Thursday, May 14, 2015

Life with kids.

I keep getting asked, "What is it like to have 3 young kids?"  A lot of people assume 1 of 2 things...  They assume that I either walk around like a zombie from no sleep, have spit up on my clothes at all times, spend all day doing chores, my baby screams all day, that I sing the Strawberry Shortcake theme song when I get a chance to shower, and that I am sinking in all of the laundry.  Or, they assume that I do tons of educational activities with my toddlers, we all go to bed early in our coordinating pajamas in a soft bed that smells like fabric softener, we all hold hands and pray at the dinner table as we eat our healthy meal, and that we all "oooo" and "aaaah" over the sweet cooing baby who never makes a peep.  Well, here is a glimpse of reality for anyone who is wondering. 

As for Micah and I...  We both work super hard, but we both find time to relax and get great sleep too.  Micah drives a pretty good distance to work every day.  He likes his job, but he is on his feet constantly and he is pretty tired when he gets home.  I baby-sit full time every other week.  3 nights each week, I also teach lessons for 2 hours in the evenings in my home. My days usually consist of taking care of the kids, doing lots of laundry, dishes, and cleaning.  By Wednesday night each week, I sometimes struggle to keep my eyes open at 8:30 PM.  That being said, we are super blessed with wonderful kids who have quiet times and naps during the day and who all sleep through the night in their own beds.  When the work day is over (at 8 PM for me 3 nights a week, and around 5 for Micah) he and I spend time together.  We typically try to get all 3 kids in bed by 8 or 8:30 and then he and I snuggle in bed.  We talk about our day, we watch TV shows, we clean ourselves up, and then we rest.  Micah is incredible.  He works all day and then comes home and helps with the kids in the evenings and helps with chores around the house.  Today, I did a ton of housework.  I also spent most of the day in pajamas and I am pretty sure I have a bald spot somewhere on my head from when I played "hair fix" with the girls this afternoon and Isla pulled out a chunk of my hair.  Isla put blue nail polish in her hair today and Ike hasn't had a bowel movement in 2 days.  Spit up has become such a regular occurrence that I don't even change my clothes anymore when he spits up on me.  I try to sop up as much as I can with a burp cloth and move on (unless it is so much that it completely soaks me - which happens frequently, although I've gotten really good at dodging most of the projectile episodes.)

So for the list in the first paragraph, I am tired, but I'm not a zombie.  I get plenty of sleep.  I do have spit up on my clothes at all times and I do a LOT of chores.  The baby is really good and the only times he gets fussy are when he is super tired or when he is in his car seat.  Other than that, he's pretty content.  I do sing the Strawberry Shortcake theme in the shower, and I am absolutely drowning in laundry.  I do some educational activities with my kids, but I mostly encourage them to just play with each other.  They watch a very small amount of TV during the day and the rest of their time typically consists of using their imaginations to pretend they are princesses or ponies.  The kids go to bed early, and Micah and I are usually drifting off to sleep around 10ish.  Usually, our beds smell nice and clean because we have to wash our sheets pretty frequently due to milk leaks and Ike's spit up.  Our pajamas usually don't match at all and are mostly just old t-shirts.  We pray at dinner, but 3 nights a week, we all eat dinner at different times and our meals aren't always healthy.  We all "ooo" and "aaaah" over the sweet cooing baby, even if he does make a peep or two.  This is my reality and I totally love it.

My reality....
I love baby-sitting this little guy.  My girls are pretty fond of him too!  Oh, Adia and her poses...

Isla the fairy princess and Adia as Rapunzel.

We've had about a million helicopter seeds blowing around our backyard.  Isla loves to peel the seeds out of them.  This entertains her for 20 minutes, easily.

I remember taking pics of Ike when he was in my belly.  It is such a blessing and a true testament to God's awesome hand to see how this baby who was once in my womb is now a healthy and growing boy in my arms.  God is good.

Ike sleeps through the night!  Yay!  The only tough thing is that since I am nursing, I wake up with so much milk that he can't drink it all, so I have to nurse him on one side and pump on the other.  I can get anywhere from 5 to 7 and a half ounces off of ONE side in about 5 minutes or less.  If I had a superhero name, it would be, "Cow Woman," not to be confused with Cat Woman.

