Thursday, April 30, 2009


When Elijah was born, many people gave us "twin" outfits for them. I finally was able to use one of the outfits as Elijah is now getting bigger. These little dinosaur outfits are from my Mom. Isaac's will be too small in days probably, so I wanted to have an opportunity to put them in them before the window is passed. I got both boys changed without a problem. However, getting a picture of them together was a whole 'nother story.

Attempt one. Isaac had been in the middle of playing and thought this picture thingy was a very bad idea.

Attempt two. This is right before Isaac falls off the footstool. What a bad Mommy! Putting pictures over safety. Many tears ensue.

Mom changes strategies and decides to take pictures of the boys individually instead. Elijah thought this was a great idea!

Here's the photo I decided to use for his three month picture. I love this kid!

Isaac was incredibly pleased with the idea of taking his picture by himself. No problem Mom. I can pose for a picture of me. Just don't make me share the stage with that little brother of mine, okay?

I had to include one that showed the big dinosaur head on his rear end. How cute is that? Isaac doesn't like this picture. He said it makes his thighs look fat. Ha! I love that chub.

Running from Mommy in the hallway.

Stoppin' for a quick smile.

And giving me a funny face.
I also got a very cute video of the two boys which shows off a bunch of their skills. We are excitedly waiting for Grama K., Aunt Gabbi, and cousins Grace and Nate to arrive from Fort Lauderdale so we are talking about that a lot in the video.

Saying good bye to John & Becky

We had John and Becky over for dinner last night. They even brought their little pup Annie who did very well with Scrubs. She also did very well with Isaac. Isaac chased that little dog around the entire night and kept trying to get Annie to give her licks like Scrubs does. It was very cute! Anyways, the moving process began at John and Becky's house yesterday and by Tuesday, they will be on their way to Washington D.C.

I know I speak for everyone who has gotten to know this couple here on Eglin AFB, when I say that they are amazing people, full of life and love for each other and the Lord. I am so excited to see where the Lord takes them in the next few years together. They have a lot of life changes going on right now, and I know life is stressful. I also know that I am going to miss Becky tremendously. She has been such a great sister in the Lord for me during the last year.

Okay, before I start crying, I'll leave this post at that. Thank you for blessing our lives John and Becky. We look forward to visiting you and staying up-t0-date on your lives through the wonders of the Internet and possibly even (gasp!) the phone.

Please continue to keep them in their prayers as they await the results of their latest IVF. Those of you who have followed my journey from the beginning (or have read old blogs), know what kind of ups and downs infertility treatments can evoke. Please pray for a positive result and a healthy pregnancy at the end of this two week wait.

Will miss you guys!

Three months old

I'm not sure when you celebrate the three month birthday of a child born on the 31st of January. There are not 31 days in April! So I'm picking the last day of the month to celebrate it instead. Here's a picture of our little guy, chunkin' away. He is smiling like crazy, starting to talk and coo more, and sleeping through the night like a champ. He and I had a rough start with my week in the hospital and long recovery as well as his difficulty in getting enough to eat. But now that food is coming readily, he is sooooo much happier, I am more relaxed and confident, and we are the best of buds. I am so blessed by both my boys and amazed that there actually is room in my heart to love both my kids equally but in such different ways. Happy three months Elijah. Thank you for blessing my life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lil' Doctor

Thanks to my neighbor for this cute little bib!

Baby recommendation

Someone put a link to this very cool pacifier thermometer on my blog. I must tell you that I have one of these. Someone gave it to me for a gift when Isaac was born. However, I realized that this only works if your child uses a pacifier. Isaac quit using a pacifier when he was about two months old. A few weeks ago I thought I would try this pacifier thing. I tried to put it in his mouth and he got very upset!

Elijah is still a pacifier user so sometime I'll have to try it on him. I don't think he'll go quite as postal as Isaac did!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marley & Scrubs

You know that scene in Marley & Me where Jennifer Anniston has just gotten all her kids to sleep and she falls onto her bed, arm draped over her dog, in pure exhaustion, only to have the garbage truck roll by sending Marley into a barking fit and causing both babies to wake up crying?

Today, that happened to me.

I decided to try something new today. I draped a sheet over the comforter of the guest bed and let Scrubs take a nap on there with me. I'd do it on our bed, but I don't want him to get into the habit of thinking he can sleep with me. And, our bed is really high. I'm not Scrubs could jump up there without a real running leap.

You could tell Scrubs was in heaven when I said, "Up!" and he realized I was going to let him join me. Me? Get on the furniture? With you? He immediately jumped up and draped his chin over my leg ... pure doggy heaven.

In fact, we were all in heaven. Elijah fell asleep on my chest. I'm big on not having my kids sleep with me, but I have taken Joia's advice. She once told me that when Keenan was a baby she used to try to take at least one daily nap with him. I thought this was a great idea, and I tried to do it with Isaac and now Elijah as often as I can while they are still a little baby. Some days he doesn't want to go to sleep, other days we are interrupted by Isaac waking up or me having to go to the bathroom. But today, it worked perfectly! Elijah was asleep on my chest, Isaac was asleep in his crib, I was asleep on the bed, Scrubby was asleep on my leg . . .

And then . . .

The Fed Ex man came by. He didn't need a signature or anything. He just rang the bell to let me know he was there!

For those of you who don't know Scrubs personally, you may not know that he is not a big barking dog. I've heard this is a little true of the breed, and it is definitely true of him. He'll give a little bark now and then, but never usually more than one unless he is really unnerved. But this ring woke him out of a dead sleep, and he was in a new place, on a new bed, in the back of the house where he couldn't see what was going on and couldn't protect us from the big bad Fed Ex guys. He jumped off the bed, went running down the hallway barking, causing both Elijah on my chest to start crying and Isaac in his crib to wake up crying!

And I think I started crying too. :( I felt bad after that because I got so mad at Scrubs. I really yelled at him, and I could tell that he had no idea why. He just sat there looking at me as if to say: I thought I was supposed to protect you! That's my job!

