Go Broncos!

Karlie has become quite the Bronco's fan and got dressed in her Bronco get-up before church this morning. She requested we have blue and orange pancakes today! Cheerleader much?

Evil Woman DNA

I am about to give you a tour through the hormonal and messed-up mind of a female. Chicks are just messed-up, plain and simple. Out of the last 8 years I have been pregnant for a total of 3 years and breastfeeding for 3 years and 6 months so far. If you do the math you can see that my body has been involved in creating or feeding a child for about six and a half of the last 8 years. That doesn't leave much time in between each one, say a few months of "freedom". With Hank being our last baby (I had my tubes tied) I have been looking forward to a little freedom. To not have to watch my diet so carefully. To not feel guilty as I sip my morning coffee or have an occasional glass of wine. I have been longing to take a kid-free vacation with Max. I have been looking forward to not being on a nursing leash where I can only leave the baby for a few hours. I have been anticipating the day of no diapers. I have been day dreaming of one day having a clean house and not a family room that looks more like a day care center. I feel our family is complete and have no desire to do it all over again but then the evil woman DNA takes over.

We received a notice that the bassinet we have is under recall. So this weekend I had Max take it down. I stared bewildered as he agonizingly took it part with all of its intended safety features that do more to frustrate the assembler than keep a baby safe. But I wasn't bewildered at that, I was bewildered at the deep pit growing in my stomach. The feeling of loss, a twinge of sadness, a hot feeling growing around my eyes. I am never going to need a bassinet again. I am never going to have a baby again. Even though I can't fathom having another child, I am disturbed by the knowledge that I will never do this again. Before I could slide down the slippery-sap slope into a complete blubbering mess, Max completed the project and we were off to the next honey-do chore.

Ahh, but the woman DNA had not finished her lashing. Yesterday I decided I need to start exercising again and pulled out my trusty yoga tape. It happens to be a prenatal yoga tape that I have used during each of my pregnancies and postpartum to tone up. Well, you can just imagine the flurry of emotions as I was transported back to all the times I had done the tape pregnant. Meditating with my hand on my growing baby and doing this and that pose to "increase circulation to your baby", the instructor telling me to "breath deeply for the baby inside me". By the end of the tape I could feel my uterus aching and my ovaries contriving a plan on how they could shoot an egg past the road block for just one more go around!

I turned off the tape and tried to analyze what was wrong with me. I can barely handle the kids I have and have no rational want or desire for more, yet every other part of me can't seem to come to terms with the fact that the childbearing decade is coming to a close and that I will never be pregnant again. I have a mind that does not want more kids and is eager to move on to the next stage of our family, a heart that is sad to see this chapter end, and a reproductive tract that has a one tract mind... More! This my friends is a scary peek into the female psyche. I suppose with each baby item we give away or take down (let me tell you there is an entire house full) I will have this internal war waging. I know Max is down on his knees thanking the good Lord above for my OB who so neatly surgically cut the possibility of the evil woman DNA from ever winning this war. :)

Mr. Squirrel's Tea Party

Oh, how nice! A Tea Party for me!
This trail mix is just what I had in mind.
Don't mind if I just help myself.

Happy Birthday Heather

Here is wishing you a happy day. I hope your little ones are good to you today, that you got to sleep in (yeah-right, not for like 10 more years), that you get a moment of quiet (never happens in my house), and that you and Sam could have a date night out (soon anyway:)

Five Months Old

Hank has grown so fast. Could he already be almost 1/2 a year old? With each passing day I am falling harder and harder for my little guy and we are trying to soak up every last minute of babyhood.
This month he found his feet. He loves to roll back and forth while grabbing one or both of his feet. He even occassionally tries to suck on his toes. He also found his voice this month. He is quite the jabber jaws and tried very hard to disrupt the wedding on Saturday. Thankfully Aunt Kathleen was kind enough to take him to the back so he could holler to his heart content.
We have made baby steps on sleeping. He now takes his naps in his crib but still spends the majority of the night in bed with me. I keep trying to convince Max that the couch would be a great place for him for a few months so Hank and I could have the whole bed! :) We are also now exploring the wonderful world of food. This guy is an eater if you couldn't tell from his thighs. We have only tried cereal and bananas but so far he is a fan of food.
Every month when the 18th rolls around I feel an enormous sense of gratitude that I am holding Hank. We don't take it lightly that we came so close to losing our little man and have yet to forget what a miracle and blessing he is.

