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!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have gone longer with this pregnancy than my other two, so I'm in uncharted territory.

I had an appointment on Thursday.  I not so secretly hoped she'd just send me in because I was so far along, so I had my hospital bag with me, things for matt, a babysitter for my kids.  But I also didn't want to get my hopes up since I've been dilated for weeks. Well, my doctor said I was dilated to a five.  Because of hospital policy, she can't help along labor until 39 weeks.  She did schedule a day for me to come in though, which made me happy.  At least I wouldn't be overdue!  I don't mind being "normal" and carrying a full 40 weeks like everyone else, but when I'm so far dilated and my deliveries are fast - like 20 minutes fast, I fear my water will break on me and I'll be trying to figure out how to be my own doctor. :)

Well, last night I started having regular contractions.  They were coming every 3-5 minutes.  They weren't painful, but I figured we should go in.  I finished making cookies with the kids, packed up our stuff, dropped the kids off at a friends for the night and Matt and I drove to the hospital.  I was concerned my contractions would stop once I got there, but they got more intense. Oh good, maybe something was going to happen tonight!

I went to triage and was put on the monitors. Perfect, I'm not crazy.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes.  The resident on call came and checked me.  Hmm...still a 5.  He suggested we walk around the hospital for a couple of hours.  Since Matt got to spend yet another night at the hospital, he showed me every nook and cranny, told me stories, visited the cafeteria, etc. And since I wanted to make this count, we only rested for about 20 minutes out of the whole two hours.  About a half an hour into our little stroll, I started getting really uncomfortable.  Contractions were painful and still coming close together.  Matt was a good sport.  He carried on a conversation with me while I mostly huffed and puffed.  About half way through, I realized that nothing was going to change and we were going home.  The same thing happened with Charlie.  I felt miserable. We finished out the time frame anyway and headed back up to labor and delivery.

No change.  He said if I had progressed at all, he would have just broken my water.  ugh...  Everyone explained over and over how they can't induce labor before 39 weeks ( i was 3 days shy of this cut off) because of this and that, and I understand.  It must have not been the right time for this little guy. My favorite part of the whole night was when the nurse gave me my discharge notes.  It had a list of things to watch for.  When she got to the line about "come in if you have 5 contractions in one hour" she stopped and we laughed.  I was currently having like 15. :)

I was in a lot of pain last night when we got home, but luckily I was so exhausted I slept well and our friends kept our kids, so I got to wake up when I wanted to.  I'm still having pretty regular contractions, but I've got 3 days left.  That's definitely doable.  I'm getting so excited to meet this guy.  I guess I just like to do most of the prep work the months and days before labor, which will hopefully make it a quick and uneventful day on Wednesday.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Interviews

I haven't done these at the same time every year, and I seem to ask different questions each time, so I don't feel very consistent, but it has been fun to see them grow from interview to interview and to watch their personalities develop.  I did learn one thing this time:  let the littlest kid go first or else he'll just copy everything his big sister says. :)  Oh and make sure the video camera's low battery icon is not blinking when you start...

Madeline at age 5

Charles at age 2 1/2

Friday, March 1, 2013

The last weeks of pregnancy.

My mom planned on coming out to visit because we thought I'd be on bedrest.  Well, I'm still not!  What a blessing. But she decided to come anyway.  It was fun to have her here.  She kept me company, played with the kids, cooked, cleaned, helped me organize and finish projects.  The kids loved having her attention.

I only have about 6 weeks left of being pregnant (hopefully).  This pregnancy has felt a little different. It's gone by fast because I'm busy with kids and life (not really following my weekly emails of what vegetable size he is, like with my first!), and I have mixed emotions about delivery approaching.  This pregnancy has been a lot tougher physically.  Not only am I just plain bigger (and growing...), but I've had aches and pains for months, can't sleep well, can't walk well..etc.  So I'm feeling ready for that part to be over and ready to be active and mobile and sleep in a normal position. But other times, I realize that he is much easier to take care of in utero! and that our life as we know it will change and there will be a lot of adjusting for everyone.  In July Matt will be working two hours away during the week, which will be interesting.  So I've been kind of been having different feelings during this home stretch.

But today, I was organizing some videos and came across this little gem. I couldn't help but grin and feel excited to meet this new little baby and for our kids to have another sibling and to watch our family grow.  Life doesn't get much better than these cute kids.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Take on Freezer Meals

In anticipation of being on bed rest, I decided to stock our freezer with meals.  I wish I would have taken a picture. It was pretty satisfying to see all of them neatly organized in there.  But, my doctor's appointment came and went and I'm still up and about so we've been eating the meals I had made.  I'm pretty sure it has changed my life.  Easy on the weekly budget and hardly any clean up each night?  Yes please.  I've hardly cooked over the last week and we've eaten well and only gone to the grocery store for a few things.  It's been great and I want to keep doing it.

