Saturday, October 21, 2017

First Haircut

Howard was under the weather all week with, what turned out to be a bacterial infection.  As soon as we started him on antibiotics, he was like a new boy.  But, his ongoing fever meant that he missed a day of school on Thursday, so he was home with Grammie, Papa, and Mama.  We took the opportunity for both gentlemen to get haircuts.

This was Howard's first haircut, and he didn't really need one YET, but he was starting to get a little flip at his neck, and I have always wanted my boys to have a clean cut haircut.  He probably wouldn't have desperately needed a haircut for another month... but I haven't had the baby, and I have more hands free now than I will a month from now.  Plus, this served as the special Mama/Howard outing for the two of us to have before the new baby arrives.

We went to a hair place in Rifle and he was such a champ.  He sat still for the haircut and enjoyed a sucker when it was over.  The beautician saved locks of his hair for me... and locks of Papa's hair since they had their hair cut together.

A before picture... Howard's looking a little skeptical

A picture of both Howards before their haircuts

All ready in the chair

He sat so still

Afterwards, celebrating with a sucker

And saying, "Cheese!"

An "after" picture of both Howards


Friday, October 20, 2017

Repost To Young Mothers

Last night I came across a post that several of my friends had shared and I took the time to read the entire thing (a rarity for me on social media).  It was such a refreshing heartfelt post regarding young moms -- something that many women were, but very few seem to remember accurately.  This mother remembered, and her words were such nourishment and comfort to me, who is days (or maybe a few weeks) away from becoming a mother to four under four.  I do not know this woman, but her name is Jen Hatmaker, and I immediately shared the post on facebook, but I also had to post it here because it was so thoughtful and beautiful.

"This is me in a hospital bed in 2002 having delivered my third baby Caleb five hours earlier. The "big kids" came to meet him and crawled in bed with me. I found this pic yesterday and shed tears upon tears for every baby in this picture. 

For Sydney, my baby love who had just turned 2 thirteen days earlier. She was still in diapers. She had just been evicted from her crib because there was a new sheriff coming to town named Caleb. She had a meltdown just before this pic was snapped because we wouldn't let her hold Caleb, who she kept calling "my new baby, my new baby," by herself. Look at her snuggled into her mom. I could bawl and never stop. 

For Gavin, my first-born joy, who had just turned 4 not two months earlier. He was the sunniest, happiest, most delightful boy. He started using the word "actually" when he was like 15 months old and, only in the 5th percentile from the day of his birth to this very day, it was like a little tiny old man was walking around saying big words. I kissed him 300 times a day. 

The tears for my babies come quick. I can literally feel the phantom weight of them leaning against me with their snow white hair and baby skin. I remember exactly how they felt in my arms. Exactly. My life's joy. I can hardly look at their little faces. 

But most of my tears are for that young mama. She was 27 years old and five hours removed from delivering her third baby in four years. She was sore and tired and stitched, but she pulled those big babies into her bed to snuggle and read to them so they knew they were still her moon and stars. She would go home the next day with three babies and work from sunup to sundown and also in the middle of the night taking care of these treasures and sometimes crying in the bathroom. There was never, ever enough of her to go around, but God have mercy did she try. 

Here is to all you young mamas this morning. I see you. I remember. I know exactly what it feels like to have two in diapers and one still nursing. I remember the exhaustion that seeps all the way into your bones until you fall asleep with your clothes on and your contacts still in. How people hold the door for you at Target and say, "Wow. You really have your hands full." When your body, at its absolute peak just a few years ago, now shows the full effects of childbirth. I remember cutting grapes in half and squeezing ketchup packets until your fingers bleed. 

And the worry! I remember the worry. The world feels like a terrifying monster out to harm and steal and injure your babies, and you alone can keep them from eating pennies and avoiding bullies and obviously the onus is on you to not drive your car into a body of water with them all strapped into their carseats, a highly likely scenario I imagined no less than 7098 times. You are their guardian and protector and God help anyone who comes between a young mama and her little charges. 

I want to tell that 27 year old mom of three the same thing I want to tell you: You are doing a breathtaking, beautiful job. Your children are so loved and they know it. You are giving them something priceless that they won't even know how to identify later but it will settle down deep in their bones: security. They are safe with you, absolutely cherished. This isn't from one big thing you do; it comes from the million minutes you love them well. That's it. All your mistakes and meltdowns won't change it. You are raising healthy, loved, secure kids - it will matter so much. It lasts. It sticks. It is the air they breathe from that first day in the hospital, and you can't undo it. 

So much love to you, young moms. Love your babies exactly like you are doing, even if you feel like you are reading to two of them in the hospital bed you just delivered the third one in - I know. There isn't much down time. But all of this matters and you matter and this work is so important. I am cheering you on from the other side. I'll hold your seat over here. You're going to make it."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Papa's Surprise

Last week, my brother, Trent, came in to Rifle for one day to surprise my dad for his 85th birthday.  My brother and I have been planning this for a few months and it was extra special because he has never been to Rifle, never visited Hubby and my home, and never met any of our kids.  It was a really big day to have him here.

