I took Baby Boy to his 4 mo check up (yes, he is almost 5 months old...whatever).  He is 19 lbs, 25 inches.  Huge baby!  :)  I love his little rolls though.  All our babies (Cowboy included) got so super chubby and I could just eat them up!  He is doing really great though.  He is sitting up, rolling over, and heaven help us - he is scooting forward with his feet.  Thankfully his arms haven't caught on yet, or he'd take off like a shot!

I took the other 3 into the ENT today.  We were referred by the dentist because he refuses to work on a cavity on Brother Bear until he got a go-ahead from an ENT for his huge tonsils.  So we figured we may as well get all 3 kids looked at while we were there.  *sigh*  And the verdict?  Princess is getting out her HUGE tonsils, possibly adenoids, and a tube put into her ear (to drain fluid that has been there for years and is now the consistency of rubber cement).  Cowboy's adenoids are massive and need to come out and while they are in there they are going to take out his tonsils as well.  Brother Bear is also having adenoids and tonsils out.  I figured we may as well get the misery over with all together so I scheduled them all for the same day.  Lucky for me, my mom is flying out to UT with my grandma on the 11th, so instead of flying back home on the 12th, she is going to come up here so she can help me out with the kids on the 13th.  Yay for mommies!  :)  She is a life saver.  Now we just need some extra prayers that the kids are all healthy enough for their surgeries.  Princess is scared, but I remember when I got mine out - the summer after kindergarten and told her how it went for me.  I think she'll be okay.

We also said goodbye to our husband/daddy today.  He must be wearing off on me.  I cried all the way home after dropping him off for the airport shuttle (all 10 minutes) and when I got home, wiped off my tears and thought, "we'll be fine.  No sense crying about it."  hahaha!  Oh Zane, how you have changed me.  He will be greatly missed.  Luckily we have school starting again to get our minds busy.  It's hard to believe my babies are halfway done with 1st grade and preschool!  I say it all the time, but time is just FLYING!  I want it to slow down, but it just makes me more determined to take those small moments with my babies and treasure them.  Time enough to do dishes and laundry - that's one of my new resolutions: relax about the cleaning, and get on the floor and play.  I will only get my babies' childhoods once.


Just some updated pics of the kids.  You can't really see the extent of the rolls on Baby Boy, but he is definitely our little butterball!  :)  Christmas was fantastic for all of us.  Zane's parents surprised us for a quick visit and we had one of his brother and family over.  So much fun!  We've definitely enjoyed having Zane home for the holidays and it is going to be SO hard to say goodbye again for another 4 1/2 months.  The kids are doing great - learning and growing like weeds.  Princess and I have been reading a Junie B book she got for Christmas, Brother Bear can now count to 10 by himself, Cowboy is in a stage of only wanting to play with whatever another person is playing with (but he's pretty cute about it - "I love you so much, and I love for you to play with this and I'd love for me to play with that!  Okay?  Because I love you so much").  :)  hahaha.  Baby Boy is rolling all over and is now sitting up really well for long periods of time.  He has also moved into the stage of realizing when Mom walks away from him and therefore starts bursting into heartbreaking tears.  We'll see how this next stage goes when Mom is on her own.  :)  Hope everyone is having a wonderful end to their year.  I'm looking forward to all the changes and challenges of 2011!  I have a goal of actually sitting down and highlighting our past year...we'll see if it happens before the 1st. 


Time: flying and dragging

Is it possible for time to fly and drag at the same time?  There are ten more days until Christmas, I feel like I never get finished with what I need to in the day before it's time to crash, and I look at my kids and think: where has the time gone?  Meanwhile I am thinking, has Zane really only been gone just under 3 weeks??  It feels like FOREVER!  When is he coming HOME???  :)  Pathetic?  You bet!

Princess is doing so well in school and piano.  She just finished up her basketball season and really enjoyed it.  She was disappointed she didn't score a basket, but she was a great defender!  She is also involved with Girl Scouts and that has been a lot of fun.  She has mixed feelings about piano.  She doesn't like to learn how to sight read, and I'd love it if we could get her a Suzuki teacher to do the hear/play method (which she does really well when she allows me to show her how to play a song), but we have an awesome lady in our ward who is so great with her as a teacher and it's what we can do for now.  She is reading the Junie B books at school and I am really looking forward to her being home for a couple of weeks during Christmas!  Last night I was able to covertly record her reading one of our favorite books to the boys before bedtime.  It was a priceless and precious moment! 

Cowboy loves preschool!  I love the songs he learns and sings all the time at home.  Our favorite for Thanksgiving was "Gobble gobble, fat turkeys fat turkeys, Gobble gobble fat turkeys are we.  We're not made for living, we're made for Thanksgiving.  Gobble gobble fat turkeys are we!" (sung to Here We are Together).  Tonight he was singing, "I'm a little a snow man short and fat, here is my broomstick, here is my hat.  When the sun comes up see me melt, Oh no - now I'm a puddle."  (I'm a little teapot).  hahaha.  He is still quick to smile and hug (But NO kisses Mom!) and is still my little sugar hound.  His imagination is as rampant as ever, and he really likes to build with his Legos.

Brother Bear's vocabulary has expanded exponentially and it's almost sad to say goodbye to the baby era.  The other day he was playing with the train set and he said, "What uh heck?  Thas amazing!"  :)  His favorite thing to say right now is, "Mom - 'mere. Want to show you someping."  He loves to help with his baby brother and is such a little snuggle bug.  He can count almost to 10 by himself and loves to play or build "nose man!" (he says snow man for any playing in the snow).  He was sad when the snow melted and wants it to come back already.  :)  He still loves to help me make dinner and is my go-to guy for getting everyone drinks as he loves to play in the water.

