Update on the kiddos

I have failed to do much updating on our new family member. I have really found that having an infant and a 2 yr old is quite challenging. It is so incredibly rewarding and incredibly trying. I am very blessed to have the children that I do. All 4 of them! So here is a little update on the younger 2.

Ashton: 2 yrs old

He is really starting to seem so much less a baby, and more a little man. It’s bittersweet for me. Of course, he will always be my baby, but he is growing so fast! He really enjoys music, and playing with his cars. He is always doing something, hardly ever sitting in one spot. His speech is becoming very clear, with us understanding most of what he says.

Ashton’s funny phrases:
He has begun prefacing his responses with ‘oh’, it’s quite comical.
instead of ‘I’ he inserts ‘my’. i.e – my do that!
his older brother has him running around saying “never!” only he doesn’t get that v in there so it’s coming out closer to ne’er!
He loves music, and requests that I sing certain songs, but doesn’t join in much. He requests – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Three Blind Mice, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. He also is getting into music that we listen to. His favorites are Imagine Dragons – Radioactive, Bad to the Bone, and Boys ‘Round Here by Blake Shelton.

His is such a smart little boy, and still very much loves his schedule! He loves to wake up in the mornings and snuggle in bed before getting up. And if his baby brother is awake, his first priority is to love on him and play with him. πŸ™‚ He is still a bit rambunctious with him and I have to keep a close eye, but it’s so comforting to see that he has grown to love his little brother so much!
Ashton’s sense of humor has always amazed me. He is already capable of playing jokes on people, and it’s honestly funny!
He loves his family so much. He has found what he needs and wants with each family member. His relationship with each one is very unique. It’s so much fun when we do things as a family and how he interacts with all of us.
And then there is his grandparents! He loves them sooo much. He has started listing them all lately. There is nothing that makes him more happy than to get to my mom’s house in the mornings and his grandpa is up and ready to play with him.

Brantley:

At 7 months this little guy has taken our house by storm. He started rolling around 4 months I think, and has.not.stopped. Seriously, he is crawling, pulling up and trying to stand on his own. At his 6 mo appointment his pediatrician mentioned that she believes he will be an early walker. We could tell very early on that he was ready to start playing and running with his older brother. He would sit on your lap and just flap his little arms as hard as he could and pull towards the floor and his brother.
He is the most friendly little baby, talking to who ever will stop and take a moment to have a conversation with him.

He is such an awesome little nursling and has made that part of our lives so easy on me. He has made it into our bed, and although I really don’t mind, it’s a little tough since Ashton is still there.
Brantley is a very happy baby. He always has time for a smile. And of course, he makes everyone around him smile!
He has had some first tastes of food, and has not been really interested in it until the last few days.

So far:
avocado
sweet potato
banana
peaches
potato

ETA: How could I forget that the first food that Brantley actually seemed to like was a pickle. Go figure, right?

I am curious to see what ends up being his favorite foods. Ashton’s was avocado and that kid will still eat a whole one!

Well that is a short update on the little ones. ANd I thought I would do a little update on the older 2 as well. It seems that the older that Ashton gets, the more I am taken back to when Hannah and Garrett were little!!

Hannah is growing into quite a young woman. She is beautiful and smart. Of course, she is a typical 13 yr old. πŸ˜‰ She is an avid texter lol. It amazes me how quick she picks up on techy things, that her whole generation is growing up learning all of the new smart devices. Hannah is going into the 8th grade, and after this year I fear will not seem like a little girl anymore. Another bittersweet moment. She loves to dance and sing, has a good group of friends and thoroughly enjoys school (for the schoolwork right??? lol).

Garrett has become an awesome young man in the last couple of years. Of course, he was always awesome ;), but the level of maturity that he shows sometimes just blows me away. This kid is so active, and seems to excel at any sport he plays. Baseball is his favorite and he is very serious about playing. Garrett will be starting 5th grade this fall, I cannot believe it will be his last year in elementary school. It seems like just yesterday he was a little white-haired 3 yr old looking at us and asking “Did you say?”.

