Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby # 4

Goran pointed out the other day that I will have to change the title of my blog :) Yes, the rumors are true, baby # 4! I am about 19 weeks, and a bit in disbelieve!! I have wanted a big family for along time, and its just happened....and so hard to believe that is about 5 months, 5 will become 6!!!

This wasn't a surprize or a ops. None of our children have been a surprize. We have been blessed, and smiled upon from up above. It seems every time we talk about 'another one' we are pregnant shortly. We've had our hurts, as we have lost a few early on in the game. Its painful, and disappointing, and I am angry at my body for failing me. But life does go on, and there has always been a health pregnancy shorty after.

It doesn't matter how many pregnancy's I have, the whole thing seem so miraculous to me. I read weekly how my baby is growing and developing, how my body is changing to make room and nourish the new life I'm carrying. My body is even preparing to care for my baby once its born! I understand that at this point the baby can hear, and is becoming more aware of the noises out here! (I just asked Kristyn yesterday if baby could hear) I can feel baby moving more and more. She/he is a busy little one. Last night as Goran and I were laying in bed I felt baby moving, and felt a fairly strong kick (remember baby is only 7 ounces). I quickly put
Goran's hand on my tummy. "Wow!" he said. Its always so special to me when he feels our baby moving for the first time. With Bryan I was 24 weeks before he felt anything, so this seems so early.

Me and the little ones went to see my midwife today. I have a new midwife as Sylvia is out of country. So we have Sarah, and she is great! I have been discussing with Goran having an unassisted birth and he is not totally comfortable with it, but he would do it if I really wanted. The reasons I want to go unassisted are just preference, and wanting to be able to feel uninhibited. Don't get me wrong, my birth with Bryan was great, but I remember feeling annoyed by things. Strangers in the room (my back up ended up being someone I had never met) whispering, and those annoying rubber gloves. I mean, I know if I had said something those things would have stopped, but that is really the last thing on a laboring mothers mind. Its just there, bugging you....Anyways we discussed my preference of having midwives in the house but not necessarily in the room. We discussed the monitoring that they have to do by standard, which seems reasonable, but in the most part, she is willing to work with me, so that I am happy in the end. I'm happy about this. Its good to know that if I need them, for hemorrhaging, or baby resuscitating they are there, but otherwise they will let me be.

So here are some pics Angelina took during the apt today.

1. My blood pressure

2. Talking with Sarah

3. Listening to baby #4

4. Bryan listening and resting on my belly(seems to be a fetish of

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have forgotten how enjoyable life with just 3 children can be! Its busy, but not a busy as 7. And these are all mine! I have the week off from work. We have no real agenda, and nothing that can't wait until 'tomorrow'. We stay in our PJ's to long, and leave the breakfast dishes until 1/2 hour before hubby gets home :) Its fantastic! I wonder how long it would be before I go board. I think I would. I would miss my crew coming in the door. The cries of "Hi Kathryn!" and hugs. The stories throughout the day, and watching them all play with my own.

But in the mean time I am enjoying the week. I like having the time to watch my youngest one get off his chair at the table and go get a Kleenex, because he knows his nose is yuck. Or sit and craft with my girls. Really watch their creations come to life. I like laying in bed waiting to feel the newest member of the family kick and squirm, saying a little hello. I have energy at the end of the day to make a real supper and set the dining room table! (Hubby was ecstatic last night!) I have the patience to have the children help set the table to 'teach' them. Yes I am enjoying my week.

For now I am off to Kristyn's. We will enjoy good company, and eat to much, and the children will be happy to have some other children to play with.

Oh the lucky life of the 'Stay at Home Mom!'

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Pics

Its been to long, but I have my own computer and I easily now how to down load pics now!!

A few family Christmas photos

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Almsot 2 Months!!

Wow, that weekend went by so fast....and I still don't know how to do the picture thing without my camera program. O h well, posting anyways.

Merry belated Christmas! Or I guess happy boxing day! Its been a great season. It has been fun to watch the kids anticipation grow with each day that gets closer to Christmas. Ofcourse I have been trying to hard to teach them the reason for Christmas. The birth of 'Baby Jesus'. I have read books with them, and asked questions. They answer eagerly, wanting to know more. Sometimes they ask questions and I answer them gratefully that they are curious and want to know more. We went a saw Christmas lights all done up at a near by park Christmas Eve. There was a lovely display of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus in the stable, surrounded by shepherds. It was nice for them to see, make it more real for them.

Christmas morning Angelina was up at 4:00am. I told her to go back to bed:) Again at 7:00am. Ok, we could deal with that. The energy in the room was contagouse! The joy, the fun, the laughter. After all was said and done I sat down beside by hubby and kissed him, thanking him for being with me and making this beautiful family. This is Christmas. Spending the time together and being together.

More later, I am battling a terrible cold.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Don't Know How to Download Pics

Ok, a bit stupid I agree, but we have this fancy picture program and I don't know how to download pics. I wanted to download some from our fabulous trip to Great Wolf Lodge, and Angelina's first day of grade 1, of the house we are going to buy, all the renos we are busy with here, and of my once again growing belly:). So at first I was just procrasitnating writing and figuring it all out, but once I became pregnant again, and as the weeks have gone by, and we've told people the exciting news, my fingers are itching to click away on the keyboard and documet my life agian. So I will make Goran show me this weekend, and get documenting again. I will update everyone on the past few months, and write more day to day stuff :).

As we move on with life, it changes, yet daily stays the same. I want to remember this time when my kids are small. It goes by so fast everyone says....

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Tomorrow we will set off on our first vacation as a family. No, not camping. Real beds, and showers, and all you can eat. Water park galore, crafts for the kids and bedtime stories!! Its close to the falls so we can skip out for a bit and educate the children. :)

We've had this planned for over a month. I am excited. The kids are excited, and I even think Goran is a bit...although I had to coerce him in to it!

I've done some shopping. The kids have got new bathing suits, and PJ's and have bought a few new things for myself. Today we are going to bring Duke over to my moms so she can care for him while we are away. We are preparing...its getting close...I can't wait!!

Tomorrow this time I will be a bundle of excited nerves!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pay the Price

Today is the day. As much as I say I'm not connected, or this is not about me, it still involves me. People I care about. They are in my thoughts today. I wonder how they are, and what they are feeling. I wish I could do more.

I think of the person who this all revolves around. He will begin his 'new' life today. I know what awaits him. He heart cringes to think of it. My head swims with dread and disgust. I try with all my might to block it out, but the horrid thoughts and images creep in. But he's made his bed, now he has to lie in it, right?

I have always been so quick to judge others who have been in his situation. "Gets what they deserve!" But somehow, this is different. No not different, just 'connected'. Yes, as much as I and everyone else, hates it, he's done it, and now needs to pay the price.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Where do I start?

