Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So the verdict is in on why I have been so incredibly sick and lethargic. This momma has MONO!! Tell me how a mother of four youngsters is supposed to "sleep as much as possible" and "listen to your body." My only consolation is I am twelve days into this and I have survived so far. So.....2-4 more weeks shouldn't take too long, right?! My sister Beth said this morning, "You are going to get through this year, look back and wonder how you made it." That is the truth!! So I am hunkering down for a few more weeks of wanting to hibernate and hoping that it will pass quicker than normal so I can get back to normal!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tristan turns 2!!

For some reason my pictures are not wanting to upload right now. I am very frustrated about this whole problem! I was uploading pictures that my dear friend Tori has taken of Tristan at some of his milestones. The above picture was taken by her. I am going to put a plug in for her before I start talking about my little boy. Tori takes beautiful pictures and always captures the essence of my children. We spend a decent amount of time together too so she knows my kids and therefore can capture them well. So....for any of you who live in State College/Tyrone area I highly recommend Victoria Isenberg to take your pictures. She will come to your home or a location of your choice! Plus...she is beautiful, sweet and very candid! Tori, you are great!!

On to the man of the hour! As I was laying in bed Wednesday morning I of course starting thinking about the day Tristan was born and I can remember pretty much every detail. I suddenly realized though that all of our boys were born on a Sunday and all within the 10:00 hour. Tristan and Judah were after 10:00 pm and Shane was after 10:00 am. Weird, huh? All three on Sunday and all three sometime between 10-11:00. I am going to look back to last years calendar and find out if Eden was born on a Sunday. That would be pretty special.

So July 23rd 2007 rolls around - Tristan's actual due date. I had never gone overdue with any of my children so this was my last shot. Some of Mark's family was coming over for a cook out and I just had this feeling. I called Hannah and told her to bring her bag just in case I went into labor. I started contracting, feeling yucky, no appetite, etc. etc. and so finally around 7:00 I called my doctor. We talked about how fast I normally went during labor so she said to go ahead, come in and we would check to see what was going on. On the way to the hospital I finally realized that yup...I was definitely in labor. And I suddenly remembered why labor isn't exactly too fun. (don't worry Krista - labor will be fun for you and J) We got to the hospital, got situated in our room and I was checked at 9:00. Only 4 cm! I was really bummed because the contractions were so intense. The nurse called my dr, said that I should get up and start walking to get the labor going. I remember not being too kind and saying something along the lines of, "I am NOT walking! I couldn't even walk into the hospital! I AM in labor and it won't take long. I want some pain meds NOW because they never give them to me in time." I continued being slightly bossy but I didn't walk. I just sat on a big exercise ball which helped with the pressure. My mom and sister Donna arrived to my labor and delivery room shortly before the dr arrived. I didn't realize how comforting a mothers hands are even when you are an adult! My mothers hands rubbing my arms just took so much of the agony away. My mother has witnessed many labors when working at the hospital but she had never seen any of her grandchildren be born. It was an honor to have her there.

So..onto my poor nurse. I am not mean when I am in labor, just a little more forceful. The dr finally arrived just looked at me and said, "She is in labor. Get the anesthesiologist up here and lets give her something for pain." I fell in love with Dr. Hardyk right then and there. She is by far my favorite doctor I ever had and all of my doctors have been great. She just listened to me so much and believed that I knew my body. She checked me at around 10:00 and I was 6 cm. Still not what I wanted to hear but at least a little progress. The next 40 minutes is a blur. The anesthesiologist arrives, they prep me for a shot, she checks me and I'm 8 cm, he administers the shot, my water breaks 10 seconds later and Tristan arrives less than 10 minutes later. The medicine kicked in after he was born! Oh well!! I tried at least to enjoy the labor.

For me labor is almost a euphoric experience! My labors tend to go pretty fast so I am not completely exhausted from the labor and I can enjoy my child. Although Tristan was taken to the nursery for almost 1 1/2 hours for some tests. His sugar was a little low, his body temp wouldn't come up and so finally they brought him to me sometime around midnight. He was beyond beautiful!! And he still is! All the nurses and doc's told me that I am made to have babies! I didn't know exactly how to receive that. I know that I have been incredibly blessed with relatively easy and uncomplicated births. I just don't think that being told you are a baby making machine is necessarily a compliment!