She requests to take silly face pictures all the time now.  I only have like 70 on my phone that look JUST like this.  That's all.

Would you just look at this boy?  Those eyes.  That smile.  That squish.  In LOVE.

My brown eyed, pouty lipped boy absolutely loves to be held and snuggled.  He is wide awake here (he actually prefers his crib when he's sleepy.)  He just loves to be near me and snuggle with me.  Chores have to get done, but I will always ALWAYS pause for this. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ike's Birth Story

I am writing this about 2 months or so late, but this is my 3rd birth, meaning I now have 3 kids who take up a lot of my time, so I guess late is better than never, right?  Either way, here is Ike's story. 

In the past, I have had very fast labors.  When my water broke with Isla, she was in my arms in 1 push and less than 15 minutes later.  Due to this history, the doctors and I decided it would be best to allow them to break my water for me at 39 weeks if I did not go into labor before then.  This was mainly to ensure that I had him at the hospital and not at home.  It was a huge fear of mine that I would be home with my children by myself when my water would break and that I would be delivering my own child by myself in my bathroom floor.  My husband works about an hour away and the hospital is 25 minutes away without traffic and can be almost an hour away during rush hour.  It was also the dead of winter...  Heaven forbid I go into labor during a snow storm.  Since I was so dilated this time prior to labor, the doctors said they would break my water for me at 39 weeks and that my body would likely just take over and I'd have the baby pretty quickly. 

On February 5th, I went into the hospital at 6 AM.  At 8 AM, they broke my water.  My plan was to try to go all natural - especially if I would labor as quickly as I did in the past.  After they broke my water, I walked the halls, changed positions frequently, and did what I knew to do to help labor progress.  Unfortunately, after a few hours, I had very little progress.  Since they had broken my water and I had to have him within 24 hours, they gave me Pitocin.  Ouch.  At this point, labor was picking up and I was in a lot of pain.  One of the reasons (other than contractions) I was in so much pain was because of my pubic bone.  A few weeks prior, I told my doctor that I felt like my child had hit me with a hammer in my pubic bone.  It hurt so bad those last few weeks that I felt pain there constantly and it sometimes took my breath away.  What I didn't realize during labor was that as he was descending, my pubic bone was separating.  More on that later...

So, I finally decided to go ahead and have an epidural. When I was around 6 cm, they ordered the epidural.  While I was getting the epidural, my contractions started picking up majorly.  The nurse kept telling me, "You are really progressing..." and I'd say, "I was thinking the same thing..." as the anesthesiologist was poking my back.  After he was done, they checked me and I was 8 cm.  The problem was that the epidural only took on 1 side.  My left side was numb, and my right side could still feel everything.  Everything.  I mean E V E R Y T H I N G.  They had me lay on my right side and wait a while to see if the medicine from the epidural would take on my right side.  It never did.  So, at 9 cm, they took out my epidural and did another one allllllll over again. That was miserable.  So, they gave me another one and gave me just enough to make my right side somewhat numb, but couldn't give me a full amount because it would make my left side too numb.  Almost as soon as they were done with the 2nd epidural, I felt an extreme amount of pressure and I knew it was about that time.  They checked me and confirmed what I was feeling - that I was ready to push.

When the doctor came in, it wasn't too long after that and Ike was coming out.  I probably pushed for about 5-10 minutes at most.  (Although it felt much longer!)  My left side was totally numb, but I could still feel a lot on my right side.  I could feel the stretching and the intense amount of pressure.  For some reason, when he came out, I just had a flood of emotions.  I felt relief physically and even emotionally.  With the girls, I never felt "done."  I always felt like they were a sweet addition to our family, but this time, I felt like this baby completed our family.  I also had a miscarriage prior to this baby.  I prayed so hard for him before I had him, while I carried him, and while I was in labor with him.  I truly felt like God was saying to me, "I want to bless you more than you can fathom with your precious son."  I felt like I had asked God for just a healthy baby and He gave me so much more...  He gave me a healthy baby who He created to fit perfectly into our family and perfectly into my arms.  He was more than "a healthy baby," he was (and is) MY perfect baby.  He's so much better than what I asked for and I can't even describe the love I felt for him in that very instant when I first touched his warm skin and held his little soft cheeks against my chest. 

