Especially on days like today. Jack has another cold which means all I can do it hold him. Everyone took to crying as their coping skill for the day. I even cried. You know you are a mom when you wet wipes instead of Kleenex because they are closer to reach.
Even in the midst of my hard day, their were highlights. The temperature was 77 degrees today. I live in MN and that is unheard of for the first of April. The trees are budding and spring is here. God has been so gracious with an early spring because our house was feeling mighty small with so many little people running around. And now with my Sister-in-law not living next door, we don't have anywhere to go to burn off all of our extra energy. Biking around our driveway has become the new favorite past time.
Speaking of biking...Silas is a wild man on his bike. Faster is better. I am so thankful we have a helmet for him. He is going to be my ER kid because of all the crazy stuff he does.
Lydia is sooooo close to riding a bike all by herself. I wish I didn't have to wear Jack on the front of me so that I could help her more. Even with that, she is doing great. A couple more days of practice and she should have it! She wants to surprise her cousins with her new skills when we go and visit them in 10 days. (not that we are counting days around here:) She wanted to pack her suitcase today so she would be "ready."
I am trying to celebrate the lasts and to stay focused on the blessing this season of my life has been.
My sister-in-law and family move tomorrow morning. Being next door neighbors has been so amazing these past 20 months. To have that support, love, and shared life has been so encouraging especially these last 4 months when we have gone from 3 to 6 children.
The Lord is writing our stories and I am trusting that something beautiful will come out of this but it still doesn't make it easier when you are in the midst of it.
Today I am sad.
But tomorrow will be better.
A new chapter has started and I am so curious what God is up to in our lives.
Yes I have joined that world. I didn't even realize that there was a support group for mothers of multiples...and I qualify with my triplets.
They have a huge garage sale twice a year here in town. A friend invited me to sell a few things under her name, so I took her up on her offer.
This was a well oiled machine event!
Seriously - these women had it down to a tee.
We all arrived at 7 am...set up...put of stuff out...we shopped early...and then they let in hoards of people at 11 am. They only run the sale until 2 pm. It was completely amazing!
(I was hoping that I sold enough things to buy our whole family nerf guns for a family nerf war. My kids would go crazy over something that like. And I just saw them on sale at Target for $10...shhhh!)
I interviewed Lydia last night because she earned the privilege of staying up later by cleaning the living room. (side note: She is the one telling me at night that I would really appreciate it in the morning if I cleaned up the house before going to bed. Oh - she is so much like me that it makes me laugh)
Lydia age 5
1. Playing with Jack 2. Special Dates with Daddy 3. Special dates with Nana 4. Winning prizes at RAD (Wednesday Church night) 5. Painting pictures 6. Riding horses 7. Looking at books 8. Peeling carrots and potatoes 9. Playing with my cousins 10. swimming at the lake cabin
Favorite place to go? Sauk Centre McDonald's Playland What do you want to be when you grow up? Mom Food? Mac and cheese Favorite books? Annie's apple farm and Usborne First Experiences Favorite Uncle? (I only asked this because my brothers always fight to see who is the favorite uncle of the day) "That's a hard one...I think it is Joel." Favorite Bible verse: The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold or silver pieces. Psalm 119:72
I've been mulling this post over in my head for the past couple of weeks. This Sunday it was brought up at our small group and it was again when I went to our MOMS group at church.
The topic was basically on meeting needs for people whether they just had a baby, are going through a crisis, or just being an authentic community of believers.
The one thing that I have learned along the way is this: I must be intentional on meeting the needs of people around me. I cannot say, "Call me anytime." or "Let me know how I can help." Because if I am really honest, when people say this to me I don't or won't call them. I am not going to call someone who I know lives a busy life (don't we all live busy lives?) and say, "Will you come and clean my bathroom?"
Nope. Not a chance. I will suck it up and clean my own bathroom - even if it takes me a couple of weeks to do it. It is my own sin of pride getting in the way.
I started thinking that if I feel and do these things I am probably not alone.
What I need to start doing and saying is this: "I have Tuesday night free. I am coming over to your house and I will do whatever you need done. I am bringing my cleaning supplies and you will put me to work." "I am making you a meal. When would you like me to bring it over, or would you like me to freeze it so you can pull it out any night of the week?"
