Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cute Children, Cute Photos

Look at these BEAUTIFUL eyes!

Showing off his "TWO-fers"

Instant fun, just add water, an umbrella and a sibling!

Abby and Lilah...finally got a photo of them together!

My Sling FINALLY Gets Some Action

I bought this wonderful sling last year at the recommendation of my wonderful friend, Faith. She is quite the expert in babywearing and had given me some fantastic tips I was hoping to utilize with Aaron in order to make my life a tad bit easier. Aaron wouldn't have it though. He HATED to be worn. When I'd put him in this sling, he'd arch his back, straighten his legs and scream. I don't know what he hated about it, he just didn't like it. He didn't care for the Moby either...and when I finally dropped the $120 on the Ergo, I was disappointed that he merely humors us with a quick tolerance for it before he decides he wants out and tries to climb out on his own. He tolerates it a lot better for Jeremy or the girls, but he will not let me wear him in it. I guess he prefers the closeness that comes when Mommy holds him and has to do everything with one hand and him precariously perched on my hip. Typical! :) So today I put Lilah in the sling to see what she'd do. She slipped right in...just as I'd seen Faith's baby do. She easily went into the "froggy" position and fell right to sleep. Ahhhh...what a blessing. I threw Aaron on my hip and had both babies in my arms quite easily (other than the fact that Aaron is REALLY heavy!) At least I know I can take them both from one place to another without much difficulty if necessary! And I'm very glad to finally be able to use this rather pricey sling!

First Bath

Lilah had her first bath the other day. At first she was crying, but as soon as she felt that warm water over her sweet little body, she was very, very happy! She is a true princess.

Sleep Training x2

I was thinking the other day, if sleep wasn't such an issue with little ones, I'd be a very happy momma. Sleep has always been a big issue with me. Starting with #1, sleep was something I never knew I needed as badly as I do until I was seriously deprived of it. I had never been in such physical pain due to lack of sleep. When she DID sleep (which wasn't very often), I was such a nervous wreck that I couldn't sleep. Every little sound jolted me awake, thinking that she was waking. It was horrible. I had always been around people that would basically say, "MAKE HER STOP CRYING, I CAN'T STAND TO HEAR A BABY CRY!!!" I always felt like saying, "Well gee...maybe I should stop pinching her then because I thought EVERYONE loved to hear my baby cry as much as I do!". Seriously though, people...who DOES like to hear a baby cry? My first cried incessantly. Honestly. It NEVER stopped. Well, okay, it 8 weeks, but 8 weeks of incessant baby crying, especially when your husband is deployed and it's your first baby and you have NO idea what you're doing is enough to drive you crazy.

Okay, I digress. I did what it took...and now that she's 9 years old, she's a light sleeper, but a good one. Along came #2. I didn't have time to fawn over her sleep habits like I did with #1, mostly because I was STILL catering to #1's needs while letting #2 figure it out on her own. Needless to say, #2 was a better sleeper. Not fantastic...but better. I still didn't really know what I was doing, I just knew that I didn't want #2 to be like #1 in the sleep department. She still wasn't sleeping thru the night until around 2 years old though...way TOO old as far as I'm concerned. Along came #3. He was a dream from the beginning. He was the quintessential "slept thru the night at 2 months old" baby. I didn't have to do much with him...he just slept. He is 4 right now and he STILL is a great sleeper. He's the only child I've ever heard of who, at 4 years old, will put himself to bed when he's tired...whether it be noon, 5pm or bedtime. I knew better than to think that it was anything I had done...God had just blessed us with an easy baby (maybe to convince us that we should continue having more!) and for that we were VERY grateful. #4 has been a challenge. I've blogged a lot about it. He didn't nap well, he hasn't been a good night sleeper. He's been a challenge in many ways--he's a strong-willed child, a very cute strong-willed child. Now that we have #5, we're having to figure things out so that we don't go crazy. Sleep training started about a week and a half ago. Jeremy has been sleeping in the room with the little guy and letting him cry himself back to sleep when he wakes. Jeremy is taking a very gentle approach and it's really paying off. Nights are still a bit tricky, I'm not sure why other than perhaps he's teething. At 1 year, 2 weeks and 1 day old, he still only has 2 teeth. Naps, however have improved dramatically. He's been taking close to a 3 hour nap every day. It's been WONDERFUL.