Everything with Ike was perfect.  He was 7 pounds and 9 ounces of perfect, sweet, soft, beautiful baby boy.  I'm so thankful.  The hard part was the recovery.  I assumed that since he was my 3rd baby, that recovery would be easy.  It was easy with Isla, so I figured it would be easy with him too.  Unfortunately, I was very wrong.  This was my hardest recovery yet.  My pubic bone separated during the birth and caused me a tremendous amount of pain...  So much so that I could not even walk to the bathroom.  While in the hospital, I had to have X rays on my pubic bone.  Before I even spoke with the doctor, the nurse told me, "The doctor will come and talk with you, but I saw your X ray and your pubic bone definitely separated."  I can't take pain medications because they make me throw up constantly.  So needless to say, it was a rough few days.  I was supposed to go home on the 6th, but I didn't get to go home until the 7th, and even then - I was still in a lot of pain.  The good thing is that with time, it has healed on its own.

Ike is 8 weeks old now and he is just precious.  He is a very easy and relaxed baby.  He enjoys  nursing, snuggling, and starring at whoever is holding him.  He loves to coo and smile at us as my heart melts into a puddle on the floor.  He absolutely hates his car seat.  Other than that, he is very content.  He typically wakes once during the night to eat.  After he burps and spits up (he spits up alllll the time), he goes right back to sleep. He is seriously a dream.  At his 1 month checkup, he was 9 pounds 11 ounces.  I really think he would have been heavier, but the week prior to his appointment, all 5 of us got a yucky stomach virus.  Ike threw up for 4 days.  That was not fun, but I'm so glad it is over!  Regardless, he gained over 2 pounds his first month, which means he is a good little eater.  :)  I'm excited to see what he will weigh next week at his 2 month checkup. 

So here is a video and some of the pictures from Ike's birth.  Please excuse my emotional blubbering in the video.  So. Many. Emotions.

This was when I first got to the hospital. 
And there he is!  Nothing is sweeter than holding that precious little one for the first time!
Oooooh how I love this boy and ooooooh how glad I was to have him OUT.
Ha ha...  this girl was opening her big sister kit and got a little excited over the snacks.  :)

Nana and Ike

Pops, Ike, and Isla

The girls loved meeting their little brother

MiMi and Ike

MiMi, G-Pa, and Ike

My  boy.

This was after he got his little belly full and decided to fall asleep snuggled up with me.  Pure contentment.

Ike's first little bath.

I love this tiny burrito!

Headed home!

I also wanted to share some professional newborn photos of Ike and our family.  First, let me introduce you to my kind, sweet, gentle friend.  Her name is Taylor Groneck and she is the mastermind behind these photos!  Her photography business is called Simply You Photography.  I cannot sing her praises enough.  She is such a professional and not only do her pictures bring a warmness to your heart, but so does she.  Working with her was amazing.  She was so tender and sweet towards our whole family and she did an incredible job.  If you are interested in having some high quality beautiful photos taken, please check with Taylor.  You can click HERE to see her Facebook page, or click HERE for her website, or just shoot her an email at
My whole heart is in this picture! Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Party of 5.  Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Isla and Ike.  Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Adia and Ike.  Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

10 days old. Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Photo credit to Taylor Groneck - Simply You Photography

Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting Ready For Ike

I can't believe I'm already at this point, but I am officially 36 weeks (or 9 months) pregnant with Ike.  Although I get more uncomfortable with each day now, I am trying to soak it all up and enjoy every kick, roll, and jab to the ribs.  That's right..  even the jabs to the ribs.  I'm feeling pretty good overall, but things are definitely getting more uncomfortable, contractions are more intense and more frequent, and indigestion is pretty bad.  I have had some pretty bad dizzy spells as well, but my doctors have just said to make sure I lay on my left side during them and to drink tons of water.  My blood pressure has been low, but not low enough to be concerned.  I have gotten a sudden burst of energy, which has come in handy for all the stuff I want to get done before Ike comes.  I know, I am totally in that "nesting" mode. 

