Monday, January 30, 2012

She Slept Thru the Night!!!!

At the rate we were going only a month ago, I never thought I'd have such wonderful news. Since birth, Lilah's regular pattern had been to wake every 2-3 hours, EVERY night. The ONLY time she slept longer was when I was at my parents house and she was in her own room, and I think that was just a fluke. As soon as we got back home, it was back to every 2-3 hours. I moved her into her own room and thought that'd be the ticket. It definitely HELPED, she wasn't waking every 2-3 hours consistently, but there were quite a few nights when I gave in around 3am and brought her to bed with me just so I could get SOME sleep.

But since I started bottle feeding her and stopped breastfeeding, it's miraculous. The poor girl was just hungry! First it started where she'd wake at midnight and then around 4. Not too shabby. I can do 2 wakings a night. Then she started going until 4-5 a few times. Hey, I liked that a LOT better. But last night she slept from 8:30pm until 7am without waking once!!! :) Of course, by the time 7am rolled around, I was convinced that something had happened to her and I had to go in and check on her, and there she was...on her tummy, pushing herself up on her arms. She saw me and gave me a big smile. She is still swaddled. I'd prefer that she not be, but she really sleeps better that way still. Even though she now sleeps on her tummy a lot, it doesn't seem to bother her that she's swaddled. One day she'll grow out of it, but for now, if I'm getting sleep, that's all that matters!!

Have I mentioned that she is the sweetest, happiest, smiliest little thing? She is just PURE SUGAR. Lilah is the easiest little thing to love, she is such an amazing blessing. The whole sleep thing always tainted everything else that was so wonderful about her. I have always appreciated that even though she didn't sleep well, she was still cheerful, but it was hard to fully appreciate her greatness when she had me up all night long. Now that she's sleeping so much better I have to say, she is an absolute angel baby. (as she screams from upstairs!) Oops, have I jinxed myself?!?!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Project 365--Day 21

Aaron will often get out a toy and look at me and say, "Lilah" and pat the floor because he wants her next to him while he plays. Is it any wonder I wanted another baby? Having them so close together is challenging, but it's these precious moments that make it all worth it. I just love seeing the relationship they're developing...and it's very common for them to look at each other and both start cracking up. They can really get each other going!

"Hmmmm, I think I'll try this myself!"

Notice the toy she has in her hand...babies always have SOMETHING in their hands, it's so cute.

I heard a heartbeat!

I went in for my first doctor appointment today. His ultrasound machine was broken, so I haven't SEEN this baby yet, and Jeremy still swears it's twins, but I did hear the wonderful, musical sound of the tiny heartbeat. What a glorious sound! No matter how many babies I have, that sound never gets old. I hope to post an ultrasound picture when I get one...hopefully next week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lilah's New Skills

Lilah is now 7 and a half months old. She's exactly the same age that Savannah, Abby and Luke learned to sit up well and guess what?!?! She's sitting up!! Just a few days ago she was still rather wobbly, but now she can sit for a good, long while! Along with this new skill seems to have come the ability to be content for a while longer. I think it's nice for her to have this perspective on the world rather than being on the floor and worrying about who is going to trip over you. Aaron still tries to manhandle her and knock her over occasionally, but he's usually pretty gentle with her. When she does get onto her tummy, she is all over the place. Within seconds she can go from one side of the floor to another and she's getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth on a regular basis. I wonder if she'll be an earlier crawler?!?!

