Wednesday, August 31

"change is not my friend"

I'm pretty sure if Jackson could talk in sentences that's what he would have said to me yesterday when I moved him to his big boy carseat :)
 poor kid...he just doesn't look happy about it, does he??
 good thing he had his blankie and trusty Clifford dog with him to help him get through this new and scary situation!
In case you're wondering, the fact that my kids really do NOT like change is the reason that their carseats are in the back and the biggest reason why we moved Jackson to his big boy carseat as soon as possible- I wanted to give them both a good 3 months to get used to their new seating positions before Maysen and Maelle join our family and take over Hailey and Jack's old seats! :) Little steps at a time is this mommy's motto...or at least I try to remember that it takes my kids, little steps at a time to do well with change! 

Tuesday, August 30

My baby is 1

I can't believe it myself! When I first brought this sweet little boy home and was sleep deprived and running him to the doctor/hospital every day to get his heel pricked and his jaundice levels checked- it seemed like every day dragged by and it felt like I wasn't ever going to get beyond those little tiny newborn days!, looking back I feel like it has flown by and now he's 1, sleeping through the night, drinking milk out of the sippy cup, eating food at the table and those early days feel like only a blurp on my radar!

I know I say it often, but I just am in love with this sweet little boy! Here's a little bit of what he's up to:

sleeping until 7, almost every day :)

drinking milk (and loving it) from his sippy cup

eating all sorts of table food- everything we eat, he eats (or throws on the floor for Allie...)

climbing the stairs (hasn't quite learned how to go down, yet, but getting close)

walking (does about 3 or 4 steps at a time, but not super often)

6 teeth (and 2 more on their way)

playing with all sorts of toys, but definitely LOVING trucks and puppies the most

attacking and chasing Allie all over the house

playing "chase" with Hailey (he chases her and she runs from him giggling) :)

jumping on the trampoline

reading stories and praying with mommy and Hailey before bed each night

finally moved up to 6-9 month clothes (yay!!)

sitting forward facing in his carseat (another big Yay!!)

I just can't believe all the growing and maturing that my little boy has done in the last year- I'm so proud of him and so excited for all the changes that I've seen in his life! He is such a joy and has added an immense amount of happiness to our family in this past year.

Next week he will be moving into Hailey's bedroom and she is so excited to share her room with Jackson and has been asking, every night, if he can sleep with her tonight! I can't believe the intense and great love between these two, especially considering the long and awful months following his birth, where I was convinced that the two of them would never bond and would hate each other forever! I'm so glad that God sees the bigger picture and that He blessed our family with Jackson, even when we wouldn't have asked or didn't feel ready for him!

Thank you, God, for giving me this boy- give us wisdom and strength as his Daddy and I seek to raise him to be a man who seeks after You and who honors You with his whole heart and life!

Monday, August 29

Happy 1st Birthday!

We celebrated Jackson's first birthday on Saturday! It was so much fun- we had a "car" theme, but really the main decoration was the cake! Isn't it great??

me and my baby...who's so big and grown up these days! I can't believe he's a year already...

the birthday boy and his Daddy- my two favorite boys! :)

Hailey's favorite cousin, Kenzie, came and got lots of hugs and snuggles from everyone!

the birthday boy and his Nani

Jackson was really more interested in the ribbons than the actual gift opening...

which was a good thing, considering that Hailey LOVES to open presents and was convinced that they were for her!

he did manage to open a few on his own...

but mostly he only got to "help" open his gifts! :)

Jackson wasn't too interested in having his picture taken with the cake, without touching it, so we gave him some cars to play with! :)

Hailey helped him blow out the candle...

I just love babies with their first pieces of cake- they really never know what to make of it- and Jackson was no exception...

he soon go the hang of smooshing it, though, and thoroughly enjoyed himself!

even rubbing his hands together to make sure that there wasn't a piece left unsmooshed!

It sure was a fun birthday party! I think we all enjoyed it, but no one more than the birthday boy, himself...unless you count his sister, that is! :)

Thursday, August 25

I never cease to be amazed...

at the new ways to get in trouble that my little girl comes up with!
She took a nap in our bedroom the other day and I had forgotten our camera in there...and apparently Hailey really enjoyed herself with it!

I don't think she did much sleeping!

what do you think?? future photographer in the making??

if so, I think she should forget about self portraits :)

when I went in there she told me that she took pictures of her "owie" to show Daddy!

(she wasn't lying...she really did take 1 of her leg...and 60 others of her face, the blankets, and her kitty)

I don't know if I say it too often, but this kid cracks me up! I had the hardest time not laughing and trying to tell her seriously that she needed to settle down and go to sleep after I saw these pictures! :)

Monday, August 22

23 weeks down...

only about 14 more to go!!

