Monday, January 31, 2011

Silly Baby

Aaron is the only baby I know of who can drink a bottle sitting up. I mean he is NOT tipping his bottle...he sits upright with the bottle in his mouth and sucks until so much suction is created that his bottle practically turns inside out...hey, it works! :) He will not take a bottle in the arms of anyone (unless it's nap time) nor will he lie down and drink a bottle (unless it's bedtime). So what do you do when a baby like this gets hungry and there are only so many options as to what kind of food he can eat? You find great joy when a silly baby drinks a bottle in a very silly way. I *heart* him!

Luke is learning.

Luke pumped the gas for me yesterday. Soon I'll never have to get out of my car again at the gas station. Well, maybe not SOON, but one day!

God does such a good job.

As I was giving Aaron his bottle this morning, his little hands caressed mine. His sweet little hands that are so perfect, so smooth, so little, so wonderful. He raised his arm into the air and stretched his hand out...his chubby arms are a tiny model of a grown-up arm, just cuter. Babies are such an incredible witness to His glory...to His wisdom. I could watch babies for hours...feel their soft, precious touch and just adore their sweet little parts...God is so good.

What a blessing!

After a cranky weekend...
Aaron had a shot on Friday. You know, one of those shots that "don't cause any reactions"...uh huh. On Friday night he had a fever and had a hard time sleeping. He was up between 12:30 and 2am fussing, squirming...just uncomfortable. He was fine Saturday, but definitely not himself. He was tired looking, a bit fussy...nothing major, but I could tell that he wasn't feeling his best. Sunday he stayed home from church because he wouldn't nap, and I wasn't having a baby that was going to lose it at church. He hardly napped all day long, pooped a lot...he just wasn't feeling his best. So last night, since I had been at church nearly all day long, I put him to bed. Usually Jeremy does it, but I wanted some mommy/baby time. I gave him a bottle--8oz. He wasn't asleep when I put him in bed. I turned on his aquarium and left. He hasn't been good with going to sleep at night at ALL. He's cried and cried and it's taken a lot of work to get him to sleep, it's rather frustrating. So I was prepared for another battle. He started to fuss, so I made a 4oz bottle and handed it to him in his crib. I didn't hear another peep. I went in around 9:30pm to get the bottle out of his crib so he wouldn't roll on top of it and he was snoozing nicely. I went to bed. I awoke at 2am, he was STILL asleep. I awoke at 3am, he was STILL asleep. At this point I had to check on him...I don't do well when his sleep patterns change, it makes me nervous. I checked on him, he was fine. He did not wake up until 5:30am!!! I think that is the best night he's had--EVER! I gave him his bottle and he went back to sleep without a problem...I ended up sleeping in later than I should have (7:45 and I still didn't WANT to get up) and I was amazed that he was STILL asleep. When I got out of bed, I realized that he was NOT asleep, but my darling Abby had gotten him up and was keeping him entertained for me so I could sleep in. What a blessing. I got so much sleep last night...sadly I'm STILL tired. I think I'm turning into a cat. I could sleep 20 hours a day and still be tired. I usually don't sleep that well, but lately I've been sleeping like a log. I'm just profoundly TIRED. Last night was such a blessing though, such an incredible gift to have such a good nights rest after a difficult weekend. God is SO good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Luke says...

"Mommy, our house is just PERFECT!"
What a wonderful thing to hear, I'm so happy he's a content little guy!

Makeup

Savannah (actually, I think both girls) do not like for me to wear makeup. They say it makes me look weird, even "ugly". WOW! I always feel better about myself when I wear makeup, like I took a little bit of time to take care of myself--for someone who can't wear much more than sweat pants these days due to wardrobe limitations (and a big belly), it's a big deal for me to do SOMETHING for myself.

