Thursday, April 30, 2009

Priceless

Our beautiful huge TV of only a year is requiring some assistance. Apparently leaving it on constantly wears out the bulb. It's a rear projection flat screen and a week ago it started showing a message whenever we turned it on. Jared did some research and found the bulbs retail for $150 but fortunately he found one on ebay for $80.

Since the bulb can go out just light a light bulb we've been hesitant to use the TV. It's actually been really nice having it off. The kids are playing board games instead of Wii. They've learned UNO and Jared loves to play with them. Eli's adorable and squeals anytime he gets a specialty card. So much for a poker face.

Our book binge yesterday has been a true blessing and I've caught Brennan and Tanner both reading without my prompting. They've spent the bulk of their rainy days playing Bakugan's upstairs.

We still have our TV in our bedroom and it's been really nice snuggling up to Jared in the evenings with Anneliese while the kids head to bed to watch our favorite shows. Who knew a pricey light bulb could be such a blessing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Edgumacation

I went to the GoodWill with my mom today and hit the jackpot.

The boys are gradually working into their summer and I wanted to make sure they kept up on their reading. Tanner seems to be having far more trouble reading then Brennan did. I love the idea of making weekly trips to the Library but honestly with five kids it's more than difficult to just go hang out there. The younger two make it very hard.

I took about 20 minutes and went through their entire children's section. The boys and I came home with nearly 40 books for only $18. I made sure that all of the books were the right reading level and all of them were of interest for the older two boys.

We have Star Wars, Spongebob, Lego, and even some great bible stories. I found a book called "Children of the World." It is full of information from geography to religion. The boys have spend the afternoon digging through the pile of books and are really excited.

They chose reading over Wii. It warms a home school mom's heart!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Random Retreat Thoughts

-We got home from our retreat Saturday evening. It was a great couple days with great friends. I was super thankful for the chance to escape, I mean go to a retreat.

-Anneliese was quite the celebrity. I haven't ever been stopped so many times. Apparently little boys must not be as interesting. Everyone wanted to know her name, how old she was, and I even had one total stranger take her right out of my arms to snuggle her. I know she's the prettiest little girl on the planet with the sweetest disposition and all this did was prove I'm not just biased :)

-Jackina Stark was the guest speaker and she did an amazing job. She is really funny and quirky and just a pleasure to listen to. She's an author so her speeches were linguistic works of art. God has truly blessed her with an amazing gift.

-Jared and the boys did fantastic. This is the first time I've gone away since kids that he just really thrived. The boys were well behaved. They played games went to a friend's pet store and checked out the lizards. They were happy to see me when I got home but it was obvious they had a great time while I was away. It brings great peace to know they can survive without me at least for two and half days :)

-My house was clean when I got home. Jared and the kids did dishes and kept things picked up. Yay Daddy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Need Therepy

I just finished switching out the kids winter to summer clothes (finally). I feel the need to admit I have a serious issue. Apparently I have a great fear that my kids will not have enough clothing.

There are over 100 short sleeved shirts that fit my older 3 kids. There are easily 50 pairs of shorts that the older 3 also share.

Last summer we had a shortage of clothes big enough for Tanner. He wears a size larger than Brennan and Elijah. I started shopping garage sales and good will and apparently I lost count (or my mind, I'm not sure which).

We ran out of hangers. I'm going to have to go through all of them and take out the multiples (I like to dress the kids alike at times) and everything that's not in great shape. This is ridiculous! No wonder I feel the laundry is never ending. It's NOT!! And it's my fault. Wow...

Ha! I just had a thought. Just think when Graham is the only one in that size. He'll be able to go all summer without wearing a single thing twice. It's time to reorganize.

Falling Behind

Boy howdy I'm struggling to keep all the plates spinning. I know it will get better but right now things are just falling behind.

The other day I had an angry husband when he realized there were not any clean underwear. Well there were clean underwear just not dry underwear. All his (and most everyone else's) whites were sitting in the washer. Not exactly convenient.

This morning he was frustrated when the only clean towel had a small toothpaste mark in the shape of a mouth on it. Apparently it was the victim of last nights tooth brushing regime.

The laundry is my nemesis. It just takes too long and by the time I get one load started 13 other things grab me and I forget to get back to it.

It's not just laundry though. I find I eat lunch later and later everyday. By the time I get everyone else taken care of it can easily be 2 or 3 before I have time to eat. The boys are usually a little nibbly by then and request bites. They are completely perplexed why I absolutely refuse to share with a crazed look in my eye.

Tomorrow I leave for 2 days for a woman's retreat at OCC. It's definitely a needed break. I just hope while I'm gone I can recoup and come back refreshed and ready to jump back in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random

-Work last night went well. I took Brennan along just in case Anneliese needed snuggled while I was working. She actually did really well and Brennan was extremely well behaved and very respectful.

