Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The treasures of motherhood

Eli came to me tonight and said "Mom, if you find a dead pink flower laying somewhere, it's for you. I picked it for you because I love you so much" Wow, gee, um, thanks, Eli!


A quick update on our life, since that's all I can seem to find time for lately:

  • Cosette and Eli learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels---on the same day! They are having so much fun now!

  • Eli is learning how to read. We're using the same book we used with Cosette, "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" I've heard that people either love or hate this book. Well, we're having great success with it for the second time so far, so I guess that means we're among the 'love it' crowd! Eli is so excited that he is learning to read!!

  • Eli has been spending his summer picking flowers for me. Most of the time, they are just wild flowers. But yesterday, he came in with another bunch----- two from the neighbors yard and one from my flower bed! :/ We had to have a gentle talk about where we pick flowers from....

  • I am feeling good and mostly recovered from having the baby. I've been slowly getting back to the treadmill and re-introducing my body to exercise :) I've found that the 'baby belly' is a little more stubborn to leave the 4th time around....but leave it will, if I have to do tummy crunches 'till....well, until it leaves ;)

  • Joel and I are looking at hopefully the last few months of 'no spending' until we reach our financial goals. I, at least, am so excited, and I think he will be too. It was a good exercise in self-discipline for a whole year to do this, even if we didn't have to. It was awesome to see how much money we could actually save if we ever really had to simply by cutting out things like eating out, un-necessary clothes buying, home decor, check-out line buying ( you know, that extra candy bar you throw on the belt just to hold you over). We even eliminated all 'running through drive through' to grab a soda on a hot day, picking up those cool new dishes at WalMart you'd love to have for the kitchen, etc. In other words, if it wasn't something already worked into our budget, such as tithe, groceries, electric, phone bills, etc, then we didn't spend money on it. Try it some time---you'll be AMAZED at how much the little stuff adds up! Anyway, our last month of 'no spending' and the reaching of our financial goals happens right before my birthday----so I intend to enjoy a huge steak dinner this coming October! :)

  • Leanna rolled over. Five times. No kidding. Yes, she's only a month. No, none of my other kids have ever done that before that early! Go figure.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting to know Leanna

My baby, Leanna Rose Curtis---many have longed for a blessing just like you
Why God chose to bless us with you, we'll never know, but be eternally grateful
For nine months we waited for you, prayed for you, longed for you, loved you
You were our little 'Toucan' baby, and we couldn't wait to meet you

And finally you came, and my mama arms were full again
We delight over every little toe and finger,
your beautiful blue eyes and your rose-bud lips
We laugh and smile at your fluffy hair,
and the way the longer pieces on top stand up after your bath

My baby girl, my Leanna Rose, named in honor of your great-grandmother
I could sit here and hold you all day, rocking you, loving you
marveling that not that long ago, we didn't even know who you were
But now we do. You are one of God's greatest blessings to us
You are the one who snuggles in with mama to nurse at night
The one who smiles in your sleep
The one your sister just can't put down
and your brothers smother with kisses

And now, it is our task to raise you, to train you, to teach you, and to love you. We don't take this job lightly. We mean to give it our all.
"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward." Ps 127:3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Older' Men :)

At three weeks of age, our daughter is proving to be quite the man-magnet. Check it out:

She started out with 'older' men----quite a bit older, to be precise. Her wise, loving Mama suggested maybe she should stick with someone a little younger.

Leanna and Great-Pappy John

So, she hopped down a generation or two. And, although this particular man loved her more than life itself, he was still just a little bit too old.

Leanna and her Daddy

This guy was her next choice, and although he also adored her, I wisely suggested to her that she stick with someone MUCH closer to her own age.

Leanna and Uncle Wray

Aha, I think we have a winner ;)

Leanna and Cousin Dale

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The tooth Saga, Part II

Do you all remember several weeks ago when I posted about Cosette losing her first tooth? Remember how Joel dropped it on the floor, and we almost couldn't find it, and we had to search for it on our hands and knees under the stove with a flashlight? Well, welcome Part II......

