Thursday, September 29, 2011


This is Carson this week with this very cute hat on... I had to really squeeze it on and it pops off pretty easy now once you move him at all. His little ears don't even fit in anymore :(

And, here is Carson just 9 weeks ago! Holly and I were doing everything we could to hide the extra hat in the back of his head because it was so big!

I think we are all growing in more then one way around here lately... but Carson's is the most obvious (and cutest!!) :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Before I forget...

I have been meaning to write this post for oh, say, about 4 weeks now! As I was in the thick of new baby stage I knew what I was feeling had to be recorded somewhere or I would forget all the "stuff" that has come with having this new baby in our home. Well, before I forget, I am writing as fast as I can right now while the boys are miraculously napping for a short time together today.

Where do I start? I guess at the very beginning... once upon a time a young mother prayed a big prayer for another little baby. The Big Man upstairs was feeling gracious enough to deliver this prayer to this young mother on July 22, 2011. Well, actually this little prayer was answered sometime in October of 2010, but mama got to meet this sweet baby boy on that very hot day in July. Mama welcomed the beautiful new baby with a heart full of joy, humbleness, love, and amazement. Another beautiful healthy baby boy... how could I be so lucky, she thought?!?!

The first sign of a rocky start should have occurred to this mother that first night in the hospital room when that sweet baby boy wanted to do nothing but nurse all night and cried in between all these nursing sessions. Surely, any other mama would recognize a baby who would not go ignored! Sweet little beautiful baby boy came home and sure enough, he proved he did not intend to be known as the third son who just did whatever he was told and was as flexible as could be around everyone else in his family. Sigh...  As Baby Boy and Mama got to know each other, she started to notice this baby boy was not as much alike on the inside as he proved to show on the outside. Though he closely resembled his older brothers outside, his mannerisms did not match up. Big brothers were known as easy, laid back, calm, comfortable babies. Baby boy #3 was showing he did not care for that role.

Mama wasn't sure if it was a mix of everything or just the bumpy start to baby boys first few days (weeks I should say)... but she knew inside she didn't always feel that pure joy that is supposed to come with being handed the best gift in the world and the very desire of her heart. After only a couple weeks Mama was finding her insides were feeling quite tired, anxious, weepy, guilty, stressed, ugly, and just plain bad at times. Mama found herself up many nights crying in the middle of the night, impatient, annoyed, and just down at times. After bringing two older baby boys home and adjusting so well with them, she just didn't recognize herself most days. In between some really great and sweet and fun moments, Mama also found herself at the bottom of this roller coaster ride feeling the opposite! Who was she? Where had her old self gone? What should she do with this new Mama? Only One could possibly know...

Mama had to admit to herself that she was having a hard time transitioning to three little ones in her home. She also had to admit that she really needed some help, something that she didn't let herself do often, but she knew she needed it... from her poor husband living with the roller-coaster wife, from her friends who seemed to all have it together much better then she, from her neighbors who had no clue how much she needed to say yes when they offered to take her big boys or bring a meal or clean her floors, from her kid's friends mom's who made a play date look so easy at the drop of a hat, from the kind people from church who sent some money her way to help cover her maternity leave from her self-employed job, from the nice chiropractor who adjusted her rather cranky baby and made him fuss much less, from the kind firefighter who offered to carry her groceries while she juggled her 3 kids at the grocery store (was I that obvious!?!?), from her kind friends who let her just be tired and weepy and a little crazy.... as you can see in this story, what Mama started alone became nothing short of a group effort as she moved forward with her sweet new baby and new family of five.

What Mama was already learning was that He was not finished with her.  She knew becoming a mother had taught her so much about herself, about God, about life in general. She was rather surprised when the third time around God once again was twisting her and turning her to make her even more into who He created her to be. Mama had been torn up before and learned mighty life lessons as she hung on for dear life, hanging by her threads. It seemed, in Mama's eyes, that she was experiencing the sometimes hard but very loving molding process once again. And what would a story be without a "happily ever after" ending? Mama knew they existed, but for a bit she forgot. You see, as young Mama let herself get stuck in the yuck and muck of her immediate surroundings, she forgot about the very big story really happening. At the end of all stories, He is there. The best part is that He is there before and during the story too.  While the story may lead her down twists and turns, it always ends up right where He planned for her all along. Mama was reminded of this good ending as she read through Lamentations one day. A reminder that happily ever after ends with her Creator, the ultimate life giver and hope of this world....

