Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shredded

At the encouragement of my four year old, I started Jillian Micheal's 30 Day Shred again today. I was already thinking about starting this up again. I actually have quite a list of things I'd like to do on a regular basis. But, my plan was to start things up after the first of the year. I have this personal rule about starting new things on Monday. If things start to fall apart during the week, we start fresh on Monday. If the house is a mess and our chores have gone to pot, we start again on Monday. All potty training endeavors, toddler bed transitions, pacifier weanings and get yourself to sleep trainings have begun on Monday. You get the idea.

I am planning to begin the book "31 Days of Praise" in January. I have read everything up to the actual day to day breakdown, so that I will be able to get to the meat on the first day, which will probably be January 3rd. I am planning on reading a chapter a day from my stack of books. "Don't Make Me Count to 3" is top on the stack. It is hilarious so far and full of biblical truth and real life mothering situations. I can't wait to read the next chapter! I have great plans to order all of the appropriate pictures for C, B, O and CJ's baby books and get them caught up. One per month. I should be able to manage that, right? (insert eye roll here) And I was planning to do the "30 day shred" starting the beginning of January. Something about 30 days of working out and 31 days of praise seemed like a good structure for January.

But I did not discuss the plan with the 4 year old and I couldn't resist Ginger Plowman's book for another day. So, yesterday I started reading a chapter a day and read two chapters. Maybe I actually will finish a book this year! (2011 that is) This morning C asked repeatedly if he could watch the work out girl with me. I changed clothes and put the DVD in. I even brought out some weights for both of us to use. It was really fun to see C trying to do the moves. He got tired right about the same time I did, but he sat down and I grunted through to the end. I must admit that I do not use the weights every time I'm supposed to. And with a one year old crawling onto my back while I am doing cheater push-ups, well, I don't think I did all that I was supposed to do. Then there was that cardio block where I was supposed to be doing jump rope and said one year old stood in front of my holding on to my quads. That's tricky. So, I may not have gotten the full workout that Jillian and The.Biggest Loser hope people will receive, but my arms and legs are burning already and I am really hoping I'll be able to move tomorrow.

On a more cheerful note, I did feel a bit stronger today then I did the last time I started the 30 day shred. I was able to use the weights more and I did every move for at least 3/4 of the time. :) Hopefully I'll be able to stick with it long enough to try out the 2nd and 3rd level workouts and notice more strength in myself.

Some other things to come in the new year, well, I guess they are really things that are going to go in the new year. At least for a month or so. We are going to attempt to fast from movies and dessert. I feel like we have over indulged in both of these over the last month. Movies have been the attention holder while I have worked on gifts for B's birthday and any other thing I wanted to work on without littles underfoot. Desserts have been excessive for probably the last year. In OKC, we just didn't have dessert much. Since moving south, we have dessert ever Thursday after Navigators. Then we've started going to the Chapel on Sunday evenings and we have dessert. Then there's dessert for Albert and me after our Leader's study on Friday night. Never mind the extra Christmas goodies that we should have given away more of, B's birthday cake and the tasty cake that our neighbor gave us for Christmas. Yes, you could go into a sugar coma at our house! My plan is to eat everything, then cut off all desserts at once. Maybe I will at least try to stay dessert free until the next birthday rolls around. That would probably work for my waistline!

All of the plans are really fun and fairly easy for me to come up with. It's the self discipline and perseverance that I really struggle with. I feel like my energy and will power are both strong for about a week, then I'm just tired and and hungry for sugar. I guess the real question with all of this is "What does the Lord want me to do? Not to do?" Hopefully those will be the things I really pursue and stick with!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

...

I am still here. Our internet has not been working this week, but life has still been happening. More to come!

Friday, December 10, 2010

At A Glance

Our week at a glance:

Sunday: O wears red tennis shoes with Christmas outfit because black shoes can't be found. CJ wears booties to keep his socks on, Albert asks if they are girl's.

Monday: Container of glitter spilled on the wood floor while I am seeking a little rest time.

Tuesday: MOPS and Above Rubies

Wednesday: Broken glass in the office. O gets a piece of glass stuck in her toe.

Thursday: No mozzarella cheese for homemade pizza. OCF/Navigator's Christmas party. My white elephant gift- a reindeer that poops jelly beans. Thank the Lord someone had mercy on me and took it!

Friday: Bean bags thrown at the window. Two broken ornaments. C singes hair (smoke coming up from head) and nearly sets his head on fire.

I am taking a deep breath and trusting that the Lord is shaping me to be more like HIM through this roller coaster of a week.
So, what does your week look like at a glance?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebrate!

Imagine that. I've already missed a day. I know, you are completely disappointed. Our Internet completely died after I posted Tuesday night and was gone until this morning. Old house wiring is so fun! :)

Tuesday night I had the privilege of hosting my second Above Rubies get together. It was so encouraging and rejuvenating. The title comes from Proverbs 31:10. The KJV reads

"Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies."

Other versions read:
NIV: "A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies."
NLT: "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is worth more than precious rubies."
NASB: "An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels."
ESV: "An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels."

I suppose we could have called ourselves precious jewels, above jewels, precious rubies or more than rubies. There is a magazine entitled "Above Rubies" which a lady in town started a group based on. Her daughter has been sick for several months, so we have not met. Thus, my group was born. All of that to say, Above Rubies is a group of homemakers pursuing godliness, coming together to encourage one another, answer each other's questions and remind each other of our Biblical roles as women. We did just that Tuesday night. One of main topics was Christmas tradition. This gave me a whole slew of things to think about. A summary would be, why do we do what we do? I pulled out Noel Piper's Treasuring God in our Traditions and quickly read through her chapter on Christmas. She speaks largely about Advent and how we are celebrating God being faithful to His promise by sending Christ and that we are celebrating Christ coming again. What a joyful reminder! Just the thought of taking a month to celebrate Jesus coming again makes me really excited. I can't help but talk about this over and over again with my littles. Yes, I am excited to celebrate that God was born on earth as a baby, but that is not where the celebration ends. God came to die. Christmas is directly linked to Easter. And He has promised that He will come again and take us to where He is. Now that's something to celebrate!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Try again

Many times since I've started this blog, I've thought it would be fun to write a post every day. Obviously I have not had much success since it has been nearly a month since my last post and about a month since my post before that. So here I am again, no reminders please!

