Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Precious Babies

I figured it was time to update again. I don't know why it's so hard to sit down and do this, but again, it's been forever and things are happening and I'm not documenting ALL. I'm going to kick myself one day for the lack of documentation and the lack of photos. I just told Jeremy today that I need a simple point and shoot camera that I can put in my pocket. I love my dslr, but I don't get it out enough, it's just too bulky. It's too hard to chase 2 babies around and try to get photos and not damage that huge camera. I still take photos, just not as much as I'd like. Not to mention, I really need a camera I can take videos with. One that is not specifically a video camera because Aaron figured that one out very quickly and will NEVER let me take a video because he always wants to "see"! There are some really cute things that he says that I'd LOVE to get on camera. These days are flying by and one day I'm going to be very upset if I don't have a video of him saying all of his siblings names: Fa-nana, Sissy, LuKe (very heavy on the K), and Beanie (or Lilah, it depends on his mood). He also calls me "Miss. Janelle" on occasion and that is just TOO cute. I tell you, this little guy is just too cute and so incredibly smart. The other day we were out for a walk and he saw a yield sign and said, "Mommy, TRIANGLE!" My goodness...thank you, Baby Einstein! He knows so many animals, knows a few colors, knows EVERYONE'S names--including the neighbors. He reminds me so much of Savannah at this age. I sometimes wonder if a child's intelligence is what makes them more difficult children? Savannah was super smart and also had a hard time with life. She's perfectly wonderful now, but she would fall apart so easily back then. Aaron is the same. He just struggles. He's another one that wakes up from his nap and often is in such a horrid mood I wonder why I ever put him down in the first place. He'll cry and cry and SCREAM and hit me and just be so unpleasant. And when I put him down, he was perfectly cheerful. It's quite a bummer. Sometimes he wakes up pleasant, but not generally. Lilah, on the other hand, ALWAYS wakes up in a fantastic mood. Lilah is starting to take some steps. She can take 4-5 steps at a time now and often will stand up on her own in the middle of the floor and start walking. She gets so excited though that she falls! I think if she didn't have so many people around that are SO excited for her, she wouldn't get so excited. But come on, that's pretty exciting stuff!! Lilah has the most WONDERFUL hair. It is so curly and fluffy and lovely. I cannot tell you how many people walk past her and can't resist the urge to fluff her hair. She now has 6 teeth--4 on top and 2 on the bottom and has the most darling smile, which she shows off very frequently. She is still not saying a word, but she's babbling a lot. She's picking up "all done" and "more" with sign language, but I haven't been really diligent on that with her. It's funny because she is so much like Luke. Just happy, pleasant, wonderful sleeper...very laid back and very simple. No need to talk, no need to be in a hurry. I have to say, as much as I love Aaron's intelligence, simple children are highly underrated!! :) Jeremy and I wonder if it has to do with the "L" names. If so, this baby needs an "L" name too!! :) Speaking of THIS baby: I'm about 36.5 weeks along's so hard to believe. Even though I'm extremely uncomfortable and life is really difficult for me right now, I don't feel like I'm going to be having another baby very soon. It's kinda weird. This entire pregnancy has flown by and continues to fly by every day. I'm trying to keep my mind set on a later due date because I just know when my due date comes and goes, I'm going to be getting antsy, so I don't want to set my mind on the actual date, rather on the general time frame. But it's still crazy to know that it's very soon. My little ticker said "25 days to go" and that kinda blew my mind!! I'm having quite a few braxton hicks contractions, baby is head down and still wiggling nicely. I can feel his little hands down low and his feet on my right side. His back/rear are on the left. I just love when I can feel the little feet or knees slide along the side of my belly...that is one feeling I could never get tired of, even if it does kinda hurt sometimes! This pregnancy has been very uneventful, so that's a blessing. I'm just very sore. I have restless legs like mad and wake up with Charlie horses quite regularly. Sleeping has been a bit difficult, but that kinda goes with the territory. My lower back is getting VERY sore and I cannot sit for long periods of time unless I'm kinda lying on my side. When I stand, I get short of breath and tired quickly. You know, the normal stuff!!! Savannah and Abby have been wonderful helpers with the babies. Savannah seems to enjoy it more than Abby does and she's definitely more responsible. It's so nice to have a second "mommy" around to lend a hand. Abby, on the other hand is a SUPER good helper when it comes to house work. She needs a good kick in the pants to get started, but she can clean with the best of them! They both have told me that they're getting bored without school work to do and I feel bad because I'd like to keep them engaged, but with the moving and the tiredness and the hecticness of life right now, it's just too much for me. Thankfully we've had a fairly busy summer so far with company and VBS and stuff...not to mention play dates and all, but I would really like to find something productive for them to do. I hope that once this baby arrives and we get settled into our new home, I can get more organized and scheduled and help them learn some new skills in addition to their school work. They want to do things and create things, but this home and it's size and lay out is really not conducive to creativity. Both of the girls were baptized on June 24th. It was very special because I've always left it up to them to get baptized when they felt lead...and all of a sudden, they both asked to do it. It was really neat. My parents were there and I was very proud of them being very bold in doing something that is a bit awkward and kinda scary in front of a big crowd. It was very touching to see them make that commitment to show others that they identify with the death, burial and ressurection of their Savior. Oh,and one more thing, Savannah just lost one of her molars!! :) She lost it at my parents house and I went out to see it (she was sleeping outside) and she handed it to me and I said, "What do you want me to do with this?" and she said, "Give me a dollar!!" Hahahaha...she's so jaded!! They didn't fall for that whole "Tooth Fairy" thing very long. I told them when Luke starts losing HIS teeth, they had better not blow it for him!!! Now on to Luke. Luke is getting SO big. He's all ready to start Kindergarten and is excited about that...well, kind of. Luke is our child who really does NOT like to have to exert himself. It can get quite frustrating sometimes. The girls work their tails off around here, but when I ask Luke to do something very simple, I often get complaints. It's a character flaw we really need to work diligently on. He's such a sweet boy, but he definitely tends toward whiney-ness. He knows all of his letters, can read simple words and seems to really have a knack for math. He'll ask me, "Mommy, what's 5+7?? And I'll say, "What?" and he'll say, "12" right off the top of his head. I'm hoping he gets math fairly easily because math is one that I have a hard time teaching...and although Abby seems to grasp it fairly well, Savannah really struggles with it. It'd be nice to have a child who just "gets" it. Luke is starting to enjoy being read to a lot more too. For a while he had no interest in books and after Savannah and Abby, it was a bit disappointing...but he seems to be coming around. He's an absolute pro on his bicycle and I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but ever since he was VERY young, he's been an excellent frisbee thrower!! It's so interesting to see the little talents our children have. He also really likes to help me in the kitchen and he loves to play games. That's something I need to work on doing more with him because he is very good at playing independently (especially if there is some kind of electronic device involved), that I end up letting my time with him slip by throughout the day. I need to make the time for him. Speaking of electronic devices...the other day my parents were here and Aaron walked up to my dad and said, "Papa, I play on your iPhone?" It was SO funny because I don't know if he even knew what he was asking, but it was SO hilarious. He definitely learned that one from his big brother. Yesterday he brought a book up to me and said, "Grandma give this to me". He said it so clearly--he tends to speak nice and slowly so we can fully understand him when he's speaking in sentences, so it sounded SOOOOOO cute!!! Okay, I'm getting SUPER antsy, I need to get. One day soon I'll post some photos!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Contentment is a strange animal. It's at the same time warm and fuzzy and desirable, but also quite elusive. At least it is for me. Contentment is something I struggle with. I battle with myself and my desire for things that I don't need or that won't actually benefit me but I also battle our culture that is constantly bombarding me with lies of happiness and security and peace if only I had....fill in the blank. I don't even have a tv. I don't go out much and I try to avoid most things pop culture so that I don't get lured into that trap, but as sin tends to do, it gets me from the inside out. So I've been working hard on this contentment thing. I mean, honestly, I have a pretty wonderful, blessed life. I want for nothing, I have more than I need--financially, materially and even in love and blessings. The one thing I've struggled with