2 things make me grateful this morning.
  1. This is a hard week for family and friends. Those who know the details know why. Those who don't, I'm sorry, but it is something I am embarrassed and ashamed of, and don't want devolve into details. Although is doesn't involve me directly, people have a tendency to judge and draw conclusions. It hurts, and it is raw. For me, yes. It has changed my perception of the world and people. It has changed the way I function, think, who I trust, and how I live. For the people who are directly involved, it has turned their worlds upside down. They have accepted and adapted, and humbly allowed God to hold them through it. Because that is all they can do right now. Hold on. But each day they get up, smile, and do what the day demands of them. They are grateful and thankful for what they have and the good this year has offered them. They are not angry or bitter as I would be. These people are some on the most amazing people I know! I am grateful to have them in my life. They have forced me to question myself, my values, and therefore grow as a person. Sometimes this is hard. It has been for me.
  2. I stumbled across another blog awhile ago that I read when it's updated. ( followed a link to another website today....a family who's small son, 5, is battling a brain tumor. I cried sitting in my chair staring at the screen, reading more and more details, and hurting more and more for this family. The pain they have endured for the last year, the decisions they have had to make, and may yet have to make...and yet this young mom, not to terribly unlike myself, is able to smile and find happiness.
So I am grateful for what I have today.
  1. For my family, strong and healthy
  2. Family and friends who I can call on
  3. For a husband who luvs me
  4. Children I adore
  5. A house that keeps me dry, that we own!
  6. The joy of working
  7. The freedom to work
  8. The option to work or not
  9. Parents who raised me strong
  10. My sons strong willness
  11. My youngest daughters independence
  12. My oldest daughters creativity
  13. My perdictable routine through out the day
  14. The food we eat
  15. My body, strong, that can turn that food into fuel and keep me healthy
  16. For the little friends that keep my children busy through out the day
  17. The ability to cook for my daycare and family
  18. For the outdoors that we will go and run and play in and burn off steam
  19. For the tears that teach lessons, and make joy sweeter
  20. For the wildest times that bring the quietest naps :)
  21. For meetings with support to look forward to
  22. For the husband that stays home with the wee ones and does the dishes
  23. For cool nights that let me cuddle up close to loved ones and sleep with a smile on my face
This is just a small start. I will keep a running list in my head. Because really, I have all things to be grateful for and nothing to complain about.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The 5th

It would appear I have the 5th disease. Yes you read that right. Not my kids. No not one of them. Me. After spending time with my little niece who was unbeknown to us contagious, I somehow picked up this unpleasant virus! Not the little people who played with her, hugged her, held hands ect....but myself, who I think, the only body contact I had with her was a hug bye bye on my way out the door.

So 5th disease is fairly unpleasant. It starts with general unwellnes. Kinda fluish without the puking. Then bright red cheeks. Someone told me I must have had to much cheeks were really red. I didn't clue in yet. Then bowel upset. This came after a day of more unwellnes, and feeling quit tired. But it hit my by surprise. I had taken the kidlets to the park. Oh great. Here I sit at the park and I have to go NOW! Thank goodness for those gross little porta potties....which followed with questions like "But Mommy, you told us never to go it there. Why are you going in there?" Which followed by giggles and laughing because mommy went in the yucky gross porta potty. They learn well:) But this part of the illness lasted all evening and well into the next day.

Well the week continued in general unwellnes, extrema tiredness which I could not figure out. (No I am not pregnant!) Headaches and low grade fevers. Tylenol worked for those things.

Funny, I noticed a strange lacy like rash on Thursday, which got worse on Friday, and by Saturday was everywhere. I went to bed and slept for 3 hours in the afternoon. More low grade fever and tiredness. Only when I woke up my joins were hurting. Fingers, ankles, and knees. Odd. Water retention?? I guessed...and drank more water. Didn't seem to help much.

Saturday turned into Sunday. Rash was disappearing, but the joints were hurting more. Hummm, couldn't figure this out. Oh well, groceries had to be got, and kidlets needed lunch. The day went on. More Tylenol did the trick. But not for more upset bowels. Thank goodness this time I was home. But again, this lasted well into the evening.

Then Sunday night I saw a post on facebook that my niece had 5th...'sorry if anyone else gets it'....hummm suddenly this started making sense. The lacy rash, and the red cheeks, low grade all made sense. Research on the Internet even said the joint pain was normal in adults. glad I know what I've got.

And it kinda made sense. I kept thinking to myself that it must be some virus, and a voice in my head kept reminding me of when my girls had 5th disease...

The joint pain was uncomfortable on Monday. I figured I'd call Telehealth for advice on what I can do about it.


The 'trained nurse' freaked out about the joint pain and slight swelling in my fingers.

"You need to go to emerg. now and have blood work done, and see a doctor! Do you have someone who can watch the children? You need to go now!" She was yelling at me.

Oh my goodness! What does she think I have? This must be serious! She's freaking my out! I must be really sick! She's yelling at me. I told her I can't just leave. ( I don't even have a working car at home right now!) She's telling me 'now!'

I finally hung up. Arguing with this women would get me no where. Put kids to bed, call husband, take a deep breath, and call daycare moms and dads.

Long and short of it, 2 hours after waiting in the walk in clinic, doctor concludes I have 5th disease. Not after looking at me like I'm a silly little girl for coming in. "But the nurse yelled at me on the phone and told me to get blood work..."

So yes, I have 5th disease. Sounds more dangerous and scary to say "I have the 5th" to people, but really its a nuisance, and unpleasant. But it should pass in the next 1-2 weeks and then I will be super duper, and I will be that much stronger. Until then, I will continue to feel yucky, and my joints achy. Hopefully, each day gets better and better :)

And hopefully its gone for our vacation to the Great Wolf Lodge next week.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Nudist

My son. Yes, my very small 19 month old son has figured out how take all his clothes off. First it was just this potty thing. When he was sitting on the potty he wanted is undies and bottoms completely off. OK. Then he had to have his socks off and his shoes if he happened to have them on. While he was sitting there one day he figured out how to take his shirt off.

Now, at any given time of the day, he will decide his clothes are to much a bother, and take them off. Then he proceeds to run around naked and laughing. I humored him last night. He ran around the house for an hour. Nude. Not a care in the world. He didn't seem to notice he was naked, and it didn't seem to bother him at all. He played. He sang songs in babyish jitter, and coincidentally used the potty on his own free will a few times.

So it would appear, that for now, my son is a nudist. The cutest nudist I've ever seen :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bye Bye SueSues!

I have been trying to get rid of those gross things for awhile. We had talked about going to "Build a Bear" and putting the suesues inside the bear...but she didn't pick up on that idea. About 2 weeks ago a friend came to visit and we got talking about it. She said she had discussed it with her kids ( a set of twins) first, and then made them look very unappealing. Pointing out that babies had them, and they were smelly, and they made their teeth funny. She said finally they picked a date, circled it on the calender and counted down the days. When the day came she said she ended up getting called into work, and wasn't actually there that evening.....but they stuck to the plan and chucked them anyways. What good kids.

So with all this is my head I sat down to talk to Grace. I told her what a big girl she was and that suesues were for babies. She was nodding and cuddling shyly into my side. A subject she really doesn't like talking about....and she knew where this was headed....I asked her if she would rather put her suesues into a "Build a Bear" or give them to Baby Zachary or put them in the garbage. She quickly answered in a shy quiet voice "Give them to Baby Zachary."

