Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not exactly what I had hoped for

This morning my mother-in-law came over to watch some of the kids so Jeremy and I could go to church. Bella was the only one of the older kids that wanted to go this morning, so we headed off with just her and Micaiah. Half way to church, she suddenly pipes up "You know why I wanted to go to church this morning?" I'm thinking she's going to say something about doing a craft or wanting to play. (our church has a fantastic kids program, and for the younger classrooms the kids actually climb a stair maze and then slide down into the room!) What does she say though? "I wanted to go to church because I don't want to clean up this morning!!!" Geeze, maybe church is exactly where you NEED to be Bella!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hey now!

Nahshon was overdue for his nap this afternoon, and as a result was being extra grumpy. Trying to make him happy, I hear Genna say "Here Nahsh, read Bella's diary." Umm, I don't think that's gonna fly with your sister young lady! Not to mention, you don't know what she might offer up of yours as retaliation! I can see we are in for an adventure raising up sisters, let's hope we all survive.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good Morning!

I love that this is what I see first thing when I wake up in the morning. What a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Would you do it?

Did you know it's not illegal to drive without your shoes? True stuff.

At church on Sunday, our pastor did a service about sacrifice in honor of memorial day. He said a good way to measure where you stand and where your heart is at in terms of service and sacrifice is how you react when someone asks something of you. He then encouraged the entire church to make a sacrifice right then and there; our shoes. He asked us to leave behind our shoes so they could be donated to the Soles for Souls program, which will distribute the shoes around the corner and around the world to people who have no shoes. My initial reaction when he asked this was "Really, you want me to give you my shoes? My SHOES? MY shoes?" Immediately my thoughts turned to how self-important am I that I can't give the shoes off my feet to someone who needs them much more than I do? The inconvenience of it is so minor compared to the good it will do for someone else. Sure I have to walk across the parking lot barefoot, but from there I will climb into my car, sit on a cushy seat, and RIDE the rest of the way home. (with the luxury of sunglasses, a radio, and car windows down giving me a nice breeze on the warm day to boot) Good grief, of course I'll leave my shoes! The shoes I left were not new, but they were in great condition and they were shoes that I really liked wearing in the summer. Regardless of how much I liked my shoes, I'm pretty sure God would tell me that it's more important to love people (even the ones you don't know on the other side of the world) than to hang on to stuff that means nothing. I wasn't exactly planning to take those shoes with me when I die. (or any shoes for that matter!)

After thinking about that service for a couple days, I have started to realize just how privileged our society is. I've always know we have it better than so many others around the world, but I don't think I've given it much thought as to what exactly that means. What is it that I enjoy on a daily basis that others only dream about? And most importantly, what else can I do or sacrifice for others in need?

If you are interested in donating shoes, here is the Soles for Souls website:

Also, Eastlake Community Church will be collecting shoes on Thursday evening from 7-9pm

Monday, May 25, 2009

It really is magic!

Cai absolutely loves sleeping in his pillow! This was a mother's day gift from the hospital when he was born, and it has been the best gift ever. The ends of the pillow have velcro so I'm able to pull them together and make a little "nest" of sorts to cradle him. It's perfect for those times when the other kids need me and he's having trouble settling down for a nap. He gets to feel cuddled and cozy, and I'm able to do my mom duties with the other kids- it's perfect!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anyone up for a little ice hockey?

The other night I called out to the kids and asked them what they were up to in the living room. "We're just playing ice hockey, mama". I peeked out at them and sure enough the floor was littered with ice cubes and they were shooting them around the room with plastic hockey sticks. That's one way to make sure the floor gets washed. Carry on......

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ridin' high

A day at the zoo with daddy

A handful of worms

Sounds like a cute book title right? Nope, it's what each of my boys brought in with them to lunch. YECH!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

sleep smiles

Micaiah smiles constantly in his sleep, and it is absolutely precious. This isn't the best pic. because I snapped it fast at an odd angle (sometimes baby smiles are hard to catch on camera!), but it gives you an idea of what I get to look at all the time. If my heart could sigh.......

breakfast of champions?

This is why I proceed with extreme caution when Bella offers to make breakfast for me:

cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and pickles on top
cold leftover roasted red potatoes with peppers

yum yum?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who are you?

I always find myself wondering this when we bring home someone new. Who are you? Who will you be? What will you do in this life? I can't wait to get to know you better Micaiah!

