Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting close...The Name

So as we get closer to meeting our little Pete, the one thing that has occupied my mind for the past week or so has been his name. No, as I've said before, it's not Pete...we're not entirely sure how that got started but he's been Pete pretty much since we found out he was a Pete and not a Pete-ette. :)

We have 2 or 3 front runners, all of which I like very much. But at this point in the pregnancy with the other boys, I feel like I had settled on THE NAME and felt done with it.  And I'm not really one of those people that has to wait to see the baby to decide...I feel like we pick a name we love and the baby starts to look like that name.  So unfortunately I'm not going to share the frontrunners but I'd love to get some input on how you go about picking names, and if you have a brilliant suggestion for the perfect baby boy name...bring it on! :)

Name to be revealed once this precious little guy makes his debut (not because I'm trying to hide it from you dear ones, but because I'm afraid it may change at any moment!)

Happy Sunday friends.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Tate-ism

I'm going to get Mother of the Year this year for my educational abilities in teaching my children both religion and history accurately. From Tate yesterday as he was looking at a $1 bill...

Pointing at the picture on the bill "Mom, who dat guy?"
Me: "That's George Washington. He was our first president."
Tate: "George Washington died on the cross for our sins. Why he on a dollar bill?"

Close close... :)

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Summer dreaming...

Tate to me as we were bracing ourselves against the below-zero wind chills today: "Mom, I don't want to stay here any more. I want to go to Minne-SODA!" Little does he know what Minnesota feels like right now compared to Iowa...but I hear where he's coming from. We want to escape, go to our "happy place" and just BE...

Ahhh...summer...we can't wait!

Yes, this picture is the view of our lake from up by the is really that dreamy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still here...

We're still here, alive and kicking! One of the HARDEST things about having a big family? Two words: stomach flu.  Because when one person gets it, you just hold your breath until the dominoes start falling and it's gone through all of us. So that's been our last 10 days but thankfully we are over it! All 7 of us got nailed and very unfortunately, Buck and I both got it on the same day (and Charlie later that day!). We were SO thankful to have Aunt G and my mom help us care for the monkeys as we were in no shape whatsoever to meet the needs of anyone.  Case in point: I was drifting in and out of sleep/nausea on the couch in the family room when it came to my awareness that it was awfully quiet. When you have a 1-year-old, 4-year-old and 6-year-old in the same room with you and it is quiet...take my word for must investigate. Turns out that Zoe had been feeding Mia chocolate frosting with a spoon, straight out of the can. "But, Mom, she really likes it!" :) Zoe truly thought she was being helpful. Mia literally smelled like a batch of cookies...and I think her life has forever been changed by the realization that chocolate frosting exists. 

However, in the midst of the sickness, there were sweet glimpses of beauty and compassion. Watching the kiddos care for each other was precious. When Tate got sick, Max ran to get him the iPad so he could lay on my bed and have something to do, and Charlie ran to get him a cold washcloth for his neck. When Mia got sick, Max and Zoe brought me clean towels and blankets to wrap her up in. When I got sick, the kids (all on their own) made me get-well cards. :) So while yes, it is hard to have a big family and have 7 sick people, it is SUCH a blessing to have all these little helpers who show love and genuine compassion...moments like these make me think we can get through anything together!

Monday, December 3, 2012

November thankful catch up

Some of these might not make sense but I'm looking at my iCal and trying to re-create the month of November so I can get my thankfuls in!! And this is in no order whatsoever...just looking at things that were on my calendar for that particular day.

Got #1 & #2 done so moving on...
#3 Thankful for the work that Bethany Christian Services is doing for families...birth families, adoptive families and babies. For their innovative "snowflakes" program (embryo adoption). Praying God continues to bless this organization!

#4 Thankful for our church home at Hope Johnston-Grimes. Thankful (most of the time! :) ) for the kids I get to teach on Sunday mornings. Thankful their parents bring them to church and praying we are planting seeds.

#5 Thankful, thankful, thankful for the small group that God has led us to be a part of. It is the most authentic and genuine group I've ever been a part of and every single person there has such a unique journey that blesses me.

#6 Thankful for the preschool that Tate attends. Thankful they love my little guy and that he is comfortable enough to show his awesome little self there!

#7 Thankful for every unique gift that God has given my children. I'm even thankful for their challenges and quirks as I feel deeply that God will use every trait He's given them.  Here's a sample:
I'm thankful for Max who is deeply loving and an amazingly thoughtful boy. I'm thankful for Charlie and his absolute JOY and love of life. I'm thankful for Zoe's servant heart and how much she loves to have a "job" and will quickly and gladly say "yes" when I ask for her help. I'm thankful for Tate's sweet spirit and how much he wants to keep Mia happy. I'm thankful for Mia's smile and her awesome expressions and her excitement when her Daddy and siblings come home!

#8 I'm thankful for quiet peaceful days. They don't happen very often.

#9 I'm thankful for a job that I love, that I'm blessed with such great co-workers/friends and that we get to meet such unique patients and help them in their journey to parenthood. I'm thankful that even on the hard days, I usually feel like I've reassured, listened, or provided some meaningful care every day I'm there. I'm also thankful for the flexibility I have and that my main "job" is my family.

