Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm right here!

Elinore is a loving big sister, most of the time anyway!  Any fussy noise Ruthie makes, if Elinore's around she's right there in her face saying, "I'm right here baby; I'm right here!"

The other day, we were all playing on the floor and Ellie told me not to get Ruthie.  She said "no don't get her; I the mommy!"  I said alright and let her play for a little while until Ruth wanted to eat, then I had to pick her up and she pushed me and tried to stop me with "I the mommy!"

Saturday, December 27, 2014


The weekend before Christmas Keith and I drove the kids around to look at Christmas lights.  It's one of my favorite December traditions, but I think they boys are starting to get old on us, they weren't nearly as excited about it this year as usual.  They slept through some of it even! 

On the drive, we learned how we'd failed to teach the boys, especially Caden about a good marriage. 

As we drove through one town, Keith was talking about the place he went with his guys from work for lunch recently.  Caden, from the back seat, pipes up and asks why he goes with the guys to lunch and why he doesn't take his girlfriend to lunch.  He was completely serious.

I popped up quickly and said "he better not have a girlfriend; I'm his wife!"

Caden, again, completely serious, says, but "he can have a girlfriend too!"

Keith and I then had to start talking about marriage and relationships and commitment.  It was brief int he car, but the next day at lunch, I told the boys a short version of our dating and marriage to help them know us better and better understand commitment!

Friday, December 26, 2014


When Ruth was just 8 days old, Keith went back to work for the first time since she was born.  I was doing fine home with the girls while the boys were at school until about lunch time I started feeling kind of yucky.  I had a headache, which I thought was from crying at the movie we'd watched that morning (Sophie and Sheba).  But my body kind of ached too, so I took my temperature, 99, and took some tylenol; I drank some water and was feeling okay again.

I had been engorged all week since my milk had come in and it wasn't improving and was quite painful, especially on my right side by my armpit.  By the time Keith got home from work that day, my headache wasn't improving, so I laid down to try to take a nap.  I couldn't fall asleep I was so uncomfortable, so I knew that wasn't good!  I called my OB's office and talked with the RN on call, then the doc on call, who said to keep taking some Tylenol and if wasn't better by morning, go to urgent care.  If it got worse during the night, I was to go to the ER. 

All night I was freezing with chills, my body ached and my fever was climbing.  By 1AM it was 102.8 and Keith decided we were going to the ER.  He had plans to take the boys and their grandma's to Cleveland the next day and time was short the next morning for a visit to the urgent care.

So ER visit took about 3 hours, and they decided I had pneumonia.  They gave me some antibiotics and we were on our way home.  Luckily my mother in law was staying with us for the weekend and had stayed with the older kids, while Ruth went with us to the ER.   She was also nice enough to let us sleep in and get up with the older kids too.  (Thank you!)

The antibiotics helped and with the help of regular Tylenol it was a decent afternoon with the girls.  Elinore behaved well, which helped, and I squeezed in an hour nap too. 

I was skeptical of the pneumonia diagnosis, but the antibiotics works, so I went with it.  All along I suspected I had mastitis again.  There were no visible signs of it, but everything else aligned.  The chest x-ray they performed said showed the infection.  Conveniently in the same area I was struggling the most in my chest!  And I had no cough, who has pneumonia without a cough at all!

I had my follow up appointment with my doctor's office the following week.  It was with the nurse practitioner, and she agreed with me, she thinks I had mastitis too.  (This makes twice the ER has misdiagnosed mastitis for me!)

Either way, the antibiotics worked, and I'm back to normal again!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ruth's Birth as Told by Mommy

I woke up about 7:00 AM the morning of December 4th feeling a little wet.  I laid there for just a moment before realizing I better get up and see what's going on.  Sure enough, my pants were soaked down past my knees.  Baby's coming!  Keith was at work and the kids were all asleep, I better get everyone moving!

I called Keith and told him, who came home.  I called my doctor's office, who said come in right away.  So I called our sitter to see if they could put our boys on the bus and watch Elinore for the day.  Since I was almost a week over due, I'd been working at home and Elinore had been staying with me all week.  They were more than happy to help us out, and we had a plan in place!

I jumped in the shower, because I didn't want to be yucky and who knew when I'd get another shower!  I grabbed the last minute things for my bag and put it together while Keith got home and put his together.

