Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Look OK

I would be lying if I didn't say I was not a little concerned about losing baby fat after having given birth to baby number four at the age of 40 (almost 41). I have a closet full of kind of expensive really great small clothes. Before getting pregnant this last time I was pretty thin. (According to my mom too thin.) So for the last couple of months I have been a little (a very little) preoccupied with my weight. If for no other reason then I have absolutely no summer clothes and summer is definitely here! I have never really dieted but I do watch what I eat. I don't deprive myself of any food that I want. I eat ice cream or cookies almost every night. I eat pizza and fast food pretty much whenever I want. Although we try not to eat it too often. I can't really complain if I don't shed the pounds. Plus I know I need them to continue nursing ;) Yesterday (or the day before) I looked in the mirror and finally decided "Hey, I look OK." I will be OK if the last 10-15 lbs never comes off. I am healthy and I feel pretty good. Maybe a little tired but can't do much about that. I have bought a few inexpensive summer clothes in a little bit bigger sizes. My husband says I look fine, I have four great kids. Really not all that bad for a 41 year old . . .

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

EG Update

Yesterday EG had an appointment with a vascular surgeon regarding the little mass under her arm. After waiting (with all the kids) for an hour and a half we finally met with the surgeon for 5 minutes. I am not complaining. As I explained to the kids, that is just how it works. Hurry up and wait. Drawback to homeschooling - when you have doctors appointments most likely everyone has to go. Bonus - my kids have learned to wait and yesterday they did awesome. They were reading Highlights magazines, Reader's Digest and Sports Illustrated (swimsuit edition - modesty will be a post for another day :) Anyway, enough bragging on the kids!! (I was proud though - they got Chick-fil-A for lunch!) OK, enough, anyway, the surgeon checked the mass, pinched it, stared at it, felt it and decided, after also looking at the ultrasound, that it is a hemangioma, a mass of veins. There are two courses of action. One, cut it off or two, keep an eye on it. I opted for option two. At this time, it doesn't bother her and it shouldn't present any problems. If it grows we are to call him. And he will see us again in 3 months. My mom and daddy kept asking me questions that I didn't have the answers to. I tried to explain, after waiting for an hour and a half I just wanted to hear what the doctor had to say. I was OK with it and just wanted to go home. I still have faith that everything is A-OK . . .

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chef in Waiting

I am still contemplating what to do next fall about ballet. I was so sure a month ago but then I saw the girls' ballet DVDs and then I wasn't so sure! But, in the meantime I am praying about it and enjoying the time that we have had at home the last couple of weeks. If we don't do ballet one of my goals is to give Little Mama plenty of time to cook and bake (and clean.) The three things she absolutely loves to do. She received a Paula Dean cookbook for Christmas this year and last night was the first time we have had time to try out a recipe. I chose the recipe this time just to get into the swing of things (and to be sure I could do it and it would turn out!) As many of you know, I like to bake but not cook. But I think we had fun. Little Mama was all into it. I told her soon enough she would be making dinner all by herself. She said she didn't think she could because she wouldn't know how much of what to put into the recipe. I told her that was one more good reason to learn to read!! We made Porcupine Meatballs and if I do say so myself they turned out really, really good. When I try a new recipe (which isn't often) daddy has the final say so to whether or not I make again. And he really liked it. I think Little Mama's first foray into being the family cook was a success . . .

Monday, April 27, 2009

4th of July

So at the 2 o'clock feeding or the 4 o'clock feeding (I can't remember which one. They all seem so the same :) I was pondering what to write about today. There were many things I wanted to share but they all were pretty "heavy." So I believe God placed the 4th of July on my heart. In yesterday's church bulletin there was a section on preparations for our 4th of July celebration this year. We need $14,000 to pull it off! And we need sponsors. Big time sponsors. We have enjoyed this event from the first time our church ever did it. We have a great plot of land that our church sits on. We have professional fireworks, food, bouncy things for the kids and access to inside pottys. Families come out by the hundreds. When all is said and done thousands are there. The best part is is that it is family oriented. You can let your kids go and not worry. It is open to the public and we encourage everyone to participate but every comes on their best behavior (maybe because it is on church property.) There are chairs, blankets, tents, coolers, frisbees, friends, family and tons of fun. We get there hours early and set up. We eat the hamburgers, chips and drinks they sell to raise money for missions. At about dusk we settle down in our chairs and on blankets surrounded by friends for a fireworks show that rivals what the city does. Every year it is spectacular and the kids are amazed.

