Thursday, November 21, 2013

Keeping it simple

As parents Jeremy and I have been noticing that our kids are motivated by the smallest things. We are realizing that positive motivation works much better than negative...the things they get to do rather than having an object taken away from them. They don't respond well to time outs. But they do respond to not getting "kettle bell swings" from Daddy. They never want to miss out on those - He takes them and swings them up into the air. Oh the bawling that takes place when one of them misses out on this fun after one is mean to the other or stole the other's toy. Or the smallest privilege of a quick trip to the store with Daddy to buy eggs and bananas. These are some of the most powerful motivators for our kids at this age. To miss out on the smallest outing or fun game is a tragedy. My kids are entertained by the smallest things. They are rarely bored. We are learning that we do not have to come up with super creative ways of discipline with our children. We are learning what truly motivates them.

There is one chore my kids are all too excited to take responsibility for...feeding Jasper. Those little feet come runnin' to Jasper's dog food bin in the kitchen at any mention of feeding him. If only they could get as excited about other chores like picking up their toys and messes!

As their momma I am learning that keeping things simple is best. The fancier, more interesting food dishes I come up with, after looking online and on pinterest, the less likely they are to eat it. What do my kids like to eat best? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ants on a log, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and apples. Simplicity goes beyond our food dishes. As a family we have decided that we cannot afford, money or time-wise, more than one kid activity or sport at a time. So I am not shuttling my kids constantly from one enrichment activity to the next. Right now Hudson and Annalise are in swimming lessons, and that is it. When these lessons are over, later this winter they may be in a nature class, or crossfit kids, but not all at the same time! Next summer I hope we can focus on riding bikes, once we get bikes for them.  Simplicity is best for our family :).

We are blessed

Hudson strums his small guitar and sings, "Jesus is taking my meanness away..." several times in his sweet, little boy voice. Such an innocent heart. This is the same little boy, who has once owned a pair of red overalls and can have a mop of blond hair when it's not trimmed (sound familiar?), who attempted to cut the electric cord of my computer plugged into the outlet with his preschool scissors. Who climbed over the fence, barely at the age of three, and rang the front doorbell when I was in the kitchen working (I can't keep my eye off him for a moment!). Who climbed on top of our dresser to get coins out of Daddy's bowl for his piggy bank. Who put baby Sayde's nose bulb into his own nose to try it out. Who sprayed the bathroom sink faucet all over, into the hallway in puddles...and is now potty trained! We are so proud of our son and we love his adventurous spirit. He will do great things in his life.

Annalise has also been so helpful with the other two. We often remind her to not be so bossy or to tattle on Hudson, but she is the one who alerted me to the danger before he could cut the computer cord. She is such a smart young lady and she says the neatest, funniest things.

I feel so blessed at this time. My closest friend right now is a 3 month old baby girl named Sayde. I am never lonely, and not only me but the whole family loves and adores her. I have so much to be thankful for. One is that I have a smart, wise husband who loves having babies with me and loves his own kids.

Annalise turns 5 years old!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sayde's Birth

