Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I had someone ask me why I'm not posting about Atty's health issues any more so I just wanted to note {for anyone else that might be wondering} that I have a separate blog for writing about this wild adventure of getting Atty seizure free. There is a link on my side bar to that blog...Go check it out, he's amazing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pickin' Time!

Ever since we moved we've never found an awesome place for pumpkin picking fun...until now! We went to a farm up by where I grew up, it's about an hour away and well worth the drive. It did cost money to get in but for this year at least we only had to pay for Bubu and the adults. For me, my hubby, my sister and Bubu it was ten total, not to bad, considering there were a lot of other things to do at this patch that didn't cost more money {unlike other patches we've been to}. I didn't realize that you couldn't bring in outside food though, and had packed a lunch {Money saving tip for big families, and healthier too!} so we were pretty hungry by the time we were leaving, being as we went right at lunch time! We did get to eat some super yummy apples right off the trees though, that was a special treat. Even Atty got to share an apple with me {although I did get nervous because I didn't have his oil with me and he's suppose to eat all carbs with oil on his special diet.} He really enjoyed it, I loved how excited he got to be able to eat the apple with us.
We enjoyed a corn maze, and got completely lost for a moment. Every one took turns trying to find the way out. At one point Atty tried to take us off roading straight through the corn, he was done with the whole thing, ha ha!

There was lots to look at, Giant Pumpkins, pumpkin tree art, tons and tons of animal, a guy driving a "train" around like a maniac. (seriously, wouldn't have put my kids on that thing...) There was even a play ground that the kids enjoyed for a moment.

Had to take a picture of each of the kids standing in front of this thing of course!

They all humored me.

Even Atty...he normally doesn't like to stand still for pictures.
I wish now that I had thought to get baby sister too, but that will have to wait until next year.

There were donkeys, poultry, goats, horses, pigs, and rabbits. The kids loved them all. My sister even gave them a quarter to get some feed for the chickens, wow was that exciting! ;)

This particular moment melted me. Spike is such a great big brother.

Lala loved the pumpkins, so much so that she kept giving them kisses, adorable!
There was a hay ride down to the pumpkin picking area and that was a lot of fun.

Some of the pumpkins made the perfect seats. Here's Lala with apple clutched in hand, she was obsessed with that apple!

Atty picked a super cute little green pumpkin. Every year one of the kids just has to get a green pumpkin...Usually it's Bubu, but not this year!

She was so excited, pumpkins everywhere! I gave up and let her explore. {Yes that meant crawling around in a dirty field, and she loved every minute of it!}

Bubu picked out the biggest one this year, cause he's the biggest... ;)

I love this picture, Lala in a field of pumpkins.

Since my sister came along we got to get a family picture. I love harvest pictures, pumpkins and a scarecrow in the background, doesn't get much better then that! Thanks sister. We really had a wonderful time, which is saying a lot because every one of us had to wait until WAY past lunch time before we got any food! That actually worked out too though because we went to my brothers place to eat our picnic and got to visit there for a bit. Always fun to go there...

We loved this farm so much I think we might go there and get a real tree for Christmas this year. They have apple orchards, a huge pumpkin field, a tree farm and it's third generation family owned. We'll be back! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The many faces of your beautiful self.

Finally got some good pictures of her with a black background for my photo wall in my room, hopefully I'll be posting pictures of that really soon. It's been a work in progress for over a year now! Next I'm going to do a photo wall in the living room of river pictures. My sister takes some great ones, and I've been stealing them off her face book page for a while now, ha ha!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A much needed family day...

Finally my husband had a day off after working 7 days a week for way too long! It's all or nothing with his work and it can be hard on a family. Hard on the kids. Hard on him. Hard on me. Hard on our relationship. Just plain hard in general. I love getting away and doing things together as a family, I enjoy it more then dates with hubby and alone time for myself. Don't get me wrong I love and need both those things at times but over all I crave the times that we are all together as a family and it is at these times that every thing seems right with the world and my heart is full. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, in fact I would prefer that it's not. We love the outdoor and all the fun you can have. Exploring. We live in a great area for exploring...when it's not raining. Scratch that we explore in the rain too. You have to if you are a true Washingtonian. It doesn't bother my kids at all, actually they might like it even more because what kid doesn't like splashing in puddles?
This particular day was magnificent though. Absolutely beautiful. As was the scenery. I love this picture of me and my boys. What a lucky mommy!

