Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jacob's Star Day

Okay, so I know that I was supposed to post this a long time ago, but I have a couple of minutes right now, so I thought I would get it done.

Jacob had his star day on December 8. It was a lot of fun. We got to go to music class with him, help his class with a lacing craft (very hard for 4 & 5 year olds), and then I got to listen to him practice for his sing-along with the parents. Here are some pictures that we took.

This was Jacob's poster that he made. He had wanted it to look like a star-just like Kyle's. Unfortunately, Kyle's teacher made his and Jacob's mommy had to make his. However, he did do all the writing himself, with very few mistakes!

This is Jacob and his teacher sharing his poster. He did a great job remembering everything this year. Last year it had been kind of tough!

Then the class got to ask Jacob questions. I wasn't sure how he would do being "put on the spot" like that, but he did great!

Finally, he got to share a special Show and Tell. He brought in his Bear Hunt game. It was lots of fun to teach the teacher!

Again, I am impressed at what these teachers do all by themselves. They have ten students in a class and no assistant. The kids seem to love being there and I love watching them grow each and every day. I can't believe how fast these days are flying by!


Christmas at Home

There is a wonderful magic that I feel waking up on Christmas morning. The kids are not yet at the age when they are waking up at 4 and 5 am to see what Santa brought, so we got to sleep until 7 am, then we opened our stockings, and opened our presents, and ate some Monkey Bread that I put in the oven before all the festivities. The kids are all at an age where they are so excited about what is in the package. However, there were a few presents that were a big hit already.

The boys all got matching pajamas last night to wear. I wish I had gotten Jacob and Kyle's a little bigger, but I already got size 6/7 for them. Who knew I would need bigger? We love our tree in the background!

We got the boys this wooden nativity scene to play with during the Christmas season. It has been a big hit. The boys love to each be one of the "kings."

Then we opened our stockings. I had no idea that the books with wheels and the tootsie rolls wold be such a big hit!

I know that his face doesn't show it, but Jacob has been asking to open this football all morning long. It's hard for him to understand that it's an outside toy and we're not going outside today.

Zachary got a stool and some train books. I think he could have sat there all day!

Anyway, after a fun-filled morning, we are off to my mom's house for some much-needed Grandma and Papa Cassie time. We just spent the weekend with Grandma and Papa Iowa. I will try to post some of the pictures from there later.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kyle's Star Day

Yesterday was Kyle's All About Me day at school. They call it his "Star Day." He got to share a poster that he made, share a book that he donated to the class, provide snack, and provide a craft for the class to do. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the craft, we were working on it so hard. Anyway, he also got to have anyone in the room that he wanted. Daddy stayed for about 45 minutes while Kyle shared his poster and read the story that Kyle decided to donate. Grandma Cassie stayed about an hour and a half, and I stayed the whole time. It was fun to get to see what Kyle does every day. We get to do Jacob's class on Monday.
Here is Kyle sharing his poster. I got to sit up there and help as well. We spent most of our time talking about Tulip Time and how much we liked to go and spend the time at the parades with family. His teacher was quite interested in that.

Here is Kyle and Daddy reading his story to the class. He donated the book Tacky the Penguin and he just loves when Daddy reads the silly places. It was Kyle's choice to have Daddy read.

Jacob even got to come over and listen to Kyle share. He loved the special attention of sitting on Grandma's lap. Grandma really liked getting to see what happens in 4-year-old preschool these days since she taught it about 20 years ago. She was quite impressed.

All in all, it was a fun morning. I am glad that I am not the teacher anymore. I don't know if I would have the patience anymore for the kids. It is often hard enough to have the patience with my own children. I truly thank God for the teachers that have been in my children's lives. They have been fantastic people.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Whew! What a week! We were in Denver with my hubby's family. His brother and sister-in-law graciously let us stay at their house for an entire week! Zachary had a blast, and their son is just two months younger than him. They also have a new baby, just born in September. He is beautiful and a pretty easy going little boy. I have put in an order that my little girl act that way as well!

Here are some pictures that we took. We didn't take too many, but I do really like some of the ones I have.

Here is my hubby. We haven't had an infant around in awhile, so he's getting some good practice!

Here are all the cousins! It's awfully hard getting 5 boys to sit/stand still for a picture. This is the best one I got!

After a 19 hour train ride, this was the scene about 5 minutes after we dropped my mom off who so graciously agreed to pick us up!

