Archives for category: daily life

I’m not a fall person. Never have been. I remember my Dad telling me when I was a kid that Fall was his favorite time of year. I generally wanted to be just like Daddy but there were a few things I just couldn’t agree with him on – Fall isn’t my favorite, I like silver color over gold and I do not like to be alone at all.

Anyway, there’s just something about those falling leaves and falling temps that leave me with a falling mood. (how poetic) I feel the seasonal depression creeping in more and more as the days shorten each and every year. I think I was meant to live in the tropics and you better believe, as soon as I strike it rich, we are buying a second home in a warm and sunny state. I cannot live my golden years in a gray state, even if the snow is silver-white.

This fall does have some very special perks, however. My sister and her family are visiting from out of the country for at least 6 weeks. (Not gonna lie, fingers and toes are crossed that they get to stay a little longer!) This is even more exciting because I got to finally see my 4 month old nephew whom I had never met and see my niece who I haven’t seen since she was an infant. The warm fuzzy feelings have been on hyper drive the last few days as I’ve snuck away during naptime and left hubby in charge while I go get some baby cuddles in. โค Oh… and it’s also been nice catching up with my sister and brother-in-law. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I managed to get a lot of our Christmas shopping done already. So far it’s all been online shopping because apparently Santa sent some gift catalogs to our house and you have to circle the items you want and mail them back to him and that’s what your options are for presents. It was nice to take some of the guesswork out of what to get the kids. Thankfully they picked very reasonable items and also, Santa picks from the list what he brings, you don’t get everything you circle. – I’m learning more and more about Santa the older I get.

As a side note, T is getting wise about the tooth fairy. He asked me the other day if the tooth fairy is just parents putting money under your pillow while you sleep. I didn’t confirm or deny but I could tell his mind was pretty well made up. I think he knows about Santa too and kind of always has but he likes playing along with it, so we do too.

So yeah, that’s kind of just a little micro dose of thoughts for today. Thanks for listening.

I’ve been absent here since June. I’ve wanted to write so many times but just haven’t really had any leftover energy at the end of the day. We’ve been busy living life and taking care of business. Everyone is doing well, we’ve just been so incredibly swamped!

  • In May we started breaking ground on building on to our house. This was a big undertaking as we (and our family members) did almost all labor ourselves). We added 3 additional bedrooms, a family room a large closet and several small cubbies and a bathroom. Many many nights, we put the kids to bed and hubby and I worked on the addition until midnight or later. It’s very close to being done now and we are moved into the rooms. Final finishing touches like trim are being done now. The kids all have their own bedrooms now and its pure bliss laying them down at night and not having to go break up fights and tell them to be quiet and go to sleep 357 times a night. Pure. Bliss.
  • Destin is 8.5 months old now. He is amazing and my only regret is not keeping up with posting as he’s been growing. He’s at the precipice of baby and toddler now and he is just wonderful. Everyone loves him. The kids all dote on him all day, every day. He’s never alone except when he’s sleeping. He’s really just one of the bros now. He is a petite guy for his age but growing up nonetheless. He started crawling, sitting and pulling to a stand all around the same time at 6ish months I think. He’s eating solids or purรฉes 1-2 times a day and nursing 6 or so times. Mostly sleeping through the night now that he’s in his own room. Around 5.5 months he had stopped sleeping through the night when he learned to roll over. From that point until we moved him to his new bedroom a few weeks ago, he was up all.night.long. One night he was mostly awake from 1:30am until almost 7am. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I wasn’t getting any sleep and was really not faring well. I’m so thankful that he is sleeping again with maybe 1 wakeup or none at all all.
  • Destin also has 5 teeth now. Guys, he’s just so perfect! ๐Ÿ˜ญ He’s so sweet and cute and still wants mommy to hold him facing towards me so he can snuggle. Of course, he’s wanting to be down and crawling most of the time now. ๐Ÿ˜ข But whatever snuggles I can get, I savor to the fullest!
  • Quayd is 26 months now and starting to talk at long last. It’s still rare for him to say understandable words but it’s finally happening. I can recognize his brother’s names when he says them. Or buddy (the dog), cat, kitty kitty, goat, water (first time saying that was today!), stop, shut up (at the dog ๐Ÿ˜…) and eat. That’s about it but it’s progress. Finally!! He is very smart and follows complex directions well and, as T said today “Quayd might not talk but he understands everything we say!” He is also starting to potty train himself and let us know when he needs to go by running to the toilet. I’m so proud of him for this and I hope he keeps it up! He’s a delightful little boy. Full of energy and very smiley. He’s a good kid although very sneaky and into things he shouldn’t be constantly. He keeps the whole family on our toes! ๐Ÿ˜‚ We are always saying “Where’s Quayd!!??” all day long. ๐Ÿคฃ
  • Naptime for the 3 youngest is now schooltime for T and L. It’s going amazing and we are loving it! T is in 2nd grade and L is in 1st. They’re thriving and learning and I am so excited every time I teach them and see things just clicking in their little minds. They’re so inquisitive and ask questions all day, every day from sun up to sun down. I’m glad they’re learning and I feel so relieved because I’d really worried about how things would progress.
  • Z is also doing preschool with me but not at the same time as his older brothers. He’s really growing up and starting to just do quiet time instead of naps. He wants to be included in whatever his big bros are doing and doesn’t take kindly to being lumped in with the babies, which unfortunately happens a lot. I’m trying to be extra mindful that he is included as much as possible in whatever activities the older boys are doing. Hubby and I took him bowling, out to eat and to play arcades the other day and he absolutely loved it. I could really tell he was loving being the center of our attention for a few hours. It was so fun. โค๏ธ He’s such a sweet kid. He’s always wanting to sit with me and tells me he loves me every day. He also really really loves our cats and is never quite as happy as when he’s sitting with one of them.
  • Our 2 nanny goats gave birth in July and August. Susie had triplets, 2 does and a buck. Lucy (our baby from last year) had twins, a doe and a buck. The bucks were sold at weaning to pet homes and we kept the does to raise until next year. I want to see how they look before deciding who to keep/have bred. Currently milking Susie and Lucy twice a day. They’re giving just enough milk to meet our needs. It’s such good milk and I’m so thankful for it and for the opportunity to have this little side hobby/income. Hubby says I’m growing a goaty empire. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t know about that but I do know that I have plans in mind to expand the pastures and add more housing in the hopefully near future. My goal is to constantly have a couple does in milk and cycle them through.
  • It has now been over a year since hubby finished cancer treatment. He still sees his dr every 3 months and so far, all good news, thank God. I realized the other day that I process these types of experiences very slowly. I cry easily if I think of the appointments we went to last year and the dr telling us it was cancer and so on. At the time, I stayed fairly stable for the most part. I definitely cried at times and worried at times but I don’t think I really processed it until recently. I will sometimes just break down crying when I think about it, out of nowhere. I just pray it never comes back and that he can always be healthy and happy and strong.