My favorite picture of the day, I managed to get us all into a picture I took easy task! Plus every one but the baby is looking at the camera!! Lala is looking down and smiling because she was trying to take Bubu's hoodie off, funny girl.

Wow, are they really all mine!?! It's so hard to believe, I never envisioned myself with four kids...ever.

It never would have seemed perfect, but now some how it is. God always has a better plan then we could ever guess at! I never realized what I was missing until I looked into each and every one of their eyes.

Daddy's little girl.

This is such a beautiful spot and great for taking pictures. I took way to many! I drive my family crazy with the camera, but can't have to many pictures right? Right? Even my husband, who rarely takes pictures, got in on the action and took this great picture of the girl and I.

This is a great picture of daddy and his boys, going on a walk. All in their hoodies, too cute! Oh my to I love my boys...

We really enjoy looking for special rocks, Atty found one that he liked and ran to show me.

Lala found one too, and wanted to put it in her mouth, little stinker! She thought it was pretty funny to drive her mother crazy with it.

We stayed until the sun began to sink. We saw a seal and a ton of little tiny fish. We saw deer. We tried to look for bunnies, because Atty always wants to find bunnies when we go on walks, but sadly we found no bunnies. We sat on this dock and talked and stared out at the water for a really long time. Listening to the water lap against the boards, looking at the birds as they swooped down for fish, watching the sky change, and bonding together as a family.

It was the perfect day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It took me a year, but I'm ready to share.

I was up late Sunday night, laying in bed thinking about Lala's birth. Replaying the whole thing in my head. I can't believe it was a year ago already that I went into labor. October 4th is when it all started. Full moon.

It's taken me a full year to write about it. Now I'm not sure where to begin. The whole thing was so beautiful to us, but a few times right after she was born I shared the story with people who didn't understand and made comments that made me feel sad. So I closed up and saved the beauty deep with in my heart, sharing only with close family and friends. Most of whom where there when she was born. Now I feel like it is solidly in my heart and mind, the wonder of it all, and I'm ready to share the story of her birth. Less hormonal now I guess... ;) If you don't care for birth stories, and the details involved you might want to skip this one. I've included some pictures, all modest, which really limited the pictures I could use, ha ha! The pictures show raw emotion, which while not pretty, are my favorite kind. They also show a very tired mommy. 31 hours of labor can do that to a women.

{ This picture cracks me up. Wasn't in the mood for pictures.}

Let me start with saying that I fired my midwife when I was 36 weeks along. Yes you read that right. I should have done it sooner but she was my midwife for all my children and I really cared for her. You form a bond with someone you entrust your care too, your life and the lives of your children. She is truly a wonderful person and does an amazing job and I will not talk bad about her. But for personal reasons I did not feel comfortable with her services anymore. It's complicated and I don't want to go into it on here. Midwives in general are amazing though, every women deserves a midwife. :)

I was pretty emotional on that day as you can imagine. I cried the whole hour drive home from the appointment and made my decision then. I talked with my husband when he got home and he supported me all the way. He was behind me 100% no matter what my decision was, which is a beautiful thing. I called her the next day and let her know we would not be needing her for the birth, it was one of the hardest calls I've ever made. But I knew with out a doubt it was the right one.

Two weeks later I made an appointment with a doctor in our area to be on the safe side. That way if we ended up in the ER we could call the doctor. They couldn't get me in until October 6th. Her official due date was the 15th. Although I had a feeling she'd be born around the 4th. Didn't matter though because quite frankly I wasn't going to the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

I got my team together, which included a family friend who used to be a midwife. I'd felt a huge need for a big female support group during this pregnancy. I told them all about the change of plans and they all supported me. I researched home births {which we were already planning with my prior midwife by the way} and even unassisted home births. Watched some inspirational birth videos {non-stop}. Got my herbal tinctures ready, my birth kit, prepared the bedroom, wrote down all my wishes and needs for during and after labor. Wrote down notes from my Spiritual Midwifery book by Ina May Gaskin. Which I've read during each and every pregnancy. Cried. Acknowledged the fear I'd had during the whole pregnancy about having a girl. Talked nightly about the game plan with my husband. His support meant so much to me.