At the end of the day Even though I have been so tired at times, felt so yucky about myself at times in the last few weeks, failed miserably at figuring out just what my baby needed at times, and just felt overly overwhelmed... I was reminded of God's very steady and constant love and desire for me to do well. The mix of little sleep, a semi-unhappy baby Carson, new routines and schedules, a rough start to 2nd grade for Jaxon, a family budget that was feeling very stretched, post-pregnancy hormones, mom guilt, and the very true reality of Satan using a little bit of bad self-esteem and taking it a mile on a new mom has had me at moments feeling just yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Nobody likes to live in yuck. Adding Carson at just this time in life is teaching me sooooo much. While I don't like living in the yucky places, I do love and appreciate what I learn while I am there.

I had to write about this before I really started to forget. I don't know when it started happening but while I go through the motions here and embrace this stage of life, I am finding the joy seems to out weigh the yucky feelings much more these days. Those first few weeks were really hard and the last couple months have been a roller coaster for me. It seems we have more good days then bad now and I am loving that little Carson has started to find some routine to his life and is becoming such a happy little guy. He still isn't the best napper, but he is happy when he is awake! I seem to be able to juggle having 3 boys with a bit more style and grace then I started off with and everyone, I think, goes to bed at night feeling loved, happy, and cared for in this house. We are laughing and having fun and making great memories. I am learning a lot and know that it is in the really hard places where God shows me the most about myself. I love, love, love my new baby boy and being mommy to three amazing kids. I love my very hard working husband. I love my very understanding friends. I love my helpful family. I love my community and this place in life. God IS good and life here is a crazy ride sometimes...but who would change it? Not me :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Baby is 2 months!

Wow, 2 months since Carson has arrived. It has been such a blur for me. It seriously has gone so fast and such a variety of life we've had. Carson began life as a bit of a high maintenance baby, I have to admit. My first two were such calm and easy going babes. Carson was not so sure of everything those first few weeks. He wanted to nurse all the time, didn't sleep very well, and mostly just wanted to be held. Whew...this mama wasn't sure about some of her days!!! I pulled out my Baby Wise book and dug into that for a couple weeks trying to tweek his routine a bit. I worked really hard to have him eat, be awake for a bit, and then nap and then start that whole cycle over again. It took a few weeks, but we have gotten into a pretty decent cycle of that. I just really wanted to help him get some predictability in his life, so I could have a bit in mine too! He is sleeping pretty well at night now. Bed time between 8-9pm, nurse around 2ish, nurse around 5-6ish, and awake between 7-8. Not too bad for 2 months old. Sometimes he will just eat once at night even and those nights are so awesome! I love my sleep! Carson started smiling around 4 weeks pretty regularly and he's really started cooing back now. He makes good eye contact and I love seeing his face light up when he finds my eyes and sees my smile. His day time is going decent... not the best napper yet, but he is happy when he is awake, so that's not too bad. I can usually count on 1 good nap a day and the others are, well, all over. In his defense, he rarely gets to finish a nap since we leave twice a day to take and pick up Jaxon at school. Third child... just gonna have to be flexible :) Today he weighed in at 13lbs and 6oz, 23 1/2 in long! He is a growing boy! Life with Carson has already taught me so much. Perhaps I will post more on that on a later day. All in all, we have a sweet baby boy who is stretching my heart and filling it up each day he is here. I love him to pieces and am so thankful to be celebrating the life of another baby boy at 2 months old! His big brother Jaxon just adores him, Austin is starting to think he is kinda cool, and dad has even been caught a few times entertaining him :) Happy 2 months baby boy! We sure love you!

Carson...2 months old.
 Our little chunky monkey!
 So wide awake at 2 months and so alert. He's been a very alert baby from the very start!

