Andrew Update: 6 Months

Well, our little man is 1/2 way to being 1 year old already. I can't believe that 1/2 a year has gone by! Of course in some ways, it feels like he was just born yesterday, and feels like time is going by too slowly.

As far as new accomplishments go, I'd like to say he's doing so much more, but not so much. He still isn't rolling over or talking much. I have had a hard time with this. I don't want to do the comparison thing, and make sure he is "keeping up with the Jones' baby," but I do. My most recent thought was this though, if he is this content to just BE, then maybe he will be a more relaxed and easy toddler (and that I would love!). I'm gonna go with it. He does love to stand, and is getting closer to sitting. Maybe he'll just skip the rolling over part and go right to sitting and crawling. Of course he learned how to blow raspberries too, yes this boy does love to spit and is proud of it.

His nights are still sporadic too. For the most part he sleeps till 5 a.m. But there are a few nights a week he chooses to wake up 1 or 2 times. I thought feeding him cereal might help, but he has started the whole baby food phase and it's not making much of a difference. It took him a long time to get used to the cereal too. I thought he just didn't like it, until last week when I discovered he just didn't like the rice cereal. Now that we have moved on to oatmeal, he is devouring his food. We've also tried bananas and squash and he seems to love those too. He has started to go to bed in his crib for naps now too, and with out being rocked (although not without a small 1-2 minute crying fight). It's progress, yay!! And, although we aren't on as strict of a schedule as I had with the girls, he seems to have a pattern down.

Andrew continues to take delight in his sister Kyra. She pretty much lights up his world. She could be eating breakfast, talking about her day, or writing on a piece of paper, and he laughs at her. He just simply loves his sister. Katie tries to imitate things Kyra does to make him laugh, but I think he deliberately keeps a stoic face to get back at her for getting in his face. Who knew the sibling rivalry could start at infancy?
Yes, although we have a mostly quiet little fella (believe me, when he does get fussy, he gets super fussy), he still invokes delight in our hearts. He loves to be part of the action (we put him in his Bumbo at the dinner table or else he gets jealous). He is a social little bean, and a cuddler...ahh my favorite part. Yes, he knows he tugs at our heart strings.

Just Do It

My brain is currently functioning on overload. You would think I would be worried about getting everything ready for Christmas, but I'm not. I don't have a single present wrapped, but that's just not on my mind right now. I have random thoughts that keep flying through my head and won't resolve themselves. So, if you have better things to do right now, I would stop reading, because this might take awhile.

Last evening I was extremely tired (in part because I have a 6 month old that still doesn't know how to sleep through the night and was up twice the previous night). So, my hubby told me to go to bed and he would give Andrew his last feeding. Wearily I obliged. So, at 9:30 p.m. I went to sleep. It would have been a great night of sleep, if it hadn't been for my 5 year old who woke up in the middle of the night because she was cold, after insisting on sleeping in a sleeping bag in the floor. It didn't take long to put her back in her bed, but after my 4 hours of sleep, my brain must have thought I had enough rested enough because I couldn't go back to bed for another 3 hours.

I lay awake thinking about friends...friends I no longer keep in contact with because of my lack of effort, friends I do try to keep contact with but for reasons unbeknown st to me don't seem to reciprocate my need for their deep companionship. If friendship, companionship, love, is so important than why do we continually mess it up? Why do I let jealousy, and selfishness get in my way to simply care for people? I get so wrapped up in myself, wondering why I didn't get invited to someones house, or why wasn't I the person they felt they could pour their heart out to, that I don't stop to think about what I can do to make someone else feel more loved. I could invite someone with little family for dinner, or send someone who is lonely a card.

I lay awake wondering about my low self esteem, and wonder what I can do to improve my image of myself, so as not to pass this trait on to my girls. I tell myself my new slogan for 2010 is going to be Just Do It! I need to stop whining about not being able to make fabulous meals, making creative projects, having a dust free house, or kids that are perfectly coiffed, and just do something...clean the kitchen sink, play play doh with my something I can do. I focus so much of my time worrying what other people might think about how I do things in my life. "Would you look at her, she picks up her baby too much...she let's her baby cry too much, she let's her kids watch too much TV, why can't she potty train her child? She spends too much money on junk food. She should really watch her weight." I realize how much time I spend focused on negativity, I just have trouble stopping. Whether people really think badly of me or not, it shouldn't matter. I know only God's view of me matters, I just have trouble remembering that.

I think I've babbled on long enough. There are many more thoughts I have of blogging....writing about things we are proud of all the time vs. what our life looks like in reality, New Year's resolutions, and how to raise our children knowing God. When it comes down to all the issues, I know the answer lies with God. God tells us to "put other's before our own needs." God tells us "we can do all things through Him who strengthens us." God tells us "we are children of Him." Deep down, I know what I have to do. I know I should take it to God in prayer, and read my bible more often. Of course now I'm just laying out more I'm inadequate in my walk with God. When what I really need to do is stop focusing on what I should do and Just Do It!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Amidst the craziness of trying to put up Christmas decorations with a rather fussy baby and two "getting eachother's goats" girls, I did manage to laugh at some of the cute things Katie said. Thank goodness for laughter.

While driving to the doctor alone with Katie:
Katie: Mom, I see a silent "E"!
(never mind that she still doesn't even know what an E looks like, I just like that she was able to find a silent one. Can you tell we have an older sibling in this household?)

While sitting at the dinner table:
Kyra: Katie, give this dolly to Andrew and see what he does.
Katie: Kyra, I can't do that. He's a boy baby. Boys don't like dolls. We'll have to give it to him when he's older and turns into a girl baby.
(I've got news for you sister...)

While brushing hair in the bathroom:
Mom: (Katie enters the room) Oh, baby...your outfit doesn't match, why don't you go back into your room and put on your green pants.
Katie: Momma, I don't want to. Then I'll look like a human!

If you'd like to read more tiny talk go over to Mary's.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The girls are making me smile as usual. Here are some of the cute things they said this week:

While in the car:

Kyra: (looking at a coloring book she received from the dentist) You have to brush your teeth with little circles. Then you get all the plaque off.
Katie: Kyra, are you a doctor?
Kyra: Katie, I'm your sister.
Katie: I know but are you a doctor too?
Mom: (amazed that she seems totally serious, and wondering about her train of thought) Katie, why do you think she is a doctor?
Katie: Cause her's talkin like a doctor.
(and you's talkin like a hillbilly)

Overheard in the other room:
Kyra: Katie, can you hand me the bo*obs?
Mom: (my ears perked up at this point, and I wondered what in the world they were doing! It turns out they had one of my br*as in hand and were playing with it in their "store")
Katie: Kyra, don't say that word. It's naughty.
Kyra: Oh, Katie it's not a naughty word. The bo*obs just go on top of your ni*pples.
(yes, nursing in a household of two curious kids has opened up a whole new meaning on invasion of personal space)

Katie's new phrase:
Katie: Oh dear.
(It is so Katie. I about laugh every time she says it, because she sounds like Eeyore all the time. She says it with such seriousness. She'll be putting on her socks and gets them on crooked, or drops a piece of banana in her lap, the phrase is always the same...oh dear.)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Andrew Update: 5 Months

Today our big man turned 5 months old. He continues to grin from ear to ear. I told my hubs the other day that he almost had Mick Jagger beat with that big mouthy smile of his. The best part about his smile though, is that it is contagious. I could be upset about something one moment, or even frustrated if he has been overly fussy, and then he seems to pick up on my mood and grins. Try not grinning back at a smiley baby!

