Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where has the last year gone?

I have been basically ignoring this blog for the last year.  This fact actually saddens me greatly and I am making a commitment to myself that I am getting back on here, with or without pictures.  I am looking into some other options for a new blog so that I can start posting pictures again but until then, I will write our story.  I have thousands of pictures and always will have them.  But I will not remember all of the details of my life with my husband and kids and I absolutely must document as much as I can.  I know I LOVE going back and reading my old posts and I hope that one day our kids will love it just as much as I do.  I just now went back and read my post about losing our baby and cried through the whole thing.  I am so thankful to have our family story documented here in this blog.  I know a few family members read it but other than that it is for us.  My little family of four and any others God blesses us with in the future.  I have no idea how I am going to recap everything that has happened this year but I am going to try.  And it will take a few posts to do. 


I would consider this year the year of tragedy.  I don't want to sound dramatic but it really has been a year filled with sadness.  Of course, every moment with our kids brings us joy but along with that joy has been great loss. 


But before I go into any of that can I say something sweet about my sensitive Carter man?  Boy, do I love that kid!  His preschool teacher talked to me last week about something that had happened during show and tell.  Carter was showing his fire truck (what else would our guy bring for show and tell?) and another little boy kept interrupting him and talking about Carter's fire truck.  He even corrected Carter for saying fire engine and told him it was called a fire truck.  The teacher has a rule that you do not get to talk while someone is sharing their show and tell so she asked him to stop and let Carter talk.  He didn't and even gave the teacher a really sassy look.  So she had him sit in time out and he didn't get to share his show and tell that day.  When the teacher told the kids they were all done with show and tell, Carter was extremely sad that Noah didn't get to show his and immediately told his teacher that Noah needed to go before they were done.  She explained why he didn't get to and she said Carter was very sad for his friend Noah.  I know this isn't a big deal but to me it was a little glimpse into his sweet heart that I have always hoped and prayed for in my sons someday.  I know Carter is sweet and cares so much about others and that was another example of that.  It melted me. 


Anyway, this year...
Just in 2014 we have lost Jay's uncle Dave to a brain tumor, my Grandma, our baby, my uncle Don to a massive heart attack, and Jay's dad to liver cancer.  Isn't that a lot in one year?  Neither one of us have ever dealt with loss in this way before.  I do want to talk about each one of these losses and the impact on our family and our lives but I probably won't go into it yet in this post.  It has just been a really rough year in general and we are looking forward to a new year (in just a few weeks) and hoping that our loss is over with for a while. 


In happy news though we also found out this year that we are expecting another baby again!  I am 16 weeks pregnant with baby number 3 (although this is pregnancy number 5) and we are anxiously awaiting for spring to bring this baby into the world.  After losing our last baby at 12 weeks this has been a very long and anxiety driven pregnancy.  But we have had an ultrasound and we heard the baby's heartbeat at 13 weeks so we have hope that this baby will continue growing and be in our arms at the end of April 2015.  We are so thankful that I am able to get pregnant easily and that I know I can carry healthy babies to full term.  We now just wait patiently and pray a lot for this life growing inside of me.  We didn't tell our kids about this one until I was almost 12 weeks and we had already had an ultrasound.  I just couldn't handle the thought of putting them through that again. 


Well, I think that's all for now!  But I will be back to post more about our year very soon. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There really is no great title for this post...

I feel like it is finally time to write this post.  As hard as the last few weeks have been for us I want to write this story and share my feelings on what we have been through.  I won't have the most eloquent words or perfect way of expressing my thoughts but I want it in writing for our family to be able to read for years to come.  We went through something traumatic and life changing.  It has definitely changed me.  I learned some things and I have allowed myself to grieve while trusting the Lord and His perfect plan for our family.  It is easy to be angry.  It is easy to blame myself.  It is easy to ask God why.  I have done and felt all three of those but I also feel a sense of peace.  I do trust God.  I trust He will heal all of us which I am already seeing in us now and I trust that He will complete our family in the perfect way.  I also hope that this post could be encouragement to someone who has gone through something similar.


At 12 weeks pregnant we lost our baby.  This precious baby, who we will never meet this side of Heaven, was already loved by so many.  We were anticipating what our family would be like as a family of five and planning all that comes along with adding another member to our family.  We had names floating around in our heads and we had two sweet little kids anxiously awaiting mommy's belly to grow and to eventually meet their new sibling.  I was dreaming of bedroom arrangements and seeing both of my kids meet this little one.  We were so excited that God was blessing us with another one to call our own. 


