Thursday, December 30, 2010

Perfect Christmas Card

What are the chances that I'll ever get this perfect of a picture of all three kids again? Pretty slim, I'll tell ya!!

Jacob 3.5 yrs Anna 5.5 yrs Isaac 5 weeks

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Gonna Miss This

I keep hearing that song in my head (search for "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins if you haven't heard the song) and remember a blog post I read over a year ago. She talked about not wanting to wish away the precious moment with her children, especially when things are crazy, hectic, frustrating, and tiring.
I have a to-do list 6 miles long and not enough time to do it all before we leave in 1.5 days for Christmas Globe Travel 2010. And Isaac has started to be very fussy every evening for hours. The only thing he wants is to be swaddled, fed, or held. For a couple hours tonight as I sat here rocking and soothing him, all I could think about were the piles of laundry needing done, the suitcases needing packed, the floors needing swept & mopped, the bedrooms needing cleaned, the presents needing wrapped...on & on. And then I realized that instead of taking this time, frustrating as it maybe since I don't know why such a normally happy baby is so upset, to relish the snuggles and smile and connect with my baby...I was wishing it away so I could get *stuff* done. I remember the day he was born and how heartbreaking it was not to be able to hold him. And I think of my brother & his family and how they're told how often they can hold their baby, or my friend whose babies are 3 weeks old and she's only been able to hold them twice. Or my cousin & her family who will only hold their baby again in Heaven. How dare I wish away time to hold this miracle, and listen to his little snores, and watch his dreams play out on his face. Life is so precious. It is truly a gift from the Lord and I take it for granted far too often. So I promise myself and my children that I will try my hardest to never wish away any moments spent with them-whether it's holding a cranky baby, comforting a scared 5 year old in the middle of the night, or cuddling a tired 3 year old who just wants me to hold him.
Lord, thank You for blessing me with these three amazing children and please help me to never take for granted the time You give me with them, no matter the time of day or the length of my to-do list.
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

She's a "Mother Hen"

She said "Look Mom! I can burp Jacob, too!!!" Poor Jacob.
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Picture-less Christmas Letter

