Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Read it to me, Sista!

Houston, we have a reader! 

We celebrate this milestone by mourning the end of a beloved era as we look ahead toward the horizon of never being able to spell-speak in her presence.

Our journey to this new frontier has been delayed as long as possible.  Sienna was under the impression that she would get to learn how to read as soon as she was old enough to start school.  She came home from the first day of preschool dragging her bottom lip because they didn't get to practice any reading.  Much to her disappointment there was never time to practice sounding out words during preschool that entire year.

Her preschool teacher knew Sienna was ready and dying to read, but that wasn't exactly part of the preschool curriculum, she had a full class that year and so she gave me some tips and suggested I work with her at home.  On one or 20 occasions (per day) Sienna also suggested I help her work on sounding out words at home too.  And we did.  As much as possible.  Which wasn't much at all....

As luck would have it, The Girl Who Desperately Wanted To Read's mother never had enough time between changing a thousand diapers, preparing and cleaning up after a thousand snacks and chasing a thousand little brothers around the house to sit down with her and practice reading for her to get very far.

We did and do read books every single day.  We always have and hopefully always will, but when we read we usually read aloud as a family and most toddler members of the family prefer it to be done by someone who had a little more fluency than a pre-reader.

Hope began to grow for The Girl Who Desperately Wanted To Read when kindergarten started and she realized she would most definitely surely learn to read.  And learn she did!  Very quickly!   Her teacher is like a magical fairy godmother-  in fact, the very kind you read about in a good book.  With a wave of her wand (so it seemed) our eager reader went from sounding out word after word to really reading in just a few weeks!

Here is a video I took of her reading a new BOB book in September.  Just a couple weeks after starting school.

Now that we've had a few months of practice and a lot more sight words under her belt she's quite the book worm!

It melts my heart to hear her reading books to her brothers.  She even has her inflections in all the right places.  I love the way she reads new books with such care.  She can't stand to get it wrong.  She'll read each line carefully under her breath and then repeats it aloud as if she were reading for a theater audition.

To my dear Little Reader,

You worked so hard.  You've wanted this for so long.  Congratulations, sweetheart!  You reached for the moon and became one of the stars.  I hope you'll read this little memory one day and know how much we loved riding along the way right by your side as you became a reader.  Welcome to the book club!


Your proud mommy  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thank you for giving me a son

When I think about this day just four years ago I remember myself lying in a hospital bed desperately trying to keep my eyes from twitching shut.  I can still feel myself straining to fight away my deep exhaustion to will my mind to focus on the voices all around me.  I just had to hang on a few minutes more.  I had to process all the feelings of completely overwhelming pure, exploding and blissful love, pride and triumphant accomplishment.

In that moment after labor most things were fog.  Most memories were blurred.  But I do remember the hair. The soft, long, perfectly golden blonde hair.  When I close my eyes I can still see his tiny features, not smooched like they should've been, just perfectly defined and all mine to love with every fiber of my being.  

I remember my husband fighting the same exhaustion that was threatening to steal us away from this moment.  I can still hear him say just above a whisper, "Thank you for giving me a son."  

He denies it.  He doesn't remember saying it and insists it's not the type of thing he says.  He probably wasn't meaning to say it to me.  All of which only tells me how raw and genuine that emotion was for him.  Our first son.  A tiny version of himself in so many ways. 

(7 weeks) 

I wish I could remember what I expected the next few years with Jonah to bring in that very moment in time?   I wonder what kind of little boy I thought he would be?   I do remember expecting it all to be challenging, but I can now see how naive or maybe better said misplaced my worries were.   I prepared myself in all the wrong ways.  Even in his journey from my body to this very real world, Jonah taught me everything I never knew I never knew about motherhood and raising children.  His devoted love for his mommy, his demanding nature, his passionate (in every way) little personality and even his stubbornness has made me a better mother, taught me compassion, and (admittedly) much needed humility in many ways.    

On his forth birthday I want to give myself a little gift I've been meaning to write for four years.  I'd like to tell the very first chapter of his story:

(17 months) 

I was overjoyed to find out we were expecting a baby again.  Our arms ached to be filled with another life and I remembered that every day of my pregnancy.  The pregnancy went by quickly and fairly seamlessly.   Around 32 weeks, as I seem to do with each pregnancy, my body started dilating early.  Contractions had come and gone for a few weeks before our son was ready to be born.   I hadn't been sleeping much those last few days and we were as busy as could be jumping around from party to carnival to trick or trunk soaking up the fun of Halloween with a toddler finally being old enough to participate.   I woke up around 4:00 am on Saturday morning thinking the contractions were getting more regular throughout that night, but our close friends were gathering for a halloween party that afternoon and I had already put together a pregnant mini mouse costume the day before that I was going to wear come hell or broken water.  

