Fighting For Their Childhood

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

Ralph Lauren ad, InStyle magazine.

"You deserve a childhood and you should fight for it, but if you won't, then I will."
Quote from the movie Raising Helen

Tug of War

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

Playing Tug-O-War with Daddy. It was adorable watching them work together as a team.

But then eventually, they all fell down. Poor Reagan, she always ended up on the bottom.

Some Quick Quotes

Sunday, June 27, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

Hudson has become quite enamored with soccer thanks to the World Cup.  He now takes his soccer ball everywhere, including my parents’ house.  As he practiced shooting goals between the legs of my Mom’s buffet table, he aimed too high and knocked over one of her decorative candles.  As several adult voices called out in dismay, Hudson looked at us with concern on his face and a question to ask.  “Yeah, but was it a goal?!”


On Friday as we were packing for our adventure to the mountains, Devyn and Hudson were belting out the words to “Single Ladies”.  I chuckled and asked, “Are you guys singing Beyonce’s song?” assuming they remembered the song from the previous night’s Glee.  Devyn, with hands on her hips, said, “Mama, NO!  We’re singing it from the Chipmunk’s Squeakquel.”  I stand corrected.


What trip to the mountains is complete without smores?!  (Side note: The adults on the trip are all in firm agreement that whoever invented smores did not have children.)  As I gave Hudson a flambéed marshmallow, he got it all over his hands, his face, and even in his hair.  Suffice it to say, he did not care for the stickiness.  He waved his hands in the air and cried frantically, “I need water!  I need water!”  Poor kid.


We ushered the kids inside to eat dinner when we heard the sounds of various types of sirens approaching.  Jon and the older two went on the deck to see if they could see where the emergency vehicles were headed.  “I wonder if its an accident,” I called out to the threesome.  “Or a fire,” Jon interjected.  Then Devyn’s small voice volunteered her opinion, “Or maybe someone killed somebody.”  I think we’ve been watching too much Criminal Minds.

Because She's a Riot

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

It was a great trip! Exactly what I needed and I am so thankful for Miss Amy and her amazing family. Such a blessing to be able to relax and “live life” with my internet* friend.

I would be remiss if I didn’t share Reagan moments from the trip. Not to mention the fact that I’ll kick myself if I don’t get these written down.

This was her first time flying and suffice it to say, she was not a fan at first. She was absolutely terrified of the train at DIA, crying and reaching for me from her stroller as we hurtled from concourse to concourse. And truth be told, that train terrifies me and I’m the adult.

We took three flights from Denver to Spokane to get there, only because it was one of those great internet deals. It really wasn’t a big deal, and I’m sure it helped her get accustomed to flying much faster. The first take-off, landing, and even turbulence caused her to whimper and burrow herself deeper in my side.

During our layover in the Boise airport and after having lunch (By the way, I could not get over how expensive airport food is! Good grief!) we toured one of the many gift shops. I was giggling as she made her way from one display to another, exclaiming, “Wow” or “Ohhh” or “Ahhhh” over each one.

The first day and night with Amy’s family made for an utterly confused Reagan. She was quieter than normal, more withdrawn, and definitely more clingy. I wondered if she was ever going to warm up and eventually she did. But not without her moments of, “Mom, where on earth have you brought me.”

I stopped counting the number of times people stopped me to comment on her curly hair. From little girls to moms to middle-aged men to grandparent types to flight attendants, all stopping to tell me that they loved her hair. And as soon as I mentioned that she gets it from her daddy, I’d get a telling look because it is obviously not from me.

I was even stopped in a grocery store and asked if we were taking applications for future spouses for Miss Reagan. It’s a sweet thought, if only it could work out that way.

Reagan finally warmed up to the family, and developed a special affinity for Griffin, Amy’s 3-year-old. And by special affinity I mean, she loved him. Her face broke out in a wide smile whenever he came into her view and hugs were shared, and shared often, between the two. It was a sight to behold.

Parker, Amy’s oldest and sweet-spirited one, introduced Reagan to the fun of wrestling and Reagan participated with relish. Even when the wrestling got a little more physical than what she was used to, she held her own. It was a sight to behold, an 18-month-old getting into the rough-n-tumble of boy play.

Any fears I had about Reagan adjusting to Baby #4 quickly flew out the window when she fell in love with 6-week-old Hollyn. Apparently to Reagan, Baby=Blankets and she’d round up every single blanket in the room and bring them to whomever was holding the baby. It was precious indeed!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Reagan’s love of men. It matters not if she’s known them 5 seconds or her whole life, she loves men. As Amy’s family soon found out. Imagine my horror when Reagan launched herself into the arms of Amy’s husband, brother, and grandfather. She was quite content to sit with any of these men and I’m thankful they were all so good-natured about it.

And I leave you with the pièce de résistance.

Reagan developed a habit of helping herself to the snacks in Amy’s kitchen. She’d make her choice, bring it to the adult of her choice (usually preferring Amy over myself) and hold it out, whispering “pease, pease”. Of course we’d be helpless to say no and would give her said snack. And she knows the good stuff when she sees it, loving the individually wrapped Milano cookies.

One night we heard her rummaging through the cupboards and I went to investigate. Imagine my delight horror when I realized she was coming to me with a wrapped Finish dishwasher detergent tab instead of her favorite Milano cookies, both of which looked very similar in size and shape. I quickly said no, put it away, and closed the cabinet. I thought it was the end of our Finish/Milano confusion. Until I received this text message from Amy the night we returned home.

“I just found the dishwasher tabs in the Milano cookie box… Reagan left her mark.”

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as loud and as long after that text. She makes me smile.

*another story for another day, it involves a lot of unspoken words in one “ohhhhh”.

Awesome Posts and A Winner

Friday, June 18, 2010 1 Comments A+ a-

First and foremost, we have a winner for the $40 gift certificate to CNS Stores. Thanks to everyone who entered but the winner is... Rebecca from Schug Bug Blessings! They're expecting Baby #3 in December, so I'm sure this will come in handy for some baby essentials. Rebecca, would you mind sending me your email address again? Then I'll forward them to the appropriate person as CNS Stores.

Now on to the linkage! In the past few days I have read some incredible posts that have made me want to jump to my feet and pump my fist in the air. They are THAT good!

The first post is regarding marriage and how much stinkin' work it takes! Loved it from start to finish, even the raw words she uses. But I usually love her stuff and how she rarely coats anything she says; she owns what she writes and I love that about her. This is a great post about marriage and it says so much TRUTH that it may be hard for some to read. But I promise its worth it.

The second post is regarding big families and oh, the horror of having more than two children in this day and age. While I truly don't consider four children as being a big family, many do see it that way and its pretty apparent in their attitudes. And truth be told, folks, I am just as guilty of thinking these things too; it was a pretty convicting read for this Mama. I urge you to hop over and read this for a fresh outlook on large families. It may touch your heart too.

