Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's about time.

As you can tell, blogging and reading other blogs have really taken a backseat the last few months.  Surviving with three kids and a busy husband, birthdays, baby showers, church responsibilities, and Halloween costumes have taken their place!  I'm not even going to try to catch up, but one big thing that happened was Charlie's big 3rd birthday on September 7th. He seems very grown up since Everett was born.  He is really into legos and loves cruising around really fast on his little balance bike.

I have been working hard on the kids' costumes this year.  This is the first year they have been old enough to request very different things so there was no coordinating, but I love that each one fits them perfectly.  Madeline and I looked all over the internet for some ideas and she settled on a butterfly.  Charlie LOVES playing with legos so we found a very easy and cheap way to make a lego costume - a cardboard box with cups glued on.  Everett didn't really have a choice in the matter.  I had seen a cute little chicken costume on Martha Stewart's website.  He hates it when I put it on.  I actually feel kind of bad for him.  It can't be fun to have all of those feathers smothering you.  But he's been a good sport and I think he looks pretty darn cute.  I've had people ask if it's really worth it to make them.  Cost-wise I definitely saved some bucks, but they take a lot of time and thought.  I really like doing it and having a challenge and keeping busy with creative things.  I might go crazy if I didn't have a creative outlet. :)

Today we went to our favorite orchard, picked pumpkins, had fresh cider and turnovers and the kids donned their costumes for a little trick or treat. Madeline gets to have their class bear, Duffy, home this weekend so we dressed him up too. It's been a lovely fall day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Time with Daddy

We have really missed Matt as he's been working in Des Moines all summer.  I know he's been pretty lonely too.  I thought he'd enjoy the quiet bachelor life, but I think there's something pretty comforting about coming home to your family at the end of a hard day.

But he's able to come home for the weekends, so we've been living it up when he's home.

This weekend was blueberry fest at our local orchard.  It was a gorgeous day and we felt like there was no other place we wanted to be than that beautiful orchard together.  We went for a tractor ride, picked apples, played games and ate cider doughnuts, cherry turnovers and blueberry buckle.  Yum....

It was a great weekend and I'm reminded of just how wonderful being together with our little family is. September can't come fast enough!


I am so lucky to have two sisters.  I love them both so much and surprisingly have a lot in common with them despite our large age differences.  My sister, Cassi is the oldest in our family.  There are 14 years between us.  But we have a great relationship.  She flew home with me from Spokane to spend a few days.  I had SO much fun with her.  Besides cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my kids, she made a slipcover for my wingback that I got for $20 at a garage sale, and I took her to Nauvoo for the pageant. We loved having her here and the kids miss her! Thanks, Cass!

A Trip to Spokane

We have had a very fun, busy summer so far.  We got to go to Spokane for the 4th of July and spend time with my family.  It was so great to be with everyone and watch our kids enjoy their cousins.  We spent a lot of time at the lake, which just can't be beat.  The first weekend, the boys had "boys camp" and camped at the lake while the little girls had a tea party at Grandma's house and the teenage girls had a sleepover at Cassi's house. It was a lot of fun.  My mom and I enjoyed planning the little tea party and having the little girls all together.

Matt had to go back to work after the holiday, but the kids and I stuck around for a couple of weeks.  We had so much fun being with family, enjoying my parents' house, seeing great-grandparents and just playing. I was so surprised at how much my kids had grown from the year before.  They were much more social and LOVED being at the lake.  Both of them went on the tube behind the boat many times and Madeline spent most of the time swimming around the lake like a little fish.  

A big thanks to my parents for letting us add some craziness to their house for a few weeks.  With Matt working out of town this summer, I was so grateful for the extra help and a fun way to spend part of our summer.  We miss you all so much!

Friday, June 28, 2013

2 + months

I'm not really sure what we've done for the last two months, but I'm happy to report we're all alive and happy. I think we're getting used to our new family situation and I'm feeling more capable and relaxed about taking care of these three rascals. The other night I got all three asleep by 7:30 pm while Matt worked late and I felt on top of the world. (It's the little victories for moms!)

Matt's mom came to visit and we had so much fun with her. She spoiled us and gave me a much needed break. We also blessed Everett at church. I'm so thankful I get to be with my family forever.

Everett is starting to seem more grown up. He's awake a lot more, smiling, interacting with us and showing us his personality. He doesn't like to be left alone on the floor. As soon as someone comes near him, he'll stop crying. He loves to be held and talked to and is starting to sleep a little longer at night. It makes me excited to watch this little guy grow.

Matt took the kids camping with some friends. They had a lot of fun and I enjoyed a couple of days of sleep and quiet with Everett.

Madeline finished a round of swimming lessons. She did really well and had a great time. I forget that a year ago, she would hardly talk or look someone in the eye.  Now she is much more social and comfortable with new situations. I'm so glad she's more confident.
We've been enjoying a summer schedule.  Not so much the summer weather, though.  It's hot and humid and the bugs are out in full force. We've had some crazy thunderstorms and our tornado siren has gone off quite a few times.  A couple of days ago I got an alert on my phone that said our area had a tornado warning and to get in a safe shelter immediately.  I took the kids down to the basement and checked the weather report. A few minutes later, sure enough, the skies turned eerily dark and what looked like a monsoon was upon us. As I watched the reports, I learned that a series of tornadoes had touched down in the area - one that was 15 minutes north of us.  We love Iowa City but this weather makes me nervous. These thunder and lightning storms are intense and they come without warning!

Next up on our summer list? Matt starts his 10 week rotation in Des Moines (2 hours away) and a much anticipated trip to Spokane!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jumbled, sleepy one month thoughts

*Note - I started this draft a week and a half ago.  This is the pace I'm working with here. :)

I've been sharing my daily struggles, stories, and emotions with my mom and she asked if I was writing these things down.  Unfortunately that's the last thing on my priority list, but hopefully I'll be able to update our journals soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd write down a few things I want to remember about the first month because I'm trusting my mom when she says that someday this will all seem humorous.

Everett - I decided having a baby closer to 40 weeks has some benefits.  (or maybe it's just personality?) He seems to be easier going than my other kids were - not choking and gulping when nursing, not screaming over gas, not needing to be swaddled tight to feel secure.  He does love to be held and knows who his momma is.  I can't get enough of his little snuggles and newborn sweetness.

Charlie - Oh poor Charlie. He's had the hardest time with this change.  He's not sleeping/napping well, which makes him tired and grumpy and emotional every day.  He gets up at 5:00-5:30am every day. he wants me to hold him constantly and seems bugged that the baby takes me away from him.  He does have little moments of sweetness around Everett where he gets down next to him and says, "what a cute little guy!" In the car when Everett is crying, he'll say, "We have a crying baby here!" 'He wants to eat. no, he's tired, no he's pooping!"  I think he's figured out newborns well.

Madeline - This girl has been my lifesaver.  She is such a big help. She asks to hold the baby about every 30 minutes so I can get things done.  The last few mornings she has gotten up with Charlie, gotten him breakfast and played with him downstairs so I could sleep in. She seems happy and the novelty of a new baby hasn't worn off in a month.  I'm sad I have to send her to kindergarten in the fall all day everyday. :)

This month has been kind of a blur.  Every morning I am so tired from getting up with the baby and with Charlie multiple times and yet somehow during the day I am able to meet everyone's needs, feel happy and capable and like I can do it again the next day.  I have had occasional moments of panic when I realize there's really no break from this anytime soon, but I dismiss the thought and just keep going.

Here are a couple of experiences I have had so far that I wanted to remember:

We have to leave for preschool around 8:00am everyday.  A couple of days ago, 5 minutes before we had to leave, Everett was screaming, Charlie was crying, Madeline wasn't ready to go, Charlie pooped his pants, and Everett pooped through everything and all over Madeline's clothes.  In the midst of it all. I somehow laughed with Madeline (who normally would freak out when she gets dirty.) She said, "I felt something warm but I never imagined it would be poop!" Somehow we made it to preschool on time.  This isn't actually that uncommon of a scene these days. :)

Matt has had a pretty busy week with late nights.  We were out of a couple of food necessities, so i decided to brave the grocery store with all three kids.  Not too far into shopping, Everett started crying. I had him in his car seat in the cart.  Nothing seemed to calm him so I took the seat out of the cart and held the car seat on my arm while pushing the other two kids in the cart one-handed.  My kids were actually pretty good, but I know I looked like I "had my hands full" by the look on every one's face I passed.  It started to get uncomfortable and I just really wanted to get out of there, especially since I kept bumping into things.  After I checked out, I hurried towards the door. I heard someone yell my name.  It was a really nice guy from church who worked at the grocery store.  He insisted he help me out to the car, took Everett in his car seat, got my other kids in their car seats and just was really kind and understanding.  I usually don't look like I need help, so I was feeling slightly embarrassed, but that turned into gratitude once I swallowed my pride because he wasn't judging me.  He just wanted to help me.  I'm so grateful for good, kind people.

Last week, Charlie's face broke out into a rash so I had to haul everyone to the doctor.  I planned it right so I could get there early and feed Everett in the car so he would be content during the appointment.  While feeding him, I realized I only had one diaper in my diaper bag.  Whoops.  I debated about whether to change him at that moment, or wait incase there was a blowout.  As I was debating about it, he pooped his pants.  Well that took care of that. Hopefully, he wouldn't need another diaper change until we got home!  I put him in my moby wrap, got the kids out of the car, looked back and saw a pull up in the back seat for Charlie.  He had been having a hard time getting to the bathroom because of tummy troubles.  Somehow I had an extra pull up for Charlie and yet no diapers for Everett... I decided to throw it in the diaper bag.  As we were waiting to be called back, I was feeling pretty good about things.  Everett had already fallen asleep in my wrap, and the two kids were happily playing together.  All of a sudden, Charlie looked up at me with wide, concerned eyes and said, 'I have to go poop!"  I hurried him and Madeline to the nearest bathroom but of course he didn't make it.  I'm so glad I put that pull up in! So here we are in the bathroom. I knew they'd be calling our name soon, so I hurried and changed charlie on the floor.  Gross. As I'm leaning down, cleaning him up, Everett's head kept flopping out, so I have to use my chin to hold it in while I'm changing charlie and I can hear the nurse now calling his name. Sheesh! It was pretty amusing.  That is the last time I get over-confident! The rest of the appointment went really well.  All the kids were angels and Charlie didn't have anything wrong with him.  We got milkshakes on the way home to celebrate our making it through the outing.

We all went to church together for the first time last Sunday. I was proud of us for getting everyone all ready with plenty of time to spare. (Church starts at 9:00am) When we arrived early, Matt started to get Charlie out of the car and said, "Mal, where are Charlie's shoes and socks?"  Dang.   We almost did it.  I had left them on the counter. Back I went with Charlie to finish getting him dressed and we were 10 minutes late. :)  I'll get 'em next time!

It's definitely been exhausting and overwhelming, but there have been a lot of sweet moments, too. I feel proud of myself for making it through a month, which is really funny because the month would have passed no matter what I did. Ha! But things are going well and we are happy - tired, but happy. :)

Bring on the next month!

Friday, May 3, 2013

And then we were 5!

Where does the time go?  How could we possibly have had this little guy for two weeks already?!  There isn't a whole lot of time for blogging or anything else besides playing/caring/cleaning up after/disciplining a preschooler, toddler and newborn.  But that's ok.  My mom was generous enough to take care of us last week and my dad came for the weekend.  The kids loved all of the attention.  This week we are on our own! I go back and forth between feeling confident and overwhelmed. This quote has been flowing through my mind very regularly lately and it brings me a lot of perspective and peace.  There really is nothing better I can be doing.

Everett Taylor Weed - Born April 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm. 8 pounds, 10 ounces


His Birth Story:

Since I had been dilated to a five for almost two weeks, my doctor said she'd schedule me to go in at 39 weeks. It worked out perfectly since my mom flew in the day before. Matt and I were able to leisurely head to the hospital the morning of April 17. We even got doughnuts on the way.  We had incredible thunder and lightning storms all night, so driving there in the dark, stormy weather made it even more fun.

We checked in and settled in our room.  The ob team came in, broke my water and Matt and I hung out, watched the crazy storm and flooding out our window and chatted. We hadn't decided on a name yet, Matt suggested Thor because of the seriously intense storm happening.  I couldn't tell if he was serious or not! I was having regular contractions, but wasn't really in pain.  Two hours later I had progressed to a 7. They wanted me to tell them when I was in pain so i could get my epidural since they had to work me in around a couple of twin c-sections.  I was nervous about waiting too long since there was a real chance i would miss my opportunity since i have fast deliveries.

When my contractions started to get more uncomfortable, I said, I think we better get that epidural.  By the time they got set up, the contractions were really getting intense.  It took all my strength and focus to hold still.  I didn't realize I was sweating profusely and clenching a pillow.  But minutes after the epidural, I felt my body go warm and calm.  It was incredible how within minutes the pain was much more manageable.  I remember thinking, "Who wouldn't get this?!"  I felt comfortable for the first time in months.  I relaxed in the bed and about 20 minutes later told Matt that I thought I was ready to push.  The doctors came in, and 10 minutes later our little guy was born. They were surprised that he was so big - 8lbs 10 ounces.  Immediately after birth, he was ready to nurse and has been a great little nurser since. We had both liked the name Everett and felt it fit him. (Sorry, Thor) and Taylor is a family name that Matt has always liked.

Matt and I were talking about how amazing the whole process is and how it's a miracle that everything can turn out alright.  Even though this is my third time, I was just as in awe and felt instant love for this sweet boy.

Since my mom was here, Matt and I took full advantage of our hospital stay.  My private room had a huge, deep jetted tub, I let the nurses wait on me and enjoyed the food deliveries as much as one can from a cafeteria.

My mom brought the kids in to meet Everett the first night.  They were excited and anxious to hold him.  Two year old Charlie snuggled up in my bed with me and said, "Mommy? Did the baby come out of your tummy?  I said, "Yes." Charlie then said, "Does that mean you can hold me now?" Poor little guy! He had obviously given this some thought.  With pre term labor risks I had often told him I couldn't carry him.  I'm trying to give him lots of cuddle time now.  Madeline's comments had more to do with how I still looked like I had a baby in my tummy. :)  She was so excited to tell her school and church classes about her new baby.

Life at home has been good. My recovery has been fast and Everett (so far) is a pretty easy going baby. My only complaint is being tired, but I knew that was coming.  The kids are adjusting and can be needy and emotional, but I was also expecting that.  Madeline has been a big help, always wanting to hold him and help me.  Charlie  is having a harder time - not sleeping well, always wanting me to hold him, crying a lot, etc.  But hopefully we'll all adjust quickly and settle into a groove and I will remember to be calm and patient and keep things in perspective.

I feel very blessed that this little family is mine and that Heavenly Father sent this perfect little babe to our home.  He is awfully sweet and I don't think I could ever get tired of his grunts and groans, stretches, and snuggles.

Wish us luck!