Baby Shower

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My friend Amber made a delightful baby shower for Enzo!

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She went with a whale theme because of my nursery and my precious baby, grey whales…

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From Raquel. :)

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What lovely friends I have.

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Our babies were born two weeks apart. But Raquel’s was late and mine was early!

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Enzo…the star of the evening. (He slept most of it away) :)

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I had so much fun dressing him up! (He didn’t think it was fun.)

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Okay, enough scary pics of me. You ladies know what I mean? You don’t know how fat you really look until you look at pics of yourself. You can do about anything in front of a mirror to make yourself happy. :) And no, don’t comment and tell me I’m skinny. It’s okay. I’m a mama. :)

Have a beautiful day!

:)

Baby Picture Update And Such

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I turned around and saw this. :) Bomani was pretending, of course…

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The most darling thing ever wrapped in a navy towel with baby grey whales…

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Love his tubby little feet…

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Mom, it’s so hard to take a nap!

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I estimated it to be at least 8 inches long…

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Too much Thai influence?

More later!

Babies and How to Enjoy and Survive.

That’s actually a question, not a statement.

:)

But the truth is, my baby life with Enzo is not hard! I don’t have that “this is my first baby, and I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling. Although sometimes I admit I do still feel that way. :) And of course, the twins were…twins. And unfortunately, with Bomani only a year old, there was a lot of sheer survival going on. Enzo is fun! And more fun now that I’m getting more sleep…

So, I think I’m going to put that post back on at the end of this email. I took it off mainly for me. No matter what I said in that post, when I wrote it, I was feeling bad inside. So now that I took care of that, I think I’m fine with what I wrote. :)

I’m so grateful for all your comments and advice! I think I have found the way for us for now. :) I started checking how often I feed Enzo, and it rarely passes the 3 hour mark. If he sleeps a really long time, it may go over that, but not usually. Sometimes he wants to eat at the 2 hour mark. So I feed him. :) But it’s so helpful to know that the feeding every three hours thing helped you all with your babies! And for sleeping at night, I found what I needed to do. And that is co-sleep. Not in his arms reach bed, not in his bouncer on the floor…but tucked right next to me. I’ve done it for several nights now, and for the after lunch nap time, and he sleeps so much better. Maybe it’s not so much that he sleeps longer but that he goes back to sleep. I want to feed him every 3-4 hours at night at this point. So I’m cool with how often he wakes up to eat. I just had such a hard time getting him to sleep well after that first feeding. Now I don’t. In fact, most nights I barely remember that first feeding. :) We’re both half asleep. The later feeding he is often a bit crazy. :) And I need to change his diaper…cuz either he spent some time filling it or he peed on our bed through his clothes. :) Then we’re both more awake, partly because it’s closer to morning, but mostly because of all the activity. But we still go back to sleep. And I have been feeling so much more rested! It has taken me a few nights to get used to having a little person right there. I am careful not to put the blankets over his face, etc. But I’m getting used to it and sleeping better. So I’m very grateful for that! I knew from the beginning that Enzo loves to sleep in our bed. As a newborn, he loved to sleep there during the day. He probably smelled mama. And he seemed to like sinking into our memory foam mattress. But no matter what I rigged up in his co sleeper to feel like our bed, he still knows it’s not. :) And finally I said, “well, hello–let’s just do it! He needs it.” And so I did.

I was feeling pretty scary emotionally over the weekend. Not sure why, except that…I’m a woman? :) And even though I’m drinking something very pink, I still have some ups and downs. And the weekend was a down. Craig is working so much, bless his heart. Whatever you do…please have a new baby and start anew business at the same time. /:) I mean, as so much the exact same time that you are choosing the names simultaneously. In fact, I called Enzo, Fidato once. So it’s a bit crazy right now. Craig has so much to do. But he is still such a super good dad and husband. It’s just…life right now. And by Saturday evening I needed a break so badly. I love our kids. But then you need to have someone else in charge sometimes. And sit down and breathe. Which I did Sunday evening. I’ll post about that later. (Enzo’s baby shower!)

Prayers for our business are appreciated! We bid on a job so large that if we would get it, it would get us a nice piece down the road to success. It’s been a good thing for us to walk through this. We really want what God wants here. He is wise. His heart is good.

I had an allergy attack like none other last night and this morning. Pollen levels are high around here right now. I think I’m feeling well enough to live today. :)

Okay, here’s the post I had written earlier.

Love you all!

