Thursday, September 30, 2010

day 15 the love dare

Im so bad, its been over a week since I followed up with my Love Dare post! I have been doing really great tho! The last challenge was to give up something you want to do for something your partner wants to do. I thought that was gonne leave me really kinda mad....but of course, the Love Dare wins and it worked out perfectly. in fact, all the things the Love Dare claims are starting to fall into place. I had circus tickets and really wanted to go on Sat. I anticipated this would be a problem and began preparing my arguments for family fun. Beau was anticipating Mir vs. Crop.....not so family friendly. When I posted the Love Dare, I knew exactly what our dilemma would be. I really wanted to go at night to get the full effect of all the lights etc but I suggested we go during the day so we wouldnt miss UFC 119 (Mir kicked sum butt btw). Beau was thrilled and we had a blast!

backtracking a bit, one of the Love Dares mentioned how important it was that your loved one not have to anticipate your anger/violence/screaming/down right meanness when they knew they messed up, esp over small things. Well Beau messed up, I was really ticked, but i remembered my Love Dare from a few weeks ago. I knew he knew he messed up and was unhappy with himself. I dropped a joke or two about how I hoped it wouldnt happen again and dropped it. There was no fight, no issue and i truly believe he was sorry and thats done. Wow that was much easier than a day of not speaking forward to mon......Beau discovered not one but 3 baby carriers on the way, plus a few things from Vicki's. He was none to happy and told me so, pouted a bit then dropped it. I was sorry, wont do it again....and then it dawned on me, this was not how that situation typically plays out for us, yet he pretty much just treated me with respect like i did him. You know, like an adult that can make mistakes, admit them, and move on , no scolding necessary! mind you the man still has no clue im doing the Love Dare sooo points scored all around!!!! woo hooo its WORKING

Day 15 Love is Honorable

Live with your wives in an understanding way...and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life. 1 Peter 3:7

The Bible tells us to honor our father and mother but we are also called to honor our mate. This means giving them our attention , not from behind a newspaper or computer screen. To go even further we can use the word "Holy". Small words pack a big punch. This does not mean your mate is perfect, but it does mean "set apart for a higher purpose...not common but special and unique. For something to be Holy to you it must have a special place in your heart. You share with this person like no other, both physically and emotionally.

"marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure" Hebrews 13:4

But even when you are honoring your "Holy" spouse and you dont feel reciprocated.....keep at it. This is the main focus of the Love Dare. That unconditional love that persists even when it doesnt feel loved back, even when its not appreciated or goes unnoticed. Keep those vows and commitments to one another and your spouse will follow your lead....eventually (remember its WORKING)

Todays dare......Show honor and respect to your spouse today above your normal routine. Hold the door open, put away his clothes, listen a little more, show your mate that he/she is Holy in your eyes.

linking my friend Darcel's blog because it fits perfect today

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

circus issues

I have circus issues! true statement :) my house is often like a circus so you'd think id be comfy there. I remember going to the circus as a child. I have a picture of my Dad in Raybans and his Member's only jacket and me and my mom eating popcorn or some other snack. I remember being so jealous of trapeze girls and wanting to ride the elephants. It was glam, it was exciting, and super fun :)

fast forward to my adult years, i have 3 kids and we are headed to the circus in Alaska with some friends. At first it seemed great and the kids were loving it. Then the unhappy things came....a little person stabbing at a poor elephant with too many kids on his back....12year old girls wearing thongs costumes.....a man shot out of a cannon who clearly wasn't happy/confident/perhaps even unwilling? and last but not least you could get your picture made with a tiger for ten bucks. on the surface it seemed ok but really? i don't think so, unsafe, inappropriate, and inhumane to say the least. Throw in my visions of circus elephants trampling innocent onlookers and i decided the circus was not for me and never looked back......

until a month ago...I scored some discount circus tickets and my brain started whirling. I knew I had moral issues with the circus and had vowed NO MORE...but the kids were so young then (some unborn) and they didnt have a clue why we had never been to the circus. I wanted them to share the joy I had as a child watching the acts and viewing the animals. I did not want to deny them the fun that could be had and so I let it slip. For those who know me well you know that was hard. i have a rule...never tell children where you are going or what you are doing that way if something happens (headache, mommy meltdown, flat tire) they aren't disappointed. This has saved millions of tantrums however this time I broke my rule. I knew if i told them I was committed. And so we went..........
trying out our new Zara wrap :)

There was a train

a camel with amazing dental hygiene

but here is where I got worried. No, it wasnt the camel that worried me. I figured if someone was caring enough to brush this camel's teeth then he was probably well cared for.He got grump right after Paxton rode him (paxton was gassy that day lol) and the man told all the kids no more rides, i was proud of him for looking out for everyones safety and paying attention to the animal.  He was clean and his caregiver pet him and had no spikes, but look in the background....on the trailer....tiny bikes. My mom alert went up. Children that tiny were working at the circus? Not OK. hmmmm

there were elephants too. Piper said no thanks but Pearce and Parker were all about it! Again I checked out the animals and from what I could see I was pleased. They had recent pedicures. We were fortunate the last time we went to the zoo a zoo keeper grabbed us and let us watch her do them , so i could tell these big guys had a recent visit to the salon too :) again one of the animals seemed to not want kids on her back and the caregivers took her to grab a bite to eat. The kids had a blast and the circus hadnt even started.

I couldn't get any pics of the circus to come out well but the kids really loved it. The owners of those tiny bikes simply wore cute appropriate costumes and walked in a parade at the end. There was even a dog show featuring some rescue pups. There were all the typical circus acts and the kids were enamored. We found out Pike has a love/hate relationship with all live animals. Every single kid had a great time, which is unusual....typically somebody doesnt like something about anything we do. There were 2 snowcone disasters (one lost in the stands, one ruined a brand new outfit) but both were gotten over quickly and the fun resumed.

so i guess I'm over my circus anything else, there are good circuses and bad circuses and it made for a truly exciting day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

day 14 the love dare

So Ive been dawdling about getting to day 14. I completed day 13 a few days ago (done before i posted it) but Beau began training late every night and having to leave early each a.m. so I was barely getting to speak to him much less work on the Love Dare. I also picked up a new Bible study with a group of ladies from my church and Im finding it hard to juggle two. I decided today to persevere even through Beaus absence etc. Ill text the Love Dare if I have to :)

Day 13 was to discuss the rules you chose for your relationship. If you have no interest in the Love Dare, still do it! it is sooo important and changed our marriage for the better, years ago!

Day 14

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life  ....Ecclesiastes 9:9

Well there you have it, the Bible commands us to enjoy life together. If you love your partner but arent currently enjoying life with them, its time to change that. Take a class, pray about it, put more effort in, take a vacation, do something, anything to bring joy back into the relationship because enjoying their presence is so important for a healthy marriage. Who wants to be married forever to someone they have no interest in? :(

This chapter is about taking delight in your partner. We first visit the newlyweds. Things are fun and fresh and have just begun, romance is in the air along with hope for the future. New love is an amazing gift from above, but few people have decided to love another, in those early stages. Making that decision to love another person, regardless of all, as Christ love us, that decision to be unconditionally bonded with this person forever, is almost bigger than that wedding day....well it is, its just too bad we dont celebrate it. If you are fortunate enough to make that decision on your wedding day, Amen, what a blessing. Many of us dont truly come to understand the meaning of love and commitment until afterwards. The really lucky ones (like me :) figure it out before it is too late. Those marriages survive. Statistics would show that about half of us are  not so lucky :( People divorce because one or both people never decided to love the other, resulting in behaviors, words, actions, habits that led to divorce.

"You get to choose what to treasure". soooo, you can choose to treasure your career, your home, your flatscreen tv the largest on the block, or yes even your prized stash of baby carriers.....or you can choose to treasure you spouse! Think of them as lovingly as you do that chrome artisan Kitchen Aid mixer :)

"its time to remember why you once fell in love" "flirt again, dream again, delight"

"for some today's dare may be a small step away, to others a giant leap from disgust" wowza, sadly i know a few friends who are in that place. I hope they can pull out of it because disgust is no fun. Nobody wants to be disgusting or disgusted bleh!!!

