Sunday, January 30

Friday, January 29 {morning}

ryan and i woke up friday morning with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed jack jack.  at 6:30.  he played in bed while we tried to doze in and out for the next 30 minutes.
after i changed jackson, i walked upstairs to see this.  beth was playing quietly with her new dolly, as she does every morning, waiting for me to come upstairs to get her and her brother.

luke was waiting for me in his crib, yelling "mama!" and showing me that his nuk was still in his bed.  sometimes he throws it out of the crib, but not today!

i changed his diaper and let him pick out his clothes for the day.  both beth and luke usually pick out their clothes and i help them get dressed.  beth's usually very creative with her choice in outfits while luke's are more straight-forward.

beth played with jack while luke was getting dressed.  she was looking through a book of saints, we are still trying to come up with a name for her new doll.  She's contemplated Maria, Theresa, and Alyssa.  So far, nothing is sticking.

Finley hears us upstairs and decides to come up and joint the party!

He heads straight to the window to spy on the neighbors dogs.

luke chose his favorite socks, halloween socks from grandma that used to be beth's.

downstairs for breakfast.  luke and beth notice dust in the sunlight streaming into the kitchen and decide to chase it!

jack played in his exersaucer for a bit.  he usually lasts long enough for me to get breakfast on the table for the older two.

i get the coffee on for me.  my sweet, delicious breakfast.

...and jack decides he's had enough of the excersaucer.  not even 5 minutes until the crying starts.  no worries, he'll spend the next 30 minutes on my hip, right where he wants to be.
luke and his beloved orange juice.  he drinks just about two sippy cups full every morning, it's the first thing he asks for when he comes downstairs.
breakfast this morning...corn chex for the kiddos and wheat knock-off chex for me.  one of the few gluten-filled foods we have in the house, something i eat on a regular basis.
beth opts for dry corn chex and a cup of milk.
luke also has dry corn chex, but later decides he wants some "mama chex" with milk.  he devours them, and i'm happy he's gettng a little extra fiber.
after breakfast, our day gets off to a nice start.  the play room is relatively clean, and luke immediately pulls out his train tracks.  beth grabs her doll, and jack eats a toy on the floor.
after a bit of playtime, jack is ready for a nap at about 9:10. he'd been up for a few hours at that point, and was more than ready to sleep.  he graced us with a 3-hour nap, something he'd never done before!  i put him down to bed in my bedroom and came out to find beth and luke playing hide and seek.  beth counted...

...and luke hid.

we grab our rosaries for a decade of prayer before i turn on word world.

they are entranced for a lovely 30 minutes while i read a quick meditation and get dressed.  they love watching word world and super why, two shows i've recorded on our dvr.

Thursday, January 27

Swing Set

We got a swing set!  Some dear friends of ours are moving and we wound up buying and receiving several big things from them, this being the most exciting thing for the kids.  They loooove it, and luckily we've had nice enough weather for them to go out and enjoy it.  They played for nearly two hours the other day!

he's still learning how to slide. :-)

Wednesday, January 26

Sweet Potatoes

He really wants to eat food.  Every time I eat anything he smacks his lips, reaches for it, and makes "Amm amm amm" sounds... I mean, the boy wants it.  I'm so tempted just to pop a bit of bread or cheese or whatever I'm eating into his mouth... Okay I admit I gave him a taste of my rice cake and he wanted MORE!  Ha!  Baby food is a huge failure, remind me in the future just to save the money because I've thrown away several almost-full jars of baby food.  Tonight I made sweet potatoes, smashed some up plain and let him go to town.  He loved it.  He made a royal mess, sang to it, got it up his nose and in his eyes, but this is all part of the fun!  I'm really going to take a cue from this and just let him do it himself as much as possible from here on out.  It's part of baby-led weaning, it's easier for me (no flying a spoon through the air!), and he actually eats! 

Also, today was the day Beth has been waiting for... Her new doll arrived in the mail!  Did I even mention on my blog that Ryan (yes, Ryan) ripped the leg off Beth's Christmas present, Lily?  It was totally an accident, but nonetheless somewhat tragic for a little girl.  Since her doll was an Our Generation doll from Target, I did a little research and decided to buy her a slightly nicer doll, a Madame Alexander doll.  So far I'm much more impressed with the quality of the MA doll.  Beth picked this one out all on her own, and when she arrived in the mail today... It was definitely love at first sight. :-)

Tuesday, January 25

Looking Up

Just a quick note to say Jack's been sleeping a little better lately (he's still in our room since we haven't fixed the loaner crib yet), I've been able to spend a little time in prayer in the mornings, and Beth and Luke have been in particularly good moods lately.  We've been putting Luke to bed a little earlier and his afternoon nap has been longer than usual, maybe he's going through a growth spurt?  I'm reading two books right now- Parenting with Love and Logic (really liking this one), Please Don't Drink the Holy Water (oddly inspiring!), and I've quit Unconditional Parenting (I found myself agreeing with some points but disagreeing with most).  I have The Hunger Games and Redeeming Love waiting for me in the wings, wouldn't you know all three of my library holds I'd been waiting for became available at the same time?!  Anyway, my point is that I've found that reading more is helping me be a better mom, reading books that inspire me really help my days.  I've had a bad month but I feel like I'm turning a corner right now.  Thank you for praying me through it!