Poor Scrubby. Poor me. Poor boys. Nap time over.

I've decided to put a note on the door asking people to knock instead of ring the bell. I hope that doesn't appear rude. I'm also going to ask that the package guys just drop their package off if they don't need a signature. We'll find it eventually.

My little Marley . . .

I shoulda known . . .

This was my attempt at a picture of Isaac in his cute little outfit before church on Sunday morning. Yes, I did attempt and get to church on my own on Sunday. And I did a mighty good job of it too. I remembered everything, the kids were dressed appropriately, I was dressed appropriately. It was a peaceful and great morning.

However, I shoulda known that Isaac's tears when I put him down for a picture was a sign that he wasn't feeling good ... again. Right before I put him into nursery, I thought he felt a little warm, but chalked it up to the church being hot and me being "overly motherly". However, ten minutes after I dropped him off, they were calling me out to get him. I could hear him screaming in the hallway. Roxanne was trying to comfort him, to absolutely no avail, and she asked me if I knew he was burning up!? So I guess my intuition was correct.

I took Isaac and Elijah, piled them into the car before I even got to hear the sermon, and drove to the hospital. I had to wait a bit to see JB because he was quite busy, but he was able to take about ten minutes and check Isaac out. He had a temperature of 104! What is it with this kid and his temperature? No apparent earache either. One of JB's fellow residents, Kacey, was there, and comforted us with an unbiased, not-his-parent assessment. (There's a reason doctors don't treat their own family. It just really isn't possible!) It seems he is just getting some illnesses back-t0-back and for whatever reason, he is more prone to them manifesting themselves with fevers. Poor little guy. The good thing is that after some Tylenol and a FOUR hour nap, he was more like himself. It's now Tuesday and while the fever is not gone, he seems to be doing a bit better everyday.

However, despite not making it through the entire service, I am very proud of myself for getting to church solo. It honestly wasn't bad at all. I did miss MOPS today due to Isaac being sick but am enjoying a very productive morning at home.

I am also very excited about all the company we have coming in. I realized that between company and travels, we have a lot going on! Our list includes:
  • On Thursday, JB's Mom and our sister-in-law Gabbi and her two kids Grace & Nathan are coming in to help us celebrate Isaac's birthday party!
  • Then a few days later, Joan is coming to keep me company while JB goes out of town for a week.
  • A few days after she leaves, my parents are coming up for Memorial Day.
  • After they leave, we'll be heading out to visit Kentucky and then head to New York for Ajit's wedding.
  • About a week after we get back, my Dad is coming up to spend a week during his summer vacation.
  • I have also booked a ticket to Chicago in mid-June with Elijah so that my Grama H. can meet the little guy as she has been pretty sick in recent months.
  • Over the Fourth of July, my brother, his wife, and their new baby are coming to visit.
  • And then come late July, we are all heading to Colorado where JB is attending another Wilderness Medicine Conference. I am so blessed that my great friend (and Isaac's godmother) Kelsey will be joining us in Snowmass to help me with the boys and just spend some time with for awhile! Yippee!
Whew . . . I'm exhausted just writing out that list. So much for my plans to lay low for awhile. I managed to, for about four months. No it's time to get the party started!

Cool Recommendation & trivia

I get two magazines delivered to my house each month. In my latest issue of Fitness, they had a link to a great website: You can get FREE music to listen to when you run! Not only is it updated every two weeks, but it is completely ethical as well. I can't wait for JB to get home to help me learn how to download it from my website to my nanopod. I still don't get a lot of this technology. But I am excited that they tell me it's possible. Let me know if any of you try it out. And I'll be sure to post again when I do as well.

So, now for the trivia question. And if you have visited my house and seen my other magazines, you can't guess. What do you think the other magazine is that I subscribe to? No cheaters please! If I've told you or you've seen it, don't participate. Only people who are truly making a guess.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dogs and Babies

Got another blog question I thought was pretty interesting:

It seems like Srubs has transitioned really well to two babies in the house. We have two Goldens and I was wondering (if Lord willing we are able to bring a child into our household) if you had any tips for families with pets. Just curious!

So, here is my two cents ... take it for what it is worth. Scrubs is my very first dog so I don't profess to be a dog professional in any sense of the word. In addition, Scrubs is far from perfection. He does amazing with the kids, but even just this morning we caught him chewing one of Isaac's toys to shreds ...

We brought Scrubs home in July of 2007. At the time, he was just two months old. When he became a part of our family, we thought that we were years away from bringing kids into the home. We'd have plenty of time to raise a dog before little ones joined our lives. Let's get a high mainenance and energetic Dalmatian why don't we?!

In October of 2007, when Scrubs was about five months old, we found out about Isaac. Scratch that last paragraph. Suddenly we were going to have a baby and a young dog at the same time.

The thought of that terrified me. Scrubs put everything he could in his mouth. When he was a pup he swallowed socks whole -- proved when he later would upchuck them from his stomach whole. He was rambunctious and uncoordinated and only listened when the stars were perfectly aligned. How could I merge a tiny baby with a pup like Scrubs?

I honestly have no idea how it all came together the way it did. Everyone told me that dogs just "get it." They know who is in their pack and accept them and protect them. Scrubs is great with all kids, but he is especially good with Isaac and we are already seeing signs that he is going to be the same thing with Elijah. He is, honestly, better with children than he is with adults.

I don't know if any of the following had anything to do with it but here are some of the things we did in order to prepare our home for baby and dog:
  • Took Scrubs to training classes. We did puppy kindergarten, basic obedience, and an agility class before Isaac's arrival in May of 2008.