I've had some friends asking which recipes I made.  I thought I'd share them on here and tell you which ones we liked. Here's how I went about it:

Some people take a whole day to assemble the meals.  I didn't want that much stress and I didn't want to break our weekly grocery budget, so instead, I planned out some meals for the week and doubled them (or one-and-a-halfed, or if it was a big recipe anyway, just made it as is.) Each night, I made dinner and depending on the recipe, either made another pan to freeze, or just froze the left-overs.  This was cost effective since I was buying the ingredients anyway and wasn't really any extra work.

I just used foil pans, with lids/saran wrap/foil or gallon ziplocks depending on the type of food and labeled them with the date I made them and directions for cooking.

Here are the recipes we've tried so far.

1. Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas - these are one of our all time favorite dishes and they're just as good after they're frozen. 
This recipe is everywhere, but this one includes instructions for freezing

2. Calzones - we loved this recipe.  I didn't think they were quite as good after being frozen, but my family still gobbled them up.
I used Pioneer Woman's recipe of ricotta/pepperoni mixture, but just used pizza dough instead of rhodes rolls.

And then I used Martha's ideas for freezing them. (I've heard her recipe is good too)

3.  French Dips - I will be making this recipe from now on.  We loved this one.  Since we have a small family, I froze the left overs instead of freezing a whole roast so we could get two meals out of one.  We did prefer to make our own au jus sauce out of the packet instead of the juices from the crockpot - it seemed oily, but maybe we had an extra fatty roast.  We really loved her tips on toasting the rolls and the addition of swiss cheese.  My rolls usually get soggy with the meat and juices, but they way she toasts it twice made it turn out amazing!

4. Enchilada Casserole - Another good one.  Matt was curious how it would be with corn tortillas so for the pan I froze, I did corn instead of flour.  We haven't eaten that one yet, though, so I can't tell you how it is. :)

5. Crock pot Beef Stroganoff - This one was good, but not our favorite.  I think I just needed to season mine better.  I've actually made this before and enjoyed it more.

6. Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa - Another winner.  We enjoyed it much more served with tortilla chips - kind of like nachos with all of the toppings instead of rolled in tortillas.

7. Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells - the kids and I liked these.  Matt isn't really a fan of pasta, so we won't count his opinion on this one.  Go easy on the garlic.  There's a lot of flavor in these little shells.

8. Taco Soup - there are lots of recipes out there.  Ours has cooked ground beef, onion, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, vegetable beef soup, taco seasoning, water, etc. I just made it and froze the left overs. I'll buy the toppings (tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream) to have on hand when we eat the other half.

9. Tatertot casserole - I'm not really a fan of this one, but my kids and Matt love it.  Basically, just layer cooked ground beef (sauteed with onion), cream of mushroom soup (I make it from scratch when I want to be healthier), frozen veggies, shredded cheese and frozen tatertots on top.  Bake for 30 min at 350. They like to drizzle ketchup on it.  yeah...

10. Taco meat.  I just cooked up a double batch and froze half in a ziplock so I can quickly fry it up for tacos.

Phew!  That's it.  I hope that helps someone.  And I'm sure many of you are pros at this.  If you have any favorite freezable recipes, please share them.  I'd love to keep doing this, but we might get tired of these recipes, so It'd be nice to try some more.  Happy Freezing! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Snow Days

Last week was a big winter week. It started out with an ice storm and church was canceled.  Then there was a good snowstorm and school was canceled.  It was cold -  very cold.  Like negative numbers cold. Patients were few at the hospital, so Matt got off early.  We took the kids sledding, sat around the fireplace, had hot chocolate and enjoyed the cold snowy days.  This is what we were missing when we lived in San Diego. :)

Madeline was pretty hesitant at the beginning and then really liked it.  Charlie just ate it up.  Literally.  He face planted in the snow a few times and it didn't even faze him.  He cried when we had to leave, even though his little face was red with cold and wind burn.  These are the days...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

28 Weeks

I'm pretty sure my tummy is the biggest.

Well, I had a dr's appointment today.  It wasn't just any appointment.  27 weeks is the week with my other pregnancies that I started preterm labor and was hospitalized, medicated, bedrested... etc, etc.

I stocked my freezer with dinners, cleaned and organized my house, did my laundry, arranged a babysitter, and even packed an overnight bag anticipating a visit to the hospital.  Well, let me tell you, if you're prepared, it may just not happen!!  That's right.  Although I'm a little dilated, my doctor didn't see any signs of labor and we happily cheered together in the little exam room.