I told my parents that we were all going to attend an assembly at Hubby's school, where Hubby was going to be honored, that started at 9:30am.  My brother had one day to spend with us, and we wanted to get my parents to Rifle as early as possible, so I created a false assembly we were all (my parents, the children, and I) going to attend in order to get them to Rifle nice and early.

I did not anticipate they were going to tell dozens of their friends that their son-in-law was receiving a big award in Rifle, which is why they had to get to Rifle so early... on well.

They got to my house at 8:30 in the morning (my brother had arrived at 8am), and I sent them up to their bedroom where "Tracey had a birthday surprise for Papa."  I knew by saying that Tracey had a surprise for Papa, first of all, our three-year-old would be in the guest room and wouldn't let the cat out of the bag on the walk up the stairs, but also my parents would be expecting a picture she had drawn, or a balloon or something a little lower-key than my brother.

We all got to spend the entire day together (except Hubby, who had to work until the evening), but it was so special.

My children love their uncle, and Tracey took great pleasure repeatedly saying, "Uncle Trent is my uncle... and Mama's brother... and Papa's surprise." 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Howard has been under the weather the past few days, and he is such a different child when he's sick.  When he's healthy, he runs all over and wants to follow everything Tracey does.  When he's sick, he wants to be held and snuggle with either Hubby or myself.

Tracey played with Caroline much of the day, but kept a close eye on Howard as he snuggled and insisted on being held much of the day.

At one point, I had to get up to do something, and when I returned to the couch, I saw that Tracey had taken my place cuddling with Howard and had offered him her little lamb to make him feel better.

What a beautiful sight, my daughter comforting her sick little brother.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Preggers III -- 39 Week

How far along?  39 weeks -- officially longer than I've been pregnant with any of the other children


 38 Weeks with Tracey

35 Weeks with the Twins... because they were born at 36 weeks 1 day, and I never took a 36 week picture.

39 Weeks with Baby Number 4
(Just to note, I usually try to take my weekly pictures when I'm dressed to leave the house  and have my hair and makeup done.  Well, yesterday was a comfy day at home -- Howard had a fever -- but I didn't want to delay the picture because I've never hit 39 weeks before... so here is the comfy, day at home, 39 week picture.)

How I am feeling?  I'm feeling okay -- sort of ready.  Better than I did a few weeks ago -- about as prepared as we're going to be, but relatively content that the baby will come eventually, and we're just going to keep chugging along until then.


How big is the baby?  The size of a pumpkin (hopefully a small pumpkin) -- 19.9 inches long, 7.23 pounds

Sleep:  I'm still sleeping really well for which I am very grateful.

Boy/Girl Predictions:  Well... we know our baby's gender so no need to predict here.

Baby Nicknames:  I call the baby, "Baby," but Tracey still insists the name should be "'Punzel"

  Best moment this week:  So, my brother came to Rifle last Thursday to surprise my dad for his 85th birthday.  I will write about the visit soon, but Thursday was the best part of the week.  Also, Hubby and I took a quick babymoon getaway on Friday night... so that was awesome too.

Food cravings:  I don't think its a craving, but I've been making pumpkin pies for the company... and those are really good.

Missing:  I'm not really sure.  I wish I could see my feet... but mostly I'm okay right now.  I know the end is in sight for the pregnant, even if we still have a few weeks, it will be over in no time, so I'm not really missing anything at the moment.


Movements:  Yes, and I'm trying to really enjoy them.  

Labor Signs:  Some... just the process of getting closer to the birth day.

General Attitude:  I'm trying to be very appreciative, and content waiting for the baby.  We just got really sad news that a couple we know we was due a few days after we are went in for a normal appointment, and the doctors couldn't find the baby's heartbeat -- the baby was stillborn the next day.  We are just heartbroken for them, and it has definitely helped change my perspective remembering how fragile life is and what a blessing this pregnancy and healthy baby have been.
 What I am looking forward to this week:  We might go to a pumpkin patch this week... I'm officially done working until after my maternity leave, but if the baby keeps hanging out in the belly, I might sneak in another work day or two this week if possible.

Milestones: I'm officially less than a week from a my due date, and carrying this baby to a longer gestation than ever before.  She will come when she's ready, and she's giving us more time for prepare.  We trust that God knows exactly when and how the baby will arrive, and we're just trying to relax until then.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Just Believe

In this day and age and time where news worth fearing is behind every conversation, every news story, every social media post, and more... I found drew on this comfort last night.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Baby Moon #3

With some great help from my parents, last night, Hubby and I took a pretty last minute Baby Moon.

We stole 24 hours to zip over to Grand Junction and have a little getaway just the two of us before this fourth little bundle of joy arrives.

We both got haircuts, both got massages, I got a pedicure, and we had a great dinner.

All in all, a wonderful time together and chance for a little R&R together before our new baby arrives.

A big thank you to my parents for keeping our three little ones so we could take the getaway.

(By the third baby moon/fourth baby -- we took no pictures... but we had a wonderful time.)