Baby Boy is growing like a weed - a rather wide and chubby one.  :)  He is a roly poly oly and I LOVE his fat rolls.  We've had a hard time with his breathing for a while, so he is now a permanent part of my room (I moved all the furniture around and just put the crib in my room) although most of the time he ends up spending all night in bed with me.  He's been rolling from his back to his front, but just recently he figured out that he can roll over and over to get where he wants to go.  Oh dear for me!  Gone are the days of laying him down somewhere and having him stay.  He doesn't like sitting a whole lot, so I think he'll be happy to get his exersaucer for Christmas so he can stand and jump on his own.  He really is a well-tempered baby and I have been VERY blessed with such a sweet and calm boy.

As for me?  I am hanging in there.  We have been so blessed by good friends and neighbors, so it seems as though life is very easy, but there are definitely times I want to pull my hair out.  Thank goodness for a sweet mama who is willing to talk to me on the phone for a few minutes several times each day!  :)  I'm tired a lot - but what mom isn't?  And truly, for every bad or stressful occurrence, the Lord is right there to pour out a blessing immediately.  I'm so grateful.  Someone has adopted our family and is doing the 12 days of Christmas for us and that has been so fun!  The kids look forward to the doorbell ringing every night and wonder what is going to be waiting for us each day.  So to my anonymous benefactor, if you read my blog, thank you for making the holidays an even more special time for me and my children.  It has been so fun and precious - I am inspired to pay it forward to someone next year!

Hope everyone is enjoying all their festivities this year, and always remembering WHO is the reason for all the JOY.



I have had possibly one of the worst days.  It started last night when I was up with either the baby or Brother Bear, or both every 20 minutes until about 3 am.  Both of the older boys had fevers all night and this morning Cowboy got diarrhea while changing his clothes and got it on his bedroom floor.  I tried to make an appt with the doctor for all 3 boys, but they would only let me schedule the two worst.  It was snowing all morning making the drive to the doctor take twice as long and twice as scary on the unplowed roads.  I forgot my wallet and had to turn around to get it since we have a different insurance now.  Both of the older boys got prescriptions for antibiotics.  Poor Brother Bear has both a bacterial and viral infection.  SO, knowing I was going to have to wait at a pharmacy I drove by a fast food place to pick them up some lunch while Baby Boy was screaming hysterically because he was soo hungry.  On the way to get the food, Brother Bear threw up all over himself and the car seat.  The roads were horrible so I couldn't really do anything but throw him some napkins and baby wipes and blindly pat him.  So we got to Walmart (they have a drive thru pharmacy and are close to our home and already have our insurance info).  They say they just got it and it will be 20 minutes.  Okay, I figured as much so we go sit in the parking lot where I strip Brother Bear out of his soaking coat and shirt and nurse Baby Boy.  In the meantime Cowboy has to go to the bathroom, but I can't take Brother Bear in without a shirt or coat, so I tell him to hang on for just a few more minutes.  We waited almost 30 minutes and then drove up to get our prescription.  A different lady told me that they had just gotten the prescription and it would be 20 minutes.  I said I had already heard that 30 minutes ago from someone else.  To which she said well, it's still processing so it will be another 20 minutes okay?  Annoyed and agitated, but determined to not lose it and be nice I said Fine and drove away desperately trying to control my anger so I wouldn't drive recklessly on the nasty roads.  My controlling my increasing fury at having to go home and then come back later when I didn't want to be on the roads any more than I had to came to a head and I slammed my hand down hard.  What happened next you ask?  I dislocated my ring finger.  Seriously made the top of it crooked.  We got home to a snow covered driveway (that I had JUST scraped of all the ice yesterday) and I got the kids inside, changed Brother Bear and went into the bathroom calling my mom and just lost it.  I sobbed and bawled and sobbed some more.  I didn't want to go to the doctor because I knew I didn't need a cast,  I just had to push it back into place, so that was a joy to do and all the while I just kept thinking, "really?"  I wanted my husband here to go pick up the medicine so I didn't have to go out again.  I wanted him to take care of the kids so I could take a nap.  The day ended with having to change Brother Bear's pillow and shirt 6 times because he coughed so hard he threw up every 5-10 minutes while I was trying to nurse poor Baby Boy.  Oh, and Cowboy's had 5 bloody noses today.

It was a pretty rotten day.  But, here's what also happened.  The doctor offered to look at Baby Boy's ears and listen to his chest while we were there just to make sure so I didn't have to bring him back in tomorrow.  And he is just fine, only super stuffy.  I slid through two intersections, had my brakes lock up and still didn't get into any wrecks.  My sweet neighbors continue to take my daughter to school each morning and another friend brought her home for me today.  I was able to have all three boys down at the same time for a nap today and had the energy I needed to catch up on the dishes and pick up the house a bit.  I was also able to spend some alone time with my wonderful daughter who makes me laugh.  My visiting teacher brought me dinner yesterday and there was enough for leftovers.  But I made dinner tonight (as well as cookies) without making too much of a mess in my kitchen and now I have two more meals that I don't have to cook this week.  Some of the boys from church came over after their activity tonight and shoveled my driveway which I was dreading doing because of my finger.  And I've been able to keep my cool with the kids and not completely collapsed from exhaustion.