Republican Patriot Birthday Cake

My baby sister was married on Saturday, which was also my Dad's birthday. My sister Kerrie asked me to make a cake to surprise him with at her reception. Max and I thought for a long time about what symbolized Snork (my dad's nickname). Max came up with the idea to make an elephant coming out of the flag. For any of you that know Snork, you know he is a stead fast Republican. I think he rivals Rush Limbaugh somedays. He is also a man who loves his country very much. The only thing I think he loves more, is his family. So I came up with the idea to put the stars of his life around the flag. The final touch was Snork's favorite beverage, a little Johnny Walker Red.

I have to give Max the credit on this one. He completely designed the elephant. I will do another post later showing the construction of the cake. Let me just say power tools and many hours were involved! We had fun doing this cake together and I learned that red fondant is a pain in the neck to work with.

Thursday 13- Things That Make Motherhood Easier

1. Disposable diapers- Need I say more?

2. Costco/Sam's Warehouse- Where you can buy bulk diapers and wipes.

3. Scrubbing Bubbles- I could do an infomercial for this stuff. It really works! No scrubbing AT ALL.

4. This little key hook thing called a carabiner. It is a rock climbing tool but it has made it so I am no longer spending hours searching for my keys. I just clasp it to my belt loop and always have the keys on me when out and about and then I hang them up with it at home on the key rack.

5. Baby Monitors- So I can stop hallucinating that I am hearing a baby cry.

6. Coffemaker- I am not sure I could face the day without her.

7. Breastfeeding- Always available and the right temperature, can't forget it at home, shuts up crying baby instantly, and FREE!

8. Noise Maker- to drowned out the dog barking at the UPS man who tries to bang down my door during nap time.

9. Moms- without mine I don't think I would have any hair or sanity left.

10. PBS kids- Yes, I use PBS as my babysitter while I make dinner. Since the kids only get to watch an hour of TV a day they are fully fixated while I make dinner.

11.The Internet- for many reasons but the first being that Hailey thinks I am the second smartest person in the world (of course daddy is 1st) because I can sneak away and google anything I need to do her homework. Like explaining what a homophone is or how many miles the Great Wall of China is.

12. School- I am so grateful to have educators to entrust my children's learning with. I do not have the patience, creativity, or smarts to do such a demanding and important job.

13. Husbands- Max is my partner in crime and I couldn't do it without his daily love, support, and compliments. Somehow he manages to find something nice to say even when he comes home to house that looks like Katrina has just flown by with loads of laundry waiting to be folded, toys strewn across the floor, coloring books splayed out on the table, dinner dishes piled high in the sink waiting to be washed, a sticky floor from the milk and juice that were spilled throughout the day, windows full of dog slobber and little handprints, and a wife that is a far cry from one of those 50's moms in pumps, a skirt, with perfect hair and make-up, and a drink in hand for hubby.

First Food

Our pediatrician recommended trying to wait until closer to 6 months to feed Hank cereal but he has become so interested in eating. He watches the spoon as it goes in my mouth and is reaching for food on the table. So we went ahead and tried it. Here the whole family, even the dog, are excitedly waiting to see his reaction. Will he gag? Will he like it?
He slurped it off the spoon like he had been eating soup for years. Spoonful after spoonful he lapped it up!
He loved it!

Too bad it didn't help him sleep any better. He still woke up every 2 hours to nurse. It is ok, you can say it... It's true. SPOILED ROTTEN! :)

A Father's Love

Be sure to get your box of tissues for this one. Can you imagine a love so great? This is a taste of what God's love is like for each of us.