We dropped the kids off at the sitters and headed to the hospital.  On the way we called our mom's to let the know, and to get my mother in law to come a day early for the weekend to watch the kids.  She was already planning on coming for Friday, but now she could come get Elinore from the sitters and get the boys off the bus too. 

We arrived at the hospital about 8:15AM and they took us back to a room.  They were quite busy that day though and it took a few hours before we accomplished much.  I wasn't experiencing contractions with any frequency, but by the time we arrived at the hospital, my pants were soaked again and I'd leaked on the floor as they were getting us in the room too. 

The nurse was asking us the questions to get us admitted, but kept getting interrupted they were so busy.  Finally around 10:00 they started pitocin to get the contractions moving.  I also got a new nurse that wouldn't be interrupted as many times too.  She was pretty awesome.  Just before 11:00 the nurse got a birthing ball for me to try out, but when I was there, or anywhere by the bed, they couldn'tk eep the monitor on the baby, which we had to have because of the pitocin, so lucky me had to stay in bed the whole time.  I don't think that helped with my comfort level. 

About 11:00 Keith headed down to the new Subway in the hospital to get some lunch, since he could eat, and I couldn't!  Turns out the subway was brand new and their credit card machine wasn't working.  So he had to come back and get the keys to go down the street to the bank to our ATM.  While he was gone, the contractions got much more noticeable!  They were lasting about 30 seconds and were happening about 2-3 in a 5 minutes period.  I sat there alone through those starting to wonder where Keith was and watching Gilmore Girls on the tv as I tightly gripped the rails on the bed for every contraction.

Finally about about 45 minutes to an hour Keith returned.  I told him I thought I needed to use the restroom at the point and he called the nurse for me.  At this point I was wondering why I even wanted a natural birth, the epidural wasn't so bad with Elinore.  After I got back into the bed reluctantly, she checked me, and I was only dilated to 4 cm.  The nurse offered the epidural and Keith was all for it too.  I started thinking 4 is a LONG way from 10, and the last hour hasn't exactly been fun, so without much convincing, I agreed.  It was roughly 12:20, and she said it would be about a half hour until they would have it going for me.  I though a half hour, I can do that, but in that half hour, it got really rough!  About 20 minutes later, just before the anesthesiologist arrived, I had progressed to 7 cm. She also thought my water hadn't broke and called the doc to come break my water.  (I have no clue how my water wasn't broken from the amount of fluid I'd already leaked away that day, that piece is still a mystery to me.)  So I curled up as close to fetal position as you can get when you're almost 41 weeks pregnant and held onto the side of the bed just moaning through the contractions at this point.

When the anesthesiologist arrived and found out I was that far along, he didn't want to do the epidural, the nurse asked if I was sure and by this point, I had mentally prepared myself for that relief, so I wasn't quitting on it now!  So the nurse pushed for me, and he did agree to do it, but the were warning me along the way about it may not be completely effective and asking if I could sit still etc.  I answered their questions, in what I remember being a much less than nice tone (sorry!).  They sent Keith to the hallway and the nurse held me hands as they cleaned my back.  She knew I was progressing quickly, so she told me to let her know if I felt any wetness.  And not 30 seconds later my water broke and I was ready to push.  The epidural was no longer and option and the nurses were very quickly trying to tear the bed down for delivery.  There was no doctor yet, and by the time I was situated for delivery, the nurses were all saying the baby was there, they could see the head, don't push the doctor isn't here yet! 

I wasn't taking so kindly to the wait for the doctor instructions.  There were several "what are we waiting for I'm ready to have a baby" comments, and "what's taking so long!?"  once the doctor arrived just moments later (thankfully!).  One push later and they head was out; one to two more and baby was here!  I had my eyes closed through nearly the last hour as the pain was so awful, and once they told me the baby was here, I was wondering what was taking them so long to tell me if it was a boy or a girl!  Finally I did hear one of the nurses say it's a surprised they don't know what it is!  Followed by, it's a girl!

The doc then reminded me to open my eyes and look at my baby as Keith cut the cord and the moved the baby to my chest.  I of course opened my eyes then and loved her moving right to me.  Almost immediately she grabbed my finger and held on.

