Saturday, May 30, 2009

Living Room

This is what my living room usually looks like - except this is mild. A few years ago it would have made me half crazy! Now it is a sign of happy kids in my home! Fun times!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Before and After Pictures

Yesterday found me with the clippers in hand ready to get rid of Tristans mop! I was so torn. How I love his curls! But he sweats so much and his hair always has a sweaty smell. Not too appealing. And he absolutely abhors getting his hair washed. There was only one thing to do. Give him a shorter cut for the summer. Here he is before the cut (last week). So, so cute!!
The new little man!! He wanted to hold his baby Deidi (as he calls her). He can say Heidi - he just prefers calling her "baby Deidi." Don't ask me why because I have no idea. Check out the double chin on baby girl! Pretty cute!
This is the pose you get when you ask Tristan to smile for a picture. Are you catching onto him? There is really no rhyme or reason with this one. He marches to the beat of his own drum. everyone!
I am quite pleased with how cute he looks. It changed his looks and he is proud to tell whoever will listen that he got a haircut. Maybe it feels good to be free of all the hair. Or maybe he got tired of people commenting on his curls and missing the sweet boy hidden under the curls. Either way......I love it and more importantly ....I love him!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sweet Moments

A very familiar sight around this house these days. Lots and lots of snuggle time for me and the little babe.

I am exceedingly glad I resisted the urge to blog during the night when my emotions were running askew & my view of life was distorted. Somehow the world looks so different in the morning. Circumstances haven't changed - perspective has changed.
I will give an update on Heidi first & then give you some laughs. Heidi has had a very rough few days. Which means in code terms that everyone has had a rough few days. When I am tired & deprived of sleep I have a difficult time not seeing everyone in my path as some sort of nemesis. I would love to paint a rosy picture for you but that would be far from the truth. I have never been more aware of my humanness & selfish tendencies. I think that has been one of the hardest things for me over the past few weeks. Having to take a good hard look at myself and not being too thrilled with what I see.

Since Friday Heidi has been having trouble nursing. She is super excited to eat but shortly after latching on pulls off screaming and writhing. I finally called the doctor yesterday but he was unconcerned. Either that or wasn't happy being bugged on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. She isn't dehydrated or anything. She is just uncomfortable when eating. This has made the days and nights seem long. When she is awake she lets out blood curdling screams as soon as you put her down. She has to be held!! She doesn't seem unscathed by everything. She is growing nicely and is so beautiful!

So what has been my problem you ask? Well......guilt over not enjoying her too much as of late. Guilt because I feel so unavailable to my other four children. Guilt because my tongue has been quick to speak untruths and my mind has been even quicker to believe them. Focusing so much on the difficult moments that I miss the lighter moments. And yes...I know that guilt is not from God. I know, I know. It still swirls around me viciously at times. All in all I know that my children will come through their childhood with a few wounds from me but hopefully they will not be scarred. It is just inevitable that I will fail them and as a result there will be wounds. And now I am totally overreacting so I will stop before someone feels the need to shut me up.

For some humor: I was trying to console Judah yesterday after he was unsuccessful at keeping two week old robins alive. Their mother met her demise somehow (we suspect the stray cat) and Judah took it upon himself to be their mother. He told me at one point that he was proud of himself. Humility anyone? So....the babies died yesterday morning in the nest their mother built for them and was now in a box on the back porch. He was quite teary so I was doing my best to be empathetic. I assured him that he had done a marvelous job feeding them worms and caring for them but they just really needed their momma. I told him he could pick a spot outside to bury them so he would have a place to remember them. I started telling him of a time when I was a similar age and my kitty was hit on the road - by my neighbor. I buried the kitty close to the barn and sat next to it all day crying. I so vividly remember that day. I remember feeling very "little house on the prairie" ish with the wind blowing my dress and my long braids (weird I know) Anyway, I tell Judah that I spent the entire day by the burial spot and he looked at me kind of funny. He said very incredulously, "You didn't even have a snack?" So much for trying to relate to my son. As of today I don't think he has even thought of his two birds. He is back to honing in his hunting skills which means shooting birds again. That was the whole ironic thing for me - he was trying to save two helpless birds that he would have no qualms shooting later. Hmmm.....

One last thing and if you don't like potty humor it is best you stop reading. Tristan is very into his poop right now. We usually have to discuss size, shape and color of his poops upon completion. He must feel validated or something by his pooping abilities. Yesterday when he was done he wondered if there was corn in it, Strange since we hadn't had corn to eat. This morning he said to me, " it nasty?" I was thinking, "Did you have to ask?" Boys. They are absolutely gross in so many ways but indisputably cute.

Now that I have typed most of this post with one hand while feeding Heidi (this was typed over numerous feedings) I will go outside and try to get something done or play with the boys since both girls are sleeping. Or maybe I will sit on the porch next to my husband and tell him all the things I am grateful for. That will get my focus in the right place.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

These Days

I have every intention of posting almost everyday but by the end of the day all I am left with were the good intentions. I am finding that with two toddlers and a baby I do not have too many spare minutes in my days. And when I find a minute I try to connect with my older two or do the myriad of household things that need done. One of these days things will feel like they are returning to normal and I will feel inspired to write more often. Over the weekend we celebrated Mark's sister Hannah's graduation from Penn State. We had the family over on Sunday and had a great time. I think the highlight was taking turns ripping around on the four wheelers. I had to look away more than once - especially when Joyce was riding. She doesn't hold anything back!! What happened to my "throw caution to the wind" attitude? Motherhood does strange things to you. I was planning on going to my aunt's wedding on Saturday but sadly my van decided to have some problems on Friday. It isn't a major problem but still isn't fixed - supposed to be fixed on Thursday. I must say it feels really strange not being able to go anywhere for a few days. Not like I have energy to pack everyone up and gallivant around. I was just sad to miss seeing all my relatives.
Heidi continues to grow and I have myself almost convinced that I see a change in her cheeks almost everyday. They are quite chunky!! And irresistible. They must be kissed over and over! We have seen a significant change in her sleep patterns and her overall comfort level with her chiropractic care. I cannot say enough good things about it! Such gentle adjustments with fantastic results!
Notice Eden's hand in this picture. She was going in for a kiss. I am coming to terms with the fact that Eden has no concept of gentle which can cause unpleasant moments foe Heidi. She means well, dear girl.
One of my new all time favorite pictures of Tristan. He is so photogenic.

Eden being silly!!
Snuggling with Heidi in our bed. I had just fed Heidi and laid her on the bed so I could get dressed and Eden saw that as an opportunity to make her move.
Another sweet picture. This is the only tree Tristan can climb in our yard which is good since he is only two feet off the ground.
Watching an airplane.
Just being her cute little self.
After her dedication at church on mothers day.
Judah and Shane pushing Tristan and Eden in their swings. This is probably the two younger ones favorite thing to do right now. Eden is content to just sit in the swing and dangle in the breeze. She sits there singing and swinging.
Playing with the chickens on a beautiful afternoon.
The real question most people want answered is: "How are you holding up?" I am doing great most days, okay some days and not so great on a few days! I am keeping my expectations low and trying to get a few things done everyday that are at the top of my "to do" list. All in all I am doing good.
And now I must go get dinner in the oven since Heidi is sleeping. Until next time.....

Monday, May 11, 2009


First I just want to say I am realizing that my blog needs some serious revamping and updating. I'll get right on that in all my spare time. Which means it may be a while until it actually happens.

I know the title of my post may be a little vague. If you keep reading it will all make sense.

Last week was a really rough week. I'll just state it like it was. Not fun. Felt never ending. Didn't know if I would survive. You get the point. One of those weeks that started spiraling and I just couldn't seem to get it back together. To refresh your memory I just had a baby, remember? And for those of you moms who have gone through childbirth you will know what I am talking about when I say you hit a wall about 3 weeks into the whole process. That was last week for me. I was cruising along, amazed at how smooth the transition was going and wham!!! Didn't see the wall in my vision but I sure ran into it at a fairly high rate of speed. The contributing factors were these: hormones that apparently were crazy, an almost 2 year old daughter that has decided to become almost not human in her behavior towards me, a 3 week old baby that would only sleep if held by me (day or night) and a 3 week old baby that for lack of a better word was colicky! I have heard that colic existed but have been fortunate enough to have dodge the bullet with all the other kiddos. Not this time!

Let me just paint a picture of the typical scenario for you on any given day of last week. Heidi is screaming, hasn't slept in 4 hours, aching shoulders (still getting over bursitis) from holding Heidi, bags under my eyes that you could go camping in if you needed a place to pitch a tent......sit down to nurse Heidi, she starts gulping away, Eden decides to sass me (No..I Not) over something completely trivial, I instruct Eden to go to her room and sit on her bed for a time out, she says again (No....I Not), so Heidi's eating is interrupted, the mom bodily removes Eden from the room and plops her on her bed, come back to the living room to an irate little baby because she is hungry and not happy to be interrupted, get her back to gulping away, Eden emerges and the whole thing is repeated within about 5 minutes. No lie!! This week Eden has started moving away from telling me no about everything and instead yells in a very loud and authoritative voice, "You a stinker!" when asked by me to listen. Geesh!!!

So....back to the story. My week was falling apart around me into a miserable heap. Or so I thought. I kept telling myself to remain objective, focus on everyday and not to think too far ahead. I kept thinking something I was eating was bothering Heidi and finally I realized that she fits the whole "colic" routine pretty darn well. Ahhh!!!!

Thursday rolls around and I call my friend Sara. I leave a message and try to get a hold of my mom. I leave a message with her as well. Shortly after I call Mark pretty much sobbing and saying, "I don't think I'm cut out for this." He listens, tells me I am doing great, tells me that he will try to make it a shorter day, to hang in there - all the right and true things to say. Then Sara calls me and I vent for a while, feel much much better and can go on with my day with a significantly lighter step.

