Monday, May 30, 2011

Daybook – Memorial Day Weekend Edition

An update:
Adjustment to 3 little ladies has been wonderful. Elena is a great baby and we have been so blessed by expanding our family and its only been a month since her birth.
Bringing Elena home from the hospital.
It has been insane having a baby while Joseph starts a new job teaching and finishes his graduate thesis at the same time. It has been great, but really hard on me. I’ve been calling myself a “thesis widow.” Joseph works on his thesis every minute of the day when he isn’t teaching or commuting. We haven’t even really had a conversation in weeks. It’s hard, but I know it is needed to move our family forward, so the sacrifice will be worth it. He handed in his final draft on Friday and now we pray his committee says it is ready to defend. We’re really worried about that as he has had some issues with his committee and they have had issues among themselves about what they want from him. It’s really stressful. Things are changing and we are moving into a time of transition. We have hope it will all be worth it.
Anna wanted to "help" daddy revise his thesis
I really missed blogging and can’t stay away anymore! No matter how crazy life has been. I have to share my new little Laney Bug!


Outside My Window ...
There are people moving into the condo across the way from us. Tessa’s been perching herself in the window to watch. She yells, “look mama! People, I see people!”

It’s really embarrassing, I’m afraid they’ll think she is held hostage or something. We really need to get these kids out more.

I am listening to...
Little baby coos. Laney is a wonderful baby, but she hyperventilates, snores and makes odd breathing noises far too often. I’ve never been one of those hovering moms that has a panic attack with every baby breathing sound. I do have to say I’ve never had a baby like this and it’s on my list for her first visit to the pediatrician.

To Live the Liturgy…
Tessa’s in love with Mary and talks often about how she is her best friend. It’s really cute. I need to capitalize on the interest and get some good scripture stories/activities going this week.

To be Fit and Happy….
I’m so happy to not be pregnant anymore! I put my real pants on last week and it felt great. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much milk again this go around (why don’t you work, body?!). I was able to pump and supplement up until this week when even the attempts to pump are bordering on the verge of not being worth it anymore. Still trying, but I think things are drying up. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and losing about 2lbs a week, but I worry once I stop pumping I’ll start to gain. We’ll see.

Rocking the "mom of three" thing
I am thankful for:
Excellent medical care for Joseph and Elena

Family and friends who have been wonderful these past few weeks

My husband who is killing himself over his thesis in the hopes that it will bring good things for our family

The change of seasons (if it ever happens here in WI)

A new stage in life on the horizon

Little girls

From the kitchen ...
Anything anyone’s heart desires! I embarked on a massive shopping excursion today and the results were more than fruitful! The local circulars were amazing for the holiday weekend and I went to work putting those sales to good use.

I put a few hours of prep work in - matching items on sale to my stack of coupons from the last few Sunday papers and hit the store on double coupon day. The results were amazing. At Pick N Save my total bill came to $267. After my store card and manufacturer’s coupons I paid $145 and left the store with coupons for a free gallon of milk and 18 count carton of eggs on my next visit. I saved so much the computer didn’t like it and a manager had to be called to over ride my transaction. I have to admit, I was slightly embarrassed at first, but then I got really excited and super proud of myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a coupon expert and am far from extreme couponing. The ads and sales were just really great this week due to the holiday weekend.

Hopefully the rest of the weekend will bring a cookout and some cooking/baking with the girls.

I am creating ...
Lists and lists of things I want to do, many of them writing projects. I’m also hoping to get the sewing machine out if we’re home tomorrow. We’re in need of some new placemats and I have tons of fabric waiting to be used.

I am working on……….
Creating more structure in our lives now that we are settled into a new “normal” with the addition of baby Elena and Joseph’s completion of school (almost, maybe).

I am reading….
Mother’s Manual – a beautiful book of prayer a friend of mine sent at the start of my pregnancy.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – I actually finished this book last week, but I took notes in the hopes of writing a review/reflection on the book. I really enjoyed it.