My point?  I am so blessed.  Truly.  I can literally feel the hand of the Lord and the strength of prayers from those who are praying for us.  People are offering help just when I need it and I am SO grateful.
Speaking of grateful, my boy just threw up again, so I need to go.  :)



"God gave us the armor, it is up to us to put it on."

That was on a church sign this week and when I read it, it got me thinking.  Our faith teaches us about putting on the whole armor of God, but what does that really mean to me?  What is the armor God gave to us?  The world these days is a scary place and much of the time I feel like our children are going into a world that is at war against values.  My husband is in the military and the amount of body armor they have to wear when in the field is amazing.  So what am I doing to make sure my family and I are protected with the armor of God?  

Of course it is the general Sunday School answers, but I wonder how good of a job I am doing at helping my children do those things EVERY day.  I find that it is hard for me to do more than just the family scripture study and prayers, but my kids need their own time especially as they get older.  Each of them need to learn to say their morning and night prayers by themselves (which translated right now means that Mom has to help them morning and night).  That hasn't even really crossed my mind.  Princess is reading now - shouldn't I be encouraging her to read the scriptures on her own each day?  I think to myself that it is really difficult to accomplish all that I need to, but I think I'm skimping on the more important things.  Having a clean house is important, but it's more important that my children feel loved and are taught the important things that will allow them to put on the armor that God gave us.

On another note, I'm struggling with keeping my emotions in check the last couple of days and it is making me be a not-so-good mom.  It's a difficult balance and I'm afraid I'm losing.  I feel sad and stressed about Zane leaving us and it is seriously depressing.  I just don't want to do anything and that translates into me not wanting to be involved with the kids.  I'm here, but not really.  It's pointless to be sad and depressed right now - it just wastes all our time and energy.  SO I'm trying really hard to get on top of it.  But it's hard.  Really hard.  I feel like I can no longer avoid thinking about it, but I need to in order to get through the next couple of weeks.  I just need to get myself in check so I can be sad, but not debilitatingly sad.  It will all be fine I know, but it's been a rough couple of days.  Good thing kids are pretty resilient and so far haven't minded me letting them watch movies.  They don't have school tomorrow, so I figure we'll do something super fun to knock me out of this funk.


All gone Mom!

Cute story about Brother Bear today.  He got a bag of M&M's at the store with me this morning and when I was driving home, I reached back to get a couple.  He said, "Mom!  Mine!"  I laughed and commented that it was a share bag and he should share with Mommy.  So what did he do?  Grabbed as many M&M's as he could fit in his little hands and when I reached back again he said, "see? Gone!"  I said, "no, they are in your hands silly!"  So he puts his hands behind his back and says, "No!  See?  Gone!"  HAHAHA.  Stinker.

Oh, and an addendum to my previous post.  I got the car all shampooed and clean.  Brother Bear found a pen this morning and colored all over the back of the seats.  :)  And I wonder why we don't buy a new van. haha.


Mama said there'd be days like this...

Where do I start?  That is the question running through my head as I observe the damages.  I'm just going to list the amazing amount of things on my to do list and detail as I go in no particular order while I am sitting here nursing Baby Boy.

- Laundry.  Why is it that you can never really be done with laundry?  There is always a load waiting to be washed or folded and put away.  A diaper got into the washer last night.  Pills everywhere.  So the washer and floor had to be cleaned out as well as the entire load dried and washed again to get all the remaining pills.
- Dishes.  Like laundry, you either have a load to be washed or put away and if you even take one day off - it's over and catching up is so hard.  (I'm in catch up mode).
- Car.  I started to clean the car yesterday because I need to make it nice so I stop coveting the new Honda Odyssey as much.  That, and it was sooo smelly that it just HAD to be shampooed.  Here is just a few of the things that needed to be shampooed out of the carpet floor that happened recently: chocolate milk, soda, pineapple juice, gum, chocolate.  Not to mention the years of abuse from dirt, mud, and yes, I'm sure there is even some pee in those wonderful cloth seats.  GROSS.  So I got some of it shampooed and scrubbed off walls, but I still need to finish.  I have a little timer called a baby that interrupts projects every couple of hours.  Not to mention the feeding, picking up from school, and diaper changing of the others.
- Carpet and couches.  There are many places that need to be shampooed in the house, but none more urgently than the living room.  In the last 3 days, my sweet children have gotten candy and chocolate, marker, juice, mud, pee, poop (baby explosions are unmatchable), blood, and vaseline into my carpet and couches.  Did I mention that Brother Bear made off with an ice cream blizzard when I wasn't looking and dumped it all over the floor in the play room and on top of one of the library books while I was making lunch?  The $200 investment we made into a carpet cleaner is once again paying for itself.  :)
- Add the toy room disaster from the boys (literally dumping every toy onto the floor and getting out the playdoh and mashing it into the floor), mopping the floor, and the bathroom that has to be washed at least every other day due to a inattentive little boy's aim and you will know why I am singing to myself, "mama said there'd be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama said."

SERIOUSLY.  This has all happened within the last couple of days.  Good thing the weather is beautiful and Zane will be gone to Utah from Thursday thru Sunday.  I'm not sure why it's easier to clean without him around because he really isn't that messy, but I think it removes the pressure I put on myself to have it all done by the time he gets home every day.  Kay, baby's done eating, guess we'll load him up in the bouncer and head out to finish the car.