I explained that Baby Zachary was coming next week and this would be a good time to give them to him since he was a baby and suesues are for babies. She was hesitant to agree with me. I talked to her about how I understood this was really hard because she has had her suesues for so long and they helped her go to sleep, and comforted her when she was sad.

She was nodding and looking at me with these very vulnerable eyes.

"But you can do this!" I urged her. "And mommy will be here to help you, and daddy too. Instead of suesues and can think of happy things in bed, or mommy and daddy can lay down with you for a bit to help you settle down. You can do this!" I told her again. (This became a repeated phase over and over again.)

Finally she nodded in agreement. "OK Mama," she half whispered.

So we marked 'Special' days on the calender. One for the day we give the suesues to Baby Zachary, and another one 2 nights later, when we would go to "Build a Bear". She liked the idea of building a bear.

A friend had lent us a book, "Bye Bye Pacifier". We read this over and over. She enjoyed sitting against me and turning the pages. Taking it all in.

We started with no suesues at nap time. The first day she didn't nap. She was on her bed quiet, and then started screamed for the last 20 minutes of nap time. I was having doubts. The second day I reminded her how to fall asleep. Thinking about happy things and maybe singing songs. I insisted she keep her head on the pillow. Lo and behold, she feel asleep!

"Grace? Grace, wake up Hunny...Look, you did it!! Gracie you did it!"

One day turned into two...and the day to give them away grew closer. We counted the days on the calender. As the day grew closer Grace became more and more reluctant to talk about it.

The night before, I reminded her that this was her last night. Yes, she nodded that she understood. I tucked her in one last time with her suesues.

The next day dawned and she passed her suesues over to me before breakfast. I reminded her what would be happening later, when it was time for Baby Zachary to go home.

"I don't want to talk about it," she said.

"I need to know you understand Grace. Tell mommy you understand," I urged her.

"I understand Mama," she mumbled looking down at the table.

My heart was sad. Was she ready for this?

"And what happens in 2 more sleeps Grace?" I asked her

Her face turned to me, glowing, with the biggest grin ever. "We go to 'Build a Bear'."

She was ready.

After nap time we were all sitting around, everyone was waking up and rubbing eyes. I reminded Grace what would happening it a little while when it was time for Baby Zachary to go home. She was leaning against me. She looked up into my eyes and said "I want to do it now."

I just about fell off the chair.

"Are you sure?" I asked, very gently.

She nodded. I looked questioningly at Kristyn. She nodded and shrugged at the same time. I thought for a minute. I tried to put myself in her place. No one was really paying attention, so she could do it quietly and discreetly, and maybe she just wanted to get it over with.

She sucked on each one for a moment and put them all in a baggy. When she was done she went and gave them to Kristyn for Baby Zachary.

And that's been it.

Its been a few days since I started this post. She is doing really well. She has a harder time falling asleep then before, and sometimes I go in and talk to her about things she can think about or songs she can sing. But she isn't sitting on her bed screaming her head off, and she isn't exhausted from it all. And she is falling asleep, and sleeping all night long!

We have gone to 'Build a Bear'! She picked a calico kitty, and luvs it! She carries it around with her, takes the clothes off and then puts them back on, and even lets Angelina play with it a bit.

So I am very happy to say, we are a suesue free house!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finding Your Tribe

Following is an article I read/found in a old 'Mothering' magazine someone gave me. I luved it so much I posted it on facebook, but had to post it here too!

Finding Your Tribe: Feed Your Soul while Feeding Your Kids
By Teresa Pitman

Vicki and I are cleaning out her fridge. The vegetable bins have somehow warped and have to be jiggled out, revealing a slimy green pepper and a distinctly brown head of iceberg lettuce. Laughing at the disgusting items, Vicki holds open the lid of the compost bucket, and I dump in the veggie remains. A minute later my toddler wanders into the kitchen and tugs at my shirt. While I sit cross-legged on the floor and nurse her, Vicki washes out the bins and hands out crackers to her two children and my three year old. Then, with everyone fed and content for a few more minutes, we start on the next shelf of the fridge.

By the end of the day, when our husbands arrive, we'll have cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed all the floors, finished a couple of loads of laundry, and prepared a meal for both families to enjoy. And tomorrow we'll do it all over again at my house.

I'm not exactly sure how Vicki and I first thought of this way of sharing our time. She had worked with my husband, and when she decided to stay home with her first baby, our friendship blossomed. My first child was born soon after, and we both discovered we were incredibly lonely.

The day Vicki brought her daughter home from the hospital she walked into the house and burst into tears. She was terrified by the thought of coping alone with this new baby. I, too, had my own lonely days with my infant son. My husband left for work, taking our only car, before I was even out of bed. The day stretched out endlessly in front of me--changing diapers, washing clothes, cleaning house--with at best the TV or radio as a substitute for adult company. During the cold Canadian winter, even getting outdoors was a challenge.

Vicki and I were spending hours on the phone with each other, but that didn't help. So we hit on this new plan--on one day her husband would drop her off at my house on his way to work. We'd spend the day together, doing housework and caring for our children, and then at the end of the day her husband would come back to our house, and both families would have dinner together. The next day, I'd get dropped off at her house.

The routine continued for several years as our babies grew into toddlers and preschoolers, and then new babies joined our families.

We did not do this every single day, of course, and some days were more productive than others. Sometimes we spent several hours lying together in bed while our babies nursed and older children played on the floor. We talked and sometimes cried. Other days we took the bus to doctors' appointments or to do some shopping.

We discovered that Vicki is a better cook, and I am a better baker. We developed our own categories of housework--I like "wet" work (washing dishes, laundry, washing floors), and she prefers the "dry" variety (vacuuming, sweeping, tidying). We complemented each other. And we always had someone to talk to, laugh with, hold a baby for a bathroom trip, give a hug.

When I read Jean Liedloff's book The Continuum Concept , I realized that we had formed our own, very small tribe. Spending our days together satisfied our need for adult companionship without separation from our babies, and working together made all the chores--even cleaning disgusting stuff out of the bottom of the fridge--more fun.

Eventually our husbands both found work in other communities, and our daily time together came to an end. But I had seen how important this kind of relationship is for me, and I deliberately tried to recreate it with other friends.

Not long after Vicki and her family moved, I was at a church picnic when I saw Lorna for the first time. She and her family had just arrived in our community. Something about the way she held her baby was familiar to me, and I went up and introduced myself.

She, too, was looking for a tribe, as she had recently moved away from her family. Soon my new friend Lorna and I got together every Thursday to bake bread (and sometimes other foods) for our families for the week. She had a bigger house and roomier kitchen, so we generally went there. We split the cost of the ingredients, and as our children played together (by then, I had three children and Lorna had six), we kneaded and shaped the dough. While the bread was rising, we talked and tended to other tasks. I often brought a basket of things that needed mending, so we could work together while we were waiting.

We were there when she miscarried her seventh baby, and she tended to my older children while I was giving birth to my fourth. I still think of Thursday as baking day, even though Lorna now lives hundreds of miles away.

My children are almost grown, but I still work with parents. The theme of loneliness is as strong and prevalent as it was when I sat crying on my bed with my new baby, wondering how I'd cope with no one to talk to. Certainly the desire to overcome isolation is one of the reasons why women return to work; it's a need easily understood by those of us who opt to stay home with our children.

