Dec 13, 2012

My New Motto...

My Christmas motto this year is.....drum roll please....... 
"It doesn't have to be perfect." 
And if you know me...at all...you know that's BIG for me! 

So guess what?  This year, when Ella only took a few minutes and then pointed to a tree that was NOT semetrical exclaiming, "I want this one!"  I recited said motto in my head and responded, "It's beautiful!  Let's cut it down!"

I decided to go ahead and let Jason rip out a wall in our living room the day before Thanksgiving.  Knowing full well it would be in mid renovation during the whole Holiday Season.  But instead of keep people out, I recited said motto and have invited girls over for tea, friends over for Ella's birthday, people for game night...oh and BOTH of our families for Christmas Celebrations.  There may very well be exposed studs, gaps in floors and wires hanging from the celing when our families gather here...deep breath...recite motto (Hey I didn't say it was EASY for me :)

Because our house is in mid renovation, I have no disire to clean it until it's all done!  So dust and cobwebs are accumulating as I type!

I did not can a thing this year (remember...I was really pregnant...and then having a baby...and adjusting to life with two) so there are no homemade goodies to do our usual wrap and deliver to neighbors and friends.  They'll get a card....and maybe some cookies...if I whip some up! 

Instead of keep everyone around for agonizing click after click to get a "perfect picture", I had my sister take two shots and said, "One of 'em is bound to be good enough!"  Thus, our Christmas picture has Josiah making a dreadful face and Ella donning a half hearted smile.  Hey, it's a more realistic peek into our life anyway! 

And you know what?  It's all okay, because...say it with me now...It doesn't have to be perfect!


I like this years motto.  In fact, I think I'd like to make it my life motto.  Because the less time and energy I spend on trying to make things "perfect", the more I can spend on being real, and savoring the moments, and concentrating on the important things.  Things like messy baking sessions with my little.  Snuggling and reading Christmas book after Christmas book.  Thanking God and counting our blessings, pinning our leaves on our blessings wreath.  Singing Christmas carols.  Praying for others.  Giving to others.  Spending time with friends and loved ones...the list goes on. 

And really, the most important thing is the One who IS perfect!  God's perfect gift of a Savior born to us.  THAT is what I want to spend time on, what I want my family to ponder, what I want my kids to learn...and by golly, I think it's happening.  Because not only do I have a little one that MAY OR MAY NOT have told pre-school mates that Santa isn't real. (Don't worry, she's a very quiet girl and basically just whispered it when others were saying he was real.  We're not out to ruin anyone's fun and we still partake in Santa fun too.  Afterall, St. Nicholoas was real...and we talk about how Santa is based on him.) But she also makes up impromptu songs that are compilations of the truths about God.  And she's theologically dead on. 

My absolute favorite is this... Whenever she's been playing with her manger scenes...this is how I find them.  "Everyone is worshiping Jesus," she tells me. 

My heart bursts with joy each time I run across one of these.  Not only because I know my little girl's heart is soft to Jesus, and the truths we are asking God to help us teach her are sinking in.   But because it makes me stop...pause...and remember our Savior born in a manger...
and worship Him!

Nov 28, 2012

Thankful Tree

A I plucked the colorful construction paper leaves off of the stick branches, I couldn't just throw them away.  We've been doing a thankful tree for a few years now, but this year I decided to record all the thing we're thankful for.  It will be a good tradition.  It will be good to look back on all the blessings and all the things we're thankful for...especially when hard times come...as they always do in life.  It will be good to have these lists!
 
