Sunday, December 30, 2012

Home Brewed Smittle: Week 31. 9 to go.

Well, it's been a rough week. Not with the pregnancy, but with life. As I prepare to bring new life into the world, I'll sadly watch a friend be laid to rest tomorrow. Life is short and you NEVER know what lies ahead. Press on, love others, and live your life to the fullest.

So, it's here, the single digit weeks. I'm happy to say that we are getting close to the end. I still don't feel fully prepared as we don't have EVERYTHING together like we usually would, but we'll make it and he'll have what he long as I go get at least one pack of diapers. Hey, if the king of the world was wrapped in swaddling clothes Eli can go diaperless too, I guess. Ha! Too bad we don't have a donkey to carry him around on. That'd be cheaper than a stinkin carseat!
So says the baby is about to undergo a big growth spurt. Uhh, I think I might pop. Have I mentioned I'm wearing satin in a wedding in about 6 weeks? Satin and growth spurt do not go well together. I think I might need an expandable zipper. Ha!
Babycenter is also saying he measures at about 16 inches and weighs about as much as four navel oranges. That's about 3.3 pounds for anyone who has a little trouble holding four navel oranges at the same time. Ha!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Home Brewed Smittle: Week 30. 10 to go.

I can't believe we are almost to single digits! WOO HOO!! I'm feeling this big old boy, for sure! I'm totally rocking the third tri bump! Ha! I actually think my growing has started to slow down a little!
I sang at church for our Christmas program, and standing for the hour to practice then the hour for the actual service was not easy on my lower back. The good news is I was able to go see my FAVORITE chiro the next day and I'm happy to say that after my adjustment Eli has moved to a much more favorable position and I'm feeling much less pain in my back and having fewer contractions. Dr. Cooper really is great, and I'm so thankful for the relief. I've even been sleeping better at night which is an added benefit of feeling good!
One of the things I've been working on this week is getting my supply list ready. I still have several weeks left to get my supplies, but I like to have everything ready to go by 36 weeks, so I've been looking through what I have left from my first home birth and seeing what I still need to order/buy. These supplies are mostly like what you'd have in the hospital, but there are several herbal supplies for after birth that ease pain and calm you and baby. My favorite is this! I did one bath right after Mia was born, but it wasn't warm enough and I ended up wanting to get out ASAP and get into bed! BUT, a few days later I did another one and had her with me and it was one of the most amazingly calming experiences I've ever had. Watching her body go almost completely limp and relaxed was SO cool. Here is a picture of her afterwards.
 I've also been working through  how I want things to go this time. We had a plan last time as far as what we'd do with the kids and who we wanted to be here to help with them, but we didn't think through what would happen AFTER the baby was here. This time we want to have a complete plan, because a homebirth is MUCH different from a regular hospital birth as far as how visitors and resting goes. Because you are in your home, there is no waiting room or nurse buffer to keep visitors to a minimum. Last time it got a little out of control as far as noise/visitors goes and I wasn't able to rest after being awake and in labor the night before with a living room full of people. We've decided to ask visitors to wait a while to come this time. I want to feel comfortable coming out of my bedroom and resting in the living room if I want, and I really want our family to soak up this LAST time of having a baby. I want to snuggle that brand new boy! We are hoping that extended family and friends will understand, but sometimes it's important to make decisions that are best for your family, and since I'm the only person who has ever had a homebirth in my family I'm really hoping they will trust my judgement and not take it personally. All that to say, know that there are a lot of GREAT things about having a homebirth, but there are some things like this that I think are actually a little harder. I was NOT ready for it last time!
There wasn't a whole lot of information on babycenter for this week, but it did say that Eli was about 15.7 inches long now, and weighs almost 3 pounds. About the size of a large head of cabbage. I can't say that I've EVER had cabbage. Don't really ever WANT to try it either. SO stinky!

