Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Solid

Brielle had her first experience with a solid food today. It was soooooooooo messy. I mixed infant rice cereal (free sample packet from Beechnut) with a few ounces of fresh breast milk that I had pumped just for the occasion. I thought it was totally in vain while I was mixing and mixing to get the right consistency. I didn’t think she would eat it. But it wasn’t. She ate it like a she liked it. Let me say it was a complete difference to first-time-feed an almost 6-month-old baby than it is to introduce cereal to a four or five month old baby (as I did with the her older brothers). I was really fine with delaying solids for as long as Brielle was uninterested. But…she seemed pretty interested. At this point I still do not plan to buy baby food jars though. But I suppose that the cereal we receive from W.I.C. won’t hurt (mixed with mommy's milk). I am really interested in finding out more about baby-led solids and experimental feedings that involve exploration! FUN! I think Brielle will think so too..Until then...I'm not really concerned with feeding her solids that much over the next few months.


Okay, well I had it all chopped off. I went to Eden Day Spa, where a former preschool student’s sweet family had previously graced me with a gift certificate to. What a wonderful experience!!!
First of all Will & the baby went with me, because Will didn’t want to get stuck at the house with the baby for hours upon hours (I had to pick up the boys afterwards, who were spending their morning planting in the community garden). So, I turned on some fun music on my ride there and was excited about it. A nice young girl greeted me and led me to the garden room, where the air felt clean and I enjoyed some relaxing music while I looked out through the glass doors/windows to the garden area which had flowers and water flowing over rocks. She brought me some water with lemon, and I almost believed there was something in that water that totally relaxed every tense nerve in my body! The couch was extremely comfortable and I thought I could just fall asleep. But just as I was considering that thought Jamie came to get me and was very excited about cutting my hair, or giving me a whole new look, as she called it. Everyone in the salon was full of energy, which was a stark contrast to the garden room. That was good, because I needed some excitement about the big CHOP. Jamie sat down and talked with me about what I wanted. She said I would be able to donate it to Locks of LOVE which made it seem all the sweeter. It was motivational that another lady there was donating her hair too, and that everyone was enthusiastic about these makeovers. It was a lot of fun.
I have to get used to my new look (or my new “feel” rather). My long hair had been causing me a lot of headaches, (which made the mint smelling massage that Jamie gave me feel FANTASTIC) and Brielle kept getting caught in it. I actually enjoyed that though, even though it sometimes hurt. I will miss her grabbing hold of it and pulling me close. But even the next day, I can’t say that I’ve regretted it…even if it didn’t style as easily for me as it did for Jamie. That’s how it always works though, doesn’t it?
At least it’s shorter; less for me to worry about for awhile. And, I'm sure there wasn't a better place to go to get a haircut, especially of this drastic nature!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Tiffany!

Today we celebate the birth and life of Tiffany! Guess her age???

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Richly blessed

When I stop and think about it, I am so really truly blessed. Sometimes the days, the housework, the hectic rushing around, the dinner preparations...(I could go on-you get the idea) become so overwhelming. But really, in light of it all, I have these beautiful children, this wonderful husband, and most of all: an amazing God, who blesses me again and again, undeserving as I am.

Whoa here she comes

Watch out! She's mobile now!!!

And she can eat my face...

wear shades...

still fit into her sling...

eat her big TOE...

and put her paci into her mouth all by herself!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blogged Brain

Sick Day (below) SO ROUGH! (taken with my cell phone)

