Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tomorrow this will be {Almost} Gone

I was so good about taking pictures of my growing belly with the last two kiddos. Some where between preschool drop offs, diaper changes, moving and remodeling (amongst many other things) I dropped the ball this time. I had to have at least one picture before we head off to the hospital tomorrow morning to meet this sweet babe.
I'm not going to lie, this has been the most difficult pregnancy yet. From the morning  all day sickness in the beginning to the hip pain and reflux at the end. Yet I know I'm going to miss this someday. There is something so amazing about it that makes you forget all the negatives. Can't wait to hold her in our arms tomorrow- stay tuned!

Monday, July 29, 2013

End of a Chapter

Well, our last weekend as a family of four has drawn to a close. Crazy to think that next weekend there will be one more little person added to our crew! Exciting and terrifying all at the same time...

Saturday night we spent the evening at the fair, watching the demo derby and taking in the sights. Easton was enthralled with the cars zooming and crashing around the track. Emma, on the other hand, can only be entertained for so long. She was up and down, round and round for the last half hour of viewing. Did I mention we only watched for an hour?!? The promise of a snack afterwards greatly contributed to this issue I'm afraid.

We had to get our customary one ride in as well.
 Once we set the children loose they ran from barn to barn, exploring the animals within. Easton loved the chickens and bunnies. The cows petrified him though. He was okay looking from a distance, but he was not getting close to them. One little moo and he was scurrying for daddy's arms. He was most content at the wheel of a John Deere though- like father like son :)

We had hoped to head to Sandy Pines to stay the night, but the rain and cool temps kept us home. Sunday afternoon we spent the afternoon with my in-laws to celebrate all the summer birthdays. The rest of the day got away from us between naps, meal time and home improvement projects. We didn't get to partake in all the big events we had planned, but it was wonderful to have a laid back weekend as a family before chaos sets in!

Harvest Hill Trucking also completed it's last run this past week. It was a good venture, but we recently stopped hauling livestock and we were leasing with another company. It turned out not to be as profitable as we had hoped. Jason and I are both sad to see it go, but relieved at the same time. One less thing to tend to on our plates as our family grows.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

To All {Those} Moms

I remember going to the mall back in high school and watching moms with young kids, wondering why in the world they let their child leave the house dressed like that. What were they thinking?!? I simply didn't understand, until I became a parent myself. You quickly learn that some days there are battles that just aren't worth fighting.

I have been that mom in the grocery store too many times to count, haphazardly pushing a cart full of fidgety children trying to frantically open a pack of fruit snacks so they'll just be quiet. I used to be prepared and have snacks along, but that was two kids ago. There are times when it's all about survival. Counting the moments until bedtime.

I can think of many instances sitting in a restaurant listening to other people's  kids screaming. It never really bothered me until it was my own little ones creating a ruckus. Those days I want to just crawl in a hole and hide. After offering to pay for the meals for folks around us... Sometimes keeping everyone buckled in the car is easier for everyone.

I was really strict with Emma's diet when she started eating solids. Minimal sugar, few processed foods, balanced meals. How could other parents feed their kids that junk? With two little mouths to feed and another one on the way, it all started to slip away some where. Fast food has it's benefits (see above). Maybe not for your physical health, but certainly for your mental health.

I used to be super organized and anal about keeping the house in order. Now toys have taken over. Even with a playroom designated for toys, they seem to spill over into other rooms as well. Laundry piles up at an alarming rate. As soon as the dishwasher is emptied it needs to be filled again. Vacuuming creates a never ending demand on my time.

I was never going to let my child(ren) run amuck at the park, with stained knees and filthy faces. While supervising them is still important, they now have free range when we're playing outdoors. Getting dirty is all part of exploring the world around them and learning. It's nothing a good bath and yet another load of laundry won't cure. And who ever said eating dirt was bad for you?!?