Christmas Through the Years

I thought it'd be fun to look back at some family picture through the years. Here are a few of my favorites. They only go back to 2007 because that's when I got my first blog, and I haven't stored all my pictures anywhere else(other than their original data cards). It's also when I got my first digital camera. SO, here you go:

This picture brings tears to my eyes. My sweet Grandfather with KK and Lulu on Christmas Eve.
A picture from one of the last times we went to a studio for pictures. LOVE this one.
CUTEST little smile. Lulu so SMALL!
KK was so tiny. This was the first time we got her out of the house. Being a premie born in the winter was rough on her tiny body.
This is Lulu and KK. KK looks like Mia in this picture.
Sweet cutie KK. That girl was/is such a doll baby!
My sweet sweet beautiful Livi.
Our family Christmas 2007. I'm soo cool. Ha!
I mean, SERIOUSLY! One of the CUTEST babies EVER! My Addi hardly sitting up on Christmas Eve. This was our first Christmas back in our current town.
All bundled up to see the lights at Garven Gardens.
Manly and me looking cold under the lights.
Love this picture of Manly and the big girls(who at that time were just "the girls.").
Love this picture of Addi. Manly said she looked like George Bush! Ha!(I only remember that because I wrote it on the facebook picture not because he said that a lot. Just in this picture!)
The girls looking silly. KK's sporting a classic KK face.
In their Christmas Eve PJs.
One of my favorite Christmas pictures. Ha! It's HARD to take a good picture of more than one kid at a time! Look at all the BLONDE hair!
The last year of only sisters. One month after this Bubby was born!!
The kids show just how easy it is to get 4 children in a tree box.
Cutest boy in all the world. He'd pull on my legs and say, "Muuuuhmuhhhh!"
Our family.
In our PJs for Christmas Eve.
KK looks so little. Addison looks like Mia. Brubbs was a CHUNK!
Classic Santa shot.
Sweet Brubbs. Seriously CUTE in his PJs.
My silly Smittles. This is the year we added Mia Jane. Brubbs feathered hair is so stinkin cute!
My oh MY! He's so cute!!
I guess this is the year KK decided that smiling for the camera was the boring thing to do! Ha!
Our family riding the Polar Express. Yes, that's a shiner on Brubbs eye. Who knows????
Me and my babies on Christmas Eve!
LOVE this one!!
The kids all dressed in their Christmas(y) outfits.
The caption of our Christmas card was simply "Blessed." That's the ONLY word that comes close to expressing how I feel to mother these littles. Thinking about adding to our family in the coming year makes me giddy. Sure there will be added stress, and it will be tough, but God has blessed us over the last several years with these beautiful blessings and I can't imagine MY life any other way. God bless you and yours this Christmas Season.
Thanks for being part of our journey. I love knowing you are reading.
Leslie Smittle
Signing OFF until after the New Year(other than to post for Home Brewed Smittle on Sunday)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Angels We Have Colored Our Best

So, there are a lot of things, when done, that will show us the difference in children. For instance, if we were to give the kids a pile of mud on the table and say, "Go ahead. Do whatever you want with this." We would get the following responses:
Amelia: With a VERY angry face) "No! Down!"(She HATES dirty hands or dirty anything. She doesn't have much fun playing outside, and often comes to the door crying to have her hands cleaned.)
Isaiah:Before we could get the sentence out he'd be sitting on the table IN the mud making strictly boy sounds while squeezing the mud through his fingers and into every crevice of his being. Clothing would be optional...He'd likely cry when told it was time to clean up.
Addison: After watching Isaiah for a while she'd slowly start to get closer to the mud, but, knowing mud is NOT her thing she'd simply move her finger around in it creating designs and thinking how great it would be once the mud was cleaned up and they could play beauty parlor.
KK: She'd start at once on creating a meal out of mud. She'd have mud pies, mud tacos, mud shakes. You name it, she'd make it. The mud wouldn't bother her a bit and she'd be laughing and having herself a GOOD old time. When it was time to clean up she'd just squish her mud food into the pile and think there was no reason to clean anything off of her hands or the table.
Olivia: She'd first inspect the mud for bugs or anything else that might not be pleasant to touch. Then, having her Kid Craft book in hand she'd look up the kind of mud it was and where it might have come from. Then, she might ask the kids to spell mud with her and give them a lesson on proper mud play. Lastly, she'd sculpt a mud figure that could be compared only to those of the great mud artists before her. She'd be attached to the figure at once and would ask if she could put it in her "special spot"(a box in the closet) and keep it "for-ev-er."

