Friday, August 31, 2012

stubby knees

Well, it's Friday.  I only have a weekend left with Kate, and I know it will go fast.  And kindergarten will go fast. And before we know it.... it will be summer again.  I can't say that I am ready for Tuesday....but I am getting there. I am depending on strength from God to get through it, to move ahead instead of remember regrets and things I didn't do, etc.  The fact is, no matter how much I do with the girls.... it is never good enough. Satan keeps guilting me into thinking that I didn't do a great enough job, that I didn't spend enough time with them, and reminding me of other useless things. That's what he was trying to do yesterday until I was reminded that he was trying to steal my joy.  I had a week left with Kate before she went to school and for part of it I had spent time crying and sulking over the past and how my time pumping and with Ella took away from spending this summer with the other two.  I won't let him steal my joy this week!

I am doing the best I can with housework. So far it's working out.. but I am getting tired. I have been trying to do the kitchen after pumping at 9:00-9:30. I have a half hour to clean up before I pump again around 10:15.  However, the night before, Ella woke up between my pumps and I never really got much sleep after that, so I tried to pump at 9:45last night and went to bed at 10:30.  I didn't fall asleep right away of course, but at least I got to bed earlier. I felt it was easier to get up this morning. Then a little after 7, I went to get Ella and brought her back into bed to nurse. She still doesn't do very well but she does better in the morning because I am full. Unfortunately "full" means 4 ounces. That's what I always had with Kate & Maddy.  So frustrating. My prayer is that I can do that consistently in the morning and that she would do well, just that one time a day.  If that's the best I can get.... then i'll take it! I don't forget to thank God for those times.

The girls haven't been taking naps this week. I didn't even try. Tuesday I think I had them because they have been going to bed so late and being naughty... but I figure it's only a week until Kate goes so Maddy can enjoy her too. Plus, then it's more time I can be with them.  It's a totally different perspective these days how I view my day.  Before I thought, "ok, these are the things i have to do today" and now I think:  "what really fun things could we do today?"   I love it.  and of course I try to make time to do things like laundry and clean up after meals.. and I also incorporate them into the housework. Kate has been unloading the dishwasher, setting the table, and they've had to clean up their toys - we all do it together, which means more time with each other. And really, Maddy will be taking naps in the afternoons.... so it's only the morning technically that Maddy and I don't have Kate. So, it really won't be that bad.  I do wish, though, that Kindergarten were only half days or 3 days a week or something.  Anyway, enough talk about that... I have been doing my 365 days of photos again. Here is one from yesterday::  we were walking over the bridge and I happened to look at Maddy and immediately looked down to her stubby little knees. It made me smile... so i decided to take a picture. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

lemonade stand

We had our first lemonade stand yesterday. The girls woke up so very excited... who knew having a lemonade stand would be so much work? Getting it all ready by 11am was a little challenging, being i had to pump and feed ella twice. I made a paper gingham banner that morning and had to run home to refill the lemonade. We sold lots of cookies, too that we made the day before. Overall?
  200% success.

Monday, August 27, 2012

a tribute to little kate

You would think Kate is being sent away somewhere for months from the way I've been acting the last couple of weeks. I began thinking about it in July... but it really hit me in August that I only had one month left with my munchkin.  Now, somehow, it has turned into a WEEK- and again, I am a wreck. It has been so unfortunate on my part the changes that have occurred this year. I already had to give up breastfeeding which was heartbreaking to me, (however I still enjoy once a day a short session, which has been a blessing) Polly is leaving, which will be a huge change for me. It has been so helpful and I will miss her being around, and now Kate, my oldest, is going to school.

I decided that I am going to be taking more photos. I have been looking through the photos on my blog especially and the printed photos at home and have loved every minute of it. SUCH MEMORIES! It makes me so happy to know how I prioritized photos and at the same time so sad that I haven't gotten much of Ella these past 4 months. So with that regret, I am making it a goal and being intentional about bringing my camera along everywhere we go.

When I look through these pictures, tears start to come. I so wish I could pick her up as a baby, hold her, snuggle her, and nurse her. She is 5 now... and those five years have gone so quickly. The next five will go quickly too. I just can't believe it.  Where did the time go ?  Kate was my happiest  baby.  She hardly cried, and I mean that. I look at her little body and wonder if she got the nourishment she needed and then I remember that i had the most milk with her, and she was the most content. She was so active-- both Ella and Maddy combined as babies could not even do half the things kate did!  And not that the other children mean any less to us, but little Kate was our only little girl for awhile and I was so protective of her. She was my life.  Seriously, I could do the ugly cry right now.  I remember how special it was to nurse her. It was a joy to visit her little room during the early hours of the night to nurse her. We would both fall asleep, her in my arms and wake up next to each other in the morning.  Peter and I would race-crawl in the house with her when she got older and she always had a smile on her face. It is funny to me how Ella, now as a baby, resembles kate in so many ways, yet at the same time reminds us of Maddy.

I have a bit of work to do this year. I feel like my main focus has always been trying to keep up with the house and how I can get this done and that done. Not that absolutely every moment and focus should be on the kids... but I am a stay at home MOM, not stay at home house cleaner! Kate going to school has really put into perspective just how I need to really cherish the times with  my kids. I want her so badly to stay home with me.... but at the same time, i'm so very scared and intimidated about teaching her and eventually i would love for her to be the light that shines for others. I am the perfect example of how going to school saved me--which is not the outcome for most but some do find friends that take them to church and really help plant seeds. I want kate to be that person!  More photo and more outside help with cleaning!  This has turned into basically a journal entry.... but it will be sweet to read at another time, remember the raw feelings I felt.  I am so thankful for my children and want to spend more time in prayer for them.  Thank you Lord for my family!