I know this is a little too straight forward for some people, but this is what has been done to me in the past. I was blessed last fall when a group of women came to my house and did a deep cleaning. It was so wonderful because I was 8 months pregnant and the two boys just had come home and life was hard. They said they were coming and I should make a list of things I wanted cleaned; they didn't give me much of a choice. I would have never asked in a million years for help, but they met a huge need. (of course I could have said, "no" to them and missed out on God's blessing)
I have talked to some of my friends about how I try to live my life at 75% speed. Meaning that I don't want to be running around at 100% because I can not maintain it long term. If I keep it at 75% then I am able to make that meal at the last minute, run an errand for a friend, make a phone call, or when life throws some punches I am not dropping all the spinning plates because I have left margin in my life. (This means I have to say "no" to some really fun and cool things - Can I even say godly things? ...gasp!)
Isn't that what we all long for? Margin....space...breathing space.
Honestly, right now with a new baby and 2 new sons from Ethiopia I am running about 94% just because I have so many little people and they have an enormous amount of physical needs. But this season shall quickly pass and become a distant memory. I am looking forward to finding my new normal 75%. What does that look like? I don't know yet, but I am hoping to find out this summer.
We went to visit a friend at the hospital who just had a baby this morning.
All EIGHT of us.
It was great. The kids were good, quiet and respectful the whole time.
I sometimes forget that my boys are still experiencing new things.
We all get into the elevator to leave...no big deal...we all get off the elevator...
no wait...we all didn't get off the elevator. I realized that Titus was still on the elevator as the door closed and proceeds to go down to the basement. It was like in Home Alone when she screams..."Kevin!" If it wasn't for my fast thinking husband who ran down two flights of stairs to go and rescue him, I don't know what I would have done. Because he would have darted out of the doors as soon as it opened on a different floor.
All I could think about was how traumatized he was going to be, but he actually thought it was funny...not so much to me.
It just has to be. Privacy will happen when more people can wipe their own little bottoms.
The bathroom is a great place for conversation and talking about life.
Pretty much it is a happening place around here.
Tonight, brought it to a whole new level.
I am being honest about the chaos that is pretty much a constant around here.
Adie was busy on the toilet. If there is one thing I have learned, it is hard to hurry that girl along. It must be her idea that she is done.
Titus came in doing the potty dance. He pulled down his jammies and pulled off the cloth pull-up and waited with happy feet. Adie was NOT finished yet. I pleaded with her to hurry up because Titus needed to use the toilet. I looked over and he was starting to go. So with one quick motion I swooped him up and let him pee in the sink. Gross and disgusting, I know. But it was better than watching him pee all over. To make this story even better, I was holding a screaming Jack in my other arm while I was doing this.
If there were Mommy Olympics...this event would have won gold.
We love it when they come back from Montana to visit.
I am thankful to spend two days with them while Carl is gone on business because it makes my life a whole lot easier.
The "big" kids (everyone except Jack) got to go to the bakery this morning with Nana and Papa. mmmm...mmmm This place is my weakness. I LOVE their chocolate covered cake doughnuts. I am thankful it is an hour drive here ...it makes it much easier to say no. I would be addicted if this bakery was down the street.
Someday my kids will not scream and cry over everything.
Give the dirty jobs (ie: sorting the potty cloth pull-ups for washing) to the 6 year old. Why didn't I think of this sooner? When you have 5 kids that wet the bed ...not including Jack...that is a lot of potty pull ups. (I don't give them water after supper and we make them all go to the bathroom before bed...they are all heavy sleepers. This too shall pass)
I detest clutter. Yuck. It makes my brain cluttered when my house is cluttered. We just took out the spring attire and can't put away winter stuff knowing that it will more than likely snow at least one more time this year. Snow boots/rainboots...winter coats/spring coats...winter hats/sunhats...the volcano has erupted at my house. This doesn't even compare to the craft cupboards....don't even open them - they are scary!
Titus is an Ethiopian with a Texas accent. It is hilarious when he says, "Whatcha dooooooo (pause) aaan?
The girls are having a sleepover at Nana and Papa's house tonight and then I will go there tomorrow with my boys. We love it when they come back from Montana to visit.
