Thursday, June 26, 2014


Sometimes I go out on the front porch to photograph jewelry (natural light and all that jazz - I'm usually in pajamas, too, so I'm sure the neighbors think I'm super weird taking macro shots of jewelry on a slab of stone with frizzy hair, pjs and cute kids banging on the door at me). 

 My littlest man is jabbering differently now that he's hit that first birthday! Lots of buh buh buh buh and he tries to say "uh oh". He signs "more" and "all done" (that or he's just flailing his arms excitedly... who knows!). He loves his table food. Down to nursing him in the morning and before bed, though sometimes there's a little impromptu nursing session in there during the day. He mostly eats what we eat now if it is soft enough. He's also learned how to throw fits. He does the whole back-arching, stiff-as-a-board thing when he doesn't want to be put down, screeches and he'll throw things when he's mad. PERSONALITY is coming OUT! Watch out now! 

I think he's going to need a hair cut soon!

Judah is approaching birthday number 3 in September. The potty training battle is quite drawn out and crazy right now. He's peed in the toilet ONCE. And that was like last week. He's very stubborn and just refuses. I don't want to push. *breathe* He WILL learn... After the stinkers I've had to change this past month, though, I hope it is sooner rather than later.

Judah says the funniest things. I always call him "my boy". I'll say, "Where's my boy?" and "I love you, my boy" all the livelong day. I also call him CUTE and HANDSOME (of course!). Well apparently he thinks that I am ALSO handsome and oh so cute. And apparently I'm HIS boy. "Mom, you my boy! You so handsome!" He cracks me up!

He's also learned the blame game.

"Judah, did you do this?"
"No, Zoe did!"
"No, Zoe did!"

He actually speaks really clearly and has a huge vocabulary. He never stops talking until he's asleep. I love watching him play. He is really into imaginative play now. I love watching him pretend he's a monster (or shark or dinosaur or train) while wearing high heels, pink sunglasses and a headband (it happens when you have three older sisters... deal!). He goes and goes and goes. He's the Energizer Bunny. I'll have to try to remember some more funnies that he, and his sisters, say! I used to write them out on Facebook and even here on the blog all the time but I don't FB anymore. I need to put them somewhere... I've already done the "Now which of you kids was it that did/said this?" that moms do when they have so many kids that they start mixing up details.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rethinking the V-word

Before Silas was born the hubsters and I started discussing, well, how to prevent pregnancy. Permanently. Without going into much detail I will just say we are very much into NFP (Natural Family Planning) which I'm sure is no surprise to many of you who know me! I've never had a birth control pill or other forms of contraception (IUD, Depo, etc.). And I won't take BC due to my own personal convictions (I don't care what other people do but I choose not to use them).

That is most likely the reason we have had a baby every other year for the past 9 years. ;-) 

So Silas was born and as the postpartum weeks quickly flew by I kept nagging Daniel to make a consultation about a vasectomy. First, he was (and still is) completely on board for a vasectomy. He got a consultation set up, went to it, came home and told me what the doctor said and then marked the calendar with his procedure appointment. And........... I put my foot down. I said heck no to the vasectomy.

The entire time he was at the clinic I felt sick to my stomach. I had zero peace. I was pacing the house and furiously scrubbing dishes. I had been the one pushing him to go but when it came down to the last minute I put a stop to it. He had an appointment set up to do it and I made him cancel it. It was one thing to abstractly consider it but when he went to the consultation and then set up a date for the procedure it just became very, very real to me.

Part of me really feels done. Part of me wonders if I will still feel that way four, five, seven years from now (I'm only 29). No, I don't want to outdo Michelle Duggar (she is actually a woman I highly respect so that is not a dig at her). It's not even completely about becoming pregnant again. I really just don't think I'm comfortable with the procedure itself, altering a fertile person without a life-and-death reason. I'm fine with not being pregnant ever again. But I wonder and worry about what repercussions could arise from a vasectomy when my husband already has other physical ailments.

I'm still torn. We aren't making a decision until I feel at peace about it. My poor husband was so mad at me for weeks because of that (this obviously happened almost a year ago since Silas just turned 1). He canceled the procedure out of respect for me but he could have just gone and done it anyway; this place didn't care what the spouse thought! So I really appreciate that he canceled out of respect for me, but it was a hard decision for him to cancel it.