Yikes! When I say it that way it just seems like it's creeping up on me way to fast...

Here's our 23 week ultrasound picture of Maysen and Maelle! (they were 1lb 1oz and 1lb in weight, at the time) Aren't they adorable?? It's the first time we've seen them that they're head to head and that they're not hitting each other, but looking so cute and nice. I guess there is some hope that they're gonna be best friends someday! :)

I think this summer has been the fastest summer of my life, to date, and I can't imagine that the fall is going to slow down any- the end of November is going to be here before I know, so I have a lot to do to get myself, my house, and Hailey and Jackson ready for the girls arrival. Here's a little peak at what we're up to:

Korey and I are leaving our kids with his parent's and heading out of town for a little weekend getaway- probably the last one for a while.

I've begged my mom in law to take a day off of work and watch the kids for me so that I can go and do my christmas shopping- I'm assuming I won't have the time/energy for that when the time comes!

I made some little pink burp clothes, lap pads, and a receiving blanket

I'm stocking up on more clothes, especially onesies and sleepers

we have a diaper and wipes shower, given by our parent's, coming up in a few weeks

I have a freezer full of freezer meals and am adding to that stash daily

I have a recipe book filling up with "quick and easy" dinner ideas, so that I won't have to be searching for them when I need an idea and have 4 screaming kids tugging at my heels

I'm meeting with our "nanny" this week, who's gonna come over and help me out 1 day a week when the babies are born

we're starting to think about a new schedule and implementing some new stuff around here so that we can more easily accomodate people in and out

our basement bathroom is almost completed- a few pieces of trim and we'll be good to go

and, the surest sign that we're getting a little closer is... that Korey's starting to make me take it easy. He's never really been the husband to "baby" his wife and I've never been the girl to let anyone "baby" me, but I have to admit that it is rather nice to have someone else carry laundry baskets upstairs for me and to make me take a break and put my feet up at the end of the day. So far I have felt really good, but I do get a lot of pain and pressure (not to mention am exhausted) by the time the day ends, so I'm guessing that's probably a good time to take a break and get some weight off of me! :)

Yesterday we saw my little niece and a couple weeks ago I went and visited 2 friends in the hospital who had just had their babies and just seeing those precious little bundles really gave me the "itch" to meet my little girls! I just can't wait to hold them and snuggle them and see what they're gonna be like. It's even harder to be "patient" when I see ultrasound pictures like the previous one- where you can see their little faces so well. So, I guess, in a way I'm hoping that these next few months fly by, but I still have a lot left to do, so not too quickly! :)

Saturday, August 20

6 beautiful roses

for 6 amazing years!

That's what Korey gave me last night...just in case he didn't have time to run out this morning! :) I just love the man that I married 6 years ago- everything about him...

the way he makes me laugh, even when I'm fuming mad at him

the way he always snuggles close in bed, because our bedroom is so cold he's freezing to death

the funny conversations I can have with him when he's 1/2 asleep

the way he works so hard and gets so much done

the way he plays tea party with Hailey

the way he throws Jackson up in the air, just to make him giggle

the fact that all Hailey has to do is say, "hailey sad, daddy" to get him to do whatever she wants

the way he never complains about how much $ I spend

the fact that he manages to always sleep through our kids getting up in the middle of the night, but can hear a neighbor opening their screen door at 2 in the morning

that he's so handy and can fix and create anything

the fact that he loves me, even when I'm cranky and crabby and irritable

that he'll drive all the way to Marathon city to buy me deep fried cheesecurds and then make fun of me all the way home

the way that he always loves my big pregnant belly

and even the back handed compliments about how skinny I look from the back!

I really do thank God that Korey picked me to be his wife and that he didn't get scared and run away when my Dad warned him that his life would never be dull or normal with me as his wife! :) He is an amazing man- a man any girl would be truly happy to have as her husband! Thanks for marrying me, honey!

Wednesday, August 17

If I knew then what I know now...

Today we are about 107 days away from meeting Maysen and Maelle and as I read Psalm 107 today I couldn't help thinking about God's faithfulness and goodness to me. And, as I thought about I that I couldn't help but think about what I would say to my "earlier" self- the self that was praying and wishing and hoping and begging God for a, today you get a glimpse of what I would say to myself, 4 years ago!

My may seem rough and hard and horrible right now. God may seem far away. I know it seems like He's not listening or caring about your feelings and wishes and desires. I know it hurts to see mom's in the grocery store, to hear mom's talk about their kids on facebook, to watch your friends interact with their kids and even complain about sleepless nights, nursing problems, potty training and irrational two year olds. I know you struggle somedays with feeling pangs of jealousy and wondering, "why not me, too". I know you feel left out when they all have things to talk about, but remember that God hasn't forsaken you. He has great plans for you, too. His time just doesn't always coincide with your timing. Instead of whining and complaining and crying, spend your time wisely- search the scriptures, memorize verses, pour over good christian books- sleep in on the weekends! Go for walks with your dog, take your husband out on a spontaneous fishing date- learn how to duck hunt, take hunters safety so that you can sit in the deer stand this fall with him. Take every opportunity that you can to just sit and watch him work, because there will be a day that you will cry as you rock your babies and wonder when you will ever get to hang out with your husband again.

Babysit your friends kids- spend an afternoon at their house with them watching them and helping them out- one day you will be glad that you did! (and they will appreciate it, now) Start a "hope" chest- put God in it first and then your baby clothes and toys and blankets. Don't stop remembering that God is good and that His goodness reigns over all. Don't give in to the temptation to be jealous and angry- give that to God each day, each hour, each moment if you have to- just give it to Him and let it go!!

Remember these verses:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, that man would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing sould, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. whoever is wise will oveserve these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Psalm 107:1, 8,9, 43

memorize them and implant them on your heart- there will come a day where you will need the reminder even more than you do today! Take this time, without children, and without huge responsibilities to develop an attitude of thankfulness- find it in the everyday life! Continually strive to thank God for the "seemingly" little things in life today. Do not forget God's goodness and faithfulness throughout the generations- He will be faithful to you, also. Your heart will be filled to overflowing and your longing soul will be satisfied- God promises us that! It doesn't seem loving to make you wait for your family, but it is. God's timing is better than your timing and He has His reasons for making you wait.

Just remember that this is a stage- you will have your family, you will be granted your heart's desire- just wait patiently on the Lord and for His timing. Don't try to rush things and step out of God's will, seek Him every step of the way and with Korey walk the path that is marked out for the two of you. Children are a gift and you will be granted that gift- in God's time. You need this time to prepare, to get your house ready, to get your mind and heart ready. I know it doesn't seem like it today, but someday you will look back at this time and think how quickly it passed.

Good thing that what I know now can still be applied to me (and you) today...are you giving thanks to the Lord for His goodness?? I know that even in the middle of huge blessing and knowing that God has filled up the longing of my heart I forget to thank Him for His goodness and I forget to observe all the ways that He has been faithful to me.

Monday, August 15

a kitty here, a kitty there, kitties, kitties everywhere!

Today was the day...

the day we've all been waiting for- but no one more than Hailey...

the day we got to go to build a bear at the Appleton mall and build a kitty!!

that was her "prize" for learning how to go potty and poopy (the harder of the two- for Hailey, at least) on the toilet. She had to put a circle on each day without accidents for 12 days before we could go and yesterday she finally did it- so today, Daddy got off work a 1/2 hour early and we made our way to Appleton to build a bear!

Our celebrating started early in the day- wearing her kitty shirt, her favorite kitty underwear and making kitty sandwiches for lunch!

I think the kitty was a hit, but making it was a little intimidating, or in Hailey's own words, "mommy, put heart in- loud noise. scary. daddy do it" So, we didn't get any pictures in the store- we had to leave before she finally stopped hiding behind our legs! :)

but, she wouldn't even put her kitty down when it was time to eat- it had to sit on Hailey's lap and help her eat her cheeseburger and french fries! (do you like the blue eyes...she picked this one out all by herself, but I thought it was fitting- the only stuffed animal there with blue eyes) :)

LOVE- even on the way home she couldn't get enough of her kitty! :)

Did you notice that her kitty is wearing undies?? You could pick out an outfit for "free", but she didn't want an outfit- she just wanted her kitty to have matching "hello kitty" underwear...go figure! (so, mommy picked out the outfit and the shoes and she got the undies, too...I'm such a sucker!) :) But, honestly, I couldn't help it- I was so proud of my little girl for learning how to go potty on the big girl potty all by herself! I woulda given her the moon if it meant that I didn't have to change 4 little kids diapers in about 3 months! :)

Thank you, Lord, for the little things in life! Your faithfulness in the small matters continues to amaze and sustain me!

Sunday, August 14

future plumber??