The years pass quick, and I hope to savor the moments with these 4 as long as I can. I am so blessed to have 4 wonderful children in my life and look forward to all that the future holds!
Here is Mr. Brantley with Cindy bear at Jellystone park… he really knows no stranger!

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And here is what Jeff received for Father’s Day this year πŸ™‚

Fathers day 2013

oh Baby!

Well, Brantley made his appearance – and if how he did that is any indication of what his personality is going to be we are sooo in for it! πŸ™‚ Let’s just say that his birth was movie worthy. From the nonchalant starts of labor to the gurney being rushed through the halls while staff is yelling “don’t push!” to the beautiful baby. I will share my birth story at some point, it’s a doozy. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my last child.
He nursed great from the start and has been such a good baby. He was smiling from about week 4! And he gives me good stretches of sleep, too. I am so thankful for that and need to start taking advantage of it by getting some things accomplished at night. Now he is 8 weeks and I am actually on board with documenting hs growth. I was afraid I wouldn’t stay on top of things, but I am and I will throughout the year. The idea to document weekly came from my favorite blog – younghouselove. They did this with their daughter and I loved the idea so much I am doing some copy-catting. Here is one of Brantley’s pics – this is 4 weeks.

4 weeks

Thanks to our wonderful family, we were able to purchase a new camera and I am hoping to develop a loving relationship with it real soon so we can have some amazing pics of this little stinker.

Week 34/35 preggo update

I really can’t believe I am this far along! Time is flying by and I am just trying to keep up. So how are things now… well, uncomfortable. I had an amazing second trimester, super easy on me. But the third tri is making up for it as I fully expected.

How do I feel?

I am tired a lot, and all of those familiar aches and pains of relaxin doing it’s job are starting up. I have been sleeping surprisingly well for the most part with some bad nights here and there. Thank goodness that Ashton has decided to start sleeping better!! And daddy taking him to bed has been the biggest relief to me lately…it gives me a little time in the evenings to just chill out and relax.

This little guy might have his brother beat on kicking…he kicks a lot and HARD. Although, he is not up in my rib cage like Ashton was. Instead, he seems to like to stretch with legs and arms…let me tell you this is not a pleasant feeling. Surprisingly though, I enjoy all of it. I know this is my last, and I am enjoying all that I can of it!!

Am I prepared?

Well mentally, I am getting there. Luckily, my sister-in-law is going to be my “doula”. She is reading books and trying to be prepared as well…we are also getting together to talk about things so that she knows how I feel about things and can help be my advocate. I am trying to prepare myself with techniques to manage the pain. For me it will just be wrapping my mind around it. Once I can get to a good place with the contractions I will be able to cope for sure. At least this time I have figured out that I need to read more about how to actively manage my laboring. So I am getting there.. a few more weeks to go so I still have time to get my head in the game. Of course, that could all go out the window anyway lol… no one really knows what it’s going to be like.

Am I ready in all other ways?? NO. The house is a wreck – and I am in nesting mode so it’s about to drive me crazy!! My mom is going to come over and help me get things in order, and I am sooo thankful for that!! It’s going to be keeping it there that is the challenge, as well. I have almost all of the clothes ready, but I still need to find some of them..feels like I am missing stuff?? Odd. Carrier – check, co-sleeper – check, baby clothes check, nursing wear – check, diapers – uumm, almost check. We have some cloth, but we are going to need some disposables too I am sure. I still have time, but I have this pressing feeling that time is going to run out!!

I have not even packed my hospital bag. I have a couple of things ready to go in, but actually packing it just keeps getting put off. I know, your saying I still have lots of time! But with my list, I need to get the easy stuff checked off quick! One day at a time is the way I am rolling now.