I think more blogs form in my head than actually ever make it to my laptop! Who has time with a family of five? Better yet…better make the time! Not only for my one personal sense of well being, but to capture so many memories and instances that pictures and videos just can’t!
Like this one: When Brielle gets upset (about anything) she rubs her heels together. She’s been doing this since birth! We had the hardest time finding socks that stayed on her during these heel-rubbing episodes! Forget little shoes/baby sandals. I know they are for show anyway…but I always thought they looked so cute on babies. Not for Brielle. She is going to be so happy and carefree that this summer she can be barefoot.
That is so hard to capture on a video clip! Dealing with a fussy, crying, mad, heel-rubbing baby is hard enough. Who’s going to say, “oh hunny! get the camcorder!”
She’s also rolling over now. Not always consistently, so that’s been hard to video too, but just a few days ago (how horrible of me to not record the exact date!) she began rolling to her back every time we placed her on her tummy. She gets a big kick out of our excitement.
She’s becoming quite intelligent too, not that she’s not always been. But she seems to be aware of the attention that her brothers and doting daddy now give her. She sometimes seems to be in demand of it. Hahaha, we shall see how this summer goes with the boys home everyday for that!
Everything must go INTO Brielle's mouth!!!

Only 4 ½ days left of school? How did that happen exactly? NEVER has it snuck up on me that fast. I think that’s because for the last 5 years I've had to count down the days of preschool so that we could cram all of the fun stuff in before the end of the year.
Now here we are, rolling into baseball season, and filling up our calendar with what we want to do this summer. The list includes but is not limited to: getting a pool pass, going camping (hopefully 2x), visiting New Jersey (that is in major question due to its extreme cost), cub scout camp, free summer movies, free tennis lessons, Tie Breakers Family Aquatic Park, basketball camp, and possibly the kids and I venturing to Arkansas for about a week. And how many weeks long is summer? I better check that out. I’m looking forward to it though. Really.
I’ve been really thinking a lot about parenting lately. There are so many different styles, techniques, and beliefs out there on how to do what, when, and why…. It’s almost overloading to my brain if I think too much on it. But I do think there is good cause to have reasons behind why we do what we do, and not just base them off of the “way we were raised” and “we turned out okay.” I’ve always felt there were better ways than what I’ve been doing, and more recently I’ve been motivated to take my job as mom more seriously.
I did think it was weird to have pre-teens and a baby…but it’s really a great combination if you think about it. The older boys get to see how to parent a baby, toddler, and then young child! Not only does that help me really hone in on how I’m going to do that this time around, but it challenges me immensely, as I know it will for sure affect how they parent their children one day. And though having a colicky, high-need, fussy baby (though she is getting better-despite her two recent set back with having viruses) has been sooooo demanding…it has also convinced me that if I God has given me the patience for it, He will do likewise with the boys. As I’ve heard and often thought, “He didn’t bring me here to leave me here.” Sometimes I feel Him working most when I’m at my neediest; broken, crying, questioning, and overwhelmed. He waits for me to say it. “I need you now.” And He’s there. I don’t know why we have to go through valleys to stand on mountains, and I don’t know why we have to do it again and again, as if we just didn’t get it the first hundred times. But I know the view is extraordinary, I know God is with us during the trials, and I know He is waiting to show us great things that we do not know.
And I know that that is where I want to be: waiting to see!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008


At our last cubscout meeting for the school year, my neice Cheyenne was practicing her cartwheel. It looked like so much fun! But she was having a little trouble with her technique, so I offered to show her a few things (hey! I did a ton of cartwheels back in the day!). Needless to say, I felt it in my wrist and hip immediately following and for a few days afterwards. It was worth it though.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The momma in all of us

Tonight at our church group meeting we each wrote down a few descriptive words (our kids did this too) that depicted what we would have wanted our “mom” to have done or been for us when we were pre-teens. The words were so thought-provoking for me, as a mom to two tweens, that I thought I would share. I am reminded that one does not have to be an actual “mom” to mother the people (young or old) that come into our lives. We can ask God to give us these same qualities that we desired at such transitional times in our lives, so that we can have and share them with people who come into ours.
They are:
unconditionally loving
giving of quality time
not too worried about me
encouraging to pursue dream
nice/welcoming to my friends

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother / Daughter

I asked my mom to send me some pictures of myself when I was a wee thing. I wanted to see if there could possibly be any resemblance between my daughter and I. Ah, well, it was cute trying. Of course, I am a few months older in this picture than Brielle is in her picture.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Latest News on Brielle

