Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2004

Look at us, so young and rested and kid-less! Behind us you see "our" bridge, the Pont Neuf in Paris. We are standing on the foot bridge just up from it, you know the bridge that "Sex and the City" made famous. It was actually important to us before the final episode of "Sex and the City".

In April 2002 I visited Paris for the first time with my then roomie, Amy. We fell in love with all things Paris, and since I have always had a love of bridges I added the Pont Neuf to my list of bridges that one day I hoped to be kissed on...I know silly romantic. It was just about 6 weeks after I returned from Paris that I met Dave and shortly after we started dating. At Christmas of that year he told me he loved me, but I was still unsure, so I held my cards until we had a 24-hour layover in Paris on our way home from Bulgaria. We were there in January of 2003, it was freezing cold, we managed to ditch the other folks we were there with and I led Dave to the foot bridge that overlooks the Pont Neuf. It was cold, and dark, but it was the perfect place to tell him how I loved him and there on the bridge we had our first kiss.

I had no idea in January of 2003 that in April of 2004 I would be married to Dave and we would be living in Germany...what a sweet deal. FOr New Year's of 2004 we met our buds Daren and Sarah in Paris and had a grand time. Sar took this picture for us. At that time I had no idea that in December of 2010 I would be back living in Atlanta with 3 children! How amazing life is! It shall be interesting to see what 2011 has in store for us.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Ballerinas

Tell me these are not the cutest girls ever! In mid-October I found a sweet little ballet program at a local church. It took us a little while to get into the rhythm of things, but the girls are now enjoying every minute of this special class. And they get to do it together which is a bonus!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Think I Need Glasses and Other New Year's Resolutions

I got my first pair of glasses when I was 8. They were red Charlie Brown glasses and I loved them. They were just for reading, and doing close up work, and that is all I have needed them for until recently (not that I still have those glasses). The verdict is still out (only because I haven't actually been to the eye doctor yet), but I think I might need an upgrade in glasses.

I was on facebook several weeks ago and our computer caught a virus...booooo! After Dave spent many, many hours trying to revive it from the dead we threw in the towel, and Merry Christmas to us, bought a new computer! But I think I might stay bitter for a while, so I am steering clear of FB...this might be good for my blogspot relationship. I am hoping for a better year of blogging in 2011. I know you are all holding your breath, but if you are wondering about my absence on FB, there you have it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Don't say it, I know. It is the end of December 2010 and I have sorely neglected our blog this year. I am likely more disappointed by this than most of the world, so we'll see if I can revive it in 2011. In the mean time enjoy some photos of our December.
We started off the season with our annual trip to find the "perfect' Christmas tree. We decided to try a new tree farm this year because we wanted to find a tree that was very fragrant (which is hard to do when looking for a GA grown tree). However we hit a home run and will be making our way back to this family run farm again next year. We purchased a "Blue Ice" tree and it smells yummy (seriously). After we picked out our tree and rode the tractor back to the main area we roasted marshmallows by the campfire. All around this was a great experience.

And of course after finding the tree we decorated it! The girls enjoyed every minute of this activity while I held my breath, but nothing was broken this year, so all in all a win-win situation.

Our next fun happening was participating in our neighborhood's annual Children's Christmas Party. This usually involves cookies, hot cider, and making garland out of fruit loops and making ornaments out of pretzels that are then dipped in peanut butter and covered in bird seed. We then all march outside to the Christmas tree that sits at the entrance of our subdivision and let the kiddos decorate the tree for the birds and squirrels and/or whatever other random animal that wants to get in on the action.

HC and I made our second trek to see the Nutcracker. This year we opted to see a smaller version of the ballet done by a local high school company. It was a decent show, and Hadleigh Claire enjoyed every moment of it and has listened to the soundtrack at least several hundred times. She has also given Annelise a blow by blow, so both girls will be ready and prepared to attend with me next year.

Finally we celebrated Christmas! We attended the Christmas Eve service as a family which was very special. I just love being at our own church for this event. When we put the girls to bed that night we explained that in the morning they were to come downstairs to the tree. We would eat breakfast and then open presents. "Presents????" they exclaimed! They had no idea this was coming, so I was happy that we were able to make it one more year without them realizing that presents are tied to Christmas. I am guessing this will be the last year, but who knows.
For Christmas dinner we had a few friends over to the house and Dave cooked....ah...this year's theme was "Alton Brown" who is one of Dave's fav chefs from Food Network. He prepared potato and leek soup, spinach salad with warm vinaigrette dressing, and roast duck with oyster stuffing. It was amazing. For dessert our friends brought crepes with mascarpone filling and blackberry sauce. It was divine.

Last, but not least, I cannot believe that I almost forgot this, one of our best presents was that we had a White Christmas this year! The last time that happened in Atlanta was in 1882, so we feel super special. We had two White Christmases in Germany, so I am happy that we were able to have another one, and one with the girls. They made their way outside with Dave this morning to play before we headed out to church (which was delayed an hour).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Remembering Our Friends

I do not have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to share this story because it is so super precious to me. These are some links to my friend Jess' blog. She is an awesome photographer and friend from our Baumholder days. Jess was one of the chics I would do girls' night with, especially when the deployment started...and Nic was another one of the gals.

You should check out her site anyway and hire her immediately, but at least read these blogs in this order.

A little background to the story here
New pictures here
New story here

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4 Months

Tomorrow True will be 4 months old, which is totally insane, but true. He is such a sweet, good natured baby, now if we can only get him to sleep through the night! He had been sleeping from 6pm-4am, and then again until 6am, but over the last two weeks things have deteriorated. I am trying to get him on a schedule of sorts, but of course we were on vaca last week and he just gets dragged along. He seems to sleep well on the fly, but that needs to stop and we need to let the poor boy sleep in his bed. I am hoping once we figure out his nap schedule we will be back toa good night sleep, and maybe a whole night of sleep.

True took his first plane ride this month, and added three states to his list of travels. We went to Tennessee to visit Grandma and Grandpa, Great-Grandma Shoestring, and see Aunt Angie get married. He also met his Great-Aunt Kate and his second-cousin (always unsure about these things) Gary, as well as his regular cousins Jon, Josh and Jacob. Later in the month we flew up to NJ/NY where he met Great-Grandma Gladys-Claire, and his Great-Uncle Alan and Great-Aunt Kathy. But that will be a post for another time.

We will visit the doc in another week so we will get to see his stats at that time, but I am sure this boy is at least 14 pounds. He seems rather large to me, not petite like the girls. I keep waiting for his weight to drop off, but that has not happened yet. We shall see.

Everyone LOVES True. He loves to smile at anyone who makes eye contact with him. It is super sweet and makes everyone who meets him happy. I mean how can you resist a sweet baby smiling at you? He seems very social, loves to talk and chatter and laugh and smile. If every baby was like this...yea. =)

True loves both of his big sisters. They are huge helpers and love him back. I am still impressed with the way that the girls can entertain him and calm him down when he is upset. All the siblings are amazing and I am hopeful their relationship will continue.
I included pictures of Hadleigh and Annelise when they were 4 months, I think it is fun to see how much they look like each other. True is the top pic, Annelise is the middle and Hadleigh is the bottom.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting Things Done

If you are a Mama, you might not think there is anything wrong with these pictures. Or maybe you are a Mama and you think there are tons of things wrong with these pics. I took these pictures on a day when I was particularly frustrated. I was mostly frustrated about my inability to get anything done around the house. This is one result of not having the girls in preschool, the house is rarely clean.
I am not a clean freak, but I do like order and I like to be in control of things, namely the house, but I have been trying to trade control for fun with my children. We made a fort in the living room and had a great time roasting marshmallows and looking at the moon and stars, and reading "Winnie the Pooh" while curled up inside the tent.
So, sorting the fall clothes and cleaning the kitchen had to wait for a few days. It was worth it. I realize there are many different kinds of Mamas that love and care for their children in many different ways. Some Mamas care for their families with an immaculate house, some Mamas care for their families by taking them on fun outings, or making incredible food, etc. It has been fun for me to discover different ways to care for my family, and to find contentment in sometimes being out of control.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun with Friends

Since we have kept the girls out of school this year we have been having fun chillin' with some of our friends who aren't doing the school thing this year either. This has been great fun for us, because we adore hanging out with Andrew and Elsbeth and of course Andrew and Elsbeth's Mama. Here are some pictures of our recent adventures.