Progress: I had my 36 week checkup this week and I was surprised to find out that I am already 2 cm dilated.  I know this is not a huge deal, but with both of the girls, I never dilated at all until I was in labor.  I completely expected to go to the doctor and for her to say, "Your cervix is still closed."  Instead, she said, "Well, you are 2 cm dilated and I can feel his head."  No clue as to when he will actually come, but she (and I) seems to think that he will be here before his due date for sure.  I'm hoping for either a Super Bowl baby, or a for Feb. 7th or 8th.  The 7th is my great grandfather's birthday and he was just a really wonderful man.  The 8th is Micah's birthday, and I think it would be fun if the 2 men in our house shared a birthday.  He is due on the 12th, so we will see.  :)

Pictures of me at 36 weeks with Adia, Isla, and Ike:
1. Adia 2. Isla 3. Ike

Things I've done to prepare:
1. Ike's nursery is pretty much complete.  I did another blog post for that.  Here's that post:

2. My hospital bag is packed and in the van!  I made a short little blog post to show what's inside for any moms who might be expecting a baby and were curious about how to pack a bag.  His diaper bag is also ready and I discussed that in the same post.  You can read about those things here:

3. The car seat is in the van and ready to go.

4. I made each of the girls a "Big Sister Kit."  I want them to feel included and special on the day Ike is born.  More about that in this blog post:

5. I made a Target registry, even though I did not have a big shower and this is my 3rd child.  The reason I did this is because Target sends you a coupon book and 15% discount card for any items off your registry that you can use 6 weeks before the baby's due date.  I went a few days ago and got a few last minute items and got 15% off of all of them!  Plus, I have several more cards that are 15% off of my registry that "friends or family" can use, so we can still use those too.  They don't expire until 6 months after he arrives and I can keeping adding stuff to that registry!  Such a good deal!

I also wrote a post about things I never knew I needed with my first baby that I am now prepared for with my third.  To read more about what I stocked up on that I didn't know to stock up on the first time, click here:

Big Sister/Big Brother Kits

We wanted our girls to feel special when the new baby arrives.  I thought they might get a little sad when Micah and I stay in the hospital for a night with Ike and they are at home with grandparents or other family.  To make them feel special on the day of his arrival, we made them some "Big Sister Kits" and went ahead and put them in the trunk of the van so they'd be there at the hospital.  Here is a picture of their kits with MOST of the items we put in them. 

 Inside the Big Sister Kits:
1. Snacks - fruit snacks, Cheez-It's, and a fruit pouch.
2. Juice - Our girls LOVE these little "Good 2 Grow" juices that have the little character heads on them.  The great thing is that they are the no spill kind, so that is definitely a plus!
3. Hand sanitizer - We decided they might like to have a "big sister job" while they are at the hospital with us.  We are going to tell them it is their job to make sure everyone who visits us has clean hands before they hold baby Ike.  They will LOVE this.
4. Miniature baby body wash - all they have talked about is how much they want to help me give the baby a bath. 
5. Personalized "Big Sis" shirts.  I bought the shirts and iron-ons at Hobby Lobby.  I thought they turned out pretty cute.
**Below are Items Not pictured**
6. Disposable camera - this should be funny.  I thought I could give them each one of these to take photos of Ike and friends and family who come to visit him.
7. A Big Sister book - this is actually in my hospital bag.  I just bought 1 and would like to read it with them at some point while we all hold Ike.

Hospital Bag and Diaper Bag Prep for Labor and Delivery

This is my third kid, so I've learned a few lessons about what I actually need/want in my hospital bag.  So, here's the scoop.

The Hospital Bag
1. A comfy outfit to wear home: yoga pants, socks, shoes I can slip on easily, a nursing bra, underwear, and a comfortable shirt.

2. A few disposable nursing pads.

3. Nursing sleep bra.

4. Travel size toiletries - I went to Meijer and bought things from the dollar bins.  I got body wash, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, lotion, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.

5. Hair ties.

6. Hair dryer.

7. Thick and cozy socks.

8. Sanitary pads.

9. Bathing suit top - I know this is super weird to most people, but the reason for this is because the hospital has a birthing tub that I may try to use to help me get through the contractions.  I'd rather be partially decent while many nurses and doctors will be in and out of the room.

Things I will grab right before I leave:

- the camera
- phone charger
- makeup bag


The Diaper Bag

This is the diaper bag I got.  It is a backpack.  I have 2 kids and a third on the way.  I find it way easier to throw on a backpack on my back with all of the other kids I have to keep an eye on and a baby to carry.  Plus, my husband liked this bag because it wasn't overly girly at all and he doesn't mind carrying it.