We truly are social animals; we need to be with other people to feel good, whole, and happy. It's worth the effort to create tribes, however small and imperfect they may be.

Often we try to approach this problem by creating playgroups for our children. I think this has to do with our penchant for independence. We try to pretend that we don't need to be around other people, but we acknowledge that our children do. The result is often that the playgroup meets the children's needs, but the adults are still frustrated.

Create Your Own Tribe
In my experience, there are three important components in finding or creating your own tribe (however small) in our very nontribal society.

Spend a good deal of time together. Short visits are simply that--visits. Everyone is on his or her best behavior; there is a sense of one person being the host and the other person being the guest. The relationship is still distant.

I know that when my sister comes to visit with her children, the first day is inevitably awkward. Even when she tries to help out around the house, she doesn't know where to find things, and I feel uncomfortable thinking that I should be the hostess and not imposing on her.

By the second day, though, there is usually a shift. And by the third day we are happily working together and wishing we could live with each other all the time. What seemed hard on day one feels natural and enjoyable by day five.

You need enough time to experience the rhythms of the day. You want to prepare food, eat, and clean up, and then perhaps nap together--adults and babies alike. You need to experience both talking and comfortable silences. It doesn't have to be several days in a row, although I think that helps, but even one day a week will eventually give you that closeness.

If it's true for my sister and I, with our strong family history and connection, I think it is even truer for friends. We are not used to being in tribes, and yet we long for these connections; it is worth persisting until the awkwardness of the early days fades.

Work together. This is one of the big differences between having a playgroup and "being tribal." The purpose is not for the children to be "socialized" or have fun (although both of those things will happen), it is for you and your friend or friends to accomplish some tasks. The satisfaction of completing your work project--even if it is just cleaning the house or preparing a meal together--will strengthen your relationships and help you feel more like a functioning adult.

One friend commented to me that cleaning house with someone seemed "too intimate." I suggested she start with meal preparation. Invite your friend's family over for dinner and then just ask her to chop some vegetables, stir the sauce, or toss the salad. The food will taste better because you prepared it together.

You can do other projects, too, such as the baking day Lorna and I enjoyed. I live near an old-order Mennonite community now, and the women frequently come together to can foods, make quilts, and complete other large projects. In fact, the whole community will gather to build barns and bring in the harvest. Perhaps you and your friend can plant a garden, or you could have a "mending session," or a time when everyone brings unfinished projects--crafts, sewing, knitting, woodworking--to complete as a group.

How do you work with small children around? Other friends who have tried this say it can sometimes turn into one person watching the children while the other one works. This has happened to me, too, especially in the early stages when the children were still getting used to each other and a stranger's house. It also tends to happen with new moms, who take frequent nursing breaks and care for their infants.

But both of these impediments are temporary and improve over time. Slings and backpacks make it easier to work with a baby or toddler. There may be days when you feel as though you have not accomplished much thanks to a fussy baby or an older child who has had a difficult day. When this happens, remind yourself that life isn't about accomplishing as much as possible. It's about being together, working with and supporting each other.

Try not to be too picky. People who actually live in tribes are born into them. And I suspect that if we lived in tribes there would be people who we would get along with easily and those with whom we wouldn't mesh quite as well.

When we are looking for someone to be in our tribe, we are often searching for someone who will agree with us about everything, and we may pass by some wonderful people by doing that. Vicki and I were initially drawn to each other because we were both young, living a long way from our families, and feeling very lonely. That was about it. We had different ideas about many other things. Her first baby was weaned to a bottle at three months, while mine kept nursing for more than two years, for example. In our discussions about parenting, religion, and politics, we always felt free to respectfully disagree.

Respect, I would guess, is the key. It doesn't matter if one of you is a vegetarian and the other eats meat, as long as you can respect each other's choices.

Are there places to draw the line? I think we all have our own limitations. I know that I wouldn't be comfortable spending a lot of time with someone who spanks their children or is frequently angry with them. But I have been able to forge very good relationships with friends who had a different set of rules than I did.

Vicki and I now live several hundred miles apart. I have since divorced, and she's started her own business. Yet our friendship is unshakeable. All of our children feel the same way. One day Vicki's oldest daughter--now in her 20s--showed up at my front door with a friend. When I enthusiastically invited them in, she turned to her friend and said, "See? I told you she'd be happy to see me. I am like part of her family."

Teresa Pitman (44) is a full-time writer and has authored or co-authored ten books. She is the mother of Matthew (23), Lisa (21), Dan (19), and Jeremy (16). Pitman's most recent books are: Pregnancy and Birth: The Best Evidence (with Dr. Joyce Barrett) and Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding (with Dr. Jack Newman).

Why I Do It

I have 3 kids and do home day care. Sometimes people me ask me why. Sometimes I wonder why. One reason is so I'm home with my kids. Another so I'm not paying daycare for 3 kids. Well today was another reason why.

I had a bad night. Goran was late, baby came to bed cranky, and then peed all over me! So the remainder of the night I was wet and cold. I finally dragged my tired peed on body out of bed at 6:30, figuring I wasn't sleeping anyway. I disturbed the baby, so he got up too. I headed to the bathroom for a shower and heard 2 more sets of footsteps behind me. Now I had a crying baby, and 2 preschoolers that I'm sure were not ready to be awake.

The morning passed uneventful, thank goodness. Daycare friends all wondered in the door, one after the other, until the house was full. We did the usual morning things.

We were eating lunch...or I should say, they were eating lunch, and I was running around, refilling soup bowls, passing out egg salad sandwiches, and making sure everyone had milk. Then we heard the sound of a truck on the street. It made all of us stop and listen. It was going much slower then normal, and was quit loud.

I went and peered out the window to see and called out to them, "Its just the street cleaner!" Wrong choose of words.

"Can I see Kathryn? Can I get up and see?!" One little boy shouted out to me. He was climbing off his stool as he spoke.

"Yes, yes, you can all go and see," I replied to the little eager faces that were still sitting and waiting to hear what I had to say.

"Truck, truck!" Bryan was shouting as he was clamoring out of his
high chair.

7 eager little faces, and 14 little hands were pressed against my front window, and door, as the street cleaner went by. They all watched quietly as it 'cleaned' our road. One by one they slowly turned away and headed back to the table.

As I was busy cleaning up and filling the sink, two little 3 year olds still stood, watching the street cleaner round the bend.

"Come on girls," I urged. "Lets go finish lunch."

"Bye bye vacuum cleaner," said one of them as she waved and turned away.

"Yeah, bye bye vacuum cleaner," called the other waving. "See you soon."

That's why I do it. For those moments, when the simplest of things make me smile. I am helping to mold them and become the people they will be. And I can say, everyone of them are great 'little' people already now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Apple Under the Bed

"Mommy, there's a apple under my bed!" Gracie calls to me, running into the room.

"Well, get is out," I reply, a bit puzzled.

"I can't reach it," she starts to choke up and make raspy crying sounds. "I can't reach it Mommy!" More urgently that time.

"OK, I'm coming. Who put it there?"

Crying stops, and she says in a quiet voice, almost a whisper, "Me."

Oh kids.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Moment in Time

Do you have one of those moments? One you wish you could stay in and hang onto for just a little longer. One where no one is talking, eye contact is made, all those happy wonderful feelings are felt, and there is contentment?
I had one of those the end of a long day, full of craziness, anxiety, and waiting. All those feelings were satisfied and put to rest before the moment. A moment I want to share, and put into writing, so I will never forget. Because, as people, sometimes to forget the best of life.

I was laying down with Bryan to help him to sleep. I do that. I lay with him until he falls asleep. Mostly it feels like a chore. One more thing I have to do when I could be sweeping, or dishes, or checking facebook:). But I do it. Because I luv him and I believe its what he needs. I believe it gives him a sense of security and peace. And, because he won't stay in bed until he's asleep. Sometimes it takes a few minute. Sometimes, like last night, it took 40 minutes. (Grrr) Anyways, tonight I was laying with him. I was going over things in my head. The day, and how things had turned out. He was beside me, tossing and turning, talking to himself and playing with the blankets. Settling down I suppose. He was grabbing at my hand, and bonking me in the head with his head. Ouch. It wasn't dark yet and I could see the expression on his face. He was smiling, and there was a twinkle in his eye.

'This is going to be one of those forever nights' I told myself. I rolled over, frustrated and ignored him. Sometimes that works. He continued to talk to himself for a few minutes, but I lay still, hoping. I watched the clock. It was 9:11pm.

'OK, by 9:15,' I think to myself, 'he should be out like a light.' I watched the numbers tick past. He became quiet behind me so I knew slumber was taking over.

9:14 I rolled over to look at him. My moment. He was laying on his back, with the blanket pulled up to his belly, and his head nestled ageist the pillow. The way the pillow lifted his head it nestled his chin ageist his chest. One arm lay across his chest, the other stretched out above his head. As I rolled over I roused him enough for him to lift his heavy eye lids just enough to look at me and see that it was me who had roused him.

I wanted to say something to him. He looked like a little angel. As he saw me, this wonderful, happy, content smile spread across his whole face. His lips curved upwards, his eyes lifted. I mean it when I say his whole face smiled. He reached out his hands for me at the same time and I couldn't resist but to lean over and let him gather me to him and hold my face next to his.

As our heads rested together for the briefest of moments I heard him mumble "Mama," and felt his body relax and his arms let go. I pulled away so I could see his face. I reached my hand out to his face, caressed his cheek once, and tucked the blankets around him. As I did so, he rolled half onto one side, and I saw that smile again. Even in his his sleep he was content, happy, and peaceful. I wanted to stay. I wanted to hold onto that baby/toddler who is growing up to fast before my eyes. But there was no need. I had given him the security he needed, and now he was OK to sleep.

As I left his room on tip toes, I was glad for my 'chore' tonight. I was glad Goran wasn't home to do it, and that I had too. It becomes mundane at times. But, then there are these moments, every now and then that make me happy I do it. I did things different with the girls and feel sorry about that at times, but live and learn, right? Now is the time to learn from it, don't sweet the small stuff so much, and enjoy the years they are young. Because its true, they really do grow up to fast, and you miss it when its done.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pics, Hats, Rainbows, Front Step, Undies, and some Potty Pics

Grace in her rainbow shirt, and Snug As A Bug hat
(the shirt came from Australia)

Angelina in her shirt, and hat

Another pic of Grace in her cute shirt

Bryan in his shirt and hat

The new front step from a distance....

.....close up

And the undie pics....I'm sure he'll be mad at me one day for this :)

Look at the belly...and the trucks

Sitting, learning

"Did I do anything?" The early days of potty training

My promised pics. 1,2,3, beautiful babies of mine! Yes I take pride in them. And I thank God for each and everyone daily!

Monday, June 15, 2009

So Many Exciting Things!!

There are so many exciting things happening for my children right now (they are exciting for me too). Really this just means our house is buzzing with new and exciting things!

  1. Bryan is dry at night time! Not only that, but he has been completely dry for the last 3 days in row! I am shocked. He had a terrible day last Friday. Peeing every time I turned around. I was just about ready to put him diapers. Honest. But Saturday came, and dryness came with it. I talk to him about it. Sometimes I remind him to save the pee pee for the potty, or sometimes I ask him and he says yes and then I take him. Sometimes I say "2 more minutes Bryan and it will be time to go potty," and then in 2 minutes its not a fight or argument, and when I put him on, he goes. Its been nice. Its good to have that level of communication and understanding between us. Even if I'm the one doing all the talking :)
  2. Grace has a mild mosquito allergy. She swells up (like a golf ball size swell)and itches like crazy. Usually by the next day. Its not every bite she gets, just certain ones. I have pics of her last year. Poor thing. I am watching carefully, and I will talk to the Dr. when I see him in July.
    In the mean time I am giving her Benadryl when she reacts, and I am going to do some research about what I can put on her (natural) to keep those pesky bugs away.
  3. Angelina had her first field trip. It was the year end school trip, and they took them to 'Kidtastic'(an indoor playground). She didn't say to much about it other then that it was fun. Oh, and on the bus on the way there Chris's mom killed a fly. LOL So school is winding down and she is looking forward to grade 1 next year!
  4. We have a new front step. Goran worked hard for the last week to build a good sturdy frame, and placed some patio stones inside them. Its looks fantastic. He even finished it off with a flower bed to the side, and a brand new bush in it! We have called and arranged for a new driveway, and are waiting for that, so we can say the front of the house is finished. One day at a time....
As for pics, I have struggled with this computer (grrrr) trying to figure it out for the last 1/2 hour...and have hence decided to wait for tomorrow when my husband can help me out. I have pics our Bryan in his fancy undies, pics of the front step, and some pics of the kids in their rainbows and fancy hats from snug as a bug. But until tomorrow...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Where Is My Baby?

It is early but I could see the morning light through my eyelids. It's quiet, not a sound through the house. I lay quiet, my eyes still closed. I can feel my husband behind me. His body is stretched against mine. I reach in front of me for the baby. Nothing. Uh? Suddenly my mind starts to scramble. My eyes fly open, and I push the big beige flower comforter away. I feel for him in the blankets. Not there! Ahhh! My mind is in full panic mood now. Where is he? I flip over and look beside my husband. I am searching with my eyes, and feeling with my hands at the same time. A leg, an arm, anything. I reach down and am feeling below the knees.....wait.....did he come in last night? My fumbling in the blankets stop and I freeze as I am, trying to remember. I don't remember him coming in last night. He usually stands by the bed and cries till I pick him up. That didn't happen last night. I sit up and then fall back on the pillow. He slept through the night. I smile. He slept through the night. The smile slides off my face. Is he OK? mind is wondering to undesirable things. No, I tell myself, he just slept through the night. No big deal, they all do that eventually.

I check the time. 5:45am. I can sleep some more. I close my eyes, ready to sleep. My mind instantly wonders if the little one really is OK. I lay there for a few minutes, wondering, worrying... FORGET IT! I'm checking.

