Marching On

March brought our family a lot of fun times beginning with Eli’s birthday and the offer on a new house¬†as I talked about in last post but hopefully April will be EVEN better!

Speaking of the new house, things are going well and as they should for this point in the game. The loan is in underwriting and the sellers are having last minute repairs made for our upcoming final walk-through. We are cautiously getting more and more excited. Pray that things continue to go smoothly.

I am really enjoying our new vehicle! It gives up much more room than the Explorer. I LOVE that I can have Eli’s convertible seat and Leia’s infant seat side by side in the middle row and still be able to access the third row for the big girls. It is a little aggravating to have to fold the seat down each time but I get an automatic lift gate in the deal which is Awesome! Driving it isn’t as bad as I thought either. I was comparing it to Ryan’s full size pick-up truck but it handles so much better. I’m a fan.

We had lunch at my Aunt and Uncle’s house a couple weekends ago and my goodness did Eli have a blast! They have a chicken coop, a HUGE backyard complete with a stream and mini bridge, not to mention a tractor AND an excavator. It was so good to see my cousins from Colorado whom I haven’t seen since Eli was born. My other cousin who I mentioned was pregnant in a previous blog post was also there. She was my BFF growing up so it was great seeing her to catch up some. She is absolutely glowing with her baby GIRL! She found out the 7th she was having a baby girl and is super excited. Leia is also stoked to have a GIRL cousin so close in age (they will be about 7 months apart).

The girls missed lunch at my Aunt and Uncles so the following weekend we took all the kids to the park for some fun. Eli could spend ALL DAY there. Jaycie had a lot of fun too. She’s still at a good age that it’s not embarrassing to be seen at places like that. Jenna on the other hand is getting a little to big for her britches ūüėČ

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Easter weekend was a blast!¬† I dropped the kids off with my parents Good Friday morning on my way to work. My dad had a pancake breakfast waiting on them #spoiled. The girls helped Mimi make an Easter celebration/birthday dinner for me and my SIL who recently had B’days. It was a good-time. Made this girl a little less depressed delving even further into my thirties.

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Leia had her two months check up yesterday (a little late)! She is a whopping 13.2lbs and in the 75th percentile overall. #littlechunk. She is doing so much better with colic. As a matter of fact we’ve only had a handful of episodes in the last few weeks. #SUCCESS.

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So here we are, Marching on into April….hopefully this time next month we will be celebrating our new nest!!

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Eeep! Things are a Happen’n

Y’all! Prayer works. I don’t want to celebrate yet, but we are¬† under contract on our home- sweet-forever-home! It took a lot of unconventional thinking and juggling to get to this point but we are here and it’s looking pretty promising. We are also getting a much needed larger vehicle out of the deal too! I’m a little more apprehensive about my new #landbardge but I’ll kiss my beloved explorer goodbye if it gets me closer to the American dream. The kids are stoked and we hope to be too after closing….tentatively set¬†for April 22nd.

Kids are good- Leia is getting better with her colic, thank sweet baby Jesus. Eli is ushering in the terrible twos in grandiose style, but hey – we expected it. The big girls are also doing great ūüôā Jenna had a spend the night party with a friend from school last weekend which means she EARNED that privilege and that’s¬†a pretty big deal since we have been battling pre-teen attitude issues #funstuff. Jaycie is >this< close to being signed up for cheernastics. The poor child has waited almost a year for it and so deserves it! She makes straight A’s and mostly always does¬†what she’s asked. Things just keep coming up and causing us to delay it. Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL in this gown? She went with her babysitter to a formals boutique and decided she needed to try something on…*almost* makes me want to let her do a pageant since she begs me non-stop to anytime one comes up. gah. I just hate the stigma.

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We celebrated Eli’s birthday last weekend. We went out to Cheddar’s with Ryan’s parents Friday night

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and then we had cake as a family on his actual birthday.

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We took him to target to pick out his birthday present…he is all about some Star Wars, Minions, and Thomas the Train his choices definitely reflected that ūüôā

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It feels great to be back in the swing of things at work. I mentioned our facility’s plans to remodel last post and that’s about to be underway. They moved me this week so I now have a larger classroom and lab…#AWESOME check out this very cool exposed brick wall where my desk will go #winning

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The moving process was a bit much but it’s almost done and I’ve almost got things how I want them. Miss Annie, my lovely…but scary looking ¬†mannequin is also¬†loving her new digs. I had to document her journey…leaving her old home and¬†then discovering and later chilling in her new home.

so excited to start interviewing for my next class. You should see my classroom’s bathroom…absolutely 100% 1970’s original retro wallpaper. It’s kinda awesome, haha!! I took a selfie in my personal bathroom…

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the other side’s bathroom is equally as awesome…except blue and green. Totally looks like¬† a bathroom¬†you’d expect to see in¬†The Bates Motel.

Can’t wait to update y’all on the new house and car once it ACTUALLY HAPPENS…don’t want to jinx things. PRAY!!!

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Leia’s First Month

I am also terribly late posting Leia’s one month update…grr!! I made a cute little photo/word collage that has most of her latest info but just to catch everone up to speed on what isn’t on there…
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She’s been growing like a weed!! We took her to the¬†pedi last Thursday for general fussiness after 5:00pm everyday. She’s been fussy since birth. I noticed that right away. I never had to pace my hospital room bouncing any of my other children to soothe them. She’s had a gassy tummy since then too. We pretty much just dealt with it by using gripe water and simethicone drops up till it peaked last week. I decided to take her in just in case it was something more concerning. The doctor said she felt it was colic and prescribed some drops that¬† are for stomach spasms (hyosyne)¬†They’ve helped quite a lot and since that day her fussiness has pretty much leveled off. She was 11.4lbs at the appointment! 3lbs since birth. Like I said, growing like a weed!

I noticed when I pumped for the first time last Tuesday that the milk was very fatty. When left to sit, breastmilk separates into two parts. The cream (hindmilk) rises and the watery part (foremilk) is on the bottom. I noticed there was hardly ANY foremilk in the bottles I pumped. I assumed this was partly because I pumped in the morning (after not nursing as much through the night) and also about an hour after a feeding. When a baby nurses the milk they first receive out of the breast (foremilk) is the wateriest part, (think skim milk) quenches thirst, hydrates, etc. As the baby nurses longer the fattier milk that is stuck further back in the alveoli (hindmilk) (think¬†full fat/cream milk)¬†of the breast finishes out the feed. It was a little concerning to me because with Jaycie my foremilk-hindmilk balance was almost 50/50 in pumped bottles and with Eli I had about 25% hindmilk. I’ll include a picture here, but there was really hardly ANY foremilk.

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Usually when a baby experiences fussiness due to a foremilk or hindmilk inbalance it’s because there isn’t enough hindmilk thats loaded with the stuff to make baby feel full. I’m not sure why she’d be fussy for too much hindmilk?? After pumping again,¬†hours after a feeding I still see the 90% hindmilk issue. Am I going to make her overweight?? Is she thirsty?? Is she having trouble digesting my very fatty milk?? #allthequestions I still plan to bring it up to the pedi at her 2 month check, if only for peace of mind.

She is sleeping very well at night. She prefers to sleep scrunched up next to me, but after she falls asleep¬†nursing at about 10:00pm she sleeps till 2:00am, nurses, and is out again till about 5:00am,¬† nurses and sleeps again till about 6:30am when the rest of the¬†house wakes up. The commotion usually lulls her back asleep if we are staying in and not heading out the door and she will sleep¬†till about 9:00am. She really isn’t that fussy till the afternoon. Thankfully, she has not had any inconsolable crying episodes¬†for hours on end since we’ve received the prescription drops. I¬†have only given them once at night…but she could have them every 6 hours if needed. I’m glad she doesn’t as they have a small amount of alcohol in them.

This is a pretty big re-cap of her last month and even some into her second month!
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Six Weeks: Return to Work & The New Normal

So…um…sorry for the delay. I’ve been busy trying to keep my sanity. No, seriously. I have. Y’all, having four kids, two under two is no joke. I hardly have time to think these days and when I try…my mind is a clouded mess. Do I really suck at mamahood that much? I honestly thought I was doing pretty well at it till January 12, 2016 came and went. My days of maternity leave – that I presumably thought were going to be like the ones of my last three children – were a chaotic sprint from sun-up to sun-down¬†in an effort to get the most basic household duties fulfilled and kids and my husband taken care of. Maybe it was because I¬†was taking care of four kids or maybe it was because Leia (and our family)¬†has been battling colic, I’m not completely sure as to what the real reason is, but¬†I kept thinking it would get better and as the days went on, it never did. I made all these shiny new plans for the blog and it took all of about a week for those to be dashed. Good news though. I made it out alive and so did everyone else! Stay at home moms of multiple children¬†don’t get the credit they deserve.
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So, the doc cleared me to return to work at my follow up yesterday and today is my first day back to work. I am so glad to be back into the routine of things. This is the first day since giving birth I have felt ‘myself’ and have had some mental clarity. ¬†I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a bad mom. I love, love,¬†LOVE my kids but I’m ready for our routine to be back to what will be our “New Normal”. Mom is home with Leia today and so far so good! She has eaten and napped like she should. I’ve not gotten any mayday! texts. #winning.¬† Daycare starts Monday and fingers crossed things go well there too. It’s not all been bad…we’ve had some good days during my leave!

