-6cm. I knew that when I get to that point, I tend to go rather quickly...so not wanting to take any chances, I asked them if they could get me started on an epidural. Now, let me just say, I did NOT want an epidural, I didn't NEED an epidural, but I was afraid that as things progressed, the pain might get a bit out of control (due to my past experiences). In retrospect, I should have gone without...but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. So they came in to give me the epidural. I had a VERY simple request (at least I thought so). My request was: diminish the pain of the contractions without killing all feeling in my legs. I didn't want a STRONG dose of anything, just a tiny "take the edge off" dose. Apparently that's not how epidurals work. Once I got it, my entire left leg went dead. I could not move it to save my life, in fact, once it started falling off the bed, and had someone not caught it, I probably would have dislocated my hip! The right leg was tingly, but had enough feeling to move it. The contractions, however, didn't change. Nice! I called the anesthesiologist back into the room to see if there was anything that could be done to fix my situation. She started getting an attitude with me, telling me that what I was asking for was impossible. So I said, "nevermind, I'll deal with it". The contractions did diminish a bit...enough to where they were painful, but I didn't have to BREATHE through them, so I was okay. Things didn't progress as quickly as I would have liked though...I was a bit surprised. The doctor came in and said, "Hmmm..we're going to put in a catheter and drain your bladder and see if that helps things to progress". Sure enough, he put it in an my bladder was FULL! Lo and behold, as soon as they did that, I went to 9cm, and baby was at 0 station, ready to move on out! The contractions were now hard, enough to have to seriously focus and breathe through them, but I could feel Aaron moving down...I knew it'd be quick. The doctor came in, checked me and said, "Oh wow, he's RIGHT there...2 pushes or so and he should be out!". He got all set up, I pushed 3 times and there was my precious baby boy!! It was by far the easiest, most wonderful delivery I've had.
Aaron Wilfried Troyer came into the world at 6pm on the dot, weighing 7lbs6oz and 21 inches long. I was released from the hospital within 22 hours (I could have left earlier if things had been better planned--we weren't expecting to be released so early, so the car seat wasn't in the car, so Jeremy had to drive all the way back home again). I needed to get out of there, it was so busy and I had to room with a first time mommy with a very fussy baby...so even though Aaron was fairly quiet and sleepy, I couldn't sleep much because of the OTHER baby in my room.
Aaron is wonderful, his brother and sisters ADORE him (in fact, I'm having trouble finding a slot to hold my OWN baby!). Luke gave him his favorite blanket and offered him some of his pacifiers. Savannah held Aaron last night AND read Luke a bedtime story at the same time and Abby has literally cried over not being able to hold him as much as she'd like. They just LOVE having this sweet little guy home, and so do I! He seems to be confused on days/nights, he's not nursing as well as I would like because he's so sleepy, and so far it's been very difficult to put him down without him waking up and crying. Then again, every time I've tried to put him down, there is someone standing in line wanting to hold him the second he squeaks. Hopefully the novelty will wear off fairly soon and we can get into a more reasonable routine, but for now we'll just enjoy our precious little blessing from the Lord.

One more thing I want to note just for future notice: Aaron was delivered by Dr. Kenneth Nelson, the nurses name was Diana (she was a very chatty, sweet lady). Jeremy, my mom and Karen were present at the delivery--Jonathan waited in the waiting room, but was there for all of the non-graphic stuff. The nurse that took care of me in the evening after delivery was named Joy...she kept telling me how cute Aaron is--that he looks "just like an Anne Geddes baby". Oh, and Aaron has a little black birth mark on his left calf.

After all of the issues with the epidural, I didn't get feeling back into my leg to where I could bear weight on the leg and walk on my own until after midnight--I was starting to wonder if I'd ever walk again! Also, the only real pain I have after this birth is the pain in my back from the epidural...not sure I'd ever go that route again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tomorrow is the day.