She is now 100% bottle fed. It's always a tough decision for me to stop breastfeeding, but the last time we took her to the doctor, she had only gained around 3oz in 3 or so months. She was waking up every 2 hours and although she was very content, I just knew she wasn't getting what she needed. She drinks about 5oz every 3 hours or so and gets very excited about her bottle. It took her a while to catch on to it and I was so concerned that she wouldn't take one at all. Her pediatrician just said, "Push solids", but she doesn't eat anything yet. She has no interest in food and I'm not going to "push" it on her, especially knowing that her body can't assimilate most of what she's eating at this point anyway. So when I found a bottle she'd take (Tommee Tippee), I was SOOOOOOO overjoyed! Now that she's getting the nourishment she needs, she's sleeping SO much better too. She generally takes 2, 2 hour naps a day, although the length of those naps can vary, her routine is now pretty consistent. 7ish wake up, 9:30 am nap, up by 11:30am and then nap from 2pm ish until about 4. She's finally able to make it through the evening without losing it too, so that's WONDERFUL. She's very tired in the evening though, and tonight when I gave her a bottle, she had her little eyes closed, but once the bottle was gone, she perked up and was happy until bedtime--which is usually around 8:30pm. She's been waking 1-2x a night, which to me feels like HEAVEN compared to what it was before. Some mornings she's up a little earlier than I'd like--like 6:40am or so, but I just use that as my "get up and get in God's Word" time. I drink my coffee, she drinks her bottle...we have some quiet snuggle's very nice. Even if I would RATHER be sleeping! :)

Speaking of which...I'm 10 weeks pregnant now. I'm feeling pretty good, not too nauseous, not too tired, but definitely not my "normal" self. I go to the doctor on Friday, so it will be very fun to see this little one and make sure it's just 1 since Jeremy is ALWAYS convinced I'm carrying twins (his secret wish!).

Project 365--Day 20

Luke was playing that Lilah was his "wife" because they were both wearing hats. I love when I leave the big children to keep an eye on Lilah and I come back into the room to see them playing nicely, and Lilah is all dolled up. How cute is that? I love that she's still just so little and silly that she goes along with whatever they want to do with her.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Project 365--Day 19

How cute is she?!?!

Why we love homeschool

While their public-schooled counterparts are languishing in their classrooms on this rainy day, looking forward to a rousing game of "heads up 7-up", this is what my children were doing:

Now they're in the bath and are going to put on jammies, have lunch, hot cocoa and finish up their work for the day, if they haven't yet. Yes, I have a much messier home than those who send their children to school, and I certainly have a lot more laundry, but as Abby yelled over and over while splashing, "THIS IS A KIDS LIFE!!!!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Project 365--Day 18

Project 365--Day 17

Our children love playing Mancala. If you've never played it, you really should. It's a lot of fun, requires some serious strategerie and the games are pretty quick. Luke learned shortly after he turned 4 and does pretty good with it. The girls are actually a challenge and OFTEN beat me, they even beat Jeremy fairly often! Here is Luke and Jeremy playing with Lilah cheering them on, and Luke showing off his winnings:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 365--Day 16

Abby's super-cool invention: a Tinker Toy vacuum cleaner.

The children were playing "Santa's Workshop" while I put the babies to bed today. They came up with some pretty clever toys using only Tinker Toys. I love the creativity of children.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project 365--Day 15

Cute little boy with a ball.

The Things We Take for Granted

No, this is not going to be a deep, philosophical post. I'm too tired for that. This is one of those funny things that children say that gives you a little insight into their brains...and makes you realize that there are certain things that we just assume should be obvious, but to children, who see things so simply, aren't.

So yesterday Luke told me that he hopes our baby is a boy. A WHITE boy. I kinda laughed and said, "Well what other color would one of our babies be?" and he said, "Well some people are other colors." Yes, this is true, but as I pointed out, "Yes, but they have to have at least ONE parent who is a different color." At this point Abby chimed in and said, "Oh, so that's why Patton (her cousin) is white?" I was blown away. Yes, her little cousin is white...but his big sister and brother are not. Then as Jeremy and I were talking, we realized that they have a FEW cousins who have white parents, but they have dark skin. No wonder our children were confused! :) I also have a friend who has 7 adopted children who range from very white to quite dark...and their parents are both white. I thought it was rather cute that they just thought skin color was completely random. :) Children are so cute.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No Photo Today

So again I didn't take a photo today. It's okay, I have SO many photos already for this month, and that was my main goal. I certainly like the idea of one a day, but I'm not going to be bound to it. I'll get 365 days...they just won't be absolutely consecutive.