By the time we arrived to my friend's house I was hiding my secret of early labor with an excited smile.  Not ready to cry wolf, I almost skipped over to my favorite spot on her couch and took in the party around me as I happily breathed through each contraction.  Another friend suspected my early labor jitters from across the room and nonchalantly made her way to search my face for the confirmation she needed.  She sat and talked away.  I can't remember what she even talked about, but I remember being so thankful for her company and her melodic voice singing chatter and meaningless observations about the party to keep my mind off the labor.  Just keep talking to me.  Don't ask me questions. Don't expect me to talk.  But don't leave me alone either.  

I relaxed into the couch and let my body labor throughout the afternoon and into the evening with my girl friend by my side.  Finally, around 7:45 pm I looked up at her and she simply said "5-6 minutes apart." The first acknowledgement that she knew exactly what her cherished role had been all along.

We left for home calling my mom on the way.  Senselessly worried about "crying wolf for false labor" I asked my mom to just come over "in case" but "not to hurry or anything."  By the time she "hadn't hurried" to get over it was almost 10 pm and I was sure I might have had this baby on the way to the hospital.  

(Checking into the hospital (I look so young!))

In pain, slightly giddy and a bit terrified we arrived to the hospital and were quickly checked in.  "You are progressing nicely, contractions about 4 minutes apart and already 5-6 cm dilated. Second baby.  No problem!  I'm placing my bets that you'll have this baby by 2 am easily!" we were assured by all the nurses.  

By 1:30 am I was vomiting in pain with contractions 1 minute apart and lasting about the same amount of time.  I was ready to be done.  We called the nurses back in sure that we were 'in transition' and had to be so close.  Still only 6-7 cm dilated... 

I was exhausted, dehydrated and had such terrible back labor (contractions you feel in your back instead of your uterus) that I couldn't keep focus and was quickly losing control.  My poor husband had worked the grave yard shift the night before and hadn't slept since 2pm on Friday.  His body ached from applying counter pressing into my back with all his strength for the last 3 hours.  "Would you be ok if I just took a quick break?" he gingerly whispered.  He could hardly stand or see straight.  Even in all my misery, I felt for him and knew he needed to lay down.  I got in a hot shower to try to ease the back pain as he rested for a "minute."  

The shower helped.  I found my focus.  I prayed.  I breathed.  I focused on relaxing my body so it could send my baby into the world.  My contractions slowed a little.  2-3 minutes apart.  1 minute long.  

3:45 am.  My husband fitfully slept under the window seal as I desperately paged the nurse to see how much closer I was getting.  I needed something, anything to encourage me that I was almost done.  Still 7 cm.... 

She called my doctor at my request as I was getting a little worried, because my contractions remained very close together, but I wasn't dilating past 7 cm.   My doctor came in by 4:30 am to check on me and recommended an epidural.  I had come so far.  I couldn't.  I had to do this.  She broke my water instead.  

4:45 am.  With a broken water my contractions roared in intensity.  1 minute apart.  1-1.5 minutes long. I shook in pain.  Pleaded for mercy.  Was it this intense last time?    

7:00 am.  Shift change.  As a fresh face entered the room I lost my courage.  I was done.  I was so physically exhausted I could only lay with my head weakly hanging off the bed in between indescribable contractions.  Something was not ok.  This was not how it felt last time.  She introduced herself and checked my cervix once again for her notes.  Still only 7 cm...  

"Had I felt a lot of back pain?  Had I noticed the baby still kicking?"  She asked.  YES!!  and No, I hadn't now that she mentioned it.  She felt my belly as I hysterically fought through contractions.  In just 10 minutes she could tell what none of the others had noticed in 8 hours.  The baby was turned upside down.  Each contraction propelled him into my back instead of down the birth canal.  Unless we turned him around he wasn't going to be born any time soon. 

This is actually fairly common.  Most of the time you can get into a few positions during natural child birth to help the baby turn over, but after 17 hours of such intense back labor and very little sleep the night before I couldn't stand.  Each time I lifted my head I vomited from pain.  Each time I search for my legs to stand on I thought I would collapse to the floor.  I was so tired.  So very, very tired.  