Soooo...I've decided that I need to do something different this time around. I know that there are many, many mommies who have more children than I do, and they're not walking around like zombies, and I refuse to believe that the majority of mommies of many children are simply blessed with wonderful sleepers. I've been "talking" with a woman on a website I visit who has 10 children. She's been giving me some advice on how to sleep train a baby from birth. I also re-read Babywise (which is coincidentally basically the same thing this woman has told me)and started implementing a sleep training regime (if you want to call it that) a few days ago. It goes a little something like this: Make sure baby takes a FULL feeding. Keep baby awake so that she can eat as much as she needs (she's doing GREAT in the eating department...she's a fat little thing!). Let baby have a short "activity" or awake time and when she shows signs of being tired...get this...put her to BED! *GASP* What's that you say??? Put her WHERE??? Wait, where is the "nurse her to sleep" or the "bounce until you've both passed out", or the "put her into the swing and pray she stays asleep"?? No...there is none of that. It's that simple. Put her to bed. I'm swaddling her...she likes it, all of my babies have. I bring her to bed, I swaddle her and I put her in her crib and leave the room. Sometimes she cries, usually if she wasn't OVERtired before I put her in there, she's fine. I've been amazed at how quickly she drifts off into a nice, peaceful, sound sleep and sleeps for 1-2 hours at a time. Let me state for the record, however...she seems to be a rather easy baby so far. I'm not sure if this is working so well because she's easy-going or because it's really that simple. I do believe that babies NEED sleep, DESIRE sleep and need to be TAUGHT to sleep...and to sleep WELL. I'm hoping that doing this from a very young age is going to help her develop good sleeping habits from this point forward...sleep is such an essential thing, especially for a growing baby that it really should NOT be rocket science.

I'm really not sure if doing this from the beginning with any of my more "difficult" babies would have worked so well...of course, there is no way of knowing. One thing I do know is this...unless you have a lot of time, patience and don't need a lot of sleep, sleep training has to happen at some point...why not start from the beginning instilling good sleep habits and not stress about a little bit of crying...hey, newborns cry a fair amount no matter WHAT you do...better to do it in the crib where they have a chance of falling asleep independently.

I'll keep this updated as I pray that Lilah continues to sleep as well as she has been. Oh, and for the record, she sleeps with me at night still. I put her in her crib in the evening and let her sleep as long as she will. When she wakes up, I bring her to bed with me. I don't have the energy yet to work on night feedings. That will come soon though because I really miss sharing my bed with my husband--and being able to stretch as I please without the fear of waking a baby!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sweet big sister...she is SUCH a huge helper!!

Big brother wanted in on the action. Notice his legs...very colorful!

Aaron thinks he's a toy! Cute toy, too!

Beautiful baby girl

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
I definitely have my hands full! :)

Lilah's first doctor appointment

I took Lilah to the doctor today for her first appointment. She has already gained 3oz over her birth weight--way to go little girl!! She is an amazingly efficient nurser because she really doesn't seem to nurse too much, but if she's gained that much already, that's fantastic! She's also been sleeping pretty well. The past 3 nights she's done a good 3 hours of sleep in her own crib--in our room. She'll wake up, nurse and usually I wake up a couple of hours later and we've both been snoozin' for a while. So far she's a wonderful baby. I still consider that she's only 5 days old and a lot can change when she starts to wake up more...but for now I'm enjoying the fact that she seems to be a WONDERFUL, easy baby. I can only pray that it continues as I need God's grace as much as possible to get through these next few weeks of adjustment and sleep training of Aaron. We're going to give him a little while longer to get used to having his life disrupted and then we're going to work on getting him used to sleeping on his own...because there is no way I can do this when Jeremy goes back to work. But I praise God for the fact that he's been home and able to care for Aaron during the night so that I can get the rest I need (as much as one can rest with a newborn).

That's all I can manage for now...Lilah is waking up (after a nice, long snooze in her swing) and I'm sure she's hungry...and I KNOW she has a very, very full diaper--I can hear her working on it from here! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Smiles

Lilah is like her big brother, Luke...smiling from the first day she was born! :) I just LOVE the sweet baby smiles!!!

I had to add this one because she just looked so cute!

Birthday Boy

Here is a photo of Aaron in the adorable Birthday Boy shirt out neighbor gave him!

What a sweet, big boy!

Lilah Faith is Here!!

I will most likely have to keep this fairly short, as we've been very busy as of late--for some odd reason!

