What I Know

1. I’m tired.

2. The transition from 2 to 3 kids has been WAY harder than going from 1 to 2 kids.

3. I forgot how much holding is involved with a newborn.

4. I forgot how little sleep one gets when there’s a newborn.

5. I forgot how cute newborns are!

6. I love seeing my newborn give out “for real” smiles!

7. I love watching Cora give her baby sister sweet kisses.

8. I love receiving sweet kisses from Benjamin.

9. I love and appreciate my husband very much.

10. I love chocolate milkshakes.

11. I miss eating lasagna and pizza–you know, REAL lasagna and pizza, full of grain and gluten.

12. Eating those things in #11 would not be worth the pain and sickness I’d feel for weeks later.

13. I’m thankful I’ve found a great chocolate cake recipe I can eat!

14. I love my mom.

15. I’m tired–did I mention this????

16. I’m excited for Cora to start preschool in September and love seeing her excitement!

17. I know more about football, baseball and sports in general than I ever thought possible–thanks to my dear, sports-loving husband!

18. The same goes for music…

19. I love strawberries with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them.

20. I’m hoping nothing serious is wrong with Molly since she keeps losing weight even though we’re increasing her food quantity.

21. God is good.

22. All the time, God is good!

23. I’m thankful for a loving and gracious God who is forever forgiving.

24. I miss my grandma and grandpa and wish they could know my kids.

25. Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it…I’m tired!

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Change

CORA is doing so well with being the big sister. She is so helpful with Rebekah and is doing a good job with continuing to play and have fun with Ben. I have so enjoyed watching her with her siblings. She’s kind, gentle and loving towards them. It’s obvious she loves them, and she doesn’t hesitate to give out hugs and kisses to them. She also won’t let Ben go down for his nap, or bedtime, without his hug and kiss. She’s very eager to help me out with anything I need and finds great pleasure in picking out Rebekah’s outfit on a daily basis. I’m also finding that she needs to have her own “big girl” time. She went and spent the morning at her friends’ house last week, and it seemed to do her soul good. She was able to just be Cora and not have to also be the big sister. I’m also trying very hard to make sure to spend time with just her during the day. This usually happens during rest time when Ben and Rebekah are sleeping. I’m trying to spend that time playing a game with her, coloring, or just cuddling with her on the couch. I’m learning so much about her and am really enjoying how responsible she is becoming. She’s not perfect and we’ve had our moments of attitude adjusting and heart checks, but don’t we all? I love that we can have conversations with each other and can go beyond what her favorite toy (which is currently a Hello Kitty Lego set) and color (which is blue at the moment) are. I’m very proud of her and thankful to have her as my eldest!

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BENJAMIN is doing much better than he was before. He is slowly coming around to the fact that he is no longer the baby of the family. He’s sleeping and eating more normally again. He still wants to be held a lot more than usual, but that’s OK! He’s such a sweetheart to Rebekah. When he wants to hold her he’ll sit down with his legs straight out in front of him, pat his lap and hold out his arms. It’s so precious. Often he only holds her for about 5 seconds, but other times he’ll hold her for 10 minutes! He gets most distraught if we want to take her away from him before he’s ready. He is still acting out toward Cora, but I often wonder if this is more his age and stage in life and not due to a new baby in the house. He’s still not talking all that much, but he is making more attempts at repeating words when we say them to him. He most consistently says, “booo,” which is blue and “baaaaa” which is ball. He has a name for Molly, the dog, and says “Mama.” Occasionally, he’ll say other words quite clearly, and when we look at him in disbelief he smiles and refuses to repeat. His favorite things to eat are almond butter and jelly sandwiches, strawberries, taco meat, cheese, almonds and chocolate! He wants to do everything Cora does and gets frustrated if we don’t let him. Though he may not be talking a lot (well, using words, he is very verbal!) he is quite physically coordinated. It amazes me how much he can do just being 2. I love watching him delight in hearing the train (which he says, “choo! choo!” and moves his arm up and down like he’s pulling a chain to make the sound), watching his sisters, seeing his great grandma and getting into the swimming pool. He’s a ham, our family clown and really seems to love to put smiles on the faces of those around him. He’s our hugger and has also taken to giving out kisses. I love watching his personality develop and can’t wait to see it continue to do so.