We are still recovering, two days after gettting back, but we have some wonderful memories that we will always remember. I hope that we can continue to get together regularly so that my children get to know their cousins and Daddy's family better. We sure love them all!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Awesome Giveaways

Just found out about these awesome giveaways. Check out the link. I always love free stuff for the kids or for me! It is courtesy of a blog called "5 Minutes for Moms." I think it is a blog I will definitely have to check out more often! I can't beleive that it's Christmas season already!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One More Birthday Party

We had our final birthday celebration last weekend. Jacob and Kyle decided that they wanted to invite some friends over for their birthday. They asked for just four friends, Luke, Thomas, Andrew, and Morgan. Unfortunately, Morgan got sick and was unable to come. However the other three did come and it really became just a glorified play date, which was fine with both the boys and me! My hubby was wonderful. He made a fire and the kids roasted marshmallows for s'mores. He played tug-o-war and baseball with them in the backyard. I got to sit and talk to my two friends for awhile as well. We made a little craft and then had some cupcakes. Everyone left to have lunch and we cleaned up what was just a small mess. I didn't take too many pictures, but here are some around the fire:

We also had our first sleepover. Thomas and Andrew had no one to watch them while their mom was with their sister and their dad was at a softball game, so we had them over here! We had pancakes for dinner, then had popcorn and watched a Diego movie. Everyone had fun and the house was not too much of a mess! Here is a darling picture of them watching the movie!


Colors of Fall

I just love fall! The trees are beautiful. If you haven't had a chance to really look, find all the different colors you can. In our neighborhood, we don't even have to leave our street! Here is my neighbor's tree. I absoultely love it!


Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

Okay, so this is what I look like at 24 weeks. Pardon the picture, I used my timer. There is definitely a little pooch there, but nothing at all like I was with Zachary or the twins at this time. Maybe because this is a girl I am smaller. Who know? Someone suggested that because I waited longer between pregnancies that my body had more time to bounce back. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks. The good news is that the baby is healthy. We can hear her solid heartbeat every time I'm in the doctor's office. She kicks hard and frequently. There have been no problems so I cannot complain. Hopefully things will continue on smoothly.

Here, however, is my favorite pregnancy invention. This is my maternity belt. It's the white thing strapped around my lower abdomen.

Like Zachary, this baby is sitting way low in my tummy. I had one of these with Zachary and it helped so much. I wore it all the time. However, somehow it had gotten misplaced, so I went out and replaced it today. I feel so much more supported and not like the baby is hanging low, pulling on everything. I wish I had had one of these with the twins. Jacob sat way low and made a lot of room down there. I think that's why all my other babies have chosen to sit down there as well. However, it does mean that I have limited heartburn with my pregnancies and I never really have that feeling of not being able to breathe. Those are two very good things! Hopefully, no more updates will be necessary. Maybe just more pictures as I get bigger! Grow baby girl, grow!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Survey

Okay, so my friend Emily tagged me for this: Here goes!

1. What was your favorite Halloween/Fall Festival costume as a child?
I hate to dress up, so I cannot really remember any costumes that I had as a child. I think that my mom made me a pumpkin costume once, and I thought it was cool that my mom made it for me.

2. Least favorite costume to wear?
All of them!

3. Favorite candy?
I love Reese's-peanut butter cups, pieces, anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter, but I will eat anything with chocolate in it!

4. Favorite fall treat that you baked?
I think that would be my birthday cake! However, lately, I have a pumpkin cheesecake that I really like. I am a sucker for pumpkin!

5. What age do you think one should stop trick-or-treating?
I think once it becomes all about the candy and you are no longer excited about the costume, so for some people, like maybe my hubby, they should still be trick-or-treating!

6. What is the lamest treat you received?
I can't really remember. I never really liked anything that wasn't candy when I was a kid.

7. Any other traditions on Oct. 31?
Well, seeing as it is my birthday, we always would have a special dinner, usually one I would pick out. Then after trick-or-treating I would get to open my birthday presents from my mom and dad.

8. What costumes will be present in your family this fall?
Jacob and Kyle both want to be baseball players (thank goodness, something I can actually do!), Zachary will either be an M & M or a kangaroo (two costumes that I have available already). I don't know what my hubby will be and did I mention that I hate dressing up?