Tomorrow I meet with the accountant for taxes. I am glad that she can hold my hand and tell me that it is not that bad. The "good student syndrome" in me doesn't want to be audited and find that I made mistakes somewhere. I guess I should check my pride off at the door and admit I really don't know what I am doing when it comes to Quickbooks - but I try.
Sunshine is one of God's amazing blessings of spring. It has been rainy and dreary all week and that was the condition of my heart - blah! But today, oh my, I heard a great sermon at church this morning that I will be chewing on for the rest of my life and when I walked outside afterward, the sun was shining.
It was one of those moments where you stand and take a deep breath to take it all in.
We spent over 3 and a half hours outside this afternoon riding bikes in our driveway and enjoying the beautiful day. I am praying it stays like this for 2 months. If there was ever a year that I need spring to come early, it would be this year.
Last night Carl and I were able to go out on a double date with some friends.
Oh did I need that!
It is amazing how you can not realize how much you need something until after you do it. (a run, a phone call with a friend, night out with your hubby etc.)
I was starting to feel like a caged lion with it raining the past week and having no place to send the kids more than 15 ft away from me. I paid a babysitter for 3.5 hours of peace and great conversation with my husband and friends.
One of my dreams would be that we would someday have a home where I could have an extra bedroom where a college girl would be able to live rent free for exchange of so many hours per week of help around the house with kids. Then I could run all those errands that never happen, clean my bathrooms more often than I do now or I could be fun and do those science experiments that Grace really wants me to do with her.
I have to keep my perspective...I live better than 99% of the world. I have running clean water, electricity, a dishwasher, and the internet. I am not complaining...just dreaming - maybe someday. Until then, I will just do my best with God's current blessings.
Many people think that just because I have six small children that I have a lot of patience.
Nope. Not really. I get frustrated with my children. Sometimes I yell at them...many times I do it in my head but something nice and sweet comes out. Even with this, I have still sinned because I am not letting the Holy Spirit work within me. Usually as soon as I think that I have handled a situation pretty well, (a proud heart) I am humbled quite quickly with another opportunity to exhibit patience.
Today 3 kids had shots - Lydia, Silas and Titus. I took Jack with too (well, because I never leave a nursing baby until they can take a sippy cup) Grace and Adie went to play at the cousins.
First I must say how proud I am of my little Liddy bug. She received 4 shots and a finger poke without so much a tear coming from her. She was so brave and strong.
Now there was a constant circus going on with Silas and Titus. Touching, jumping, running, switiching lights on and off, leaving the room etc. I wore Jack in a sling becuase I knew that I would need two hands available at all times for those two. I am so thankful that I did because I could have used a third hand today. I had to answer all these questions to confirm that Lydia is indeed working hard to learn and has no major developmental delays.
(Side note: Jack weighs 14.5 lbs and was 2 months last Friday - I told you he was growing)
We survived an hour in the room with everyone getting their shots, but we still needed to go to lab. Whewwww! Lydia needed a hearing check, finerger poke and urine sample. Everything went great until the last one. Trying to get a nervous 5 year old to pee in a cup is a difficult task. She just couldn't do it. Honestly - I don't know if I could either if I had to watch and listen to Silas and Titus run all around the bathroom, have your baby brother screaming and your mom holding a cup between your legs. It was quite the sight.
But I kept my cool. I was patient.
Now, we needed to go pick up the sisters and Lydia was able to spend some special time at the cousins because of her bravery.
It was lunch time. I needed to nurse Jack first.
I manage to get leftovers on the table and Silas threw a fit, so he needed to leave the table. Adie didn't make it to the table for 30 minutes because she needed to clean up a mess of hair bows/ribbons/ties/pony holders etc that she threw all over the floor. She finally made it to the table only to yell and scream about everything I put in front of her. After 45 minutes of this drama I realize that I am yelling at my kids and completely impatient. I wanted to eat Adie if she screamed at me one more time. While this was going on, Titus broke a glass out of the dishwasher.
Did I mention that Jack has another cold? and I am so nervous that he will have to do back to the hospital. So, I have been sleeping with him in the chair so that he can be almost upright when he sleeps. I am also wearing him most of the day. All this being said, I am a little sleep deprived.