Dare of the day: purposefully neglect an activity you would normally spend time on and give that time to your spouse.

Friday, September 17, 2010

the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of homeschool

Every single time i meet a new person (one who doesn't homeschool themselves) or reconnect with someone from the past one of the first things that stumps them about my adult life is the homeschool part. I get a variety of questions, opinions, suggestions and lets face it.....the occasional not so nice comment. I met a mom today who was told by her mil that if she homeschooled her daughter a slew of bad things would happen resulting in a daughter who was less than intelligent. I shared with her our story, encouraged her to go forward with her plan ( a great one) and thought maybe id put it all out there.........

Who? This is an easy one. I have five children, many people assume I homeschool five children. Id love for that to be the case. I made a post that detailed my day from sun up to sundown and if you read that you will agree with me. I do not have time to technically homeschool 5. My homeschoolers are Parker 11, 7th grade, Paxton 6, 1st grade, and Piper 5, K. I wish I had time to present a formal preschool program to Pearce or teach sign language to the baby , but right now notsomuch. I assure you tho, they are both learning We roll as a group, so Pearce is absorbing the K and 1st grade lessons as much as possible and we never discourage him from participating.

What? This is a big one. I get this one from homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike. What do you teach, what programs do you use, what do you do all day????? In general there are two schools of thought in the homeschool world (these are divided into many many subgroups) but #1 is the creation of school at home with books and many similar materials to the normal classroom. #2 Kids learn from the world with little assistance and you simply foster what they show an interest in with less emphasis on a classroom environment in the home. My style falls somewhere in the middle. Each state has requirements so one of the first things I do when I move is check out and find out what mine are. I teach the subjects they require , many families don't and I've never heard of anybody getting in trouble for not! Its no biggie, i just fig i gotta teach something right> :) I make me a little chart for each kid so i can try to teach an even amount in each area, otherwise, id only focus on my favorites and my kids would never learn science or math lol. Somedays we use curriculum books (a mix of K12, abeka, apologia, drugstore wkbks) sometimes we watch a DVD (praise the Lord for netflix) sometimes we read a book, we may go on a walk through the woods, check out a bug, visit some ruins, or simply go to the post office (we had a great lesson there today on African American baseball players) learning is everywhere.

Where? Another easy question. Around the Kitchen Table of course :) but seriously , yes, we school at the table. Many people set up a workspace for one or all of their children. I think this is a great option esp with older kids or if you are schooling one child, but for our group we do it together. That is our base. Parker does retreat to his room to study if it gets too loud but the rest to all their work at the table. However...........Everywhere is a classroom and that is the key to my homeschool success. We go to the grocery store and learn the difference in the milks, the mushrooms, what shrimp really look like. We had an awesome lesson at the post office on African American ball players (they have their own stamp collection) followed by an awesome discussion with the older kiddo on why they are special. We stop and ask questions as the zoo, not just walk by. We explore the woods, discuss planes that fly over, compare breeds of dogs walking by. We love fieldtrips, planned or impromptu and I find something for them to learn everywhere.

When? Well the state of Colorado says 4hrs a day. Trust me, homeschooling 3 kids is alot of work, but it never takes 4 hours a day. Maybe added all up here and there but i doubt it. Parker can finish all subjects in 3hrs or less. Paxton and Piper typically total 1.5 hrs each when we have been at home all day and done all the curriculum work they have. We do homeschool 5 days a week , off on weekends and the summer. I'm mean and Ill go ahead and admit that when school kids are off, Kempe academy is still in session. No inservice/conference days here. No snow days and yes if you want a sick day, you best be really sick. This may sound like not enough school to someone in public school but think about it, we don't have to wait for a class of kids to ask questions, no raising hands, no bathroom breaks, no bad kid in the back disrupting everything (ok sometimes that is Pearce) no show off spouting all the facts (yeah yeah we do have a Paxton) but in general there are alot less interruptions etc.