9. Favorite Halloween or fall movie?
Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday (go figure), so I don't really know any movies that I like. There is a spoof on scary movies called Student Bodies and if you haven't seen it, you should. The plot falls apart at the end, but it's pretty funny up until then.

10. Any funny Halloween stories?
When I was in second grade, I went to change into my costume. I was Princess Leah and I had one of those plastic costumes and masks. Well, I took off all my clothes and just wore my costume. I was cold and everyone made fun of me. Maybe this is why I hate dressing up!

Well, wasn't that fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Can't Stop Bragging!

Here are some updated pictures of Jacob and Kyle. Aren't they just the cutest five year olds you've ever seen?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soccer Mom

Okay, so I am a true soccer mom and I love it! This is some video taken of Jacob and Kyle's last soccer game. It's about a minute. There are four shots of Jacob scoring goals, one of Kyle almost scoring a goal, and one of what Kyle does best-kick the ball away on defense.

Jacob and Kyle are in the grey shirts. Jacob is #7 and Kyle is #9. The quality is terrible so you can't read the numbers, just know that Jacob is the one doing all the scoring! Oh yeah, and when you hear me say, "Oh no!" it's because that's Jacob's 4th goal and the other team has not scored any yet. The game does wind up tied, 4-4.

They have actually been a lot of fun to watch this year. Jacob is so fast that he tended to get a lot of breakaways, while Kyle really wasn't aggressive enough to get in there, so he hung back and played some mean defense. We'll see what happens in the spring!


Update on Jacob

A few months ago, I posted about some of the difficulties I was having getting Jacob some extra help with his fine motor skills. Well, I just wanted to update everyone on where we are in that process. I still cannot get him any occupational therapy until I decide to pay for it myself. I have a perscription for it from the pediatrician, but my insurance doesn't cover any pediatric OTs in the area. So we're still working on that.

I also have an appointment in February for a developmental pediatrician at Children's Memorial. Hopefully, she will be able to help but we'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Jacob has started to do this:

All of the sudden he is starting to color inside the lines.

I wrote the numbers at the top, but he filled the rest of the paper. He also wrote his middle name (the K is two lines up) and his last name.

This is done all by himself and he often bring me papers home from preschool like this as well. The teacher says that he does it all on his own and she doesn't prompt him to do it. This he did completely by choice, I didn't ask him to do it. I am thrilled by it.
So, maybe it's all getting better on its own. I still won't say that he looks comfortable doing it, but he loves to do it. I just really want to make sure that it doesn't become so hard that he stops wanting to do it. Only time will tell...

Birthday Hit

We have several toys from the boys' birthday that have been big hits and several more that Daddy and I have put away for cold winter days or for our train trip to Denver in November. That being said, one of their favorite toys from their birthday is a new game they got from my cousin Bruce and his wife Michele. It is called, "Going on a Bear Hunt." All I could think of was the song, but it is actually more like Guess Who? Do you remember that game from your childhood? Anyway, I think the age on the game said like 7 & up and I thought, "Well, I guess we'll put this away for awhile."

Before I got a chance to put it away, my sister opened it and started playing with her husband (that's so fun to say, my sister's husband), Bill. Next thing I knew, Jacob was watching and learning. For about a day, he needed someone to play with him, but now both him and Kyle can play the game completely independently. They sit across from each other and can play for quite some time. The game is a cool, updated version of the classic, but still requires the kids to find the different traits on each of the bears picutred. We have asked about everything from hats, to mustaches, to freckles, to rosy cheeks, to the shape and color of the noses. It has been really amazing. They also understand what to do when they ask a question and are given an answer, you know, which one to put down. Here are some pictures of them playing:

This is a picture of the board. You spin the dial on the bottom to choose your bear (the boys say "character") and then you flip down the solid wooden pieces when you figure out who the other person is not.

This is Jacob asking a question about Kyle's "character."

Then here is Jacob flipping down the bear that he knows is not Kyle.

Here is Kyle getting his game all set up. I believe that he was choosing his "character" when I took the picture.

P.S. This game is by Melissa and Doug for those of you who know their products. We love them!



Haven't put many of these up lately, I just can't seem to remember them hours later. Must be my pregnancy brain. Oh wait! I was having issues before I was pregnant.