We left my computer with the "doctor" so we'll see what happens. I'm pretty sure I won't be getting a Christmas card/photo/letter out any time soon...seeing how it's almost Christmas and all! And I can't get to any of my pictures. So I'll try to type up a little Christmas letter here. We'll see how far I get before I get interrupted!
Aaron is still at the College. He had a very busy travel season this year (which I did NOT like being 8+ months pregnant during that time!). Their enrollment numbers are still going up, so he's doing a great job! His second job keeps him busy as well, but he says it's kind of nice to have a basically stress-free, mindless job to do (not completely on either counts obviously...). His hard work and intense focus have helped us pay off a lot of debt very quickly, considering our situation! I'm so proud of how hard he works to provide for us. We are currently praying about buying a bigger house. We're bursting at the seams here, but we'll see where God takes us! Aaron still plays on his summer league softball team and of course plays Fanstasy Football. In his non-existent spare time he runs (still doing the half marathon each summer!) and plays with his favorite kids. They love playing with Daddy, whether it's dancing to Bob & Larry, going for bike rides and runs, playing ball, or playing a silly game Anna makes up...they just love their Daddy!
I am trying to get into the swing of three kids!! It's been more of an adjustment that I thought it would be. I'm a lot more tired this time around I think, even though the recovery has been by far the quickest and easiest (don't tell Mom, but I did a load of laundry the night we got discharged from the hospital!). It was a rough start with Isaac, but we are so thankful that his stay in the NICU was short and he is very healthy. Time is flying by quickly and I try to remember to soak up these newborn moments, even in the dead of night when I'm exhausted. For now I've quit my Guidepost job. I told them I was off until at least January and we'll see from there. It's nice to know the job is there if I need/want it back but right now I can't imagine adding any other responsibility to my plate! I'm looking forward to the new year and getting back into our ladies' Bible study.
Anna is loving kindergarten! I can't believe she's in school. We decided to only send her half days to start with...she is far ahead of most in her class thanks to Mrs. Z so we weren't worried about the academic side of it. We really felt that she wasn't ready to be in school all day. And she hasn't been. She's always been given the chance to stay all day if there is something special going on in the afternoon, but she always opts not to. One day a couple weeks ago I had her stay all day (they had program practice). When I picked her up at the end of the day and asked how her first full day was, she said "It was fun. But boy I'm tired!" She still naps almost every day-doesn't always sleep but more times than not she does. We plan to send her all day after Christmas, so we'll see how that goes! I'm sure it will take her a week or two to get used to it. She's had some adjustments to make with friends. She's learning how to make to friends and get along--they don't let her boss them around like Jacob does! :) There are some days when she tells me about things that happen that I just want to keep her at home and protect her from any unkindness...she's such a sweet girl!! But I know they are lessons she'll have to learn at some point. Nobody warned me about this! Anna Rose has been a HUGE help with Isaac. She's always willing to hold him or feed him if I need her to and she absolutely loves it. She thinks she's pretty big stuff now that she's big enough to walk around with him and even burp him on her own! I'm not sure how much longer she'll be able to walk with him at the rate he's growing! It's been a bit of a rough adjustment for her with a new baby at home. She loves him but adjusting to the shift in family dynamics has been hard. And I think coming off several months full of change (Aaron traveling a lot, starting school, new baby) has a lot to do with it. I'm repeating "consistency" over and over to myself most days! We're getting there and she just melts my heart with the kind things she says and does when I least expect it.
Jacob is such a joy and a challenge. His speech is improving by leaps and bounds! He's been going to preschool 2 mornings a week for speech therapy. He loves school! He is the complete opposite of Anna when it comes to mornings. Even if he's a bit grumpy, he's still cooperative and basically in a good mood. And he wants to eat. Right. Away. There was a time Anna would wait for hours before being hungry for breakfast. Not Jacob! He went through several phases for breakfast food...pancakes, shredded wheat. Now it's oatmeal. And if he doesn't finish it, I put it in the fridge and he'll eat it as his morning snack...cold! He adores Isaac and LOVES to hold him. The challenging part about Jacob is that he got just enough of my stubbornness and just enough of Aaron's one track mind!! But he has a soft heart most of the time. Although there are times when he flat out says "give me 'panking!" That could be trouble!! His favorite things are still John Deere (of any kind) and Thomas the Train. He had a blast riding with Uncle Terry and Aunt Cara during harvest this summer. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he becomes a farmer (or is involved in agriculture in some way) when he grows up. It's like it's ingrained in his DNA! He's very content to play by himself and still lets Anna boss him around when they play together. I'm waiting for the day that doesn't happen...
Isaac is growing by the second, it seems! He eats and eats. He has outgrown his newborn sized clothes but 0-3 months are still a bit long. He outgrew newborn diapers long ago and is almost out of size 1! I think he's going to be a big boy like Jacob. His sleep hasn't been quite as good since I bragged on him (that's what I get!) but still good for most 5 week olds! He is really starting to interact with his surroundings. He is so close to smiling and cooing! He tries really hard to make a sound sometimes but can't quite get it out. He is fascinated by the Christmas lights. He did a pretty good job traveling this weekend, too so I'm praying that remains the trend through all of our Christmas traveling! He's a sweet, sweet baby and I can't imagine life without him! What a blessing God has given us in all of our children.
May this "letter" find each of you enjoying the Reason for this season, being mindful of what it means and taking to heart the love Christ has for His children! (and cue baby crying...that's the end!)
Merry CHRISTmas!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sleepy Boy

Isaac was having a very hard time staying awake which means I got a pretty cute video of his dreamy faces :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quick...Catch Up!

While I have a computer with access to the pictures on my camera, I'll catch up a bit!

The kids were excited to put the tree up, but their excitement quickly fizzled when it wasn't immediately time to put the ornaments on. But we (I) got it done and the kids, especially Isaac, love to look at the pretty lights.

Anna was having a hard time going to sleep one night. I was in the middle of who knows what so she climbed up and snuggled with Isaac. She really is asleep in this picture! It melted my heart when I walked into my room and saw them.

This boy likes to be snuggled up tight when he's tired.

This was just shy of two weeks after Isaac was born.

Jacob was SO proud to hold Isaac for this picture! My 3 beautiful blessings!

Daddy's love

Big sister, the big helper! She LOVES to feed (and burp! she's so proud that she can burp him) Isaac.

Isaac also loves his swing.

Since we won't be able to make it up to Iowa during Christmas break, we decided to make a quick trip this weekend. They really go all out with the decorations. And it's been a long time since we've been up here! AND THERE'S SNOW!!!! :) Practically as soon as the kids were up this morning they were asking to go outside. So we spent 30+ minutes getting them bundled up and out they went!

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Month Already?!