Saturday, January 22

Friday, January 21

Naptime with Jackson

click the photo to make it bigger.  you can see his soul through his gorgeous eyes!

It's no secret that Moms and Dads with young babies don't get a lot of sleep.  I am no exception.  Ryan, Jack, and I all still share a bed because Ryan and I just haven't made any effort to give him his own bedroom upstairs.  We've borrowed a crib but we still have to disassemble it to fit it through the doorway!  I am desperate for sleep. While I most certainly want to sleep through the night, I think part of me secretly doesn't want to give him up.  Moving him out of my room-out of my bed- means I have to admit on some level that he's growing up.  His infancy has already gone by way to quickly for me, just thinking back on it makes me tear up because it's gone by so fast and I haven't been able to be wholly present to him like I was with Beth, or even with Luke.  Each subsequent child will have less and less of me it seems.  However, he is loved so much more; he has the love of two doting older siblings, something that Beth or Luke didn't have.  And boy, do they love him!

Sleepless and all, this little boy was created perfectly as God intended. Ryan and I had a hunch from the moment of his conception that he was created for a special purpose!  In 7 quick months, he has served many purposes in our lives, including showing me that near-painless labor is possible, teaching older siblings how to care for a new baby and showing them how special a new baby is, and allowing my cup to flow over even more than I thought possible.  It's true when they say that adding a new baby multiplies love, not divides.

So as I trudge forward I have a sad but sort of thankful feeling that much of what I remember from these early days will be forgotten.  Time has a way of making us forget the bad things (like labor pains thank you Jesus), but I never want to forget how much I loved cuddling with this little guy, stealing precious moments in the darkened room when we both should have been napping.

Thursday, January 20


It's time for another "serious" post about my life, my deep thoughts and my ponderings.  You were waiting for one, weren't you?  It was inevitable after a series of short picture-only posts. ;-)

Day-to-day life for this mother of three is nothing short of chaos.  I do take some comfort in knowing that I am not the only mother who lives with such chaos, but on the other hand this chaos that has become my life isn't what I want for me or my family.  We each have our own paths to holiness, and this is mine.  I accept.

This year I hope to embrace my vocation more fully.  The mothers I look up to all seem to have lives similar to mine- young kids who like to scream and yell, dirty sinks, piles of laundry, husbands who work all day- but they also seem to radiate holiness.  (I know it's funny because some of y'all will be reading this and wondering if you are one of those moms!)  They seem to possess a true joy and satisfaction despite the chaos, and it makes me want that.  I have felt that joy before, when my life was less complicated.  I have been in the state of joy where everything I did and said was the work of the Holy Spirit, so I know what it's like!  And I miss it!

I know it's not out of my reach, I know that true joy is only in JESUS and am ready to give him what he needs to work in my life.  Well... Maybe. It's going to be hard to give him things I am so comfortable with... saying "no" when I should say yes.  Choosing to surf the internet instead of take care of my home.  Taking the easy route instead of the better route.  But my children and husband are worth these changes.  My soul is worth these changes.

So a word I've brought up before on my blog (some past Lent...) is discipline.  What a dirty word for me!  But yeah, I need some...

I hope to follow Elizabeth Foss and Danielle Bean's Small Steps for Catholic Moms book, a page a day.  One small step at a time.

I am also most likely going to start an online book club for A Mother's Rule of Life.  I'm mostly finished reading this book and have a lot of great notes to type of for anyone else to read, use, and follow along with. It's a Catholic book, but I think it would be great for any Christian mom, especially homeschoolers!  If you want to be a part of this book club, I will be forming a private blog, so send me an email and I'll invite you to join.

I also want to incorporate more music into my day.  Christian music inspires me so much, I feel like having it playing in the background will help me keep a focused, level head on a more regular basis.  My kids also seem to do really well with background noise, so maybe this will help their behavior?  We'll see.  I do usually tear up when Beth starts singing along though, so maybe I'll spend more time crying, I might have to rethink this in a couple of weeks!

I'll check in here every couple of weeks with a special update on how things are going.  Accountability is a good thing for me!  I'm interested to hear if any one of my readers feels called to change any specific aspect of their lives this year, or has any encouragement to offer to me.  I know I have a lot of readers, I've seen my page stats, so it's time to come out of the woodwork and talk to me!

Wednesday, January 19

Birthday Party

 This weekend we attended the birthday party of a sweet little three-year-old friend!  The theme was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and everything was so cute!  Beth and Luke had lots of fun of course!

Monday, January 17

three pictures

poor abused doggy
look, i'm a daddy!

why can't he sleep this well in his bed?
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