As far as the sleep goes, things are about the same. Some nights he sleeps until 5 am, other times it's 3:30 am. I have managed to get him back to sleep a few times with out nursing, but most of the time I give in to the summons of my infant. I'm sure I'll pay for it later. The naps during the day time have proven to be more difficult too. I used to be able to rock him to sleep, but he is pushing away his cradle hold, and arching his back instead. I've tried putting him straight to bed, but often he'll cry for long periods of time. Yes, we definitely need to work on the sleeping department a little bit. The good thing is, that he does often take a fairly good nap once he does get to sleep.

As far as activity goes, well he seems to be content right where he is. He still is no closer to rolling over either way. He'll roll to his side, but otherwise he's happy just to touch his toes and look around. He's quite observant though, and even laughed at some silly penguins on TV one day. Of course Kyra remains his favorite source of entertainment. He loves to watch her talk about her day, dance, or make silly faces. And she eats it all up of course. He has been grabbing everything too. I tried holding him in my lap during church the other day and no matter where I put it, he found the church bulliten and was determined to make it crackle. I just love to see them study the mechanics of their own hands and arms. You can just see their wheels turning as they make the connection that they can make their tiny hands pick things up at will.

I'm sure as we approach his half year mark there will be much more to share. He'll be experiencing his first Christmas, first foods, and probably a few more. For now, I'll just revel in his laughter, smiles, and sparkly eyes.

Morning Message

Yesterday morning, before church, I hopped in the shower and got out only to find a message on top of the vanity waiting for me!

(Interpretation: Hi Mom I hope you have a great time at church, from Kyra)

I just love the growing interest in reading in writing, and am blown away at the how much of a sponge kids are. She has learned so much in just two months time at school!

Great Giveaways

It's hard to believe that Christmas is quickly approaching. Yet every year this procrastinating momma thinks she can get a head start, buy presents and have cards done early, so I can enjoy celebrating the real reason for the holiday. Well, I am going to attempt to try and get organized and do the same this year, but as I heard Christmas music playing today, I was reminded that I am already falling a little behind. I also saw that 5 Minutes for Mom is already hosting their month of 30 great giveaways.

So, potentionally, you could win some gifts to either giveway in time for Christmas, or keep as a little gift for yourself under the tree. In addition, they also have a program called Under the Tree, in which they give away the identical gift to a family in need. You can nominate a family, or read stories about giving to families who really need help.

October Fest

This past October had been a busy month. Yes, fall is in full swing and we definitely tried making most out of the month to do some of our favorites. I had planned on writing about each occasion, but between an infant, dial up Internet, and illness, time simply slipped through my fingers.

For starters, we began the month going to one of our favorite fall festivals: the Zeeland Pumpkinfest. It's a great way to kick off the fall season. Everything is free, with the exception of vendors selling the usual elephant ears or hot dogs. They have face painting, a pumpkin seed spitting contest, a chili cook off, an animal petting zoo, and even a pie eating contest. Unfortunately this October the weather simply hasn't cooperated. It has rained almost every weekend, but we were determined to go, so we took our umbrellas and hopped in the car. Fortunately they had most of the events inside. The girls did their first pie eating contest, which was hilarious. Poor Kyra, daintily ate her pie without her hands as fast as she could, but was no match for a boy who could scarf his down in seconds. Kyra wondered why she didn't get a prize, she thought she was pretty fast (apparently not fast enough).

The following weekend we had my old college roommate and family come to stay for the weekend. We had plans to go to one of our favorite apple orchards, but again the weather was not on it's best behavior. We did end up going to Post Farms, which is a pumpkin farm and has simply wonderful warm donuts. The kids had fun jumping on hay bails, riding on a hay ride, and running through a corn maze. We had a good time staying up late playing card games with our friends and catching up on old times.

Finally, it came time for Andrew's baptism. My family was all coming for the weekend, to help celebrate this joyous occasion while joining in on a few more fall activities. Of course, wouldn't you know the weather once more did not cooperate. My hopes of going to the apple orchard were pretty much squashed. I had hoped for a fun filled weekend for the kids and family, but between the weather and dreadful loom of H1N1, we pretty much stuck to the confines of our home. Of course, it didn't seem to matter much because the girls and their cousins had fun anyway. They just like to be with each other. We did end up carving the pumpkins that we grew (the heaviest being 78lbs!!) and ate a lot of good food (of course). The baptism went well too. All of the cousins went up in front of the congregation and sang "Jesus Loves Me." They sounded beautiful. I am so fortunate to have such a loving family.

So that was our month of October in a nutshell, busy but full of laughter, fun times and friends and family. The only thing missing was Halloween. I was so impressed that I made Kyra's costume this year, but much to my dismay only Katie went trick or treating. Sadly, Kyra developed H1N1 shortly before the day of gluttony. She seems to always get sick on holidays. I'm just glad she made it till after our family gathering to get sick. So as November kicks in, we are going into the new month quietly. We are taking it easy and hoping the remainder of the family stays healthy. Because it won't be long, and a few more major holidays will be coming before we know it!!

Uh, You Gotta Little Schmutz

One of my husband's greatest pet peeves is when you have something on your face and no one tells you about it before you make a fool of yourself. Well unfortunately my husband was not here to help me out, because it just happened to me big time.

You see we've been a little sick in our household, cooped up, and tired of being in the house. So when I saw a coupon for buy a shake, get one free, we headed out for drive thru!! I sat there twiddling my thumbs in the car, patiently waiting for the girl to serve us our shakes. But when we got out of the car, my daughter said "silly mom, why are you wearing a mustache?" A mustache, what? I quickly ran to a mirror, and was horrified to find I must have smeared the newspaper clipping from the coupon on my upper lip. Did the server see it? She hadn't cracked a smile, but she sure did take a long time. Maybe she was yucking it up with all her friends? And if she did see it, she didn't even tell me about it. How dare she! Or maybe she just thought it was a Halloween costume.

Oh well, fortunately my daughters and I got a good laugh over the whole ordeal. And now maybe you can too. Have a happy weekend everyone.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The girls are making me smile as usual, here are some of the cute things they said this week:

While in the car:
Kyra: What does that word spell? (ever since school started she's been enamored with words and sounding out everything. In the car she likes to look at all the signs. I just LOVE it!)
Mom: Well, it doesn't spell anything really, because it's an abbreviation. (we've already explained abbreviations to her)
Kyra: (She continues to point out many stores that have or are abbreviated) Mom, how come there are so many abbreviations?
Mom: I'm not sure, but there are certainly more than I realized were out there.
Kyra: We're just good abbreviation seekers!

