Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fiona is here!

I posted the last blog post at 4:11am while I was awake with uncomfortable contractions.  I hit publish, did another quick read through to check for errors, stood up and my water broke!

Fiona Patricia Hazel L. was born at 5:50pm on December 26, 2012!

She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and was 18.5 inches long.
Chubby cheeks and absolute perfection!

Mama and Fiona snuggling for the first time

We got to the hospital around 6:30am and even though my water was leaking all my contractions had practically died.  We sat around and talked and tried to relax.  Around 2pm we made the decision to start some pitocin because I wasn't progressing at all.  After that it is all a blur.  Pitocin really threw my body into high gear.  It was HARD.  I ended up getting a little demoral in the IV bag to help me relax in between contractions, but it also made me a little loopy.  She was pretty high and not moving down so I had to push her the whole way.  Lazy kid!  :)  She was born face up after some heavy duty pushing but she is totally worth it!

All three of my babies

Her siblings are totally in love with her.  Chandler says he "likes that Fiona" and that "we have a cute baby".  Let's hope he sticks with that!  Claire is trying to fight me over her.  I get lots of negotiating from her.  "Okay, mom, how about you hold her for 10 more minutes and then it will be my turn?"  She thinks I'm quite stingy.  Hey, I worked hard for that baby and I want to snuggle her!  ;) 

Proud big brother!

Sister bonding.  :)

Precious little face!

Can she be any cuter?

Big yawns ...

"Okay, mom.  We're done with the pictures now."  ;)
See?  I'm getting attitude already! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Perfect Christmas

This has been an awesome Christmas.

We continued our tradition of a Book Advent.  One Christmas themed book to open every night from December 1st to Christmas Eve.

We picked out and cut our tree at our favorite local tree farm.

All Decorated!

We baked lots and lots of cookies!

Having fun cutting out cookies.

And we completely changed the order of our holidays!  Usually we spend Christmas Eve and Day running to all the different family's houses and by the end of the day both kids are crazy, wild and worn out.  This year I am 9 months pregnant and I am not up to that kind of craziness.  So I broke tradition.  Not a completely popular move, but it turned out so well for us.

We met at my Grandmother's house for a family gift exchange on Christmas Eve night.  It was my grandparents, mom, uncle and his girlfriend, sister and her boyfriend, brother and his girlfriend and Daddy, the kids and I.  We ate, opened present and enjoyed each others company.
Claire is so excited!

Chandler in the sea of wrapping paper.  And look at my belly!

 We got home and the kids opened their Christmas pajamas and went to bed.  Daddy and I set out the presents under the tree and headed to bed ourselves.  Christmas morning comes early!

Look at those comfy new robes!

Presents under the tree

Christmas Day was absolutely lovely.  The kids woke up around 7am and hit the presents.  My mom made homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and I cut up some fresh fruit.  After breakfast and showers we threw a ham in the oven and put out some snacks on the table - veggie tray and dips, cheese ball and crackers, pretzels, pickles, olives, etc.  

My in-laws came over around noon and snacked, chatted, exchanged presents and headed home around 3pm.  

We sat around and relaxed and ate food all day.  Daddy threw around some of his new golf discs and the kids were SO good.  They played with their toys and had fun all day.  My grandmother bought them Innotabs for Christmas and they adore them!  This is what I saw for half the day:

Completely engrossed!
The other half the day was spent playing with dolls, remote control cars, action figures, puzzles, etc.  We didn't even turn the TV on until about a half hour before bedtime. 

Since we had such a simple meal clean up was quick and easy.  Once the kids went to bed Daddy and I snuggled on the couch and watched last year's Doctor Who Christmas special and were in bed by 10:30.  Perfect Day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ways I Know My Daughter is Sick

1.  At lunch time I ask her what she wants to eat and she says "Nothing".

2.  Instead of eating she disappears and I find her laying on my bed sound asleep.

3.  After sleeping she comes out and sits in the recliner and just stares into space.

4.  When I tell her that she can have the treat of watching Netflix in the middle of the day she gets up, turns the TV on, sits on the couch and just stares instead of picking a show.

5.  When her brother steals her sock off her foot to get her attention she just lays there.

Yep.  Claire is really sick. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quarantine Me!

I am drowning in sick people!  Daddy is really sick.  He is the type to tough out any illness.  I practically have to sit on him to get him to rest.  But he has spent the last 4 days laying on the couch - that is SICK.  We went to the Urgent Care today and I spent 3 hours in the waiting room with the kids for the doctor to tell him that he doesn't have the flu, he's just really, really sick.  Isn't that helpful?  They gave him an antibiotic shot and some heavy duty antibiotic pills.  Here's praying they work!