We're getting there

Nahshon has come a long way since we brought Micaiah home last week. He's gone from wanting to have nothing to do with him, to actually trying to help take care of him. And no, I did not bribe him to take this picture!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The sweet spot

After partying all night long, Micaiah was super tired today but just could not fall asleep for longer than 10 minutes. I think I have discovered his magic place.......
wrapped up in his blanket, cuddled into his boppy

Looking good little man!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Learn your lessons little boy

Genna decided it was high time that Nahshon learned to count to 100 and tell time (despite the fact that he doesn't even say his own name yet), so she set him up with some charts and gave him his lessons. At least he's kind enough to play along by pretending to be interested.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friends Forever

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips~ unknown

toddler talk

How do you know when your 1 1/2 year old is done eating? I guess when they wear the bowl. Gotta love the non-verbal communication of toddlers!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby to big girl

When sorting through the baby things, Genna came across some of her baby things that I had tucked away in a save box. This was her baby blanket that she had since birth, and the baby doll was her very first doll that we bought her when we found out we were having Elijah. Can't believe my baby girl is such a big girl now.

Nope, sorry, ain't gonna happen

Micaiah and I had our check-up at the postpartum clinic, we are both healthy and doing great. When the nurse was asking me if this was a planned pregnancy, she said "so he was an OOPS baby". I quickly corrected her that he was a surprise; no child is ever an OOPS. It makes me so sad when people refer to pregnancies and children as an accident or mistake. Children are a gift, and I think too many take that for granted. The Bible says this about children:

Psalm 127:3-5
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate

Sure, we did not specifically plan each of our children and endured some difficult times with a few of our new additions, but you will NEVER hear even a tone of regret come from my mouth about my children. I will NEVER feel sorry for myself for the things I have sacrificed for the sake of my children. I will NEVER apologize or feel badly about their existence. Not one of them was an OOPS, no child in this world is an OOPS. This is a very popular quote that you have probably seen a lot, but it's one that I love:

“The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. But our culture applies for curses and rejects blessings.” ~ Doug Phillips

Another quote I especially love when thinking of the amazing responsibility that surrounds raising kids:

"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see" ~ John J. Whitehead

Micaiah was a surprise, but that's the great thing about God, He knows better than I and knew this was a surprise that I would love with all my heart. I still have moments from time to time where I wonder what it is that I have to offer these 6 little blessings, but I take comfort in the fact knowing each of them was hand picked by God specifically for this family. Who am I to question that?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ok, here's a few to get us started

Isaac felt it was time for Micaiah to do his science lessons so he loaded him up with magnifying glasses

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm in LOVE

Well folks, there is a new man in my life and he has captured my heart! He's sweet, loves to cuddle, and just as handsome as can be. We just met, but it was love at first sight!

Baby Micaiah Gregory made his grand entrance into the world on May 9, 2009! He was born at 6:55pm, weighing in at 8 pounds 1 oz., and 20 inches long. He's healthy and perfect in every way. The kids are thrilled to have him home, and Isaac especially loves him. He has already claimed Micaiah as HIS baby and no one elses! Nahshon isn't too sure about the whole thing. At first he sort of just made a face and said NO when we introduced him. Slowly he's been working up the courage to touch him, but doesn't seem to like that he's lost his position as the baby. Thankfully the older 4 kids want to hold him constantly, which frees up my arms for some extra Nahshon love. I have to get Jeremy to free up some space on the computer for pictures, but hopefully I'll be able to post them by tomorrow. Be sure to check back soon!

Now, for those of you that like birth stories, we've come to that part of this entry. On Friday morning (May 8th) I saw my doctor, and he said he expected I would go over my due date by 3-4 days. I have a great doctor that I trust fully, so I had no reason not to believe him. The nurse said my blood pressure was on the higher side or normal, which I know can be an indicator labor is coming soon, but I also know "soon" can mean 3 hours or a week so I didn't think much of it. I was a little bummed to hear that the baby wouldn't be here until probably the 15th or 16th, but figured I would use this week to get the last bit of stuff done that hasn't been completed.

Most of Friday I was very tired, and noticed Micaiah was pretty calm and quiet as well. Friday night I was feeling unwell so I had a bath and went to sleep early thinking perhaps I was coming down with something. Saturday morning I actually woke up feeling pretty great, but was having a lot of little back cramps. I figured feeling run down the day before was just my body needing some extra sleep, and the back cramps were just normal end of pregnancy discomfort. I really had not been anywhere alone since I first went on bedrest (Jeremy was good about making sure I followed Dr's orders, and then didn't really want me driving myself anywhere in case I went into labor and got stranded), but I decided I really needed a little break and would go just down the street and get the things I needed to pack for the hospital and gather some things for goodie bags for the kids for when we brought the baby home. I figured getting out and walking around would probably help my back ache too, which it did. Within minutes of getting home though the back cramps started up again. I just shrugged it off and went on with my day. I could tell Jeremy was hesitant to leave for work because I was still very uncomfortable with all these back aches, but I told him it was probably nothing and to go ahead and leave. About 30 minutes later I called just to chat with him for a minute and said I really didn't know if this was anything to make note of or not. He told me to call him at any time if I felt like I needed him to come home. I decided to lay down since the kids were napping, and ended up falling asleep.