This one was in the car today after Story Hour. We have just had birthday week in our house as many of you know and Jacob is having a very hard time understanding how Zachary's birthday comes before his, but he is older. So we have been talking about how he was born two whole years before Zachary. I'm not sure if he's getting it or not. So this was his comment today:

Jacob: Mom, are we going to die two whole years before Zachary?

Wasn't even sure how to address that one. Luckily when I said "No, probably not," he just let it go. We started talking about the construction trucks on the expressway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Moon Sand

Jacob and Kyle got moon sand for their birthday. I had never heard of it, but today with all the rain we pulled it out.

It pretty much worked just as advertised. It is pretty much sand that molds. It comes in many colors. They chose orange and blue today. It did make a mess all over thought, because it is, after all, sand, so there was some substantial cleaning afterwards. Jacob and Zachary were able to put it into a small bowl and then turn the bowl upside down and have a sand castle.

Other than that, we weren't really sure what to do with it, but they both had a ball, especially Zachary. He just kept moving it from one bowl to another. I forget how easy it is to entertain little kids.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


In the last week all three kids have been to see the doctor. Zachary got two shots, while Jacob and Kyle each got four shots and the flu mist. So Jacob and Kyle can now go to kindergarten. Too bad it won't be for another 10 months.

Our statistics are amazingly similar. Zachary weighed in at 331/2 lbs. and stretched 40 inches. Jacob was 411/2 lbs. and 451/2 inches. Kyle was 43 lbs. and 46 inches. Amazingly, all of their body mass indexes were about the same. Zachary's was 14, Jacob's 14.1, and Kyle's 14.2. All three kids have heights in the 95th percentile, weights right around the 50th percentile, and body mass indexes right around the 5-10th percentile. So when you see us in our bathing suits and ribs are sticking out, it's okay. The doctor says they're healthy and it will probably stay that way, just please don't push any extra fatty food our way. They don't need to be "fattened up" and someday that number will be much harder for them to manage, so they still need to learn to eat healthy and exercise.

Other than that, we are doing well. The baby gets a check tomorrow, so we should be able to hear the heartbeat again. She has been pretty happy in there, sleeping a lot and kicking a bit. I am hopeful that means that this baby will sleep a lot when she is born. Probably just wishful thinking!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Jacob and Kyle!

Today you are both five. I can't believe that it has been that long since you were born and I held you so tiny in my arms. I was going to write you each a separate letter, but there are so many things I want to say to you together that I thought I would start here and give you each your own space as well.

When I found out I was pregnant with you, I was overjoyed. I had been through so much with your daddy being sick that I was so excited to have some happy in our life. Then just a few weeks later I found out that I was going to have both of you, I was overjoyed! I didn't really stop to think about what that was going to mean in real life.

I spent eight weeks on bedrest with the two of you and would gladly do it again. To hear you both cry at your birth almost made me cry as well. You have been two very healthy boys from the day you were born. Whatever weight you couldn't gain inside for whatever reason, you both put on quickly and I have never worried about that since.

This is the two of you shortly after we brought you home from the hospital. You are about two weeks old. Kyle on the left and Jacob on the right.

You are my firsts. Not very many people get to say that, but I have two firsts. You were very easy and content babies. You both were sleeping through the night before you were three months old. You were content in your bouncy seats, exersaucers, and swings. You went to sleep easily and it wasn't long before you were taking substantial naps. You have never complained about naptime or bedtime and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. I am very crabby when I don't get sleep and I think you are both like me in that respect.

As I have watched you over the past five years, you truly have found a friend and playmate in one another. You definitely like to know where the other one is and can pretty easily entertain each other. That's not to say that you don't fight about things, but I know that you will always be there for each other. It seems that every time one of you accomplishes something new, be it sitting up, riding your bike, reading simple words, the other one of you is never far behind. Kyle, you crawled one week to the day after Jacob did. Jacob, you learned how to ride your two wheeler just minutes after Kyle figured it out. I don't even know which one of you started to put sounds in words together first. Neither one of you wants to be left behind, and you both work very hard to try new things.