So today she practically BEGGED me not to wear makeup...I have to say, after a rough night, today was NOT one of the few days I felt good about NOT wearing makeup...I was going to do it for her benefit, she really did not want me to wear it...but when I looked in the mirror, I looked so tired I nearly scared myself. I was going out, I didn't want to scare others. It was bad enough I was in said sweat pants already! So I put on a LIGHT coat of makeup...just a bit of cover up (for the under eye bags), some bronzer (so I didn't look dead), a little mascara (to brighten my eyes) and lipstick (come on, wearing lipstick just feels better...my lips dry out without it). She was so disappointed when I came upstairs with makeup on. She looked at me accusingly and said, "Mommy, if God wanted you to wear makeup, you would have been born with it!"...to which I said, "Savannah, if God wanted you to wear clothes, you would have been born with them...you don't see us running around naked, do you?"
I thought it was a pretty witty response. I did feel guilty though. I told her I needed to "wean" myself off of makeup...and I promised her that I'd try wearing less an less. It's hard to tell your children that they're perfect just the way they are when you don't feel that way about yourself. I remember one day when Savannah was very small, she looked at me and said, "Mommy, why do you have cracks in your eyes?" Referring, of course, to the lovely bloodshot my eyes have taken on ever since she was born (shhhh...don't tell her that). When I look at my children, their eyes are SO clear, so lovely, so sparkly...their faces are bright, rosy and flawless. They are JUST perfect. I know when they look at me they don't see my imperfections, the bags, the wrinkles, the grey hairs...they see their mommy and they love me because I'm me. That's why I adore my children.

Sleep again?!?!

I've noticed a lot of my posts lately have had to do with sleep. I wonder why that is?!?!
It's funny how I really don't tend to obsess over sleep normally, but when I'm not getting enough, that's all I can think of! Last night Aaron was up at 12am, 1am, 2am had a bottle at 3am and then was awake when I got up at 6:30am, didn't fuss until 6:40am and didn't get up until 7am (I'm working on giving him his bottle and him drinking it on his own at that time of day). Even though I've been going to sleep between 9 and 9:30pm, I'm just not getting enough sleep. I don't know if it's that I'm not GETTING enough, or if my body is requiring more lately though. When I am sleeping, I'm sleeping like a ROCK. Normally I'm a very light sleeper, but I didn't even hear Jeremy come to bed or wake up this morning...normally I hear everything because he doesn't even TRY to be quiet.
So today I was really, really dragging. By 10am I was wishing I could drink an entire pot of coffee and get going, however, I know that drinking coffee does not help out my cause at all, more coffee generally makes me MORE tired...not to mention that it's just not good for me or baby-cakes. I was yawning and yawning...and I tell ya, something about being tired makes me want to eat JUNK. I know that junk makes me feel even WORSE, so today I did not give in to the sugar cravings, but man did I want to...especially since my freezer was recently stocked with lots of yummy ice cream treats from Schwans! We went out, got some fresh air (even if it was at Home Depot) and when we came home, I put the boys to bed, the girls and I sat in the living room (some of us more prone than others) and we listened to Adventures in Odyssey--the American Revolution. I got a nice snooze in and my girls got their history lesson for the day--yay! :) I got about 45 minutes of rest--praise the Lord! I feel so much better now, ready to go outside, get some sunshine and repot my poor houseplant that has been grown out of it's pot for months now! I'm just so thankful that God always gives me what I need. It may not be what I want, but it's what I need.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Better sleep last night.

Last night Aaron had one of his best nights in a while. I woke at 2am to use the bathroom...I *knew* it was a matter of moments before he'd cry, but I went back to bed anyway. I awoke at 3am and he was still asleep...at this point, I panicked and went in to check on him. He was snoozing comfortably, so I went back to bed. He didn't wake until 4am!! I gave him a bottle, put him back to bed and he slept until, here's the bad part, only 6:20. I tried to get him back to sleep, but I gave up at 6:40 and brought him downstairs. I really wish he'd go back to sleeping in past 7am again, but at least he did that nice, long stretch. That was a blessing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sleep Training and Child Training

Last night I was thinking about something I read earlier in the day in "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". Often times it's easier to deal with things as crummy as they are because we'e too tired or don't know what/how to do, than it is to grab the bull by the horns (so to speak) and take the time to really focus on TRAINING. Of course, they're talking about SLEEP training, but this can apply to CHILD training as well. Oftentimes it's easier to look at you disobedient child, give them the "look", give them a little tsk, tsk, "please don't do that again" and move on. It doesn't CORRECT the behavior. It may CHANGE the behavior temporarily, it may stop a fight that's about to happen, but it certainly doesn't get to the heart of the matter. It takes TIME to train. It takes diligence, it takes ENERGY. I lack all of these, but I KNOW that if I were to take the time, put in the effort in both SLEEP and CHILD training, we'd all be better for it in a relatively short time.