The days have been full, as they always are. Today we had MOPS. I have several back post that I hope to write about on days that are less than exciting, but today was exciting enough. Have you ever had a day when your first thoughts are, "We just need to get this one thing done." Then, as time goes on you might think, "well, maybe I can squeeze in this errand since we'll be out anyway." "Oh and I need some things for that dish I'm supposed to bring Thursday night, maybe we'll stop by the grocery store too." That was me this morning. My minimum requirement (set by myself) was to leave for MOPS at 8:40. This gave me a 10 minute buffer for leaving on time and should allow me to leave early. CJ nursed around 6:30, so I just went ahead and got him dressed rather than laying him down again. The boys were up at 7:00, so I dressed them right away. At one point every one's teeth were brushed and shoes were on, so I checked the time, 8:20. Wow, we had plenty of time until we needed to leave. I packed some snacks and started moving everyone to the mini. I ran back inside to change CJ's diaper, then buckled him into the mini. I ran in again to grab O's mini bag of diapers and such. I remembered that I did have my wallet, so we left the driveway, 8:49, still in my time window for being on time. About 5 minutes down the road I realized that I did not have our checkbook. I needed to pay for Christmas shirts today. Time hack: 9:00. I turned around as quickly as I could, made it back to the house by 9:04 and back to the spot we turned around at by 9:10. Not bad, but there was no way we'd be on time. I had to couch myself through, "it is better to be late than get a speeding ticket or kill yourself in a car accident. Forget about the drawing and drive the speed limit and relax." My self talk worked pretty well, so I did a time hack when I reached the single lane construction; 9:20. If I only had to get myself there on time, I might be able to make it for the drawing, but there was no way I was going to be able to drive 6 miles and check 3 children into their classes and be on time. And I wasn't, but we had a good morning (except for that part where CJ pooped all over himself and had to wear the ugly diaper bag outfit and totally squash any image I was trying to portray) and I was able to stay calm and refrain from treating my children like cattle. Move, hurry up, this way guys.

Our speaker spoke perfectly about my life. Her title was Live, Laugh, Love. The Lord whispered to me, back in OKC to live life with my children rather than just survive. This pops into my mind almost daily. Laugh. This is something that I don't do nearly enough and I am often challenged with. It isn't that there isn't a lot happening that I can laugh over, it is simply that I don't. Usually I become frustrated at the childish act rather than laughing. Love. This is a journey that I feel like always has room for improvement. One of the things she pointed out was that even terribly abused children love their parents and will fight to stay with them. I am still chewing on this. I feel like my responsibility as a parent to show my children how the Father loves them is crucial. Maybe my asking their forgiveness, talk and physical affection is what is really penetrating them. I don't think their faithful love for me gives me the leeway to act in a way that is unloving to them though. To be honest, I wish she linked love directly to how God loves us. To how Christ is the example that I am to follow as a parent. He was sacrificial, steadfast, faithful, forgiving, discipler. I am to love my children in this same way. Now that is something that I can work towards.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So BIG!

This picture was taken over Halloween weekend, but I thought you would enjoy seeing it! More soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Potty Training Round 3

Yep, I'm at it again. Due to B just now really being trained, an article that I read a couple of weeks ago and a book that a friend loaned me, I am working on training O. She is doing surprisingly well. Yesterday was her first real day in undies. She had two full accidents, but still went on the toilet. Then she started figuring out how to control her bladder and would wet a little, then still go on the toilet. I put her in a diaper for dinner so that we could sit there and eat for a while and she just went in her diaper. I don't think I'll do that again. Today we have been going to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes. She has only wet two pairs of undies and neither time was big enough to have any mess other than a change of undies! Woohoo! Progress! She wore the same undies for about three hours before nap time and is sleeping in a cloth pull up now.

With thinking about potty training for the last couple of days, I decided to read the book on loan. It is interesting. I was really hoping it would have some tips towards bowel movement training. I have never heard any great advice towards training a child to have a BM on the toilet. This book was no better than the rest. It offers all sorts of guidelines to train a child on how to pull their pants down, urinate, pull their pants up and clean up, but no tips on how to teach your little girl to wipe or have a bm in the toilet. We will press on.

This book (which I can't think of the name of) has a copyright of 1974. It is really interesting to see how pediatric recommendations have changed since then. There are a couple of things that humored me. One is that they always refer to the child as "he". This doesn't bother me at all. We have done that with each pregnancy that we did not find out the sex of the baby. The Bible refers to everyone in the masculine. It's not a big deal. In present day articles they switch the gender back and forth by paragraph or bullet points. If it is an article on potty training for example, each tip will switch between he/she. Another thing that is interesting about this book is that it encourages giving your child a lot of their favorite drinks to promote the need to go. O has only really had water, milk, apple juice and cranberry juice, should I buy some special juice to encourage the drinking? The final thing that is way different is the insistence on giving them snacks as a reward. A pediatrician would NEVER tell you to bribe a child with food these days! In fact, I have been told the opposite, "Don't use food as an incentive."

With the rate of obesity in our country juice and snacks/candy are not encouraged and often looked down upon. I have tried to limit our juice and candy consumption. O has been given juice to help with her regularity, but the boys only get it on occasion from Daddy. Candy is a truly special and rare treat. Today I decided that I would reward O with a little tiny candy for having dry undies and to encourage the boys to encourage her, they would get a piece as well. The first two times were great. Everyone was excited to get this piece of candy that is smaller than a s.kittle. Later we were getting ready for lunch and the boys confessed that they ate all of the special candy, they were all gone. Yep, that's why I ration it out! They would eat every single piece if I gave them free range. I suppose they don't need the bribery to keep their undies dry any more and they won't be receiving any more special treats for a few days!

Happy toilet training!

Big C hits the Big 4!

I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but someone turned 4 years old around here! Yeah, it was two months ago, but it is still worth celebrating in the bloggy world.

C turned 4 the day after CJ was born, August 19th. Almost the entire day of the 18th, I was replaying in my mind what that day was like four years ago. I remember the doctor's appointment, the ultra-sound, hearing that the baby was likely to be about 8 lbs 11 oz. Feeling shock and hope that they were wrong. They were wrong, he was 9 lbs! I remember the doctor telling us that he would like to induce me right then, but there wasn't a room so we would have to come back at midnight. I remember feeling the need to clean everything in our home. We ate pizza with friends and they helped me clean. I felt nervous, frantic and in a hurry. I had no idea what was coming. I remember that Albert got a little bit of sleep, but I could not sleep at all. I was so excited. I remember the IV and the back labor and my water breaking and thinking I would have back pain for the rest of my life. I remember begging for relief and just wanting the pain to stop. I remember the doctor saying we would need a cesarean section. I remember the phone ringing and Albert answering. I remember feeling so mentally checked out. It never crossed my mind that I would need to have surgery for my baby to be delivered. I remember Albert saying "It's a boy!" I remember the doctor delivering C and making guesses at how big how big he was. I remember being in shock that they were guessing my baby was 8.5 to 9 lbs. I remember seeing this huge hand unfold as C reached up while on the warmer. It was so out of body, yet so amazing.

These four years seem to have gone so quickly. They have been full. We've had three more babies since C. Not a single one of their stories is like his. He truly is their BIG big brother. What an amazing brother he is growing into. C has started to orchestrate play and look for opportunities to help O and CJ. He loves to wrestle and sword fight with B and often tries to teach B his memory verses at meal times. Just today C was cheering and starting a parade to celebrate O's dry panties and success on the toilet.

C wasn't our only baby for long. On our first Mother's Day we found out that he would be a big brother. Just seven months later that came to fruition. He hasn't seemed to mind at all and loves being the leader of the pack.
I am so thankful the Lord saw fit to give us a strong, joyful leader as our firstborn son. Praise the Lord!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

War Paint

I promised this post a while ago, but just uploaded the pictures today.