Then October 4th came and sure enough by 10 pm my rushes were regular and uncomfortable enough that I called up my girls. They came right away, some with babies, in the middle of the night. All had to drive for a hour or more to get to me and most had to work the next day. They are all amazing women. I started to feel like pushing around 4 pm...then all of a sudden it stopped. Just like that. I had read about how women can regress in labor and even become undilated, and I ended up experiencing this first hand. My body just shut down, I think partly because I knew that most of my support team had to leave in the morning and I didn't want to do it with out them. As the light started to shine into the windows I sat in a chair and cried myself silly. Everyone took turns hugging and kissing me and reassuring me. My water hadn't broke so there was no worry there, but I was so tired and felt so defeated. Everyone left soon after except my good friend Iva and my mom. I spent the remainder of what ended up being a beautiful day resting and doing a little walking around on the back deck. I was continuing to have mild rushes but I could tell she was still high up and not engaged in my pelvis at all. I can remember holding onto the railing on the deck, rocking my hips with my eyes closed, sunshine on my face, begging her to come out. Tears streaming. Nothing happening. Even Iva eventually left. That night our friend/midwife called to check on me and told me to take a bath, take a little valerian tincture and go to bed. So Ryder sat with me while I did just that and it really did feel wonderful relaxing in the tub for a bit. I laid down and tried to rest but as soon as I laid down the rushes picked up. I was determined not to call anyone this time until I was certain it was the real thing. So I waited and waited and wait. I waited until I literally felt her starting to move down and things were getting hard to stay on top of. Those rushes that feel like a wave that could easily drag you under. The ones that take all your concentration to roll through and over. They were coming on regularly at this point so I woke Ryder around 9pm and told him to make the calls. Then I prayed that it was the real thing this time. It felt even more intense then the night before. It continued to be intense until around 2 am, I won't go into details but it tested my limits way more then Spikes birth, probably because it was taking so much longer! I changed positions over and over again. I was so tired but when I laid down on the bed everything would slow down and my husband would suggest switching positions so I grudgingly would and everything would pick up again. Then we hit 2 am and for a scary moment it seemed like I was shutting down again. I knew if I didn't have her soon I would run out of energy. I was exhausted beyond belief and 30 hours in. Then all of a sudden I was almost overcome with three strong rushes in a row, I could barely keep on top of them and with and audible pop my water burst. And it was go time. She came fast from that moment on. I had to force myself to NOT push and let her ease out, because I have big babies. It's necessary, trust me. She came down the birth canal so fast that her head didn't even mold, it was perfectly round. Then just like that, there she was. Our little baby girl. I could feel the love and joy in the room and it felt wonderful. I was beyond exhausted and sort of in shock that she was actually finally out! My husband assisted me through the whole thing, with the support of everyone in the room. He is my hero. She was born into her daddy's loving arms.

And then he passed her to me. My beautiful baby girl. Big round head, full lips, Rosy body, healthy sweet bundle of joy. Right after she was handed to me I started to snuggle her and then as an after thought I lifted up the blanket to check and make sure she was indeed a girl and everyone laughed through their tears. Because there wasn't a dry eye in the room. She was born at 3 am on the dot. {the clock was off in our room so we went off the clock on our camcorder.}

She ended up coming out with shoulders squared, she didn't shift like she was suppose to {stubborn baby} so one of the first things my husband said was that she was going to be the football player in the family. Pretty funny. She was another big baby although when weighed ended up being the first of my babies to weigh under ten pounds, so she seemed tiny to me.