Sayde Grace
7 lbs. 3 oz.
21 3/4 in. long
     Sayde was five days overdue before labor began. An induction date had already been scheduled in advance for the next week, but I was praying that I wouldn't have to do that and that she would be a natural labor and birth process...and that is what happened! God answered our prayers.
     Five days after her due date, contractions started random over the whole day. That evening we called my in-laws, Jeremy's parents, just to let them know that something had started and that they could probably wait until morning to come into Rochester to be with our two kiddos, so we could go in to the hospital. Jeremy's dad hung up saying they would talk about it, but then called back shortly to say they were on the way that night...third babies can be much faster than the ones before. By midnight when they arrived and in a period of 20 minutes, the contractions suddenly became real labor contractions and were closer together than what was advised for me to come in for since I was attempting a vaginal birth after having had a cesearean with Hudson. We called into the hospital ahead of time and told them we were on our way.
     When we got there all the rooms were in use or in need of cleaning, so we were told to wait in the family waiting room until one was made available. No one else was in there at the time. The ending of the movie Dirty Dancing was playing on the TV and by the time that was over we were brought to a room. Jeremy was joking about how I still had to make him watch that movie sometime, but I wasn't paying much attention! Next I met my midwife who was on duty that night and liked her immediately. She was a positive person and confident not only in herself but also in my ability to give birth to a happy, healthy baby girl.
     Back in the birthing room, I was able to try all kinds of non-medicated pain management. I sat on an exercise ball, got into a big bathtub that was in the room, sniffed essential oils that helped with nausea, and learned how to breath and "sway" during the contraction while the midwife or nurse held me. These all helped alot! Standing up and walking around made a huge difference, though being up all night I was so tired. In previous births I had an epidural, pitocin, and all the major medical interventions. Sayde's birth was by far the more comfortable experience overall. The only thing I wish I had been more prepared for, what was the most uncomfortable and painful, was the breathing through contractions. When my mom had babies in the 70's she went to lamaze classes with my dad and learned all about how to breath during labor. Being an athlete of some sort and running marathons does not prepare a person for the type of breathing and strength needed to birth a baby! Thankfully my midwife could tell me how and I made it through that 3 1/2 hours.. the fastest labor ever for me.
     Around 5:00 am or later baby's heart rate began to show distress on the monitor, much like Hudson's had, and a group of OB doctors and residents came into the room. I knew from experience this was not good. I was told I would need to push baby out very quickly in order to avoid another c-section. That motivated me to push her out. The OB doctor saw her head descending and walked away saying, "she's gonna have a baby!"...A very pink, healthy and crying Sayde Grace was born at 5:25 am. I was able to hold her immediately while my midwife took care of other things. After I had delivered the placenta she showed me that along with the umbilical cord...there was some part of it that may have been wrapped around her after her water sac broke and causing the heart rate trouble. A similar thing had happened with Hudson. I am so thankful that my third baby was delivered by a midwife, a successful VBAC. This was not an easy birth, but with God He made it possible and involved the right people at the right time to help.
     We had Sayde's name picked out months in advance and after we saw her we knew that it was right for her.  It is an English name and more traditionally known as "Sadie." It has the same meaning as my sister Sarah's name, "Princess," and we came up with our own spelling of it because we thought it was prettier. She is our little lady. Since it was kind of a stressful birth it took a couple days before she began to latch on, nurse well, and sleep better for small stretches of time. She is now starting to fill out and gain weight, look around at our faces and listen to all the sounds in our household. It's a new experience to have a newborn in the home with two other loud/active children to entertain her. Hudson and Annalise love their baby sister. We're so proud of how gentle and loving they have been toward her.

Sayde and Harper - Baby cousins only one week apart in age!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


What does a typical week or two of nesting look like in the life of an almost 8 month pregnant lady?  Constant vacuuming and dusting of everything in sight, killing spiders, asking hubby to dust the high door frames & ceiling fan. Constant organizing of the kitchen, pantry, and all bedroom closets. Cleaning up the yard and raking up old leaves we missed last fall. Visiting the brush dump and recycling old junk. Making several Savers & Salvation Army drop-offs as I purge the house of unneeded furniture, clothes, and toys. Unpack baby clothes and hang or place in dresser drawers. Set up a baby changing station. Stock the first aid kit and buy extra band-aids and peroxide for the summer. Make the kids doctor check-up appointments when needed. Get husband, son, and dog groomed (all within the same pay period). Clean and organize infant and kids' toys separately. Clean and vacuum the van, launder the kids car seat liners, and put them all back into van with the infant seat in the middle, ready just in case I "go early" even though the midwives and nurses all remind me I have not gone early in previous pregnancies. Clean the baby swing and exercauser so they are ready in time. Set up comfy nursing stations and chairs, one upstairs and one downstairs in the living room. Set up the crib, wash, and air bedding and mattress. Clean up a few bat turds in the attic space. Clean the dryer vent. Dry the basement from puddles of water from springtime snow melts and rains. Repair window screens for the summer.

