Friday, November 20, 2009

The Transition

I've been contemplating this transition for a while now. All the "famous" (and I use that term loosely) photographers who blog say it's true. You'll gain a better blog audience if you blog about yourself. Your life. Your dreams. Your aspirations. You.

Over the past few months, I've gotten a lot better at doing that. But it hasn't affected my business at all because, well, I do it here. On this blog. And so I believe the time has come that I combine my personal life blog with my business life blog. To be honest, it's really difficult to keep up with both. But up until recently, I always thought that there should be some separation between my life and my business. And there is some separation. But on the homefront of blogging, it just seems that it would be easier (as well as advantageous) for me to end the separation.

So I'm going to try this out. I don't know if it will last, but I'm gonna give it a shot. I may still blog here sometimes or I may not. We'll just have to see how things go. But for now, I encourage you to follow me over on my photography now-turned-personal/photography blog:

Indy Photography Blog

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Silly Girl!


e DSC_0650


e DSC_0653


e DSC_0652


e DSC_0649


e DSC_0645


e DSC_0646


e DSC_0648


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Get Your Finances In Line In 2009: October Recap

Quick recap since we're already halfway through the month of November. I don't have time for many details, but since nobody (but me) cares about these posts anyway, it's no big deal, right?

We just barely missed the 70% mark this month for our FFEF. I just do mean JUST. But that's okay. We had some other things come up, so all is well. :)

November is proving to be pretty profitable so far. And by 'profitable', I don't actually mean we're making any more money. Just that things are falling into line properly. So hopefully I'll have some fun things to report in next month's finance recap.

We're still trying to figure out exactly how much to budget for our trip to Texas. I have a particular amount in mind, but I think I may save a bit extra to be on the safe side. Does anyone have any recommendations on the amount?

Here are some details to help you out:

-6 people (but only 5 requiring daily nourishment 3x a day - 2 adults, 3 toddlers)
-2 hotel stays en route and 4 nights hotel stays while in TX
-gas from IN to TX
-a few sightseeing things (we plan to go to San Antonio and probably a few other places along the way)
-misc. (because you know there's always something)

I'd really appreciate any insight anyone has on this topic. I've had a hard time gauging this because we've only taken one vacation since we've been married and it was just my husband and me. Plus, that was our "honeymoon" vacation, so we splurged a bit. But isn't that what vacation is for? :)


REVISED GOAL #1: Save up and pay CASH for our trip to Texas next March. ---- 35% completed ----

Goal #2: Fully fund our 6 month emergency fund and put into a money market account to be left UNTOUCHED unless there is an actual emergency. ---- 69.9% completed!! ----

Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a "new" (that means used) car. ---- Still on hold. No major issues with the car at this time. ----

Goal #4: Raise retirement contributions to 12% (with a 4% match).

Goal #5: Open a money market account for each of our children.

Goal #6: Begin paying extra principal on our mortgage.

Goal #7: Establish a will and testament. ---- I admit it. I am a total failure in this department. ----

Goal #8: Get disability insurance for both my husband and me. ---- I mention this to my husband occasionally. He seems to think it's like a one-page worksheet that I can fill out for him. Not so much. I'm blaming this one not being done on him. :) ----


P.S. The birds have not eaten me! (Yet.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Being Watched

I'm not normally the paranoid type. I'm really not. But today has been different. I have had this feeling that I'm being watched. That at any moment I may be attacked, and attacked with a vengeance.

In my backyard....there is something peculiar going on. There are large dancing shadows and black coats.

DSC_0626 (2)

Do you see those birds? They are huge.




And they are watching me.


Not only are they watching me.




There are also noises.

DSC_0630 (2)

Loud unnatural noises.

DSC_0628 (2)

I'm not even kidding. They are making me nervous. Surely only 3 or 4 of them could overtake me if I dared set foot outside my back door.

DSC_0624 (2)

So I refuse to do so. I will sit inside and watch them watch me. And while I'm watching them watch me, I will try not to think about all the horrible possibilities that could fall upon me if I move even an inch closer to the windows or doors.

DSC_0627 (2)

That's right. I'm now convinced that even being near the door might get my eyes pecked out or my skin eaten up.

DSC_0629 (2)

Seriously. The birds are scary. And if you don't hear from me next week, you'll know what happened.

Monday, November 9, 2009


While you're thinking about how to respond to the previous blog post, rest assured that I'll be busy all day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Great Debate

Well, first off....let me just say that life has been crazy around here. We have had 4 out of the 6 people in our house sick this weekend, puking and the like. I don't think I need to go into details there. I'm sure you get the picture.

On top of that, I had two photo sessions last week (on top of having my own pictures taken), which is probably nothing to a photographer in any normal state of life, but considering I just had a baby 5 weeks ago, it's a pretty big deal over here. Also, I'm still trying to learn all the tricks to working Photoshop CS4,'s fun, but time-consuming.

Now....onto, eh hem....THE GREAT DEBATE.

Ok, so it's really not that big of a deal, but it's something my husband and I have been discussing. The issue is the television.

You see, we're not big TV-watchers over here. Well, to be correct, we're not TV-watchers at all right now since both of our TVs are of the box generation and neither of them were privileged enough to be hooked up to one of those fancy new devices which generate the ability to see the current HD channels.

But there is one time of year that I really like to watch TV. It's Christmastime. There are all those old holiday cartoons and Christmas specials and (dare I admit I like to watch these?) Hallmark movies.

I said it. I like Hallmark movies.

And then there's football. Nothing we really care about in this house, but since apparently many other people do, we always feel as if we can't invite people over for lunch on Sundays because, well....we definitely won't have the game on. You know, considering the whole...lack of ability to put it on.

I admit that a tiny part of me wants to get a new TV because I know there is a really great kids channel that is now available to non-cable subscribers. And well, since I run a business and everything, I do occasionally (or probably more often than I'd care to admit) place my children in front of some sort of educational (or not) movie while I'm working. I figure they'd probably enjoy mixing things up a bit.

Oh, and speaking of work....can you imagine how great those sweet little newborns would look if you got to see them on a beautiful 42" LCD screen? Uh yes. Gorgeous.

But I'm afraid I'll put my kids in front of it even more often than I already do, and frankly, I'm afraid of getting attached to it myself.

So the debate is up in the air. And clearly I've presented both sides of this debate equally and given both sides fair playing time here in this presentation.

What are your thoughts? How do you keep TV under control in your home? Do you consider "Sunday fellowship" and "potential business help" to be valid reasons to invest a few hundred dollars into an unnecessary piece of electronic equipment? I'd really love to hear your opinions on this topic and I'm sure you all have one. Please share. And I'll keep you posted on how The Great Debate is going on in our home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Not Dead

Just busy. And that's about all I have time to say before I head to bed.

Oh! But I will mention that I finally figured out how to find and put up the code for my photography website! Some of you have expressed interest in advertising for me on your own blogs, so if you'd like to do that, you can now simply grab the code at right (it's immediately under my own advertisement photo) and add it to your blog as an HTML widget. Or however your blog works. :)

Good night, everyone. Sleep tight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Foto Friday...Etc...

Wow, it's Friday already! (Already?) Lots of things to report....

1. I think pink eye has officially left our house. Hopefully. Keaton got it last Wednesday and Sienna woke up with it on Sunday morning. So far, Reagan is in the clear, but I suppose I need to give it a few more days before I know for sure. I know of at least three other children and one adult at our church who also had pink eye last week/weekend, so apparently it's going around.

