I must apologize to my mom! Her birthday was actually yesterday and while I did send her a card and a gift I failed to post her a big public Happy Birthday and "official" I love you!
I just have to let everyone know that my mom is awesome. She spent two months here with me after the girls were born and I really have no idea how I would've done a day without her! She stepped right in feeding two babies and sometimes three by herself. She let me sleep, she helped me heal, she went with me to doctor's appointments, she took care of Julianna and Rachel while I spent days in the hospital with Alyssa (with RSV).
Whenever we're on vacation my mom is more then happy to babysit all five kids. She helps around the house and makes dinner. She just the awesome mom that comes in and makes everything better and I miss her so much!
So a very, very happy birthday to my mom and I'm sorry this is a day late! But this is still a thank you for you who you are and the woman that God has made you. I love you and hope that you have a wonderful year!! And I hope I look as good as you at your age :) Which I won't mention here of course. You're beautiful, mom!!
My overall goal with my blog is to record the kid's lives as they go on so that I won't forget what they did, said or looked like when they are bigger. While a lot of my days are extremely stressful I really prefer to record the funny times because in the end these are the times I want to remember.
I just love when they pick up things and put them on or carry them around. Rachel decided to wear Caleb's baseball cap and Alyssa just wouldn't let go of her balloon!
The kids love to wrestle and lately Alyssa has taken to joining in. She just jumps right into the action! I haven't gotten pictures yet but Caleb and Alyssa wrestle a lot - it's fun to hear them laugh together.
It's not like I'm sitting here bored with nothing to do but I haven't had a lot to post about this week since I've been working at the consignment sale all week and I am flat out exhausted. I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening and then spent Thursday evening at Dinner Done! making meals with my church and Kaitlyn. That was a lot of fun and I may eventually have pictures from that night once I get them off my friend's phone :)
So, in the meantime I received my CD from my photographer today so I'm going to post some of my favorites. I know some of you may have had a chance to look through all of them but for those who didn't have time enjoy my selections!
Individual shots I love:
And the Christmas shot:
Kirk and I:
Hopefully this will help me narrow down my choices.
And a special happy birthday to the Phillips Quintuplets!! Check out her blog to meet the tiny new babies.
I have become addicted to staring at photos of my kids from the photo shoot. I just LOVE them. No, I haven't even started the narrowing down process but fortunately I do get the CD so I will always have all the pics with me. So, then the problem comes, I post gorgeous photos - what do I do next? How do you top that?
Realizing that I can't I have decided to go to the opposite end of the spectrum :) You know all the celebrities get dolled up for their photo shoots but then a week later you catch them on a cover of another magazine as the "worst dressed" or caught in their PJ's!!
Well, this morning was certainly one of those days we didn't want any photographers around. And yet, I snapped some pictures! Can you tell this is my work and not Kate's??!!
Crazy, lazy pajama morning:
Want to get Rachel's hairstyle?
Step 1: Have someone make you a bunch of yummy pancakes Step 2: Pour syrup on pancakes Step 3: Eat pancakes Step 4: Take empty plate, turn upside down and place on head Step 5: It's kind of a dump and go kind of look so there's not much else to do but smile and rub in a little extra syrup.
And yep, that's what I'm left with - hard and crusty hair. So, my previous post is what I'd like it to be and today this is reality...
How do you photograph a family of 7? NOT in a studio! Give us ten acres to roam and a few hours and gorgeous photos will ensue. Well, with the help of an awesome professional photographer that is. Does that mean everyone was cooperative? Um, no. I'm pretty sure every photographer we've ever used has at least ten photos of Rachel crying. This is some random fact of life for us right now. I'm confident at some point she'll grow out of this. Right??
But, no worries - we still got some great shots! And, yes, we did catch Rachel smiling:
Here I can only include a sample but for tons more (184 to be exact) check out: Kate Headley.
And somehow I have to narrow this down for a special book - from 184 to 20. Yep, that's gonna happen :)
And for the better versions of these pics (and a few more) check out Kate's Blog.
Special thanks to Kate and all her work and also to Melanie and Jason who were a HUGE help when it came to all the wardrobe changes. And to Jeannie for recommending her friend :) And, yes, the new heading is also from Kate. I'm still working out the template kinks to make it look even better - please bear with me... (If you click on the photos you will get a longer and better image).
I just cannot believe it. It has been 23 months since they forcefully pulled three little girls out of my abdomen. Yes, all at once. Yes, on the same day. No, I still can't believe it.
And today marks the countdown to their second birthday. Just one more month with 3 one year olds! And while I'm excited to see them grow the thought hits me that this may be the last time that I'll ever have kids under 2. And that just blows me away. I know, crazy mom to even consider more kids now that I have 5 but I do. Even though I'm not fond of pregnancy and even though I'm not fond of babies (although they are cute) I do think about more.
Julianna Mabel a.k.a. "nanna"; "pumpkin"
Born first and biggest still acting like the oldest.
Talking up a storm - says complete sentences "I want down"; "All done shoes" or quite a number of other things she's all done with. Today she learned to say "pig oink" but also knows that cow's "moo" and dog's say "woof".
Love's Elmo and Hi-5 and playing "catch" even if you're not looking or ready for the ball! Though she does try to push and make sure you are. Enjoys drawing and can often be found just sitting down drawing. She loves to read and tells me often to "sit down" so I can read to her. Also LOVES her "bankie" and must have it with her at all times which makes for some very challenging outings - she's turning into Linus...
Rachel Gabrielle a.k.a. "chel"; "peanut"
Born the middle, always the middle.
Rachel is the sweetest, softest, smallest, crankiest kid I've ever met. She weighs nothing and talks just as softly. If you listen close she'll tell you what you want to know and it's very cute. I've never heard anyone say "shoe" so softly. Always makes me laugh. She says plenty, tries to say what Julianna says but she can't quite say it all. No real sentences but a lot of words. But when she doesn't get her way. Oh my word, you're going to know it.
Loves dirt (yea, weird but she really does), Elmo, shoes, looking at books and sleeping. She is a REALLY good sleeper and I hate waking her up but it sure is fun to cuddle with her when she's sleepy. Rachel also loves to draw but I have more work to do with her to teach her to only draw on paper and NOT on other things!!
Alyssa Elaina a.k.a "ssa"; "princess"
Definitely the baby!
Alyssa has got the cutest curls and this really cute girly run - I need to get it on video - it's just so dainty. She really doesn't say much at all - at least nothing that I can understand. She can say "no"; "oh no!" and "yea" but that's about it. She is interactive with all of us so I'm just hoping she is normal and talking a tad late. I'm fine with it (unless something is actually wrong) since I'm already nervous about all these kids talking to me at once!!
Likes: TV - anything and everything - she just loves to sit and watch, Elmo, books, eggs and banana pancakes (not necessarily together but she can pack away the pancakes!). Loves to give hugs - she puts her little arm around my neck and squeezes - super sweet. Also loves "talking" to people but again, I can't understand her. Great dancer!!
*** In case you're wondering the first "nicknames" of the girls are what they call each other - it's about all they can say or at least it's what Julianna can say therefore it's what they're called! ***
Two years ago now I was laying in a hospital just waiting. Waiting to meet these little girls and wondering what they would be like. Now I'm counting down to their second birthday. It just doesn't seem possible. Then I was missing the babies I knew (Kaitlyn and Caleb) and wanting to be home with them rather then sitting in the hospital for three little girls I didn't know. But, of course, today I love them just like my older two and I couldn't imagine a day without them! I can't wait to see the women they grow up to be...
I have a few new blogs that I wanted to share with you. It's amazing who you can connect with on Facebook. I know, it seems so teenie bopper but yet I've been able to talk to friends I haven't talked to in years and figured I never would again. And just last week I connected with an old friend who has moved to Colorado (yes, I'm still jealous - I love that state!)
My friend Beth has 2 kids already, a 9 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. But they felt they weren't quite done (no, they aren't having triplets - that's my story!!) and so they decided to adopt. I love the idea of adoption and even though I now have 5 kids in my house I still hope that someday I could adopt one or more children to add to our brood. But, I doubt I'll follow in Beth's courageous footsteps.
See, Beth and her husband have decided to adopt FOUR kids from Ethiopia. They had been slated to adopt 2 older kids: 7 and 5 but then got a call that the older children had twin siblings less then a year old that needed to be adopted with them. Beth and family said yes! They are going from 2 to 6 overnight.
Anyway, I thought you might want to follow their journey along with me as I find their story so amazing and uplifting. Beth - I'm praying for all of you!
On a different note - will you subcribe to my blog? If you go to your Google account you can just subscribe to blogs that you read and get updates on them immediately. Helps so you don't miss any exciting things going on around here! :)
Whew! What a day! I didn't think it was possible but today I am even more exhausted. Comes with spending the entire day at a pumpkin patch and the entire evening setting up for our moms of multiples yard sale. But today it's a good exhaustion - the kids had a great time at the pumpkin patch and the sale is going very, very well (which makes me happy since some crazy person put me in charge!!).
The difference between last year and this year was HUGE! Kaitlyn and Caleb's school goes to Pumpkinville every year and last year the girls were too small to notice or care about anything. So this year the girls just had fun. Even Julianna can say "fun" but she can say a lot of things... Like "cow" which is what she called just about every animal she saw today. She thoroughly enjoyed feeding the animals which was going fine till her fingers got just a bit too far into the donkey's mouth. No damage done but it did scare me a bit when Kirk had to jump in and pull her hand out!!
Of course this is picture worthy!
What are they looking at? A huge tortoise of course! Turtle? Heck, I don't know the difference...
On to the hay ride. The girls enjoyed this and sat so well the entire time.
I love this picture! Finally a good one of me with at least one of the girls :)
Caleb with Kaitlyn's teacher, Mrs. Pierce - funny how he hung out with her all day instead of his own teacher!
The girls also went on an "up-down" or moonbounce and played on the playground (more on that tomorrow) but the favorite part of the day? The huge slides. They just loved it! Julianna giggled all the way down and then ran back up.
We ended the day with the girl's very first whole apple. Rachel really, really liked it. She kept dropping them though which seriously distressed her. Fortunately there were more to go around.
I will post some more tomorrow about our adventures today but for now I have to get a few hours of sleep in before I spend another six hours working at the yard sale!!