Monday, July 23, 2012


Thank you for the well wishes after my last post. It's so hard not to compare pregnancies and make predictions about gender. My level of nausea this time was on par with both of the boys, didn't touch how sick I was with Katy. But it started sooner and lasted longer than it did with the boys. (Started at 6 weeks and started to let up around 13-14 weeks).  Overall, I cannot even begin to complain about being sick, because it could be so so SO much worse (like my mom being hospitalized and unable to function for months - I remember her going to the hospital on Christmas day and spending extended time at my grandma's house while she stayed at her mother's). But even still, feeling sick every moment of every day for 7 weeks is HARD. It's really really hard. And I'm glad to be feeling better.

The kids are making lots of accomplishments lately. At the pool, Luke is going down the kid slide into the little pool and David is swimming a couple of body lengths under water. Katy is at Girl Scout day camp this week, which is 5 days from 9-3. It sounds crazy, but this is her first all day experience away from me, and it was tougher than I thought it would be. I was worried all day about how she was doing, hoping that she wasn't scared or upset. She's loving camp, but I'm surprised that she has been hesitant to be gone all day. But it's good practice for what's to come in THREE SHORT WEEKS.

But at least she has coping strategies for her fears. Lately nighttime has been tough for Katy, but here's one way she's getting by:

David's thinking, "Maybe if I cover my face, I can pretend that I have my bed to myself."
So with only three weeks left in summer, we're working on finishing up the summer bucket list. (I'm a bit squeamish about the term "Summer Bucket List" because it implies death at the end of summer. But I suppose that it's the death of summer itself, so ok...I'll go with it.) Katy has been asking to try the rock climbing wall at the rec center. She's technically still a pound shy of the weight minimum, but I heard a rumor that they'd let it slide. So we went as a family this evening, and I was shocked that Katy, David AND Daddy had a blast.

David wanted to watch Katy try it first.

But then he felt brave enough to try!

Then Brian couldn't help himself.

This is about as high as David made it, but I was proud of him for trying over and over and over again and really enjoying himself. Doesn't the wall look so tall? Check out Katy!

Brian had to conquer the hardest route (although he said this was very recreational, not professional).

On the last run, Katy made it almost to the top. I'm going to remind her of this when she claims that she can't conquer her (unrelated) fears.

Poor Luke wanted so desperately to climb the wall, but he had to settle for the playground rock wall. I spent the whole evening pulling him away from the wall and chasing him all around the rec center, difusing tantrums. I hope we make some accomplishments in that area soon, too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

About that 4th baby...

When Brian and I got married, we had conversations about how many kids we'd like to have, of course. On that side of parenthood, you never know how things are going to go. So I remember that we said, "Ideally, we'd like at least two, probably three, but not knowing how parenthood will really go, we'll take it one at a time." But in the back of my head, I have always had the number four sitting there. Just sitting there in my mind, as some sort of pipe dream.

Partially I think it all stemmed from being around several families with four or more kids, and just loving the pace of their households. My closest friends in high school, college, and post college came from families of four or more (I'm looking at YOU: Cindy [4], Maureen [4], Cathy [6], Kristen [4], and Susan [5].) These were the women in my wedding, plus my sister. These were my girls, and I spent lots of good quality time in their homes with their parents and their siblings, and I loved the buzz of activity that big family provides. And their families were always so welcoming to me, they felt like secondary homes in some ways. This is NOT to express dissatisfaction with my own family - I love my family, of course. But after having one sister who is 8 years my junior, the busy feeling in those households seemed fun to me.

But then I had Katy. And it rocked my world. And I pushed the idea of 4 way back in my mind. I thought: well I at least want to have one sibling for this child, but after that, we'll see.

David was easier, and I loved having two. When he turned 18 months things were feeling manageable again. Brian and I decided we'd love to have another, and God gave us Luke.

And I can tell you that everyday since Luke was born, I have wrestled with whether or not we are done. I am so incredibly blessed, and my plate is full with these incredible children that we've been given. In addition to that, I had physical complications immediately following Luke's delivery, and then long term issues after that. It was scary, and I felt pretty confident that I needed to be done. I didn't want to do that again, and I didn't want to make things worse.

But that desire and aching in my heart wouldn't leave me alone.

When Luke was about a year old, I had a surgical consult related to my issues. I asked the surgeon, based on everything, if having another baby was too risky for me or would make matters worse (I couldn't have the surgery unless I was done having kids). He said, "Not at all. If you want another baby, you should have another baby." I sat on the exam table and bawled my eyes out.