Why? This is a great question. If you intend to homeschool you will want to formulate your own answer before you spill your big secret to the lady next door. If you already homeschool you know exactly what I mean!!!!! everybody asks this! I can only answer for myself. Our story is ...Parker was super smart, our public school really wasn't prepared to deal with that. Their solution was for him to bring extra books to class to read and one day a week for an hour or so, go to the advanced class for fun projects. I sought out a different way and I hope that anyone with a child in school who has this prob or any other prob making school not work well for their kiddo, can consider homeschooling an option. That was my original reason but once we started i found lots of benefits that grew into reasons. I found homeschooling was the only way to make God more important than math or reading. Those are great but God is it for us! and one hour a week in Sunday school wasn't cutting it. This way we spend as much time learning about Him as we do anything else, and find his presence in all we learn. I also found our family functions as a unit better this way. We are never anticipating a break from a particular child (we are always together) and none of my children live 8hrs a day away from me. Kids at school sort of have a life unknown to the family at home (i know i did) and with hschool this doesn't happen. We also do it because i love the kids learning at their own pace. For Parker that is super fast, for Piper that takes a little more time but both is ok. At school Parker would be waiting while the teacher gave more help to Piper, but here he can go on while she and I work more on what she needs. Nobody fails, we teach until it is learned and we all get As!

How? How do you do it? i get asked that all the time. I cannot do it without support. I hschooled for the first few years with permission but not support and I can tell you it makes a world of difference. My husband believes in what we do and when things get tough he can remind me why we do it and express appreciation. I have to have friends that homeschool too. I have them online and irl. they help me choose books and curriculum, find cool field trips and talk me out of throwing them onto the school bus that stopped at the end of the street when there has been a bad day. homeschooling can feel isolated when you don't have a great homeschool group, but if you cant find one, hschool friends are a must. They let you know you aren't the only crazy person who has chosen this lifestyle and your kids aren't the only ones bringing snakes to the lunch table to ask if they are poisonous! :) I also have a great God loving me all the time and that never hurts!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 13 the love dare

Day 11=== Love Dare fail!!!!!!!! Ive been doing good so far, but alas, everyone fails every once in awhile. days like this im glad Beau is still in the dark about the dare. I was supposed to give in to an area of disagreement. Well at first that was hard because we didnt really have one going on atm....but then it got harder. I hate to sit in on the weekends, i want to be out and about making fun blogposts memories with the family. Beau was ready for a which i replied, the kids need to get out, i need to get out, we don't do alot of exciting things during the week and it is our responsibility to do so on the weekends, we need to help Piper on her two wheeled bike, Pearce loves the park, YOU are being selfish, and so, i retreated to my Kindle. As you can see, yes i suppose he got his way, but I'm certain this was not the way the dare intended :(

But God is Good! Amen, I am forgiven, it is a new day, a new dare and its time to move on. Beau is over it (I'm fortunate to have a hubby who forgives and forgets fast). I have to work hard to follow in his footsteps.

and soo I proceed...........

day 13

If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand- Mark 3:25

For many of us, this mostly relates to child-rearing. I am fortunate that somewhere, some anonymous so and so gave Beau and I a good piece of advice when it came to parenting. PRESENT A UNIFIED FRONT! This advice bodes well for war as well :) recall the phrase, divide and conquer? it works. So while Beau and I do not always agree on parenting (im still pushing the whole mom bathes girls/dad bathes boys theory to no avail) we do not let them know..ever. We discuss in private and so far we have few disagreements when it comes to parenting. I got a head start at learning from parenting mistakes so in general Beau defaults to my advice........but he does have a bit more experience at being male and I try to remember that as well :)

All tiffs wont be about parenting tho. Unfortunately weathering the storm is a part of life, and a key part of partnership. It tests us and reveals what we are truly made of. The largest wounds to a marriage are done in the heat of the battle, when tempers are hot. The key to preventing permanent battle scars is not to prevent the argument, but to fight fair in love. This starts with setting boundaries and rules. The book suggests a few.

1. Never mention divorce ( we have evoked that one)
2. Never bring up the past (easier said than done)
3. Never fight in public or in front of kids (we have that one but occasionally slip)
4. Never touch one another in a harmful way (not an issue for us but an important rule nonetheless)
5. Never go to bed angry (yeah yeah yeah)

we have another one 6. no name calling or cursing..........changed everything for us, arguments end alot faster!

"fighting fair means changing your weapons". throw out the sharp tongue and harmful words. pick up clear explanations of feelings, a calm attitude, and research if need be :)

todays dare : talk to your partner about your rules. if your mate isn't ready for this, decide on the rules that will apply to you during your next argument.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

5 Ps in my pod

My dear friend Beth requested a brief bio of my little kid collection. I thought that was a great idea! so here goes....lets hope my memory serves me well :)

Parker 11, 7th grade

Some of you may know, maybe some don't, but my mom journey began a little to early. I was blessed with a pregnancy at the young age of 16. I say blessed because it halted a life destined for lots of parties followed by lots of bad choices. His birth brought back a closeness amongst my family and gave my father a chance to be a grandparent for a short time before he passed away. I am not ashamed to have been a teen mom, im forgiven, its part of my testimony and I have embraced it. all that said, it was not an easy road. To have a child at 16 is not the easy choice. If you've seen the MTV show Teen mom, know that it is by far a very real reality show. I was blessed with support , sometimes too much, but even so, teen parenting isnt easy. Thankfully it all worked out and I have a wonderful, intelligent, sweet son :)

Parker was a high maintenance baby!!! however, many many first babies are. I equate this to user error! Like anything, the first time you do it, you have no clue what you are doing. He was up all night (duh, thats what babies do) He cried alot (because i expected him to hang out in bouncers, swings, playpens etc and be content with toys). He hated to get dressed, was a picky eater, wouldn't give up the bottle, he was a kid. Mentally I labelled him high maintenance, but i know i could parent that same baby now and he would be a joy.

Parker started K eventually and it was not a fun time. He was bored, he complained, he voiced he was too smart for his class, told the teacher her work was boring, coloring was for babies etc etc. This continued on through first grade, we did the advanced class thing and quickly parker realised it was fun but essentially he was pulled out of class and expected to make up the work he missed. He found this punishment for being smart and the day his teacher suggested I should provide books for him to read during school hours to keep him busy, i pulled him out and we began our homeschool journey. I'm spoiled, he has always been easy to teach, he finished 3rd grade in one semester and so we skipped him. He tested appropriately and has been super smart ever since. he sports beiberiffic hair, shoes with wheels and an ipod touch. He is just a normal amazing kid and I'm so glad he is mine :)

Paxton 6, 1st grade

Paxton was conceived four months into my marriage to Beau. I was thrilled, Beau was thrilled and a bit overwhelmed....well, i guess i was too. This time i would be doing it without all my family (we moved to La). This time i knew a little more about motherhood and parenting. Once he was born, I instantly compared him to Parker, naturally. I labelled him an easy baby. He breastfed better because i didn't let him have a bottle for a few weeks and did not supplement with formula from the get go , a mistake i made with parker but had no clue :( . He slept better because he was breastfeeding, and  I would fall asleep nursing him, he would fall asleep in bed with me. I was cosleeping (had no clue what this was) which scared beau but there really was no avoiding it. I was better at swaddling, so he was easier to comfort. I toted him everywhere, even got my first carrier (Bjorn) and he was a pretty happy kid.

He was born at Fort Polk Louisiana (the arm pit of the army) but we quickly moved to alaska a few weeks after his birth. he screamed the whole way up the Al-Can but we made it and there he grew. He loves learning and playing golf. He eats everything. We have always offered everything and dont do special meals. He eats what he wants, leaves what he wants and we take the same approach with his schooling. I let him keep working and working as long as he wants, but when he doesnt want to do it anymore thats fine with me. so far so good, he loves school and i want to keep it that way. He is our most dramatic, gets stressed over anything! but also our most loving and cares so much about others. a great P to have in the pod for sure :)

Piper 5, K

Paxton's birth was literally a near death experience, no lie! So I was done having babies. I laid in my hospital bed with that newborn bliss, my husband right beside me, and felt like life was perfect, i had my two boys, we were done. Id love to have a girl but really didn't want to go through that again and found motherhood exhausting. About the time Paxton was 8mos old, God had a better plan. I went to get my annual, get some bc and oops, it was too late. Piper was on the way. I was not ready, i was sad/overwhelmed/depressed. I didn't know if I could love a child as much as I loved my two boys. My husband was set to deploy a few weeks after my due date and there was no way I could care for three kids! by myself! in Alaska!

I got over it! I got a midwife, I set out to have a better birth experience. I was not eligible for the epidural (what caused the whole almost dying prob with pax). I did get drugs, and though her birth position called for a c-section, my midwife helped me deliver my biggest baby yet, a beautiful 8lb baby girl.....well, if I'm honest...she wasnt so beautiful at first. That whole birth position thing had her covered in bruises and her nose was completely crooked. She sported spikey black hair and looked like she had been living in a tanning bed for nine months lol (neither would have been a prob except id previously delivered blue eyed blondes, was one myself, had mated with one, so she was a surprise). But she quickly became a beauty inside and out. She still sports a year round tan :) and traded the black spikes for a honey blonde (just when i decided i loved her dark hair and wanted a red, a blonde, and a dark haired child, i just thought it was too cute).

She had some nursing probs the first couple of weeks but ended up a champ! She slowed in the growth department and became a teeny petite thing. When compared to her brothers, she was an even easier baby!!! I didn't think it was possible. She slept all the time, she stayed swaddled for 6 months like a tiny burrito! She co slept - still no clue what that was but my hubby was gone, she was warm and snuggly and with had an amazing ability to nurse without even waking me! the only prob was that meant she nursed all night, from the same side. I always woke engorged!!! well worth it :)

She is now 5 years old and is the best gift we ever gave paxton. She plans to marry him but he swears he will punch her if she does it. They will never admit their best friend status, but i will say she has her own pink princess room yet he forces her to sleep in his room almost every night! She is always willing to share (often taken advantage of) She is almost always kind and wears her heart on her sleeve. Her feelings get hurt easily and rarely has to be disciplined. She loves gymnastics and likes school ok. She is our precious angel and I'm soo thankful for God's better plan!

Pearce 2

Pearce is our one and only planned child! out of 5! He was a deployment baby and is a little more than 2 years younger than piper (perfect separation imo). Finally I knew what I was doing! I knew how i wanted my pregnancy and birth to go. I knew how to take care of him so there was no anxiety there. I knew now that i would co-sleep :) and discovered better babywearing options when Piper was a toddler so I had my carrier stash growing and had my first didymos woven wrap awaiting his arrival (black elipsen).

Well the pregnancy went as planned, i stayed pretty small, did alot less prenatal care than before, ate super healthy, The Organic Pregnancy was in and What to Expect When Expecting was out :) but thats where my plans ended. I couldn't have a midwife for the birth because we moved to a small town and there werent any :( but i did have a doc who let me do whatever I wanted (not a great choice for new moms but remember, i finally knew what i was doing lol ). I stayed at home contracting for hours and when i was certain i must be 9cm i walked my teeny non maternity jean wearing butt (the one and only time so i had to brag) to the hospital feeling and looking great. My fave nurse Kacee shot me down real fast, i was 3cm and apparently had no clue what i was doing haaaaa. This doc would let me have that infamous epidural, i didn't want it , but caved pretty quickly then proceeded to have an amazing birth. I had my pretty pink dress ready, my new pink diaper bag, even pink bedding. I was prepared for my second girl, confirmed by u/s and intelligender urine test..............only prob........she came out with a penis!!! we had no name, no clothes, nothing. The nurses chose the name Pearce, my friends Andrea and Jennifer brought me some clothing, and so it was. Our third boy!

Id learned a few tricks by now. I did EC (elimination communication) with pearce, supplementing with cloth diapers. I wrapped him mostly with a few other carriers here and there. I intentionally co slept for the first time, he was my first kid to never have a bottle. He was a great baby. He didn't sleep as well as piper but one of those tricks Id learned was that my expectations of a baby can dictate the mood and attitude of the whole new baby experience. The day I became pregnant, i accepted that there would be many sleepless nights and i was ok with that. Ive learned to enjoy late night tv, bought a book light, and so when it happened that didnt make him a bad was simply par for the course. Sleep was a luxury much appreciated, never expected and certainly far from entitled to.