I cannot believe it's been almost a month already! Isaac is a voracious eater, a great sleeper, a beautiful baby (I'm allowed to say that since he's a baby).
He must have vivid dreams because he's always making faces in his sleep. He likes to be swaddled tight to sleep, loves his paci almost as much as he loves his milk, makes the cutest little noises in his sleep, and is lavishly loved by his siblings.
For a week now he's been sleeping "all night" most nights. I say "all night" because that's by baby standards! :) He will usually go 5-6 hrs. I put him down for the night midnight or after then he sleeps til 5 or later, eats and goes right back to sleep for another 2-3 hrs. He's eating at least 4 oz at every feeding. He's starting to get too long for newborn sized clothes but not quite long enough for 0-3 months.
Isaac also loves his car seat. Which is a good thing considering all the car time he's going to get over Christmas! As long as the van is moving, he'll stay asleep-even past his normal eating times. I hope that continues through the month! My other two hated their car seats!!
I still can't tell what color his eyes are going to be. Sometimes they definitely look darker-brown or hazel-and other days they look like they might be blue. His hair is definitely getting lighter, too, just like Anna's did. She had almost black hair at birth like Isaac & hers gradually lightened by the time she was one. Isaac definitely favors Anna in looks (and depending on who you ask, that means favoring Aaron or me/my brother Jeremy!).
Time is flying by so quickly. Before I know it he'll be mobile & moving around! But for now, I try to remember to soak up these precious newborn moments. What a treasure God gives us through these babies!!
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Helper

She loves feeding...and it gives me free hands to pump!
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heart Talk

Isaac's echo went well this morning. There were 4 issues they were concerned about from his first echo at 3 days old.
1. Mild Peripheral Pulmonary Stenosis. This is the 2 valves that go from the heart to each lung. They should form a "Y" shape or even a right angle, but Isaac's are at an acute angle. It's fairly common in infants because everything is so squished up in there. More than likely he will outgrow this by the time he's one. It isn't causing any problems, so no cause for concern. We'll do another echo in three months to check on it.
2. At birth, he had a moderate Atrial Septal Defect-a hole in the right atrium that babies have in-utero. Usually closes up by birth, but Isaac's hasn't. However, it's already shrunk quite a bit so the cardiologist was very encouraged by that. Again, no cause to worry-check it again in 3 months.
3. He also had small Patent Ductus Arteriosis. Basically a hole in a valve above his left atrium. That is gone!
4. He also has an acceleration of blood flow in his aortic artery. It isn't significant enough to cause concern, so we'll follow up on that in 3 months as well.
I really like both the cardiologist & his nurse practitioner. He said there is no reason to worry about any of these issues. They are all common in babies and they usually outgrow them by a year, sometimes five. So, praise the Lord! Thank you for praying for us!
Oh yes, he weighs over 9 lbs already!!! Big sister loves to walk around holding him (she's not allowed off the carpet!) And Isaac loves it when she sits in front of the Christmas tree so he can see the lights!

Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:30 Isaac has his follow up echocardiogram to check the heart murmur. Please pray that everything will be just as it should be, that the valve will be perfectly closed as it should be. Anna and Jacob (especially Jacob) have yucky colds, so Aaron is staying home with Jacob instead of coming with me (we didn't want to spread the germs to anyone else's kids!).
On an exciting note, Anna's school Christmas program is tomorrow evening! And she gets to stay at school ALL DAY (and eat lunch at school!!) since they're practicing pretty much all day. AND they get to ride a bus to the college to practice. She's a little nervous about staying all day, but she's really excited about the play! If I can get my computer working again, I'll have pictures (and hopefully video!) to post.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Isaac must have some pretty sweet dreams-he always smiles, along with a dozen other expressions! I can't believe I caught his sleepy smile! I've been trying for several days. And with my phone, no less! Usually the flash makes him squint & frown. I can't wait until he smiles "for real" :)
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Necessity (or is it desperation?) is the mother of all invention, right? Since all of my makeup & such is in our bedroom, which is also Isaac's "nursery", I had to find some way to get ready that wasn't in the dark! Thus, the blanket over his bed. :) I could have taken everything into the bathroom, but this was much easier!
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Its Beginning to Look...

A lot like Christmas at our house!! Christmas is easily my favorite holiday. Not only for the obvious Reason, but I just love the ambiance of the lights and some of my favorite memories are from Christmases past. I could spend a fortune on decorations :) and I coerce Aaron into putting up lights outside every year. I cannot even fathom not having lights up outside! I guess I come by it naturally if you've ever seen my parents' house! This will be the most challenging year to decorate-with 3 little ones, one who requires a LOT of Mommy (he thinks he's starving after an hour!!) and two big kids who want to help, but then they don't, but then they do... :) And of course not having all my energy back yet. But I'll get it done...for the most part anyway!
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Friday, December 3, 2010

Do What Ya Gotta Do...

To survive some days! Aaron has to work this evening & well...they're not screaming at each other so I don't care!!!
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry