Friday, January 31, 2014

School time with Daddy

Our children have a Daddy who takes great joy in teaching them.  His favorite thing to teach them about is the Word of God.  He loves sharing scripture and singing songs of praise with them.  In addition to that, he is willing to step in and do whatever I need help with.  I am so grateful for his support!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This is a beautiful sight

 
11 freezer meals made.
 
4 more in the works.
 
I am telling myself that all this hard work is worth the annoying number of Braxton Hicks contractions I am having.  I think I may have overdone it today.
 
Time to put my feet up and enjoy some Chinese take out.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Second Dinner

One of my favorite episodes of the series "The Office" is the one where Pam goes into labor with her first child.  During her pregnancy, she and Kevin are constantly eating together.

Here is a quote from Kevin: "Pregnant Pam and I, we get hungry at the same times so we've been eating together a lot.  Not all meals.  Just, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch and first dinner."

I can totally relate to this!  Especially at this stage of pregnancy.  There is just no room in my stomach for a full meal.  That means I eat less per meal but more often during the day.  Much more often.

EJ knows that I won't make it from dinner time to bed time without having "second dinner."  He teases me a bit, but make no mistake about it, he loves to join me for second dinner!

He was working late a lot last week.  He kept coming home after the kids were in bed.  One night, when he came through the door, he could see that I had an empty plate sitting next to me. 

"Oh no!  I missed second dinner!" He said.

"A pregnant woman's "second dinner" waits for no one!" I replied.




Saturday, January 25, 2014

This season of Marriage

EJ and I rarely go out for a date night.
 
We are plenty happy to put our little blessings to bed and watch a movie together at home.   One of the fantastic benefits of a consistent bedtime for children is time alone for Mom and Dad.
 
When I was growing up, I noticed that as a rule my folks went to bed at the same time.  Sure there were exceptions to that rule but for the most part they made it a priority.  I took note of this routine somewhere along the way and it has become a priority to us.  Something is lost when one spouse is spending the precious "no kid hours" watching TV while the other spouse is off to bed.  I'm not just talking about time for every married couples favorite activity.  Although that is a major benefit of the same bed time.  It is also the time when I am finally able to really talk.  No distractions.  I can share my heart with my man and hear what is going on with him.  That also seems to be the best opportunity for us to spend time in prayer together.  We don't have to wait for a traditional date night to connect in a real way.
 
We try to make the most out of our weekly schedule.  For example, as we prepare for baby E's birth, we go to the doctor a lot.  EJ has always attended those appointments with me.  (He never wanted me to go alone after the first time we heard the words, "I'm sorry but the baby has no heartbeat.")  His career allows him to make his own schedule and he carves out time for these appointments.  We make them into a quick mid day date.  We go to the appointment and then out to lunch.  I look forward to these little times together.  In his life, lunch with grown ups is a regular occurrence.  Not so much for me.  I even put on make up for those dates!
 
Every once in a while, we make a plan for a fancy "just us" date night.
 
We decided it was time to sneak in one of those before baby E's arrival.  We consulted with the grandparents and made reservations.
 
We got all dressed up.
(no small task for a woman who is 9 months pregnant)
 
The food was amazing.
 
My date was incredibly handsome. 
 
There will come a time when this kind of date night will be common.
 
A time when our babies are grown and it is just us again.
 
We both hope they don't grow up too fast.
 
We want to treasure our privileged role as Mommy and Daddy to our blessings.
 
For now, we will sneak in the occasional date night and view it as a special treat.
 
I am so glad we thought to have the waitress take our picture.
 
When I look at this, I am reminded of the two of us.
 
The two college sweethearts who fell in love and couldn't wait to get married.
 
The two imperfect people who have hurt each other, forgiven each other and grown deeper in love over the last 11 plus years of marriage than I ever thought possible.
Thank you God for the gift of marriage.

(I can't end this blog post without a big thank you to our folks.  Our children have grandparents who love them so much.  There would be no date nights or extra outings without the grandparents.  Thank you Papa, Grandma, Pop and Grammy.  We promise to do the same thing for our kids when they are in this season.  You are all a blessing!  Thank you for investing in our lives.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

A nesting state of mind

The countdown is on.

Baby E is coming.

I am a nesting fool.

My to do list does not stand a chance.

Recently, EJ and I needed to make two large purchases...

A chest of drawers and a rug.

I don't have time to mess around.

These are things that need to be accomplished before this Momma is sitting in a chair for 8 plus hours per day nursing a baby. Not to mention the hours snuggling his big (but still a baby) brother.  Not to mention meeting the needs of 4 other children in the house.  Did I mention that we also home school?  Anyway, I need to move on with the story before a panic attack comes on.