And yes, we had another not so great night last night. Waking at 11pm, 2:45am, 5:20am, 6:10am and now fussing at 6:40am. I really don't know what the deal is, but I'd really like to go back to the 2 night waking nights again...even that would feel like a vacation.

As for schedule, yes, I'm working on it...not as much as I'd like, but we've also had FANTASTIC weather, so we've been trying to enjoy that as much as possible. HOWEVER, I WILL work on it!!! It's coming together, and I'm evaluating my days as they go on to what would work best when...I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parables

One of the things I've enjoyed doing in the past is taking a verse from Proverbs and writing a parable to go along with it. They're fairly simple, but my children love it.
Here is one I wrote this morning. Please forgive the bad grammar.


Proverbs 19:11
A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.


Suzi was the big sister to 4 younger brothers. She loved being the sister, but she often wondered why God hadn’t given her at least one sister! Brothers were fun, but they could be such a pain sometimes. No, they were usually a pain. At least she thought so.
You see, Suzi hadn’t yet learned the key to success with younger siblings. She didn’t realize the power she had to shape who they were to become as their bigger sister. She would get so caught up in the fact that they were pestering her, or destroying something she put so much work into. “Just wait until I’m big, I’m going to have my own stuff, my own space and there will be no brothers allowed!”
Suzi often had this attitude, even though her parents had rebuked her for it quite often.
“Suzi, you need to learn to be patient with your brothers. Remember that they’re little and you have the power to teach them how to act correctly by your attitude.”
Mommy and Daddy said this over and over and over, and Suzi hated it when they said it.
“Why should I have to learn to be patient? Why can’t they just leave me alone?”
One day, Suzi woke up and something was just not right. Usually her mommy had breakfast on the table and lovely music playing. This morning, not only was the house quiet, but her mommy was still in bed.
“Mommy, are you okay?” Suzi asked.
“Yes dear, I’m just feeling kind of lousy…Daddy and I found out that we’re expecting another baby and I’m afraid this little one is already taking over my body. I’m just a little tired and nauseous, could you please be my big helper and get your brothers up and keep them occupied while I get out of bed?”
“Of course, Mommy! I’d do anything to help you out.” Suzi said.
“Thank you, Suzi, I knew I could count on you.”
So Suzi went to wake her brothers up. She was not thrilled about this task to put it mildly. In fact, she was quite unhappy that she should have to take care of her brothers, but she felt obligated while mommy wasn’t feeling well. Afterall, one day of dealing with the little turkeys couldn’t be SO bad, could it?
Well, it turned out that not only was it really quite bad, but things turned worse when the next day was the same. Mommy was still in bed and required Suzi’s help yet again. Then the next day and the next…
Suzi was having a really hard time dealing with her brothers, she despised this new role she was forced into.
That evening she went to her father and explained the situation, expecting some sympathy.
“Suzi”, her father said, “it is your duty to help your mother and as the older sister, it is also your duty to learn patience and kindness toward your brothers. I want you to sit down and read the Proverbs. Make it a habit to read one a day and pray over what you’ve read and ask the Lord for wisdom. Do this diligently and I know God will bless you and your attitude.”
Now this was not exactly what she was hoping for. She was hoping her father would hire a babysitter, or send the boys off to school or something. The Proverbs? How were the Proverbs going to make her brothers tolerable? But alas, Suzi was an obedient daughter and she took her father’s words to heart and began reading. She read a proverb before bed and again in the morning. She fell asleep praying for wisdom and patience, she woke up asking the Lord for help in dealing with her brothers. She sought the Lord day in and day out and strangely, things seemed to improve. Actually, they were a lot better. One morning she read the passage, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
“Hmmm”, she thought, “I wonder if this could apply to me and my brothers?”
Now you and I both know that God’s Word applies to all of us in all situations, so you can guess that this passage would indeed be of help to Suzi.
She decided to put this principle into action. The next morning she woke up and went into her brother’s room.
“Good morning! It’s time to rise and shine!”
Even with her cheery greeting, the boys were a little grumpy.