So much to write but this is lengthy already and I really want to take advantage of this quiet moment to soak my feet. ๐Ÿคฃ Now that the building project is winding down, I hope to haunt this space more frequently. L asked me today if I had known I would have Destin before I got pregnant with him and I told him no, each child was a surprise blessing for us. So I proceeded to read the boys the stories on here of when I found out I was pregnant with each of them. They were riveted and I realized I really need to pop back on here and document the mundane and the highlights once again, for it is the sum total of all these little stories that make up our lives! Our memories.

Also, one more cute story… At bedtime tonight, T came back out of his room to find me just to let me know, he’s decided what to name his kid someday. JJ Chris. And that’s just too cute for me to handle. ๐Ÿ˜ญโค๏ธ

Dear God, thank You so much for my precious children. They make my life so full of love and joy. I’m so thankful for them. Please bless and protect them all the days of their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Summer heat is here and we are completely consumed by the building project. DH and his Dad and 2 of my brothers have spent several weekends and evenings working on it in the heat and humidity. It’s coming along well, the structure is up, roof is almost finished. After the wall siding is on, we can move to the slower indoor work and I can stop spending my days running tea and ice water out to the guys while simultaneously cooking large meals and deserts to keep our “crew” nourished while ALSO keeping all of the kids safe and out of the way AND running out to the “Gicken barn” (as we call it) during naps to take care of the animals. I’m getting run ragged and it’s manifested in some weird, long term sinus infection thing. But, it’s only for a season. Soon DH and I will be back to our usual team work, Lord willing. That’s the only way we can all thrive in this season. ๐Ÿ˜…

Plus, I need things to slow down so I can get my goats ready for the upcoming kiddings! Susie is due in less than a month now. I also have 2 chicks currently hatching in the incubator because we had a hen decide to sit on eggs for awhile but she rolled some of the eggs away from her. I found them and they were cold at that point but I decided to put them in the incubator, just in case. 2 of them kept growing. Of the 18 total eggs she was sitting on, these are the only 2 still going. But now I’ll have to raise them because she’s no longer broody. Ah well, at least they’re cute.

Destin is 19 weeks old now. I don’t remember what my last update was but he’s definitely growing up more since then. I’m not sure what he weighs now but he’s had a growth spurt and is in 3-6 month clothes now. Still in size 2 diapers but probably going to move to size 3 after we use up this last case. He’s also rolling both ways now! Still sleeping from around 10pm to 8 or 9am. Naps are sporadic and short since I don’t have a way to lay him down in a quite, undisturbed location. Hopefully soon! He’s too easily startled now to sleep for long periods in my arms. But he’s such a loving little teensy person. He watches his brothers with great interest. He also looks for me when he hears my voice and tries to move his body towards me so I’ll pick him up. ๐Ÿ˜ He seems to know his nickname, “teensy”, and looks at us when we say that. Also new the last week or so is he takes toys that we hand him and puts them immediately into his mouth. He’s always slobbering and chewing his fingers. I think teeth are a ways off still but he’s definitely getting ready.

Tru had a 6 day long unexplained fever last week. I ended up calling the pediatrician after 3 days and she wanted me to bring him in. We were almost there when Quayd threw up all over the place, so I had to take him back home to clean him up and just assumed that was what Tru probably was dealing with as well. But as it turned out, Quayd wasn’t sick with a virus, just carsick apparently. He ate everything in sight when we got home and was perfectly normal, so I decided to try again to take Tru to the dr. By then it was the weekend and we had to go to urgent care. They saw nothing wrong with him aside from a little bit of fluid in his right ear but not a true ear infection. Strep and flu tests were negative. So, hopefully it’s not the fever syndrome starting up again but he did have pain in his left eye and right ankle off and on which is a little reminiscent of the joint pain he used to get. Time will tell but we hope and pray it was just a one off experience. ๐Ÿ™

The other kiddos are doing well and having a wonderful summer. Levi has been trying his best to help on the addition project. He’s so cute out there with the guys. Lately it’s not been safe for him to go out there but hopefully he will have some little jobs to do again soon.

Also, Tru and Levi got 2 calico kittens a few weeks ago. They’re loving them and Zane plays with them a lot too. Considering they came from rather skittish strays, they’re really affectionate. They aren’t litter mates but are close in age. We will have to schedule spays soon!

This may be only a drop in the bucket for an update but it’s already getting long, so off I go to tackle the next project. Until later, โค๏ธ

I decided recently that I wanted to create a little bit of one on one time (not counting Destin, because Destin goes where the boob goes for now) with each of my children so I can build a strong relationship with each one of them where we talk regularly and they have a chance to share whatever is on their mind, uninterrupted. I had the idea of doing a lunch date, so I asked the boys how they would feel about going to lunch with me and spending a couple hours together. They were pretty darn enthusiastic about the idea, although Levi couldn’t remember what it was called and started calling it our “lunch mom”. So we went with that because seriously, how cute. ๐Ÿ˜†

So far I have been taking 1 kid per week and its been going great! They look forward to it and so do I. I take them to whatever restaurant they choose and we just hang out. Cell phone is in my purse, I just focus my undivided attention on whatever is important to them.