2. Savannah is 1 month old today! She has her 1-month checkup this morning and I'm anxious to see how much she's grown. She's been unusually fussy for the past few days and not sleeping or eating like normal, so it's been a tiring week in that respect. Due to her nasal congestion (she's had a cold for 75% of her life now!), I suspect an ear infection. But we'll see how things go at the doctor's office. She hasn't had a fever at all, so I could be totally wrong on that.

3. My studio lights arrived last Friday and I promised myself I'd finish a huge project (that I had not even started when they arrived) before opening them up and taking a look at them. So FINALLY on Sunday night, after completing my project, I got to see them. They. Are. Lovely. But just as quickly as we got them out, we put them away for fear that the kids would knock them over when they got up Monday morning. We're waiting for french doors to go on sale at Menards and then we plan to make the studio an official room of it's own. Until then...the lights will not stay up. It's just not worth it.

4. I had two fantastically fun photo sessions last week! One with an adorable little newborn and one with my daughter, Sienna. Since it's Foto Friday, I feel the need to post a photo. But since both of these sessions were suuuuuper great, I'm going to post one from each. Because I'm nice like that. You can check out the full posts over on my photography blog. :)

Baby Jacob:

wm e DSC_0076 bw


wm e DSC_0341

Have a great weekend, everybody! Don't forget to "fall back" tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rocking Her To Sleep

Sometimes it's the little things in life that bring the most joy. Tonight I rocked my sweet Savannah to sleep. Did it take 20 minutes away from the work I was trying to do? Yes. But was it worth it? You bet!

And speaking of sweet dance moves (say whaaaat?), check out how talented this little rock star is already....


I know. A girl after my own heart. And fortunately for her, her moves are about as sweet as mine too. ;)

DIY Moby Wrap

I'd like to preface this post by saying that there is a reason I stay behind the camera lens. I'm not good in pictures. I'm just not. I know everyone says that, but good grief, I'm terrible in front of the lens. I'd also like to apologize for the quality and tone of the pictures you're about to see. It was very dark in out kitchen when these were taken last night, but I insisted that my husband take a few pictures for illustration purposes. Ok, moving on with the post....

There are hundreds of different wraps, slings, and baby carriers on the market these days. I've never really been much into "babywearing" as it is called, but I did used to have a carrier that I used once or twice with our past children. But this year, with Savannah being born at the peak of swine flu season and the beginning of cold season, I decided it might be wise to keep her close for the first several weeks of her life. I consulted with my friend Cari who owned what appeared to be an extremely comfortable wrap.

Perhaps you've heard of the Moby wrap. It's gaining more popularity from what I can see, but in case you're not familiar with it, let me sum it up for you. The Moby wrap is a piece of 100% cotton, 6 yards in length and approximately 30 inches in width, that can be wrapped several times around your body for ultimate comfort and support when carrying your baby or toddler. Now, personally....I have no idea why anyone would ever want to wear their toddler. But that's another topic for another day.

Anyway, after chatting with Cari, I decided that I would peruse the clearance fabric section at a few stores before I went and paid $40 for a wrap that I wasn't even sure I'd like. So I went to Joann and found a lovely green fabric - 100% cotton. The only downside was that the ends rolled a bit,, no biggie. It was about 60 inches wide, so I actually got two wraps for a total of $15. I was pretty happy.

res Baby Wrap

But I thought it might be fun to have more than one color.

See how I try to save money but then end up spending the same amount by buying more "frugal" things? I know. It's bad.

So I went to Walmart. They had no suitable fabrics in their clearance section, but I did run across some polyester knit fabric for $2/yard. I know polyester is warmer than cotton, but this fabric was a neutral color and, well, it was only $2/yard. So I bought 6 yards and made two more wraps.


It's an addiction, I realize. You don't have to tell me.

And yes, I did ask my husband if I looked fat as he was taking these pictures. Every woman does! Right?


Why yes, I do love reading the nutritional facts on the back of the peanut butter jar. Did you know that a serving size is 2 Tbsp?

I wound up sewing the edges of the second fabric I bought but haven't yet gotten around to sewing the edges of the green fabric. One of these days it'll happen. Maybe. But anyway, I now have 4 wraps (unnecessary, I know, but I'm giving at least one away) that cost me a total of $27. Not bad, if you ask me.

I'll leave you with what my husband calls "the paparazzi picture":

Wrap1 know...because I look ridiculous. Well....more ridiculous than normal anyway.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get Your Finances In Line In 2009: September Recap

Wow, this is super late! I usually try to post our financial update in the first week of the month and here I am posting it on the 27th day of the month. Yeesh!

Well, you all know, our little Savannah finally arrived on September 30th, fourteen full days past her due date. (Little stinker!) So after those few extra weeks of eating out and getting take out way more often than was probably necessary, I was very surprised to discover that we actually had a fairly good month for our savings account!

We were hoping to make it to 70% of our FFEF last month (a pretty lofty goal) and we got pretty close. We also started saving for our trip in March. Other than that, nothing too exciting took place.

So here we go....

REVISED GOAL #1: Save up and pay CASH for our trip to Texas next March. ---- 25% completed ----

Goal #2: Fully fund our 6 month emergency fund and put into a money market account to be left UNTOUCHED unless there is an actual emergency. ---- 66.6% completed!! ----

Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a "new" (that means used) car. ---- Still on hold. No major issues with the car at this time. ----

Goal #4: Raise retirement contributions to 12% (with a 4% match).

Goal #5: Open a money market account for each of our children.

Goal #6: Begin paying extra principal on our mortgage.

Goal #7: Establish a will and testament. ---- I admit it. I am a total failure in this department. ----

Goal #8: Get disability insurance for both my husband and me. ---- I mention this to my husband occasionally. He seems to think it's like a one-page worksheet that I can fill out for him. Not so much. I'm blaming this one not being done on him. :) ----

So there you have it. We will surely make it to 70% of our FFEF this month, and I'll be SO excited to report whenever we reach 75%! (I have a thing with fractions, apparently.) We were really hoping to reach 100% by the end of 2009, but we also realized that it likely wouldn't actually happen. And now we're saving for our Texas trip, so that's pulling a little bit of what would have gone into our savings. But we're so looking forward to our trip! So we imagine it will probably be closer to March or April that we can completely fund our FFEF.

Keep on keeping on!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday

Oh dear, it's been quite the week around here! We've been up to a lot of things, but here are some things that I most definitely have NOT been up to!

I did not serve my three oldest children leftover McDonalds for breakfast one morning because I was too tired to find them something else to eat. I also did not intentionally delay breakfast three days over the past week in order to feed my children brunch because I was too lazy to make three meals each day. I always feed my children three, balanced meals per day.

There is no way that I got SO thirsty after grocery shopping that I had to drink some OJ directly out of the carton while sitting at a stoplight. I would never do something so disgusting as that!

I did not encourage my children to participate in "pajama day" more days than I care to mention. We are neat and orderly in this house and we most certainly do NOT just sit around in our PJs all day long. Nope, not us!

There is no way that I somehow managed to go four days without taking a shower - "broken" water heater or not. That would be nasty. And I would never do that. Ever.

When writing a 'thank you' card out for the owner of my husband's workplace (who sent us flowers after Savannah was born), I did not spell the owner's first name wrong. My husband has worked there for almost 6 years and there no is reason for me to ever do something like that. So of course...I didn't.

I most certainly did not drink three large fountain Cokes in a 36-hr period. I care about my body way more than that!

While going over my to-do list for the day, I definitely didn't add things to the list that I had already completed just to make it look like I had gotten more things done with my day. I never do things like that. And I certainly don't do it on a regular basis! No way!

I did not just write a few things that actually took place weeks ago but have been sitting in my "Not Me!" Monday draft since then just to add more items to my "Not Me!" list. I never do that.

And finally....I don't care what you've heard about this....but it absolutely isn't true that I found my 2 year old daughter in the pack 'n play bassinet WITH my 3 week old baby! But you know, if that had happened, it surely wouldn't have been because I was going to get (none other than) a diaper out of the bathroom to change a certain someone. A certain someone who was directed to stay in MY bed. Not transition into the pack 'n play.

For more "Not Me!" Monday fun, head on over to MckMama's blog!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pink Eye

wm e DSC_0270

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And Speaking of DIY....

Here's a little hint of what's to come....

res Baby Wrap

DIY Cloth Nursing Pads

Preface: I'm sure this is TMI, but I produce milk like a cow. Apparently I was created to have babies and nurse them. Seriously, my milk supply is ridiculous. I don't say that to brag as I have many many friends who sadly are unable to nurse due to a low milk supply (among other reasons), but I'm just telling you so you understand my need to make my own nursing pads.

Ok, read on....

With my first child, I used disposable nursing pads. I don't even want to think about how much money we wasted on those things. BUT I thought the reusable ones were too expensive. Since, you know, I went through probably 24 a day.

With my second child, I used a mixture of both. Primarily the tiny little Gerber reusables. But I had to do laundry CONSTANTLY and I still never had enough. So then I would switch to disposable. Again, big money waster.

With my third child, I think I almost exclusively used the few Gerber reusables that I had left. But by this time, they had mostly gone missing and I found myself using burp clothes as a substitute. (Don't laugh - I'm serious!)

When I got pregnant with my fourth child, I thought....There HAS to be a better way! I had a friend who had purchased some handmade cloth nursing pads online and she swore by them that they were way better than the store bought kind (and actually large enough too!), so I started to look into those. But the cost was ridiculous. At least, in my frugal mind.

So I did what I'm pretty well-known for doing when I think something is way overpriced. I decided to make some myself. I called Gretchen and asked her if she had any idea how to make nursing pads and she referred me to this DIY tutorial. It was exactly what I needed!

Since there's absolutely no reason for me to repeat the steps here, you can just go to that tutorial to see how I made them. Here are a few pictures of mine:



Having made these and used them now I can attest to the fact that these are INDEED far superior to the store bought kind and definitely better than the disposables. They are also, eh hem, much gentler on the skin. If you know what I'm sayin'.

These took me longer than I expected due to all the cutting and sewing, but it was well worth it. In fact, I only made about 14 and need some more so I just bought more flannel last night and am planning on making some more this week. (Yay! Flannel just happened to be 60% off at Joann!)

I highly highly highly recommend these.

Did I say highly?

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Hair Is Greasy

Some of you are wondering where I've been. Some of you could care less. And some of you haven't even noticed I've been gone.

Hey, it's okay. We can't all be perfect blog-stalkers.

The past few days around here have been a little crazy. But then, what day isn't crazy around here? That's what I thought. None. Anyway, I've been busy doing all sorts of meaningless tasks. And on top of that, I've actually done a few useful things as well. Let me name those things so you don't think I'm lying.

Seven loads of laundry.
I can't get over how one tiny new baby can increase the necessity to do laundry by such great quantities. I used to do laundry twice a week. Now I do it daily.

Eight print orders.
As much as I enjoyed shooting this wedding, I will not lie. I am going to be SO happy when all these pictures have arrived, been sorted, invoiced, and delivered. It's exhausting just to think about, but I know I'm almost done.

Twenty-one freezer meals.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen (but mostly ladies)....I've officially tried once-a-month-cooking. And just two weeks after I pushed a baby out! I know, I'm so amazing. And humble. Actually, my husband helped A LOT. (!ithout even being asked!) After my 2 1/2 hour grocery trip during which I visited three stores and spent close to our entire month's grocery budget....I came home, and during the next 24 hours we cooked up a total of 21 freezer meals.

I just know somebody is going to ask for the recipes for all the things we made, but I'll go ahead and tell you now that I probably won't get to that. So, you can ask if you want to but.....don't expect much.

Here's the list of what we made:

(2) chicken alfredo casseroles
(2) alfredo sauces (to go w/ fettuccine)
(2) lasagnas
(2) meatloaves
(2) sets of meatballs
(2) chicken soups
(2) beef stews
(2) chicken pot pies
and portioned cooked beef into meals for (2) tacos, (1) sloppy jo, (2) chilis.

So that's that.

One broken water heater.
On Monday morning, I discovered the hot water wasn't working. This was, of course, after I had already washed one load of laundry in "hot" water and one in "warm" - both of which were quite obviously COLD. I flipped the breaker and the reset button and all was well.

On Tuesday morning, I went into the bathroom for a quick shower. Not expecting the water heater to be not working again, I completely undressed, got into the shower and there discovered there was no hot water.


So yesterday evening my husband drained the entire tank and in doing so discovered an ungodly amount of some sort of (calcium?) buildup. It was nasty. And it took forever. But this morning we had hot water! However, I still haven't had time to take a shower. So my hair is greasy. And I'm pretty sure I stink.

Don't judge. We're not having visitors today!

As it turns out, our water heater wasn't actually broken, per se. But really...."One temperamental water heater" just didn't have the same ring to me.


On an entirely separate note, look who loves to smile at Mommy!

res e DSC_0772

Stop it. It's totally a smile.

Friday, October 16, 2009

On Becoming Confident....Again

Things are slowly returning to some sort of normalcy around here. Yesterday the kids and I washed, dried, and/or folded about 8 loads of laundry. My kitchen is looking relatively clean most of the time. And I've actually made the bed most of the days this week.

Adjusting to four has been somewhat difficult. I can now confidently tell people that going from 3 to 4 is BY FAR the hardest. At least, for me. But I'm getting back into working (trust me, it's very part time), blogging, and - eh hem - showering on regular basis. Which is nice. For everyone.

Reagan has officially learned what a spanking is and she generally obeys if reminded of the consequences of not obeying. She is adjusting to being a big sister rather than a baby and she's finally showing some signs of attempting to speak words.

Keaton and Sienna are doing well with everything. They are regularly helping me with chores around the house and growing more and more independent each day.

Daniel is back into the full swing of his regular work schedule and I am remembering what it's like to get up in the middle of the night to feed a hungry baby.

As for Savannah...she has a cold. Poor thing. I keep debating about whether or not I should take her in to see the doctor. She goes back and forth with her symptoms, so I keep going back and forth about what I should do. Motherhood is full of difficult decisions, isn't it?

On a very positive note, she is regularly sleeping 5-7 hours during her first stretch of the night and otherwise eating every 3-4 hours the rest of the day. She's also a very fast eater, so my nighttime rousings are short and to the point, which lends me to be feeling very well and rather energetic considering I have a 2-week old and 3 toddlers in the house. But knowing that I should be taking it easy is difficult and I'm still trying to keep things slow.

We hardly left the house this week due to Savannah's cold. I don't want her to get any sicker, of course, but I admit that I'm feeling stir crazy. We usually go to church three times a week, but this week we've stayed home due to the germs.

It seems there is always something to get done around here. And speaking of getting things is lunchtime already.

I guess I better get cracking on that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


That's about the only way I can describe our household as of late.

A week after coming home from the hospital with our sweet baby girl, my parents arrived for a visit. Simultaneously arriving with them (although not necessarily from them) was....the common cold. It struck my mom, my husband, and two of my children - thankfully, not Savannah. And I'm doing pretty well so far, although I did experience a sore throat one day over the weekend. I've been weighing whether or not we should go places (mainly church) in the midst of this cold/flu season with such a teeny tiny baby. I've never before questioned these things, but the pediatrician got me all paranoid about Savannah getting sick. She does have an occasional cough and is sneezing fairly regularly, but we think she's doing fine.

She's still nursing like a champ and, may I also add, WAY faster than any of my other children EVER ate....which just so happens to be totally convenient for me, now a mother of four children under five. She's been pulling one 5-6 hour stretch and one 4-hour stretch each night for close to a week now, and I'm very thankful for that. She's just as adorable as she was last week, but if you want to see a few more pictures of her you can do so here.

In other news, since I was kind of thinking Savannah would arrive, you know, before 14 days after her due date....I had planned several newborn photo shoots for the month of October for the new direction I plan on taking with my business. Not wanting to miss out on all those sweet babes, I have kept all of those plans regardless of the fact that I'm still rather tired from just giving birth 2 weeks ago. So in case I thought I did not have enough to do, I scheduled two sweet little ones this week for pictures.

I'd also just like to take this time to tell you how much I hate myself for signing up for a million different email newsletters over the past 11 years of my life. It's so time-consuming to actually opt out of all those newsletters now and I've had the same email address for all 11 of those years I mentioned, so....I guess I'll just continue to delete my past mistakes. And hopefully I'll learn from them.

And now it's time to put my nose to the grindstone. The kids are up and I still have some work that must be completed before my afternoon session, so....ta ta for now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Non-Birth Story Post

Judging from the comments I've all need to learn some patience!

I kid, I kid. The birth story is coming. Eventually.

But for now, I just wanted to let you all know that there are a few more pictures of my sweet Savannah over on my photography blog if you'd like to see her at 5 days old instead of 5 minutes old. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Didn't Even Check My E-mail

It's probably pathetic that it's significant in my life. But as I lay in bed last night, I realized I didn't even check my e-mail yesterday. Not once did I flip open my laptop or sit down at the computer. I fed my baby. I diapered my baby. I went to church. I went grocery shopping. I did laundry. I fed my baby. I diapered my baby. I took a nap. I had visitors. I ate. I fed my baby. I diapered my baby. And I let my husband take care of the rest.

I've never really been very good at this whole "resting" thing after having a baby. But I'm trying. Sort of. Several people at church yesterday said, "I can't believe you're here!" which I found very confusing since most people should know by now that I am always on the go shortly after having a baby. It would be strange to me if I had not been at church 4 days after giving birth. I mean...what would I really do at home? Sit? I was so happy to finally hear one of my friends say, "I knew you'd be here today," because I was starting to wonder if anyone really knew me at all.

I'm learning new things this time around. I mean, I suppose one learns new things every time around. But this time is different for me.

When I had my first child, I tried to weigh the advice of everyone and their best friend. It was challenging and time-consuming, but I finally figured out my "way" of doing things, specifically feeding my baby. From the time they were born, I always fed each of my children every three hours unless they were sleeping. It was extremely rare for me to feed them more often.

For one, I find nursing to be very painful for the first several weeks. I've had nurses and lactation consultants check each of my children's latches and nobody can ever find anything wrong. The age-old saying that nursing shouldn't hurt beyond the first few days just doesn't ring true for me. And I'm glad I finally figured out that everyone is different rather than constantly trying to change things in order to "get it right" even though I was already doing it right. I've accepted the fact that nursing is painful for me and not for others. But I love doing it, so I always push through.

For two, I had to give myself a rest. It wasn't uncommon for me to have cracked, bleeding, or blistered nipples from nursing even just every 3 hours. There was no way I could do it more often and still keep doing it. It just wasn't going to happen.

And for three, I didn't want my child to run the show. Infants are selfish selfish selfish by nature and I thought that, from the very beginning, it was important that they learn to have a little patience with mommy. My children never starved. They just waited a bit longer than so-and-so's baby. I couldn't stand mothers who nursed their babies non-stop when it was absolutely clear to me that there was no possible way their baby was hungry since they just ate 15 minutes prior to now.

While I still generally fall into all three of those categories, things are a little bit different this time around.

I have found that, with excessive amounts of lanolin after each feeding, things seem to be doing a bit better. I have a bit less pain and so far have not had any bleeding or blistering. (Praise God!) This is a huge blessing because Savannah has a different idea of eating than my other three children did. She ate like a champ at the hospital! Every 3-4 hours for about half an hour each time. It was ideal. Normal. Average. But once we got home and my milk came in, things changed. She started wanting to eat for only 5-10 minutes at a time before she seemed to lose interest. Feeling that she may lose weight from this type of eating, I began to feed her a bit more often. And you know what? Everything's fine.

She's not any more spoiled than my other children were. She simply doesn't eat as much at a time. I admit that I'm a little anxious about her doctor's appointment on Friday as I'm very curious to see if she is indeed losing weight or gaining as she should be. I'm praying that she will begin eating more and that she will gain weight as she should, but in the meantime I will just continue to feed her as I have determined is best for her. And I will continue to keep my lanolin nearby. :)

As far as others things are going....

The kids love Savannah. Reagan loves to say "BABY!!" as we suspected she would.

Nights are going okay. Savannah generally does 3-4 hour stretches at night and is pretty good about going back to sleep after eating/diapering.

We are having meals delivered most nights. It's a HUGE blessing.

I'm trying not to overdo it. I'm working on making a list of household chores and choosing ONE per day for the next week or two. And I'm going to try my best to stick to that.

Life with four is very different than life with three. But we're adjusting.

......and the baby is crying.....


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's A Girl! (A Big Girl!)

Savannah Paige was born early this morning (September 30th) at 3.34am after 8 1/ 2 hours of labor. She weighs 8 lb, 13 oz and is 21 1/4 inches long.


More details to come....when Mommy brain has subsided a bit and I've gotten in some time to sleep.

Monday, September 28, 2009

If You're On The Fence About The Swine Flu Vaccine...

As with ALL vaccinations, but especially with new ones, please make sure you are well-informed about the pros and cons before simply taking the word of one (or even several) doctors.

This Is The Week

Tomorrow is my last and final pre-natal appointment and I admit I am growing a bit anxious. I really don't want to have to make a choice regarding how I will be induced and considering Wednesday is my cut-off date, I'm getting a little nervous.

I realize this whole thing sounds absurd to most people considering that MANY of my friends opt to be induced every time. But when you're crazy like me and you want to do things naturally and let things go on their own...and then when things don't go on their gets to be a little frustrating.

As some background for those who don't know....I was induced at 41 weeks with my first baby almost 5 years ago. I was told via ultrasound that he looked to be about 6 lbs and the doctor was concerned that he might not be getting enough nutrients from the cord, so they suggested induction. Being the naive, young, first-time-mom-to-be that I was....I assumed that was my only option.

My son was born about 10 hours later, after me being constrained to my hospital bed and enduring several hours of extremely strong contractions, at a beautiful weight of 7 lbs, 6 oz. Thus began my realization that technology is not always all that it's cracked up to be.

My second child was born 14 months later and came all on her own at 41 weeks and 1 day. Her labor and delivery was beautiful! I labored in (and out of) the tub for several hours and she arrived 7 hours after I arrived at the hospital birthing center. My midwife was FANTASTIC and, regardless of the fact that my daughter's heartrate dropped slightly with each contraction, the midwives thankfully allowed me to be closely monitored and did NOT send me to c-section as many doctors would have.

My third child followed 18 months after my second. I had weeks of irregular contractions (not unlike this pregnancy), had been dilated to 5cm for several days, and finally just requested that my midwife break my water at 38 weeks and 5 days. Basically, I got impatient. The whole process lasted about 16 hours and, despite the fact that I wasn't in any pain at all until it was time to push, once we got to that stage, it was miserable. My daughter's head wasn't anterior (facing down, as it's supposed to be) or posterior (facing up), but rather it was sideways. This required my midwife to twist her a bit with each contraction for...I don't know how long. It seemed like forever. I think it was realistically a few hours. But regardless, it was terrible. I can't help but wonder if this would not have happened if I had simply let nature take its course.

So this time around, I am praying that things will happen on their own, as they were intended to do. Please join me in praying that this baby will arrive before my appointment tomorrow morning. And if God chooses for the baby NOT to arrive by then, then pray that I will have the wisdom to make a wise decision concerning Wednesday's unfoldings.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

People Are Calling

When my phone rings more than 3 times a day, I know there must be a reason. Apparently when one is well past their due date and misses one measly day of posting on their blog, said person's phone begins to ring off the hook. With that assumption in mind, I'm going to say that several of you are interested in what's going on.

I wish I had a good answer for you, but the truth is....there is nothing going on.

I had an appointment with another non-stress test yesterday. (I think it was my fourth non-stress test in the past two weeks.) No major news to report. I have another appointment on Tuesday if baby is not here by then. Wednesday is my 42-week marker and since I'm not really comfortable going beyond that date, I think I can safely say that the baby WILL arrive in the month of September. (Sorry, Mom!)

BUT, please join with me in praying that an induction will not be necessary and that our little one will be happy to come into the world all on its own accord before that date. And puh-lease, people, trust me when I say that I WILL update this blog as soon as possible after the baby is born. :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I feel good today. In fact, I feel great today.

Still no baby, but for the moment, I am totally content with that.

Last night, I only had to get up to go to the bathroom once. ONE TIME! Can you believe it? To top that off, I actually slept the entire time from 10pm until almost 8am. I don't think I've slept like that in weeks. I know that this is nothing short of a great blessing from the Lord. There is absolutely no reason that a woman who is 41 weeks pregnant should sleep that well. Many of you have been telling me that you've been praying for me and I can really feel the prayers right now. As silly as it seems, I have not been praying for rest. I've been praying for the baby to just come. And despite the fact that the Lord has chosen for that not to happen yet, I am feeling so blessed today. So refreshed. So renewed.

As far as how things are going....progress is being made and my contractions have become increasingly strong when they do come, but they have not brought forth the child of my womb just yet. :) I have what will likely be a final appointment tomorrow, at which time my midwife and I will discuss my options for bringing this child into the world. I am still praying that that appointment will not come and that the baby will come on its own before then, BUT if God's timing is later than that, I am confident that He is in control. My midwife doesn't really like to let her patients deliver past 41 weeks, but I think I've talked her into letting me wait until Monday, which would be 41 weeks and 4 days.

I continue to covet your prayers and encouragement, but know that the Lord has been so good to me and has renewed my strength in this time of waiting!

"Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles; They will run and not get tired; They will walk and not become weary." (Isaiah 40.31)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Alive Than Ever Before

I have to be honest. I find it slightly odd that it still affects me as much as it does. I mean, I hardly even knew her.


It's been a whole year since Caden's reunion with the Lord and I still find myself randomly bursting into tears while driving down the interstate or desperately searching for a Kleenex during the worship service.

I still vividly remember the conversation I had with Cari that morning. We had scheduled pictures to be taken of Cari and Caden the following week. They were going to be a birthday present for Andy. We talked about the location, the timing, and who I would coerce into watching my kids. She was excited. I was excited. And Caden was sick. I probably wouldn't see them the next morning at Bible study due to Caden not feeling well, but we'd see each other on Sunday.

Oh, sweet Caden.


Even though we had attended the same church for several years, Cari and I were never really close. Not that we were intentionally distant, but our friendship just hadn't really blossomed yet.

I think I first met Cari in the nursery at church. We were both pregnant at the same time (me with Reagan and her with Caden) and we chatted about baby names, January due dates, and parenting tactics as we watched the other babies. Cari had the most adorable pregnant belly and she hated when I told her that. I knew she felt miserable, but she was still adorable.

When Caden arrived in January, she was born with a ridiculous amount of hair. I don't remember much else about her arrival, but her hair was a defining characteristic that I'll never forget.

Cari and I went to the zoo once together last spring with our kids. A bird pooped on Cari's shoulder. She took a picture with her phone and sent it to Andy. It was hilarious. And if you don't believe me, there's proof. Cari cleaned up the mess with a baby wipe and we discussed how well prepared mothers are for life's unexpected adventures. Caden was probably too little to care or even take note of where we were or what was going on, but she smiled a lot.

She was always smiling.

As Caden grew, I enjoyed working in the nursery once a month and particularly loved holding Caden. She was a cuddler, something none of my children so far have been, and I enjoyed holding a baby who was content to just sit. She usually fell asleep. I usually rocked.

One week Cari came to playgroup at Cristi's house. Cari tells the story way better than me, but let's just say we had a pretty hilarious pacifier episode involving Caden, Reagan, and an identical "missing" pacifier.


Since I had just spoken with Cari that morning, the email came as a total shock. Not that it would have been any less shocking had I not just spoken with Cari, but the effect seemed magnified to me. I read and reread it. Several times. I just couldn't believe what I was reading. It was like someone was playing a cruel joke on me. Except nobody would joke about this. Nobody.

Daniel was in the living room watching tv and I called him over to where I was sitting at the computer. Unable to speak, I pointed to the screen. And the tears began to flow.

I don't know how many times in the past I've cried for another person's loss, but if there were many times before this one...this was the worst. I buried my face into Daniel's side and sobbed for what seemed like forever.

I just couldn't believe it.

As the next few days passed, I didn't know what I should do. I wasn't that close with Cari, so I didn't want to bother her by calling, but I wanted her to know I cared. So I left a card with the office staff for her and Andy. And I prayed for them. Constantly. I cried when I looked at my own children, not being able to even imagine mourning the loss of one of them.

At Caden's celebration service, I was trying to hold it together but was failing miserably. It just wasn't right. Caskets shouldn't even come that small. As I tried to pull my eyes away from the picture slideshow on the screen, I couldn't help but be reminded that those pictures we had planned would now never happen.

Even though I knew it was ridiculous, I felt like it was somehow my fault. I should have scheduled them earlier. It would have been such a beautiful gift for them.

I tried to choke back the tears and be strong for Cari and her family as I neared the family line. But when it was mentioned twice to me by family members that it was "too bad we wouldn't be able to get those pictures now", I couldn't hold it in any longer. By the time I reached Cari, I was a mess.

I couldn't manage to say anything and wouldn't have known what to say anyway, so I just hugged her tightly. She hugged back even tighter and then asked how I was doing.

She asked how I was doing. What is wrong with this woman? I thought.

I had to leave the ceremony with Reagan about halfway through, but what I distinctly remember what seeing Andy and Cari in the front row worshiping the Lord with all their hearts. I didn't know how they were doing it, but I thanked the Lord that they were able to do so.

After the ceremony ended, I offered to help with getting the food set up to keep my mind off of why I was really there. I didn't feel like I was close enough with the family to go to the cemetery for the burial but I wanted to stick around for a while.

When everyone returned and the eating began, it was the strangest atmosphere. Everyone was laughing, talking, joking, and carrying on in good spirits. Yes, there were tears. But it truly was a celebration of Caden's life and of her homecoming with Jesus.


For months, all I could do when I saw Cari was hug her. I never knew what to say and I honestly felt guilty for having my own children still here with me. It didn't seem fair that I had three perfectly healthy children on earth and her only child was now in heaven.

Six weeks after Caden's passing, Cari told me they had just found out she was pregnant. Six weeks pregnant. I couldn't believe it. I blabbered on about some conversation I had just had with a mutual friend and how I had wondered if she was pregnant because of a comment she had left on a blog before finally realizing that I hadn't even congratulated her! I'm such a dork sometimes. I was so happy for them, but the emotions were so mixed for everyone. Mourning the loss of a child and rejoicing over the conception of another is not something that often comes simultaneously in one's life.

Cari came along to a photo shoot shortly after that to watch my kids while I worked. I had hoped they would forget that she had previously always had a baby with her because Daniel and I simply didn't know how or if we should explain to our kids about Caden's passing. My worst nightmare came true when Cari got into the van and my son asked, "Where's your baby?" I could tell Cari was somewhat uncomfortable with the question (and rightfully so), but she very casually answered, "She went to live with Jesus." and we both cried a little. I felt like an idiot who should have duct-taped her kids' mouths closed that morning. But Cari understood. And thankfully that answer was sufficient for a 2 and 3 year old.


The months have passed and my children have slowly begun to understand that, while Andy and Cari (and even baby Rigg) are still here on earth in their own house, Caden spends her days playing with Jesus on streets on gold. They ask about her often when I browse Cari's blog and they catch glimpses of the picture of Caden on the sidebar. It's getting easier for me to say, "Yes, Caden is with Jesus now" and they seem comfortable with that. They are now old enough to comprehend that she "got very sick" (as I tell them) and then went to live with Jesus instead of with her mommy and daddy. But that they will all see each other in heaven again someday.

Rigg was born in June and has been loved and cherished by everyone who has met him. He has very clearly helped Andy and Cari to bear the pain of losing a child, not by taking her place, but by adding joy to their lives and reassuring them that their Savior does indeed love and care for them. Even in situations we may not understand.

Cari and I have grown closer as I have shared in this pain with her over the past year. She and Andy stand as a "Christian rock" to many, but - as they should - they credit it all to the Lord. He is truly what is holding them together and He is who will sustain them in the months and years to follow.


Just last week, Cari mentioned a quote she had recently read by D.L. Moody. I think it's absolutely beautiful and couldn't be more truthful:

“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.”

Praise God that we can know that Caden now spends her every moment with our Savior in heaven! She is NOT dead. She is now more alive than ever before.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." - Job 1.21


I admit it. I'm feeling pretty discouraged these days. As much as I know that babies DO generally come when they are ready, I'm getting fairly frustrated with this one. Last Monday, I was nearly certain I was in labor and would soon deliver my baby into my arms. Then yesterday, I was even more certain as my contractions were closer and stronger than last week and seemed to be gaining in intensity. But then, after we put the kids to bed....


Gone. Done. Over. Nothing noteable to speak of.

I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying to do what's best for my baby and myself. But I'm getting tired. Oh-so-tired. I know I'm not even a week past my due date, but for some reason I thought surely a FOURTH BABY would arrive at least on time, if not early. Perhaps I just set my expectations too high.

In the meantime, I am trying. To not be so emotional. To treat my children with kindness even when they are running around the house squealing. To feed my family three meals a day. To keep my mind on things that are positive. To remember that all children are a blessing, even when they don't arrive when I want them to. To sleep. To keep up with the laundry. And to be thankful.

" patient with everyone...." (1 Thessalonians 5.14)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

I know there are only a few more days that you will be my baby, so I'll call you that as long as I can!

Happy Birthday, Reagan!

e DSC_0372 b CROP

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I'm not doing it any more. I'm not even going to say, "I hope my baby comes on _____day," because, as can be noted, that obviously is not helping the situation.

It is now Saturday, the 19th. It's two days past my due date and my little one is sitting comfortably in my womb. My doctor has informed me that my womb is "just too comfortable" for him/her. I told her that I wasn't sure there was much I could do about that.

My second non-stress test went well yesterday. For some reason, I sat in that darn room w/ the monitor attached to my stomach for nearly 2 HOURS. But I didn't care. I was reading. And it was quiet. And someone else was watching my kids.

I know, I'm a horrible mother.

After my appointment, I scheduled my next non-stress test for next Wednesday and went on my merry way. My kids got a "snack lunch" today because I was exhausted and we got home right around naptime. Honeycomb and iced tea.

I know. Just pretend I never told you.

I took Reagan in to see her pediatrician this afternoon since she has been extra whiny, clingy, and sniffly lately. I suspected an ear infection and wanted to check on things before the weekend hit and (hopefully) my labor. She was fine. Teething, but fine. And for once, I was actually glad to have paid the $20 co-pay for no reason. It eased my mind and that was most important today.

As we were leaving, I had *the talk* with the nurses in the office.

"Oh my!"
"Are they going to induce you?"
"I bet you're so ready!"

I have to admit, I'm getting tired of it. And I know that if I make it through tomorrow, I'll get it at church too. I know I should just be grateful that my little one is alive and well in there (and I am grateful), know....I'm tired. With all the trips to the bathroom, nighttime contractions, my lack of ability to get comfortable with this giant....BELLY....thing, and my children waking me in the night, I'm hardly sleeping much anymore.

On the upside, I read an entire 550-page book in 4 days this week. I don't think that's happened since, like....ever. I credit most of that to several hours at the doctor's office and my husband's graciousness in allowing me some extra sitting time while he takes care of the kids in the evening. And if you've never read "The Oath" by Frank Peretti, I recommend it. I read it way back in middle school but it was nice to read it again.

But back to the baby....

Your continued prayers are appreciated. (Even coveted, I might add.) And, as always....I will keep you posted.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally Friday...

My sister-in-law called yesterday afternoon to "check in" on me since I hadn't posted a blog entry yesterday. Well, rest assured, everyone. There is no baby yet. But you all will be the first to know when there is.

Well'll probably be like....the 20th to know. But whatever. Quit whining.

I can't remember if I mentioned this last week or not, but....I've always gone into labor on a Friday. I know I'm getting restless. And I know that the fact that I've always labored on Fridays has absolutely NO bearing whatsoever on when this child will arrive, BUT....

I sure do hope it's today.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Goodness, Has It Really Been Six Days??

Sorry for the lack of updates. There is still no baby on this end and I've basically been an emotional basketcase for days now. I'm not really sleeping anymore (up every 30-45 minutes) and am therefore completely exhausted. I have no motivation to cook, clean, or do much of anything else. It's probably just an attitude problem that I should take care of, but I also know that I'm physically and emotionally tired and I don't want to wear myself out.

I never really expected to make it to 40 weeks with my FOURTH pregnancy, but here I am....39 weeks and 6 days. And still no baby. I have an appointment today for a non-stress test as well as an ultrasound to check on things. After I scheduled my appointment, I thought to myself....I probably should have just declined the ultrasound. At 40 weeks of pregnancy, ultrasounds are EXTREMELY inaccurate, specifically when determining the size of the baby. Large weight estimates are oftentimes a reason to urge labor induction (regardless of the fact that ultrasounds usually estimate weight incorrectly and can be up to THREE POUNDS off) and considering I was measuring a bit large a few weeks ago, I'm sure that would add to any "large estimates" via ultrasound, if that happened. So I'm praying that the ultrasound tech will be wise in her estimate, that my doctor and midwife will continue to be supportive of waiting things out if a large weight estimate becomes the only indication of "concern", and that I will be wise in discussing my options with them.

If all goes well, I plan to continue waiting on baby's timing (really, the Lord's timing) and attempting to be patient in the process.

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for me and thinking of me these past few weeks. I appreciate it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Get Your Finances In Line In 2009: August Recap

Well, lots of things have conspired since my last update. Or so it seems. I'm currently EXCEEDINGLY pregnant and feeling very exhausted.

Cooking has been on the back-burner as of late since my energy level has dropped through the floor, it seems. In fact, I bought about 6 boxes of cereal while I was out running errands this weekend and informed my husband that we could just live on that until the baby comes. He seems skeptical and I can't figure out why.

Seriously though, we've been getting take-out more often than usual and my grocery trips have been far less organized (and coupon-involved) lately, so our food budget was a bit higher than normal last month.

Also, we just found out that my cousin is getting married in March! I'm SO excited to make a trip down to Texas as I haven't been there since I was a child! My cousin also requested that 3 of our 4 children be in the wedding. While we anticipate that that will be an interesting added bit of work, my parents will be there as well so I'm sure we can manage all the wedding festivities and kiddos with their help. Since Texas is a 2-day trip each direction with our munchkins, we're looking at some hotel stays and lots of meals on the road, so our trip savings is starting now. We're so grateful that the Lord has allowed us to reach so many of our financial goals in the past few years so we are able to plan and save up for this trip.

Alright, so....jibber's the new, updated version of our goals:

Goal #1: Save up and pay CASH for our 5-day vacation to Mackinac Island in June! :) ---- 100% completed ----

REVISED GOAL #1: Save up and pay CASH for our trip to Texas next March. ---- This goal is brand spanking new and we plan to start stashing away for this in September. ----

Goal #2: Fully fund our 6 month emergency fund and put into a money market account to be left UNTOUCHED unless there is an actual emergency. ---- 56.2% completed!! Not a huge gain from last month, but September is an extra check month for my husband, so we're hoping to make it to 70% by the end of this month! We'll see how things go with the new baby.... ----

Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a "new" (that means used) car. ---- After some adjustments by my husband last month, the car is currently running well, so this is not high on the priority list right now. ----

Goal #4: Raise retirement contributions to 12% (with a 4% match).

Goal #5: Open a money market account for each of our children.

Goal #6: Begin paying extra principal on our mortgage.

Goal #7: Establish a will and testament. ---- Still thinking about working on this... ----

Goal #8: Get disability insurance for both my husband and me. ---- I really meant to have my husband do this paperwork over Labor Day Weekend. But then I forgot. Shame on me. ----

We're so excited to be reaching our financial goals for the glory of Christ and are glad so many of you enjoy hearing our story. We hope you find it to be encouraging and motivating in your own lives!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Very Un-Laboring Labor Day

Yes, it's true. I did no laboring on Labor Day.

With the exception of my husband being home from work, yesterday was a pretty average day around here. I did my normal Monday laundry and cleaning. The kids had oatmeal for breakfast and leftovers for lunch. My husband and I took turns napping (since we both appreciate a bit of extra sleep these days!) and I contemplated the upcoming arrival of our new little one.

Chick-Fil-A was offering a free chicken sandwich to anyone who wore their favorite sports team apparel, so we threw on our Colts t-shirts and headed over there for dinner. The kids played in the play place and then I grabbed a few groceries and miscellaneous items at Meijer on the way home.

Like I said, fairly average. And definitely no labor involved. At least, not the kind of labor I was hoping for.

I had read online that fresh pineapple can induce contractions (although I'm pretty skeptical of all natural induction methods and truly believe that babies come when they are good and ready), so I grabbed a pineapple while I was at the store. After we put the kids to bed, I chopped it up and grabbed myself a plate. I got through about 3 pieces of it before my tongue was on fire. I think it was probably due more to the limeade I had drank just before the consumption of the pineapple than the pineapple itself, but either way...I was done at 3 pieces.

Obviously I have nothing to report this morning, so my guess is that either:

1) pineapple must be consumed in LARGE quantities, or
2) pineapple works just as well as every other natural induction method (i.e. not at all).

Tomorrow is my last and final "scheduled delivery date" (tentatively scheduled by me and for me). I guess having a baby on 09/09/09 would be kind of cool. Maybe I would actually be able to remember this one's birthday when asked! Then again, I'll have four children within 5 years of each other, so.....I probably still wouldn't remember.

Daniel said that 9/11 could be another day to add to the "scheduled delivery date" calendar, but I just can't imagine my poor child having to share that holiday with such a terrible tragic anniversary of our nation's history. I think he mostly just meant that it would be memorable, much like 09/09/09, but I'd prefer to skip over that day altogether.

But we'll see.

As far as preparing for the baby in general, Daniel and I both still feel like the whole thing is kind of surreal. I imagine it will seem more real once the baby actually arrives. At least, I hope so! :) I've been remembering random odds and ends that we need and have been picking those up as I'm out running around. I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting, but for the most part, I think we finally have everything that I've been meaning to get: baby Tylenol, gas drops, diaper rash cream, lanolin, etc. You know.....all those little things that tend to fall between the cracks while preparing for baby but suddenly seem desperately important once the baby arrives. At least, that's how it is for me.

In case you're wondering, I'm still planning to blog about how I made my own nursing pads and how we redid our kids' bedrooms on a budget. It's just...taking longer than anticipated. But sit tight. It is coming! Eventually....

I hope you all had a great (extra-long) weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's Sunday

I don't generally blog on Sunday, but today, since my family is outdoors playing in the sunshine and I'm exhausted due to my busy weekend thus far....I'm indoors and I'm blogging.

Get over it.

Yesterday felt like a crazy day for me even though I barely left the house. I was awakened shortly after 6.30am (thank you, girls) and suddenly felt the need to do TONS of laundry and clean all the bathrooms. (As a sidenote, I absolutely REFUSE to clean the bathrooms in this house one more time before this baby comes.) So I did just that. I did washed, dried, folded, and put away four loads of laundry. And cleaned the bathrooms. All while my husband napped. (He had worked an early morning shift.)

I had planned to go out and run some errands in the afternoon when my husband reminded me that we had a "End of Summer" party to attend. I decided to take a short nap instead. Well, that nap ended up being about an hour and a half and it was lovely.

Around 4.30p, we drove the 3-mile trek to my brother- and sister-in-law's house and enjoyed some very tasty food which was NOT prepared by me. It was great. We headed home a few hours later, sweaty kids in tow and headed for the tub. All three kids were washed, dried, dressed, brushed, and in bed by 8.30p. Whew!

Daniel and I sat down to watch I, Robot while he gave me a foot massage. I ate chocolate chips. know you do it too.

We both managed to make it through the whole movie and went to bed around 10.30p.

I have no idea what was going on with our children last night, but it seemed like nobody was sleeping. I don't recall them having much sugar at the party, but they must have had something because it seemed like there was a child in our room every 30 minutes for a good portion of the night. Of course, it's normal for me to be up that often....but definitely not normal for them. Eventually everyone got back to sleep and surprisingly slept until nearly 7.30a this morning.

I squeezed in a shower while Daniel made breakfast downstairs and we got to church -- *gasp* -- early.

I know. We're amazed too.

I only had to use the restroom twice in the 2 1/2 hours we were there, which was a miracle in and of itself. We had driven two vehicles so that after church I could run some errands.

I hate running errands. I was really ONLY running them for the SOLE purpose of "walking the baby out". Well, that and Daniel said we were out of eggs. So I made my way around the mall, Motherhood Maternity, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl's, JoAnn, Walmart and Meijer before I headed home late this afternoon.

Still no baby.