Tomorrow I'm to report to the hospital at 7am for an induction. I'm 2cm and 50% effaced. It's not IDEAL for induction, but it's about where I was with Abby and Luke, so I'm hopeful it'll all go smoothly. I'm a bit nervous, as I think every mommy is with every delivery, but I'm very excited to finally meet this sweet little baby. I'd be a big liar if I didn't also say I'm scared to death of having another baby. I'm not looking forward to sleepless nights and less time on my hands, but whenever I look at the precious blessings the Lord has already bestowed on me, I cannot help but to get excited about what this little guy will bring to the party! Every one of my children are so wonderful, with completely different strengths and weaknesses, and each of them are SO incredibly precious to me...no matter how much work they may require. I'm praying for a fairly quick, safe, healthy delivery...and a very healthy, perfect little boy. Thank you, Lord for all of your blessings.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's my due date, doesn't that mean anything?!??!

...apparently not. Another baby, another due date...what's the deal? I was so hopeful that this baby would come before the due date, but I guess that just wasn't meant to be. I mean, I'm okay with it and all..I still have those moments where I just cannot believe I'm even PREGNANT, let alone ready to deliver at any given moment, but at this time in our lives, we have so much stuff going on: we need to find a new home, move, Jeremy starts a new job, we'll be living together as a family for the first time in 9 months again. So I'm kinda eager for things to move on in a way. I also look forward to having a bit more energy, getting the children used to having a new baby around (getting myself used to it as well), and starting a new adventure with our family...and NONE of this can happen until this little guy shows his sweet little face! But alas, as I was reflecting today I thought, I really have a problem with contentment. I'm such a forward thinker, always living in the future that I never take the time to really enjoy the here and now. I've got 3 beautiful, sweet, wonderful children that I don't fully appreciate because I'm too busy looking forward to having a new one. Each day is a blessing, full of it's own challenges and blessings and smiles and sweet things, but I find myself looking forward to all of those things once --- happens. I waste so much of my time online, passing time, looking forward to the next day and what it will bring (and somehow in my little fantasy fast forward land, in those coming days I'm darn near perfect--so far from where I am in the here and now). So, as I await the arrival of this little, brand new blessing from the Lord, I'm going to put my full effort into appreciating every moment I have with my CURRENT blessings. I realize I'm not perfect...I'm VERY far from that, but with every ounce of energy I DO have, I'm going to invest it in the here and now...appreciating the bounty the Lord has ALREADY bestowed upon me, knowing that I have so much to look forward to, but not projecting into that future life and that future me...I need to spend the here and now developing who I am, so that when "then" does arrive, I'll be who the Lord would have me be: ready for His blessings, ready for His challenges and with my heart fully committed to Him and to my family, every moment of every day.

So...as I wait for this baby I'll try to be patient, knowing that the Lord has the PERFECT time of arrival in mind for this little guy, whether it goes with my schedule or not...and as I patiently wait, I'll enjoy being a very pregnant mommy of 3 (with one to come).

Peeing like a race....what?

Yesterday I took Luke to the bathroom and while he was peeing he said, "WOW! I'm peeing like a race cow!" Hahahaha...he's so funny. He caught himself right after that and said "No, race HORSE", but it was just so cute. There is a song on this television show that says, "Don't leave us on the ground, that's no GOOD" and Luke accidentally changed the words while he was singing to "Don't leave us on the ground, that's no FAIR". Hahahaha...I love the cute little things that little guys come up with.

Today he wouldn't take a nap, I have no idea why. He hasn't had a nap in 3 days now, and he was SO tired yesterday I thought for SURE he'd crash today...but no, he just lay there in his bed, singing quietly to himself for a good half hour or so. I was able to rest my eyes and body for a short time, so I let the girls go visit him in his room, I don't think he would have fallen asleep and even if he did, it would have been too late anyway.

Yesterday we picked the girls up from camp. They had a wonderful time (both of them are fighting cooties now though, but I think it may be stuff they were exposed to BEFORE they went to camp--sore throats and stuffy noses, no big deal, just enough to know they're not 100%) but both of them agreed that they do not want to go back next year because it was too tiring! Abby said, "They MAKE you stay up until MIDNIGHT!". Abby is a sleeper anyway, so not getting her beauty rest is devastating to her. Last night she yelled out in her sleep, "MATTHEW...", apparently they really drilled those bible verses into them during camp! Hahaha.

Abby and her cabin leader also both got sick. They think they may have eaten something not so great, and they both threw up, but by the time we got to camp, Abby was running around like a maniac...so whatever it was, passed quickly, praise God.