 Carson and his buddy, Jace.... 7 weeks apart between them.

Austin below...
 Okay, our REAL chunky monkey!! This was Austin at 2 months old... look at his cheeks!?!?

Austin here again... mop of dark hair and more cheeks. Carson definitely resembles Austin, but a bit more on the smaller side of big :)

 Jaxon below... at 2 months
 Jaxon was a sweet baby with very calm mannerisms.
He also was one of the happiest, smiliest babies I have ever been around! look at those smiles at 2 months!

 A happy and chill Jaxon.

Carson again... 

This is Carson cooing and talking... he has been such a chatter bug, whether he is sleeping or awake, he likes to make little noises :) He is really starting to coo back and smile big when you talk super nice to him!

 He has a serious face too... :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

little ladies

These are the little ladies in Carson's life right now... so precious!

Cousin Jazlyn and Carson are already comfortably 2 months into life here (well, almost 2 months for Carson). They are growing so fast! It is fun to see them get big together.

 And small group Baby #5 is here! How sweet is little (okay, BIG -9lb 8oz!!) baby Eisley laying next to Carson. I think they were only about 2 pounds difference between them in this picture. We are pretty excited she is finally here and I can't wait to see all five babies lined up next to each other. Toby (baby #1) will be crawling all around them and Eisley (baby #5) is still getting the hang of this new place... such an amazing pace babies grow as they develop into little people!
As much as I love little baby boys... these little ladies are pretty darn amazing too!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

when did u get so old?

Dave and Jaxon are away this weekend to a Vikings game. Beautifully, my two younger boys have napped the same hours this afternoon and I've tackled some much needed laundry, blogging catch-up (see below!), baking for the week, and giving Austin a very much needed hair-cut! Whoa... he tried a shorter look today. When did he get so old??? My baby is growing up...

cub & a spark

Wow, this fall is a lot of new things for us! I can not believe Austin is old enough to tag along with big brother to Awanas this fall. Austin was SO excited to go and Jaxon was SO sweet helping him get settled into the program the first couple nights. I really like the Awanas program they go to and am also so happy they enjoy going. They do such a great job of helping our kids hide God's word into their hearts and add to their encouragement of loving God and people. Jaxon remembers so much from what he learns here and Austin already is picking up on some great Bible knowledge. As I parent I am learning that my kids learn just as much outside the home as they do in it. I am thankful for a place like this that my boys can go and make friends, learn truth, and be loved. Here are the boys the first night... don't they look too cute? :) We've got a cubbie and a sparkie this year!!

I lub my friends

I recently went back to my in-home child care "job" after a very quick 6 weeks :) Knowing I have to work a little bit to make our family budget work, I am so so thankful I have a job I can do from home. Being able to stay home with our kids is such a priority on our list and where my heart truly is. Being able to work from home doing what I enjoy doing is such a gift. I love being with kids, enjoy teaching them, and providing for them. I had a lot of changes with child care over the last 6 months and this fall kicks off a whole new crew! (well, almost new... new to me and my schedule!) 
Austin was so excited to have some friends here to play with again. However, the night before the first kids came as I was telling him who was coming he said "okay, and can my friends that I lub come too?" He was ready for his buddy Jakey and Avery :) I love how he says "love...lub" right now and it was so stinking cute and kinda sad because I had to tell him no. Good thing he loves people easily. I'm sure our new crew will be on his "lub" list very soon!! Welcome new friends!

 Ayden, Austin, and Madi having first snack together :)

 Jace and Addelyn waiting patiently for lunch :)

Addelyn and Austin making up fun in the tent!

doesn't he looked thrilled?

If you know my husband you know he is NOT a baby man! He loves our kids, don't get me wrong... but he would prefer they all come out about 9 months old :) This was a moment when he actually held him for more than 2 minutes. I couldn't resist. I had to snap a photo of the two guys before I picked him up. Doesn't Dave looked thrilled? ha-ha-ha-ha

CF Tigers!

My boy's favorite season has arrived.... football! Dave starts counting down the days starting at the end of the last season...and I am not kidding. Now that our boys are getting old enough to stay out a bit later on a Friday night they are loving getting in a little CF Tiger fun. We've got some good friends who also love them some good football and friend time! Here is a kick-off to the season with a pre-game pizza party...  by the time they headed out the door this mama and a certain 2 little boys were more into a movie and popcorn night :) hey... those games start late!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

take 2

Getting a "good" picture of all three of my boys these days is proving to get harder as we add more boys! I usually snap about 5-10 pics and hope for the best :) Here are a few of my attempts... Carson seems to be the easiest to work with and he's the baby! Ha! However, I do love the faces I get in all my attempts to get the "good" one. They are sometimes my favorite because it is SO them:) Either way, such sweet little moments happening so much here these days in between the hurry and hustle of life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Timer!

Dave took Austin to his first Vikings game a couple weekends ago. Austin was pretty excited to be going by himself with his dad. They had a very fun day planned! Dave took him for a picnic lunch, a trip to the awesome Indoor park, Mall of America, out for dinner, games outside Vikings stadium, and to the game of course. Austin LOVED the entire day... until about 2 minutes into the actual game :) Then he asked if they could go. Ha!
On the other hand, I was home with Jaxon and Carson and we hit up the Air Show in town. While I thought the Thunderbirds were amazing and even brought to tears to my eyes at their amazing skills and representation, Jaxon was ready within about an hour of the whole afternoon. I think we may have switched our entertainment around on our two boys, oops :)  All in all, it was a great day and big reminder that we need to set times up more often of good one on one time with each of our boys. I loved the evening I had with just Jaxon while Carson slept and Dave got to really be with Austin with no distractions. Much needed for all of us I think. 
Thanks dad for planning such a fun day for Austin! Carson will be waiting in line for his turn in the cities soon enough! And don't worry boys... next time we will send Jaxon to the game while Austin and I find us something that has wheels or flies :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Excuse This House

Thought this was appropriate for my home right now. These days I am happy if I can unload my dishwasher or fold a load of laundry in the same day, but I am happiest if I made time to sit down enough to see into my boy's eyes and just really be... 
Excuse This House 

Author: Unknown

 Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.
For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges are on the doors
I should apologize, I guess
For toys strew on the floor.

But I sat down with my child
And we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
His eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose
The one job or the other,
I’d like to cook and clean and scrub,
But first I’ll be a mother.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

never say never

I think when I had Jaxon and someone asked me if I was going to try cloth diapers I said something like "never in a million years". :) Well, as I usually learn with things in my life... never say never! I did not use cloth diapers for my first two boys. However, when Dave's sister showed me her super cute, super (fairly) easy, and super financially smart cloth diapers.... how could I not?!?!  I waited until my boy was 10 pounds and out of that poop 10-12 times a day stage. I have loved the new diapers! Heidi uses super cute fabrics and has a new fleece liner that is soft for baby's bum and easy to clean. I love how well they are working and how much money they are saving us!! If you ever considered cloth diapers, check these out! She does make them and sell them and I totally support her product! I can't believe I gave into these, but am so glad I did. Thanks Aunt Heidi!!!

PS Heidi makes these for a fraction of the cost that you find on-line...well worth the up front money :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 of my favorite things

Every night the last thing I do before I get into my bed is check on my boys one last time. I love to see them sleeping peacefully and whisper a prayer over them before I end my day. It is one of my most favorite times of my day. It is such a habit that the few times I have been so tired and forgotten, I have almost fallen asleep and then wake with a startle, knowing I won't be able to go back to sleep until I crawl out of bed and sneak into their rooms. I love sleeping little boys... sweet little faces breathing and dreaming good things.

Friday, September 2, 2011

first friends

You may remember a past picture of our small group gals... 4 of us pregnant and 1 little man already here. Well, we are down to one more to arrive...and very soon! Here are the latest three bundles of joy. It is such a blessing to have friends surrounding us with kids close to our own boy's age. Some of Jaxon and Austin's best buddies today were their first little friends as infants. We're so grateful Carson is going to have some peers his age running around at get-togethers and gatherings over the years with our friends! Plus, aren't they so stinking cute!?!? :-)