My husband was awake again and gently said "I think we need the epidural. He has to turn around, Jess." I remember looking at his face and sobbing in defeat.  Ok.  I'll do it.  

7:45 am.  The young, strapping (and likely handsome) anesthesiologist bounced into the room just like in the movies.  I passed in and out through his chipper questioning. Please don't be so happy.  Be somber.  Be exhausted like we all were.  I couldn't speak any more.  I couldn't even nod.   I used all of my strength to get back up, sit cross legged at the edge of the bed and lean forward as he felt my spine.  

8:00 am.  "I HAVE TO PUSH" 

Without a shadow of doubt, I suddenly had to push.  In a determined tone, I didn't just say, I informed everyone in the room that I had to push.  He was coming out.  THE BABY WAS COMING OUT!   "No, no, Jessica. You have to hold still.  You are only 7 cm dilated.  We are about to put in the catheter. We will check you as soon as he is finished.  Please, it is extremely important that you do not move at all."  

8:05 am.  The epidural needle was out. They laid me flat on my back and shoved pillows along my right side.  "THE BABY IS COMING OUT.  I NEED TO SIT UP. I'M GONNA PUSH." I was insisting!  My doctor walked around and checked my cervix for the 5000th time.  "There is the head! She's right!  Ok, let's get ready guys!  He's coming!"  I wanted to cry that I told them so.  I wanted to yell.  I suddenly wanted to run around the room. I wanted throw the anesthesiologist out the window.  

8:10 am.  "DO NOT PUSH YET.   Babies have to be born slowly.  We aren't ready."   They kept saying.  I wanted to sit up.  I wanted to get up.  Get the catheter out of my back.  Get ready to birth my baby.  But I couldn't.  Since the epidural had just been inserted I had to stay flat or it would go all to whatever point in my body I put the most weight on (they said).  So instead, I pushed my first born son into this world laying flat on my back with my head barely raised inches off the pillow.  The first few pushes did most of the work, but as the epidural medication slowly seeped through my legs the purposeful pain started to fade.  Was that a big push?   Am I doing this right?   "Almost there!  You can do this, Jess.  One more great big push!"  I can do this.  One more puuuuuuuussssssh.  

8:35 am. BORN!  Daddy swooped our precious gift into his arms and showed me his golden hair.  Exhausted tears fell as relief showered over me.  

8:36 am.  Holding him against my chest made it all worth it and I knew without any hesitation that I would do it all again in a heart beat.  

(Moments after birth) 

Thank you for giving me a son.  

Jonah, I'll always fight for you until I've got nothing left to fight and one swing past. 

Happy birthday, My Love.  

(3 days old)

Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 23 All about young love and superheroes

Soooo you may have not noticed, but it's been a while since we've partaken in the Quick Takes Party.   We have excuses.  We are becoming super heroes and falling into young love.   I'll explain....


Boy baby sat down next to girl baby.

Girl baby made the first move for the subtle hand hold. 

Boy boy knew just what to do. 

And then they were betrothed forever more.

Maybe he wasn't mature enough for his first play date after all. 

Or maybe I shouldn't have thrown a beautiful red head at my little rookie.


Speaking of Sam.   He turned 6 months this week so we went for a little well visit to the doctorski-poo.   All I have to say is this is a BIG boy.   The blame his in utero 'roid addiction.  I don't usually even pay attention to the percentile infantile competition propaganda, but when they practically extend the bell curve to accommodate the digits I start paying attention.   97th percentile.  Ninety-seventh percentile.  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9!   His older brother by only and exactly 2 years is a mere 4" and 4lbs larger than he is.   

Bash, you have been warned.   Treat this one kindly.   


Except he can't.  For our poor frustrated batman kindness and understanding is simply not available. 

His super power climbing abilities have enabled him to escape crib captivity and defy the laws of sleep deprivation for far too many days in a row.   

If I could sum up my week with this one in a single adjective I'd go with "exhausted."  And that isn't describing Sebastian.  

Trying to keep a 2 year old superhero in a bed for naps and night time has tired me out beyond repair.  We're pulling out all the parenting tools, but this child WILL NOT STAY IN HIS BED! 


