Jul-25-2010-003

Children’s Day

‘Cause it’s all about them.

Children’s Day has been a huge hit and huge motivator this summer. I’m loving it even though I’m getting more and more cumbersome and all I really want to do is sit in the A/C with the fan blowing on me and watch some brain free TV online or read some brain free novel.
But, I can’t, so I make the best of it.
Today, we went to church, where donut holes and God were involved. How can you go wrong?
Then we had lunch at Sonic. Yummaroo!
Then we went to Miss Effie’s.

Cadrian would have been fine right here. Friendly kitties are all he really needs for a good time. But I dragged him on to the rest of the fun.

He really really really wanted to go into the chicken pen, but I managed to talk him out of it every time.
This is a corn crib turned gazebo, but I really need one at our farm for Baby Jail.
We savored homemade cake and ice cream–proceeds going to the local food pantry. Mmmmm….angel food. Mmmmm…ice cream. But I digress.
Aviana met a kindred spirit in Abi, who let her spin a little, and she and Aviana sat side by side for a little finger knitting.

I had to keep dashing off to find this one who couldn’t resist the appeal of the chickens. And ducks.

But in the end, we got some gorgeous flowers picked and no one (namely me) fainted from the heat.

You’d think that would be a big enough of an event for someone due to have Baby # 4 in 41 days (give or take) but no!
There’s more!

My parent’s church threw an awesome picnic we then attended. Food galore! Down home cookin’ to die for (or at least get up out of the lawn chair for!) Friendly fun people! Games!

Like a tug o’war!

Bounce houses!


Trikes!


Three legged races!

And more–

The girls went to spend the night at Gigi and Opa’s and Cadrian and I returned home grubby, exhausted and happy.

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Jul-10aviana-8x10

Farm Fresh Birthday # 2

Kid #1 turned six today!

Even though she already got to open presents from Grandma and Aunt Connie yesterday
She had to open her presents before breakfast
Then right after breakfast she had to work her loom
And during quiet time she had to paint her birdhouse
The crafts she got may last the month…
After quiet time we went for a short swim complete with water slides and sprinklers, then out for pizza.
Aviana got serenaded with a squeaky horn and the highlight was the clown sundae!
The littles couldn’t be left out either!

I love you Sweet Baby A! I hope this year is your best one yet!

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Farm Fresh Birthday #1


Kid #3 had Birthday #1 in the Farm Fresh Birthdaypalooza.

Grandma brought over yummy chocolate cake. The frosting was a huge hit, as was my Farm Fresh Homemade Vanilla.


Brielle had all she could do to restrain herself and not open ALL of Cadrian’s presents. She loved this puppy that blew bubbles from Grandma and Grandpa.

And Cadrian was fond of his new tractor; every time he sees a tractor or big piece of equipment, he says “Dada!”

Birthday balloons are great,
but the most fun comes in letting them go, watching them float carelessly to the ceiling, and then shouting “BOO! BOO! BOO! BOO!” at the top of your voice until one of your giants gets it for you
So you can do the shouting all over again!
The birthday garland I sewed up using an idea from The Creative Family and garage sale material.

More birthday fun tomorrow, Farm Fresh Fans, when I’ll have a six year old for the first time ever.

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Medicine

Man. The more knowledge I get, the less trustful I am of the medical establishment at large.

There is so much money involved, it’s hard to know where an individual doctors well meaning good intentions end and the pocket being lined with pharmaceutical handouts begins.
There is without a doubt an Old Boy Club that excludes anyone who speaks out against the way doctors practice.
There is a fierce defensiveness that pops up whenever someone questions a decision or recommendation made by an MD.
There is a punitive attitude that doctors hold if someone chooses their own instincts, information, education, and heart over their opinion.
Books by doctors who see the inside tale every day back up my own observations and conclusions.
The more informed I become, the more I want to stay away from doctors altogether.
**please note, traditional medicine has its place.
When Aviana was born, I was preeclamptic, and the Caesarean I underwent at 34 weeks likely saved both our lives.
When Aviana had appendicitis, (if you read the link, scroll to the bottom, click on ‘older posts’ and start at the bottom) I am VERY glad we have the opportunity “to go to the doctor”, and her surgery may very well have saved her life. **
It should also be noted that the only reason she was able to get surgery in the first place is that I trusted my own instincts and research and heart that something was very wrong, because the doctor sent me home.**
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Pish.

I am all excited to knit up this new pattern I got for baby cocoons and baby pods. They are so adorable for the newborn pictures I plan to take.

Kevin barely glanced at the photos I was gaga over, and made some comment like, “Oh, like the baby will really stay in the cocoon for you to take a picture of it.”

I retorted with something witty like, “The babies do for this photographer.

And he said, “well you’re not her.”

Humph.

**********************************

Then later, I asked him why he doesn’t like to watch homebirth videos like I’m recently obsessed with doing.

He said, “I’m a guy. That’s why.”

Oh, pish.

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Baby-D-Belly-Progress

Thirty-two weeks pregnant (minus two days)


So I meant to do this at thirty weeks pregnant. And then every day after. Aviana wisely told me she didn’t think my belly would change that much, even if I was late getting the belly shot taken.

Our baby now weighs about 3.75-4 lbs and measures about 19 inches in total.

Our baby’s increasing size means that he has less room to move around in my uterus. That would probably explain why there always seems to be a foot stuck under my ribs.

At our last midwife appointment (which took place in my living room, thank you very much!), she thought the baby was for sure head down, and most in a good position. I’m getting quite good at identifying parts–like a bony knee or foot, and those little hand flutters.

Our baby’s lungs are maturing and their lining, which prevents air sacs from collapsing, is growing. This lung development means that Baby D would have a much greater chance of survival if s/he were born prematurely. The digestive system is fully developed as well and is ready to go. I wonder if he/she liked that strawberry ice cream cone…

About 16 fluid ounces of blood are flowing through the wall of my uterus to the site of the placenta, though my blood never mixes with Baby D’s blood. It is separated by the placental barrier which is a very thin wall. Water, nutrients and waste are exchanged across this barrier at a rate of 0.3 fluid ounces per second.

Our baby swallows amniotic fluid and urinates.
Our baby’s ears are sufficiently developed to hear and recognize your voice, the voices of other family members as well as familiar musical tunes. I’m sure s/he knows a lot of nursery rhymes and is familiar with Laurie Berkner and Go Fish, who have been stuck in our CD player for weeks. I bet he loves all the hugs and pokes s/he gets from his big sisters.

Our baby is probably aware of my Braxton Hicks contractions, which I experience regularly, even when I do not notice them. (oh, but I notice them!)

By this time, our baby is very active and I feel his/her movements frequently.

Our baby is still practicing breathing movements which have now become rhythmic.

Sometimes s/he gets the hiccups –which Aviana and I both can feel–when he accidentally swallows amniotic fluid the wrong way.

He is getting fatter and plumper. If we had an ultrasound, we could see our baby’s activities quite easily. More and more fats are now accumulating under our baby’s skin. Our baby now has a beautiful and smooth skin.

Our baby has periods of rest and periods of activity now. Our baby is most active when I am trying to rest. S/he has sleep cycles of only 20-40 minutes at this point. I hope s/he works on improving that! (Hear that baby? Homework already!)

The baby can now produce sweat. And believe me, so can his/her mama! It is hot around here. Kevin says he needs to hire me some Egyptian boys to follow me around with peacock feather fans. I quite agree.

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May-21-2010-098

This is so sad.

One of my facebook friends shared this article. It’s a truly sad commentary of how we are shunting aside God’s blessing. Go read it, and then come right back. I’ll wait.

All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting

I think a lot of why people feel so negatively about parenting is because of the way we as a culture parent, and what has become important to us as a culture.

Granted, there are TOUGH things about parenthood. I could whine about how Cadrian is in a tantrum throwing phase, how he actually headbutted me yesterday, how I always seem to have a foot digging into my rib and my husband teases me that it may be easier if I just moved into the bathroom or about how Brielle is in an argumentative phase, one that seems to have gone on for a REALLY. long. time or that my house is usually a wreck and it bugs me.

But that would be robbing myself of the truly great blessing that parenthood is. Children truly are a gift from the Lord. Where else is one forced to come face to face with one’s selfishness on a regular basis? How else would I be able to gain a servant’s heart in such a tangible way?

My perspective might be completely different from the author of this article, because my goal is probably different than hers. I want to be like Jesus. He was a servant. I’m generally, a selfish beast (although my cuteness somewhat makes up for it :-)). My goal for my children is probably different. I want them to see Jesus through me. I’ve talked ad nauseum about my colossal failures in that regard, but still I keep trying. God wants us to take the Self off the throne of our lives and put Him there instead. And in this all about me culture, that is no easy task.

The sacrifices one makes in parenting are staggering. The attitude one has toward those sacrifices can make you love or hate the calling.

The other part of what I see is missing is discipline. The argument that the mom on video was having with her eight year old is ludicrous. Parents, in my opinion, should be the authority in their home. We are not raising little autocrats, although it seems like that’s what many families end up with. The training in the early years to point a child’s heart toward Jesus is a toilsome task. Absolutely arduous.

But the dividends for putting the rigorous effort into demanding obedience and teaching one’s children about true authority, enabling them to then have a Godward orientation, are boundless.

Aviana was an exceedingly difficult baby, toddler, and preschooler, but I can attest for the payoff of all the hard work of disciplining her in the early years. She is a delight. Granted, she can still be a foolish child and all is not by any means perfect, but I am so proud of how she genuinely wants God’s best for her life. This is not my doing. It’s only through prayer and God’s power, and an utter dependence on Him we were able to get this far.

I’m convinced though, that training a child to know that God demands obedience to authority and that there are consequences for defiance will serve the entire family the way God intended.

The people represented by the surveys, studies and interviews referred to in the All Joy and No Fun article have missed opportunities. They have missed the chance to come face to face with and obliterate their own selfishness. They have missed the chance to teach children that defying authority will bring about consequences. They have denied themselves the opportunity to confront their own failed human nature. They have missed a chance to rely on the grace of God in providing a solution to not only their needs but also the needs of their children.

Disclaimer: I often miss these opportunities myself. I am in no way saying that I am a perfect parent or have it all figured out. I am saying that because of God–the missing element in this article–, I do find myself having blissful days among the chores, mess, work, mucus, noise, hubbub and general stickiness that makes up my life.

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Shallow thoughts

Tap shoes are ideal for killing spiders.

It’s hard when you don’t get to go fishing with the big kids.

Frosting is fun.

You know Mama isn’t feeling well when you go through a large jar of peanut butter in a week.

Cadrian calls Aviana “Ah-ah.” It’s unclear if Brielle is “Bop” or as yet, unnamed.

I really wish my family vacation included a beach house and a nanny.

I wish I had plans for a family vacation.

Generally, my ideas are much better in conception than implementation.

The girls want to open a combination lemonade and opera stand.

It’s a lot more work for me than it was for God to build a person.

My husband is part saint. Seriously.

Only a few minutes are necessary to completely terrorize the living room.

The three year doesn’t know how that dog food got in her pocket.

“Hot” is part of my daily lexicon.

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