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REBEKAH is growing like a weed! She is now 6+ weeks old, and it’s quite unbelievable to me! It’s amazing how fast time goes. We’ve reached that magic mark where things start to settle into place and a schedule starts to emerge. She’s eating like a champ, although we’ve had to put her on special formula like we did with Cora. She also got a version of whatever virus we’ve all had, has survived and is doing so much better! I did not like her being sick, being so little and all!!! She’s over 11 pounds and is getting so aware of her surroundings. She’s a great addition to the family, and we all enjoy watching her. It’ll be exciting to see how she develops and learn more and more about her as she grows older. God is so good to us, as a family, and David and I are so thankful for our precious kids.

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Adjustments

Oh, we’ve had some trying times in our home recently! It’s amazing how such a little person (Rebekah, the newborn) can make such a HUGE change in a family! It’s been hard. I was told by several friends that the transition from 2 to 3 kids was the hardest one. I would have to agree. It seems it’s been especially hard on Ben. We figured it would be hard on him, but man! This is crazy!!! He is ever so tender and gentle and loving to Rebekah. But to the rest of us? Yikes!! He’s acting out by not sleeping and has opted to eat very little. These 2 things combined make for one crabby 2 year old! It’s been rough on all of us. Cora is acting out by being defiant, complaining and whining a lot. This too is very trying on us.

It’s been challenging, to say the least, and yet, we continue on! Eventually things will settle down, Ben and Cora will learn to adjust and we will start operating more smoothly as a family of 5. There are days when David and I lose it, start grumbling, complaining and whining ourselves. We have found that this only makes everything worse! Wouldn’t you know that the kids pick up on our bad attitudes and act accordingly? It’s been quite the learning experience for us too. Sometimes it’s hard to be the adult. Sometimes it’s hard to take the high road, even when it’s just with your children. Sometimes it’s hard not to lose your temper, whine, yell and cry yourself.

However, as the parents and the adults it’s necessary for us to act as such. And, besides that, God has blessed us with these children, and it’s our job to make sure we teach them how to deal with stress and change appropriately. Doesn’t mean we get it right all the time, but it’s necessary just the same. How do you help your little ones deal with changes in life–good, bad or otherwise? How do you prepare them for changes that will come? What has been one of the hardest adjustments in your family?

So Simple!

My sister had her 4th baby in early April, our nephew Micah. She had a home birth, delivered him in the water, and it was just a beautiful thing! I was so privileged to be a part of it. Before my nephew was born my sister told me she was going to be getting her placenta encapsulated. WHAT??? I was quite taken back, but I wanted to know more and so heard her out. Turns out placenta encapsulation has been done for a long time. It comes from ancient Chinese practices. Why on earth would my sister do this? Well, studies and history has shown that ingesting the placenta after birth has many benefits. The woman is given back her hormones and nutrients that are custom to her body. This helps with postpartum depression, baby blues, aides in milk production, and I’m sure there are so many other benefits as well. The pills can also be taken during menopause and are shown to help with mood swings and hormonal changes during that time as well.

So, how is this all done? Well, the placenta is dehydrated, ground up and put into capsules. You take a pill a day for a few weeks, keep the leftovers in the freezer and pull them out to take during menopause. I’m sure there are different “prescriptions” for this, and I’m not entirely sure what my sister’s was. Mine has been to take 1-2 capsules 3 times a day for 2 weeks and then as needed, such as during a stressful time, or during menopause.

I was convinced (as was my husband) that I needed to do the same as my sister when we saw just how wonderfully she was doing after giving birth to my nephew. Postpartum depression is something both of us have really struggled with. Let me tell you, I saw my sister a week after she gave birth, and I had never seen her looking, acting and feeling so good that soon after giving birth. She was doing so well (and so much different) that even my husband noticed! We were convinced this was something I needed to do as well. I found a lady online who does encapsulation in my area and set everything up with her.

I have not felt this good after giving birth ever. I have so much energy, I feel like my moods/hormones/emotions are more even and not fluctuating all over the place, and I feel absolutely no depression whatsoever. David has noticed such a difference, and we do not regret getting this done at all.

Yes, it sounds weird, even gross to have ones’ placenta encapsulated. However, after reading about it, and seeing with my own eyes the benefits of doing so, I’m so glad I did. Yeah, it’s gross to think about sometimes, but honestly I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before. I would have certainly taken advantage. It’s a small price to pay for sanity! I feel great, my sister feels great, and I will be encouraging pregnant women to have this done. It’s a very natural way to help yourself feel so much better after giving birth and it’s as simple as swallowing a pill!