Oh, and both the kids have a sinus, coughing thing.

I CANNOT get sick right now!! I am 36 weeks pregnant!  And it's Christmas time!  I have so much to get the house ready for the baby and the holidays and not enough time.  Next week I have a full schedule and I really can't miss anything. 

Monday:  Two appointments and the homeschool co-op informational/planning meeting
Tuesday:  Physical therapy (apparently the baby is making my pelvis go out of place and it's causing me a lot of pain!)
Wednesday:  Work on the house!!
Thursday:  Co-op Christmas Party and Bible Study in the evening (they are throwing me a little "sprinkle" - isn't that sweet??)
Friday:  My Growth Ultrasound!  So excited!

Ugh.  And I need to wash all the baby clothes, clean the carseat (that a dear friend passed down), pack the hospital bag, bake Christmas cookies, get the final four boxes unpacked so they are not in the way and go Christmas shopping!  And that's just the urgent stuff on my list ....

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thanks 2012

Every year I try to do a 30 days of thanks.  I post on Facebook something I am grateful for everyday.  It helps me focus on all the pluses and joys of my life.  Something we all need to do more often.

My list for 2012:

Day 1 of Gratitude:  I am thankful for my daughter. She may talk non-stop and be full of opinions - especially when it comes to bossing her brother - but she is kind and compassionate and loves to help. She is growing so fast and I love that she still loves to cuddle. She is an awesome big sister and I can't wait to see her with her new sister.

Day 2 of Gratitude: I am thankful for my son. He is in the middle of the horrific 3s, but he is still a cuddly little guy who adores having time with me or his Daddy. He's clever and silly and I am so proud of how well his is doing after a rough start in life and a year of therapies. He loves "doing school" and playing with his sister. I can't wait to see what kind of big brother he will be!

Day 3:  I am so thankful for my husband. He works so hard for us - even on Saturday - and he is a wonderful father and husband. The kids shriek and run out the door at him when he gets home every evening and he always has time for play or a snuggle when he is home with them. After 10 years of marriage I can honestly say I think I love him more now then ever. Always marry a man who makes you laugh! :)

Day 4 of Gratitude: I am so grateful for this little life growing inside of me. Even when she wakes me in the middle of the night for a dance party. :)

Day 5: Today I am thankful for a full pantry. We've had some hard times the last few winters and now I feel more secure having plenty of food in the house. We will always have meals!

Day 6 of Gratitude: I am thankful that I live in a country with the freedom to elect our leaders and voice our opinion. And I am grateful that we are allowed keep those opinions to ourselves if we so choose and merely show up at the polls to do our part.

Day 7:   Today I am thankful for a roaring fire and a cup of tea on a cold, rainy day.

Day 8 of Gratitude:  Today I am thankful for a wonderful homeschool co-op.  Lovely families and interesting topics and my children love it.  Even Chandler who has a hard time warming up every week gets excited when I say it's co-op day and  tells me how much fun he had playing on the way home.  I feel privileged to be a part of it!

Day 9 of Gratitude: Today I am thankful for my mom. She did an amazing job raising us as a homeschooling, single mom - yes that was complicated! She's a military veteran and went back to school in her 30s as a single mom to 3 children and graduated with a 4.0 average. We combined households with her this year and even though we were all nervous I think it has worked well. The kids love having grandma around (even when she is strict with them) and having someone who enjoys cooking and doing laundry as been awesome! ;) Daddy laughs how much alike my mom and I are - it's a good thing he loves her! I love you Mom. Thank you for everything you do for us!

Day 10: Today I am grateful for random acts of kindness and good people who give action to their Christianity. I came home from grocery shopping to find about a 1/2 cord of wood neatly stacked in my driveway and a note on the door from a local church telling us to have a great day. :) And I don't even go to that church! What a blessing!

Day 11: Grateful to all of our veterans near and wide. Thank you for all you have done for us and our country. Especially my mom, Uncle and Poppy!

Day 12 of Gratitude: I am thankful for the money for necessities. There may not be any more after that, but we always have what we need.

Day 13: I am thankful for libraries. Everyone in this house is obsessed with books and I can't imagine what kind of book budget we would have if we had to buy them all! It's an amazing system!

Day 14 of Gratitude: I am thankful for finding a midwife I trust. After having to change OB offices in the middle of my pregnancy I was afraid I would have a hard time but God gave me exactly the right person to walk into the office to calm my fears.

Day 15: After spending 2 hours on the phone with my grandma this afternoon I am thankful for her. I love being able to chitchat with such an amazing woman. She half raised me while my mom was working when I was a child and I have so many wonderful memories of us together - throwing cherry blossoms in the air to make it rain pink flowers, having tea parties and the awesome crafts she would put together. I love that she gets to play with my children and Claire (her namesake) and Chandler adore her as much as I do.

Day 16: I am thankful for how healthy my children are. Yes, we get our share of colds and drippy noses, but they almost never have anything serious enough that they have to go to the doctor. Chandler has a fit every year at his well-check because these strange people want to touch him. They each have been on antibiotics one time in their lives and for Chandler that was in the NICU! I pray that they stay this healthy and sturdy through their lives!

Day 17 of Gratitude: Today I am thankful for my chickens and a husband who takes his day off to work on the awesome coop and run for me. I can't wait until we have fresh farm eggs from the cute little things. You would be surprised how much fun chickens are to watch. They come running when they see me in the morning - of course I am the food lady - but they don't mind being petted or picked up and the kids love how friendly they are!

Day 18: Today I am grateful for a cozy, nice house. Sometimes it feels a little tight and Daddy and I have lots of ideas for improvement but we are very lucky to have 4 good walls, a strong roof and a nice big yard for the kids to play in.

Day 19: I an grateful for my local homeschool ladies. I love our monthly mom support meetings, our chitchat during the kid's weekly co-op and the ladies who meet for bible study once a month. I am so glad to have like-minded women to spend time with and enjoy an adult conversation!

Day 20: I am thankful for the internet. So many of my friends live there! ;) I would never have met my awesome June Moms without the internet. Between finding homeschool curriculum, entertainment, keeping in touch with friends and family, encouragement and finding information I don't know how we every did without it!

Day 21 of Gratitude: I am grateful that I am able to stay home and homeschool our children. It's not an easy job by any means and it involves sacrifices on all our parts, but we know it is what we need to do and I am so thankful to have a husband who works hard to make it happen.

Day 22 of Gratitude: On Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my family. We are a weird bunch with a bunch of individual quirks but there is nothing better then sitting around the table after a big family dinner drinking coffee and solving the world's problems or more likely discussing the difference and significance of Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Firefly or Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica while attempting to fit at least one small bit of each dessert in our stomachs. ;)

Day 23: I am thankful for leftovers. I have awesome goodies in my fridge. I might just nosh all day long!

Day 24: Today I am thankful for music. Where would we be as a human race if we could not express our emotions in such a powerful way?

Day 25: Today I am trying to be grateful for heartburn and all my pregnancy aches and pains. It means I have a healthy, active little munchkin inside of me.

Day 26 of Gratitude: I am incredibly grateful for books and the written word. So much knowledge just sits there waiting for us to see it! So many great minds write down their thoughts and ideas and left them for others. To be able to see and experience the world without leaving your couch - to be places that are no longer there and never will be again. I can't think of a better gift.

Day 27: I am thankful for 2 steady, reliable vehicles for us - that are ALMOST paid off!

Day 28: I am thankful for nesting energy and ambition! Even if it only last an hour or two these little bursts are really making a difference on the mess and clutter in my house!

Day 29: I am thankful for my life. There are difficult parts - but it is pretty darn great overall.

Day 30 of Gratitude: On the last day of November I just have to say that I am thankful for children who love to snuggle. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chickens in the Sun

My wonderful husband finished the chicken outside run!  Now all we have left is to put the siding on the coop and it will be finally finished!  This has been a never ending project and I know he is ready for it to be over.


My pretty gate

Peeking out cautiously

The first ones out!

Oh, they didn't die!  It must be safe!

Enjoying the grass

Pretty girls

Exploring the run

They all stuck right next to each other.  Stay with the herd!  ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Family Pictures!

My awesome, talented sister took some pictures for us on Thanksgiving Day!  It's harder to schedule these kind of things now that she is out of college.  She settled an hour away from us and has a great full-time job.  I'm really happy for her - but it is sad that we don't get to see her as often.  At least she is still close enough that coming for family birthdays and holidays is not a big deal!  Her hobby is photography and design and she always has been nice enough to take pictures for us every once and a while.  Love my sister!  I think she did a great job!

The Family!
Me and my babies

Belly pic! 

I think this one came out adorable!

Me at almost 34 weeks pregnant! 

And just because Claire insisted she wanted a picture under the bush with Chandler!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blessing in the Pain

This pregnancy has been really hard on me.  My grandmother - who had 4 children - said her 3rd pregnancy was her hardest as well.  Maybe that 3rd baby just really breaks your body in? 

My hips and pelvis are killing me.  A grocery or Walmart trip ends with me wincing and completely ready to go home and sit down.  I toughed it out yesterday to help Daddy work on the chicken run and oh was I regretting it last night.  Daddy tried to let me sleep in but I was in so much pain laying in bed I got up anyway.  My doctor is referring me to physical therapy so I can get a support belt fitted and I can't wait.  But unfortunately I won't be going for nearly 2 weeks.  I can brave it out, right?

I just keep thinking about that sweet little baby moving, pushing and wiggling inside of me.  She will be totally worth it.  I will already do anything for her.  And I can always put the Jewish mama guilt on her later in life, right?  Of course right!  ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Do you know how many times I have made it to this page to write a post an then life got in the way? 

A child asking for help wiping their nose .... a little baby bouncing on my bladder .... Claire asking for help with her math page .... the fire needing another piece of wood ....

And then whatever I was going to post disappears into the back of my mind like wisps of ether. 

Trust me - don't ask a 7 months pregnant woman to hold onto a thought longer then 5 minutes, it's just not going to happen. 

But life is good.  A coughing, drippy nose crud has been making the rounds in town and our household, but it could be worse and be a stomach flu or the like!  Little Girl is growing well and moving frequently.  We love our weekly homeschool co-op and my kids cheer when I tell them it's Thursday and I look forward to seeing other women with whom to sit and chat.  The chickens are growing quickly and are almost fully feathered and we still like seeing them everyday and are noticing all their personalities. 

The holidays and Little Girl will be here before I know it and I have to much to prepare!  But we are so ready to meet her! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chicken Coop!

So last weekend we put the chickens in the coop even though it was not finished.  They were just WAY too crowded in the box!  I'm so lucky to have my awesomely talented husband who can do these things for me.  I told him that I thought a chicken coop was an awesome 10th anniversary present and he just laughed at me.  Hey, I'm a simple girl! 

Handsome husband doing the roof!

The coop!
We still need to put the siding on and make the chicken door and chicken run, but it was closed in so the chickens could be in there!  It's 10x10 and we plan on a 20x20 outside run for them.  Everything I have read recommends at least 4 to 10 square feet per chicken for happy, thriving chickens.  We will have 450 square feet for 22 chickens!  Yes that's 20 square feet per chicken.  Hey, room to grow our flock if we want!  I don't want to have to do this again!  We live in the city limits of our town and town regulations say that we may have up to 49 chickens inside the limits.  I like living in the mountains sometimes!  Freedom is prized.  :) 

Claire and Chandler trying out the coop

Our temporary set up
We laid a bale and a half of straw on the floor of the coop and hung the feeder and heat lamp from the rafters.  The tree branches are temporary roosts until we can build some (and they are big enough to climb up to them!).  The waterer is in the corner of the coop, but eventually it will be in the run so it doesn't get the straw wet.  

Their new home!
We transported them down from the porch in rubbermaid containers very carefully.  Excuse my kid's big winter coats!  It was a little bit of a cold snap that weekend and they were cold!  Silly kids. 

The girls!  As far as I can tell - and I probably have been obsessing over this too much - we have 6 Black Stars, 5 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 4 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Dark Cornish and 1 bonus Easter Egger!  (She is the white one on the right side.)  

Chandler and Daddy petting one of the Buff Orpingtons

Claire making a silly face with her favorite chicken "Ella"
I can't wait for them to be able to scratch and peck outside - hopefully within the next few weeks we will have the outside run ready.  And then yummy brown eggs in early spring! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wow. 10 years.

Last weekend was Daddy and I's 10th wedding anniversary.  I can't believe we have been married a decade.  10 years, almost 3 children, 7 moves and 8 jobs between us and he's still my best friend. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fair! And Chickens!

Crazy days!  Sorry I haven't been around more!

Last month was our county fair - one of the last purely agricultural fairs in the country.  Fun was had by all and this year our homeschool co-op got to decorate a booth!  We had lots of fun and I think it turned out great! 

The theme was "Home Grown Goodness" - I think that is the definition of homeschoolers!

Each family decorated a plant with our "Home Grown Kids" - this one is Claire and Chandler!


Little wannabe farm kids

They LOVED petting the horse!

 The chickens were outgrowing their little washing machine box and we had to upgrade them to a refrigerator box.  They were very happy to have the space and kept running back and forth once we put them in there! 

No more room!

After some creativity to make it closed in.  Have you ever tried to get out of a refrigerator box while pregnant?  That was interesting! 

5 minutes without food equals starvation at this age!  ;)  But they loved their new little roosting branch. 

The coop at that point.
Daddy has made great progress on the coop.  It's 95% done now!  I will update once I download more pictures.  Promise!