Each kid is different. Tru barely talks and I pretty much have to carry the whole conversation and think of things to talk about, but he said he’s trying to think of things to say. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Even so, just hanging out is fun. Last week I took him to the Mexican restaurant and afterwards we went to Walmart so he could buy the much longed for Minecraft Legos he’s been saving up for. We talked about cats (his current favorite animal) and other very important things. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Levi to the Amish market and we bought huge sandwiches, a donut and a drink and attempted a picnic. It was too windy, so we ate in the van but it was still fun. Levi does NOT run out of things to talk about and I think I counted 13 questions just driving down 1 road on the way home. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was a fun adventure even though he got carsick and spent the last bit dry-heaving into a bag. Next time we won’t go on such a hilly drive. ๐Ÿ˜…

Zane benefits greatly from a little one on one time with Mommy. DH and I have noticed that after our lunch mom, Zane comes home happy and behaves well all day. Our latest adventure actually combined a trip to the dentist for Zane, but he thought it was all great fun. Afterwards, I took him to the store and he picked out a new spinbrush and we grabbed a quick breakfast from McDonald’s because we had to get back home so my sister could get on with her day. But it was still a sweet time. We talked about all the things important to Zane and he felt loved and cared for. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Quayd to the store with me and we bought groceries and grabbed some lunch at Arby’s. He talked to me in his baby gibberish and I answered him with enthusiasm. We pointed at things on the shelves and I let him hold the items he was most excited about. We also took a trip to the hardware store with DH and went out to eat at Applebee’s on the way home. Quayd just soaked up all the undivided attention from both of us. He “helped” me pick out a sink, toilet, lights and a cabinet for the new bathroom while I carried him around the store. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’ve always been a little sour that there are so many events and opportunities geared toward mother/daughter like tea parties and breakfasts and craft parties but finding mother/son events is hard! The same with mommy and me clothes (I buy DH and I both the men’s shirts and get the boys the kid shirts. There’s no reason mommy can’t be a “ninja legend” too!! And the boys think it’s super special when we match. Of course, they might think it’s a whole lot less special when they get older but they’re just little guys right now, so mommy is still pretty cool. ๐Ÿคฃ) So I’m just going to improvise and find ways to make special memories with my sons. We have plans to visit the splash pad and the really big park with the huge slide on some of our upcoming lunch moms. ๐Ÿ’™ And I can’t wait!

Wow, long time no post. I literally have no. spare. time nowadays. You would think I could at least type up an update while I’m nursing the baby but even if I have a free hand to peck out an update on my phone, kiddos and husband are literally always talking to me all day. ๐Ÿ˜… This is exactly the life I wanted to have and I truly love it but I must say, I’m definitely even busier than I imagined I’d ever be! Destin is 14 weeks and I’ve written the birth story and like 2 updates. I write updates in my mental blog nearly every day but they never make it on to this space, which is a shame because they’re always so much wittier and more interesting in my mind than when I get around to writing them.

Some highlights:

  • DH is a few days shy of 1 year post op from the testicular cancer and is doing great. He is due for his quarterly bloodwork again and has to have a ct scan in July to recheck a lymph node that was seen on his ct scan in Jan but the dr is quite confident that it’s not cancerous. He looks and feels as good as ever. I’m so thankful! ๐Ÿ’™

Destin:

  • Destin had his 3 month checkup a few weeks ago and was up to over 13lbs. Already Destin has gained more weight and today he was 14lbs 12oz on my bathroom scale.
  • He’s filling out 3 month clothes and outgrown a lot of his 0-3 months. He’s in size 2 diapers.
  • I had noticed Destin has uneven pupils, so I brought that up with his dr. She said she doesn’t see that often and wanted a pediatric opthalmologist to check it out. So that appointment was last week and the opthalmologist felt that it may be Horner’s syndrome. But, a follow up eye test this week was actually negative, so for now we can safely assume it’s just the way Destin is made. It’s not a huge difference and is more visible in dim lighting. He has gorgeous eyes! ๐Ÿ˜
  • Destin still falls asleep wherever he is at 10pm every night. He’s got a little timer in him apparently and it gets close to 10pm and he is out. I wake him up at 11pm and change his diaper, nurse him and put him in his sleep sack. He usually wakes up at 8-9am. On a rare occasion I will wake him early to nurse him or he will wake maybe around 6:30am to nurse but this happened only a couple times in the last month. I cannot possibly tell you how thankful I am for a baby that sleeps well. After Quayd, I was pretty worried. ๐Ÿ˜…
  • Naps are pretty sporadic and cat nappy but usually we have 1 good nap in the afternoon sometime. That nap is usually on my bed while DH keeps an eye on him while he works.
  • Social smiling, cooing and laughing are all well underway. Destin loves to smile and coo at us. He watches everyone very intently and sometimes he will sit in his seat for a long time just watching everyone. He gets so excited when his brothers come interact with him. He saw a little boy the other day in public and I could tell he wanted the child to come interact with him because he wouldn’t take his eyes off the kid. It was so cute. โค๏ธ
  • I hold Destin almost all day, every day although he’s finally sitting in his seat a bit more. That is to say, I can finally set him in there and not worry as much, although I have to watch him like a hawk because of all the kids messing with him.
  • His muscle tone is way better. He holds his head up straight and his legs are strong. His core seems a little weak to me but I do lots of little exercises with him and I’m impressed with the improvement.
  • I’d say he nurses about 8 times a day now. I also pump once in the morning and right before bed. Sometimes I’ll pump one side a time or two during the day if I’m too full. I’m currently getting 30-35oz a day and my sil is bottle feeding her baby with it. He didn’t tolerate any of the formula she tried except goat milk and unfortunately her milk was nearly gone when he was only a few weeks old, so thankfully this is working well for him and not taking away any time from my day since I was already pumping on the same schedule before. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up but I’m happy that it’s not going to waste and that he’s not spitting up constantly now.