We found out right away that we were pregnant on March 27th.  I had envisioned us waiting to tell our kids for a few weeks to make sure I got through the early miscarriage stage.  I had miscarried once before at five weeks and wanted to avoid our kids going through that with us if it happened again.  However, we were so excited we just couldn't wait.  We told them right away and made all the phone calls to the parents.  Everyone knew this news was coming.  We were ready to have another baby.  Our kids seemed excited but of course it is a hard concept to fully grasp at such a young age.


A few days after we took the test, I started bleeding.  Of course I assumed right away we were miscarrying.  I won't go into too many details because I shared this part of the story in an earlier post.  Over the next three weeks we did everything we could to find out what was going on.  The initial doctors appointment to confirm miscarriage actually gave us some hope because my blood levels were rising like they would with a healthy pregnancy.  We were so excited and hopeful for a healthy pregnancy.  Of course, a few days later I started bleeding again and went back in for more lab work.  This time we added an ultrasound as well that was very inconclusive and only made everyone, including the doctor more confused.  We continued with more lab work and a second ultrasound a week later which showed a wonderful little heartbeat and a baby growing in exactly the right place.  We were ecstatic.  We spent that afternoon calling and texting everyone who knew and sharing our great news.  After three weeks of uncertainty we knew we had a lot of people praying for us and praying for our baby.  At seven weeks it looked as if everything was going great and I had real peace that everything was going to be okay.  My OBGYN felt comfortable waiting until my 12 week appointment to see me and we continued on with our daily lives.  I had the normal morning sickness although I will admit it was the easiest first trimester I had ever had so far.  Still not fun, but easier than the first two pregnancies.  I was still quite nauseous most of the day but it was manageable.  I was thankful for that.


At 12 weeks, one day pregnant we were finally going to go to the doctor and hear our baby's heart beat.  This is one of my favorite appointments during pregnancy, the first time I can hear that beating heart confirming that I have a life growing inside of me.  My previous OB retired so I was seeing a new one for this baby.  We went in for our appointment the afternoon before we were supposed to be flying to Iowa for two weeks.  I did all of the paperwork and then went back and met the doctor.  I liked her a lot and will continue to see her for the next pregnancy.  She explained all that we would do and than had me lay back to listen to the heartbeat.  She tried for quite a while and couldn't find it so she suggested we do the rest of the exam and then try again when she was done.  I had a little bit of a sinking feeling but she was telling us that it happens and not to be concerned yet.  As soon as she was done with everything else she calmly just said she wanted to send us in for an ultrasound at Salem Radiology, just down the street.  This had me extremely concerned while Jay was a bit aggravated that she wasn't trying again.  Of course, after all of the medical bills we had acquired in the first three weeks of pregnancy we weren't exactly wanting to add more.  However, I was already convinced something was wrong and we were going in for that ultrasound no matter what.  I had to know.  She never once said that she was concerned but that she just wanted to have it done to be sure.  I knew that at 12 weeks pregnant she should have easily found a heartbeat.  We were able to hear our other babies heartbeats quickly and easily at eight weeks.  I knew something was wrong.  Thankfully we only had to drive a couple blocks to Salem Radiology and were called back for our ultrasound fairly quickly.  They were squeezing us in at the last minute because we were supposed to be flying to Iowa the next morning.


I laid down on the table as the ultrasound tech put the wand on my belly.  Within probably 30 seconds she said "unfortunately I am not finding a heartbeat."  She spent the next few minutes continuing to search and trying to measure things.  My arm was over my eyes most of the time so I saw nothing.  Of course I was crying and trying to process what this meant.  I kept thinking that I wanted to walk out of that room, come back in and start over.  This just wasn't happening and maybe if we started over things would be different.  I would lay back down and she would hear a beautiful heartbeat and tell us that we had a perfect baby growing inside of me.  Of course I am a realist and knew that none of that was going to happen and that even if we started over nothing would change.  Jay and I spent probably 20 more minutes or so in that little dark room and just cried together.  Eventually our tech came in and said she had to clean the room for the end of the night and we had to go out to the waiting room to wait for my doctor to call me to discuss our options.


Well, I wrote the first part of the story above a couple months ago, was going to continue writing later, and just never did.  So I am back to finish the story two months later.  I want this story documented for myself and my family but it feels odd to be finishing the story four months after if happened.  But it is important to finish it. 


