This is what I feel like. I am exhausted because my milk supply is down, again (insert fake surprise here). I'm nursing every 2 hours round the clock again. I already drink 3-4 cups of Mother's Milk tea a day and take 6-9 Fenugreek. I pump whenever I have 2 seconds. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm totally open to them. Eating lots of oatmeal and shredded wheat are not options as I am currently gluten free.
Baseball Season is over...
Snug's season ended a little early as he had a bad stomach bug and missed his last game.
Our (LMM, #1, and my) season ended well. I took a picture of Rosebud on #1's back. This is how we coached, we each had a girl in a backpack carrier. We won't be doing that again. It was fine, but one of those things you do once.
Rosebud doesn't look like a baby anymore at all. She is full fledged little girl. Still waiting for results on lots of tests she's had. Her tummy troubles come and go, but we'd like to say goodbye to them forever.
This summer we are having to say good by to several dear friends. Sometimes I just don't think about it.
We have also gotten to catch up with some friends who we haven't seen in a long time.
I have lots of other pictures I want to post, but am unable to get them OFF the camera and ON the computer. It is always something!
Hey everyone! Last week my family went CAMPING!!!! What a lot of fun I had!
The best part about camping is eating.
On the first night my daddy helped my roast a hot dog.
He also made me a s'more. Mommy would NEVER make me a big one. In fact, all she's ever done is handed me a graham cracker. Go camping with daddy-he's the best! Pretty much all I did all trip was eat.
And eat. Oh, and cry. When things didn't go my way. Like having to eat carrots. That is NEVER my way. But all that eating paid off. When I went to the GI doctor today I weighed in at 22lbs even. I think that is my highest weight yet!!!
We also went swimming and out on a friend's boat.
I really liked the boat. And I liked getting to hang out with daddy. Cause he's cool. And he feeds me stuff.
Sunday morning mommy gave me a bath in a bucket before church. After church we came back, packed up, and went home. I had a great time!
I have been asked many many times "how do you get all of your kids to look at the camera? How do you get them to smile?" It is all luck my friends. But here are a few things I've learned.
1. Only attempt to take a picture of multiple kids if you're relaxed, they're fed, and it isn't anyone's naptime.
2. It won't always work. For every great picture of my kids together, I have 20 that look horrible. Be willing to try another time.
3. Let them be as natural as possible. Don't force them to pose too much because someone isn't going to be comfortable and it will show. Do get them close together, but don't put so much effort into making it "perfect" that they get bored. Then you won't get any picture at all.
See this picture? Not what I was going for. But I have to say the look on Sung's face is priceless. And it sums up the situation. Rosebud and LMM were being very silly and Sweet Pea was being her usual ray of sunshine self.
4. Be willing to act like an idiot. To get everyone to look at me I jump around, drop things off my head, and make really dumb noises. But they look. Most of the time. Here Rosebud is not quite into it, but still thinks I'm funny (or dumb...I don't ask if they're laughing at or with me...I don't care, I just want the picture). Sweet Pea looks like she'd rather bite my head off than smile. I had to keep working on her.
5. Take TONS of pictures. Just shoot and shoot and shoot. I saved these three to use in this post (and this last one to use in general because it was exactly what I wanted) but I took close to 25. Digital photography is wonderful...I get to ditch what I don't want.
6. Quit while you're ahead. If you think you've got what you need, don't keep taking more. I saw I had this one and I had like 2 others that were o.k. so I stopped.
7. Praise them for a job well done. If it ends on a happy note they're more willing to work for you the next time.
What do you do? I'd love to hear your thoughts as I am always learning!
*I was taking pictures today for my MIL. She gave the kids these clothes for Easter. Yup, it took me that long to get a good picture. Either the kids weren't into it or someone's outfit wasn't washed. For awhile we couldn't find Snug's shirt (he had tossed it into a tub that held winter clothes). Today was the day. I was really happy with the result.
So this past weekend we went on vacation. This summer our vacation was a camping trip 25 minutes away. This summer we needed close (think 6 month old baby and daddy on call), cheap (mommy's daycare wasn't much this year), and fun (of course camping with four children five and under is fun, who would ever think otherwise???).
But this isn't only about fun. It's about functional. And educational. Which apparently I'm not. While packing up today mommy found a really neat caterpillar. She even opened her big mouth to daddy and said "aren't the kids lucky they have a mom who will find a caterpillar and then let them take it home so they can watch it form a chrysalis? I could just scream and flick it away" Yeah. Lucky them. Insert visions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, journal writing, online research, etc. etc.
We had a friend from church give us a really neat butterfly kit and three live caterpillars. Mommy had instant plans (see above) on how to have the boys do some (fun) learning this summer. Without her knowing it, Daddy put the kit and live caterpillars into the van before service on a day it was over 80 degrees in the shade. Bye bye caterpillars. Mommy saw finding the caterpillar today as a redemptive step towards the caterpillar to butterfly experience. Or not.
When mommy had two seconds to breathe after all the children were in bed she looked the distinctive caterpillar up online. Guess what gem she'd found? One of the worst species ever. It is a Tomato Hornworm. It gets up to four inches long. One caterpillar can decimate an entire tomato plant in like two days. And they poop. Enough to be super noticeable. And we don't even say the word poop here without getting our mouths washed out with soap (unless you are in the middle of potty training, and then I see no way around it. Also note that liquid soap is akin to poison in a child's mouth, use organic or handmade soap bars). I just don't think it is a nice word, or something to be talking about. But really, what else would two boys notice about this caterpillar in a screen house, I mean, they're boys.