The first tooth falling out apparently encouraged the second tooth to be loose, because within a matter of days, she was wiggling it and showing me how loose it was. Last night, it came out. No, she didn't pull it this time. I was in the middle of praying during our family prayer time, when she bumped my elbow, and with a funny look on her face, pointed to her closed mouth. The tooth had just fallen out while she wiggled it.

Anyway, she put it in a little plastic bag with her other tooth and declared "I want to save ALL my teeth forever and ever!" Uhg....seems a little gross to me, but whatever floats your boat.

Enter Sunday morning. I was busy packing diaper bags, bathing babies, and cleaning up the kitchen, getting ready to go to church. I spied a little 'empty' plastic bag on the counter, and tossed it in the trash can. Yes, I did. No, I'm not joking.

Hours passed. We went to church, came home, ate lunch....more and more stuff got thrown into that trash can. Suddenly, around 3:00, just out of the blue, for no reason at all, it hit me.

Oh my goodness! That bag had her teeth in it! I wanted to hit myself! I ran over to the trash can and began frantically pulling trash out and digging through it. Bits of food, dirty diapers, soiled napkins...it didn't matter. I was digging like a mad woman, hoping beyond hope that I'd find the little plastic bag with the teeth.

But, God must have had pity on my stupidity and carelessness, because suddenly, I saw it. The little bag. With both teeth still in it! Praise the Lord, my life was rescued!!

And next time she looses a tooth, it is immediately being put somewhere VERY safe......

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lovin' life

Summer days. Watching and living them through the lives of my children. Running through the hose with swim-suits on. Playing on the swing-set. Picking fresh strawberries out of the garden. Wearing your favorite bright summer shirt three days in a row before Mom finally confiscates it for the laundry. Eating Daddy's grilled food and corn on the cob, and generally trying to stay out of the kitchen. So glad it's only June!

And then, of course, we're all kind of preoccupied with lovin' on this little one:

Leanna with Grandma Rhoda at a wedding
last Saturday.

Just enough hair for a barrette, which is a ton
more than Cosette had at this point, so
I'm tickled ;)

She always looks so serious in pictures, but we've
caught her smiling and cooing and grinning
several times now. She has a generally very
pleasant and easy-going disposition.

When else can you lay on a blanket like this
and everybody goes 'Awww'????

Showing off those beautiful blue eyes.
We don't know if they'll stay that way---
but if they do, we find it amusing
that both our girls have blue eyes,
and both our boys have DARK brown :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A 'patience' lesson

I read the other day on a blog that, when trying to be patient with your children, if all else fails, ''at least pretend you are patient''. "How silly", I thought! How do you 'pretend' you are patient? Well, today I learned.....

A Walmart trip was in order. I hadn't been 'really' grocery shopping since at least a week or two before Leanna was born. We've been surviving on all the yummy meals friends and family have been bringing us, as well as an occasional run for 'bread and milk'. But today, my fresh AND frozen meals ran out, and I realized my cupboards were....empty. I needed EVERYTHING. Toilet paper, tissues, hand-soap, toothpaste, yogurt, milk, meat, cheese, fruit....you name it, I was out of it.

Unfortunately, my husband has been out of town on a business trip for a couple of days. But this WalMart trip couldn't wait. My mom volunteered to take my older three to story hour, and my sister said she'd come to watch Leanna while I shopped. (A REAL sacrifice on her part, I know ;)

Anyway, I finished my HUGE order and found what I thought was the shortest line available. It WAS short. But it was SLOOOOOOOOW!!!!

She must have been a new cashier. She looked over every single item on the belt before deciding which one to ring through next. Then, she couldn't work the machine, and she didn't know how to punch in half of my produce codes. She'd take each and every single bag and put it UP on the shelf for me, instead of just wheeling it around in the circle thing. It was slow, folks, very, very slow.

Then, she finally gets everything rung through, and I sign my credit card slip. She looks at it, looks at my credit card signature, goes 'Hmmm'........and then asks to see my I.D.! Because, I suppose, my signature didn't 'match up'.