ELLA (her list will be the longest, because every night she would ask for multiple leaves.  And even then she would end up having us write multiple things on each of those multiple leaves.  What a joy it was to see gratefulness so cultivated in her little heart!  We did not prompt ANY of these answers, and wrote them down verbatum.  And I LOVE how many there are about her baby brother.  I have been praying since he was first in my womb for a wonderful sibling relationship.)
  1. Our family, pets, food, baby brother, rocks, leaves, sun catchers, bicycle and tricycle.
  2. That I can plan on the new grass.
  3. A nice yard to play with the ball.
  4. That I have a new bouncy ball.  And babies.
  5. These nature collages.  And my blanket.
  6. My salamanders, my fishies and my caterpillars.
  7. for lots of sunny days.
  8. For my glitter lip gloss and these chocolates.
  9. Friends (Claira, Lauren, Emma, Maggie)
  10. That the tank that my fishies are in is pretty.
  11. For nice weather.
  12. That we have such a pretty house.
  13. For my kitchen set.
  14. I am thankful that I have such a lovely baby brother.
  15. I love baby Josiah.
  16. For baby Josiah.
  17. I love baby Josiah because he plays with me, sleeps very much and doesn't cry very much.
  18. For baby Josiah and that he sleeps better in his crib and doesn't cry when he goes to sleep.
  19. That baby Josiah is fun to play with.
  20. That we got to paint with apples and paint on the windows.
  21. That we have a pretty house to play in with a lot a lot of stuff.For my body.  And stickers.
  22. That I'm going to get a bug eyed fish!
  23. For snow, a good swingset, and that I can climb up the slides.
  24. That I get to play with my friends.
  25. For the gift I am giving Nanny and that I can give it to her.
  26. For Nanny and Grampy coming over.
  27. For our fish.
  28. Mom and dad because they play with me.
  29. My school.  Our woodstove and a nice warm house.
  30. That we are going to have lots of space to play in.  And warm hot cocoa.
  31. A big open house to ride my tricycle in.
 
SARAH
  1. Rain and sun helping our new lawn grow.
  2. Snow on 11-8-12
  3. Games
  4. Two healthy children
  5. That people think to ask us when they are raising support.
  6. Miss D. and a great library
  7. Ella's awesome preschool and two great teachers!
  8. A wonderful time at church this morning.
  9. An amazing, helpful husband.  xoxo
  10. A wonderful husband and daughter who like to suprise me.
  11. For electricity and running water that so many others in the world don't have.
  12. For our home.
  13. A God who loves me no matter what.
  14. Reconnecting with Stef. K and also for her heart for fostercare and children.
  15. Warm fire, awesome hubby and a great deal on a W/D for mom!
  16. A visit from Krissy.
  17. For soldiers and freedom and days off and sunshine.
 
JASON
  1. For good family time at the park.
  2. For a car that gets me where I need to go.
  3. for my family.
  4. good coworkers
  5. for other people's generosity.
  6. our friends
  7. our good health.
  8. for a nice home where we can have company stay and visit.
  9. for a big yard to run around in.
  10. having good friends!
  11. for a warm, dry home during "hurricane" Sandy
  12. for a good job.
  13. beautiful fall days.
  14. For time to spend with my family.
 
GUESTS
Baby smiles, ella playing, feeling better, sewing machines.
for this family
for two healthy grandchildren and one more on the way.
many beautiful birds outside my window. ~Grandma

for the outside ~Claira

Having good friends who feed me dinner ~Krissy

Nov 27, 2012

Can't Leave Well Enough Alone!

My mom would say we can't leave well enough alone.  I would say we have vision and are go getters dedicated to making our home the best it can be!  But really, we can't just move into a home a leave it be.  Nope, we change things.  I'm not just talking paint colors and decor...I'm talking ripping out  cabinets, building closets, and most recently....knocking down walls and rearranging floor plans. 

The kids and I headed North with my mom a day earlier than Jason.  I left him home alone to do some major demo on our house.  What was once a long, skinny, odd, not so usable and definitely not fitting living room for our large house....is now a big beautiful open concept.  Yes...it's still rough...but you get the picture!

Please excuse the condition of the house.  VERY unlike me, but I did NOpicking up before I snapped the picture.  The wires are still hanging, the paint doesnt match, and the sheet rock dust is still settling but I couldn't wait to share!  :)  I LOVE IT!!!
BEFORE
Knocking down the wall means getting rid of the master bedroom downstairs.  No fear...we have 5 more bedrooms upstairs.  And we like being on the same floor as our children MUCH better!
AFTER
AMAZING I know!  Look at the space...look at the sunlight!




BEFORE
View from the inside of the former master br.  I almost forgot to take a picture!

AFTER
So wonderful!  Now the woodstove won't sweat us out of the smaller living room space!