I often wrestle with wanting to let my littles do something really fun and making the time to do it. So one day, a few weeks ago, we set out for finger painting. The kids needed a bath, it was warm out and we had all of our school work done with plenty of time before lunch. I put the boys in their swim suits. O wore a white onesie with paint on it from who knows when

and CJ had just nursed.

The three big littles started painting on paper on the sidewalk.

Then C got a little paint on his hand and asked if he could paint himself, I obliged. That's why they were wearing their swim suits anyway!

Then C asked if he could paint B. We both agreed.

Then the boys proceeded to chase each other around the yard with paint brushes and request specific colors for their war paint. They fought a good battle until I came after them with the hose. :)
I really should seek to put more fun in our days!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chocolate for breakfast

Yep, we had chocolate for breakfast this morning and I am completely guilt free! Ok, so it wasn't just straight chocolate, we had banana spice muffins with mini chocolate chips in them. Want to know the whole scoop on why I don't have any guilt? There was a lot of hidden nutrition in our breakfast this morning!

Secrets revealed:
Banana spice muffins:
  • Made with fresh milled flour. This adds about 23 more nutrients than regular all-purpose flour.
  • I used sucanat rather than white or brown sugar. The recipe called for 3/4 cup of each, so I just put in 1 1/2 cups of sucanat.
  • I accidently left out the eggs. That makes them lower in cholesterol, right?
Smoothies:
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 c raw milk
  • about 1 cup yogurt
  • handful frozen strawberries
  • handful frozen pineapple
  • banana
  • 1-2 T raw honey
The littles had no idea they were getting so many nutrients in their tasty breakfast. They have been very adverse to just about everything besides bread and fruit. Dinner is a constant battle to just eat the tiny bit of food that I put on their plates. And veggies, let's not go there! I have been semi-desperate to get something besides sugar into their little bodies. A while ago a friend posted about green smoothies, so I started putting spinach in ours. You can't even taste it! My littles don't know what a "regular" smoothie should look like, so they don't have any trouble with green and they slurp it down. To make our smoothies a little more fun I saved the huge straws from P.anera Bread, cut two of them in half and they are the perfect size for our I.KEA smoothie cups!

Another friend recently loaned and taught me how to use her juicer. I may seem as though I am from the dark ages, but I had never heard of juicing before. So I was a little nervous. L juices only veggies for her family. Everyone drinks 1/4 cup or more each morning and then she doesn't have to stress over them not finishing their veggies later in the day. Yesterday I snuck this one in on my littles. I have to admit that I was very nervous about juicing. I didn't have a recipe to start with and I just couldn't imagine the flavors and what they would taste like together. I had the juicer sitting on my counter for over a week before I tried it, the result wasn't too bad though. The tip L gave me was "If you don't like the flavor, add another apple." OK, so here's what I did:
- 7 carrots
- 1 apple
- 3 radishes

All L gave me to go on was that she uses carrots and whatever other veggies she wants. I never eat radishes, so for some reason I thought this would be a great way to get their nutrients into my body. I couldn't taste them at all. I think I'll use more next time though since three radishes equaled about .6 radish per person. I don't think that's a serving! :) Later yesterday I found some recipes and I am really excited to try one of them tomorrow.

My plan (written in pencil) is to juice on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and to make smoothies Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This may change to all juicing as cooler weather comes. We won't always have the smoothies with breakfast, but they are a great way to fill our bellies and have an energy boost.

Another food adventure I plan to take soon is these Lactation cookies. Have you ever heard of them? I was checking out at E.vermans on Sunday, wearing CJ in my sling, and the lady in front of me asked if I was nursing and if I'd ever heard of these cookies. I looked them up that evening and I will be picking up the ingredients the next time I am shopping. I have had to work to keep my milk supply up with the last three from about 5 months on, I'll keep you posted on if they work or not!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Homeschooling

We are just wrapping up our 9th week of homeschool pre-school so I thought I'd give you an idea of what it is looking like for us.

This year we are using S.onlight. I used their P3/4 program last year and we LOVED the books. I started last year just to start giving some structure to our day and to start initiating myself into how I would homeschool and accomplish everything else during the day. This program is very laid back. The stories are broken down into trimesters and every story has an optional activity to go along with it. As an excited first time homeschool mom, I immediately went through the books and marked each story with an orange, pink or blue piece of post-it so that I could quickly tell which trimester the story was meant for. The stories became longer and had fewer pictures as the trimesters came. C loved the stories and the handful of activities that we did.

So we have moved up to the P4/5 program for this year. C just turned 4, so we could use either program. I was looking for a little more structure and just wanted to move forward. Also, I have been debating (in my mind) since C was born when I would start him in school. Will I start him when he first turns 5 or wait until he turns 6? Will it be better for him to be 17 when he graduates or almost 19? I am still not sure about this. I can see the benefit of both. Thus, we are homeschooling and I have the flexibility to start Kindergarten work and drag it out as long as we need to or cover the material twice or whatever he needs. I am excited about being able to teach him as he is ready and move at the right pace for him. Timing for Kindergarten is the number one reason I ordered the P3/4 and P4/5 programs. I want to get a good feel for C's willingness to sit and listen to stories and answer questions about them. So far things are going great!

We started right after the 4th of July and our only "vacation" was the first full week after I came home from the hospital with CJ. My goal was to get a good schedule going and have a bit of school done before baby came so that I could take off as much time as I needed and not have to mirror up school years. So far we have completed a complete weeks worth of school each week (minus 1). We have gone into Saturday a time or two and this week we did 2adays for 2 days because of Albert being home on Monday and MOPS on Tuesday. So I guess that's an admittance of my need to work on our schedule, but here is roughly what our week looks like:

Monday and Wednesday: Bible, story books, science, activity work page and math.
Tuesday and Thursday: Bible, story books, science and activity work page. I have been going grocery shopping on Tuesdays as well. Now that CJ is here we have been enlisting the help of friends to make the shopping a bit less crazy. This can't go on forever, so I am trying to figure out how I can get it all done.
Friday: one story book, social studies, activity page and math. This is our light day. If we are going to play with friends, this is the day. If I am going to clean the house, this is the day.

Here is a V.E.R.Y. rough idea of what a typical Monday looks like:

7:00-8:00 Breakfast
8:00-9:00 dress, brush teeth, pick up rooms, unload dishwasher, start laundry or switch the loads over. If there is still time I'll squeeze in another chore, getting dressed shouldn't take us a full hour, but it's amazing how slow we move!
9:00-10:00 O plays in her room and we tackle school. She's been crawling up on her bed and taking a nap, so I make sure to wake her up at 10! My big goal here is to get math done while she is occupied, we just can't seem to focus when she's walking around.
11:00-12:00 Free play or craft time. Yesterday we finger painted but that is a whole post on it's own!
12:00-1:00 Lunch (again, this shouldn't take a full hour, but we are slow on the transition and very slow to eat)
1:00-3:00 Mandatory nap time

I am not claiming to have things down to a science, but I am really happy with how everything is going. It would probably be nice for me to work dusting, cleaning the bathrooms and scrubbing the kitchen floor in there somewhere, but I will squeeze those in on Friday mornings for now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

In anticipation of Labor Day, I have been calculating my hours and weight for the last few days. I wish I could say this was an original idea, but it's not. I read it somewhere last year on or around Labor Day. I love it though! So, here are my stats:

I have labored for 19.5 hours.
Delivered 30 lbs 14 oz worth of baby.