With my other hand I was holding onto Keith's hand quite tightly as the discomfort wasn't quite over yet.  I delivered the placenta and had to have a few stitches to finish up. I remember the water being hot they used to clean up.  I remember I nurse saying they warm it, not cook it!  Then after a few minutes I heard the doctor saying it'd be just two more minutes and she'd be done.  After what felt like 5 minutes, I reminded them of that two minute comment.  Apparently a stitch took longer than expected because she cut it shorter than needed.  I just wanted that part over so I could enjoy my baby.  The doc kept saying to focus on baby not what she was doing, but the needles and pain, made that hard!

In the end, we had a happy, healthy baby girl, and that is what mattered!  We love you Ruth Ann Haynes.  :)

Monday, December 22, 2014


One difference I've noticed between nursing  this time with Ruth and before with Elinore, I didn't anticipate the elbows from Elinore hurting so much!  The boys were so much older with Elinore they were past the crawling all over me stage.  Elinore, not so much.  So especially that first week of engorgement and mastitis fun, her elbows and head and body parts were constantly slamming into my chest hurting like crazy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bedtime Songs

Elinore loves bedtime songs.  Keith has some regulars he sings and I have mine.  However, she's recently started asking for new ones.  She'll pick any random object or toy from her day and ask for a song about it.  I want a song about a turtle, for example.  I don't know any songs about turtles...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Head Holding

We've been trying to teach Elinore it is important to hold baby Ruth's head when she's holding him.  We've not been successful so far.  Her understanding of holding someone's head looks more like just laying her hand on their head.  And she'll hold anyone's head.  As seen below in the photo of her "holding" Ruth AND Grandma's head. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sharing Blankie

Elinore has her blankie, well actually she has several of them, but one is almost always with her.  They are all identical and rotated through so I can be washing some and she has a spare and if we loose one for a few days we're still okay!)  She's fairly protective of her blankies, but while she was visiting Ruth in the hospital, she shared her blankie with Ruth.  And she's continued to on occasion at home too.  Granted she always takes it back when she "needs" it, but she covers Ruth with it and tries to get her to hold it sometimes too. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shoulder Shrugs

A few weeks ago Elinore started shrugging her shoulders when she's unsure of something.  It's quite adorable.  She's make some noise indicated she doesn't know and shrug her little shoulders.  And sometimes she throw her hands out to further emphasize he lack of knowing the answer. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holding my Hand

Very shortly after Ruth was born, she grabbed a hold of my finger and held on for a long time.  And she has continued to do so many times in the last week and a half.  It warms my heart and swells with love as she holds my hand. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ruth's Birth as told by Daddy

7:05 AM - Got the call from Beth that her water broke.
8:15 AM - We arrived at the hospital and being admitted.  They appear to be very busy.
10:00 AM - Started the pitocin to induce.
10:50 AM - Started using birthing ball.
- Labor was about 2:20 minutes; it was fast!
- Baby Ruth Ann was born at 1:01 PM and we decided the name at 1:45.  Her pinkies look bent like mine.  She has a dimple or two and looks just liked her big sister.  She started feeding shortly after birth.  She has a full head of hair and started sucking her thumb right after birth.
- Beth says she's not having another baby.  We'll see about that.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sit by Sister

When Ruth was just 4 days old, Elinore and I ventured out with her to take her to her first appointment with the pediatrician.  The outing itself went well since Keith wasn't able to come with us, I didn't know how it'd go, but it was good. 

As we were getting ready to leave, which took quite awhile, Elinore asked if I was going to sit next to her in the backseat.  (I had on the way home from the hospital and picking her up, and she liked it.)  I told her no, I had to drive.  So she said okay, I'll sit next to Ruth.  Silly me thought the empty seat between them still meant they were going to be sitting by each other.  Not true.  When we got to the van and I was buckling both the girls in, Elinore was crying away because she couldn't sit next to Ruth.  (They sit in the middle row of seats of our van, and we have removable seat between them.) 

Nearly the entire drive to the doctor's office she cried about it.  That is until she told me, "I'm mad at you!  You're mad at me!"  After explaining that I wasn't mad at her, she continued to grumble about sitting next to Ruth.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Elinore makes me smile.

Grandma Hands

I remember thinking when Elinore was born that her wrinkly little hands reminded me of my Grandmother's.  I thought the same of Ruth's.  They were so small and wrinkly, just like Grandma's used to be as she aged.  However, at week old, she's already lost the little wrinkly hands and they are now much more plump. 

