Wednesday, November 26, 2014

home school preschool Thanksgiving

so it's only natural that this week for home school preschool we study about
we played a little number matching game with turkey feathers.
i know I am her mother and I have to think like this BUT 
my girl is a genius!
 then we made a slide picture show of what she is thankful for. 
i am not sure why she wanted to draw the pictures upside down.
She is special.
 then we spent sometime finding a fun desert we can make to share with our family on thanksgiving
she choose pilgrim cookie hats.
 she loves to cook, create and share in her projects with her sisters.
I am so thankful this year for so many things.
my soul mate 
my 4 princesses
our castle
guard dog
my endless jobs
our extended families and friends
i am truly happy with my life 
wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, November 21, 2014

home school preschool space week

 Space week.
I just never really been interested in it.
But my husband is a huge fan! He says his dream would be to be an astronaut. his favorite show is Ancient Aliens. He's not so much into si-fi movies but he is a nerd when it comes to rockets and planets and moons and all that. 
plus his company gets to work sometimes with NASA. He gets to see first hand some really neat things.
so Space week was a topic he asked me to cover in home school preschool.

We checked out these books from the library

We also watched this video of a real spaceshuttle blasting off!

as soon as she saw all that smoke and the rocket actually going into space she was hooked! she immediately said "I want to do that!" we had to re read all the books over again and she soaked in every little information we learned about space.

We are still reviewing her numbers 1-10 and started introducing a few letters.
so we did a connect the stars to form constellations of the upper and lower case A and B.
 Then we build a rocket puzzle with her name.
 next we dug through our recycle bin and made a rocket.  this was the same day as the video. So you can imagine what she did all day long with this rocket and a Barbie doll she made into an astronaut.
The next day we talked more about the moon.
she licked the icing off her oreos to make a diagram of all the phases of the moon.
then of course she ate them.
She also continued her work book 
direction pages and B's and C's

doing home school preschool I am learning so much about my daughter that I never knew and probably never would have had the opportunity to learn. 
this week she found a new love: Space.
 she found a new dream: to become an astronaut.
 Brian and her talked for a long time about all she learned and was very impressed and they had a full conversation about constellations and gravity and rockets. watching them both talking about it and being so excited was definitely worth me having to teach a week about something I don't find interesting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Daddy's tradition

because of the circumstances surrounding Julia's birth 
Brian wasn't able to be there.
He didn't actually meet Julia until after she was 2 weeks old.
 I remember him coming over to my house after meeting his daughter for the first time and he was almost in tears. He showed me her pictures and talked over and over about how she grabbed his finger and just stared at him.
I will never forget how happy he was to be a daddy. 
I don't want to get into all the details about everything that happened between Brian and Julia's birth mom. because it's not my story and we feel like Julia deserves to hear the whole truth when she is ready for it and that will take place before anything gets put on the internet. 
but I do want to state that my husband is the most amazing dad and from day one he has always put Julia's best interest first and I support 100% every decision he makes for all of our kids. He went to hell and back. and he is a better person because of it.
 everyone that knows him and the whole story are so proud of him.

 so the reason for this post is 
because the day he found out he was a daddy for the first time he went out and bought a red stuff animal dog.
he saved it and gave it to Julia after he brought her home.
Then 5 years later we were at the hospital meeting Miss Belle for the first time he brought in a pink teddy bear for her.
2 years after that a little white kitten for lil Stella
I was so excited to see this tradition continue with Hazel. 

The only difference this time was Miss Belle 
she was beyond so excited for her new baby sister and she really wanted to be apart of this tradition of buying her first stuff animal from her Daddy.
after that first night at the hospital with Hazel I told Brian to run home and pick up a few things we forgot (it was cold and I didn't bring my coat!) 
and to also take Belle with him.
They made a pit stop to the toy store and he said Belle was carefully looking through the whole isle of stuff animals for just the right one.
He had to steer her away from the giant ones 
you know like the carnival sized ones that take up to whole bed.
because that's a big suffocation hazard for a newborn.
I will never forget that big smile Belle had when she burst through that hospital door with a white kitten in hand.
Hazel didn't really bat an eye or say thank you for her gift 
this white kitten means the world to Brian and her big sister Belle.
and for me 
all the stuff animals hold a huge place in my heart because they are a tangible proof that my kids have the best Daddy ever!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hazel Nut-2weeks

Hazel nut.
That's what we are calling her 
she is now 2 weeks old!
This baby is absolutely the easiest baby 
she's so laid back and sweet.
she sleeps a lot!
I have to wake her up by stripping her naked and changing her diaper sometimes even wiping her down with a cool wash cloth just to get her to eat.
I am breast feeding again and will have a whole new post about it soon
so waking her up is important for me to get some relief.

 She hates being cold and loves doing skin to skin-chest to chest as long as there is a blanket draped on her back. she really is not a fan of any kind of cold. I guess she gets that form me. poor girl being a Nov baby stinks in that way. 
 she's already so used to the crazy loudness of a house full of drama queens.
she typically sleeps right threw her sisters loud squeals and singing. after bedtime Hazel is at her most alert. I think she knows it's her turn to have mommy and daddy all to herself.
then around 10 pm she gets a little fussy falls asleep around 11 and sleeps till 1, eats then is passed out till 6am!!! it's so strange to me to have a baby basically sleep through the night.
Me and Brian are completely in love with her.

It's always mind boggling to me how we ever lived without our children. even at 2 weeks old I can't imagine my life without my Hazel Nut.
I stare at her and I just feel my heart burst with love for this perfect little being that we created. there is nothing like this feeling. the only thing I can describe it is like falling completely madly in love with this little person.
I love you Hazel Gwendolyn. Happy 2 weeks baby girl.
and just to forewarn you sweetheart you will have lots of photo shoots in your future. because God made you so beautiful and it's my job to document every stage :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Anxieties about motherhood

I want to talk about something that I don't feel like gets talked to much about.
or at least I haven't had conversations or confessed these things with other moms.
I don't really know what to call it.
some might say it's anxiety or fear.
some might want to call it something more serious like baby blues or postpartum depression.
and some might just call it being a mom.
but I remember like it was yesterday...
I had just given birth to Miss Belle and my step father wanted to treat us to lunch.
 Miss Belle was not even 3 weeks old at the time and she was strapped into her car seat and her papaw was carrying it to the truck parked in our driveway.
he sat her on the ground so he could open the door.
panic just completely overcame me.
I had a vision that was so vivid and real I started sweating and I couldn't breathe.
In my head I saw a car just run over the car seat and shattered it to pieces! 
I was completely terrified and as fast as that vision came to me it was gone.
My step dad picked the perfectly intact car seat with my infant baby inside and buckled it into the backseat of his truck. 
I kept trying to brush off what I saw.
 I knew in my heart my baby was safe and not even close to any kind of danger but that fear was so powerful I couldn't move past it.
I continued to have random fears from that point on.
they seemed to settle a little or at least get few and far between as she grew older.
but then Stella was born.
and then new fears started happening.
I envisioned
 an armed gunman would come into our house and start shooting a gun going right through the walls and hitting my baby sleeping in her crib.
completely random and a little far fetched right?
I talked to my mom about it.
because well she's my mom and she's the person I always talk to about these kind of things.
I didn't have these fears when Julia was a baby so I do think it has a lot to do with hormones.
I am not against seeking medical help or even medication for some of these things.
but I have never actually talked to a doctor
I also don't like medication 
no real reason just maybe I am stubborn
I figured my visions have never been about me deliberately causing pain to my children or myself 
and they have never stopped me from living my life. 
I am not cooped up in my house warding bad spirits away and keeping my kids on lock and key from the rest of the world.
so I'm good right?
I don't know
My mom told me I should pray about them. she even picked out a prayer for me to say:
Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

this time around with Hazel I have started getting the little visions again. so far no big panic attacks or sweats but I do know they could still come. I keep praying and trusting God will protect my babies and calm my anxiety. 
I hope if there are other moms feeling this way they can talk more openly about it, know they are not alone or at least let me know I am not alone! being responsible for another living being is scary. whether it's your first or 4th the responsibility can seem overwhelming at times. 
I am told by others that I am a great mom and so patient
truth is I fail more times than not.
I can get so stressed that I yell, cry and just want to throw in the towel
motherhood is hard.
With God's help every single day, every single minute, every single second He gives me glimmers of hope, love and joy on this crazy ride.
and even with all the anxiety and fear I am overcome with so much love for these 4 amazing beautiful smart little girls God has entrusted me to mother. it is what I was made to do and what I love doing more than anything. I know he has purpose for everything that happens in  our lives and I am thier mother for a reason.
I need to give him all my anxieties.

home school preschool saint week

we did take a mini fall break from preschool.
because of THIS
but according to Miss Belle that wasn't a good enough reason to not do home scool preschool.
so this week we went back to it.

I really wanted to incorporate a lot of our faith into certain lessons and I wanted to also learn more about it myself. so this weeks theme was Saints.
every day we watched a short video about a particular saint and learned about thier lives and what made them special, also why they were choosen as a patron saint of a particular topic.

first up was Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Belle's middle name is Elizabeth.

after watching the clip we filled out a little biography page.
 next was Saint Anthony.
this video was a little strange.

he is the patron Saint of lost things and souls
I took a few religous items and hid them in a bowl of beads.
we said a prayer to St. Anthony to help us find the items and then Belle started searching.
she loved this game and played it for an hour!! over and over.
 then we learned about St. John the Baptist

we made a craft of what he looked like. Miss Belle made the funniest face when we found out what St. John ate for dinner!!
 on Friday we played Saint Bingo and crossed off the Saints when they were called.

 We also worked on directions in her work book like over, under, left, right, top, bottom, inside and out. she took a test to go over all her numbers 0-10 and she passed with flying colors!!! so we are moving on to letters starting with Aa! we didn't learn any songs because I thought the saints stories were enough.

