Monday, February 14, 2011

I spoke too soon.

Aaron is a darling, darling little turkey. Seriously, babies don't get much cuter. He's absolutely adorable. His smile lights up a room, his big, sparkly eyes are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. That darling dimple in his cheek (which he got from me, by the way) brings joy to my heart...that soft, fuzzy head...ohhh, I could just pet it all day long. And then there's his little coos...his little babblings. Oh my goodness, I could just eat him up. He crawled after Jeremy the other day and said, "Dada"!! He says, "Mama" too, but I'm not sure yet if there is any meaning behind it. HE's getting close though, he's definitely a talker--he mimics SO much.

HOWEVER, this guy is just NOT a sleeper. Don't get me wrong, he sleeps. He's actually sleeping pretty well, in comparison to what he HAD been doing. But I'm afraid he's just one of those babies who doesn't need as much sleep as some. He's been sleeping pretty consistently from 8ish until, well...that depends. If he wakes around 3 or 4, he'll go back to sleep until around 7am, which is FANTASTIC. The problem is that often he's sleeping through until 5-5:30am and then he thinks it's time to wake up for the day. I am NOT a morning person. 5 or 5:30 is WAY too early for me. I can do 6:30, but not 5:30. I've got to figure out a way to work beyond this. I'm kinda hoping he just starts sleeping through until 6:30 and then we BOTH get a good, full nights sleep. That I can do.

Then there are his naps. Not too long he was taking 3 naps a day because each of them were so incredibly short. All of a sudden he's started taking nice, wonderful, long naps. Or should I say NAP. Today he napped for 3 hours...from 9:30am until 12:30pm, but then he did NOT nap ALL. Yesterday, same thing. He took a good morning nap, but even after Jeremy took all of the children out for a long hike (so I could stay home and get house stuff done--bless his heart), and he had been awake for over 5 hours AND he was in the car...he did NOT fall asleep! He is plenty happy during those awake hours...and he's been going to sleep quite nicely...but man, it seems a bit ridiculous that a 8 month old baby could or SHOULD be awake for THAT long. All I can think is that this little guy just does NOT NEED a ton of sleep. So far it looks like I got a bad sleeper, a good sleeper, a legendary sleeper and a bad sleeper. Hmmmm, I wonder what Lilah will be like!??!?! I'd like to put in my order for another Luke. Now THERE is a sleeper!

12 Years Ago Today...

...I met the man of my dreams. God has been so good to me through all of my disobedience and outright rebellion. I cannot imagine why He would choose to bless me so abundantly, but I am so thankful that He has. I have such a wonderful, awesome and PERFECT (for me) husband. Because of the Lord bringing him to me, I have the best family, the sweetest (and cutest) children and my life is SO full and so joyful, I'm surprised I haven't burst!

Thank you, Father for your blessings. Thank you for loving me and for giving me "Good gifts" (Mat 7:11) as your child. I never want to take for granted everything you've done for me...all you've blessed me with because without YOUR blessing, I'd have NOTHING.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Here's lookin' at you!

Aaron will not eat much in the way of food. Most things I put into his mouth he grimaces at, spits out and even SHIVERS at the taste of. He's finally starting to eat SOME stuff, but considering that he's almost 8 months old, he still hasn't really caught on to the whole eating thing.

HOWEVER, he will eat any and I mean ANYTHING he finds on the floor! In the past couple of days I've dug so much stuff out of his silly little cheeks and off of the roof of his mouth. Of course, he'll cough, gag, even throw up and yet if I put my finger in his mouth to help him out, he clamps those little gums down and screams with displeasure. Yeah, sure...I'm the bad guy, right?

So yesterday Savannah noticed that a cute picture she had made for me was missing it's "googly eyes". Oh dear...I WONDER where they could have gone?!?!? No way, there is NO way that Aaron ate googly eyes. Or did he? He wasn't choking, he wasn't gagging...but he was really fussy. I thought he was hungry. I tried to give him a bottle. It was a no-go. I tried feeding him breakfast, he fussed and fussed. What in the world is his problem?? I decided, since he has a nasty cold, to put him on his back and give him a good roto-rootin' of the nose, which of course he just LOVES! Ha ha ha. As he screamed and I lifted him up, I looked into his mouth and it was looking back at me! Oh my goodness, there was the googly eye, stuck, and I mean STUCK to the roof of his mouth. I had to PEEL it off of the roof of his mouth, it did have glue on it. It was an amazing transformation, he was all of a sudden happy. I tell ya, if this baby survives till his first birthday it will be a miracle!