We still thought and prayed about it a lot. I felt nervous. I kept coming up with reasons that I wasn't ready yet. But that thought and desire still kept nagging both of us. Brian and I felt the same way about it. And then one day I realized that the only thing keeping me from saying yes was fear. I have let fear rule a lot of decisions in my life, but I know that fear is not from God. He doesn't direct our course by using fear. And I didn't want to get to my later years in life and regret that I had let fear keep me from having a baby that I wanted.

So if you are still wondering what we've decided, then you haven't seen me lately, because you GUYS, check this out:

13 wks pg with number FOUR. (Bonus feature: new dishwasher! Have I mentioned we've been washing dishes by hand for 2 months?)

I'm nervous. But just as excited. Here comes Chaos: Party of SIX.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Hot Stuff

So what do you do for a weekend visit at grandparents' house when it's 103 degrees each day? Well, as it turns out, you do the same things you did last summer. We talked about changing it up a bit by trying the air force museum, but then realized that the air show was in town and ummm....NO. Next time, though.

But the great thing about little kids is that a year is an eternity, and they loved all of these things just as much all over again. In fact, Katy was the one who begged to go to the baseball game, remembering how much fun she had. My dad was the only one willing to take the kids in the heat, so he took Katy and David all on his own. They loved it!

I had to laugh, because Brian said the highlight of the trip was going to Marion's Piazza for lunch. (I've always wondered what is up with the extra "a" in Piazza. Everyone pronounces it "pizza.") Marion's is a Dayton tradition, and I have SO many memories there from growing up: youth group outings, sports banquets, birthday parties, etc. Where else do you have to pay cash, and they still serve pop by the pitcher, which you can only order at the "bar." Ordering in two steps is part of the fun. They also have a game room where many of the games are still 25 cents. The kids really enjoyed it and I thought it was so fun to take the family there. Although we went to a different location than the one I knew growing up, and I told Brian that MY Marion's had a game room that was double the size. He said, "Yeah, right, it probably just seemed that way because you were a kid." That may be true.

Luke checks out the Lego display at the children's museum.

The touch pool.

They think it is SO cool to climb to the 2nd floor on that rope.

Back at Dad and Sue's house, Katy and David were playing in the bedroom, and Katy ran out and handed us this note: "Entertain Luke for us." This is a common request, but I think she has figured out that saying it out loud alerts Luke to the fact that he's being left out, so she decided to write it out. Hilarious!

The spray park was down right crucial this visit.

For some reason lately, David is constantly assigning super-hero roles in the family. Here, Brian is The Hulk.

Luke took awhile to warm up, but eventually he loved it, too.

Love that I captured my dad and David catching a bucket-full!

They surprised me with a nice cake and flowers. I also got to see my grandma twice, which was great.
So we had a great visit with Grandpa and Grandma Sue. It was interesting, though, that we had some struggles with the kids that surprised me. Katy and David both seem to having some new anxieties. Katy had trouble sleeping and had to sleep with David to avoid being scared. Then we went to church and only Luke made it through the service in the children's area. Luke, on the other hand, is just wild. I thought I knew how to parent a 2 year old, but he's a new kid, and I feel like I'm back to scratching my head. Lots of tears and drama and just trying to do what I can to figure it out. Let me know if you have any wisdom to share!

Happy Anniversary

To my beautiful bride

Hard to believe it has been 7 years since we started this journey together.  The time has flown by and I would not want to be on this journey with anyone else.  These 7 years have brought us 3 beautiful children, a new home and lots of adventures..  Wonder what will be around the corner for the next 7 years?  It doesn't really matter what lies ahead as long as we are on the carriage together.

Love Always!
Your Groom

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Of Note

So many significant events are happening so quickly, I feel the need to record them before even more significant events make it impossible to do so. Just in the last week...

Jungle Jacks:

We had so much fun last year that we decided to make it an annual trip. And this year Katy's soccer coach, who works at the zoo, got us wrist bands for free, so it was even better. Katy was just barely tall enough to ride the next level of rides, which meant 4 more rides than last year, including the roller coaster! They had an amazing time. David wasn't quite tall enough, but he was perfectly happy with the ones he could ride. Luke is at a tough age, because he realizes that they are having fun and wants to go, but he's only able to ride a couple of things. Again, next year...

She ran off of every ride screaming, "That was SO FUN!!!"