And at the end of one day, my two-year old boy finally decides to go potty in the toilet by himself. From downstairs we hear the toilet flush. Next, a naked Hudson appears at the top of the stairs and walks down holding the banister as always. At the bottom of the stairs he proceeds to climb up onto the banister rail and perch on top of the bottom pedestal naked, it's a combination of hilarity as well as serious danger. He is about 4 feet above the hard tiles of the entryway and could die if he fell on his head. I end up putting a heavy, potted plant on the pedestal to keep him off, so just in case he tries it again I will at least have a warning crash to know ahead of time what he is doing. Next I need to think some more about how I am going to take care of a newborn while making sure my toddler and little girl survive and thrive. I wish I knew some clear, serious advice on how mothers of many children accomplish this.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What will they do without toys

Here is a short list of what my children will do when they are bored with toys...excessive amounts of toys.

1. Dump all toys in baskets or bins onto the floor and trip poor pregnant Mommy while I hop into the empty baskets and sail in my boats.
2. Dump as many clean towels I can find in the bathroom into the bathtub and turn on the water.
3. Make a jumprope out of toilet paper, or stuff as much toilet paper under my chin as possible until I have a billowy blouse, and then look up when I hear my name sternly called to see all the nice, clean toilet paper drop onto a wet bathroom floor.
4. Empty a jumbo size bag of shredded cheese all over the dining room floor, for Jasper, and then walk through it.  That pretty candle holder needed some cheese dumped inside it too.
5. Try on as many underpants, pants, skirts, shirts, and dresses as I can find in my dresser, and then be unable to take it all off and put back into my dresser when I am done.
6. Remove all the couch cushions from both couches, at least 10 large cushions, and play bakery.  The cushions are giant loaves of bread we are baking.  Next we take turns jumping from the couch into the cushions. We are such a busy bakery this must happen at least 6 times every day.
7. Wash books in the sink with soap, toothpaste, and water.
8. Get rags wet and wipe mirrors

     As you can see, children do not need a huge amount of toys in order to play, interact with each other, and have fun.  They have imaginations, and in many instances they are just trying to be helpful and responsible.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pregnancy and Motherhood

     In our last pregnancy centering group session, we were gathered in a circle as everyone talked about the pregnancy hormones that lead us to cry over different things we may not have cried over or been so emotional about before being pregnant.  Different ladies talked about things that had made them cry recently such as certain commercials on TV or baby animals, etc.  I could relate to none of these things, and we went home.  A few days later I found myself at the Children's Museum with my 2 kiddos as we met up with some other friends of ours that afternoon.  There was a particular little girl about age 2 who had a very snotty nose and some type of food, crayon or marker on her face.  And that was the moment when I just wanted to cry as my pregnancy mothering hormones kicked in.  I wanted to just scoop her up, give her hugs and kisses, snotty nose and grime and all!  Normally, my first instinct as a mother is to get a rag and wipe that little child's face, but I really didn't think of that once this time.  I just enjoyed being around such a precious little angel and now I can't wait to have another little baby girl of my own again, messes and all.  All I have to do is think of that sweet little face and I want to cry all over again.  I am so happy that I am getting another little girl.

     The second time my pregnancy hormones kicked in this week happened as I was getting the baby's room ready and unpacking the boxes of girl clothes that used to be Annalise's when she was a baby.  I simply turned to look at the small plastic play kitchen in the corner of the room and I got the image in my mind of a nine-month old beginning to pull up, toddle around and explore.  I could see cute little chubby legs, a diaper, and arms slowly and carefully reaching out to touch everything within grasp of those chubby little hands.  And then I saw a big plop as the baby lost her balance, landing on her cushy, diaper bottom.  Next is a wrinkled face and a big "waaaah" with arms outstretched, waiting for someone to hug and comfort.  It was at that moment I felt like crying myself as I thought of how relieving it is to comfort a crying baby.  Later I thought of how God as Father gives his children the freedom to explore their surroundings, and when they lose balance the first few times and plop on their butts He is there to pick them up and comfort them.  He reassures his children, but then gently encourages to get back up and keep exploring, building their confidence so that they are less afraid next time.  How silly of us to get mad at God and think He is somehow responsible when we fall on our butts.  Rather than doing it all for us, He simply gives the freedom to fall and plop that so we learn how to walk and succeed at it.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wedding Anniversary