So, I shouldn't be surprised when my kids bring the same craft home and it looks so drastically different. I'll now bring in exhibit A:

A simple cute angel craft. Needs only to be colored and glued around the back.
I'll now bring in Exhibit B: colored by Isaiah on Sunday at church.
Brubbs usually does the minimal amount of work. He's not big on coloring, but tries to at least do what he's asked. His angel shows that he loves the colors blue, green, and orange, which when asked he'd tell you are his FAVORITE colors. He probably asked if he could see the stapler so he could "see how to work it." when they got it out to staple the back together. When he showed us this he said, "I made uh angel. It's mine."
Now turn your attention to Exhibit C: colored by Addison.
You'll notice her perfect use of skin tone colors. She tends to be a little OCD about coloring and generally all of her pictures look like they were copied from another picture she'd seen on the cover. You'll also notice that she used "rainbow" to color the bottom half of her angel's dress. She likely came up with a name for her angel or said it was her since it has blonde hair. She also uses eyelashes to show it's a girl. When she showed us this she said, "I tried to make it look JUST like an angel is supposed to look."
Now, lastly, lets turn our attention to Exhibit D: Colored by the one and only KK.
Yes, folks. Here you have the classic clown angel. The look is completed only with red hair, rosie cheeks, clown nose, clown lips, and clown clothes. I said, "What made you want to make your angel into a clown?" She said, "I wanted it to be a clown. The face is white because clowns have white faces. It's AWESOME!" Well, KK, I can't say that I disagree. Ha!
So, there you have it folks. Now imagine the fun in raising all these littles.
This is your life. Soak it up!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The House that Smittles Built

So, some things just aren't that much fun to do with 5 kids 8 and under. Things often get crazy and we end up getting a little frantic, but it doesn't stop us from trying to let our kids do "normal" things. One of those things is building a gingerbread house each year. Here are a few pictures of the process. I didn't get an after picture. I'll have to do that another time and post it later.
This is the first year we got a real kit. Totally worth the money!

There are a LOT of candies on the roof.

Look at those big girls work together!

The final touches(and licks).

Adding more icing. Ha! They kept "accidentally" getting it on their fingers!

Not too Manly to build a cookie house! He's pretty handsome!

And now, things are ready to come to an end or it's going to start getting crazy up in here!

Sergei Rachmaninov Smittle

I read an article naming the top 10 pianists of all time, and Sergei Rachmaninov was #1. I'm sure he was great, but I'm thinking my Lulu may just someday be greater. After only three and a half months of piano lessons she had her first recital this past weekend. I have been too busy sleeping through nap time the past few days, so this is the first chance I've had to post about it. I was really worried for her because she gets traumatically nervous in front of crowds. So much so that her first time to be part of the homeschool spelling bee ended with her saying she would never want to be part of anything that would mean her being on stage again.
Well, this past summer she had a cute little dancing number as part of the summer musical camp, and I guess it helped with the fear, because this is what she looked like for that. She stole the hearts of several of the leaders and did GREAT at her part.
Anyway, when I found out she'd be having a piano recital so soon after starting lessons my heart was heavy for her, because I wanted her to do well and have a good experience so she wouldn't want to write off lessons all together. She has a sweet piano instructor(actually the same sweet girl that comes to my house each week to keep the littles for me.) who comes into our home and gives her lessons, so it's been such a joy to hear her learn so much in such a little amount of time!
Not only was she able to play both pieces really well, but she played one my memory and one as a duet. I'm so proud of her and glad that her first recital was a HUGE success.
While she was playing. "She played Up on the Housetop" and "Frosty the Snowman."

After she was finished she was really excited for herself for doing well. It made my heart so happy!

Getting her certificate from her piano teacher.

Her teacher with her little crew of students. Have I mentioned she's only 17? Such a great sweet girl!

Afterwards I got a picture of her "playing." She said, "You know mom, you need an action shot!"

And looking at me! BOOO! She looks too old to by my sweet baby!!

Daddy giving her flowers. Look at sweet Brubbs. He said, "You did a really really good job, Oliva!"

Olivia with all of her flowers. Mom and dad are really proud of you, sweet Livi! I can't wait for the next recital and to see how God uses your new skill!