Hello, it's been awhile

Long overdue post this morning.  Baby boy had his 2 month appointment (at 11 wks) and measured 23+ inches (I don't remember the exact number, I just know it was more than 23 and just less than 24) and weighed 14 lbs 10 oz.  Yes, I have another big boy.  :)  He's super sweet and cute.  He's a very quiet baby for the most part.  Every once in a while I can get a little laugh or coo out of him after the other kids go to bed.  I think it's just so loud and busy around here that he doesn't get time to have a coo in edgewise.

Seven years ago today I ignored many family and friends and married my husband.  :)  So glad I did.  We've had our ups and definitely low downs, but I truly love him and I'm glad he's the father of my sweet children and my forever sweetheart.  Happy anniversary Zane!

Halloween (or the day before as it was) was a fun experience.  We had a party at the church followed by a 4 ward trunk or treat.  Not a lot of people understood our costume (we were the black eyed p's), Princess was a cheerleader again, Cowboy was Batman, Brother Bear a Cowboy, and Baby Boy was a little monkey.  I did win the chili cook-off with my mother-in-law's recipe (just tweaked my way) so Zane was pretty happy.  We got a couple of pictures on Halloween of the kids after trunk or treating.  They aren't very great because I was using Zane's work camera and couldn't figure out the settings, but here are some.  Oh, and the marker on Cowboy's face is permanent.  :)  Nice, huh?


Oh our life

is so fun and never predictable!  I loved majoring in broadcasting in college because news is always changing, and I liked the idea of never having the same day at work.  I had no idea motherhood was so unpredictable.  :)

Brother Bear is so fun and sweet - he is constantly making me smile with his looks and things he says.  He changes all his T's for C's and his B's for W's.  So he got a new toy this weekend - a "tow-woy"  Cowboy.  :)  So cute.  Tonight we asked the kids if someone would please take a cup to the sink.  Brother Bear grabbed it and I was clapping and said, "oh sweet boy thanks so much! what a good boy!"  So what does he do?  Walks the cup over to me, hands it to me, and says, "no. you. now."  I laughed so hard.  He pauses between every word he says and is so expressive.  I need to actually do a recording of a conversation with him sometime.

Baby boy is growing SO fast!  He literally grew overnight and is now in 3-6 month sleepers and almost out of all his 0-3 onesies.  The rolls of sweet chubs are popping out all over his arms and legs.  He reminds me a lot of Brother Bear.  It will be fun to see as he grows what he looks like.

The other two are doing well and enjoying school.  Super smart kids for sure!  I'll do more of an update on them another time.  Suffice it to say, they keep me on my toes.  :)

My hubby isn't working as crazy much, or we've just gotten used to him being gone...not really sure which!  :)  I love him, what can I say?  I'm sad he'll be leaving in just over 6 weeks, but we'll enjoy him as long as we can!


Baby Boy

I feel like we had a bit of a rough start with Baby Boy.  Time and experimentation has helped with the nursing, tummy issues, and general screaming episodes.  I'm happy to say, I think we've finally settled in and each day he is capturing the sweetness award more and more.  I love when he nurses - as soon as he latches, he puts his hands down on his stomach and folds them on top of each other with his fingers spread out.  Not sure what it is, but it just is sooo cute and melts my heart.  I keep trying to get a picture that actually looks like him, and I finally captured a couple last night.



This kid cracks me up - here are just a couple of things he has said today.

"I don't want a umber-cues!" (cucumber)
"Mom, I'm going to marry Melia...at the zoo...and then KISS her!  But first, I have to fly my car space jet...my Diego car space jet. Only we're not getting married in October."  Is Melia your girlfriend? "Ew no! We're just getting married - at the zoo!" Oh, so when are you getting married?  "{exasperated} AFTER I fly my Diego car space jet Mom!"  Oh, okay.
"Today was Parker's birthday.  It's his October birthday.  We got cupcakes!"  Yum!  When's your birthday?  "Um, I don't know...But not in October!"


Pity Party Pathetics

I threw a fit last night to my husband and prefaced it with "I know this is unfair, irrational, and dumb, but..." and launched into a list of my complaints.  It went a little like this:

M: I'm mad that you are working ALL THE STINKING TIME!!!  I'm going to be a single mom in November, I'm tired of feeling like one now. (Zane took off Friday thankfully but still worked over 70 hrs last week)
Z: I know.  I hate that I'm working all the time too.
M: And I realize you are going to your uncle's funeral, but I am mad you are driving to Wyoming tomorrow and I can't go.
Z: You can go if you want to.
M: (looking at Jacob) Yah, driving 10 hrs there and back will go great with a nursing baby!  I can't go!  I can't even leave for more than 2 stinking hours because he can't do a bottle if I want him to nurse.  And even if I wanted to, we don't have a baby-sitter I would leave all the kids with anyway so it doesn't even matter!  I'm stuck here at home AND YOU GET TO LEAVE AND GO TO STINKING WYOMING.
Z: If it makes you feel better, I know how it feels.  I felt trapped between work and home.
M: Well at least you get to LEAVE THE STINKING HOUSE!!!
Z: Honey, can I go and get you some ice cream?
Z: How about a drink from Sonic?
M: I don't want one.
Z: Can I get you a treat?
Z: How about a walk?  Do you want to go for a walk?
M: (laughing at this point) I CAN'T BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TENNIS SHOES ANYMORE!!! (I ran over my shoes and smashed them last week and haven't been able to get another pair yet).
Z: Why don't you go and get some shoes tomorrow?
M: Because I don't want to take 3 boys shoe shopping!
Z:  Can I do anything for you?
M: NO.
Z: Can I take the boys with me to Wyoming?
M: YES.  Take ALL the kids.

Who has the kids today?  Me.  :)  Later I thought about how miserable they would be in the car for so long and got annoyed that I cared if they were miserable.

Hope you got a laugh out of this.  I'm surprised my husband wasn't cracking up at my temper tantrum.

Thank goodness

I'm such a happy mommy today.  First, Baby Boy slept ALL NIGHT!!  Woohoo!  It was awesome.  Second, Brother Bear is now disinterested in potty training.  I'm armed with all the supplies if he ever wants to try again, but can I just say I am so glad he lost interest already?  :)

If I get a minute later, I need to write about my pity party last night - it was pretty funny.  Kudos to my husband for not completely cracking up and rolling on the floor in laughter at my expense.  Maybe he knew if he did at that time I would flip out completely.  :)  It was so bad.  hahaha.


Oh my, not already!

I think Brother Bear got wind that some of his buddies are potty trained and he has decided he needs to be as well.  I'm not joking either - he woke up this morning and he's decided he's over the whole diaper thing.  I'd be fine if he waited until he was 3 or older, but he keeps crying about his diaper on his bum, etc., so we are trying it out for 24 hours to see how it goes.  Today isn't the greatest day to start it as I am SO very tired, but I hate to miss the opportunity of not having to buy diapers and he is super excited...so we made a trip to the store, bought a new potty chair and big boy underwear, lots of salty snacks and sugary drinks, and some potty rewards.  I can't believe this is happening already.  Oh well!  If it works it works, if not...great!  It will be less work for me a while longer.  ;o) Aw potty training...*sigh*  Here we go!!


6 weeks already??

It's official.  Baby is now 6 weeks today.  I can hardly believe it.  I more can't believe there is nothing to stop me from getting my rear in gear and working out again...except I have to buy some new shoes.  :)  Here's what's been happening the last month:

First day of school
Princess has started 1st grade and seems to enjoy it.  Every day her favorite part is "lunch."  It's been an adjustment having her gone all day, and she is soo tired when she gets home she can be quite the raunch.  BUT, she's still our princess and we love her anyway!  :)  It's hard to have school start at 8 am, so I can't really blame her for being so grumpy by the time she gets home.  Other than that, I've realized what a HUGE helper she really is - it is easier for me to go shopping with all four kids than just the boys because of her.

Cowboy also started preschool and loves it.  He gets mad that he can't go every day.  I think it will be a good thing for him to prepare for kindergarten.  And I am a bad mom - I didn't even take pictures of him on his first day, and much to his dismay I didn't even cry when I dropped him off!  But I did tell him I missed him.

Brother Bear is diving into the 2 yr old stage head first.  He is talking so much now and his humor is really shining through.  He makes me laugh all the time.  I've been enjoying having a couple of hours just to ourselves 3 days a week (while baby is sleeping).  I get to see him in a whole new light and that is really special.  He and his bigger brother fight like you wouldn't believe (full on tackles and punches) and I wonder what I have gotten into with 3 boys.
He is looking more like Brother Bear
Baby is growing like crazy and nursing much better.  He has been sick the last 1 1/2 weeks so that has been hard, but he is still such a sweetie.  I've had to avoid all dairy and chocolate and even Mexican food (sad!) much more that with the other kids for his little tummy.  The last time we went into the doctor (saturday) he weighed 11 lbs 7 oz  and he is getting SO long!  His 0-3 month sleepers are already tight lengthwise.

I am hanging in there.  It's been quite the adjustment and I realized that having babies while your other children are in school is actually harder - because you have to adjust the baby to their school schedule.  The cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc are still a work in progress and I can't wait to have a clean house schedule again!  Zane's job has picked up in pace, so ever since he got back from his training he has been working 6 days a week.  Gratefully he is more on call on Saturdays, so we at least get him half the day.  The rest of the days he works 12 hrs and we are lucky to have him home before 7 pm.  Unfortunately the kids have to go to bed between 7:30 and 8 in order to get up on time.  It's been tough, but in a way it's a blessing.  He's leaving for Missouri in less than 10 weeks and at least I am getting eased into the single mom life by him only being around on Sundays.

Meanwhile we are assessing our life and situation, goals and directions and figuring out where to go from here.  There are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, but Zane is considering a career change.  A big one.  He is looking into the possibility of going to PA school (Physician's Assistant).  It would mean him going back to school to finish up a few pre-reqs.  Big changes, lots of prayers and pondering.  For our Rexburg friends, it would probably mean we are coming back to that area - AGAIN.  :)  We'll see how things go the next few months.  Yes, it's crazy.  But that is so typical of our life!

We've decided since we've always really liked BSU and our school didn't have sports teams to cheer for, and we live in what's considered part of Bronco nation, we'd adopt the Broncos as our family team.  Thus all the blue and orange in pictures.  :)  It's been fun to get the kids involved in the games.


Sometimes you need a reminder

My friend shared this article with me and I loved it.  It was exactly what I need at this moment in time when I feel exhausted and in the muck of things.  What a privilege this life is and how grateful I am for the 4 munchkins I've been blessed with.


Tender Mercies

We recently started reading the Book of Mormon again as a family.  In the past we have just read with the kids from the children's versions of the scriptures (the one with pictures and easier words).  Now that Princess is reading, I thought it would be a good idea to start reading the real thing.  The other night we were reading in Nephi about the tender mercies of the Lord.  Today I would be remiss if I didn't express gratitude and share a small and simple tender mercy that the Lord has given to me.