BEFORE
View from dining room entrance into living room.

AFTER
I am IN LOVE!!!

Nov 19, 2012

Where DOES Time Go!?

HOW is it MID November ALREADY!?

Every single bit of my Christmas shopping is DONE.  And that's late for me.  But NOW I can sit back and SAVOR the SAVIOR, which is what this season is all about.  I can play my Christmas tune, bake with my little, craft to my hearts content and focus on what Christmas is all about!  Oh how I love it!

I've celebrated another year of life and I feel fabulous.  I have a whole blog post about that in my head but it'll have to wait.

I feel like I'm hitting my stride in this mother of two game...ya know...sorta...for now...until things change...which they always do with littles.  But really, we're doing well, and I'm doing well, and I do plan to share more about this journey...but again it'll have to wait.

And my BABY boy is 4 months old!  He's still a mello jello, lazy little love.  He still hates tummy time, but will oblige me and pick his head up off the mat for a few seconds.  He has found his tosies and loves to grab them.  He grabs at toys with vigor, and while his coordination is still not the best, he manages to get them clumsily to his mouth and hang onto them for a bit.  He gets quite excited when he succeeds and kicks and flails his arms...which makes him lose the toy he was just celebrating obtaining :)  it's cute.  He occasionally will roll onto his side, but not much really.  Unlike Ella, he shoves everything into his mouth, and drools a good bit.  I realize this is normal, but Ella was unusual.  She did not drool much at all and almost never put things in her mouth.  He's a little fussier these days.... probably because he's backslid on the sleeping...not going for as long of stretches.  That is NOT to my liking.  But he's still quite a happy little guy.  And I thank God for this happy, healthy little love and I will choose to be grateful to have him to wake up to in the night and nurse and snuggle.

HE IS the MOST amazingly handsome little man EVER if I do say so myself! Check him out!





Nov 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This is not just an obligatory Halloween post.
I don't remember thinking Halloween was anything special when I was growing up.
But I have to admit...I kind of love Halloween now that I have kiddos.
Forget the spooky, leave the loud.   No thanks crowds and good-by gore.
 I couldn't dislike those things more!

But chubby little munchkins all dressed up in cute, cozy costumes?
Yes Please!
Preschool parades and goodies gifted?
Makes me smile.
Pink dino tail bobbing as she walks?
You betcha.
Tiny little voices timidly saying trick or treat and thank-you?
So sweet.
Good friends, hand in little hand, trapsing about a friendly neighborgood?
Makes my heart happy.
Adorable little pumpkin all bundled and smiley?
Who wouldn't love that!
Little toddler fingers sorting through tasty treasures saying with such innocent and genuine appreciation, "Look Mom!  Look what I got!"
 Yup.  Can't get enough of that!

Oct 29, 2012

Nothing Better Than Baby Laughter!

It's so hard to capture the good stuff on film.  I swear babies have a radar that detects all filming devices and cues them to shut off whatever behavior  it was that was attempting to be captured :)  Jason stood back a ways so as to try to go undetected by said baby radar.  It's still not his all out giggles, and the light and sound might not be the best, but I still double dog dare you to watch this and NOT crack a smile!  There's nothing better than baby laughter!  Josiah, 3mo old!
video

And here he is a month ago, at 2mo old, when he REALLY started responding to things with sweet gaping smiles.
video

Oct 28, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness

In case you've been hiding in a hole somewhere and don't know...we've got a Hurricane a comin' our way!  As responsible parents and adults, we've been spending our time dutifully preparing for said storm putting up a GIGANTIC swing set that we bought on craigslist!!!

 We've been looking for a long time knowing we wanted to get one for Ella for Bday/Christmas this year, and late fall seems to be the season where used swingsets drastically drop in price! We got this ginormous, 4 swing, monkey-bars across the top, dual slide, multi-level clubhouse, rugged thing for quite a deal!  Do you see my child up there in the clubhouse?  She is dwarfed by this baby.  (For all of friends that know the condition of our little metal swingset...your children will no longer put their lives in jeopardy when swinging at our house :)  YEARS and YEARS of fun to come!

Here she is christening the slide...
But never fear...right after we put this all together we totally started preparing for the storm went to an rockin' birthday party for one of Ella's new friends from preschool and had an awesome time! 

But really, don't fret...after we put the kiddos to bed we definitely buckled down and took stock of what we needed for the incoming storm ran out and got a redbox and had a little date night in.

So today, Sunday, the storm is supposed to roll into town late night or tomorrow morning and we really did get ready.  Yard is free from anything that could fly away like dorothy and toto.  Wood racks are chock full.  5 gallon buckets sit in tub filled to the brim with water.  Non-perishables are stocked up.  Propane has been bought.  We're good on batteries.  Candles, lighters, headlamps and flashlights sit at the ready.  We're ready.  But please be kind to us Miss Sandy :)  Praying for all those in her path.  Stay safe all!


Oct 17, 2012

Three Months Old

Look who's sweet boy is 3 months old today!
He cooperated nicely for a photo shoot and I actually was able to do it when there was some great natural light in the house.  I LOVE these pictures!


Yes, he is this happy, this cute and this pudgy in person.
I call him my "squidgy" (not really sure where that came from).
This outfit he's wearing is a 6 month outfit!
I just can't help but smile every time I look at him. And I simply want to SQUEEZE him all the time!


He is doing NOTHING of physical noteworthiness... like grabbing toys, or lifting his head up.
He is just happy existing and it makes me grin.  This boy is mello jello.


He sleeps. He goes to sleep around 9ish and usually sleeps 6-8 hours, eats, goes right back out and sleeps another 4 or 5. I can handle that.
When he is tired, he gives me belly laughs when I tickly him.
He loves to lay under his activity mat and look at himself in his mirror and kick his feet.
He eats, and eats, and eats.
He smiles, and smiles, and smiles.
Here are some for you to enjoy!
This picture completely embodies our Josiah.
Sweet.  Content.  Happy.  Squishy.








This one I just added for the belly factor.
Seriously.  Look at that bomb belly.  Seriously.
Did I mention the boy likes to eat.
We are so blessed.





Oct 9, 2012

This is not a post I wanted to write.  So I think I've been avoiding it.

This past Saturday Baby Jack lost his battle here on earth.  He is with Jesus now.  Thank-you for your prayers.  Please continue to lift his parents, Josh and Katie up.  I cannot even imagine this kind of pain and grief.  I'll leave you with some of their words....

"Our little baby Jack went to be with Jesus on Saturday afternoon. He passed peacefully in our arms after another emerg
ency surgery revealed that the condition of his little belly was not survivable... the surgeons found that the Sepsis and subsequent oxygen deprivation had ravaged his little body more severely than we had previously known."


"We spent every minute we could with Jack during this past week, and even with grim prognoses, Jack continued to flood that ICU with joy and peace with his beautiful little face. The doctors and nurses all became very attached to our little love. God's goodness and love is beautifully embodied in innocent little babies."

"The grief we feel is overwhelming at times, but we are comforted to know that we will be reunited with our little Baby Jack in heaven. "

"Friends, this time of trial has really impressed upon Katie and I the frailty of this life and the importance of our dear family. Spend as much time as possible with those you love. We were able to release little Jack to the Lord without regrets, because we loved him with everything we had for those few short months."

They are ever so grateful for the prayers and support and donations of leave.  They ask that you continue to pray for them as their mourning and grief is only just beginning.  They ask that you pray for all the families and children in the NICU. 

You can honor Jack's life and help some sort of good to come out of this situation by donating or volunteering at your local Ronald McDonald House, which housed Josh and Katie through this ordeal and is a home away from home for so many families with gravely ill children.  Jack received a lot of blood transfusions during this hospital stays.  Think of all the people and babies you can help by donating blood...so simple, but so big.

Oct 6, 2012

Prayer Warriors Needed!

Your prayers are SO VERY needed!

Praises for Baby Jack!
He is not in septic shock anymore.
He is off BP medications.
He is still on a ventilator but taking a few breaths on his own from time to time.
With help from heavy meds his is slowly shedding the 6lbs of excess fluid he'd retained.
He was wiggling some, opening his eyes some and his pupils were responsive to light.
There was one instance where he gave a quick "goo" and smile at his mama!