Savannah won a juggling contest and she also earned the "Jolly Roger" for being the best sport in the cabin. I'm so proud of my sweet little girl. I know I can always count on her to be one of the easiest, sweetest and calmest children in the group.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

39w5d

Well here I am, 2 days from my due date with #4 and I'm STILL pregnant!
I can't say that I'm particularly surprised...but I had hoped that I wouldn't make it to this point with this one, but as they say, history repeats itself! :)

I went to the doctor today and he said I'm 1-1.5cm dilated, not quite enough to strip my membranes, not enough to be inducible either (which is okay, I wouldn't even consider that at this point). I do have an induction scheduled on the 15th though, but of course it all depends on how everything looks on the 14th (hopefully I won't go that far though). It still kinda blows me away that all of my pregnancies have been so similar. Jeremy told me last night that my uterus must be the "happiest place on earth" since none of our babies want to leave it! :) This little guy still has just over a day to make his appearance and beat his siblings by not being overdue--and also setting a world record by coming on his own. It's that whole "coming on his own" thing that I'm hoping for. I really, really, really would love to experience going into labor naturally...without having to wait until I'm ridiculously overdue. I know the exact date this little guy was conceived, so he has no excuse for being late...not to mention that all of my ultrasound dates have been dead on with the due date.

It's so funny though because I have a post on here from when I was 39w4d with Luke...
I'm wondering if there is any chance that I'll go into labor BEFORE my due date...or at least CLOSE to it. I'm still not in a particular hurry, but it'd be nice if it happened soon. The girls have gymnastics today, so of course I don't want it to happen this morning, but this afternoon would be good for me! Considering I'm as far along as I am, there's not too much going on. Random contractions, aches and pains...but no sign of impending labor. Then again, every woman I talk to has a different story and each one insists you "just know" when it's the real thing. We'll see. I'm hoping I have an opportunity to experience the real thing.

Hmmmm...sounds strangely familiar! Oh well, what can I do? Practice patience, stay well rested, take advantage of being able to sleep and enjoy the blessings I have right now.

I have had more contractions today than any other days...nothing consistent by any means, but slightly on the uncomfortable side, enough to let me know that SOMETHING is going on. I don't dare tell anyone though because then I feel like I need to explain myself, or that I'm being put on the spot in some way or another...as if I have a choice in any of this stuff my body is doing...so until they become painful enough to breathe through...and fairly regular, my lips shall stay zipped. As I type this little wiggle worm is squirming around like mad...it amazes me that all of this kicking and motion DOESN'T break one's water! It's a pretty amazing mechanism the Lord has created that this "bag" can hold up for 9 months, holding a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight, undergoing kicking and pushing and stretching...all it takes to break it is a tiny pin prick, and yet it doesn't break when a 7lb critter kicks with all his might. Amazing.
I'm going to miss these little wiggles...I do have to say that I enjoy (mostly) being pregnant. There are definite discomforts and downsides (mainly due to the fact that I'm overweight), but this pregnancy has been quite good. I'm achy and tired, but considering I'm about to deliver, I'm doing pretty good. God is so good to me...and I'm so excited about this new chapter in my life, in the lives of my whole family. We have so many new things happening, so many changes...and it will be so fun to see where the Lord leads us.

Alrighty, I need to get some rest, just in case! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Luke is a classic...

...a classic what, I'm not sure, but he's definitely a classic!! Today he had gotten in trouble for hitting Abby. He and Abby have issues regularly that usually deteriorate to one hitting the other and then usually the other will hit back, both cry and both have to be disciplined--especially considering the fact that Abby is twice Luke's age. So today he had been disciplined for hitting Abby on the trampoline and I told him he lost the privilege of jumping on the trampoline for the rest of the day. After a while he really wanted to go back on and he was being really good...and I was asked to break parenting rule #1--don't give a consequence you don't intend on keeping. *sigh*, sometimes I WONDER why we have these issues! Anyway, he looked at me with those darling, big, brown eyes and said, "Mommy, I'm being good...I'm being nice now." I figured that the REST OF THE DAY was a long time for a 3 year old to comprehend so I was getting ready to give in and my dad said, "Luke, what does 'being good' or 'being nice' look like?" Luke walked toward Savannah, who was sitting in the chair he had been in previously, looking fully like he was going to give a sincere demonstration of 'being good' and 'being nice'. My mom, dad and I were on the edges of our seats, ready for this...he walked up to Savannah, got right in her face and yelled, "You're in MY SPOT!"
I'm sorry to say, we could NOT help from laughing...and then he jumped on the trampoline and behaved himself for the rest of the evening. I'm so ashamed of myself...but man, he sure is a character.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some funny stuff...