I'm thinking about it all over again because I've had a few regular cycles and it's usually around a first birthday that I find myself pregnant again. Let's just say there's like a mile between my husband and me right now, ha!

I think that a very painful pregnancy and then my most painful labor really motivated me to push for the procedure. I was all for it when I was still on that postpartum emotional roller coaster. Now that I have a more clear head and less wacky hormones I still feel like I can't make a decision. I know plenty of men who have had the procedure done without a hitch. I just don't know what to do. I just know that I don't want to regret it one day.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

9 and 1

Someone turned 1! And just days before big sister turned 9! My oldest and youngest are birth month buddies with four days separating their special days.

 My oldest and youngest were also my ONLY binky babies. Elaina's first birthday pics had binkies in them as well. So stinkin' cute!
 So Elaina's birthday is up first, on June 4th. Just a few days before the celebration I had an itch to run to the dollar store so I gathered up three of her siblings and left Elaina and baby in Daddy's care. I told them to each pick out two gifts for Elaina. Elaina's favorite dollar store gift was this eye mask we found because she loves her room PITCH BLACK but her little sisters, who share the same room, do NOT. And of course mommy isn't going to let little ones be scared so Elaina has had to compromise. She was so so so stoked for the eye mask and she really does wear it every night now. The other dollar gifts were: a sheet of really cool holographic stickers, modeling clay, colored pencils, pencil grips and some baton/wand thing.

We got her that Mylar balloon and the HUGE butterfly banner (behind her over the fireplace) and the dangling butterfly decor from Dollar Tree as well. I just wanted to make it special. I had been in pain and hadn't really planned a party for anyone; it was just our little (errrr big) family. But I wanted to decorate and put effort into it, other than picking up pizza and dishing up ice cream like it was any other night.

On Elaina's actual birthday her Poppy (grandpa) picked her up and dropped him off at his house for housework with Nonna before he went to work (she WANTED to go; I asked and she was beyond excited! I hope she never gets to a point where Nonna's house isn't "cool" anymore). I, however, woke up and went to the dental college to have my wisdom tooth pulled. When I was done I hit up Aldi and found this CUTE pink table cloth and some serving ware. I found lots of veggies and hummus for a veggie platter (which Judah ate most of before Elaina got home). I'm sure there was blood on my chin and I still had gauze in my mouth as the cashier rung my items up but I didn't care. I was so excited to get the house ready for my Boo girl! Being gone at Nonna's for a few more hours after my surgery was perfect because I was able to clean up and Daddy blew up balloons and we just had fun in preparation for celebrating her life!

The moment I have been WAITING for! This girl already has two American Girl dolls (because people go in on them together; wow are they ridiculously expensive) but when Isabelle came out and was only going to be available in 2014... and she sews and does ballet... it was all my precious girl could ask for and how could I refuse my baby girl? I know, I know... I spoil her! I never had an AG doll but I'd look longingly through those magazines. It'll be her last one for awhile, unless she saves up for one herself.

Okay so Elaina opens this gift. Baby Silas is asleep on Daddy's chest, right in the next room behind me. SHE SCREAMS SO LOUD that Judah starts bawling and Silas startles awake and starts screaming too. She had no idea. She was SO grateful for her dollar store gifts and just the picture-perfect recipient for gifts. I know she would have been disappointed to not get Isabelle but she'd have shown gratitude for what she DID get. That is why I can't help but bless this child. Gift her a garbage bag and she'll hold up a finger and say, "I know JUST what I can do with this!" and then she'll go off and create something amazing. She's also fun to give good gifts to because of her reactions... like screaming so loud she made both brothers cry! :-/

No cake for Elaina! She wanted Cookies and Cream ice cream. I got the ice cream from Aldi and it was actually really good.We blended the rest the next day with a little milk and had the most perfect shakes as a treat... you know because I had a tooth pulled and the cold felt good. Abigail picked out the wacky, bendy candles

Four days later I take out the cupcakes I had made, we sing happy birthday to the most jovial little red-headed baby boy and he kind of just stares at it... but he finally realizes that it is edible AND delicious! The difference between your first baby's first birthday and your fifth baby's first birthday? You KEEP IT SIMPLE with the fifth! We had a big party for Elaina's first birthday. For Silas it was, again, just us at home. And I liked it. He liked it, too, lol!