I took him to the doctor yesterday because of this cold, he's got an ear infection in one ear and wheezing in his poor guy is on antibiotics and albuterol. Hopefully he'll be all better soon...if only there was a medication I could give him to cure him of his desire to eat JUNK!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Do I Dare?

Aaron has had a bad cold for the past few days. He's acting fine other than the goobers in his lungs and nose. He's actually getting over it quite nicely, thankfully. He had no fever or anything, just congestion. The first night he was awake once at 2am and I gave him a bottle. He took a while to go back to sleep and then was up again at 4:30am. I couldn't get him back to sleep until 6am and THANKFULLY, he slept in until 8am and Jeremy got up and let me sleep in until 9am! WHEW, thank God for weekends and having a husband home! So the following night I was looking for ways to relieve his congestion and to help him get better sleep (and me too!). I found quite a few people that said that putting Vicks Vapor Rub on their feet works miracles. HUH? I had never heard of such a thing, but I'm willing to try! So we did the whole roto-root with saline in his nose, put on the humidifier and put vicks on his feet. He slept from 8pm until 6:45am with a VERY quick wake up at midnight. The following night he slept from 8pm until almost 7am. Last night he slept from 8pm--had a wake time around 9pm (gave him another couple ounces of formula) and then slept until....7:45am!!!! WOW! Last night was also the first night I didn't feel the need to check on him since he's been sleeping better. I'm usually very concerned when they start to do this because it's so abnormal.

So, do I dare believe we've hit a milestone and we're FINALLY going to be getting some regular, decent sleep? I could definitely get used to this--especially considering I've only got 4 months until the next one arrives! I know that God is good and He is gracious and He is merciful...I know that he will give me what I need and I trust in that. I've needed a lot of sleep lately, I'm just TIRED these days. Don't get me wrong, I'm energetic enough, just really, really sleepy. Like I could pretty much sleep at any time and when I do sleep, I'm sleeping like a LOG. Last night I didn't even wake up to go to the bathroom until 3:30am...I think that's a record for me!

I'm a bit skeptical of claiming that my baby is "sleeping through the night". I've been around the block a few times and know that these things come and go...but I could TOTALLY get into this being the new norm! :) Sleep is GOOD.

Oh, he's also been taking pretty good naps too! Usually 1.5-2 hour naps 2x a day! Praise God!!! We've definitely come a long way, baby!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener

I was thinking about this this morning, and the trueness of this statement. I'm sitting in my lawn chair, in the shade, in February...because it's too warm in the sun. I'm home alone--well, with Aaron--because he has a cold, while the rest of my family is at church. It's quiet, I just mopped the's peaceful. Yes, I had a very rough night last night with Aaron--he was up for 1.5 hours (after his NORMAL waking time), crying for 1 solid hour of that and throwing up his congestion and coughing and being generally miserable. But God is good and Aaron slept until 8am. I slept until 9am (thank you, wonderful husband!). My point is, my life is good. My life is beyond good, my life is charmed. Truly. Then how come I regularly find myself looking at the lives of others and wishing for something different...not a different life, mind you, but something more like what "they" have. One illustration that comes to my mind is a friend of mine who used to be my neighbor. Every time I'd go to her house, we'd sit around, watch our children play, she'd have tea and a lovely snack and we'd just have a wonderful social time. In my mind, that's how her life was--always! She'd sit around with loveliness surrounding her, sipping sweet tea and nibbling scones while her darling children played near her. Hahaha...I know that this is NOT the reality...I know this friend well, I've seen her outside of this little fantasy life we'd enjoy from time to time, and that was NOT her life (even if she did own quite a bit of Pottery Barn furniture!). I think our minds (and especially some of us more than others) tend to run into this issue though. It's a lack of contentment...and I know that it's an issue of mine. My life is somewhat chaotic right now...I'm not going to lie, it's downright difficult at times, but man oh man, I LOVE my life so much. I love my babies, I love my husband, I love my home. No, it's not perfect, but it's mine, it is what the Lord has decided is what is best for me...and I have to agree!! No one has a perfect life, very few have a life of ease...usually we see what we choose to see and grasp onto THAT reality rather than counting our blessings and praising our wonderful Lord for all of His benefits:

Psalm 103

Of David.
Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the LORD, my soul.


Saturday, February 5, 2011 produce.

Since we got our first shipment of organic produce (delivered to our door) the other day, I've been thinking of ways to use the wonderful, seasonal produce we've received. I'm a big fan of veggies anyway, so I'm not afraid to try new things. Actually, it's kinda a fun challenge to discover new ways to do things with veggies--or to discover ways to do things with new veggies I've never cooked with before.

One of the things that came in my box this week was Rainbow Chard. I've never had rainbow chard before, but I have cooked with chard in the past, just not very much. I have a recipe for Zuppa Toscana (the wonderful potato/sausage soup you get from Olive Garden) that my family absolutely ADORES. Usually it takes kale, but hey...if I've got chard on hand, why not?!? So here is my recipe:

1 lb Italian Sausage (hot or mild depending on your tastes)
1 lg diced onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 strips bacon, optional
3 large potatoes, sliced thinly
10 c. chicken broth OR water and bouillon to taste
1 lg. bunch kale or chard, chopped

Brown sausage in large stock pot with diced bacon. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add water and bouillon or broth. Add potatoes and cook until soft. Add greens at the end and cook for another 20 minutes or until tender.

I make this at least 2x a month and everyone loves it. It's such a great way for the children to get their greens...and it's really easy and freezes fantastically. Oftentimes I'll make a double batch and freeze the left overs for a quick Sunday dinner or a lunch.


Friday, February 4, 2011

I have a plan

I think I have a plan. As any mommy of more than a couple of children knows, it is ESSENTIAL to have a plan in ones life in order for things to run smoothly. Things easily get chaotic with many little ones running around and NO plan. This goes for anything--plans must include, but are not limited to: menu plan, daily schedule, shopping plan, school plan, etc. So while I've had plans in many areas for a while now, I'm always striving to fine tune things wherever I can (and when time allows).

We've been trying hard to get our budget in order. Having a budget is something that I never did as a child and hadn't done--in fact, balked about--as an adult, until recently. After all we had been through to get out of debt, we want to STAY out of debt--FOREVER--AND we also want to make the best use of the blessings the Lord has given us. In our family, the greatest amount of money each month is spent on groceries. Our monthly "budgeted" amount is $900--including diapers, formula and other household items like laundry detergent, etc. $900 is nothing to sneeze at, in my opinion, HOWEVER, it's amazing how quickly that amount of money disappears! We've done many things to reduce costs--we're using cloth diapers, we make our own laundry detergent, etc. BUT, groceries are amazingly expensive. We're buying a grain mill and buying whole grains in bulk in order to reduce expenses. I'm making as much from scratch as possible and that helps, but we still need to do more.

So yesterday we received our first "produce box". A lot of the organic farms around here deliver fresh produce to your door weekly or every other week. It's actually quite reasonable and kinda fun because you don't know exactly what you're going to get--it's generally what's in season. We got some really fun stuff: oranges, kiwi, acorn squash, rainbow chard, broccoli and more. It's around $38/box, so really not a bad price for organic produce. We figured that if we were to do that WEEKLY, it'd reduce the amount of money we spend on produce and still give our family healthy produce. Then we're going to attempt once or twice a month shopping at my favorite store, Winco! I need to look closely at my menu plan in order to minimize in between trips to the stay tuned!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pregnancy Update

I'm now 22 weeks pregnant. Baby Lilah is wiggling nicely, everything is going well. I'm feeling pretty well, I cannot complain. I have placenta previa which will be checked again at 30 weeks and I'm praying the placenta cooperates and moves out of the way and everything will be fine. Other than that, everything is a standard, boring pregnancy...just the kind I like. I love being able to feel the wiggles...she's wiggling as I type. I just love it.

An Untimely Demise

The girls got a rat about 3 weeks ago. They named him Pip Squeak. He was all white with red eyes. They LOVED him. Sadly, Pip Squeak went to be with the Lord this morning. We're guessing he got a respiratory infection. He was so young still, it broke my heart. I actually cried. I don't do well with the loss of any of God's creatures (warm blooded, that is). We're going to get a new one this weekend and thankfully the girls did okay with the loss after bawling their eyes out last night.

Oh What a Night!

Last night, Aaron slept from 7:30pm until *drum roll, please* 6:45am!!!!
This was his best night ever, and it was GLORIOUS!!! The night before was pretty good too, I think he slept until around 5am or 5:30...I'm so thankful!

He's now on half Nutramigen and half regular formula. The doctor told me to put him straight onto regular formula, but he was acting like he didn't like the taste (go figure, Nutramigen is about the most foul stuff you can smells somewhat akin to cat pee). He's been tolerating it all quite well.

He does NOT like to be fed, but does a rather good job of feeding himself. Tonight I handed him a mango pit and he went to town on that...after making quite a few ridiculous faces because it was a new taste to him.

He's been rubbing his fist over his mouth and making lots of adorable, loud noises. I love the noises! He loves peek-a-boo too!

Okay, that's it for Aaron for the moment. Just needed to do a quick update!