  • Exposed Scrubs to as many children as possible. I encouraged all my friends to bring their kids over and for those that felt comfortable with it, had Scrubs out and (attempting to be) gentle with the kids.
  • Went on tons of walks and allowed anyone who wanted to a pet session. We would walk by the bus stops so all the kids could maul him and smother him with love. Even today, I get stopped everytime I go on a walk by kids wanting to pet Scrubs. They've been stopping me on my runs too, and I just don't have the heart to say no even though stopping a run isn't easy to do.
  • Tugged on Scrubs' ears and tail often. Poked him in uncomfortable places. Got him used to the onslaught that would ultimately result with a toddler in the house.
  • Fed Scrubs' out of our hands. We actually did not use a dog bowl with him until he was about eight months old. We fed him out of our hands and out of kongs. Even today, I try to give him his dinner straight from me every week or so -- feeding him each piece of kibble one a time while he takes it from me gently. When kids come over, I give them a tupperware container filled with kibble that they can feed him one piece at a time. I think a soft mouth is a HUGE part of having kids in the house with a dog. You need to know that the dog will be gentle at all times. Isaac will actually put his whole arm into Scrubs' mouth, and while I don't like it, I know that there is no chance he would hurt Isaac in the process. It's a great comfort.
  • Tried to teach him "no lick" so he did not smother kids in slobber. This is still a daily battle.
  • Taught him "off". This may be easier for calmer dogs, but for Scrubs, if someone was on the floor, he instantly thought they were there to wrestle with him. We taught him that he can approach us when we are sitting on the floor if he lies down and crawls to us. But he cannot approach us by standing or jumping on us. Now, when he wants to approach Isaac, he often gets in a lying down position.
  • "Leave it" became a very important command. We taught Scrubs that he could not pick up anything off the floor unless we gave him permission. For instance, if we were to drop a steak on the floor in the kitchen, he doesn't move toward it until we tell him it is okay. This assures me (for the most part) that dropped child snacks will not be snagged by the dog unless permission is grants.
  • Scrubs was a huge thief. In fact I have been told that this is a traditional Dalmatian trait. Bitter yuck became our best friend. We sprayed it in his mouth every single time that he put something in his mouth that wasn't his. Clothes, stuffed animals, toys . . . if they weren't his, he got sprayed. It was the best thing we ever did. He very rarely messed with the boys' toys. (Although keeping Isaac away from Scrubs' toys is a whole 'nother story.)
  • We also curbed any possesion issues. When he was eating, we took his food from him or took his bones and toys from him while he was playing. He must wait for permission to eat and Isaac and I hang out by him when he eats sometimes and make him stop eating when we say. We taught him that he doesn't own anything. We own it and choose when he can play with it or eat it. To this day, Scrubs waits for the okay from us before he goes to eat his breakfast or dinner. I don't worry at all about him getting possessive over his food if one of the boys was to wander up on him. We noticed that he could get a little protective over bones with other people in the house. (He doesn't do this with us or the boys.) We have really limited rawhides because of this.

Well folks, I think that is all the secrets I have to success. I hope this helps a bit! Thanks again for the blog questions. They are very interesting. If anyone else has anyone kid/pet tips, bring 'em on!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First fort


Question: Why do they make the little scooper in formula the same color as the formula? Why yellow? Why not blue or red and black? Why not a color that stands out more at 5:30 in the morning at 10 o'clock at night? Who markets these products?

Another ponderance. Peanut Butter. These tall jars of peanut butter are a mistake if you ask me. It makes you not want to scrape the bottom of the jar in frustration of your whole hand being covered in peanut butter. We keep a jar of PB on the top of Scrubs' kennel and use it to coat treats before we leave. We are at the bottom of the jar and my hand is covered in it.

Why do kids like tupperware so much? JB baby-proofed the kitchen this week while he was home. (I don't think I included that on our accomplishment list.) He didn't baby proof the tupperware cabinet as Isaac loves to go in there. The good news is that I keep the lids on my tupperware so when he yanks them out I don't feel the need to wash them unless he manages to pry a lid off. But let's be honest folks. How many of you all stack your tupperware separate from your lids? I know when my mother and mother-in-law come in town they try to revolt against my system and do that separate stacking thing. No separate stacking for this family. I hate having to wade through to find the right lids. I'd rather take up a whole cupboard with already matched bottoms and lids that I can just yank out right when I need it. Who's with me on this?

Another ponderance. Well, this is a thank you actually. Thanks for all the advice regarding travelling with the two tykes. My great friend and teammate from WKU, Jaime, sent me the link for this machine: Conair Infant Sound Machine. It's small enough to actually, realistically, travel with, so I've bought one and am waiting for it's arrival to take on our trip. I'll let you all know how it works out, but Jaime swears by it and I trust her. The bad news is, I called the hotel to request two cribs, and they told me we couldn't fit two cribs in the room. Must be a small room. Unfortunately, this is New York. Way too pricey to get a second room. So we'll try to request a handicap room and probably have one or both kids sleep with us. Remember: JB and I always get two double beds so we can each get a kid!

Okay, ponderances aside, JB has left for his Sunday call (he gets off tomorrow morning), and I am venturing to church solo! Wish me luck!

I love my crib!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saying please

Add to our "done" list? Cleaning the carpets. Proved by this video.

But actually, I'm not putting up this video to show you how clean our carpets are now. I'm putting it up to show you Isaac doing the sign for "please." The sign is rubbing your belly, and he has just started doing it regularly. It is my hope that this belly rubbing will help him from having to cry to tell us he wants us something. He can just rub his belly instead!

The sign language book tells you in no uncertain terms not to ask your child to "perform" their signs. So I attempted to make it real world by offering him something he really wanted: the phone.

Take a look at that belly rub!

Also, I just read some great news on Becky's blog. If you haven't been over there check it out! They have five embryos growing. In addition, they were able to freeze some of Becky's eggs. This is something they wanted to attempt in my case as well, but were unable to accomplish. You can only attempt this in the case of a woman who has an excess number of eggs and is not desiring to fertilize them all. It is my hope that someday doctors are able to simply take eggs and freeze them in order to prevent the need for creating embryos that may go unused. This hasn't been done much since they haven't been able to achieve a very good thaw rate using eggs.

Please continue to pray for each of their little lives. Other than my own, I'm not sure I have ever quite wanted an IVF to work as badly as I want this for John and Becky. Let's flock Heaven with prayer for this couple and their embryos!

Chunkin' up

Things we accomplished this week

Here's just a sampling of some of the things we accomplished this week. I can't remember everything. I wouldn't call this a relaxing week but it sure was nice to dig ourselves out of a bit of a whole.

  • Spent one night in a hotel (sort of).
  • Both: Bought running shoes.
  • Both: Bought Isaac his first pair of shoes.
  • Both: Ran errands at Target.
  • Both: Ran errands at Pet store.
  • JB: Ran errands around town.
  • JB: Rigged double swing hung in backyard.
  • Both: Had the oil changed in the Saturn.
  • Both: Went out on a date on Thursday night. (Thanks Jodi!)
  • Both: Went on daily walks or jogs with the family.
  • Both: Sorted coins in our coin jar with money we've been collecting since before we got married.
  • JB: Went through JB's old comic books and baseball cards from high school to see if we could sell anything.
  • Both: Watched the second half of The Dark Knight. (I actually liked it.)
  • Wendi: Finished reading The Road. (Great book Tara and Rachel!)
  • Both: Changed approximately 80 diapers.
  • JB: Cleaned out our birdcage so we could put it on Craig'slist to sell.
  • JB: Completed lots of bills, insurance, banking stuff.
  • Wendi: Washed a bottle approximately 80 times.
  • Wendi: Used some gift certificates online to buy some necessary items.
  • Wendi: Went to lunch with the wifia at the park.
  • Both: Gave approximately 9 baths.
  • JB: Clipped the hedges.
  • Wendi: Went to lunch with Becky.

I wanted to end this post by giving a congratulations to some old high school friends. Michelle was in my brother's class in school and was on my volleyball team. She and I were really good friends. Anyways, she and her husband Chad were divorced a year ago today. However, today, my parents are attending a second wedding for the two of them as they get remarried and reunite their family which includes two small children. Congrats Chad and Michelle. God is such a great God to repair the broken! What a testimony your lives are to the rest of us.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Many of you gave me some great advice about bottles and how to keep them straight between the two boys.

In the end, I've opted to just "muddle through" until Isaac is weaned. He is already drinking out of a cup now and then so I am hoping this will happen soon. I already own all the ADVENT bottles I need and just didn't want to buy more in order to have different styles for both boys. It does create a lot of trickiness, but saving the money was worth it to me.

Isaac still gets a little upset if a bottle comes out for Elijah and not for him. I try to time it so Isaac gets to drink some when I feed Elijah. Or he has already eaten and just has no interest in more milk when Elijah's bottle comes out. Sometimes he just has to get upset for awhile if none of these options are possible. Cheerios helps greatly in the distraction process.

As we await complete weaning, I have six bottles for Isaac and six bottles for Elijah. I had smaller bottles for Elijah but then he decided he wanted six ounces to drink instead of four. Thus the bigger bottles like big brother's had to come out. The smaller ones only hold up to four ounces.

The nipples look exactly the same. But they aren't. Isaac's is a size 4. Elijah's is a size 1. The nipple size is very important as it determines how fast the liquid comes out.

Unfortunately, the ADVENT people didn't think seeing the number on the nipple was incredibly important. They designed it so the only way you can read the size is to hold the nipple up under bright light, spin in circles three times, and make a wish.

Okay, not exactly, but I think you get my point.

I tried to wash them in "groups" to prevent this intense nipple studying every time I washed bottles. But it just doesn't work that way. By mid morning, I usually have 5-7 bottles to wash. That's enough to get a load done and into the sanitizer (a Godsend might I add!) So I have decided to just wash, sanitize, and then study the nipples before putting Isaac's up on the left side of the counter and Elijah's on the right.

If they go into the fridge because they weren't finished, Isaac's go on the second shelf and Elijah's on the first. JB started to tell me that this was backwards, but I told him that it was already imprinted into my brain, and he was going to have to adjust. I think he could tell by looking at my face how serious I was about my new system and so he fell into line without questioning any further.

But I did want to thank everyone for the input! It's so great to know that I have a village behind me as I raise my boys.

I'm going to get you!

Isaac doesn't "quite" get running away from us yet ... here's me trying to teach him.

Requesting Prayer

Please join with me in lifting up our great friends John and Becky in prayer as Becky is going in for an IVF harvest today. Needless to say this is probably all I will be thinking about all day today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In the pack

We long ago knew that Scrubs had accepted Isaac into our pack, but while he has been kind to Elijah, we hadn't yet, until today, seen the same protection mechanisms kicking into gear. This morning, however, Scrubby let us know that Elijah is welcome as well and that he plans to take just as good of care of him as he does Isaac.

Little E.

A few pics of our little cutie pie

In case you wanted to know

Elijah is able to pee nearly halfway across the room.

Just thought you all would like to know this. I try to avoid talk of bodily functions on the blog, but I just have to share this one. I've had baby boys in my house for nearly a year now but this is the first time I ever saw anything like this.

I had a friend give me a pack of "pee-pee tepees" -- little cones you can use for protection. I didn't see the need to use them previously.

I now see the need.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today . . .

... Elijah took a nap on the couch. He actually fell asleep on me, but I had to roll him off when Isaac woke up from his nap.

... Daddy rigged a double swing system in the backyard. How cool is this?!

... Mommy got to go to the park with just Isaac to meet all the gals for lunch.

... I put just my feet in the water. It's still too cold for me.

... Got to hold Moriah! Isn't she a cutie?!

... We tried out Isaac's new shoes. Doesn't he look grown up?

... Isaac flirted with Jodi.

... Joia got her picture taken for once!

... the kids played in the water.

... the gals posed for a picture.

... Joia helped me get a picture of me and my oldest boy.