#10 I'm thankful for the grandparents my children have. Today the kids went with their grandparents to see "Stomp" at the Civic Center and then for treats afterward. I'm so thankful that my kids get to do not only these big fun special things with their grandparents, but also that they live close enough to come to school concerts, birthday parties, and Sunday lunch.

#11 OK...shallow, shallow, shallow...I am thankful for the show "Friends" and how I can be laying in bed at 10 pm and Buck is sound asleep and my giggles from watching "Friends" wake him up. :) I'm thankful for my dear friend Melissa in California who understands my love of this show and how I can text her at any time of day with a line from the show and she'll text me back with a different line from the same show. She's a little bit Monica and I'm a little bit Phoebe and we're like peas and carrots. :)

Whew...this is awesome but a little much for my tired brain! I WILL get through November though. I will. Because I am very very thankful for the life I have been given!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Always something...

As much FUN and LAUGHTER and JOY that 5ish children bring, there is truly always something going on with it a health issue, a skin issue, or a friend issue or a school issue. I find myself at those very rare moments when there isn't "something" going on to not even let myself dwell on it too long because I know something else is coming. Not in a gloom-and-doom-glass-half-empty kind of way but more of a "rest up because the next thing is right around the corner" kind of way. :) Here is a snapshot of our "somethings" from the past couple months.

We had the dreaded L.I.C.E. I don't even like to say it out loud. It was disgusting and somehow Buck managed to be out of town during the 25 loads of laundry (conservative estimate) and overall de-lousing of the entire house. This was also in the middle of our scary time with baby Pete so at least there was a distraction for me. One blessing was that Zoe had recently had her hair relaxed so I could get the lice comb through her hair...can't imagine the torture that we both would have endured if her hair had been curly. This was our first experience with the L.I.C.E. and I hope we NEVER experience it again. Thankfully, that's been a few months ago now and we hopefully have it well behind us!

We still battle ringworm around here. I finally feel like I have a better understanding about how it keeps creeping around, since we have no pets and don't have other high-exposure reasons that we might get it. Turns out that it is a fun and stubborn little fungus that likely lives quite happily on one of our children's skin and when that child gets dry skin and scratches (ALL THE TIME), that little fungus just spreads. This one has hit Tate & Zoe the hardest.

Another fun one...impetigo. Let's see...that's Max, Tate, and Charlie.

Scalp psoriasis...that would be Charlie.

Molluscum...that would be Tate.

Poor Tate...he looks like he's been through a battle. And he's still gets the occasional cradle cap (yep, at age 4!) so his scalp flakes sometimes. Seriously, poor buddy. His smile makes up for it!! Oh and he had a yucky ear that ended in having one of his ear tubes removed. I hope we're done with the ear junk for a while!

Mia has been blessedly healthy but we recently realized through starting to give her cow's milk that she's likely lactose intolerant. Hopefully it's something she'll grow out of but for now, formula and Lactaid is on the menu (along with noodles, noodles, and more noodles. Girl can't get enough of them!). She also has a scary-looking but totally benign umbilical hernia and cute little strawberry hemangioma on the side of her face.

As for Mom and Dad...we're getting old. Buck has a bum back (herniated disc) that he's been battling since early in the summer. A few epidural shots have helped tremendously but being patient and slowing down have been so hard for him! Trusting that it will heal in time. As for me, I'm still knocked up. :)  My only whine is that I am BIG and pretty pooped by the end of the day. Truly cannot complain when there's a healthy baby growing and moving!

In all of this, I truly count my blessings and I would take a few minor skin issues and ear infections over what so many other families have to deal with. Watching my sweet niece Morgan battle and beat leukemia truly puts everything in perspective. She is such a trooper and is going to be starting her long-term maintenance therapy in just a couple of weeks (mostly oral meds...woo hoo!) Thankful for my (mostly) healthy children and all the blessings that come with them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Catch up

Going through some pictures on the camera and found these gems from October. We went to a new orchard/pumpkin patch this year and absolutely loved it. We went at the right time too, so it wasn't busy at all and we got to do all the fun things we wanted to in a short amount of time! 

Corn Pool!! Super fun, but Mia had no clue what to do with the weird-feeling corn. She observed.

Hayrack ride at sunset. It was beautiful!


We ended the night with some apple cider donuts. They were totally worth the long wait! We will be heading back to Center Grove again next year.

On a very very different note, this is a public service announcement on behalf of pregnant women everywhere. I am a relatively blunt and honest person and I very much appreciate that trait in others as well. HOWEVER, my personality apparently changes when I'm pregnant and I don't want to hear ANYTHING from ANYONE about how I look other than to say "you look cute." That's it. Not "wow, you've really popped" or "you're carrying high" or "you're carrying low" or "you're carrying way out front" or "HOW far along are you? you're really big/small/round for that many weeks". Thanks to my friend Tressa for meeting me for coffee and saying "you look great." Perfect. :)  Don't care if it's true or not...a pregnant woman deserves a break in that area! OK, PSA is done.

Have a lovely weekend my friends!