Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Little Lady

We are in LOVE with our little lady...

Olivia Joy

Her big brothers adore her

can't get enough of her

and can hardly wait

until we can get her home

and love her to pieces!

Loving my beautiful babies!

More stories to come about the adventurous birthday, miss Olivia meeting her big brothers for the first time, and our transition to a family of 6.

Praising the Lord for blessing us beyond our wildest dreams with our 3 boys and little lady!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blessed with 3 Boys and...

We have been blessed with 3 Boys and a Little Lady!

Our daughter was born 10/28 at 10:33pm.

She is perfect, beautiful and looks just like her big brothers.

She took her sweet time getting here and was by far my longest, slowest progressing, hardest, and most painful labor, but worth every minute!

Not sure if that is a predictor of the future or not?

She clearly wanted to do things different than her brothers.

Couldn't have done it without the help of so many!

She came screaming into the world at 7lbs 15oz and is 21 inches long.

She has a full head of dark hair and is already covered in pink. 

Thank you for all who prayed with us for this sweet miracle's safety.

We are rejoicing in this miracle of life and searching for a name for her.

The boys are meeting her this morning and I can hardly wait!

Will post pictures later...and maybe even her name!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Baby Are?"

More baby items appear daily in our house as we prepare for Bruce the Deuce.

Everyone is becoming so excited and the boys ask daily when the baby is coming.

If only we knew!

Why is it so hard to patiently wait for something God has perfectly planned? 

I am taking it one day at a time. 

If this baby takes much longer our house will be as clean and organized as it has ever been!

Yesterday I attacked a closet in the hall and the drawers in the bathroom and before I knew it I had 2 garbage bags of junk and some nice organized shelves and drawers. 

Poor Isaac has been a bit confused as we talk about the baby coming.

When he is looking for something or someone he will say "Baby are?" as in (where is the baby or where are you).

So the more we talk about it and the more we get ready he walks around the house with his hands up saying "Baby are? baby are?" and when we try to explain to him the baby is still in my tummy but is coming soon. He runs to the door yelling "coming" and opens it thinking the baby will be at the door. 

It is so adorable!

So, while we keep waiting we are doing everything we can to get ready. 

Like practicing diaper changing...

putting together a swing...

patiently waiting...

38 weeks and we are so close...

emailing friends and family letting them know we are still pregnant...

getting out the baby gear...

making sure the carseat is ready and blankets are washed...

Dearest Bruce the Deuce, 

       Your daddy, brothers, and everyone else for that matter, are ecstatic to meet you! While I realize it is nice and cozy in there, we are anxiously waiting to snuggle you up.  Thank you for waiting until today so your daddy can coach state cross country and not be worried about missing something he has worked so hard for.  However, state is today, so anytime after 6pm tonight works for us!

       You have 3 wonderful big brothers who will most likely fight over you for awhile.  I have a feeling I will only get to hold you during meal times. We are praying you arrive safely and are so blessed to have you joining our family soon.  We are also so thankful God has kept you safe these past 20 weeks while the contractions have challenged my fears and faith! 

      We are ready when you are little one!  Dreaming about holding you close and loving you up!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jazz music, pizza and a date night

Last week Richard and I snuck in a much needed date.

We recently discovered one of our favorite restaurants in town has live jazz music, 1/2 price pizza and 2 for 1 martinis on Thursday nights. 

We rounded up one of the boys favorite babysitters and headed out for a few hours of alone time. 

It was so relaxing and nice to spend some time together before this little one arrives. 

We definitely need to do this more!

Here is the 37 week shot from last week....better late than never right?

Richard and I dreamed about who this little person is going to be, laughed about our boys who have blessed us beyond measure and relished our precious time alone.

It was surreal to have time together like that, especially since we both know it will be awhile before we get to experience it again.

Our fabulous babysitter was even able to get Isaac to go right to bed even though it had only been a few days since he had been sleeping in a "big boy" bed.

Nothing makes a date night even more fabulous when you come home to 3 sleeping boys!

Thanks for the night out babe, hoping we can sneak another one in soon or bring our smallest family member with for one in the near future!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Boys Are Growing Up!

Last weekend I was a hormonal puddle to say the least.

We have 4 bedrooms in our home, 3 upstairs and one down.

The big boys have shared a room ever since they were both in the world and haven't wanted it any different.  They have been in bunk beds for the past 3 years and have done fabulous!