Poor Luke. Desperately wanted to ride the train ride and it was closed for maintenance.

We also got to check out the new exhibit, Stingray Bay. Here's my review: very cool, but I wouldn't do it every time we go because of the cost ($2 per person for members, $3 for nons, we got in with our wristbands). The stingrays swim up and touch you, and sometimes they even suck on your hand and splash you. David thought this was AWESOME, but Katy and Luke were squeamish. You also have to make an appointment when you arrive at the zoo and then make the trek over to JJL's at the correct time.
Birthday Storm:

The evening before my birthday, right at rush hour, a storm with hurricane-force winds blew through our town and tore down trees onto houses and power lines, leaving 2 million people without power across the state. We lost our power, but the scariest thing was worrying about Brian driving home in it, after I talked to him on the phone and he said, "I need to get off now, there's huge items flying across the highway and I've seen 2 transformers blow in front of me." But he made it home safely, and we didn't have any damage to our property. Our power was off for 24 hours, but I can't even complain because there are some people in town who STILL don't have power, 5 days later. I feel so badly for them, in this heat (it's currently 94 degrees at 9pm), it must be unbearable. The people on the other side of our street never lost power, so all of them stretched extension cords across the street so those of us on our side could turn on our refrigerators and a fan. One neighbor knocked on our door at 8am with a pot of coffee. That's the best part of these things, seeing people help each other.

So I had a bizarre birthday, with the power out and scrambling to get simple things done and find food. Brian and I went out for our birthday date and drove around forever to find a restaurant that was open and had less than a 2 hour wait. But overall, I just feel badly for the people affected.

Katy's First Tooth Lost:

Katy has asked me a zillion times when she will lose her first tooth, because her friends have lost teeth and she wants to be a big girl like them. When we were in Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that she had a loose one, and she was thrilled. On July 1st, it fell out, quite uneventfully while she was licking a spoon with Aunt Mel.

She called several people to tell them her news. She asked her cousins how much money the tooth fairy leaves them.

She wrote the tooth fairy a nice note explaining that her first tooth came in on her dad's birthday and fell out on her mom's birthday (it was the day after, but who's counting.) The tooth fairy left $2 plus 50 cents for her first tooth. She's already asking questions and I suspect that in her heart of hearts she knows the truth but wants to believe.
Well visits for Katy and Luke:

I'm always thankful for healthy well visits. It is such a blessing every day that my children are healthy! My only issue was Luke throwing a tantrum on the floor throughout the visit, but I know my Dr. so well at this point that I wasn't worried that he was judging me, he just shook his head and laughed, "Don't you just love this age?"

My peanuts:

Katy weight at 6 yrs: 38 pounds (10 %'ile) - she wants to be 40 so badly to get out of her 5 pt. harness car seat
Katy height: 42 inches (5 %'ile)

Luke weight at 2 yrs: 24 pounds (5 %'ile)
Luke height: 33.25 inches (20 %'ile)

Cindy at Young's:

My dearest Cindy was visiting her family and I was able to meet up with her at our very favorite Young's Dairy, with our kids in tow. She moved to Seattle in January, so seeing her in person is a rare treat. It was great to hold her Genevieve (Evie) for a minute and kiss her sweet cheeks. We talked as fast as we could in the presence of four young children.

Is she not the sweetest thing?

And my kids LOVE this place.

They had a little putting green in the play area that entertained them for quite some time.

Feeding the goats is always their favorite *cringe*
Attempted campout:

David's best buddy Frank invited him and Brian to join them in a backyard campout for his birthday. They had a super good time until Frank fell off the swingset and needed an x-ray so the party was over. Luckily he was ok

Fourth of July with Brett and Abigail:

Another special treat for this week was a visit with our friends Brett and Abigail who moved to Colorado last fall. They joined us for lunch and the parade, it was so great to see them and their kids. We miss them like crazy!

Baby Benjamin isn't much of a baby anymore! And this was the hottest parade I have ever attended. It was close to 100 degrees and no shade.

And Emmaline is such a big girl. Katy misses her - they were the big girls of the play group.

Our group lost a sippy cup and lots of candy down this drain.

Landon's first parade - I think he'll be back next year!
As I finish this up, Brian and the big kids are on their way home from the fireworks, which happened early because another storm is coming. Maybe it will bring some relief to this heat? It's tough to endure summer activities in this weather, and we've got grandparents to visit and camps to attend! I hope you are staying cool where you are.