So, we headed out to find and make these purchases.  I was decisive.  None of this looking around forever.  These will work.  Done.  Off my to do list. 

As we drove home, EJ said, "Wow.  I wish I could keep you in a nine month pregnant state of mind all the time.  You are so decisive!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The oldest brother

 
B loves being the big brother to this wild group.
 
He has often prayed and asked God for more siblings.
 
When we found out he was on the way 8 years and 10 months ago, we were over the moon excited.
 
We couldn't believe that we were actually having a baby after 2 years of trying for one.
 
His first name means, "Brother."  His middle name means, "God has heard."
 
When we named him I didn't know the meaning of his first name.
 
Now I realize that God knew all along he would be the brother to many.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

35 weeks

 
35 weeks of growing baby E!
 
The weeks are passing a little too fast.  I am working hard on my to do list.
 
I have been singing a silly song to the kiddos about my list.
 
"I'm making a list, checking it twice.
Baby E is coming if I'm ready or not."
 
Then they all chime in...
 
"Baby E is coming to town!!!!"
 
(Only we say his name since we don't actually live in blog land).
 
E's movements are getting bigger and stronger every day.
 
He regularly decides that he is going to stretch his little body out from head to toe.
 
The problem is that there is not enough room left in my tummy for that kind of movement.
 
It takes my breath away when he does that.
 
When I am uncomfortable, I remind myself that he is strong and healthy so it is a good thing!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The new stroller is...

AMAZING!
 
 
We took it for a spin at the zoo today.  It is SO easy to push I could even maneuver it around while 9 months pregnant and with a cup of coffee in my hand.
 
Now that is a good stroller!
 
Miss Ruthie liked her view and baby D seemed content as long as we were moving.
 
Q is a bit jealous that he is officially too big for the stroller.  That little man always loved to ride.  Technically the stroller can handle him but we know he needs to work on his big boy skills.
 
We are a family that is used to getting looks when we are out and about for various reasons.  Sometimes it is the sheer number of little ones.  Sometimes it is the different colors of our skin.  Sometimes it is the bottle I use for baby D or the baby wrap I wear him in.  Sometimes it is my huge pregnant belly.  Today we added the totally amazing triple stroller.  We were the complete package.  I may need to have a pamphlet made to hand out addressing these various questions.  Hee hee.  You all know I actually love talking to people.
 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Q's first dentist appointment



 
Our big four year old was awesome at his first appointment. 
Strong work Q!

Friday, January 17, 2014

W's graduation from speech

Today was a big day.

A very big day.

Our 6 year old, W, had his official graduation from speech therapy.

He has had to overcome several neurological difficulties in his young life.

One of those difficulties was speech.

When he was two years old, I knew there was a problem.

God provided the most wonderful woman to guide us through this experience.  I refer to her as Mrs. Daisy on the blog.  She is amazing and I am so grateful for her. 

For the past 3 1/2 years she has lovingly encouraged W to work hard.  He has met those demands and done so with great determination.

We love you W! 

We are incredibly proud of your accomplishment!

Today is a day to celebrate!

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coffee with a side of encouragement

This morning I was meeting mom, 2 of my sisters and my grandma for a coffee/play date.

I loaded up the kiddos in the silver bullet (aka 15 passenger van) and barreled down the road.

I am sure I look ridiculous in the drive thru when I pick up coffee.

But honestly, can you think of anyone that needs coffee more than the mother of a big family driving a 15 passenger van?

The guy at the window said, "Wow, you can fit a lot of people in there!"

I said, "Yes, we are expecting our 6th baby next month."

He said, "That is great.  I am one of 8 children.  We had a van like that."

I said, "What number were you?"

"Number 8," he replied.

"I would love to hear your perspective."  I said.

He smiled and said, "It was a great life!"

Then as I got ready to leave, he said, "God bless you."

I love hearing people talk lovingly about their families. 

In a world where people have a lot of negative comments for big families this guy was a little bit of sunshine.

Thanks for brightening my day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Q!

Mr. Q celebrated his 4th birthday in style with a pirate party!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Can you tell he is a joyful fella?
 
Q, we love you so much!  We are still in awe that God chose us to be your Mommy and Daddy.  You are becoming a big boy right before our eyes.  We are so proud of you!
 
4 looks good on you big man! 
 
Daddy helped him tune his new guitar.
 
He loved playing that thing right in the big middle of the party.  Our guy loves an audience.  (I think he gets that from his Daddy)
 
Even Baby D got to be a pirate for a while.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I was trying to have a moment

First thing this morning, all the kiddos climbed into bed with me to say good morning to baby D.  He had just finished his bottle and he was all smiles.
 