My true baby. You weighed in at only four pounds three ounces. Many people were petrified to even hold you, but you were always so alert and ready for the next thing. You did many of the gross motor skills first-sitting, crawling, walking, riding your scooter, but you always had this look for your brother that said, "Come on, you can do it too!" Now that you are five, your brain never ceases to amaze me. When we ride in the car you already know how to get so many places and can remember the names of the streets as well. You know all the car manufacturers and several of the models as well. While I am still surprised at the things you remember, I shouldn't be. You really have that steel-trap mind. You have always been more comfortable with grown ups and as long as one of them will let you cuddle up with them, you tend to not care who it is. Yes, we have our trying times-I'm not quite sure how to deal with the fits that you throw-and emotionally you are a little immature, but you are my true cuddlebug. I can always count on you when I am sad to cheer me up. You are a fantastic soccer player, mostly because you run so fast. Your throwing and hitting have improved so much this summer and it's fun to watch a baseball game with you because you really seem to understand the rules and get so excited when something good happens. Your teachers at school love you because you work so hard and want to do well. They are amazed by you because of the things that you have accomplished. We will work more on your fine motor skills so that you can be everything that you want to be. I am so blessed to have you as my son! I love you!


You are the spokesperson for you and your brothers. You want to make sure that everyone knows that there are more than just you. You try to get Jacob to do things with you so that you don't have to go through it alone. You try and try and try things until you get them right. Your frustration level is very low for new things. Your love of baseball and the Cubs has been wonderful for me to see. I love to sit down and watch a game with you because I know that you and I think the same way. However, I am getting a little scared to play with you because you hit so hard I am afraid of getting hurt. You are so compassionate. Just last week you asked me, "So how was church Mom?" when I came to pick you up from Children's Worship. You never fail to make a friend on the playground and your teachers see you as a leader. You remember conversations very well. I am always surprised at the things that you remember that I said. You are a stickler for making sure that others follow the rules, but don't necessarily think that you need to follow them yourself. We're working on that. You have wonderful athletic ability and I know that you will be successful at whatever sport you decide to play. I love to get a smile from you because they are not easy to get and you only give them out when you are truly happy. I hold a special love in my heart for you because I think you look the most like me and I can't wait to see what that brings as you continue to grow. You always have a desire to do the next thing "all by myself." Just in the last few days you have started being able to snap the snap on your jeans. To others that may not seem like a big deal, but it makes having to go to the bathroom at school so much easier. I can't wait to see the adult you will become! You add such blessings to my life! I love you!

To both of you-

This is my favorite picture of you right now. You both look so happy and it just melts my heart to see my boys so close to each other.

Now that you are five, so many baby things are going away. Last year you gave up sippy cups, you are riding your two wheelers for longer and longer bike rides, and you are able to explain things to your little brother that I didn't think you could. My prayer for you both is that you never find yourself limited and that you are always willing to try new things. Know that I will always be there to support you and that my love for you is as limitless and your choices and abilities in life.

I love you both!

Asian Beetles

Do you have the Asian Beetles at your house? I'm sure you do. They look just like ladybugs but are more orange in color, and they smell as well. We have them all over by us. We have had them before, but they seem to be extra-populous this year.

I went to lay down with Jacob in my room yesterday for a nap and I went over to close the blinds. We had the windows open because it was a beautiful day. As I closed the first blind, I noticed there was one of those beetles on the window. I decided that I wasn't going to deal with it because I really wanted Jacob to sleep and I was just being lazy. As I closed the second blind which is the big window of our bay window, I noticed about 10 more. As I started to look, they were on the ceiling above the bay window and over on the third window as well. Fortunately my hubby was also home and he came in and took care of all of them, but I bet he found 30 beetles.

It turned out that our screens are not quite the right size for the windows and the beetles were able to get in the sides of the screens. I guess we cannot open the windows in our room until beetle season is over. I'm hoping that's when a hard frost hits. Until then, I guess that we'll run our fan and try not to be too stuffy. Anybody have any other ideas that don't involve spending lots of money to replace our screens?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bee Sting

I got stung by a bee today.

I can't remember the last time that I was stung. I had to be about 10.

I didn't even know the bee was there until I felt something sharp go in my finger.

I looked a few seconds later and saw the bee sitting there.

Wow! Did it hurt!

Fortunately we had an ice pack with us.

However, 3 hours later, it still hurts, and my finger is pretty swollen.

Now I have a better perspective of how my children feel when they are stung.

I will be more sympathetic.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

In the Still

In the quiet stillness of this morning that will soon be turning into a very busy day, I had a few moments to sit and think and ponder and pray. These are some of the thoughts running through my head.