So, how about you? What are your stats for this Labor Day 2010?


C: 9 lbs Labored for 6 hours before he was born via c-section.
B: 7 lbs 2 oz Labor: 4.5 hrs
O: 7 lbs 9 oz Labor: 4.5 hrs
CJ: 7 lbs 3 oz Labor: 4.5 hrs

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3 little Ducks went swimming one day....

3 little Ducks went swimming one day,
Over the river and far away,
Mother Duck said "quack, quack, quack, quack"
4 little Ducks came swimming back!

Life always happens between posts, but this has been an exceptionally exciting 3 weeksish! In the time since my last post Paddle has arrived! We have a new bouncing baby boy and we are all loving him so much. Here's the story of his arrival:

Wednesday, August 18
2:15 a.m. I wake up to a contraction. I went to the bathroom, then started timing. They were about 7 minutes apart. I stayed in bed, watching the clock for an hour. They continued, so I got up to get some water. I was hoping to let Albert sleep as long as possible, I know how intense these things become. When I left to get water, he thought one of the boys were sneaking into our room, so he came to check on me. (We are both very jumpy over contractions since our last two came so quickly.) I told him that I was having contractions every 7 minutes for the last hour. He told me to call my mom and we started getting ready for the hospital. I'm not sure what time we got to the hospital, but everything was starting to settle down. By the time the nurse checked me, I knew I wasn't in "real" labor. We were both a little disappointed. Our last three arrivals have come after little to no sleep, we were so excited to have had almost a full nights rest before labor began! The nurses told us to walk the halls until my mid-wife came to do her rounds. Upon her arrival it was official that I was not in labor and I could cancel my appointment for later that morning. Albert and I squeezed in a quick trip to P@nera for breakfast, then headed home. We enjoyed the hours to just be together, walk and talk, but we were both a little disappointed.

9:00 Albert heads in to work and my mom goes to work, nothing has changed.

Nap time: I have a couple of noticeable contractions.

4:00-5:00 While talking to L on the phone, I have a couple of sharp contractions that I have to stop talking for. Albert called at 5:00 to say he was on his way home. I was wanting him to come home, it was perfect timing. I loaded the littles up and we walked down the street once, then back to the house. I had a few strong contractions while we were walking. Albert got home at 5:30 and instantly knew I was in labor. My mom came over again and by 6:30 we were on our way to the hospital. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart. On the way into the Emergency Room, I stopped to get through a contractions and a lady walking by shouted, "Congratulations" then I heard laughing. I'm still not totally sure what that was about, but it was distracting and I would recommend any readers to do that if they see a woman in labor!

7:00ish I was checked into another labor room. All of the nurses were still there from when we left in the morning. I had a terrible time getting comfortable and this time when I was checked I was 6-7 cm dilated. Much better than the 1 I received earlier that morning. I moved to the labor tub and was able to feel some relief. My nurse was great. She suggested a variety of things to try to relieve pain and just helped me labor. This was a first for me and such a blessing! I stayed in the tub for 30 minutes or so, then started feeling the urge to push. I was complete when I got out. I would guess it was about 8:30 by now.

Once I was out of the tub and checked, I asked J to break my water. My back was killing me. The contractions were manageable, but my back pain was so great. Paddle's head was turned sideways, so with every contraction he was pushing on my tailbone. It felt like I could feel my tailbone going out and in with each push. This is not an incentive to push! At one point I asked "How are we going to get this baby out?" I really just wanted someone to pull him out. I was ready to be done. Praise the Lord, I pushed with two to three contractions and Paddle was born. Albert said, "It's a boy." J said, "Well, he surprised all of us!" J, the baby nurse and I all thought it was a girl. What a blessing to have another little boy!


Paddle weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz and was 18 3/4 in. long. He swallowed a bit of fluid during birth, but cleared it all out within about 30 minutes.

Widdle, Waddle and Piddle love Paddle very much. They have all adjusted beautifully and I really could not ask for a better adjustment on their part to a new little Duck. Widdle can't stop talking about how cute Paddle is. He and Waddle argue over who gets to hold him. Piddle is often begging for a turn with her baby brother.

**************

Widdle has also has some excitement in his life as he turned 4 on the 19th. In some ways I cannot believe he is 4 years old and in other ways he seems to be so grown up. He just looks like a little boy these days. His birth story is quite different from his baby brother's, but a miracle guided by the Lord nonetheless. It is just amazing to me how the birth of each child has revealed so much to me about the character and provision of the Lord. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily craziness of having many littles and forget what a gift and miracle each of their lives are.

I feel so much love for my littles these days. I hope to remember each snuggle, each hug, each kiss, each beg for holding their brother, every little thing. I know this time will go by quickly and my arms will long to hold them, so for now we are treasuring the moments and trying to slow them down.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Baby Thoughts

With my due date being roughly a month away, I can't help but almost constantly calculate when this little one might arrive. This is a very fun guessing game for me. I seriously think about it almost daily now. Though, I don't have to do the figuring, I know the dates by heart almost. So, here are the facts and my estimation.......

If Paddle comes on Big Big brother Widdle's timeline, he or she will be born on September 11. To be honest, this is one of the days I've blacklisted. I just feel a tinge weird about the baby being born on September 11 and would rather almost any other day.

If Paddle comes on Big Brother Waddle's timeline, he or she will be born on August 16th. This is fine with me. If the baby did come then, we would have plenty of time (idealy) to make it home for Widdle's 4th birthday. Also, it would kind of be fun to have four under four for a few days.

If Paddle comes on Big Sister Piddle's timeline, he or she will be born on August 13th. That is next Friday. One week from today. I'm not that ready to go and I don't particularly want the baby to come on Friday the 13th. It's not a blacklisted day, but not a favorite. Piddle's timeline was crazy though, and I am still not convinced that she was as early as the doctors thought she was. I keep mentioning that the baby could come as early as next Friday, but I am not expecting anything until the 16th(ish) or later.

The wrench in the figures is Widdle's birthday. His birthday is the 19th of August. I don't think it would be terrible, but I just don't really want the baby to share a birthday with Widdle. I love birthdays and I want each of them to have their own special day. A day that I can think about the days leading up to their very first birthday and well, I just don't want to have to split that time. Even now I am daily thinking about how I thought Widdle would never come out. I can picture myself walking around T@rget looking for castor oil and the pharmacist begging me not to use it. And here he is almost four years old. Those last weeks seemed so long, and the last 4 years seem to have gone so quickly. I could cry..... but I won't. At least not right now. I still have two weeks.