My great late night lovin baby quickly became a wild toddler. The EC worked great and he was potty independent by 18mos. You will clean more bathrooms with a pottying child so young, but soo worth it (because by this time i had lost a baby while on bc, and shortly after conceived our latest blessing while employing the "in Gods hands" technique). There were more diapers to come and i knew well that i didnt want two in dipes again!

Pearce is by far the most energetic. He has created more disasters, destroyed property, injured himself....he is exhausting. He is in gymnastics which is perfect for him! he never naps, is up at 6am, he is wild...but soo much fun. He says the funniest things, does the funniest things, and truly entertains the whole family. He requires alot of work but there is a big payoff and I enjoy each day with my little man!

Pike 10mos

Pike is our Halloween bean! I decided he would be born on Halloween the day i calculated my due date. ( i chose the bday for every kid but piper). I was quite busy with all the other kiddos during his pg (pearce is a full time job) so I wasn't quite as healthy, however I did get the best birth ever! I really wanted a homebirth, but dad wasn't too thrilled and our ins would not cover it. I hoped to have an "accidental" homebirth but when the day came the hubby and mil were pushing me out the door. Prob a good thing because i barely made it to the hospital. Pike was born as soon as we arrived. He was my largest baby 8.6. No drugs, no ivs , not time for any of that. It was amazing! He nursed like a champ from day one, was cloth diapered, breastfed, co slept and wrapped (in an ever growing stash of carriers his first being a didymos silk indio).

Pike is now crawling and standing and working on taking his first steps. He has a couple of teeth and can only say DaDa and Parker. He loves playing with his siblings most of all. He is our snuggliest kiddo so far and still somehow maintains his newborn squishiness. I'm loving it, totally limp as soon as he hits mamas arms :) I know five is alot, but I'm lovin what i got!

to answer a couple more of Beth's questions......

What did u do differently/similar?  well they all coslept, whether that was the intention or not. Ive breast fed each one longer and longer. babyworn piper as a toddler, but mostly the last two...alot. cloth diapered the last two but id do anything to have started with the first.

who was high needs? we have been so blessed to have no medical issues making a child truly high needs. I thought Parker was high needs, but really i know now it was I who was high needs ( i call this first time mom disease) they were all just babies with different ranges of normal but id say none were truly high needs.

have u practiced attachment parenting with all of them? well obviously no. I didnt even know what that was until i was on my third. to tell the truth, I'm not a/p. Im 90% i cosleep, babywear, nurse, believe in bonding and almost always have all of my kids with me. We do everything as a family and started this with Paxton. We don't believe in "i cant do it with a baby" and the parent child bond is one of Gods greatest gifts........however, i have to out myself as a spanker. We don't spank often, it is reserved for a really bad offense ( blatant lying, stealing etc) but we do use it as a parenting tool (except for piper, she hasn't really needed one) thus excluding me from the a/p label. I hang with an a/p crowd and in general that is the perspective i support, but I'm really just a wannabe. Aside from the spanking id say i was only really a/p with the last two intentionally.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

whatcha collecting?

Everyone collects something right? I have a few things I love to hoard collect. My favorites are , of course, my baby carriers :) but I also collect Radko ornaments (currently only sitting on the top 2ft of the tree for obvious reasons). Last but far far from least is my cross collection. It has moved with us from house to house, at times featured in a prominent spot, other times tucked away in the hall, it always goes up on the wall it just depends on the house where we have room for it. It grows and changes with our life experiences. We pick up new ones on our travels and have been given many from wonderful friends and family.

here is the newbie of the bunch , a gorgeous handwoven wheat cross given to us by our favorite family the Vandewegs, handmade by Eric's mom :)

I think this is my favorite. Beau and I went on a minivacation to Tubac. a cute little AZ town full of shops packed with antiques and breakables, we survived with 4 kids in tow and managed not to break anything and score this goody in the process!

a great one I picked up in Old Town San Diego, one of my favorite places!

this is our most travelled cross. Beau scored it in Jordan after visiting the Holy Land and watching the locals working on some amazing works in progress. He quickly fell in love with their mosaic art and all the work it took, so he had to bring a bit home :)

Each cross has a story, and thats the best part. I remember where we got most of them and the stories behind them. They are a beautiful way to decorate our home and let visitors know exactly where we stand :) although the initial question is "Are you Catholic" (nope we are protestant). so now the question is, What do you collect?