Quayd:

  • I brought up to the pediatrician the fact that Quayd is 21 months old and isn’t talking yet. She said usually she doesn’t worry until 2.5 years, at least for boys. I’ve taken away Quayd’s binky during the day a lot to see if that helps. He does say a few words, although not very often. The past few days he’s been saying “baby” a lot. Yesterday he said “dada” and for sure meant it in reference to DH. He says “mama” occasionally but only when prompted. He has been saying “Truett” pretty regularly. I think we’ve heard him say “more” a few times as well as “no”, “stop (dop)” and “get out (gout)”. So I feel pretty confident that more words are on the way. He follows directions well, even multiple step directions. He can definitely hear us well.
  • Quayd is in size 2t clothes and size 4 diapers. He had his first haircut on May 14th. ๐Ÿ˜ญ It was hard for me but it was getting in his eyes and bothering him.
  • There is almost no food this boy doesn’t love and want to eat. Right now. He climbs in his highchair all day whenever I walk through the kitchen. I feel like he is always eating, at all times. But he’s right on track for his age with growth, he just burns all his energy running and climbing. I’ve never had a kid that runs and climbs so much and its a real adjustment for me. I can’t take my eyes off him for a single second outside or he disappears. He’s constantly getting away from me and it’s so hard keeping track of him. I installed baby gates on my porch so that if he somehow escapes the house, the gates are there to stop him. It’s amazing too because I sit on the porch with him a lot and let him play and the gates help me keep him confined to that area. It’s been great this spring. I fold laundry and nurse the baby and everything out on the porch. ๐Ÿ˜†
  • Quayd is such a sweet little boy. He runs to me smiling to hug me at bedtime every night when I hug all the kids goodnight. He doesn’t sit in my lap all day and snuggle like he did before the baby was born though. He only lets me snuggle him a little now. It’s like he decided he didn’t want to be a baby anymore. ๐Ÿ˜ญ But he still “talks” to me a lot with much pointing and babbling. We understand eachother. ๐Ÿ’™ He’s generally a happy kid and is starting to outgrow a lot of the screaming and tantrums that were very frequent for awhile. I think probably because he understands what is going on when we explain things to him.
  • He goes to bed at 9-9:30pm and gets up at 9:30-10:30am most mornings. He usually goes to bed happy but after we shut the door, every single night without fail, he cries for about 15 seconds. Then he goes to sleep. I don’t know why the little cry thing is mandatory but that’s just Quayd for ya. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He naps once a day around 1pm for usually 2ish hours.

General:

  • The addition to our house is underway!! 864sq feet more and I’m so thrilled! DH and his dad and my brothers P and A worked hard on it last weekend and made great progress. I am so so happy to finally have this in the works after 2 years of dreaming about it.
  • My goats are both pregnant! Blood test was positive at the end of April, so Susie is due July 21st and Lucy is due sometime after that. I’m excited!! I must say though, I’d never recommend goats for a pet. They’re too easy to mess up with the slightest little thing. I feel like I’m constantly in fear for their lives and over-analyzing their every movement. Shew! I have a whole post I could write about Susie losing almost ALL of her hair last month, in 3 days time. She’s good as new now but she was a sad, cold, naked goat for a time. As near as we can figure, she ate too much alfalfa and the calcium in it depleted her zinc and made her hair fall out. Zinc supplements seemed to help and her hair grew back. It’s literally always something like that though.
  • Mama hen hatched 9 eggs. 4 chicks remain. Sadly nature is cruel and for reasons I don’t know, she took care of all 9 for over a week but then let 4 get too cold one night. And also a predator got 1. But the remaining 4 are getting pretty big now, so hopefully they’ll be alright.
  • But to end on a good note (at least I hope it’s good!) DH is leaving his job after almost 9 whole years and is starting a new job next week. This job basically fell in his lap and he just felt like it was meant to be. It’s a similar position and full time from home. He’s happy about that because he really didn’t want to start doing the 2+ hour round trip drive again to the office. The downside is that it is second shift but that may be fine and dandy, we’ll see.
  • I’d love to post an update on the other kids also and typed one up a few months back that just needs posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I really mean when I say I’m having coffee with some mom friends. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Dear God, thank You for all these blessings. Healthy babies and answered prayers. Please continue to watch over us and bless this whole year. In Jesus’ name, amen.

My, how wonderful these 2 months have been. Destin is a perfect little baby. He makes every day so much sweeter.

At his checkup at 5 weeks he was 10lbs 13oz and 21.5″ long. So he’d gained 3lbs 1oz and grown an inch! The pediatrician prescribed pepcid for his reflux but I forgot to pick it up and actually, he seems to be doing a lot better and not burping up in his sleep and doing those weird sounds in his sleep anymore, so I think he’s outgrowing the reflux now. She was happy with his growth and remarked that she can tell he likes to eat! ๐Ÿ˜‚ She did say he has torticolis and showed me some neck stretches to do with him and I feel like that has also improved a little in the last 3 weeks. She said she could refer him to PT if needed but said that breastfed babies tend to do well just because of turning their head for every feeding. He has an appointment scheduled for a day shy of 10 weeks and I plan to ask her about his eyes. The right pupil is always a little bigger than the left and I’m not sure if that’s ok or not.

The other concern we’ve had is how weak and floppy he is. At 8 weeks he is finally starting to get a little stronger and able to hold his head up a bit better. He will finally put a little weight on his legs too. I’m really glad he’s showing some improvement. I was getting really concerned when I did tummy time with his and he just laid face down on the carpet and didn’t try to turn his head when it was obvious he was struggling to breathe. He actually gave me quite the scare! I didn’t even realize how much muscle tone he was lacking until I held my nephew who was born a month early and 15 days after Destin. He was so sturdy and strong at only a couple weeks old and I realized that Destin was definitely more floppy than was normal. But anyway, I do really feel him getting stronger now and I’m so happy about it!