The Latest Updates
Baby Jack is in a coma.
He is not "waking" from sedation as quickly as they would want him to be.
This morning they found that his feeding tube is leaking formula into his abdomen. (This may mean another surgery.)
His EEG showed less brain activity than they had hoped for.

Please Pray
For a full and miraculous healing of this sweet baby boy.
For strength and comfort for his parents who are right now feeling "at the end of themselves".

Other Concrete Ways to Help
Donate Leave to Josh Lewis if you work at the Shipyard. 
Give Blood!
Volunteer at, financially donate to, make a meal or take supplies to your local Ronald McDonald House.

Oct 3, 2012

Baby Jack Update

* I updated my last post with some more specific and accurate details once I got them from Jason.

Jack's parents, Josh and Katie, have created a CaringBridge site for him.  Now you can get updates first hand and know how to pray for him more specifically. 

HERE is the link.

If the link doesn't work, go to www.caringbridge.org and their site name is jacklewis1.

They also ask  that as you pray for them and for Jack, that you would remember all the families and babies in the NICU.  There are so many babies and families there, facing challenges just as big if not bigger!

If you don't want to click over, I'll recap for you here:
Yesterday they were able to get him off "pressers"...I'm assuming this is some med.  And he had not had a seizure in 24 hours.  So those are the good things!

Today they are going to give him lots of meds to try to get his body to release all the fluid it's holding.  They are going to give him lots of nutrition by IV and try to work toward getting his arterial line out because the arm it is in is turning purple.

They are not out of the woods with the sepsis.  They do not know how well his organs will be functioning after the infection clears.  He suffered extended seizures and his organs were in shock for days.  They do not know how much oxygenated blood made it to his organs and brain.

Please Pray:
That the fluid in his body would be able to be released.
That they can work toward getting him off some of the meds and relying less on the ventilator.
That his body would fight off the sepsis (massive infection)
That his organs and brain would be functioning fully.
For a complete recovery.

Again, if you or your spouse work at the shipyard please consider donating leave to Josh Lewis.  Any hours will help!

Oct 1, 2012

Pray For Baby Jack

This morning I sat on the floor, listening to and watching my beautiful, healthy baby boy coo and smile as he happily played on his activity mat.  And I prayed...hard... because a contrast weighs down heavy on my heart and mind.  You see, this very same morning, the life of our friend's baby, Jack, hangs in the balance.

Jack is just a little older than Josiah.  We have been praying for him since before he was born.  Their road has been a long one.  Her pregnancy was difficult...problems with the placenta, and blood pressure...lots of tests and bed rest.  Jack was born prematurely.  He has been in and out of the hospital ever since.  He has had multiple procedures.

The biggest problems they have been trying to solve are the fact that he has trouble eating and keeping food down and he has trouble breathing...ocassionally just stopping breathing.  How scary is that!?  Mommas and daddies out there, just imagine your child having problems with those two most basic functions essential to life! 

This weekend, the situation went from scary and trying to horrid and life threatening.  He was most recently hospitalized after a throat surgery hoping to improve his breathing.  He had been hospitalized for over a week and things were looking up.  His breathing was improving.  But because he had been on a respirator for so long he was having more trouble eating.  He was regurgitating 50-90% of what he did eat.  Finally they were set to be released from the hospital Sunday.  But he needed a feeding tube inserted through his abdomen in order to return home.  During this routine procedure Friday night the doctor punctured his small intestine.  His gut became badly contaminated and massively infected.  His poor little belly swelled up to the size of a basketball.  It is my understanding that he was in septic shock and his organs were starting to shut down.  His kidneys especially having a hard time functioning and filtering the way they are supposed to.  They figured out what had happened and repaired the hole in emergency surgery Saturday morning.  It is a miracle that he did not die Friday night.   

He is currently on life support in the form of ventilation, cardiac medication and heavy antibiotics.  And willl likely be in this condition for the next week.  It seems to be just a waiting game.  Waiting to see if his little body will fight off this massive infection and begin to return to health.  I beg of you to pray for Baby Jack and for his family.  They are strong believers in the Lord and attribute how well they are holding up to all the prayers and support so please keep them coming!  They are physically being cared for by being able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.  And I beg you to spread the word.  