Here's the other thing. I've been reading "The Birth Book" by Dr. and Mrs. Sears. It is an excellent resource just over flowing with information about birth and tips to help with labor. I so wish I had studied it exactly four years ago! Any who, with knowing how big our babies can be, I am really hoping this baby comes a little early. The dates I really like, with no real significance other than that I think they sound like nice birth dates, are Aug. 22nd or Sept 2nd. August 22nd would put three of our four children's birthdays on the same date. Also, it's a Sunday, so people would be easily available to help out with our littles. I'm not sure why I like September 2nd, I just like the sound of it. So, with reading this book and previous experience and all of that, I know that having your membranes swept is one way to move labor into action. I asked my midwife about this and she said that she would do it only if I asked and no earlier than 37 weeks. *Let me just add here that while I would like this baby to come early, my number one objective is for the baby to be healthy. If that means I carry him/her until the middle of September, I may be stinky and sweaty, but I will do it. I do not and will not (within my control) risk the health of this baby over wanting him/her to be smaller. And by smaller I mean smaller than 9 lbs. Preferably in the 7s somewhere.* With Waddle I had my membranes swept just a few days before 37 weeks, since Widdle was late and the sweeping never did anything for him, and he was born that night. Blah blah blah, with all of that, I will be 37 weeks and have an appointment on that day, the day before Widdle's birthday. Looking back over my own experience, that would have Paddle being born on Widdle's birthday, the very thing I am hoping to avoid! Though, if I moved my appointment to Widdle's birthday, the baby may come the next day, but I don't want to be at the doctor's office on his birthday either. I am not really worried about any of this timing, it's just a fun, silly thing for me to think about. It passes the time and helps me drown out all of the noise around me.

All of that to say, I am excited for this little one's arrival. Sometimes I am torn over the convenience of scheduling a c-section or induction, which are both options for me, but I know the ease of going into labor on my own and the benefits for the baby. While it is more chaotic for the rest of us, it is best and I can and can't wait for it to happen!

Another list

I am still here and still pregnant. I guess that takes away one excuse for such a delay. To be honest, I just don't know what to talk about on this thing! Here are a couple of funny things and other that have been heard and happening around our little pond:
  • I recently switched all of the clothing around for the boys. I had to take every single long sleeved item out of Widdle's closet and dresser because he kept wearing them. He wore a long sleeve button down shirt with a vest to church no less that 6 times, even in this crazy heat. So, with the shirts gone, he is forced to pick something else. He was excited to see a new blue and white striped shirt and wore it the first Sunday available. After getting dressed he asked me, "Mommy, can I wear this when I marry Chadleigh?" I replied, "Well, I think you look very handsome and that would make a nice wedding outfit, but it would probably be best to ask her what she thinks."
  • Widdle said "Will Chadleigh have babies in her belly when we get married?" Me, "I hope not when you get married, but maybe after you are married if the Lord wills it. How many babies would you like to have?" Widdle, "A brother, a sister, a brother and a sister. LOTS of babies!!" I hope the Lord does bless him with lots of babies, even if he doesn't end up marrying Chadleigh!
  • Waddle told me (at the dinner table) "Mommy, don't take your shirt off!" I replied, "Don't worry buddy, mama will not be taking her shirt off in front of you, especially at the table."
Not so funny, but good things that have happened:
  • My pre-registration for the hospital arrived in the mail yesterday or the day before, I haven't looked at it yet, but at least I have it!
  • Our sibling shirts arrived and have been washed and dried, ready for wearing! I think I mentioned these before, but I just have to shamelessly plug them again. These are THE cutest sibling shirts I have found and I have done a lot of looking! I ordered the baby one with a big blue bird, medium blue bird, medium-small pink bird and a tiny green bird, underneath it just says "baby". Once Paddle arrives I will re-order his/her shirt, but the others will continue to have a tiny green bird on theirs. Receiving this package in the mail escalated my excitement over our little one's arrival!
  • The boys are moved into their new room. We are doing a room shuffle to prep for the baby. This house is truly a blessing from the Lord. And I am thankful for it. When we first looked at it I had everyone placed and purposed each room, now that we have lived here for several months, I am repurposing rooms and trying to figure out ways to make everything work more efficiently. Maybe there's a bit of nesting happening too. Who knows! With that, the office/school room has been combined and is in the room that most families would use as a formal living room, right inside the front door. Except that it's always a mess, I love this room. The office originally was in our 3rd bedroom. When the office moved, that room became our guest room. The thing is, Piddle was sweating to death in the 2nd bedroom, which is on the corner of the house, and the guest room was always nice and cool. We could have just moved Piddle from the 2nd bedroom to the 3rd, but that would be too easy and I am a chronic furniture re-arranger and I'm nesting. So, the turquoise 3rd bedroom was painted red, the new bunk beds were partially disassembled and the boys happily relocated. They love their "news room" as Waddle calls it. With their move the other red bedroom, bedroom 1, had to be repainted. Albert took care of that last weekend. There is a bit of touch up left and the outlets need to be replaced, but it is functioning well enough for my nesting to relax. Piddle has switched to the new crib, the toddler bed is in place and I moved her dresser in yesterday. I was hoping to transition her to the toddler bed this weekend, but I don't want her to be able to play with outlets that aren't covered, so she has a little more time in her comfort zone. At least with the toddler bed she can use the same mattress and I am hoping that helps her. A couple of newborn outfits are hanging in her closet and half of the dresser has been cleared out. The second bedroom needs to be painted still. But, thanks to our dear friends, we have a queen size guest bed set up and ready for sleeping on in there. I also have the original crib, a changing table and glider in that room. It will be the newborn nursery/guest room for a little while. I am thinking I'll pull out the changing table and glider when we have guest and put the baby in our room then. After the baby is sleeping moderately well, he or she will move into Piddles room. Hopefully her need for sleep will rub off on the baby!
  • I will be shifting the car seats around tomorrow and vacuuming out the buffet in prep for a ride home with the whole gang.
Everything is pretty well ready to go, I just have to cook this baby a little longer and wait for the Lord's timing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sorry for the break.....

It seems that I am not a great writer, or great thinker these days, and thus the blog is left to gather dust...... along with every other project that I have ever started that is an ongoing thing. This blog makes me think of those little digital pets that were popular (at least with me and my sister) in the early 90's. Mine died. Not much has changed for me. If something does not make noise or in some other way demand attention, it will not be fed or cared for..... hence the stack of folded, clean laundry sitting on my dresser and the poor maintenance of this blog. But, you will be happy to know that my littles have been bathed, fed and changed in the recent past. :)

In other news, life is moving right along. I am 31 weeks and set up our hospital tour for next Tuesday. We do not want a repeat of Waddle's delivery. If you'll recall, we were planning to visit the hospital Saturday morning, drive by and see how to do everything. Well, I went into labor Friday night, only the Emergency entrance was open and we had no idea where we were trying to get to. I recently visited a friend at the hospital that I will be delivering at, so I at least know where our final destination is. I was talking to Albert about the tour yesterday and we both feel it is very important to figure out where we park and go in if I am in labor "after hours." Our first three were born at 8:05 a.m., 1:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. They like to party all night!
(This pic was taken over a month ago, just pretend this is still what I look like. )
The baby is moving like crazy and often feels like he/she is doing a headstand and keeping his/her balance on my ribs....... not the most comfortable thing ever, but it's temporary. My midwife recommended that I read "The Birth Book." I so wish I had heard of this book while I was pregnant with Widdle. I have been so clueless all along. I already feel much more educated for this birth and I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any lady who is expecting a baby. It is excellent.