Isaac's room is quite small and we wouldn't have needed to move him out of his crib so soon, but with baby #4 on the way we decided it needed to be done sooner than later. 

The room in the basement wasn't quite finished and doesn't have an egress window.

We put some nice carpet from our living room (that was torn out when we moved in to finish the hardwood floors underneath) down there when we moved in.

Richard built a fabulous closet this summer for the room and put up a ceiling as well. 

The hole is almost finished being dug for the egress and hopefully that project will be done soon?

After much debate, we decided to move just Jonah downstairs for now and move Elijah to the top bunk and Isaac to the bottom bunk.  We wanted to have a guest bed available in Jonah's room and it's just too small for the full size bed and the extra twin bed we have. 

So we moved the extra twin bed to my wonderful sister and brother-in-law's house who are allowing us to store it there until baby #4 is done with the crib. 

We are thinking maybe next summer we could expand the basement bedroom to allow Elijah to move downstairs as well, but the 2 together in the same bed usually equals silliness and trouble!

Last weekend was the first weekend we were both home for most of the weekend and the last until baby comes.  So, we decided we better move everyone to their new room while we had the chance!

Isaac has always been our best sleeper and I was hesitant to rock that boat, but also knew that he would probably transition better to the "big boy bed" before a baby arrived and stole his momma from him!

My mom bought the boys new bedding to make the transition more exciting, so we changed out the bunk beds first, literally moving Elijah's mattress to the top bunk (as he was struggling with Isaac using that bed and it was already made with his new bedding) and putting on Isaac's Thomas the Train sheets for his "big boy bed" on the bottom. 

Here are Elijah and Isaac testing out their "new" beds before bedtime the first night...

It was getting late so we decided to put Isaac to bed first and let Elijah stay up to help us set up Jonah's new bed downstairs. 

I was teary as we were putting sheets on and Richard was sweet enough to take patrol the first night laying Isaac down.  I was trying to fight back tears as Jonah made trips downstairs with his clothes and "treasures" and Richard laughed at me asking me how I would ever handle graduation if I was this upset about them simply moving into a new bed!

In my defense I am weeks from delivering a baby, hormonal in general and quite sensitive when it comes to my babies growing up!  As I was wondering myself how I was going to handle it and trying to wipe away tears and put on a happy face for the boys, Jonah came walking by with an armload of items and told me he felt like he was going off to college. 

I may or may not have lost it again after that!

Isaac was really excited at first and pretty proud of his new bed.  My sister Nikki stopped by and he showed it to her and climbed right in.  I tried to get his pjs on in his "old room" (the soon to be nursery) and he wouldn't even go in there!

I tried to explain to him that he was all done with his old room and it was for the baby now. 

That only confused him more as he wandered around asking "baby are?" (where is the baby) and when I said the baby wasn't here yet but it was coming soon he ran to the front door yelling "yeah coming" and looked for the baby again!

Guess he'll have to wait for the real deal!

The excitement quickly wore off when it was time for bed and we tried explaining to him he was supposed to stay in there.  

We laid him down, sang him songs and kissed him good night and shut the door. 

He was crying pretty quickly and saying, "Done! Done!" and I was a mess.

The door to their room shuts really tightly and it is probably the only door in our house Isaac can't open by himself.

So he would go to the door crying out for me and knock for someone to come open it. 

I was sobbing before it had even been 5 minutes and Richard gave me a hug and sent me downstairs while he had to redirect Isaac to his bed a few multiple times before he finally fell asleep. 

Overall it was probably only 20 minutes, but felt like an hour to me. 

I channelled my broken heart into cleaning up the basement while Richard took care of Isaac. 

Then we got Jonah's new bed set up for him.

It was Richard's bed as a child and his dad's.  

Jonah was pretty excited to be in his own room and in this special bed. 

(His room used to be our office so we are in the process of moving out some of the furniture and replacing it with bedroom furniture for Jonah)

I had to laugh the first night Jonah was down there because for the past 2 months almost every night he and Elijah have had the same discussion about using a night light. 

Elijah wanted a night light and Jonah didn't.

So every night Jonah would talk about how he couldn't wait to get to his own room so he didn't have to use a night light and Elijah couldn't wait for him to leave so he and Isaac could use one. 