It was a wonderful day at home. We are using JB's vacation to, well, put him to work. Put both of us to work. We are doing spring cleaning, cooking out on the grill, going on daily jogs, and accomplishing projects around the house that have been put off for too long. I am also enjoying the opportunity to spend quality time with each of my boys as there is an extra set of hands to help around the house. Elijah and I took a snooze on the couch together and we spent some time "talking" together. Isaac and I went to the park together. We are looking forward to a few more days of together time before JB returns to work with a call day on Sunday.
Click here to jump to Joia's rendition of the day.

Sometimes it's hard

*** This is a post on motherhood that may be a little sensitive to anyone struggling with infertility. Feel free to skip! ***

So I have a confession to make.

Someone once asked me after Isaac was born if my life had been just totally turned upside down.
My answer? No. Not really. Isaac was such a chill kid. We took him everywhere with us. I honestly didn't feel that bringing him home was any more difficult than the day our (not so) little pup joined our family. Just a new adventure. But not life changing. I know not all newborn parents feel that way. But for us, that was the case. I wasn't recovering from a pregnancy or delivery, he was sleeping through the night . . . life was different but not completely altering.

No one has asked me recently if my life has been just totally turned upside down by bringing Elijah home.

But I've decided to answer the question anyway.

Yes. It has. Completely. While Elijah has been more challenging than Isaac was as a baby (which seems to have improved since we are feeding him more now!), it isn't Elijah that is difficult for me. It is having two that is more difficult and life changing.

I cannot say that their closeness in age is the reason that it is harder. I don't have anything to compare them to. Maybe having kids four or three or two years apart is exactly the same or even harder than this. I really don't know.

Either way, having a second at home has been life changing. That I do know.

JB has been home with me the last few days. We sat down on the couch after putting Isaac to bed and flipped on American Idol. JB was eating dinner and I was feeding Elijah. He told me that he felt like a day with both boys was equivalent to one of his busy rotation days. Just a day that you don't really have a chance to sit for a moment. Just the type of day that leaves you falling asleep sitting up at the end of it.

I do well throughout the day but at about 5:30-6:00pm, I start falling out, exhausted, and start having dreams about getting to crawl in my bed. When I do get into my bed right after I feed Elijah his last bottle of the night, usually around 9:30-10:00, I fall asleep in mere seconds. No tossing and turning for this chick.

I told JB I feel that when he is working, he gets my "scraps" at the end of the day. By the time he comes home, I have hit that exhaustion point. I don't quite feel like talking or hanging out together. I just feel like going to sleep.

Between diapers and feedings and changing clothes and putting a babe up or down from a nap and washing bottles and doing laundry and picking up and playing with the boys and letting Scrubs in and out and going for a jog, my day is completely jam-packed. If I add an "outing", it is then stuffed.

The hardest job I have ever done? Honestly? No. Teaching and coaching in Franklin during sports seasons definitely rivaled this. They were 70-80 weeks away from home. When sports weren't in season, the job got immensely easier, but during season, I remember feeling that same sort of fatigue.

But this is still not easy. I don't feel good at it. And sometimes, it is hard.

I need to admit that.

I'm not sure exactly why I haven't said this on my blog before now. I've always allowed my blog to be a place that I express my heart exactly and honestly. I haven't hid it. But I haven't really mentioned it either.

For some reason admitting that anything related to motherhood is difficult or challenging is hard for me right now. It isn't that I want to appear I am a super mom. I have no problem at all admitting that I am not a super mom. I don't see myself as one and don't feel that I am one. I am perfectly fine admitting that I need help or don't know how to do something. I see other moms and think, "Now that is a supermom."

However, I do have a fear of ever sounding like I am complaining about being a mom or having my two boys. I love them so incredibly much. I would never change where we are now for anything in the world. I never, ever, ever, want to sound ungrateful for the amazing blessing that has been bestowed on our lives.

I can remember when I was going through infertility. I remember hearing moms say it was hard. I agreed with them. I had done enough babysitting of multiple children to know it was hard. But I also knew I didn't care. I wanted that sooooo bad.

And now that I have it, I hesitate to mention the hard stuff because I don't want to sound unappreciative -- ever. I am so amazingly appreciate. I am so amazingly happy I am here.

But it is hard.

And you know what, my failure to admit that isn't fair to other moms or to moms-to-be. I need to be honest or people won't get the right picture.

I've been blessed with a few friends that I have really been able to share my heart with. They have encouraged me to go ahead and talk about some of the hard stuff. At MOPS the other day, moms went around discussing some of the good, bad, and in between stuff. Very helpful!

I got an email from a good friend the other day. She was talking about having two kids and admitted to me that it is quite exhausting. I echoed her sentiment and confessed my fear of not ever admitting that this was a little hard sometimes because I feared sounding ungrateful.

She wrote me back a very powerful email. I wanted to share just a portion of it, since her words were what encouraged me to write this blog.

Everyone who reads your blog knows the immense struggle you faced with infertility and then the immense joy you experienced through adoption and conception...BUT we also understand the immense time commitment of the daily feedings, diaper changes, naps, walks, and just pure chaos. Everyone likes the honesty of your blog, and other Moms would probably like you admitting.."No. I am not super mom!" because you always seem to have it so together.

When I read her last sentence, that I seemed to have it altogether, I knew I needed to set the record straight. I do not have it altogether. Oh my! Woah is that far from the truth. Things are chaotic and challenging and demanding and wonderful all rolled into one. I want to make sure everyone knows that. I never want to appear to be something I am not.

So I am saying it. I have to remind myself of the difference between admitting something is hard and complaining about it. I have to keep my mind clear that saying my day is chaotic or challenging is not saying I want to give back my boys or I wish they weren't here. They are amazing. They are an incredible blessing. I wouldn't change them for anything. I can admit that motherhood is hard just like I can admit coaching and teaching were hard. That doesn't admit I don't love what I do. I love it.

Even though it is sometimes hard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chubba-Chubba #2

Well folks, Elijah is officially a chubba-chubba just like big brother.

Okay so maybe that is a bit extreme, but he did manage to gain 22 ounces in one week! A week ago he weighed 11.1 pounds. Today he weighed 12.7!

To put this in perspective, Elijah had only managed to go from 8.14 to 11.1 in nearly 2.5 months. That's just 19 ounces. When we did his last weight check while still breast feeding, he had gained 4 ounces in 2 weeks. This time he had gained 22 ounces in just one week.

Normally babies gain about one half to one ounce a day. Elijah gained nearly three ounces a day on his new food source. Most babies his age are also eating less than 30 ounces a day. He is eating nearly 42 as he makes up for lost time. This jump in weight today moved him from the 4th percentile up into the 25th or so. Much better.

Praise the Lord for modern medicine and the ability to give our little boy something else to eat. People in some places in the world don't have either of these luxuries, and I am not taking either of them for granted. Little brother is obviously doing much better and on track to be quite healthy now that we figured out that the combo of him and I just wasn't a successful match in the food department.

To be quite honest, I feel like I have bonded with him more this last week than I had in the previous nine. I think a big part of this is that neither he nor I are frustrated anymore. I can sit and talk to him while I feed him and we now have a great working relationship. He is ending each meal satisfied!

Thank you everyone for your prayers. We'll go back in another week just to make sure this trend is continuing but for now, great news!

Weigh in

We have an appointment for Elijah this afternoon to see if he is gaining better weight. Please pray that everything looks great when we go in today. I will post as soon as we know. John thinks we are going to get a good report. We both think his cheeks definitely look chubbier!

As for me, I am honestly in completely heaven right now. I am cleaning my house with only baby Elijah here. And he is sleeping soundly in his swing. JB and Isaac went to run some errands and pick up Scrubs from the doggy daycare. I am walking from room to room without shutting doors to keep Isaac and Scrubs out. I am throwing laundry anywhere I want. It is awesome!

However, to be quite honest, both JB and I admitted that it felt very strange to be at home last night without Scrubs here to drive us crazy and rub his wet nose on our legs! He definitely is a part of our family and we do have to admit we miss him.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Points for trying

Isaac giving me Elijah's bottle. Isaac thought the hotel room was the greatest toy ever. Pads of paper, windows, air conditioners, ironing boards . . . so many new things to run back and forth in between.

I wanted to get a picture of this cute onesie -- by the time I got around to it, we had already done some burping damage! The cloth under his head is my feeble attempt to get him to face left instead of right in order to help with his uneven head shape. You can see how well it worked.

The hotel had a crib and we bought a pack-n-play. We moved them into different parts of the room for the night but it still didn't help generate sleep much.

Elijah pouting on the bed.

The pictures above are about all I took during our weekend away.

Scratch that. Instead of "weekend' I should say "night."

We left on Sunday morning and planned to return to our house on Tuesday morning. However, one night in the hotel was plenty for us and for the boys. By Monday at 3:00pm, we were back on Base, anxious for everyone to sleep in their own beds.

Our practice run for the wedding in New York City went well during daylight hours. We managed to get Isaac to take a nap with us in the room, we went to two nice restaurants (Carabbas and P.F. Changs) and both boys were on their best behavior, we did some shopping at the outlets, played on the beach, ran some errands . . .

But the night time was another story. Isaac still wasn't feeling great. That meant that from about 9pm until 6am, room #406 was going something like this:

Isaac: Starts coughing in his sleep.
Elijah: Wakes up due to big brother's coughing.
Isaac: Stops coughing.
Elijah: Starts crying.
Isaac: Wakes up.
Daddy: Goes to get Isaac to calm him down.
Mommy: Goes to get Elijah to feed him.
Daddy: Puts Isaac back in his crib.
Mommy: Finishes feeding Elijah. Puts him back in his bed.
Isaac: Starts coughing in his sleep.

And . . . repeat. Over and over again. Neither JB nor myself slept for more than about 30-60 minutes at a time before the coughing began, little brother awoke, and things started spiraling out of control.

I honestly resorted to begging and making deals with God. "Please God, just let Elijah sleep through the coughing. If he does, I promise I'll . . ."

Needless to say it was a very long night for everyone involved. If we were in New York for the wedding, we would have just had to deal with it. However, we weren't. We were forty-five minutes from our house, and we knew it. Neither of us had to convince the other come daylight that we shouldn't try to do two nights in a row.

JB rolled over at about 6:15am and pulled his head out from under a pillow and said, "So, I don't really want to stay another night!"

Wendi couldn't agree fast enough.

I remember Joia telling me that on one of their trips with Keenan they got a handicapped room so they could put his pack-n-play in the bathroom. I thought this was a great idea. Only problem for me is that I use the bathroom a lot during the night -- usually 2-3 times. Not sure that would work for us.

Just wondering if anyone has any other ideas about how to put two tykes in one room together for our trip. Hopefully, there won't be any coughing spells and things will go more smoothly. But in the end, any noise from one baby will send the other one into a fit of crying. How do we avoid that? At home, both our boys sleep through the night almost every night without getting up. However, they are still in separate rooms. Isaac is in the nursery and we have a little pack-n-play set-up for Elijah in the guest room that we can pull into our room when guests are here. Eventually I'd like both boys to sleep in the same room, but I recognize that may take a long time.

We felt like we did a good job packing for the weekend away -- keeping "things" to a minimum, only taking the necessities, etc. However, we aren't sure what our strategy will be to visit New York City without staying awake for three days. We are open to anyone and every one's advice. So bring it on!

P.S. Scrubs is still down at the little "doggy daycare" kennel in Santa Rosa Beach. I called the lady who runs it and she said Scrubs was having a fantastic time. "Although, I'll have to give him a bath before you pick him up," she said. No surprise there. Scrubs loves to roll when playing with other dogs. We decided to let him stay until tomorrow morning and pick him up then.

Elijah's girlfriends

Well, JB and I are probably still in Destin. But here is a post I set to upload before I left!


Elijah is so lucky! He is surrounded by such beautiful women. Saturday at the beach, I managed to snag just one photo in the short time we were there -- it's Chloe (Eric and Andrea's daughter) hanging out with her boyfriend Elijah. How sweet are they?