On another note about hands, Elinore's seem huge in comparison already! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ruth's cord feel off today. She is 6 days old. Keith went to change her diaper and find it down her pant leg. I was surprised it happened already.

We had coincidentally been talking earlier today about Elinore's cord too as we tried to answer her questions about it too.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Welcome Ruth

Keith and I welcomed Ruth Ann into the world at 1:01 PM Thursday December 4!  She was 19 inches long and weighed in at 6 lbs. 3.9 oz.

Her brothers and sister and in love with her, as are Keith and I!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Beagle v. Beaker

A week or so ago at Church, Caleb had the bag for children's moments during the service.  In it, he took a plastic beaker from his science set he made at a Lowe's build and grow event. He was interested to see what Pastor Deb had to say about its relationship to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or living the Christian life.

As usual, during the service she took out the beaker and asked what it was.  Caleb popped up right away and said it was a beagle!

And the congregation giggled. A joke may have been made about us thinking he was asking for a puppy when all he wanted was a science kit!

At this point I don't remember what the relationship was to Jesus now, but we all giggled about the beagle.

Before church Caleb had been asking me what it was called and asked what to do if he forgot. I told him not to worry and he'd do fine. He was close, and remembered again as soon as Pastor Deb got him straightened out!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Week 36 Day 4

Taken November 4, 2014

I started washing baby clothes for you this week and bought some newborn diapers for you.  We also installed your car seat base.  Your big brothers are starting to ask how soon you'll arrive too since it's now November.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Elinore Helped Make Pancakes

Elinore likes to help stir when I cook or bake.  She was helping with the dry ingredients for the pancakes one November morning, when I turned around to find this!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 33 Day 4

Taken October 14, 2014

I started thinking about getting baby things out of the basement this week, didn't do it, but thought about it.

Your dad and I went to my cousin's wedding.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Week 30 Day 5

During week 30, Daddy and I went away for the weekend to Marietta while your big siblings stayed home with Grandma Barb. 
Taken September 24, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


For the last couple Sunday's at chuch, Elinore has been going with her big brothers to junior church.  After services, my mom usually goes to collect the kids.  This week after the services they came to find me in the office with this picture Elinore made in junior church.

Sherri (the awesome lady who runs the junior church class) said to make sure they told me about the blue lines Elinore drew on the turkey.  Each line was for someone she was thankful for.  She named them all for Sherri.
And my mama heart explodes with excitement for my girl. 
Then I asked Elinore if I was one of those people she was thankful for, and she promptly told me no.
We can't win them all I suppose!

Week 39 Day 5 Appointment

Keith, Elinore and I went to my appointment this morning to check on baby.  We waited 90 minutes before the nurse came for us this morning.  In that time Elinore made a friend with a 3 year old little girl in the waiting room and they played together for quite some time. 

We finally saw the nurse and went back where we sat and waited for about another 30 minutes before a doctor came to see us.  It wasn't the one we were scheduled with, she was busy at the hospital delivering babies, but we saw a doctor finally!

Not much has changed since last week.  I'm 2-3 cm dilated and still 80%.  She said she could feel baby's head moving around in there though. 

The heart sounded good.  I'd gained just under 40 lbs. to date and everything else was good. 

She said they'd wait until 41 weeks to induce.  I go back next Wednesday if there's no baby before then.  If I make it to the appointment on Wednesday they're going to talk about scheduling an induction then. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Snow Day

Last Monday we had out first snow day of the year.  It seems crazy we had our first snow day before Thanksgiving, but it happened. 

Elinore was SO excited to go play in the snow.  She went out with her brothers for awhile; I sat at the window watching closing before joining them for a little bit.  She's a little trooper and stayed out there as long as Caden did, about 45 minutes to an hour before coming in.  Caleb really likes the snow, stayed out longer and went out again that afternoon. 

Elinore would have liked to have gone out again.  She asked frequently after that, even when it was super cold.  Keith took her out one night after work the next day for about 30 mintues before insisting she come in.  She's a fan of the snow!

Elinore is ready to go oustide!

Caden helped her down the backporch steps into the yard.  He also helped her up everytime she fell.  She couldn't managed to get herself back up once she'd fall down in the snow gear!

Caden taught her to eat snow.  Thought I don't know if she's old enough to watch out for the colored snow yet.  We watch closely!

Monday, November 24, 2014

It poop on me!

Elinore currently has a fascination with talking about her animals, toys and pictures in books, etc. and how they poop on her. 

Just last night, she was looking at the ornaments on the Christmas tree and found a stuffed elephant ornament from her first Christmas.  She poked it a few times, pooked it's butt and said "it poop on me!  It poop on my hand; it poop on my finger!"

Then she giggles.

And I giggle, but wonder where the heck did she come up with all this? 

Just yesterday morning she was reading a book during Sunday School with Erma when she said one of the animals poop on her!  (Because that isn't embarassing for a mom at all!) 

Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm Ellie!

Elinore sure does know her name!  She's insistent on telling you that if she thinks you're referring to her as anything else.  If I say "you're silly," she says no "I'm Ellie!"  Or if I say "you're wild!" She says "No, I'm Ellie!"  She doesn't let you forget it!

39 Week Appointment

This morning Elinore and I went to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment.  She was quite excited to go. 

The appointment went well.  There was no wait today, in part because we were 10 minutes late arriving.  Oh well, I'm used to being late!

The baby's heart rate was around 140bpm.

She commented at first that I'd had a large weight gain this week until we realized I was wearing my coat and winter gear still when I was weighed, she didn't care about my weight gain anymore.

She checked my cervix today, and I'm 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced and the baby is in a station 2 position.  She said this was all a good place and the baby could come any time now.  In fact, her words were that I could walk out the door now and have my water break.  She reminded me when to call in or come in with contractions.   

I have another appointment scheduled for Wednesday if there's no baby before then. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Elinore's Babies

Elinore is a big fan of playing with her babies.  When I was home with her one day, she had be line them all up on the couch with her and all their blankets.  This lasted for for maybe five minutes before I heard them crashing to the floor! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sharing Lunch

Mid October I had a Friday off on vacation.  Elinore and I spent the day together, mostly running errands which consisted of fixing out car.  We picked up some McDonald's for lunch to eat while we were at the dealership waiting on our recall to be fixed.  The dealership had a nice little kids table with some coloring pages and a crayon.  The chairs had little animals cut into it.  Elinore wasn't interested in eating her lunch at first, until we decided to share it with the animals.  She shared her fries with the frog and other animals. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Leaf Pick-up

The kids all had a great time playing in the leaves all morning the day we finished prepping outside the house for winter.  And they sure slept well that night! 

I even took a turn with the leaf blower, and it wasn't so bad.  I blew some of the leaves while Keith got the storm windows in and a few others things done around outside.  It was such a productive day. 

Monday, November 17, 2014


We carved pumpkins the night before Halloween this year.  The kids had great ideas they were excited about it, and each reflected them well!  The kids are sitting behind their creations!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


One of the kids new favorite activities is to have Elinore lay down on a blanket and have her brothers pull her around the living room and kitchen floor.  They all get a real kick out of it!

Friday, November 14, 2014

38 Week Appointment

This morning Elinore and I went in for my 38 week dr. appointment.  We had to wait about an hour to see the doctor because they'd had a small emergency that morning that sat them behind.  I used to be so much more annoyed by that kind of thing, but I've learned patience, and it wasn't so bad.  I think I learned patience after I was the patient that caused a back-up one day.  It suddenly makes things more clear. 

Anyway, Elinore charmed the waiting room for half and hour or so of that time, and then she turned her charm to the nurse when I was moved back to another room.  She didn't let the doctor not get her a sticker either.  She was insistent and not very patient about it. 

Baby's heart rate varied between the 130s to 160s while we listened.  When we finished it was about 145 bpm.  I also had her double check that baby was still head down, which it was!I knew I didn't really need to worry about it, but a sleepless Wednesday night had me worried about it for sometime, so I just needed some reassurance there! 

She said next week they'll check my cervix again and see if anything is happening.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


For well over a year now, I've been following She Reads Truth.  It's an online, women run, daily devotional.  It's flexible in that it's in my email, in my RSS feed reader and now on my app on my phone too.  They have an online community converastion daily about the devotional too.  I've not really participated there, but now with the new app, I am reading in there more than I ever have too!

Anyway, the plan we finished over the weekend was a devotional plan about Hospitailty, and it was very moving. 

