This little lady turned the big and terrible 2 in October! Believe me, she was "terrible" before she turned 2. Kya can be kinda like a little tasmanian devil...like a hurricane...like too much spunk and energy and emotion stuffed into a too little body! She is incredibly smart...too smart...she figures things out so easily....figures out how to get into EVERYTHING!!! Such curiosity!!! She talks in complete sentences and almost always uses the correct grammar. She asks questions galore and is already into the phase where kids ask "Why?" to everything you say! She LOVES to run, jump, climb, yell, splash, bounce, roll, color on everything, including herself and eat candy. The cutest thing she has been doing recently is holding her hands together, like she has caught something, then coming up to me and asking me if I want to see. Then she opens her hands a little so I can peek inside to see what is usually a pretend ladybug. I could seriously write pages and pages of all the funny, cute, and exasperating things she says and does! This little one for sure keeps us on our toes!
Here she is inspecting her cake. She was SO happy when it was finally her birthday after going to many birthday parties all summer! She kept telling me all day long, "It's my berfday! I so excited!!!!" and then jabber on and on about presents and wanting to eat her cake!
She kept practicing blowing out the candle too. And did you notice the outfit? She picked it out herself! She loves clothing with princesses on it lately. As active as she is, and rough, she especially loves to wear her church dresses. After I put a dress on her, she will tell me how pretty or beautiful it is and say, "Momma, I a pwincess!" and then twirl around and sing, "La,laa,la,LAAAAA!" It is so funny!
What I LOVE about Kya is she just had to sing "Happy Birthday" to herself with everyone else!! So cute!
The cake was HUGE! 4 layers of yumminess!!!
And here are 3 of the 4 kiddos on Halloween. We had ourselves a ninja, fairy, and kitty. Anna and Carter kept arguing about why their costume was better. Anna is ALL about being "fashionable" as she would say it and has entered the stage where anything "boy" is just too awful to bear! Carter is all boy and was in heaven pretending to be a ninja. Kya was ecstatic to be a cat....for real! They were so cute and had so much fun at the ward trunk-or-treat and then going around the neighborhood afterwards. Kya was definitely the first one to finish eating all her candy...I think hers was gone within a matter of days!
As for Thanksgiving, I forgot to take pictures! Oops. I traveled to Twin Falls to my grandparents home and Russ got to stay home with Anna. She got an awful flu virus....fever, swollen red throat, gunk in her chest, cough, she lost her voice, and of course it wouldn't be complete without some vomit. You want to know what they had for dinner? A bowl of cereal. And some popcorn. Later that night Russ ate some keylime pie I bought for him. The following Sunday we had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and real homemade pie so they didn't feel too left out!
We sure are grateful for our family! I definitely am! I love, LOVE, love my kids even though they can drive me crazy some days! Anna is full of sass and attitude, Carter is in his own little world of super heroes, Kya just torments us all, and Brennen is the sweetest little bug EVER! I am so lucky to have such awesome, smart, amazing, cute kids and a husband who loves us come what may!
It's been awhile. It seems like forever ago when I had a watermelon for a tummy, couldn't see my toes or tie my shoes without gagging. But the past four months have gone by so quickly...
This little man was born in the wee hours of the morning. For his birth, it was just Russ and I. It was pretty special. Our little guy was wide awake right after birth, and I got to hold him for an hour as he just quietly gazed around the room, taking it all in.
Then came the baby acne, sleepless nights, and lots of diaper changing! He was so tiny, with scrawny little legs....but they grow up so quickly!
Brennen gave me a scare for a few months....I was wondering if he was going to be colicky like all his older siblings were. But the night time fussiness didn't last very long and during the days he hardly cried at all! Best. Baby. Ever.
So soon, he went from sleeping all day, to being awake and alert, recognizing faces, and at 3 months giving us all those sweet smiles, cooing, and giggles.
Now he loves to sit in his bouncy chair and look at his toys and can now hit them with his hands and even grab them and try to put them in his mouth. He can be so content just laying on the floor, kicking his now chubby little legs and gazing at the window.