In the end, I'm starting to learn these are all minor in the grand scheme of life. In the days of FB, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs it's to easy to compare to other households. But those are mere snippets of what really goes on. People tend to share all the smiles and joy, but leave out the difficult pieces. Raising a family of little ones is hard. Period.

Being there for your children is what matters- not how well they're dressed, how neat your home is. I miss doing all my crafty stuff, reading books in peace and quiet, shopping just because. All those things will still be there 5 years from now, but the little one tugging at my shirt to be picked up won't.

I feel God is teaching me a lot through this journey of parenthood. Some days I have to let go of my perfectionism and OCD because these don't mesh well with little people. I can't control everything. When life is stressing me out (like now with the impending arrival of #3) I need to simply hand the reins over to Him. Thank you God for this beautiful, chaotic ride!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trip to Mom's

This year I looked for multiple VBS programs to enroll Emma in. Not only does she need the social integration among her peers, but this momma needs a break. So when my mom mentioned her church doing a week long morning program I jumped at the chance to sign her up. She got 3.5 hours every day to learn about Jesus, play with some new friends and swim. What's not to love?

This was also a great opportunity to spend some time at mom's. With all the chaos of moving, remodeling and prepping for a new baby we haven't been able to see each other much. She has had her own kinda crazy going on with boys on summer vacay, my stepdad suffering from an ulcer and then a car accident and technology meltdowns at work. Needless to say, we were both looking forward to this week.

Life was still hectic this week, but we were still able to enjoy almost every moment. I could have done without a few of the meltdowns from my daughter. That's what happened when grandma jacks you up on sugar and routines are thrown out the window :)  Sadly, I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. Here are a few moments I was able to capture.
Pure joy playing in the sprinkler

Enjoying the beach in Caseville
This little man loves the water, but no longer enjoys having his pic taken
Emma loves swimming in the 'deep end'
Easton and mommy have similar feelings about Grandma and her camera :)
Even though the temperatures were extreme (hottest week of the summer so far) and the lake was unavailable for a big chunk of the week (they put chemicals in to kill the weeds) we had a wonderful time. It was fabulous to be able to get away for an extended period of time and just relax. Enjoy the company of those around us. Create memories for the kiddos. So thankful we were able to do this before baby comes!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Keeping Us on Our Toes {in Utero}

Throughout this pregnancy there have been many times where I sorta forgot the fact that I was expecting. Not because I don't cherish this baby's existence or look forward to meeting her. The simple fact is that life with an active (almost) four year old and eighteen month old can do that to you. However baby girl has been good at making her presence known.

After my 20 week ultrasound they told me that there is a marginal insertion of the umbilical cord. Basically this means that the cord is insterted off to the side of the placenta instead of towards the center which is ideal. Not a huge risk, but it can cause low birth weight in babies and they wanted to do regular ultrasounds for the remainder of my pregnancy. More opportunities to sneak at peek at my precious babe? Sign me up!

Each one has brought good results. She is small, but so were Emma and Easton. She weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and he was a whopping 7 lbs 9 oz. We just make small babies in general which is out of the norm in our Dutch community. After my ultrasound this week, I was having trouble getting in touch with my doc for the results though. The kids and I were planning a trip to my mom's for the following week, but the doctor wanted to go over the ultrasound before I left since I am so close to my due date and will be missing an appointment while I'm away.

Friday afternoon I finally spoke with a nurse who said the doctor on call would look them over and get back to me before the night was over. Just as we're heading out the door the phone rings. Doctor says the baby looks good, but my fluid is low and they want to do a non-stress test. Typically they worry when you reach a 5 and I was at a 6. Talk about stressing a momma out! I had a hard time focusing on much of anything for the rest of the night, worrying about what the results might show.