Annelise and Els kickin' with the gorillas at the zoo
the carousel

Below is a picture of Andrew and Hadleigh making slime. We did this on "S" day. We colored pictures of snails, school buses and snakes and played with slime! One of our other favorite days was when we read "Scrambled Eggs Super Duper" and then made scrambles eggs for lunch. HC still talks about that!

It is nice to be getting into a routine of days and it is fun to be able to spend time with the some special friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I have never been a big fan of cereal. Growing up I would always eat either Cheerios (regular, plain Cheerios) or oatmeal (hold the brown sugar please). Mom always said I was a healthy eater, I'm not so sure about that, but I was never big on sweets at least. No chocolate or candy for me. I always passed on the soda and hated pizza (I actually tolerate pizza these days, but would never choose on my own to eat it).

Dave is not a big cereal eater, he likes protein- eggs and bacon (turkey) or yogurt and granola. Occasionally he will buy a box of Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes. For the last several years I have made homemade granola bars which are super yum and fairly easy to make. I always make a HUGE batch and freeze a bunch for the girls, and I love that I can choose what is in them...raisins, dried fruit, peanut butter chips...yum!

Lately I have been thinking about trying to make my own granola and I have been searching high and low for a recipe. Most of the recipes calls for a pound of butter, 5 cups of maple syrup, a quart of oil and some brown sugar to top it off. How in the world can this be good for you? But I finally found a recipe that is perfect. I can add what I want to it, and it doesn't have a bunch of sugar and a bunch of butter. I have made this several times and it is a winner. Click on the title of this post and you will be taken to the recipe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Picture Fun

Our good bud, Jessica and her crew came up to visit and take some family pictures for us a couple weeks ago. I think this is the 6th time she has used her crazy skills to bless our fam, and she did great again!

Since I could not find a babysitter for her two kiddos we decided to skip Stone Mountain and take the shots right here at home. I was thinking outside would be perfect, but Jess transformed out living room into coolness, and we had a great time sitting around and reading to our girls, which is what we do a lot of the time anyway.

It was all super fun and I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the pictures and choose some for our walls and some for Christmas cards. And for all you folks that contine to comment on her GREAT work to me, give her a buzz so you can have your own fab family pictures taken!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Staying Home

This fall our family took the plunge, we raged against the system (not really) and decided to keep all the children home. It was a bizarre decision, I must admit. I have never had an issue with preschool, go or don't go, I really don't care. Hadleigh Claire started attending one day a week when she was 18 months old. I had not realized preschool started this early, but it was a great option for us at the time (since I was about to have my hands full with the birth of my Annelise). The next two years HC attended two days a week, and last year Annelise attended one day. It was awesome. I enjoyed it.

I loved the school they attended, it was small and intimate (last year HC had 4 other kids in her class and there were 5 kids in Annelise's class. The girls enjoyed it too. And they were going with their friends as many of the kiddos in their classes attended Intown. But this past winter when I realized there was only one option for HC as a 4-year old/pre-K, I began to question my decision to send her to preschool.

Dave and I wrestled with the decision all spring because it is really hard to make a decision from 8 months out which is what you have to do when you register your kids in February for something that will begin in September. In any case by the time summer hit I had pretty much decided to keep the girls home with me this year...we just had to wait until True was born to make our final decision.

I have had many mixed reviews over our decision which amuses me. Keeping the girls home has been the right decision for our family, and I totally understand it might not be right for everyone. We have a "unique" situation it seems. Dave gets home from work by 5, and has Fridays off. He is a super Dada and I have a lot of help from him. If he had a different work situation I might have made a different decision.

Even my pediatrician commented the other day, "Wow, so you don't get a break!" It kinda made me laugh, why are we all so focused on getting a it is the ultimate reality. I mean getting a break is a great thing, and a fun luxury, but not always necessary. And for this year we have decided keeping all the kiddos home is more important than getting a break.

Folks also assume that either I am planning on eventually homeschooling the children, or that I am currently homeschooling for preschool. No and no. I was homeschooled, God love my mother, I have NO idea how she put up with me all those years...ugh...and I have sworn ever since that I would rather die than homeschool my children. While I am not so sure I necessarily feel that same way these days, I do not necessarily plan to homeschool my children. I will not rule it out, but I am not die hard for it. And the thought of homeschooling my preschooler makes me giggle. Why would I do that? One of the main reasons I did not send HC to preschool was because I did not think she needed such school-like structure at such a young age...there is plenty of time for that later.