for a very long time though is my living situation. We are expecting our 6th child and we are living in the same 3-level, 1100 square foot tree house of a home we moved into when we had only two tiny children. Okay, to be clear, it is not the same EXACT house, but the same exact floor plan just down the street from where we lived before. It was small then, but it was enough. It was frustrating, what with no bathroom on the main floor and having to drag laundry from the 3rd floor bathroom to the basement to be washed and then back up again to be put away. How many people do you know who keep their toothbrushes in the kitchen because it's SUCH A PAIN to go up or down a steep flight of rickety, squeaky stairs to brush one's teeth?!?! We've done it for over 8 years. But as time has gone by, we've learned what works and what doesn't. We keep a lot of toiletries on the main level--like in the kitchen and dining room because it's just easier. We've also tried to keep a good perspective on the fact that this is not our "forever home" and that eventually, if the Lord sees fit, we'll have a larger, better laid out home. But for now, I was content to have my 6th child in this home...hey, maybe even my 7th if necessary and make do with what we've got--because in reality, it's a lot better than a LOT of people have. But then we got a phone call. "We were wondering if you'd be interested in moving into a larger home?" Seriously? No, we're fine...I mean, who needs a bigger home when we can take turns spending time in the same room together?!?! What a stupid question...of COURSE we'd be interested. We never thought it was a possibility so we never even thought about it. But housing here (we're in the military) has just changed their policy, allowing people to move into larger homes based on family size rather than rank. Well guess what?!?! There is only one other family around here crazy enough to have as many children as we do...and they happen to be our neighbors and also received the same phone call. So we start looking around at the "available" homes. nice would it be to have more rooms?? To have room for school AND dining at the same time?? What would my big children do if they didn't have to pick up EVERYTHING they're doing as soon as the babies wake up in order to make room for everyone in the living room...and best of all, how nice would it be to run to the bathroom (for the thousandth time that day) without having to lug a baby or two up or down the stairs?!?!? And so my mind goes crazy. Which house?? When?? I'm due in just over 3 is this going to work out?!?! Crickets. No info. Nothing. We make a few phone calls. "Oh yes, you're definitely moving...yes we know you're due to have a baby, but we have no further information for you." Okay. Thank you, that was ever so helpful. I start to pack and then I stop because now I know this was just a cruel joke. The houses we were scoping out are beginning to fill. Yup, I knew it was too good to be true...and now the house I was content to live in for the forseeable future is closing in on me. It feels even SMALLER than it already is. I have no room for anything. Where in the WORLD am I going to squeeze in another crib? How are my children ever going to be able to play on the floor of my living room as they get bigger??? Enter complete discontent. I'm now anxious and a tad bit angry. I was FINE before...why did they have to dangle the carrot of a bigger home in front of me when I was doing fine? I had never thought to complain to anyone (other than my understanding husband) because I know no one asked us to have this many's our choice and we're okay with where we are...or we were okay with it. See how quickly contentment can turn to discontentment?? It's when I took my eyes off of trusting in the Lord with ALL of my heart, acknowledging HIM and allowing HIM to direct our paths that things began to crumble. I've lived in this house long enough to know that it is warm, it is cozy, it is manageable and it does work for us. No, it's not ideal...but as I said before, it's a whole lot more than many other people have. So here I sit...knowing that no matter what the Lord has in store for us will be exactly what we need...and may even be a huge blessing beyond what we could have imagined. The latest news is that those homes we were looking at that seemed SO big and wonderful are actually too SMALL for our family and that there is an even bigger home being prepared for us (and our crazy neighbors). We may not be in there before our babies arrive, but it's so much more than we could have DREAMED we'd ever live in. So pray with me as we await the arrival of this precious baby AND the availability of our new home that I will not fully believe in until I'm living there. Pray for me to be content. Pray for me to trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding. And praise the God who gives me so much more than I could ever hope or dream for because He loves to give good gifts to His children as much as I do.