See? Not so scary! Just look like big vitamins!

See? Not so scary! Just look like big vitamins!

The Things I’ve Learned So Far

I’ve been a mom now for 1 whole week. I know, not too long, but I can’t imagine being anything else at this time in my life. And, I will never NOT be a mom again. I love that thought! It’s scary to think that for the rest of my life I will be helping to shape and mold my children. I mean, my mom has never stopped being my mom. Our relationship has changed over the years, but she is still my mom and I still go to her for help, comfort, encouragement, etc. I know I have MUCH to learn about being a mom. I know I’m going to mess things up really badly at times, I know I’ll lose my temper, I know I won’t always know what to say. But, I also know that God has brought me to this point, he has been preparing me for 31 years to be at this point now. I know he has given me the tools I need to accomplish this thing called mommy-hood.

Now, there are a few things I have learned so far in my week as being a mom. First, I will never visit a new mom and her baby without first calling and setting up a time that is good for THEM. And, to go with that, I’ll arrive at the time set and NOT stay for an hour or more. In and out–that’s what it needs to be. We had some well-meaning folks come to visit us yesterday. They were late, and stayed for at least an hour.  Poor Cora needed to eat, but I didn’t know how to tell them to leave and they were making me too uncomfortable to just nurse her while they were here. Sigh…Please, folks, when there’s a new baby be considerate. Don’t stay very long.
I’ve also learned that my baby isn’t going to shrivel up and die–this lesson learned thanks to my sister calming me down when I felt Cora wasn’t getting enough at her feedings. I’m not saying that all worry is gone, but I’m seeing that she’s fine. I may be teaching her to eat, but she IS getting it, she is getting nourished and she’s not all dehydrated or anything.
I’m learning just how much babies poop!!! Good gracious! You change the diaper and I swear they know you’ve done so and in their minds they’re thinking “thanks! Now I have room to go again!” Sigh…thankfully, my husband has been great in taking his turn when it comes to the dirty diapers! 🙂
I know I’ll be learning more things, even today, but these are just a few of the lessons coming to mind now.

What They Don’t Tell You…

…in the movies! During this whole process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and now being a mom for almost a whole week I have been struck by the MANY things “they” never tell you in movies, TV shows and even health class where all this stuff is concerned. So, I thought it might be fun to list some of those things and if you’re a mom and have things to add, please do! 🙂  I’m going to make things specific to me, but I’m sure a lot of it is similar/same to most women.

1. Pregnancy does all sorts of weird things to you: you pee frequently, lose your mind, forget everything, puke a lot (some do), have increased ear wax, swell or don’t swell, eat things you never thought you would, are insanely tired…
2. It’s not called labor for nothing!
3. Just because you’re induced does NOT mean things will go quickly.
4. When your water breaks, it can trickle and gush all at the same time, and still not all come out until the baby is born.
5. Sitting in the hot tub doesn’t necessarily speed up the laboring process.
6. When the vacuum and/or forceps are used to help the birthing process it’s a very weird sensation.
7. Pushing a human out of you is the most physically challenging thing I’ve done.
8. The feeling of the head, then shoulders, then body of a baby coming out of you is the WEIRDEST and best feeling in the world. I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like.
9. After all is said and done, and you should be wildly exhausted, you actually feel like you could run a marathon and are so full of energy it’s remarkable.
10. The day after is HARD. Everything hurts. I didn’t know sitting, standing and getting up out of a chair could be so painful.
11. The first shower after giving birth is the BEST one I’ll ever take.
12. The desire to get my baby HOME was overwhelming.
13. The first thing I’ve had to teach my baby is how to eat. She didn’t come out knowing how to do so.
14. Nursing a baby is HARD, somewhat painful and beautiful all at the same time.
15. I’ve never loved sleep so much in my life.
16. I’ve never loved looking at a baby so much in my life.
17. I’ve never loved my husband more than I do now.
18. I am overwhelmed by the feelings of love I have for this child.
19. I cry over the dumbest things now. Those darn hormones are at it again!
20. I’m no longer concerned about what I look like–hair not done? Who cares! No make up? Oh well! Brush the teeth? Is there time?