Friday, October 12, 2012

I can't believe it's October

While my littlest is laying on my chest, I type with my left pointer finger and thumb. I haven’t written in so long and one handed is turning out to be a little challenge. So please bear with the errors. Much time has passed since I last posted, but I take comfort in the fact, that little G is keeping everyone up to date on her blog “Gigi and baby cakes”.

She loves taking pictures and writing about her little sister. she tells me how happy she is to be a big sister, and how long she waited, and how special she feels, and how she takes special care of her in the car when she sits next to her car seat. " i make sure the sun isn't in her eyes and make sure she isn't too hot. Oh, and i make her happy and pat her chest if she cries." i told her that i know her sister loves her and is very happy to have her as a big sis. she asked me how and i told her because she always lights up when she sees you.
G says to little Lou "we are going to be best friends and even if i go to college, maybe I’ll take you with me." i told her that i would write about that so she would remember when she was in college. So sweet, i think this is an example that her bigger sisters set.

J is very sweet with little Lou too, but it's different. he exchanges smiles with her and reads to her and sings the alphabet song and once, all the times tables. i don't think he'll do that again, it took so long, he told me after. Also, J is getting ready for braces. He had his first appointment for spacers and models yesterday and in about 6 weeks; he should have his brackets and wires. He has to get 4 teeth pulled. His teeth are already hurting him and he is being a trooper, eating yogurt and smoothies. He is doing well in school and really likes his teacher. He just took a test in science and scored an A plus and a B in English. He is reading like crazy, but that is nothing new. He has also taken on the challenge to read the scriptures 21 days in a row.

Oh, dear feeding time. Hope to write again soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

News Flash...Little J will be a teenager!

So much time has passed, almost a month since I last posted. It seems the time is marked by the baby, she is 5 weeks today. I am happy to report that she is eating well and sleeping well, which means we are all feeling better.

My little J will be a teenager on Wednesday! I can't belive this little one is so big. I remember the nurse handing him to me for the first time and saying "Here's your little man".  He is so sweet. I love him so much. He is a lot like his father, his easy going nature and eagerness to serve his family. 

Little J and Daddy at the beach!

Little J and Mommy, making pizza!

I am so blessed to have had time with each of my little ones before a new little one
arrived. We did so many things together. Little J loved to cook/bake with mommy and play with his daddy.  We used to dance and sing around the house. I used to take him everywhere. Once we went to the Marine band at the local college. He loved it and when they were done he clapped and yelled with glee so loud they spotlighted him in the far corner of the auditorium.  We spent days at the park and I walked him all over the place in his stroller. Once, at Christmas time he found a box of See 's candies and almost ate the whole thing, or at least he tried them all. Wrappers everywhere.
OH, and once that same Christmas, after I was done decorating the house, he thought he would help and found a marker and drew on the wall,  all down the hallway... "garland, just for me".  Did I mention that I just painted the hall a week before because  we were having a Christmas party in our home...oh the joy. I couldn't wash it was so cute.

I just love this little one, do I now need to call him a big one, ah no, not quite yet.
 Happy Birthday Little J

Friday, June 22, 2012

hearts grow w each new Little

Amazing how  our hearts grow with each new child that joins our family.

Somehow, we can do everything we need to.
Somehow there is just enough time,
just enough patience,
and just enough love to take care of every one's needs.

'Little G wanted to start a blog when her baby sister came.

She fondly calls her little sis, "Baby Cakes".

 I added her blog to my profile since she doesn't have an email.
It's entitled GiGi & Baby Cakes!  here is the link:
She has also had a daddy daughter date and several play dates with cousins and friends and her big sisters. I painted her nails and we had a picnic in bed. We want to make sure she feels special. Being the baby for 8 years and then having a new little take your place can be a little sad. I loved my time alone with Little G when everyone was in school we would have the day to ourselves, playing, talking, shopping and cleaning. She has such a special place in my heart.