More tangibly, if you are in this area and you or your spouse work at the Shipyard, you can help by donating some of your annual leave to this daddy.  Over the course of his son's short life, he's used up all of his leave and has gone weeks into the red.  Would you please donate what you can?  Any hours will help!  Thank-you all in advance!  I will update as I know more!

Sep 25, 2012

Two Months Old!

Yes, I'm still alive.  We're all still alive.  And here are some Two Month Old pictures of our sweet boy.  He's actually 10 weeks old now, but I'm resigned to being behind on everything for the next few years of my life.  I'm busy doing the important stuff!
 I dare say we're getting into a little bit of a rhythm.  Of course once I say that, everything will change.  That's how it goes :)  But this little bugger is being pretty good to us.  He started taking a turn for the better around 6 weeks...falling asleep on his own a little better, sleeping a little longer stretches, less gas, colic fussy etc.  But by 8 weeks the real change started happening.
 We now have ourselves one super smiley little guy.  He's mellow, content and quite social and it's very easy to get him to crack a smile from ear to ear or respond to something funny.  He'll hang out on his mat or in his swing for much longer than he used to. 
You really only hear him cry when he's hungry, or fuss when he's tired.  He does still have his fussy time in the evening where he needs to be held constantly.  But this is a normal fussy time where he's content if being held or walked...not a crazy, inconsolable colic time.  This I can do. 
He's not up until all hours of the night anymore.  He's usually down around 10ish...sometimes 8:30 or 9.  We're still keeping with the Babywise methods which I swear by and slowly but surely his sleep habits are getting better and becoming more regular.  He's slept 6, 7 and 8 hour stretches for us from time to time, although that's still not consistant.  It's usually waking once a night to nurse...sometimes two.  And he naps well during the day.
 Ella continues to be AMAZING with him.  Simply amazing.
 And me?  Well, I'm starting to feel human again.  It's still a rough road at times, but I'm learning what helps me and taking care of myself.  In no particular order, theses are the things I've been doing to help keep my sanity.
 #1 is sleep.  I must get sleep. 
#2 is a shower.  If I wake up and shower first thing, the whole world is a better place...it just does something for me. 
#3 Physical exercise.  I started a Pilates class which I love and it's helping me reclaim my abs and posture!  I walk.  AND I bought a punching bag.  It's gonna help a lot...once I get it hung up. 
 #4 time with my hubby.  I swear it felt like we didn't talk for 6 weeks straight.  Reconnecting has been slow...still few and far betweenish, but great. 
 #5 supportive friends and talking and venting.  Its necessary.  It's great. 
#6 self care.  Maybe more elaboration on that another time. 
 And I'm actually getting my groove back.
Able to spend a bit more intentional time with Ella. 
Cleaning a bit more, tidying up a bit more, grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, baking etc.
It is getting better...slowly but surely...getting better.
And I wouldn't trade this huggable, kissable, smooshable little love for anything!

Sep 11, 2012

Pre-School

From the time Ella was 4 months old, she HATED going to other people.  We've done everything we think is best to help with this... left her in nursery and sunday school at church, in childcare during weekly Biblestudy, she's been with babysitters and gone to friends houses without us.  She's spend a few weekends with Grandma while we go away for anniversaries.  I've consistently taken her to numerous story times and playgroups.  Ella has some minor sensory processing issues and some social stuff thta play into all of this so we take it easy and try to be understanding.  She has grown leaps and bounds over the years in this area, but she still has a hard time being away from us, and new social setting are still a very difficult thing for her. 
We got this smile because Daddy danced around making silly faces behind me.
Thus, I did NOT have a child that was excited to go to pre-school.  That's hard...hard on her...hard on mama.  After Montessori didn't have any space, I AGONIZED over our pre-school choice.  We finally decided on one and we couldn't be happier!!!  Ella thrives on routine so we chose a small in home operation that is a pre-school only (not pre-school/daycare combined) and the teachers are two very experienced ladies who just happen to be Believers (yay!) and just 11 students. She will have the same teachers, the same children and they will follow the same routine every single day.  The student to teacher ratio is low and the environment is very mello, not loud and overwhelming.  Plus, a very good friend is going there too.   