Saturday afternoon they hooked me up to a monitor to observe babe. They need to see at least 2 accelerations in her heartbeat within 30 minutes. If there were further concerns, they'd do another ultrasound to check on fluid levels again. Baby girl passed the test with flying colors and I was free to go home. Basically I need to take it easy and drink lots of fluids. Between my crazy to-do lists and the insane heat and humidity we've been experiencing I haven't been doing myself any favors. So thankful that everything is okay and babe has 18 more days to keep baking before we meet her!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Remember that old buffet I salvaged from Goodwill and painted for our dining room? Before is here and the after is here. Well, our new dining room is much smaller and there was just no place to put it once we moved. So we decided to use it as part of an entertainment center for our living room. We had someone build a hutch for the top of it with a place to hold our sound bar and ample room so we can upgrade our tv someday.

Then I threw a couple of coats of paint on bookcases that we used to have in our bedroom to add to the sides of the buffet. We no longer have space for them in our new bedroom and now that we finally have a big living room we felt like we needed a more substantial piece of furniture. Jason screwed the three pieces together for added stability and voila:
All I need to do is swap out the hardware on the center piece to match the sides and we'll be all set. I am so please with how it turned out and it cost us the fraction of what a new entertainment center this size would be!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Another Bathroom Project

Some blame it on pregnancy, others blame it on my OCD tendencies. My to-do list has gotten out of hand these last few weeks as baby day draws closer. One thing that has been driving me crazy is the attic door and wood paneling behind the toilet in our upstairs bath. The trim was never painted in there, so I figured I'd tackled those while I was at it this week.

I didn't like the cracks that were showing in between the pieces of wood so I started by caulking. I have a strange addiction to caulk- once I start I have a hard time stopping. I went through almost an entire tube this week! I also ADD on my project and started touching up paint in almost every room of the house. I digress...

Once the caulk was sanded, I spackled the nail holes in the trim and sanded everything down. I was then able to throw on a few coats of paint. Unfortunately it was so humid upstairs that the process took twice as long since the painters tape wouldn't even stick. Besides the fact that it is quite difficult for a woman who is 9 months pregnant to gain access behind the toilet. There may have been a temporary moment of panic when I thought I was going to have to call Jason and have him come home to recuse me. I still need to replace the knob on the door, but otherwise it's all done!

The end result isn't drastically different, but having all those cracks sealed up makes me feel so much better. Strange, I know. Only 3 more painting projects to go before baby girl makes her appearance!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Visit to Lake 13

I always look forward to our visits up north- some of my favorite memories growing up involve spending time at grandma and grandpa Spence's house. It's so important to me that my kids have that same opportunity. Emma always looks forward to spending time with her 'big' cousins, along with playing in the lake. We did miss seeing Ellie and Abbie this year, but we still had a blast lakeside.

Emma is a total fish, just like her mommy used to be. She would live in the water if we let her! Easton is still not too sure about it, but he loves playing in the sand with the trucks. He also went on his first jet ski ride. The verdict is still out on whether he liked it or not- Jason brought him back to me after the first ride and told me he turned our child into a mute. Easton just sat there. No facial expressions, no sound, just stock still. I think he was zoned due to a missed nap and the wind in his face.
 So precious!
Emma was bummed all her 'big' cousins couldn't be in attendance for the weekend, but she loved hanging out with Courtney, Brittany and their friend Ariel. It was hard to tear her away from them so they could have a moments peace! She did refuse to ride in uncle Mark's boat though, allowing them one escape route. Emma preferred papa Russ' pontoon. Her favorite was to anchor out in the middle where she could jump into the deep water. I was a little afraid of Easton falling over board, but I didn't need to worry. He never left the captain's chair while we were on board.

These poor girls had no peace
He loved to be behind the wheel, but was not impressed with mommy and the camera. Wonder where he got that from?!?
It was another beautiful weekend spent on the lake and we were reluctant to make the trip home. We look forward to visiting again next year as a family of five!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Hope everyone had a fabulous fourth this year! We celebrated the evening by attending the local Overisel fireworks show, which never disappoints. Our friends came along with their two little guys and a good time was had by all. The kids enjoyed the hay rides, light swords, good food and all the sights. The fireworks themselves kept them captivated for the most part. They didn't end until 11:30 so Easton was struggling at the end.
We look forward to going again next year!