“It’s okay, I’m going to keep up the good attitude and remain patient.” Suzi determined, and then she did something that was key—she took a moment and prayed.
“Dear Lord, please help me to be patient with my brothers. I understand that they’re just little. Please help me to love them and overlook their offenses.”
She hugged them all, got them up to the table and made them breakfast.
“I don’t like this breakfast!” whined one brother.
“I want CHOCOLATE milk, not regular milk!” fussed another.
Suzi gritted her teeth and spoke in a calm, quiet and sweet voice,
“Sweeties, this is what is for breakfast, you need to eat up because we’ve got a wonderful day planned!”
Surprisingly, they ate without another fuss and their day went on…cheerful and wonderful.
Once Mommy got out of bed, she was so surprised that it was 9am! The children’s noise had not awakened her this morning!
“Good morning, Mommy!” all of the children cheerfully greeted her as they looked up from the game they were all playing together.
“Why good morning, children! What a pleasant surprise.”
Rather than the usual fussing and whining she awoke to, it was so calm and serene…she didn’t quite understand.
Suzi went throughout the day, purposing to be patient with each brother, no matter what the situation. She did this day after day, and it got easier and easier, either that or the boys just got better and better. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she knew one thing for sure, God was blessing her and her attitude! He is SO good!
One morning Suzi rolled out of bed, praising God for another beautiful day and to her surprise, she smelled breakfast.
“Oh no, did I oversleep? Poor Mommy!”, she jumped out of bed, ready to help her poor, sick mommy.
“Good Morning, Suzi, you’re up early.” Her mommy said.
“But Mommy, why are you up so early?” Suzi inquired.
“Suzi, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better, I think I’m ready to get back to normal life again! I appreciate your help so much, I couldn’t have done it without you. I am so pleased to see how you worked so hard on being patient with your brothers. I know it wasn’t easy, but you trusted the Lord and believed His word, and look where it’s brought you!”
“Oh Mommy! It’s so true. God has blessed me so much through my obedience, I can hardly believe there was a time I dreaded time with those precious boys!” Suzi exclaimed.
“So does that mean you’d like another brother?” Her mommy teased.
“You know, Mommy, I’ve learned that it’s not THEM that are so bad, it’s been my attitude all along. Whether you have a boy or a girl next, I’m going to love them just the same, but this time I know better than to lose patience over little things. I can’t believe how much time I’ve wasted being impatient over silly things those boys do…now I find most of their antics quite entertaining. I’ve learned to be patient and overlook their offenses, it makes life so much more enjoyable!”
“Suzi, I’m so happy to hear that. God’s Word holds true every time, I’m so glad that you’re learning that. There is so much treasure in His Word, that’s why Mommy and Daddy want you to study His Word every day. We have so much to learn about relationships.”
A couple of months later, Suzi’s mother went to the doctor. When she came home, she was glowing.
“Suzi, guess what? We’re having a GIRL!”
Suzi was thrilled, although secretly she was thinking that another boy wouldn’t be so bad. Her diligence in reading and applying God’s Word to her relationship with her brothers had paid off…she no longer craved her own space, in fact, she volunteered to move into the boys room to make room for the baby…as long as when the baby was older, the girls could share a room.
THE END

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear Mr. Aaron

Please SLEEP for heaven's sake! I know you're not particularly tired what with all of your naps throughout the day and all, but some of us would like a good, solid nights sleep!
Love Mommy*
P.S. You're still precious and I still love snuggling you, even at 2am, but please sleep!

We were doing so good...what happened? I'm currently in the process of reading "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". Have I mentioned that I hate sleep training?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gettin' Around

Aaron has been starting to crawl for about a week or so now...he's been able to move little distances, but as of today, he went from the living room all the way into the kitchen. Then he put on a show of getting up on his knees and rocking back and forth...it's just a matter of time now! The one thing I do not like about babies crawling is that they start to get into trouble, then you have to tell them no...and so begins the whole process of training and discipline. Good bye, sweet innocent baby days, hello crazy active boy chasing! video

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Aaron at 7 months.

Aaron turned 7 months old yesterday. He's getting SOOOOO big! He's a little moose, for sure. I'm not sure exactly how much he weighs since he doesn't go in to the doctor again until the end of this month, but I'm guessing he's quickly nearing 20lbs. He's rather chunky...in a perfect, roly-poly baby sort of way. He's been quite happy, he smiles at the drop of a hat. He's so snuggly and sweet and so beautiful. He's been eating food for a couple of weeks now. He does NOT like baby food at all. In fact, if it says "Gerber" on it, it will make him gag. He does good with the food I make for him, he had rice and chicken for lunch and beef and potatoes and green beans for dinner. He is snacking on Cheerios and Veggie Straws and he just LOVES those. I just brought out the Johnny Jump Up and he has a blast in that thing. He still loves his exersaucer too, especially on nice, sunny days when I put him outside where he can see the big kids playing. He's "crawling" already. He scootches more than anything, kinda a beginners army crawl. He can get where he wants to go though, thankfully he can't go TOO far yet, but I know my days are numbered. He can sit up on his own and has been doing it for quite some time now, but he's still not super stable. I'm not sure if he falls over because he can't balance, or if he wants to get in to stuff and rolls over so he can scootch to it. He chatters a lot and mimics quite a few words. He'll say "hi" and wave his hand in imitation of others. He had been sleeping quite well, waking just 1-2x a night, usually 2, but the first one was usually just a quick "slip the paci in and go back to sleep" until recently. A couple of nights ago (see former posts) he started waking 2x a night (at least) and needing to be fed. I'm guessing he's having a growth spurt because he seriously looked WAY bigger to me today than he has. He's been drinking more formula lately too. He's just a hungry, growing boy! He's still being swaddled, but he's doing pretty good with going to sleep without his arms wrapped. Even if we do wrap them, he breaks out of it within seconds. He's also sleeping on his tummy most of the time. He's still a fairly lousy napper, but he's had a few naps lately where he'll go for an hour to two hours. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen occasionally. I still have no idea how I'm going to handle having another baby in 5 months...but I'm trusting in the Lord to get me through, even though, if I'm being totally honest, I'm scared to death.
So, that's Aaron at 7 months...SO cute, such a blessing and an AWESOME addition to our family. I'm SO happy God chose to give us this little one to raise for His glory...I feel honored.

I am SO, so tired.

We had another wonderful weekend. It's always good to have family around and to do things, but I get so easily tired out these days...even WITH extra help around! My parents and my sister came down so we could all go visit my brother and his new baby--and so my children could go ice skating for their cousin's birthday. We made the hour long drive (one way) without any major hitches and enjoyed the day and the company. That tiny baby (who at one week old is still just 6lbs!) just slept and slept and slept and slept. I still don't believe that he even has any eye balls! He's such a cute little thing...I don't think I've ever seen such a tiny baby before, he's quite the little miracle. We drove back that evening with 4 very tired, but happy children. My darling Aaron has been sleeping rather poorly lately, so I've had a few nights in a row now where I sit in his room for 20 or so minutes, giving him a bottle, twice a night. It's getting very old. One of the really big bummers about it as well is that his last waking seems to be RIGHT before I'd normally LIKE to get up, but still too early to be the time I'd REALLY like to be up. So I'm too tired to stay up, but if I go back to sleep, it's so hard to wake up for good 40 minutes later, so I end up sleeping in late. Uggghhh...*breath* this too shall pass. I'm trying to enjoy this journey and enjoy every moment I have with this little guy, even if it IS in the middle of the night. He holds my finger while he drinks his bottle and his sweet little hands are SO soft...his little head is so sweet and fuzzy. He's such a blessing, EVEN in the middle of the night.
Today there were random errands to be run, but while my mom and my sister and I were home with Aaron and Savannah, they helped me fold Mt. Laundry. That was a wonderful blessing. It's not so much that I HATE doing laundry, it's that it just NEVER ends!!! I honestly don't mind it too terribly much, but when I've had company and we've been busy, it tends to back up quite a bit...but with 3 people folding, it went SUPER fast!! I wish I could enlist their help weekly! While we're at it, it'd be great if I had 2 extra people to help me clean the ENTIRE house. One day, when my girls are a bit older I will...as long as I train them properly.
We went to the pet store today and the girls used their allowance to buy their first pet. We've had kitties before, but this is their first pet of their own. They bought a little white rat and named him "Pip Squeak". He's very cute and very friendly. He's going to be their entire responsibility...they have to clean after him, pay for his food and bedding, etc. It should be fun to see how this goes...but honestly, they don't really care about spending their allowance on anything else...other than the occasional ice cream truck goody.
So that's the news for the weekend. I'm SO glad tomorrow is a holiday. It'll be great to have Jeremy home so I can clean up the company aftermath...not to mention that I wasn't prepared for the school week ANYWAY! He also has Wednesday off because we get to go in for my big ultrasound...we're hoping this little one shows us his/her bits! :)
I have done NOTHING in the way of scheduling yet...I'm praying that I can get some stuff done tomorrow since we won't be having school.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm going to use the "S" word.

Actually, I'm going to use two "S" words. First of all, at the ripe old age of 7 months, I think that my son has become, *gasp*, SPOILED! And I think that it's time that I buckle down and start, *double gasp* SLEEP TRAINING. Uggghhhh. I hate that word. One of my very least favorite parts of being a mommy to babies is sleep training. One would think that after 4 babies, I'd kinda have this thing down...or that at least I'd have a system down by now. Sadly, I vacillate between the soft-hearted "no-cry" methods and the "get over yourself and just sleep" methods. My mind says that sleeping is a necessity and my babies just need to learn, but I hate to hear them cry, especially in the middle of the night. I've always tended to go with what works until it stops working and then figure something else out...unfortunately, I'm sure this confuses my poor babies and makes the entire process longer and more painful. I'm willing to do pretty much anything for a good nights sleep, so I know I've instilled bad habits in all of my children at some point in time. With Savannah, I rocked her to sleep until she was over 2. With Abby, I was a little more harsh simply because I had 2 babies close together and NEEDED sleep and didn't have the time to do anything other than let her cry. I did end up giving her a pacifier, which she had until she was 4. With Luke it was the bottle in bed. He was a great sleeper anyway, but he also held his bottle by himself at a very young age...and it was so easy, and I got good, blessed sleep! I love sleep. I mean, I REALLY love sleep. If I didn't have 4 children that I care for, educate, cook and clean for and have to be patient and loving with, I could probably get by on less...oh, and if I wasn't pregnant too...that'd probably help. HOWEVER, that is not the case. I am pregnant, I DO have 4 children and my effectiveness as a mommy REQUIRES that I be well rested. Soooo...I've got to figure out what to do with this baby of mine. He's always been a rather lousy napper, but the past 2 nights he's awakened too early (1:30am the first night and 11:30 last night) and usually I just put in his paci and leave, but the past two nights, he's started SCREAMING when I leave! UGGGGHHHH. So, what's a mommy to do? Oh, did I mention that it's gotten to the point where he needs to be practically ASLEEP when I put him down for a nap?!?! He was doing it independently, but things have gone down the drain. HELP!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Schedule, or lack thereof.

I've always been the type to go against the grain. It's not that I'm a rebel or anything, but I was raised by a father who always tried to find different or creative ways of doing things, as if he were the exception to the rule. I never thought I'd be like him, but man, am I! Last year I went to see the Maxwell Family speak and was inspired to use their Managers of Their Homes system. I went home, created a schedule and was so excited to see my life fall into a routine. Unfortunately, I've always been the kind who likes to PLAN things, but doing them is just so, well, mundane! As my life has gotten increasingly more busy, more complicated and more demanding, I'm realizing that I cannot live without a schedule! Try as I might, every day I don't have a schedule and a system for doing things is a day I reflect on and realize I've missed SOMETHING. Usually it's nothing particularly big, but over time the little things build into bigger things. Of course my house gets clean, the grocery shopping gets done and dinner is always on the table...but it's the things that I dream of doing, the projects, the crafts, the special time with my children that fall by the wayside because of my lack of discipline and lack of a plan. As much as I kick against the idea of having someone (or someTHING) control my life, I realize that I NEED it. Oh do I need it!

So, over the course of the next week, I'm going to work diligently on getting my schedule created (with flexibility, of course), and APPLIED to our lives!!! I look forward to finding the time to do the scrapbooks I've been wanting to start for my children for over a year now...hey, I'd be happy to begin Luke's baby book!! Other things that need to be planned and scheduled is making Aaron's food, organizing photos, organizing my home (we're STILL in the process of moving--it's been about a year and a half since we began). I asked my friend today if it's normal to have boxes of stuff everywhere and she confirmed what I had a sneaking suspicion was true...no, it is not normal. I've got to get moved into my home! The boxes have got to go, the clothes have got to be gone through (I have my ultrasound next week, so that will help a lot of this little one cooperates and we know what to expect in June).

My goal will be to check in here daily (or close) and post what progress has been made. One of the first things I'm going to schedule is a 30 minute chunk of time when Jeremy gets home to tackle a problem area--right now EVERY area is a problem area! There is a lot of work to be done...especially as June approaches...and I have a feeling it's going to arrive a lot more quickly than I'm ready for!

If I had known.

I've been thinking lately about how different our lives would be had we known, had we even THOUGHT we were going to have a larger family. When we got married, I was pregnant with Savannah, our first blessing. It was not what we had "planned", but I'm so happy the Lord blessed us with this darling girl. It takes my breath away that God can bless a person even when they're not following Him. Giving birth to Savannah COMPLETELY changed my life. As any new parent knows, a new baby changes everything. That a crying little being who does little more than eat, poop and deprive you of much needed sleep can take over your heart to where you'd gladly give your life in a heartbeat for that precious little thing is beyond comprehension. It's not something you can describe to someone who has never had a child...but the second you hold your own baby in your arms, you understand. My brother just had his first one week ago today, and I rejoice because he now knows! A friend of mine gave birth just 6 days after I had Aaron and she called me and said, "I get it now!". It's an amazing blessing.

Savannah was a very difficult baby, she didn't like to sleep, she cried for the first 8 weeks of her life--non-stop, and my husband was deployed from a month before she was born until she was 3.5 months old. It was rough. We hadn't really intended on having another right away, but when Savannah was 8 months old, I found out we were expecting again. I was excited, and scared, but mostly excited. In October of 2003 I gave birth to our second beautiful daughter. Abby has been the spice our lives had been missing. She is the passionate one...the one who struggles with being "naughty", but who also loves with her ENTIRE being.

After we had Abby, we thought we were done. They were so close in age (17 months), I was tired, we were still young and selfish and ignorant to the blessing of children, even though we recognized the gift that they were. Thankfully, we got over our fears and decided to try for #3. We made a pros & cons list (which I still have) and thankfully the pros won out and we had our first son! Luke was a delight from the moment he was born. He had a quiet cry, he slept great...and now at 3 and a half, continues to be the funniest, goofiest, most wonderful little boy. He's a clown for sure, and OH so sweet. I keep telling him that he can't grow any more because his age is just PERFECT right now. To which he replied, "I will...ha ha!" Yes, he's definitely a turkey, but such a sweet one.

Sadly, we hadn't yet caught on to the fact that children are a blessing...at least not the way we now know. We LOVED our children deeply. We would do anything for them, but we were STILL selfish, still fearful and still undetermined whether we'd have any more. After all, we now had our boy! Luke is 3 and a half years younger than Abby...and then 3 years and 3 months later, along came Aaron.

Aaron was a baby we "tried" for and we didn't get pregnant. I was shocked as I had gotten pregnant so easily before...we tried for 2 or 3 months and it didn't happen, and my cycle went all weird on me. I had been a very regular 28 day cycle kind of girl and all of a sudden my cycles were 5 weeks long. I went to the doctor and had my hormone levels tested, and unbeknownst to me, I was already pregnant!! We had come to the point where if it was going to happen, it'd happen. Not to mention that my husband was being deployed...and for some reason EVERY time he is deployed, I'm pregnant! So it worked out well. :) I'm SO glad it worked out because Aaron is just DARLING. He's not the greatest sleeper, he tends to be a bit on the fussy side, but he is a PRECIOUS little sweet heart. He's such a little hugger and smiler. He LOVES his brother and sisters so much and they all adore him. At this point, I'd been doing some reading and some praying and some thinking. I had met a friend who has 7 children (the 7th born just 3 days before Aaron) who are all adopted, and she and her husband tend toward the "quiverfull" mindset. Children are a blessing and we'll receive as many as He'll give us! Hmmmm...of course I knew what quiverfull was, I mean, who hasn't heard of the Duggars? It's a mentality I agree with completely on one level, and on that scares me to death on another. I borrowed the book, Be Fruitful and Multiply from a friend of mine and had been reading all of the scriptures that show when God blessed someone in the bible...he INCREASED THE NUMBER OF HIS OFFSPRING. Hmmm...you mean children ARE a LITERAL blessing? A light bulb went off in my head. Wow, children are a blessing. My life is not my own, I should not be striving for independent children so I can have my "life" back...children ARE my life...my mission is to raise up children for the glory of God, to raise up a godly seed for the benefit of our country. I am NOT that important...my "needs", my "desires" and my "goals" are to be HIS, not mine! What a concept. I get it.

We decided that we would not prevent another pregnancy. We were not actively "trying", but God has chosen to bless us again. When Aaron was 3 months old, my cycle was late. I figured it was from breastfeeding (I was in denial...NEVER before has breastfeeding prevented my cycle from coming!), but on the weekend of our anniversary (same as last year!), I took a pregnancy test and it was + ! :) I was shocked, I was scared....and I'm SO happy! I'm on the same exact path as I was a year ago...Aaron was due June 10th, this one is due June 6th. What a blessing.

Looking back, I do have regrets. Had I known we were going to have more children than I ever thought ANY sane person would have, I would have been more diligent in training my children to love each other. I would have made it a priority for them to help each other and not nag at each other so much. I would have been more diligent in having them help around the house from a young age. I would have been more organized, in better shape, had a better schedule, a bigger car, etc.!! But "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." Isaiah 55:8. He knows what He's doing...and He will guide us on this incredible journey. There's no looking back, only striving forward to submit more to Him, to give all the Glory to Him and to trust in Him for all of the patience, rest, organization and love we all need. The ONE regret I do hold to though is the fact that we didn't "get it" until now. I look at Luke as the lone ranger...his sisters are close in age, and his 2 younger siblings will be close in age...and because of our selfishness, we chose to space our children so widely because we didn't want to "struggle". I know that God will use Luke's position in this family for His glory, but when the little guy has no one to play with because the girls are doing school work, the baby is napping and mommy is busy taking care of things...I do "wish" we would have left things in the Lord's hands earlier. But that's neither here nor there.

One of the greatest things I've learned through this journey is that one can never take their fertility for granted. If I decided that right now wasn't the best time for another baby, but a couple of years from now would be fantastic, there is no guarantee that a couple of years from now I'd be blessed with another precious baby. God blesses as He chooses...not as we deem convenient.

While reading the Raising Olives blog this morning, I saw they were having a give-away of a movie called, get this, "Children are a Blessing"! Here's a direct link to the giveaway Children are a Blessing Giveaway

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where does the time go???

Every day I have the best intentions of sitting down and documenting at the very least the little things that happen throughout the day that I want to remember....and every day I get tired and think, "TOMORROW I'll do it!". I've been reading the blogs of some moms of many children and I'm amazed at how prolific they are...I have a hard enough time just getting the basics done and making sure my school day contains at least 2 of the 3 "R's". I have so many profound things to say...so many thoughts that pass through my head throughout the day that I'd love to elaborate on...but time just doesn't seem to permit at the moment. Tonight really isn't the best either as it was AWANA night and that always means a late night. It's way too late for me to be awake, let alone not showered! Any-hoo. I'm hoping to write down a few things in the next few days, I just couldn't let this go with NO new posts in the new year, that's just ridiculous.