I suppose his partner in crime isn't exactly supporting our cause. The other toddler vigilante is thrilled that his superhero partner is out of jail.  Together, they enjoy keeping late night watch of their bedroom, jumping from tall objects and helping themselves to a crack of dawn yogurt while wearing ONLY their superhero undies. 

Did I mention that Sebastian isn't potty trained?   Add pee pee clean up to my morning routine if I dare sleep lightly enough to miss the early wake up parade.  


My recent week(s) may sound like doom and gloom with a sleep deprived, ornery Bash on the loose, but I've gotta be honest I do kiiiiiinda love listening to the brotherly shenanigans coming from their room at night.  They're conversations are hilarious.  They really think they're super heroes and to them stopping to sleep is simply not an option with so much adventure to be had.  Once they finally both fall asleep it's usually together either on the floor or in Jonah's bed.  And while I'm admitting to enjoying my misery, I also have say coming downstairs and seeing Jonah "take care" of his little brother (no matter how much extra work it created for me) melts my heart every time.   Allllllmost enough to let the yogurt smears all over the breakfast nook windows and spilled water cups all over the floor seem worth it.   Almost.  


Speaking of family bounding and brotherly love the other weekend was the annual Maggie's Place Run.  Maggie's Place is a pregnancy crisis center that we support here in town.  The big guys do the 10K race while my friend and I walk the 5K with the littles. 

I forgot my camera.... but I did catch a few iphone pics. 


After the races the little ones participate in a "Maggie's Place Kids Dash" that they take adorably seriously.  

Ok, maybe it's just Sienna who takes it so seriously.  I mean, look at that action shot.  I feel the determination pumping through her veins.  The finish line is still about 200 meters away....  Lord, I am sorry I passed along my competitive nature to this poor child of Yours.  Please help her use it for good in this world! 

Jonah tried his best and all, but I'm pretty sure his motivation was more related to the ice cream at the finish line.  

Meanwhile, Bash did NOT run, but nevertheless did take hydrating himself very seriously with enough water to fill a dam (and also 3 diapers in 2 hours). 

Lord, I am sorry I dressed my child in orthodic looking velcro reebok shoes that did him no favors in life.  Please use the humility I imposed on him for good in this world! 

Thanks for always hosting Jen!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Interview with a two year old

Up and coming conversationalist and nap time procrastinator, Sebastian Thomas is here with us to share all about his life as a toddler.  In his trademark raspy voice he ends his thoughtful responses with a question-like emphasis that leaves the listener wondering if he is informing or retorting.  Sebastian is known for his one sided dimple, general playfulness and overt preference for his Daddy.  Join me in welcoming this young toddler to the bloggy blog scene:

Me- "Can you tell us what your name is?"
Bash-  "Uuuum, Bashy?"

Me- "Can you say Sebastian?"
Bash- "Uuuuum,  Piderman?"

Me- "How old are you?"
Bash-  "Uuuuuum, good."
Bash- "Uuuuuum, Bashy?"

Me-  "Are you two?"
Bash- "Uuummmm, I toot."

Me-  "Where is your belly button?"
Bash- (quickly points to belly, pulls shirt back down and rolls over) "Right dere.  Don't eat mine riblets!" 

Me- "I won't eat your riblets if you can you can give Mommy kisses?"
Bash- "You kiss mine dimples"
Me- "Can you point to your dimples?"
Bash (points to cheek)- "YOU give kisses"

Me- "Do you like playing give kisses?"
Bash- "Play 'get you!'"

Me- "Ooook, you better run or I'm gonna get you and give you kisses!"
Bash-  "Weeee who!!  Dats pun!!  Don't get me!"

Me- "I got you!!  Can we play questions some more before you go nigh night?"
Bash- "Uuuuummmm, no.  Not right now. You play trains right dere {points to floor}."

Me- "Do you like playing trains with Mommy or Daddy?" 
Bash-  "Uummmm Daddy.  Daddy at work?"

Me- "Yes, Daddy is at work right now.  Where's Enna?"
Bash- "Uuuummm,  at 'skool" 

Me- "That's right!  Where is Jonah?"
Bash- "Uuuuummm, on bus"

Me- "Where is Baby Sam?"
Bash-  "Uuuuummm,  Stam's sweeeping upstairs."

Me- "Who is your best friend?  Jonah?  Baby Sam?"
Bash-  "Uuuuummm,  no, Lelo.  Right dere."

Me- "Where is Bash?"
Bash-  "Uuuuummm,  right dere (points to his closet mirror)." 

