October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Pictures from today.....

And it's not even Halloween yet....

We've been celebrating Halloween for weeks now.  Finally the actual day is here!  I think the kids think the holiday has already come and gone already.  We've done a fall festival, caramel apples, a pumpkin patch, joy school party, and Trunk or Treat.

Fall Festival
Walking through the corn maze at the fall festival.
Jax peeks from his stroller along the corn maze.
The kids enjoyed rolling these pumpkins around.
They would have done it the whole time if we had let them.
It's the simple things in life that are fun, I guess.
Going for a hay ride.  The kids did not so much enjoy it.
Petting a cow. The cow's friendliness made Ben a little nervous but Sadie loved it.  She's such an animal person.
Two second after this picture was taken I hit the ground and
stumbled and made a huge fool of myself in front of a lot of people.  So embarrassing!

For FHE we had the kids try on their costumes to see if they'd fit.  They loved it.  Sadie especially!  Then we made caramel apples.  Also, we had planned to carve pumpkins but ran out of time.  We still need to do that, come to think of it.   .

My 'helpers' feed each other sprinkles.

Sadie only wants to be a princess or a bunny.
So she was a bunny for Trunk or Treat and she's going to dress up as a princess tonight.
She loves it! She's such a girly girl.
These are just his PJs but aren't they cute?

Joy School
Sadie had a blast with all the activities at the special Halloween Joy School that Tiffany hosted.  They painted pumpkins, made pumpkins out of orange rice crispy treats, trick or treated in Tiffany's upstairs, had a lesson about brushing teeth (Tiffany is a dental hygenist), and more.  Sadie's been talking about it ever since.

They each had bags and knocked on doors in the upstairs to 'Trick or Treat'. 

Trying to insert scary teeth.  Sadie's look of confusion cracks me up.

Making the rice crispy treat pumpkins.

The four kids posing in their costumes.  From left to right: Noah, Issac, Sadie, and Emerson.

Trunk or Treat
I love her little expression in this picture.

I debated between a caption that said, 'Eat more chicken' or 'Got Milk?' 
Jax couldn't say trick or treat so he would walk up and bark, 'ruff ruff'.  So darling!

Ben and the kids with Sadie Tee after trunk or treating.

We're excited for the real thing tonight. Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2011

Baby McKay

To say I am in love with this little baby would be the biggest understatement of the century.  I am infatuated, obsessed, smitten, just painfully in love with him.  Love does multiply with each child, it doesn't divide (thanks Shannon for the quote).  The kids and I get so excited when he wakes up and they love to help with him, hug him, and make him smile.  McKay enjoys the attention and is patient with his siblings and performs quite well.

So, here's a little bit about the new little guy.....

He's amazing at putting himself to sleep.  The other two needed to be rocked to sleep.  But when McKay is tired I just lay him on my bed, put a blanket on him, go about my routine, and I'll check on him 5 or 10  minutes later and he's peacefully put himself to sleep.  No tears or anything.  What a blessing!

He's a homebody.  At church or my mom's house or at stores he can be demanding and challenging but at home he is almost always content and happy.

He's a mama's boy.  Ben has watched him a few times when I've needed to do something and each time has been a bit of a disaster.  Ben says he senses when I'm gone and cries the whole time.  Poor kiddo!  I have noticed, mostly when he's tired, that he likes for me to hold him. I don't think he's as extreme as poor Ben thinks he is, though.

He loves to nurse laying down.  At church this past Sunday he went nearly the whole three hours without nursing even though he was hungry because he didn't want to nurse with me sitting up.  Go figure! He just gets fussier and hungrier but when I try he won't latch and cries.  It doesn't bother me to nurse him laying down at home but I wish he would be happy when we're out and about to nurse regularly.  Usually he does just fine but there have been several times he gets mad and refuses.  Not sure what to do about that.  

He's starting to sleep more at night.  Twice he's made it 7 hours and he even made it 9 hours two nights ago.  He goes to bed around 7:15 and I usually wake him around 11 to eat when I'm going to bed.  Then he wakes up around 4 and I fed him on one side and usually we both fall asleep in bed but he starts getting fidgety an hour later so I feed him on the other side and move him back to his bed.  Not bad, huh?  I can handle that pretty easily.

He's becoming more of a baby and less of a newborn.  He can hold his head up, smiles, and follows me with his eyes as I walk around a room.  I'm actually quite sad not to have a newborn.  I so much enjoyed it this time!  I know it will be a while before we have another one (yes, I want another one, hopefully that will happen one day) and I'm sad to see the newborn phase ending.

He nurses often during the day.  Well, I think it's normal but everyone tells me it's often.  He usually eats every two hours and fifteen minutes.  Of course, I don't really try to hold him off.  When he's hungry I'm happy to feed him so it doesn't bother me that he nurses often.  I feel the need to plump him up.

So there you have it.  He's only two and a half months so there's not a whole lot to report.  Pretty much we just love him.  A lot!  A lot, a lot, a lot.  I feel like the older two get me worked up and McKay always calms me back down.  He's just so sweet.  He smells so good.  He's so wonderful.

Truthfully, when I found out I was pregnant with McKay I was disappointed because I thought I'd never be able to give this little baby (and the older ones) the love and attention they deserve.  But not so!  I feel like each one has had to compromise a few things but what they're getting in return is so much better.  McKay especially.....I feel like he's quite advantaged, so loved, and just the perfect addition to our family.  He and Jax will be wonderful friends and have so many fun times together.  And it's quite convenient for me to have them close - they'll share clothes, do similar recreational activities, and keep on eye on each other for me.  I feel blessed.  So blessed!

October 20, 2011


Things are looking up again in the world.  Either my kids read the post and corrected their behavior or someone out there is praying for me or something.  Sadie and Jax both took 2 or 3 hour naps on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  It was delightful!  And they're much more pleasant to be around in the afternoons when they're well rested.  I'm loving motherhood again.  I love my little babies. Is it time for another one yet Ben?  Just kidding :)

Thanks to Lori's comments in a previous post I've instituted "OPERATION: Independence" this week. I'm trying to teach Sadie more things and help her find ways to meet her own needs (and Jax's when possible). It's going great.  Today she learned how to fast forward through commercials :) Always a helpful skill to know.  I'm also buying a taller step stool so she can reach the faucet to wash her hands by herself and I've been trying to keep fresh bottles/sippy cups in the fridge so she can get herself or Jax one when they need it.  That's helped!  I can see the look of pride on Sadie's face each time she is able to be independent.  It's been a great change for both of us.

In other news the kids and I have started our first ever garden out back.  We went to Lowe's and bought 2x6x10's and Ben built us a little plot.  You should have seen me walking through the store. I had three kids (two of which were crying/fussing at any given time - Jax wanted out of the cart, Sadie wanted a different cart, and McKay wanted to be held).  I was walking around with lumber double the length of the cart, carrying a baby in my arms, and pushing the cart with one hand.  It was embarrassing!  Those Mr. Fix It Men gave me some strange looks. It didn't help that Sadie kept saying quite loudly, "Mommy be careful....Don't hurt that man, Mommy....Mommy, you're going to hit that." *slap to head* Awe, kids.  Gotta love 'em. And she walks around waving to everyone as if she's on a float in a parade.  She is quite the kiddo.

I'm becoming a homebody because of incidents like the one above.  When I'm home I can usually keep everyone happy.  Also, McKay is usually a good baby when we're home but he is very challenging when we go places.  The other two would fall asleep in the car or sleep in their car seat in a store. Not McKay.  Nope!  So, I'm learning it's easier and best to just be home, and I'm actually enjoying it too.  With the cooler fall weather we've been spending lots of time outside and it's great.  So relaxing! So, I'm a homebody now and loving it.  Well, most of the time.

Now may I take a moment to thank my mother-in-law.  Dear Cliffie, the greatest thing you've ever done for me (other than creating and raising your stellar son) is to have moved Sadie's bed time earlier.  She is asleep by 8PM every night.  I love it!  I've never had this much discretionary time in all my mommy life.  It's honestly what gets me through the days.  I know once 8 o'clock hits I am actually done for the day.  Well, at least until night feedings begin.  It's really quite heavenly and has made all the difference in my life.  Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Guess what we're going to be for Halloween.  We're going for the Wizard of Oz theme!  Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch, Todo (sp?), and the wizard or cowardly lion.  I'm very excited.  We're going to a fall festival/pumpkin patch this weekend.  FHE on Monday will include pumpkin carving and caramel covered apples as our treat.  I love holidays.  I especially love holidays with little kids around.  They make everything more exciting.  You know what I'm REALLY excited for.....Christmas!  I already have wrapped presents on top of the piano and I may have even asked Ben if we can set up the Christmas tree.  He wants to wait a little longer, though. I'm trying to be patient. I'm so, so, so excited for the hap-happiest season of all!

One more thought.  It helps me to put this in writing.  I had started "OPERATION: Weight Loss McKay" (I'm really into calling things 'Operations' lately) but things had stalled due to a cold we came down with a few weeks ago.  Well, I'm starting again.  That's all.  I've got a loooonnnnnngggggggg ways to go.  Like how about 20 lbs.  Yikes!  But, I'm starting.  It's slightly overwhelming to me, but it's time to make progress.  I feel like I'm trying to lose baby weight from two pregnancies instead of just one because I never really lost if after Jax.  If anyone has any weight loss tips - please share ;)  Much thanks.  Greatly appreciated.  Eat less, exercise more is a logical tip, wouldn't you say?  So simple, yet challenging.