When we went to tuck Jonah into bed that night I told him I put one in the bathroom for him so he wouldn't be scared if he had to get up and use it in the night. 

He said thanks and then a few minutes later asked if I could put it in his room, but just for that night. 

I smiled and secretly was relieved that he wasn't too grown up yet!

The first night went well and the only problem was early the next morning when Isaac woke up he came out saying "done" and wasn't going back. 

In his crib, if he woke up early, we could lay him back down and tell him goodnight and he would usually sleep a little longer. 

Oh well, I won't be getting much sleep soon anyways right?

The next day I found a small piece of furniture for Jonah's room to serve as a night stand/dresser for now.  It is two cubes together with 2 fabric drawers.

The boys had a blast helping Richard put it together...

Overall, the transition has gone better than I thought!

Isaac has stayed in bed each night for the entire night and we have had to go in and tuck him back in once or twice. 

Elijah has been fine and Jonah has done really well except for waking up a few times and having a hard time going back to sleep. 

Nap time was rough for Isaac the first few days, but he has possibly given up after almost a week in his new bed. 

The first two days he got up and brought books back to his bed and I had to go in there multiple times telling him no and that it was time for nap.

He would get up about 4 times and go to the door yelling "Mommy Done" and knocking until I came and put him back in bed. 

One time he had found a sucker somewhere in the room and handed me the wrapper when I opened the door then sprinted back to his bed and began quickly sucking on it!

Little Turkey!

It is still weird for Richard and I to go to bed knowing Jonah is all the way downstairs and the nursery is empty next to us!

I don't feel like this baby is coming anytime in the next few days, so I am hoping we are able to get at least one more week in with everyone in their new sleeping arrangement before throwing a new sibling into the mix!  

The older boys slept through Isaac being up in the night and I am praying Isaac will follow suit!

Is it too much to pray this little one is a great sleeper like Isaac was?

I have had a few nightmares about having another colicky baby like Jonah who never slept!

Fortunately for everyone, Richard and I are a little more experienced now and will hopefully be able to handle it better than the first time around ;0)

I know they grow up fast, but it's a good thing for this momma that I am so busy getting ready for another little one to arrive that I don't have time to dwell on my "3 babies" being so big!

I am also 99.9% sure graduation will not be easy for me. 

At least the boys will probably expect me to be a hormonal puddle for that, so I won't have to do any pretending.  Until then, I will enjoy my "babies" needing hugs and kisses from their momma throughout the day!  I am sure that won't last forever!

I am crying just thinking about that! 

Oh Boy! I better go find a little boy to hold and snuggle with before it's too late!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You could cry, scream, or take a picture.

There are many moments in the day of a mother that require you to make crucial decisions quickly.

These decisions may be simple ones that don't require much thought, or they may give you a headache and cause your car to drive itself through the Starbuck's drive thru for a much needed cup of coffee.

Oh, your car doesn't do that? Mine does on really tough days!

Many of the decisions we make are a result of our motherly instincts kicking in.

I am always amazed at how my cat like reflexes will show up just in time to catch the cup of milk that is going to hit the floor and make a terrible mess, grab the arm of a toddler sprinting out into a parking lot, or deflect a flying object from another sibling that was "accidentally" aimed at the victim.

Other decisions are a result of advice we have sought from our fellow mother friends, our own mothers, spouses, the internet, or books. 

Or the Lord.

I have been spending more time reading, praying and quieting myself before the Lord recently as I am hoping to be a better mother and wife for my family.

One thing the Lord has been teaching me is to be more patient with my children and be more careful how I respond to them.  I have been spending my days trying to be thankful for my role as a mother regardless of what that may be and praying for God's grace to bathe me and His patience to engulf me as I embrace the challenges the day brings. 

Rather than allow myself to become frustrated by the endless trails of trucks, superheroes, legos, and clothing articles I pick up, I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve my boys in this way. 

Jonah and Elijah are becoming more responsible and able to help as they get older and often Isaac challenges me most during the day.  

When he is throwing a tantrum, clinging to my leg as I try to finish a task, or demanding my attention with his screams or creating another mess for me to clean up, I am thankful. 

Sometimes it is with a clenched jaw, and other times it is with a smile and a big deep breath!

When I want to cry, scream, or express my extreme frustration I am trying to instead respond calmly.