-While changing Anneliese's diaper I noticed she has a hernia around her belly button. If you push on it softly you can feel a squishing as the intestine goes back. I was extremely concerned and almost in tears until I did a quick internet search. Apparently it's common (1 in 6) and should close up on its own. If it doesn't by the time she's 3 surgery may be recommended. We're going in to the doctor just in case but I feel much relived by what I read.

-We have had the same Char-Boil grill for 9 years. It was a birthday gift from my in-laws when we moved to Lansing. Today it got a make over. I went to Wal-Mart and bought all new parts for the inside. I wanted to buy a new grill (a minimum of $120) but instead it's up and running like new with a little elbow grease and $37. That grill was a mess. I cleaned it all out and have a chicken breast on it as I type. YUMM!

-I was really pleased with the response I got from my Weight Watchers members. I was super self-conscience to go in at my current weight. They were very accepting and even seemed excited at the idea of us losing together.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Truth

I feel all women out there deserve the truth about breastfeeding. There are so many reports out there that say it's natural and if you do it right it doesn't hurt.

That's just not true. I am currently nursing my 5th child and I know all about latching on correctly, holding the baby right etc. Typically there is soreness and discomfort at the beginning and it lasts for a couple weeks and then you're good to go. But, that's not always the case.

In the past I've dealt with thrush on multiple occasions, mastitis, cracks, chapping and currently have deep fissures. The pain I've been enduring since Anneliese's birth has been awful. There have been multiple feedings where I just cry and cry for the duration. I was talking to Jared last night and realized that I am willing to endure the physical pain in order to avoid the emotional pain of not nursing my last baby.

On Easter we were with the family and I bought a bottle and some formula due to the pain. I decided to pull out the bottle and allowed my sister in law to try and feed Anneliese. Just seeing someone else feed my baby (even though it was someone I love) I was very upset by it.

I'm perplexed at why I have such an emotional attachment to nursing. I went through serious feelings of failure and guilt when after a month of trying I had to bottle feed Brennan due to his lack of weight gain. Once on the bottle he thrived and gained a pound in a week. He was happy and no longer crying nonstop due to hunger. Regardless I still carry guilt over why it didn't work and what I could've done differently.

Things were different with Elijah. He had bowel surgery at 4 days old and I was told by all the doctors and specifically his Pediatrician that it was imperative that I nurse him. Due to all the antibiotics he was on we both had thrush severely and it kept coming back over the year I nursed him. Because of that I have scarring and now when I nurse a new baby (Graham, and now Anneliese) those scars break and the healing process starts all over again.

I plan to continue to nurse Sis simply because I've already endured the worst part and stopping now wouldn't make much sense. I was talking to our doctor and he asked if it was better. I just chuckled and said, "It's all relative. Yes it's better but it's still not good." I'm really hoping in the next couple weeks I'll be able to look forward to her feedings for that sweet intimacy and bonding. I have to say however that even with the pain I love seeing her precious little face and those delicate little hands while she nurses.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Random

-18,000 hits! Wow, thanks for reading!

-Next weekend is the Woman's retreat at OCC. I'm taking a group of women and I'm eager to go. I think it will be a great time of refreshing and bonding.

-Anneliese slept from 11pm-4am and then didn't get up again until 7:30. That's an extreme improvement over the last month. So why do I feel like I've been run over by a truck? Apparently getting a little sleep has reminded my body what it feels like and it wants MORE.

-We're going to Colorado this summer. Jared's Aunt is planning a family retreat at their ranch in the mountains. It's a reunion of sorts and we are really excited to go. The best vacation is the kind where you just have to get there. I think we can swing gas and a few McDonald's stops for something that wonderful.

-Tomorrow is a day of catching up with friends. The Anderson's are coming in the morning to spend some time with us and let the kids play. In the evening my good friend Misty and her new husband are coming over and the four of us plus Anneliese are going out to dinner. My mom's hanging out with the boys.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet!

This morning my little girl decided to share some real smiles with me. She's always grinned in her sleep and once she even giggled but today is the first real smiles I've received.

It was early this morning and I left her snoozing in my room while I got breakfast for the boys. When I returned to check on her she was wide awake just laying there checking out her surroundings.

I said, "I didn't know you were awake!" She immediately grinned so I kept cooing at her and all in all I got 3 purposeful smiles. Sweet baby.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back At It

I'm heading back to work next Monday. Anneliese is 5 weeks and it's time. I'm more than a little self-conscience since I have so much to lose but we'll lose weight together.

My group tends to lose better when we're both working at it. Having a leader they can relate to helps.

Get ready guys because we have a lot of work to do!!!

Still Here

It's been a while since I've waited 4 days for a post! To be fair we've been super busy and I haven't had much if any time for the computer.

The times of looking for something to do have passed. There is just too much to fit into my day. I'm doing the best I can and the boys are really stepping up and helping by simply picking up after themselves (novel idea).

Expressing that there's one of me and 6 of them has helped. Plus Brennan likes to voice how unfair it is that he has to clean up after his brothers. I just say, "Really?" and he stops immediately.

