Friday, August 31, 2012

Letter Lacing

Found this on one of my favorite blogs...

You can print the little cards for free if you follow the link!

My kids are loving this so I had to pass it along. I love the idea of using pipe cleaners because even with the little holes, Jack has had no problem stringing them on.

I found these letter beads in color which adds the possibility of color sorting which Jack did without any instruction! I was so excited to find he had put three green beads on one end of the pipe cleaner and three yellow beads on the other end. That kid blows me away regularly.

Marie did amazing with matching up the letters, and having the pictures on the little cards helped her feel like she was really reading. This is a super cheap and fun school or busy bag activity that both my 4 yr old and 2 yr old loved!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Family of 5

We love being a family of 5. I mentioned this on facebook, but I felt like elaborating mostly for my own benefit :)

When our first squishy girl made her appearance... wow, there's nothing like becoming a parent for the very first time. You experience emotions that only parents have the blessing of experiencing. That saying becomes overwhelmingly true...

Our whole world changed drastically and beautifully when this baby girl entered it.

Then came my little man. I could barely see him, I was crying so hard. Love at very first sight. There is something so special between a momma and her boy.

Now we have Tiny Baby Kemp. To preface this... while I was pregnant, I was struggling a little with messing up our "perfect" little family. Why did we feel the need for more kids when we already had our beautiful girl and handsome little man?

Enter this little mister and suddenly we all knew that this family would never be complete without him.

Each new baby brings on a new, intense, overwhelming, beautiful emotion that I'm totally unprepared for. It's amazing. I don't think this family is "complete" yet but for now it is perfect.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Self Challenge Update - Wk 1

Reminder of this week's challenge...
Week 1 - August 25-September 1
  • 8 cups of water each day
  • Take vitamins twice a day
  • Daily easy walk
Memory Verse: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23-24

I haven't missed taking my vitamins yet. I may have counted a trip to Kroger as one of my walks, but I think that's acceptable :) And I think I'm doing good with water. I have trouble keeping track. My verse is memorized, also. Go me!

But I wanted to share a couple tips as far as water. I learned this many years ago during one of my many weight-loss adventures:

  1. It is a lot easier to drink lots of water when it is not ice cold. I've heard that ice cold water can help boost your metabolism, so I'm not saying don't ever drink ice cold water. But when you're not super thirsty, but you have some cups of water to catch up with, go tap cold and it'll be a lot easier to gulp it down.
  2. It is also a lot easier to drink lots of water when you love your water bottle and carry it with you at all times

I have barely been without a water bottle in reach for almost our entire marriage. {{That's 6.5 years.}} That is a lifestyle change that actually stuck! I highly recommend taking on this habit. 

The other day I decided to leave my water at home because I was going somewhere that I knew would have water available. During the drive to this place I kept catching myself reaching for my absent water. It was annoying. Not doing that again. 

Yes, I totally had my water in the diaper bag last time we ate out. And it came in handy because Marie had finished her chocolate milk and wanted a drink. I didn't want her sipping on my coke so I whipped out my trusty water bottle (which is currently a cup with a straw from BBC that holds ice so well. LOVE IT!).

I've been through my share of water bottles (this is BBC cup #2 and yes it is broken, but still works!), but they do not go to waste! 

Oh, here's a freebie: commit to only using your water bottle/cup for WATER. Trust me, it's a good idea.

(If anyone out there reading this is joining me on this challenge or a challenge of your own, I want to know about it! Post some updates in the comments. I'd also love some ideas to add to the challenge or for future challenges! Oh, and tips are welcome.)  

Friday, August 24, 2012

'Night 'night time.

 First of all, I highly recommend Biblically based parenting classes/seminars/etc. Of course you need to think through everything you're taught, but there are people out there that actually know stuff. I've learned a lot from godly moms and dads over the last 4 years. One tip I very recently learned just proved accurate tonight!

Of course you know we've recently become a family of 5. This along with having a cold and a couple run-ins with mastitis have caused my poor big kids to feel neglected. When kids feel neglected, they tend to act out. The tip was to spend quality time with the kids before bed time. We usually do the reading, singing, praying thing before bed. But it wasn't cutting it. So the past few nights we tried to be more focused. We read to them together, sing several songs, and have each of them "thank Jesus." Lots of lovin's and kisses later and sweet silence! It's not a ton more than what we were doing, but they can tell that we are focused on them, not just going through routine, and they love it.

I feel like I'm constantly learning this, but it's so important to remember... when the kiddos start acting out, especially in unusual ways, dropping everything to focus on them even just for a few minutes, makes all the difference!

The babies are so much more important than the dishes.

Or "me time."

Note to self.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Week Self Challenge

We leave for vacation in 5 weeks. We are very excited! But I don't really want to be hanging on to all these excess baby pounds.

I am going to be realistic, tho. Nursing has never helped me drop the pounds like it does for some people. In fact, I'm one of those "lucky" few who's body hangs on to extra pounds for the purpose of nursing.


Giving my baby what is best is much more important to me than being thin. BUT, that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try for thin anyway!

Keeping reality in mind, I'm going to give myself 2-3 challenges each week for the next five weeks. These are things that I want to make a part of my life, so they will continue through the rest of my life. Each week will just be in addition to the previous weeks.