A little after 4:00 I was woken up by a strong contraction and back cramp. I sent Jeremy a text to let him know how I was feeling and decided to take a shower to relax. I was having some contractions, but couldn't even feel them because the back pain was all I could feel. There really was no regularity, and since my Dr. predicted the day before it would still be another week, I still though it was nothing. Around 4:30 I just started feeling emotional and nervous for no particular reason and at 5 I called Jeremy and asked him to come home and be with me. My mom was up at her property in Stanwood, and his mom was in Eastern Washington. He called my mom and asked her to come over, and then talked with me while he drove home. He decided by the sound of my voice that we would be heading to the hospital soon, so he decided to call my dad and ask him to come over. (my dad was working near by so he would be able to get to our house much quicker than my mom) The kids and I tidied up a bit while we waited for everyone to show up. Jeremy and my dad arrived about the same time, but I still had to finish packing my hospital bag.

We headed for the hospital shortly after 6pm. As we were walking into the hospital I told Jeremy I was kind of mad that I called him because I was certain it would be false labor. We checked in and I finally got on to a triage bed around 6:25 pm. The nurse strapped on the monitors and said I was contracting every 2-3 minutes. All I could feel was back pain, and was still wondering if I was even dilated or not. She also said my blood pressure was really high, and seemed rather worried. A bit later she asked Jeremy to pull off my jeans so she could see if I was progressing at all, and we both told her that once I got to 6-7cm, it would only be a matter of minutes before the baby came. I remember at some point she said I was 6 1/2 cm and I'd be staying, so I sent a text to family and friends and called my mom to let her know. Before my mom could even pick up the phone, I started having a big contraction and handed it off to Jeremy. While he was talking to her, all of a sudden POP and I screamed "my water broke!". I have never had my water break on it's own before, so this completely took me by surprise and startled me. The nurse came back in to see, and quickly started calling orders to other nurses to get my IV, get me a room, call a doctor, etc.... At that point the nurse looked at the sheet on the bed and said there was meconium in the water. The look on her face told me that this baby needed to come out quickly, and I guess my body knew it too. This is where things get fuzzy. The pain got so intense I just closed my eyes and held on to the side of the bed. I vaguely remember nurses barking orders at each other while they took the breaks off the triage bed and started running down the hall. I remember hearing them yell for someone to get the elevators open. At that time all I thought about was:
this baby needs to get out of there
there is no time (no time for meds, no time for a doctor, no time to slow down and get a grip on the situation)
why does no one know my Group B Strep status?

I know we wheeled into a room, and there was a frenzy of nurses everywhere. Jeremy was somewhere near and I could occasionally hear him say something to comfort me. Within seconds of them parking the bed, I remember my body fulling taking over and I didn't even have a chance to process what was happening. I remember pain that was so paralyzing all I could do was just scream. I kind of remember someone saying look and not long after that I heard a baby cry. That's when I realized he had been born! All that paralyzing pain was my body pushing the baby out; I never once consciously pushed. Because of the meconium in the water they immediately whisked him away to suction him, I guess Jeremy didn't even get to cut the cord this time. I remember after the pain began to stop I looked across the room through the haze of nurses and caught a little glimpse of a pink little baby under the warming lights. I remember seeing nurses smiling and chattering, which told me that he was OK. About that time a doctor finally wandered into the room. She asked me to move over to the delivery bed (I was still on the triage bed) so she could deliver the placenta. Ok, whatever. There was still a frenzy of nurses everywhere; trying to start an IV, trying to ask me all sorts of questions, trying to help the doctor...... It was all very overwhelming. My body was in shock mode and I was trembling, and the poor nurse trying to start my IV was having no luck.

Once the nurses finished their assessment and determined he was having no problems from the meconium, Jeremy was able to bring him over to see me. The nurses forgot to call the delivery time, but their best guess was 6:55pm. (Jeremy said it was 6:53pm, but I told him I was just glad it was done with and wouldn't even care if his records showed his birth as 6:50-ish) I didn't even get to hold him until around 7:30, but even then I was still feeling weak and trembling from everything my body had been through. In case you couldn't already guess, going from walking and talking and thinking it was false labor to delivering a baby 25 minutes later is VERY INTENSE. Thankfully, despite everything that happened, Micaiah and I are both doing great and were released from the hospital by 1:30pm on Mother's Day.

It all happened so quickly that by the time Jeremy and I were alone in our room having dinner I still couldn't even believe our little guy was here. It was all very surreal. I feel like the fogginess of it all just started lifting when I woke up this morning and saw the sun shining through the window and my beautiful baby boy's face. Micaiah did great his first night home, and we were able to get a nice long nap today. So far we are adjusting well, and I feel pretty confident that things will continue to fall into place nicely. I am thrilled beyond words he is finally here, and so happy to be at home loving on ALL my babies. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. Life is great.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ok, enough is enough!

Most women who have been pregnant will tell you that pregnancy can cause strange dreams. I have certainly had my fair share of strange dreams, but this was just downright obnoxious! I woke up (rather early) with a montage of Barry Manilow songs playing in my head. I do not consider myself a "Fanilow", and I don't even own a single one of his songs- not even in my iTunes account. They are fine in the occasional romantic comedy, but not music I would turn on purposely. I have no idea why these songs were in my head, I didn't even know I knew that many Manilow songs, but what an unnecessarily annoying way to start a day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

sweet prayers

The children like to all take turns saying the meal time prayer, and yesterday at lunch Isaac asked to do it. His words weren't really clear enough for me to understand exactly what he was saying, but he did pray for Micaiah by name! I don't think he realizes yet who (or even what) Micaiah is, but I guess he realizes Micaiah is important enough that he should be praying for him!

perhaps we should talk about what the word "important" means

At 2:30 am I was woken up by a little voice saying "mama, mama". I opened my eyes to see Bella standing beside me. She wasn't crying, but I reached out to hold her hand and asked her what was wrong. I always tell my kids if they ever wake up scared in the middle of the night, they can always wake us up and ask us to pray for them. (of course they can always come get us if they are sick, in pain, or have some sort of emergency too) I figured Bella was just frightened a bit by the wind and rain. Her response though to my question of what was wrong- "um, mama, when I watch the Golden Girls, I get dehydrated." Huh? Really, you woke me up at 2:30 to tell me that? She knows if she feels dehydrated she should drink water, and she also knows that she never EVER has to ask permission for water. It's probably needless to say I'm very tired today, and I think after nap time we're going to have a little chat about things that are important vs. things that fall into the you have got to be kidding me category.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

When Jeremy and I decided to homeschool our kids, we agreed that this would be a year-by-year decision. We chose to homeschool for a number of reasons that can be best summed up by saying it was the right decision for our family at that time. We are now finishing up our second year at home, and I cannot even express how happy I am that we made this decision! There was once a time that I did not agree with homeschooling. (yes, I was one of those people that thought kids didn't get socialized) But I am more than happy to eat my words now that I've lived and loved the homeschooling life. Before coming to the decision to homeschool, our oldest went through two years at a wonderful private school and our second oldest did a year at a public elementary school. (he has also gotten speech services for the past two years at the elementary school around the corner, which we are no longer going to continue) Now that we have fully experienced the different schooling options available to us, I can say with certainty that for now, homeschooling is still the best choice for our family. (and the kids love it too) I absolutely love our homeschool group and the friends that we have made, they are all such wonderful and amazing people. I'm really excited to be thinking about next year and planning out what we will be learning and reading. Of course I am still committed to reassessing our situation each year, because I'm not going to let stubbornness get in the way of what's best for my kids. For this season in our lives though, we are going to continue to do math in our PJ's and explore this wonderful world together as a family. Life is good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

An interesting little article

Top 10 animal moms! This is a fun little article from Animal Planet about some of the most devoted moms in the animal kingdom. It has some very interesting facts, but also some..... well ........ let's call them "true life nature" facts. Nothing about evolution or anything, just a few little bits of info that young learners might be more frightened than fascinated by. I personally thought the info about the alligator eggs was particularly interesting. Hope you enjoy!

preggy update

Ok, so here's the scoop. I went to the doctor this morning and pretty much nothing has changed in terms of dilation or effacement. Micaiah has however dropped considerably lower. (He was already sitting pretty low at a -2 station a couple weeks ago) When the doc was taking the measurements and checking the baby's position, the shoulders are now sitting where the head was last time. He said this is what's causing my horribly sore hips and upper legs. (and they are SORE!) He also said that there was pretty much no chance I'd be going into labor anytime within the next week, and that things were looking on schedule for my due date. So I'm just going to use this week to get some things done and know that by the time I go see my doc next Friday I'll be one week closer!

The kids are getting very excited, and they all have their own ways of getting ready for the arrival of their new brother. Genna is sort of "nesting" with me. She's cleaning and organizing, and helping me get baby stuff in order. Elijah is my little protector and care giver. He's always getting me water, making sure there are no spills on the floor I could slip on or toys to trip over, offers me his hand when I'm getting up off the floor, etc..... He's just been an absolute gentlemen. Isabella is working on getting Micaiah used to life on the outside. I showed her how he was positioned in my tummy (where his back, feet, knees, etc... are), so now she tickles my tummy where his feet are and pats my tummy where is tush is. She says she's giving him little love spanks! She also talks to him all the time, and tells him all about the happenings around here. Isaac still doesn't really understand and keeps claiming he "has babies in his boobies".

Not too much longer now!