Lilah made her appearance after an uneventful induction on June 15th. Of all the days to have another baby, I did NOT want Lilah and Aaron sharing a birthday, but when you're 9 days overdue, have been having stop and go labor for a week and are just READY to have your baby in your arms, that becomes a lot less important! I got to the hospital around 1pm. They started pitocin and I had my first contraction at 2:15pm. It went VERY quickly from there. It went from painful but bearable in one contraction. I was having a conversation about families with my mom and the nurse while Jeremy was grabbing a bite to eat and all of a sudden I had to get up and could NOT participate in anything anymore. I was leaning over the counter--the most comfortable position for me and breathing through the contractions. I tried to keep my focus, but I was having a TON of pressure with each contraction. I was feeling like I was headed toward transition because I was getting shaky and the pressure was getting out of control. I thought for SURE I must have progressed extremely fast, but when the nurse checked me, I was only at 5 cm. I just could not understand how I could possibly be at 5 when I was feeling so much pressure. I felt like I was ready to push at any time. I got so frustrated I decided to ask for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and put it in. She did a fantastic job and had me lie down while she was doing it...MUCH more comfortable that way. The thing is, the epidural didn't seem to do much, if anything. The pressure continued to get worse in the next couple of minutes when all of a sudden I was like, "OH MY GOODNESS, I HAVE GOT TO PUSH!!!!!" There was no doctor there, they told me not to push...I had to breathe so hard to get through those contractions. The nurse checked me and kinda panicked and went to find a doctor. They got me set up quickly and they FINALLY told me I could push. I pushed for a VERY short time--maybe 5 minutes and out popped our precious baby girl! It was such an amazing experience, so intense and so joyful. She was born at 5:56pm--4 minutes from Aaron's ACTUAL birthday. We got our Irish Twins by 4 minutes! :)

We took guesses on her weight--we were all guessing in the 7lb range, but she looked awfully chunky to we automatically thought she must be short then. When they weighed her, we were SHOCKED. 8lbs 7oz and 21.5 inches! What a big girl!
So far Lilah is pretty quiet. She sleeps a lot (like newborns should) and nurses well, although she doesn't stay awake all that long. She looks to me like she's going to have brown eyes, but we really haven't seen her eyes much yet.

I'll post more photos soon, but she needs to be fed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Update on the never-ending pregnancy.

So, here I am--9 days overdue and STILL pregnant. We've tried nearly everything to induce this baby naturally as I really, really wanted to go into labor naturally, but this baby is happy as can be in my tummy and shows no signs (well, other than lots of contractions and a few other tell-tale signs that labor is impending) of coming any time soon. I thought that if I just waited, eventually it was bound to happen. I guess there is no real "reason" for her to be born--just because I'm uncomfortable and want to meet her and want to start life with another baby (the sooner we have her, the sooner we can get used to our new routine. I honestly didn't think that I'd still be pregnant at 9 days past due. I thought that maybe, probably, I'd be a few days overdue and I was okay with that...but as the days have gone on and I've had so many sleepless nights due to intense contractions that lead to nothing, I'm having a hard time continuing on in this present state. Yesterday I went into the doctor, he checked me and I'm at he decided that we could schedule an induction for today. I'm not particularly thrilled that I'm being induced on Aaron's birthday, I was really hoping they'd have their own birthdays (although, depending on how long the labor lasts, she still COULD be born tomorrow--but I really hope it doesn't take that long!). I also feel a bit bummed that I'm going to be induced after waiting this long, but as I said...there is only so many sleepless nights one can endure without actually having a newborn baby to care for. If I'm going to be losing sleep, it had better be because I've got a sweet little blessing in my arms!

Last night Aaron had one of his "episodes" of inconsolable crying. He woke up at 11pm and was just screaming and screaming. Jeremy was trying to get him back to sleep, but it just wasn't working. I went in and held him and he continued on. During this, I was having contractions (boy, was that fun!) and thinking, "Oh my goodness, what in the world would I do if I had Lilah right now?!?!" But I know that it will all work out okay in the long run. He finally settled down (I think he does this due to digestive issues and once his tummy is settled, he sleeps just fine). The thought of having another baby is definitely a bit scary to me...but it's also going to happen, no matter we might as well move on with it! So that's that. Today I go to the hospital at noon and hopefully we'll have a very gentle, uneventful induction/delivery.

My Baby is 1!!!

Happy Birthday, sweet Aaron!!
One year ago, our lives were blessed with the birth of our precious Aaron. This has honestly been the fastest year I've ever experienced--it's been an extremely busy one. First we moved into a new home, we found out we were expecting another baby and life has gone on--very quickly.