I wanted to yell "Lady, I've been in this line for almost a half hour! I have three kids probably driving their grandmother crazy by now, a new-born who is upset and hungry, frozen food that's already been out of the freezer and coolor for twenty mintues, plus I have a good twenty minute drive home, after which I'll have to carry these 18 bags into my kitchen and sort through the cold stuff, hoping it's not melted---if, that is, I can manage to do it BEFORE I have to stop and nurse my baby. And now you have the nerve to ask me for my I.D.??? I signed the slip messily because I'm in a HURRY!"

But I didn't say that. Not a word of it. I thought of it. Every word ran through my head. Twice, in fact.

But instead, I smiled, said "Sure", and handed her my driver's license. I turned my cart to go, she said 'Have a nice day', and I smiled and said "You too".

See? How simple was that? I was not FEELING patient on the inside---I was FEELING very hurried. But on the outside, I remained totally calm, cool and collected. I pretended to be patient. And it worked.

So, why can't I do that with my kids? When they are doing something equally as silly or naughty, why can't I 'pretend' to be patient? The answer is, I could, if I really tried. No matter what I'm FEELING inside, I can choose to show patience and calmness on the outside.

I guess it's kind of like love. Sometimes you don't FEEL love, but you can always CHOOSE to love. Same thing with patience. And maybe, if I make myself 'pretend' to be patient more often, it will start to turn into the 'real thing'.

I'm just thinking 'out loud'....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Me and (some) of my kiddos

Here are a few of my favorite pictures that my friend Liz snapped yesterday when she came to visit :)


Don't worry, friends, I haven't forgotten my blog. It's just that we've been busy learning how to function as a family with all our little ones :) The good thing about four children five and under is that I have plenty to keep me busy. The bad thing about four children five and under is....I have plenty to keep me busy ;)

Leanna Rose is doing well---eating well, sleeping well, filling up those diapers.....we love her to pieces!

We've been busy with friends and family visiting to take a peek at our little one....trying to keep the summer bugs and pests out of our garden and strawberry patch......Joel has a business trip the beginning of next week.....we're attending a good friend's wedding today.....Cosette gets to be a flower girl in another friend's wedding at the exact same time (thank goodness for loving Aunt's who can help mommy and Daddy be two places at once!).......and so life goes. I'll try to stop in later with some more pictures. My good friend Liz was here yesterday and took several nice ones....we'll say how my day goes :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Leanna's Birth Story

My husband is back to work today after a week off. I'm going to seriously miss him! It was almost like a mini vacation for me----not for him, though, since he was busy taking care of kids, doing laundry and washing dishes :) He's probably relieved to get back to chimney work today ;) My wonderful father-in-law and mother-in-law have all three of my 'big kids' for the whole day. So, since the baby is currently sleeping, I thought it might be a good chance to get her birth story up here. When I look back over the past ten years of my life, the days that stand out the most are my wedding, and the birth of my four babies. I don't want to forget a single detail! So, here we go.....

The morning of May 29 dawned sunny and gorgeous. We had blueberry pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and Joel and Cosette planted the rest of the beans in the garden. The big kids wanted to take a walk, so we headed up the road. At this point, I'd been having minor contractions since waking up, but they were just tiny little things, hardly there and not even 'timeable'. I figured they were just more Braxton Hicks. The kids played in the wading pool, and we grilled chicken for dinner. By the time we were sitting down to eat, however, I mentioned to Joel that it might be prudent to bathe the kids and pack everybody's bags, 'just in case'. "I doubt anything will happen, love, but the contractions are coming every 10-12 minutes now, so let's just be safe" He agreed, and we got the big kids to bed on time. We stayed up until about 11:00 watching a funny movie together. By the time we turned the light out, my contractions were a good 9-10 minutes apart, but still not very painful.

Around 1:30, though, they started to get a little more intense, and I needed to get up and walk around. I sent Joel out to the couch to get more sleep, and I walked around our room, re-watching the funny movie ('The Mall Cop'), laughing at it, and groaning every ten minutes or so. By 2:45, the contractions were only 6-8 minutes apart, and I started to not want to be by myself, so I went to get my husband. He came back to the room, and we started to seriously time them. They very quickly went from 8 minutes to about 5 minutes apart.

