Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas Update

We had a wonderful Christmas!! We stayed in on Christmas Eve and had a nice dinner and watched a Christmas movie. Christmas day was packed with three Christmas gatherings, church, tons of awesome food, and lots and lots and lots of presents. I'm always sad to see the Christmas season end though:-(

Since Christmas, we have had never ending, non-stop sickness in this house...

-Bailey started screaming on Christmas night and ended up being up almost all night long. I chalked it up to it just being a busy day.

-On Monday night, Bailey was still up screaming and Adrienne was up doing the same, while running a fever.

-I took both girls to the doctor on Tuesday to find that they both had double ear infections. Bailey has had 5 ear infections in 4 months and her doctor said her ears don't look good at all. He referred us to an ENT to prevent damage, hearing loss and constant ear infections. Poor baby.

-On Tuesday night Adrienne was still up screaming and Bailey was up several times. To add to it, Brooke was up throwing up. I didn't sleep at all. Awful, awful, awful.

-On Wednesday, Adrienne started running a fever and it continued into that night and Thursday.

-All three girls slept well last night... Until Bailey woke up screaming. She didn't stop screaming pretty much all day. I put her down for a nap and she woke up with a 104.9 degree fever. I put her in a tepid bath and her fever only went down to 104.7 and I was freaking out. I took her to the doctor where they did blood work. The doctor said that they would admit her if they showed her white blood count to be elevated. Everything checked out fine, though, so her doctor said it's probably just a virus. Her fever was already up to 104.6 by the time we got back home and I'm a nervous wreck, I'm just not comfortable with her fever being so high. She's been exhausted so she's sleeping soundly now but I can't help but feel anxious:-(

-On top of all of this, all three girls have had nasty colds and coughs.

It's amazing how such a wonderful Christmas can be followed up with such a horrible week. I'm ready for three healthy girls and for life to be back to normal. And most of all, I would really LOVE some sleep.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pierced Ears!

Brooke and Adrienne had been asking to get their ears pierced for a while so John and I decided to take them to have it done as part of their Christmas present. I really had no objections to their ears being pierced but whenever we would offer to take Brooke, she would chicken out at the last minute. I think the first time it came up was before her third birthday, so this has been going on for nearly two years!

On Monday, both girls were still interested in having it done so we headed to the mall. John and I planned on keeping the girls separate in case the first one to have it done freaked out. Even though John always does the blood and guts stuff (shots, blood work, IV's), I thought that I would be brave and be the one to actually take them to have it done. It kind of seemed like a mother-daughter type experience anyways so I sucked it up.

We let the girls pick out their earrings and it was so fun to watch them light up as they saw the different choices. After much debate, Adrienne decided on pink flowers and Brooke decided on silver princess crowns. They were both really cute choices and I really, really tried to let them have exactly what they wanted and not give any input. That's not exactly easy for this mama:-)

Brooke was the first one to go and my heart was pounding. She, on the other hand, was as cool as cucumber. She didn't even want to sit on my lap! The lady pierced her ears, one at a time, and my girl was completely and totally unmoved. It was like nothing even happened. I couldn't believe it... And neither could the lady!

Then, it was Adrienne's turn. I was really anxious for her, just as I had been with Brooke. I'm not sure how I lucked out twice but she, too, wasn't remotely bothered by her ears being pierced. She's a tough and brave girl so I assumed she would do great and she proved me right.

The lady who pierced their ears went on and on and about how well behaved and calm my girls were. It makes a mommy proud! This experience that I was so anxious about turned out to be no big deal at all. Their ears really look great and I can't believe how grown up my girls look!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Unexpected Blessing

It's been over 5 years since I've had a piano in my home. I inherited my childhood piano when I got married but because our first house was so small, I had to get rid of it when Brooke came along. Though we moved into a much bigger house eventually, buying a piano has never really been a priority for me.

I'm our church's pianist (and have been since I was 12) so I at least get the opportunity to play every week. We have really turned into a worship team or praise band and playing each Sunday is one of my favorite parts of the week. I also play an offeratory every week and I usually end up pulling something out of a book at the last second... Literally. Sometimes even while the ushers are praying over the offering. I even get crazy some weeks and play songs that I've never even played before. I guess when you don't have a piano or an avenue to practice you just hope for the best!

I have wanted a weighted 88 key, hammer actioned keyboard for a long time now. Our church made the switch years ago and I've never longed for a "real" piano ever again. They're super nice because they sound and feel like an actual piano but they're maintenance free so you don't have to worry about strings breaking or keeping them tuned. Each Sunday morning at worship practice I joke that I hope our church's piano breaks so they have to buy a new one and give the old one to me.

You would not believe my shock the other day when I pulled into my driveway from picking Brooke up from school and saw three large boxes on my front porch. When I read the writing on the one box and realized that it was the weighted keyboard I had always wanted, I didn't even know what to think. The other two boxes housed the piano stand and the pedals. Tears came to my house and my hands started shaking. It was like those Publisher's Clearing House commercials when the people find out they've just won all that money. I lugged it into the house, screaming baby and all, and just stared at the boxes. Knife in hand, I didn't even want to open it because I didn't think that it could possibly belong to me. I mean, pianos don't just randomly appear on front porches! I had no clue where this piano came from and nobody in my family confessed to getting it for me. When I opened the box, I saw the gift giver's name on the invoice. This person had wished to remain anonymous and didn't realize that the invoice would give the secret away. I would love to go on and on about this person on here but in respect of the original intentions, I won't. All I can say is WOW! I mean, there are just no appropriate words here.

It's only been a few days since the piano has been in my home but I'm already enjoying it so much. Every spare minute that I've gotten has gone towards bringing out an old piece that's sat in a box for nearly 5 years. I have loved playing through old classical music that I worked so hard to perfect years ago. Those songs were my blood, sweat and tears at one point!

Brooke is already asking me to teach her to play but as much as I love to play, I'm not sure that I could really teach it to anyone. I think we'll start small and do a few basic piano concepts but eventually, a real teacher would suit her much better. I tend to break all of rules with the piano and play whatever I think sounds good and I would like for my girls to be more disciplined about their piano techniques than I am.

There are not words to describe how blessed I feel to have been gifted this piano. It's honestly a dream come true and I am so thankful that I will be able to fill my home with music once again!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It Never Ends...

Since I last posted, my girls have been nothing but sick, sick, sick. Adrienne started throwing up on Sunday night. On Monday, Bailey got a nasty case of Pink eye that made her completely miserable and that came with sleepless nights. Then last night, Brooke was up throwing up, along with me. GRRR. I'm starting to get frustrated.

Bailey had been screaming and miserable but I thought it was because the Pink Eye virus supposedly makes you feel like garbage. I took her to the doctor today, though, and found out that she has one ear that's infected and the other ear has a ruptured ear drum. My POOR baby! I feel like the worst mother for assuming her constant crying was just because she felt yucky.. She was in lots and lots of pain:-( I could have had that fixed days ago for her earlier and I'm about to cry thinking of the horrible pain she must have been in. She's on a strong antibiotic, along with some drops, and already we've noticed a major improvement in her. It was so refreshing to see her smiling and playing happily tonight for a change!

I'm starting to wonder if my girls are going to play this sick game all winter. It's just ridiculous. We usually get hit hard in the cold months but this year it seems to be starting earlier. I'm pretty sure that has to do with Brooke going to school and bringing all the lovely germs back to us. My poor girl has already missed 8 days of school and each time that she has to stay home it breaks her heart. Today was her day for Show and Tell and it was so sad to tell her she wouldn't be able to go:-( I just don't get why my family gets hit so hard with viruses and bugs... We eat very healthy and my girls get lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.. They also get plenty of rest. I'm not sure what else I could do to help strengthen their immune systems! I would do just about anything.

I'm about to close my eyes for the night but I'm kind of preparing myself to not get much sleep. I think I would give my right arm for even mediocre rest tonight. That certainly beats being up every hour! Wish me luck...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hanging By A Thread

This has been a rough week. John and Adrienne got the stomach bug on Thursday. On Friday, Brooke got Pink Eye and Adrienne was running a fever. Then, today, Adrienne caught Brooke's Pink Eye and I suspect that Bailey has an ear infection. It's just been one thing after the other. Nobody has been sleeping great, to top it all off.

We've been couped up due to everyone being sick but there were some things I had to get from the grocery store today. I thought it would be nice to do something fun with the girls so I promised them we could go to McDonald's for a treat after we ran my errands. Once we got the the grocery store I realized that that was a mistake... Bailey screamed uncontrollably the entire time we were there, no matter what I did. It was a pure disaster. Adrienne was grumpy and difficult and that only added insult to injury. It was not easy lugging a screaming baby around while trying to check out and rush out of there. It was horrible.

I wanted so badly to just skip out on my promise of McDonald's but I didn't want to disappoint the girls. So, like any glutton for punishment would do, I continued on. Bailey was only happy unless I was holding her and it was extremely difficult getting our food and drinks, along with everything else we needed. Not to mention, the line was exceedingly long. I finally got our food and sat down, got everyone's food out and boom... Like clock work, Adrienne had to go potty.  After a trip to the bathroom, we sat down again and I'll admit, the girls really enjoyed their chicken nuggets. However, Adrienne spilled her drink and Bailey fussed and grabbed for things, knocking the tray on the ground. I turned around to throw our things in the trash and in that 10 second time frame, Adrienne fall on the ground face first and some random stranger ran over and picked her up. I honestly felt like crying at that point. I have never felt so harried and overwhelmed as a mother like I did today.