The reason I am posting this in April is we need money - the church needs money to be able to put this on. I was concerned about where our family would go if we didn't have the 4th of July at the church. It is where we have gone ever since we have been a family. Now, this is where you come in. Would you all take a moment today and pray that the financial needs of the church will be met for this event?? It would mean a great deal to me, my family and thousands of others who have enjoyed this community outreach. Thank you . . .

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Classic Boop

Not much has been said about Boop lately. He hasn't been feeling well so he has been a little off his game. One of his favorite sayings lately has been "That really freaked me out!" Such a little man in such an ever growing body. He is going to be tall (and skinny) just like his daddy. Watch out sisters. Pay back is just around the corner!

One of Boop's favorite books to "read" before he goes to bed is the big blue Disney story book (which was given to Little Mama by Grandpa Joe a couple of years ago.) As you can see, he has fallen asleep reading a story. He nose was pressed up to the book.

This is a typical Boop pose. Anytime I have to dress him, put medicine on him, put shoes on him or whatever, he lays down on the floor with his arms behind his head. Kind of like "serve me please." Last week at the airport I had to put his shoes back on (why they were off is a mystery to me). He laid down in the middle of the airport, hands behind his head just waiting for me to put them on. Typical male if you ask me ;)

He is a boy through and through. He loves to take things apart, see how they work. He is always making something out of something else. This is nap time. He pulled his chairs up into his bed. Not sure of the purpose. Then proceeded to fall asleep. I never heard a thing until I went in to wake him.

Boop in all his enthusiasm at Nature Girl's birthday party.

All Boop, all the time. . . .

Friday, April 24, 2009

Little Mama Learns to Skate

Spring is soooo short in Florida so we have taken every opportunity to be outside before it gets hot. Today is suppose to be 90 degrees! Anyway, the girls have been given hand me down skates from their cousin. So the last couple of days they have been out skating in the cul-de-sac. Nature Girl has got the hang of it pretty well. She also has had the opportunity to try practice more. She could probably roller skate faster but the surface of the road is pretty bumpy. Little Mama on the other hand is just beginning. But like everything else she is picking it up pretty quick. Part of it is she has a great teacher. At some point in the afternoon Nature Girl takes off her skates and starts helping Little Mama with her technique. It really is kind of sweet. I love watching them when they are getting along . . .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

EG and the Sweet Potato

In an attempt to get weight on the little bugger and even more importantly get her to sleep through the night (well at least part way through the night) both the doctor and the lactation consultant suggested start feeding EG solids. The doctor recommended the normal rice cereal. But, the lactation consultant recommended sweet potato. This is her reasoning: the rice cereal is hard to digest, it is processed, etc. The sweet potato on the other hand is full of vitamins and minerals and is all natural. Of course, I think to myself, one more thing I have done wrong in raising my kids. I have always given them the rice cereal and then jarred baby food. I have since looked up how to "make babyfood" and it really isn't all that difficult. (I am sure I will use a combination of jarred food and "real" food.) I have baked two sweet potatoes, cut them up and put them in the freezer. On Tuesday I pulled one out, warmed it up, put a little liquid in it and fed it to EG. SHE LOVED IT!!!! She grabbed my hand and kept putting the spoon up to her mouth. The only problem was she kept sticking her tongue out and therefore pushing the food out. We did this for a few minutes and then quit. I didn't want her to get frustrated. Yesterday at dinner I attempted the sweet potato again. This time she stuck up her nose and would not open her mouth! Go figure! Depending on her mood, we will try again today . . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thought Provoking Question