We left our ultrasound room and had to wait in the waiting room until my doctor called me to talk about our plan.  Thankfully she called pretty quick because the last thing I wanted was to sit out in the waiting room crying.  I immediately asked her if I had to have a D&C and she responded with a yes, absolutely.  I was too far along for our baby to pass on its own.  She would have to remove our baby.  I had a friend that had been through a D&C procedure a few years back and I just remember how horrible it was for her.  I was devastated and so scared.  And we were supposed to be flying to Iowa in the morning and we had no idea what to do at that point.  I asked her what could happen if we just flew to Iowa as planned and when my body showed signs of ending the pregnancy we could go into the ER and have it taken care of there.  She said I could but that she absolutely could not recommend that and that my risk of bleeding too much and things getting very bad were quite high.  She highly recommended we postpone our trip and have the procedure done in the next day or too.  So we went home, told my mom the news, and then Jay got on the phone immediately with the airline to see what we could do.  He was on hold forever but after about two hours finally talked to someone.  They were amazing and gave us whatever we needed at no additional cost.  We were so thankful to hear that.  After that was taken care of we called my doctor and told her to go ahead and schedule the procedure.  She was able to schedule it for two days later.  We found out on a Wednesday, scheduled the D&C for Friday and our flight for Saturday morning.


The rest of that evening was a bit of a blur.  Our kids were acting out and fighting a lot and I was taking care of it by myself because Jay was on hold with the airline.  I realized I needed to feed them dinner so I ran down the street to Jimmy Johns and we ate out in the front yard.  It was while we were eating that we told our kids that our baby went to be with Jesus in Heaven.  Carter kept asking why our baby died.  It is so difficult trying to answer a question when I don't have an answer.  We made many phone calls that night and sent out a lot of texts telling people our news.  Friends were offering help and prayer like crazy.  We were well taken care of!  We had lunches and dinners for the next two days that we were in town.  We were so blessed by our friends during those couple of days.  The next morning we let Carter go to his last day of preschool.  He was going to miss it because of Iowa but since we were still in town we let him go.  He needed something fun and to get away from his mommy who couldn't stop crying.  We also had to finish packing and getting ready for Iowa because I didn't know what the procedure and recovery would be like on Friday.  It was a hard day but we felt loved and were well taken care of.


Friday morning my mom stayed with our kids and we headed in for our procedure.  She took them to our friends house later in the morning so that she could come down to the hospital.  We waited out in the waiting room for quite a while which was very frustrating since I was just waiting for something terrible to happen.  Finally went back and did all the routine prep stuff before going into surgery.  I was put under which I was extremely thankful for.  I didn't want to know anything that was happening.  Eventually they wheeled me back and then next thing I knew, I was being woke up in a completely different room.  I was then wheeled into the recovery room where they tried to get me to stand up.  They walked me into the bathroom where I immediately felt terrible and thought I was going to pass out.  I will not go into any details about the next couple hours because it was pretty awful.  It comes down to that I lost way too much blood and my blood pressure kept dropping every time I sat up.  What should have been a two hour recovery ended up taking more than six hours.  I was there way longer than expected.  I was finally able to get up and walk and we were home about 4pm.  Worst day of my life.  Literally.  It doesn't seem right to go into a hospital and have your baby taken out of you and leaving with no baby.  I told Jay that there was no sadder feeling in that moment thinking about them taking our baby out of me and throwing him or her in the garbage.  I am sorry for saying that but it is what I was feeling and thinking so much that day.  By the time we got home I was feeling fairly good physically, just a little weak and tired.  We finished packing, sent our kids to my dad's so we could have a quiet evening to recover, and even spent the night at my mom's.  We had friends staying at our house starting the night and we didn't want to back out on them so we just went to my mom's.  I had offered our house to them back when we thought we were going to be in Iowa while they were here visiting.  I am so thankful they were still able to stay at our house and not have to pay for a hotel.  It all worked out. 


We got up at 3am the next morning, drove to the airport and flew to Iowa.  Crazy.  I am so glad I had those ten days in Iowa to grieve while being busy and distracted with our family.  I was sad but was also able to enjoy our trip.  My body went back to normal fairly quickly and eventually the pain from our tragedy grew less and less intense.  I still think about our baby often, even now four months later but I feel like I have healed and have peace about God's perfect plan for our family.  I know there was a reason, one I won't understand this side of Heaven, but I am okay with that.  We loved that baby so much and I have hope that one day I will see that baby in Heaven.    

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Update in Words

Oh my poor neglected blog :(  I hate that I can't post pictures still.  Without pictures I tend to ignore my blog.  So here are some random thoughts and happenings in the Hinderks household. 