Before the paci was shunned
. With Brielle still getting over this viral infection (for which nothing could be done for-her body is fighting it off itself) I am not sure what to make of her. She just turned 5 months, and she seems to be changing so much. Here’s why I type this: she seems to be weaning herself of the pacifier! WHAT? WHY? I cry! (as I put it back in her mouth while she is fussing). She reaches up and plucks it right out, to fuss some more. Again and again it goes. It has been like this for days.
Well, it began a few weeks ago when she caught a cold. That lasted for almost two weeks (the cold) and in her congested state, she had a hard time breathing while sucking on it, so she really couldn’t take it. But then, as she got better, she began to take it again. Then, about four days ago she contracted this virus. She didn’t show any signs of being congested in her nose, so I am not sure why she didn’t want her paci. But she looked miserable. She was either in one of these states: zoning out, crying, or sleeping (which she would just randomly do-anyone who KNOWS Brielle, knows she takes some effort sometimes to get to sleep!).
So, I took her in. She was miserable. Her fever was 101.9. They took blood from her big toe, which she cried all throughout. Her white blood cell count was up. But the Dr couldn’t pinpoint if it was viral, a UTI, or the beginning of pneumonia. So, he ordered tests for the UTI, which meant a catheter to obtain the urine sample, and a chest x-ray. The catheter was a mess, of course, Brielle was already upset to begin with, this seemed like torture. She started gagging, then throwing up, we had to roll her to her side, and start over with a new kit. But they got some. And lab results determined that was not it. Then we went to have the chest x-ray. I have never had an x-ray done on one of my children (seem odd? why is it the baby girl, not the two rambunctious older boys?), but I can tell you they use a very strange contraption for babies/toddlers! It is like a plastic tube that the baby sits in. There is a piece of wood in the center for their bottom, their legs dangle down, and Mom holds baby’s hands straight up over their head, then the tube closes around them. The x-ray technician said, “it may seem a bit barbaric.” Yeah. Luckily, he moved quickly. Brielle screamed. To the point of gagging and throwing up twice while enclosed. Good grief! Poor thing was put through so much in such a short time. The x-ray returned with minimal results, meaning it could be something, but it looked fairly normal. We returned the next morning, where they drew more blood (from the other big toe). Her temperature was back down to 98.9 and she seemed to be feeling a little better. The cells that fight viral infections were way up, the ones that fight bacteria were down. So, we knew it was 1) viral, 2) doing the work on it’s own. That was good news.
But none of this explains the pacifier.
I know that maybe I should be grateful if she is truly weaning herself of it at such a young age. But it worked so well to pacify her. She’s no less needy or fussy without it, I can tell you that much! Will thinks there is something wrong with her mouth. We can’t see any signs of teething on her gums. She is trying to put everything in her mouth, then gets frustrated. She knaws on her hands. I don’t know.
She is still not rolling over on her own consistently yet. She rolled over twice from her tummy to back three weeks ago. Then a few days later she rolled from her back to tummy. But apparently they were isolated incidents, as she shows no interest in any of that anymore. She is getting stronger with sitting up, and will probably be doing that all on her own someday soon.
But for now, I am enjoying the immobility. Quite well.
One of my favorite things I love about this stage is something that she’s been doing since the day she was born: feeling with her fingers and hands. It’s the sweetest sensation to feel on myself. So soft and searching. So rough: pinching, grabbing, pulling, playing. She is such a feeler! It will be interesting so see her development, if she is a hands-on learner as well. If she is a people-person, who affirms people, reaching out to touch them often. I wonder. She touches everything that comes within her reach. She is fast now too.
She also does this wiggly worm type thing when she is lying on her back. She squirms and wriggles purposefully. It’s really cute. She’s also getting a little more verbal with her vocals. Ah, the beginnings…..
She seems to be doing much better today, feisty and happily needy.