Quayd loves his own binkies so much that he can’t image how Destin ever goes without one. He’s constantly trying to give Destin his binky, especially if he’s crying. He will even sacrifice his own binky if he think Destin needs it. ๐Ÿ’™

I’m so pleased with the schedule Destin has himself on. I hope he continues on this schedule for awhile. Currently he starts squirming around at 7am every morning (this is also around when he would kick a lot every morning during pregnancy). This is my cue to get up and pump so he can latch on. In the mornings I am excessively full, painfully so. I usually pump 16-20 ounces in the morning. I have no idea why my body does this but it’s been the case with all of my kids, so I just roll with it. Anyway, he wakes up for real at some point during this and I nurse him. Then he’s back to sleep until 9:30-11am, depending on the day. Then he’s up for awhile. He tends to take 1 longer nap in the afternoon, maybe 2 hours or so. The rest of the day he just dozes off and on any time he gets tired. We don’t really have a safe place for naps for him right now because every room has people in it. So most of his naps are in my arms or in his bouncy seat by me, preferably on the porch if the day is nice. He eats every 1-2 hours all day but starting to lean more towards 2 hours. Bedtime is at 10pm now. He previously would put himself to sleep at 11pm, but lately he is out by 10, no matter what is going on. I wake him up briefly to nurse and change his diaper and swaddle him at 11 and that is it for the night. He’s been on this sleep pattern for the last month and I absolutely love it. ๐Ÿ’™ I pray he is always such a good sleeper. I thank the Lord for this after Quayd about did me in from lack of sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Destin smiles all morning and is starting to say “goo” and make little sounds while he smiles. Occasionally he will even make a tiny short giggle! He’s very calm and quiet. He doesn’t cry much. Basically I could just copy and paste my posts from Zane. They are essentially the same in their personalities so far. They look neatly identical in their baby pictures. I can hardly tell them apart! Zane was so much like Destin with sleep also, wanting to be swaddled so tight for all sleep. Very easy going babies. ๐Ÿ’™

As for me, I’m taking advantage of his new schedule to take better care of myself. After he eats in the morning, I go get a shower before Quayd is up (the older kids are up earlier than Quayd, usually before 8am), and then I get my coffee and a quick breakfast and take the older kids outside to the porch so I can do my yoga app. I absolutely love it! I’ve been feeling so achy and stiff and yoga has really helped me loosen up and I can definitely tell a difference in my body even though I’ve only been doing it about 3 weeks. I’m still dealing with daily headaches which I think are caused by tight neck and shoulder muscles. I hope I can get that dealt with soon.


Dear God, thank You for this precious and wonderful baby. He was truly meant to be in our lives and we are so thankful for him. Please bless and protect him and help him to be safe and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

It would appear that caring for any sort of creature – whether it be children or pets or livestock – is basically periods of calm, enjoyable existence punctuated by moments of varying levels of stress and anxiety. I don’t like the stress and anxiety at all but I really love the calm times.

Currently our goats are spending the month with a buck at a stud farm who is hopefully laying his moves on them for some late July/early August babies. I am so excited to have baby goats again! I’m also super excited for our goats to be milking again. They really have the creamiest milk and I love knowing everything that went into making that nutritious milk for my (human) kiddos. I’m really looking forward to growing our herd and building a strong, healthy line of goats. The buck we picked to breed them to is gorgeous and comes from a strong dairy line. If we get any does from him, I definitely intend to keep at least 1 or 2. This will hopefully be Lucy (our baby goat from last year’s kidding) first time to have babies and we are really looking forward to seeing them and also finding out what kind of milker she will be. Her mom isn’t a big producer but on her dad’s side are good milking genes. I sure hope she will do well!

Lucy

Our chickens are back to laying eggs after their winter break. We could have put lights in the coop and kept them laying throughout the winter but needless to say, this winter was not a great time for projects like that while getting ready for Destin to arrive. Maybe we will get the coop set up more before next winter. (DH is dreaming of an automatic door opener so he can be sure they are locked up safe at sundown) It’s warm and cozy and that’s all that matters for now.

But anyway, yes, they are laying eggs again and DH couldn’t be more thrilled. Like I seriously woke up the other morning to see him standing by the bed with 4 eggs in his hands, smiling and remarking on the unique color of each egg. So far we are getting 3-6 eggs a day from our 10(ish – I forget actually๐Ÿ˜‚) hens. We also have 3 roosters. We originally had 5 roosters, which is way too many for the number of hens we have. Decisions had to be made about who would go and we actually only need one rooster (we don’t need any roosters really but I want more chicks soon) but so far we have removed 2 that were dangerous. Zane was outside with me and one of our previously docile roosters decided to flog him, out of nowhere and for no reason. Thankfully I was only a couple feet away and despite wearing Destin in the wrap at the time, I was able to grab Zane and throw him behind me. The rooster learned quickly that he was no match for my ninja skills and went back to his eating, but as soon as I could, I caught him and his identical brother (because I couldn’t actually tell them apart). Thankfully Zane was only pecked once and was ok. Unfortunately, of our remaining roosters, one is full size. The bantams don’t go anywhere near the kids because they’re not tame at all, but the big guy is Levi’s favorite and he can’t bear me to get rid of him. He may disappear one day though…. I can’t take risks with roosters.