Its the very end of April now and summer is just around the corner.  It has been a crazy spring for us.  We have had all of the normal things in our life like preschool for Carter, swim lessons for Carter, life groups, church, family time, yard work, and just normal everyday stuff.  We just celebrated Easter last weekend and had a nice day.  Of course I have pictures but can't post them.  We did the Easter egg hunt at church on Saturday and then church on Sunday.  The kids had matching outfits and looked super cute.  We had dinner at my mom's later in the evening after Jay got off work.  Easter is always fun for the kids but it is always such a hard balance teaching the truth of Easter and what Jesus did and the fun of egg hunt's and Easter egg baskets.  We talked to the kids a ton this year about the truth of Easter and why everything changed on that special day.  What a great truth to know...that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and on the third day rose again to be in Heaven.  I want my kids to fully grasp the reality of that and what it means for them today. 


Carter turned four and Madelynn turned two in the last few months so we had two months back to back of parties.  They really are growing up so fast.  I love who they are and am so thankful for them.  They are super funny.  I wish I would write down all of the funny things they say.  This one cracked me up...last night on our way to our growth group Carter said "if Owen sees my van when he gets here, he is going to say "look, there is Carter's van."  When I told Owen's parents what Carter said they told me that is exactly what Owen said when he saw our van.  Owen is Carter's best buddy and they truly are sweet together.  They are wild and crazy and way too similar but they are so fun and sweet.  It is fun watching my son have his first true best friend and I am thankful he found such a good friend in Owen.  Carter is also very into coming up with numbers right now.  His new favorite number is 100 sixty seventy.  He thinks this is just the biggest number ever.  He will tell his daddy that he is 100 sixty seventy tall and that he is taller than daddy.  Funny kid.  Madelynn loves to repeat everything and is starting to put two words together to form statements.  She cracks me up because when I go to change her diaper she will tell me "me no poopy."  When I respond to her she will then go through the entire family saying "mama, no poopy, Carter, no poopy, daddy, no poopy."  You're right Madelynn...we do not have poopy diapers :)  Thank you for telling me that .  Our kids make us smile daily. 


Both kids had their check-ups this last week.  Carter had his four year check-up and weighed 39 pounds and was 40 1/2 inches tall.  That put him in the 60th percentile for weight and 30th for height.  He has come down a bit in his weight percentile but his height percentile was a little lower than I expected.  I guess my short genes are bringing down Jay's tall genes in our kids.  Sorry babe!  Carter had his hearing and vision checked for the first time and was perfect on both.  He also had his blood pressure checked for the first time and had great numbers.  He is so grown up now.  Doing those kinds of things at the doctor's office is new to us.  He passed all of Dr. Wilson's questions like can he jump with both feet, hop on one foot, draw a circle and square, sleeps in his own bed, sleeps through the night, etc.  So I guess he is right where he should be cognitively.  Madelynn had her two year check-up and weighed 22 pounds and was 32 inches tall.  That put her in the 10th percentile for weight and 30th for height.  She is still a little peanut.  And for the first time ever she passed all of Dr. Wilson's questions...does she have at least 25 words in her vocabulary, can she run, yata, yata.  She was typically a little behind on some things but was all caught up at this appointment.  She is still fairly quiet for a two year old but I know how much she understands and she is communicating so much more lately.  I think our kids are just perfect.  But what mom doesn't think that, right?