Hopefully I'll have a minute to share some deep insight or cute picture soon but for now my little girl is begging for my attention.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Patience

I'm muddling through the weight loss aspect of postpartum. I've lost 25lbs so far and feel good about that. It's the day to day chub I'm struggling with. I have no clothing other than PJ pants that I wear constantly.

Yesterday the kids and I went to Lawrence and we headed to the Goodwill. It's a little pricier than our Goodwill but they have super nice trendy clothes. I assume all the college kids just toss their cute duds when their bored with them. Thankfully I found a couple pieces to tide me over until I fit into smaller sizes.

I even have clothes for Easter Sunday. While digging through the bargains I found a beautiful pair of Polo jeans for Jared, 2 pairs of Levi's for the kids, 3 shirts for me, and two skirts.

After Goodwill we hit Target and I found a pair of jeans for $7. Having clothes that fit will definitely help. Having those clothes gradually get too big will help even more :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lotsa Love

Everyone wants to know what the boys think of their sister. I don't think the transition could go any better. The family is watching Ice Age 2 and here's Tanner with his new sis:
At one point her little hand was up against his lips and he just laid there dazed kissing on her fingers while watching TV. This evening Graham told Jared, "He's my best friend." We're still working on pronouns.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eureka!

-My dishwasher is no longer depositing sand on my dishes! YAY! There's a happiness in knowing when I turn the dishwasher on it will actually work. WHooPah!

-We took the boys out for a family date yesterday. It was a lot of fun. We saw Monsters VS Aliens in 3D and then ate at Jose Peppers. To finish it up we headed to Toys R Us to wander about and then walked around Oak Park Mall with a quick ride on the carousel. They had a great time and all the kids were exceptionally well behaved.

-Apparently I have the cold from worst cold everville. I have a headache, post nasal drip, sneezing, and fatigue. I'm assuming my body has just given up fighting it off since I'm getting little to no sleep with my precious baby girl needing her nightly nourishment.

-It's been 3 weeks and so far I've lost 21lbs. I have to admit I took lunch yesterday "off." I had some wonderful Jose Peppers but as soon as lunch was over I was back on the plan. Other than the Espinaca I've been perfect for 3 weeks.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I May Have Done It!

I have had it with my dishwasher.

Symptoms:
-It won't open or shut completely
-The glasses look foggy
-All the dishes are coated with a sandy like substance and is cemented on with the dry cycle

I replaced the handle after it broke and now our dishes are no longer held captive.

I've done everything I can to the water softener. The only thing left is to change out the filters ($50). The fogginess and lack of cleanliness has to be an issue with the dishwasher.

The sandy residue is driving me crazy! I've researched everything online and pretty much everyone with my dishwasher has the same problems but no solutions. Even my niece Hannah said, "Oh, ours does that too."

I've run it with dishwasher cleaner. I've run it on it's own hoping to flush out the issue only to put dishes in and have them accosted with sandy ick.

Today I decided to take the stinking thing down to the screws in order to find the issue or I'm just going to replace it (because we have the money for that, ha!).

So, I squatted down and peered into the cavern that is the dishwasher and this is what I saw:

Do you see that box shaped thing to the left of the center gray column? I reached in and wiggled it free. Guess what? That just happens to be a catch basket for food particles and shockingly enough after 5 years it was full of the very sand substance that's been all over my dishes. There was at least a measured cup full of gunk in there.

Why hasn't anyone figured this out yet? There are innumerable people online with the same dishwasher complaining of the same issue and there are all kinds of ridiculous suggestions including re-plumbing the dishwasher. No one suggested there might be a catch that has gunk in it.

My first load of dishes post gunk removal is running. I'll let you know how it turns out! My guess is I've found the source of the problem.

Proof



There has been a debate about whether or not Anneliese has eyes :) Here's proof. She's actually spending quite a bit of time displaying her baby blues.

Blissfully Exhausted

There is this precious little person who insists on one on one time about every two hours through the night. Typically I'm extremely irritable when stirred from a deep sleep. Some how that precious little face and those tiny hands disarm me immediately and love just oozes out of every pore.

After prayers last night Elijah told me how sorry he was that Anneliese gets me up at night. He said he wants me to sleep and hopes she stops soon. How cute is that? I didn't know the kids were even aware that I'm up. They're tucked snug in their beds upstairs away from the cries.

Since I'm older and more experienced I'm much calmer this time and in turn so is Anneliese. She's a very content baby. We've noticed major differences between her and the boys already. We used to tease that the boys had an altimeter and they would fuss unless we were standing while holding them. Anneliese is content being held, sitting in her bouncy seat, sleeping in her bassinet. She just doesn't require much in order to appease her.

I have learned that Diet Mt Dew in the evening is not a good choice. Apparently she's affected by my caffeine intake. It never really bothered the boys. That night she was up until 1:30am and had restless sleep the rest of the night.

It's like I tell the boys, "She's a delicate little flower."