BUT, I quieted my spirit and prayed for God to grant me mercy over the next hour. I could never do life without him. Seriously, I am only saved by his grace and mercy. It is nothing that I have done or could possibly do on my own. I am not patient, loving, kind, merciful, generous, humble etc. on my own. It is only Jesus working in and through me.
I am sure that I will have many more opportunities today to be patient. I am praying that I can.
Oh yes, he is doing the very thing that he is trying to get this brother in trouble with.
I don't know if you can tell but English is coming along very well.
Silas was actually talking in English in his sleep the other night. Granted he was yelling at Adie and telling her to get off of him. Funny kid.
When I walk into the room and I know that there has been mischief, the three of them point to one another. Adie to Titus, Titus to Silas and Silas to Adie or the other way around. There is always a triangle of finger pointers. At this point I shake my head and put the toys in time-out instead of them.
I have been honestly struggling with the three of them with discipline. The Lord really put it on my heart that I need to spend more time in prayer for them and less time being frustrated with their behavior.
One thing that has been going well around here is that I have been giving chores before a meal and that is their ticket to join us for that meal. For example, they all need to clean up the living room before they can come to lunch or they might have to put away all their clean clothes. If they choose not to help or do the task then they have chosen to skip lunch. All I can say is, WOW because for this season of life, it is working really well.
When I look at Jack, I mean really LOOK at him, I swear I see him growing. Maybe it's like when the farmers say they can hear the corn grow in the middle of July. He loves to eat and I guess naturally the consequence would be adorable chubby little fingers. Jack is a messy eater. Can you believe that nursing baby can be messy? He sips and spits, so the top part of my pants are always wet. This is not a violent throw up, but more of a lazy, "I'm going to let the milk dribble out of my mouth," kind of spitting. Oh my little Jack-man, how I love thee.
Today Jack is really 2 months old. We take pictures of each of the kids the first year of life in the same chair. It is really fun to watch them grown from this little itty bitty baby to a chuba buba by the time they are a year. I know that he is over 13 lbs. I am scared to think how big he will be by next year.
He was wet from head to toe. Actually his boots are still wet and these were taken two days ago. Silas cried when I finally took him in the house because it really wasn't 80 degrees outside and much as he thought it was - maybe 38 degrees - just enough to melt the snow.
I could never do what I do without his help and support. I would seriously go crazy. Well, some days I feel on the brink of craziness but then everyone goes to sleep and God's mercies are new every morning.
Carl gets up with the kids in the morning and he lets me come out around 7:30. He always has a glass of orange juice waiting for me. (If you know me, that is my coffee. I am completely addicted to it. I need it every morning or my day is just not right.)
He comes out of his office to rescue me when total chaos falls upon the Larsen home.
He plays rough the kids. He is funny. He makes us laugh and captures all our fun moments on the video camera.
He gives the kids their baths at night and blesses each one of them as they fall asleep.
He provides for our family.
He brings out the best in me and our children. I am so thankful to be his wife!
As you can see from the pictures below, Jack is smiling and cooing. It is so sweet to hear him talking. He is also one big boy! 13lbs plus some and still growing. I can't imagine how much food he will eat in a few years. It reminds me of when I was growing up with 4 brothers and two cousins that lived with us - 6 boys. They would eat a pan of bars in a nanosecond - wham - gone! I would pull brownies out of the oven and they would all grab spoons and a gallon of milk. Imagine the sight of mouths wide open and all of them breathing through their mouths to cool the brownies off before swallowing them. I know for a fact that they burned the inside of their mouths a few times just because they were "famished."
gotta run...Silas and Adie are screaming at each other.
I have to admit it...I hate paints. There are not many things that drive me crazy, but this is one of them. Someone always leaves the table with paint on their hands, it gets on their clothes no matter how many paint shirts they wear, but you know what? They love it, so I take a deep breath and do hard things and put my type A personality someplace else for 20 minutes. The only time I like paints is when we paint outside and then I can take a water hose to everything including the children:)
Silas and Titus went with Carl to drop his parents off at the airport this morning. On the way back he stopped at a meat market with the boys. (Now if you know my boys, you will know that they LOVE meat) When they walked into the shop, Carl said their eyes were as big as pancakes. I mean there was meat everywhere and when you are 3 ft high and your nose is at the level where you see everything. My, Oh My! They walked into the house beaming from ear to ear with excitement as they held their jerky sticks. I asked them if they had a good time and both boys yelled, "Yes," and danced down the hallway still eating their jerky stick. I think Daddy had a very successful first date with the boys.
