Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Thoughtful

So nice of that half-a-tree to fall right next to our burn pile. Mike, Amanda and I all heard it fall but couldn't see it until this morning. We had a couple of small maples blown down too but thakfully no other damage. Gotta love summer storms.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Natural Talent

Can you guess what this little girl is up to?

She's pretty good and can hit the ball fairly often. One day we were out back and she was hitting most of the pitches when the neighbor boy asked if he could play too. With him standing there waiting for his turn, she got all flustered and couldn't hit the ball. Hmmm. Already? She did get more comfortable with him and now they hit balls together on many afternoons.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

17 Years

I have now officially been married for half my life.

Today Mike and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. I use the word "celebrate" loosely. We did spend a lovely portion of the afternoon laying on the floor together while the little girls used us as a jungle gym.

Then we watched our wedding video...on VHS, of course. Yes, we still have a VCR. We try to watch it every year. We must have missed watching it last year because it really struck me hard when I saw my dad. I wished there had been better footage of him walking me down the aisle.

It was a lot of fun to see all the old friends who I recently connected with on Facebook. Before that, there were very few of them that we heard from on a regular basis.

It was so hot that day. It was in the 80's. I had a long sleeve dress. Mike was in a full tuxedo with tails. The church was not air conditioned.

We were married in my Catholic church but Mike's Lutheran (woman) pastor co-officiated.

Afterwards, we went back to the house we were renting and played volleyball, bar-b-qued and opened presents. We couldn't wait to change into shorts and t-shirts.

We were so young. We still are so young!

It hasn't always been easy. It still isn't always easy.

It has only been by the grace of God and the great love He has shown for us that we have enjoyed so many years together and look to the future for many more.

At the end of the video, the priest's final blessing was something like this,

May the love that you share, Mike and Katie, be a sign of God's love in the world."

That means so much more to me today than it ever did on that day. The love that we share is not the fluttering romantic feelings from those days, but the deep gift of love that comes from God's forgiveness for our wrongs against Him. That is the gift and inheritance that we share on a daily basis when we forgive each other.

As I'm writing this, I just realized how uttering that blessing is a lot like praying for patience. You know, if you pray for patience you'll be given lots of opportunities to practice. So, if God's love is all about forgiveness, then praying our marriage would be a demonstration of God's love, I'm just asking for opportunities to forgive him. Hmmm.

Ah well. So be it. :)

May the love that we share be a sign of God's love in the world.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Outdoor Kitchen

Our neighbors were given two of these play kitchens and shared one with us. I had never considered getting a play kitchen because there's no room for one in the house. But an outside play kitchen is brilliant! The little girls love it!

Here they are "washing" dishes. Since the dandylions have bloomed they've been making lots of dandylion soup.

So much fun!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baby #6

...feels like Baby #2 since it's our second post infertility baby.

...is considered Baby #4 for medical purposes since it is my fourth pregnancy.

...is due mid-January, thankfully, right before my 35th birthday so I won't be given the AMA label. (Advanced Maternal Age- I think it means more tests that I would just refuse anyways.)

...is three weeks old. (I am considered to be 5 weeks but that's because they start counting from the last first cycle day.)

...has been giving me a few symptoms over the last couple of weeks; irritability, overwhelming tiredness, lingering hunger, darkening freckles. Not constant and not life-interfering but enough to make me decide to take a test. Often PMS symptoms are similar to pregnancy symptoms, and I've gotten my hopes up so many times. I just didn't want to be disappointed again.

...has inspired me to make the most of these symptom-free days. I'm trying to get as much accomplished as possible including hiring and training some domestic help. One of Tyler's friends came today and it seems like she will be a big help. She lives nearby and only goes to school once a week. She's done lots of babysitting and had a job cleaning cabins. Perfect! All that is left is teaching her how to cook and prepare the simple meals our family eats.

...will be the third baby born in our little neighborhood. I was feeling a little left out when my other two neighbors found out they would be having December babies. We were all pregnant together last time. I rationalized that our life was crazy enough and I was still nursing and pumping for two babies so that fact that I wasn't pregnant didn't mean I still carried the "infertile" banner.

...has caused quite a bit of excitement for us. Getting pregnant with Tali left us with so many questions: Why? How? Are things fixed or was it just a fluke? We realize rational people might wait for a significant amount of time before telling people, but we didn't. We are so excited!

...didn't phase the boys much. They are teenagers and life is all about them. "What? You're pregnant again? Seriously? Did you call about getting my phone fixed yet?"

