Wednesday, December 28, 2011


For us, like most people I know, December is a crazy busy month. We had Christmas parties, programs, caroling, birthday parties, sleepovers, homecoming, Christmas and in the mix of it all, diagnosis day of our sweet Olivia. Needless to say, to fully enjoy the Christmas season, I have to be intentional about it. With the help of 3 very lovely little girls, it was not that difficult to have fun. Sometimes I had to think like a 4 and 5 year old to let loose but that seemed to work!
Back on the midst of all the chaos, it is so easy for me to either get so caught up in all the emotions and forget to realize how great our life really is. December 11th was diagnosis day and let me tell you, that day is scarred until the end of both Greg and my existence. No matter how busy we stay (and I go go go until it's over!) there is a lingering sadness that cannot be shaken. That day we went to church, ate lunch out, went caroling with the girls' Sunday school class and came home to a nice surprise. I have no idea who it is from but this was hanging from the mailbox with a note that simply said, "THINKING OF YOU GUYS TODAY" It really lifted my spirits along with the other messages that I had received that day!

The next day was long. We had school, preschool, cheer class and no Greg home that night. I was busy hauling all three girls in and out of the cold rain, house looked like a tornado hit it (as usual these days) and I had a knock at the door. A lady brought me a plate of cookies. I do not know the lady, she told me that the teenagers at the Christian Church in town were making Anonymous Angel Cookies (?) and someone had anonymously turned my name in to receive some cookies. The note attached said to pass a blessing on to someone else. I was really feeling uplifted, 2 blessings, 2 random acts of kindness in 2 days! I did not know what I could possibly do to pass on a blessing right now, I was just too caught up in my own life. I did not have time to bake anything, I was emotionally vulnerable and just exhausted with my life.
Fast forward to today. This is in no way me bragging about myself, just grateful that I was in the right place at the right time. Since Greg is working around St. Louis this week, the girls and I had plans to go to St. Louis early this morning, spend the day and overnight there and head back home tomorrow. I have been fighting a cough with OTC meds and sheer stubbornness for a month now and finally broke down and made an appointment at the doctor office. That delayed our plans until the afternoon. Of course I did not have our stuff packed so what would have taken 15-20 minutes takes an hour with a crying baby.
I walked out of the house, slightly discouraged by the laundry piles folded all over our living room but still determined to have a good night away. Start driving and wonderful! I needed to fill up my gas tank, why I did not fill it up with just one kid with I know! I decided I would fill up in Vandalia. As I am getting off the second exit, a white SUV is pulled over and an older lady is walking up the exit so I pull over to see if she needs help. Her car had run out of gas and she was traveling from Ohio to St. Louis to see her daughter. I was able to give her a ride to the gas station and back to her car. When we got back in the car at the gas station, the song Blessings by Laura Story started playing!

****Quick disclaimer**** I would NEVER recommend pulling over, especially with my little girls in the car under normal circumstances. I have driven by many broken down cars but this time it just felt right and thankfully, it was!****
The girls and I were able to continue back on the road after a slight detour. Of course they thought I was nuts letting someone get into our car that they didn't know. About 10 minutes into driving I was thinking about how all of this stuff that slowed us down could have been just so that I could stop and help this one person. Then song This is the Stuff by Francesca Battistelli comes on the radio. I could not help but laugh and just appreciate that all of this crazyness in this life really has a purpose and comes full circle! It is just a reminder that my timing, no matter how big or small, is not the same as God's timing. Sometimes being patient with all the "stuff" can open our hearts to his perfect plan :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

5 months

Yesterday Claire turned 5 months and boy has she grown so much! She was on the lower-mid level on the growth charts but now she is on the upper end. I'm sure it all has to do with her tongue being clipped but she has grown from 0-3 month months and almost out of 3-6 month clothes in the last month.

Lots of pictures and updates from the last month......

Claire enjoying a dance with Daddy at homecoming

Feedings: Still breastfeeding but thankfully the feedings are spacing out. We have finished our rice and she has been eating oatmeal. I don't think she likes it as much as the rice but she eats it anyway. I have been pumping in the extra milk in the morning and before bed and froze an extra 300 oz!

Claire has been sitting, I have to stay close because she will suddenly tip over! Claire and her cousin Aiden, I hope they are best friends growing up!

She has found her toes and loves holding onto both feet at the same time. Rolling over is still progressing slow! Greg has finally seen her roll from belly to back. She rolled from back to belly a few times but none of us have seen it! This is what I get from her......

Then she relaxes to her back, I walk away and come back to this.....

Sleeping is right on track overnight and she is finally getting a general timeframe for daytime naps. The most exciting thing this month is that she has found her voice this week. She will coo and babble just because when before we would have to talk to her to get her to make the noises. She also loves loves loves to laugh! Especially at her sisters, they do not even need to do anything more than look at her and she is laughing uncontrollably!

I am so thankful to be entering the Christmas season with a baby this year! And I have taken a thousand pictures to show it. Makayla and Hannah are just not as patient with the pictures so I am taking it all out on Claire....not that she minds!

I don't know if it's because I am older, because Claire is not the first or because we lost Olivia (or all 3!) but I have just really soaked in each stage. I wish I could go back and slow down with Makayla and Hannah because I know how quickly they really grow and change!!

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Busy Weekend!

To say we had a busy weekend might be an understatement. We were on the go from Friday morning until Sunday evening. Here is a quick recap of our festivities :)

Greg's Christmas party was Friday during the day. We got Makayla off to school, Hannah over to my grandma's before we headed down to southern Illinois. The company he works for is in Anna but his party was at Giant City Lodge, about 2.5 hours away. Of course Claire came, if it were closer I would have left her too but it was a long day for no mommy time with a busy weekend coming up. Before leaving I just had to have a picture of Claire with one of the dinner guests :)

Makayla was the little flower girl for Altamont's homecoming. Friday night was the game. You would think that her curly hair would be a quick fix, and typically it is. After having it down all day for school and no time to wash it and start over, I brushed through the tangled mess, curled already curly hair and ran out the door. She did wonderful and did not seem at all shy!

After the game we took Makayla and Hannah over to a friend's house, they were having a sleepover with some other girls. They all decorated their own gingerbread houses, how fun!

We picked them up the next morning around 11 and headed out toward their cousins' birthday party. I did not get any pictures of that but they had a great time and ice cream cake!!! We had about 3 hours downtime at home before we needed to start getting ready for the homecoming dance. I put on a movie and told the girls to rest, no talking! Hannah took a nice long nap, Makayla just "couldn't get comfortable" but was super whiney so the rest was good for her.

Makayla and Hannah had baths before dinner. This was so I could blow dry Makayla's hair straight and curl it again....crazy, I know! I decided to do her hair up for Saturday, I was not in love with the down curls. There are so many good pictures but since most are on facebook I will not post a bunch here.

Hannah also loved going to the dance, she liked to watch the dancing and checking out the pretty dresses.

Sunday morning was church and in the afternoon Makayla and Hannah's class were going Christmas caroling. Once again, no pictures of this but they had a great time doing it. By the time we got home Sunday evening, we were happy to be home!! All 3 girls went to bed easy enough. I was so tired I crashed on the couch before 9, I'm not sure if Greg tried to wake me up or knew that I wouldn't budge but I slept there all night! Although this weekend turned out great and we all had a good time, next weekend is empty and I plan to keep it that way!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun Stuff From Pinterest!

I just recently discovered the world of Pinterest about a month ago. I was sitting at a MOPs meeting and a couple of friends were talking about it and were in shock that I had not heard of this. I checked it out and I LOVE it! I am not sure how much I will actually accomplish beyond a whole lot of pinning but I did manage to do 2 things last night.

One was a hairstyle, nothing too fabulous but it will be cute when I master it. No pictures though. I also saw fabric headbands. I thought this would be fun for the girls with some tulle that I already had at home. These fun little accessories probably cost a whole $.50 to make.



Check out these curls....all natural! For both girls, I just had to bobby pin in place!