Tristan has finally turned a corner I think with his sleeping patterns. For the past three weeks he has been sleeping pretty consistently through the night every night! This is a huge hurdle for the little guy and really an answer to my begging with God to HELP ME!!!!

Now that I have taken a trip down memory lane I will just say why I have been absent from my blog for a week. Basically it boils down to this - I have been sick - again!!! Craziness!! Today is day nine of fever, sweats, pounding, pounding headaches, no appetite and obviously low energy. I made a visit to the doctor one day this week and found out what I already was pretty sure - virus! My glands are sore and somewhat grotesque in swollenness but what can one do. Today thanks to my dear husband I slept until 11:00!! I have never in all of my 30 years slept past probably 9:00. Sleeping late makes me feel insanely lazy and I just can't allow myself that luxury. Today though I was pretty unaware that there was a world until my eyes opened at 11:00. I could have kept sleeping too but the silence was so weird that I have to drag myself out of bed and check things out. Mark has been so amazing this week. I feel as though my house has taken a beating but cleaning has not been at the top of my list of things to do - making it through the day has been my goal. The physicians assistant said if I am not noticeably better by Monday to come back in and be reassessed. I may just go back anyway. I mentioned something about my daughter having an infected gland a few weeks ago, how I know it would be a fluke, my glands are sore, yada, yada......The pa said to me, "How old are you?" with a somewhat puzzled look on her face. I told her that I am 30 and she gave me the strangest look. She said, "I am 23 and when I walked into the room I couldn't decide if you were 20 yet." This was said while I am sick, no makeup, feel like poo-poo - well you get the picture. I am going to make that woman some cinnamon rolls when I am feeling like myself again. She was too sweet. I can't decide when hearing that I look 20 became a compliment and no longer an insult. (No offense to those of you who are 20). SO.....just pray I am on the upside of this cursed plague of a virus!! I am done feeling tired.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


We have had a recent terrifying influx of bats at our house. Or I should say in our house. Completely horrifying!!! Wednesday night during the night Mark woke me up asking if I had heard any noise. I was wonderfully oblivious to any noise so I just kept sleeping. Shortly after Mark turned on our bedroom light exclaiming that we in fact had a bat in our room. For some reason I didn't really care. I just put the blanket over my head and kept sleeping. I was tired enough that I figured something as trivial as a bat wouldn't steal my sleep. The next morning though I was completely on edge anytime I opened a closet door. I was on guard but secretly hoped the bat had flown out our bedroom window that we so graciously opened for it.

Thursday I found the bat hanging on a screen downstairs. So....I just closed the window and called Mark to tell him I would allow him to deal with the bat when he got home from work. By the time Mark got home the bat was already dead. It seems the bat picked the wrong window to hang in. It received full sun all afternoon and there was no place to escape the heat. Thursday evening I was sitting on the couch and sure enough - another bat. A few screams later and Judah was out of bed and in on the action with Mark. Total dead bats on Thursday night - 3. By now Mark was getting very good at hitting them with a tennis racket.

Friday night rolls around. We couldn't figure out where they were entering the house. We thought maybe an air conditioning unit that was in our upstairs hallway. So we made sure every crevice was secure. We had some friends over last night and when we came in the house to put the boys to bed there was another bat!!!! I of course being the brave host and everything hit the floor in the kitchen and cowered in the corner. Mark went and got the trusty tennis racket and got back to work. We did figure out their point of entry though - they are coming down the chimney and into our wood furnace in the basement. We figured this out when we opened the basement door and there were two bats flying around at the top of the basement stairs. Total bats killed last night - 5. One of the bats never made it out of the furnace. First order of business today was ordering a cap for the chimney. Enough of this craziness! I just wish you all could have seen how excited Tristan was. I don't know that I have ever seen him so excited about anything. He laughed, he screamed, he ran after the bats, he giggled, he shrieked!! I got the video camera out to film him but Judah whacked that bat and it landed in my kitchen sink!!! I cannot even believe I am divulging this to the world. It seems really dirty or gross that we had bats in our house. Oh well - we had a lot of excitement over the past few days. Hopefully we are finished with the bats but I guess we will find out tonight. By the way, I just did a spell check and I had zero misspellings in this post!! Just thought you should know.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Smattering of Photos

Do any of you remember the book "Blueberries for Sal?" Or did any of you ever even read the book? This is one of my favorites from childhood and one I have read often to the two older boys. For some reason when Tristan is picking raspberries I think of this book. There is no tin pail to hear the "kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk" as the raspberries are dropped into the pail. But just like Sal the berries wouldn't even make it into the pail. As soon as Tristan finds a good candidate this is what happens:
No tin pail needed here. Just fingers that can pick the raspberries and get them to his mouth.
Ummmm! He stood out at the raspberry bushes yesterday and picked them pretty clean. This frustrated Judah since he missed out on yesterday's berries.
Oh.....he found another one. He is not afraid of the thorns and picks them very, very carefully!
Back to blueberries for Sal.....the other glaringly missing subjects are the mother bear and her cub. So I guess really the only similarity in the story is the little blond haired child eating berries. Although we did find a snake yesterday right next to the raspberry bushes! This created quite a stir and Judah thought he finally found his pet snake. He has been wanting a snake for a while now and I am kind of dragging my feet. They are in fact a very easy pet but who wants a caged snake in their house?
On to other fun activities of the day!! Dirt and water = mud and tons of fun for young boys! I don't know exactly what the boys were making here but they played and played in the mud! Very messy but who really cares! As long as they are getting along and behaving a little cleanup won't hurt this mother!
I realize that I only have a few pictures from Christine's shower so I will just post two of Mark's sisters. We had a wonderful time!! I am so excited that it is finally Christine's turn to get married. I got to meet her future mother-in-law and she had such sweet things to say about Christine. Everything was pretty much black and white and actually quite classy!
Here are Suzanne, Joyce and Hannah!
Add in Grace and Christine and you have the whole gang of Eveleth girls. I have told Mark more than once that I cannot imagine having so many beautiful daughters. It would be rather scary!!! I love these girls and am so grateful that they have always treated me as though I am really one of the family! Thanks you bunch of crazies and let the good times keep on rolling!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I am copying someone elses idea for wordless Wednesdays. I will probably post again later if all the kiddos are cooperative. I have some fun pictures from Christine's shower and our garden.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Emotions of Motherhood

It is amazing to me how every day is different yet all my days seem to have a common thread. The common thread is the myriad of emotions I feel in any given day. Take for instance yesterday. I woke up and didn't mentally prepare myself for the day ahead. I know this may sound somewhat stupid to some people but honestly I do need to have my "game face" on. It seems like the days when I wake up, focus on the tasks at hand and decide ahead of time to have a good day my days are more productive and I enjoy my kids much more. Yesterday I woke up and for some reason and just jumped into things without processing things out in my head and asking God for His much needed strength. On these kinds of days I end up feeling so many good emotions and just as many unhealthy emotions. I become much more self-focused and get frustrated very easily with the demands of small children. While Judah and Shane still need intervention numerous times a day when their emotions get heated they are pretty independent and self-sufficient. It is the constant demands of the two younger ones that can become draining. I start questioning our decision to have a bigger family and start envying people with two children. I think life would be so much more enjoyable with less demands. When I begin to zero back in on what is important I see Tristan sharing his blankie with Eden. I see Judah drawing a pirate ship for Shane because Shane is sick on the couch. I hear Shane tell Tristan that he loves him. I hear Judah and Shane working together on something and learning teamwork. I watch a father get home from work and spend his evening swimming with his family. I see God at work in my everyday, mundane and often times draining life. If I focus on what really matters suddenly things begin to look different. Instead of envying other peoples smaller families I find joy in watching Eden swim for the first time and marvel at how God has rescued her and brought her to us. And at the same time He was rescuing me from myself. When people say, "She is such a blessed little girl" I just want to reply that "No. We are the ones who have been blessed." Blessed by seeing Gods provision, His undying love for everyone, His mercy for the forgotten and the way I see Him working in my heart and the hearts of my children.