This little boy just loves to play in the toilet...

he just loves to play in ours and put random things in ours
today he found a toilet that he could actually play in...the new one that Daddy's putting in the basement bathroom!

he so enjoyed helping daddy hook up all the plumbing that I definitely think he's gonna be plumber someday! :)

Thursday, August 11

in mourning??!!

don't worry no one one, but my hopes, dreams, and ambitions- that is!

I know it seems like a very selfish and ungrateful thing for a mommy of two and soon to be four amazing children to be doing- but, just in case anyone else is struggling with this, today, also, I'll go ahead and admit for all of us that I'm mourning!

Tomorrow I will be 22 weeks and from the looks of this photo I am having a normal, run of the mill pregnancy and will deliver a normal, run of the mill child (if there really is such a thing)...but, sometimes photos can be misleading. If there is anything that this pregnancy is not- it's normal!

I think my "mourning" began the day I began to suspect that I was pregnant with baby #3...I know that there are women out there who would give 1/2 their arm or leg to find out their pregnant- even pregnant with baby #3, but for me it wasn't a happy or joyous time- it was heartbreaking. It was the first step in my mourning process. In the last 5 months I have mourned many more things and always felt guilty over each one, but today I've decided to embrace it- to share a few of them with you all and maybe by doing that I can say goodbye to each one and move on to celebrating the blessings more easily!!

I've definitely had to mourn the loss of a happy, enjoyable pregnancy. I so loved being pregnant (as soon as the sickness subsided) with both of my other kids and I always felt like I looked better and felt better when I was pregnant, but this time I just feel uncomfortable, scared, nervous, big and frumpy!! I'm putting on a lot more weight than I did with either of the other two, I'm having to curb my activities WAY more than I did with the other two (considering I never did curb them with the other two), and I'm having a harder time bonding with these two, in utero, than I did with either Hailey or Jackson. I find myself calling them the girls or the twins a lot more often than Maysen and Maelle and I'm not even sure why...

The second thing that I've had to mourn the loss of is of my friendships. Yes, there have been people who have stopped talking to me because we're pregnant with twins and yes, that does hurt, but it's the lost in the busyness of life loss that I'm mostly mourning. There are friends that I've just been too busy to connect with or too tired to connect with and I know that it's only going to get worse. It's painful to have to say "goodbye" or "see you later" to people and relationships that I love and cherish, but I know that there is going to be no possible way to keep up with all of my friends when I'm running on zero hours of sleep and have four cranky kids to deal with! And I know that life will essentially move on for all of my friends, they'll all still be able to do playdates and get togethers and plan baby showers and teach sunday school and all those things that I've enjoyed doing with them, but I will be out of comission for a while and that's hard to think about.

The third thing that I've had to mourn is the loss of my freedom- that basically goes along with the first two, but on a different level! I'm having a hard time with the knowlege that I'm going to have to have help, I'm going to probably need some bed rest and some downtime away from Hailey and Jack and I'm going to need to give up any thoughts or desires that I've had for even having a normal quiet time in the years to come! (not to mention showers...shaving my legs...all that stuff that seems meaningless, unless you can't have) :) Today I met with a friend to talk about her watching Hailey and Jackson if/when I need some "rest" and after she left I wondered what my hesitations were with it...and, I realized it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me! I don't want to admit that I can't handle my kids myself. I don't want to admit that I won't be able to go grocery shopping and make meals for my family. I don't want to admit that climbing the stairs and hoisting my son into and out of his crib is going to be a huge drain on my energy and painful, not to mention, possibly harmful for the girls in my belly. I don't even want to admit that I'm going to be in desperate need of help when Maysen and Maelle are born- I just want to be super woman and be able to figure it all out.

Another thing that I'm really having a hard time mourning the loss of is bringing home just one sweet little newborn! Planned for child or not, each mom dreams of bringing home her sweet little bundle, rocking it to sleep, nursing it while gazing lovingly at it's beautifully formed and cherub like face (even if the only time you get to look at it peacefully is those middle of the night feedings, they become even more special and sweet), but I will not get to do those things! I will have two little cherubs jockeying for position, wanting to eat at the same time, wanting to be rocked, held, and comforted at the same time...not to mention 2 other young ones needing time and attention, also! I won't even get to enjoy those middle of the night feedings, becausel I will always have two of them there- I don't know how long it will even be before I'll be able to feed them on my own, without someone helping me! Even as I write this tears are forming in my eyes, because I already feel guilty for the "loss" of bonding that I'll get to do with each of my girls. I want to be able to spend the same amount of time with them that I did with Hailey and Jackson and have those same sweet memories, but I wonder if that will ever happen...and, even if it does I'm sure it won't be in those first few sweetest months.