Some of these will probably seem silly and simple but I need to start here. Also, I won't be cleared to do any real workouts til just before leaving for vacation so the exercise challenges are going to be light until after vacation when I work toward my next milestone goal!

First milestone = Pre-Kemp weight by vacation.

Week 1 - August 25-September 1
  • 8 cups of water each day
  • Take vitamins twice a day
  • Daily easy walk
Memory Verse: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23-24

Week 2 - September 1-8
  • 9 cups water each day
  • One dessert a week
  • Meals fit on small plate (no seconds)
Memory Verse: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30

Week 3 - September 8-15
  • Light arm work
  • One soda a week
  • No food after 9pm
Memory Verse: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." Psalm 28:7

Week 4 - September 15-22
  • 3 fruits a day
  • 1/2-1 hour focused daily walk
Memory Verse: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Week 5 - September 22-29
  • 3 veggies a day
  • 10 cups water
  • No processed food (just for this week. This will be a gradual process!)
Memory Verse: "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Vacation - September 29-October 6

Second milestone = Pre-Jack weight by Thanksgiving (+ Thanksgiving 5k/10k)

Third milestone = Pre-Marie weight by Kempton's first birthday (+ half marathon/s in June/September)

Prayers would be appreciated :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

If I had it to do again...

I can remember the very spot on the big blue tarp that I was hazily staring at when I heard...

"It's a... BOY!"

I was sure I was going to hear GIRL.

So technically I was wrong. But I had been doubting for months. Derek says I wasn't wrong, I knew he was a boy, I just wanted him to be a girl for Derek's sake. He's right. But I stuck with girl because it was my initial thought. 

And my dad was sure he was a girl until he had this random dream a day or two before Kemp was born where he heard the doctor say exactly what he ended up saying... 

"It's a... BOY!"

Do I regret not finding out earlier? No. Not at all. I loved not knowing! It was fun and worth the experience.

Would I do it again... wait til birth to find out the gender? No. Once was enough. And as the next baby will be our last, I will need time to prepare my heart. 

We knew there was potential for this, but thought since we plan on having at least one more babe that it wouldn't be a problem. It was a tiny bit... Derek said, "I feel like we should have Kempton AND Amber. It's like we're missing one." 

I have to admit, it took a couple days to bond with my Kempy. Surgery and nursing pain weren't helping at all, but it was still frustrating. But the last day in the hospital, I spent it alone with my Kempster and fell head over heals in love. It's amazing how much a person can love such a tiny creature who does nothing but eat, sleep, and poop! 

Love my little man.

So in summary, I enjoyed the experience, but in the end I would probably say knowing ahead of time was better. We will definitely be finding out ahead of time with the last baby. Will we tell other people? That is to be determined ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Birth of Kempton Charles

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We came in. They cut me open.

"It's a... boy!"

Born at 11:39am. 9lbs, 4.8oz. 22 inches.

They sewed me up.

The End.


There are definitely benefits to having csections.

There may not be much to talk about as far as events, but the emotions involved are huge. The night before my csection for Jack, I was an anxious mess. Very little sleep happened. You know that feeling of overwhelming butterflies, involuntary worry, straight up freaking out? Several days before Kempton arrived I was anticipating a night full of that.

But can I just say, there is NOTHING like having a praying family. My sibs and parents were praying for me. My church family. My Christian family. I fell asleep Monday night completely at peace. It wasn't until about 7am that I started getting anxious, but even then it only took getting out of bed to push past it.

I even did some garden harvesting before leaving the house at about 9am.

Last family of 4 photo.

 The whole experience was quite a bit different than the first two. It was much better and much worse all at the same time. The surgery took much longer, which is better in that I feel the doctor did a very quality job, but worse in that it's just plain not fun being operated on. Also, I could feel tingling in my legs the whole time which made them very antsy but there was nothing I could do about it! But I was able to move more quickly since I didn't have an insane amount of numbing. There were several times I felt very tired and needed to calm myself down so I would close my eyes. I realized quickly that I was scaring Derek. He definitely thought I had passed out at one point.

Speaking of Derek, he totally watched the whole procedure and loved it!


So now let's talk about the whole thing about how Kempton was only 9lbs 4.8oz. Yes, many a woman has pushed out a 9 pounder. Geesh, many have gotten much bigger than that out the natural way. But, as I mentioned in this post, I decided I needed to leave the csection/vbac thing completely to the Lord. While I tried to induce labor, God and I had all sorts of conversations about the outcome. Pretty much every time I pulled into the doc office, I said, "God, this is Your thing. Don't let me get in the way of what You want. I know that You know best." Toward the end, we knew our newest addition was not as big as his older sibs but I decided if the little mister ended up 9lbs or bigger, I would be confident in the csection decision.

Thank You, God, that Kemp was at least 9 lbs!

Next, would we do the whole not-finding-out-the-gender thing again? That is a question to be answered in another post. Along with the details of the surprise that we had Kempton rather than Amber!

Patience, my friends.

I'm so in love with our newest little man and his big sibs! It's amazing how much Marie and Jack love him. It took Marie a few hours to warm up but Jack bolted to him as soon as they arrived at the hospital. "Baby mine," he likes to say.

Now they beg to hold him. Jack will wrap his arms around and not let go. Marie tells me to take good care of her brother, tells me not to cry when I cringe during nursing, gives him stuffed animals while he sleeps. It's a dream. We love being a family of 5.


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