Yesterday I had written a long post on how I had to admit to myself that Jack is colicky, but I didn't post it.
Well, this afternoon he had an appointment and the Dr thinks he has acid reflux. Thus would explain how he hit 3 weeks of life and started to cry, cry and cry some more. He had most of the symptoms, but I thought he had to be throwing up to have acid reflux, but that is not the case. He is truly happy only when I carry him. (Even now, I set him down to start this blog post and it only took him about 4 minutes to wake up and be fussy. He is laying on my lap as I type this. We will see how far I get before I have to sign off. One handed typing is slow.) We started some meds tonight and should see in about a week if they are working.
Carl and I joke that he knows when we come in a 3 ft radius of a chair. He will be calm and sleeping while we are standing and rocking him, but as soon as we even think about sitting, Jack wakes up and screams. Oh and another thing is that Jack does not have baby toots but man farts! My goodness he can stink out a room. He does a great job competing with Silas and Titus.
Titus wanted to make sure that I washed all the kids' towels tonight.
He took about a gallon of water out of the bathtub and dumped it on the floor. (Now mind you, I was in the office turning on the Olympics for the three younger ones to watch while I washed Grace and Lydia's hair.) He was having too much fun with the water to hear me calling him. I actually caught him jumping in it like it was a rain puddle.
At this point, I had to ask Grace and Lydia why they didn't say anything. They gave me blank looks and shrugged their shoulders.
boys...boys...boys...what will they think of next. (Poor Titus, I think Silas was involved too but he was coming out of the bathroom as I walked in...so he looked innocent this time:)
I just walked into their bedroom. Three children are supposed to be taking a rest but instead they climb up into Lydia's bed and took her valentine candy stash and ate everything. Well, almost everything. If they didn't like it, they just spit it out on the floor. Oh my - this did not go over well with this momma.
What to do with the triplets?
Carl just walked into their room and they were all out of bed again...ahhhh...they wear me out!
You see - they all don't need a nap every day but I need them to rest everyday so that I get a break.
I have to remind myself that someday they will be bigger and beg to take a nap. I planned some of my college semesters so that I could take a nap. I love to nap and feel so much better if I can close my eyes for even just 20 minutes each day. That doesn't happen much any more, but when I can get it, I take it.
Jack started out the night rough because he kept setting his monitors off and they are LOUD! (so the nurses down the hall can hear it with the door closed). His stats kept dropping down to 88 -89% and thus set the alarms off since he needs to stay above 90%. By the time I would stand up and check on him, he would bring himself back up to 91%. We must have played this game about 40-50 times between 10pm -12:30 am. I was getting weary. I knew they wanted to put him back on oxygen and that meant we would have to start over on the 24 hour w/o to get out of here. I fell asleep only to wake up an hour later to a very hungry boy and his oxygen monitor off. My mind was completely confused - I slept for an hour without hearing the monitor and it was shut off. I nursed my baby and the nurse came in to tell me that the doctor had ordered him to be periodically checked with oxygen not continuously. Hallelujah! No more dipping below the line to set the alarms off. We had a pretty good rest of the night and here I sit to wait for the rounding doctor. Yesterday he only came at 12:45 pm, it might be a long morning.
I have spent enough time in this hospital to know that their chairs in the patient rooms and NICU are horrible and not friendly to breast feeding women. In the NICU, they are glorified lawn chairs and here in Pediatrics they at least rock but the sides are wooden and it doesn't recline at all. I don't even think these chairs would be comfortable to console an older child.
I have taken my Sam's Club recliner for granted for way too long. I usually think falling asleep in my chair at home is very uncomfortable, but compared to here that chair is AMAZING! I am not going to complain about falling asleep in my chair again.