I decided that we could live on cereal until the baby comes, so I bought 3 large bags and 2 boxes of cereal as well as a few gallons of milk! Ok, I also bought a few other things (like eggs), but mainly I bought cereal.

I'm sorry. But cooking completely wears me out these days.

And speaking of's now nearing 5.30p and I have no thoughts on dinner whatsoever. None.

We have two chicken breasts in the fridge that I'm sure will turn into something magically delicious (if my husband has anything to do with it), but I'm just not sure what exactly. Guess I should get on that....

Hope you all are enjoying a great long weekend! I'm looking forward to Daniel being home an extra day this weekend, although to be honest, I'm really hoping to have this baby soon.

But I'm sure you already knew I was going to say that. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Do The Duggars Have Too Many Children?

I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the Duggars have announced that they are now pregnant with their 19th child!

While I could sum up my thoughts on this on my own, I found that this recent post by MckMama did a pretty good job for me. So go read it. It's a good read, I promise.

And you know, if you want to, feel free to come back here and comment. But that's optional. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's The Deal?

Surely you've noticed the lack of any sort of real blogging this week. No, I haven't had the baby. But let me catch you up on our life....

Monday you heard from me. I thought I might have been in labor when I had contractions 2-3 minutes apart for about an hour. But after that hour turned into 2 hours and then 3 and 4 with no sign of increasing strength or intensity in sight....I gave up timing and went to bed.


Tuesday. I don't remember Tuesday at all. But I'm pretty sure it happened, because I remember Wednesday.

Wednesday we dropped off some peanut butter bars at a friends' house and went to visit Gretchen. Our kids ran around screaming and playing and we talked about water breaking, my birth plan, and how peach crisp is WAY better with ice cream. I left my water bottle at her house and nearly died.

I'm a little attached to my water bottle.

Eh hem.

After dinner our family took a walk. We pulled the girls in the wagon while Keaton rode his bike. Everyone had a meltdown about 3/4 of the way through. It was pretty exciting.

Thursday morning the kids and I went to playgroup. The weather this week has been perfect, but that has nothing to do with playgroup. We enjoyed snacking and I enjoyed eating food that somebody else made. The kids and I found a petrified, flattened frog outside our van door. Sienna lost one of Reagan's shoes, but Nicole found it. (Thanks, Nicole, even though you don't read my blog.) Gretchen returned my water bottle to me (and my son's shoes). I love Gretchen.

In the evening, we took another walk after dinner. Keaton and Sienna both rode bikes and I pushed Reagan in the stroller. There were no breakdowns to speak of, thankfully. We saw two cats who appeared to be ready to fight and one dog without a leash, but the kids remained relatively calm.

Today is Friday. I had an appointment with my midwife this morning. She informed me that I'm barely dilated (which was actually good news, since it means I don't have to be so worried about rushing to the hospital if I ever actually go into labor). I picked up my kids, we visited my husband for lunch, and came home to have a rather eventful naptime. I got a phone call from my old youth pastor and we chatted for about half an hour. I routinely call and harass them via telephone messages but rarely hear back, so it was nice to catch up.

While catching up, I completely spaced dinner and am now rushing that so we can finish up before we leave for game night.


In between all those times, I've been trying to think about things other than going into labor. I'm not very good at that, but I'm trying.

Hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend! I'm hoping it will truly be a laboring weekend for me! :)

Foto Friday!

This picture was taken while my husband was getting all of our baby things out of the garage attic last weekend. Reagan still thinks she's the baby and decided she was going to hang out in the infant seat. My favorite part about the picture is the knee pads. Sienna put them on her and said, "She needs to wear these because I'm going to drive."

wm res e DSC_0186

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm Not In Labor

Just trying to keep myself occupied with other things....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Waiting

My husband told me yesterday that it would be easier for me if I would just pretend the baby was not coming for several weeks. That way I wouldn't be living in a constant state of anxious anticipation.

I told him that it would be a lot easier to do that if I wasn't contracting all the time and if three times a day I thought I could be in labor due to their frequency and intensity.

I've shared with several people that the whole thing makes me a little bit nervous. As I mentioned the other day, when I was in labor with Reagan, even after my water had been broken, I didn't have any painful contractions until it was time to push. If that would happen again this time around....well, I don't know that I would even be at the hospital in time. (Do you see why I really want my water to break?)

I feel kind of like a blubbering fool lately when I post here on my blog. All I can really find to talk about is this impending birth. But all of you mothers know that once you're to this stage in the game, it pretty much consumes your thoughts. And by the way, if any of you want to call my husband and let him know that this is normal, that'd be great!

This weekend while I was just waiting, we managed to get quite a few things done. Which is good, because you know how people always say that the baby won't come until you have everything ready. Well, either that or it'll come before you have anything ready. But whatever. That second one is obviously not the case for me, so we don't even need to go there.

So our productivity list from the weekend looks like this:

-Went on a date w/ my hubby (thanks, Angel!)

-Played outside with the kids

-Made kitchen curtains

-FINALLY bought a new infant car seat (our old one was expired) and stroller

-Worked in the garage and hung lots of stuff from the ceiling (My husband's car might actually fit in again now that we're temporarily done with all our woodworking projects!)

-Cleaned out our master closet

-Put together the pack n play w/ bassinet

-Cleaned off changing table (being used as shelving) and prepared it for baby

-Got hubby's and baby's stuff ready for hospital (just need to get my own stuff ready!)

-Got baby stuff (swing, bouncer, playmat, etc.) out of the attic and set up

-Organized some business stuff in my office

-Made 7 sets of nursing pads (more on that later....)

Everything is pretty much ready. We have approximately 30 boxes waiting to go out w/ the trash tomorrow evening (although I'm not sure if they'll take all of that), and our garage is looking pretty great. The car seat is in the van, the baby's newborn "room" is almost complete (still lacking the nursing chair), my midwife is back to work, and this mommy is R.E.A.D.Y.!

So now....I'm just waiting....

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Like Reagan All Over Again

Twice last night I thought I could be in labor. My contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart and I was NOT sleeping. (As usual.) I was trying to decide if I should get up and pack my bags or stay in bed and try to rest.

And then they stopped.

I had the exact same type of "symptoms" when I was pregnant with Reagan exactly two years ago. Contractions would start up and would come consistently 5-8 minutes apart for at least an hour and then....they would just....stop.

It's enough to drive an expectant mother crazy, let me just tell you.

I don't remember specific triggers when I was pregnant with Reagan, but this time around, I pretty much have a contraction every time I get up. If I use the stairs, it's a definite. And if I do any sort of sudden movements (in reaction to, say, a suddenly screaming child), it's an absolute.

All of this would be fine and dandy if the contractions would just LAST. But they don't. I remember now why I begged my midwife after 3 weeks of this nonsense to please just break my water. Which she did. And out came Reagan! After that whole...head getting stuck sideways incident, that is.

I suppose many of you don't really care about the details of my almost labor stories, but I like to blog them to keep them on record for later. It's all for me, really. You just get the pleasure of sharing in it.


Today my friend Cari called to tell me a VERY funny story and I mentioned to her that I had just been vacuuming my blinds. Yes, the blinds that cover the windows to our home have now been vacuumed. After I got off the phone, I proceeded to vacuum the edges of most of the ceilings downstairs as well as most of the floor edges with that little tiny crevice attachment. Now I'm becoming very irritated that we have no way of reaching (and therefore, cleaning) the window in our foyer.

The things pregnant people feel the desire to do will never cease to amaze me. Even when I'm the one doing them.


But back to Reagan. Isn't she cute?

res e DSC_0192 BW