While at the dinner table:
Katie: Mom, is this my right hand?
Mom: Yes, very good.
Katie: (she points to the other hand) And this is my middle hand right?
Mom: (trying not to laugh) Oh, Katie silly that's not your middle hand, you don't have a middle hand.
Katie: I was just kidding mom, I know it's my other right hand.
(we got some learnin to do!!)

If you want to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Andrew update: 4 months

Well, our little sprout keeps growing. He has nearly doubled his weight in 4 months, weighing 15 lbs. Of course that's evident in the way he eats, because he is constantly hungry!! But not only has he almost doubled in weight, he is growing like a bean stalk, measuring just over 27 inches. His doctor said his gums are swollen already, so it's probably only a matter of time before those little teeth come. And he certainly is chowing away on all of his fingers.

As far as sleep goes, well we seemed to have relapsed. He was sleeping 8 hours through the night, but has gone back to waking up one or two times in the night. I have tried putting his binki back in his mouth, but that won't cut it. He wants the real deal. So, pretty soon we're probably going to have to start cereal or more supplementation. Because after you've experienced real sleep for a time, it sure is hard to go back to getting up several times a night.

As far as new milestones, there aren't a whole lot. He continues to be a very smiley, laughy baby. Often times he picks prayer time during dinner to laugh. Good thing God has a good sense of humor, because the laughter is contagious. He also seems to be a very social bug, because he wants to be sitting with us at the dinner table. He does not want to be left out of the action.

Yes, this is a great stage (aren't they all though at certain points?). Katie loves that he smiles at her, yet isn't stealing her toys. I love that we can still go places and not be tied down to naps yet, since he's still a mobile sleeper. He surely is a blessing from above.

Who's Who?

*You guys are too good. Yes, Andrew is on the left, and Kyra is on the right. Funny thing is, Kyra was only 5 weeks old when I took her photo and Andrew is about 17 weeks old!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The little ones have been gabbing about in our household. Here are some of the things they've said:

During lunch:
Kyra: Do you know what a pirouweb is?
Mom: I think you mean pirouette, and yes it's a ballet move. Wow Kyra, that's a pretty big word, where did you learn about that?
Kyra: (very matter of fact) From Rudy.
(I know we have a smart dog, but I highly doubt he shared this info with our daughter!)

During prayer:
Katie: I'll pray.
Mom: Okay, go ahead, but today try and tell Jesus what you are thankful for (she usually only likes to say a recited prayer)
Katie: Okay. Dear Jesus, thank you for the day. I hope you are okay, and I hope you listen to God. Amen.

While playing with Andrew:
(Katie likes to get in her brother's face all the time...I mean in his face, and baby talk to him while kissing his hands, nose, and toes. It gets a little out of control and invasive, but I know she loves him. She has developed a couple names for him, that she uses over and over, where she comes up with them who knows, but it's kinda funny and sweet.)
Katie: Hey squishy boy, you smooshy squishy boy.
(she also calls him her snuggle boy, soo cute)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Parmesan Anyone?

Here's what happens when a 3 year old is left to her own devices....a mountain of parmesan on her spaghetti!!

Andrew Update: 3 months

Yes, our little guy is growing fast. I remember a few days after he was born, I felt an overwhelming sadness over the fact that I knew he was going to grow up faster than I wanted (and surprise, surprise...he has). Fortunately, I think a lot of that emotion was postpartum, because we are thoroughly enjoying the stage Andrew is in.

The best part of entering 3 months is the fact that he is becoming more predictable. Although he still gets up between 3:30-5am for feedings, they are short and he goes back to bed immediately. I am definitely feeling more energized throughout the day. He is also starting to develop more of a schedule. The times of feedings and naps are not consistent every day, but usually 1 1/2 hours after he's been fed, he gets fussy. Within usually less than a minute of me holding him in a cradle position and popping that plug in, he's asleep. I think he has his father's ability to fall asleep in an instant.

Perhaps Andrew's best quality right now though are his smiles. He shares them liberally with everyone (short of Katie, probably because she's always in his face...let the sibling rivalry begin!). They are very contagious too. He's not a big talker, but already laughs (which is just about the best sound in the world). He's grabbing toys too, and kicking in the bathtub (which seems to crack himself up).

So maybe this rough start in our last baby is taking a turn for the better. Because you can't get much better than a smiley, predictable, laughing baby!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

The girls are chattin it up around home. Here are a few of the things they said:

In the car:
Kyra: Hey mom, (looking at a billboard) why does that sign have a picture of the cupcakes we had the other day?
Mom: Well, it's called advertising. They make a big sign of their cupcakes to try and get people to buy them. That's how they make their money.
Kyra: Just like we bought them!
Mom: Yeah.
Kyra: So they get all the money that we give them.
Mom: Yes.
Kyra: Well that's not very nice. They should share their money.

While walking Kyra to the bus (and Kyra was racing ahead of us):
Katie: Kyra!! You have to wait for yourself.
(love it when they mess up those pronouns)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Splash Getaway

A week ago we were able to get away for our first vacation of the summer. The hub's job has finally calmed down a bit (he was terribly busy all summer...of course great timing with a little one, but certainly job security and that's nothing to complain about, so I'll quit). So, we decided to head north for an extended weekend to one of our favorite places...Petoskey, Michigan. That whole area is simply breath taking. Of course I love it even more in the fall, when all the leaves are changing, but we couldn't have had a more beautiful weekend to go (mid 70's and sunny).

We stayed at the Boyne Mountain Ski Resort with the hub's parents. We've been there before and always enjoy it, because they have lots for the kids to do, and great shopping for me too! We all enjoyed swimming, going up the ski lift and enjoying the view, bike riding, and pie tasting. The girls even caught a rather large trout in the local pond (which may have been a little more exciting for their fish deprived dad, I'm not sure:). We went to the beautiful marina in Petoskey, and enjoyed shopping downtown too. Of course, I was able to go to one of my favorite stores, The American Spoon, and test their dips. Mmm, go figure one of my favorite stores involves food! They certainly do have great bbqs, jellies, and salsas though.

But I'd have to say the highlight of the weekend was going to the indoor water park. We were a bit hesitant in going, just because our girls are not the biggest water fans. So, we checked the place out first and the girls both said they wanted to go. The entrance fee isn't the cheapest though, so I told Kyra she had to promise to go on some of slides or else it wasn't going to be worth the money (this cheap mamma's gotta get her money's worth you know!) She happily agreed (of course probably not knowing what she was getting into).