     Jeremy and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this January - we've been married for 5 years!  This is quite a cold time of year to have a wedding in Minnesota, but the day we were married was so sunny, bright and beautiful, after fresh snowfalls in the days before, and I was so happy and excited to marry the love of my life and start a new adventure with him, that I don't even remember feeling the cold in my thin, lace wedding dress and 2 1/2 inch heeled sandals.  I remember feeling warmth, excitement, confidence, love, and peace.

     We celebrated our anniversary this year by going to the Redwood Room again, where we had our unexpected first date 5 1/2 years ago.  The restaurant re-opened this year after having been closed, and they have live musicians playing and singing again.  There is always something special about looking across the table from each other with warm candlelight lighting up our eyes.

      Of course, I also had "morning sickness" nausea to deal with while on our date, but having a yummy spinach salad, french bread and a warm bowl of soup helped with that.  This isn't our first anniversary celebration with pregnancy nausea.

     I am married to a good, godly man.  We had a very fast dating relationship and engagement before we were married, but we knew each other as friends for at least a year before our first date...We met at a kids camp outside of town while cleaning up and picking up sticks with a "singles group" called the Harvesters.  It really wasn't anything at all like a singles group most singles have experienced and was not at all about finding someone.  Much more than just "hanging out" together, it was about serving others, growing in our faith together over serious topics, real friendships, and having adventures.  This was such a refreshing time.  Through all of that Jeremy and I somehow ended up liking each other alot and got married.  Friends are so valuable to have and aside from our spouse and children they are our most treasured earthly possession.  So if you are single, don't discount any opposite sex friend in your life as not possibly being "the one" you can fall in love and spend the rest of your life with.

     We're still figuring out the bigger mission for our life together as a married couple with kids in the picture.  We are learning that having children does not need to limit our call or mission from God, and if we do feel limited it is because of our lack of faith and vision and not because He is doing that to us.  I just finished the marriage book Love & War by the Eldridges and I think it's one of the best marriage books we've ever read - the most honest, real book about the ups and downs in marriage, even in couples who love God and love each other... Not just a bunch of sayings and principles we all hear or like to hear.  




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Exciting News Announcement

     In November our family had a very rough week.  Jeremy was in Minneapolis to be part of a conference on Big Data Development with Cloudera and it was our first time being apart for such a long time.  We drove up and stayed the first night with him and left to go home the next day.  That week we all had the flu with multi symptoms and fevers.  Jeremy had a bad cough, but had a great experience nevertheless at his conference.  He ended up getting new certifications in information technology that he has yet to even use in his job.  That week, Hudson had a couple spikes in fevers and would not cooperate taking any fever-reducing medicines.  As a result, he had two febrile seizures.  We were in the emergency room (myself and the kids) in the middle of the night.  It is the scariest experience to have to go into the ER in the middle of the night as fast as you can.  It took about 2 hours of watching and waiting until he recovered fully to his normal, happy and perky self.  We went home at 4:00 am and the next day went into our family practice for an after care check-up, and that was when he had his 2nd seizure.  This was one of a number of times where I have been very impressed  from the genuine human care and compassion I have seen demonstrated from medical nurses and doctors (at our family clinic).  We have had many decisions to make over vaccines and other natural care issues, and our family medicine practitioners have all been very respectful of our decisions, as well as resourceful so that we make intelligent decisions according to facts and research, sending us home with professional research articles on paper, etc..  Hudson woke up,  recovered and was breathing normally after 15 minutes of his seizure so we did not need to go back to the emergency room.  I was sent home, however, with injections to give him if he had any seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes, which we prayed we would never have to use and have not had to.  That day Grandma was there to help and pray.  Since this has happened I have been super vigilant to check on any fevers he possibly has and figure out some way to make sure he takes Tylenol when he has one.  We gave Annalise a doctor's kit for Christmas and she taught Hudson to take medicine by pretending, and since then he allowed me to give him his dose of Tylenol in a cup, which he will drink himself.  I have not found any other way to bring a fever down effectively enough other than medicine.  I will have to read more about how to treat fevers in children naturally, but for Hudson it is imperative to bring it down and prevent the sudden spiking of a temperature.  [Hudson and all of us had the flu again over the New Year].  Times like this make me realize that being a parent is no small matter.  Decisions that I make as a parent can have good or bad, even life or death, consequences for my child.  I hold so much responsibility over what happens to them for good or bad.  Seeing my toddler have a seizure and then watching the minutes tick by waiting for his recovery has been one of the scariest experiences in motherhood.  I was thankful to know that we were not alone the second time it happened in our doctor's office.  I have also been thankful for the power of prayer and of God's presence being with us, knowing that I'm never alone and never without His loving direction in my life when I am yielded to Him.

     So on the happy note, I [Lisa] will announce I am pregnant with a due date of July 27th.  I found out during the rough week in November and was able to share the happy news with Jeremy over skype when we were all recovering towards the end of that week.  This has been a rough pregnancy compared with my other two, and it's mainly from the morning sickness and flu.  This week marks the 12th week and I can finally say I am feeling better.  It has been a stretch of 3 solid days where I have not gagged or had to take a nap during the daytime.  I feared that something awful was going to happen to my baby since I was getting so sick and catching every germ that came our way, but on our 12-week visit we were surprised to have an ultrasound and everything looked beautiful.  We could see the baby, the heartbeat, and that he or she is right on track in size according to our due date, close to 4 centimeters in length.  We could see the baby lift a hand towards his/her mouth to comfort himself or herself :)  Jeremy and I will be attending an evening group prenatal care class once a month for care, instead of traditional office visits.  Prenatal care will be in a group format as well as meeting individually at various times throughout the evening session with the midwife leading the group.  It is something new called "centering pregnancy" and designed for low-risk pregnancies.

     What is also exciting is that my sister is pregnant as well, and our due dates are within the same week!  We did not plan for this, but how amazing and fun it will be - our babies could potentially be born within the same week of each other.  I am so excited for this and always dreamed that we would be pregnant some day at the same time, but never imagined this close together!

     Jeremy has been making more "night runs" than ever before for my cravings of french fries, pickles, lemonade, kimchi, ice cream, chicken noodle soup, jello, and many other random food items that have come up.  I don't remember having such marked cravings for different foods with my other pregnancies.  This is really different.  I have already gained 10 pounds by only 12 weeks...I probably will not be running the Med-City marathon in May at 7 months pregnant!  I'm hoping Jeremy can take my place in the race if they allow for that.  My sis and I will just have to go back to crossfit after the babies are born to get our rears back into shape.  I probably won't be a "crossfit mom" as I had hoped, doing kettlebell swings and pull-ups with a belly, at least until after my baby's born.  For now I've decided to simply focus on being healthy and moving around every day.  Now that my first 3 months of morning sickness is up, I don't have as many excuses for unhealthy food choices.  Instead of ice cream, I should be eating plain yogurt with berries, for example.  I am going to focus more of my time on getting more involved in church and loving my family and children.  We had an amazing time travelling down with family to attend the "One Thing" conference in Kansas City ihop over the New Year.  Even though we were all sick at various times and missed half the conference, it was amazing when I was there.  I loved every moment of worship and yielding of hearts to God.