Aaron can say a few words...his latest thing is to touch my coffee cup and say in a whisper "HOT!". It doesn't stop him from trying to grab it, but at least he recognizes that it's hot. The other day, he was rubbing my moms leg and apparently she hadn't shaved recently because she thought her leg was "hot" as well! He's just learned to sign (and say, kinda) "all done" when he's done eating. He doesn't consistently talk and say specific words, but he definitely babbles a lot, it's very cute.

He is not walking, but he can push his little cart around like a pro. He also likes to push the step stool--or anything that he can get his hands on and push. He can also stand up spontaneously in the middle of the floor, although he doesn't choose to very often. He hasn't even tried to take a step yet...which is fine with me because I know as soon as he can, the chase is on.

Aaron is very spunky, he's fairly quick-tempered, but also very sweet and snuggly. He has not been my easiest child, but who said that easy is necessarily better?? He is such a wonderful addition to our family...we've been so blessed to have him in our lives for this past year...and today, he will become a BIG brother! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slow Progress

I went to the doctor on Wednesday and was disappointed. I was 1.5cm dilated and 30-40% not really even favorable for induction if I chose to go that route. He told me to come in today (Friday) to be checked again and to schedule a non stress test for Monday in case Lilah chose to stay put a bit longer. I was looking forward to Jeremy being able to take today off, so I scheduled my appointment for today and went along my merry way. Well, Jeremy couldn't get today off (God forbid I should actually go into labor!), so I was going to cancel my appointment because, after all, what is the point of having yet another appointment with 4 children in tow for the doctor to tell me that nothing has changed?!?!

Well, last night I had quite a few contractions. They had no pattern to them, but they were fairly long, stronger than they had been...but still not really anything to write home about. I thought, "you know...maybe they're actually doing SOMETHING. I think I'll go in." So today I packed the children into the car, went to my appointment and much to my surprise...I'm 3cm dilated and 60% effaced. So something is DEFINITELY going on. He was able to strip my membranes, which remains to be seen if that does anything, but hey...I'm willing to try almost anything! He said he would not be surprised if she was born this weekend--and he's on call, so this weekend would be fantastic.

I've been having contractions off and on all day, still no real pattern or anything, but I guess we'll just have to see how things go. At least I didn't leave the doctor's office feeling depressed again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Difference Between Men and Women

There was MUCH more to this conversation...including how he would sleep in and how I'd be awake all night with either contractions or Aaron...or just not able to sleep due to my pregnancy mass and discomfort...all of which came true. For every 1 good night I have these days, I have about 4 HORRIBLE nights.

Jeremy: "what are you doing tomorrow?"
ME: "taking 4 children to the OB with me to have a pelvic exam and hopefully have my membranes stripped"
"How about you?"
Jeremy: "in lieu of going to work, I get to go to a going away bbq, drink beer, ya know...all in a day's work".

Hmmmm...I'm trying NOT to be jealous. I really wish he could just stay home so I could go to the ob ALONE!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's my due date.

And that's about all I have to say about that. Another one, come and gone...and no baby. You'd have thought I would have lost hope of having a baby before or ON my due date...but I haven't. Maybe next time?!?!? Hahahaha!
Oh well, here is my belly...all ready to pop!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Life.

At this point, I feel like I'm muddling through my days. I'm too tired to fully engage, I'm too disorganized to really have something of value going on for my children (other than television/video games and/or Playmobil). Thankfully my children are, as all children are, happy to just go with the flow. They definitely thrive on a routine and a schedule, but of course, they think it's great fun when we shirk the routine and play wii all day long instead of accomplishing ANYTHING.

I, however, am not faring so well. I love having a routine, a schedule. I love accomplishing things and keeping my home in order. So when I'm in this position (or condition), I really struggle. I see so many things around me that NEED to be done. My window sills and built in shelves are COVERED with junk. You know all those random do-dads that just build up in corners or any flat surface of the house if not taken care of? Right now there is a ham radio, a cd, a jar of money, a glass bottle with dead flowers, a lid to a sippy cup, a packet of tissues, a pair of scissors, a binocular case, a sock and half of a child's toy on my dining room window sill. The only reason I listed everything on THAT sill is because it's the flat surface that contains the LEAST number of things in my house right now. I've got a few loads of laundry to fold, I don't even want to THINK about what kind of critters are living under my sofa right now. I have a few shelves that are right in arms reach of Aaron, so not only do I find squished watermelon in the construction paper drawer, but it's a full time job to pick up the messes of crayons, playdoh toys, books and binders he's thrown onto the floor. Oh, and did I mention that my pantry does not have the capability of holding all of the weight of my canned goods, so I've got a laundry basket in the corner of my dining room overflowing with canned items...just sitting there, staring at me. Our rat cage stinks to high heaven because the weather hasn't been nice enough to take it outside for a thorough cleaning in over a week...oh, I should probably stop there. Strangely, listing this is not as overwhelming as it is cathartic. As I list these things and think about them, I can see that really, there isn't that much falling apart around me as it feels like there is. Once I can move and bend over again, it won't take long at all to whip everything back into shape--including myself and my children!! :)