Fortunately, the hub's parents were willing to watch Andrew for awhile too, so we could focus our time with the girls. So, when we arrived, we perused the park, and I found a slide that looked suitable for Kyra. It was a rather tall ride, but the slide didn't look too steep, and it required a inner tube that you could share with an adult, which I figured would be less scary then sliding directly on the slide itself. It wasn't until after Katie and I waited at the bottom to take their picture that I found out I had put them on the scariest slide in the park. Yes, way to go momma. I had put my eldest daughter, who was afraid of water to begin with, to plummet to what she probably thought was the end of her short life. Yes, the ride began with a drop into pure blackness, then shoots you out into a huge bowl that twirls you round and round (kind of like you are twirling in a toilet bowl), until you drop into the bottom of the bowl and are flushed out into a lazy river. Yes, she came out screaming at the bottom. I felt so bad. There were so many more easy going slides I could have started her out on, but I had to chose the worst. Even the lazy river frightened her because around the bend were some rapids and a waterfall that pours on you. I doubted she would ever trust me again.

Fortunately, she did. The first hour or so of our time, she hesitated, going only on the kiddy slides or in the pool. But eventually, our forgiving girl went on some larger slides, and even after a few times down with the hub's or myself, went by herself. It was a great time, and it felt great to have some alone time with our girls. I even tried my hand at boogie boarding down the pressured wave. Yes, the weekend away was just what we needed after this busy summer adjusting to our little one, and a great entrance into the new season of fall.

First Day of Kindergarten

Kyra's first day of Kindergarten was yesterday. I wasn't the slightest bit worried about how she would fair her first day, because I know she is a confident, social, and bright little girl (who has been very eager to start the new school year). I was however, a little nervous about how a few things would go. Getting her ready by 8am (since she's used to getting up at that time and because we have an infant), having her get on the bus (I never did this as a child), and hearing how she would do tying her gym shoes were just a few of the challenges.

It turns out getting ready in the morning was a piece of cake. She anxiously got out of bed at 6:50 am, and was ready by 7:30 am. And Andrew (at least on this day), woke up just in time for me to feed him and go back to bed so I could put her on the bus. The bus, however did not go so smoothly (at least for me). We live on a fairly busy street and have a long driveway, so we all walked up together 10 minutes early. I had my camera in tow, and was ready to take a picture of her getting on the bus. I knew we would have to wait a little while, since they are still getting their routes figured out, but we ended up waiting more like 20 minutes. So, we played "I Spy" and counted all the buses (that weren't OURS). Needless to say Katie was getting tired. Seriously, I should have had lawn chairs at the end of the drive or something. At this point, I also saw that Rudy had gotten loose. Somebody must have forgotten to shut the door tight. And of course, it was too late to take him all the way back to our house, so I just hoped he would behave and not try and get on the bus with Kyra.

Finally, Kyra said "look there's my bus!" But I said, "no babe, it's going in the wrong direction." But she was right. All of a sudden the lights started flashing. We were supposed to be the last stop before the bus arrived at school, but it was going in the wrong direction (not to mention across the street, where I would have to walk her across). So, I quickly grabbed her hand and told Katie to grab the other. But Katie picked this moment to be grouchy and refuse. So, I had one anxious child in one direction and one reluctant in the other. I was taken off guard with the bus going in the wrong direction, my children racing in the opposite directions, and a dog who was on the brink of traffic (which by the way was backing up by at least 8 cars!). By the time we got over to the bus, and I was making sure my dog would not follow, Kyra was gone. No goodbye or anything. It wasn't what I pictured in my head at all. No picture of her first bus ride, or wave to her beloved mother who has loving raised her, just gone: ) Actually, this is more of what I should have been picturing in my head, because this is more how we roll (late and disorganized). It makes for a good story though. I think I will be talking to transportation though, or changing my mind and driving her to school, because taking her across the busy street every day just isn't going to work (I would have driven her, but I thought it would be easier with a sleeping baby).

Alas, she made it to school and loved it. When she got back, I asked her how the day went and she said it was fabulous. I asked her if she was able to tie her gym shoes that she has to keep at school, and she said no they fell apart (we tried finding tennis shoes with Velcro, but the only ones in her size were $50!!, so we frantically tried to teach her how to tie them the night before!). I guess we'll have to keep working on that one. But, when asked what was the favorite part of her day, you know what it was?

The BUS RIDE!!! Go figure.

Wordless Wednesday

For my mom, who hasn't seen the little guy in a month!!

My First Kid's Birthday Party

Kyra has been talking about her birthday non stop for months. I seriously had to tell her, "babe, just stop thinking about it because it's 130 days away." Of course, as the time approached I began getting a little nervous that her party would not meet her expectations. She had plenty of grand ideas, but this momma is still adjusting to life of 3 children and knew that I had limitations. Fortunately, she has only gone to a few friend's birthday parties, and we have never put on one for more than family (therefore she didn't have much to compare it with).

When all was said and done, I think I threw a fairly tasteful party. There weren't a lot of kids, 6 in fact, but that seemed to work out just fine (we were supposed to have two more, but unfortunately one of them was under the weather...we missed you Sarah).

The itinerary went in my head like this...

11:30 pm: feed Andrew
12:00 pm: Lunch (corn dogs, cherry koolaid, cherry jello jigglers-cut out into hearts and teddy bears, veggie straws- a Cos*tco product, and grapes)
1:00 pm: leave for bowling
2:00 pm: come back from bowling
2:30 pm feed Andrew
3:00 pm: feed the kids cupcakes and ice cream, sing Happy Birthday, open gifts, and let the kids play

Of course, when do things ever go as planned when you have an infant right? First of all I don't know what I was thinking planning a birthday during the day when my hubby couldn't help. Second of all, I probably shouldn't have thought we could keep to such a timely schedule. So, we didn't exactly finish lunch in time, or even leave the bowling alley to come home in time (we didn't even get home till 3:15 pm). I kind of forgot we were bowling with 3-7 year olds. Fortunately, I came to my senses and thought I should invite the mom's just in case I needed help, because I sure did. And thankfully, my sister in-law offered several times to take Andrew while we went bowling (although I kept refusing until after lunch time, and then I decided I better drop him off). And you know what? We had lots of fun. It may have felt a little crazy at moments (especially with two nursing mommas), but the kids had fun, and it was fun to watch them bowl.

So, it wasn't exactly a Martha Stewart birthday, complete with coordinating theme and all. But thankfully my little 5 year old could care less and just enjoys time with friends. Yes, it was a fun birthday.
All the kiddos eating their cupcakes
The girls seemed to think stomping their feet would help their ball move faster down the lane

Butterfly cupcakes. This year Kyra didn't want a cake, just cupcakes with blue frosting for the boys and pink frosting for the girls. The girls also had a lot of fun and took great pride in being able to decorate the cupcakes themselves.

Happy 5th Birthday Kyra


Age: 5

Personality: Caring, considerate, stickler for rules, helper, social butterfly, striver of perfection. You are always seeking out new friends and love to play with others.

Foods: Hamburgers, corn, cherries, pb&j, mac & cheese, carrots, chocolate milk, and vanilla ice cream w/a cherry on top
Songs: I've got the Joy, This Little Light of Mine, Bubbly & Kidz Bop World (from Kidz Bop McD's CD)
Books: any Dora the Explorer books, Rapunzel, Peter Pan, Enchanted Tales
TV Shows: Martha, Word Girl, Super Why
Movies: Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age, Tinkerbell
Games: Littlest Pet Shop, Uno, Memory, Guess Who?
Toys: stuffed white doggy...Rose, Magna Doodle, My Little Ponies, any coloring books, bike, scooter
Activities w/Mommy: games, coloring, reading, baking
Activities w/Daddy: baking, games, exploring outside, bike riding

Dear Kyra,
You have grown up so much this past year. We have enjoyed watching you learn to ride your bike, pump your legs on the swing, pour your own milk, and hold your little brother. You are very helpful in calming Andrew down, insisting you know exactly what to do (and often you do). You have started sounding out words, and love to write people letters. Your relationship with your sister has flourished, and although you can sometimes be bossy, you love her dearly and have become best friends. You are a sweet girl that is growing up way too fast. But we enjoy watching you strive to learn new things. You can't wait to start school in a week (even asking if you were going to sleep there over night, and being disappointed when I said no). We know you will do well and look forward to hearing all the stories (because we all know you love to talk and ask questions)!

Mom and Dad

First Corn of the Season

It's that time of the year again!! Corn pickin time! Yes, this past week we had the first fruits of our labor (my hubby's labor anyway). We've had beans, cukes, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchinis, potatoes, and eggplant. But, it doesn't feel like summer until we've had corn from our own garden. After all, planting corn runs deep in the blood of the hub's family. I think my hubby would give up hunting before he would give up planting. He just gets a deep satisfaction out of watching our acres fill with corn. He will often take daily walks to see how much the stalks have filled out (I can't say that I could see much progress daily, but maybe he can). I bet he could even hear it grow. Okay, enough already, you get the picture. He LOVES corn.

My husband's love for corn has been inherently passed on to the girls. They have been eating it off the cob since they were 16 months old. They ask for it at every birthday meal, and are known to eat 3 cobs at a meal. This past week, Kyra even learned how to pick the ears off the stalk. She knows how to feel for fullness and everything. I was quite impressed. And I'm sure my hubby was beaming at his budding farmer.

So with out further adieu, here are this years pics of our kiddos eating their corn (we've taken a picture every year).

(Might as well start him out early!!)

Andrew Update

It is so hard to believe Andrew is already 2 months old today. It seems like I just wrote about his one month old update a short while ago (although I guess that will happen when you don't post things that often).

Andrew is growing like a weed. There are some days I think he grew overnight! He's growing little chunker thighs and sporting a double chin. In general he is having more content moments, which is a huge blessing considering he hasn't been the most content baby (I was under the impression that many 3rd children were easy going, but I don't think that's the case in our least not yet). He wants to be held much of the time or put in a baby carrier. In his defense though, he might have acid reflux, which I'm sure is causing much of his irritability. He clenches his stomach, spits up, and gags a lot. This problem has gotten better over the last month, so we are hoping to be on the up and up. On a positive note, we got our EEG results back and Andrew is not having seizures. We were very thankful to hear that news.

I still haven't exactly heard any cooing (although my mom said she did), but he does like to squeal when he's happy and moans when he's sucking on his binki. The smiles are also poppin up more frequently, which I absolutely love. He's also a kicker. This child DOES NOT sit still. He's definitely a mover and a shaker ( this a sign for things to come?) He is constantly waving his arms and kicking his legs, which is another reason why I still have to swaddle him when we put him to bed (otherwise he wakes himself up with his movements).

For the past week, he has been getting up only one time a night. Although after he eats at 3 a.m. he doesn't seem to want to go back to bed like he did before. Yes, now he thinks it's play time. So, he's up for close to 2 hours before he goes back to bed. I'm hoping this trend will go away quickly. I must be getting used to the night feedings though because I'm not too tired in the morning anymore (which I suppose is good considering Kyra starts school pretty soon).

The girls continue to enjoy their little brother as if he had just come home from the hospital. Katie is constantly kissing him. We have to ward her off, just so he isn't over stimulated. And Kyra is always helping me by finding a binki I've misplaced, or retrieving a burp cloth I forgot to get before I sat down to nurse.

Yes, life has certainly changed, but we are beginning to adapt, and are enjoying life as a family of five. I am looking forward to fall, getting back into a schedule (as much as I can), and hopefully gaining more time to get more daily chores accomplished. Thanks to all our friends and family who have prayed for us over the past couple of months. We truly appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and support.
(Andrew at 3 days old)
(Andrew at 2 months old. Same exact expression!)

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Our kids say the darndest things. Here are a couple of the cute things Katie said this week:

During prayer time:
Mom: Katie would you like to pray?
Katie: Can I say "Dear Lord Jesus?" (That's a recited prayer that she always resorts to. She's not one to pray impromptu.)
Mom: How about you just tell Jesus some of the things you are thankful for?
Katie: Okaaay. Dear Jesus, thank you for my family. Thank you toilet paper and the potty. And thank you my ducky. Amen.
(Seriously? The potty? She doesn't even like to use the potty. I just love young children's prayers.)

Trying to pick a game to play:
Mom: What game would you like to play?
Katie: Remembering.
(that would be Memory)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Friday Foto

The girls wanted to play doctor yesterday, and we had a very willing participant!!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Grandpa and Grandma were here last weekend visiting our fam. Of course they were a great help as always. I was able to get some things done that I've been putting on the back burner. I also always enjoy their company too. During their stay, the girls also had some funny things to say (all of which I forgot to write down). Fortunately, this time I remembered a few of the things they said (maybe I'm starting to regain some of that pregnancy brain back!). Here it goes:

During dinner time:
Katie: (whispering to her sister) Kyra, let's pretend we're people!
(Around this house they're considered aliens:) What does she think she is?)

During prayer time at dinner:
Kyra: (Kyra said the prayer) Dear Lord, thank you for this weekend and the time we had having fun. Thank you we could be together as a family. Lord please help all the people throwing up. Amen. (Since she is always thanking or asking God for help having fun, we told her that we need to be thinking of people in need....ex: sick people. Apparently people throwing up were on the top of her list!!)

During playtime outside with Grandma:
(during their exploration time outside, our dog unfortunately brought grandma a dead baby bunny)
Kyra: Grandma I think I should bury it. That's what my daddy does. (you can tell she lives on a farm, she's so matter of fact, obviously not scarred by this incident)
Grandma: Are you sure you can do it?
Kyra: Yes, in fact I think he'd like to be buried in our sandbox.
(fortunately Grandma had the good sense to not let that happen. Now I'm just a little worried to find out if anything else is hiding in our sandbox!)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's

Andrew Update

Well, already a month has gone by since our little guy was born. It's been a bit crazy the past few weeks too. I had intentions of blogging all these cute pictures and updates on how things were going, but time seemed to slip quickly through our fingers.

Andrew is growing very well. He's probably the best nurser out of all my kids (which is a big blessing, considering how much pain I was in with the other two). I'm guessing he's about 9 lbs now (since at 3 weeks old he was 8lbs 9oz). And he's grown 2 inches since birth too. The smiles are becoming more frequent now too. He's starting to make more eye contact and grinning at mamma's smiles and Kyra's goofy faces (he really responds well to her and she has been most helpful and calm at times when he's fussy).

The sleep however has not been going the best. For awhile he was waking up every hour in the middle of the night, which left a very tired mom and dad. Fortunately I have an incredible sister in-law (you'll never know how grateful I am Kris), who came in the nick of time to help fix meals, wash dishes, rock Andrew while I took in a few snoozes, and keep the kids occupied with her kiddlings. She was truly a life saver. Andrew now seems to be sleeping a little bit better, but is still waking up every 3 hours (unlike my girls who seem to only wake up once a night from the get go). Fortunately, he goes to bed right after I feed him.

We also seemed to battle with a few medical conditions. It's nothing too serious, but enough to make me a little more exhausted on top of the lack of sleep. The poor guy has had numerous trips to the doctor's office and hospital. He had a hard time getting rid of the jaundice. We had him under a Bili blanket for close to 1 1/2 weeks, and he had to have blood draws over a dozen times. Hopefully his poor heels won't be scarred. For a while it seemed we were headed to the lab almost every day. And the girls couldn't take his crying, and asked to sit in the hallway to wait for him to be done. Fortunately his levels went down and we are done with the poking.

Then today we headed to the hospital for an EEG which I believe measures some kind of brain waves. We're trying to rule out possible seizure activity. Since he was born, he has had these mild twitches, but they aren't going away, and don't go away when you hold him close. Most likely this is just his nervous system still developing (and I'm hoping that's what it is). But in a week we will hopefully know the results of this test. We're praying it's nothing more than his little body developing. He sure didn't like being hooked up to all those electrodes though. He let the tech know for sure with his wailing and hand grabbing the wires off several times. He made her work for her money this morning.

We know that we are blessed by this little guy. Like I mentioned, we've hit a few bumps in the road (which were more or less inconveniences in our lives as we get used to this little guy), but know it could be way worse. We have encountered a few friends these past few weeks that have dealt with far more difficult circumstances, which puts in perspective how fortunate we are and also makes us realize that God is in control and we have to give our concerns to Him. We take joy in knowing God gave us a growing, beautiful little boy, and thank God that he has blessed us with this new addition.

More Firsts on Friday

I have to say, Andrew is not the only one who is learning things for the first time. My oldest, Kyra, has been learning so much lately. It's hard to believe that she will be starting kindergarten in just a couple months (but boy is she ready).

This big girl has learned how to swim (doggy paddle anyway), and asks about going in the pool all the time. Tonight she even had a water gun attack with her daddy and sister. Now that's a great improvement from even 6 months ago (she wouldn't even take a shower). She's also learned how to pump by herself on the swing (which is a big help for mom, since I'll be pushing the younger two now). She has been pouring her own milk in her cereal (and has little to no spills). But perhaps the biggest accomplishment was last week when she learned how to ride her bike!! For a couple weeks now, we have talked about "trying" to ride without training wheels, but our cautious daughter kept saying "maybe tomorrow." Finally, last week her dad kept showing her how to position her pedal so that she could push off her right foot by herself. She was getting discouraged and wanted to stop trying it "his" way. Then not even 10 minutes later, I looked out the window and saw that she had taken off herself. She was riding herself. And she couldn't have been prouder. It is so fun to see them accomplish things on their own. She could be out there all day long if we let her.
Yes, these kids grow faster than we want them to. But the ride is fun.

Fourth of July

This year we missed our yearly trip to Hessel (up north), and therefore missed their little town's parade. My hubby has never been in town over the fourth of July because for the first 30 years of his life, he has always been in the U.P. Although, he was a little sad to be missing his annual vacation, and I a little sad to miss a cousin's wedding in Washington D.C., we made due.

Andrew was 1 1/2 weeks old and made his first parade. The local parade was actually very nice. It was a bit more crowded then our little hobunk town up north, but we managed to find a spot without too much trouble. Andrew winced with the fighter jets flew by, but the rest of the time he slept. The rest of the day we just relaxed at home and took it easy. We contemplated fireworks, but decided the parade was enough excitement for one day. So, we headed into town for ice cream, and then called it a day. It was a quiet day, but a nice one. We missed family and friends this past week, but know we got a very good blessing out of the deal! Hope you all had a wonderful 4th!

Firsts on Friday

Well, almost a week and 1/2 has gone by already since Andrew has been born, and already there seems to have been a lot of firsts. This mama wasn't even prepared for the first time he would pee on himself this morning (of course not having boys before I haven't experienced that wild willy before, and wasn't quick to have it covered early this morning. Yes Mom, you can say I told you so. I was so sure that I wouldn't experience the fountain, since he hadn't done it yet, but I did so rudely awaken him this morning).

I thought I would post some of the other firsts in pictures (in no particular order).

Andrew's first family photo. 6 days old

Andrew's first outing (out for ice cream of course...too bad he couldn't taste any!) 5 days old

Andrew's first book being read to him (Kyra wanted him to be part of the reading program at the library, so he could put a sticker on his chart and win a prize!) 4 days old

Andrew's first bath (he didn't care for it too much, but didn't mind the hair washing. It must have felt like a head massage.) 5 days old

Andrew's first smile (he looked right at me in the hospital and smiled, and has done so many times since then. He's our earliest smiler.) 3 days old

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Over this past week, the girls have said some extremely cute things. However, like usual I didn't write them down, therefore missing so many of the documentary worthy quotes after Andrew was born. Here are a few I did remember:

While sitting at the dinner table:
Grandma: I think Andrew is just so cute!
Kyra: Grandma, you want to know what I think? I think he looks expensive.
(I think she is just trying out her larger vocabulary, but she wasn't far off the mark!)

While holding Andrew:
Kyra: I think he loves me very much.
(Kyra has been quite smitten with this new little guy, and if we let her, would hold him for hours at a time.)

While holding the baby:
Katie: Mommy, I want you to feed him with that thingy again.
(Oh yeah, the joys of having two girls invading your space while nursing. Not much chance for privacy this time around. These girls are quite curious.)

While sitting on the couch:
Kyra: Mom?
Mom: Yes?
Kyra: If you drink lots of milk, then does it go down your throat, and into your tummy and then out of your bo*ob?
(yeah, something like that. Wow, she is creative.)

It is fun to see Kyra ask so many questions. She asked things from how the IV gave me hydration to questions about the umbilical cord. She is such an inquisitive little girl.

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, visit Mary's!

Totally In Love

Almost a week has gone by since I had my little guy. And I tell you, I couldn't be more in love. I find myself gazing at his face, watching his tiny little twitches, scrunched up face, and whimpers. Everything is precious.

When I had Kyra, I found myself doing much of the same (the gazing), however I also quickly became overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a new mother. I was overcome by the lack of sleep. And at times even longed for the way life was before baby. When I had Katie, I had some idea of the responsibility and fatigue it took to be a parent. I found myself often thinking I wasn't the best at being a mom of babies. Don't get me wrong, I love both the girls (and have from the very beginning). But that really young baby stage just isn't my cup of tea. I tend to like it when they are a little bit older. I like it when they sleep through the night, laugh continuously to the silliest little thing, are beginning to show more personality, and give you a better indicator of why in tarnation they are crying. I'm just too nervous.

So, before I had Andrew, I found myself giving myself little pep talks. Now, Sarah, you only have to get through the next few months and then life will get better. Now , Sarah, you can handle sleepless nights for a short while, it really isn't that long in the whole scheme of life! Now, Sarah, just keep on your hubby to give you lots of help and you'll make it through this stage. But to tell you the truth, I haven't really needed those pep talks thus far. I know it's probably a little premature (seeing as though I have only had a few days at home with him, and I've also had my SUPER mother here to help me with the girls) to be saying things have been going well, but they have. And I'm finding that I really love this baby stage. In fact I have found myself wishing at times that I could freeze time and hold on to this little baby body for longer than I know I have time with him before he starts to grow. He is just really that precious. He has the cutest little smile already, long little toes and fingers, and the best little shaped head. I am simply joyful that God has blessed me with such a beautiful little boy.

So, I guess for now I'll just try and capture some of these moments in pictures and hold on to the snuggling time we have for now, because I know it won't be long and these time will be over in a flash. Even my mom said, "you could keep on having children to try and recapture this stage of life, but they are always going to grow up."

A Whole New World

Well, we made it home! After 3 1/2 days in the hospital, Andrew and I are finally home. The girls are so excited to spend more time with their little brother (so much that Kyra already sat down and read him a book...awe...while he was sleeping). Of course it's been 2 1/2 hours since we've been home and he is still sound asleep in his car seat, but he has plenty of time to get used to his new diggs.

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better baby. He has been sticking to an every 3 hour eating schedule and has been eating fairly quickly (opposed to the girls who took 45 minutes to eat, each time). He has only been crying if he's hungry or has a dirty diaper too (of course he is a boy, which is probably why he's not giving me mixed messages. What you see is what you get!) Of course all this could change, but I'll take what I can get for now. The surgery also went fairly well. It took a little longer than it was supposed to, but I am healing quickly and feeling good.

I'll have lots more to report as the days go on, but I'm tired and need to rest a bit before the little bugger gets up. So for now, I'll just leave you with a few more pictures. And again, thank you to everyone for the well wishes and prayers. Your thoughts and comments have made us feel very loved and glad to have friends and family like you'all.

Announcing baby Andrew James

Well for all of you waiting , we have a baby Boy!
Andrew James was born on June 23 @ 8:02 AM weighing in at 8 pounds 1 oz and 20 inches long. ( Our smallest peanut yet). Mom and baby are doing well and are planning on coming home Friday morning. Mom will give you all the whole scoop when she comes back. For now I thought that I would share a picture with you all. God sure is great!

PS: Thank you all for the prayers

Nearing the End

With just a little over a week to go till the big "Baby" day, my patience has been wearing thin. My poor girls have had to deal with a drill sargent of a mom. For goodness sakes, couldn't they stop acting like children for a change and not get out every toy in the house (oh, that's right, they are children)? Okay, I've been a little irrational in my expectations. The fact that I've been trying to widdle away at a "to do" list before the baby comes, and know that this baby could care less if I have anything done with the house is beside the point. I'm still "trying" to relax and thinking of ways to have fun with my two precious girls this last week, before our family gets larger. After all they shouldn't have to remember their last days simply following rules and cleaning up until the baby comes.

Nevertheless, when my in-laws called on Friday to take the girls strawberry picking, I quickly took them up on their offer. I was thankful for the opportunity to get some weeding done, along with the thought of some rest time. And the girls would have so much more fun with their grandparents, not to mention a reprieve from their stressed out mama. The day ended up being simply wonderful. Not only did I get the day to myself, but my hubby took me out for a nice dinner, and my in-laws made a ton of jam for me (something I would have loved to do, but these swollen feet can't stand in front of the sink that long to wash and stem). It was a very nice gift.

Now, with just 8 days before the delivery date, I am able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although I am looking like Hom*er Simp*son these days with my gut hanging out, since my shirts are too short and my pants won't stay up, I know it won't be long. And I plan on taking some fun little outings with my girls this week to make the most out of the time we have before junior consumes most of it. But, I also look forward to carrying a little round bundle in only a week's time!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

I managed to remember a few of the cute things my kids said this past week. Here are a few of their funnies...

While playing dolls together-
Katie: (evidently offended by something her older sibling did, she runs off to me) Mommy, Kyra isn't playing very nice to me. She caught my feelings.

While getting ready in the morning-
Mom: Now Kyra, I want you to make your bed this morning like I asked you to do yesterday.
Kyra: I was thinking we could make my bed like a pattern.
Mom: What do you mean?
Kyra: One day you can make my bed, then I can make my bed, you make it, I make it. Isn't that a good idea?
Mom: That's very creative. But when Grandma comes in a couple weeks, she's not going to make your bed so you need to make a habit of making your bed every day.
Kyra: But Mom, that's two weeks away.
(This girl is getting too smart for her own good. I can't believe she's using what she learned in school against me already!)

While sitting on the couch-
Kyra: Mom, how did that baby get inside your tummy?
Mom: (Shoot! I thought I managed to get through this whole pregnancy without that question. So, I managed to answer in the best and simplistic way that I could). Well, when a mommy and daddy love each other very much and decide they want to start having children, they ask God to bless them with a child. And if the time is right, God plants a seed in Mommy's tummy and it begins to grow (not too far off right?).
Kyra: What color is the seed?
(Thankfully the questions ended there, until two days later when she asked how dogs had babies. Do they ask God for a seed? Oh heavens, I need help.)

If you want to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Catching Up

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted last. And I'm afraid it's just going to become fewer and farther between. I so wanted to keep up with blogging, taking care to write all the cute things my kids say and record their precious sayings. I wanted to record how this pregnancy went so I could tell the kids stories later in their life (considering I forgot so much about the first two). But alas it didn't happen, because life happened. And that's okay. I'd like to recap some of the things that have been going on though...

The Girls
A couple months ago, the girls began swimming lessons. I know we aren't going to go swimming much this summer, but we do have a boat and I think it is important for them to learn swimming safety. Plus, they have shown a lot of fear in the past and I was hoping to have them get over that (to the point they don't even want to take a shower!!) Both girls went through some tears over the last 5 weeks, but I have definitely seen improvement. I especially couldn't be prouder of Kyra. She went from not being able to let go of my arms to jumping in the pool all by herself and turning around and swimming to the edge of the pool. She dove off the diving board, and even went under water to reach for rings at the bottom of the pool (although she wasn't thrilled about that exercise). Katie needs a little of work still, and fought going to lessons almost every time, but at least she'll jump of the edge to someone in the pool and is starting to kick and move her arms. It was a joy to watch them both.

The Hubs
My hubby has been extremely busy, much to my dismay, but at least as this baby approaches quickly his time away from home seems to be lessening. He has become head foreman of his big job site, which requires more of his time, and hence comes home a little later sometimes (which don't get me wrong I am grateful for, because he has a job, and a job in this economy is definitely a plus). He also, along with his brothers, just put in over 50 acres of field corn among 4 property parcels. His father become ill with a burst appendix over a month ago, and has been unable to help, so the boys had to put in some overtime. Of course planting corn and watching it grow is one of my hubby's ultimate joys. He gets a high off corn.

I have slowly been trying to give up control in trying to have everything ready for baby #3. It would have been nice to have this boy's room all decorated nicely, had my computer ready to print out baby announcements, and have Katie all potty trained (so I won't have two in diapers), but I'm afraid it's not going to happen.

It was my New Year's resolution to have Katie potty trained by the time the baby was born. And considering the fact that she is already 3, it seemed like an obtainable goal. However, she is a strong willed child, and along with having so many constipation issues, I think it's going to take awhile yet. To her credit, she does go #1 on the potty a great deal of the time, we just have to work on the other half. I know it will come, I just need to work on patience.

Our computer has died on us too. And while this doesn't seem like a huge problem, I lost the program I loved best to download pictures, and haven't been able to find an equally good program (don't remember what I had before). I have also spent a good deal of what seems like wasted time trying to download software, when I could have been washing baby clothes or watering flowers. So, we finally drug our feet to the store to buy a new desktop after installing a new hard drive in the old computer and not receiving the results we expected. Hopefully this computer will last awhile, and I can download everything I need before baby comes.

Finally I was broadsided in a parking lot by an older couple. Fortunately I was okay, but we have a small dent in the car that bugs me. And due to Michigan's no fault law, I would have to pay for the damage even though I didn't create it (not to mention if claimed, my insurance rates would go up). We thought about small claims court, but at this point in the pregnancy, I think I'm just going to let it go.

To be honest though, this has been the best pregnancy I have had. Even though my ducks aren't all in a row, I have felt good almost the entire pregnancy and still don't even sleep with any side pillows. I have had a few rough spots, but all in all I feel great. Even this cooler weather is a blessing, because my feet and legs are not swelling up as much as the past pregnancy's. This baby is a mover and a shaker though. I have felt more kicks and punches then with either girls combined. He must be ready to take on the world!

So, after this long winded blog entry (sorry), I will leave you with this prego picture some of you have been requesting. I don't normally like photographing myself, but also regret not taking more pregnant pictures of me with my girls either. So with 19 days before baby comes, here I am smiling and ready (hopefully) to relinquish control to God and his foreseeable future for our life as a family of five!!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

We just went to Chicago for the weekend to visit my parents. However, for the first time the girls went downtown to experience the city life. I'd have to say their favorite part was the train. Katie was absolutely enamored with it. They loved listening to the conductor list off the stops and counted down the stations before we met our arrival. It was so fun to see them enjoy a new experience. And Katie said some very funny things. Unfortunately, I didn't have any paper with me and forgot most of them (with the exception of one).

While sitting on Grandma's lap, she piered out then window enjoying the sites of the city. Suddenly she looked around the train and asked Grandma, "Who's driving the train?" I love it. And am noticing how observent she can be. I only wish I could share some pictures.

If you want to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's.

Missing Computer Connection

This past week, our computer finally died. I tried days for days to restore the hard drive, but seeing as though I am not that computer savvy, my attempts were futal. At first I thought, maybe I could just live with out a computer (after all there are plenty of days where I become too dependant on it anyway, and could be spending my time more wisely). And it has been good for me too, because this past week I have been finding a lot more outdoorsy things to do with my time, not to mention probably spending better quality time with my kids. But I think I was just fooling myself thinking I could deal without a computer at all. After all with banking online, and friends communicating now adays through nothing but internet connections, I think I am going to have to get a new computer. The question now is what kind? There are so many different brands, speeds, etc. And then I'm not sure if I should attempt to get a laptop or not. I would love a laptop, but am not sure that would be the wisest choice with kids who love to play on the computer. When we do get a new computer I am just going to have to remember not to get in the rut again of spending too much time on it.

So, I guess I have some research to do. For now, I am just at the library, thankful that there are other places to connect with the techy world. And also thankful that we have a library so close by with lots of toys and books located right next to all the computers (so I can keep a close eye on my kiddos).

Trading Spaces

In order to make room for this new addition in our family, we needed to put the girls together. It would have been nice to just move Katie to Kyra's room so we could leave the nursery as it was, but the nursery is the bigger room. So all the nursery items had to be moved to Kyra's room, and all of Kyra's stuff had to be moved to Katie's room. I had wanted to make this transition a while ago, but could not decide on bed arrangements (bunk bed, twin beds, hammocks :). Alas, we found a bunk bed that we liked and decided to keep them as twin beds for the time being, so I wouldn't have to climb up and make their beds daily. Unfortunately my order was back ordered and didn't come for weeks and weeks.

Finally, a couple weeks ago the beds came. I thought it would be nice if the girls went to Grandpa and Grandma's house for the evening, so we could have some uninterrupted moving time, and surprise them with a finished room when they came back. I was glad we did, because we had furniture all over the place. I ended up being very pleased with the end result. Their room is definitely more crowded, but it looks very cute. We also still have a few finishing touches to go, like removing the nursery valance and putting it in the baby's room, but those are minor changes. And due to the fact that this baby boy is inheriting a girl's bedroom, it looks a little girly. But I'm pretty sure he won't notice for the first year or two!!

When the girl's arrived back home, their grins said it all. Kyra was a little disappointed that she wouldn't be able to sleep on the top bunk, but she got over it quickly. It has now been a week and half, and they are having so much fun. I am happy to say that Katie adjusted well immediately to her new arrangement. She still takes naps well (not getting out of bed to test the waters), and loves having her sister near by. Kyra loves her bed, but says Katie keeps her up too late talking (although truthfully I don't think she minds all that much, since I hear a good deal of the laughter from her). They have played battle ship with their beds, while shooting stuffed animals across the room, and adorned their beds with books while playing "check out" at the library. It is fun to see them using their imaginations and enjoying their space together. It brings back memories of my sister and I sharing a room and all the fun times we had playing games and chatting till late. Although, I'm sure this honeymoon won't last forever (after all I also remember putting masking tape down the center of the room too!).
Katie's room before the transformation

Girls room after transformation