...caused a bit of confusion at our church. Mike is a musician and is up at the front of the church, so when he shared that I had handed him a plate with Uno card #6 on it, he looked out to the congregation and saw looks of confusion and bewilderment on all of the men's faces. The women were already getting excited.

For the record, Mike's thought process when I handed him the plate went something like this, "She wants me to play Uno with Amanda. Why is there only one card? Is she saying we're missing the #6? Does she want me to go to the store just to find the number 6? Why can't I just buy a whole new deck? Why is it the number six? Wait a minute! We have five kids!"

...was not alluded to in the previous post about needing a third baby. The possibility for number six has always existed since we were not avoiding and maybe were doing a little bit of trying. But it seemed like such a far fetched possibility. Almost every month for eleven years, I wondered and hoped that I might be pregnant. So yes, since I started cycling again, the thought was there, but it's only been a few days that I felt sure enough to plan a trip to the store to pick up a test.

Ironically, the same day we found out (Saturday) was also the day I got fed up with the baby drama with the girls and asked Mike to go get the baby doll that had been in the garage since Christmas. (I wanted the third baby to have Amanda's skin tone so I was going to give that one away.) Mike had already told Amanda about our new baby, so I thought she was confused when she asked, "Did Daddy go to get the new baby?" I thought, "Oh boy, it's going to be a long nine months for her." No, it was about five minutes before he brought in the new baby.

...has made an impact on my milk supply already. I'm no longer pumping for Ana. I've only been able to pump a little extra that I'm freezing for Tali. She seems to be spending more time nursing these days. I don't want to give up nursing her yet but time will tell how my body handles everything.

...has changed my summer plans dramatically but it is a welcome change! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Full Plate

Just for a little recap...

Mike is married to a fabulous, yet slight needy, wife of almost 17 years.

He is the father of two teenagers, one preschooler and two toddlers.

He is the full-time manager of a contractor lumber yard near our home.

He is a musician at our church.

He is an elder at our church. We are currently in the search for a pastor.

He is the treasurer at our church.

He is taking classes online to complete his business management degree.

He just started managing a second lumber yard an hour and half from our home. He works there two to three days a week.

To say he's got a full plate is an understatement.

This morning, I gave him one more thing he was going to have to add to his plate.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wordless....What day is it again?

Disclaimer-They are not in motion. They are posing for the picture. When she was actually pulling them I was following right behind in case anybody started to fall out. Nobody did. The wagon is tied to her seat post.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's Contagious

A passion for breastfeeding, that is.

These little dolls have been quite a hit lately. Amanda and Ana will get them out when I'm nursing Tali. They also like to sit on these chairs and play with them while I'm cooking. They usually play with them nicely but when they start banging the dolls' heads on the chairs below their feet and laughing, I take them away.

Christiana is very partial to which doll she has. The only thing is that it's not the color of the doll's skin that matters. It's the outfit. She always wants the doll with the footed sleeper. If Amanda decides that she wants the "granilla" (vanilla) baby. I tell her to switch outfits and then Ana will take the chocolate baby.

The other day, the two little babies were lying on the living room floor. I walked out and told Mike, "We need a third baby." His eyes got a little big until I pointed to the floor. Tali has started to wanting a baby, too, and isn't satisfied with just another stuffed animal.

I'll have to find one with Amanda's skin tone. A caramel baby.

Happy Mother's Day

Sometimes I'm crafty!

I had Amanda make these cards for Mother's Day. We sent one to my mom, one to Mike's mom, one to Amanda's birth mom and one to her birth grandmother. I drew the picture and then Amanda used watercolors to paint. I hope it was a nice surprise for them. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nursing beyond one year...

There's a hand down my shirt collar...

There's a toy tucked into my arm pit...

There's a foot on my chin (a display of amazing flexibility)...

And some one is talking with their mouth full...

I am sure enjoying nursing my toddler!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tiny Talk

"In the beginning God decrated the heavens and the earth"...created





"apple spider"...apple cider


""birchgay...birthday (the German "ch" sound like in loch)

"youch gru-group"...youth group (German "ch" sound again)



"cute cumbers"...cucumbers





"Jews"...she signed "juice"

"Dear Jesus, When I grow up bigger, my mother and father will grow bigger too." Oh, dear I hope not. The prayer actually reads: "my love for my mother and father..."

"I have a cough. I need some coffee."

"Amanda, who is on the penny?" "A blinken."