  • Is there enough time to get all of this craziness in?
  • Please, please, don't let me forget my flowers for this picture!
  • Are the balloons and cake going to get picked up?
  • We need another cooler and ice!
  • Do we have enough games for the kids to play?
  • Do we have enough things to keep the kids busy?
  • Will this little girl inside me continue to make this pregnancy very easy?
  • We need to get the decorations out before we leave.

See we have to go take a few pictures from my sister's wedding this morning. We left out a few two weeks ago on the actual day and my mom is just sick about it, so she got the tux guy to give her back the four tuxes (the boys' and the groom's) for free, we're praying that the flowers that we've been saving in water in the refrigerator hold up, and that we all can pull ourselves together for just a few more pictures.

Anyway, Zachary is now awake, the stillness is over. Let the craziness begin! Oh yeah, after the pictures, I have 25 people coming to my house for a birthday party! Lord, help me remember that this is all supposed to be fun!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Happy birthday to my favorite three year old. As I discussed with a friend today, birthdays seem to take on a whole new meaning when they are the "birth"day of your child. I can clearly remember all the events of three years ago. It all actually started three years and one day ago. My water broke the night before you were born at about 6:00 pm. Many of my friends remember because Daddy and I were at church for bible study. We were not ready and we had to shuffle your brothers around because Grandma and Papa were about 2 hours away, but we finally made it to the hospital about 7:30. I was all about the epidural, and at 3:49 am, with a little vaccuum assist, you were born. It sure made for a long night and Daddy and I were really tired the next day.

Later in the day, Grandma and Papa brought your brothers to see you for the first time. Kyle really wanted to hold you and Jacob pretty much wanted nothing to do with you. Bruce and Michele were on their way to the airport and they stopped to see you. We finally got a hold of Aunt Sara and Uncle Bill and they came to see you later that night.

However that was three years ago and you have changed so much since then. As I watch you today, you are certainly an amazing little boy. Yes, I still call you my little boy. I don't think I am ready for you to grow up yet. You absolutely adore trains. It is so much fun to see how excited you get when you see one. Just today on our way home from church, you stuttered your way in excitement as we went over not one, but two trains. You said things like:

"There goes the train!"
"There's a consist. It has two engines."
"Look! It's going backwards!"

You love your wooden trains and train table at home as well as your lego trains, and any other train you might happen to find. Even if there is no train, you find one, like at the new Whole Foods, there is a little decorative canopy over the front doors, and you told me that you thought it was a track for trains.

You love your brothers and most of the time think you are as old as they are and can do anything they can do. Sometimes I am appreciative of this. I truly feel that is why you were potty-trained by two and a half and how you have learned to undress yourself already (for those of you that have only girls, this is something that you have to TEACH boys to do). Sometimes however, it makes for difficult times and you don't always understand that you can't do the things that they can do yet. I sometimes say, "You're not four, you can do that when you're four." You then shout, "I AM four!" All this does is make us go round and round, soI guess that I need a new argument. You want to go to school just like your brothers. You love your Parent's Day Out, but I know that you are looking forward to next year to going to the same school Jacob and Kyle went to.

You are the most stubborn child I have. Papa always has told you that you can't out-stubborn your mom, but you are giving me a run for my money. Hopefully you will learn to use this skill for good. I think I have, for the most part anyway.

Your smile and laugh lights up my day. It's hard to stay angry with you when you grin at me. I love our "donut Mondays"-grocery shopping while the boys are at school and we get a donut at Meijer. I love to snuggle with you when you have just woken up from a nap. I dread the mantra of "I'm hungry," which seems to escape your mouth about every three minutes. I love to listen to you sing. Just yesterday I heard you belt out "Open the eyes of my heart," while playing and then this morning you started "The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's the book for me!" You seem to have a natural gift for music and I hope that I can encourage that. You learn songs very fast and seem to remember them for a long time.

I don't know what the future holds for you, but I know that I love you more today than the day you were born. You are my baby boy, and since the next one is a girl, you will always get to stay that way.

I love you! Happy Birthday Zachary!

God is Watching

I had a rough day today. I have been in tears more times than I can count. Jacob is overtired and so the fits and arguing have increased and it is mentally and emotionally exhausting. Zachary decided not to take a nap today, so that frustrated me as well. Today is Zachary's birthday (I hope to have a happier post on that later), and we are trying to get ready for all three boys' party on Saturday (the house hasn't been cleaned in who knows when), so I just think I am a little stressed.