Thursday, August 16, 2012


today I am incredibly torn. this week actually.  I am torn because Kate is starting school within the next couple of weeks-- and although I really want her to go because she has so very much fun, I am pouting because I will miss her. I don't want her to grow up. Yet I want Ella to grow up. This season has been so challenging in so many ways. I am really missing nursing. I miss every single thing about it. I miss the cuddle time, the connection, the quickness and simpleness of it. I miss waking up and getting to lie down while I nurse her. I miss falling asleep with her.  The fact is, the things i am missing I never really got to experience with her. I got to experience part of it, but never the whole package. I can only remember a few times that I went away thinking "this was a good nursing session". It was a struggle the whole time. Latching, unlatching, switching positions, waking her up...etc.

This week I am facing confusion with Ella. She gets so unhappy. I am not used to her unfrequent bowel movements, though she has really good wet diapers. She seems to need more milk but she spits up so frequently. She hardly ever gets tummy time. She's been waking up at 12 am now and 6. I don't go to bed until 11 usually because I pump one last time before, and I wake up again at 2:30. I go to bed late so that I can get the dishes done. That has been hard.  I am starting to get anxious about harvest. It is really hard to juggle all of this. And of course making it worse it my milk supply.  I have to work so hard at it. Why is it so low? Why can't I just get 4-5 oz each time and get to sleep through the night?   In order to get all of her oz in each day, I have to wake up to get that extra 4oz because if I sleep through the night, I lose at least 2 oz. I just remember having lots of milk with Kate-- i didn't even have to try.  Why did I have to spend so much time pumping just to get half of what she needs? Why can't I pump for 15 minutes like everyone else? Instead, its 30 minutes. What will I do when Polly leaves?  I'm anxious about school, and beets. What will I do with the kids when I have to bring kate to school? When will I pump? Will I have to wake them up and bring them along so that I can drive kate a couple blocks to school? When will I nurse? I always nurse Ella for the day at 7am. I can't give up nursing. Even if it's just once a day.

I have to tell myself it's just two or three more months until maybe she will grow out of the spitting up, the constant complaining, she'll get more baby food, and maybe she'll be happier. By then, harvest will be done and I won't feel like I am doing this alone.

I just feel like a basketcase right now. I just want to not care about all of this, but it is so dear to my heart. I get so frustrated with Ella, yet when she smiles, it's the sweetest thing. Ah, tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

my kate

This week I feel was big in many ways.  The first thing that made it big was that I finally have felt like I am slowly getting back to how things used to be {before Ella}.  Obviously there are bad days but for the most part, I am getting there.
  •  I took my first walk with Kate & Maddy last Wednesday (alone) and they enjoyed that very much. I used to go for walks every single day last year.  
  • We've taken walks as a family and Ella has actually enjoyed them. 
  • We got Maddy a bike finally and she is REALLY enjoying it! :)   
  • I'm still tired when I wake up during the night, but I wake up now my last time at 7am, so that has really helped with energy levels.
  • My house is still very messy but I am learning to do what I can and just accept it. On Saturday I deep cleaned Kate & Maddy's room and that made me feel really good! 
  • We started another "praise journal" - I used to write about complaints - which for me that also helped get it out of my mind and I feel like I could let that go to God, but for now I am wanting to just be more joyful.  As a family, we think of several things throughout the day to be thankful for, and then we write them down. I obviously have to ask Kate & Maddy & write for them, but the hope is that we can learn to complain less and be thankful more. It is good to praise the Lord ... For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands." Psalm 92:1a-4
Today at lunch, out of nowhere, Kate said "Does everyone have Jesus in their heart?"   I replied by saying that not everyone does, but the ones who do make the decision to love jesus, have jesus in their heart.  She giggled a little, and then I said "do you have jesus in your heart?" and she giggled some more and said yes, and then i asked her if she's ever asked jesus to be in her heart, and if not, would she like to?

It was the kind of situation I've thought about a lot in the 5 years of her life. I was careful never to just go out and ask her to accept Jesus, but to let her explore herself, ask questions, and want to herself. Of course this sprung from talking about Him in our home but I wanted this moment to be when SHE wanted to, not our idea, and she's been asking lots of questions lately!  I told her that her daddy would help her if she wanted, so he brought her to her room and prayed.   My little Kate.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

answered prayers

Mondays are always the busiest for me.  It's the day I do the most laundry, the most cleaning, and it's the most tired-est of the week. It's usually a day spent cleaning up after the busy weekend. It was a weekend where we were all home!  I was so thankful. Saturday we spent the latter half of the day grocery shopping, which I am also thankful we were able to do since I felt we were out of mostly everything we needed!  and Sunday was just a really nice day.  We had a great day at church, reminded of all the great things that happened this week from prayers that were answered.  But we also all took a short nap, ate a nice supper, and enjoyed watching the Olympics. 

Tonight as I reflected on the past week, my heart began to fill with such gladness. I opened up my bible, ready to read praises to our God, when i opened up Psalm 108. It says: "My heart is steadfast, O God. I will sing and make music with all my soul."

How perfect. I felt truly thankful and praised God with all my heart. I began writing down in my prayer journal the prayers that got answered and the ones I had for this week.  Then I began to write down what I could do that could be serving to others.  Tomorrow I am bringing a meal to a family who needs it and that also brings me much joy. It is great that when you have a goal to be intentional about things, God just gives you opportunities to be useful in.   What a blessed life.