Before my dad left yesterday we were able to have about a 2 minute uninterrupted conversation. And he asked me "Do you enjoy being a mom?" You would think it would be a simple question with a simple answer. But not for me. Of course, the remaining 1 minute and 30 seconds were not near enough time to answer that question appropriately. I suffer greatly from making sure that what ever I say is very, very, very truthful. (To the best of my ability anyway.) So, for me to answer that question with total honesty I would have to ponder it for a day and then give at least a 30 minute answer. And ponder I did - all day yesterday. I was not a female who dreamed of being a wife and a mother since grade school. It was something that came over me with time. Nothing about parenting is ever that cut and dry for me! Am I joyful throughout the day?? In answering that question honestly, I would have to say no. I have been challenged greatly by motherhood! I feel the weight of raising children in this world. They struggle with respect and obedience which can make for hectic days. I struggle with frustration and impatience which makes for hectic days. BUT then I start to think of the good stuff. Like when Boop shakes his "bom boms." Or Nature Girl does her ballet dances. Or when Little Mama gets a folding chair for Grandpa Joe without anyone asking. Or when EG gives that special mommy smile. Especially when I look in on everyone in the middle of the night and they are sleeping peacefully. I LOVE the opportunity to educate my children. There is nothing so rewarding as watching a child write or read and know that you were the one who taught them! Yesterday I took the afternoon and just spent time with the kids. We sat in the driveway and they skated and played. We all drew pictures in the driveway with chalk. We had no where to go and nothing to do and it was nice just spending time with them - just because. The definition of enjoy is: To receive pleasure or satisfaction from. You know what, I do enjoy being a mom . . .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time Flies When Your Having Fun

It is hard to believe it is Tuesday already. Grandpa Joe should be here in about an hour before his flight leaves around noonish. (I hope is flight is uneventful) Yesterday we had a nice day as well. Grandpa Joe came in time for lunch and after a little resting after lunch we drove down to the Marine Lab, the beach and dinner at a great seafood restaurant. A lot of time in the car but worth it I believe. The kids had great time and I am pretty sure that is what it is all about! We got back to the house and just chatted. It is amazing how quickly the time passes. I think the kids would like Grandpa Joe to stay just one more day . . .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thus Far

For seven years Grandpa Joe's trip down here has been uneventful. The plane has always been on time. No lost luggage. No missed flights. I am sure you know where this is going. On Saturday Grandpa Joe's flight was due to arrive at 5:17PM. As always we were running a little late, so I never checked my answering machine or the flight arrival time. The airport here is so small that only one plane arrives at a time so there really isn't any need to worry. We rush into the airport at 5:10PM and sit by the arrival door. There are stragglers and no Grandpa Joe. We sit there for about 10 minutes. No Grandpa Joe. We go to the baggage claim. No Grandpa Joe. We check the rental car places. No Grandpa Joe. Finally we check with the ticket agent. He says be back at 8:00OM to get Grandpa Joe :) So we run home, eat pizza, feed EG, pick up daddy and get back to the airport at 7:45PM. Daddy spots Grandpa Joe at the baggage claim. Yea!! Grandpa Joe!! Apparently his flight out of Detroit was 30 minutes late which of course does not give you enough time in Atlanta to catch your connecting flight. They say when you die you have to go through Atlanta ;) Anyone traveling from the South to the North or North to South knows this - hee, hee. Anyway, we were just thankful he arrived all in one piece!! He came back to the house for a little while to visit and eat pizza.

Yesterday we fixed Sunday brunch and Grandpa Joe played with the kids. We decided because it really wasn't all that sunny that we would go to the Florida Museum of History. We hadn't been in years. It really was very nice. The kids had a blast and we all learned just a little bit more about Florida history. The have a room called Grandma's Attic and the kids could dress up and touch all kinds of things from years gone by. Like a rotary phone for instance (Nature Girl had to ask me how it worked :)

Then we came back to the house and watched a movie and rested. A very relaxing Sunday afternoon. Daddy fixed his famous hamburger and french fries dinner. After dinner we sat around and discussed family history, geography and a couple other "important topics."

Today is Marine Lab and Seineyard for dinner! The kids can't wait for Grandpa Joe to get here . . .

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Great Expectations

Today Grandpa Joe comes all the way from Wisconsin! He hasn't seen the kids in a year and he gets to meet EG for the very first time. I know she is excited :) The big kids are too! We will meet daddy at the end of the runway (the airport is at the end of his zone) and watch Grandpa Joe's plane land. Then we will go into the airport and patiently wait for him to depart. The rest of the weekend will be like this (at least I have made tentative plans):

Tonight: Dinner with Grandpa Joe (pizza :)
Tomorrow AM: Brunch with mommy's homemade whole wheat pancakes (Grandpa Joe has never had them)
Tomorrow PM: Sit outside in the backyard and watch kids swim, play etc.
Tomorrow Dinner: Eat great burgers that daddy grills. Just relax, chat and enjoy each others company.
Monday AM: Hang out
Monday PM: Go down to the Marine Lab and see all of the native Florida sea life. On the way back eat fabulous Florida seafood at Seinyard.
Tuesday AM: Hang out for a little while before Grandpa Joe has to go back to Wisconsin.

We make the most of the time we have with Grandpa Joe . . .

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fear of Failure

As I continue to struggle to nurse EG, I have been asked a couple times "Why do I hang on?" "What is my motivation to continue nursing?" Especially since I am not getting any sleep, she could be gaining a little more weight, it is affecting the rest of the family, I am about ready for the insane asylum - ha, ha :) I have been thinking about that on and off for the last couple of weeks. Why do I keep hanging on?? It restricts what we do as a family. I am not sleeping well which affects my mood, my appetite, my general health. It isn't like I have successfully breastfed the others (Nature Girl 6 weeks maybe, Little Mama 7 mos, Boop 3mos). Yes, my ideas of family and children have changed drastically in the last 8 years. I am now a stay at home, homeschooling, wheat milling, vaccine questioning mother of four. So my best guess as to why I continue is the mere fact of failing my child. Of course this thought has opened a whole other can of worms. I AM GOING TO FAIL MY CHILD numerous times before all is said and done. That is why I cling to the love of God and want to raise my children to understand the love and grace of God. He loves me and my children more than I can possibly ever understand. The love of God is the only perfect love. He will not fail my children. Well then if He loves my children why is it so hard for me (and many other women) to nurse. I truly believe it is along the lines of the original sin. Why childbirth hurts. We are fallen creatures. Yes, God created our body to do certain things but because of The Fall it doesn't always work out like it was originally suppose to. Even after you have given everything. Maybe I am just saying all of this to let myself off the hook. Who knows. But I have faith that God knows. And He is using this trial for His glory. Some how, some way . . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grand Finale

Last week was the week to register for ballet for the 2009-2010 performance year. And we did not register :( It will be the first time in 4 years that my girls will not be taking ballet. It was a sad day indeed. I remember when Grandma first suggested ballet to us when Nature Girl was 3 years old. It would not have been something that I would have done on my own (kinda like piano lessons.) God pointed us to the ballet classes offered at Wildwood Church. What a great decision that had been so many years ago. My girls were taught by loving, caring teachers and most important the focus was on showing love for God through dance! Along the way the girls and I have met some of our bestest friends. We have gathered together for the last 4 years. Every year making sure we took the same classes so the kids could be together but also so the mom's could be together. I have met such fabulous, like minded moms. They have been such an encouragement to me over the years. Last year we signed up, not because the girls wanted to do ballet but simply so we could hang out with our friends! I would have continued that again for the next year but the girls' classes were not held on the same day. I would have to travel across town twice a week. In addition to the two times a week they have tumbling (which is what they really like to do.) Daddy and I came to an executive decision. The girls really didn't like ballet, it was getting expensive, it was way across town and it was getting time consuming. Problem solved - no more ballet.

In a way I am excited. We will be out of the house only two afternoons a week. I am hoping it will give us time to focus on some of the other stuff I want to do with the girls. Last school year I bought a book "Training Our Daughters to be Keepers of the Home." I am hoping to start using that book next year. It has sewing and cooking and etiquette just to name a few things. All the things that a young women should begin to know about home and family. Nature Girl loves to sew. Little Mama loves to bake. As it is right now we have no time for any of that. I am really looking forward to the time we will have together learning to be the girls God wants us to be. . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Day in the Life of . . .

. . . me. There was some discussion this weekend as to what a typical day looks like for me. (I am sure it had to do with the 2 ft mound of laundry and the dusty bedroom that prompted the discussion.) Sometimes, not always, there is an assumption because I am a stay-at-home mom the house should be straighten and cleaned the majority of the time. And I would whole heartily agree if it where not for the fact that I homeschool and have four relatively young children. As my mom says "Yes, I know you are the perfect mother." But, that is not what I mean when I say that. When you take the responsibility of educating your children something has to give. When you are home all day every day things tend to stay messy and dirty for longer periods of time. It is harder to carve out time to get bigger things done. You spend most of your time just trying to keep up. Laundry was 2 ft high all over my bathroom floor because I didn't do laundry for just two days. There is dust in my bedroom because no one but family goes in there :)

So, here is my day yesterday which I consider typical:

1:05AM feed EG
2:30AM feed EG
3:48AM feed EG (finally ended up in bed with me)
7:08AM wake and feed EG
7:40AM make coffee
7:44AM start computer
pick up school room
8:03AM 1st load of laundry
8:05AM breakfast for kids
clean kitchen
8:20AM post blog/check Facebook/check Email
8:25AM EG nap
8:40AM assign chores
finish kitchen
get ready for school
eat my breakfast
9:00AM school
9:40AM feed EG
10:00AM shower
10:38AM 2nd load of laundry
10:39AM continue school
10:58AM EG nap
10:59AM finish school
11:30AM rock baby
11:45AM fold laundry
12:00PM feed EG
12:30PM make/eat lunch
clean kitchen
1:15PM EG/Boop naps
1:30PM pay bills
finish kitchen
2:00PM make doctor appts
prep dinner
sweep under table
take out trash and recycling
fold laundry
2:16PM get girls ready for tumbling
2:30PM feed EG
3:00PM go to bank then tumbling
5:30PM feed EG
6:00PM make dinner
check computer
fold clothes
start to pick up Boop's room
6:39PM eat dinner
6:50PM clean kitchen
7:00PM pick up living room
7:15PM go for walk with kids
8:00PM bathe big kids and read to them
8:40PM bathe EG
9:00PM feed EG and put her to bed
9:30PM unwind, watch TV, eat dessert :)
10:00PM bed (last night stayed up until 11:00 because daddy got home real late)

I try to use Flylady everyday but sometimes I can't seem to find 10min to do something that isn't a priority. One thing I had read on a blog of a fellow homeschooler is that housework will suffer. It has to. Or something else has to give. I won't lie, I hate housework but it is a necessary thing. I will continue to strive to work out a plan that works for us. The kids have begun helping a lot. And as the baby gets older it will free up time. During the summer we will catch up. I will probably go over the list a time or two to see what can be done better, more efficiently. Until then I will just have to wade through the dust and the laundry . . .

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Love Little Mama This Much

She was in playing with EG. "I love EG the most. Well, I love God and then EG." She looks at me and I can see in her eyes that maybe I should have been on that list somewhere. She says to me "I love her more than you." My reply, "That is OK. I love her very much too." You can just tell that she doesn't want to hurt my feelings or make me feel bad.

She just wants to love and be loved.

If there is ever an argument over some toy or something and she has every right to whatever it is, she will gladly give it up to keep peace.
She is the first one to volunteer to help no matter what the project or chore.

She truly has a sweet and loving spirit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday Night: Easter Musical

Saturday: Nature Girl's 8th Birthday Pool Party

Sunday: Celebrating Easter

Grandma has to leave today after a very busy weekend. Nature Girl says to Grandma last night, "Grandma, why don't you call your people and tell them you are still on vacation?" Aaaahhh . . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009