There he is, horizontal in his double bed. Belly down, face turned to one side. Completely uncovered. I lean over him and place my hand on his back. I feel his back move up and down, up and down, as he breaths. He's OK. I cover him up.

Now, I can go back to sleep :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Potty Update for Bryan

I am pleasantly surprised! He is doing really well. He understands holding it, and as long as I tell him, "We are almost there, save the pee pee for the potty," or something similar, he will almost always hold it. He has had a few poop accidents in the last week, but tonight he pooped and then cried and walked around with his legs apart because he didn't like the way it felt. He is often waking up dry! The last 3 morning in a row, and several mornings last week. One night I thought we would try undies. Well he came to bed some time during the night (as he usually does) and I remember waking up feeling wet and yucky. Gross. I was covered in baby pee, and because of that, I was cold. I have been too afraid to try that again. If he wakes up dry for a week straight, I might try again. It seems to be that period of time between 10:00am and lunch that he has a pee accident. Almost every day. Maybe I'm not catching it...or he's avoiding me...I'm not sure. He has done so well in the last 2 weeks, I know he'll figure this out. So now that he can hold it, and wait for me to put him on, I am talking to him, and trying to get him to communicate his need to pee to me. Things like, "Do you need to pee?(if he nods) Oh, you do? Tell mommy, 'Pee pee mommy, pee pee,' Okay, lets go!" I'm not to worried. By this time next year he will have it all figured out, and be able to do it himself!

Now I'm just happy to be almost done diaper for awhile. Until we(I) decide its time for number 4...LOL! But not yet. I just want to enjoy this no diapers for now.

I just have to download my pics of the little man in his undies and I will post some. But right now I have to go change a wet underwear...go figure...LOL..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh Kids!

Whether she understood how guilty and sorry we felt for her, or was responding to the extra attention we were giving her, or she was reacting to the situation itself yesterday, Grace was extra pickley today. She started the day out slapping, screaming, etc. After a brief 'calming down time' (sounds better then time out) in her room, her mood seem to shift and she was OK again. I did speak with her this morning about it. I reminded her of her tools, telling her friends to "STOP IT", or walking away. She nodded and seemed to understand that. She has got to practice that a bit today, and I heard a few time yells of "STOP IT!" (Bryan chimes in after, "Stop it!")

I just worry. I couldn't sleep last night and was awake when Goran came home. I spilled my beans and told him the story. "Aw, poor Grace," he said. I remember being teased and taunted as a child, and he did too. (Here I thought I was the only one.) I don't want Grace to look back and remember it as a painful experience, but something mommy taught her how to deal with. My mom and sisters taught me the "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me," rhyme. That didn't help me, it only egged on my teasers more.

But then I wonder if I'm making way more of this then I should. Maybe, at 3, she didn't really understand it all, and could have cared less. Maybe she won't remember, (likely not at her age) and it will be forgotten and never thought of again. Or maybe it is just one of many childhood incidents that will scar her, and leave her hurting and fearful to trust people....One of those things that will always be there...

The trauma I felt yesterday is over. But the fear is present in my heart. On the bright side, she is playing and laughing and happy today. I must be doing something right.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I witnessed one of the things I fear for my children. How do I stop it? How do I give them the tools to stand up and say "Stop it!"? My heart bled for poor Grace today.

It was the end of the day. We had walked to the park with some daycare friends and were walking them home. We met a few neighborhood children, and the mom of the children I had, on the way. The mom and I were chatting and the children were running up and down the sidewalk playing. As we were talking I could here chatting coming from the children. They were 2-3 houses down the street. I had to stop talking to hear them. "Gracie is a baby, Gracie is a baby..."My heart sunk. Gracie was standing there trying to hide behind a tree, 3 other children standing in front of her (Angelina was amongst them) chanting these nasty works at my Gracie. Gracie who is stuck in the middle. Gracie, who doesn't know if she is a big girl or a baby, but is trying so hard to find her place. Another mother heard and came flying out of a nearby house to put a stop to it, and I raised my voice in Gracie's defense. The situation diffused quickly. Within a few minutes Gracie came to me and climbed into Bryan's abandoned stroller. I tried to speak to Grace about it but she wouldn't look at me. I stopped her and said "Grace, look at mommy." She obliged. "Are you Ok Grace?" I asked her. "Mommy, I like your pretty hair," she said...trying to change the subject like she has a tendency to do when something is bothering her. She was looking me straight in the eyes, and I could see her hurt there. I couldn't get a clear answer out of her, and gave up. Then, to add to it all, (and this really bothers me) the mom I had been talking to goes as far as to defend the children picking on Grace! How dare you! If it had been your daughter they were picking on it would have been a different story!

So about a week ago I posted a blog about my fears for my children, and steps forward I am taking to try to get past it. But this is just another example. I don't want my children, any of them, ridiculed or picked on. I want them to have the tools to stand up for themselves and others when need be. But how do I do that? I teach them the words to use so often, "Stop it!' "I don't like it"(remembering that they are still small), but for some reason Grace stood there, seemingly defenseless.

Tonight I go to bed with a heavy heart, and my fear for my childrens physical and emotional safety continues to be a great a concern.

"Gracie, I'm sorry I could not stop your hurt today. Mommy is sorry I haven't given you the tools to stand up for yourself. I hope and pray I can change this, and together we can grow and learn, and prepare you for whatever tomorrow brings. I luv you Sweetheart."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Potty Busines Update, and That Bear With Big Teeth

Updating Bryan's potty improvement. We've had our up and downs, and I have thought of giving up. But Goran and Kristyn have encouraged me so I have continued on. I am happy I did.

Monday and Tuesday last week were fantastic!! Holding it forever and few accidents...if any. The rest of the week was emotional highs and lows. Just when I thought he was getting it, he would poop his pants. Then, when I would be feeling so discouraged and wondering if I should put him back in diapers, I'd put him on the potty and he'd pee immediately. It was a lot of up and downs. I was ready to through in the towel. I talked to Goran about my concerns. To early, not old enough, doesn't understand...the list went on. "I'm sorry your frustrated,"he said. "He'll get it, don't give up." Two different sentences, exactly what I needed. Sympathy, and encouragement. Kristyn came and we talked some more. She has this great way of observing for awhile, and then giving her opinion. Before she left she said, "He gets it Kathryn. He knows where it goes, he just needs to figure out what it means to feel like he has to pee or poop. He'll figure it out, don't give up." Again really good to hear.

I had been hoping for the great revelation, and some wonderful, "He gets it, he's done!" comments to put up. But instead I sit here with the battle goes on, and learning continues. But I have observed some revelations when I comes to this potty stuff. Just in the last 2 days I've found he can hold on for about and hour and half. And now when I put him on, he pees and he's done in under 3 minutes. There is some protest, but the sooner I leave him and let him at it, the sooner he pees. And now when he pees or poops, he will come into the kitchen and will stand there (mostly naked) until I ask him, "Did you pee/pooh?" He will nod yes if he did. Or sometimes he stands up from the potty and yells "Aha!" and points into the potty letting me know he's 'done it'.

Progress is there, just slower then I wanted. But, slow and steady wins the race, right?
I will post pics of him in his undies this week.