Jack Update: He is off oxygen, but his numbers are still setting off the alarms every once in a while. I am trying everything I can to keep the oxygen off so we can go home tomorrow. We really need to get home and help the daddy out. I feel so completely torn being here and knowing that I have 5 kids and a husband at home who need me too. I can't really leave Jack for any length of time because this is not the same care as in NICU. He has his own room, but the nurses are all running around and they just listen for when he cries. I am never that far away from my little guy and I want to make sure he has the best care possible. So- with all that being said I sit here and wait for his little body to heal.
We are currently starting a book, "A Praying Life," by Paul Miller for our small group. Here is a small excerpt. "A praying life, isn't something you accomplish in a year. It is a journey of a lifetime. The same is true of learning how to love your spouse or a good friend. You never stop learning this side of heaven. There is far too much depth in people to be able to capture love easily. Likewise, there is far too much depth in God to capture prayer easily."
I am really enjoying this book thus far and I am excited to see how God uses it to teach me more about him.
I have to be honest I am a crisis prayer. I go from one big thing to the next; adoption, travel, our girls, Jack, jobs for Carl, our marriage. My main focus is whatever is most pressing on my heart. My best prayer times have been in the middle of night feedings with all my children. There is no distraction, I can't write my "to do" list in the dark, it is a time with Jesus and myself. (I do fall alseep half the time, but I really don't think he minds.) There was a song that we used to sing at a church we went to in Sioux Falls and part of the lyrics talked about sitting back against Jesus and feeling his heartbeat and how it is overwhelming. I often think of that feeling when I pray. I think of sitting on the floor around a table (like they would have done back then), eating and having sweet fellowship with my best friend.
It is a crazy thing to be back here in the hospital with my sick little boy. This is something that I didn't anticipate - I don't like how familiar I'm becoming with this hospital. Jack has RSV and is on oxygen. He will be here until he can keep his stats above 90% w/0 oxygen for 12-24 hours. It is mostly sitting and waiting.
It is not too often that a mom of six children has all this one on one with her youngest. Actually I was talking to Carl yesterday about how it still makes me do a double take when I say or write "mom of six children." It is almost as if I want to put my hand to my chest and say, "Is that really me?" I have to remind myself sometimes that I have 6 kids. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous that I have to remind myself. I count to 6 at least 50 times per day trying to keep track of everyone. But it is true, I honestly forget. It must be one of God's mercies to me.
Carl is an amazing husband taking care of our other 5 small children. He took them outside this afternoon to go zip-lining with the cousins. (This is no small task.) 210 feet of sheer fun for Silas, not so much for Titus and Adie, well, let's say she climb the ladder and that was enough for her. He fed the troops supper and now is in the chaos of bedtime routine. I am praying for him because it is hard work to do it alone. I will hopefully get an update later tonight from him.
Jack is sleeping soundly and I am praying that he is off oxygen tonight and that he is remarkably better in the morning.
I keep transferring a post-it-note from one week to the next of all the Thank you's that I still need to write. I had good intentions of doing them this weekend, but it didn't happen.
So- if I haven't sent YOU a personal thank you - I want to say thank you for all the meals, gifts and encouragement that I have received. I have so blessed to have an amazing community of people around me.
I have had a few people tell me that they don't think I am tired ...(at least I am not coming off as tired.) Well, here are a few pictures to prove that I am. We are both out cold and notice on the last picture that it is 10:59 pm. There is nothing better than snuggling my little man - I am going to miss this when he is bigger.
Grace LOVES loud, rocky music. The new Toby Mac CD just came out.
Idea: Have Grace work to earn the CD. (I think Daddy really wants the CD too, but couldn't justify buying it:)
Ground Rules: If I ask her to do something, it doesn't count. Before she does a job, she will negotiate a price per job. When she is all done earning $11, she can come in the office and buy her new Toby Mac CD
She has already asked to wash windows...(this is her favorite job by the way) too bad the triplets think clean windows means that they can lick them.
Adie periodically asks me this question. She is perceptive and usually asks me when I feel grumpy, down, sad, frustrated and wallowing in my own pity party. Last week I had to tell her that my heart was not happy and I was not allowing the joy of the Lord to be my strength. Why is it that I so quickly try to use my own strength to go about my day? I know that I can't do it alone, but my actions don't align with my head knowledge. I walk around tired and frustrated and that is not the way I want to live. Jesus needs to be the center...not my "I am really tired attitude"
I have to be honest, I have never wanted to spring to come as much as I want it to come now. I know that I live in a huge house compared to the world's standards, but I feel the walls are creeping in. When you play, school, eat and work all in same area day after day, it can feel small. I really wish I had a basement to send the kids down to play. Someday, Lord willing, that will be a possibility.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Not in the way that you all might think that I am.
Last week in the mail I received an anonymous gift in the mail from a sister in Christ. With that money I was able to purchase a Bosch mixer that I have been saving up for months and months. Every gift of cash went into this stash and every little bit that I could save here and there. That gift put me so close that Carl threw in the last little bit to make is possible for me.
I grew up with one of these mixers and was spoiled with the fact that you can mix 5 loaves of bread. You can also get the blender to go with it and food slicer too. This is a mixer that I have wanted since I left home. My mom has had hers for about 25 years and now is just needing to buy a replacement...thousands of loaves of bread later.
My Bosch mixer came in the mail today and I simply can't believe it. YEAH!
Thank you to who ever you are who made it possible for me to order it this week. It would have taken me a long time to reach my goal especially since my birthday is 7 months away.
I know that stuff does not satisfy and in the end my mixer will end up in the garbage someday. The only thing that does satisfy is Jesus. So, even in my joy of getting something that I really wanted, I want to keep my eyes fixed on the one who gives eternal life...that lasts forever!
Carl is gone this week working at a Pastor's Conference.
But we have a friend from college who has been staying with us and helping me out! It has been a huge blessing to have her around. Right now she is reading stories to Grace and Lydia...I should be mopping my floor, but I wanted to give a quick update.
I can't believe my little man is 4 weeks old. I would post picture updates but he has the baby acne and I just want his face to clear up. I am hoping by next week, he has smooth soft skin again. All my girls had this when they were about a month old...it is just how it goes.
Well, I should be off to make some progress on cleaning my home.
Never ending...Always repeating...it is a good thing that I strive on routine.
Last night Jack slept from 11 until 5:30 am! I won't tell you that he slept next to me.
Now I said that as soon as he gave me a good night of sleep that I would start my new workout DVD- The Shred which has 20 minute workouts on it. I can handle 20 minutes. It only took me 35 minutes to complete it with potty breaks, pat my back breaks, put my pacifier back in breaks etc.
I ran and took a quick shower and placed Jack on the floor right outside my open bathroom door so that I could see him. I put on Blues Clues for the younger 4 (Grace was out on a special date with her Daddy) By the time I came back, I found three munchkins eating Doritos at the table. They are very resourceful. I cannot imagine what they will think of in the next couple of years.
The older 5 had a babysitter last night while Carl and I heard a speaker on engaging the next generation and passing the baton onto them. (Jack has the priviledge of always going where I go) Poor girl, they conviced her that they all could play games at the same time. So they pulled out so many games including a bin of dry beans that I use for tactile play. The beans did not stay in the box and they had the the hardest time getting them all in the box and staying in the box. The triplets were a tad bit michievous last night. They knew she didn't know all the rules and they worked her over! I am just thankful that she said she was willing to come back. I guess if you pay well, then they are willing to put up with chaos for a couple of hours.
Poor Jack has been extremely gassy for the past 3-4 days. He is only happy laying in my arms. I wish there was a magical cure to make him burp and fart because he would be calmer and more comfortable. When I lay him down, within minutes he is pulling his legs in and grunting and then he starts crying. I have started cutting out milk out of my diet to see if it helps him. (But this is very hard for me. I LOVE a cold glass of milk with my meal.) I am praying that God will bring back the easy side of him real soon.
My mom went home last night. After 3 weeks, I think my Dad and brother were missing her. I am so thankful for my mom. I could have never survived without her. She is one amazing Nana. She took Jack in the middle of the night so I could sleep and would just bring him back when he wanted to nurse. She baked us loaves and loaves of homemade bread. She was another pair of eyes...the triplets did not get away with much. She folded load after load of laundry. Ran my errands for me. Helped me to leave the house. Kissed many boo boos. and read many stories and had lots of snuggle time with each of the kids. So - thank you Mom! I don't know if I will ever be as great of a Nana! Next time you come ...you better bring Papa!
Today I sent the girls off with Nana to go to a play. I did not win mother of the year award because I sent them to the wrong place for the performance and now they will be 20 minutes late. I feel terrible. I wanted it to be so special for Adie because this is her first "Real" play. (If you give a mouse a cookie ) I hope they will be able to sneak in and at least see some of the performance.
That leaves me with my men. Three of them to be exact. Carl is gone and so what a different environment to just have little boys. Right now their favorite toy is Carl's chair in his office. Did you know that you can make it a merry go round? And the speed you can get on it is pretty amazing.
I think we are going to go play my favorite toy...Magna Tiles. You should check it out. It is worth every penny to get two sets! I am a very frugal mother and I don't why I waited so long to purchase these.
It happens quite frequently at our house. Nothing stays the same for very long. Whether we move, add children, different jobs, etc.
Most of you know by now but my husbands' sister and her family are moving to another city in April. We are all very sad at our house that this season was so very short. We would have loved to be next door neighbors for the next 30 years, but that is not what God had planned. We have enjoyed our almost daily play-dates, shared suppers, and basically shared lives. It has been such a blessing to have my sister-in-law be my neighbor and best friend. My children love their cousins so much and have such a great bond with them.
I am actually surprised at the reactions that I get when I say that we live next door to family. Most people crinkle up their nose and bring their eyebrows down and almost whisper, "Do you like that?" It saddens my heart when I hear those words because you know that they don't have a great relationship with their own families. God designed the family. It was the first thing that he did for Adam...he made a family by creating Eve. Why do we work so hard to go against God? I am not saying that everyone needs to live next door to their family, but most don't even consider it or pray about it.
What if more people started to live next to family? or what if people started to create family relationships with their neighbors? I know when we lived in SF, we tried very hard to create those relationships. I could call many neighbors to borrow things, babysit my kids, ask for help or just hang out for the afternoon. We actually had a neighbor come and sleep at our house when we went to the hospital to have Adie. One neighbor was our realtor when we tried to sell our home. We still stay in contact with quite a few of them.
Our hearts are sad, but we know that it is for the best that they move. It will only be 2 hours 20 minutes door to door. We will have to have lots of sleepovers!
I haven't been blogging much lately but I am sure you can understand why. Here are some pictures from the past 10 days.
The girls made me a welcome home dinner on Thursday night. They planned the whole meal and made decorations for all around the house. They dressed in their favorite clothes and worked so hard to make it perfect for me. The 'Best wish' for the evening was that Jack would come home soon.
Two cans of frosting later...you get this beautiful cake...
Uncle Chris came to visit us last weekend. It was great to have extra hands especially when they went to the basketball game.
Adie loves being the big sister.
Grandma L with baby Jack
Lydia was able to stay up and have some special time with Jack. She was in heaven. Of all the kids, Jack looks the most like her baby pictures.
Jack is seriously the best baby! I am so blessed. He is calm, easy going, and relaxed. He cries when he is hungry or wet and if he is awake he lays and listens to the chaos going on around him. I am smitten over him. It is completely different than with my three girls. I can't put it into words but it is just different.
Lydia is always telling Carl that he needs to come and take a picture. Today he stopped working for 3 minutes and took that picture - and it is priceless.
This post just might be too much information for some you. If you that is you...quit reading right now and let it be known that you were warned.
Yesterday my milk arrived in its full glory. I mean I thought my belly could stretch, but holy cows (no pun intended) this is a whole new ball game. I told Carl I think my cup size went from an A at the beginning of this pregnancy to an LMNOP or somewhere close to that.
I have always had ample supply of milk enough to feed more than one baby, but today I think I could start filling gallon buckets. I pumped off 12 oz just relieve the pressure and then I nursed my baby until he was milk drunk. I thought it would have been funny to pump off 16 oz just to say that I lost one pound sitting in my rocking chair. Not many people can say that in days worth of work. There you have it - me being completely honest about my day.
Want to know another funny random side note since I am on the topic of breast milk. If you read the fine print in recipe contests, they say you can't use breast milk in your recipes. You can't go to the grocery store and get that. I wonder if you could, what would the price be per gallon?