Community is…

Community is…

Ms. Coolgreenglasses taking my big girls to Costco and shopping for me.

Mr. Garden taking my big girls to school when I was vanless.

Mrs. Twinkleeyes picking up the littles and me from the auto repair shop in the middle of her workday.

Ms. Heartylaugh reminding me that Jesus cared for me in the past and will today too.

Mrs. GoDucks telling me I’m not a failure and to not listen to the whisper of the enemy’s lies.

Mrs. Helpingheart holding Charlotte while I shared what Jesus has done in my life over the past year.

Mrs. Warmhugs watching my big girls on Monday nights so that I can go to Re:Gen.

Mrs. Wellmissedfriend sending me a text of encouragement from the Midwest.

Mrs. Lovesroses walking through Fulton Mall with me sharing life.

Ms. Zumba encouraging me to work out.

Mrs. You’renotalone encouraging me with breastfeeding.

Mr. Lovesroses dropping of Eliana from school multiple times a week.

Mr. and Mrs. Bravethebeachwithsmallchildren dropping off Natalie daily and Eliana too on Fridays.

Mrs. Contagiouslaugh taking Eliana to the park when I was having a blue Monday.

Mrs. Reminderofgrace sending Kyle and I on a date.

The blessing is that these have all happened in the last 7 days minus the brave acts of Ms. Coolgreenglasses.

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Charlotte is 3 months!!!

IMG_7205Charlotte turned 3 months old a few days ago.  She is doing well, and that is a blessing.  During the night she tends to wake once, but she has slept through the night a handful of times.  She eats every 2-4 hours depending upon what time of day it is.  Charlotte wants to be where we are.  She isn’t too content anymore in her bouncer unless someone is paying attention to her.  Attention doesn’t mean bouncing her while doing something else.  She wants eye contact!  She also wants to see what we are up to.  So instead of being okay in her bouncer while we eat, she is happy and content as long as I am holding her.  I know it is just short time until she will be trying to grab my food.  She is working on giggling.  We love her smile that she easily shares.  I love when we have “conversations”.  They are such precious moments as we go back and forth making noises at each other.  We love her bunches.

IMG_7210Lydia wanted a picture with her sister.  I am glad that she wants to be a part of what is happening with Charlotte.

IMG_7216I am fascinated by her eye color.  Natalie’s was similar when she was a baby.  I wonder when or if Charlotte’s will change.

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Real Moments with Tomatoes

IMG_7189Sometimes life is chaotic.  There are lots of twists and turns, and it is hard to focus on anything.

IMG_7188Then I take a deep breath, and I start to focus.

IMG_7187What I see is potential.

Then among the chaos, I am stunned.IMG_7186

I see hope.

IMG_7185Sometimes it is so hard to remember that there is hope, but when I take the time, hope is still hidden in the chaos.

IMG_7184Sometimes hope is easier to see than at other times.

IMG_7183But there are those quiet moments.  When with clarity I can see. And my focus is on hope.  That is what God took the time to teach my heart in the midst of a rough parenting day yesterday. I had a few quiet moments when Charlotte wasn’t crying.  She was still wanting to be held, but she was quietly focusing on the tomatoes too.

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Natalie is 5!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_7073Before the month is over, I wanted to remember that Natalie turned 5 this month!  Her request of a ladybug cake took several days of thinking, but I finally got an idea that I was able to work with.  She loved it, and all of the girls enjoyed making it.IMG_7096As of today,  these are Natalie’s favorites: (They are subject to change by tomorrow)

color: white

breakfast food: chocolate chip pancakes

lunch food: grilled cheese

dinner food: pancakesIMG_7146One of the highlights of this family gathering was watching Natalie ask Grandpa Hal to play with her.  My insides squirmed not knowing how he’d answer the question.  I know plenty of adults who shy away from playing with kids.  Some are more polite about it than others.  Some play for about a minute and then go onto another person to talk to.  Grandpa Hal took the time to be present.  He not only played Shopkins with her, he read to her for an extended amount of time that day and the following day.  Grandpa Hal is the only great grandparent she has left, and it blesses me that he is still giving to others of his time.

We were blessed to have family come up for this adventure.  Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to use this template.  It may appear that I have favorites based on the size of some photos, but it was a random sorting that I couldn’t figure out how to manipulate.  So in this case, size doesn’t matter.  That people gathered, laughed, and loved on each other does.

 

 

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Real Moments

Being a mom is a hard job.  When I was a teacher having bad days, I thought naively that if I could just be a stay at home mom, things would be so much simpler. I’ll have a baby who loves me and isn’t so complicated.  I was beyond wrong.  Being a mom is such a hard balancing act.

Today’s real moment is brought to you by a request.

Last night before bed Lydia: Mom, make butterflies?

Me: No, it is almost bedtime.

This morning straining with effort I saw Lydia trying to get a tub out from the cupboard.

Me: If you need help, ask for it. (Which is a nice reminder to ask for help rather than screaming in frustration.)

Lydia: Help please.

I got the tub out. Me: What are you wanting in the tub?

Lydia: Make butterflies.

Me: Do you want to play with the butterflies? (There were a few that were already made, and to be honest, this meant less of a mess for me.)

Lydia: No, make butterflies.

So, I had a decision to make.  I could tell her no, again.  This would mean less of a mess for me to clean up after.  I looked over at the counter, and yes, there were tons of dishes that needed attention.  If she played with the premade ones, that meant I could get to the dishes.

Me: Do you want to play with these cards? (I chose to try and distract her instead.  The cards would make a mess too, but I hoped she’d be happy with them long enough for me to clean the dishes.)

Lydia getting out the box of popsicle sticks: No, make butterflies.

To be honest, I have missed a lot of opportunities with my girls by focusing on trying to keep the house running.  I wanted to be present in this moment and not let it pass.  Lydia clearly wanted to make butterflies. And so I cut the paper, and she glued it to popsicle sticks.  I thought she’d be happy with 3, but she wanted more.  So she made 7.  My floor still has all of the tiny pieces of paper she cut up on the floor and all of the supplies are still out.  BUT, I was present in the moment.  I got to help her while she still wants and needs my help. IMG_7180 I am glad I was present. IMG_7181 These will eventually get done.

 

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Sleeping Well

I am rejoicing!  Charlotte slept from a little after 10 pm until almost 7 am!  She is one day shy of 11 weeks.  I know with all of my other girls it took awhile to regularly sleep through the night, but I am counting my blessings!  The hymn “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow” came to mind.  This is by far the earliest that any of my girls have slept through the night.  I hope it becomes a habit!IMG_7174

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Charlotte is 2 Months Old!!!

IMG_7021Our family has been in a season of receiving gifts.  I am so grateful for the meals people have made, the hugs, the blankets (like this one from Grandma Muriel and Aunt Kathy), the groceries picked up, the walks, and conversations shared.  Something that I stressed about for months of my pregnancy was what to do with needing to be at the girls’ school 3 times a day.  God has provided gracious friends and family who have helped so that I don’t have to do all of the driving.  That is such a priceless gift to our family.  We are very blessed by the community that has been lifting us up in this transition.

Charlotte is doing great.  She is growing, has longer times of contentment in her awake time, and loves her family.  She is beginning to coo which makes having a conversation fun.  She tends to have her last feeding between 8:30-11 and sleeps until 2-5 in the morning.  Thankfully, I nurse her and then she goes back to sleep.  Kyle has been able to get more sleep regularly now that Charlotte tends to be up just once in the night.  She is nursing every 2-4 hours during the day, and has between 7-9 feedings a day.  The big girls enjoy her company, and they all have gotten pretty good at putting a pacifier in.

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