DH is a great little farmer. He took over all animal care for the last month of my pregnancy as it was snowy and icy and he wasn’t having it with me going back and forth between the house and barn multiple times a day. He was very diligent with keeping the water thawed and everyone healthy. He even spent Christmas evening saving chickens from the cold after they inexplicably got stuck outside the coop. He spent some considerable time crawling through their pen in the dark and getting them back inside and warmed up. He frequently is heard singing “We are farmers… Dum dum dum dum…”๐Ÿคฆ ๐Ÿ˜‚

Unrelated but DH and our neighbor rescued an owl yesterday. I was outside and heard our big rooster making weird sounds and the hens ran away. I saw what I thought was a hawk in our neighbors field. Levi tried to scare it off but it flopped around. He said he thought it was an owl because it turned it’s head around. I went to investigate it closer and sure enough, it was an owl and was dragging a chain from its foot. Apparently it had stepped in a small game trap. DH decided to call our neighbor and see if they could help the owl. They were able to catch it and remove the trap and because there was no sign of injury, they set the owl free. He was tired and rested awhile but later on he flew away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazing camouflage skills

So, what is next around here? I need a couple barn cats to control the mouse population. You wouldn’t believe how many mice I’ve had jump out from behind hay and feed buckets in the last year. Tru and Levi are anxiously awaiting this addition. ๐Ÿฑ๐ŸˆStay tuned!

Today is Destin’s 1 month birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s grown and changed so much already, it’s incredible! One thing that has stayed the same is that he is a very sweet and happy baby. We are in a super good routine and I hope we can stick with this for a long time.

Sleep

From day 1, Destin slept well at night in the hospital. I think he woke 2 or 3 times through the night for the first week. Some time toward the end of the first week or beginning of the second, he started waking just once around 3-5am. Now he usually wakes around 4:30-6am. Then he usually wakes around 7:15am and will take his binky until I get him up between 8-9am for the day. Bedtime is at 11pm after cluster feeding from 9-11pm, although I’ve noticed that he’s cluster feeding less now than the first few weeks. I try to wake him up around 9pm to get some energy out before bedtime.

At first he napped pretty much all day between nursing. He had almost no awake time at all. Now he spends around an hour awake at a time, sometimes more. Some naps are long, especially if I lay him down for them. He can’t take long naps in my arms because I don’t get to sit down for long without having to jump up to take care of Quayd and the other kids. It actually makes me super sad that I have to ever lay Destin down for his naps at this young age, but honestly it’s probably for the best as it’s teaching him healthy sleep habits.

He definitely prefers to be swaddled when he’s put down, whether he’s awake or asleep. He gets agitated easily when his arms are loose. At night I wrap him in a receiving blanket to keep his legs secure and then put a thin swaddle over top of that. I SO wish I had thought to try this with my other babies because it seems to make a huge difference in how much Destin startles at night when his legs are secure. It only took me 5 kids to figure this out. ๐Ÿคฆ

Eating

All day. Especially at first, feeding on demand was every hour at the hospital. Once we came home I noticed it was more like every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Now he’s going longer, even up to 2-3 hours occasionally. But honestly, if it helps him sleep longer at night if he eats all day, I’ll gladly do it. I even encourage cluster feeding before bed. Plus, feedings mean I have a solid reason to just sit and snuggle. โค๏ธ I’ve been so blessed that after the initial soreness and engorgement, breastfeeding has been easier this time than any of my other experiences. I was extremely particular this time about latch, although I still managed to get blisters on both sides before we got home from the hospital. They healed quickly though. The nipple shield didn’t work for Destin, but thankfully a deeper latch helped the soreness immensely. I also was very faithful with putting on nipple balm the first couple days and every night for the first week.

He’s also just been my easiest baby to get a good deep latch with from early on. I worked on it a lot in the hospital. He had latched himself on right after birth and did great, so I feel like he’s just a natural. Interestingly, he likes to nurse longer durations than my other kids did, except Levi.

I’ve been pumping with my Elvie pump, which is a post all of its own. I definitely like it, even though I don’t think my milk supply is quite as high this time. Probably at least partially due to not usually pumping both sides at the same time and not pumping fully dry because the Elvie only holds 5 ounces. I’m pumping in the morning, before bed, once in the night and usually a time or two during the day. I’d say I get roughly 25oz a day, although I’m not keeping track. No milk has made it’s way to the freezer though as Zane and Quayd are drinking it as fast as I can pump. With Zane’s petite size, I’m glad he’s getting the extra calories and nutrition. For Quayd it’s more of a comfort to him and helps him feel more included rather than not being the baby anymore.

Growth

All this feeding has meant that Destin has been very quick to gain weight. He’s well over 10lbs already, maybe more! At first his newborn clothes were baggy. Now he’s filling out his 0-3 month clothes. ๐Ÿ˜ญ We ran out of newborn diapers after the first week, so I moved him into size 1 since we had a ton of those. At first they were really big on him but already the waste band is about to not fit! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I’m both devastated by how fast he’s grown and super thankful that he’s growing so well. Emotions are complex. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

He has had 1 checkup so far at 13 days old and he was already 8lbs 13oz. Up 1lb 1oz from birth weight.

Destin was by far our weakest and floppiest newborn. I asked the pediatrician about it at his checkup (it was at 13 days old, not right after hospital discharge because of snowstorms). She said something about low muscle tone. Since I didn’t have a lot of fluid with him during the pregnancy, I feel like maybe that prevented him from building as much muscle tone as our other newborns had. Nevertheless, he’s definitely getting stronger. He’s even lifting his head off our shoulders now when we burp him. I think he’s still not as strong as my other 1 month olds were but he’s definitely getting there!

The other big developments are his awake time increasing and the fact that he looks around to see what he’s hearing when things are loud. He also looks at the TV when it’s on. From birth he has always responded to his daddy’s voice and looks for him when he hears him talking.

As of 3 weeks 4 days, he smiles at people. I thought maybe he had smiled at me once before but for sure he smiled at 3 of his aunts in separate occasions over the weekend, then today he definitely smiled at me for real when I was talking to him this morning. He had his pacifier in though so I’m anxious to see him smile without it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Destin just has such a calm and sweet demeanor. This might sound silly but he has a soft and quiet cry. I’m so incredibly thankful for that because Quayd came out screaming and never stopped and his cry is so incredibly loud. Like opera singing is almost definitely in his future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I prayed throughout my pregnancy for Destin to be a quieter baby than Quayd because, our sanity. I’m so thankful that so far he is not a fan of screaming at us and to be honest, a couple times he’s been crying in the other room after waking from a nap and I didn’t even hear him till I went to check on him. I call this a blessing, folks.

The family

We’ve all adjusted well to having Destin in our lives. Everyone loves him so much. My sister said she was going to take him home with her when she came to see him the other day and (bless his heart) Zane started crying and ran to me begging me not to let her take our baby home. It was equal parts sad and adorable. Zane had to hold Destin after that to comfort himself. The kids all kiss him a million times a day. I’m constantly wiping crumbs off his head from kisses left by sticky little mouths. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I personally have done well recovering so far but I’m still trying to take it easy (failing because it isn’t possible, but trying nonetheless). I had one scary incident at 9 days pp where I had done serious gushing and thought I might be hemorrhaging again, but a call to the dr assured me I was ok. My energy levels stayed low the first couple weeks but after some daily iron pills, I do feel stronger. The body aches were what surprised me most this time around. I took ibuprofen every single day for probably 3 weeks. I’m starting to feel ok enough to skip now but still have a headache and get really tired around 3pm every day. Some coffee and sitting down for a bit is usually enough to recharge me until bedtime. I haven’t found that unicorn opportunity to take a nap yet but that’s ok. If Destin will (please God) keep sleeping well at night, I will be just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dear God, thank You for this beautiful and precious baby. Please keep him safe and healthy and happy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Last Tues , Feb 9th, I woke up a little earlier than usual but felt well rested and refreshed. I got up and cleaned the kids’ bedrooms and got lunch ready before my mom and brother came over to watch the kids while I went to my appointment. I convinced DH to go with me and work in the car, just in case. I had been having stronger contractions for the last 4 days but they were really far apart and would stop for hours at a time. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I felt like it would probably put me over the edge into active labor if the dr did a membrane sweep that day. I made sure to take my suitcase, camera and baby’s carseat.

This is what I’d been having for 4 days. The duration is inaccurate but the interval was very weird.

We arrived early to my appointment since it had snowed a bunch and I didn’t know what the roads would be like. I sat in the car and paid bills in advance “just in case” while I waited.

When the Dr came in I told her about the contractions and mused that I wondered if I was starting early labor. She said I was “3cm and 50% effaced… 4cm actually.” I asked if she could sweep the membranes and she started to but then said no, she was afraid my water would break either right then or after I left and that if it was after I left, I might not make it back to the hospital in time. Then she asked me “How would you feel about going to the hospital now?” I was pretty shocked because I hadn’t really thought of this scenario. I told her that I would do whatever she thought was best. So she stepped into the hall and asked the on-call dr “would you rather I send her over now or have her call you at 3am?” The on-call dr said now would be good. ๐Ÿ˜… So my ob came back in and said “having gone from 2cm to 4+cm since Fri”, she didn’t feel comfortable sending me home. I sent my mom a quick message at 3:11pm to let her know I wouldn’t be home today. She said she wasn’t expecting me to come home and she had brought her bags with her. ๐Ÿ˜

I got out to the van and asked DH (trying not to cry with all the nerves and excitement) “Are you ready to have a baby today?” He was pretty surprised too and it took a minute to set in. ๐Ÿ˜… We decided to grab a quick lunch from KFC before getting checked in and he notified his boss that he was clocking out a little early. I could only manage the Chicken Little sandwich for lunch but I’m glad I ate something.

We were checked in around 4:10pm but had to wait awhile for our room, so I’m not sure exactly when we got back there. The nurses came in to start my IV (4 attempts! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) and get baby on the monitor. I was having contractions at this point a little more frequently and they were stronger than earlier but still probably 10-15+ minutes apart, I’m not really sure. Certainly not contractions that would have convinced me to head to the hospital if I’d been at home.

The dr came in to say hi and let me know the plan was to just break my water and let my body do the rest. I was so incredibly nervous, I just kept telling DH and the nurses that I didn’t know if or how I could do labor and I was just really getting worried about it. They kept trying to reassure me but not to much avail.

At 6:30pm the dr came back in and broke my water. I didn’t even feel her break it but suddenly there was gushing. She said I was 5cm and 70% effaced with baby at -2 station. So all the contractions I’d been having had made a difference! Then everyone left the room and I waited. And waited. 6:41pm came and still no contractions when mom texted to ask how it was going. I decided to rock in the rocking chair for awhile as that had always given me Braxton Hicks but nothing happened. DH suggested I get up and walk around the room but I didn’t want to leak everywhere. Nevertheless, I stood up and BAM, there were the contractions. Strong, frequent and lots of downward pressure. These contractions hurt across the area of my c section scar, just like with Zane. At 7:01pm I texted mom that the contractions were getting bad. I didn’t send any more messages after 7:04, it was all business after that. The nurses came in for shift change and I told our new nurse that I was going to try the shower. She brought me some ice and left us alone to labor in privacy. She was very sweet and good about giving us all the space.

I labored standing in the shower, leaning forward during the contractions with the water on my back, oftentimes with my left leg up on the seat. DH held my hand to keep the iv out of the water. We chatted between the contractions but during them I prayed, breathed/blowed and said “ok, ok, ok, ok” over and over like it was impossible to stop saying it. The pressure was really intense and I felt like I almost wanted to push already. DH was getting very nervous about me giving birth in the shower, so after much begging for me to get out, he finally convinced me to get checked around 7:45pm I think. I was soooo disappointed when the dr said I was 6cm and 80% effaced with baby at 0 station now. The contractions were so close and strong, I’d hoped for more progress even though it hadn’t been long. She said the pressure was because I was nearing transition and that the next time I called her in I’d probably be ready to push. She’s a very hyper and giggly personality and was so excited and positive about everything.

Straight back to the shower I went. This time I took the shower head and put it between my low back and the wall and leaned against it. DH left the bathroom to give me some time alone to focus. I forced myself to stop blowing through the contractions and just breathe normally. I mostly closed my eyes and prayed for God to help me through every contraction. I focused on all the tension in my body and tried to relax each area, especially my back, core, buttcheeks and thighs. It was one of the most mentally contradictory experiences of my life but when successful, I’d feel a slight relief in the pain vs staying tense. I didn’t have much concept of time but I knew I wanted to make it an hour before being checked again. It was weird and amazing but I was so focused, I could feel the baby moving down and rotating slowing from my right side to the middle. I could feel him pushing himself downward with his feet during contractions, working with my body. I’d never experienced that before, maybe because I’d never been that focused before. DH came to check on me around 8:30pm and thought the contractions had stopped but actually I was in the midst of a several minutes long contraction that I thought would never end. It felt like a turning point for me and the urge to push became stronger. I kept trying to tell myself, just one more contraction, let’s see how the next one goes. At some point I decided “I want to enjoy this experience, not hate it, so I’m going to get the epidural”. The urge to push was strong now, which is unusual for me as I usually don’t have much urge at any point.

I called for DH to help me get out of the shower even though every fiber of my being wanted to stay in there. He called for the nurse and the dr came in too. Standing through a contraction on my way to the bed was unbearable. I told her I was ready for the epidural now but she said “Ok, but I think you’re ready to have the baby. Just let me get some gloves on although I will catch your baby barehanded if I need to.” I looked at the clock on the wall as I got in the bed and it was 8:44pm. The nurse commented that the baby had a change in his baseline heart rate and I felt guilty for all the hot water in the shower possibly stressing him out. The dr said he did have a shift but it’s ok, he will be out in a few minutes.

Once gloved, the dr said I was ready to push with a little cervical lip on the right side but it would go away as I pushed. I rolled to my right side for a couple contractions to try to get rid of the lip while they quickly rushed to set up the room as nothing was ready yet. Then I moved to a semi sitting position and began pushing. *side note: I learned from this that I really prefer pushing with stirrups to rest my legs in. They didn’t set the bed up this time and I missed having the stirrups to rest my legs in vs putting my feet on the bed. It felt counter-productive and like it wasn’t opening my pelvis properly.* My first few pushes I was afraid to really bare down, so they were wimpy but I pulled my legs to my chest after that and asked DH and the nurse to help me and with a couple more pushes, Destin’s head was out. I felt so relieved as all my babies slid out after the head was born, but nope, not Destin. The dr said I needed to push as hard as I could and she was pulling so hard, it scared me as I realized his shoulder was stuck. The nurse quickly laid the bed flat and he popped free and they laid him crying and pink on my chest. The relief was immense and the pain was 100% washed away. Just completely gone. I just kept thanking God. After begging Him to help me just minutes before, I was so blessed to have my beautiful baby out and the pain over. 8:55pm. Just 2 hours and 25 minutes after my water was broken.

DH cut the cord after a couple minutes. It was a beautiful spiraling dark purple cord. I remember thinking it was so cool looking. A few minutes later and I felt the cramping for the placenta and the dr remarked that it was huge. Then she declared we were all done and I could just enjoy my baby now. Unfortunately, no sooner did she say that than I felt gushing. Pitocin was started in my iv and a cytotec suppository inserted but the dr, through apologies, had to manually hunt down the source – a “film”, just a tiny piece of membrane that broke off somehow. Thankfully she had acted fast and the hemorrhage wasn’t too severe. I was shaking a lot and felt a little off but nowhere near how bad I’d felt when I hemorrhaged with Levi.

Destin latched right away after I was able to sit up again and nursed for basically the whole first hour on both sides. He even latched himself the second time and was a total natural. DH called our family on video chat and we showed the boys their newest brother. After a couple hours we moved to our recovery room and got settled in for the night. It was around midnight I think. I managed a few hours here and there of sleep but wasn’t really too exhausted since I’d slept well the night before. Thank God. All those prayers for me to be rested going into the birth were answered!

The next morning the nurse came in to tell us that Destin had a borderline bilirubin level and needed to be put on the light and bili blanket to be proactive. He did great though. It was good that he had started taking a binky within the first couple hours of birth, so that helped soothe him. That second night went well and I think he only woke to eat 2 or 3 times. I actually got pretty good sleep. Sometime in the night the nurse removed the light and just left the bili blanket. The next morning his bilirubin was stable, so they took him off the blanket also to see how he did for the day. By his evening check the bilirubin had rose a bit but they said since my milk had come in and he was eating, pooping and peeing well, we could go home if we got his level checked again the next day (and the day after that, as it turned out). So we went home about 46 hours after birth. Thankfully even though his bilirubin level rose, it stayed below the level to need treatment. Today his eyes are finally less yellow. ๐Ÿ™‚

The boys were so excited to meet their brother and have been so loving and not at all jealous. They’ve really embraced their new bro and declared him the cutest baby ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š He fits in like he was always destined to be. โค๏ธ

I’m just so thankful for how everything went. If I’d gone into labor the next day, we would have had a very hard time getting to the hospital as we got hit with a lot of snow. If I’d had the baby in the car if my water had broke at home, what would I have done if he got stuck? Not to mention the hemorrhage. And I couldn’t have managed a 1.5 hour car ride with that intense labor. So many what ifs. I was so discouraged about not going into labor at home but it ended up being for our safety. I’m so thankful to the Lord for His protection and to my ob for her wisdom. ๐Ÿ˜Š Most of all I’m thankful that Destin made it out safely and that we have recovered so well. I had no tearing and very little discomfort other than after pains. Not going to lie, those cramps were BAD. ๐Ÿ˜… We’ve settled into our routine at home now and it’s crazy and bittersweet to think that whole pregnancy and birth is already behind us.

Hopefully I can post about our first week at home soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we are already over a week old and I haven’t posted an announcement yet! Destin arrived last week at 38+4, a couple days before our induction was scheduled. Hopefully I can get his birth story typed up soon. It was a fast one! 7lbs 12oz and 20ยพ” long.

He’s doing great and we are in a good groove at home now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanking God for such a sweet and beautiful new son!

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