Widdle is doing well. I can't believe he will be four years old next month. We have started his pre-school curriculum and he always asks to read more stories. I thought he would like the manipulative for math more than he is showing interest at this point. My main goal is to teach him to be considerate and thoughtful towards others, everything else he learns is just icing on the cake! It seems the Holy Spirit is working on his heart and it is a great joy to see. We still have a lot of hard days, but the fruit is showing and we could not be more joyful!

Waddle is half-way working on being potty trained. He does not seem to be very concerned with it and I am too distracted to keep potty time at the front of my mind. I think we will work with the timer next week and see what happens. Every morning I pray for more energy and the ability to accomplish the things the Lord has set for me, all I can gather is that the Lord is not extremely worried about Waddle's ability to potty on the toilet and keep his undies dry. Thankfully I have been able to relax and just roll with this. Waddle is extremely interested in babies these days. He is the most interested in our baby and wants to take it out. I wish it were that easy. He will be a wonderful big big brother and I suspect he will have a very special bond with this baby.


Piddle is sweet and sour. She makes us laugh all the time. She is walking everywhere and just learned how to go down the two steps that lead from our laundry room to our play room. Unlike every little boy that I know, she had decided that sitting down and scooting her bottom to the edge of the step is the safest and best way to move to the lower step. Our boys have always flipped over to their bellies, dangled their legs over and kicked until the felt the step. For the longest time Piddle would just stand at the top of the step and half whine, half grunt, looking for someone to rescue her. Widdle has been very happy to help. Now she can handle it, though she still looks around for an assistant. On Father's day she learned how to give "nucks." She has finally learned how to say "please" in sign language and how to knock on the door. I love seeing them figure out how to communicate and function in the world around them.



Albert took the boys to CO for a few days last week and they had a blast. Widdle has said several times that he wants to go back. Waddle will give me a little pouty face and say, "I leave you, I miss you." Today when he said this I replied, "it's ok though, you came back to me" and his face lit up. That warmed my heart a bit. While in CO they went horseback riding to breakfast and seem to have had a blast. I have heard about R.J. (Waddle and Papaw's horse) more than anything else from the trip.
Piddle and I had girl's time at home. She inherited a sleepy head from her mama and we both enjoyed sleeping in, taking naps and going to bed early. I had high hopes for getting a lot of things done in prep for the baby and the only real thing that was accomplished was resting up for the boy's return..... I work better when everyone is at home anyway. :}

I think that's the short overview of our last month. Maybe I'll be a little more with it in the next 5-9 weeks leading up to baby Duck 4's arrival, or we could just call him/her Paddle.

*That's a lie, after looking through the pictures and pulling these out, I see that we have been up to quite a bit more. We have gone blueberry picking several times and have about 20 lbs in our freezer. Hopefully we'll pick more next year, but I am just a little over it for this year. The boys had a BLAST shooting off fireworks in our front yard. We also enjoyed the show the city put on on the 4th of July. I just never get tired of fireworks! We hosted my mom's surprise 50th birthday party. I was certain she had an idea of what was going on, but she was totally shocked and I think it turned out great. The littles and I went to see the Blue Angel's practice show. That is another thing that I never get tired of seeing. I hope to go again next week. I had my hair cut short again. My dear cousin came to a beach near us and we were able to hang out with her and her sweet family for an evening.... before the oil hit. We had a very special time and I wish it could happen more often. OK, I think that's a better summary for now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just for you






Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's about that time

No, it isn't baby time yet, but it certainly is time for me to start hashing out my to-do list. Or should I call it a "Dream List." I think my list is a tad too extensive to actually be completed before BabyDuck4's arrival, but we shall see.

- Paint all of the walls in our house. We are making an effort towards this, but I think we need to be a tad more focused on getting it done.
- Buy the boys new bunk beds and sell the ones they have. Anyone looking for a twin/full bunk bed? If so, we have a great one!
- Transition Piddle to a toddler bed. This won't happen until the boys have new beds and she is climbing a bit better. She just doesn't seem quite as capable for the transition as the boys were. We still have time though.
- Potty train Waddle. Do you think I can will him to be potty trained? We've been lazily working at this for months and with neither of us being focused, it is very hit or miss. I just want him to wake up one day and tell me when he needs to go potty and poop. I do not want to have three littles in diapers!
- Buy new car seats. With the frequency of my nephew traveling the city with us, we need to be able to fit the maximum number of children into the space we have.
- Pick a boy name and a girl name for our baby. Right now we pretty much have nothing. Neither of us are in love with any of the names on the table........ This one is mandatory!
- Stock pile meals. This one is also mandatory. I hope we don't have to feed ourselves for a while after the baby arrives, but you just never know and it is better to be prepared.
- Figure out how I will handle day to day life with a newborn and three littles getting into everything.... This one may be a "learn as we go" thing.

I feel pretty relaxed about things at this point. Of course, I do have quite a while to go. Albert and I are taking a little mini-vacation soon and the bed transition can really begin after that. Everything else (pretty much) is just things I'd like to do, except for the car seat. We gave ours to some friends and do not have a car seat for the baby. But I am sure all that needs to be done will be done before D day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

19 weeks

Well, I'm almost 19 weeks, tomorrow I will be. Things are going smoothly so far. I haven't had any sickness, a tinge of nausea, but nothing to complain or really think about. I seem to have a bigger belly in the evening than in the morning and it seems bigger when I'm sitting down rather than standing. I feel like I'm still not showing enough for anyone to really notice, depending on what I wear. I have felt the baby move a tiny bit the last three days, but nothing like I seem to remember from my other three pregnancies. Will all three of them I knew I felt a baby move during week 16. This leaves me a little concerned and ready for our ultrasound, which is on the 21st. Hopefully the baby will be moving around like a little wild person!

Widdle is certain we are having a boy. When asked what we should name a girl he first says, "we need a boy too." His name options are Aniken Luke Skywalker or Tinkerbell. According to him if there is a Tinkerbell there will also be an Aniken...... we shall see, though I doubt either of those names will be used. He can call the baby whatever he likes though.

Waddle is sure that he has a boy in his belly. "Waddle" is what he thinks the name should be. While he speaks clearly, I'm not sure he gets it yet. He will though.

Piddle could care less as long as she is held on demand and gets plenty of Mama and Daddy love. I am trying to teach her to be gentle (a hard thing to learn with two big brothers for an example) and she is oh so close to walking. Her latest thing is walking around with one hand on the cabinet or furniture. It is only a matter of time. I think we are going to leave her rear-facing in her car-seat until she is two years old, or I loose my mind trying to buckle two babies in backwards...... whichever comes first. Right now she is still too tiny to face forwards anyway, so it isn't an issue and she doesn't know what she's missing. She is enjoying her bed more these days. It is one of the only places I allow her to have her paci and therefore, she goes in willingly and looks longingly at the crib when I pick her up. She has mixed emotions about telling her paci night-night and watching me put it in the drawer. I think A LOT of tears will come before sleep once it is totally gone.

I think this gives you a good idea of what's going on in baby news and baby prep at our house. Have any guesses what the sex of the baby will be?? Feel free to leave it in the comments along with a birth date and weight. Here are some tips to help you form a guess:

Widdle was 9 lbs two days late
Waddle was 7 lbs 2 oz three weeks early
Piddle was 7 lbs 9 oz nearly four weeks early

My due date is Sept 9. I've had two dreams that this baby is a boy and one dream that the baby was a girl and we introduced her to someone by the name we have chosen. That leads me to think it's either a boy or a girl! HA!

Feel free to leave a boy name idea too. That's always fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brain Purge

It seems that a lot has been going on and not much at all around here. Here's the run down on what's up with the Ducks:

- I read an amazing book that I HIGHLY recommend. It is called "Treasuring God in Our Traditions" by Noel Piper. I think every Christian and especially every Christian woman should invest a bit of time in this book. I only wish I had read it sooner, like while I was single, so that we could have started intentional traditions from the beginning. Also, the spaghetti recipe in the book is delicious! I made it last night for some friends and none of us could get enough. We are going to try out the Breakfast Cake for Easter and the Chocolate Eclair cake next week. Does that have your interest sparked yet?? Give the book a shot, it's amazing!

- We met with a midwife out in town last week. I really like her. She seems to be a MUCH better fit than the doctor I was given through the base. I tried to mentally just stick it out with the doctor I was given, but I just couldn't relax about her and decided to switch. I'm really glad I did! Our ultrasound is scheduled for April 21st and at this moment we are not finding out the sex. Hopefully I will be able to stay strong!

- My belly has semi-popped out. No, you won't be seeing any pictures. If you want to see it, come visit me, though you still won't see much of it. I'm not sure if I'm smaller this time or if I've collected a variety of clothing that flexes with my mid-section. Either way I can still were several of my non-pregnant clothes and a few pair of pants. No maternity clothes yet!! I think that's pretty good for a fourth pregnancy within four years! :)

- We have a 16 year old girl staying with us for 5-6 weeks. Some friends of ours are traveling around the country to raise support for going on staff with Navigators and their daughter was hoping to stay in town and take care of her horse. The first option fell through and at the last minute God laid it on our hearts that our home would be perfect. We are less than two miles from her horse and we have the space. She is a great help and I'm thinking she should just stay here until about Christmas!

- Upon moving M in, we set up our guest room. It isn't totally complete. (That would be nearly impossible since we found out she was coming Sunday morning, picked her up Sunday afternoon and attempted to organize the room for her after church!) But, it is a work in progress and at least the work has started! Since we painted the office two weekends or so ago, we were able to easily move the bookshelves into the office. Albert put the frame together for the full sized mattress that was on the floor, the boy's trampoline is now gone. And we found a use for the three drawer plastic thing that was sitting in our room empty. I think it still needs a fresh coat or two of paint, but it's perfect for a 16 year old girl and we actually have a quilt that goes great with it. It's just right for now.

- God has provided us with a temporary second vehicle. There is a whole huge story behind this (and if there's enough interest I might share it) but we have been using one car for about the last 8 months and for about a year before Piddle was born. Upon moving to the beach, we were hoping to have Albert's Papaw's truck. The addition has taken longer than we expected and we were needing another vehicle. Albert shopped Craigslist and looked at several trucks, none seemed right. Then, a guy from our Bible study offered his truck. It is perfect. Our friend bought a new car and wanted to give his truck to someone or sell it, but he felt that it wasn't worth enough to sell it and it wasn't in good enough shape to gift to someone. So, it is on loan to us until it dies or he moves. Whichever comes first! Hallelujah! For April, we also have M's dad's truck. He wants to make sure it is still running and asked us to drive it. So, for this month we have three vehicles to choose from. God is so good!

Little Lady

A little lady around here turned 1 last week.

Unfortunately she felt horrible and ran a low-grade fever all week. She did enjoy her cake, but it was hard to get a smile out of her. I can't believe Piddle is 1. In some ways it seems like she has always been a part of my life and in other ways the time seems to have flown by. I really enjoy reflecting back on the day each child was born on their birthdays. Piddle's was no different. In hindsight I am still so thankful that Albert was able to make it home in time to see our sweet baby girl enter this world. I wish I drank more water leading up to her delivery, maybe she wouldn't have had to spend a few hours in the NICU. I still remember asking Albert, "So, is it a girl?" Then laughing and asking, "What's her name??" I am so thankful Piddle is a part of our lives. I'm just not sure our family would be as well rounded if she weren't in it. Happy Birthday (10 days late) sweet girl. I love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Family Fun

We had a GREAT family day on Saturday. My parents met us down town at the McGuire's St. Pattie's day run, along with about 10,000 other people.

Albert left the house a little after six to pick up all of our packets. Upon arriving he realized that we totally blanked on the whole "green" thing and asked me to bring a green shirt along for him. I obliged and dressed the littles accordingly. We left the house a little after seven. Mom and Dad pushed our trio in two strollers so that Albert and I could run. My 10 year old brother ran with me. We had a GREAT time. We enjoyed talking about all of the costumes, breathing, and trying to pass people without picking up speed. After the run we enjoyed some Irish stew (C@ambell's beef stew) and hanging out. The boys all went up on the double decker bus and we continued to comment on what everyone was wearing. Maybe we'll dress up a bit more next year. After the run, we came back to our house and started the painting project. I can't wait to have the whole house done, but for now I am satisfied with the foyer and office. They look great and very fresh. For dinner, my sister and nephew came over for some brisket. We were all about to pass out by then and turned in early. We sure did have a special time together though!

Unique

We like "different" things. Some of the things around our little pond that make us feel "cool" or "different" are:
- having a lot of littles all close together in age. We are finding more families with a lot of littles, but our's seem to be closer together in age, or younger at this pointe. We love this!
- using cloth diapers
- nursing in public {modestly of course, but it isn't done by every woman}
- baby wearing. This is becoming more popular, but still has a ways to go with the daddies, not at our house though!
- our stroller. We think it's totally cool and really enjoy telling others about it.
- our theology. While we want everyone to love Jesus and worship Him in all that they do, a lot don't.
- Widdle's running bike.
- our new bike seat.

Albert found this bike seat yesterday and just "had" to buy it. We went for a ride last night and Waddle loved being so close to Daddy and having such a special seat. We think it would be a head turner if I could ride farther than 3 miles!

Resurrection Party



At the encouragement of a dear friend, I hosted my first Resurrection Party today. It wasn't very big or fancy and I really hope more people will be able to come next year, but we had a great time. The culture has influenced holidays so much that I think it is easy to forget what we are celebrating. So, today we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the true meaning of Easter. I only did two specific activities and the rest was just free play and visiting. It turned out great. Once our friends were here, we read through the Resurrection Eggs. I found these last year for about $10 at a bookstore in town. The kids LOVED it. I was impressed with their attention span. They all took turns opening the eggs and we talked about the tricky words in the story. Next was snack time. I was going to make a resurrection cake that walked us through Jesus's death and resurrection again, but I could not find a good picture to go off of. I did find the directions for a cross cake though, so I made it instead. It was really easy and tasty!

I decided to make a tomb out of the extra piece and used a R1tz cracker as the rock for the kids to roll away and see that the tomb was empty.

Widdle ate the cracker and now it just looks like a doorway, oh well. We had a great time and really enjoyed the special time with my sister and our friends, the M girls!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jeans

I would be willing to bet that jeans are a girl's second least favorite thing to shop for. They are for me at least. First would be swim wear- yuck! I took care of that last summer though and shouldn't have to update it again for at least a couple of summers. Considering it won't get any use this summer, it will still be brand new next summer!

Jeans were the mission for last night. I have three pair of the exact same style jean that are all out of style now. I bought the first two pair in the store before Widdle was born. The third pair was ordered off the Internet either before or after Waddle, I can't remember. The first two pair were "regular" length, which is about 6 inches too long for me. One pair is practically brand new because they are so long and hardly worn. The second pair, I cut off to the "right" length, then they unraveled a bit and now are only the "right" length after I've worn them for a day and they've stretched out. They are great for rolling up to capri length though. The third pair were my "nice" jeans. You know, the jeans that are to unraveled or worn, they looked decent with ballet flats, flip-flops, just about anything. Well, apparently I've started being a lot harder on my jeans. In the last three years I've worn a hole in the right knee of three pair of jeans. The last two holes came over the last month.

Last week I was going to write about how I was totally out of style with my jeans and that my last good pair were one good floor cleaning, owie kiss, toy clean-up away from a hole in the knee. Well, I am too late and they have fallen apart. I am now completely out of style. At some point, I think while I was pregnant with Widdle, they stopped selling my jeans in the store, I could only get them on-line. That was fine, I knew my size and shipping was cheaper than the stress counseling I would need for going to the mall for one pair of jeans. (just kidding) But I'd rather save the gas and order anyway. After Waddle was born, they were still available on-line. Now, after Piddle and a hard winter on my knees, when I am desperate for a new pair, they are totally unavailable and I am completely out of style. So, with no other option, we went jean shopping last night.

When we were in CO, b/p (before pregnancy), I did a little jean shopping. Albert and I went to G@p and I found a cut that I really liked, but they didn't have my length. Length is almost as important as waist size for me! So we left, jeanless. Yesterday I had a coupon for The L1mited, so I thought we'd shop around before heading to G@p, where I was pretty sure I'd find what I was looking for. The first three stores we went in were totally trendy, NOT me. I can not wear and refuse to try on the skinny jean. And jeans that are called leggings mean nothing to me. Almost every pair fit in my waist and hips (which is a miracle in itself) but the cut of the leg was just crazy. Some were snug to the bottom of me knee, then flared out. One pair looked like I was ready for a flood whether they were rolled down or up. It was just one thing after another. We headed into Dill@rd's and found that nothing in the Juniors department appealed to me, so we headed up to the Ladies. With great anticipation I tried on some of Reb@'s jeans. She always looks so classy and stylish. The moment I fastened them, I felt like this. I took them off immediately! The first time I felt like this was when I went into @E and asked the sales girl about my jeans and if they started selling them in the store again. She replied, "No, but if you are looking for a mid-rise jean, we have these that are a little higher." We left immediately and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

So last night I tried on pair after pair and was starting to wonder if the problem was me, the jeans, my old jeans what? I certainly wasn't comfortable in new jeans that are stiff and snug. My jeans haven't fit like that in at least two years. I had one thing in mind and I wasn't finding it anywhere. Finally we headed over to G@p and they had my exact size. It was so exciting! They fit great, though I am 12 1/2 weeks along. They were comfortable from the beginning and just fit exactly how I want my jeans to fit. My sweet husband bought me two pair. I should be set for the next 2-4 years!! Yeah!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Meet Little Quack

Yes, we have been thinking about having another little one.

Yes, we have been thinking it would be soon.

Yes, we knew we were pregnant when we started looking into adoption.

Yes, it's going to be a long, hot summer.

Yes, I know some of you have just been waiting for the news as the timing is later then it was with our last two.

God's timing is good and we are excited for "Little Quack" to join our family sometime in September.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fresh

Since moving back to the beach I have often struggled with the way I look. Of course I don't look the way I did before. I've had three children and walked through more than a couple of situations where I could feel the wrinkles setting in. I just can't have the fresh face of a 20 year old any more. When I lived here before I had long curly hair, but it just doesn't curl the same now. So, after about a year and a half or more of growing my hair out, it is time for it to go. If you've seen me recently, you know that my hair is pretty long. It hangs down my back, nearly to my waist.

Well, it did, until yesterday. I've been planning and "working" on growing my hair out to donate a ponytail to Locks of Love or Pantene. A couple of factors led to now being the time to chop it off.
1. It was long enough. LoL wants 10 inches. I never officially measured, but if they can't use it, they can throw it away, it had to go! Pantene wants 8 inches.
2. Every time I nursed Piddle, she was getting poked in the eye by my hair.
3. While nursing, Piddle would pull my hair and wrap herself up in it.
4. Some days my hair would just look crazy.

Since we are back at the beach, my trusted "hair girl" is in town! Every time I have come here for vacation, I have had her cut my hair. She did my hair for my wedding and is reliable and always great. Plus I enjoy the conversation. So, last Friday I was ready to cut my hair off myself, and I gave her a call. She couldn't get me in until yesterday. My hair pretty much stayed in a pony-tail or bun all week. I was done. Yesterday I was nervous to get all of my hair cut off. I have had short hair before and this "hair girl" has cut my hair short a couple of times and it always looks good and I am able to maintain it later, but I just was nervous. Plus, my hair looked really awful. (No, there aren't any pictures of me with really horrible hair, sorry.) In order to be able to use the donated hair, it can't have any product in it. This means no mousse, no gel, no hairspray....... these three things are what hold my curls together.

I walked out of the salon looking and feeling much better about my presentation. I feel like I look my age, in a great way! I feel comfortable. And, I think I will be able to maintain this cute cut and if not, I'll wear a ball cap for a while!


What do you think?

Edited to add:

I forgot to mention my family's responses. Widdle came running to the door when I opened it screaming, "MAMA!!!" As soon as he saw me he started walking backwards and said "What happened? Why is your hair like that?" I asked him if he liked it to which he responded while rubbing his neck, "I like it like this."

Waddle could care less.

Piddle came right to me but would not smile. She hasn't been feeling well, but I think she was uncertain of what happened to her mama.

Albert really likes it. Out of the blue he'll say, I really like your hair. Hopefully I can duplicate how it looks now!