Some Wandering Thoughts

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

  • I think I may be on a maternity clothes strike. I remember being pregnant with Devyn and desperately wanting to wear maternity clothes, even wearing them before I actually needed to. However, I have yet to go through ANY maternity clothes and I’ve been gifted with new clothes from friends (thank you Mandy and Sara!). And my body is desperately asking for relief from the too-tight, pre-maternity wardrobe. Sigh. I’m going to have to give in…
  • Reagan and I leave in less than 48 hours to visit this beautiful woman and her infant baby girl. (Oh, and her little boys and husband too.) I cannot wait! Of course, Devyn is less than thrilled with the idea of my going states away, and for days at a time too. To be honest, the thought of being gone so long is bittersweet. My babies (and hubby) will be desperately missed, but I’m looking forward to the Minus One Theory (or in this case Minus Two Theory) and will relish this “mini” break.
  • I do not think that I will be missed for very long as there are many fun things in store for my older two. Such as a sleepover with this sister, a movie with this sister, fishing with Daddy, and of course, there’s swimming, ballet, and I’m sure various other outings planned by aunts, Nana, Daddy, and perhaps even Papa. The days will fly by…
  • Some might remember my dilemma about whether or not to rent a heart doppler when I was pregnant with Hudson. And yes, I rented one for both Devyn and Hudson. I was also supposed to share a rental with Christine when we were pregnant together, but it turns out that the doppler stayed at her house. So imagine my surprise when I started thinking about doing it again. Of course, our financial situation is a little different this time around, so I had the brilliant idea of buying a used one. I found one on Craig’s List for $40, which is less than a 2-month rental, and LOVE it. I don’t use it as a way to calm overanxious fears as I did with the first two, but mostly because I just adore hearing this little one’s heart beating away. This doppler also tells me the heartrate and Baby #4’s rate is staying in the 120-130 range.
  • I just passed the 16 week mark and can’t believe that in four short weeks, I’ll be at the halfway mark with this pregnancy. I truly am in awe of how fast this one is flying by! Wow! I started feeling little movements about 10-11 weeks and asked the doctor if that was even possible, but with this being my fourth, I know those movements and my uterus has thinned so much that I was told it was entirely possible to be feeling those movements. The movements are much stronger now and more frequent, and they still take my breath away. I don’t care that this is pregnancy #4, I still adore this part of pregnancy and don’t take a minute of it for granted.
  • As we get closer to the 20-week mark and the scheduling of our BIG ultrasound, Jon and I find ourselves waffling in our decision to wait until the birth to find out the gender. Overall, I would still prefer to wait. I truly loved having that moment with Reagan and being able to announce “Its a girl” to everyone in the delivery room. And truth be told, its a small pat on our backs that we were able to make it to delivery, patience is not one of our strong suits. But Jon would prefer to know beforehand, for a number of reasons, and I find myself not feeling as passionate about waiting this time around. So why not give in to the parent who does feel more passionately? Hmmmm? We got a few more weeks to decide…
  • I am still sick, especially first thing in the morning. Its a well-known fact that the kids can expect to find me in the bathroom and are usually great about waiting with their breakfast “demands” until I’m done. Hudson is even concerned if I have a morning when I’m not throwing up. “No sick, Mama?” he’ll ask me. Its ok, I’m fully expecting it to last until 20 weeks, as it did with Hudson; I’d rather be prepared for the worst, if you know what I mean. But you can betcha that my little magic pills will be with me on our trip to Washington.
  • Some quick tidbits about the other Littles:
  • Devyn is getting so excited about being a big sister again, and especially at the idea that she might get to share a birthday with the baby. (Remember, I’m due just 10 days after her birthday.) She’s quick to ask if she and the baby can share a birthday party, and I just smile, knowing that the novelty of that idea will wear off soon. She is also planning a very elaborate 6th birthday party (even though its still months away) that involves Daddy building a stage and inviting her friends over to put on a “show” for all the parents and their siblings. Oh my word! I can only imagine what kind of music/show they’ll put on for us.
    Hudson lost a good 2-3 pounds with this virus and I won’t lie, those are pounds that he could not afford to lose. I was mortified when they weighed him at the ER and found myself hastily explaining that he is just small, that we’ve done all the testing to prove otherwise. And when I look at him, I can tell he’s lost that much weight. It makes my heart ache and we’ll be doing whatever we can to get that weight back on. When we were finally shown a room at the ER, of course he asked his daddy to turn on the Celtics/Lakers game and was so intent on the game that he ignored whomever came into the room. And tonight, he was shouting “Defense” along with the rest of the fans. He is a sports nut!
    Reagan is still our sassafrass, no ands, ifs, or buts about it. She will stand as closely next to Hudson as she can, without actually touching him, just because she knows it drives him nuts. He will be telling her to stop, and she’ll just stand there, smiling at him. I have my work cut out for me! Her hair is coming in a light reddish/gold color and is the curliest of all our Littles. Its gorgeous, really. And her eyes are still as blue as can be. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a blue-eyed child, but I think she is even more of a spitting image of Jon than Hudson is. Without a doubt, she has Jon’s mischievous smile down to an art. She is also our eater! We cannot keep enough food in the house to fill her up, which is surprising considering the fact that she’s still so tiny. Trust me, she outeats both of her older siblings. Its amazing.

