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 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!


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 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 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!