Recently, Little J had a 3 day, 12 mile hiking trip with his scout troop. Mister took him to Big 5 to buy freeze dry meals and camping gear. He had  a camera but forgot to take" I was too busy having fun, mom." Well, that's good...I'll have to ask the adults next time. ;)
He's starting to enjoy his scouts and youth group at church. He will attend camp for a week next month. I am so proud of him.  It takes him a while to get used to new things. I just love his sweet, calm nature. When he was a young baby/toddler we would dance and bake together. We would make pizza and cookies. He loved to dance and play silly games with me. He was such a happy, smiling baby. We did so many things together when his big sisters were at school. He was so well behaved, I could take him anywhere and he wouldn't touch anything or he would stay seated when necessary and just watch. He is still good at that. He is easily entertained by watching others play.

He is very quiet about his feelings and hasn't been all over the baby like Little G, but he looks at her with such love and tenderness. He has been such a big helper. He's done all the laundry, takes out the trash, unloads the dishwasher, feeds the animals and just about anything I ask. He is always eager to please. I just love my little man.

Big Little....oh so sweet.  I just love her. She was very helpful while I was pregnant and even took me to the hospital when I was having some concerns. She was always on call...and ready and excited. (It was sad that when I actually had little Lou, she had strep throat and couldn't be there.) She was very interested in all that comes with being pregnant and being a mom. She painted my toenails when I could no longer bend to reach them and would come over and just sit with me, watch TV and eat snacks when I was on bed rest. She would bring me smoothies and little treats. She is very thoughtful and compassionate.
            Thinking back to when she was little I remember taking her to the park frequently and the library. Unfortunately, I had to work so, I didn't have the same day to day playtime as I do with my Littles now. But on the weekends we always had something planned. We went to the foothills; fishing, camping, metal detecting, gold panning and sight seeing. We attended local carnivals and play areas. There was always an adventure.  She had a lot of energy and kept me busy.  She was the baby for 6 years before Little J was born. I just love her. 

 My pumpkin princess, Biggest Little, My first born, she wasn't so sure about me having another Little when she first found out and it made me a little sad. I think she thought that maybe someone would get left out or replaced. I think she was not sure there was enough to go around. She was also concerned that she would not get to know this Little, since she was far away doing her own thing now.  She decided to move home just before our Littlest was born. We are so happy that she lives closer to the family, so she can feel more of our love not just hear it or read it. Being the oldest of 5 is no easy task, she feels a little burdened, but I think she see something else, something miraculous..... there is enough love and there is more love..

She has always been very responsible and mature. She has always been a big help. She tends to be a thinker and sometimes  thinks too much. She analyzes things, because of this she also internalizes things, so when she feels, she feels deeply. She want to make everyone happy and sometimes she forgets about herself because there ARE a Lot of OTHERS around{!}. She is learning this, to love herself first to love others more.
I think when you become a mother you learn this very quickly.

When she was younger she was happy with everyone. She would talk to anyone, go to anyone. She always had her thumbs up! Good times here. She was easy to please and not picky.  I worked full time and she stayed with her Grandma for a while, while I worked. They developed a great bond. When we moved to Arizona, before I started working again, we would go to the park and the library. I signed her up for a preschool co-op and we met some really nice people. When I went back to work one of the ladies did daycare in her home and that is where she spent her days.....lots of them crafting, as the babysitter was an artist with 2 of her own children. It was fun, but I now know how hard this must have been and I feel bad that I put work before my child. I have always felt close to my Littles but, I wish I had the time to do over again to spend all her days at home like I am now. {I am sorry Biggest Little}  I think she sees through the love of all the Littles that I love my family deeply and gave her what I could in the circumstances that I was under. I love her. I love all of them.

I have 20 years experience being a mom now. I hope to get it right in the next 20.
Loving every minute of it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Little Lou - day 6

After 6 days of having our Little Lou home and everything going well, she stopped eating, she was sucking and trying but couldn't get enough. I realized this after a whole day with her at my breast, one side to the other, non stop, she had only wet one diaper. She was becoming agitated while nursing, bless her heart she was trying so hard. I thought maybe it was my milk supply.

I had a friend come over, who works in the Wellness Center at Kaiser, where the lactation consultant center is located. She stayed with me for 2 hours trying to see what was wrong. Little Lou was actively trying to nurse, but with my now enlarged breasts, it was getting even harder. We tried all the normal things, expressing and such, and still no results.  Finally, I had to call the advice nurse and since she didn't have a fever they advised me to give her some supplement formula. Luckily, I had some on hand, My visiting teacher had given me some cans of formula and some bottles. I really didn't think that I would ever use them and put them in the closet just in case. I am so glad it was there, as it was late at night, and living so far out the closest 24hour store was about a 40 minute round trip.

Little Lou took it right gently streamed into her mouth, without much work.   I was so emotional as I fed my little one with a bottle. I breastfeed all my babies and the thought of not doing that with this, my last little really made me sad. Clearly she was happy to have this nourishment and so i was happy for that. She was so tired from all the energy it took all day to nurse, and then with a full tummy slept for 3 hours.

The next day I went to the Wellness Center with my friend. We were there for several hours with no luck of sufficient sucking.  Little Lou started to cry and that is when the nurse noticed that something seemed wrong with her tongue and asked me if any other of my children were tongue tied. I had never heard of that. She said her tongue was having a hard time going to one side and something about,  submucusal. I didn't really know what she was talking about, but  the day before when she cried with her mouth opened really wide, I noticed something that looked a little odd but didn't think to much about it. Big Little also said she noticed it. It looked like the side of her tongue was curled up and had two layers with the bottom one coming up over the top and the bottom of her mouth lifted up with it. We were referred to the Ears Nose and Throat Doctor, but until then we would have to feed her with a bottle with a special tube connected to my finger. While I did this I would need to protect my milk supply by pumping.

The 3 hour cycle of,
1st hour -wake baby, change baby diaper, feed baby 40 minutes,
2nd hour - pump 20 minutes, store and label breast milk and clean all items for next use.
3rd hour - sleep  (this was usually more of a 30 minute nap by the time I feel asleep).

Mister D couldn't take time off from work and so the task was mine, but  I had my plan and the greatest desire to be able to nurse. If I didn't pump, my supply would be depleted. So the 3 hour cycle began.
I put Little Lou in her pram and strolled her back and forth from living room to feed her,  kitchen to clean up, and bedroom to sleep. I continued this routine for 3 days. That third night I had to have Mister D feed and do two clean up cycles so I could sleep an hour. Her sucking was getting stronger and her daddy could feel it! Little G was keeping track of her many BM's (bowel movements), how many wet. We needed 3 BM's and at least 6 wet. We were starting to hit our marks.

After the third day, my Mister couldn't see how I could keep this up, and suggested I just bottle feed.
I don't blame him. I cried over the chicken that I wanted to eat, the messy house, and then just because I had a baby, and I was tired, and my hormones were crazy. Not breastfeeding, was not an option, 'if I could just make it to Friday', I'd tell myself, and when I'd feel like crying, I'd tell myself... 'it's OK, it's OK, you can do this.'

We decided to give Little Lou a healing blessing, so her uncle Rog and her daddy, my Mister, administered a blessing of health. They prayed that she would gain the strength she needed and that her mouth would be strong.

We met with the E.N.T., Dr. Chin, the next day and he said her mouth looked fine. He said her mouth was just a little immature and to try and breastfeed again. Next we met with the Lactation Consultant and her weight did increase but still not quite up to where she needed to be and wanted me to continue the 3 hour cycle for 2 more days, but instead of feeding with tube and finger, nurse at the breast for 40 minutes and if she is still hungry give supplement and pump.
I did this for 1 day and then the next day she seemed full after breastfeeding so I didn't need to supplement, but I pumped this one time just in case.  The next time she breastfeed she was satisfied and I didn't pump and then we went back to the doctor and she had gained 2 ounces. If she kept that up then she would be on track. 2 days later, another appointment and she was finally at her birth weight, 6.5 lbs.

I am writing this for memory sake, and for her, Little Lou. It is amazing how little these sweet spirits come to us in these amazing bodies. So small, so delicate. I can't believe she was in my stomach just 3 weeks ago. She is so sweet, smells like heaven and looks like an angel. I am so happy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Little Lou is here!

 Little Lou 1 hour old
 Daddy and Little Lou
 The family, minus Little Big; she has strep throat.
 Getting ready to go home.
LOOK at that hair!
 Mommy and Little Lou - hands
Just the girls at home day 3

The newest little is finally here!
She is beautiful!
 She is sweet!
She is sleepy, hungry and in need of a diaper change. 
 All of her siblings are in love with her. 
Daddy and I are filled with joy.
We are so thankful for this little one.
 She is healthy and has a calmness to her.
Thank you Heavenly Father for this marvelous gift.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Little J took a picture of Little G and me!
                                      Little G took a picture of Little J and me!

It seems I am still surprised at the miracle that is growing inside me. She is kicking,  rollling, nudging and hiccuping all inside me. I am anxious about the  labor and the birth process even though I have done this is always a different experience.
I keep reminding myself that the pain is all worth it for this 'Little'  to be here, apart of our family.
I think of how close she must be to my loved ones that have passed, and wish she could talk and tell me all about it when she gets here. When I hold her for the first time, I imagine the love I will feel not only because I am so glad she is here, but because of all the hugs she will receive as she leaves heaven. The love given to her will will peirce my heart when I hold her.

I can't wait to see her,
hold her,
 smell her,
 name her,
 love her. 

This hasn't been the easiest pregnancy, but it will be worth it! 
I probably won't remember that I could barely walk with varicose veins and a recent hernia, I probably won't remember going stir crazy in bed and being fatigued and I won't remember all the pain of labor and delivery.

I will remember the gratitude that fills my heart, for the opportunity to house this little one, for the opportunity my Father in Heaven is giving me, to take care of one of his own.
She will be apart of our family here on earth, but I believe in a bigger picture, she has a family larger than I can imagine...generations of  my people, ancestors, have gone before her, and we are all connected by a Heavenly Father and Mother who loves us. 

Our family is blessed just as everyone here on earth before and after us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

change is the only predictable thing

Thinking about life and how things change, sometimes slowly and sometimes fast remind me of the waiting I am doing now, waiting for this precious 'little' to be born.
I don't know when she will be here, how long, difficult or easy labor will be, but it will happen.  This is the same knowledge I have about many things in life...I don't know how long it will take to realize the goals and dreams that I have for my family, I don't know how hard it will be to accomplish them or sometimes how easy they may come,
but I have faith and hope that it will happen in it own due time.

I used to set goals all the time. It started when I was a youth, I was involved in a program called Personal Progress. The idea was to set goals in different "values" such as faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability and good works. They still have this program today and they have added integrity.
Some goals would be small like cleaning the kitchen for my family for a month in the category of good works and others would be a longer range goal such as reading the bible cover to cover for faith.

 As an adult, in my work environment, goal setting became the most effective way for me to accomplish things. Almost, everything I set, I reached. As this happened more and more often I started setting goals for my family. I would make a list of 10 things at a time.  One time it was to get braces, another was to pay off all our debt, another was to go to Disneyland without having to put anything on credit.  We were able to do all those things within a short period of time.  I was working then and it was easier to accomplish those monetary things. I would put money away, try to see what little I could purchase during the month to save even more. My oldest children remember eating peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, for like a week, before we went on our first trip to Disneyland. :)  Several years later, I worked really hard and earned $10k in commissions in one month, one of the incentives was to take my then 3 children to Disneyland and purchase a "3year new" vehicle for my husband.  We went to Disneyland and still stayed in a small hotel and did it on the cheap, but we stayed a little longer.

Officially being a stay at home mom for 4 years now, my goals have changed. Being the best mother and wife I can be and conserving as much as possible seem to be the greatest and biggest things I can accomplish.

I shop a lot less, this is probably the hardest thing because I love fashion; shoes, clothes and decor. For example I have bought only 1 pair of shoes since I have been pregnant and only purchased 2 long sleeve and 2 two short sleeve shirts a pair of maternity jeans a a non maternity dress that I refashioned so I could wear all nine months...being black I am able to swith out accessories, oh the joy of the pregnancy.

 Big Little remarked that she hadn't seen me wear sweats so much in my life. Well, I have to say that staying home instead of working in an office requires a lot less effort in getting ready and since I haven't been very mobile, comfort has been more important.  I received some hand me downs from my younger sister and for those times that I need to be a little more pulled together, I go to her peices.  

Another thing I try to do is reuse things and be creative with the Littles.  You would be surprised how much entertainment a simple shoe box has. ;)  just add tape, scissors, matieral scraps and Little G's imagination.... and wala a hour later..... a fairy house is established! She has tons of these little homes under her bed.

One of Little G's fairy houses.

Celebrating moments are important and one way of doing this with flair is creating a special banner just for the occassion.  It is cheap, easy, and in no time...lots of personality...

You can't see this very well but it says Happy Birthday.

 I am learning, and trying to teach my Littles to be grateful for everything we have. I recently saw a phrase from the great depression , "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without."  I am trying to make this my motto.

I  also make things out of Mister D's old work shirts. This little penquin pillow was made from a black and white striped button down shirt and some remnant fabrics. The children like the items I use from their daddy's clothes becasue it's special and unique.

I didn't know what to buy a friend of mine who is due to have her baby boy very soon....and not being able to just go to the store as easily.... I had to be crafty.

I looked at her baby shower invitation and had a thought and then made this pillow.

 We don't have a lot of space so we don't accumulate or add things like we did in our last home where there was always space to fill. What we have, is what we need, everything has a purpose or a sentimental attachment. This makes living more meaningful as we carefully chose what we want to bring into our house and lives.

Other than small items like plants, picture frames, candles and a few holiday items, I haven't purchased very many accessories in the last 4 years. When I want to change something for a season, I usually change things by making pillow covers  and changing picture frames and adding holiday decor from years gone by.

When I look at my home, I think of love. I think of family...isn't that what most people think about their own home?..isn't that what is most important?  Sure, I love the all the different inspirational designs I see on the world wide web and admire them but I am content.  Yes, I would love new carpet and windows and an air conditioner, and if I were to dream big, a remodeled kitchen! But it isn't that important right now, I think when it is, then it will happen.

My goal right now is to have this baby, get through the summer heat, enjoy all my Littles,  Play, Create and Love! 

All the waiting will happen and change is the only predictable thing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nesting....a new Little will be here soon

I went to the Doctors having contractions 10 minutes apart when standing and 20 minutes while lying down...thus false labor. I knew I wasn't in actual labor as I remember the PAIN that is associated with that, but I also know that I was very uncomfortable and couldn't do much on my feet without feeling so much pressure...this time in my abdomen and was hoping they would give me something to relax my uterine muscles, as this is what they did when I was pregnant with Little J.

I called the advice nurse and they suggested I come into Labor and Delivery, just to make sure nothing was happening. I hate going to the hospital knowing I will be coming home empty handed. Well, they confirmed my contractions and that I was 50% effaced..Twiddle Dee Dee...but my cervix was closed and the baby's head is down.
I was sent home to stay off my feet and take Tylenol for comfort. Not knowing when the baby will actually come makes me quite anxious.