Rachel

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Ahhh…the sun is shining so brightly it hurts your eyes to stand outside! That is probably mostly due to the fact that we had such a rain storm last evening that there is water standing around in pools. Has Texas ever looked like a tropical rainforest? Because it’s thinking about it. I went to Goodwill in Burleson last evening for a few more pieces to finish out my wardrobe. Suddenly we heard a siren…more like horn. Then we were instructed over the intercom to head for the bathroom area. I guess it’s safer there? I heard something about 60 mph winds. The City of Burleson called too. I was happy to get back to my shopping, but slightly on edge about navigating home. There was driving rain when I left. Sheets. But my Enzo was getting hungry, so…you know…don’t get in the way of a mama bear! I was so happy to be safely home!

The kids are outside “painting” the patio with paintbrushes and water. :)

So…to get to the point of this blog post…

This whole “how to raise your baby in the first six months” is a finicky subject. Why? Because…like one of the ladies in my facebook vbac group said, babies are different! They need different ways of raising them. Sleeping, eating, playing…what feels safe and what doesn’t…babies have such varied needs. Why else are there hundreds of books out there telling you how to do it…and they’re so different?!

This has all come to my mind because of Enzo’s sleeping habits, and my quest to find the way for him. I realized that I have changed a lot. I have learned so, so much. And while I may be wrong, I believe what I believe without apology. I also believe that my own children have had different needs and different patterns. And no matter what I believe, I respect your thoughts. Your beliefs. Where you have come in your journey.

So as I write what I believe, I do it with respect to everyone. I do it without saying “I’m right and you’re wrong”. I do it with no pointing fingers. I do it for one reason: I have wished with all my soul, that I would have learned more of what I know now, before my first baby.

And so I’m writing it.

There are two reasons I demand feed.

One: I am not a scheduly person.

Two: I want to feed my baby when he wants to eat. Always. I get hungry between meals. Babies tummies, at birth, are about the size of a penny. Also, there are times, like this morning, when Enzo had to fill his diaper. He couldn’t eat right until a while later, when he had done his job and was settled down. I know that Enzo uses me as a pacifier. Trust me, I know this. :) But I believe that’s good. For one, if you want to keep your period away, you need to be the only thing your baby sucks on. For some people, they can use pacifiers and everything else, and still not get their cycle back. I need to be careful. Secondly, it comforts Enzo when he smells me, knows I’m near. That’s what I want.

So I like demand feeding. So I do it. :) No rocket science…just do what you want!

There is a lot of science out there about keeping your baby with you at night. About wearing your baby during the day. About not letting your baby cry a lot. For Enzo, we have found that there are times we need to let him cry for a little while. At night, when he is tired, he is sort of out of his mind. So sometimes we let him cry a bit, then we might pace with him and put him to sleep that way. Or just let him cry to let him wear out a bit. As far as baby wearing, I don’t wear Enzo much anymore since his reflux is so much better. Why? Because I get tired out! And I can’t work as well or as fast. So I don’t do that.

When it comes to co sleeping…I think we are finding the right thing for this baby. I wish I would have kept my other babies in my room, next to my bed until they were at least a year old. Maybe longer. Bomani did sleep in our room. The twins we put into another room because I was losing my sanity from lack of sleep, and I heard every sniff they made. I still wish we had kept them close.

Yesterday for our nap, I put Enzo beside me in my bed. Not in his co sleeper, but snuggled right against me. I had this gut feeling that this was what Enzo really wanted/needed. And the comments to some questions I put on the vbac group page confirmed it to me that I wanted to try it. He slept. Really well. He woke once. I fed him. I didn’t even lift him up to burp him, because I could tell he had nursed well, without a lot of air intake. He slept after that for hours. I was amazed.

Last night then, I kept him beside me. I haven’t had a night like that in a long time! I know I fed him once, but it’s blurry in my mind. Then around 4:30 I fed him again. He didn’t eat well…was writhing around and snuffling around. Then he finally filled his diaper. Ah. Okay. After that, he ate some more, burped some more, and went back to sleep. Slept until morning. I think this is going to work!

I didn’t actually sleep that well. I’m not used to it yet. But I will get used to it. You can sort of get used to what you need to…a new pillow. A new mattress. A new room. A baby. :) I want to see if I can get used to it and sleep well. Still, since I had not been up with him, I felt so good at 4:30 I thought I could get up and start my day!

They say that you don’t actually “want” your baby to sleep long stretches at this tender age. Your milk is most nutrient dense at night. And if you want to keep up your supply and keep away your cycle, you need to feed your baby at night. So now I feel this “okayness” with it. I don’t feel like I’m being a dumb mom to not get my baby to sleep long stretches by two months. One mom mentioned that she sees the months after baby is born, as the fourth trimester. It’s okay if it’s intense.

Again, I’m not trying to convince anyone of this stuff. I’m just saying what I believe and what I do. :)

My vbac moms who did co sleeping with their babies now have toddlers who sleep well on their own.

So find what’s right for you!

 

I wrote a post about what I believe in the baby world. But I didn’t feel okay about it, so I trashed it for now. I may or may not revise and post it later. :) I don’t want to react to things or be hard nosed or think I’m right. I am so often wrong! And I want to keep learning…

Blessings on all of you this weekend!

Rachel

Pictures and Life

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I can’t tell you how lovely it is to watch my Enzo lying flat on his back and kick and wave his hands for a while…happily. Amazing! There is still some residual reflux, but I’m hoping it will get better as I cleanse from yeast. I think I’m having some die-off, which is a good sign. :) But I wonder if it affects him a bit. He’s had some tummy ache the last days again…but then again, maybe he doesn’t like green salad. He suddenly got some diaper rash too, which makes me think yeast. I’m so excited and grateful to be getting rid of the nasty stuff!

So…now that we have the terrible tummy troubles past, I’m starting to long for more sleep at night! I’m realizing that many of my blog readers are fantastic mothers. :) So here I come for more advice and wisdom and tips and thoughts from you! How did you get your babies to sleep longer stretches at night? Or how did you get your baby to sleep at 1:00 pm when the rest of your kids went down for naps and you were longing for one as well? I don’t schedule my babies’ feedings. I demand feed. It’s what I believe is right for me and my babies. So maybe then I shouldn’t ask them to schedule their naps…? :) But deep sigh…how I would love to have a nap every afternoon. Even fifteen minutes can make me feel new! And then nights are not great. Really. He does give me three and sometimes even four hour stretches. But often the rest of the night, and sometimes all night it’s up every two hours…or two then three then two…and you start feeling like trash even though you’re drinking something very pink. :) Looking forward to the comments!

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My banner. :) Too fun.

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I love my nursery!

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So, Craig wanted to try the diet that uses fat-burning soup. So, being a rather “all or none” sort of person, I made an enormous amount.

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That entire kettle is full of onions.

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It was borrow a roaster or use a five gallon bucket to mix it all…

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After two days, Craig had to quit. His stomach couldn’t handle the acid or something. I was left with a lot of soup! Thankfully, our pastor is doing this sort of diet eating, and they were happy for it…

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Makes for a lot of big dishes. :)

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I can’t kiss his chubby cheeks too much. Does he get over a hundred a day…? :)

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So…I had a budget of $30 for a glider rocker. And I wanted black, white, or greys. No find. Until I found this one! But. It was in Rockwall, an hour and a half north of here…north east of Dallas. !! For a no-driver, that was a bite. But I took it. They sounded nice. Yes, he said it glided well, although he doesn’t sit on it, his wife does. I packed my baby into my van and drove. And drove. In city traffic. If I would enjoy driving in city traffic, it would have been fun. It wasn’t fun.

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Enzo did awesome. He slept the whole way up. I went in. I sat in the chair. It had a terrible glide. I thought I might fall over backward in it. But after driving an hour and a half in city traffic…I took it. :) No fuss. I hate fussing over stuff like this. Then I drove around the corner to Joann Fabrics. Enzo was hungry. I set the rocker up inside my van and fed him in style! Then we shopped at Joanns for a looooong time. Then I was starving. So I went to Taco Casa. The line took so long that Enzo was screaming by the time we got through. I parked. I set my rocker up. I fed him again. I ate. I went home. It was late. I’m not doing that again. But after Craig oiled the ______ thing, I do admit I like it. The colors are perfect. It’s cute. And I have a rocker in my room!

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The day before Bomani’s birthday, grandpas decided to come! They came the afternoon of his birthday…and this time I didn’t tell the kids. It was a fantastic surprise!

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He opened a card outside…it was tied to a piece of string…

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He followed the string…

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Would ya look at that?!!

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Enzo’s plate for the party.

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Setting up for the party.

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A fun cake made by a young lady from Oseola.

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Bomani wanted to roast hot dogs…

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Sort of a strange birthday gift, but he saw these monkeys on fabric.com when I was shopping for Enzo’s nursery. And he kept asking for “ten dollars of monkeys”! So I got him a yard of the stuff in minky and made a blanket for him. He loves it. :)

Gotta run shower! I have a tea date with my favorite man!