He gets more and more handsome every month and he has the most kissable little cheeks! He is also so very, very ticklish! That is always fun to tickle little tummies and toes and watch them wiggle and smile and squirm!
He got to meet great grandma Meredith recently and gave her lots of smiles and told her all kinds of stories.
We sure love him. The days never end on a bad note when I have my little bug to snuggle before bedtime. He mostly sleeps all night and always wakes up happy, giving me lots and lots of smiles.
He has discovered his thumb and sucks on it quite often. He is always chewing on his hands and fingers too.
He is getting so big! And for once I don't want him to ever grow up! So as I sit here sipping my mug of hot cocoa and eating my sweet cinnamon bread, it all reminds me of this baby boy and I can't help but feel blessed for being a mother. It's the best thing that ever happened to me.
Tonight, I'm thankful for videos such as this one because it hits home.
A couple weeks ago, on a Saturday, I had quite the day.....it was just awful! And for no good reason except that my attitude was rotten and I just made myself dwell on all the things I felt like I was "failing" on. My kids were so difficult to manage that day and they were whining, bickering, and just not listening AT ALL! It started first thing that morning with crying and fits minutes after waking up, fits over breakfast and wanting everything they couldn't have, tattle-tailing because so-and-so was looking at them, or so-and-so was talking, or better yet, just breathing incorrectly. And so the day followed in a similar fashion, full of grumps grumbling around frowning and stomping and acting as if the day was the worst EVER!
Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but it felt like it!
And so I decided to make things better by being a little storm cloud, a frowny grey mass of a person set on feeling like a big FAT failure.
I thought things like, "I'm doing something wrong here, otherwise my kids would be great listeners and always jump up ever so happily and willingly when I ask them to do something for me." I thought about how my kids should know ALL the stories of the scriptures by now and they don't, so I definitely wasn't succeeding much there, they don't sing enthusiastically in primary, and Carter seems more like he's off in Lala land half the time in Sunday School, and so I made sure to give myself a few extra knocks down for that. I kept telling myself that bedtime would be more pleasant, if I could just do things differently like all the other super awesome moms, instead of an hour packed full of hyper kids who keep playing around instead of brushing teeth, and if they are actually brushing, they are whining because so-and-so is on the stool, or in the way, or getting toothpaste ALL over! And then we read scriptures, and it's like a mini circus event, and I'm pretty sure no one heard one.single.word. and I am asking myself why do we even do it???
So I gave myself an "F" in parenting. I thought by then end of that day that I was a failure for sure! Clean house? Nope. Fail! Laundry folded? Still in the dryer, I'll have to re-fluff it for the third time....yup, fail! Bathroom toilet scrubbed? Nope, the skids marks are still there from Kya's BM that day. Major fail. What about the kitchen floor that has needed a cleaning? Well....if you rubbed a baby wipe along the floor, you'd find a nice handprint on the other side when you finished so I get a big fat "F" there too.
I told myself over and over again that I wasn't doing enough, I wasn't good enough.
And then Anna showed me a picture she had colored and wanted me to read the note she had written on the back.
I read her note and that's all it took to break my little grumpy storm cloud and realize how WRONG I had been about myself and my family ALL DAY LONG!!! I wasn't failing one bit. And no matter how many hundreds or millions of other places or people I could be, the person I was meant to be was me and I was supposed to have an "awesome and loving family."
God wants me to be a "current bush". He knows what he is doing, and even though being cut down can be hard and painful, it's for our own good, it's for our own individual growth. My life isn't easy! I have four amazing kids, don't get me wrong, but parenting those four amazing kids is HARD somedays! Our little family can hit a level of "crazy" in a matter of minutes (especially at bedtime) leaving Russ and I feeling like we just entered the Twilight Zone! But we are where we are supposed to be, and darn it, we sure aren't failing because we got an "A" for awesome from Anna and little notes taped to our bed from Carter that say "Love". We get to see Carter transform into Spider-Man, a power ranger, ninja turtle, or any kind of super hero, and do some pretty awesome feats like jumping in the air, spinning, and kicking at the same time! We have a cutie bug Brennen who thinks he is a baby koala and wants to be carried around all day long and how lucky we are that he wants to be near us every possible minute! And we have Kya who steals sippy cups and candy canes even when she hasn't finished her meal! She's learned the art of promising to NEVER do it again to get out of her punishment, and reminds me often that I need to say "Yes" when she wants something.
