Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Eyes Are The Window To The Soul

Looking through my pictures, I realized how many I have of my children's eyes. I love looking into their eyes. They all have big, expressive, bright, beautiful eyes.
I love these little people. From the tops of their heads, to the bottoms of their feet.





Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh, Avery...


Avery: "Mom, how does a baby get in a belly?"
Me: (On geez...here we go...let's try this first...) "Heavenly Father puts the baby in the mommy's belly."
Avery: "Oh."
Me: *thinking* "Whew...dodged that..."
Avery: "But how?"
Me: (Or not...) "Umm, when a mommy and daddy are married, they make a baby."
Avery: "But how does the baby get in the belly?"
Me: "Well, the daddy touches the mommy and the baby goes in the mommy's belly." *thinking* "PLEASE don't ask me anymore!"
Avery: "Does Heavenly Father make toys and put them in Santa's sack, too?"
Me: "Well no...that's the elves..."

Seven Months

We took advantage of my friend, Crystal's beautiful backyard, to take some cute pictures of Pres. I cannot believe that seven months has already passed. What a beautiful little girl she is. Her sweet personality makes me fall in love with her over and over again.






Sunday, June 28, 2009

Packing Away My Past

I hate doing laundry as much as the next person, but today...laundry made me cry.
I went through all of the kids clothes today, taking out any that were too small. When I got to Presley's I took out all of her preemie, newborn and 0-3 month clothes. I sat there holding those tiny little clothes, remembering how even some of the preemie clothes were too big on her, a short seven months ago.
Miniature onesies and teeny pajamas...some even too small to fit a doll. When Presley was in the NICU, I asked about the clothes that the babies wear, during their stay. The nurse said that some were donated and some were bought by them. I knew then, that when she outgrew her preemie and newborn clothes, we would donate them, for other little babies to wear as they waited to go home. Presley and I will go bring those next week (I hope!) and see some of her nurses. Wait until they see how "big" she has gotten!
As if the tiny clothes weren't enough to tear me up, there were all of the 0-3 month clothes. Some of those started with Bailey and made their way down. Tiny dresses that they looked so cute in. Pajamas they all wore, that I would snuggle them to sleep in. Cute little outfits, with the hat to match.
I packed those away for the last time. I wasn't packing them away "until next time"...because there won't be one. I'll never again snuggle my new baby in those soft pajamas. I'll never show off my baby girl in one of those dresses.
It's a strange feeling when you realize that another phase of your life is over. Childhood...gone. Teen years...gone. Years of being surprised by pregnancies or hoping for pregnancies...gone. Months of being pregnant and anxiously awaiting my new baby...gone. My twenties...rapidly going...
I've learned all too well the last couple years, that life is too short. Days pass in a blur and become months. Months melt into years and become decades. I need to appreciate the now...not dwell on the past and not stress about the future. But, like many things...that is easier said, than done.
All of this reflection on life...because of some teeny, tiny clothes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Multi-tasking Is My Middle Name

I'm currently sitting in Chemistry class.
I'm listening to lecture and taking notes.
I'm also catching up on my work.
In addition, I'm catching up on blogs., in between my work website going up and down.
All at the same time.
Anyone want some cookies?
Perhaps I can find a way to make some of those, too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Presley's Third Letter To Grandma

Dear Grandma,
It's now been more than a month since you left us. You've missed an entire month of my life! That makes me sad, but it makes me even sadder when I realize that you are going to miss so much more.
It's not fair, Grandma. My sisters and brother got so much time with you. I'll never get to bake cookies with you or go on my birthday lunch with you. I'll never get to hold your hand as you walk me around the yard to look at flowers. You'll never get to cheer me on at my first soccer game, like you did on so many Saturday mornings for Bay and Ry. I'll never get to have my first sleep over with you.
I hate that you are missing out on so much...and that I am missing out on so much, too. A big part of my sisters and brother's memories have you in them...I will never get to say, "Remember when Grandma....".
Mommy has been looking at old pictures and she has realized how many of them, have you in them. Front and center, or off to the side, in the background...you are there. So many days that she took for granted that you would always be there. So many forgotten memories.
But, you will never be forgotten, Grandma. Mommy sees you in so many things. She sees you in Bay's gentle ways and in Ry's shy smile. She sees you in Avery's sense of humor and hears you in Luke's giggle. She even sees you in me, Grandma. Mommy looks into my eyes and sees Heaven and perfection.
Mommy just wishes that she could really see and hear you.
I love you, Grandma. Please keep coming to visit me. Mommy loves to watch me break into a great big smile, while staring at "nothing".
Love,
Presley

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Velcro Baby Disease

I've developed a tumor.
It's about 12.5 lbs.
It's usually on my right hip, but it has been known to migrate.
Whenever I try to detach said tumor, it screams.
I think the tumor is developing teeth.
Good thing the tumor is cute...or I'd be getting some funny looks.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Life Gets Crazy...

...I'm often reminded of why I've chosen the life I live.
It's moments like this...stolen in the night...when I see the bigger picture. When I realize that the day to day chaos is nothing more than that...one day.
Ultimately I am here for my children. Not to mold them into who I think they should be...but to be their guide on their own discovery.
Too often I left the world determine who I am and what is expected of me, when I really need to focus on what I expect of myself. I expect myself to face every day with the goal of achieving one thing...be the best mother that I can be.
I love these little people, more than anything else in this world. Crazy as they make me...they also make me smile. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me mad.
They make me...me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In Case You Thought I Was Kidding

Yesterday was not just a "once in a while" thing. Messy Boy Wonder is at it again. It's a good thing he was born with those big, brown eyes. They are the only thing saving him from a lifetime of solitary confinement.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I've had some pictures on my camera I've been meaning to download for the last couple weeks.
Spring soccer season is over. All three girls had a lot of fun playing and Luke can't wait to start playing in the fall.
Ryleigh wanted a cake with worms in it for her birthday, so we found the recipe for "Dirt Cake" that Mom used to make when her kids were little. It was SOOO yummy and a big hit with all the kids.
Presley's big eyes...just cause she's cute!

One of my friends Michelle, from my "mom blog", sent this cute outfit for Presley. She looked so cute in it! Thanks again!


We had sunshine for all of 15 minutes the other day, so I brought the kids to the park to run off some energy and play with their cousin. Sadly, it started raining again shortly after we got there, but they had some fun anyway!
Alright, I've wasted enough time blogging...back to homework!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Irony

Websters dictionary defines irony as "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result".
I define irony as living with high winds, torrential rainfall and flooding...yet losing my power today...the first sunny day of the last two and a half weeks.
Things that make you go, hmmm....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's A Tough Job...But Someone's Gotta Do It

I read on another website today about a Mom who was ashamed and embarrassed to admit that she is a stay at home mom. She felt useless and like she wasn't doing much with her life.

It made me kind of sad that someone would feel that way about motherhood. Useless? Oh boy, I wish I could feel useless for ten minutes! My problem is that I'm so darn usefull that I'm never left alone! :)

I got thinking about the many facets of motherhood and how many "titles" I actually hold. I'm not "just a mom", I'm a(n):

-Doctor. I'm the keeper of the band-aids and can diagnose any rash/cough/fever with a 95% correct accuracy rate.
-Taxi Driver. I easily navigate the county to be sure that children are dropped off at the appropriate place, at the appropriate time. (Most of the time. There have been some delays and/or errors...but I can usually find a way to blame those entirely on someone else.)
-Chef. It's amazing what I can throw together from a few ingredients. It takes some creativity and my children have learned to live with love the recipes I have come up with.
-Artist. I have come up with some pretty ingenious ways to hide the marker/pen/crayon marks on my walls that just will not come off.
-Maid. It's amazing what I can accomplish with 30 minutes and Windex.
-Referee. I have the important calls down - "Illegal use of hands!" (aka "Stop hitting your sister!), "Time Out!" (aka "Go to your room!"), "Unsportsmanlike conduct!" (aka "Stop calling her a poopie head!") and "Illegal crack!" (aka "Please go put on clothes! I'm tired of seeing your naked bum!").
-Teacher. How else am I going to get a break around here, unless I teach them how to do all my jobs?
-Criminal Investigator. It doesn't take me long to determine "whodunit". Sometimes, I'm so on the ball, I know a crime is going to happen even before it occurs.
-Interrogator. Using my "evil eye" I can easily break any minor subject and get the truth out of them.
-Judge and Jury. I must determine and dole out the punishment that fits the crime.
-Magician. I have perfected the art of multi-tasking, to the point that most people just stare in disbelief.
-Beautician. I have mastered the up-do, curly-do, straight-do and "come here and we'll get the gum out of your hair"-do.
-Teddy Bear. I am available for hugs and cuddles 24/7/365.

In short, there isn't much that I don't do. I'm definitely not ashamed or embarrassed of my title as "Mom". It's a tough job...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Science Isn't Always Perfect - But She Is

I love when my writing assignments for school are not just research papers, but can be about something personal to us. When I'm allowed "free reign" of my subject, I feel that the paper really comes out better. Basically, I want to be allowed to blog...while throwing in the necessary research!

The paper due today had to be on something personal in our world, in which science played a part. I knew exactly what I would write about...Presley! I can go on and on about my kids, so I knew that the paper would be easy to write.

I was plugging away at it and almost done with my two pages. Then I realized that the assignment was for a one page paper! Whoops. I know that he deducts points if you go too far over, so I had to condense it down. So, it's not exactly as I would like, but it will hopefully get me another A!

Science Isn’t Always Perfect - But She Is

Pregnancy and I, don’t get along. It’s amazing that I have five healthy children, considering how awful I am at incubating them for 40 weeks. I had preterm labor with every single pregnancy and anyone that has dealt with preterm labor knows how extraordinary a role science played in their pregnancy. Of course, pregnancy is a science in and of itself, but when you are relying on the medical knowledge of doctors to save your baby, it really hits home. When I became pregnant with my last daughter, Presley, I had high hopes that I would finally get an easy pregnancy. Her pregnancy occurred directly after a miscarriage, so I had hoped that I had “paid my dues” and was owed a smooth-sailing 40 weeks. However, at 29 weeks 5 days along, all hope was dashed. I began contracting regularly that day and when it was determined that I was dilating, my doctor started running the usual tests. I had been this route before and pretty much knew what to expect, until they ran a new test on me.

The fetal fibronectin test is something that wasn’t routine for moms exhibiting premature labor symptoms, in my previous pregnancies. “Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is a protein produced during pregnancy and functions as a biological glue, attaching the fetal sac to the uterine lining…the presence of fFN during weeks 24-34 of a high-risk pregnancy, along with symptoms of labor, suggests that the "glue" may be disintegrating ahead of schedule and alerts doctors to a possibility of preterm delivery.” (www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1149.asp)

When my test that day came back negative, I was ecstatic. I was told that the results of the tests weren’t perfect, but that a negative result was more helpful, than a positive result. “A negative result on the fFN test means it's highly unlikely that you'll give birth in the next week or two, which can set your mind at ease and allow your practitioner to hold off on treatments that may prove to be unnecessary.” (http://www.babycenter.com/0_preterm-labor-test-fetal-fibronectin_1511.bc)

After going home, with orders of bed rest and anti-labor drugs, things calmed down until I hit 31 weeks 1 day. That evening, I began contracting and dilating again. This time, after they ran the fFN test, it came back positive, indicating that it was much more possible that I would be delivering in the next two weeks.

Presley, being possibly the first female in the world to show up “on time”, arrived exactly two weeks later. Born at 33 weeks 1 day, she was incredibly healthy for a preemie and after only nine days in the NICU, came home. She is now six months old and is absolutely perfect.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Summer Schedule

I need structure in order to survive and not lose my mind. Anyone close to me knows my obsession compulsion fascination with lists, color coding and Rubbermaid.
I have six people working against me, or my entire house would be completely organized to perfection. Order makes me feel calm and put together.
So, with that said, I came up with a daily schedule yesterday. I realize that kids behave better when they have some structure and know what they are supposed to be doing and when they are supposed to be doing it.
Call me crazy. BUT! It worked wonderfully yesterday. Let's hope the other 60+ days of summer go as well.

9:00 am: Everyone needs to be up, dressed and having breakfast
9:30 am: Brush teeth and daily chores
10:00 am - Noon: Outside play
Noon: Quick pick up (toys, dishes, garbage, ect. that has managed to invade the house in the last 2 hours)
12:30 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm: Quiet time ( they can choose: nap/reading/math/educational computer games)
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Outside play
5:00 pm: 2nd Quick pick up (because you know they've caused a mess again!)
5:30 pm: Dinner
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Outside play or TV time (their choice)
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Showers, brush teeth, prayers
8:30 pm: BEDTIME!
This is so nice, because I know when I can schedule in time to work and do my homework. Let's hope that it lasts!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Presley's 2nd Letter To Grandma

Dear Grandma,
I'm laughing now! Remember that one evening when you made me giggle for the very first time? You were so proud that I did it for you first. Today, my mommy was being so funny about my poopy diaper, that I started laughing and laughing. You would have loved that sound, Grandma. I wish you were here to hear it.
We planted flowers from your funeral in the front yard yesterday. We like seeing the beautiful colors and knowing that they will come back year after year. Every time we enter or leave our home, we are reminded of you. I wish you were here to see them.
We have been visiting Grandpa almost every day. He misses you a lot. Sometimes I see him staring off into space and I realize that he's staring at a picture of you. I wonder what particular memory he is thinking of. I wish you were here to hug him, Grandma.
Sometimes mommy sits and cries, when she thinks that no one can see. She has to be strong for every one else, but inside I know that she misses you a lot. I wish you were here to talk to her, Grandma.
It's just not the same since you left. I wish you were here, Grandma.
Love,
Presley

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Do You Have?

Pulling out of the driveway the other day...

Me: "It's a good day. I have a clean house. I have a clean van. I have clean kids..."
Avery: "I have stinky farts."

Yeah...try not to laugh.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Laundry Monster


It was one of those days...where there was more chores to get done, than hours in the day. I gave up trying to finish the laundry and piled it in the corner of my room to deal with tomorrow.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up and found Bailey curled up in the basket, asleep! I don't know what made her decide to do that in the middle of the night...her only explanation was, "It felt good!"
Silly, silly, silly girl.
If only I'd have woken up to find all the laundry folded.
A mommy can dream...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Avery's Preschool Program


During the chaos of the week that Mom passed away, Avery had her preschool program. We debated not even going, since we had so much to do (and quite honestly didn't want to deal with the looks of pity from everyone)...but in the end decided that we needed to go and be there for Avery.
She sang so loud and showed her wonderful personality that we all know and love. :) She's excited that next year Luke will be in preschool with her (so am I!) and two of her cousins. I've loved watching her grow and change through the year and I can't believe she is getting so big! Just yesterday this little girl was a roly-poly baby...now she's only a year away from kindergarten. Where does the time go?

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Never A Good Thing...

...if the kids are quiet!

I found two little monkeys riding the garage door as it was going up.
*sigh*
These two are never short on imagination.
(No children were hurt in the photographing of this stunt...they were properly reprimanded after...as I tried not to laugh.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Presley's Letter To Grandma

Dear Grandma,
I miss you so very much. My Mommy and Daddy and sisters and brother still talk about you several times a day and I love listening to the stories that they tell.
I'm getting big, Grandma. I'm eating vegetables now and I'm working really hard at rolling over from my back to my belly.
Lately, I've discovered that I love the sound of my voice. Pretty soon I'm going to be talking and I am going to tell our little secret. I'm going to tell everyone how late at night, when everyone is sleeping, you come to visit me. You gently lean over my crib and hold me in your arms and whisper how much you love me.
You look so good, Grandma. You look healthy and not in pain anymore. I know that you miss us all, but it must be so nice to be with Jared again. I love my Uncle Jared...he took care of me until it was time for me to come to Earth. He would hold me in his arms and tell me about the wonderful parents that I would have. Finally, one day, he told me that it was time. Mommy had been waiting for me long enough and it was time for me to be in her arms.
He told me that soon, you would be coming to live with him in Heaven, Grandma. Because of that, it was decided that I would be born early, so that I could spend as much time with you on Earth, as possible.
I wasn't sad when you left us, Grandma. I knew where you were going and it is a place far superior to Earth. Give Uncle Jared a hug for me and tell him that I miss him, but that I filled an empty hole in Mommy's heart...and that's an important job.
I love you, Grandma. From one end of the rainbow, to the other.
Love,
Presley

P.S. I think Mommy knows that you visit me. Sometimes, she sneaks into my room, and peers into my crib, to watch me sleep. One night when you came to visit, I broke into a great big smile, in my sleep and I heard Mommy whisper, "Thanks, Mom. Hold her tight and keep her safe. I love you."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Ryleigh Roo!


My baby girl is six years old today! How in the heck...?
She was my first planned baby...(Bailey was a surprise that I didn't know I wanted!) and we were so excited when we found out it was another girl. The two of them have been inseparable since the very first moment that Bailey held her in the hospital.
Ryleigh has no clue that she is 2 years younger than Bailey. She has kept up with her from day one and is smart beyond her years.
She can have a horrible temper...but she has too much of a sweet side to stay angry for long.
Grandma had a special tradition with the grandkids. Every year on their birthday, she would take them out to lunch and then take them to Toys R Us and let them pick out their own present. They LOVED having alone time with Grandma and she loved not having to rack her brain trying to come up with the perfect gift. Grandpa has decided to continue that tradition and will be taking her out today, to celebrate her day. She is so excited to share this with him.
Happy Birthday, Rooy! I love you so much and I can't wait for our Mommy/Daughter date tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flower Hair Clips

A friend of mine (from my "Mommy Blog") wanted some flower clippies for her daughter's hair. Layla and Presley were born on the same day, so she'll always hold a special little place in my heart.
Michelle (Layla's Mom) couldn't decide exactly what color she wanted, so I figured I'd give her a selection! These can all be clipped right into Layla's hair...lucky girl has a whole head of long hair already...or clipped on to a headband. All of the flowers are clipped on to a ribbon holder that Michelle can hang from a hook or hanger.

~Finished Flowers~
~Close up of finished flowers~

Michelle called me and told me that she found the perfect white flower, with a rhinestone (fake!) in the middle, to go with Layla's baptism gown. The catch? The baby boutique was charging $40! I couldn't believe it! For something I can make for $5! I told her that was ridiculous and that I would make Layla one instead. Hopefully, this is what she was talking about and it goes well with her dress.