So today I am trying to celebrate the little things. Like Tristan and Eden sleeping at the same time. Like watching Shane and Judah spend time painting together. Like putting my cleaning aside and reading for a while to the kids. (This is no small miracle) I am convinced if we look past ourselves we would see God's hand everywhere! Go be His hands today and allow yourself to be touched by His hands as well!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hot Summer Days

We are well on our way to recovery from the weekend away with family. Camping with two little people is not really super enjoyable. It is manageable but ......By the time you get home you start to question your sanity, life in general and all the decisions you have made in your life up to that point. isn't really that bad. Tristan and Eden did amazing considering they were tenting and out of their normal environment. And throw in meeting over a hundred people that they don't know. Yes, they did very well. Going to Slate Run with our extended family is always a highlight of the summer. For those of you who read this blog that are not family I will break things down for you. My grandparents had 19 children. Yeah, you heard me. Nineteen!!! Throw in spouses for those almost 20 children and you quickly arrive to somewhere around 40 people - give or take a few. Add in all the grandchildren, their spouses, the great-grandchildren, etc. etc. and you soon arrive to somewhere around 150 people. All sleeping in campers or tents and having a wonderful time. We took Mark's three younger sisters with us this year and I must say having them there was so fun for us. Sitting up around the campfire, hearing stories that make you question whether or not you are related to people who missed the normal gene, hearing someone playing guitar while you laugh at the ridiculous antics of your brother, making runs to the candy store, giving your cousin the "what for" for setting off crazy loud fireworks after your kiddos are sleeping - these are all repeated memories year after year. It was wonderful having Eden meet all the extended family. By the way - Eden's swollen and infected gland seems to be going away without ever developing an abscess. We are so grateful that the antibiotic and prayer took care of the infection. Of course in my typical lame fashion I didn't take hardly any pictures while at the cabin. It may have had something to do with taking care of the two young ones while playing our badminton games. Judah and Shane spent a majority of the weekend in the creek playing with their cousins and sitting around the fire with us in the evening.

I made up for my lack of pictures today while Tristan and Eden were playing in their pool. What else are you going to do on oppressive, hot, humid and disgusting days?! Tristan is much more tentative when it comes to being in water. He isn't so sure what he thinks. You can kind of see that in his expressions these next few pictures.

Oh so cute!!

Eden of course loves the little pool. And she showed her many different faces while playing today.
By far my favorite expression in her repertoire.

While sitting at the "pool" I shot this picture. This is my favorite spot in our yard. I love being married to a man that can create such beautiful things!! This is where we make our smores and create many memories with the kids.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Pictures

My favorite Eden smile!! The scrunchy nose and chubby cheeks. Oh so kissable!!!

Saturday we had a big picnic/hangout/family reunion/......All of Mark's family was at our house as well as some of his relatives from Baltimore. We had a smashing good time!! We ate, played badminton, ate, threw horse shoes, ate, watched fireworks, ate - well you get the idea. Lots of yummy food and lots of memories made. It was hard saying good-bye to John, Ashley and their babies. It is never easy saying good-bye. Even when we know we will see them again in 2 months. Thanks Christine for getting married and giving them a reason to come back quicker than normal. Sorry Ashley that this picture isn't great of you. I somehow picked the wrong picture. And thanks again for the outrageously funny shopping trip. Good times, good times. I enjoyed every minute we got to spend together. You are a phenomenal mother by the way!!
Here is Shane showing Uncle Dave something very fascinating.
Tristan somehow latched onto Dave for quite a while in the afternoon and Dave was kind enough to do whatever Tristan wanted to do. Very sweet!!
Shane making Caleb laugh. Shane has such a soft spot for babies. I found him numerous times playing with the twins in the living room and making them giggle.

Jacqueline - oh so sweet!!
Caleb again. These two were so photogenic!!
This is the expression Eden kept giving Dave while listening to him talk. This is a pretty common expression when Dave starts rambling.
Suzanne has the touch with babies. She can keep them happy and they fall asleep so well for her. Caleb is sporting this cute helmet to help with the proper formation of his skull. He handles it so well - I know I wouldn't enjoy wearing a helmet 23 hours a day.
Dave and Jeff hanging out and catching up on life.

All these next pictures a really small since I got them off of John's Picasa album. I don't know - they are cute but you can't see them very well. apologies.

All the cousins on the Eveleth side.
So, we are almost completely recovered from the busy week squeezing in as many visits as possible with John and Ashley. And now we are gearing up for the "big" cabin this weekend with my extended family. A highlight of the summer for all of us.