Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Path to Motherhood: Thomas

This post is a continuation of a series I started after Jonah was born:

I thought it would be fun to take the time to share the story of how we decided to have each of our kids, starting with our first little blessing, Ellie. In sharing each of these stories, I hope to share my belief that when to have children and how many to have is a personal decision between a husband, wife, and the Lord. I have a very real testimony that the Lord does have a unique plan for each of His children, and often the Lord's plan for us is not what we may have imagined. And, most likely, His plan for you is not the same as His plan for me. And that's ok.


Starting when Jonah was about two months old, every so often the thought would pop into my mind: "Someone is missing." I didn't bring those thoughts up to Sam, though, until Jonah was 4 months old. When I brought it up he told me that when Jonah was only two weeks old he had the feeling that our next baby was ready to come to our family soon, but of course two weeks postpartum wasn't the right time to share the news. That settled it. My recovery after having Jonah had been the easiest and fastest of any of my kids so far, and I was feeling great physically and emotionally. We looked forward to another pregnancy, and especially getting to meet our next little blessing.

On May 1, 2015 - when Jonah was 13 months old - I found out I was pregnant again. Sam was out working in the yard with the kids, and when I showed him the pregnancy test he picked me up and spun me around. We were so excited!

Around 9 weeks I started to have some spotting, which scared me and had me emotionally preparing for the worst, but at the first ultrasound we heard the happy sound of a tiny heart beating and saw a healthy little baby growing. What a relief.    

At this point we shared the news with friends and family. I had already started to show, so it was getting too obvious to wait any longer!

It was new for me to not be in school or working during this pregnancy, and I enjoyed being home - though I think the lack of the strict daily schedule I had during college made it a little harder because I wasn't so easily distracted from my morning sickness. I always forget between pregnancies how hard morning sickness is, not just on me, but on the entire family - especially Sam. He picks up most of what I normally do on top of his already packed days. He's amazing.

In August we found out we were having a little boy. Ellie was disappointed at first because she really wanted a sister - she prayed daily asking for a sister, actually - but she quickly became excited about the whole thing.

Ellie started preschool in the fall, and we enjoyed the holidays as they came and went, anticipating the new baby boy that would join our family after Christmas. 

My due date of January 1 passed by with no baby, but our little Thomas was born on January 3, 2016.

This little boy is so loved.

What a blessing it is to have these four sweet children in our family, even though it is physically and mentally exhausting. It is amazing to see how our hearts have expanded to love each of our children individually and completely. I have always wanted a large family, but I never thought I could feel as much joy as I do in my role as a wife and mother to Sam and our four beautiful children. 

I am grateful every day for the blessings God has given me in the form of my five favorite people.

Girls Night

Sam took Nathan and Jonah on the fathers and sons camp out a couple weeks ago, so Ellie and I (and Thomas got to tag along) had a fun girls night together. 

We started out the night with heading to dinner. 

In the car she wanted to be right next to Thomas.

Ellie really wanted to go to McDonald's because they have chocolate milk, but I thought she would like a different sandwich shop, so I told her we would get chocolate milk for her at the gas station on the way, and that convinced her. When she saw all the drinks in the fridge at the gas station, though, she decided on this juice:

She was quite obsessed with it - she kept saying "Tummy Yummies" over and over again since that was what it was called.

Her favorite part of the meal was the ice cream. I can't blame her! 

When we got home we watched Cinderella and made a photo book of pictures of her, both per Ellie's specific request.

During the part of the movie where Cinderella goes to the ball, she ran upstairs and put on her Cinderella wedding dress and twirled and twirled.

Then she slept in my bed with me, which she thinks in the coolest thing in the world.

In the morning we went to get doughnuts. She picked bright green... It cracks me up how kids are always attracted to the nastiest-looking colors on food.

Then we did some stuff around the house while we waited for the boys to come home. The kids were all quite happy to see each other. It was sure cute.

I'm glad I got to spend some time with Ellie! She's turning into such a sweet and funny little girl. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

A New Attempt at Jobs for the Summer

A few days ago a friend on Facebook posted, "No one is more full of false hope than a parent with a new chore chart." I had to laugh because a few days before I had spent way too much time doing this:

and this:

and this:

and I was totally full of hope! (We won't talk about how much tape I used... ahem...)

We have only been using these charts for a few weeks, but my hope was not in vain! It has been good to change up the routine a little bit since Ellie is out of preschool for the summer, and the kids are getting good at each of the jobs they have been assigned. My hope is that they will practice these jobs all summer and get good enough at them that they will be able to keep up the routine once school starts. (Speaking of school, I can't believe Ellie will be in kindergarten and Nathan will be in preschool come fall! Where has time gone?)

Having more of a concrete, predictable morning routine (rather than me asking them to do different jobs each morning and them not knowing up front what exactly needed to be done) has helped the kids be more cooperative because they know exactly what has to be done before we can go do our fun summer activity for the day. Let's hope it continues going this smoothly!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Magical World of Childhood

     I know I say this all the time, but it is so fun to watch my kids grow up!

     Lately I have loved watching the world through Ellie's eyes. She just turned 5, and everything is so magical. She loves to play with her princesses and her dolls - she's either "princess" or "mommy."

     Right now she is on a coloring/painting kick, and she always puts her pictures on the fridge when she is done. This is what my fridge looks like at this very moment:

     I absolutely love it. It brings me so much joy to see my kids doing "kid" things.

     This morning we went to the park, and the kids made some new friends. They played under the huge pine trees for quite awhile. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Rexburg this time of year?) When we got home they told me all about how they were pretending to go to a party with their new friends, what the party would be like, where it would be, etc. I love getting a peek into the magical world inside their little heads.

     Nathan adores Sam and all the manly things he does, like work in the yard, and the other day while Sam and I finished up the run for the chicken coop Nathan asked me to start a screw for him. I did, but I honestly didn't think he would be able to get it screwed in all the way - well, he proved me wrong! He screwed it in all the way, we taught him how to push the button to take the screw out, and he took that screw in and out for about 45 minutes! He felt so big.

     On Saturday we spent a lot of time working in the yard, and one of the kids' jobs was to pick up weeds that Sam and I had pulled out of the flower beds. They thought it was so much fun since they got to ride in the trailer to each pile of weeds, jump out and put the weeds in the trailer, then jump back in and ride to the next pile. 

     (In case you couldn't tell, Jonah loves to play in the dirt...)

     And I can't forget our sweet little Thomas! He will be 5 months old tomorrow, and he is at such a fun age right now! He rolls all over the place, loves to play with his toes, loves to grab anything within arm's reach, (especially Ellie's or my hair...) bounces like nobody's business in the jumperoo - seriously, he jumps higher, crazier and longer than any of my other kids have - and laughs and smiles. He doesn't have a tame little smile either - he has this huge, open-mouth grin. I wish I could get a good picture of it, but this one will have to do:

     Being a mom is my favorite thing in the world, and I am so grateful that I get to be home with my kids every day.

Images by Freepik