Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Have HOW Many Kids?!

So here I am blogging on a Sunday morning. I'm sitting home while the rest of my family (minus Ava) is at church right now. Don't worry, this morning I listened to a John Piper message on justification so that I can continue earning my way to heaven. Joking...

So why have I been blogging so much? Maybe it's to share all the beautiful tininess around me. Maybe it's because I have so much extra energy from actually keeping my food in my stomach this week. Maybe it's to feel normal while I'm using monster size pads and wetting the bed with leaky breast milk. Maybe it's because my other three children have been gone all week. Ding, ding, ding!!!

The life of just one child that I've been living all week is coming to an end in T minus 30 minutes when my husband arrives home from church with our other three kids. Because I have four kids. I. Have. FOUR. Kids!!!!

When the kids visited Thursday, we had lots of fun until the end when my husband had to leave the house to help a neighbor, someone showed up to visit, I had to keep one eye on how my 6 and 7 year old were holding the baby, my 3 year old was throwing a fit, my 7 year old shot the visitor in the face with his new nerf bazooka, my 3 year old was flailing herself against my oh-so-tender chest, and I was smiling the fakest (not even a word) smile a mother of four could smile at my guest. I practically ran crying to my own mommy when she showed up to rescue us. As my dear children exited the house to go back to Grammy's, it really hit me. I. Have. Four. KIDS!!

Wasn't I just a teenager yesterday stuffing a pillow under my belly under my shirt (yes, I did) and dreaming of the day? Now it's here. Times four. I'm still cool right? Is the word "cool" even used any more? I still put on my Nine West sunglasses to drive my white minivan. I will still don my embellished JCrew shirt that just so happens to have a spit-up stains on it as I go to my son's soccer. I still plan on wearing perfume to douse the sent of fermented breast milk. I'

This video proves that it can be done:

In all seriousness, I'm looking forward to the grace that God will give me to invest in four of the most precious gifts I could imagine. I anticipate continuing to teach them of the best news in the world: that Christ has given us a hope and has rescued us from our sins.

My FOUR kids will be together soon; and in all my un-coolness, I can't wait!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

He Teaches 'Em Young

Around here, you'll learn two things: the Gospel and the love of the University of Michigan. My husband starts them young...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Newborn Photos

I had WAY too much fun doing the newborn photos of my very own baby...









Thursday, May 27, 2010

Playing with Sissie

My parent's have taken the oldest three kids for the week as I recover from the birth, but today the kiddos came for a "visit". Adriana and I had fun playing with Ava; we put her in the doll stroller and bed and tried Adriana's Bitty Baby's clothes on her. Our little peanut fit just perfectly in the doll world.

We took "baby bets" before Ava was born, and Elijah was ecstatic that his stats won and even more thrilled that his victory meant a Starbucks drink as a reward (decaf for Grammy and Papa's sake).

Isaiah kept leaning down and snuggling close to his sister. He, like the rest of us, is in love...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She's Here!

Ava Louise was born yesterday at 5:14 p.m. Her middle name is the name of Steven's grandmother who died a year to the day before Ava's birth. Ava measured in at 19 inches long and only 6 pounds 4 ounces which is, by far, my smallest baby.

To give the short version of the story, it was one of my hardest labors; even though it was wonderful to be able to do a home birth. Who would guess that my fourth (and tiniest) baby would produce an over 17 hour labor!?! Looking back, we realized that her hand up by her head which is why she came out with bruised fingers and was "stuck" for so long. My water broke at 1 p.m. on Sunday, but it took long walks and castor oil to convince my body to start labor. My official labor finally started at midnight. I was very slow to progress and had to work hard going up and down the stairs or getting in uncomfortable positions to try to keep my cervix dialating. Finally I got stuck around 8 cm. with my contractions almost totally fizzling out. There was a point where the midwives were about to transfer me to their birthing center to use more aggressive forms of making my body do it's job. Ten minutes before my "deadline" to transfer, I finally started getting contractions. I never was able to fully dilate and had the urge to push at 9 cm. It was the most painful, intense pushing I've ever done. But after about a 1/2 hour, we went from not even seeing the head to her suddenly popping out. I was so grateful because, not 30 seconds before, I was screaming that I couldn't take one more minute; and by God's grace, I didn't have to. But now she's here and so sweet and beautiful; so let me share some photos and a little video!

Meeting her brothers:


Getting weighed by the midwife and birth assistant:

Friday, May 21, 2010


The baby clothes are washed, the swing and cradle put together, and the stroller cleaned. Now we are all
not so
patiently waiting for the arrival of our little girl.

Wednesday afternoon I began to have good, strong contractions that were coming every 5-10 minutes apart. I remained skeptical, but everyone was getting excited. Sure enough, they died out a few hours later which I've been told by my midwife is a common occurrence the more babies you have. I felt bad for the kids (with some pity mixed in for myself), who were thrilled at the idea that their sister might come early. The boys were especially sweet while I was in pain; and during those hours they made me a banner. Later, I took a photo of it which unfortunately is not too clear. It says "We ar all sarey you ar having contracshins!"

Since Wednesday, we've gotten back to some version of normal; though everyone is a bit more on the edge of their seats. The kids have been trying to coax the baby out with pep talks to my belly.

"Come on out! We really want to see you!!"

I've been trying to coax her out with my own pep talks...

"Get out! Get out! Get OUT!!"

I came across the boy's old Winnie-the-Pooh mobile as I was going through the baby boxes in the attic. Since I'm OCD about things matching the decor in my home, I wasn't about to put the primary color mobile in the girl's pink and white room. Still, I had mommy-guilt over depriving my little one of something to look at over her crib. Then one day it hit me. A mobile could be chic! Since I'm about as good at sewing as I am at resisting chocolate at the end of my pregnancy, I coaxed my sister into making my design a mobile-licious reality. And check out what a fabulous job she did...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today we sat up in the balcony at our church; and as I looked down at the at sea of moms below me, I began to think of motherhood with all its joys and trials. I thought about the fact that I've never done something more difficult; but far truer, I've never done something more rewarding. Nothing has revealed more sin in my life, and yet shown more grace available from God. My boys hugged me tight during worship, and I felt like the richest woman in the world.

I can tell you sincerely that any legacy I hope to pass down to my own daughters came from the blood, sweat, and tears of these two ladies who labored 24/7 in their mothering:
Happy Mother's Day!