I hesitate even celebrating for fear of jinxing it, but even if things change in the next couple of weeks, I've made it farther than the last two and each week that passes gets a little less scary if things were to happen. And anything less than 10 weeks of bedrest is very welcome. :)

I'm enjoying this pregnancy.  Well, physically, not so much. I have a lot of aches and ligament pains, can't sleep well, can't walk well, whine whine, whine, but I love that it's going fast, that our family is expanding and that the kids are excited.  Madeline loves to feel him move around and Charlie will randomly give my belly little kisses and ask if Baby Weed is sleeping. It will definitely be a transition, but I'm hoping it won't be too terrible adding a third, especially since Matt will be working in a different city all summer.  We may be in for it.  We'll see.

As you can tell from the picture, I tend to stick pretty far out in front.  I'm already getting the questions if I'm due soon and I'm fibbing a little and telling them I have a just a couple of months left.  I don't want to see their faces if I told them how much longer I have. :) I got my mother's genes and carry big and low.  At an ultrasound today they said our little guy was measuring big with a big head.  Great....

Thanks for all of the prayers and positive vibes.  I'm feeling giddy that things are just fine for now.  Here's to taking it easy and telling Matt I need to rest so he has to do the dishes.  I'll be sad when I can't use that excuse anymore.....  :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Big 5 already?!

It's feeling a little weird to have a five year old.  On a health insurance benefits page, it categorized 5 as being "middle childhood".  Crazy!

I'm not one of those moms that plans a big birthday party every year.  In fact, Madeline has never had a friend party.  This year we wanted to do something social, so we gave her the choice of having a friend party or taking one friend to go and do something special.  She chose to take a friend to Build a bear since she had never been.  I was happy about that. :)

On the day of her birthday, I took the kids out to lunch, and we had her requested dinner - Tuscan Tomato Soup with grilled cheese.  (what five year old asks for that?  We love that recipe. You must try it.) We also made her requested cake - a butterfly with white cake and pink frosting.  I let her decorate it how she wanted.  We played "pin the bow" on Hello Kitty and opened gifts.  Watching her this Christmas and birthday, I have loved that it's not hard to please a little five year old. She was absolutely thrilled with the pink balloons I snuck into her room and put on her ceiling during the night. :)

The next Saturday was the big friend part.  We picked up her friend and headed to the mall. They chatted excitedly on the way. Charlie and Matt became bored quickly, so they went to play on the playground while the girls focused on shopping.  Picking out their stuffed animal was easy.  They both wanted the gingerbread hello kitty and they both wanted to name theirs Ginger.  It was picking out the outfit that took forever!  Watching these two girls made me laugh.  They went back and forth and back and forth.  At one point, her friend said, "you can't put a winter hat with a spring dress!"  Watch out teenage years... But with some help, they both walked away pretty happy and excited.

It has been really rewarding to watch Madeline's social progress over this last year.  A lot of you were so kind with suggestions to this post about starting preschool.  Well, now she absolutely loves it, and loves her friends and the activities she does there.  A few days ago, Matt accidentally took her booster seat to work and by the time I realized it, we were too late to figure out an alternative and just skipped preschool that morning.  Madeline bawled.  I thought that was a good sign. :) I also picked her up one day and three separate teachers said she had had them all laughing during snack time telling them about a crazy day we'd had where things kept going wrong.  She is still reserved in new situations and big groups, but she has grown a lot in confidence. She gave this little talk in church a few weeks ago.  Matt and I were so nervous for her - funny, when we both have been in some nerve-wracking situations with work and harp. It's weird how much you get nervous for your kids.  We thought she did great and are really happy she is feeling more comfortable expressing herself.

Madeline is such a great little girl.  She can definitely still throw a pretty good, irrational, dramatic tantrum now and then, but most of the time she's a big help, so thoughtful, a great big sister and our really good friend. Happy Birthday, Madeline! We really love you!

A Merry Christmas

We had a wonderfully quiet, relaxing Christmas, despite getting hit with several nasty viruses.  We were all pretty sick for the full two weeks. I was glad to have an excuse to hibernate and stay in pajamas.  Matt got a long weekend off, which was fun, and much needed because I'm not sure an eye doctor should be seeing patients when he has bright red, goopy eyes. :)

I loved watching my kids on Christmas morning.  Madeline was up several times the night before asking if it was "time."  It's probably a good thing one of her Christmas gifts was a Hello Kitty clock!
When we all got downstairs, there were some larger presents from Santa, but our kids went straight for the gifts they had given each other. They loved them and were content with just playing with those.  We had to keep reminding them they had more gifts to open.  I'm not sure that will happen when they are older...

We finally got snow, so we got our white Christmas. Both of our families were all gathering at "home" and although I would have loved to be with them, I felt perfectly happy and content with Matt and the kids, which made me feel very blessed.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!  I'm feeling excited about the coming year with a new baby and Matt's last year in residency.  My new year's goal is basically to survive three kids.  We'll see... :)