Of course Elijah wanted me to make sure that I reminded everyone he is not currently dating Chloe exclusively. Here he is with Moriah (Philip and Joia's little girl) back in February.

I also snagged a video while we were at the beach. It's quite windy but shows off our gorgeous white sand beaches! I also talk about my Minnesota friends briefly! :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Some videos

Well we did go to the beach yesterday but didn't stay long due to the not-so-nice-weather as well as a not-so-in-a-good-mood-Isaac. Our church was having a big bbq that I really wanted to go to, but Isaac really needed a nap. While Isaac napped, I laid down on my bed with Elijah, and JB came and took him out and left me sleeping there. It was wonderful! I slept for two full hours in the middle of the day. It felt so good. What an awesome husband I have. He also made me a fantastic steak dinner with brussel sprouts, salad, and some sort of broccoli/cauliflower vegetable I have only had like one other time in my life. Delicious! We did have to eat in shifts, due to a hungry Elijah, but it was still wonderful.

We are off to Destin now. We are excited to spend a weekend at a nice hotel on the beach. We also plan to run a lot of errands that are on that side of town anyway. We are also considering this a "practice run" for the wedding we are attending in New York City next month. We want to make sure we know exactly what we need for a week away with two little boys.

I have some posts set to automatically upload over the next two days so you'll still be hearing from me -- just not the real-time me.

As we leave, I leave you with a couple of recent videos. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tristan stops by & vacation begins

Micah, Shannon, Zach, Tristan, and Nathan in Turkey

During our first year here at Eglin, we became good friends with one of the third year residents. Tristan and his wife Shannon (and their three boys: Zach, Micah, and Nathan). After our first year, they were stationed in Turkey. This was my first glimpse of how fleeting relationships are in the military. People move so much! I am really starting to feel that now with another big moving season upon us (Becky, Bobby, and Brittany are at the top of the move list . . . but that's another blog in itself.)

Anyways, Tristan and his family are in the states for a few weeks, and Tristan popped over to Eglin to attend the residency retreat while Shannon and the boys remained in Savannah with family. All of the docs met in San Destin (about an hour from here) all day yesterday and half the day today to talk about their program and evaluate things. Tristan stayed with us. I picked him up from the airport yesterday morning and then last night we had the opportunity to sit and talk about Turkey, the Lord, family, our journey to parenthood, their handful of boys, everything. It was great!

JB and I are really thinking we would like to try to go overseas next summer when it is time to leave Eglin. Many people have asked me how this works. Each resident gets a 20 location "dream list." You rank the places you would like to go in the order you would like to go there. We plan to rank a lot of overseas locations very high in hopes we get the opportunity to go overseas. However, ultimately, we know that where we go is totally in the Lord's hands, and I am completely at peace with wherever that might be -- even if I end up back in the Polar North somewhere! (There's a base in North Dakota -- egads!) Sometime around July of 2010, we will be moving. We won't know where that is until March of next year. Either way, it was very enlightening to talk to Tristan and get some ideas about what the future holds next summer when we are sent to another location for 2-4 years.

Many of the residents went out for dinner with fellow residents and their families yesterday. Tristan went out with a bunch of guys as well. JB opted to come home. It's been an exhausting week for both of us with Isaac being sick, JB working long hours, and all the feeding changes with Elijah so we ultimately decided to just spend some family together here.

Also, in honor of the kick off of JB's vacation, we have a free weekend to use at a hotel in Destin that we earned by attending some timeshare mumbo jumbo about a year ago. (Sidenote: I do not recommend ever attending one of these mumbo jumbos no matter what they offer you. They are incredibly painful. If they tell you it is not a "hard sell" they are lying. It always is. And you have to say no like 5,000 times before you get out of there with your free prize.) Anyways, we have a hotel booked in Destin for the weekend -- Sunday night and Monday night. So if you don't see any blogs, that's why. We aren't sure what we are going to do exactly -- but relax and be a family on the beach are our top priorities. We are dropping Scrubs off tomorrow at this great play-day-kennel I found in Santa Rosa Beach. I know he'll have a great time and won't care at all that we are gone for the weekend.

As for today, all the families are meeting at the beach around lunchtime so I'll be connecting with JB sometime in the afternoon. I am doing a really good job getting out of the house with both boys. I really have it down to a science and even ventured to the grocery store by myself the other day. It was a little difficult to fit any groceries in my cart around Elijah's carseat, but I was still proud to say that I had done it.

Have a sunny weekend everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2009

You gotta see this!

If you haven't seen this video on youtube featuring the gal from Britain's Got Talent, click here. It's fantastic.

Summer fun

We took these photos on Sunday, but I am just getting around to posting them. We bought a little pool for Isaac. It was cheap and had a shade (a must by JB's standards) and was a real good time. The only problem was that with the shade on, the water stayed pretty cold! Isaac didn't seem to mind (but I did!) We'll have to wait until it gets a little bit warmer before Mommy gets in that thing again.

I'll have to upload two photos because we didn't get one photo where both of us were looking at the camera. I also love the second picture because little Scrubby is popping in to get in the action again. We have the nosiest dog in the whole world!

In other news . . .

Life in our household has been a little crazy this week. Isaac has come down with some sort of bug ... again. Poor little guy has been sick quite a bit in the last few weeks. He had a fever of 103 the other morning and has a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. We brought him up to see Dr. G. on Thursday, and there is nothing to do for him other than watch him for now. When Isaac is sick, he wakes up a lot in the night. JB usually gives him some more Tylenol and Motrin and then sits with him for awhile while Isaac calms back down. I guess it's nice that Elijah is sleeping through the night now so we are only getting up with one little guy.

JB has also been working very late hours on the family medicine team. He is rarely home before 7pm which is a very long day for both of us. The good news is that he has a week of vacation starting on Monday! A week of vacation with plans to do nothing! I think that is the best vacation of all.