Me- "What is your favorite snack?"
Bash- "Uuuuuum, Jooonah's 'nack."
Me- "What IS Jonah's snack?"
Bash- "Jonah eat it?"
Me- "Do you just like to eat whatever Jonah is eating?"
Bash- "Yeeeesh."

Me- "Can you sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider for me?"
Bash- "You ting itsy pider!  Me sit on you lap."
Me- "...The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spo-"
Bash- "Shhh.  NO TING!  'Top!  No ting!"
Me- "Can you sing it then?"
Bash-  "Uuummmm, you ting it.  Nicely."

Me- "What is your favorite movie?"
Bash- "I want watch moomie right now. You get moomie right dere!  Yet's watch Nee-no!!"
Me-  "It's not time to watch a movie right now, I just want to know what movies you like to watch when it's time to."
Bash-  "Watch Nee-no!!!  Bashy watch Nee-no!  Right now."
Bash-  "I want watch Nee-no"
Bash- "Neee-no!  Neee-no right dere!"
Me-  "Sorry Sweetie, we aren't watching shows right now.  You have to go take your nappies first."
Bash-  "You go take mine nappies."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Burnt out like stale toast

I want to say I have no good excuse to be feeling a wee bit brunt out lately, but I actually do have a few excuses I could toss out there if you're really pushing me to hear them...

  1. The other responsible adult in this household has been working hours longer than a never ending road this entire month of September. 
  2. We're suffering post vacation excitement withdrawals times six (Yes, even Sam has them.  Yesterday he let me know he really misses being held by people all day long). 
  3. I have 4 children all 5 and under. 
  4. Three of them (Yes, even Sam) are extremely active boys. 
  5. The other child who is generally agreeable, thoughtful, likes napping and stays in one place long enough to photograph is perpetually over tired from being in all day kindergarten and is no longer any of the things I previously mentioned.  
  6. I realized I don't really enjoy two year olds, they're too moody, demanding and simply won't listen to reason (or anything I say for that matter). 
  7. Now that I'm not pregnant I'm back to being lactose intolerant, which means I have no where worthy to turn to when I feel like eating my stress away.  
  8. I've still been eating my stress away and now my tummy hurts all the time and I look 6 months pregnant by the end of the day.  
  9. I can't locate my living room under the waiting-to-never-get-folded laundry pile up from our trip, several nights of diaper removing and the 4 daily clothing changes from Drulio Down by the School Yard.  
  10. One or more of my Prince Charmings keeps leaving me love notes scribbled onto expensive objects around our house and popping the keys off my work computer.

None of this is actually new.  It's all in the job description in one form or another, but I haven't had a day off in far too long and while the benefits are pretty good in this role, the pay is lousy and the health hazards take a toll.   In fact, since my first day I've notice my hair is falling out in clumps, I have lines on my face that aren't going away and people avoid me in public places like I have leprosy.

Most days I shrug it all off the overburdened shoulders and focus on my sincere gratitude for the gift of motherhood (because it is there even on days like today).  But every once in a while when I go to scream into my pillow and it's covered with pen scribbles I think I just might explode.

But I don't.  And instead I just pray with a thousand pretty pleases that my husband does not have to work late again tonight.

And then thank the Good Lord for things like The Honest Toddler to ease the pain and put a smile back on my face for when real adults are around to talk to again:

"Anyway I wanted to thank you for changing my pajamas and throwing that towel down on my pee pee sheets. I noticed you didn’t open your eyes once (weird). It’s also OK that you didn’t actually change my sheets. I find the faint smell of ammonia comforting. Love means doing things halfway."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What type of breast feeder do you have?