He's a messy drinker. He drinks almond milk out of sippy cups but is still learning how to drink without spitting everywhere so his shirt is a little wet. I usually put a bib on but I don't always think of it until we're in the middle of a huge mess.

 I don't know what this face is but it is cracking me up! Caption that!

 I think he actually liked the cake part more than the frosting. My sweet, sweet baby boy. Oh how mommy loves those baby blues and strawberry blonds.

Could this kid be any cuter? He KNEW how to open gifts. Just plops down in front of it and pulls out each tissue paper and then goes in for the gift. It cracked me up because the four siblings before him didn't really "get" the gift thing. He seemed to know exactly what was going on and needed zero help or guidance. And yes that is a Christmas bag; my mom-in-law recycles gift bags and she must have run out of birthday ones, lol! We don't care! He didn't mind either!

So a huge happy birthday to my oldest and to my youngest. I am so grateful to be your mommy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


A week after my broken molar was extracted I went back to the dental school. I almost chickened out. But the night before I was in so much pain I had to speak like a ventriloquist (without moving my mouth). The wisdom tooth has been out of the gum for a long time but the swelling from the lower molar removal was making all my teeth hurt on the left side of my face because everything was being compressed together. So a week after I had one tooth extracted I got another extracted. It was honestly instant relief. My teeth stopped feeling overcrowded in a snap!

After all that dental drama my Abigail got a bloody nose like I've never seen a bloody nose before. I mean she's gotten them before and they're like a faucet and she looks like she was part of a crime scene afterward. What I mean is this one would NOT stop. For over an hour! Her hands and arms were covered in blood and it was a steady pour every time we'd change out Kleenex. We used almost an entire Kleenex box.

I took her (and all the kids because Daddy was hours away) to the ER. I felt chastised by the ER doctor that "this is normal" and I was wasting their time. She told me it was just allergies and that I wasn't pinching her nose right and to tilt Abbie's head BACK (um, no). Overall just a weird experience. My main concern was Abbie losing too much blood. We have a natural treatment plan to deal with the allergies now that we're confident that is why she has them.

Well not only did I pick up a big bill from the ER... all of us picked up some nasty respiratory flu virus. I've been battling and battling it with oils and they help but we're still fighting. My voice is pretty scary after all this coughing. The congestion started the night before I was to go to the gym for the first time since my husband signed us up as members. I had already missed several workout days I had scheduled out for myself because of the oral surgeries.

I woke up on my workout day feeling pretty good, headed out the door to the gym before anyone else in the house had woken up, got my ID badge when I got there and started feeling this cough at the back of my throat. I did 10 measly minutes, though with strong resistance and a fast face, on the stationary bike before I hopped off and couldn't stop coughing. I've been coughing ever since and I'm READY TO BE DONE.

I'm done with being in pain. Done with being sick. Done with all of it so I can be done with being overweight. And I'm sure done with whining about it. Tomorrow is my workout day again (Daniel and I take turns each morning so one is home with the kids, of course) and I'm not going to be able to go unless a miracle happens.

The silver lining in all of this is that I lost 7 lbs already without effort. Well I guess it did take great effort (and courage because I almost chickened out going to the dentist both times) but not the working out, sweating kind of effort. More like the "I had surgery twice in one week and then got a nasty flu virus" kind of effort.

7 lbs down. 66 more lbs to go.
I was 135 lbs when my husband met me.
I'm just under 5'3" so my recommended weight is actually 120 lbs.
But 135 is the goal and a healthy weight!

Part of weight loss is making better food choices. I already try to avoid as much processed foods as possible. But I was skipping breakfast and sometimes even lunch. NOT eating is just as bad as eating too much or the wrong things.

So smoothies with fresh fruit, vegetables and Greek yogurt are my breakfast many mornings. Eating breakfast has always been hard for me but I can get drinks down. I'm making homemade granola (so easy and so much cheaper than store-bought!) as well for yogurt parfaits.

Trying to eat more eggs. I'm already a huge veggie lover so roasted veggies are already part of my diet. It's honestly really making sure I don't skip meals, eat the right things for those meals and don't forget the protein.