The gestational diabetes is getting old… I am coping well and doing a good job keeping up with it. Even the doctor was impressed with how well I have been tracking. I was a little surprised at that, after all, it’s not really just my health, it’s my baby’s. I am so ready for a big piece of cake, or a roll, or brown sugar on my sweet potato. The silver lining in it? I have not gained weight, as in maybe 2 lbs since I was diagnosed. Last pregnancy I gained 50+ lbs… all the while eating well and working out at least 2 times a week. I also swelled like crazy. This time I have to say that the only negative part is the GD. No swelling, minimal weight gain, little to no real side effects of pregnancy. πŸ™‚

As of now the OB office I go to is not wanting any interventions. I am hoping it stays that way. I do not agree with interventions. They are 9/10 unneeded and have negative effects on the labor and delivery. I trust nature to do its thing and will go with the flow. I just don’t want to fight them for my rights, and with as natural child-birth friendly this hospital is, I am hoping that won’t be an issue. One good piece of news that he shared last visit was that they now have a labor tub in the L&D in the hospital. Great news!!! I have heard so many women swear by laboring in water. I’m hoping it helps me too!

So there you have it… slowly getting there. I can feel him growing and don’t be surprised if my “He’s here!” announcement comes before my due dates!!

Week 7

I am afraid that this little blog is being sorely neglected. I have discovered that there are just not enough hours in the day! I do have a fun family post to share about our last weekend trip, but first…. guess what??? We are officially expecting #4. Oh yes, I did say 4. This will be my second pregnancy and it comes with mixed emotions. I really want another baby so that Ashton can experience what I did growing up with a close sibling. There really is nothing like it. And, hand in hand with that, is that our current situation has Ashton on his own 50% of the time, and although it’s ok on most days, the holidays are going to get harder and harder on him. And have I mentioned that I have a “little” (she is going to be 13 this year!! sniffle) girl in the house that NEEDS a little sister??? I know we can’t choose the sex, but I sure hope it’s a girl for her sake. Even Garrett is wanting a little sister now.

I want to journal this pregnancy here. I hope that I am able to keep up with it! I also want a picture timeline of the pregnancy, so now I need to go do some searching for ideas. A new pic each week. How fun is that?? Another one I hope I can keep up with lol… that means Jeff will need to be a photographer once a week. Or Hannah, she would do a good job.

So here I am… at 7 weeks (and didn’t even know it!). NO MORNING SICKNESS!! If you know me, the first pregnancy had me feeling perpetually hung over for 14 weeks straight. It was rough… and I work full-time. I missed probably 2 hours total that whole pregnancy for not feeling well. I was proud of myself. It looks like my body is doing me a favor and not making me miserably sick. I haven’t had too many symptoms so far. I have to make frequent trips to the bathroom, but then I am making sure I consume large amounts of water. I am nowhere near as fit this time around…so I need to get going on an excercise program ASAP.

Here we go… another twist in the story of our lives!! lol Did I mention we have a 3 bedroom house that will soon have 6 family members??? 6!!!!!!!!! Oh and I drive a Pilot… I don’t think that is going to cut it. So new home and new vehicle are on the agenda!

Christmas tree decorating 2011

Well, it’s Ashton’s first Christmas that he actually can participate. This will be the 7th year I have spent Christmas with Jeff and the kids. I just can’t beleive how much time has passed…it always happens so quickly. So I thought I would give a quick recap of our day decorating the Christmas tree. πŸ™‚ My mom, the kids, Jeff and I spent the day Sunday putting our decorations out. Love this time of year! And love that mom made a pumpkin roll..oh and we ate the whole thing on Sunday lol oops.

Our tree with led lights… I didn’t realize I bought cool and warm..lol this go was a fail, I switched it up and made them blend better.

Here is one of our helpers for the day…

and Mr. G man… always ready to pitch in!

Oh and apparently someone caught me on camera… lol not a camera friendly day for me.

Jeff getting decorations out..one of the kids must have caught this pic… that tongue sticking out? Apparently that is a McMillion thing, and he passed it on to Ashton. lol

Ashton putting his frist ornament on the tree… he totally got it. He stepped up and dropped it on. How, I am not sure, but his ornaments caught on a branch and stayed on! πŸ™‚

And we figured out that the tree was poking his belly… so on goes a shirt for another ornament!

See… they do like each other.. the holidays even bring siblings together πŸ˜‰

Hannah’s little helper

Ashton was enamored with that little santa.. Garrett would wind him up, and Ashton would just laugh and laugh

The boys getting the beads untangled…er, Garrett getting the beads untangled, looks like Ashton might be tangling them

All decorated!!