As a mother of four with more than 5 years of breastfeeding experience I've characterized the top 15 most common types of breast feeders.  
  1. The motor boater  /n/  small suckling that periodically buries, wipes, blows or nuzzles his or hear head into the mother's bosom while nursing.  
  2. The slapper /n/  small suckling that repeatedly slaps one breast while nursing from the other. 
  3. The pincher  /n/  small suckling that pinches, pokes or digs his or her nails into the mother's tender skin while nursing.
  4. The puller  /n/   small suckling that retains the mother's nipple in mouth while pulling back with brute force. 
  5. The head turner  /n/   small suckling that retains the mother's nipple in mouth while dramatically turning to look about his or her surroundings. 
  6. The angry boxer  /n/   aggressive suckling that periodically punches and hits at the mother's chest while nursing.
  7. The super soaker  /n/  small suckling who likes to grab the mother's lactating nipple during a feeding so that it will spray milk across the room. 
  8. The kicker  /n/   excited suckling that forcefully kicks and twists the torso and legs while nursing. 
  9. The snacker  /n/  small suckling who nurses in short enough increments to prolong and extend painful let downs.
  10. The straw slurper   /n/   small suckling whose latch resembles a grown human sucking a thick milkshake from a straw. 
  11. The talker  /n/  small suckling who likes to talk and smile while nursing so that the mother's milk may drip and escape from his or her mouth.  
  12. The hair dresser  /n/   small suckling who pulls out strands, clumps or sections of his or her mother's hair while nursing.  
  13. The all nighter  /n/  small suckling who prefers nursing any time the mother should be sleeping. 
  14. The sleeper  /n/  small suckling who frequently falls asleep while nursing and can often be caught moving his or her pursed lips while dreaming of nursing. 
  15. The lover   /n/   small suckling that gazes in awe and wonder at his or her mother's beloved face while nursing.  

*Babies have been known to change and/or combine breastfeeding type over the duration of his or her nursing lifetime.

**New techniques and styles are being created constantly to challenge the already more difficult than you probably realized process of breastfeeding your newborn.  

If you have experienced a style not represented above, please let me know!

Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 22

These better be legitimate quick takes this week, so I'm a gonna time myself.  Ready, set, GO!

We got back super late Monday night from my sister's wedding in Wyoming so exhausted from the truly epic journey traveling back that I was sure all of my kids would sleep in Tuesday morning.  By 7:00 am all 4 weary travelers were up and ready to play with their toys that they missed like the dessert misses the rain.  The night before I had decided to keep them home from school an extra day so they could sleep in apparently just to play with their estranged toys.  "Oh well" was my original thought, but much to my pride by 9:30, both kids had asked if they could go to school now.  Jonah said he missed riding his bus.  Sienna said she missed her friends and didn't want them to do show and tell without her because she had so much to tell about.  So I kicked my dark circled babies out the door and off to school with only a few hours of sleep.  I have to say it did pay off later that night when everyone was asleep 45 minutes early and to my knowledge they held it together during school.

I think I have post-vacay depression.  Actually, it's worse than that.  It was a vacation and my sister's wedding.  Two majorly anticipated, over-planned and hyped up events that came and went almost just as fast as my own wedding!  Every day since getting home it's been the same sad scene:

I've woken up and it's still hot out.
There aren't any wild horses eating grass outside my window.
I'm not living in a cozy log cabin at the foot of a mountain.
And most depressingly of all nobody, not one kind person has offered to make me whatever I wanted for breakfast.

There were definitely less romantic sides to the trip.  Like me trying to haul my 4 children and all of our excessive baggage through three different airports, two different shuttles and two different vehicles without my husband all in one day.  I was stressed out just thinking of it for weeks before we left.  By the grace of God and for their own longevity in this world, all four of the kids really had excellent behavior.  There were no melt downs.  Relatively conveniently timed potty trips.  They all stayed close to the stroller at all times and were generally content sitting quietly waiting at all the stops (not without plug in to various iNanny devices of course, but hey, whatever works works for me!).  I think they were so excited to be going on such a big trip, they didn't dare test any potential "we are going straight back home" threats.

#4 made their behavior seem self-imposed... so to set that all straight, the fine workings of the gigantic family traveling without Daddy machine would not have ran so smoothy without a substitute engineer.  And so... I would like to dedicate an entire Take thanking my baby brother (who is an actual engineer) (and who doesn't read this blog) for all his help on the trip!  You entertained my wildest of the wilds.  You kept an extra eye on the stragglers.  You were firm, yet fun.
You were the best uncle ever!  Emphasis on the UNCLE for the two different people who assumed he was my husband.  He, being my baby brother who is only 22 and looks a half birthday above 18.  Not only did he provide me with treasured camaraderie, but also was almost as good as having daddy with us whenever he was around.

Thanks for the help Brudder!

Sienna also found her treasured camaraderie on the trip.  My new brother-in-law has a niece Sienna's age who was also a flower girl and a fast best friend!

