Category Archives: Kiddos

I have a two week old.

And his name is Samuel. Sam, Sammy, sweetie. He’s just lovely.

I also have a scar across my belly now (I won’t post a photo of that, though). I have peace about it. There was nothing we could have done. When my doctor broke my water, he was breech. There is a LOT more to the story. I’ll post that later on my Birth Stories page.

All that matters right now is that things are good. Mike is home on six weeks of leave – he’ll go back June 11th – because I can’t lift more than ten pounds until then. Sam is so beautiful, sleeps well, nurses wonderfully and is the family favourite around here at the moment. The kids fight over who gets to hold him next. I’m healing well from what I can tell and tomorrow my doctor will tell me whether I’m right about that. I’ve lost an astonishing amount of weight, which feels really great.

That’s all for now. I have written my story somewhere else so as soon as I can copy and paste it, it will be here, too. It’s a good story, even if things really didn’t go as I had hoped (I was induced after all and then there was the c-section). I had peace about the whole thing, had a wonderful, basically painless labour (made painless by knowledge and breathing rather than drugs), and in the end, had a perfect little boy who weighed 8 lb. 9 oz and was 21.5 inches long. He’s terrific. 🙂

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Filed under Kiddos, Nine Months

Still alive and everything is fine. I promise.

I’m still here. And everything is just fine. I promise.

But something happened in the fall. Mike and I went away to Georgia to a ministry called Be In Health and their course called For My Life. It changed our lives. I got my freedom. I may not be able to explain it all here, but something unusual happened in connection with that newfound freedom.

I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to create anymore.

It didn’t feel like a loss. It felt like what it was – freedom from what had been at times, an obsession. Whether it was writing or cooking or crafting, there seemed to be a need in me to create. That need faded quickly without my really noticing.

So, five months have gone by since I wrote here. Only a handful of times have I even considered updating my blog. It just didn’t feel important anymore.

But now, with three and a half weeks (maybe more, maybe less) to go before my fifth child is expected – yes, time flies – I thought I owed the occasional reader an update.

Things are good. My husband is a changed man in so many ways that I cannot even describe. We all seem healthier. I generally have more patience. My Braxton Hicks don’t hurt like they have in the past. I have freedom from fear and anxiety. It’s good.

And now, we are waiting for this baby to show up. I feel so in love with this child and so overwhelmed with curiousity as to who he or she is. And whether this baby is a he or a she. Jenny, of course, is rooting hard for a sister. Erik generally says he’d like a puppy when we ask him if he thinks the baby is a boy or a girl. Elias lately has just been saying, “Boy or girl.” Well, it is one of those. We know it’s not a puppy, anyway. Ben probably doesn’t really understand what’s going on, although when  he sees my bare belly, he inevitably says, “Baby!” and gives it a hug. Or he blows raspberries on it. Depends on his mood.

Homeschooling is going well, although we have been unschooling since Christmas. Pregnancy hasn’t made it too hard, but I found that too much structure was just stressing us out. So my kids are learning more from life than from me (directly) at the moment. We are happy with it. Next year may look different, but I’m satisfied with how things are going at the moment. Jenny wants to write cards and draw pictures and make up stories all day, Elias has recently started sounding words out phonetically when he says them (as in, “B-e-n is f-u-nn-y.”). We have work to do, but things are fine. Erik continues to do best on his own. He has been far healthier than years past and has not had any issues with his lungs since before he turned three. We are praising God for this. He doesn’t get along well with his brothers a good deal of the time, but goes off and does his own thing. It works for us. Ben has been amazing us with his speech since he was not even eighteen months old. He can count to thirteen, parrots everything anybody says, and if you ask him to repeat a phrase and he does it wrong the first time, he goes back and corrects himself. No kidding. At twenty-two months. We love it. He’s a pretty happy kid these days, he just doesn’t like waking up from naps.

They’re all beautiful and happy and healthy. Daddy is working hard at work, Mama is working hard at home when she has the energy. 🙂 I find I am probably working harder at having patience these days, but the last thing I want to do is to go back into fear regarding the arrival of this baby. It will come when the time is right. I know that. It occurred to me the other day that when I was pregnant with Ben, I was terrified of being overdue and when I was overdue, I was terrified of being induced. I got both. In Job, there is a verse that says, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25, KJV) I have learned that when we spend our lives in fear, it is often those things that come upon us. Our bodies react to this fear and all sorts of things start to malfunction. This isn’t just theory – it’s proven fact (research the fight or flight hormone cortisol and its affect on the body). So I gave that up yesterday. I said, “You know what, I am certain that this is going to be different. I am not going to fear being late – even if I may be – and I am not going to fear induction.” I have every intent of putting my doctor off as long as I can before I am induced, and I will not cave to it this time unless they can prove to me that my baby is in danger. I am convinced that Ben’s birth was traumatic for both of us and I have no desire to repeat that. I have called this baby my “peace and freedom baby” and I want my labour and delivery to reflect that. I trust that we won’t even get to the point of fighting the doctor regarding an induction.

Anyway, that’s that. While this is not the end of my blog, it will be coming soon. I can feel it. And I may start another. One not so focused on the fact that I hate housekeeping (no, I haven’t become a fan of it yet). One focused on my faith, my home, my children, in a positive light as often as possible. Or I may decide to lay all of this to rest and wait for a time when I cannot stop the words from coming, a time when I feel God is directly leading me to write. It generally turns out better when I wait for times like that anyway.

Take care, readers. If any of you are still around. I’ll at least post an update when this little one arrives. Or sometime in the first six months of his or her life. I promise.

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Filed under Kiddos, Life, in general, Nine Months

April 19th, 2012

Estimated arrival date of baby number five. 🙂

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Happiness, Kiddos, Nine Months

Multi-tasking

First off, today was Ben’s first birthday. I made him a cake (which ended up tasting like baking soda…but at least the icing was good), we made a big meal for family and he seemed to enjoy his day.

I decided a while back that I was going to cut Ben’s hair today. It’s part of my obsessive perfectionist issues. I cut his hair at exactly eight months, I cut it again at exactly ten months…you get the picture. I imagine one day I’ll get over it.

So he needed a bath rather desperately after digging into that awful cake. The last few baths he’s had he screamed his way through, so I decided to get in with him. I cut his hair a bit before I ran the water in the tub and figured that would be all I could do because of how wiggly he was being. So we got in the tub, he didn’t freak out (much) and I gave him a good scrub. Then I decided that I may as well try to cut his hair a bit while he was in the tub and his hair was wet. It was ridiculously long before, but I don’t feel quite ready to buzz him yet. So I got the scissors and a comb and started randomly grabbing chunks of hair and snipping away. All the while I’m thinking, “This is probably a bad idea. It’s going to look terrible…I don’t even know what I’m doing!”

So he sat for a few minutes and a few snips and then squirmed and splashed so much that I decided to give up. But then the perfectionist in me reminded me of how uneven the whole thing was going to look. Okay, fine. So I did the only thing I could to get him to settle down. I nursed him. In the bath. While cutting his hair. It worked.

And not only did it work, it worked well. I got it done and it looks great. The parts that don’t look so good are those that I did before the bath, trying to be more precise. The rest of his hair was just combed up straight and then about half an inch or so cut off. I grabbed pieces as I could and tried to get each part of his head. In the end, we were covered in hair and had to shower off, but at least it got it done. Now I can get used to him looking like a little boy instead of a baby before I buzz him with the rest of the boys in the family.

Here’s a few pictures. 🙂

Before

After

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Filed under Holidays, Kiddos, Life, in general

Quieting the Rumour Mill

Okay, there aren’t actually any rumours about this…yet…but it seems that everyone has been asking lately if I’m pregnant again.

I’m not.

My sister-in-law has just announced her third pregnancy – and she’s already fifteen weeks! So now that Ben is ten months old and another member of the family is expecting, people seem to think I must be as well.

I’m not.

Here’s the thing – I breastfeed like a maniac. I’m not kidding. Ben nurses a good deal of the night and quite a few times during the day as well. I practice ecological breastfeeding, and while it obviously has the potential to fail, just like every other form of birth control (aside from abstinence), I have yet to display any…ahem…”signs” of fertility since Ben’s birth. It seems as though people have this picture of us – that we only go about six to nine months between pregnancies. But here’s the thing – we only did that once. Jenny was only seven months old when I got pregnant with Elias. Otherwise our spacing is closer than the average, but has been a year at minimum with all three boys. Generally I’m ready for another baby when my youngest is around a year. I can say that if it happened now, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I wouldn’t say I’m hoping to get pregnant right now. First I’d love to get a solid night sleep. 🙂

Another assumption people make – although mostly people who don’t really know me – is that we’re done.

We’re not.

I cannot say for sure how many kids we will have. My heart would love somewhere in the neighbourhood of..say, eight? But my hubby feels a bit differently about it and so we will more than likely not end up with that many. You never know, though. At the moment I’m praying that Mike and I end up on the same page and that we both have peace about whatever decision is made regarding additional offspring. For now, we will have at least one more and if that baby is a girl, Mike may want to quit. If the next one is another boy, he more than likely will not want to stop. We both really want Jenny to have a sister.

Anyway, just felt like clearing a few things up. It seems I get asked once a week or more whether I’m pregnant yet and probably as often if I’m done having kids. The answer to both questions, emphatically, is no. 🙂

*Oh, and I’m sure someone is going to say, “But how can you know for sure that you’re not pregnant if you’re not getting a monthly visit from Aunt Flo?” My answer to that: I took a pregnancy test last week. Negative. 🙂

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Filed under Kiddos, Life, in general

Ben can do fist pumps, too!

Psst…check it out: Ben is on Today’s Letters for Fist Pump Friday! If you haven’t given this blog a read yet, DO IT! It’s always fun and a bit sappy, which is completely appropriate for a happy, healthy marriage. 🙂

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Filed under Blogging, Kiddos, Photographs

Various photos of my beauties

I wanted to post a picture of both Erik as a baby and Ben, today, sleeping in the high chair. So I set about combing my files for the picture of Erik at about nine months, passed out after a meal. What I found were hundreds (thousands, actually) of pictures of my little ones.

I adore them.

In order of age, here are my babies in some pictures I just love.

Jenny, at ten months. We always had such a hard time getting her to smile for pictures. Or at all, really. But she was just so lovely. And she just gets prettier all the time.

Jenny, just a few months ago, being her goofy, smiley self. I cannot believe she’s going to be six this year. Six!

Elias, at nine months. I have always loved this close-up of my boy. One of my favourite kid pictures ever. Look at his pouty little lips!!

Elias, in November, aged four. This kid is gorgeous, and looks so much like his daddy.

Erik at five months. My itty-bitty boy. I always called him Munchkin back then.

Erik on New Years Eve, two and a half years old. Doing his cheesy grin. He’s possibly my least photogenic child at this point in his life. He runs away half the time I get the camera out, and does a big cheesy grin the other half. He’s still itty-bitty, by the way. 🙂

And finally, the kid you probably see the most of here, anyway, Ben. This is from August, so he was around three months old here. Chubby and happy.

This one is just after Christmas, making him seven months old. They change so fast.

Thanks for letting me overwhelm you with photos. I don’t usually post so many, but today was one of those days, and I need to look hard at these blessings and be thankful for them. And I am. Over and out.

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Filed under Kiddos, Photographs

Food for Thought

Wow, am I clever or what? “Food” for Thought? Yeah, I’m going to talk about food. I have got to be the first person to do this, right? 😀

For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about this post. The one about kids and food. About what we feed our children, what we assume they will like, how we pass our food likes and dislikes on to them without even meaning to. It was going to just be a Facebook status, but then I thought about all the (inevitable) negative feedback I’d get. So I’ll keep it here and expound on it. If there’ s negative feedback..well, I can delete it if I feel like it, can’t I? (More on that subject later)

Anyway, here’s a piece of advice: do not assume that your kids won’t like something. Just because you don’t like it, or your spouse doesn’t like it, or other kids don’t like it, does not mean your own children won’t enjoy eating it. I don’t care what it is. Do not make this assumption.

I hear all the time how picky kids are, how they won’t eat anything but macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. Guess what? My kids like that stuff, too. But they also happen to like broccoli, edamame, couscous and tofu. They love pancakes and bacon for breakfast (or more often, for supper), but they also happily devour unsweetened steel cut oats nearly every morning.

No, I’m not bragging. I’m not trying to say, “Hey, look at what my kids will do that yours won’t do and never will because I’m a better parent than you are.” Definitely not. The point I’m trying to make is mostly for new parents, soon to be parents, or parents with kids who are incredibly flexible in scheduling, food, etc. Test your kids. Have fun with food. Make things that you assume they won’t eat, feed it to them, and be surprised. No, my kids won’t eat everything. There are certain foods that they all turn their noses up at, but I make a point to get them to try something not just once, but twice.

Jenny had a black olive at one point, and then declared that she didn’t like them. We let her go on like this for a long time, and then one night I explained to her how I used to hate broccoli. Like, seriously, gag me. Then I decided I didn’t want to hate broccoli. I wanted to love it. So I slowly started eating it again, first with lots of seasoning or cheese sauce, later with nothing more than a bit of salt or butter. And guess what? Broccoli is easily one of my favourite vegetables now. So Jenny agreed to try an olive again. You guessed it – she loves them now.

I’m not telling you to change the way you eat. If you eat nothing more than macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, your kids will eat them, too. But every so often, pick a fruit or vegetable up from the grocery store that you haven’t had before. Buy something from the Asian, Mexican or Natural foods section. Try it with your kids. If you’re not a picky eater and you’ll eat everything under the sun, then by all means, feed it to your kids, too.

I love hanging out with my parents, who will both eat just about anything. We ate a lot of typical kid foods when we were young, but as teenagers, they gave us variety, and took us out to restaurants other than McDonald’s or Taco Bell. We ate Thai food, real Mexican food made by Mexicans (the most authentic we could get without leaving town) and meals made entirely without meat (yes, they exist!!). I believe that the way my kids eat now is largely thanks to my parents and how they fed me.

There are things that Mike loves that I’d rather not touch (meat, for example, but I’m also not crazy about brussels sprouts). There are things that I love that Mike won’t eat (cilantro, salmon), but we feed all of the above to the kids, whether we both like it or not.

My kids are not perfect, but the fact that they will eat – or at least try – anything set in front of them, is pretty cool. I’m proud of them for it, but I know that a lot of this has to do with what I choose to put in front of them. I don’t make them their own meals, separate from ours. They eat what I feel like making. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t.

Anyway, that’s all on that subject for now.

Two other things. One is a confession of sorts. I (gulp) edit comments. I do not change what you have said, but if there are typos or spelling/grammar mistakes, I often fix them. I have this brain that won’t let me leave it alone. So while I leave the content the same, I might fix it for you. I hope you don’t mind. If you do, well, don’t comment. 😀

Second thing is this: I bought Pampers because they were cheaper with a coupon than the regular price Wal Mart diapers. I am not a diaper snob. I will buy whatever is cheap because I have no reason to buy anything else. I know some people feel that their kids get less rashes in name brand, or that name brand diapers don’t leak as much, but in the case of my family, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. So I buy cheap. That’s who I am. Anyway, I bought these diapers and I have one thing to say about them. They stink. As in, they are scented! Ew. The potentially calming baby powder/baby oil scent is quickly made completely disgusting when mixed with the potent stench of baby poo. I’d rather just smell baby poo, thank you very much. 

The end.

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Filed under Food Blogs, Kiddos, Rants

My kids are awesome

Yeah, they’re cool. People like them. I like them. A lot.

Ben had some frozen blueberries today in a little mesh feeder (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?).  Blueberries are messy. Ben is cute, even when covered in blue juice. Especially when covered in blue juice? 🙂

I tried to get a good picture of the oldest three at the table tonight. They were posed nicely, looking at the camera, when Erik got thirsty. Slurp, inhale, spill, cry. Comedic photograph as opposed to nice sibling love photograph. Even better!

Mike’s away for a few days for work so I’m hanging out by myself with the kiddos. I made a good meal tonight that he would not have liked but the kids and I loved, and I watched a chick flick that he most certainly would not have wanted to watch. Pat myself on the back for staying busy and trying to have a good time even though I hate being left alone.

Yesterday’s post was fun..and has me thinking more on number eleven  (if you didn’t read the list yesterday, check it out). I want opinions, people! Is it weird if a mother of four young children buys used dolls and paints/pierces them? Dresses them in strange things? Cuts off half of their hair? Tries to make a business out of it? It’s an art form I really and truly enjoyed when I was younger and even if I did some weird stuff back then, it would be a bit more tame now (no fake blood, for example). I just love the process of seeing them become something entirely different from what they began as. And I get the feeling that there are people out there who would pay money for them. For example, this doll is for sale on Etsy right now and the shop owner has had twenty-six sales of similar dolls. Some of the stuff I found on Etsy in this category is downright creepy, and I can promise that I won’t be doing demons or dead babies or anything along those lines. Ew. But still, it’s a thought.

Anyway, I told myself I’d go to bed early every night this week. Apparently tonight is going to be the exception (let’s hope). I need sleep! Ben doesn’t sleep well, but I could make things better by simply going to bed earlier. So that’s what I’m going to attempt for a few days while it’s just me calling the shots. And that’s what I’m going to do right now: go to bed. Night, world!

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Filed under Art, Kiddos, Photographs

Sometimes you just have to grab the camera

I promise that I’ll have a real post here soon (I have something rolling around my brain at the moment, but no time to write it), but for now, enjoy this little gem from earlier tonight.  Keep your eye on the boys in the background – what Jenny says is pretty funny, but they are the real comic relief!

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Filed under Kiddos