My Baby Enzo

My friend Amber, who is in midwifery school, told me that the smell of a baby is as addictive as drugs. I believe that piece of science. It’s a reality in my life. I am coming home from grocery shopping for hours. I turn my head and smell Enzo on my shoulder (he’s at home). My heartbeat quickens and I can’t wait to get home and see him and hug him again! And I keep talking about “the next one”…as though I didn’t swear during labor that I’d never do this again. :) Babies are addictive.

I’m addicted.

To babies.

Love.

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Craig was holding him. Enzo was looking up at his dad…

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This Post is For the Possible Interested Party for Buying the Xb.

Okay, here are the pics of the inside. (To the rest of the known world, I’m putting it on here because it exceeded my abilities to send a ton of pics on gmail. And I’m tired.)

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A pic of the floor of the drivers side. Because I busted my…self cleaning it. :)

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The lovely dash/speedometer.

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Top half of the steering wheel, etc. (Okay, I should take a nap before I do this…)

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Craig and I both liked the placement and style of the speedometer. Uncluttered. There for your eye to fall upon.

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That stuff. Like cd player, etc.

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Where you plug your phone in to charge…

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Loved that AUX feature. We used it on every long trip.

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Small armrest. Better than nothing. We didn’t fight over it, but usually one or the other (or both!) of us were using it.

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Whoever designed this car’s dash board style had brains. Lots of spaces to set your on the road lunch, Bible for church, etc. I miss that in the van! We loved the use of space in this car. It feels roomy inside. But it’s a small car outside.

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Cool space to put your business cards, etc. :)

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Driver side.

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Little…thing.

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A bad selfie taken by the dash.

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Drivers side on door.

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Can’t tell you how much I love the auto lock/unlock feature on the key ring. Love. (Can you tell I drove really old cars while I was single?)

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An upside down picture of the middle seats. And I need a nap. So you can just turn your computer…

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A better pic of the middle. So, any baby barf or other dots or spots you see on upholstery is probably ours…just to comfort you. :) The previous owner was an elderly lady who took fantastic care of the car.

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One of my all time favorite features of the Xb is the “trunk”. You open that back door and there you can set your groceries without leaning over a dirty fender and into a deep, long trunk. It’s just–right there. The van is similar, but still not as tidy and beautiful as far as the right level and a flat, sweet space.

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And then, below, there’s this cool, little handle thing inside the door that you grab to close the trunk door. No touching dirty exterior of the car to close it. :) For some reason, that small detail made me happy.

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And last but not least, a shot of the passenger’s side door, similar on the drivers side. This slot is perfect to place a ruler. Why a ruler? To keep the three kids in the back on their best behavior.

Questions welcome.

:)

I’m going to go crash.

Ra

Breathe

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Yesterday evening Craig and I went on a date…

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The botanical gardens in Forth Worth…

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It was beyond beautiful. The air was cool. We nearly had the place to ourselves. Such a lovely evening…

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This tree was easily the most gorgeous piece of God’s creation in the entire gardens…

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Here I am showing off my cool bag. :)

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After the Botanical Gardens, we went to a sweet coffee shop. I had an iced coffee and a creme brulee. My iced coffee was unsweetened. (I added stevia) My creme brulee wasn’t. :)

This date was so good for us. Life is intense right now. Not only small baby. Three other little kids. Drama. (Two of them are girls.) Starting a new business. Learning to trust God in new ways. Craig never has a day off. He works six days a week. He often works evenings. To go on this date together…to drink in the beauty of the Gardens…to talk…relax…love. It was amazing.

Breathe.

Stuff in Our Life.

So, we are still waiting for our first job. The job Craig landed…hasn’t happened yet. The dude hasn’t signed the contract. But he was a very chill person and did want to do it, just no urgency.

I keep processing and realizing things in my own heart, with this “starting our own business” thing.

One: it’s so awesome! It’s a dream coming true for us. I love having Craig working from home. I gladly clean out the desk and turn it over. I move things aside in the laundry room so that he can install the new printer on the counter there. I smile and wave at strange hours. (talking about his work hours)

Two: it’s scary. We don’t know when it will take off. Days? Months? Years? Seriously….it could be years. It could be months. It could be days. We need to eat in the meantime. It takes some tough faith to not freak out at times. I freak out at times.

Three: it’s God’s. It’s not ours. It’s His. He is so powerful…He could easily drop the job down that would start this off. That would put food on the table and a lawn mower in the yard. It’s nothing to Him…He has so much more power than I can imagine! He is also wise. I want to rest in His wisdom.