I remember a long time ago a friend was asking a lot of questions about my religion and why we do the things we do. I don't feel I know all the answers and I don't always agree with all the rules and reasons behind everything, but being Catholic or any religion I think requires you to not still have your own beliefs and reasoning and question.
 My friend asked me "why do you worship saints?"
I remember laughing at the thought of us Catholics worshiping anything other than God. but then after really thinking I could see why she thought we did.
 truth is we don't worship Saints.
 YES we name our churches and schools after a saint.
 yes we have statues and paintings of these people,
yes we even pray to them..
 but it's not the same.
 I look at it as us honoring these people that committed their lives to doing Gods work. They sacrificed, trusted, loved, and sometimes gave their lives to help spread God's word and teachings. They are people we strive to live like. our role models.
as for the praying to them part,
 we don't pray TO them but we ask them to pray FOR us.
 in the same sense that I would ask you to pray for me. We truly believe these are holy people sitting up there in Heaven with God and we are simply asking them to give God a little nudge in our direction. it's a little complicated and yet it's not. We celebrate them just like say you would celebrate a celebrity that worked in an awesome movie. They didn't write the movie or directed it but they helped bring it to life with their skills.
 a saint is not worshiped but honored.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

welcoming Hazel Gwendolyn

we always talked about having 4 kids. 
After having Stella I wasted no time in looking for a name for the next little one. 
at a soccer game I overheard a family cheering on their daughter named Hazel. and I immediately asked Brian what he thought of it. he wasn't a fan.....
then about 6 months later when we actually needed to figure out a name because we were expecting baby girl number 4. 
Brian was set on the name Gwendolyn. I love the name but it's little things about it bothered me. I like things to be fair and flow and go together. Even though I know no one else would noticed these things it bothered me. Julia, Belle and Stella all have shorter names with L's in them. They don't have a longer version of their name either and I love the old lady feel of their names. So I brought up Hazel again. he shot it down again. 
then one day out of no where he agreed only if we used Gwendolyn as the middle name. 
The name meaning is Commander
 Gwendolyn means Fair. Blessed
I think she will fit in very well with the other personalities in our house.

I had the mind set this pregnancy to make sure I do everything I always wanted to do but never did with the last ones. example: the belly cast, the pregnancy photography project
My biggest regret of our wedding was not having it video  taped. I obviously love photography but there is something about watching and reliving the moments threw video that I really wished we could have gone back in time and figure out a way to have someone capture that day on video. so anyway I wanted to make sure we taped us welcoming our baby girl into the world. 
and just an FYI. there are no ucky stuff on this video. no blood or shots of my personal spaces. just us meeting our daughter. promise :)
I love how it turned out.

Hazel Gwendolyn is perfect and so sweet and laid back. 
we thought Stella was a good baby but so far Hazel has Stella beat! I  mean what other newborn baby sleeps  6 hours straight through the night!?
we are so in love with her and each other and our bigger family and our life. Thank you God for this fair commander we truly feel blessed.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

last days of last pregnancy

 bags are packed, freezer is full of meals, schedules are written and posted on the board, bassinet is ready with fresh blankets, diapers and wipes and stocked, car seat is buckled in the car and camera battery is charged. The list is all marked off and now all we are left to do is wait.
sit on the couch and just wait.
I am sick of waiting.
sick of the back pain
braxton hicks
sleepless nights
swollen feet and hands
low energy
false labor
numerous phone calls and disappointment in saying "still not time yet."
but then I am overcome with guilt of wanting this to be over with all ready.
but my waiting seems so petty compared to others I know.
couples that are waiting every month for those two pink lines with uncertainy that it may never happen.
mothers that carried thier babies but never got to actually meet them.
waiting for cures or healing as they watch their children fight for their life 
a mother sending her child to be cared for by others because of choices her child made and needs help bigger than what her mother could give.
parents that had to say goodbye as God called their young children to heaven
my waiting is a blessing
my husband sat with me last night as I was a hormonal mess.
in a puddle of tears I tried to explain the pull and tug I am feeling.
I want to hold my baby and meet her and kiss her and study all her features. smell her hair and look into her eyes. but we are both in agreement that this is the last pregnancy. 
and with only a few days left I want to soak in every bump and kick. I want to rub my belly and remember just how ugly my belly button looks like. I want to charish every step of this journey. it's almost over and we are closing a chapter in our lives.
what an amazing wonderful chapter it has been.
 being able to grow my babies. watching my body do what it was made to do. welcoming healthy almost full term babies and feeling a connection with something my husband and I created out of love. I don't have second thoughts about closing the chapter and starting the next but I do wish it hadn't go by so fast.
 I wouldn't change one thing about the last 4 years and three pregnancies. even with all the difficulties and unpleasantness, I feel so blessed. 
My husband wiped my tears and said
 "you are just very hormonal right now. your an amazing mother. and our girls are turning out to be amazing people because of everything you do for them. I am proud to call you the mother of my kids and I can not wait to see how much this one will grow to love you too."
sometimes he says the wrong things and sometimes I want to strangle him but most of the time he knows exactly what I need to hear and exactly how to make me forget about loosing my patients.
I love him and need him more than ever.
so the wait continues
only for a few more days
and I am blessed to be waiting.
thankful for this time
soaking it in
and praying at the same time for all those that need it.
God is good

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
Job 37:14

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