Then as I was cleaning up a few things this evening, I was reading the rest of the church newsletter that has gotten discarded under piles of things on our island. I wanted to get it in the recycle bin so I was skimming it. At the very end, I found this. I don't know who wrote it, I would like to give them credit if anyone knows. It goes like this:

When you thought I wasn't looking...

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wsn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned that we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grew up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but that it is alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give Daddy a big hug and I knew it was alright to love someone without holding back.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I often wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking," but I couldn't because then you would know I was peeking.

Wow! These words hit me like a ton of bricks. God is always watching me and knows just what I need to hear. He put these words in front of me and had me in tears again, but this time, the tears were for a different reason. I try so hard to help my children with right and wrong and sometimes feel as if I am always correcting them. I need to remember that God is in control and if I can just be the person He wants me to be, I can be the example that my children need in order to be the people that God wants them to be. So while it's okay to cry about things, I need them to be about the things that really matter.

Life, it seems, will take care of itself.

Sleep Schedules

For as long as I have had children, sleep schedules have been the one thing that can always throw me over the edge. Seeing bags under my babies' eyes and having to deal with the fits that come from being overtired are the two most difficult things for me about being a mother.

For awhile, Jacob and Kyle had the best sleep schedule. They went to bed at 8 pm, woke up between 6:30 and 7 am, then took a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. Starting soon after they turned four, they gave up that nap, and I feel as though I have been trying to figure out a new schedule ever since. I have been trying to put them to bed at 7 pm to make up for the lost sleep during the day, and that worked at the beginning. However, now they are not going to sleep right away, but not compensating for it in any way. Often they are up until after 8 pm! I know that that doesn't sound late, but the two of them are barely getting 10 hours of sleep each night. Jacob is up by 7 am every morning, and because he and Kyle share a room, Kyle is usually woken up by him as well. At first I was able to say, "We need to take a nap today because we are tired and we have a lot to do tonight." Even this however, is not working anymore, and neither is laying down with either of them.

Zachary had a lot of trouble sleeping in the afternoon until he was 18 months old. Then we put tubes in his ears and he started taking 2 hour naps in the afternoon. Well, here it is, just 18 short months later and he is boycotting naps. On the occasion that he does take a nap, he is up in his bed talking at night until between 9 and 10 pm. To make matters worse, he is up at night 2-4 times a week. Granted he just has to go potty and will go right back to bed, but still, we have to get up with him. I will confess that my hubby has been the one getting up most of the nights. However, some nights he lays in his bed for 45 minutes to and hour before he falls back asleep.

As much as I hate this word, it's the only one that describes the sleeping patterns in our house right now. Our sleep schedules suck!

Every day I find myself just praying that Zachary will take a nap and that Jacob and Kyle will fall asleep at a reasonable hour at night. Other than pray, I don't know what else to do. Maybe some of you seasoned moms out there can help me.

This is an issue that has always been able to bring me to tears. It's not pregnancy hormones, as it happens when I'm not pregnant as much as when I am. There is so much for these beautiful boys to learn and experience in this world and I would hate for them to miss anything because they are too tired and cranky to notice it.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Aftermath

So, we celebrated my sister's wedding last weekend. I feel as though I have been living and breathing the wedding for the past 5 days and yet have also had to be living and breathing my own life. They didn't overlap much.

The boys were in the wedding. They dropped flower petals out of top hats. They were adorable. However, there are no pictures of them doing this that I have or know of. Hopefully the photographer got them. I also don't really have any pictures of them. I am hopeful that someone has something that they will send either to my mom or to me.

Anyway, here is a picture of the bride and groom. I have never seen my sister look happier or more beautiful.

And here is a picture of all the girls. I thought the hairdressers and the make-up people did an outstanding job. But I thought the flowers were the best part to go with the dresses. I absolutely loved them!

I felt really old at this wedding. I was happy to dance some, but sit and talk to my relatives as well. Being pregnant, I couldn't drink, but I didn't feel that I missed it either. I was so happy that my two best friends were invited. They have been such a wonderful part of our family's life over the past 15 years or so, maybe even closing in on 20 years. They also seemed happy to see my sister so happy!

So here's to you Sara and Bill! Your smiles that day will remain with me forever and I hope that I continue to see them on your face. May God bless all that you do and may you find much happiness! I love you both!