I believe that’s it… A not-so-quick update/random thoughts from our house.

My Comrade in Battle

Monday, June 14, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

For those that follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, know that our Littles have been battling quite the virus for 12+ days now.  We’ve had temps ranging from 102-104 degrees, a never-ending cough, and just overall grouchiness.  We’ve been to the doctor, to Urgent Care, and finally had to go to the Emergency Room when Hudson’s temp reached 105.4. 

Now I’m a pretty relaxed Mama when it comes to colds, viruses, and flues, meaning we’ll do what we can at home before heading to the doctor’s.  Prior to Hudson’s highest temp reading, we’d been battling his 103-104 temps for four days at home with ibuprofen, Tylenol, and lukewarm baths.  But this mama doesn’t mess with fevers in the 105-degree range.  No ma’am!  So off to the ER we went.  We’re now armed with a heavy-duty antibiotic and hopefully we’ll see the same results with Hudson that we got with his sisters after they started their antibiotics.

But this post isn’t about them, its the about the man that fathered them.  I am awed by him, and so very thankful that he is whom I’ve chosen to journey this life with. 

During these 12+ days, there were numerous times one of us looked at the other and commented how it felt like we were at war with this virus.  There were multiple times where pure exhaustion led us to fall into each other's arms, needing strength the other had to offer.  We moved around the kitchen like a dance as we dispersed various medications and administered vapo-rub to small chests.  It was reassuring to know that no words were needed when one took charge of the steam shower, while the other filled humidifiers.  One remained calm, while the other took a moment to vent or freak out over our sick Littles.

These past 12 days have given me a new appreciation for this man.  He is an incredible father, always willing to cuddle a sick child, or feed the other children when it was my turn to cuddle.  When I was truly at my wits end and feeling out of my element, he completely stepped up to the plate and knew what to do next.  I know that I wouldn’t have survived this virus without him!

Last night, after our trip to the ER and once all the Littles were medicated and put to bed, Jon and I crawled into our own bed, exhaustion radiating out of each pore.  I wrapped my arms around Jon’s back and smiled when he brought our linked hands to his lips for a kiss.  We’ll survive this virus, my comrade and I.

Babe, I know its a week early, but Happy Father’s Day!  Our family is blessed by you as the leader and father that you are.  I am thankful for the times of laughter as you pull the kids in for a good old-fashioned tickle war, I love watching them follow you around as you grill or do yard work, and I even appreciate your discipline in teaching our children the boundaries of our family and in life.  You are a good man!  And I’m so very thankful you are ours!

CSN Stores Gift Certificate

Wednesday, June 09, 2010 23 Comments A+ a-

CSN Stores recently contacted me, they wondered if I’d like to do giveaway and after perusing their site, I jumped at the opportunity! I love getting to gift my readers with things like this and after searching for pictures to post with this giveaway, I wish I could keep this gift for myself.

They have some amazing items in their stores and their selection is amazing! Check out these wall sconces, there is page after page of wall sconces. Isn’t this one gorgeous?!

CSN Stores has everything from home décor to home improvement to kitchen gadgets to nursery furnishings. They have purses, shoes, and exercise equipment. I found more than one item that I’d like to add to my own collection, like that gorgeous diaper bag pictured here. Sigh. Yes, truly I think spent over an hour on their site and I don’t even get to pick anything to bring home.

But you do! CSN Stores is giving a $40 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers and I couldn’t be more thrilled for you. Trust me, the winner is going to have their work cut out trying to decide on what they’re going to spend that gift certificate.

To enter this giveaway you MUST leave me a comment and a way to contact you by Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by 9:00pm (MST). I’d love to hear what you’d like to spend your $40 certificate on…

And I don’t usually do this, it’s new for me, I’m going to give you a way you can earn an extra entry. If you’d like to increase your chances of winning this giveway, please go ahead and post an entry on your blog linking back to this post. Please leave me another comment if you do post about this giveaway, along with the link to your blog.

Ok, everyone, I think that’s it! I really am a bit envious of whoever gets to win this certificate. Good luck everyone!

Snapshots of Summer

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

Reagan watching Daddy work on the yard.

She finally decided to venture into the yard by herself.

There is nothing that screams "childhood" like some good old-fashioned cloud watching.

We're living life, spending time outside, and eating a ton of popsicles. I forgot how much I adore this season!

My Heart on Number Four

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 10 Comments A+ a-

2010 was supposed to be a break for my body; the first year since 2004 that I haven’t been pregnant or breastfeeding. I was looking forward to it, hoping to whip this body into shape.

Jon was ready for the vasectomy, even asking for it, but I wasn’t ready for the permanency of that decision. I asked for one year, this year, before a decision was made. I wanted this year to be a time of pray and a time of reflection. My prayer was a simple one, that God would work on either my heart or Jon’s heart. That no matter the decision, we’d be in agreement on the decision for our family.

The reflections were going to be more personal, more brutal, and would demand more honesty. I wanted to get to the root of why I wanted a fourth, searching my heart for the truth between not feeling “done” and just loving pregnancy and infanthood. I wanted to ask the hard questions, such as could I really devote the time and attention I wanted to each child? Would we be able to cultivate and encourage each child’s talents to the extent that we desired? Was it fair to add a fourth to divide what was already unequal one-on-one time with each child? Could we logically afford to add a fourth? And the list goes on.

I have friends that are currently asking themselves these very questions and/or have already asked these questions of their family. I’m a bit envious that they get/got to take the time to ask these questions and wait for the answers they were seeking before a decision is/was made.

I wish I’d gotten to seek my heart for those answers first. But as time goes on, I’m receiving answers of a different kind.

First of all, Jon and I are aware that having four children is six years is going to be hard, we’re going to be in the “thick of it” as my mom likes to remind me. We’re going to be balancing kindergarten and preschool, juggling dance lessons, sports practices, and Awanas, chasing after an independent, sassy toddler while waking to the nightly cries of a newborn. These are going to be hard years and we’ll basically be in survival mode. I don’t anticipate breathing room until all four are officially potty trained.

But when I look years ahead to birthdays, holidays, graduations, and weddings, I can’t help but think of the richness we’ll have around our table. With fingers crossed and with much prayer, I think of close, deep relationships between siblings and parents. My prayer is that my children will feel as blessed by their relationships, as my sisters and I feel about each other. I can only imagine that one day I’ll look around my family and thank the Lord for the blessings He’s given to us.

Secondly, I’ve become certain of one thing. I am going to fail at being a mother of four. All the answers I was looking for during my reflections would have been a resounding no. I absolutely will not be able to be the kind of mother I want to be. At least, not on my own. There is only one way I will be successful at this mothering thing and that is through the grace and mercy of Him.

When Hudson is running right, Devyn is skipping left, Reagan is taking advantage of my distracted attention, and I want to rip out my hair, He will step in and guide my actions and responses. He has most certainly whispered in my ear, “When you are overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel, turn to me, child, I will give you the patience to follow through. When disobedience is common and temperaments are rising, I will give you the wisdom you seek. When you feel sapped of energy or motivation, I will give you the strength and energy you desire.” I can do nothing without Him, apart from Him, I am destined to fail. But with Him, and through Him, I’ll be able to be the kind of mother my children, all four of them, need.

For a long time I have questioned God’s sanity and His plan for my life, wondering how on earth He thought I’d be able to handle four children. But then I realized that it’s not because of confidence in my parenting skills that am I having another, it’s because He is giving me another reason to turn to Him for the things I need.

Now if only I can be reminded of this post in the wee hours of a midnight feeding…