This is where it got tricky. With previous labors, I've had terrible, and I'm talking terrible, back pain. I would be very serious during a contraction, and then in considerable pain between them. However, there was almost NO back pain with this labor (Praise the LORD!!!) So, in between contractions, I was happy-go-lucky, putting last minutes things in my bag, combing my hair, etc. My poor husband was confused. "Contractions, serious contractions at that, so close together, and yet look at my wife!! She's not giving me the right 'signs' here!"

At 3:45, we called my sister to come up. By the time she and my mom got there, it was almost time to go. I was still completely 'in control', but man, those contractions were tough! Joel decided that since it was our 4th baby, with contractions so close together, we better be leaving, even though I was still protesting whether or not it was time yet! He called the hospital to let them know we were coming, and we headed out. My mom stayed at the house with the big kids.

By the time we got to the hospital, it was light outside, and I knew this baby was coming soon. I refused a wheel chair, though, as it felt better to be up and walking. We made our way up to the 4th floor slowly (stopping every 3-4 minutes for a major contraction, while I leaned on my husband or sister for support).

We were disappointed to hear that our mid-wife was unavailable. All three of my other babies were delivered with a mid-wife. I wondered how it would go with a doctor. However, he walked in the room and said "I'm so sorry your mid-wife couldn't make it. However, I'm going to do my best to take her place and make this your birth, just like you want it" He was wonderful! He checked me and announced me a 'good solid 9', told me to wait a contraction or two, and I'd probably be ready to push.

Some of you may be thinking at this point that we waited almost too long to get to the hospital. Nope. Perfect timing. Long enough to 'gown up', check the babies heart rate, and push her out, but not long enough to be stuck in that room for hours, feeling uncomfortable and wishing to be at home.

At 7:20 or so, I felt the urge to push, and the Dr. okayed it. A mere three contractions later (yep, I'm a good 'pusher' ;), and at 7:26 a.m., Leanna's head emerged------quite purple and swelled because her cord was wrapped around her neck! The doctor calmly snipped the cord, and all color quickly returned to her face.

It was one of the quickest, 'easiest' births I've ever had, if 'easy' can actually be used in the same sentence as 'birth'. Now, grant it, there was that last half hour or so before she was born when the contractions were hard and I informed my husband and sister that "I changed my mind, I dont' want to do this anymore---can't somebody do it for me?" Nobody volunteered :) My sister said that being there for the birth was one of the most amazing things she's ever seen :) In case you're wondering, we do our births with no pain meds---no epidural, no IV's, no anything :) And, while it's serious and hard work, I'm always so glad after it's over that that is the route we take.

When Leanna entered the world, she weighed in at 6 lb, 14 oz, and 21 inches long---my longest, skinniest baby yet :) She had a good head of light brown hair, and dark blue eyes. We were all in love immediately :)

Here are some of her earliest pictures---minus the one's where she's still all gooey and bloody :)

She has been a blessing to us ever since. She's nursing well, has regained her birth weight plus some, and is even sleeping half-decently at night. I love to watch my older children interacting with her, holding her and loving her. Noah gives her great big kisses on her head alllll day long!
There was a point when Joel and I wondered after Noah's birth if 'three' would be our number. Three healthy children----was it enough? His pregnancy was so complicated and full of moments of uncertainty, we just weren't sure if we were ready to do that all over again! However, we gave it some time, we pondered and prayed, and decided in the end that God wasn't finished with us yet :) We're so glad that's what we decided. Of course we needed Leanna Rose! We already wonder how we were ever a family without her :)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Five days old

My goals for this week were to have my baby, hold my baby, love my baby, nurse my baby, change my baby, cuddle my baby, and take lots of pictures of my baby. So far, mission accomplished :)

She won't fit in Daddy's hands like this for too long....

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cosette and Leanna :)

Cosette has waited a long time for a
'sisters' picture like this :)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Leanna Rose

More pictures of my beautiful girl......


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