4 days now I am still having contractions and trying to occupy myself. I am worried that I will just keep telling myself this is nothing like I did with Little J and wait until I am folding over with pain, then barely make it to the hospital where I delivered without out a doctor in about 15 minutes. Back then the drive to the hospital was 10 minutes, now it is almost an hour. Relax...relax...I tell myself and dive into crafty fits.

I made 2 pillows for the baby, a couple of penguins, a bumper for the crib, a banner, and a mobile. 
 I made little flags to match the banner in her room that is hanging on the wall above her bed.

 I made this little penguin out of one of Mr. D's work shirts.

 More little penquins.....This baby has very happy feet!!
 A bumper with ribbon ties.

 I made this little birdie mobile from scrapbook paper, ribbon and an embroidery hoop.
Then, as if I didn't make enough things, I decided to make a pillow for a friend who is having her first baby, a boy. I am using her baby shower invitation as a template for the design.  I made a photo copy in black and white and enlarged it, so I could cut out these mustaches. I am using the color in fleece that matched the invitation.

I hand stitched...Welcome.....Little......Man..... in between each one. I can't find the picture....I'll add if I find it.

Nesting....I think that's what they call it.....Nesting...... awwweeeesooomeee!!

Soon enough a new Little will be here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GBG our beloved father and grandfather

Little J with Grandpa a weekend with the boys at Black Chasm. 

It was slightly overcast as I drove to the cemetery that I often pass by.  Usually, I whisper a silent ‘hello, I love you’ in the direction of the entrance.  Just ten minutes from my house and close to the new Costco that I frequent. I am constantly reminded of the loved one who lay at rest there.  I was compelled to drive straight there, no other agenda.  I got out of the car, it was a little breezy but not cold.  I walked; passing others’ loved ones and then came to the beautiful tree, whose branches shade the resting spot of our beloved father and grandfather. I like to think that little birds perch on those branches and sing.  He loved bird watching, one year we bought him binoculars and a bird book.  I wonder if he sees birds now, probably, beautiful ones that I can’t even imagine.  I knelt down and swept the leaves and dirt off the marker, my fingernails filling with the dirt.  I wished I had brought something to place there. I squatted for a little bit and read the headstone, his name, and an inscription of forever love and then my Minlaws name with birthdate and an empty spot.  It peaked my tears and I stood up and then said in my mind, “We are going to have a baby soon…you probably already know that.”  My eyes began to water…  “Mister D is receiving his promotion next week, wish you could be there.  We miss you.”  My tears now flowing down my cheeks, my now, dirty hands wiping them away.  I was not expecting to feel so much.  I walked back to my car in tears my stomach hardening with a contraction.

I know that it is only his body that is there.  I know that I can talk to him or the spirit of him without out being there but I wanted to be close.  I think I was hoping for some kind of inspiration of what to name this baby or how to make Mister D’s promotion celebration special.  I have found myself talking to him from time to time when I am concerned about family matters and it comforts me much like when I pray to my Father in Heaven.
Little reminders of his presence appear in his son, my husband. Mannerisms and deeds, I like to acknowledge them often. While dating my husband I was so impressed by my Finlaw's care for others and  the respect he had for his wife. My husband to be was so much like his father and I knew I would be in good hands and that our future children would have a great dad.
Last week, Little G had a back to school night. She shared a holiday book she made.  January, February, March…this month had a shamrock cut out with four leaves.  Her sweet handwriting transcribed in each leaf a wish.

I wish for…
My mom to have her baby…
 A pony…
 My grandpa to still be alive.

I forgot the last one as my mind started to wander.  I am so glad that my daughter knew him even if for a short time.  She was lucky enough to be called his “Missy Missy”.

This reminds me how important our family is to us and that we need to embrace them, love them, and accept them everyday.
This also reminds me that I am making an impression on my family  that will stay with them when I am gone.  What do I want them to remember.?  

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking  about this. I felt the need to write about this and once again, my eyes filled up with tears, Mister asleep beside me.  I gently touched his hand and thought I want him to always know how much I love him and my children. That I live to love them.