Today, while in the middle of doing 10 things (doing laundry, getting supper ready, picking up from the morning, emptying the dishwasher, and pulling out baby clothes to wash), I realized I hadn't seen Isaac for a few minutes or heard him. Both could equal trouble very quickly. 

I asked Elijah to check on him and he disappears for a minute and casually reports, "Oh, he's in the porch breaking eggs." 

Just to give you the full picture, I was standing in the hallway with a tub of clothes in front of me and piles surrounding me as I was choosing what to wash and what to save for later.

I had also almost had a panic attack thinking about all I had to do today and feeling exhausted and had just finished giving myself a pep talk about how I could do it!

While my heart might have stopped for one second, I took a deep breath and asked Elijah for more details. 

"What kind of eggs Elijah?  Plastic eggs?"

"Nope. Real ones."

While attempting to remain calm I may or may not have started hyperventilating picturing the full carton of eggs I had just purchased on the floor of the porch. 

Then I somehow hurdled the bin of clothes and all the piles, despite my large pregnant belly being in the way, and ran to the porch to see this...

Now this is a point where you have to decide if you are going to cry, scream, laugh, or take a picture. 

I would have preferred to scream and cry, but chose to laugh and grab my camera instead. 

Isaac sat down to marvel at his work while I did that. 

When I asked him what he was doing, he simply said, "Cooking mommy."

Then he smiled at me and clapped. 

Fortunately, the egg shells were empty, but it is one more thing to do when I was already feeling the day wasn't going to be long enough for my to-do list. 

So, I encourage you to pray God would give you the patience you need to just take a picture when you are faced with a "helpful" toddler. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boy-Sterous Living!

I recently ordered a slew of books from Amazon after signing up for the Amazon Prime trial membership in which you get free 2 day shipping! 

I needed it for Elijah's pirate party supplies and figured I might as well put the 30 day trial to good use!

So, I ordered a few books I had been wanting, but didn't really want to pay shipping for.

One of them happened to be this book...

The more I learn about little boys the more I realize I don't know about them!

The mysteries of the male brain continue to amaze me and I often find myself wondering how else I can equip myself to better understand them as well as making sure I am doing all I can to raise Godly men, I mean little boys (I can't even think about them turning double digits let alone becoming MEN)!

I have really enjoyed this book, and after reading it once realize I am going to have to read it multiple times in order for the information to sink in. 

Richard read a bit of one chapter that discussed communication and found it humorous.

It was titled communicating with the caveman and I also found it humorous because I can often relate.

Richard may have found it humorous because he knows how frustrated I can get when we have "discussions" about communication. 

I would highly recommend this for anyone who is raising a boy or multiple boys!

One of my favorite chapters had a list of interesting things you discover when you have boys.

I also realized if you can't beat 'em, you might as well join them!

I wanted to share a few of the things on the list....fortunately we haven't personally learned these lessons about boys.  I am not holding my breath though, I am sure we will have our fair share of lists in the future.  This list was from a random email titled...

Interesting things you discover when you have sons:

1. A king-size waterbed holds enough water to flood a 2,000-square-foot house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3 year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
(Actually think we have learned this one more than once)

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, you'll find the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape.  It is strong enough, however, if a paint can is tied to it, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20-ft room.

5. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh oh, " it's already too late.

6. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

7. Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4 year old boy.

8. Super glue is forever.

9. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can't walk on water.

10. Pool filters do not like Jell-0.

11. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
(I have unfortunately learned this one....I have discovered when finding clothing laying around, rather than smell it to see if it's clean, when it doubt throw it in the wash)

12. The spin cycle in the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

13. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

14. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

15. You think your boys aren't listening and won't remember the conversations you are having with your girlfriend on the phone, but they will conveniently remember just the right phrases and just the right times.  (I have also learned this one the hard way)

After the first time reading this book, I have learned I need to let go even more and let my boys be boys.

I can channel that energy positively and I am working on being more accepting of this.

This is hard for me, and I am sure it will only become more difficult the older they all get!

Guess I better keep reading.

My next book is called Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys.
(Sorry honey, I am sure I didn't use the proper citation for this)

I hope you at least found this amusing, and if you have boys in your home I am sure you could add to the list as well!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just going to run a quick marathon before giving birth

Here is my 36 week shot!
Getting so excited for this little one to come and while I feel like I am running a marathon daily trying to get everything washed, organized, cleaned, keeping everyone happy and healthy to get ready to bring another little one into this world...I am can't say I am going to literally run a marathon before giving birth like the lady in the article below!

She is amazing! I do happen to know a handful of crazy running momma's who have ran well into their pregnancies and run 1/2 marathons, but none of them right before delivering!

What a story! 

Sorry Bruce the deuce, while I pray for an exciting birth story for you that involved you coming into this world safe and healthy, it will unfortunately not involve me running 26.2 miles before. 

You may have noticed the intensity has increased around our house as we are calmly frantically preparing for your arrival, please wait just a little longer...I am almost done nesting...well maybe?

Are you ever really totally ready for a baby?


We will see you soon baby!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Running, running, running

Running, running, running...
Besides being Isaac's favorite thing to do, we did a little running last weekend at the Grand Forks High School Cross Country Meet. 

It was a beautiful day, a bit windy, but we aren't complaining!  We had a great time watching the runners and enjoying the beautiful weather.  The boys LOVE going to the meets and we haven't been to any this season due to my contractions and being so pregnant.

Here the boys are having a little snack between races, while talking to daddy. 

We did a little cookie eating...

Cheering and waving...

Saw some stretching...

Did some fake golf cart driving...

Saw more cheering...

Isaac and Nikki did LOTS of running...

We even squeezed in some hill rolling...

Isaac did more running and chasing...

The baby and I did very little running, did some walking, but mostly just cheering...

Jonah was able to ride in the golf cart a few times...

I attempted to get a picture of all 3 boys and this is the best I could manage...

We are hoping to head to Fargo this weekend for the regional meet.

I will be 36 weeks and feel okay going sine it is only 1 hour away. 

Probably should pack a bag just in case ;0)

Wondering if this little one can hold off until after the State Meet?????

Guess only time will tell!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our Own Superhero!

We have our own superhero!

We are pretty proud of him and his recent accomplishment...

here he is just after finishing his first marathon in 2:40:29!!!!!!!

Finishing 56 out of the 4,858 males that ran and 66 of the 8,533 total runners!

He averaged about 6:08 per mile for the 26.2 miles he ran!

I think I ran a 7 minute mile almost killed me so I decided not to do it again.

One of the first things he said to me when I talked to him on his way home was how he couldn't wait to run another one!  

I am pretty sure I would be thanking the Lord that I survived 26.2 miles and praying I wouldn't ever do it again!

We are SOOOOOO proud of him and it was SOOOOOO hard not being there to help cheer him on and watch him finish.  I am sure there will be more marathons....we will be there next time!

He put in many miles and many hours of hard work preparing for this.

He was up in the wee hours of the morning (like 3am sometimes) to squeeze his run in, ran 2 times a day, ran late into the night, and often took the boys with him (on bikes and in the jogging stroller).

He is crazy.

We love him for it.

Staying home and missing out on this was one of the hardest things I have had to do.

However, I also know that going into labor on the way there or during the race wouldn't have been very helpful for Richard or our little one who needs to stay put just a little longer before making the big debut!

My parents and sister were amazing all weekend helping me with the boys while Richard was gone and I worked.  It sure was comforting knowing they were taken care of when we weren't available.

Speaking of being taken care of, I am so thankful to our dear friends Clint and Katy who took such great care of Richard while he was in Minneapolis for the race.

Katy made sure Richard was well fed the night before (making him a special pre-race meal), they let him stay at their house, Clint gave him a ride that morning, and Katy and their 2 small boys were at the finish line waiting for Richard. 

Katy even sent this beautiful flowers home for me to enjoy ;0)

My mom helped the boys make this sign to welcome daddy home...


    I know you don't feel as though you were able to train as much as you would have liked for this marathon, and that we weren't always as excited as you were for it. I find it pretty stinking amazing that you were able to do all you did while working full time, coaching full time, loving your pregnant-hormonal-emotional wife, raising and caring for 3 BUSY boys, and helping out around the house to keep me from going into premature labor and avoiding bedrest!  

    We are very proud of you for doing this and it is clear to me that, Lord willing, there will be more marathons in your future.  Hopefully next time we will be able to be there to cheer you on and welcome you across the finish line.  We just wanted you to know you are our superhero! We love you lots and look forward to cheering you on in the races to come.

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