Four: this is a fallen world. Things are just not always the way they should be. Gotta’ roll with the punches…

Five: I found some pride in my soul. Kicked it out. That’s a good start on the emotional/spiritual journey of starting our own business.

Where is the lovely middle ground? There is that dance of hardy faith and common sense…

The truth is, we live in a fantastic area for this business. DFW. Not a lot of competition at this point. A lot of huge roofs that would get us through an entire year. But. We have no reviews. Nothing we can put on the postcard that says: here are some of the businesses that have used our roof restoration. We are starting. It’s tough. So even though we live in a great area, have an excellent mentor helping us, and Craig is trained in sales and a wise and awesome chief solutions officer…we are still starting out.

All these things I sit at home and process while my husband works hard. He is still working part time at Ulrich Barns. Part time in developing Fidato Commercial Roofing. Pounding the pavement day after day. Pouring time and sweat into a landing page.

I sit at home and process. And spend money on vegetables and diapers. And read A Shepherd Looks  at Psalm 23. Perfect for my heart right now.

I also do a few other things these days. :) Like fry up and snip a week’s worth of pancakes for the kids. Make gallons of soup. (Today!) Nurse the most darling baby. Teach kids scissors skills. Watch Top Chef. (I’m getting inspired again with cooking!!!) Rock lots of babies. (If you call three year old twins babies…) Solve deep issues such as whose turn it is to play with the calculator. And how to keep Bomani from teasing Hazel and making her scream the entire time they are eating lunch. And how I am going to dress the girls for the summer. (solved!!)

Life is good. We are blessed. So blessed. Here are some pics of the week…

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So, after deciding that I’m officially done trying to find long enough dresses for the twins, I made them a couple skirts. That works fine except that they are rather active it just doesn’t work as well as dresses do at this point. Then I finally had a brilliant idea. Get the $3-4 blouses and sew a simple skirt onto them! This white fabric was left from a skirt I made for myself. These were the easiest “dresses” I have ever sewed. And low cost. And I love the look. So I’m happy… :)

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I practically “signed” my life away, saying that I wouldn’t say anything negative about plexus products. :) So I won’t! I will simply say that this pink drink is so over the top sweet that I need to squeeze a lemon into it every morning just to be able to get it down in a Christian manner. I will say also that I love what these products are doing for me. Love it. Amazing. Milk supply is up, not tired all the time…blood sugar is regulated…yeast is getting kicked out. And I’m not selling. So don’t worry. I decided that there are a thousand people at every corner trying to get you to sign up, and the world does not need me. So I am just buying it as an ambassador and not making a business out of it. If someone wants to sign up under me, I won’t stop them. But I’m not trying. :) I pretty much sold someone on it already…just because I believe in it and want her life to get better. But I told her not to sign up under me. :) How’s that for being weird?

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I made Bomani and Enzo each a hooded towel. Bomani felt very loved. :) Hopefully Enzo does too. ;)

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Don’t I have pizza dough rolling skills?!

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I have a new baby. He is happy. Content. Sleeps. Eats. Kicks. Thank You, Jesus. (He is normal…still has fussy times.) :)

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This is what my living room looked like. Scissors learning!

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Seriously…her hair is down to her butt. It should not be legal to grow hair like this. Why can’t the vitamins go somewhere else in her body?! One of these fine days when I’m combing and she’s screaming, I’m going to go over the top and cut half of it off and send it to some needy soul…

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We are working on selling. Our amazing Xb. Sad…very sad! But Craig needs a truck for his roofing business!

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I want to post pics of my latest in the nursery, but can’t get the computer to cooperate with the camera. So lata!

Date!

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Off to the Lighthouse Coffee Bar for a date!

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The last time we were there was February 12th. We decided to call our new baby “Enzo”. That very night…I went into labor…

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It was amazing to go back there and have all those uncomfortable, pregnant memories, and now tada! a baby with us instead!

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I never get cold coffee drinks. It’s too hard to stir stevia into them. But we have had good success at this coffee shop, with asking for half the usual amount of syrup in our drinks. So we tried it with cold drinks. Somehow, they came very sweet! Not cool. So we ordered an americano iced. Split it between the two drinks. Yum. :)

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And since I think he’s terribly cute…

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And since I think they are both terribly cute…

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Update on life? Enzo is a normal baby now. Has his fussies, but generally, happy. He even lies on his back for a while and kicks happily. !!! I am so incredibly grateful!

And…Craig landed his first job for Fidato Commercial Roofing!!

Peace.