They were all so sweet.
 
I was having feelings of joy, thankfulness and contentment.
 
I asked EJ to take a quick picture with his cell phone for me.
 
 I wanted to remember this moment in time.
 
Then the 1 year old decided that SHE DID NOT WANT HER PICTURE TAKEN.
 
The 3 (almost 4) year old decided to jump around like a crazy man.
 
The happy baby spit up.
 
So here is my moment.
 
I am going to keep it.
 
I will take the crazy with the calm.
 
I will never get these days back.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

This is how we roll!

I pulled the trigger.
 
Meet the newest stroller in a long line of strollers owned by our family.
 
The Valco Baby Tri-mode with Joey seat.
 




 
Everyone thinks it is pretty cool. 
 
The Joey seat is removable when Miss Ruthie is big enough to be stroller free.
 
Time will tell if it is the stroller to beat all strollers!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A little photo shoot for his birth momma




Hope and her family sent some sweet presents for baby D at Christmas time.  I finally got around to taking his picture in the clothes for her. 
 
Isn't he precious!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mustard

How I love thee!
 
This has never happened before.
 
My biggest pregnancy craving this time around is mustard.
 
I am out of control with it.
 
I am guessing I will not want to touch the stuff after this little man arrives.
 
What in the world am I missing in my diet that I crave mustard?
 
Weird.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The big brothers have spoken

(The oldest two boys were talking to Sissy (aka Miss Ruthie) when this conversation started.  They love her so much!)

B: "I want another sister."

W: "Me too."

Me:  (pointing to my tummy) "I am cooking another brother in here.  How will we get another sister?"

B: "Well, if you get pregnant again it could be a sister.  Or we could adopt a sister."

W: "Yes, we could adopt a sister!"

B: "Mom, I want to help another mom who needs us."

I LOVE their hearts.

(Now slow down fellas and let Momma get baby E here first. Ha!)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

33 weeks (almost)

 

 
In just a few days I will be 33 weeks pregnant with baby E. 
 
I am sort of shocked when I see pictures of myself.  I know that he is growing big but the sight of my belly still surprises me. 
 
When I was 6 weeks pregnant with Miss Ruthie, the boys and I were in a car accident.  I kept meaning to go to the chiropractor after that but I never did.
 
A couple of months ago I had some neck and back pain that was more than I could handle.  I could hardly hold baby D to feed him.
 
I was so thankful when I made it to the chiropractor.  After some regular appointments with him, I am a believer.  It took about 3 adjustments for the pain to be gone.  After that, I continued to attend appointments to keep up with my changing pregnant body.
 
If I had only known that I could feel this good in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy I would have made chiropractic adjustments a priority in my previous pregnancies.  I cannot believe what a difference these appointments have made!
 
Also, I am busy mothering a 3 1/2 month old baby.  That is an exhausting thing to do when you are not pregnant let alone when you are in your 3rd trimester.  God has blessed us so much with a baby boy who loves to sleep!  It took me a little while to figure out his preferred schedule by watching his cues very closely.  Now he is a predictable and happy little man.  He eats well and sleeps hard.  I have no doubt that baby D's love of sleep is a good and perfect gift from God!  We have had enough babies to know that they don't all sleep so well.  At this point, he only wakes once in the very early morning, eats and then goes back to sleep.
 
Miss Ruthie has an amazing vocabulary for a 1 year old toddler.  Her ability to communicate with me cuts down on the crying and whining that I was used to when my little ones were that age.  She is such a big girl these days and we love watching her play the role of big sister to baby D and soon to baby E.
 
B is 8, W is 6 and Q is just days away from being 4.  These are our big guys and they are just plain awesome!  B & W are the only ones in school at this point.  They are a joy to teach and we love watching them learn.  Mr. Q is doing a little preschool learning here and there but nothing formal until next year.  He still takes a nap in the afternoons and he needs that rest because he plays hard!
 
Our days are busy but they are good!  We have been reminded by many friends that "these are the days" we will talk about for years to come.  When all the children were young and we were growing our family.  When I have a tough day I try to remember this.  It is a precious time for sure.
 
I know that the addition of baby E will create some temporary chaos.  A new baby always does.  I will need to remind myself that it will become our new normal and things will all fall into place once again.
 
I am so grateful to God for a healthy pregnancy and for the energy to meet the needs of all our little blessings.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

They say it's your birthday!





Happy Birthday to my main squeeze! 
 
You are so loved. 
 
Here is to another year of loving each other and our babies.