The other thing people have mentioned is that I should send HC for the socialization. I am still trying to determine what I think about that. I am not sure why we all think this is so important. I mean there are all sorts of weird people out there...some of them were homeschooled and some of them went to preschool. So...I am not sure why we think socialization can only happen in school.

All that to say, we are staying home and loving it. We are reading a TON of books which is SO fun for me. I ordered a bunch of books this summer, books about weather and nature and science, books with folk tales from around the world, and fun books like Dr. Doolittle. We have gone to the zoo, and to the library, and on walks, and we have just enjoyed staying home and doing laundry.

I love it, and now I must run and read to my little girl.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True is 2 Months

Poor little True, I don't know that I will be able to always take the time to write about his monthly happenings. We'll see if I can get back in the habit.

He just had his 2 month check-up and weighed 11 pounds, 8 ounces and was 23.5 inches long. This puts him at 50% for both height and weight. He actually gained almost 2 pounds since his 1 month appointment, which is great news with all the nursing insanity. My doc asked if I was making buttermilk. I figure this is how it always seems to go with my babies, they get big fast and then they get little fast. If he follows suit with Hadleigh and Annelise he will be down to 5% by his 6 month check-up. We'll see how it goes, but for now he is long and lean.

He IS the sweetest thing ever. He is full of smiles and giggles and it is truly a joy to be around him. If you look at him in the eye he will give you a smile, no matter who you are. He is sleeping fairly well. During the day he is happy to take naps in the swing, in his crib, or car seat or infant carrier. Yesterday he slept in his crib from 11.30 until 2.30, which is fabulous and something he does often. At night he generally stretches from 4-6 hours. Last night he slept from 6-12 and then woke up at 4 to be fed and then at 7 for the day. I am hoping those stretches will continue to lengthen, but at least he is eating and going right back to sleep. And of course if he WAS sleeping all the way through the night he would have to go down in the books as the best baby ever, so I'm just happy with our situation at present.
I'll have to get some more pictures of him up soon. I love you True, and am so thankful that you are in our family!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Recent Pictures

Here are some pictures that Dave has taken over the last several weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010


It's about time I tell my crazy story while it is still a bit fresh in my mind. I do feel like the last bit of pregnancy can be the hardest, especially when you are waiting on the baby. While Hadleigh came a day before her due date, we had expected her to come earlier. I had a stress test done 2 weeks before she was due because there was some concern about how she would due during labor. At that point my doc told me to pack my bag, come to the hospital and expect to leave with a baby. Well, everything went fine with the stress test and HC decided not to come at that point, but every thing was ready, so it was really difficult to wait after that.

Annelise dropped at 35 weeks, and my midwife really thought that she would be coming early, so again every thing was ready...and then she did not show up until 10 days after her due date. It is really stressful to wait for a baby, especially when you have other little ones to worry about and family does not live in the area. I do understand why some folks opt for inducing, though I'm thankful I have not had to resort to that.

After those two experiences I was determined to stay tough mentally while I waited for True to make his appearance. I kept telling myself that the last weeks of prego (especially week 40 and 41) are like going through labor without an epidural...if you can't hang in their mentally you are through. When you are in labor you don't know how long it will be, and how much harder it may or may not get, so if you don't have a good mental game it is over.

All that said I was trying not to worry about when True was coming. I had prepared as best as I could for him to be late. I concentrated on being with my girls and spending as much time with them as possible, taking them to the pool and reading to them, etc. I knew once True came into the picture those things would be over for a time. All that mental talk really helped me get through the last 6 weeks of being prego, which let me tell you was misery in some ways.

I never thought being prego in the summer was an issue, and I figured that because I was due mid-July I would miss the most unbearable month of the summer which is generally August. That was not so this year. June busted onto the scene with triple digit temperatures, ridiculous humidity and heat warnings (too hot to be outside). And those temps lasted basically all summer long. This past week I went outside really for the first time since May. It was unbearable! And I was so swollen it was ridiculous. Dave's mom came down for a couple weeks while I was still prego to help out, and one night while we were sitting around Dave thought he should rub the pressure point in my foot that can start labor. Apparently it is just above the ankle, only problem was we could not find my ankle. We were all in hysterics.