This sweet old lady came over to me, put her arm around me and said, "Honey, I promise you, it's worth it. Hang in there during these years." She then had her husband throw out the rest of my trash, zipped the girls' coats and offered to help us out to the car. It was very, very sweet and encouraging to me.

I got in the car and I felt so moody, grumpy and irritable. I kind of set myself on auto-pilot and when the kids would talk to me it was all I could do to respond. I was beyond exhausted and frustrated by the challenges we had met. My goal for the day had been to have fun and spend meaningful time together but it somehow seemed like a total flop.

When we finally got home, I told myself that I would never take all three of them out by myself ever again. There's only one problem with that... That's almost impossible! I keep telling myself that these are just hard years, which they definitely are, and that I will survive the struggles and challenges. That line of thinking bothers me, though, because I don't want to merely survive  them, I want to actually enjoy and cherish them. I know that one day I will miss these days but on a day like today, I'm starting to wonder! I have a sign in my house that says, "Don't just count the days... Make the days count. " So here's my resolution to doing just that! It won't always be easy but I do not want to look back on my life with regret.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"It's YOUR Fault!"

Ah, you gotta love the two-year-old stage... You know, the stage where they have to anything and everything for themselves, by themselves. My stubborn little Adrienne insists on doing things her way and in her time, with absolutely no help from her mama. It requires a great deal of patience on my part and sometimes letting her walk out of the house with her underwear inside out or pants on backwards. It's not worth crushing her spirit, most of the time!

But... The one thing that I DO require for her is to put a Pull-Up on before bed each night! She still doesn't wake up dry in the morning and since she was potty trained so early I haven't really pushed it. I think it's developmental and that she'll get it eventually. So anyways, we gave her her pajamas and Pull-Up and told her to get ready for bed. We tucked her in and called it a night.

The next morning she came waddling down the stairs and I could tell her pajamas were wet. I figured she had just leaked out of the Pull-Up but she looked at me and said, "It's your fault!" I then felt her and realized that she had forgotten to put her Pull-Up on! I laughed hysterically and so did she. It was such a hilarious moment! After a quick bath before breakfast and some clean sheets, we were as good as new.

There is never a dull moment in this house! My girls keep me on my toes and they sure know how to make me laugh:-) Needless to say, we'll be monitoring Miss Adrienne's bedtime attire more carefully!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Best Birthday Gift

Today is my birthday and my husband gave me the best gift he could have possibly given me... His time! He suprised me on Sunday night and told me that he didn't have to be back into work until 5 days from then, which is unfortunately tonight. During his glorious break, he gutted my laundry room and built me a beautiful new pantry. It turned out great and I feel so spoiled:-) Having him home was absolutely amazing and it was such a treat to have an unexpected break from the hustle and bustle of his job.

My birthday was very special today! John, the girls and I went to lunch with my parents at Olive Garden and then John took me to Target so I could do some of my coupon shopping. I got paid $15 to buy 23 bottles of shampoo/conditioner so that just about made my birthday! After the thrill of bargain shopping, we went home and had some down time before heading back out to my birthday party with my side of the family. John's birthday is a week from today so it was actually our joint party and my parents bought us a beautiful 32 inch flat screen TV for our bedroom. We are so spoiled!

My girls were awesome today, too, and before putting them to bed they were so happy and goofy together. I couldn't help but sit back and stare at them and feel like the most blessed woman on the planet. I have such a wonderful life!

I'm off to send my husband out the door for work. It's hard not to be sad but I'm so extremely thankful for the incredible week that we had!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

With Thanks Overflowing

We had a Thanksgiving service at church last night and we were asked to share what we were thankful for. I'm rarely a woman who is at a lack for words but last night I was. I couldn't think of one single thing to share because my heart was overflowing with gratitude and amazement over how much God has blessed my family and me. I could sit here for hours naming things, people, opportunities and circumstances that I'm thankful for... And I'm pretty sure the list would never end.

We had such a wonderful day today! The girls and I met my mom and sister at McDonald's for breakfast, which is a Thanksgiving morning ritual. After that, we came home and pigged out on some goodies while watching the parade. As we all sat on the couch together, I couldn't help but sit back and stare at my daughters and my husband in amazement that Lord has blessed me, of all people, with them as my family. It was such a perfect time that we shared and some precious memories were made today!

Our Thanksgiving feast went off without a hitch today. Not only did we have some delicious food and countless desserts, but the love and laughter shared around the table trumped all of that. And I'm pretty sure nobody left hungry:-)

I am mindful, today especially, that I cannot lift my head up off of the pillow in the morning with God. I cannot do anything in and of myself and I acknowledge that it is Him that has given me everything in my life that I hold dear. That is precisely the reason that I am thankful for way too many things to even list.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope your day was as perfect as mine:-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Childlike Faith

My oldest daughter had something huge happen in her life today... She asked Jesus to come into her heart! We have family devotions each night and try to talk with our children about the things of God as much as possible. From that, she started asking John questions about salvation a few weeks back and today, he lead her in a sweet prayer. We truly believe that it was a sincere prayer and are very excited that our daughter has already made the most important decision of her life!

I, too, was very young when I was saved... I had just turned 5. I grew up in a pastor's home, hearing about the Bible and salvation my whole life, and sometimes I take the Bible for granted, I think. I've heard all of the stories countless times and sometimes it's easy to think of them as just that... "Stories" instead of remembering that they really did happen. I love how Brooke is amazed at each story, each scripture and each verse. She takes it all in complete faith. It's so refreshing to see her enthusiasm for the things of God and it's encouraging to me in my own spiritual walk!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Holiday Season is HERE!!

Ah, this time of year is so wonderful! I love how the stores have a separate area designated just for holiday baking. I love the Christmas commercials and the way garland and lights are already decorating our small town. I love the small Christmas tree that is lit in Brooke and Adrienne's room. It's the most amazing time of year and everything seems to come alive.

Right now I'm most excited for Thanksgiving. I host John's side of the family each year, which is about 20 people. It's funny to think that I ever thought that seemed like a huge undertaking because after doing it for 4 years I really do have it down to a science. I prep most of the stuff the day before and then, on Thanksgiving Day, all I really have to do is roast the turkey, make the veggies and peel the potatoes. No big deal at all! I really look forward to all the cooking but this year may be a bit more challenging with a VERY mobile baby. I long for the day when the girls are old enough to be my "sous chefs" in the kitchen. They love to "help" now but you know how that goes:-) Anyways, all of my shopping is done for our feast, as of today. Just a few more last minute things need to be purchased and we'll be all set!

I'm also excited because I have at least half of our Christmas shopping done and designated funds for items that have yet to be purchased. I'm so excited to be able to truly focus on Jesus' birthday this year and not have to be shackled with money/shopping worries. It's going to be the best Christmas ever!!

I love this time of year so very much that I'm already sad thinking about it being over. I hope it doesn't fly by so quickly.. But I'm guessing it will. I plan on savoring every last minute!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm Going to Miss This

As I've said before, we're not going to be having any more babies. This decision was prayerfully made and we feel at peace about the family God has given us. It's quite painful to think about never being pregnant again (so I try not to dwell on it) but other than that, I've been pretty eager to move out of these crazy baby years we've been in for so long. I absolutely hate the adjustment a newborn comes with and getting everyone on the same schedule and creating a "new normal" is just not something I enjoy. I've always told John that when Bailey is Brooke's age (she'll be 5 in February),  life will maybe, just maybe, be easy again. Lol.... Maybe just a little easier??!?!

Despite not liking new adjustments and adapting to yet another person, Bailey's life has been a wonderful adventure. She's so precious and right now, everything is an awakening to her. She stares at her hands in wonderment, is starting to cruise all over the house, successfully pushes a walker around the living room and is exploring all sorts of new territory. It's great fun to watch her and to see her playing with her big sisters that she adores so much.

I had a moment with my youngest baby yesterday that made me realize just how much I'll miss the fleeting baby years... She heard me running her bath and she came crawling in the bathroom as fast as she could, pulled up on the tub and starting breathing really fast with excitement. She absolutely loves her bath and to see her able to express that me was just priceless. It was just a small little moment but it melted my heart and reminded me of her innocence at this age.

I'm not going to be sad to ditch the infant car seat or the unpredictable napping schedule we deal with some days. It will also be nice when all of my children are able to feed themselves or use the bathroom without help... But for now, this is where we're at in life and I intend on enjoying it to the absolute fullest! I'm pretty sure that when Bailey' older I will miss these precious, crazy years.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Paranoid Mommy

Wednesday Brooke came home from school and there was a note in her folder about someone in her class having lice. It really freaked me out! I'm new at all of this school stuff, after all. Then, as Brooke and I got to talking about it, I learned that it was the kid that sits NEXT to her. I only know this because she said that he had to go home early. I've never sent my baby anywhere so I was a little unsettled! Suddenly, my head started to itch a little, too. Lol

After inspecting her hair REALLY well, we declared Brooke to be lice-free. However, the fear of it lurking in her classroom had me super freaked out. So... I decided to keep her home from school yesterday. Seeing as how there was no school today, keeping her home yesterday gave her a 4 day break from "Liceville."