Children never cease to amaze me with the funny things they come up with...the things they'll do or say and the window it gives me into how their funny little brains work. I wish I were more organized and spent the time to write all of the things down that I'd like to remember, but I don't...but occasionally I do sit down and record some of these gems.

Yesterday I was getting Luke ready for church and I put his long sleeved button up shirt on him, followed by his blue sweater vest. He looked down and said, "I look like a doctor!". I thought it was so cute and so thoughtful...and interesting since I don't know when the last time he saw a doctor dressed up nicely would have been.

Last night Abby was lying on her bed, sticking out her belly as far as it would go and she said, "I'm having contractions!!!". Goofy girl!

Speaking of that goofy girl...she fell out of her bed last night. That's not a terribly uncommon happening for her...she is a WILD sleeper. The other night I woke up and she was sitting up against the wall, straight up, sleeping. I had to tell her to lie down. The whole thing with her falling out of bed amazes me though because our beds are REALLY close together, so close in fact, that it's rather difficult to go between them and turn around in the opposite direction...so the space she fell into when she fell out of bed could NOT have been comfortable. She had NO recollection of it this morning. Amazing.

Savannah doesn't have as many funny, silly stories because she's a big, mature 8 year old...but she is definitely a sweetie and a cutie. This morning I woke to Luke, all dressed and ready for the day because his big sister Savannah had gotten him up, she took him potty, wiped his bottom (to make him fresh after sleeping in a wet diaper), and she got him dressed. What a blessing it is to have such a HUGE helper. I know that with the arrival of this little one, I'm going to have Savannah and Abby to count on for all the help I'll need with Luke (who is himself quite independent), and also with the baby. What a blessing to have older children to help out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Soap Nuts vs. Vinegar...a cleaning test (also my opinion of Charlie's Soap vs. Soap Nuts for laundry)

I've been reading up on natural/frugal cleaning products at Passionate Homemaking and have decided that although I don't have "environmental" qualms with harsh cleaning products, I do have "health and well-being" reasons to look into natural AND frugal cleaning products. I'm not completely sold on the whole "natural" cleaning thing as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Clorox Clean-up and will never stop using that in my bathrooms and kitchen to make sure all the cooties are killed, HOWEVER, today as I was cleaning my bathroom, I sprayed vinegar all over the mirror and didn't have to be concerned that it was landing on the toothbrushes. That brings me peace of mind. I want my children to grow up as healthy as possible, and I can definitely see the benefits of limiting their exposure to toxic chemicals. Soooo, that said, I've ordered myself some Soap Nuts and have decided to give them a whirl.

I'm quite sure that I'm going to go the cloth diaper route with this baby, so I have been looking at different laundry detergents and have discovered that Charlie's Soap is a fantastic product; inexpensive, non-toxic, biodegradable, etc. It's also highly recommended for most cloth diapers...so I bought some of that. I tried Charlie's Soap and I tried Soap Nuts for my laundry. I have to be fair and say that I've only used Soap Nuts ONCE, vs. using Charlie's Soap regularly lately. I'm a big fan of Charlie's Soap for laundry. My clothes look good, they smell good...and I know that this TINY bag of laundry detergent is going to last me a very, very long time.

Okay, back to the Soap Nuts vs. Vinegar thing. So today I decided that I'd clean the bathroom counter and toilet with Soap Nuts--I'd made the concentrated liquid about a week ago and it's been sitting around in the fridge waiting for me to put it into a spray bottle. So I did...and I'm glad I did. I used vinegar on the mirror (not sure how soap nuts would work on glass, I haven't tried that yet), and soap nuts on the toilet. It worked great on the toilet...didn't leave streaks, and it looks nice and clean (as I said above...I'm a bit of a germaphobe and would not feel confident using SOLELY soap nuts on my toilet--but I wanted to see how it would look), then I went to the bathroom counter. The counter always seems to be dirty...go figure with 3 children and 3 (sometimes 4) adults sharing one bathroom!! So I used soap nuts on one half and vinegar on the other. I had already convinced myself that vinegar would be the way to go...but lo and behold!! I was NOT a fan of how the vinegar worked versus the soap nuts! The vinegar was pretty similar to using straight water (although I know it was doing more than what water would do), I don't like when I wipe something down, for any watery stuff to stay on the counter. With the soap nuts spray, it wiped neatly, left no streaks and looked wonderful. Here I had convinced myself that maybe soap nuts were just not for me...I am now a believer! Now I just need to find MORE ways to utilize them, tangible ways that I know I'll use them (because I'm not sure about using them as shampoo!).

