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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!"

Girlfriends

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,…

SICK

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 g…

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…

Elbows

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!

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...

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. 


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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!  …

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!
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.

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!

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!

Just because...

I think this is a great photo.

Week 39 Day 5

Camerin Visits

In an unexpected turn of events, Camerin spent the night with us the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Week 40 Day 5

My normal photographer wasn't home (Keith). Caden and Caleb stepped in. Neither of them are great photographers yet!

Week 38 Day 5

Week 37 Day 6

Week 36 Day 4

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.

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!

Week 33 Day 4

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.

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. 

Thankful

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.

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!




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!)

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.

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!

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. 


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.

Jack-o-Lanterns

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!




Rides!

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!



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 s…

Hospitality

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 pape…

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.

Monotone

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.

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…

Jokes

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.)

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…

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…

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!

Baby Gorilla

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


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!

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.

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.

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.

Screws

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...

Pirate Elinore

Clown Elinore