Then, I was talking to different, more experienced moms at church and one of them said, "Jillian, if you keep her home every time someone gets lice she's going to be missing lots of school!" Lol. Point well taken... I can't keep my children in a bubble.

While I did end up keeping Brooke home for my own peace of mind.. I probably will be less paranoid next time around. I try so hard to shield my family from bugs (literally, in this case) and sicknesses but as Brooke goes into an environment where I have no control, it's getting harder and harder.

We're only a few months into the beginning of the school years but already I'm learning that there are many more challenges in this stage of life. I'm imagining that it will only get harder, too... I'm sure in a few years I'll  look back and laugh that I thought this was so challenging but for now, holy cow, it's a big deal!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

All In A Week's Time

What a busy week!! Here's all that's gone on...

  • Bailey has started pulling up! She loves to pull up on the bottom stair and then she falls. It seems like a never ending game that we play all. day. long. It's fun though! She has yet to pull up in her crib and I'm thankful for that. She's also getting faster and faster at crawling and she's pretty much into everything. Life is crazy!
  • Bailey has tried a variety of different foods lately and oddly enough, she's not in love with much of anything besides sweet potatoes and PEAS. Yuck! I HATE peas so it's shocking that she loves them so much. I thought she would love fruits but she really hasn't liked apples or peaches very much. She still has no teeth so we're pretty much just sticking with purees for now.
  • Halloween was a load of fun! I got to be a classroom helper for Brooke's class and I had a blast. I loved seeing inside her little world and meeting her teachers and friends. I was very surprised to find that my introverted little girl is actually quite popular and a social butterfly. She is growing by leaps and bounds!
  • For Halloween costumes we had Brookie as an ice cream cone (with sprinkles!), Adrienne as a cheeseburger (It was hilarious!) and Bailey as a lady bug. I have lots of pictures up on Facebook but have yet to have to energy to put them on here. These things take time, ya know! The big girls went out Trick-or-Treating with John and his family while I stayed here and passed out candy with my little lady bug. We had 162 kids and it was a fun night!
  • John and I had an ENTIRE afternoon to ourselves on Tuesday. It was therapeutic, let me tell ya! John's mom took all three girls and Bailey did great. She drank milk out of a cup and ate some other foods that I packed for her. It was only for a few hours but it was so nice to be able to have a break. We got lots of Christmas shopping done and went to a nice lunch. Oh yes... And we had an uninterrupted conversation. Imagine that!
  • John's going to the Bill's game on Sunday!! I would love to be able to go with him but I obviously can't... So I'm just SUPER excited that he gets to take a day and do something for HIM, which he never does. He deserves it!
  • Everyone has been feeling better (knock on wood!) and sleeping well at night! That is, perhaps, the most exciting update of them all!
I think that about does it! Phew, it feels good to be caught up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walking Zombie

As the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours." On top of all of the bugs and ear infections and sicknesses going through my little family, things only got worse. Bailey got RSV which resulted in her running a fever, wheezing, coughing, and the worst part, not sleeping. She's still not feeling 100 percent better so she's been grumpy and she certainly hasn't been sleeping through the night. It's been quite a challenging 10 days or so. I feel like I could sleep for two days straight if I had the opportunity!

I'm also having a pretty difficult time adjusting to Brooke's school schedule. Before she started, I had this romantic view of how things would work out... I figured that Bailey would take a morning nap, I'd spend quality time with Adrienne, and then we'd just go pick Brooke up. It all sounded so perfect. Well, as it turns out, for me, school means this.. Getting up at 7 (when I'm used to my children sleeping past 8), rushing out the door to drop Brooke off, not having enough time for Bailey to nap because we have to wake her to go pick up Brooke,  and not having time to really have a social life. The new wake up time is contributing to my exhaustion and my lack of interaction with people is kind of depressing. I NEED people. Oh my word, do I need people. I used to do things with other moms in the morning but now I'm tied to picking Brooke up at 10:45 each day. To top it off, I really, really miss Brooke being home. She's thriving, though, and she loves school so very much. I love hearing about her day and her new found friendships... They make it all worth it!

I know that I'm not good at change. I always mourn the past whenever a new chapter of my life starts. Everything has just been crazy between the flood (that pushed off school for several weeks) and the girls being sick. I know that our "new normal" is not far away... I just need to find and it and darn it, I just need some SLEEP!!! Lol

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bogged Down

There are so many things on my mind tonight.  I'm sure that it's in part due to the sick children... Adrienne now has an ear infection, Brooke's cough is horrible and Bailey's is even worse. I know that exhaustion is never a good thing for my thought process but somehow I can't seem to shut my mind off.

John just left for work and I'm sitting here in bed thinking that I should be folding the laundry. I should be clipping and organizing today's coupons. I should be mopping the floor. However, it's nearly 11 o'clock and sometimes a break is well deserved! It's extremely hard for me to go to bed with a whole list of tasks to complete but I've been "on the clock" for well over 15 hours now.

I'm also exhausted just thinking about the fact that I desperately need to get some groceries in this house. I despise grocery shopping... It's by far my least favorite duty as a housewife. I feel bad that I usually let our refrigerator run nearly empty before being motivated to go to the store again. I'm also the worst planner in this area because I "fly by the seat of my pants" in the kitchen and I make whatever I feel like eating on any given night. I feel so defeated when I think about my inability to successfully plan a week's menu. Granted, we always have healthy and tasty dinners and I even consider myself to be a good cook... But most of my dinners are thrown together by me defrosting meat in the microwave and then cooking it accordingly. I'm sick of the rush and strain that puts on everyone. Why can't I just plan ahead and take the meat out the night before????  I want to improve in this area but it's so hard to break old habits.

If I really wanted to wear myself down I could think about the applesauce that I haven't jarred yet this year, the elderly neighbor who I haven't brought fresh baked goods to in several weeks, or the linen closet I haven't organized. What I guess I'm saying is that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Again, I know it's because we've been sick and I've gotten behind but it's still so hard to not let it get to me. I put so much pressure on myself to run a tight ship around here that when things are out of place at the end of the day it's hard to not feel like I'm doing a sub par job.

For now, though, I think I'll turn off the noise around me (minus the coughing children I'm hearing through the monitor) and "Be still and know that He is God." His grace is what got me through today and I can rest assured that He'll refill my cup overflowing with more to face tomorrow! I'm so thankful for that because I can do absolutely nothing on my own strength... Especially not lately! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Long Winter Ahead??

Well, the weather hasn't been cold for all that long and already, we're battling sickness in this house. It's ridiculous! I feel like we always get hard in the cold months but this year it's starting way too early.

Brooke started running a fever last Saturday night and unfortunately, Bailey was also up screaming. She sleeps through the night usually so I knew something was up. I took those two to the doctor on Monday and Brooke turned out to have a virus and her fever was gone the next day. Bailey, on the other hand, had an ear infection. Poor baby! I put her on the antibiotic and that turned out to be a whole other ordeal. She had a really bad reaction to it and she was throwing up, screaming, and having constant diarrhea. She also got a HORRIBLE diaper rash. It was really, really pitiful because she was having a very hard time so the doctor took her off of the medicine. She's been off of it for a few days now and is just finally starting to act like herself again. That was rough!

Now all the girls have a cold. I'm pretty sure Brooke brought it home from school... Which I expect to happen a lot this year. Adrienne just has the sniffles but Brooke and Bailey have horrible, awful coughs and Brooke's is so bad that I've been in her room checking on her a million times a night. Her coughing wakes me up but if she stops coughing I wonder if she's alive. I'm crazy, I know. lol

Now it's my turn... I have bronchitis and an ear infection. Because of my asthma I'm pretty used to not breathing all that great so I don't feel too awful. I would love to take a day and curl up in bed watching movies but we all know that's not going to happen! The worst part is that I'm steroids and they make me SO hungry. It's all I can do to not eat everything in sight, which is not such a good feeling when you're on a diet!

Thankfully the girls have all had their flu shots. I should probably think about getting mine here soon! I'm not really sure why we catch all the bugs in this family... We're healthy, we eat lots of fruits and veggies, we wash our hands, I clean like crazy, etc...Who knows? I think the best bet will be to put us all in a bubble until next Spring!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Last night was incredible! My parents wanted to be a blessing to all of my siblings and me so they gave each of us very generous gift cards to the Outback and volunteered to sit with all of our children. That left them with 7 kids aged 5, 4, 2 (almost 3), 2, 1, 10-months and 6 months. Now I love those children so much but somehow, that night doesn't really sound all that fun for me! However, my parents had such joy and excitement over doing this good deed.

Everyone dropped their kids off at my house and we all rode out to dinner together. The conversations were hilarious and I can't even remember laughing that hard in so long! It's just a lot different than the rushed time we're accustomed to spending together with all the kiddos running around. Words cannot express how freeing and refreshing it was to be out with everyone for a few hours. When we got to the restaurant the hostess asked if there were any kids and we all exclaimed, "NO!" Lol. It was almost weird saying no to that question!

Dinner was awesome and even though the time got away from us, we got back to my house and not one child was fussing or crying. It was incredible! To top it off, every single one of them had been bathed and the house looked immaculate. I was fully prepared to have a night of cleaning ahead of me but my parents spared me of even lifting a finger. It was just incredible.

The best part is that my parents say that they want to do this for all of us every couple of months. The fact that they love us so much that they are willing to do this means the world to me! Two hours out alone when you have three kids is a HUGE deal. I just hope that when my girls are older that I can be an equal blessing and investment into their lives as my parents have been in mine. This is one spoiled girl right here!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I affectionately refer to Adrienne as Oscar, as in Oscar the Grouch, because she's got the be the most grumpy human being I've ever been around. I love her and she lights up my life but for some reason, this is the way she's wired. I find myself asking John if this is just an age related phase for her or if she's going to be a grump for the next 16 years. It's exhausting to even think about her teenage years at this rate! Lol

It's kind of hard to handle such a grump when you're trying to remain upbeat and happy for the family's sake. The other morning Adrienne woke up, came downstairs, looked at Brooke and rudely said, "You're not going to school. " She was mean about it, too. It wasn't like she was joking! She didn't say "Good morning" or anything else... She just automatically started her day with negativity.This is one incident out of about a million that we go through each day and it's hard to not let it wear on me.

I was kind of hitting my head against a wall each day... Sick of feeling defeated by a 23-pound child. Frustrated that she was controlling my mood. Despite endless efforts and spilling out my heart and soul into that child, I started wondering if I wasn't doing such a good job of loving her or making her feel secure in who she is to our family. I then realized that those are lies from Satan who wants me to feel defeated and inadequate as a mother, but I'm not allowing those feelings to get through my brain anymore!

Instead of arguing or getting frustrated with Adrienne, I've started a funny new game with her... Whenever she's in one of her moods I pick her up, squeeze her super tight and joke with her that I won't let her go until she smiles and gives me a kiss. This almost always results in her laughing hysterically and snapping out of her mood. If she's getting grumpy or being mean I say, "Am I going to have to squeeze you super tight and not let you go?" She laughs and for a moment, at least, the world is at peace.

I'm not trying to make it seem like I'm unhappy or like I don't enjoy my daughter. Trust me, there are many wonderful sides to her that make all of these hard times and mood swings worth while. She's witty and silly and she is the type of kid who will just come up and say, "Give me a pish!" ("Kiss" in Adrienne-ese!) I see a lot of myself in her, too.. She kind of marches to her own beat and doesn't much appreciate being told what to do. My goal is to direct those attributes into something positive as opposed to the rebellious side of that spectrum. I smile when I think of her future and who she will become because I know she will have the drive to do about anything she wants to do. Lord, just grant me an extra measure of patience in the mean time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beating the Rush

In case you're unaware of the fact that Christmas is right around the corner, feel free to stand outside my daughters' door and listen to their current CD. Then again, Brooke insists on listening to her Christmas music year-round so it's not really that much of an indicator of the impending season, after all!

I'm super excited about the holiday this year because I'm won't be bogged down with the rushing around and gift buying. We decided to plan much better this year and because of that, I've got a bunch of my shopping done! The best part is that I have an envelope full of cash (that we've strategically put away throughout the past six months or so) so I can randomly pick up gifts for people on my list without having to factor its cost into the family budget. Brilliant! Why didn't we start this years ago????

Every single year I get frustrated by how the true meaning of Christmas seems to get lost in the shuffle. It's the day where we remember the birth of our Savior and His birthday should not be secondary to all of the materialism of the holiday. I'm just thankful that I'm not going to have to be pressed for time this year and that's going to allow me to enjoy the holiday so much more. All I know is that I'm not going to be worrying about money, shopping, or gifts. That is a wonderful feeling!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say....

Then don't say anything at all!!!!!!!! Do you know that somebody called my baby a "pork chop??" REALLY? Is that necessary or edifying in any way? I don't just walk around calling people like I see them so why in the world do people seem to think they can say whatever they want to me? I just don't get it!

My sweet Bailey girl is chubby, there's no doubt about it. But ya know what? All of my babies are chubby and then they slim down when they start walking. It doesn't matter, though. They are beautiful, precious girls- skinny or fat, short or tall, blond hair or brown, blue eyes or green, etc.. I shouldn't feel the need to qualify her precious little cheeks or her healthy, pudgy belly with anything. I should just say, "Thank you!" After all, it's MY milk that makes her this way!

I guess I'm just sick of people talking about my baby's weight because she's really not that big. Yes, I know that your baby doesn't weigh as much. That's fine. I know my baby has belly rolls and chunky legs, thanks, I'm not blind. I just hate that people always have to compare or automatically comment on her weight. One stranger at the grocery store said, "She sure must be a good eater." I honestly bit my tongue SO hard to prevent myself from saying, "From the looks of things, so are you." Thank God that I'm working on having a quiet and gentle spirit because the old Jillian would have had to say that!

I think realize one of the reasons that I'm so sensitive about weight comments regarding my baby... When I was a kid I was overweight and I still, to this day, remember mean comments that were said to me and it's taken me a long time to ever feel different than what I was labeled way back then. I know that Bailey's just a baby but I never want my children to ever have any of those feelings that I had as a kid. Ever.

Whether people mean well or not, I still don't think it's anyone's place to make derogatory comments on MY baby. Granted, the majority of comments I get while we're out and about are about how gorgeous my girls are and what a beautiful family I have. It's just those few, big-mouthed people that rub me the wrong way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just the Two of Us

Every couple needs a date night now and then... But when you're breastfeeding an infant it makes it a little bit difficult. Bailey's never taken a bottle so prior to last Saturday, we had only gone out to dinner alone once since her birth. So, since we finally nailed her bedtime down and got her to stay sleeping, we were able to get out after the girls were in bed and it was amazing!

I put Bailey to bed aroudn 7:30 and then John's sister came and spent some time with the older girl before putting them to bed. John and I left around 8 and it felt so weird to be out! I looked over at him as we left and said, "I don't remember the last time I was out this late!" He said, "Babe, it's 8." I said, "I know!" Lol.

As if dolling myself up and getting out wasn't enough of a treat, John also took me to the store and let me pick out a new outfit. After losing weight and having few things that fit me right anymore, it was such a luxury! He patiently let me scan the racks and helped me pick out my outfit, and then he took me to the movies. It was so sweet because I really wanted popcorn but am always way too cheap to spend $6 on it at the theaters. I told him I didn't want any but then he ordered it for me and told me "When we go out, we get what we want!" Ah, I just love him:-) I didn't feel quite as guilty, seeing as how I wasn't the one who ordered it!

We didn't get home until after 1, which felt like 5 A.M. to me! I had to be up for worship practice at 7 the next morning so I was dragging all day Sunday but it was SO worth it.

I love raising babies with John and having a family together but sometimes being alone and taking a time out for us is absolutely wonderful. I felt so refreshed (minus the exhaustion from little sleep) and it was amazing to get out and reconnect with my husband. I feel so lucky to have a husband who I love spending time with so much and also, for having a sister-in-law who was willing to give up her Saturday night to help us for free. I'm one spoiled girl here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Six Wonderful Months

My sweet little baby is a whole six months old today!! I have tried so hard to hold onto every stage of her babyhood and enjoy her to my fullest capability but I still feel like her life is flying by way too fast. I just want to savor these remaining months of her infancy!

Bailey is my little social butterfly, I'm finding. She's the baby that will fuss if nobody is talking to her or paying attention to her. She loves to be entertained on a pretty constant basis and that's where her two adoring big sister's come in! If she's fussing they usually cheer her up very quickly. She's also into everything already! Her interpretation of crawling is hilarious and it allows her to get into just about anything she wants. I can't take my eyes off of her for fear of her getting into something or choking on her latest finding. She keeps me on my toes, for sure! My favorite thing about Bailey, however, is the fact that she's a mama's girl, for now anyways. She lights up when she sees me and fusses for me when I walk away. The other girls were never super attached to me so this is kind of new and I'll admit, it's flattering!

She went to the doctor today for her check-up and she weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds and is already 26 inches long! These number put her in the 90th percentile for weight and 50th for height! Wow! For comparison's sake, at six months Brookie was 17 pounds, 9 ounces and Adrienne was 17 pounds, 7 ounces. She's just a tad bit bigger than her sisters were but not much.

The most exciting moment of Bailey's 6-month-birthday was when she had her first rice cereal tonight! She LOVED it. I made just a tiny bit but it clearly was not enough for her liking. She flipped out between each bite and her little hands shook with excitement as she tried to grab the spoon from me! We got lots of cute pictures and I'll try to post them soon. It was so much fun to feed her but at the same time kind of sad that she's already at this point.

I'm so thankful for my healthy, happy, beautiful Bailey girl. The past six months have been amazing with her in our family and I can't wait for the weeks, months, and years ahead as a family of five!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sleeping Success!!!!!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about Bailey's sleep issues... She wasn't napping for me at all unless she was nursing. It made life a little bit difficult because I was essentially "on call" all day long. Then, to make matters worse, the flood happened and we were at my parents' house for about 5 nights. She didn't sleep great there (unless she was with me) and when we got home, that same pattern unfortunately continued. For about a week I was in her room each night nursing her over and over again and some nights it would take 4 tries to get her to stay sleeping. After long days with her, the long nights and evenings were exhausting.

I knew that Miss Bailey was quite capable of sleeping through the night (since she had been doing it for so long!), I also knew that she wasn't nursing for hunger during these wakings because she would quickly fall back asleep upon nursing. That told me that it was time to let her "cry it out." I was hesitant to do so because it's not a fun process and in the midst of it I feel so sad. However, having previous experience with this from the other girls, I decided to go forward with it. I told one of my friends that I felt bad doing this Bailey and she reminded me, "You're not doing it to her, you're doing it for her." That was just enough encouragement to get me going.

So, all throughout this week we have been doing this whole "cry it out" process. I've been nursing her quietly in her room, praying for her, singing her "Sleepy Jean" and then putting her down groggy but awake. I let her cry for increasingly long intervals of time and at the right times I just go in and rub her back, let her hear my voice, and then leave. The first night went great! She only cried for about 20 minutes and it was only fussing on and off. The next night was a little bit more intense, as she cried for about 40 minutes. Last night was only half and hour and tonight? TWO minutes of fussing. YAY!!!!!!!!!!  Mission accomplished!

A few added bonuses have come out of this... For starters, all of this has miraculously translated into her naps. She has taken 2+ hour naps every afternoon and this is something she's NEVER done, not even as a newborn. She's also sleeping in later in the mornings. She used to wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning to nurse (and then fall back asleep with me) but now she's sleep in until almost 9.  She's a happier, more content baby because she's finally getting the sleep she needs. I'm so thrilled!

I know that the "cry it out" method is controversial to many people... So much so that I almost don't even like talking about it. Sure, I don't love letting my precious baby cry. There's nothing that feels more unnatural to me as a mother... BUT, you cannot argue with results. A few nights of crying will greatly transform her ability to sleep and feel rested and that's definitely in her best interest!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

School Days

Brookie started back at school on Tuesday and she is absolutely loving it so far! I know we're only a few days in but each night she goes to bed with such anticipation and excitement and in the mornings, she's eager and ready to go. I sure hope she continues to enjoy it at this rate!

I must say, her school schedule is sort of running my life. Obviously I signed her up for this program but it's still a lot to manage. She could ride the bus in the mornings but we're not comfortable with that (because there are older kids that ride it) so I have to drop her off by 8. That's an early morning! And because I have to take her into her class, it's not like I can stay in my pajamas, either! Luckily John stays home with the little girls when he gets in so I don't have to dress and feed all three of them, which is nice. Picking her up is a different story, though... We have to be there at 10:45, right in the middle of Bailey's morning nap, and because John's sleeping by then I have to lug all three girls in. It's not so bad right now but it will be in the winter months when I'll have to bundle everyone up for a quick trip.

Brooke has always been an introverted and shy little girl so I was a little concerned about how she would do in school. She is already surpassing my expectations by making friends quickly and today she even told me their names. She's not usually the kind of kid who talks to people she doesn't know but I guess she's doing really well!! She described one of her friends to me today as, "That cute little girl who has a matching backpack with me." Haha. I love it!

Her teacher seems super nice and really mild mannered so I think Brooke will thrive in that environment. They seem to have really great activities for the kids so far and my girl brings home pictures and papers every day.

I really look forward to this year of growth for my sweet girl. I'm sure once we adjust to the new routine life will seem normal again but for now, these early and rushed mornings aren't fun. Nobody said motherhood would be easy though!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bragging Rights

I don't like to get all mushy and sentimental about my husband on my blog because I realize that the majority of people don't care about how in love I am or how wonderful my man is, but darn it, this is MY blog so today I'm going to! I am just so filled with love and adoration for that man and he continues to steal my heart each and every day.

Lately I've just been overwhelmingly amazed at how hard he works for our family. Throughout the summer there is overtime galore at his job. In the winter there aren't as many chances to work extra hours so like any wise man would do, he works super hard in the summer to save for winter. He often doesn't get a day off or have time to himself but he never complains. Any man can work hard and become isolated from his family but John doesn't do that... He works hard but the hours he works are at HIS expense, not ours. He's still, very much, a family man who is very present in our daughters' lives. Instead on missing out on things with our family he just goes without sleep. Again, he never complains or moans about how tired he is, like I would, but he serves our family with such joy. He's actually in the midst of a 12 hours shift right now and he's supposed to be off tonight.

He is also faithful and diligent with our family budget, carefully planning and saving, and always seeking to meet our needs. When I see him with his little green calculator working out our expenses each month my heart just bursts with thankfulness for a man that does so much for us. I love how he works all of these hours to meet my needs and never once makes me feel bad for not bringing in an income or like I'm lazy or unworthy of my needs being met.

I also love how my husband never forgets to take the trash or recycling out... Ever. He never leaves the gas tank on empty for me to have to scramble to fill. He never lets the grass get too long or the weeds overtake our garden. In the Fall he rakes and bags all of leaves faithfully and in the Winter, the sidewalks are always shovelled promptly. He is one of the hardest workers I've ever met.

So on top of being an amazing, hard-working cop and providing for the girls and me, he is a servant to so many around him. Lately he's been going to help a family that lost everything in the flood. They have been moving everything out of their house and gutting it and John has been setting time aside to go work with them. He's also been active in our church's effort to distribute meals to the community and again, he never complains or gripes about the time sacrifice.

The thing that most encourages me when I look at my husband, however, is his faithfulness to God. Whenever he wakes up for the day, he reads his Bible before doing anything else. He tries to share with me what the Lord is showing him through scripture and He leads us in a sweet time of prayer each night. He diligently teaches the girls memory verses and about the things of God. It's such an encouragement in my own spiritual walk to see his heart.

My husband isn't perfect, no man this side of eternity is, but I am so thankful that God chose ME to be his wife when so many other women would have been far more deserving. He's everything I'm not and I can truly not think of anyone else that I would rather spend the rest of my life with.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moving Forward

It's really hard to "move on" from everything that has happened here in the past week. Everywhere you go there are curbs full of flood victims' cherished possessions, the fire halls are still opened distributing bottled water and meals, we are all still having to boil water before using it and our county is still in a state of emergency. It's still a little tricky getting through some of the towns around here, as everyone is working so hard to get things up and running and the roads get shut down to allow for that. Closest to home for us, perhaps, is that Brooke's school has been closed all week and it won't open until Tuesday. See what I mean? So much reminds us that things aren't "normal" around here.

We have "adopted" a family in the next town over and John and his family have been going down helping them gut their house and clean up the destruction. I have the girls (and bad asthma) so it's hard for me to serve in that way but I've been working at the church most days helping the Red Cross distribute meals to the community. There is so much we want to do but with John working so much and having three small children, it's hard to be helpful as we could be otherwise.

I guess I just don't understand. If you go a mile in any direction from our house you will find complete devastation. Even houses down the road from us got hit pretty bad. Some of our neighbors were helping us pump out our basement and we were told that our basement looked the best out of everyone in town. Most people lost everything in their basements and somehow, our hot water heater survived and the water line stopped about an inch underneath the motor of our furnace. Amazing. We haven't tried turning it on yet (because it's supposed to dry out as much as possible) but we're pretty sure it's fine. I feel so blessed that we have endured so little but I don't get why. It's definitely because of God's goodness and mercy but if things had fared differently for us, He's still just as good and merciful. See where I get caught up?

Tomorrow I'm bringing a hot meal down to our family and I'm so eager to feel like I'm contributing. It's not about ME but it's so hard to feel incapable of making even a small dent in such a massive cleanup. I hope more opportunities to help out come my way! My heart breaks for so many around me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Great Flood

Wow, I don't even know where to begin. Our county, along with several of the surrounding counties, are cleaning up from massive flooding and some are predicting that this process could take several years. There are so many things on my mind... I hurt for my community and so many around me.. strangers and friends, alike. I'm at a loss for the right words.

I guess this all started early this week when the rain came. It was pouring and pouring day after day and it seemed to be non-stop. Brooke's first day of Pre-K (which seems like such a blur now) was on Wednesday and that's the whole flooding situation kind of came to a head. All the schools sent children home early and people were told to get to a safe place. We had been hearing of evacuations but my family and I were seemingly safe in our home. We have a sump pump that keeps water out of our unfinished basement (which only houses our hot water heater and furnace) and we figured that we would remain unscathed from all of the rain unless we lost power. Well, at about 11 P.M. that night the power died and John and I were frantically in the basement bailing out water with buckets, trying to save our furnace. It was not fun!

At around midnight we heard a siren sound in our village and we were kind of curious about what was going on but just kind of passed it off. Then, we heard someone knocking at our door telling us that we needed to evacuate to higher ground. It was very scary and we had to leave our basement, pack a few necessities, and wake up the girls. It was one of the worst couple of hours of my life! We went to the elementary school that's up on a hill in our town and there was no generator, no beds, and nothing to eat or drink . It was the most horrible and restless night I think I've ever had.

The next morning the rain had finally stopped. Our mayor came and told us that our town levy was not expected to withstand the crazy amounts of rains and that we should brace ourselves to lose everything. We were then told that if we wanted to go to our homes and get a few things we had about a half an hour before we had to either find a way out of town or go back up to the school. Let me tell you, rummaging through my home trying to decide what was important and what wasn't was the worst feeling ever. I ultimately decided to just grab the basics because I couldn't think of all of the sentimental things.

We got in the car and just drove. There were flooded roads everywhere and finding ways around was almost impossible. Looking at my family in the car and realizing that our lives might never be the same was very, very challenging as a mother. I can't even express how horrified I was but I had to try to hold it together for the girls. After a long, long drive we ended up at John's parents' house where they had power, internet, etc...

The story ends happily... For us, anyways. The levy shockingly held, despite the fact that it was no supposed to. We may have lost of furnace (but won't know for sure until power is restored) and will be without power and water for up to 2 weeks or so. The circumstances aren't ideal but there are people around us who have lost every single thing they own. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs and no family to turn to. I'm staying with my parents for now because they have power and all and John doesn't feel comfortable leaving me home alone at night while he works because there have been looters coming through and stealing from people. It's just a really tough time right now. Food and gasoline are hard to access. Also, nobody even knows when schools will resume and some districts don't even have hopes of starting back up for at least months.

I'm so thankful that God spared my family and me from losing our home and every possession we have. However, there are so many that weren't spared and who have no hope of a "normal" life for quite some time. It's devastating. I cannot tell you how awful it is to see so many familiar surroundings immersed in water and so many people hurting. Please keep our little corner of the world up in your prayers as we rebuild and try to move towards a brighter future.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Slow Down, Bailey!

My littlest princess has me completely amazed!! At the ripe age of 5 months she gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. Then, she inches forward, falls down, and repeats the whole process over again. It's incredible! She also does this crazy thing where she gets up on her toes and her hands, almost like she's doing a push up. I know every mama wants to think her child is a prodigy but speaking from my experience with my other two girls, I've never seen a baby this age do what she's doing!

Life is quite interesting now that Bailey is on the move! She's been known to knock over a block tower or two and thankfully, her sisters still think it's adorable. Hopefully they'll remain as patient when the novelty runs off! It's challenging to do much of anything around the house these days because she is constantly inching into walls and chairs and then screaming because she either bumps her head or can't go forward any further. It's hilarious! I found her gnawing on the vacuum cleaner cord the other day, too, so she's already starting to put crazy objects in her mouth. I had the talk with the older girls about making sure that they don't leave their toys and small things on the ground to keep Bailey safe so now they're constantly bringing me things off of the carpet. Bailey has some pretty awesome sisters!

When Bailey was born I set out to make the most of her babyhood and to enjoy it because she's our last baby. Despite that resolution, however, I feel like time has ran away from us! It's hard to believe that she was ever a newborn and I can't even believe how much she has accomplished in these few months. I sure hope that she doesn't take to walking as quickly as she's taken to crawling! If so, we're REALLY in trouble then...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Napping Saga

I am at my wits end and I seriously feel like I'm losing my mind. I mean how many days in a row can a woman go without having any break whatsoever? I love Bailey with all my heart but I'm completely frustrated and exhausted because I cannot, for the life of me, get that child to take naps. She'll happily sleep if I lay next to her and nurse her for the nap's entirety but that obviously not realistic.

I'm not sure if this is just a phase or what. I really felt like we were getting somewhere a few months back but in the area of napping, she's regressing. I feel a little fried because from sun up to sun down there is not a time when I'm not caring for her. My saving grace is that she sleeps through the night so I at least get that time but during the day, she's constantly attached to me. This means that I can't ever make use of nap time and exercise or do laundry or clean. I can never focus solely on the older girls, who sacrifice so much of me as it is. And I definitely can't just relax. Ever.

To make matters worse, the byproduct of a non-napping baby is a grumpy one. It seems like she's always wanting to be held and nursed in the afternoons, and that's because she's exhausted. She'll usually have a meltdown around dinner time where she ONLY wants to nurse and it's kind of hard to sit there doing that when I'm throwing dinner on the table. It's so frustrating because if I do get her to sleep during these times she'll wake up the second I put her in her crib.

I'm not trying to be overly dramatic here but I'm really feeling very discouraged. Life is wonderful and my precious baby lights up my life.. But in this area, I just feel hopeless. I feel like she'll never nap. Like I'll never rest again. Like what I want to do will never get done. Like I could cry.

I'm not opposed to the Cry-It-Out method, when done correctly. We let Brooke cry around 6 months for a similar reason and it worked wonders for her. We had a happier baby and a MUCH happier Mommy. However, letting Bailey cry seems a lot more challenging because now John works nights and I don't want her screaming to interrupt his sleep, though he swears it won't. I also don't want the other girls' nap time to be messed up either. I know that it would just take a couple of days and she would "get it" but those two days seems like climbing Mt. Everest to me right now.

My asthma has been acting up so bad and I've been up at night not being able to breathe. From that I'm beyond exhausted and I know that that most likely lowers my tolerance for having absolutely NO break during the day. I'm trying to take it one day at a time and prevent myself from looking at it like it will never be any different.. ever.. but that's not so easy. It's just hard to wake up in the morning knowing that you will be "on duty" ALL. DAY. LONG.

Here's to finding a solution to this madness.. And FAST. This is one fried mama right here. Holy smokes!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vacation Recap

Last week we went on a wonderful vacation to the Poconos. It was only about 2.5 hours away, making it perfect for travelling with little ones. We stayed in a house, fully equipped with all of the conveniences of home, and it was so much nicer than being crammed in a hotel room! The girls had a great time and John and I enjoyed our time together as a family SO much! Because pictures say it all, here are some of my favorites...

Monday, August 22, 2011

4... Going on 20!

My Brooke has me cracking up lately. For starters, she thinks that she's way older and far more grown up than she actually is. She thinks that she is everyone's mommy and hardly ever seems to act her age.

We were talking about her going to Pre-K the other day and I said, "Are you going to be sad when you go to school?" She said, "Mom, I'm not going to be sad." I then said, "So you won't even miss me??" She acted all frustrated and stated, "MOM!! I am going to miss you but I WON'T. BE. SAD." Lol. It's just so funny to me how she thinks she's so big. We then had another funny conversation about school a couple of days later. I said, "I can't believe my little girl is going to school in a few weeks!" To which she replied, "Mom, I am FOUR. I'm not just a little girl anymore." In that moment I couldn't help but wonder how that same statement will go over when she graduates, on her wedding day, when she has her first baby, etc... I could get choked up thinking about how quickly the time has flown and how it will only continue at this pace... Or faster.

Sometimes I wish my girl knew how short of a time span her childhood is going to be. She's always worried about things that only I should be worried about. She checks Adrienne for accidents, cleans up after Bailey if she spits up (and gets all offended if I try to do it!), prompts me to help her clean up her toys, etc... I'll admit, she's super helpful, but I want her to run free, make messes, be a KID, and enjoy her life. That girl is one of a kind and she completely melts my heart over and over again everyday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Loving Me

I have always been self-conscious about my weight. I was overweight in early elementary school and somehow I still feel like that chubby little girl inside. Fortunately, when I was in 5th grade I took it upon myself to lose the weight and I slimmed right down. We also moved from New Jersey to New York about a year after I became thin so I completely started over without people ever knowing that I was once fat. I never really broke free from feeling fat, despite the fresh start.

Throughout high school I was thin, even though I never felt that way. I look back on pictures of myself and wonder why I was ever insecure about my weight. I was never the kind of person who could eat anything and everything I wanted without gaining weight. I always had to be conscious of what foods I took in so I'm guessing that's why my weight was always on my mind.

When I got pregnant with Brooke I gained a lot of weight and when I look back at pictures, my face was SO FAT! It's hard to believe how big I got. Between Brooke and Adrienne I didn't really focus too much on my body because I knew that I would be wanting to get pregnant again relatively soon. After Adrienne was born, however, I dropped most of the baby weight and worked out faithfully. I had finally accepted my body type and I felt pretty decent about my figure.. Until, I unexpectedly got pregnant with Bailey.

Immediately after Bailey was born I was determined to get back to the "old me." Knowing that I would never have to "share" my body again kind of fuelled my motivation to work extra hard on my figure. When I came home from the hospital from delivering her I had automatically lost 27 pounds. Then, when she was just about 2 weeks old I joined Weight Watchers. My goal was to drop another 25 pounds. At the time, it didn't seem possible but week after week I pressed on. The WW plan was awesome and it was actually super easy to lose the weight... Fun, even! I'm only 3 pounds shy of that 25 pound goal and I finally just cancelled my WW subscription because I actually feel confidant enough to do it on my own now.

Here's the problem, though... Here I am, at a weight that I haven't been at in about 5 years and I feel absolutely NO different. My clothes are falling off, people are commenting on my weight loss (which embarrasses me every time!) and I've dropped at least 3 pants sizes. Still, when I look in the mirror I see the same Jillian that I saw 22 pounds ago. I always imagined how I would feel when I was this weight again. I thought that I would feel gorgeous. I thought that I would feel confident in my appearance and proud of the effort I put forth, but somehow I don't.

I'm supposed to be raising confident, secure women in this house, as a mother of three girls. How in the world am I supposed to do that when I don't even feel that way? I would be deeply saddened if my own insecurities about my body ever translated onto Brooke, Adrienne, or Bailey and I found out that they, too, had these feelings. I guess loving me has to come from within and not from what's on the exterior. We're living in a world that bases just about everything on beauty and how thin you are and it's so hard to depart from that in my own personal line of thinking.

I'm learning more and more on this weight loss journey that being a child of the KING is what really matters. Without that, any earthly achievement won't matter. It's okay to want to be thin and healthy but that needs to be secondary to being complete in who Christ wants me to be. My prayer is that I will become content in this imperfect body and focus more on the heart of the issue!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ready for Fall!

Fall is by far my most favorite time of the year. I could list endless reasons why, but this year, I am particularly excited to get the girls back into some type of regular routine. This summer has included a new baby, which shook us up quite a bit, and a pretty carefree schedule. I long for the coming days where we'll buckle down into a more solid schedule.