I know as parents, we all have bad days. But if you have a bad day like mine was a few Saturdays ago, don't think you are a failure, and don't waste that whole day wishing things were different. Instead, just make that day become a good day....it might seem impossible, but I think with a little help from some little ones, there's some real promise there. And don't be afraid to embrace your life as it is, because after all, no one can replace you and be "you" better than yourself!
Do you remember the song, "Kindergarten babies, first grade tots, second grade angels, third grade snots, fourth grade peaches and fifth grade pears, and all the rest are BIG FAT BEARS!"
Oh man. I love school. Really.
I LOVE school supplies too. I am not sure why, but walking through ailes and ailes of pencils, glue, markers and crayons just makes me happy! I have to restrain myself from buying too much! Speaking of school supplies, this year we spent almost $40.00 for Anna and Carter! That seems a bit ridiculous! Of course I did let them pick notebooks with a picture on it instead of the plain colored ones that were only .17 cents....but I couldn't help myself....I never got to pick the "cool" items and my mom always bought what was cheapest....nothing wrong with that...but this year I gave in and Carter got a Spider Man notebook and Anna got a horse and Munster High notebook.
It made us happy.
Well, this year started off great for Anna. Being in second grade, she is quite the "know-it-all", especially now that Carter is in Kindergarten! I haven't had to prepare Carter much because Anna will tell him everything he needs to know....even if he doesn't want to hear it! Haha! Her first day she wanted me to walk her to her class. She was a bit shy, like always, but she is into the swing of things now and doing great!
Kindergarten for Carter has been a whole different experience than it was when Anna started kindergarten! When he had to go to the school for his "screening" so the teachers could evaluate where he is at, he just jumped right in and didn't show a bit of anxiety or shyness! He did GREAT during his screening and we think he will be a fast learner like Anna. His first day of school went awesome too! I walked him to his class, helped him hang up his coat and backpack, then he got in line with his class, said "Goodbye" and off they went! He is really enjoying it!
Anna and Carter ride home on the bus, and Anna is really liking actually being able to walk home with other kids, since last year she was pretty much alone. It is so fun to see them come through the front door and have loads to tell me about their day! They are always so hungry when they get home, so we stocked up on after-school snacks too....I have to keep reminding Russ that they are not for him!
Kya doesn't really know what to do without Anna to torment and Carter to play with. I am planning on doing some "school" with her while they are gone, but with a 5 week old baby, it is hard to get anything done besides the most basics! Kya is so smart and learning so much already and it is a blast to listen to her talk in sentences and watch her do all the little funny things she does! Her BIG personality has just come out full force this summer!
Anyhoo, we are surviving the new school year and just enjoying life in general. A few months ago Russ hurt his back, had an MRI and discovered he had two herniated discs. He was in a lot of pain and couldn't go to school or work. He got a cortizone shot about 6 weeks after he hurt his back and he is doing so much better! He had to face some set backs in school because of it and had to medically withdraw, which stinks, but we know that in the eternal scheme of life, what matters most is our commitment to Heavenly Father and the covenants we have made, and how soon he finishes school or when we get a house or when he gets a job are not such a big deal. We know we can be happy where we are right now.
Besides...being bitter or angry or depressed about the setbacks we are facing isn't really much fun....all it does is give you a headache all too often and make you miserable to be around. It is better to be optimistic and count your blessings, right?
Other happenings around here: we blessed Brennen the first Sunday of September and I was truly touched by the blessing Russ gave him. I know that Brennen was supposed to be a part of our family and I am so glad we were surprised last fall to find out we were expecting. I might not have been able to run my half marathon this year because of his birth, but I am already in the process of training for one next year! Saturday I ran almost 3 miles....very slowly....but it feels good to start to be active again! It, however, does not feel good running with a bust much bigger than I am accustomed to!
Here are a few more pictures until next time!
We are a happy family!