Ryan’s brother and SIL were down for a weekend for my MIL’s sixtieth birthday. They surpised here by flying in the Friday before her birthday and we all got to spend some qaulity time together.
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Do any of you (who subcribe to my blog and follow along *cheeks blushing*) remember when I had a couple secrets I couldn’t share publically yet? welllllll Imma be an AUNT y’all!! To a bouncing baby boy come the end of May or early June. I’m so, so excited! Ryan’s bro and SIL will be amazing parents!! Also feel compelled to share that my ‘best-cousin’ is pregnant with her first too!! #babysallaround She finds out the gender March 7th!

Guess what else??? We’ve been house hunting too!! We’ve found an awesome one that fits us perfectly. It comes with a hefty price tag due to the location and size but those things we can’t budge on. Prayers please that it works out the way it should and our hearts are prepared to deal with whatever the outcome may be. We had a second showing yesterday with my parents and the kids. Everyone loved it! I want Ryans parents to see it soon too!! Hopefully we are prepared to put in an offer in the next couple of weeks.

We are doing MAJOR renovations to the retirement community I work in. I’m so, so excited to be getting a new classroom!! It’s amazing y’all!! Sooo much bigger than what I had been working out of. Pictures to come later! I’m so happy for our residents that they are about to experience what living in a retirement home SHOULD be like. You see, most ‘nursing homes’ operate like any other healthcare instituition. Sure, there are hefty laundry lists of regulations we must follow BUT we plan to break the mold on that institutional setting. We are renovationg to make our community home-like where the residents are the center of focus and where they can go about their days as they would in a home environment instead of following a rigid schedule of an instituiton. #soexcited #somanyhashtags

Now y’all are up to speed on the happenings of my mama-life!! So sorry to keep y’all waiting!!

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Scatterbrained

I’m a few days off once again for my monthly update on child # 3…not surprised. I’m still trying to get my footing on everything since Leia has arrived. I’m getting into a good groove household wise. FINALLY. My also feel like my hormones are leveling off, again I say – FINALLY. I’m still trying to find a good fit for blog posts…not 100% on the individual kids updates.. I think I should maybe switch to a once per month hodge-podge of all the kids together except special milestones. I finalized my return to work date yesterday! I’ll be returning 2/23/16. I have mixed emotions about that…ready to get back into my normal groove but will also miss the flexibility not having to adhere to a strict schedule.

Jaycie asked to make these awesomely adorable little Valentines for her classmates…

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They were super easy to make:

  • Jumbo Marshmallows
  • Pink vanilla bark
  • Valentines Sprinkles
  • White Craft Sticks (found in baking specialty section at Wal-Mart)
  • Clear treat bags with ribbon (Found in baking specialty section at Wal-Mart)
  • Wax Paper

We melted the pink vanilla bark in the microwave per instructions on the package then swirled the tops of each marshmallow in it. Sprinkle the valentines sprinkles liberally over the coated tops and then place on the wax paper un-decorated side down until the bark hardens, about 45 minutes to an hour. After they have all hardened, we placed the sticks in the bottoms and then packaged in the clear treat bags and finished with a white silk ribbon. Her classmates loved them!

In other news, I’m ITCHING to hit the pavement again and start getting these last 10-15 pounds off. I’ve been blessed with pretty decent metabolism and lose quite a bit of baby weight pretty quick without much effort but those last 10 pounds always give me trouble if I want them off quick. I’m down to 120 from my top-out preggo weight of 136. My goal is to get back to pre-pregnancy weight of 107 plus a few more. My comfort range is 103-107. My 6 week check up is 2/22/16 so I am pretty certain the doc will release me to full activity then. I feel great! I have lots of energy and feel ready to go now…at this point post-partum with Eli I was beginning to walk increasingly longer distances, increasing my pace each session until finally around 6-7 weeks I was able to jog pretty comfortably. One major hindrance is my neighborhood…this one leaves so much to be desired as far as routes go. Also, the temp is not as baby-friendly as the wonderful March weather we had for Eli. I was able to stroll him around comfortably morning or afternoon…here lately it’s been rather cold and I haven’t felt comfortable getting Leia out in it. Maybe we can get some warmer days soon.

We are getting the ball rolling on looking for a home!! Exciting news for all of us but it absolutely doesn’t come without stressors. We are working with a credit building group to get higher scores for lower interest rates. We should be where we want to be in 30-60 days and then ready to look. It’s kind of frustrating because we have found a house in our desired district that would be SO perfect *in our opinion* for us!! It is 4 bedroom plus a onus room and 3 bathrooms. That would give each child their own room and plenty of bathrooms to go around…it’s in a quite older neighborhood & golf course. It would be ideal for running and lots of space for the kids to play. This is for sure trying our patience. It’s been on the market for 80 days now because even though it is perfectly livable, there are still several things that need updating. In the meantime, I am praying over the situation. I have faith that if it’s where we are meant to be things will play out for us and if not, the place that IS for us will come up in the right timing.

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I’ve got lots of yummy recipes to share soon! I’m in the process of getting that blog post complete AND have made a decision on my next Mama Read. I had already decided that I wanted my next book geared towards my oldest daughter and that stage of parenting soooo I have decided on ¬†Untangled by Lis Damour, ph.D. I’m pretty excited to get started on it. If you have a pre-teen or teen girl in your life, I challenge you too to read it!

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Jenna’s January

I said I was going to start updating monthly on all the kids and I’m already a day late on the first one! Life as a mama of four is pretty hectic. I *think* I’m settling into a groove, but definitely have a LONG way to go. My hat is off to those moms of door-step kids. How in the world do you do it? I have a big age gap in my sets of two.

Jenna has helped out tremendously with my ‘finding my groove.’ She is the oldest so lots of the harder tasks fall on her. Sooo many times she’s taken the load off for me. She almost always clears the table after dinner, ¬†helps keep Jaycie in line because Lord knows she can’t keep up with anything, she bathes Eli for me when I need it, and does a wonderful job helping to keep her and Jaycie’s laundry from backing up. Another amazing thing, it’s not anything unusual to walk into the living room and see her sweeping the floor just because. That’s a parenting win right there!

She’s doing great in school! She has all A’s and B’s except one stubborn (high) C in history…we expect that to be up by progress reports *wink-wink*…it better be anyway! I really am blessed with children who do well in school and behave for their teachers. I know it’s no easy task as a teacher in this day and age. Expectations on how they should act are set at home and if parents set the bar too low or worse, not even at all – how do they expect their children to behave well or do well in school?

Jenna has put us through some trying times pretty recently…but I’m sure that’s just the tip of the ice berg as she is coming up on her teens quickly. She will be 12 in July!! I’m currently on the search for a new ‘mama-read’ and this category may fit the bill! She has rebounded from that little incident gracefully. Her grades are up and she is following the rules at home so much better than a few months ago. All kids go through rough patches here and there, and thankfully if the punishment is effective they learn from those problems and move on to not repeat them again…and more importantly gain a life lesson from it.

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The Blog Must Go On!

I started this ‘blog,’ ‘journal,’ or whatever else you want to call it as a way to document my pregnancy with Leia. Now, FORTY-FIVE posts later, I realize that I really have enjoyed having an outlet to write things down in. For me, it’s refreshing to get the words out that swirl around in my head all the time. That said, the time has come to decide what direction to take the rest of the posts here. I don’t want to just abruptly end it, I’ve enjoyed it too much! My biggest motivation in life is my family so no doubt I will continue to use it as a platform to document our life and if it helps a fellow reader out who is going through something similar that would be wonderful…but I want things organized and to do that may be a little work.

Here’s how I think I’m going to start it off: Despite the fact that up to this point my posts have mostly been about my youngest, Leia…I want to include all of my little lovlies! So, on the day of their births each month Jenna(1), Jaycie(23), Eli(6), Leia(12), I plan to do a short monthly update on them and their happenings. I also want to expand on a few other things, healthy meal planning for busy working families (our meals are mostly quick and easy and very unhealthy-need a change here for sure as it’s constantly on my mind) I’ll likely do one post per month to highlight some of the things we chose for that particular months meals. I’ll continue to do a book review category. I have only done one here so far, but really enjoyed reading it with more purpose, making notes and such. It seemed to help the material stick better and since I have a tendency to choose educational books relating to family, relationships, kids, pregnancy, basically stuff that is relative to my life I feel they would fit perfectly along the lines of something that could be included on the blog.

So to recap, those topics would be: Kids updates (family happenings/behavioral milestones/charity work/etc.) Meals on the Go (healthy recipes/weekly menus/grocery lists/easy and quick to prepare meals) Book Reviews (relationship/breastfeeding/child and teen psychology/etc.) I’m also into practical fitness too so that would also be something I’d like to include! I’ll start there for a few months and see how things go! I’m excited to keep things going here!!

For those wondering about baby Leia, she is doing well! Her two week ¬†appointment showed she is gaining weight perfectly and healthy overall! We are still battling a little bit of a fussy tummy, but nothing major. I’m doing well…a bit overwhelmed, but managing!!

And a picture for the cuteness factor:

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