Brookie definitely got the morning class at school, which is great! I look forward to the quality time that I'll have for Adrienne while Bailey naps and Brooke is gone. I think it will be really good for her to have a little bit extra of me... And me a little bit extra of her:)

Adrienne is also going to be starting gymnastics on Tuesday mornings. It's a "Mommy and Me" class so I'll have to go in with her and chase her around, with Bailey in tow, but I think it will be worth it. After all, I did it when Brooke was that age! One of my friends is going to take the class with us. Her daughter is a few days younger than Adrienne so it should be lots of fun!

I'm still not quite so sure what to do with Brooke and gymnastics. She wants to continue going because she loves it but the class that she's been in since she started is on Tuesday mornings. It will be impossible for her to do that with her school schedule. I could take her to an evening class but then we would have to rush out of the house another night of the week. Or, I could take her on Saturday mornings but then we wouldn't have one single morning where we didn't have something to wake up and do. Ya know? Sunday mornings are so busy so I kind of want Saturdays to be a morning to move kind of slow. She's really awesome at gymnastics and is learning so much so I don't want to pull her out if that's what she wants to do. We'll see...

Wow, when I sat down to type this I was excited. Now that I've finished, though, I'm a little anxious. This gives me a lot to think about and take in. Part of me is ready for the change that will come this Fall but now that it's all written down, YIKES! One step at a time, right?? Everything will turn out great... It always does!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Day Where I Didn't Chose Joy

I really think that joy is something you have to aim for each day. True joy can only come from the Lord and if it's the real deal, you still have peace inside when your kids are acting up, when the baby won't nap, when getting dinner on the table is utter chaos. When you have joy, you just know it!

Well, this morning, I woke up defeated already. I know what the Bible says about the joy of the Lord being our strength but honestly, I was having a hard time leaning on that today. To put it best, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The girls were up abnormally early, which is frustrating. I also knew that John would be working overtime tonight (going in at 7 instead of 11) and for some reason, that just makes me cast a dark shadow on the whole day. The morning was rough... Bailey wanted to nurse during her entire nap, even though she always takes a nap in her crib. Brooke had been begging for her nails to be painted and I kept promising her "when Bailey is done eating" and that took a better part of the morning. Adrienne was into the bathroom playing with the water over and over again. A bunch of little things seemed to be causing me stress and I was completely overwhelmed.

At about 9:45 I heard the front door open. I wasn't expecting any company, though I was so lonely that I wanted it desperately. In walked my wonderful Daddy, who is one of my favorite people in the universe. He brought me a huge fountain Diet Coke, which anyone who knows me knows that that's the way to my heart. Lol. It was such a blessing to see him. As if that wasn't enough, he said he had to run out to the car and get something. In he walked with a brand new Kitchen Aid stand mixer in cherry red!!!!!!!! I had mentioned to my parents that I wanted one a few weeks ago and I NEVER expected them to just go get it. I was so excited and felt SO loved that I cried. It was just amazing!

My Dad, who is also my pastor, gave me a great pep talk. Dads are great, aren't they? Especially MY Daddy:-) I felt a lot better afterwards and I was so, so excited to try out my new mixer!

Here's the thing though... I was happy about the mixer. I was happy that my Dad took time out of his busy day to come see me. BUT, as wonderful as those things are, I wasn't full of joy because of them. Not even the best of circumstances can give you joy. I know this because just as quickly as my happiness came it left.. When nap time didn't go quite as I had planned. It quickly diminished throughout the afternoon while the girls fought and while Bailey resisted her second nap of the day.

I was kind of in a fog tonight after John left for work. Exhausted. Frustrated. Lonely. Weary. Some days of parenting are like that. In my 4.5 years of being a Mommy I have learned that for every day like this there are many more awesome ones and you just have to trek through. I would like to say that next time I will chose joy and not let uncontrollable circumstances dictate my mood but I can't promise that. I'm only human and am never going to be the wife, the mom, the daughter, the child of God that I'm called to be. However, tomorrow is a new day and I CAN wake up determined to have joy and not allow this shifting world around me to bog me down!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Beauty Marks"

My sweet Bailey has two precious birthmarks. One is on her foot and one is on her left forearm. They are both pretty pronounced but obviously the one on her arm is more noticeable because it's on a more prevalent place of her body. In fact, the very first thing I noticed about my girl when she was born was her birthmark. It just makes her HER! (The above picture was taken shortly after her birth and you can clearly see her birthmark.)

People are so mean and thoughtless. Complete strangers ask, "What happened to her arm?" One lady said, "That baby has a bruise!" But today, when a random lady at the store came up and said, "Oh my word! Your baby got burned!" I almost lost it. Who does she think she is??? I was about to give her a few of my own words when John spoke up. He politely looked at her and said, "It's a beauty mark!" I was thankful that he kindly said something because what was about to roll off my tongue wasn't quite as nice.

I love Bailey's birthmarks! I think it makes her unique and it only adds to her beauty. It makes me sad to think that people will most likely make rude comments about it through the years. When I see her "beauty marks" I am so incredibly thankful that God made Bailey "fearfully and wonderfully" and like nobody else in this massive universe. She is so incredibly special and these birthmarks only add to that!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sleeping Babies

Each night after everyone has gone to bed I sigh a huge sigh of relief. I pick up loose ends around the house, tripping on a million toys in process, and somehow the quietness seems odd to me. After all, the days are filled with anything BUT silence!

When I finish tidying up, I go upstairs and tiptoe into my daughters' rooms, so as to not wake them. Brooke is sprawled out on her bed to the point that her tiny 32 pound self seems to completely fill it. Adrienne is lying on her belly with her butt way up into the air... One finger in her "booper" (or belly button) and her thumb on the other hand is in her mouth. As for Bailey, she is on her belly resting soundly and peacefully. She is so at rest that I have to feel her chest to make sure she is still breathing. They all look so angelic and I just stare at them because I'm taken back by their incredible beauty. In that moment, I can't believe that these children are actually mine.

Then, something happens in the silence... I begin to wish for that day back, regardless of how rough it may have been. If only I could have loved them more. If only I could have not lost my temper while playing referee during their hundredth fight. If only I could have put the broom down and read them another book. If only I could have acted more excited over their accomplishments. If only I could have hugged them longer or soaked up their slobbery kisses more.

There is just something about my babies when they're sleeping. They inspire me to make tomorrow better and to fill it with as much love as I possibly can.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oh to be Computer Savvy!

I just spent over an hour working on this darn blog to get it to look like.... This. UGH! Maybe running AND blog design are two things I should throw out the window? Perhaps I'll just stick to being a mommy and cooking and cutting out coupons for now:)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Changes are Coming

This Fall is going to be strange, to say the least. Brookie will be going to Pre-K and it will be the first time that I've sent her to any type of school. I've never dropped her off with a bunch of strangers before so this is going to be HARD.

We wrestled with decision for so many months. I was going to send her to preschool last year but seeing as how I HATE school, I kind of wanted to keep her out of that structure for as long as I could. This year I really didn't want to send her off but after much thought, I realized that it would be a disservice to shove her out the door to kindergarten next year without first letting her test the waters.

She'll be attending the universal Pre-K program in our school district which will either be from 8:15- 10:45 in the morning or from 11:30 to 2 in the afternoon 5 days a week. We requested the morning program but have yet to hear if we got it or not. Either way, picking her up and dropping her off will pretty much consume my day.

We were going to send her to a private preschool here in our little town but the curriculum and facility didn't nearly compare to the public school program. We would have spent the money on it if we felt it was best for her but the universal Pre-K gets rave reviews from everyone we talk to. When we met with the teachers for the screening we were amazed at how they brought Brooke out of her shell and related to her. It was really reassuring! It's also nice because she'll be with the same kids that will attend kindergarten with her next year and she'll also be in the same building for the rest of her elementary school career.

It's going to be convenient that John works nights because he gets home at 7:30 in the morning. That way he'll either be able to run her down to school or sit with Adrienne and Bailey so I won't have to lug them out each morning. They have bus transportation but there is NO way my baby girl is getting on that bus! She seems to think she'll be fine but that's why I'm the mom here:-)

We went today and got her all news clothes and shoes for school and her daddy will be taking her for a trip to pick out her new lunchbox and backpack. It's really setting in that my oldest baby is about to go off into this big, cruel world. It helps that she's so excited and beaming with happiness every time someone asks her about it. I know she'll succeed but the thought of being away from her every day is a little hard to swallow.

Man, I never thought this day would come so quickly. It's just Pre-K but I'm starting to realize that she'll never again just be home as my baby with no agenda. Kind of sad but VERY exciting for her! I'm so looking forward to watching my girl as she grows and adjusts to this next phase of her life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Running.... BLEK!

Well, after taking my entire pregnancy with Bailey off from exercising, plus the first 4 months of her life, I decided it was time to get back into the swing of things. I really am not the type that enjoys physical activity but I LOVE how it makes me feel about myself. It boosts my self image and confidence. Not to mention, it's super good for you, too!

I had been super into aerobics while losing the baby weight from Adrienne and I really enjoyed it. However, having THREE kids now, it's hard to find time alone to fit in the aerobics. Even if John watches the girls for me, they are still present and interested in what I'm doing. It's not that I so much mind that but I feel guilty if someone gets in a fight or starts crying and I don't acknowledge what's going on.

So, my sister had been doing this program called "Couch to 5K" which trains you to go from not running at all to running a, you guessed it, 5K (3.1 miles). She looks great from her running and seems to really be making amazing strides so I jumped on her "band wagon." I'm now on week 2 of this whole process and I HATE it. Not just a little bit but with a passion. The problem is that I have a bad case of asthma and I wake up at night gasping for breath so you can imagine what running does to these awful lungs of mine. I come home from my runs feeling like I'm going to die but I keep telling myself that this is normal and that my endurance will increase. It has to, RIGHT???

I'm also wondering what will happen if I end up enjoying the running... Will I be able to run in the ice and snow? And will my lungs allow me to run, even in the Fall where I usually get EXTREMELY sick? Fall is, by far, the worst season for my asthma and I often end up with at least one trip the hospital. It's horrible. I guess I'm afraid that I'll finally start to succeed at this and then my body will shut down, like it does every year.

Who knows... Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll feel better about running. As for now, I really do hate it. I'm stubborn, though, and I am dead set on succeeding at this.. Even if it kicks my butt... and my lungs!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

4-Month Stats

Well, it seems as though my littlest girl is not so little after all! She had her 4-month appointment today and she weighed in at a whopping 16 pounds, 5 ounces and was 24. inches long. She's in the 95th percentile for weight and 75th for height!! Wow.

I went back and looked at her bigger sisters' stats and Brookie was 15 pounds and Adrienne was 15.5. It's funny to me because Bailey was my smallest baby at birth by a few ounces and she's now my biggest baby. The other girls were shorter than her at this age though so she probably gets some of that extra weight from her length.

It's hilarious to me because my girls stop growing once they hit one, basically. They get big SUPER quick and level off once they start moving around. Adrienne was 20 pounds at 1 and is now only 23 pounds. It's hard to believe that she and Bailey are only about 7 pounds apart.

I'm always happy to get a clean bill of health for my baby, chubby and all! I'm so thankful for her in every way:-)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Sickness

It's been an exhausting couple of days around here! I thought that we would skate through this summer without anyone getting sick but that's been anything but the case. Blek!

Brooke started running a fever early, early on Thursday morning. I didn't come back until late that evening, which was kind of weird. Her fever would get really high really quick (in the 104's!) but when she didn't have the fever, she acted completely fine- Normal amount of appetite and energy. Weird. I ended up taking her to the doctor where they gave her a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat a bladder infection because her urine had white blood cells and other bacteria in it. They sent the urine out for a culture and if it comes back fine after all we're supposing that a virus was causing the fever. Either way, the fever has been gone since we started the antibiotic. It could very well be a coincidence, though.

John came down with pink eye on Wednesday and then Bailey, of all people, caught it and started showing symptoms on Saturday. She actually had a fever and was having lots of diarrhea and other stomach issues. The doctor said that sometimes the bug that causes pink eye can cause other irritants in the body. She has been extra fussy when she's awake but also extra sleepy. She's had one bad night of being up crying off and on but other than that, she has continued to sleep through the night, despite not feeling great.

I'm praying that nobody else catches any of this! We've been shackled with somebody being sick since Wednesday and it's NOT fun! My eyes have been itching but I'm so allergic that it's not uncommon. If I wake up with pink eye I won't be happy!!! I must wash my hands every 2 seconds to avoid it at ALL costs.

Children are wonderful blessings but goodness gracious.. Isn't it the worst when they're sick? It's just awful. Let's hope that we finish the remaining weeks of summer without anymore sickness!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Gallons of Change

In our laundry room sits a mostly empty 5-gallon water jug. As for the part that's not empty... It's filled with our loose change. We have big dreams for this water jug, let me tell ya! In a few years, it will be our funds to go to Disney World.

Once upon a time when John and I were dating, we saved all of our change. Little did we know that it would FULLY fund our honeymoon, which was a 5 day Cruise to Key West and Mexico. It was over $1200 to pay for our cruise and our airfare and we hardly felt the sting of paying for it because we just rolled up our change. So when John saw this empty water jug that we have now, he got the wonderful idea to use it to save for something our whole family could appreciate.

I think that this is a great lesson to our children! It not only shows them that things cost money... And in this case, A LOT of it, but it also shows them to wait patiently for something really big. Brooke is so precious because when we started throwing our change into this jug she also began to throw in her spare money. She did it with such joy and excitement but it somehow broke my heart. Then, when I thought about it, I realized what an awesome teaching tool this whole jug has turned into!

This jug to me stands for so much more in our lives right now. We could go to Disney World if we wanted to but it doesn't mean we should. We really try to live a minimalistic lifestyle and enjoy living on less now so our future has a brighter picture. The massive amounts of coupons that I clip, the older cars that we drive, the infrequent trips to restaurants... These are all things that kind of fall into our "5 gallon jug" lifestyle. We are learning so many lessons on the way!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


After I had Bailey I started to have some nasty stomach problems. My stomach gets very upset and I have issues if eat fatty foods or heavier meals. At first I thought that it was just because I was recovering from the surgery and all but it hasn't gone away. I also started using Weight Watchers to lose the baby weight and I figured that the new diet was what was bothering my stomach. I don't eat fatty, greasy foods very often anymore so when I do my stomach goes nuts.

I wasn't overly concerned about any of this until the weight started coming off faster than it had been. A few weeks ago I lost 4 pounds, where I had been losing weight steadily at like 1.5 pounds a week. The weight is still come off a little quicker and I had myself convinced that I had cancer or something was really wrong. I went to the doctor and she sent me for an ultrasound on my gall bladder. I was relieved that she thought there was something up with that and that she didn't think anything bigger was going on. As it turns out, there are some polyps on my gall bladder, which apparently can grow when the gall bladder doesn't properly operate. She said that she needs to do a dye test of my gall bladder to watch its actual functions to be 100 percent positive that that's the culprit. However... The test would leave me radioactive for 24 hours so I couldn't hold Bailey, or any of the girls, for that matter. This test would be impossible because of that.

So I'm in a rough spot.. The doctor says she has reason to believe that I'll need my gall bladder removed but they can't really be certain without doing the test that I can't have done. She said that they could send me to at Gastroentorologist and they could use a scope to go into the gall bladder but that sounds like an awful lot of work. She also said that while the symptoms I'm having are frustrating that they aren't life threatening or worrisome in and of them self. As of now, I think I'm just going to wait until Bailey's older and deal with the annoyance of the issues I'm having. It will only help me achieve my weight loss goals, right??

I'm also dealing with some nasty sinus and allergy issues, which is pretty much my life. The doctor thinks that I would benefit greatly from sinus surgery and am going to see another doctor about that in a few weeks. I'm excited about that appointment because I would LOVE to feel better but I'm a little anxious about the word "surgery."

I'm starting to feel like a lab rat or a head case... One or the other. Between the severe allergies and asthma, all the sinus issues, and now the gall bladder I might as well just apply for a new body! I'm only 25... Aren't I supposed to feel well???

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Year Ago

It's hard to believe that exactly a year ago from today I found out that I was pregnant with Bailey! I never really had the chance to write about how I found out that incredible news because I didn't want to announce my pregnancy until I was further along so today seems like a good day to tell the story.

It was the week of Vacation Bible School at our church and it was HOT. I remember that John and I had been talking a lot about whether or not we would have a third baby and we had pretty much decided that we would stop at two. Then, on the first day of Bible school we were swarmed with kids and that only added to our feelings of wanting to be done. Lol

I had been feeling a little run down that week but because I was doing all of the cooking for church I thought that that was the culprit. I had another really strange symptom, though... I was dropping EVERYTHING. When I'm pregnant I don't what it is but I always drop and spill things left and right. It was so bad that my friend, Lindsey, who was working with me even noticed how clumsy I was being. I took a Dollar Store pregnancy test that night and got a faint line but decided that it looked more like an evaporation line than a positive and I just brushed it off.

The next day we were at Bible School and I had finished cleaning up the kitchen and needed a few groceries. While John finished doing the games and the girls stayed in their classes I ran out to get those errands out of the way. As I walked by the pregnancy tests on the shelf, they were calling out to me. I couldn't help but buy one just to make sure that the previous test was accurately negative. I got back to church and there was still like an hour left to kill so I went back and forth to the car... One time leaving the pregnancy test in there, another time shoving it in my bag, and so on. I couldn't decide if I really wanted to pee on it at church.

Because I was completely certain that the test would be negative, I went ahead and peed on it in the church bathroom. BIG MISTAKE. It was a First Response pink dye test and when the bright pink line quickly appeared I just about had a heart attack. It was the most unexpected shock of my lifetime, to say the least. We certainly were NOT trying to have a baby!! I could hardly compose myself.

John was outside with the kids and I was shaking. I went out to hug him just to get some type of reassurance or comfort. He said, "Baby, what's wrong?" I said, "Oh nothing... We'll talk later." He got worried... "Jillian, did you lose your debit card again? What's wrong??" I then told him that it was MUCH MORE than that. Lol. And for lack of better words to say, I blurted out, "I'm pregnant." He just held me as I cried and a million kids ran all around the church yard while I melted in his arms.

It's a funny memory to look back on that time. It's not that I didn't think I could handle another baby or not already love the baby that was growing inside of me... I was just shocked. It was a lot to process and definitely a lot to think about. Now that it's all said and done, though, I can't imagine never knowing Bailey's beautiful face. Never having the experience of being pregnant with her. Never knowing the joy of her smile or the music of her laughter. I am so thankful that God added another little life to our family! I'm pretty positive that He won't be doing that again though! Lol