Leading up to pre-school we read lots of books about it, one very helpful social story in particular.  Ella does much of her processing through reading so this has been great and you can see her soaking it all in.  We visited twice and have made sure to answer all her questions.  We went on a mommy/ella date and she got to pick out her very own first day outfit.  She had her breakfast of choice the morning of (blueberry pancakes) and she had a celebratory daddy/daughter date (which she requested) to Friendly's to look forward to after her first day.  She brought her teddy bear (which she's learned to squeeze when she's scared) and a keychain with our picture on it (which helps her when we're away).  We've done it all people.   

Leading up to the big day, she'd show some excitement here and there but mostly kept telling us she was scared and "I don't want to go to pre-school and stay without you when I'm three!  I need to wait until I'm 4!"  (It really doesn't helpt to explain that she'll be four in two months.  Time concepts are not big at this age :) 

Daddy took the day off of work to help me out and be there for her.  As we rounded the corner to the door she clung to his leg and started crying.  Once we got her inside the tears continued straight through all of our attempts to redirect her..."let's find your cubby!  hang up your back pack!  Show daddy all the cool things here!  Remember the little potty and sink that are just your size that you thought were so cool!"  

After three sets of kisses from each of us (we've got a whole routine, I'm telling you, she thrives on it) she agreed to go play with another little girl only to turn around half way there and start crying again, clinging to me, sobbing, "Mom, I really don't want to stay here when I'm three!!"  Break my heart.  

Thank-goodness for good teachers.  Ms. Sue asked if she'd like to go read a book with her (which is Ella's fave thing to do!)  Ella tearfully said yes, Ms. Sue led her around the corner  and we slipped out the door...deep breaths. 

I worried.  (While Jason prayed for me and her...love that man.) Will she cry the whole time and disturb the whole class?  Will this be a battle EVERY morning?  She's younger than most kids there, will they bully her?  Will they leave her out?  Will she be too shy to interact at all?  Will the teachers recognize her needs if she's super quiet?  I knew (hoped) in my heart that she would be fine and would love it...but those two and a half hours could not go by fast enough for me to get back and see how it had gone.    

Sometimes it is SOOOO hard to do the things for your children that you KNOW are best for them.  So hard.

I was giddy and anxious driving back to get her.  Then as we rounded the corner to the playground I spotted her...smile on her face...running and playing with the other children.  I could not have been happier, and the sight set this anxious mama free!  Then she saw me...turned on heel and to me and yelling, "Mommy!" jumped into my arms and gave me the biggest hug ever.  It could not have been sweeter.
The teachers beamed and told us she did great...that, after a few minutes, she stopped crying and was quiet...but not long after she settled right in and was "very verbal"...yes we have another name for that...(not that we say it around her but, ahem)..."motor mouth" :) and it's a good sign that they got to see that because she usually only does that with people she's warmed up to....which usually takes a long time!  They were impressed that she could already write and that she knew how to raise her hand....quietly....and wait to be called on. They asked if she had been to preschool the year before.  Nope...well yup.  The home pre-school.  Yay!  I DID do some things right :)  I could not have been more proud of this little one.

And she...she was a ball of excitement!  Leading us around, showing us the cool things in the room, the art she made, singing the goodmorning song and talking about the fun things all the kids played on the playground....pretty sure she was describing playing "Tag" and she was talking about it like it was THE best thing in the world.  Each night we ask about "favorite" and "least favorite" parts of the day.  This night we made it specific to pre-school.  She said she didn't have any least favorite things... they were all her favorite.  And she said she was looking forward to going back.  Oh Praise the Lord!  We'll see about that come Wednesday morning :)     

Sep 8, 2012

Shots

Life with two is still crazy.  Maybe more on that later. 

Ella recently got two vaccinations because she's going into preschool.  (We're on the very delayed, very limited schedule.)  It was like her first shots because she doesn't remember any of the others.  Her last one was at two years old...almost two years ago. 