These two were adorable beyond words throwing the flowers down the isle.  We all forgot about flower girl baskets, so we had to scramble for one for them to share at the last minute.  I think that actually turned out even cuter.  They giggled and clung to each other the entire walk to the front.  I don't think there was a smileless face in the crowd watching them not just toss, but literally chuck bunches of petals at people as they walked by.  Sorry for the blurry picture, but it was all I could find. Hopefully someone caught it on video and I'll share it later.

Well shoot, that wasn't fast at all.  I'm terrible at the Quick part of this game....  How about I just dump some of my random favorite iphone pics on you as a quick wrap up?

Happy baby

Happy Bash

Happy Jonah Vader

Happy Sienna 

We found me a younger model, just in case! 

How life was meant to be....

Realities of sharing one hotel for a family of 6

Realities of entertaining a two year old on an airplane...

Head on over to Jen!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Froggy went a courtin'

Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride
with a sword a pistol by his side (all the right moves)
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

He rode right up to Miss Mousey's door, uh, huh
He rode right up to Miss Mousey's door, uh, huh
He rode right up to Miss Mousey's door
gave three loud raps and very big roar (which were actually from their adorable dogs)
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?", uh, huh
Said he, "Miss Mouse, are you within?", uh, huh
Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Yes, kind sir, I sit and spin" (He was taking too long to purpose)
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

He took Miss Mousey on his knee (grabbed her in his arms, because knee is weird), uh, huh
Took Miss Mousey on his knee, uh, huh 
Took Miss Mousey on his knee, uh, huh
Said, "Miss Mousey, will you marry me?" (WAHOO!)
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

Without my uncle Rat's consent (I'm Uncle Rat, or so I like to think), uh, huh

Without my uncle Rat's consent, uh, huh
Without my uncle Rat's consent
I wouldn't marry the President
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides (Sadly, this is still true to the analogy), uh, huh
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, uh, huh
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides
To think his niece her sister would be a bride
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

Uncle Rat went a runnin' to downtown, uh, huh

Uncle Rat went a runnin' to downtown, uh, huh
Uncle Rat went a runnin' to downtown
To buy his niece a wedding gown (she bought her own gown, 3 of them to be exact!)

Where shall the wedding supper be? uh, huh

Where shall the wedding supper be? uh, huh
Where shall the wedding supper be?
Way down yonder in a hollow tree
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

What kind of weather did we see? Uh, huh.
What kind of weather did we see? Uh, huh.
What kind of weather did we see?
Pourin' rain and a little freeze
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh 

We said ain't no rain gonna bother me! uh, huh
We said ain't no rain gonna bother me! uh, huh
We said ain't no rain gonna bother me
And sent two little neices tossing some leaves
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

We were all warm cause boots had we, uh, huh
We were all warm cause boots had we, uh, huh
We were all warm cause boots had we
like the cowboys we pretend to be
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

First weddin' kiss was stole by me, uh, huh
First weddin' kiss was stole by me, uh, huh
First weddin' kiss was stole by me
'cuz I can't resist my man in a vest 
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

Now after that weddin' a toast we need, uh huh
Now after that weddin' a toast we need, uh, huh
Now after that weddin' a toast we need
With some beer and flutes and a trusty steed 
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

With some liquid courage we were ready to dance, uh, huh
With some liquid courage we were ready to dance, uh, huh
With some liquid courage we were ready to dance
So they started us off with sweet romance 
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh 

Next for a spin was the bride and dad, uh, huh
Next for a spin was the bride and dad, uh, huh
Next for a spin was the bride and dad
They planned something too, and boy we're glad!
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

The very next day we went for a ride, uh, huh

The very next day we went for a ride, uh, huh
The very next day we went for a ride
Some of us wearing our naked rawhides 
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh
(I took this picture, so please ask first and give me credit if you use it)
Welcome Uncle Froggy we love you so, uh, huh
Welcome Uncle Froggy we love you so, uh, huh
Welcome Uncle Froggy we love you so
I'm sure you'll make a fine new bro
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh

We wish the very best to my baby sister and her forever man!  May the blessings flow to you like the rain on your perfect day! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

7 Quick Takes Vol 21

I'm back... I feel like this 7 Quick Takes needs a slow motion run to go with it.... it's been so long since I've joined Jen


I'm not the same mother I was when I last joined in the 7QTFs.  I have since seen things that can never been unseen.  I have learned things that can never been unlearned.   I have felt things that can never be unfelt.   I have been home alone all calm and relaxing morning long with two easy going, mostly quiet babies who take early naps.  

It's been every bit as glorious as that sounds! 