Next on my agenda will be to try to make my own dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent (this may have to wait until we move into our own home). I also just ordered the entire Homestead Blessings DVD collection and am looking forward to trying my hand at soap making and yogurt making among other things...so stay tuned!

Random Thoughts on a Rainy May Afternoon

It's raining, it's pouring...it's MAY for heaven's sake!!! This has to be the craziest spring we've ever had...at least as long as I've been alive. We have had more rainy days per week than sunny since, oh, November?! We've had a few tastes of "spring" so far this spring, but no more than 2 or 3 nice days in a row, rudely interrupted by rain or snow...or both. Yesterday and today have been extremely unsettled...sun, rain, thundershowers, hail...it's crazy! Thankfully we haven't planted a garden yet, otherwise all the plants would be dead. It's fun to sit here though and watch the critters outside. It amazes me how, in the midst of a downpour, you can open the door and hear the robins singing their little hearts out. It was hailing pea-sized hail a while ago and the squirrels were out collecting nuts, as if it was just another nice, spring day. My dad had taken his backhoe out and tilled the earth so he could get rid of some of the weeds and prepare the ground for some rye seed he was going to plant (apparently it's a great grass seed--so far it looks very pretty where he's planted it before) and the act of digging up that earth along with this rain has made the birds (including the wild turkeys) and the squirrels some very happy campers. It looks as if most of the seed may have been washed away though...bummer. Oh well, another opportunity for the children to learn to scatter seed (they really enjoy that).

So here I am, 38 weeks pregnant today...trying to summon the energy to do the things I'd like to do, all while fighting the urge to curl up and nap the afternoon away. I feel the time with my children before this baby arrives slipping away, and I'm unable to grasp hold of it due to lack of energy/stamina/desire. I think I'm in a better state of mind this time around though, knowing that adding a child to this family is in no way taking away from what we've already got. Another child is a blessing, an addition, a new adventure. In the past I've always seen a baby as a time sink. I know that sounds horrible, but it's true. I've always kinda had a fear of babies (I'm sure having a baby like Savannah didn't help that fear out!), of the time they take, the sleep they rob...and haven't truly seen them as an asset until a certain age (usually around 2-3 when they become more independent). However, I've done some heart-searching and have realized that I've been looking at it all wrong. In the past week or so I've had a couple of panic attacks (okay, not THAT serious), thinking, "Oh my goodness...I'm NOT READY", but as I've prayed about it (granted, I have not prayed ENOUGH), I've come to realize that I'm really looking forward to meeting this precious little blessing. Even though it will be a slight upheaval to life as we know it, the joy and pleasure he will add to this family is truly something to look forward to. So now I'm finding myself eager to go into labor (think it'll happen naturally this time?!?!) so that I can meet him and we can begin this adventure as a family of 6--while trying not to rush this precious time I have with my children before he arrives (no doubt a little SUNSHINE would help the wait though!). I honestly cannot believe that I'm 38 weeks pregnant though. I feel the strain on my body, the exhaustion and the aches and pains...but it's unbelievable that I could possibly have this baby at any time. The reality is that I WILL have this baby within 3 weeks or so, and 3 weeks is NOT very far away. I have an appointment next week on the 1st of June, then again on the 8th of June and Jeremy's leave begins on the 11th of June (although I'm officially due on the 10th). The girls are going away to camp on the 7th thru 9th (and they've informed me that if I go into labor while they're at camp, they do NOT want to be disturbed!). Hahaha. So these last days are filling up quickly, the weather is due to turn nice soon...and very soon I'll be the mommy to 4 sweet babies. God is so good.