Friday morning rolls around and I load Heidi up and head to a new chiropractor. I was so excited to see this doctor. He is new(er) in town and goes to our church. I was going for myself because my shoulders were so painfully tight. Turns out he had adjusted 3 babies by the time I got there in the morning. He worked on Heidi as well and we are seeing pretty significant changes in her. She has slept in her cradle the past two nights (first time ever) and overall hasn't cried nearly as much. We have some more treatments to go but they have tremendous results with colicky kiddos.

While at the chiropractor Sara shows up and so does another friend Ciara. They state they are there to rescue me!! I haven't felt that loved in so, so long! Sara carved out a chunk of her day to do whatever I wanted to do. It was amazing!! We got some lunch, I bought some new jeans (since I can't wear my other ones) got groceries and just had fun connecting and being together. Seriously, amazing!!! And just what I needed. I have never been "rescued" like that and have determined it is one of the best things a friend can do for another friend.

Back to the title. I almost didn't call Sara last Thursday because I didn't want to be perceived as a downer. I finally decided that my need outweighed what someone may perceive about me. And of course since she is a mother herself she has run into the same wall I found myself hitting my head against. If I wouldn't have called and been honest, I would have missed out on being blessed by my friends' love. I need other women to be in my life. I am so grateful for the friends I have. I have had so much help and company since Heidi's birth. Lara and Barb coming to do some cleaning, play with my kids, make lunch and make me sit on the couch. Lara coming back with her kids to play with my kids and just sitting on the couch talking, Sara bringing her kids over to play and making lunch (as well as bringing the lunch with her). I could go on and on. My mom, my mother-in-law and countless others who have called, sent messages and loved me from afar.

I am grateful tonight as I look back over the past few weeks. My friends, sisters (in-laws too) and moms - all are amazing women and I am better because of them. And tomorrow night I get another dose of fun women - Bunko!!! Whoohoo!!! Can't wait.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Almost 3 Weeks In

I find myself in a bit of a cloud this morning. Kind of foggy. Overall I have been getting fairly good sleep so I really can't complain but.....I think I feel some complaining on the horizon. Yup! I am wanting to complain this morning. goes.

Tell me why Heidi will sleep in her cradle for her naps during the day but as soon as night time rolls around she thinks she needs to sleep on me? Seriously, as soon as I crawl into bed she wakes up and isn't consolable unless she is laying on my chest. Shortly after nestling into my chest she enters a nice peaceful oblivion. Is it the sound of my heartbeat? The familiar smell? But why will she sleep during the day without being on me? For some reason last night I found myself getting a bit frustrated. I just really want to sleep in our bed but am spending the nights on the couch with the little miss. I have decided it would be really nice if Mark also was lactating so he could take a night shift. Sadly, I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon. Or in this lifetime.

She isn't the most content when awake either. I decided to go ahead and cut dairy out of my diet to see how much change there is. All of our kids seemed to really mind when I had dairy so *sob* there will be a lot less dairy for me over the next months. Something I am eating is creating quite a bit of discomfort in her belly and I am pretty sure this is the culprit.

Enough complaining now. She is growing beautifully - at her 2 week check she weighed in at a little over 8 pounds. In the midst of the fog I can recognize God's sovereignty in bringing her into our lives. We were unaware that we needed her but He wasn't. We are in love with her and watching all the kids interact with her brings immense joy to my heart!

Everyone seems to be adjusting well and this has been the easiest transition by far. I guess you wouldn't know it from my previous complaining. Just bear with me. I think with each child you have you know what to expect a little bit more, you lower your expectations a little bit more and you just roll with things.

Eden loves "her" baby and likes to hold her a lot. Last week on two different occasions Eden threatened to flick the baby when I was disciplining her. I was amazed that Eden could even process all of that in her little head. I have to watch her pretty closely. She has been extremely ornery lately and spending quite a bit of time in time out on her bed. Eden is so similar to Shane in her stubborn/strong/independent (insert any number of adjectives here) will. Another way she is similar to Shane is this: when she realizes I am getting frustrated with her (the tone of my voice) she gets great satisfaction. She will laugh at me as I am attempting to correct and discipline her because of attitude and behaviour. Which of course makes me even more upset. Lord help us!!! She takes a considerable amount of energy right now but I am convinced that when we come out on the other side we will have the sweetest little girl on our hands.

I guess it is time for me to run. Speaking of Eden - she is tormenting Tristan to the point that he is in a heap on the floor screaming. She is acting as though she is completely innocent and oblivious to the obvious frustration she is inflicting on her brother. And what is the fight about you ask? Some stupid little baby spoons Tristan found in the silverware drawer this morning. Sometimes I think that life would be so much easier if we got rid of every single item in our home and just lived in a bare house. But then I am sure someone would touch someone else and then we would have to start removing appendages from the kids so they couldn't touch each other. And then someone would look at someone else and then what would we do? And then quite possibly someone would breathe too loudly or chew too loudly. Oh the beauty of living together in harmony.