Towards a real education ...
Both of our older girls are enjoying working on sounding out words and announcing what letter they start with. Tessa walks around the house and chatters away about everything she sees and what letter it starts with. As always with our genius Anna, you never know she is interested or has mastered an educational milestone until she starts muttering the correct answers under her breath from the corner of the room. They’re both doing well with identifying the correct starting letter. The biggest stumbling blocks are K’s and C’s and Q’s. I’m hoping to do a few more focused exercises in phonics in the very near future. I’m not exactly sure how to teach phonics, so any ideas for some over-eager 2 and 3 year-olds would be appreciated!

Bringing beauty to my home ...
Bleck. I’m trying to stop complaining about our home. I want our girls to always love “home” no matter how I feel about the physical place itself. We were hoping to move very soon. However, in the past we have made rash and poor decisions about moving, so we are trying to really discern and be overly prudent about what we do. Since nothing is locked up for long term employment for Joseph and we’ve had some new developments in our life, we think it best to hold off and pray on things more. So, I need to make a very conscience effort to keep this place as clean as possible. When a space is too small clutter and messiness only makes things worse.

I am hoping and praying….
For Elena. Her genetic tests came back and she did test positive for Loey-Dietz. Joseph’s doctor and PA were amazing and got her in right away for an echo and for us to talk with them. I’ll write a post about this all later this week, but many of you noticed my absence on the blogs and have e-mailed asking, so I thought I’d give an update!

On my mind……………
So many things on my mind these days. The winds of change are blowing. I know things are good, and the changes coming are good ones for our family. Change is hard for me though, so I’m trying to keep myself in a good place.
snuggles with daddy
A big purchase is also on our minds. We’ve had a dead van for almost a year now. Last week we had it towed away to a shop to be looked at and fixed. The mechanic called this week to say it would cost more than he had originally thought. Since we were already on the fence about putting so much money into that van, we are now looking at selling it to a salvage yard and buying something else. We have our eye on one and should know more before the weekend is over. It’s far from new, but it would be new to us. Having a 2nd vehicle again would be so awesome! We have some research to do to make sure we get the best deal on disposing of our old van and on buying a “new" one. We’ve vowed to never finance a vehicle again and to only buy something outright. So, lots of work to put into the process, but I’m really excited and hope the week brings new wheels!

One of my favorite things ...
Time with my husband! Since his thesis is either done or getting revisions right now, he’s done/on a break. Just to sit in front of the TV and have a conversation this weekend has been amazing. We’ve really missed him around here.

Baby coos. Elena coos. None of my babies have ever cooed or made as many cute little baby noises as she does. It is so precious. I’m sucking up every last minute of snuggles and newborn smell. She’s already growing and changing so fast. She is now 9.5 lbs and 22.5 inches. In 4 weeks she gained 2lbs and grew 2”.

Watching the older 2 becomes big sisters has been an even greater joy than I dreamed. They are both so loving and protective of her. A sibling really is the very best gift you can give your child.

Our first picture as a family of five


Karen Best said...

I really enjoy reading your writing---every time you post something new is a little treat to start my day. I will be praying for all of your big decisions: how exciting!

Oh, and I completely empathize with your disliking your living space...we will outgrow Nick's house the day we get married and my cat and I move in (my classroom at school is literally larger than his house), but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it immediately. We'll be learning patience the hard way (is there an easy way?).

Hang in there! :)

Krissy A. said...


Sorry, I knew everything else since I"m a stalker, except for the new car. ;) I'm SO excited for you! (Not because I love cars, but because I know that's a big piece of the puzzle for Mama happiness. At least mine!)

Great post!!! LOVE YOU!

CM said...

Your family is beautiful! Good luck with everything you have going on!

syodes said...

Yet another brilliant blog Holly! I love the style and breaks of "out my window", etc! Glad to hear all is doing well with new baby and family! I'm constantly sending positive thoughts your way! On a side note . . . next time you are in the stationary/post-it section of the store grab a "sight word" post-it pad for those girls! That helped Miles & Lily with their phonics! Each post-it has just one word on it "a, the, is, I" and I'd add one new post-it per day on their bedroom doors and then we'd start to make sentances with them! Just a fun idea if you come across them! :)

Sew said...

missed you!

Katie said...

Great update! I've been wondering how you been and I'm glad to hear that, for the most part, the blessings continue to abound, even if the "room" you have to house it all is a little lacking!