My husband had to take a break after everything settled down {my sweet friend/midwife did all the not so fun after stuff and clean up thank goodness} so he went out to his shop and surrounded himself with his tools {and possibly drank a beer...} all us girls had a good laugh about that! He needed a little manly time. I have never been more proud of my husband then I was that night.
After we were all cleaned up we snuggled in bed until the early morning hours unable to sleep even though we were both beyond exhausted. We stared at our beautiful baby girl and talked. I felt so great, so loved, and I felt so much affection for everyone who had made the experience what it was. I loved that I didn't have to listen to beeping and noise in the halls. The hustle and bustle of the hospital. I hated my hospital stay with my first born. I loved that I didn't have to bundle into the van and go home. What I loved about Spikes birth was that I got to go home four hours after he was born {unlike the prior two day hospital stay with my first born} but I didn't like the car ride. Which is why I knew a home birth was the best match for me. And it was. That morning after we woke up I called the doctors office and let them know that I was cancelling my appointment because she was born right on the 6th, the day of my appointment. It was kind of a fun call to make. Then I was pampered in bed the whole rest of the day. And the next. As it should be.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. At first I just told people we didn't make it to the hospital in time, but that's not true, because we never tried. I just got tired of the reactions. I felt a strong want to keep the story selfishly to myself to preserve the beauty it held for me. But I've come to realize, as this first year flew by, that no matter what her birth was beautiful to use and it was perfect for our family and it will continue to be regardless of what anyone else says.

In my circle of friend midwifes and home births are common, but I know it can be shocking to some people. {my own mother had four home births, three unassisted, I was the only one born in a birthing center.}I hope you have read my story with an open heart and my wish is that you can see the beauty in it as well.

Now my beautiful baby girl is turning one tomorrow. On this very day last year I was wondering what she would look like and wishing she would hurry up and come out already! Now I've had the joy of watching her change and grow for the last 12 months. Her daddy and I feel like this was the fastest year in our lives yet. I have a feeling that from here on out every year will be the same. You blink and they are grown.

All my children came into my life in so many different ways. I love that I can have such a rounded view of the different way that a person can be blessed with a child.
My first born was a C-section because he was breach and big. My second was an adoption. It wasn't physically painful but by far the most emotionally taxing of them all. My third was a water birth at the midwife's clinic and my favorite birthing experience of all was by far my last...a home birth. I feel amazingly blessed to have experience my children coming into my life in so many different and unique ways. When all is said and done they were each perfect in there own way. Birth, no matter how it happens, is a powerful thing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wear that baby!

I love wearing my babies. From my first born to my last and daycare babies in between, it's a beautiful thing.
When done correctly and safely. When you use your brain. When you stay alert and tuned into your baby. It's beautiful.

Warm and snugly. Hearts beating together. Baby breath and little sighs.

Hands free to love and hold and care for brothers. Important for a busy mommy like me. Freedom to move around while still keeping baby close.

Baby sighs, tiny movements reminisce of when they were still inside and swimming around. Closeness that makes your heart ache in a good way.

Content peacefully baby = happy mommy.

Cozy and warm, safe and secure. Having my babies near me always made it easier for me to focus on the rest of the kids, knowing the wee one was safely snuggled into mommy.

And then there are the times when I need to keep more then one baby happy. Back packs are awesome too.

Whether they are on front or back, if you use common sense and follow direction and get lots of practice {as in the longer you wear your babies the more comfortable you are with trying different ways of wearing them} there is no reason wearing a baby should be unsafe.

In fact I think it is one of the best ways of making sure your baby is safe. Not tucked away in a baby seat or pen or crib when you need your hands free or need to move around. Right there on you, breathing with you, right before your eyes.

Talking to them, letting them see the world from a safe place, singing softly to a fussy baby. It's amazing how fast a baby will calm down when worn gently snuggled up to their loved one. You.
I would feel it as a terrible loss if I were prevented from having these moments with my children. My husband as well...yes he's worn all of our babies a time or two!
I will miss the day that my last little one no longer fits into her sling. My hope is that other mother will always have the right to wear their babies and continue to have choices on a vast selection of baby carriers.

I wrote this post after reading this blog {she's awesome} and this blog. I just wanted to show my support for safe baby wearing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My little strawberry

Guess who had a birthday party? She got this awesome strawberry outfit from her auntie and I just had to share...more later!!!