She was a trooper.  Didn't argue, didn't whine, didn't flinch, didn't cry.  I was more nervous and anxious than she was! 

The lovely nurse gave Ella an empty syringe, with which she gave her bear a shot first.  Then the nurse sent her home with it, along with alchohol wipes and band aids.  The next day I came downstairs from putting Josiah down for a nap and found this:
Baby needed A LOT of shots apparantly.  There are at least 5 more on the other side of her.  Made me laugh.

Aug 28, 2012

Camp.

We've been away for the last week and it was glorious! 
Each summer we try to get away for at least one week to Jason's Family Camp.

A week together, to enjoy, and relax and just be was so needed! 
I praise God for PERFECT weather the WHOLE time!
I got to sleep in every day because Josiah cooperated nicely.  
We rarely made it out of our PJ's or the cabin door before 10am.  
Jason cooked every dinner...bless his heart...he is the grill master :) 
We got in some good, solid quality time as a family. 
Jason and Ella got in a ton of fishing...Josiah and I just went along for the ride.
The whole family actually took a 1 1/2 hour nap all at the same time the first day we were there.  I'm sorry to say that was the only time the stars aligned. 

We did A LOT of this:

Ella learned to "thumb" (hold) her own fish and release them.

 I got out on the boat. 
The sun, the breeze, the blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds did my sould good!

 My loves...minus the one taking the picture :)

Ella is now a master boat driver.

Playing with her fave cousin.  They LOVE eachother! 
Ry caught the fish but wouldn't touch it.  Ella was happy to step in and hold it for the picture :)

And he did a lot of this:
I wish I could say it lasted when we brought him home...but not so much.
Apparantly everybody DOES sleep better at camp.

Aug 16, 2012

Getting the Important Things Done

My bathrooms haven't been cleaned for over a month.
My floors haven't been mopped or vacuumed in over a month.
My garden hasn't been weeded in over a month.
I haven't slept more than a four hour stretch at one time in the last month.
I haven't cooked a meal in the last month (thanks to friends and hubby :)
I haven't caught the latest TV shows or read a book in the last month.
I haven't painted my toenails or done my nails in over a month.
I barely put on a stitch of make-up or done my hair in over a month.
My perfume has consisted of the scents of breastmilk and butt paste for the last month.
Do you know how I know?  Because our sweet baby boy is one month old tomorrow!  CRAZY.  It's been a haze, a blur really.

And that's okay.  Because I've been getting the important things done.  I've been about the business of being a new mommy again.  I've been nursing...and nursing...and nursing :)  I've been changing diapers, cleaning belly buttons, soothing and burping, and rocking and bouncing and snuggling and holding and breathing in that baby smell and sneaking sleep when I can.  This is just a phase.  A phase that is all too fleeting.  It's trying at times, but I'll not wish it away, not for anything in this world.

The bumps in the road seem to be slowly smoothing out.  Josiah has not had any inconsolable times in about a week I'd say.  He's given us some decent 4 hour stretches of sleep, followed by three hour stretches for the last 4 or 5 nights in a row, going back to sleep easily after each nursing...in his carseat only...but praise the Lord!  During the day he's able to be put down for naps now...in his carseat only...man I love that thing...I think I'll have it bronzed when he's all done with it :) 
He's growing like a week and already surpassed 10lbs.  I want it all to slow down.  He's a solid little boy and just so kissable and squeezable and eat right upable.  Watching him and his sister interact is just about the most precious thing I think I've ever seen. 

I have many more days where I believe that this whole mother of two thing is doable.  And I have a few days here and there where I feel like it's gone really great.  And shocking how those days are the days that I remember to turn to God in my weakness, my exhaustion, my irritablility, my anxiety, my impatience, and ask for his strength and the filling of his Spirit to help me turn it around.  He is faithful. 

Okay, so this day I did my hair and put on make-up.  But it was only for church and because Jason was home to help!

This journey is not easy.  But it is beyond worth it.  It is stretching me, growing me, teaching me.  Reminding me...that He is faithful.  He is strength when I am weak and I can do all things through Him.