Jacob sucked today.  There was still some chomping motions, but he actually started to suck with his tongue in the right place.  It's a small step, and not completely consistent but I will take it gratefully!  I've been praying and praying that we would be able to resolve whatever is wrong so we didn't have to take him to more doctors (speech therapy is considered optional on our insurance).

It's amazing how much an attitude can change when looking for those small and simple things.  The Lord is great and merciful and good.  What are some of the tender mercies you've been blessed with recently?



I watched "The Last Song" tonight - it was nice to clean out my system and have a good cry.  Thank you Nicholas Sparks - I can always count on you for a good tear jerker!  But I needed it today.  Our life the last several days has been overwhelming and I have had a good lesson in humility.

After the three previous babies I have had an over abundance of milk and they all nursed fine.  This new baby is having difficulties.  Nursing has been a huge problem for him - really just eating in general.  He'll take a bottle (sort of) and so I'm pumping on a schedule trying to keep up with feeding him and to keep my milk from drying up.  It's so stressful.  He dropped 10 oz the first 2 days and has only regained 2 oz since then.  So far we've had 3 doctor's visits (a 4th is scheduled for Tues), 2 lactation consultations, a round of x-rays and a slew of blood work.  He doesn't suck, he chews.  He can suck, he just chooses not to and we've tried all the exercises and still nothing.  I broke down today after finding out we would now have to go to a speech therapist this week.  I'm exhausted, hormonal, worried, stressed, and at a loss for what to do.  I'm sooo grateful to have my mom here for so long.  I start to freak out anytime I think of what I'm going to do if this doesn't get solved by the time she leaves.  Thank heavens she is here until Labor Day!

Why is she here for so long?  Zane is gone.  He left this last Thursday and won't be back until Sept 5.  That is probably another reason I needed a good release cry.  Before he left, work had been super busy and crazy so he wasn't able to be around a lot really since just before the baby was born.  We miss him.

Despite everything, Jacob is honestly a sweet baby and oh-so-cute.  I promise to post some more pictures soon.  The other kids are doing well too, though they are all sick right now.  :)  Go figure and YAY for Grandma!!  :)


He's here!

Many of you already know from texts or facebook, but our baby boy arrived early Tuesday morning.  I'd been feeling pretty badly for a couple of days and was having some pretty good contractions Monday night and finally decided that I would go in and have them check me around 10:30 pm.  We got to the hospital and in the room about 11:15 - and Jacob Andrew came out at 1:16 am.  He was turned halfway face up, so the majority of the labor was in my back (NOT a fun experience) but because of that the poor guy came out pretty banged and bruised.  The doctor actually came in the nick of time to check in to see how I was coming along.  I had just decided (after breaking down crying) that I had had enough and no longer wanted to do it naturally and instead wanted the 4 hr epidural type shot.  He said that was fine and then I said, "and while your here you might as well check me anyway."  We were waiting for a couple of contractions to pass when my water broke, he checked me and said I was an 8.5 and could no longer have the shot and then I said "Oh no oh no oh no" because maybe 5 minutes (if that) later baby was born.  The cord was wrapped around his neck pretty tight, so I was glad it wasn't Zane, the nurse and I delivering him like we did with Cowboy. Here are a few pictures.  My mom has some better pics, but I figured I'd share the news now on the blog world.  :)
There was a nasty smokey smell coming through the vents - I spent
a lot of time doing this.

Zane capturing the "joyful" moment of birth.

Never seen a baby so covered in the white stuff!
The doctor called it his make up.

Not the greatest family picture, but whatever.  :)
Super happy big sister
Cowboy said his new brother was "adorable"
"Aww!  Cute baby!"

So he was 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.5 in long.  The hospital let us both go home just 12 hrs after I gave birth so it seems pretty surreal that we left and came home with a new baby basically overnight.  Pretty crazy!  We are glad he's here and I'll post more pics as they come - especially now that his face is starting to not look so purple.  :)


No worries

I've been worried since 30 weeks along that this baby was going to come early because of all the contractions.  I should have known better than to be so worried!  Today at my appt while the doctor was listening to the heartbeat she said, "oh you're having a contraction right now."  I shook my head and said, "that isn't a contraction."  Technically I suppose it was, but it was so little and insignificant I hardly even notice those anymore.  So pretty much no more progress has been made...okay, I'm at 40% effaced I guess, but still - nothing to be excited about.  I take that as a sign that this baby isn't going to come before his due date and therefore I am free to do as I wish, so after my appt next week I am driving to Ogden for my friend's wedding and to spend my sister's birthday with her and see my other sister and her family.  I'm over worrying.  My new attitude is going to be "Que sera, sera!"  Whatever will be, will be.  :)


A not-so-very smart idea

Oh my goodness, I am not the smartest person on the block.  The sad thing is I really was trying to be smart.

Let me back up a bit.  I've been feeling pretty good the last few days and felt for the first time that I really could make it the last 3 weeks without wanting to do whatever possible to get this baby out of me faster.  I was very grateful for the reprieve.  Okay, that being said - yesterday I had this crazy intense radiating and constant pain along my tailbone.  Almost like it was broken, but from the inside.  Odd.  So as the pain got worse throughout the day I thought it had to be one of two things: either beginning back labor, or maybe I needed to empty my bowels.  To eliminate the first idea I decided to do an enema, except I couldn't find one in the house and I didn't feel like going to the store.  So what brilliant idea did I come up with?  Castor oil.  It's been the best known laxative for years!  Thinking that I would at least do it the smart way, I looked up the dosage of castor oil that people use to induce labor (typically they use at least 2 TBS) and decided it would be fine to take 1/2 TBS to move things through.  All the articles I read stated that if your body wasn't ready, it wouldn't induce any labor and nothing would happen, except some loose bowel movements.  So totally safe for me because obviously my body isn't ready as of my last appt, right?