Tonight I'm feeling rather blahee (as we say in my family). I've felt more nauseous today than any previous days. I have to remember that I just don't have the energy I had a couple of weeks ago...and that I need to learn to pace myself. As I've surveyed the condition of my home I'm just not happy with the way I've structured things. I don't have the order I'd like. Thankfully I have a husband who doesn't complain, but I know his big pet peeve is not having dinner on the table in a timely matter. Believe me, it's my pet peeve too, but evenings are not my forte, especially when he works late. I need to get more scheduled and plan my meals and stick with it. It's hard to do when I'm not feeling absolutely perky, but it's something that I cannot neglect...not with this many people depending on me. It's also been a goal of ours to spend less money--especially on food--especially on PRE-prepared foods. It's a work in progress and I don't expect to have this down pat for a while, but it is definitely something worth my time and effort. So today I started off highly motivated. Well, honestly, I had ulterior motives. A woman in the neighborhood just had a baby. I didn't know she was pregnant. It was quite surprising to me. Any time someone has a baby though, I always want to congratulate them and (if possible) see the baby too!! There is nothing quite like a fresh newborn baby. So I decided that the best way to get myself in the door, especially since this isn't a close friend or anything, is to prepare a meal. So as I lay awake last night, waiting for Lilah to wake up (she slept until 2:30am!!!!), I was planning what I could make that would be good, portable and family friendly. Okay, back to the story. So I woke up highly motivated (much unlike me, but I finally had a good night--AND I had my Bible time this morning!). I had some chicken bones ready to make stock. So I made 2 huge stock pots of homemade chicken stock (YUM!). While I was at it, I made 3 loaves of Ezekiel bread from scratch--even ground the grains myself. Well, I had a little "help" from Aaron too. I switched over a load of laundry, threw a new load in. Fixed my hair and put my makeup on. I vacuumed the entire upstairs (again, with the help of Aaron). I straightened Lilah's room (there is always stuff on her floor from the big children). I got my house straightened and had a play date with my 4 good friends and our 21 children. I put my babies to bed. I swept and mopped the entire downstairs and cleaned up the aftermath of said 4 friends, but mostly the 21 children. Then I made 4 homemade chicken pot pies (from scratch--including the crusts) and had to clean up the aftermath of THAT. I think that may have been worse than the aftermath of all of the people. I LOATHE kitchen chores. I actually had to sit down and take a break because all of the standing and working with food was making me feel not so wonderful. I can't imagine why. Now all of this I did with 2 little ones underfoot--or on the counter, or one on my hip and one on the counter (sometimes one on each hip). And I wonder why I'm feeling beat and didn't find time to take a photograph today. Hmmmm...weird. It's funny how I can have a day that is this busy and productive and still feel like I haven't made a whole lot of forward progress. It's going to take a few more days like this to start making a dent in my "to do" list...but I think I'll take it a bit slower from now on, at least for the next couple of weeks. As I like to constantly remind Jeremy, I AM growing another human being inside of even if I do NOTHING, I'm still constantly doing something amazing! :) He loves when I say that. Hahaha!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project 365--Day 13

Yes, I know...I skipped 2 days. That's okay. It's project 365, not project 2012. I was busy, I was tired, I was lazy. I got some cute shots of my sweet little girls today though. I was putting Aaron down for his nap and I came downstairs and Savannah had set up the Johnny Jump Up and put Lilah in it all by herself. I tell ya, some of the things she does amaze me...she is such a big girl. Lilah is so cute in the Johnny Jump Up, she really seems to enjoy it. I thought for sure she was too small for it, but she's 7 months old today...I guess she IS big stuff!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 365--Day 12

My little girl is getting so big. She spent a good, long while sitting on the grass this afternoon, just being part of the crowd. I wanted to get a photo of her and her newly (almost) perfected skills, but she didn't stay up too long on the hard floor of the living room. I have a good feeling that by 7 and a half months old (when all of the other babies other than Aaron had perfected it) she'll be sitting up like a champ too! I think she's doing pretty good considering she's not yet 7 months old.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Project 365--Day 11

Savannah, intently readimg an email from Papa.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Project 365--Day 10

Coming Late August 2012!!

