Friday, December 19, 2014

Boo at 1 Month

Our sweet Boo turned a month old last month.  She is very comfortable with loud noise and chaos. I'm sure she heard quite a bit of it while she was in the womb and it doesn't faze her now.  Her biggest champions are her siblings.  I am so happy that they included her without any problem. Maybe that's what happens with the fourth child.  The older two are accustomed to adding another member of the family and the once-youngest follows suit.  I must say though that Mr. Bananas is clearly her biggest fan.  He is often found sitting next to her, loving on her, and touching her.  Mr. Bananas is in preschool and with it, unfortunately, come preschool germs.  Our little Boo toughed out two colds in her first month of life.  Full on congestion and coughing. It sounded so pitiful.  But I think she is tougher for it.  On her one month birthday, this little beauty found her thumb so she could self-sooth.

Buggy holding her sister as we wait
for the lactation consultant.
I also spent the first month of her life getting her back up to birth weight.  We have a fabulous pediatrician, but when it comes to weight, she is incredibly cautious.  Therefore, Boo and I spent week after week with the lactation consultant weighing her, feeding her, and weighing her again. Her birthweight was 8 lbs 12.6 oz and by
the time we made it for her 2 day appointment after leaving the hospital she was down a pound and had some trouble bringing it back up. Most of the time she would rather sleep than eat.  But as the weeks went on, our little champ began slowly eating more and making her way up to birthweight.

I cannot even begin to share how much joy she brings to our family.  Buggy is so excited to begin picking out her stocking and toys for Christmas.  Bananas is thrilled to be a big brother and there is no jealousy in his demeanor. Boo really is his baby and joyfully shares his good fortune by telling everyone about his baby sister.  Boogie even has a hand and has realized that reading to her is something he can do and can do well. He is still too nervous to hold her, he doesn't want to drop her. But sitting on the couch with her on his lap is just his speed. It is a joy to hear him read to her and to watch the other children gather around him.  We are so blessed.

Mr. Bananas doting and cuddling his baby sister.
She found her thumb on her one month birthday.

This says it all. My biggest boy doing something he loves, reading to his baby sister.

She was sooooo little!  Hanging out with Daddy at 2 1/2 weeks old.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

31 Weeks Pregnant

30 weeks pregnant at the beach
We are 31 weeks pregnant with baby #4 and I can't believe the time has absolutely flown by.  I cried when I heard her first heartbeats. I was so excited that she was viable, that our baby was really there. I had a scare with the last baby and I thought I would lose him.  He stayed and he was born and he is now a downright delightful 3 year old.  Now we have baby #4 growing and getting stronger every day.

There are so many thoughts running through my head. One of them being, I wish I had blogged, posted, journaled throughout this pregnancy. But quite honestly, I was downright exhausted from the get go.  The first trimester was tough with the morning sickness and the exhaustion.  I was thrilled when the morning sickness did not last as long as it had with Mr. Bananas.  I think it was only 13 weeks of sickness.  Most of the first trimester are a blur of being sick and taking naps.

The second trimester was busy. I was Flipper rep again for our local swim team and spent endless hours at the pool.  I was too busy to be sick and to notice the exhaustion, although I treated myself to a nap every afternoon after lunch. My children made do with PBS while Mama napped on the couch. They were troopers. They also learned a bit of independence getting themselves snacks while Mama napped.

I continued to run as long as I could hoping to run throughout this pregnancy.  I did pretty well until about 6 months along where I had to definitely switch it to walking intervals. Whenever there was a spurt of energy I ran for a minute.  Overall, I feel really good this pregnancy. Even though the first trimester was probably the roughest of all four pregnancies, the second and third trimesters I have felt pretty good.  I'm still exercising and I'm still moving around pretty well. I've dealt with a lot of swelling with my feet and the doctor's recommendation was:  stay off my feet, stay out of the sun, drink more water.  This was difficult to do while on the pool deck. I was constantly moving around speaking with parents, asking coaches questions, and well, I was in the sun. But if that is my biggest complaint all pregnancy, then I'd say I'm doing pretty well.

We do have a name and have had picked it out since the last baby was born in the hopes of having one more and in the hopes of having another girl.  We do not have a middle name yet, but I'm going through names I like and I will give Buggy a list of 3 or 4 names to choose from and let her pick out her sister's name. Boogie picked Mr. Bananas' middle name and we'll let Buggy choose one for Baby Batty.

We've had fun speculating on her hair color and eye color.  The kids are excited and every once in a while Mr. B. will look down the neck of my shirt and say, "I love you, Baby."  Boogie who is not much of a snuggler will hug me and say into my belly, "Hello Baby, it's me your big brother."

Buggy had a rougher time when she found out we were having a girl.  Right before we found out we were having another daughter she said, "I want to be the only girl." She was struggling to find a place in her changing world. I am happy to say that she has recovered and she is really looking forward to being a big sister. It was a big help that our babysitter took Bugs under her wing and told her that she loved her like a little sister and we were able to say, "Coach A. doesn't have any sisters and all the cool things she does with you, you can do with your baby sister."  Coach A. even had Buggy over for a tea one day and it was just the big girls.  I am grateful and love our babysitter/swim coach that much more.  Another big step for Buggy was that one of the Big Team coaches on swim team put Buggy in her first swim meet and she had to swim across the pool all by herself.  He really asked her out of desperation because we were trying to fill lanes. But in the end it worked out for everyone. She earned points for the team at every swim meet and she felt like one of the big kids.  His need for an extra swimmer built up her confidence and she was ready to accept a big girl role and is now ready for a baby sister.

Hubby and I could not be more excited.  We were hoping for one more baby and we are blessed that we will have one in a little over 2 months. Yikes!  It is bittersweet that I am starting to give away our boy clothes. I am happy to be able to give away things that I have been saving for 8 years, but on the other hand, it means that this may be it for us.  I am desperately trying to savor this pregnancy and it is flying by. Part of me can't wait to hold her, especially as she pushes on my bladder, periodically suffer from insomnia, can't run like I want, and the pull of exhaustion is great.  But I'm not foolish. At least I'm not up every 3 hours, my breasts aren't leaking (yet) with milk, and right now she is pretty portable.  I look forward to seeing her sweet face and having one more to add to our beautiful family. 9 weeks to go!

Easter 2014: 11 weeks pregnant

My Best friend and I pregnant with our fourth babies.
I'm about 12 weeks pregnant and I think she is about 20 weeks pregnant.
She's having a boy an I am having a girl!
14 weeks pregnant and still running

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

6 month Recap

It's been some time since I last posted. I can't believe where the time has gone. Since I have been absent in the blogging world so much has happened:

I took a creative writing class and learned that writing is one of my callings and I just wish I had more time for it.  I loved the professor and I loved the class and I am looking forward to taking another in another year or so.

My husband and I found out on Valentine's day that we were indeed expecting our fourth child. We are ecstatic! We have since found out that we are expecting another little girl.  My best friend is also pregnant with baby number 4 and it is so nice to do this pregnancy journey with her once again. She is due in the next 4 weeks and I look forward to seeing and holding her newest little one.

Boogie and Hubby praying
 after Boogie received the
sacrament of reconciliation
Boogie received not only the sacrament of reconciliation, but also his first holy communion. My father-in-law gave the homily and presented Boogie his first Eucharist as he had done for me 8 years ago.

Birthdays were celebrated,  Hubby, Mr. Bananas, Boogie, and myself are all another year older.

Boogie finished the 2nd grade and Buggy graduated from preschool.

All three kids joined the swim team this year. Boogie learned to swim 2 new strokes: breast stroke and butterfly.  Buggy learned to swim across the pool in freestyle and backstroke. Both dropped time in meets and had a successful season. Mr. Bananas is officially a swim team kid and loves the water.

Hubby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.  We went out to dinner and talked for two hours reminiscing and laughing. The next morning we went out for breakfast holding hands and laughing some more. All this was made possible by my parents taking the kids for the night. It's amazing how much conversation can be had when one is not constantly answering questions from little ones.  As always on the night of our anniversary we play our wedding song and danced the steps we learned for our wedding day. We haven't forgotten them. They have been modified over time and especially this last dance to accommodate my burgeoning belly.  Our wedding dance is a sweet metaphor for the steps we take throughout our marriage. Sometimes we're in sync, sometimes we're not, sometimes we move too quickly or step slowly, there is a misstep or two and sometimes we're just holding on.  One thing I can say is that I wouldn't want to continue this dance with anyone else. While it's not always perfect, it is ours.  We were made for one another and I love my husband dearly.

The summer is winding down, but not before we take a little family break to go to the beach. I think when that happens I'll be ready to let go of summer, get ready for the new school year, and let the nesting take hold full force as we prepare for our newest arrival due in October.

There is so much to say and so much to share.  But I'll stop here and fill in the space in future postings.  Life is busy and it has gotten busier.  My goal is to carve out time for more writing, more posting, more baby blankets, and more running. Yes, I'm still running. I'm officially 28 weeks pregnant today and I will be heading out shortly to do some intervals on the treadmill. I'm not as fast I was, but I'm still moving 2-3 miles a day.

Overall, Life is good. I am still one very blessed, albeit busy, mama.  This is a season and I am trying to savor as much of it as I can.

Blessing to all of  you!

Celebrating Mr. Bananas' 3rd birthday with a special birthday breakfast

The boys' celebrating their birthdays together with a Star Wars theme.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lunchbox Love Notes

Last week when my kids went back to school, my hubby was still home on vacation.  He woke up early and allowed me to sleep in an extra before we woke up the kids and got them ready for school. While I was still sleeping he made their lunches.  Later, when I emptied their lunch boxes after school I found sweet little lunchbox love notes from Hubby to the kids.  I try to write notes to the kids as often as I can and leave it in their lunchboxes. I think it's really sweet that Hubby wrote them each a note. I know that they loved getting a love note from Daddy.  It was a sweet transition from vacation to going back to school. His help made it a smoother transition for me, too.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

Here it is, the first week of January. I've thought about resolutions, but I have been thinking that it's not so much about resolutions as much as it is a life style change. Geez, I sound like a weight loss commercial.

But really, the things that I want to accomplish, well, I want them to be long-term, life-time changes. I may change and tweak them, but I want them to be solidly in my life.  I just took a look at last year's resolutions and I think 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

The first resolution was to accomplish tasks with a happy heart.  I have to say that there was a lot less frustration this past year. A lot of times I let go of the little frustrations of every day life. Not entirely, because I'm not perfect, but I will say that my tone has been more patient with my kids.  It helps that the big kids can do a lot of things on their own, but I still have the everyday frustrations of finding out that Boogie has forgotten his homework at school again, Buggy has given me a peek of what it will look like when she is a hormonal teen (oh, the tears!), and Mr. Bananas, let's just say it's a good thing he's really cute.  For some reason he thinks the word "no" means, "no, go ahead and try it." Gah!  But overall, things are running a little smoother, a little less yelling is going on, and I'm not begging my husband to come home and rescue me from the craziness of having three children.  I'm not perfect, but less volatile reaction provides a more calming atmosphere. Huh, who would've thunk.  So this is a lifestyle change I'm going to keep.

My next resolution was to run a half marathon in 2013. I smashed it and actually ran 2 half marathons in 2013 about 5 months apart.  To be fair I did bonk at my last half marathon, but I finished. Finished poorly, but I finished!  Because I can't bear to have such a poor showing at my last half marathon, I am determined to run another one in the next year or two and finish strong to make up for the last one.

Ah, last resolution was to write, write, write. And I didn't, didn't, didn't. Not to the extent to which I wanted.  My writing time used to be before the kids woke up for school. That has changed because now I run before the kids get up for school. I still need to find time to write.  It's not like the ideas aren't there, I just haven't found the time.

So what will 2014 bring?

Run without Injury.  This is my goal, to run without injury.  My last race was December 2013 and I had to hobble the last two miles of my 5K. My foot hurt so badly that I was limping for days.  I spoke to one of my favorite gym instructors and she advised me to stop signing up for races and to learn how to run without getting injured. So that's what I'm doing. I've hired her as my personal trainer. It was my Christmas gift from my Hubby and my parents.  I will have 8 sessions with her and she is going to give me exercises to strengthen all those parts that help me run. I'm  excited! It means less racing in 2014, but hopefully more running. I have found that I cannot live without running. The last 3 weeks were miserable. My attitude took a nosedive and my stress level skyrocketed when I couldn't run. So here's to an injury free 2014!

Be Present. I am a planner. I am always, always thinking of the next project, the next race, my next career move, and not being present in the here and now.  I find that I am always looking for my next goal so I tend not to appreciate what I have now.  My kids will only be this young for a little while. I relished and treasured my time home with them while they were on vacation. I was not sad that they had a snow day after their first day back after winter break. I made french toast and hot chocolate for breakfast and loved having them home.  I have a good life and I need to enjoy it and appreciate it and not worry about the next thing.  So I will learn to live in the now. While some planning is good, being present and being flexible is better. It's okay to have a messy house, right?  Being okay with staying home and not working is another part of my being present.

Write, Write, Write. Do I dare post that again? Yes! While I may not physically put words to paper, I am always thinking/pondering/writing entries in my head.  I think I would feel better if I could just get it out there.  So here I go again. Third time's the charm right?

What are you goals, resolutions, life style changes for 2014? Will you be present? Will you tackle a new healthy eating menu? Will you take on a sport? Will you be creative? How will you help yourself and your neighbor?

My wish for you is peace. May you find peace in the new year so that you may hear His voice.  May you find yourself present and appreciative of all that God has to offer for you. I pray that you will bless others as you are blessed. May you find our outlet so that you may receive peace, love, and joy in the New Year. Be blessed.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I know I have been busy and I haven't been posting, but I am shocked to realize that I did not post at all in December!  Life has been incredibly busy for us. Hubby has been working on a 6 month rotation in another office and has been coming home late each night. I've had to take care of homework, driving to activities, take kids to appointments, have our evening dinners without him, and take care of the bedtime rituals.  In some ways, I feel like a single parent during the week. The upside is that Hubby has truly enjoyed his rotation.  The kids and I miss him and we soak up every single minute with him during the weekends.

Recently, I was offered an incredible opportunity to do some consulting work from home. When I was first approached in October, I was very excited and it was very doable. However, it didn't pan out in October and my time was quickly filled with volunteer work.

October through January is an incredibly busy time for us. It kicks off with Buggy's birthday in October and then continues with hosting Thanksgiving (I think we hosted 42 people this year?!?), my mom's birthday, advent, baking cookies for the neighbors, shopping or making Christmas gifts, Christmas Eve at my SIL's house, hosting Christmas dinner this year (this time it was only 13), and then a string of visits with family and friends while the kids were on vacation.  We packed in a lot of activity between the end of October until today when the kids went back to school.  To top it all off, 4 out of the 5 of us were sick at any given time and Hubby was working until 9pm or so and coming home late. Needless to say, by the time the kids and Hubby started Christmas break we were all exhausted and the festivities were just beginning.  A lot of it I had to handle solo because of Hubby's schedule and it was really hard.

About three weeks ago, I was approached again by the same company to do some consulting work and I was ready to turn in my resume and write my blurb for their website.  But then we all got sick, Hubby was working late, and time kept running away from me and every night I went to bed frustrated by what did not get accomplished in the 24 hours given to me.  Sadly, I realized that I could not make it work.  It was not the right time for me to begin working again. The job opportunity was amazing and most of the work could be done from home and I could manage my own time and the company was family friendly. So why did I decline the offer? If the last few weeks were any indication of how my life was going, there was no way I could commit to any project at any time. As it stood, I had no time to sit down to even send out my resume and that was already done!  Hours were flying by and I was exhausted just trying to keep up.  I made the difficult decision to say, "Not at this time" and it was painful to do it.

However, I realized that right now I need to focus on my family.  There have been many days recently where I have had to play mother and father. While I was sad to step away from the job offer and bring in a little income for my family and keep up with current educational practices, I realized that now was not the time for me to focus on something new.  While I contemplated this and continued to mull it over, the homily for this past Sunday was on family.  I am a firm believer that God speaks to us in many ways and often will affirm decisions made. I have felt his gentle nudge and sometimes kick in the pants when having to make a specific decision.  When I was at church I heard His voice through the homily and realized that God was telling me to focus on my family right now.

Okay, God. I hear you. I will trust that another opportunity will come again at a better time.  You have not let me down yet, and I know that you are guiding my path. I will surrender to your will and wait. Thank you for the reminder that I am still needed wanted in the workforce, thank you for reminding me that right now my job is my family. I will listen and I will wait.

A friend shared with me that my job as a mother is mostly behind the scenes and so very important.  She said that I make home a welcoming place to be. It is warm and loving. It is a place where my husband is happy to be after a long day at work. It's a place where my children feel loved, safe, and welcomed.  Isn't it funny that I never looked at it that way before? I just keep going day after day, but this shed a new light on my role as a wife and mother. I create harmony and a welcoming atmosphere. How cool is that?  It's time like these that I remember the old adage, "it's not work if you love what you do." And I do love what I do. I love going to the preschool sings, the awards ceremonies, the swim meets, the soccer games. I love taking my oldest out to get his ribbons after a Wednesday night meet and staying up late and eating desserts before we call it day. I love hanging out with my friends while our kids are having a playdate. I love being available in case something cool happens at school and I can be there to participate with my kids.  I love having time to make baby afghans for my friends' new babies, teaching baptism prep at our church, and being a preschool camp teacher for one week in the summer.  So while I'm a little sad to take more time off from working, I know that I love what I am currently doing and that God will provide another opportunity. I just have to wait and listen.

2014 is starting off on the right foot and I look forward to what it may bring. May it bring you laughter, fun, and blessings. Peace be with you as you begin the new year.

Psalms 13:6
I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.