Speaking of which, the baby is awake...time to run (or waddle, as the case may be).

Friday, June 3, 2011


Tonight Luke and I were playing around and he said, "You have a hundred thousand eyes". I said, "Wow, really? That's a LOT". He replied, "Yeah, like sixteen!"

Yes, a hundred thousand and sixteen are VERY close! Hahaha...remind me to review numbers with him! :)

I AM going crazy!

As I said before, the closer to my due date I get, the more I cannot believe that I'm having a baby at all. All day long, I go between "no way, I'm having a baby?? Soon???" and "Oh for heaven's sake already...let's HAVE THIS BABY ALREADY!!!". I think maybe it's because although my due date is in less than 3 days, I know that I tend to go overdue and the fact of the matter is that I could very well be pregnant 2 weeks from now (I SURE hope not).

Today I took the children out to the toy store to buy them some Playmobil they had wanted to spend their allowance on. I was feeling particularly guilty, not only because we haven't done much fun stuff lately (the weather has NOT been cooperating AND I don't feel well), but I've also been quite the beast of a mommy. I'm not very nice these days. Really, I'm probably one of the most unpleasant people to be around--ever. Having a whiney baby and older children that seem to be doing their best to test my patience doesn't help either. Top it all off with the general discomfort of pregnancy and I'm just a bear.

I've been having some contractions here and there and I'm trying not to get my hopes up TOO much, but I thought I had better do something productive today. So we went to the toy store...I baked cookies, I made pizza from scratch, I scrubbed the front porch, refilled the bird feeder, restocked and cleaned the bathroom, among other things. I want my home to be ready in case we have guests sometime soon. My sister asked if I was having a burst of energy...all I could say was, "I guess 'energy' is all relative". I certainly didn't FEEL like doing anything...but I want things in order. I'm SO glad Jeremy is off this would be a GREAT time to go into labor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I went to the doctor yesterday. There is nothing exciting to report, not that I expected there to be...but I've been having a lot of twinges and pains and tightenings that are not "normal" for I'm going to TRY to remain hopeful about this baby arriving sooner than later. Last night I had gone to bed...I could NOT fall asleep (could it be the 2 "naps" I took yesterday?!?!). Around 1am I started to have contractions. They were very regular, coming every 3-4 minutes. I started to get excited and started to time them and pay attention just in case this was the real deal. Obviously it was not. As soon as I got up to use the bathroom, they stopped. I could NOT sleep most of the rest of the night. I kept hoping for more contractions and kept thinking that if they DID continue and I needed to go to the hospital, what in the world would I do with Aaron?!?! He did wake up around 3am and he had a bit of a hard time settling back down...I can't imagine if that happened and we had someone here he didn't know. I just don't want to think about that. However, I'm hoping and hoping and hoping that contractions would start again...that something would start to happen and that we'd get to meet this little one VERY soon. I'm starting to get very impatient and irritable (moreso than normal, if you can believe that!). Jeremy was asking me if this is new...I tried to explain how UNCOMFORTABLE I am and how everything is so hard and how I'm so tired and achy and to top it all off, our weather has been horrible. We haven't had a warm, sunny day in quite some least not one that wasn't WINDY too. And I checked the forecast today and it says it's supposed to be rainy for another 5 days or so! This is NOT helping!!! Aaron needs to get outside...I need to get outside. Thankfully the big kids CAN get outside (when they choose to).

Look what sister did with me!

I often assign one of the girls to care for Aaron so that I can get SOMETHING done around the house without him clinging to me and fussing at me (he does that a lot--gotta LOVE this age!). Sometimes he's more than happy to oblige and other times it takes a bit more cajoling than others! This is one of the things they've come up with to keep him entertained. He sat in this bin for a good half an hour this evening while I was cleaning the kitchen. I see he was learning about "Self-Control" and "A Positive Spirit", two things we really could use more of around here--admittedly mostly from me!