And here is the picture of Angelina with the 'dentist bear'. One freaky bear if you ask me!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1 piture

Here is the one picture I have of Angelina the very first time she went with Goran, just to watch and see what it was like. As you can see she got a chance to sit in the chair. Lets say for records sake, she was 5 when this picture was take :)

I'm not quit sure how to get the other picture on the computer (it has to be scanned on first and I have no clue how that's done)when I have that crazy bear with the huge teeth on the computer ...don't worry I will put it up for you all to see....and you'll see what I mean!

A Trip to the Dentist

Angelina had her first official visit to the dentist! I had to blog because of what she did this was so cute!

A few months ago Goran took her with him so she could see a cleaning and sit in the chair. We have a cute picture I will post. (Its Goran's job to do the dentist.....they freak me out) Yesterday she went for a check up and cleaning(I guess because I'm not exactly sure what they do). She came home quit excited about her new tooth brush(a princess one), sparkling white teeth, and a picture of herself in the chair with this funny looking teddy bear with huge teeth. (The practice bear?) She was perfect, and had perfect teeth.

This morning the bathroom door was shut, and I couldn't find the girls. Humm...I had better investigate I thought to myself. And upon investigating I found Angelina diligently brushing those pearly whites, give Grace a lesson on brushing her teeth. It was very cute, and I let her proceed...but I tell you, she was in there so long, its a wonder she didn't brush them away!!

I will post the pics later today.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The End of the First Day

Not bad for the first day of really trying. He had a pee and a poop in his undies after supper, but other than that has done well. He wouldn't pee after snack, so I asked him if he wanted to wear a diaper to the park. He nodded yes (which is soooo super cute when he does. He stops and stands really still, and then he will nod is head up and down very seriously, but just once) So he did. He came home drenched (ofcourse) but after lunch did a pee and a poop. But suddenly I couldn't find his undies. I asked him where they were but he just kept pointing in any general direction and jabbering something at me. (I later found them in the he trying to tell me something?) So he put some Tiger's on and went for a nap. After nap he refused potty again, but I told him no peeing on Tiger. We went outside for a walk, and came in an hour later. This time I put him on the potty, despite his refusal, and he did pee! Yeah Bryan! This is were things got yucky...after supper he pooped his pants (my fault, I should have known) and then shortly after peed his pants. But from then on he was dry. He actually feel asleep nursing and is in bed now sleeping.

So he had twice as many positives as negatives, and he did communicate his desires to me...if not in words, then actions. I am proud of the little man. I know he can do it. And tomorrow is a new day with no pees or poops...yet:)

The Potty Business the Third time Around

I am doing the 'potty training' thing again. Bryan's turn this time. Yes he's young. All of mine have been young, and done long before the age of 2. I hadn't planned to do him this early, but he seems so receptive, and he doens't like the diapers. And I'm sorry, but I don't understand the people who change a 3 1/2 year olds poopy diaper. Grooossssss!

For the last few months its been a process. First just sitting. Lots of cheering and clapping, "Yeah Bryan,". Then one time he while sitting he poop. More clapping and cheering, a bye bye poopy song, and flush. Eventually it became a twice a day thing. Sometimes he wants to go and play in the back yard. He cries with frustration, and jabbers at me in an angry voice. And then with the pooping he was peeing too. More clapping and cheering, and a sticker on his hand. He loves those. Last week I bought him some big boy undies. Tiger and trucks. He likes those. He points and jabbers at them. He can say a sloppy version on Tiger, and trucks, and will go and get them from is room. We did some 'practicing' last week. During nap time, and he was waking up dry. One day he refused to pee after nap time, and peed once he was in him high chair. Yuck. On went the diapers. Yesterday I was leaving for a bit so I put a diaper on him, but he was pointing at it and again talking angry at me. "Don't you like the diaper?" I asked him. He shook his little head and said, "No," very clearly.
"Well, then you need to pee on the potty and no diapers," I told him. He was thoughtful about that.

At this point I think he gets the 'holding' the pee pee part, just not the 'letting go' part. We will keep working on it. Today we start the day in trucks. Lets see how far we get:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We are gardening with my mom and dad this year. We will eat from the garden all summer and into the winter. Fresh, home grown food veggies...yumm!

Yesterday we went and did some planting. It was heart warming to watch the girls put the tomato plants in the holes and cover them up so gently; their little hands patting the dirt around the stem. Each time they got out of the garden, they sat down and took their Crocks off and shook them out. Only to come back in and do it all again:) We planted carrots, cucumbers, and peppers. We thinned out and replanted lettuce, and weeded the peas and some other lettuces. Bryan squatted in the dirt and dug for sticks and rocks. He would 'help' me for a bit then jibber jabber something in his language at me, and head off towards to Goran and do the same to him. The girls eventually got board of this planting stuff and headed off to the swings and the sandbox. Bryan eventually followed off after them.

When we had finished for the day we headed over to the pool deck to clean up our feet and Crocks. The 3 little ones were not board of that! Up they climbed, and slid their little feet into the cool clean water. Then one by one they ended up undressed, dipping into the pool. The trust they have in us was so sweet and innocent. They went to Goran and I in turn, and we held their hands and lowered them into the water. They all laughed and giggled, with glee and delight.

On the way home I held my husbands hand. I couldn't of asked for a better day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Steps Forward

The last year I have lived a nightmare. Someone I grew up with, someone I looked up to, someone I trusted, had done the unthinkable. Something I feared for each of my children. When the secret came out, it was like a tone of bricks on my chest. I looked at my friends differently. I wondered who I could trust. I wondered who was living a lie. I held my children closer, and dug my heals in when people suggested leaving them for an hour, a day, or overnight. Anyone who offered to take care of them, I looked at with suspicion. Who could I trust? If not this upstanding person in the community, a youth pastor, then who? I didn't leave them for months. I was so fearful. Angelina was 4 going on 5. I had to put her in school. My breath would catch in throat with fear. My eyes would fill up with tears every time I thought of enrolling her in school. I would picture the 'dangers' at school, on the way to school, waiting behind every corner. I was panicked. It took months to get through the panic. I hardly let them out of my sight. A good neighbor helped in ways she doesn't even know. I asked her if she would drive Angelina to school everyday, ("I will pay you!"I promised her) for me. She agreed. I was shocked, overjoyed, elated. This was one step. She would be safe. I met Angelina's teacher. Another step. Angelina went for orientation, another step. The first day of school was hard. Every step there, my footsteps thundered in my ears. Angelina skipping along, me dragging my feet. I argued with Goran on the way home. I kept saying 'homeschooling', still so fearful. I was mad. Not at him. At my fear. But I took it out on him. The first day ended, and she came home safe. One day behind me. One day turned into two, and then three and now we are almost at the end of school year

And then Victoria happen. My worse nightmare brought back to reality. Where I grew up. I prayed daily for that little girl. I cried thinking of her suffering, and hoping she was safe. My heart hurt for her mother. As messed up as people say she is, a mother hurts when her child goes missing. And then the unthinkable again. Arrests have been made. They believe she is dead. They are looking for her. My heart aches. Tears are always sitting so close to the surface. People say they are 'more grateful' for their children now, and hug them tighter. I don't understand that. More? You were less before? Before you didn't realize what a gift they were, and now you do?