A thought to end on:
THE PENCIL MAKER
The pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
"There are five things you need to know," he told the pencil, "before I send you out into the world. Always remember them, never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."
1. You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.
3. You will be able to correct any mistake you might make.
4. The most important part of you will always be what's inside.
5. On every surface you are used on, you will leave your mark.
Cute, eh? I thought so. Simple, but it gives you lots to think about.
Fall is in the air! I LOVE it! I love the smell of the breeze, the cool mornings, and not having to turn on the air conditioner first thing in the morning! I especially love fall because I am not pregnant anymore! Woo Hoo!!! Here's the story of how our last little man came into our family:
I started having contractions July 22 after church. My due date was August 13th. I was excited! 3 days later I had my doctors appointment and was dilated to a one. The baby was still high and my cervix was thick. 2 days later we ended up at the hospital at noon after I had been contracting all morning. I was dilated to a two but my contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes. The nurse let Russ and I stay for an hour and walk to see if my labor would progress but it did not! We went home later that afternoon and my contractions finally stopped that evening around 7. That following weekend we had Anna's birthday and she got her wish, no baby! July 31st I had another doctors appointment and was dilated to a three. I had more contractions that day from 4-7ish and then again from 9:30-10:30 and then nothing! I was getting pretty annoyed! We ended up at the hospital again August 2nd, thinking I was surely in labor and that they would keep me, but by the time they got me settled and hooked up to the monitors, my contractions decreased enough that we went home once again! At that point I was just over 38 weeks. That evening I swore to Russ that I wouldn't step foot inside another hospital until my water broke or the baby was falling out of me! I decided that our little man would not be born until I was 40 weeks. The next evening my water broke after 5pm just as Russ walked through the front door after work!
I could have shouted "Halleluiah"!!!
So we were off to the hospital to STAY!
After we got all settled and poked and hooked up and papers signed, my nurse checked me. Still dilated at a three but my cervix was soft but I forget how much it was effaced. The baby was still high and his head was not tight against my cervix and I was gushing lots of fluid so they got me on pitocin to get me contracting regularly so the baby would drop. It was a slow process that took 4 hours just for his head to engage tight against the cervix. During those 4 hours I had a dose of pain medicine that was heavenly until I could get my epidural and then we got a bit of a scare as the baby's heart rate decreased with every contraction. My nurse and the resident kept a close eye on me and baby and they started flipping me from side to side to try and get his heart rate to stabilize. I really thought I would end up having a c-section but by 2am he finally stabilized after they had flipped me to my left side and so I stayed put, so grateful that everything was turning out okay! (most likely the baby's cord was being compressed during contractions, and at some point as I was moving positions, he moved just enough that the cord was fine and his vitals stayed up and looked great until he was born)
We LOVED our nurse, Maggie and we loved the resident...but at the moment I cannot remember her name! They were the best we have ever had!!! They were funny and easy to talk to and just awesome!
After the baby stabilized, I dilated quickly and before 4am I was checked and they told me if I wanted, I could push, since I was feeling a great amount of pressure. I wasn't dilated to a 10 yet and after talking to the nurse we decided to let my body do as much of the work in moving the baby down before I started pushing. The longer a woman can hold off pushing and let her body do it for her, the less work she has to do in the end....if that makes any sense.
So, I actually fell asleep for a bit and my nurse came in right before 4am and told me, "Okay, I am off at 5 so let's have a baby!" They checked me and I was ready! Once they moved me onto my back and got my legs in the stirups I suddenly felt huge amounts of pressure and had the most overwhelming urge to push! They had me do one practice push, then got everything ready, and during the second push his head was crowning and after that I gave just some little tiny pushes and out he came! The delivery could not have been more perfect! I did not even tear! The second the baby came out he was crying and it was the cutest little tiny cry I have ever heard! My next thought as they put him on my tummy was how small he seemed! I really thought he would be our biggest baby but Carter and Kya were both bigger. He peed all over the nurse as she was cleaning him off which we all had a laugh over and we were just so happy to finally get to meet our little man after over 38 weeks of pregnancy and 10 hours of labor!
I have to say, for being our last baby, he sure teased us until he was born! But being our last baby, he has been the best newborn out of all of them! No constant crying night after night, no projectile spit up, no nursing issues....it has all been so much better this last and final time! I think there's no better way to end this chapter of bearing babies than to end on a sweet note with a sweet and very mild-tempered baby.
I had retained lots of water after I had Brennen. The day I went home, I actually retained more water in my legs and feet, but thankfully it went away!
The kids are loving him lots and even Kya has adjusted better than we expected her too. She has lots of naughty episodes but I think they are getting somwhat better as each week goes by.
Carter is the cutest of them all with Brennen. He is just in love with his baby brother!
But seriously, what is not to love about this cute little face?
In June, Anna and Carter had their first swimming lessons at the Community Rec. Center here in Pocatello. The kids LOVED it and I had a blast watching them learn. We plan on doing it again next summer for sure. I learned how to swim at a very young age and have great memories swimming with my siblings and cousins every summer at the city pool in Twin Falls, so I definitely want my kids to have the same experiences and memories growing up too. Plus, knowing how to swim well is such an important skill to have that could someday save their life or anothe'rs life.
And I just have to add that I LOVE the smell of chlorine....
Such a lovely smell! Hmmmm....
A long time ago, my cousin and I choreographed an underwater syncronized swimming routine that we performed in her hot tub! Yeah....gotta love swimming!
This is what happens when a certain 20 month old locks herself in the bedroom (and it has happened multiple times). Let's just say she likes trying on clothes and leave it at that.
Question for ya: Have you ever tried picking up a half dresser full of clothes off the floor with a watermelon in your belly?
I have been trying to get Kya to smile for the camera. She says, "Cheese!" everytime I pull out the camera but her face ALWAYS looks like that! Haha! It is so funny! Hopefully her smile-face improves before we have our next family pictures done after the baby boy is born!
Another "smile" attempt....
And yet another attempt....it's not looking too promising...
Speaking of that "watermelon" in my belly, there's the proof! In this picture, I am almost 36 weeks and feeling quite miserable. I have gained 31 pounds, which feels more like 50 when I have to go up and down the stairs in the house all throughout the day! I am retaining a bit of water, but it isn't too bad and I can still wear my wedding ring! I aviod going outside as much as possible now that it is so hot and have been trying to go walking later in the evening to help get this baby ready to be born in the next few weeks. I have felt sudden urges here and there to get things done and in order, and one night I was up until almost midnight cleaning the bathroom downstairs! haha! Russ came out of the bedroom asking me what in the world I was doing! He is used to my obsessive compulsive erratic behaviors by now, so he just looked at me like I was only half crazy and then let me finish!!!
The baby room is ready, I have had all the baby boy clothes washed, folded and organzied by size and neatly put away in the closet for a couple months now, plus we have all the bibs, burp cloths, and diapers, wipes, lotions, soap, and creams all ready too.A day ago I bought all the items I would need for my hospital bag and plan on getting that ready soon, so the only other things we need to do is get the cradle ready and get the carseat out of the garage!
I am stressing just a bit about all the other "things" I need to get done by the end of July. Anna and Carter have their birthday this month, but we are expecting the baby to come 2 weeks early, since all of them have come 2 weeks early, and that would mean the baby will be born right in the midst of their birthdays! (Carter's is the 24th and Anna's is the 29th) So, we are doing their birthday parties early, just to be on the safe side! I also have some projects I need/want to get finished before the baby comes so we will see how that goes! By the time I get the kids in bed, I am totally exhausted and all I want to do is shower and then climb in bed and not move again until morning!
That's just a bit about our summer. Maybe my next post will be pictures of a cutie bug baby we have been waiting to meet for awhile now!
I know I don't comment enough on the blogs I love, but comments are the best! Some of you have made my day by your simple comment. Thank you for those who have taken the time. Be a follower and if you have time, take a moment and share your thoughts with me.
Those who make my heart happy:
Anna Belle-9 years old!
Carter John- 7 years old!!
Kya Lyn- almost 4 years old!
Brennen James- 2 years old!
Married 10 years this October!
BEING HAPPY doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.