So mommy didn't find The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She found the very nasty garden-eating-giant-pooping-scary-horn-sporting-caterpillar (who, by the way, turns into a SUPER ugly moth). How do you kill them? Put them into a bowl of hot soapy water. Guess someone's getting a bath. Score one for mommy.
So. Between the Flats Challenge and my computer being dead (hard drive is failing...be ready for me to be out of blogging for quite awhile at no notice) I have been a bit behind on our summer events!
First up was strawberry picking. We found this great place not too far away thanks to Jenilee. Although these aren't organic, the farm uses minimal chemicals in their crops, much less than what is in strawberries you buy in the produce section at the grocery.
I swear my kids each ate a quart of berries.
I snapped this cute picture and then got that berry out of Sweet Pea's mouth. It was her "first solid", although she didn't ingest any of it. Strawberries are a high allergen...so probably not a good thing.
The boys literally walked out of that place with handfuls of "free" berries.
Little Monkey Man finished preschool. This is his FIRST day of school...
...and this is a picture of his last. He had a great year and we continue to see improvements in his speech, adaptation to new situations, ability to transition, and with his sensory issues in general.
Ah. Potty training. Sassy McLassy has been doing great, terrible, and everything in between.
She has days and days where she is fine. And then she decides she isn't going to use the potty. So we convince her otherwise. Cause we're not going back to diapers. Much. There are times where her bowel is so messed up she can't help but have accidents. We do have a date to take her to a GI specialist this month.
We got to see some friends who we haven't seen since she and he were only a few weeks old. He wanted to be friends.
She wanted to tattle. Tattle. Tattle.
We all "ran" a 5K. It was for the FOP that #1 belongs to. #1 and Snug ran it.
Mommy had Sweet Pea in the sling.
And two in the double stroller. I didn't run. But I got MUCH exercise. I also don't recommend babywearing and speedwalking with a double stroller.
Here he is after the race, very proud of himself. After all, he beat five people. Mommy, Sweet Pea, LMM, Rosebud, and some lady he didn't know. What a race buddy.
Rosebud loved the race. She got to eat.
And eat some more. And what goes in must come out. So that is loads of fun when she can't control it. We kinda let her pig out because at nearly 26 months old she is barely hitting 22 lbs (on a good day-often closer to barely 21).
Here was Snug on his first day.
And here he is on his last day on Tuesday. He loved his teacher. I think he thought she walked on water. She was cute as a button, so can you blame him? He had a great report card. The only things he didn't get perfect were that he makes the number "3" backwards and a couple of letters incorrectly. However, he writes sentences on his own, reads on a beginning 2nd grade level (with fluency), and has great comprehension.
Thanks to my friend Bethany's husband, I now have a computer (for awhile). Our hard drive is dying so we are saving for a new one. No one knows how much longer this one will last. I was SO afraid I'd lost all of Sweet Pea's baby pictures. Thanks to him, I didn't.
Hard to believe she's six months old. She now rolls places FAST, pulls herself along by her arms (in a pre-crawl), and can sit up for a little while with the assistance of a Boppy. She has always been really really good about tummy time. She babbles all the time and screeches. When she's happy she'll smile, but usually she's serious. When she's mad, she's ANGRY. She does not like to wear a cute hat or a bow or a headband. I try and try, but she pulls them out.
She is a mama's girl, big time. I can't even walk through the room without her crying because she saw me. I still don't have trouble dropping her off in the church nursery, but I always leave quickly. She's very cuddly, but also squirmy. That sounds contradictory, but it is what it is. She moves all the time, but it doesn't mean she doesn't want to be held.
She starts off in her crib, but is in bed with me by 11pm most nights. I don't mind, and my milk supply is all the better for it. We're not starting solids with her anytime soon. I want her to keep on her curve and am not doing ANYTHING to mess with the system we have now. I attribute her growth to me taking 6-8 Fenugreek a day, drinking 3-4 cups of Mother's Milk Tea, nursing round the clock, and most of all prayer. I have several people praying specifically that my supply will remain steady.
This picture came out weird because my camera flash needs a new battery and is acting funky, but I thought it was kinda cool how her eyes look. She's chewing everything she can get her hands on as she has two top teeth that just won't pop through. I don't think they could be any closer...and yet there they sit right under the surface. At 6 months old Sweet Pea is 24 1/4" and weighs 13# 13 oz. She is still perfectly balanced on her curve that she's been on since birth. You grow girl!
Snug loves life. At eight years old, he is a big brother four times over, a role he takes very seriously. He loves to read, swim, run, play Legos, and hear stories. He is sensitive to the needs of others and has a very kind heart.
Little Monkey Man
Watch out world! This middle child is not about to be left out of anything! Formally known on this blog as "Baby J" he is a baby no longer. His sense of adventure is downright dangerous and he will push your buttons all day long. This six year old is very generous and has a sweet smile that will light up a room. Don't let him use his "eyes" on you or you may fall under his spell!
Four years old and quite the little lady. Not sure what we'll do with all of her emotions, but loving watching her grow. She loves ballet, preschool, and church and all of her friends-both real and stuffed variety.
She's three! Hard to believe how fast time goes by. She's my girl and she's demands lots of my love. Growing, changing, and making us all laugh (and scream...not gonna lie), this little one is so precious.
Oh this baby. Easiest one, cheeriest one. Laid back, happy, sweet.