On July 15, True's due date, I woke up at 4am with some contractions 20 minutes apart. They felt like the real thing, but you never know, so I just tried to sleep and rest and not think about it too much. By 6 the contractions were starting to come every 10 minutes, so we felt more confident that things were looking good for a birth that day, or the next. Dave's mom was still with us, so Dave went on to work while I waited to see how things were going to progress. I got the girls up and we started the day. After Dave called me at 9 to see how I was doing, and my contractions were 7 minutes apart he decided to come on home, and I thought I should tell Dave's mom that I was in labor and give a call to my friends Bif and Kris who were going to keep the girls while I was in the hospital (because Dave's mom was leaving that day).

Things continued on, my contractions were irregular, which is normal for me, but it makes it hard to know how things are progressing. My contractions were hard and would go from 7 minutes apart to 6 to 5 to 4, 4, 4, and then jump to 15, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 4. I didn't know what to do with it all except to stay calm and wait.

It was still this way around 1.30 and my plan was to give a call to my midwife around 4, if it was continuing as it was and see what she thought. But Dave finally convinced me to call, and I spoke to my midwife's nurse who told me to go on the hospital. Now, my labor with Annelise was 16+ hours and 10 of them were spent at the hospital, so I really did not want to do that again if possible. So when I told the nurse she just suggested that I come into the office to get checked and see what was going on.

Dave and I sped down to the office and I was anticipating a massive contraction in the lobby, but managed to wait until my nurse had taken me back. I was hooked up to be monitored and my first contraction was to the top of the machine...nice. I was glad to be in real hard labor, and to hear that I was 5 cm dilated. They sent me on to the hospital and we were at the check-in desk at 4.

My contractions were hard, but I was still able to handle them without too much problem, and I was laughing and smiling and joking. All the nurses thought I was crazy, but I don't know how else you should be while in labor. I got all hooked up and received my crazy anti-biotics for group beta strep, and was walking around the room again at 5. By this time things started getting harder, I was sitting on the birthing ball, but it was not helping because the baby felt really low. My midwife came in and gave me a couple more suggestions about positions that might help, so I tried those. In my brain I was expecting to labor until around midnight, so I was trying to stay mentally tough, but the contractions were coming quickly and were really hard. I finally decided that I wanted to lay down in bed on my left side (at the suggestion of the midwife), and labor. I was surprised because I do not like laboring in bed, but I was having so much pressure being in bed helped a lot. By then my contractions were right on top of another and I kept looking to Dave (who was holding my hand) asking with my eyes...can I do this? He kept telling me that I was doing great. At some point I knew I needed to push so I let the midwife know. At some point around here they broke my water and then I pushed through 3 contractions and True arrived! Dave was able to help deliver him, so now he must be a pro since this was his third time catching a baby. All I have to say is- ring of fire...dude...that is by far one of the worst parts about a natural birth. I would not be sad if I never have to experience that part again, but all in all I only pushed a short time, so I did not have to endure the fire for long. But come on all you ladies who have had a baby without an epidural should know exactly what I am talking about. Whoa!

True was 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long. He looked great from the beginning. And let me tell you, recovering from his birth was by far the easiest because I did not need one single stitch. I don't know how I managed that since he was my biggest baby. And I'm certainly glad he came when he did, because I would not have wanted to try to get anything bigger out of me. All in all I was very pleased with how things went.

Of course after having a breeze of a time with labor and delivery I was bound to have something go wrong. I had no idea it would be with nursing. He seemed to be latching like a pro from the beginning, so things were looking great, but then my milk came in and that is where things went downhill. Let's just say my boobs are in when I told my mom the size bra I had to get she laughed out loud in unbelief. It was only funny for a day because I became so engorged I was crying a lot. I could not move without being in pain. I could not lift my hands above my head, I could not move my arms, let alone nurse without being in extreme pain. And nursing was horrible. I did not have enough hands to do everything I needed to do while nursing. And now I know the truth is it is harder to nurse with big boobs. I was on the brink of quitting because I knew if things continued as they did I would not be able to nurse in public, and I have two other children, so I feel like I HAVE to be able to nurse while I'm out and about, coming home every 3 hours is just not an option for me.

I decided to give it another week and see how things were going. At week 2 things were beginning to look up, still a lot of pain, but I could see it was getting better, so I decided to give it another week. This is where things took a turn. All of a sudden the pain got really bad. I had to stop nursing on my right side completely and just pumped because it was so painful. I called the lactation consultant who told me it was a latch problem and to try a different nursing position. I assured her again and again that it wasn't a latch problem, but that was about as much help as I received. After reading a couple of books I decided I had a yeast infection and asked Dave to bring me home some nystatin, and I decided I was giving up. 24 hours after I decided to give up nursing I got a call from a friend. Thank the Lord I had met Laurie at church a couple months before True was born. She is a post-partum nurse and when I mentioned I was having trouble nursing she offered some help. She came over and after I explained everything that was happening and after she watch me nurse True she assured me it was not a latch problem (hello I have nursed 2 other babies I know what a good latch is), and agreed that it was a yeast infection. So I started on my second prescription. I was still unable to nurse out of my right side, and my milk had drastically dwindled, but Laurie thought if I could nip the infection (which takes about 2 weeks) I might be able to get my supply back up again. All this time I had been supplementing with formula when I could not nurse.

A few days later I had my post partum appt with my midwife, and she gave me a third prescription because I also had a cyst from pumping too much/too hard/probably with a wrong size pump (since as I mentioned before my boobs were/are HUGE). I was prett skeptical about how every thing was going to play out at this point. My mom was still around during all this, so I was able to spend lots of time feeding and pumping, but I knew once she left I could not continue. By week 4 I felt well enough to begin nursing from both sides. I had no idea what was going to happen, by about the 5th day of nursing I began to feel my milk let down on my right side and I stopped supplementing with formula.

I feel all of this has been an insane adventure that I NEVER want to live through again. I am still having some pain because of my cyst/bruise which is still healing up, but it nothing compared to the pain I was experiencing. I am so thankful to my wonderful friend Laurie who gave me such wonderful advice and really listened to me. I am thankful and fell it was very providential that I had help in the form of Dave, Dave's mom, and my mom during these first few weeks because if I had been on my own, I never would have been able to continue. And I am also thankful for my other wonderful friends who knew about what was happening and who were praying for me. The Lord was gracious to me during this time and helped me to persevere through it all. AND I will NEVER ever judge anyone who can't/doesn't want to nurse. I don't think I ever did to begin with (am not a real die hard nurser to begin with), but if I ever had the thought I won't do it now. It was very merciful of God to let my milk come back and a blessing I had not expected and was afraid to hope for.

For now things are mostly normal and without drama, and we are thankful to be together and in better spirits all around. And if you ever have a nursing issue, feel free to give me a call.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life with Three

I am obviously a bit busier with three kiddos since I have not updated my blog in a while, although it seems that the blog has suffered quite a bit this year. Maybe I have less and less to say...or not. =) If I had the time I would post several things today, but I do not think that is going to happen because in 30 minutes I will need to feed True, and I abhor typing with one is so slow.

So, life with three, and life with True. True is a sweet and smiley baby. Believe it or not...and I have a video to prove it, so that probably means you need to believe it, True began smiling at us when he was one week old. I know, you think I am just a doting mother, but seriously this is my third baby and it was not a gassy smile. So it seems that the Lord blessed us with a sweet, sweet baby and we are forever grateful. He is very alert and loves talking to the girls, who absolutely ADORE him. He enjoys looking around, and sleeping in our arms, and also sleeping in his bed. He enjoys eating every 3 hours and now enjoys going right back to sleep after eating (during the night). He rarely cries, except for one night after I ate curry...woops! And usually he stops crying as soon as you pick him up. So sweet! He loves the swing...thank you to Christy for letting me borrow hers!

The major bump in the road with True's arrival has actually been on my end, a series of insane issues related to nursing. That might be a story that I write about when I blog my labor story...the update is, thanks to numerous prayers, a wonderful friend who is a post-partum nurse, and because we had a lot of family help from our moms, I am still nursing and it is going much better.

As I mentioned the girls ADORE True. Their initial reaction to him ran just as I should have expected given their personalities. Annelise came running in the house, right up to him, touched his head and said, "hello little one!" SO SWEET! Hadleigh quietly came in and observed him for a while. She wanted to be near him, but she did not want to touch him. After a couple days she was holding him and feeding him from the bottle, all anxieties gone.

Because I do not have a 20 month old this time around this transition has been a LOT easier. The girls easily entertain themselves for hours on end. They have not shown signs of jealousy, just signs of normal transitions. They are super helpful and will go and are happy to help in any way possible. They hate it when I change a diaper without them (have to check out his poop), and are eager to bring me things, throw away things, talk to True if he is fussy, give him his "chewy" (pacifier) or blanket, or animal, or anything that might make him feel better.

Today I was feeding True while reading to HC during her rest time. When I finished she sat and talked to True, and popped his chewy in his mouth a number of times until he fell asleep...and all the while I was taking a little snooze myself. Whenever he smiles at her, HC exclaims, "True loves me!" The other day I overheard HC talking to True, "I can't wait until you grow up so I can play with you. Then I will share all of my toys with you!" And honestly I believe she really will.

The first week home Dave's mom came to help which was wonderful, and then Dave stayed home for a week and finally my mom came for two weeks. I am now in the second full week of being on my own and we are all surviving. I have ventured out on my own for groceries, for haircuts (for the girls), and today we even went to the pool. We are still getting meals from all of our wonderful friends, so I don't have to worry about that, but we have even managed to keep our house fairly straightened. These are all blessings, I don't know if they will last, but for now it is good.

We are all looking forward to fall, when hopefully it will not be 100 degrees and ridiculously humid. I can't wait to spend some time outside because I feel like I haven't been outside since May. And as we hit September we are getting into more of a routine and pattern of life. I love having a routine that I can count on and also deviate from when I feel like it. I hope to be able to blog a little more...maybe with a post about Labor and maybe with a post about School...we'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Welcome True Schaeffer

As a surprise to us all, this past Thursday, July 15, I woke up in labor. It was only a surprise because July 15 was my due date and I mean seriously, what baby arrives on their due date?
I'll have time later to chronicle my labor and delivery, which I think was my best to date, but until that time we wanted to officially welcome our newest addition to the fam, True Schaeffer. He was 8 lbs. 9 oz. (rather large for being on time in my opinion) and 21 3/4 inches long. True is a family name, Dave's great-grandfather (I think it was great-grandfather) was named True, and Dave's middle name is True. I have always loved it. Everytime I found out something cool about Dave (while we were dating), I would always exclaim, "and his middle name is True!" because it seemed he was way too good to be true. Dave really liked the name Schaeffer and the meaning, which is steward. Being a good steward of all that the Lord has entrusted to us from finances, to children has always been a topic of conversation, so it only seems appropriate that we would enjoy that name for one of our children. So there you go, can't say he is named for Frances Schaeffer because I haven't read enough of his books...but I have several on my list this year, so maybe soon I'll claim that one. =)
For now we are a tired, and happy family of 5. If you are interested in comparing pictures of True with our girls, click here for Hadleigh and here for Annelise.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thinking Back, Looking Forward

As I type, the little man is moving around and boxing my tummy. It's sweet, although I could sometimes do without the blows to the bladder! In any case, my time is getting near, or nearer at least. I went over with Annelise, so I'm trying to prepare myself to be prego well past my due date of July 15 (well past as in as long as they will let me go past which I suppose will depend on a lot of things, but here's hoping he'll want to come at least somewhere near July 15).

We have had some road blocks to my wonderful summer plans. The first was that I began to have some bad contractions at the beginning of June. Not death contractions, but bad enough that I was monitored and checked a few times and ultimately told to chill out, put my feet up, and take some non-contraction meds until I hit 36 weeks. So glad that is over, but that jumped in on my ideas of hitting the zoo and other fun things with the girls. The second thing that has happened is we have had August in June. I don't know what is going on, but the temps have ben pushing 100 for the last 2 weeks and that spells misery for a prego. So, inside we will continue to stay until we start getting our 80 degree June weather. This has also caused (or I don't really know what has caused this, maybe just being prego in general) a lot of swelling in my feet and hands. Ugh! My bp is still great as always, 90/60, but I can no longer wear my rings and only my fli flops fit my feet (some of the time). Swelling actually hurts! My legs just ache with the pressure from the water. Oi!

But this isn't what I wanted to write about at all, so let's get more to some thoughts I've had lately. I'm excited and a bit scared to add this baby to our fam. I'm ultimately scared to be a mom. I hate the idea of possibly having 3 children meltdown in Target. YIKES! Tell me that is not terrifying. I feel nervous about what else I will not be able to get done. I've so enjoyed some freedom this last year with cooking and cleaning and I've enjoyed it and I hate for that to be put on the back burner, though of course it will because we can always eat pb for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I'm also nervous to see what kind of baby the little man is. Annelise was a very difficult baby, and of course these days she makes up for it with her sweet and sassy personality, but really cannot understand it unless you lived through it or watched us live through it. Both my mom and Dave's mom saw her in close action...and yea...their general comment is, was hard.

One of the gals in my small group reminded me the other day about a time when she went to the grocery, overheard a baby screaming, and then overheard a couple workers talking about the baby screaming (speaking ill of my parenting, of course...if I would only just feed her, or put her to sleep...if only), and was sure they must be talking about me. So sure enough after wandering in the direction of the cries she found me and HC and Annelise trying to shop. I just cringed when I heard that story because it brought back so many memories. After so long of just staying at the house there comes a time when you must venture out with the kids...crying or not. So I would always say, here we are screaming through the grocery, screaming through the mall, screaming through the nieghborhood...and when people would make comments (which they ALWAYS did) I would correct them and say, actually she is just angry...ALL THE TIME.

So, obviously I'm nervous about this one.

At the same time, I feel really good about where we are as a fam. The girls are at such a great place. They will play together for hours on end, and it so fab...well worth having them so close together. I love hearing their little voices as they zoom their cars, or cook something in the kitchen, or play with their doll house. They are learning to share and take turns and give and take and lead and follow one another, and I LOVE that. It is SO fabulous. And they will sing while they play and it is the sweetest thing ever. I think that will be a great help to me while I deal with the baby.

They love to help me and at least at this point in time are super excited about the baby coming. They talk about reading to him and tickling his feet and singing him songs. And they also talk about him crying a LOT (because that is what babies do). SO when I think about these things I get excited about having another little one around.

It will all be an adjustment, but we'll all have to work out the transition together...just an adventure for our little fam to tackle together.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ultimate Vaca

This winter we were trying to determine WHEN we would like to go on vacation, and WHERE we would like to go on vacation this year. It was a bit of a difficult situation. Do we go pre or post baby? And if we go pre-baby should we go big (as in fly somewhere and rent a car...while we still can fit in an economy size) or stick closer to home. And then of course there is the question, beach or mountains?
Come on who would not want to spend a week here?

We ultimately decided on the mountains (shocker...not really we will likely always choose mountains over beach), pre-baby, close to home. And then the search began. I knew exactly what I wanted, it just took me a while to find the right house, but I did! We rented a little house on a lake, in the mountains of North Carolina. Glorious! I wanted something with a big flat yard that was RIGHT ON the lake. Oh yea, and it couldn't cost a million bucks a week. =) But I'm so glad I snatched this gem up while I had the chance.

trip to the trout farm HC caught a 4 lb. trout and Annelise caught a 3.5 lb. trout
We learned while living in Europe that there is a HUGE difference between a trip, and a vacation. Like if you are living in the states and travel to Europe on "vacation", it is not a vacation, it is a trip. So while we were living over there we went on lots of trips, and a few real vacations (like our all-inclusive Turkish Resort...ahhh).

sweet hike up to the falls

Our time in NC was a real vacation. We were in the middle of NO WHERE. I mean, literally, no where. And it was gorgeous, the views of the mountains and the lake were awesome. We played outside with balls and horseshoes. We laid around in the hammock. We took rides in the canoe and pontoon boat. We did a huge 1,000 piece puzzle. I taught HC backgammon. Dave went fishing everyday, and yumm-o those fish tasted awesome! We hiked up to a waterfall one day, and one day we took the girls to a trout farm and let them catch some HUGE trout. It was so quiet and restful, and I loved just being with my family, we have a LOT of fun together. I could envision us going back again and again to this place, which was a fun feeling.

the girls ready to go out for an early morning canoe ride
We ended the trip by heading to Knoxvegas for Dave's nephew's high school graduation...yea Josh! And then back to the ATL.