First Oil Change

Okay, I am going to be totally sexist with this one, but too bad, it's my blog. Hank had his first oil change while the girls have yet to patricipate in one. Yep, little dude was hanging out with Daddy in the garage over the weekend. Hank had a first row seat to see how it was all done. Max even gave him a tool to hold. I think he enjoyed it immensely. That is Max did. Hank fell asleep :0)

Homemade Treasure Box

The big, modern, loving, gentle, and psychologist approved parenting approach to discipline these days is to reward your children when they do well instead of punish them when they are bad. Like giving the puppy a dog treat for peeing in the grass instead of rubbing his nose in the pee when he goes in the house. As a result schools and parents across the nation have spent millions creating and maintaining "treasure boxes." We even have to contribute to the classroom treasure box because what teacher could afford enough dollar bin toys to keep the class going?

At home we have used one for when they earned enough stars for good behavior they can get in the treasure box. We decorated it, we put candy, stickers, and little toys in it and attempted to reward their good behavior. As with many things I forgot to keep the treasure box full which always led to a fiasco when they felt due their treasure box treat. After a few of these incidents I swore off treasure boxes and decided my verbal praise was going to have to be good enough!

However, today I discovered the perfect treasure box. I was searching for a hair clip and stuck my hand down in the couch. I felt around and pulled out a baby bottle, a crayon, an old milk dud, and a quarter before landing on my clip. This peeked my interest, so I pulled out the cushions to discover a whole loot of forgotten toys, money, puzzle pieces, hair ties, markers, pens, stickers, and candy! Score! From now on I will be sending the kids to the couch for treasure box! It will never be empty, it is free, helps clean the house, is earth friendly as it it recycles old toys, and you just never know what you are going to get!

Don't Worry Be Happy

Are you smiling yet? :)

I Have Sunk to a New Low

I am feeling a bit like a dog that has been beat down, her spirit broken. Never before have I succumbed to such desperation. Our night started out like any other getting the kids in their P.J.s, brushing teeth, reading stories, tucking them in, drinks of water, one more kiss, one more potty trip, search the house a few times for the stuffy they must have to sleep, tucked in again, and then nursed Hank to sleep and finally started getting myself ready for bed.

Max and I glanced at the clock and gave each other the congratulatory nod for getting them and ourselves all in bed before the clock struck 9 p.m. ( I know, are we lame or what?). Just as I started to drift off to sleep, Hank began to stir. It was oh so painful to wake up at that point. My body felt like led. I got up and brought him to bed with me. At least I would get a few hours of sleep with him cuddled up next to me, even if my neck has a crink in it for week and half my body falls asleep as it is contorted into an unnatural shape as I tried to keep from falling off my 12 inches of the bed. Some sleep is better than no sleep. Around 12 p.m. Hailey came in crying from a bad dream. I nudged Max to wake up and console her since if I moved an inch Hank would wake up. Again at 2 a.m. Hailey was crying, only this time she was hysterical and had that zombie look in her eyes that told me she was having a night terror and not fully awake yet. I spent 15 minutes getting her settled and back to sleep. I then nursed Hank and laid down to try and get a little more sleep.

At 4 a.m. Hank started to fuss so I sat up with him in bed to nurse him again. As I was holding him half awake, I felt a very warm feeling on my stomach. I knew all to well but wanted to pretend I didn't just a little longer. I felt the bed where he had been sleeping and it was cool and wet. I stuck my hand between us as he was nursing and felt wet. Hank was in a milk induced coma and I had one precious hour left before Max's alarm clock would go off. I was left with two options: 1. Wake Max and get everyone out of bed, strip the sheets, change the bed, strip Hank down and have him start screaming and possibly wake up the other kids while I put him in a clean outfit, and then try to get him and myself back to sleep or 2. Put down a receiving blanket over the pee spot and wrap Hank with another one and go back to sleep for an hour. With down cast eyes I confess that I chose to sleep in pee. I have sunk to a new low in the land of motherhood. Pee-full dreams...