In our modern culture today, hospitality seems to be about hosting parties and dinners and celebrating with friends, but from a Biblical perspective, hospitailtiy is about opening your heart to everyone and loving your neighbor as yourself.  It's not easy, and it's doesn't come naturally, at least not to me.  But it is so important to consider when trying to live our your life like Christ. 

After I finished the study, I've gone and ordered their paper study pack to go with it because it's something I can see myself revisiting and sharing.  It has had me thinking a lot!

One day's devotion espeically has stuck with me.  The theme of which was to allow myself to be interrupted. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Sister Now!

Keith and I installed the car seat for the new baby about a week ago.  Now, everytime we get in the car, Elinore tells us her new sister is going to sit there!

This morning I was adjusting the mirror for us to see baby from the front seat, and Elinore asked for baby sister there NOW! 

As sweet as that was, I told her she'd have to wait hopefully a couple more weeks!

She's been talking a lot about waiting for a baby sister now though. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014


When Elinore gets deteremined to have or get something from one of us, she transforms her voice from the nice little girl voice she has to a lower monotone voice.  It is usually saying something like "get me napkin" on repeat.  Or "get me something"  on repeat.  We have to remind her to use her manners!  It's hard not to giggle sometimes though at the lower, monotone sentences she spills out there when she's determeined to get something.  Even her brothers giggle sometimes at it. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

36 Week Appointment

Last week I had an appointment with the doctor at 36 weeks. 

I had gained 30 pounds at that point, which I think is getting close to more than I gained with Elinore, and more than I was expecting too.  Although that combined with the time change over the weekend and I started a little bit more working out again (at least for two days now anyway)!

The doctor checked, and baby is no longer breech!  Sometime in the last 2 weeks, baby flipped.  I had thought baby had flipped, but I was confident, and I needed that confirmation!  She also thought so, but we did confirm with an ultrasound, so we got to see baby's little head in the down position and baby's little legs crossed!  We avoid certain areas so we still don't know what we're having, which is just the way we want it!

Baby's heartrate was 160bpm, which is higher than it's normally been.  I asked about that and the doctor said that it was probably due to the feeling around she'd done to check for head down position. 

Before we confirmed the baby was turned, we learned all about what we could have done at the hospital to manually turn the baby by one of the doctors.  I think we'd have gone that route if baby was still breech, but luckily we don't have to!  She said there was little chance baby would turn again.  Also good news!

She checked and said I might be at 1 cm already, but hadn't progressed much and that it was normal at this point in the pregnancy to be there since I've had a baby before. 

We're down to weekly appointments now, so we'll see how they keep going! 

T-minus 3.5 weeks, plus or minus!

I went through the baby clothes over the weekend and started laundry so the little one has some clean clothes!  I have the contained in Elinore's closet with the boy clothes and girl clothes we have too, so I can wash those up once the baby's here and we know what it is!  But, either way, most of the clothes are very summer-y.  After all, Elinore was a July baby!  So we may have a need there, but Christmas will be right around the corner once baby's here, so I'm sure we'll receive at least a few gender specific items for the holidays! 

We also installed the car seat base in the van for the little one.  I had to put a replacement part on Elinore's over the weekend, which I did while it was out since she had been with my mom over night anyway.  So I got them both out.  The seat itself has some parts being washed currently, but I'll assemble it soon to put in the van too!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


About a week or so I ago I had a very proud mommy moment.

Elinore told her first knock knock joke.

I have a love of corny, cheesy, kid friendly jokes.  And there are many knock knock jokes that fall into that category!

Her joke went like this:

Elinore: Knock Knock

Me: Who's there?

Elinore: Daddy

Me: Daddy who?

Elinore: Daddy's here!

She's repeated it many more times, and it's always Daddy.  She's shortened them though, we know longer go through the daddy who? step.  It's just: knock knock, who's there?, Daddy's here!

Keith wants to know why he's always the butt of Elinore's jokes!

The boys love it though and they're trying to get her to get back to the full length knock knock joke version! 

The boys current favorite joke: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? 

Because he didn't have any guts!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boo at the Zoo

I've been feeling lately like I've slacked in the captruing moments of our family on photo.  It's been especially rare to get hte kids together.  So when we got to the zoo, in case we didn't get another one attempted, I had to force them to stand together and "smile" for a photo.  It didn't work out so well as you can see.

I did manage to get this nice one later though as we were walking around the zoo! 

I do love the outtakes though too.  It's who we are and a reflection of our kids.

Monday, October 27, 2014

TV Time

In the last two weeks or so I've slowly started bringing some baby things back up stairs from the basement for the new little one on the way.  One of the first things I brought up was the Bumbo.  Elinore has claimed it as hers.  I think she's sat in it more since it has come out of the basement this time than she did when she was a baby!  She and her baby doll were watching Dragon Tales this afternoon in her chair.  And she makes us put the tray there for her too. 

She also often put her baby dolls in the Bumbo too. 

We just have to make sure we don't actually attach the tray, so she can get herself back out!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Zoo Animals

The afternoon and evening we spent at Boo at the Zoo were chilly.  It was about 50 degrees that day, if we were lucky!  And it was damp and there were some sprinkles that fell on us too while we were there.  It kept the crowd away though, so we had a good time.  I think the weather was favorable for the animals because they sure were out!  We saw some great animals views. 

We saw other animals too, but these are the best photos I have.  The bear was super cool!  The lion's male mate was pacing around by the window so we could see him well, but he didn't photograph well. 

One downside to the cool damp weather at the zoo.  It really smelled like a place where a lot of animals live!  It wasn't always pleasant smelling!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weirdest Zoo Exhibit

Over the weekend Keith and I took the kids to the Akron Zoo for Boo at the Zoo.  While I have more to share about our time there, the weirdest zoo exhibit I've ever seen was a part of our trip too. 
Yes, that's Caleb lifting a tail on a picture of an animal to smell their excrements. 
He even convinced Daddy into trying it too.
The photo is blurry because I had to act VERY quickly to get a photo of it before he moved.  He certainly didn't stay there for long smelling that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I can't

One of Elinore's new favorite things to say is I can't.  I'm not a fan of this saying!  Sometimes she'll say it with things she really can't to, but she also will when she just doesn't want to do things.  We're working on that one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

34 Week Appointment

Last Friday I had my 34 week appointment for the little baby to come.  The little one's heartrate was 145 bpm.  My blood pressure had a number that was a little higher than usual, but still very much within the normal range, so that was good.  I'm still measuring about a week behind where I am, which they say is acceptable too. 

The doctor also said at my next appointment, which is just shy of 36 weeks they'll check my cervix and check again for the baby to see if it is still breech since it was at 32 weeks.  (Let's hope not!)  She said if it is, they can do a procedure in the hospital to try to turn the baby.  She reccomended it assuming I had a relatively straight forward delivery with my last pregnancy.  I said doing that was much preferred to the alternative, which would be a c-section!  (That is probably one of my biggest fears about labor and deliver at this point, a c-section.  Although I'm sure it would be fine in the end too.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Earlier this month we had parent-teacher conferences.  Keith and I headed into them a little nervous to see how things were going.  The teachers had asked us to meet about Caden, but we talked briefly about Caleb too.  We were SO happy to hear they are both doing well! 

Caden's teacher was so positive, helpful and encouraging about the progress he's making and the potential he has that I literally wanted to cry at one point early in the conference.  It was so wonderful to hear from a teacher that is willing to work with him. 

Keith and I weren't overly happy with his teacher last year, but he still did well during the school year.  This year, we're blown away with the fact that he seems to be in a much better place than he was a year ago!

Caden likes to fidgit, a lot.  And his teacher found a way to help him fidgit quietly at his desk that is not distracting to him, his peers or the teacher.  She has give him a small soft ball to play with in his hands during the day while she's teaching.  He has rules in place that it's only for him and when he's not at his desk it's goes to his teachers desk and he follows them all well!  He came home from school telling us about it and recognizing that it helps him.  His teacher echo'd all of that at conferences.  We're SO happy she's found something to help him focus.  And we're so proud of him for recognizing that and succceeding in school! 

Caleb's teacher also said Caleb is doing well and succeeding.  He's on pace and there are no concerns at this point, which is so encouraging to hear! 

Dear boys, we're very proud of you.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Community Support

I've never written much about our community and how its supports its own.  While we live it an embrace it daily at home, I want to write it down to remember it and to share with the kids when their older to remind them the importance of being there and supporting others.  I've seen this in action in our community several times over the last 5.5 years we've lived here. 

Recently, our family participated in a Beneft Brunch that has had me thinking about it more and more.  There is a gentelman in our community who is in his 50s and works part time at a processing plant in our town.  About a year ago he was very ill and spent over a month in the hospital.  A friend of ours from church was close friends with him; she and her husband stepped into help.  They found that the place he was living was no longer inhabitable and he needed a new place to live and a lot of things to fill the place.  Back in the late winter or early spring they got him set up with a new apartment in town and took donations of needed items and monetary too.  We supported him then of course, and we were happy to see him able to move into a new home once he was relaesd to live on his own again.

Months later, the medical bills became a lot of him and so the party and conference center in town used one of their Sunday Brunch meals as a fundraiser for him.  My family of 5, plus my mom attended with us, and it was a great experience.  He was there at the door greating and thanking everyone for their support.  Elinore even went right to him and let him old her, which is rare for her!  We supported the raffle, and won a few things too.  (The boys love the witch, and we have new padding for the high chair for the new baby now too!) 

A week later the kids and I ran into him at the bank in town, and he thanks us again for being there and talked to the kids.  He just had a great spirit about him and was certainly showing his appreciation.  It was a wonderful thing, and something I'm glad we could be a part of and our kids too.  The event raised about $3,800 to help pay for his medical bills, which is awesome!

This whole experience with the bunch had be thinking about other things in our community.  I try as best I can to help regularly serve the SOUP dinners at our church.  They are twice a month and are a open to anyone free meal no questions asked.  Keith has attended occasionally with me and the kids take turns participating too.  When Elinore was younger it was commong for her to be on my back in the carrier hanging out while we served others.  Now she stays home with Daddy more often, but the boys take turns coming and helping; I want them to experience service to others. 

Later this month the community is also holding a 5K.  This is the second 5K in two years held at our local high school.  Each year it has been to support a student in our school system fighting a disease.  The boys ran in the first Miles for Madison Fun Run early last year.  This year, we are registered as a family to walk the 5K together. 

A group in our church with the help of our local Lion's club, which Keith is a member of, also provides 'Baskets of Hope' at Christmast and sometimes Easter to families and individuals who are in need for the holidays.  As a Lion, Keith helps deliever those baskets out into the community. 

There are so many more examples of the love and support in our community, but these are on my mind as something to capture about our current community and family commitment to helping.  For as many as we particpate in, we miss just as many.  It feels wonderful to be able to tell our kids that there is a community of support around us showing their love for the Lord and people. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

32 Weeks

I had a regularly scheduled doctor appointment at 32 weeks.  At that point I'd gained 23 pounds.  The baby's heart rate was 135 bpm.  And the baby was breech.  The appointment went well.  I also received a shot for whooping cough to help pass on the protection to the baby. 

Now is the time I start praying baby decides to flip on its own in the next 8 weeks!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baby Gorilla

We went to the Pittsburgh Zoo on vacation this summer, and this was by far the coolest thing we saw.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 27 Day 4

Your daddy has been working hard on the our home this pregnancy!  He's got a lot of house projects going we started at the beginning of the year before we knew you were on the way!  I've been helping a lot too, but there are some things I just can't do anymore being pregnant and all, so more is falling to him.  He's working hard!  The upstairs is mostly all redecorated and completed, except for the bathroom we hope to get to in the next year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 24 Day 4

This week we were back from our Pittsburgh vacation.  I was finished with graduate school, and I was refreshed from vacation.  It was relaxing. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 21 Day 3

I'm starting to toss and turn at night.  I lay there trying to get comfortable and it takes me awhile to realize I'm awake because I have to pee.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 20 Day 5

This week your big brothers were away at church camp and your big sister caught hand, foot, mouth disease from her day care.  Before your sister got sick, we took advantage of there being less kids at home and hired a sitter for mommy and daddy to go on a date!  We went to dinner at Applebee's and the movies to see 22 Jump Street.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I've had my laptop for just over 3 years now.  Keith had gotten it for me when I started graduate school back in 2011.  Twice in those 3 years the piece that holds the battery charger has sunk into the computer and I've been unable to plug my laptop in to charge.  Bummer right!?

Well, Keith fixed it no problems the first time.  The second time, I had all the confidence he could fix it again, but he was less confident.  He did fix it the second time, and I got a speech about how to plug in the charger so it doesn't happen again.  The catch, I noticed that there were some screws leftover that didn't make it back into my computer.  They all came out of it, but they didn't all go back in.  He says it's a minor detail...