But the flip side is when I've got a full team at home, I'm too out of shape to play ball (and they know it....) 


But, like everything, out of sight, out of mind, so instead of worrying about the chaos awaiting me at 2:45 every day I'm just blissfully enjoying my slow time and soaking up every second I can with this rapidly growing little love and his still young enough to be adorably naughty big brother.


It's funny how we maybe just I am only now after having a bundle of kids learning how best to savor every moment of my babies when they're babies.  I think it's because I seemed to have had endless time to lay around and stare at  my first or maybe even second borns that I somehow actually missed the right moments to hold onto. 

It's not watching how they looked when they sleep that I'll miss.  Or even that delicious baby smell that should be bottled up forever.  Or the way their little toes spread apart when they sleep.  I'll never understand why my father in law doesn't love that. It's my favorite! 

I think it's just them being babies that goes by too fast.  And it's my own darn fault!  With Sienna I used to literally just lay next to her and watch her sleep for more time than I'm willing to pen and I suppose I don't really miss that time.  That imagine is imprinted deep in my heart forever.  But what I also have imprinted next to the sweet smell of her baby skin and the way her lips pursed when she slept is knowing how anxiously I awaited and looked for each milestone to come.  I practically coached her into rolling over.   We couldn't wait for her to crawl and walk.  We used to practice her walking, so she'd pick up on it faster.  

So I'm wising up like I did with Bash and I'm going to savor every moment of both of them being a baby by letting them be one for as long as I possibly can.   At 28 months old the big kids were practically walking off to college, but not with Bash.  For some reason I still feel like he is still my little baby too.  And so, I'm going to keep cherishing my time having my two little babies to snuggle and play with all day.  


Ok, even though I just said all that I have to admit, if there were ever a baby stage I'm tempted to hurry along it's teething.... 

We've got it bad, folks!  Real bad.  Flash flood warnings have been called on his drooling and any thunder would be surely masked by his fussing.   


Speaking of not hurrying things along, this week I've also felt acutely aware of the ways that having a big family means we all get to practice being patient all day long.  Let's go through the few virtue opportunities we had just yesterday:
  • Be patient, I'm busy changing your brother's bedsheets, because he somehow snuck a sippy cut into his crib last night and soaked his diaper all the way through to the mattress protecter.  I'll get your breakfast ready in a minute. 
  • Be patient, we cannot play with the train set that you're so quietly occupied with, because we have to rush out the door to get the big kids to school on time.  
  • Be patient, Mommy has to load and buckle all 3 of your other siblings into their many point harness car seats while crawling around a tightly packed and suffocatingly hot minivan before the air conditioner will start working strong enough to make a difference.  
  • Be patient, your sister is taking 20 years to take an epic poo in the public restroom while we alllll wait outside her stall and try desperately to keep the toddlers from drinking the toilet water.   
  • Be patient, we cannot run off to play on the tantalizing park swing set because we all have to stop and wait while I discipline your brother who is refusing to put on his shoes and therefore keeping us waiting in the blazing sun.  
  • Be patient, I can't answer your 1000th previously answered question, because Mommy is putting herself in time out for a few minutes because she is far to hot, sweaty and cranky to do anything else.  


It actually hasn't been as stressful as #5 might lead you to believe, but it has been HOT.  Everything is crankier when it's hot.  And after all my mushy baby loving in #4, I wanted to be honest with you. 


You know what hot means.... crickets.   We have crickets sneaking into our garage to escape the heat (I imagine), which our kids think is as good as an Easter egg hunt!  

"Mom!  We go to bed at night and when we wake up early in the morning the crickets are there waiting for us to find them!!"

Oh goody gumdrops! 

Granted, I've never been a little boy, but I simply do not understand the fascination with all things creepy crawly.  Even Sienna's been hit by the cupid of bug loving.  Currently, their favorite game is to catch them and let them escape in the house and watch them squirm off to hide under our couch.

The perk to this is that Bash is becoming quite the aspiring entomologist.

He can name all sorts of different kinds of nasty things.   Bee.  Pider.  Daddy Leg Pider.  Ant.  Cricked.  Fy.  Bit-you-bug. Bit-you-pider.  Yady bug.  Icky bug.   Geen gass bug.  

I can see it now... sorry Mrs. Future Preschool Teacher, he doesn't know his colors, but do you have an insect book he can read to the class?

So that's what we've been up to lately!  What about you?