One of the biggest losses that I've had to mourn (and am still mourning...) is the loss of normalness. (hahaha...I know you're laughing at the mere thought of us being a normal family) :) I feel like there's not going to be anyone that we can relate to anymore- we're always going to be in a class of our own. There's not anyone else that I know of that could really use a quadruple stroller, I've never even met anyone else who has a need for a triple stroller. We're the only family I've heard of who can say that they have 4 kids under the age of 2- actually, we're the first in our small group of friends who will have 4 kids- period. I don't even really know of that many people who have twins and that is a rather lonely experience- we don't have a ton of people to ask advice from, we don't really know what to expect- it's all just a little scary and really intimidating!

I guess what I'm really having to mourn the loss of is ME! And, if you think about it- that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are many things about my old nature/my sinful nature that I don't even necessarily like and definitely won't even miss if God decides to use these losses to weed them out, but there are a few things that I do think I will miss---my mind and the ability to string more than three words together to make a complete thought is definitely one of them---so, I apologize if this post was really disjointed and jumbled. Bear with me and in about 18 years I may have my mind back in working order! :)

In all seriousness, I do think that there are legitimate things that I will miss as my life gets crazier and we add more children to it and I do think that it will just take time for me (and for Korey) to mourn those losses and move on! So, if we seem particularly down one day, please bear with us- encourage us, pick us back up, dust us off and set us back on the right track. We will thank you for it! :) And I know that God will bless you for it.

Thanks for praying for us!! On a brighter note...according to our doctor we are only 2 weeks away from very viable life(90% survival rate if born after 24 weeks)!! (and everything looks good, so, Lord willing, we're still about 15 weeks away from meeting these little girls)

Monday, August 8

Life is so much more fun with Daddy!

Korey was home most of the day on Saturday and the kids and I had so much fun with him being there! We realized, yesterday, that he's been working for almost 20 days straight!! And, it has definitely felt like it...we all really missed him around here.

We definitely made the most of our Saturday and got a lot of playing in before he got called into work that night! :)

Hailey and Daddy set up the sprinkler and ran through it!

Jackson and I were playing, too, but the poor kid is a mosquito magnet and was starting to look like a pincushion, so I took him inside!
I think they both really enjoyed themselves

then they got all the wiring done for our new bathroom downstairs! So, thanks to the two of them (ok, mostly Korey, but we'll let Hailey pretend she was helpful) we now have a working fan and working lights in there- just tile and hooking everything up and we'll be good to go!! Yay!!

I don't know what we'd do without a Daddy at this house- we all so look forward to the time that we get to spend with him, especially his firstborn daughter! :)

Thursday, August 4

oh baby!

Can you believe how much this looks like a "real" baby??

Can you believe how rounded her face looks and how her little fists are clenched and how perfect her little nose is?

Honestly, I know that it is a baby, I know she's real- I feel her move everyday, but I'm still in complete awe with how real Maysen looks in this picture.

(her sister, of course, was too busy hiding behind my bladder and then protecting herself from her sister to make an appearance, so no pictures of her today...unless you count her legs in this picture) :)

The girls and I went in for a little check up today and everything looks great! They are growing- not as fast as the doctor would like, but what else is new for my kids?? They have good, strong heartbeats, no signs of twin to twin transfusion and were kicking each other with vigor! :) I'm thinking that they're both gonna be scrappy little fighters...which is good, they're gonna have to be to protect themselves from their older siblings!

It's rather disconcerting to watch them kick so hard at the membrane separating them and the "bag of water" surrounding them and it actually is rather painful to have Maelle kick so hard at my bladder and cervix, but it was great to see how healthy and good those kicks look on the ultrasound.

I'm praising and thanking God for His faithfulness these last few weeks so that I was able to go to my appointment today excited to see the girls and not the least bit nervous, worried or fearful about what we might find or might see (it was to make sure my cervix was ok, but mainly to check for the twin to twin transfusion syndrom) I feel that He has truly blessed us with a peace that definitely surpasses all understanding and for that I am truly thankful!

Wednesday, August 3

so wore out...

This is what a wore out little girl looks like...

Isn't she just a doll?? Even when she's sleeping (ok, especially when she's sleeping) she's adorable and cute. Korey just couldn't help but take a picture of his little girl and it was all he could do to stop himself from just scooping her up and cuddling with her! :) I'm glad he resisted the urge, though, 'cause it's pretty obvious from these pics that she was one exhausted little girl.

Hope you're feeling a little less tired these days than Hailey, 'cause a lot of the time I feel like I am this exhausted and tired...just don't have the luxury of falling asleep in my bed at 6:30 like she does! :)