October 17, 2011

My Children Are Loved

I feel stressed.  All. Of. The. Time!  Three is so much more than two.  Let me repeat that for emphasis, okay? Three is SO MUCH MORE than two.

Things had started out pretty good, but the last two weeks have been challenging.  Even with Natalie here and having an extra set of hands I still couldn't keep the house clean, food on the table, and kids happy.

In the not so distant past I think I was a really nice, patient mom.  Now I constantly feel impatient and snippity.  That makes me feel guilty.  Then I feel sad.  I'm worried I'm failing my children miserably.

It seems that no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to keep all three happy.  To hear one upset and not be able to immediately solve their problem is so frustrating and leaves me feeling guilty.  This is how I sound all day, every day: "Sadie give Jax his toy back", "Jax, I know you need a bottle, just one second buddy", "Sadie have you gone potty?", "Jax don't climb up on the chair", "McKay, I'll be right there", "I know you're hungry Sadie, let me finish feeding McKay and we'll have lunch", "Sadie keep your hands to yourself, please", "Jax I know you're sleepy, I'll rock you to sleep right after I get McKay down", "No Sadie, you've already seen three shows today, no more TV", "Hold on McKay, I'll be right there", "Sadie stop touching your brother", "Oh Jax, did that hurt, let mommy finish nursing McKay and I'll hold you"....yada yada yada.  By 6 o'clock I feel like my nerves are shot and I'm about to blow a fuse.  And it seems like no matter how hard I try I still can't meet everyone's needs throughout the day.  I feel so guilty about that.  Have I mentioned that yet?  

So, these are the things my prayers consist of lately:
~Please let them remember the giggles, games, and good times of their childhood and not the tears and tantrums!
~Please help them to feel my love more than my frustrations.
~Please let them learn good things when I'm unable to immediately meet one of their needs - patience, independence, resourcefulness, problem solving, and understanding.
~Please help them to know they're loved.  I've heard it said that to a child love is spelled T-I-M-E.  I've always tried to spend a lot of quality time with each one but I just can't these days.  Hopefully they'll know how much I love them even if I can't give them my undivided attention all the time.
~Please help me to feel calm and happy and set an atmosphere of peacefulness in our home.

As I was looking through pictures tonight though I realized that my children are so loved by so many.  And they know they're so loved.  Not just by me but by their dad, grandmas, grandpa, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.  They are so loved and cherished.  So, I'll just keep trying my best and hopefully they will feel my love and all will be well.


October 16, 2011

Boys' Stats

We had doctor's appointments for the boys this past week (two month and 15 month checkups).  Here's where they're at lately......

McKay - 2 months
Height: 22 3/4 inches, 35%
Weight: 12 lbs. 6 oz., 50%

Jax - 15 months
Height: 30 1/2 inches, 30%
Weight: 23 lbs 14 oz., 40% 

They both needed shots and Jax fought with all the might he had.  It was awful.  Thankfully Natalie was with us and took McKay and Sadie out to the waiting room so I could focus on Jax.  

Both are very healthy.  I have been very worried about Jax's head lately.  He has started to develop ridges along the suture lines and they had previously been worried about craniosyntosis.  The pediatrician said he was fine and there's nothing to worry about.  What a relief!

As an interesting sidenote: McKay weighed at 6 weeks what Sadie weighed at 6 months.  She was the tiniest little baby.

Also, do you find it shocking that Jax is only in the 30th and 40th percentiles?  There must me some really BIG kids out there if that's where he falls.  

O Natalie, Where Art Thou?

O Natalie, where are thou?

Thou hast traversed the great divide.
Relief from the strain of parenthood thou didst provide.

With sleepless nights and early mornings.
Did we not give thee fair enough warning?

The opportunity for us to nap, thou didst supply.
Those naps breathed life, or else we would die.

When it was time for the school called "Joy"
I took the girl and thou took the boy(s).

O what fun we had with the bubbles
And with the popcorn we had no trouble.

Not once did thou wish for fun or outing.
"Sufficient," you said, "Just to watch the kids sprouting."

We thought to ourselves, "What would she like?"
The Tampa singles ward? Maybe she'll meet a nice guy named Mike!

Or the beach for a beautiful sunset.
But alas, it was too cold to get wet.

One evening thou didst watch the li'l ones,
Whilst we dated and had our great funs.

Our house thou didst decorate,
The payment not even close to commensurate.

When wilt thou return to us?
Without thee our life is such a bust.

O what happiness thou wilt bring,
To the prince who'll someday bequeath thee a ring.

And to the li'l poppers which thou wilt create,
What an amazing mother, they will say "She's great!"