Who knew a 1/2 TBS could do so much?  It worked on moving things through alright, but it also worked on irritating my uterus.   As my contractions grew worse and were coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting for a minute or more I became determined that this baby would NOT come out, and began doing everything in the book to try and stop them.  Thankfully they finally died down through the night.  I should mention WHY I don't want this baby to come right now - my mom is flying to NM to visit my sister and her family there for a week.  She rarely gets to go down there, and I would feel awful if I had the baby during my sister's time with her.  Today the contractions are still there, but I'm super determined they won't go anywhere, and now I know NOT to take any more castor oil.  Like I said, it was a not-so-very smart idea.  :)  haha.


Happy 24th

My last couple of posts have been pretty pessimistic, so I decided it was time to lighten it up a bit.  :)  Let's see, where to begin...we've stopped swimming lessons for the time being and I'm not sure when we will pick them up again.  I hate to stop them while they are on such a roll, but I haven't figured out what to do with Brother Bear yet.  Physically he is ready for the next classes, but mentally he just can't follow directions and that would be difficult if there were more than 2 kids in the class.  He and I are both over taking water babies, and he won't just sit and wait with me while the other 2 are in their class...hmm.  I have to admit, even I have missed going to the pool everyday.  We went once this week and I feel like I've failed or something.  :)  Silly.

Princess is all done with t-ball and loved it.  She is really looking forward to starting 1st grade - especially eating lunch at school.  :)  I'm dreading her being gone so long during the day, but at least I have her to myself until after Labor Day!  We had a girls night out last night and saw the movie "Ramona and Beezus" followed by dinner at Applebees.  We've been reading "Ramona the Pest" together so it was a fun night.  I'd recommend the movie - just good clean fun.  I cried.  My excuse is that I'm pregnant and have out of control hormones, but I'm pretty sure I would have shed a few tears even under normal circumstances.  :)  I decided I need to take out Cowboy and Brother Bear separately too before the baby is born so we can have some one-on-one time before another baby takes over my attention for a while.

Cowboy saw Harry Potter for the first time last night during their boy time and now everything is his flying broom and magic wand.  I didn't think he'd like it as much as he did, but I'm hesitant to let him watch anything but the first movie (he's pretty imaginative and tends to get REALLY into things and get scared).  Brother Bear also liked it and does anything Cowboy is doing at the moment.

I have a consult set up with the pediatrician on Tuesday to talk about the kids a bit without them being there.  I'm concerned about a few things, but top on the list right now is Cowboy's extreme fear of animals.  This is my child who LOVED all animals and now he has suddenly developed this phobia/anxiety of them - to the point he is terrified to go outside for fear that a cat or dog or bird is out there.  Like terrified to the point of completely quaking.  He'll go outside only if Princess is with him and we have checked several times to make sure there are no animals out there.  Even in the backyard he'll stay out for a few minutes at a time and then run back in because something may be out there.  It's so sad and I have NO idea how to help him.  So that is what I'm talking to the doc about - whether it's a phase I let pass, or if we need to maybe get a pet sooner than we were planning to help him out.  It's sad for me to see my active 4 yr old choose to stay inside rather than play out with his friends because of his fears.  Hopefully the doc will have some suggestion.  And if it is to go ahead and get a pet at home, I really hope our landlords will be agreeable to it...

Anyway, life is good - and I should probably note on here in reference to a previous post on Twilight that I'm pretty sure we are going to go ahead and use Jacob for the baby's name.  We've had it on our list of boy names for 6 + years now, and really if it fits, like one of my dear friends said - who cares if it's a popular name?  :)  lol.



I give up.  I am obviously NOT in tune with my body and what it is doing.

Very little progress has been made - like I'm at a 1 and a whopping 20%, and honestly that is such a good thing.  I like my babies to stay in at least 37 weeks for their development (although they would be fine earlier, you just always want to go as long as you possibly can, right?).  My frustration lies with how my body is feeling/reacting to these last weeks.  I could easily go until mid August if my body would just stop with all the contractions and pressure.  After the doctor yesterday I just decided I was going to ignore my body and just get things done. That worked until after swim lessons and some extra swimming time and lunch.  Then I HAD to lie down because I felt sooo terrible.  Then last night I was having such horribly hard contractions and sudden swelling we had to take our meal on the go (we went out to eat because I was feeling so great).  This morning I've had very difficult time moving around.  Seriously body - either feel better so I can get things done, or progress so I can have this baby!!!  Frustration station I tell ya!

Gratefully I have 3 of the sweetest and most helpful kids ever - I love those kids so much!


Baby stuff

I'm going in for a check up this morning and as I've been thinking about things to talk with the doc about, I've decided my body is trying to tell me this should be our last baby.  You would think that pregnancy gets easier with each subsequent child - but I have to say, I'm tired.  I hurt.  I'm done.  With the exception of the week that Brother Bear dropped sooo low into my pelvis I couldn't even close my legs, the last week has been one of the worst as far as pain goes in all of my pregnancies.  I want to know if all the pain is moving things along at all, but at the same time, if I'm having so much pain and NOT progressing - I think I will just sit and cry.

I'll post later today after I know more...with the title tears or cheers.  :)



I have opinions about a lot of things, so I'm thinking about maybe starting a new blog dedicated to reviews and recommendations of anything and everything from movies/books to cleaning products to recipes.  I don't even know if anyone would read it or frankly care what I think, but it would give me an outlet besides Zane.  I'm still considering it, in the meantime I'll post some recommendations on here.  :)

A couple of months ago we joined up with Melaleuca.  Zane worked for them a few years ago in the call center, but we haven't used any of their products since he quit.  Brother Bear has some pretty bad eczema and Melaleuca has an amazing product that really works to clear it up, so we joined.  In the past I have only used the cleaning products (which really are good) and the Renew lotion so we ordered a pack that gives you almost one of every product they sell.  I'm glad I did because I found some pretty great products I never would have tried.  My hair hasn't been cut or trimmed since December, combine that need with a dry climate where we are and needless to say, I've just been wearing it in a ponytail because of all the nasty ends and damage.  We are also swimming in chlorine every day - another doozy on the split ends.  A couple weeks ago I started using Melaleuca's Envia hydrating shampoo and conditioner - HOLY hannah!  I'm not kidding when I say it has not only repaired the damage, but my hair is so healthy and free of those fly aways.  At first I was worried that it might be weighing my hair down, but after a week I realized it was actually making my hair healthy for the first time in a LONG time.  So everyone keeps asking if I got a hair cut or did something to my hair.  :)  Pretty cool.  Princess has also been using it, and we don't even need to use detangler on her hair after her showers.  I have also really liked their sunscreen, body washes (both the Renew and Body Satin), and Zane likes the vitamins.  So far, Melaleuca's been good for us.  Eventually I may step up the ante and actually start doing it more as a home business (if you want, you can just be a customer or you can start doing as a business at any time, so there's no pressure which I like).  For now, I'm more interested in passing along to my friends and family what products work as I try them out for myself.  But of course, if you want more info I have that too.  :)

The other thing Zane discovered recently is an email meal service.  I won't go into much detail, but we are going to sign up and try it out to see if it's really as good of an idea as it looks.  It's called E-Z Meals and it's endorsed by Dave Ramsey (whose book "Total Money Makeover" is a must read for anyone).  Here is the link - I'll let you read up about it by yourself since my post is so long already.

Those are my recommendations/reviews for today, and I think I will do that other blog.


4th of July

Before I tell you about our weekend, I know I have lots of photography friends who read my blog so what digital SLR do you use or recommend?  Second, does anyone know any food coloring options that you can't taste???  I HATE using anything but pastel colors because I can literally taste the coloring in any frosting, are there any other options out there?

We had a great 4th of July weekend.  Zane had 4 days off, but unfortunately he had to use one of them driving over to Rexburg to fix the car once and for all.  We had the school rebuild the engine but they forgot to fill the transmission up with oil before we left, so by the time we got it back home, all the gears were gone so we had to tow it back for them to replace the transmission.  We finally got it home again father's day weekend.  They got a refurbished transmission and we noticed that it was leaking transmission oil pretty badly so Zane drove it back Thursday night for them to fix all the seals on Friday.  No leaks again so far, so let's cross our fingers everything else stays the same!  :)  It's a great car with 475K miles that we were given, so we figured if we spent the money on replacing the engine, it would last another few hundred thousand miles or so and it's still better than any car we could buy for under $2K.  Yay for Hondas!  :)  That took up his Friday, but we still had the rest of the weekend to enjoy.  Saturday we cleaned up the house and went hiking a little down in the canyon - it was so beautiful!
Doing laundry the boys decided they liked the underwear on the head better
(and no, Cowboy isn't strangling BB - he thinks he's posing)

I can't believe I am actually posting a pic of myself pregnant.

He has this uncanny ability NOT to look at the camera - EVER.
Church was good on Sunday.  Something that really struck me on Saturday was the 3rd verse of the national anthem.  I think more people should study that particular verse, particularly those in any authority position in Washington.  "Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation! Blest with vict'ry and peace, MAY THE HEAV'N RESCUED LAND PRAISE THE POW'R THAT HATH MADE AND PRESERVED US A NATION! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, AND THIS BE OUR MOTTO: 'IN GOD IS OUR TRUST!' And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"  We keep moving away from God in a disguise of separating church and state, but it feels that as a country we are now supposed to be completely separated from God, as though he has no role or part nor should He.  No matter what religious affiliation you are, I hope you stand up and be counted, not only as a patriotic American, but one who believes strongly that God is at the head of this nation, not man.  We had a fun bbq at our neighbor's Sunday night with lots of fireworks - we all had a great time!

Once again, not looking at the camera.
He LOVED doing the sparklers

Dad was doing all the fireworks, so that's why he's not in the pictures.

Monday we had fun and went to swim lessons and stayed for open swim.  They have moved Cowboy up to the older classes because he is such a swimmer.  BB is taking after quickly.  Both of us are super bored in our water babies class because he is so far advanced, but I feel like he is just too little for the bigger classes (in ability to listen and understand directions).  Princess and Cowboy loved swimming and diving for their new dive toys with their new goggles yesterday.  :)  It's always fun to swim with dad!  We were supposed to go to a bbq that night with my old college roommate and I felt so bad because I completely forgot.  I remembered earlier in the day, but when 5 o'clock rolled around I couldn't remember what it was that we were going to do that night.  *sigh*  I felt so bad.  Hopefully we'll catch her the next time she's in town!