Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Next Phase

Each day Grace takes another step away from babyhood.  She insists on walking next to me instead of being pushed in her stroller at the farmer's market.  She can tell us exactly what she wants, and what she doesn't.  She has her own opinion as to what she should wear (she almost always wants to wear a dress) each day.  Just recently I discovered that she has the ability to sit still long enough to have her toenails and fingernails painted.

Grace is coming up on her two year birthday fast which brings even more change upon us.  The independence and strong will is already starting to show itself as we near the two year mark.  I have started to prep her for her potty training which I'm sure we will embark on soon.  Soon she will be moving into a big girl bed and the crib and changing table will be stored away.  There will be no more diapers, wipes, sippy cups, cribs or crib sheets.  They will be gone for good. 

You'd think this would make me rejoice.  But it doesn't.  It makes me melancholy.  To think I will never again have my very own newborn in my arms.  I will never again feel my baby kick from inside my belly.  I will never again lift my little babe from the crib with weary worn arms, sit down in the glider and fall asleep while nursing my babe.  No more babies.  None.  All done. 

And yet just yesterday I took a pregnancy test.  Just to see. Because I always think I'm pregnant.  Even though Todd had a "little procedure" (much to my chagrin) last year to ensure that four would be our final number I still took a test.  Even though a pregnancy would be a virtual impossibility I took a test.  Maybe I was just hopeful.  And as I squinted and searched for that second line to appear I realized how hopeful I had been. 

Hopeful even though my four are more than a handful at times.  Even though I sometimes wonder how I am going to make it through raising the four I've got now, hopeful.  Hopeful even though there is a big part of me that doubts I can do it all again.  Hopeful even when there was a small part of me sweating and silently thinking, "No way!"  Though we are finally at a point when we can start planning that Disney vacation, I was still hopeful.  Hopeful even though I think three boys and a little girl is just about as perfect it gets.  Even though I am truly enjoying each of my children and the stage that we are at as a family, for some crazy reason, I was still hopeful. 
Four is my number.  And I'm so lucky.  I know that.  I am so grateful for the fabulous kids that I do have and I'm excited to begin this next phase with my family.  There is so much to look forward to.   So much in store.  I know God's plan is always perfect and I pray to accept His will gracefully. 

Though I will always yearn for one more baby I know that eventually there has to be a last child.  And I couldn't have dreamed of a more amazing "last" child.  She is the perfect completion of our family.  We end with Grace.  Gracefully. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Met My First Bloggy Friend!

When one of my lovely bloggy friends contacted me and asked if I knew of any nice beaches in the area I just couldn't resist directing her to my town.  I sent links of my city and places to stay, and lucky for me she and her family happily planned a vacation here.  This past week I met Kelly and her gorgeous family at the beach and we got to spend a little time together. 

I have always felt I had so much in common with Kelly, both of us having three boys and husbands named Todd, just too name a couple things.  It was so nice actually getting to meet the beautiful Kelly and see the people that I have been reading about for years.  

Her boys couldn't have been sweeter.  My kiddos loved playing with them, digging in the sand, making big holes, being dragged around on the boogie boards by her oldest, Drew, and burying dead fish with them.  Good times. 
It was hard to get them all in one spot, relatively still, and looking towards the camera, but I got close. 

Unfortunately, our time was short, due to Grace's crankiness and need for a nap, but I really enjoyed spending time with them.  I'm so glad that they all got to enjoy my city and that they had such a great vacation.

Hopefully we will see them all up here again someday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You Capture- "Trees, Beautiful Flowers, and Little Cute Babies


This week's theme was chosen by Beth's little cutie, Noah.  He thought we should all capture "trees, beautiful flowers, and little, cute babies."  Sounds perfect to me! 

Let's start out with the little, cute babies. 

This is my baby holding her baby.  She just loves to play mama.  One of my many nicknames for her is "Lil mama".  She walks around the house cradling her baby in her arms.  You should see her proud little face when I declare, "What a good mumma you are!"
Next, we are on to trees.  I've posted pics of this tree before. It is one of my favorite trees.  I love how it looks a bit tropical.  It provides enough shade to keep us cool,
and still filters enough sunlight onto my flowers beneath it.  Love this tree. 
Now we move on to flowers.  And boy, do I have flowers.  I thought my garden was in full bloom last month, but it just keeps gettin' bloomier.  Now that my hydrangeas are bloomin' my front porch never looked so good.
I have blue hydrangeas.
Bright pink hydrangeas.
And light purple hydrangeas.  Ooooo.
I've got all different colored flowers in my front garden too.  Bright red flowers that we like to call "fireworks".
Cheery yellow day lilies.
Hot pink and white impatients.
Tiny, delicate, white flowers.
Pink petunias.
Red velvet petunias.
More yellow day lilies.
And one of my favorite fuzzy reds. 
It has been a lot of work keeping my flowers well hydrated in this heat, but it is well worth it.  I loves me some flowers. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beatin' The Heat

We are in the middle of a heatwave.

Today is supposed to be 95 degrees with a heat index of 105 and the humidity at 75%.  That's hot.  And to be perfectly honest, I love it.  Love.  Bring on the hot weather!  This is what summer is all about. 

Today is going to be all about keeping the kids cool while they play outside.  We picked up a nice size pool the other day and we have already gotten good use out of it.  Looks like today is another pool day!

How do you stay cool on these hot days?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Capture- Summertime


Last night was one of the worst nights in recent memory.  As I mentioned in my previous post Grace has been dealing with a fever and upset tummy.  We thought she was on the mend when she was eating well and being silly.  Then it all took a turn for the worse last night at about 11:30 when she threw up in her bed.  After that she couldn't keep any medicine down and her temperature climbed from 103.2 to 105.8.  She was up all night moaning and crying.  I felt so helpless and so scared.  The only reason I didn't immediately rush her to the ER (though I did get dressed twice thinking I would take her in) was because I have a history of extremely high temperatures, and she was pretty with it and talking.  Finally at 3:30 I forced some more medicine down her and she kept it in.  She fell asleep at 4:30 and first thing in the morning we took her to the doctor.  Seems to be nothing but a nasty little virus, which is good.  After I got her back home this morning her temperature didn't go over 100.3 and she was interested in food and play again. Hopefully, this time she really is turning the corner on this nasty virus.

All night long I thought about the parents who have a child with cancer or some other serious illness and I can't imagine how gut wrenching that is to watch your child go through.  One night of agony and worry was enough to knock me off my feet.  As I prayed for Grace all night long I included all suffering kids and their parents in my prayers too.

Anyway, I had planned to participate in You Capture this week as the theme is Summertime.  We have definitely been soaking up as much summer as we can and enjoying every minute (minus the virus of course).  As soon as all the kids are healthy again (I'm hoping this virus does not spread like wildfire through our house) we will resume our normal summer activities of sprinkler parks, long walks, swimming, fishing, playing, riding bikes, visits to the lake, diggin in the sand, and whatever else we can think of.  This summer has been full of fun.

Full of:

Bare feet and popsicles with great friends.
Fishing all day with daddy.
 Campfires and making smores.
 Professional  smore eating.
 First time smore eating.
 And second time smore eating.
 Intermediate smore eating.
 Smore eating for beginners.
 There has been lots of swimming.
 And floating.
 And evenings full of exhausted children (and adults).
Yep.  It's been a good summer so far.  I hope it continues. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WW- Hot Potato

Yesterday and today Gracie has been suffering through a fever and upset tummy.
We are pumping her full of water, Gatorade, and whatever food she can hold down.  I even made chicken soup tonight (it was delicious, thankyouverymuch) and she ate a nice size bowl of it.   I'm hoping things are on the up and up now for my poor little pickle.  She has been such a trooper.  I'm so proud of her.  Each time I tell her she needs to take medicine, or lie down, or take a nap, she always answers, "'Kay, mum." or "Okay, mummy."  Such a dear. 
She's cute even when she has a fever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Before And After

I've been promising you pictures and I finally have them.  The addition is done.  The final touches are complete.  I figured I'd better take some pictures of the room while the boys are downstairs playing (fighting?) and the room is relatively still. 


Here is the room before. 
Please excuse all of the Packer decorations.  I don't have that many pictures of the room because it was so small and such a strange set up that it was hard to get any good shots. 


We knocked down the south wall and extended out 10 feet.  What a difference 10 feet makes!  It feels like a whole new house.
The patio doors now face the east which is a better view than before and the doors don't get in the way of the furniture.
We came in under budget so we were able to buy new furniture.  Todd always wanted a recliner so we broke down and bought a his/hers set on a HUGE clearance sale.  Then we added an enormous couch in the addition portion.  You can see Gracie lying in one of the end pieces (she isn't feeling good the poor lil plum).  I can sit there (and it is like a chaise because it is so wide) and all of my kids can snuggle in with me in that one section or we can all spread out and lie down.  We definitely have enough seating now.
I just love my new family room.  It is so bright and cheery.  I love my window over the couch.  It has a great little ledge where I can set my coffee.  Love that.
We ended up designing a stained glass window for the west window.  We wanted a window there to bring more light in, but we didn't want to stare out at our garage.  It works perfectly.  I love it.
I love that I can sit on my couch and look out at my patio.  It is such a nice little view.  I can see my flowers, my tomato, pepper, and pea plants.  I can watch the birds in the birdbath and the hummingbirds at the feeder.  It is awesome. Love.
So there you have it.  Our new addition.  It was a major pain in the butt in the process of constructing it, but it was well worth it.  We are so happy with it. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our Vacation So Far

With Todd having off of work this week (well, he had to go in to work for the day today, but OTHER than that he has off) we have really been able to enjoy the weather and the festivities. 

We watched the 4th of July parade.
Spent a ton of time outside.
Went to the beach and dug in the sand.
Posed for pictures.
Spent time with family.
And spent time with best friends we haven't seen in years. 
Watched the fabulous fireworks.
Went swimming at a beautiful lake near by.
Tested out the water.
And then jumped right in.
Splashed in the water.
Grace had an impomptu swimming lesson.
And then began swimming ON HER OWN.
She was so proud.
My little fishies.

It was a fabulous 4th of July and a great week.  We have spent just about every spare minute outside.  The weather has been hot and perfect.  We got to visit with my best friend and her children a lot which is a huge bonus.  And hopefully we will be able to get up north to the cabin at the end of the week and slow things down a little bit.  

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson