Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enjoying These Days

Two months after a new baby is born always seems to be the point at which we reach our new normal.  By then, the baby is sleeping through the night, I've gotten a pretty good daily feeding routine down, and we've all adjusted to the new family member.  I feel like we're there a little early this time - Simon has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks (the earliest yet!), we've gotten back to all of our daily activities, and I feel pretty good about how much gets accomplished each day.

At the same time, though, I feel like I've gotten more relaxed about how much I think needs to be accomplished each day.  For some reason, I'm feeling more and more the truth of the "it goes by so fast" saying.  Something about having the infant days just whiz by for a fifth time makes me want to stop the clock and just soak it all in.  I already miss Simon as a newborn.  Even though days with lots of little kids are loud and hard and exhausting, I know that I'm going to miss it all so much someday.  Seth and I were talking a few weeks ago, and realizing that even though parenting seems like our whole life right now, the years we will spend actively parenting are really only a small percentage of our life.  (I already know I'll need something to fill my time when the kids are gone - Seth thinks I should be a midwife!)  With all that in mind, I'm ignoring the dishes and laundry a bit more, putting off the vacuuming until tomorrow, and spending a few more minutes listening to a spaceship tale, snuggling small people, and taking afternoon walks.  And it's been good.  (And the warm, sunny days we've been enjoying lately have been lovely!)

Everyone wants to snuggle with Simon at bedtime - so they've been taking turns! 

 I finally got my car family updated (after a year and a half)!  These make me happy!  =)

We had a pie dinner for "Pi Day" - Chicken Pot Pie and Apple Pie!  

 Green Eggs for St. Patrick's Day.  And Veggie Tales has a great version of his story!  (We watched it in YouTube.)








Seth and I love the fact that the kids are almost always together.  Even in a small house, there's a number of places they can go, but whether they're playing together or not, they spend most of their time within a few feet of each other.  It's so fun to see the kids enjoy being with their siblings!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The 4-Year Coat

Winter coats usually seem to last our children two years, which is great since it saves money and storage space.  But I have a special fondness for Joanna's coat, which I just realized she has been wearing for four winters now!   How does a coat fit a growing child for four years?  I'm not really sure, but I'm not complaining!  In fact, now that I know how long she's had it, I'm kind of sad that I'll soon have to put it away, now that the sleeves are (finally) getting too short.  Just for fun, I looked back through pictures to see if I could find one with her wearing it from each winter.


We bought it for her way back in 2011, when she was just one and a half.  She was in a size 2 then, so I bought a size three, which was a little big, but I was hoping it might still fit her the next year, too.  I guess my thinking paid off!

That first year it was a little long, and we had to roll the sleeves up, but it worked great!

The next year it fit her better, though the sleeves might have still been a smidge long.

Last year it fit her perfectly!

And this year it has still fit her well, although now the sleeves are starting to get a bit short.

I'll definitely be holding on to this coat, since I'm not sure I could ever find another one like it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Having 5 Kids Doesn't Mean You Can't Do Anything Fun

We recently did something that is, apparently, a little unconventional.  Seth sold his Hyundai Elantra sedan and got a Mazda Miata convertible.  Everyone seems to have an opinion on our decision, and he's gotten a lot of flack for selling a "practical family car" to get a two-seater.  People don't seem to understand why someone with lots of kids would have a car like this.  The main reason is because Seth has wanted a convertible since he was a kid, and although I tend to be a very practical person, I am also a big believer in going for your dreams and having a little fun when you can.  Life doesn't have to be boring!  And, really, it wasn't an "impractical" decision for us.  There really isn't anything that we can't do with the Miata that we would have done with the Hyundai.  With Seth's work schedule, and the fact that he works just a few minutes away, we could easily get by with one car (and we have!), so having a second "family car" is not necessary.  If one of us takes just a couple of the kids somewhere, we take the van - it's not worth the trouble of moving car seats, and I couldn't drive the Hyundai anyway (it was a stick shift).  Even when our van needed a repair a year ago, having Seth's car wasn't helpful because we couldn't all fit in it, so Seth rode his bike to pick up the van.  Although the Miata is a convertible, it's old, and was worth pretty much exactly what Seth's Hyundai was worth, so it was an even trade, so for us there was no good reason not to get it!  I love that I get to support Seth and his dreams - after all, that's what he does every day for me!  So, yes, having a convertible might be a bit unconventional when you have a big family, but so is having a big family, living in a small house, having chickens, getting a Master's degree and many of the other things that we do (and love)!   =)

The kids are pretty excited about Daddy's new car!


 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One Month Comparison #2

I did this when Toby was a month old, and I loved it, so I had to do it again with Simon!

So, just for fun, here are all my kids at one month old:

Benjamin

Joanna

Ezra

Tobias

Simon


I think he looks like a combination of Toby and Ezra!

One Month with Simon

Simon is a month old!  We have so enjoyed this past month getting to know this sweet little person.  He is a very pleasant baby and has started smiling at us!  He doesn't always nap the best, but he's doing great with his night sleeping, so I can't complain!

Everyone loves him and always wants to kiss and hold him!  We were a little worried about how Toby would react to him, but he has been great!  He gives Simon big kisses whenever he is near him and gets jealous when one of the other kids holds him because he wants a turn!  I have to keep a close eye on him though, because Toby is constantly going into the bedroom when Simon is sleeping and giving him kisses and waking him up!

The month has gone by fast, but it's been very nice and relaxing.  Thanks to family, people from church, and my freezer stash, I have hardly had to cook, and it's been a nice break!  I've had time to rest, read, and just hold my sweet baby!

















Friday, March 6, 2015

Joanna's 5th Birthday

Joanna turned 5 a couple of weeks ago.  She had been looking forward to her birthday for months - ever since Benjamin had his in November.  Anything Benjamin gets to do she wants to do, too!







Daddy brought her flowers, she received her requested "Princess Ballerina Suit", and we took a trip to the Children's Museum.  Then we came home and enjoyed a movie dinner, eating Orange Chicken (Benjamin had it for his birthday dinner, so of course she had to, too!) and watching Beauty and the Beast.  

It is so fun to watch her grow and mature.  She is such a girly-girl, who loves everything pink and pretty and princess-y.  She loves to pretend to be a ballerina and spends much of her time drawing pictures.  She very competitive and tries hard to keep up with everything Benjamin does.  Because of that, I'm finally starting reading lessons with her (she's been asking for a while).  






 Since my birthday is the day after Joanna's, we had a shared family party and enjoyed celebrating!  

We love our girl!
Happy 5th Birthday, Joanna Mae! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Introducing....




...Simon Henry!  
Our fourth boy joined our family Friday at noon.  I had a bit of a complication that ended in a trip to the hospital, but we are all home now and doing well.  Everyone is absolutely smitten with him!  We are so thankful for our newest little man!