Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Ends

It's hard to believe school starts for our family next week.  I guess I should say it starts for those not in college.  Tana and Alyssa are both at college and getting used to things.  Kalai also started her PSEO classes through a college in the area.  So, DJ and Malia have until next Tuesday.  I'm feeling pretty ready to start doing more structured learning with DJ but I know it'll be a bit of a transition at first.  Lately, it can take me until 10 a.m. just to have eneryone fed, dressed, and kitchen cleaned up.  By then, it's time for morning snack! :)  As much as it goes against my personality, I'm learning to go with the flow and not get as stressed out if plans don't go as planned!  I know I'm really going to have to remember that loving my children and training them in character and Godly ways are the most important things...not necessarily completing every page of assignment, having my house even halfway spotless or doing lots of extra-curricular activities.

Baby Cody is filling out in the cutest places.  His little elbows have dimples and his adorable chin now has been joined by another cute chin!  I feel like we sit on the couch and eat almost constantly, but I'm enjoying him so much!!  The boys are pretty enthralled, too.  Malia likes to hold him so much more than she did the other babies.  Levi asked me again today, "Mommy, why do we have him?"  But I think he likes him because whenever he's awake he wants to hold him...even when Levi's wet and muddy from playing outside.

My mother-in-law was here for two weeks and was a huge help.  She did all my laundry yesterday before leaving today.  I couldn't figure out how I managed to stay out of it completely.  I really had planned on helping her, but it just didn't happen.  We had fun watching the boys out on the slip and slide.   We also played a game with her called Loaded Questions.  We're missing her already, and it was so nice to get to know her  better and sit around visiting in the evenings.  She's certainly one amazing lady.

Our garden is producing!!  We're enjoying delicious tomatoes and cucumbers and some fresh herbs.  Ours is a rather small garden, but it's about right for us.  I'm looking for ways to save/preserve my herbs.

Life is good!  I'm blessed.  Trying to live in the moment and say "yes" more often to my kids even if it means more clean-up, waiting to do the next chore so I can read them a book, giving them a second popsicle, smiling when Kent lets them get wet and very muddy just before dinner (instead of being upset about extra baths), trying to take advantage of our cell phones and call our college daughters more, and read Proverbs each morning.  I think being a parent makes you realize how really unqualified you are to raise children.  I feel so inadequate with all my weaknesses, but I know Christ can make the difference, and I can take small steps towards my big goals.  So this year I will strive to smile at my children more, be slower to anger, be silly more often (not my natural tendency), spend more time in scripture than on the computer, each day make Kent glad he married me, and place the most value on things that are eternal...such as relationships, attitudes, and service.  I can get so discouraged thinking about how I'm not measuring up to what I thought I would/could/should be as a mother and Christian, but I'm learning to trust in Christ's goodness and perfection and His work in my life rather than on my work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is how he came

I don't know about every other mother-to-be, but I read a lot during my pregnancy...about pregnancy, labor, development of baby, etc.  I have a stack of books by my bed, and even though I had been pregnant twice already, this time with Cody was no exception.  I still read.  I find birth fascinating.  I want to hear about other mother's births. I don't just want to know baby was born.  I love hearing about how it all happened.  Maybe I'm weird, but I know a few others just like me.  And I was so anxious to see how this time would turn out with Cody.  So I share our little story...August 5, 2010.

I woke up around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and told Kent I had just had an uncomfortable contraction.  It didn't surprise me though.  For about 2 weeks I'd been having similar type contractions off and on.  A week ago I'd been told I was dilated to 2 cm.  Then the day before I was at 3 cm.  I knew things were happening, but they were long and drawn out compared to my first baby where nothing happened until the day of birth.  I had a few more uncomfortable contractions (around a half hour apart) when I decided to get up and take a shower...just in case.  I then had a break from contractions with one or two sporadic ones and decided I must not be in labor.  The little boys got up and I started fixing breakfast and then they started again around 8:30, fairly strong and intense.  Kent had me beep him on the phone (while he worked in the basement) every time I had one so he could write down and keep track.  They were painful enough that I had to lie down, which was very difficult in trying to change messy diapers, fix breakfast and dress little boys.  Contractions were coming between 6 and 9 minutes apart.

Finally, I called Kent around 9:20 and told him I couldn't do it by myself anymore and that I thought we were going to have to go soon.  He found me on the couch.  We called Tana up to watch the boys.  Levi said the cutest little prayer about baby and the hospital and something about baby getting lots of presents. :)  Kade laid his head on my belly and waved to baby.  DJ was so excited about getting to spend the day with a friend!

We drove 20 minutes or so to the hospital, arriving at 10:10, and Kent got a wheelchair for me.  I told him I could walk, but then a contraction hit and I was glad I could sit down.  A very nice nurse got me into a room and asked me if I thought I was in labor.  This was between contractions so I was nice and calm and told her that I thought I was.  Inwardly, I was a bit worried.  I felt like I was much further along than anyone thought, but I hate to be demanding or just end up being silly, so I kept quiet.  I changed into a gown (after Kent took one last picture of me) and started breathing through contractions.  They were painful enough that I couldn't really talk.  Finally, a nurse came in the room while I was in the middle of one.  She asked Kent, "So how long has she been like this?"  Suddenly, she seemed to spring into action, calling someone to come in, talking about the doctor coming, having me checked, etc.  I was dilated to 7 cm. and she said something like, "I think I might just be delivering this baby."  They started asking me about my birth plan and getting the room already. 

At this point, I think I mentally slowed down.  I didn't want to have the baby before my doctor arrived.  I also was struggling with the pain (back labor too, which I hadn't experienced before) and started feeling a little anxious about letting things move too quickly.  So I didn't go to a more upright position which was what I felt like doing.  For some reason, I just laid back on the bed and took each contraction, breathing through them and answering questions between.  I remember realizing that I had forgotten how painful labor was.  The saying really is true.  You do forget.  I had. 

Finally, the doctor arrived (not the doctor I had planned), and he told me they could break my water and let things progress, since that was the only thing keeping me from giving birth.  I had to think about it for a couple minutes and then decided to go ahead.  Kent thought it was a good idea, too, and he kept up the job of fanning me since I was breaking out in a sweat.

At this point, I knew I was going to have this baby and I realized the VBAC really was going to happen (vaginal birth after cesarean).  I kept thinking that very soon it would all be over, and we would know if we were having a boy or a girl.  But, WOW!  It was so intense, and I got to the point where I told the doctor that I actually felt like I wanted something for pain.  He told me I could start pushing and have it over very soon.  That was enough for me.  So at 12:23 I started pushing and at 12:30, we found ourselves with a little baby BOY!  All I could think was how glad I was to have it over and how happy I was to have a little boy (only with a slight chagrin that Kent and I only turn out boys).

The nurse that coached me was wonderful.  I wish I could have slowed things down a bit in those last seven minutes but I was really having trouble with the pain and wanted it over so badly.  Looking back, I know I was very blessed with a relatively quick and easy labor compared to so many others.  I don't know how I could have handled a much longer labor.

I got to cuddle Cody for quite some time and even nurse him before they weighed him and cleaned him up.  He was so alert and quite a voracious (the nurse's word) nurser.  I was quite surprised to hear that he was 8 1/2 pounds...which explains why my belly got so big towards the end.  I'm glad I didn't go to 40 weeks!

Kent and I spent quite some time admiring our new little Cody Joel.  I looked over and saw Kent praying, thanking God for a safe delivery.  I cried a couple times but mostly felt like smiling.  We started calling friends and family.  And I held our new little bundle for hours!

First time meeting their brother

They asked about his toes!

Levi said, "I love my baby Cody."

Tana was the only sister at home during this time.

DJ said he had hoped for a girl but I think he fell in love pretty quickly with Cody!

Two days old and headed home!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


-we had cinnamon oatmeal pancakes for breakfast

-the boys and I packed up and went to the county park for a free day at the play area

-I met a family from the area who home school and are in a co-op I'm interested in

-we were so sweaty and hot that the boys played in the pool in the backyard until naptime

-we had cucumbers from our garden and juicy, cold watermelon for lunch

-Kade was the only one who slept during naptime

-I worked on names and middle names for up and coming babe, sharing my list with Kent after his busy day of work.  We have such a hard time picking names we both dearly love.  I think we have our girl name, and I'm working on trying out our boy name throughout the day because I don't like it as well as Kent does.

-Tried a new recipe from Taste of Home with zucchini, green peppers, Roma tomatoes, green onions, fresh basil (I have a plant by my kitchen sink), chili pepper and shrimp.  I told Kent we were having a surprise ingredient at supper because this is possibly the second time I've ever bought shrimp.  We ate our dinner over brown rice.  Yum!

-Kent took the two older boys to get a tire fixed on our little blue car.  Kade and I washed dishes.  Kade's new thing is "cups."  He loves to stack them and fill them with water and arrange them, even carry them to bed.  I had to tell him we weren't sleeping with "cups."  Poor guy was disappointed.

-We had neighbor friends over for apple pie and visiting.

-Levi has some funny new sayings:  "fly smatter" for "fly swatter";  when asking for salad dressing he said he wanted "the tree branch."  I finally figured out he wanted ranch dressing.  There have been more like that lately, but I need to write them down right away.

-I'm not sleeping very well which is to be expected, I suppose.  So I sit at my computer a little too long.  I browse baby names.  I pray for our sleeping children and our older girls off on their own unique adventures.  I consider that I need to be more patient with childishness and more firm with bad attitudes.  I notice all the places in our house I could be sorting and cleaning, but I'm in waiting mode and I don't want to get too busy on anything.  I'm actually excited about how this whole birth process works out.  I know I'm not looking forward to some aspects of the birth, but there's something pretty amazing about how each little person makes his appearance.  I want the baby to come when laundry is put away, dishes are done, beds are made, and the refrigerator is full.  That only happens once a week or so and it's never all at the same time!

I'm going to hold this baby a lot and enjoy the littleness, the newness.  I want to savor each moment of newborn because it goes so fast.  I want to take lots of pictures.  I want to watch my other children cherish their new little brother or sister.  And I want to sleep on my tummy again. :)  So thankful tonight for God's blessings!

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Camp-out Date"

This year we just couldn't manage an overnighter for our anniversary.  I browsed Bed and Breakfasts and even thought we should do a camp-out.  Kent raised his eyebrows at that last one because I was pretty pregnant.  I thought it would be fun and doable, especially without children.  I even dreamed about going camping and woke him up one night to ask if we could take an inflatable mattress with us!

All that said, we ended up taking a good 4 or 5 hours away while my mom was here in June.  Kent packed up our bikes and off we went.  We took the easy route and ate Chinese take-out...outside, of course, to fit our camping theme.  We then biked to a nearby lake and county park.

The wildflowers were beautiful!

We had an idea that we might be met with thundershowers.  There were dark, ominous clouds that day (although it's hard to tell in this picutre).  So Kent even brought along a tent for shelter since there was nothing to speak of anywhere near where we were "camping." 

In this picture, he suddenly took off, leaving me behind with my exciting find!

Wild raspberries...and lots of them!  I picked a nice handful.

Then I hurried to find Kent.  Here he was, putting up a tent faster than I've seen done before.  :)  Yeah, I wasn't a whole lot of help working on shelter from the coming storm!

Our transportation around the county park. 

Ready to head back home.  We weathered the storm (which ended up mostly bypassing us), enjoyed wading in the lake, picking a few more raspberries, and biking around the trails.  I think we did about 12 miles or so.  What a fun day!!