Monday, September 6, 2010

day 12 the love dare

pg with pearce at one of beau's graduations

day 11 went great! Beau still has no clue about the dare but really i say it went great cause it only took me a couple of hours to finish my dare. Lately its been taking a few days so i was excited. I knew exactly what he would need after a long day of playground building (a back message). He was thrilled, I never offer backrubs....ever. My teeny hands just get tired/bored after 5min and I never seem to get one in return so i gave up years ago. I must say it feels great to do it with no hope/expectation, much like our love is intended to be, it was a decision making it a bit more fun. I have to admit part of the fun is that I'm keeping it a secret. One day Ill spill the beans but the right day just hasnt popped up and so far my lips are sealed!

day 12 Love lets the other win :)

Do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others=== Philippians 2:4

When I think about these, atleast initially it seems easy. Im not competitive, typically if you try and compete with me I will back out of the competition as soon as I realize there is one. Id say that stems from the fact that a. I dont like to lose and b. I loathe the anxiety of any competitive relationship.  Either through natural reaction (aka God's help) or a conscious change in my behavior aimed at a change in the relationship, I can say happily that I have very few relationships that are of a competitive nature. Certainly (fantasy football excluded) we dont have much competition within our marriage. I know some love it, need it, whatever, but for me competition=stress.............of course, that is not the only time Love lets the other win :)

You know those times when you are being stubborn? Stubborn is great btw , when you are talking about your beliefs,principals,values and morals......not so much when we are talking what shoes you will wear to church, paint colors, or whether to get a swingset or a trampoline. Digging your heels in on something unimportant is just a way to hurt your partner.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus -Philippians 2:5

In other words, remember those rubber band WWJD bracelets from the nineties? When hanging out with the hubby, put on your imaginary bracelet. Will the marriage be  permanently changed if you have steak instead of chicken? nope, but will it be changed if you accidently hurt feelings in the process of deciding? maybe, and is it worth it? def not! I'm certain Jesus wouldnt fight with the disciples over what weekend activities they would participate in.

"The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your way"

Your differences make your relationship better and more interesting as long as they arent used to hurt one another. Sometimes you will get your way, only if you are willing to sometimes not.

today's dare

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area you are disagreeing on, tell them you are putting their preference first.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

day 11 the love dare!

oldie but goodie, pg with baby pike, just found out he was a boy! beaus favorite :)

the challenge from day 10 was pretty easy for me. i suggested he take the day off and play golf :) he loves it! i also snagged a bag of Beau's favorite "trail mix" which i am constantly discouraging. Its laced with m&ms , you know, chocolate candy that melts and is totally unsuitable for the trail. just this once i popped a huge bag in the costco cart, but never again i swear :)

day 11     Love Cherishes

Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies  Ephesians 5:28

I have no doubt my husband loves me more than himself. Occasionally he shows selfishness, he is human, but I have always known he would take a bullet for me or my children anytime. I also know I feel the same for him, though im certainly not as brave. He is without a doubt cherished by me, the challenge will be to make sure that he knows it!

The book describes a man who has an old car with a few problems who is then encouraged to ditch it for a new model. Nowadays that is how the world often views a marriage....hence the uber high divorce rate! :(
The Bible describes a bride and groom as one flesh, encouraging a husband to love a wife as himself. When we show love to our partner, when we encourage them, rejoice with them , share experiences with them further bringing happiness into their life....we are doing the same for ourselves. Your lives are now interwoven and this should be viewed as permanent. Just the same, when you bring embarrassment, pain, or dishonor to your spouse, you are doing so to yourself. Bottom line..cherish your spouse as you would yourself.

"Dont let the culture around you determine the worth of your marriage".

today's dare

What need does your spouse have today? could you run an errand, give a back rub or foot massage? is there housework you could help with? Today is the day, no time like the present!

mine has been working for 3days straight building a fort/swingset/playground thing that suggests 3 adults! He is well deserving a backrub! and i hate giving backrubs :)