I think this is how the kids see the tree… or maybe little people like Ashton… lol just not so blurry (kids with cameras…whatdoyado?)

And my little cutie pie… just being himself.

Oh and that ball? Ashton spent an extensive amount of time making laps through the house with it, his little head was wringing from sweat and he was even breathing hard…lol We think he was imitating Garrett runnign up and down the court with the basketball ?? who knows what goes on in a toddlers mind?

After we are done, settling in for the night… Garrett reading a book (oh he will shoot me for this pic lol)

And Hannah painting her masterpiece, that intend to frame and hang!

And Ashton putting a hat on Lizie… life is complete.

I thought it would be fun to look back to Christmas in 2010 and see how much they have changed… WOW!!! Even Hannah looks soooo different!

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Who should decide?

Can you believe it? My little man is almost 15 months old. I still can’t quite wrap my mind around that. He is growing up so quickly, becoming quite the little comedian. He is walking (albeit a little shaky), he is feeding himself with silverware, he is talking a lot, and he even sings now. All that to say…he is still such a baby. I had this vision in my mind that when he turned 1 that he would no longer be a baby, he would be a toddler. And that is sooo different from a baby, right? Um, no, not so much.

We are still nursing…in the morning some, at night, all.night.long sometimes. My goal was a year. I made it. It has been a tough road at times. If you read my post over at wherelovemeetslife I outlined a little of our journey. Now comes the uncomfortable part….the part where people say “your STILL nursing?” I cringe inside every time someone asks. I avoid talking about it. I figure, it’s our business, and we can share it if we want. Oh, and I hate having to explain myself to people. Especially when they just kind of look at me odd and give no input of their own. I get that “oh, crazy lady is going to nurse this kid till its like 84 months isn’t she??” look. Well, let me tell you. I was one of those people. My best friend nurses(d) her little ones for a long time…and she pretty much let them take the lead on weaning (of course, pregnancy jumped in there at some point and made a decision lol). I actually thought for a long time that it was crazy she nursed so long, I mean, they don’t NEED to drink breastmilk after a year. (Sorry, girl, lol I was one of those!!). Fast-forward to the present where my little man is still nursing and doesn’t really shows signs of stopping anytime soon. Do I have a problem with it? Heck no! That’s like asking if I have a problem with someone coming in and cleaning my bathrooms for me everyday…puhlease, knock yourself out! Why do I make that comparison? Because my baby is cutting teeth, those nasty little suckers that make him wake up all night long in pain, that make him chew on his fingers and cry because they hurt. Nursing him during those times is a life-saver! He can nurse for a few minutes and then he is my happy little boy again. Why in the world would I stop doing what works?

Well, it seems that society has decided that only infants should nurse. Why? I am sure there are lots of answers to that question. And I am also sure it depends on who you ask. It is kind of sad how things have evolved so that breastfeeding is not the norm for feeding babies, and that women should be uncomfortable discussing how long they will nurse. I won’t even get started on the whole nursing in public scenario.

Movies depict nursing moms as “treehugging-naturalists” and poke fun at them. I have heard people say that breastfeeding is gross. I have had my eyes opened to a controversial world that has blown me away. Can I understand how people feel, after all, I was one of them not that long ago. But I also feel that having ben educated, I can make better decisions, and form opnions from something that I now have experience in. I am thankful to be a nursing mom. I am thankful to be able to nurse my munchkin through the teething process. I am thankful for the support that I have received over the last 14+ months.

So how long will Ashton nurse? Well, that’s mostly up to him. I may get to the point that I need a break from it…or he may just decide that he can meet his needs elsewhere, in other ways, and not need to nurse anymore. Will I allow society and its silly ways decide for myself and my child? No… no more than I would think that in order to be beautiful I need to be anorexic thin a.k.a super-model thin. Do I buck the system every chance I get? No, let’s be realistic, society does serve its purpose in many ways. But when it comes to the health and well-being of my family, my husband and I will make those choices.

So just out of curiosity, what do you think? What is normal in your eyes? Would you be willing to consider why you feel that way? Take the poll below and maybe we can put some numbers to this thing….