We have had some fairly major events take place over spring this year.  The first is that on March 27th, we found out we were pregnant!  I am nine weeks pregnant today and due December 3rd.  We are very excited about this news and feel ready to bring another sweet baby into this family.  We had some drama in the first three weeks of this pregnancy.  I started bleeding just a few days after we found out so I called my doctor.  I am in transition to a new OB because the one I had for Carter and Madelynn retired.  So when I called the one I want to go to she said that I had to call my primary care physician because I am not actually her patient until my first appointment on May 21st at 12 weeks.  So I called my primary and made an appointment the next day to see what was going on.  We did lab work and then had to wait 48 hours to do the second lab draw to see if I was miscarrying or not.  My numbers went from 411 to 11,000. We were so excited because it seemed that I was not miscarrying.  That number is supposed to double in early pregnancy and mine more than tripled.  It was very excited news because I was expecting that I was miscarrying.  However, just a few days later I started bleeding again.  So we made a second appointment for another lab draw and also did an ultrasound at the hospital.  That ultrasound was at about five weeks, six days.  The doctor called me with the results from the ultrasound and she was fairly certain something was wrong.  She said she saw something on my left ovary, did not see a baby, and also saw a uterus bleed.  None of that was good information however it was a little early to do an ultrasound and they just couldn't be sure of anything.  We also did another lab draw that showed my levels still rising significantly.  We were all very confused.  At that point we had to just wait another week to do another ultrasound which should be far enough out that we would be able to see a baby if there was one.  We also did one more lab draw during that week and it showed my levels continuing to rise but they weren't doubling.  My doctor was concerned about that.  She said they should be doubling.  I even had a phone call from my doctor during that week who had just looked over all of my reports (the PA had been working with me before) and said she was fairly certain I was having an ectopic pregnancy.  This was devastating news to me.  All I could think about was having to walk into a hospital choosing to end my baby's life.  I knew there was no other option because if the baby was growing in my tubes both the baby and I would probably die.  It was still horrifying to think about though.  My doctor actually called an OB to get a second opinion and called me back saying that the OB did not think it was an ectopic pregnancy.  It was an emotional roller coaster!  So one week later we went back to the hospital for the second ultrasound.  That entire day (my appointment wasn't until 4) I was feeling a ton of different emotions.  I subbed all day and during my lunch break I just stood in the gym at the school praying out loud for like ten minutes.  I felt peace.  I actually had hope that I was not losing this baby.  There were too many things that looked like I was carrying this baby perfectly and only a couple little odd things that pointed to miscarriage.  I really had hope.  This hope scared me though because I knew it would have hurt even more going into that ultrasound feeling great about things only to find out we were losing the baby.  I had so many friends and family praying for our baby and I really felt those prayers.  We went feeling like it was a huge day but feeling peaceful about the outcome.  The tech started the ultrasound and I quickly told her that I knew she wasn't supposed to tell us anything but I absolutely could not leave there not knowing anything.  I asked her to tell us everything we were seeing on the screen.  So she moves around a little and says "do you see that white space.  I said yes.  She said that is the sac.  Then she said do you see this dark spot with the fluttering right in the middle.  I said yes.  She said that is your baby and your baby's heartbeat.  Our baby was in the exact right spot and had the most perfect beautiful fluttering of a heartbeat.  Of course I cried.  The ultrasound tech said that it was harder to record the heartbeat if I was crying and that she was going to cry if I did :)  So I held it together for her to measure the heartbeat.  She told me that they train them to keep their emotions hidden when the ultrasound is showing devastating news to that mom but they aren't trained in how to keep it in when it is exciting and happy news.  It was a really great moment!  All the way home we called and texted everyone that had been praying for us to tell them we still had a baby!  That evening the PA from my primary care's office called.  She made me mad because she basically said "well, that is good news but I'm still really concerned that your levels aren't doubling.  I think you need to get into your OB right away."  So the next morning I called my OB and explained everything again.  She called and got all of my results from the lab draws and ultrasound and called me the next morning.  She said that everything looked perfect to her and that nothing was ever wrong.  The first ultrasound was just too early.  My left ovary had nothing on it but was just swollen from where the egg had come from.  Totally normal.  The uterine bleed is very common and happens to many women and was what had caused me to bleed.  My primary had never connected the bleed with why I was bleeding.  Sorry if this is too personal!  She also told me that levels should double until about six weeks and then they continue to rise but they slow down...which is exactly what my levels did.  Ugh.  Nothing was ever wrong and we went through three weeks of sadness and fear and racking up medical bills for nothing.  But, we were pregnant and so unbelievable grateful that our baby was healthy!  And now weeks later, I am nine weeks pregnant, nauseous 24 hours a day, seven days a week and am starting to feel comfortable with this pregnancy that we are going to meet this baby at the end of November.  That was one of the hardest times of my life.  I have miscarried before but it was quick and simple.  Still devastating but quick.  I grieved for a few days and moved on.  This one was just dragging on with so many different things happening and no one knowing what was really wrong.  Very difficult.  But we are so thankful for this life.  And we can't wait to meet him or her in November. 


The other big event that has just happened is the END of my master's program.  I finished my thesis this month and presented it last Tuesday.  There was a chance of one more revision this week but I just got an e-mail last night letting me know that it is done and has been evaluated and scored.  I scored well and am very pleased with the end result and final evaluation.  The presentation went well.  I was in a room with three other students who also presented and then three professor's and my husband.  I felt good about my presentation and feel amazing relief that it is over.  That was four years of waiting to get through that project.  I was anticipating and feeling anxious about the entire thesis process and the presentation the entire four years of my program.  And now it is finished!  I graduate in two days and I am so excited!  Saturday will be a great day!  I can't even imagine what it will feel like to know that I never have to do homework again!  It isn't real to me yet.
This month is filled with excited events!  Graduation in two days, Mother's Day, my 31st birthday, our first official doctor's appointment to hear our baby's heartbeat, and then our two week trip to Iowa.  We are very excited to go to Iowa and see the family.  Well, hopefully I will be back soon with pictures! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Madelynn Grace!

Today our baby girl turned 2! (Okay, it was actually last Thursday.  I started writing her post on her birthday but didn't finish it.)  Where has the time gone?  When Carter turned two I was just three short (or very long to a very pregnant women depending on your perspective) weeks away from having Madelynn.  It almost seems strange that baby number three isn't on their way.  But we have really enjoyed taking time with our two amazing kids and really enjoying them.  Madelynn has been a true joy and I am so thankful for her.  She is such a blessing to our family.  It's amazing how each child is just the perfect fit for your family.  She really is just the perfect little lady for our family and I am beyond grateful to be a mama to this beautiful little girl who lights up our life every day. 


In her second year of life she went from a baby to a toddler and began to walk.  She is talking a little more than when she was a baby ;)  but is still a quiet little thing.  She loves to whisper and usually whispers when responding to someone she doesn't know super well.  She really does have a quiet soul.  She is pretty calm and doesn't have a lot of words in her vocabulary.  She is starting to talk much more lately though and is beginning to repeat us frequently.  Some of the words she has mastered are mama, daddy, Max, more, Rory, light, nose, ears, eye, mouth, hair, Paw Patrol (sounds more like Pa Pa), Wally (for Wallykazam), Grandpa (pa pa), Minnie, go, no, mine, hot, baby, doll, boy, eat, duck, bu buy, and many animal sounds.  When she finally decides to say a word she says it very clearly.  I think she waits to say a word until she feels like she has it down perfectly.  She might be my little perfectionist.  That can be a great thing and not so good :)  She is careful and precise in everything she does.  I always think of her as dainty.  She is still little.  Not tiny anymore but on the small side for a two year old.  We think she is about 21-22 pounds but she doesn't have her two year old check up until April so we won't know for a few more weeks.  She was 20 pounds at her 18 month appointment.  We just moved her car seat to front facing last week for the first time.  She loves it!  We waited a lot longer for her because she was so small.  Pretty sure Carter was 21 pounds at his first birthday :)




She HATES baths and has basically hated them her entire year of being one.  However, the last three baths have gone much better and she is actually playing a little.  She refuses to sit down but she will bend down and splash in the water and likes to play with the water coming out of the faucet.  They still don't last very long but she has started to tolerate them a little better than the scream fest that it was for the last year.  She is a great little eater and eats most of what we offer her.  Much different than Carter.  Carter has always been a little pickier than her.  She loves her blankies still just as much as she did a year ago.  She has her big one and a little one and must have both on and off throughout the day.  She still sleeps so well!  Goes to bed about 7 each night and sleeps until 8 or 8:30 most mornings.  Often she even sleeps later!  If she stays up later because we have plans during the evening she will often sleep until 9 or 9:30.  She is pretty fantastic!  She is obsessed with her big brother and could be around him every waking moment of the day.  She loves to follow him and do whatever he is doing.  Even if he isn't very nice to her she still loves him so much and shows him so much adoration. 




She loves to play with her babies and put them down for naps, cover them up and tell us to shhhhh.  She is a great little mama.  She holds her babies in the cradle position and pats their bottoms.  She also loves to play with trucks.  Pretty sure if she were a first born that would be different but because she has a big brother who could live on trucks and trucks alone, she also loves trucks.  She loves animals and loves to make all the animal sounds she knows.  She doesn't say the name of the animal very often but just loves their sounds.  She is in love with Minnie Mouse which is why did a Minnie party this year.  She just got a kitchen for her birthday and loves it!  Her and Carter love to play together at the kitchen.  She is a girly girl with a great rough side to her.  She loves to be thrown in the air, pushed crazy fast in her little car, swing high on swings and run and chase her brother or daddy. 


She is obsessed with her daddy and lights up when he walks in the door from work.  However, she loves her mama just as much and will typically choose mama when she is hurt, sad or tired.  She is not a great shopper and doesn't last long.  She always wants to be held which I don't appreciate when I am trying to shop at the same time.  I much prefer to shop alone these days!  She loves to be silly and will laugh at almost anything Carter does that is meant to be silly.  Even if he isn't being silly at all.  He has a great audience of one!  She thinks everything he does is funny and fabulous.  I don't think he understands the HUGE responsibility he has on his shoulders.  I pray every day that he would grow to be a godly example of a man for his little sister to admire and expect for herself someday in her future husband!  A little more sass has begun in the last few weeks.  She is quiet most of the time and then will express her opinion in a loud "NO" or high pitch squeal when something doesn't go her way.  This is fairly new to us.  Sadly, I tend to want to smile or laugh because it's so stinkin' cute and unexpected from her!  There have been a few moments that I realized after the fact that she was really being kind of naughty and let her get away with it because it isn't normal and it's kind of cute coming from this quiet little lady.  I am going to have to really watch myself with her!  She will be a holy terror if I don't discipline when needed :)


We are madly in love with our sweet Madelynn Grace!  Happy Birthday baby girl! 


(Sorry for another post with no pictures.  I cannot upload pictures to my blog right now.  If anyone knows anything about blogs please tell me if something is going on with blogger in general or if it's something I'm doing wrong!  It's driving me crazy!  I really want to keep up on my blog and can't when I can't get pictures on here.  I still need to go all the way back to Christmas.)


   

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Carter!

Our boy turned four yesterday!  It amazes me that it has been four years already since this amazing little man came into our lives.  He is a true blessing.  I have never felt this kind of love.  This is a love that only a parent can understand.  Every year and every phase with our Carter man is amazing but it also makes me extremely sad when I think about how fast he is growing up.  I miss holding that precious newborn baby boy.  I miss those mornings when it was just him and I home alone and I would give him a bath in the kitchen sink every single morning...you know because I was a first time mom and thought he needed a bath seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Ha!  Poor Madelynn!  I miss the nights that we would just snuggle in his rocking chair in the middle of the night when he wasn't wanting to sleep in his crib but would gladly sleep on me.  I miss when he called elbows "belbow" and amen was "ameeen."  I miss the days when he was still a baby and a toddler but I LOVE these days so much too!  He is changing so much and so fast and I really do love it all.  But I miss those early days too. 


Carter is funny, spunky and stubborn.  He is extremely funny and loves to make us laugh.  He is always asking us to watch him so that he can do something silly that he thinks will get us rolling!  He is obsessed with all things trucks, construction, fire, ambulance, police, cars, etc.  Seriously, obsessed!  He is always playing that he is a fireman putting out a fire and that he is going to rescue me.  He tells me almost every day "mama, you can't go in the kitchen right now because there is a fire that I need to put out."  Or he plays that he is a police man and he is going to take care of the bad guy.  Today (and many other times in the last few months) we had this conversation..."mama, I want to be two things when I grow up...a construction worker and a garbage truck driver.  Oh, and a fire truck driver.  So that is three things.  And a police man.  So that is four things I want to be when I grow up."  Seriously, this is one of my favorite conversations to have with him because he wants to be so many things when he grows up!  He often says truck driver and ambulance man too.  He has dreams and I love it!  And I think it is adorable that being a garbage truck driver is so fascinating to him and something he strives for.  Precious.  He has an imagination that melts me.  He is very creative in his play and comes up with the best ideas and most fascinating stories.  He is great at playing alone and can create a whole story with multiple people involved all by himself.  He has always been great at playing alone which I am thankful for.  This gives me some time to get things done.  He loves playing with his friends too and will take anyone willing to jump into his imagination with him.  Especially his buddy Owen.  Oh my, these two are two peas in a pod.  We had Owen over for a play date recently and they both put on construction hats and had flashlights and pretended they were going out on a hiking adventure.  It was awesome. 


My little blond haired blue eyed kid is also extremely stubborn.  I would say that his year of being three was way harder than his year of being two.  He has an opinion about everything and doesn't always have the maturity to express his opinions in the most kind or appropriate manner.  We are working on that and we often see great improvement.  Other days we feel like we are failing as parents.  Isn't parenting about that most days?  Great highs and sometimes some really low lows.  It is nice that he is older now because we can reason with him a lot more now and explain why a behavior or a choice is not okay.  He understands things now.  That doesn't always change his behavior but we hope and pray it will eventually sink in and be a growth in progress.  We are always talking to him about talking kindly no matter how upset he is about something...this typically is an issue with his sister.  Having a little sister to get in his stuff is hard!  And also an amazing opportunity for him to learn great life lessons and grow so much.  He absolutely loves his sister but they still fight like siblings do.  Again, we continue to work on that.


He is about 39 pounds which means we are really close to switching his car seat to a booster seat.  He does know how to buckle himself in with the five point harness though which has been nice for us.  He is very independent now and gets himself fully dressed everyday often even picking out his own clothes.  He puts his own shoes on, brushes his teeth (with a quick finish off by us to get all the nooks and crannies), he gets his own snacks out of the fridge and cupboards and even helps Madelynn do things when she needs something.  It has been a joy watching him become independent and enjoy doing things for himself.  He was potty trained right before his third birthday and was even completely potty trained at night just a couple months after.  We have been beyond blessed with how easy he was to potty train.  Such a blessing!  He still loves his blankie and needs it every time he gets hurt or goes to bed.  He is basically done with naps :(  This was a hard transition for me because nap time was when I did my homework.  However, bed time was becoming quite awful at night when he did nap during the day and we decided that just wasn't worth it anymore.  As soon as we cut out naps, he was a dream going to bed!  Bedtime at 7 and he was asleep within minutes.  He stopped coming out to the living room 20 times and would actually stay in his bed.  Miracle!  And totally worth giving up naps for!  He still does quiet time but it looks different everyday depending on his mood, his behavior, and what I need to do that day.  Sometimes he does quiet time on his bed with books or a couple cars, sometimes on my bed watching a movie, sometimes in his room just playing quietly or sometimes snuggling on the couch with me and a movie.  I am so thankful for the 7pm bedtime and that he sleeps until 8:30 most mornings!  If he goes to bed later he sleeps in even later!  It's fantastic.  His favorite food is still mac and cheese and his new favorite cartoon is Paw Patrol and Walikazam. 


He did swim lessons this year, started preschool this year and started cubbies at church this year.  It was a big year for him!  He is a good friend but often struggles sharing his toys.  He loves having play dates with his friends and even had one over for our first play date without the friends mommy.  They did really well!  He is memorizing Bible verses every week for Cubbies which makes me so happy.  He cares about people and will pray for someone randomly if he knows something sad is happening.  He has a sweet soul. 


Carter man...
You make us so incredibly happy.  We are blessed to be your mama and daddy.  I know we make mistakes sometimes but you are the first to forgive if we ask for forgiveness.  You have a sweet spirit and yet a spunky wild side as well.  You melt my heart faster than I knew was even possible.  When you look at me and sweetly say mama because you missed me I am instantly brought to tears.  We are so thankful for you buddy!  We are proud of you and who you are becoming and we know that God has incredible plans for your life.  These have been the best four years of our lives!  We thank God for you everyday!
Love, mama and daddy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

November Fun

Crazy hair night at Cubbies...both kids had fun with this!
 




Madelynn has some hair...so I had to try a pony.  It didn't stay in longer than a couple seconds but it was still fun.
 


Carter had a Thanksgiving party at preschool and we signed up to bring the dessert.  So we made little turkeys out of candy and cookies.  Carter loved helping me make them and stayed until every last one was made.  It was some fun mommy/Carter time.
 





We stayed for the Thanksgiving party and really enjoyed watching Carter interact and learn.  We are so happy with his preschool!
 



Mixing the cornbread batter for the Thanksgiving feast.
 


We need to work with him on cutting.  We actually gave him his own pair of scissors in his stocking for Christmas so that we could start helping him learn how to cut.  I guess I should get on that...
 


Playing a fun game at his party.
 

Show and tell...
He was supposed to bring something he was thankful for (like a picture of someone).  He brought a picture of him and Max and Emma (our kitties).  Emma died the day after we took the picture of them with Carter.
 


Madelynn even got to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast.
 








These two were working so hard together and drawing pictures.  It was a sweet moment between the two of them.
 



For Christmas we painted some pieces from Create A Memory downtown and gave them to the four Grandma's.  The kids did really well.  I only snapped two pictures.  This one was a Christmas tree that Carter chose for Grandma with tractors (Jay's stepmom in Iowa).  I got so busy helping them paint and keeping the paint where it was suppose to be there I forgot to take anymore pictures :(  Fail.
 


More swim lessons...we did a lot more lessons during the fall.
 


Helping daddy hang Grandma's Christmas lights on Thanksgiving...and giving mommy a heart attack.
 


Silly face on Thanksgiving...another fail.  I only took a couple pictures on Thanksgiving.  We had dinner at my mom's this year with some of the family on her side.  It was a nice afternoon...and then we went shopping late that night.  We were able to have my cousin Carrie stay with the kids while they slept and Jay, Craig, and I shopped till about midnight.  It was fun and we got some great deals for Christmas presents!
 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Family Photo Shoot

This year our friend Ashley took our family pictures.  We have so many talented friends and are thankful they are willing to take pictures of us.  It isn't always a simple task ;)