1. 3 outfits - 1 for the hospital stay and 1 for him to come home in.  Another is to keep in the bag for future accidents.

2. Several newborn diapers.

3. Diaper cream

4. Pacifiers

5. Disposable diaper sacks - at many doctor's offices, they will not allow you to throw away diapers in their facility, meaning you have to take the dirty diapers WITH you.  Gross.  These little sacks are scented and contain the odor much better than a grocery bag.

6. Wipes

7. Burp cloths

8. Bibs

9. Hats

10. Blanket

11. Hand sanitizer

12. Lotion

13. Nursing cover

14. Disposable nursing pads

15. Nipple shield - they often times have these at the hospital if necessary, but I have not had a baby at this hospital before and I know from my previous experiences with nursing that I always get engorged and the baby has a hard time latching.  This solves that problem and after a few weeks, my body gets used to nursing and the baby no longer needs the shield.

Ike's Little Man Room Nursery!

I had so much fun getting ready for Ike in every way.  I have loved knowing he is a boy and I have loved organizing his things, imagining him in his little tiny man clothes, and getting his room ready.  First off, I want to say that I have been ridiculously blessed by women who have bought him clothes and have given me their sons' hand me downs.  When it's your third baby, it's not typical to receive many gifts, but we have been given so much and we are so very thankful. 

We didn't really have a real "theme" for his room.  We just wanted it to be kind of manly but still little boy and still warm and welcoming.  So here is what we came up with.  We also wanted to do something that could transition well as he's older and we had no desire to paint. 
My husband made the teepee and I think it s absolutely adorable.  We used some wood and a painter's canvas. Signs came from Hobby Lobby and At Home (used to be called Garden Ridge.)

This is the same changing table we had for the girls.  Inside are diapers, wipes, more burp cloths, bathing items, disposable diaper bags for poopy diapers, etc.  My husband installed the pegboard above the changing table.  I LOVE it.  It is actually very handy and convenient.  The letters on the left are his initials.  They are cardboard and I just painted them green and taped them to the board.  Easy.  The "XOXO" sign is from Hobby Lobby.  I believe I paid $4.89 for it. 

I just loved this little sign.  The little metal cup was mine as a baby.

This is the same glider we had for the girls.  Honestly, it is not the best in the world, but it is totally fine.  The skull head thing came from At Home and I thought of the "Men of Honor" wall a while back and always wanted to do it if we ever had a boy.  So glad I got the chance!

This is my favorite part.  The "Men of Honor" wall.  I love super heroes and I know Ike probably will one day too (Iron Man is definitely my favorite.)  However, I thought it would be really special to honor the generations of men in our families who came before him and telling Ike their stories as he grows.  This wall has photos of my husband and his father, and grandfathers as well as my dad, my grandfathers, and some of my great grandfathers.  Most of the frames came from the Dollar Store and we spray painted some blue.  The navy ones came from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.   The sign in the middle has 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.  I made the sign in Word using different fonts and just printed it off on a piece of fun paper from Hobby Lobby.

We will eventually add a crib skirt.  Doing that and putting in a monitor will be the last things on our list.  This was Adia's (our oldest girls') crib.  We used chalkboard paint to paint the middle of a picture frame and write his name on it to go above his bed.  The sign on the right is from Hobby Lobby.

I had a camping theme in my classroom at school one year and used this pillow.  The teddy bear was my bear as a child and I slept with it every night from the time I was one to when I went to college.

Sign from Hobby Lobby

I bought some plastic drawers to go in his closet to organize clothes, socks, bibs, hats, fitted sheets, and swaddlers.  I labeled each drawer by writing on a small piece of white paper and taping it to the inside.  We can easily remove them and change the labels to whatever as we switch out his clothes as he grows.  The clothes hanging up are mostly nicer outfits.  The clothes in the drawers go up to 6 months.  On the left, I have 2 bins of clothes that are organized with sizes 9 months and up.  They are organized by season and size so that I can easily rotate them out.  I'd say 95% of his clothes are hand me downs.  So wonderful and adorable!

This is what it looks like as you walk into the door and enter his room.  The curtain and rod came from the At Home store.  Can't wait to see my baby boy in there.  :)