We are almost at the end of the school year and we've made it. I recently turned down a birthday party Angelina was invited too. Angelina cried and cried. She was so sad. At first I told her that we were busy. But after I thought about it I decided to lay out the facts for her. I reminded her how we don't talk to strangers, or go in their houses. She was nodding, she understood that. So I asked her, "Does mommy know Sally(name has been changed) or her mommy?" She shook her head no. "Why would mommy let you go to a strangers house?" It was like a little light went on. She understood that. "OK mom," she said. This past week she was invited to another party. She was quit excited. I had met the little boy before. I knew his grandma and grandpa, and it was a community center, so I was invited to stay as well. This one I agreed too. Another step.

But I am always afraid. Afraid because I know its not the creepy guy who lives down the street looking out his windows, or the homeless guy sleeping on the park bench. Its the friendly neighbor, or my best friends husband, or the youth pastor at the church, and/or that upstanding person in community. Afraid, because if something happened to one of them, I would never forgive myself.

So now I teach them about safety. As much as they understand. I teach them to stay off the road and hold hands with a grown up when crossing the street. I tell them not to talk to strangers and don't ever go any where with anyone, unless I've said it was OK. I teach them about privacy, and respecting their bodies. I teach them to love each other, and watch out for each other. I pray daily. I pray that God will give me the courage to keep them safe, and the wisdom to make the right choices. And sometimes I just hug them and hold onto them for dear life!

Today we went to a birthday party. She had a great time. She laughed and smiled and played with her friends.

Another step.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The End of March

Time goes by quickly for me right now. 3 little ones under foot most of the time, and often 3-4 little friends to go with it. The days are very similar. Blurring together, one after another. But they are good. My girls play together and tease each other. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. Bryan is always amongst them. Never to be left out or left behind. He runs after them now. Down the hall, into the back yard, or along the side walk. Soon he will be running beside them, not behind them.

They are all growing so fast.
Angelina skips off to school after a goodbye kiss. Her new favorite book tucked in her backpack along with a healthy lunch packed by mom. She comes in a whirl at the end of the day. Excited to hang her new art on the fridge. She talks so fast, telling me about what she played that day, what her teacher told her, and only stopping for a second to ask "Whats for snack?" As I tuck the blankets under her chin each night her question is always the same, "What are we doing tomorrow?"
Gracey takes some time to get up each day. She's often the last one up, but sometimes the first to peep in the bathroom door as I finish getting ready for the day. There she stands, her hand above her eyes blocking the bright bathroom light, her soother wiggling in her mouth. "Hi Mommy," she smiles at me. She is always testing me. She waits for me to ask her things 3-4 times. A new thing she says now is, "Don't tell me two times!" She says it loudly, and always sounds so exasperated. I respond with, "Then do it the 1st time!" She loves crafts, and stories. Every time I sit down she is crawling into my lap with a book in her hand. I tuck her into bed at night with a soother in her hand, a soother in her mouth, and her water bottle on her bedside table. After I kiss her forehead and turn off the light she whispers into the dark "Goodnight Mommy."
Bryan is busy growing and learning. He is really starting to eat well. I've had to strap him into his highchair, but he will sit and eat now for half and hour, no complaints. He likes oatmeal, fruit loops, toast with PB and honey, stir fry, sloppy joes, soup soup soup, and slightly cooked veggies. He is the first one at the craft table when its craft time! He loves the coloring with the markers, and gluing with the glue. We made lambs just the other day for "out like a lamb" and he made one! He loved it! Standing on the bench, jibber jabbering at me, pressing the cotton on the paper, and then picking it off his sticky fingers. Once bed times comes around for him, we snuggle down together on his bed, and he settles down, belly down beside me. He has this habit of sticking his hand up my shirt and resting in on my belly. I watch as he turns his head side to side, talking baby talk, winding down. He lays still, and his eyes begin to flutter. Pop! He opens them again, looks at me, and smiles. They flutter closed again, and his breathing becomes rhythmic, and I know he's sleeping. Resting, getting ready for tomorrow...

Its busy. "Never a dull moment" so the saying goes. But would I change it? No. They are wonderful and beautiful. My house is filled with love and laughter. Someone is always learning something new. Their eyes are twinkling, and lips are smiling.
If you ask me (most times) its like a little piece of Heaven, right here in my living room!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valintines Day - 30 Things

30 Things I Love...Because that's my age...

  1. My mom and dad, thanks for raising me with good old fashion values!
  2. Goran, for sticking with me though some bad times, and making the good times with me. For being my best friend, and loving me when I'm hard to live with
  3. My children, Angelina, Grace, and Bryan, and God willing another one sometime not to far down the road
  4. My siblings. Each of them is different and brings different things to my life. Some trying, some great. Looking back in my life I can remember great memories with each of them
  5. My sister in law and her growing family. Kristyn is my best friends, my 'go to person' Goran says.
  6. My pets, Duke, Bob, and Kalli
  7. My house, yes its old, but its ours, and getting better with every dollar we put into it!
  8. My van, I'd be stuck at home with out it...and we need a van with a family of 5!
  9. Nursing baby's. Giving them what nature provides, the way nature intended. And the bonding and love is amazing
  10. Birthing my babies. Ok, not the ouch this hurts part, but the part when I reach down and pull them to my chest and look into that tiny face and meet the human that's been growing inside me for 9 months
  11. Being pregnant. The positive pregnancy test, the first time I hear the heart beat, the first movements, the first contraction....that's what I love
  12. Pancakes after birthing!
  13. Pizza. Whatever diet I'm on goes out the window when pizza comes in my door
  14. Chocolate...I couldn't live without the promise of chocolate
  15. Warm cozy days on the couch with hot cocoa
  16. Big comfy sweaters
  17. The promise of a fresh tomorrow
  18. Good neighbors, Sandra & Rob, Cheryl & name a few
  19. Hot summers evenings on the deck, watching the kids play in the backyard
  20. Facebook...I love keeping in touch with everyone, and reconnecting with old friends
  21. Cloth diapering, it makes me feel good to know I'm doing something good for the environment
  22. For diets that work....10 lbs to go
  23. A hot shower
  24. Clean, fresh kids, just out of the shower, dressed in PJs and ready for bed!
  25. The sound of my kids laughing
  26. Chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven
  27. Hot cocoa with some Irish cream thrown in...hummmm!
  28. Watching Angelina's eyes light up as she reads a new book
  29. Watching Graces face full of mischief as she shrugs and says 'nothing'
  30. Watching Bryan tumble around after his sisters!

Friday, January 16, 2009

5, 1, & 3...Birthdays!

Gracie blowing out her candles on her third.

Bryan's birthday, 1 years old.

My oldest Angelina, turning 5!

It makes it very hectic that there birthdays are with in 6 weeks, with Christmas thrown in there too, but then we're done for the rest of the year:).

Monday, January 5, 2009


My Gracie turns 3 in 2 days. Can anyone tell me how to stop time? She is amazing and trying all at the same time. Her suesues are only for bed now. Holey cow can she ever talk!