I figured since we have finally notified the proper authorities, it's now time to share this here!! The Lord has been so good to us! Please pray for a healthy, uneventful pregnancy, and enough rest to care for the wonderful darlings He has already entrusted us with.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Roller Derby!

Abby is getting very good on her blades!

Luke gettin' in on the action on a skateboard

Crazy lady!

Doh! It's bound to happen sometime, even when you're as advanced a roller blader as Savannah!

My Children are Amazing

Today I was super tired. Lilah is in a weird phase with sleep right now...she's still swaddled, and seems very happy that way, but every time she's not completely asleep in her crib, she rolls right onto her tummy. This makes her VERY upset and she'll cry and cry, even though just the other day we were making such wonderful progress with her going to her crib awake and falling asleep with minimal fussing. I'd like to get rid of the swaddle, but she still really seems to enjoy it, so I just don't know what to do with her...but it makes it very difficult in the middle of the night when I put her back into her crib after a feed and she hears the floor squeak (her room is TERRIBLE, the floor is super squeaky right in front of the door) or she's not totally settled, she'll start crying and then flip to her tummy and freak out. So last night was a rather difficult night. It wasn't HORRIBLE, I just would have liked to have slept more. So today when the babies went down for their naps (both at the same time--YAY!!) I needed a nap. I told the children to be quiet and play nicely and if they couldn't do that, they would be lying down and resting as well. I got about an hour of rest--not as much SLEEP as I would have liked, but I did get to sleepy town a time or two (I'm a dysfunctional napper), so it was pretty nice. I heard my big children downstairs and felt very guilty and decided that I needed to get up and get some housework done. When I came downstairs, Savannah, Abby and Luke were sitting nicely at the table, coloring pages that Savannah had gone online and printed out for them and they were listening to Kid's Praise songs on Pandora. They were so quiet...there was no arguing. What blessed, blessed children. They never cease to amaze me with how wonderful they can be.

Jeremy told me I should start a "disaster of the day" post. I don't really want to because I like to think that there isn't actually ONE disaster a day, but who am I kidding?!?! There are usually plenty in a day's time. So this morning I was feeling irritable. As I said, I hadn't gotten enough sleep last night and I'm just feeling rather irritable lately, especially first thing in the morning. So the children had settled down to the table for school (it's the first day since before Christmas) and the girls had some questions about their math. I was trying to help them, but couldn't use the white board because all of our markers are dried out or just plain missing their tips. Gee, I wonder how that happened!??! As I'm trying to help them figure out a problem that I myself don't get without the teacher's guide, Luke is pestering..."Mommy, Mommy, what do I do? How do I do this??" Poor guy, I can't fault him, he was just trying to do his work too...Lilah is in the living room crying because she wants to be picked up (she had been out of my arms for 2 minutes, which is about 1:45 too long for her liking) and as I'm getting ready to go crazy, Aaron grabs onto a bin filled with art supplies, and dumps it onto the floor. Of course, this was the bin that happened to have an entire container of green glitter loose in the bottom of it. So glitter went EVERYWHERE. I am already not a fan of glitter and I was seriously second-guessing myself when I bought it in the first place...but now I as just mad at that stinking glitter. I think I used the "h" word a few times when expressing to my children how I feel about glitter. Now with all of this chaos going on, I had to grab the vacuum and clean up this horrendous mess...and as we all know, there is no truly getting rid of glitter once it has spilled. As a matter of fact, we had a bit of green glitter in our mac n cheese for lunch! So that's my FIRST disaster of the day. Then as the girls are cleaning up after dinner this evening and Lilah is crying because it's been a while since her last nap, but it's almost bedtime, I made the big mistake of leaving the step stool where Aaron could get to it. He stood up next to the dishwasher and was messing with the dishes. Usually that's not such a big problem, but he happened to take Jeremy's favorite travel mug and throw it on the floor. The mug shattered. UGGHHHH!!!! Yes, I needed that. Here is where I should write something about God's grace and mercy and how good He is to us and how blessed we are in spite of this craziness...and yes, that is all true...but I'm way too tired to be philosophical this evening, and I just heard Lilah squeak...and I really need to get to bed. Did I mention that I'm really tired these days!?!?! Thank you God for your goodness...and your mercy. And your blessings. I appreciate it all, even the disasters.

Project 365--Day 9

The girls and their good friends, Amberley and Alden. They were doing a rollerblade giant slalom course down the neighbors driveway today using pieces of wood as gates. Those children are nuts!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Other Troyers

Today Jeremy's brother and his family came to visit. It was so good to see them. It had actually been over a year since we last saw them, even though they live about an hour away...we all have busy schedules and sometimes we just don't make the time to get together, so it was wonderful when they asked if they could come over for a visit! I really appreciate that they came to our home as it is always nightmarish travelling on the bay area roads--especially on the weekends. The girls had a great time playing together (their daughter is almost the same age as Savannah) and we grown ups had a great time visiting. My sister-in-law is a photographer and she snapped quite a few photos of the children, so I can't wait to see her photos. I almost didn't get any photos today. I was feeling lazy. I asked if I could use one of her photos instead, but that would have been cheating. I finally got my camera out after the sun had gone behind the hill...and somehow I managed to add up 111 photos on my card by the time I called it quits. I got quite a few good ones today, but I'll just share the ones of their family for today...I need to hit the hay.

It still amazes me when I see Jeremy's brother as a grown man...I've known him since he was 13 and it blows me away that he's a MAN now...weird.

By the way, this was their first time meeting Lilah, and the last time they saw Aaron, he was only 4 months old!! Time sure slips away quickly!

Proud Auntie with her baby niece.

The girls.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Luke loves schoolwork!

Today Luke asked me if he could get out his school work and work on it. :) Of course I said yes! This is Singapore Earlybird Math. I usually have to tell him that he's done enough for the day because he gets so into it. I hope this is a trend that continues throughout his school years, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

Project 365--Day 7

My pretty little princess is so ridiculously easy to photograph. I love this age when all you have to do is make a silly noise and you get the most wonderful, ear-to-ear grin. I'm going to take advantage of it as long as I can, because I know the stage directly following this one is the "run away from the camera" and the "turn your head as soon as you see a camera" stage!

I thought she looked so pretty with her striped outfit and the flag as the background. Then again, I think she pretty much always looks pretty!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Project 365--Day 5

My house desperately needs order. We haven't recovered from Christmas and there is way too much stuff in my way too tiny home. I tell my children to put things away and they give me a blank stare because they have no idea WHERE to put it! We're bursting at the seams it's either ORGANIZE (big time) or move. At the moment, #2 is not an option, so I need to get crackin'. I really need a professional organizer. I'm almost at the point where I will willingly forego almost anything in order to be able to afford someone to come in, fix up our home and set up an organizational system that we can live with. It's not so much that I'm DISorderly, although I'm not particularly organized, it's more that I just don't have the TIME to get organized. I'm constantly interrupted and I leave projects half done and by the time I can get back to them, things are a thousand times worse than they were when I started because I wasn't able to put things away. I NEED HELP! Anyway...enough of that. I came here to post my photos. My original point I wanted to mention was that Jeremy took the 3 youngest children to the hardware store this morning so that the girls and I could work on getting this home more orderly...what a blessed, blessed man! :) We got some stuff accomplished, but certainly not as much as I would have liked--or needed to. But it was sweet of him nevertheless. Not to mention the fact that he brought home Subway for lunch because that's what I wanted. He's so good to me.

Here are some photos for today:

If only I looked this pretty first thing in the morning!

"What in the world is he doing?"

Silly girls all tuckered out after rasslin' each other down when they were supposed to be helping me organize

He's tracing his hand!! Awwwwwh! I have to point out that he is using his LEFT hand! Jeremy has been wanting a fellow lefty forever, I wonder if it will last?!?

Luke Loves Daddy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Project 365-Day 4

I really hope the point of this project is not to choose just one photo for the day, because that would be waaaay too hard. I've got a few to share today...

The Princess and a flower:

Looking for rocks to make a tomahawk:

A boy and his wagon, it's a beautiful thing:

What a fun tricycle!


Loungin' around:

Hi Savannah!

Advanced reasoning skills: Using a stick to get something out from under the car: