Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
One day Ali expressed concern about a couple of friends she has who don't know about Jesus.
She said, "I'm going to make a book to tell them how to get to heaven." She did the entire book on her own, without any help from me! It is so precious to me!
How you get to heaven....
Believe in the Lord and you...
Will be saved.
The dark circle is Hell and the other circle is Heaven.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I am excited to be able to share the Shutterfly Holiday Card Promotion here at Faithful Homemaking!
I love photos, love cards, and love staying in touch with family and friends, even across the miles. For the last few years that I've had an account at Shutterfly I have been very happy with the many cards I have created on their site. They continually have freebies or "only pay shipping" deals that have allowed me to send our parents and grandparents special holiday cards containing photos of our growing brood. It was in a Shutterfly card that I announced our pregnancies with poems and fun pictures the last couple of times. Their cards are simple to construct while still being trendy and high-quality.
Apparently there is an unspoken rule in the blogosphere that if you blog and also recently had a baby, you must write a post on how wonderful your baby is, sleeping through the night at 5 days old, being super cuddly and agreeable, gaining weight like a champion, and the closest thing to perfection in human form.
But I'm not here to write that post.
Because until I moved her and I down to the guest room where the furnace noises rumble all night, Katri wasn't letting me sleep much, if at all. This wasn't a bit fun considering how hard it is to get a nap with 3 other kids and considering our family caught the stomach flu bug a SECOND time this fall, causing me to lose all remaining hopes of ever sleeping or feeling normal again.
Many a night I tell my hubby I feel like I'm a slave to a two foot tall tyrant.
And he nods in agreement, because it's true.
I can barely set her down long enough to go to the bathroom once or twice a day!
A shower is a big accomplishment!
Katri is a "womb service" kind of girl, wanting to be held all day and all night too, though I've recently gotten her to the point of just sleeping inches away from me instead of in my arms. I am so glad I bought the book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" at a yard sale this summer because it helped me to understand the fourth trimester and how to care for needy newborns who miss the womb.
My hubby adores babies and was hoping she'd be another "Daddy's Girl" whom he could cuddle every night but instead, she usually insists on being held by Mama exclusively, due in part to her 3-4 hour nursing jags in the evenings.
Don't get me wrong! Katrielle is every bit as loved and as darling to me as the super easygoing babies are to their mamas. She is snuggly and soft and doesn't cry when you are holding her. She makes the funniest little faces and delights our hearts as we spent countless minutes each day staring at her tiny fists, or her little peaceful face as she sleeps. We wouldn't trade her in for anything in the world! We would do anything for her, as my cricked neck from awkward sleeping positions attests!
But she is definitely a mystery to us sometimes! For the first time as parents we aren't sure what kind of personality she has yet. Easygoing or strongwilled, energetic or prim and proper, social or hermit-like--we don't know!For the first time we are having to use burp cloths, as she's the first baby we've had who spits up occasionally. She's the only baby we've had to burp consistently, and she absolutely adores being swaddled, which none of our other kids liked. She hangs out in a sling all day, unlike her sister who absolutely hated slings.
So, I live in a strange paradox of feeling totally confident in my mothering abilities with Baby #4 and totally unsure of what to do at other times. I know what I'm doing in a general sense, and yet, because each baby is so different, I still feel like I have much to learn and grow in as a parent of this little one.
The journey isn't easy and breezy, but I am enjoying it!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Well, so far I'm 12 days into this mothering 4 kids 5 and under thing and here are my random, fatigue-influenced thoughts on the whole matter. When you have FOUR little ones:
...Just expect that someone is going to be throwing up every day and if no one does, you will be pleasantly surprised. (This due in part to the rampant stomach bugs that make their way through our town every October and November).
....Do not expect to get any sleep. Doubly so if your baby was born a week before Daylight Savings Time. If you happen to get a couple of hours you can consider it a great day!
....If your baby happens to have a rare, but incredible bout of sleeping during the night, it is about 90% likely that one of these scenarios will play out.
A.) Your sleepwalking child will get up and wander around the house looking for the bathroom. When she finds it she will go potty on the toilet with her pajamas still on.
B.) Your child with the biggest scream and whine will wake the whole household after seeing a spider run under his brother's bed.
C.) One child will wake you up by yelling, "Get me a barf bucket! Quick!" and will proceed to throw up all night.
D.) Even though you put your kids to bed 2 hours later than usual, they will wake up at the crack of dawn, an hour earlier than usual, thanks to DST, and demand breakfast.
E.) You will be woken in the night by your crying 2-year-old who will have the messiest, nastiest diaper explosion ever that will need to be changed.
.....Do expect to be filled to the brim with wonder and awe that God has given you so many little blessings. There is something amazing about having more little people in your family than you can wrap your arms around at one time.
....You may find yourself endowed with certain bragging rights. For example: We've one-upped both of our sets of folks. They had 3 in 7 years and 3 in 5.5 years respectively. So, if we ever need to, we can pull out the, "Well, when you have FOUR....." card.
....You will want to have at least one really good baby carrier. I highly, highly, highly (you get the idea?) recommend the Ergo carrier and am happily using it with the Heart2heart infant insert for newborns. My friend Camilla also sewed me a simple, knit sling that Katri loves too. Because she is the kind of baby that loves to snuggle and refuses to sleep unless she is being held, and because I have a life that includes housework, cooking, and teaching other children, a good sling/sling is ESSENTIAL for me!
....You will soak up every minute with your newborn, having learned 3 times over that the first year with them is going to soon be a blur. You won't worry about parenting theories and methods but will use your experience and common sense to make things work and to enjoy that tiny one. You'll live the motto, "You can't spoil a baby" to the fullest!
....You may find yourself more in love than ever before with the father of your four blessings. When he tells you to try to get some sleep and does "throw-up duty" all night with one of the kids or cleans the house to surprise you when you are out, or when he singlehandly takes 3 kids to the grocery store as though it's no big deal, your respect for him grows and the love deepens. Sure a well-dressed husband who's wearing cologne is hot stuff, but a man who will do diapers and vomit and loves his kids with reckless abandon is hotter than hot! I love that line from the movie, Cheaper by the Dozen: "12 Kids later and we've still got the heat!"
.....You will be blessed, thrilled, and amazed by each of your children. We feel so undeserving and so humbled by the task of raising these precious little ones with immortal souls. We wouldn't want things any other way! Four kids in five years is an unbelievable gift!!!
Monday, November 8, 2010
It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Jeremiah David came into our lives. He is precious, cuddly, and compassionate, and we sure do love him!
I pray these four things for you little Jer Bear!
#1. I pray that you would find satisfaction and joy in Jesus and not look to the things of the world for comfort and peace.
#2. I pray that you would learn and grow and continue to find delight in God's creation and the animals, reptiles, and bugs that so fascinate you!
#3. I pray that you would learn to work hard, and to be a servant to others.
#4. I pray that you would be healthy and strong and laugh hard and often!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
So exhausted after no sleep for 35 hours and my body was "running a marathon."
My mom ran to get some food from McDonald's at 11:30am for her and Josiah. We told her to hurry back as the nurse was expecting me to hit 10 cm at noon. Josiah said, "I bet our baby's birth time will start with a 12!" I hoped so, but at that point, I didn't know if labor would ever end so I wasn't about to get my hopes up. I pictured myself having to push for 3 hours or something.
Mom got back at noon and Josiah wolfed down his meal. I sarcastically remarked that my birth coaches sure were nice to eat in front of me when I was denied food for a day.
The nurse checked me and declared me at a 10. I knew the end was in sight and told my mom I could finally see a "light at the end of the tunnel.". I got really emotional thinking it would all be over soon and wondering how long it would take. They went to get the doctor and set up the delivery utensils and get me ready. They said a woman having her 3rd or 4th kid usually doesn't have to push much so they wanted everything ready. I pushed 20 minutes with Ali, 0 minutes with Jer (who flew out and surprised everyone and barely got caught--I don't recommend this, it's brutal!), and about 30-40 minutes with Justus (I was sooooo numb from a massive dose in my epidural that I really couldn't do anything and my mom and Josiah pushed my legs for me to get him out.) When everything was set up, they put my legs in high stirrups in what I think would be the most uncomfortable position imaginable if I could have felt anything. My legs were way above my head and spread as far apart as possible. I was so thankful I was numb! The nurse looked down and said I was having a contraction so I could push. Pushing with an epidural is a joke. Both times I have done it I have merely "acted" out a push by crunching my chest up towards my legs. When your legs are totally numb and you feel like you weigh 500 pounds, this is the best you can do. But in both cases, my acting must have worked! I pushed and they said, "Here's the head!" Then a minute later they said to push and said, "Here comes the body!" I looked down to see a grayish purple little body covered in vernix being placed in my arms. It was miraculous, surreal, and amazing! (Please don't hate me my friends who have to push for 3 hours!)