I want to thank all of you for the encouragement you provided me with regarding Elijah and his feeding. It was an emotional week as we adjusted to new ways of feeding. We have started him on bottles -- half breast milk and half formula. The kid is taking them down like crazy! Normally babies his age are eating no more than 30 ounces a day. He's been doing 36 ounces without blinking an eye! I asked Dr. G. if this was okay, and she said to let him eat as much as he wants for awhile. He's catching up.

The change in Elijah after we realized he wasn't getting adequate nutrition was amazing to say the least. Prior to switching to the bottle, our normal routine was to eat an hour and then play for about 10-15 minutes before he started getting fussy. At that point, I had assumed he was tired and would work to help him fall asleep ... which never came easy. Then in about sixty minutes, I would feed him again. In hindsight I realize now that he was actually hungry not tired. Poor little guy.

I seriously just thought he was a little more of an "unsettled" baby. Isaac was soooo chill all the time, and everyone told me that all babies aren't like that. So I figured I just had one that was a little bit more un-chill. Well now that he is eating, he is so much more at peace. He is giggling and cooing and smiling ... all things that he was not doing very much of prior to the increase in food. He is like an entirely different kid.

I spent the day after Dr. G. told us to start supplementing, crying. I felt like a horrible mother. My son was hungry, every day, and I didn't know it. I am still dealing with a bit of guilt, but I was doing the best I could, and that's all I could do. Either way, we have him on a much better track now, and he's truly coming out of his little baby shell in such a fun way! I really want to thank all of you who encouraged me during these few days. I really needed it. I so appreciate all the love and support from so many of you.

Ugh! Both babies just woke up at the same time. Gotta go!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


So I was tagged by Becky way back at the beginning of April for an "honest tag". I've been meaning to respond but just haven't had a chance. Then today I saw Joia was responding to an "honest tag" as well and it reminded me about my need to respond to Becky's tag.

So here I am. I'm supposed to list ten honest things about myself. Quite honestly, I can't really think of a lot of things that I haven't already told everyone who reads my blog. I sort of tell it like it is and talk a lot and write a lot so it all gets put out there. So I thought I would instead list my similarities with Becky and Joia's honesty. A little bit of a twist. But I think that's okay. You'd have to go and read Becky and Joia's posts to see what I am responding to so click on the links above if you are interested. Okay, let me just get started.

Here are my similiarities to Becky's post:

1. When JB goes on a trip, I eat lots of processed foods. Macaroni and cheese, pizzas, anything that I can whip up in the microwave in about ten minutes. I also eat cereal and pancakes for dinner on many occasions.

2. I do not like it all when JB is not in the house with me overnight. However, living on base and having Scrubs has chilled me out considerably in this regard. I have, however, slept with my bedroom door locked in the past, but when we look for a house in any place we live, the top of my priorities is that I will feel safe when he is gone. The condo on the second floor in Minnesota was very helpful with that. Our townhouse on the border of some woods in Kentucky was not.

3. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I am not sure where I consider "home". I loved our little duplex in Kentucky where we lived across the street from Josh and Sarah. I also loved our condo in Minnesota (which we still own and are renting out.) But home seems to be wherever we are right now.

4. I have no real desire to dance in anyway. Especially not to square dance. If I were little and petite and not a pile of arms and legs, I think I would love it, but I just know that no matter how well I was trained, I'd be incredibly lanky and long and it just wouldn't look right. Every gal on Dancing with the Stars that has been tall looks horrible.

5. I am not a perfectionist. I am perfectly fine with B work. When JB decided he didn't want to go to a barber every third week to get his haircut, he asked me if I could learn how to do it to save us money. I said yes but said he should remember that B work is okay for me. He decided to teach himself instead.

6. I am the oldest of two siblings: just me and my brother Keith. However, I married into a family that has six kids so I feel like I have gotten my big family fix. I had a foster brother, John, when I was little.

8. When I was a kid, someone started a rumor that my real name was Gwendolyn. I couldn't convince people that it was untrue, especially after my dad, who worked at the school, fueled the rumor by telling everyone it was true!

9. Scrubs is my first real pet, and I, like, Becky, know my heart would hurt greatly if anything happened to him. He is a major part of our family.

10. I don't think I fidget a lot, but I don't sit or lay in one place for very long. Is that fidgeting?

Okay, now I'll jump to Joia's for comparison:

1. I am addicted to water. I crave it. I could easily only drink water for the rest of my life.

2. I loathe cockroaches. Any other bug I can handle but those thing make me want to crawl out of my skin. JB, honestly, feels the same way, despite his incredible love of nature.

3. I would like to go to any sporting event that I could think of except for a monster truck show. Or a car race either. Neither of those interest me at all. However, if given a free ticket and someone who could explain it to me while we were there, I'd go.

4. I do like hot dogs but as for kid food, I prefer macaroni.

5. I am not a spender. JB is definitely the spender in our family.

6. I have never eaten an entire large pizza by myself. I think, if pressed, I could possibly eat 2/3 of a pizza, but I really don't think I could possibly eat a whole pizza. Joia, this is impressive.

7. Joia wrote: If it weren't for my husband's (good) influence on me, I would lay out in the sun all the time and be tanned golden all year round... sigh. =) Joia, I am soooooooooo with you on this. I mean like really, really with you. I love to be tan. I had a pre-melanoma removed at 20, however, and it kinda freaked me out, but if I could, I would be majorly brown.

8. In Minnesota, I need chap stick with me everywhere I went, but here, I don't need it very often.

9. I like country music too. The truth though was that when I went to college, I loathed it, but rooming with Kristi and living one hour of Nashville, I quickly realized that if I didn't start liking it, I would be miserable for my entire stay in the south. So I embraced. No I loveeee it.

10. I do not have an extra tooth or any extra body parts at all that I am aware of.

All right folks. There's some honestly for you this morning. I also want to wish a quick happy birthday to my cousin Jason, my cousin Justin, my goddaughter Grace, and to remember Bri's brother Brant, who passed away many years ago. This was his birthday as well.