Friday, January 31, 2014

Bunk Beds

About one month ago, we decide to bunk the middle boys' beds.  We have two sets, yes as in four bunk beds.  We also have a trundle bed for one of the sets, so we can sleep 5 if necessary.

These bunk beds are from This End Up and they are great.  We bought our first set new when I became pregnant with number 2.  We bought our second set off Craig's List when I was 
pregnant with # 4.  They are really well made, and can be configured into many different ways such as twin beds, a day bed, bunk beds, loft bed, etc...  

We've had them bunked before, but nobody has ever slept on a top bunk until now.  It is suggested you are age 6 before sleeping on a top bunk, but Brighton is 5 and we thought he'd do okay.  He's the best candidate for this because he likes to share a room and he doesn't leave his bed (unless he's sick or needs to potty) once he's in bed for the night.  

Here's what the room looked like pre-bunk.  Notice Maverick's bed still has bed rails on it.

 And here is after!

Maverick has done pretty well without the bed rails, and he's now using covers on his bed.  He fell out a few times, but we have since put a pool noodle underneath the fitted sheet to act as a reminder, and he does fine.  I don't allow playing on the top bunk and so far they haven't.  Once Jamison is walking, the ladder may get removed during the day.  We shall see...

Here's another room view.  They have much more floor space to play.  It really opens up the room.

Next to bunk will be Chandler and Jamison.  I'm not sure if my idea will work, but I'm thinking I may loft one bed over Jamison's crib if it will work.  Not anytime soon though!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day Fun!

Finally a decent snow day!

We had a dusting of snow last week, but it wasn't hardly anything to get excited over.  Chandler's school wasn't even delayed (they never delay...either open or closed)

The boys were SUPER excited to get out and have some fun.  Since getting three, let alone-4, boys dressed and ready for snow play should be an Olympic event we got the boys dressed in stages and finally let them outside once Jamison was down for his morning nap.  

When they were finally outside, they ran wild, rolling and jumping and slip-sliding everywhere.

Our driveway usually makes for a nice sledding hill.  Did I mention that I drove all over (4 different stores) the day before to get some new toboggans/saucers in anticipation for this day.  The last time we used ours was a few years ago and they were cracked and thrown out.  I figured 6 would be a good starting number (one for each of us).

Our road also gets pretty icy and has enough of a hill to make for a good ride on the real sled.  None of the children are able to steer very effectively and usually results in crashes into the curb.  Oh the crying....but I try to block that part out and remember the fun parts.  

After begin out for longer than we planned, and definitely out of range of the monitor where hopefully a sleeping Jamison was still fine in his crib, we decided to head home.  Notice one child far away down the street, pouting, that he didn't get as many turns as everybody else.  Did I mention the crying?

Later that afternoon was round # 2.  Jamison got bundled up and came outside for a few minutes.

He is my cutie pie!

Somehow, I don't think that 3 boys will fit on this sled for much longer...

Granddaddy Bob and Mimi came over in the afternoon and had fun with the boys.

I had put a big pot of 15 bean soup with some leftover ham on the stove and also made some whole wheat beer bread that we all enjoyed for dinner.  There was a nice fire roaring in the fireplace.  All was right with the world.  I enjoyed our snow day and loved that Derek could stay home to enjoy it too.  Now, let's get back to normal, so these boys can burn off more energy without mom having to spend one hour bundling everybody up!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


What's that I see??

Yes, it is a new stroller!

I know most of my readers, especially my husband, think I have a problem.  If you aren't up to date on my addiction, see here.  I wrote a post about how I just purchased my 10th (yes TENTH) stroller.  That was in 2011.  Back before I had Maverick.

***Noteworthy: that post is one of my most hit pages.  
People out there must love strollers just like me***

Flash forward about 3 years from that post and I have purchase just two more (I think).

When we found out we were having baby # 4, I needed to get back into double-stroller mode.  Believe it or not, but to-date, I have sold 5 of the ten stroller that I originally posted about.  I was able to justify the cost of a really nice double stacked stroller for that reason.  

I went with the Britax "B-Ready" stroller and we have LOVED it.  We have the infant carseat adapter for the bottom, and also the second seat.  We did not get the bassinet.  Maverick really enjoys this stroller and will happily sit in either the front seat or the second seat that stacks underneath.  We no longer use the infant carseat feature, but for that ~ 9 months we used that it was certainly worth it!

We are hoping to do more traveling this spring/summer and a trip to FL and Chicago are in the works.  For that reason, I wanted needed to get a double umbrella stroller.

But, you say, I already have one.  True....but, it doesn't have sun shades, or seat recline-ability, and those features are important to me.  Lucky for me, the huge consignment sale was today and I scored big-time.  I was able to get a double-umbrella stroller for about $50.  It looked like it was in great condition, clean, and fairly new.  Upon more inspection once I got home, the stroller is less than 1 year old (based on manufacturing date) and cost more than $200 new.  I was overjoyed.  I love a bargain, and I love new strollers!

Happy Strolling!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Family it Worth It?

Derek has resumed traveling.


I miss him so much while he's away.  He is definitely my right-hand man, and the support he provides for me emotionally and physically is __________.  I can't even describe it.  I just feel so much better and the household runs smoother with Daddy around.  Too bad I'm already aware of 3 more trips where he is requested before May.  Oh goes on.

Here's a picture of part of one of the dinners I made while he was away.  I texted "see what you are missing?"  His response:  "Dinner at 4 p.m.?"  Well, you do what you have to do....and cooking at 
4 p.m. was my best option that day.

Since Daddy was gone for almost a week, I felt that a day off was due!  He took today off and the plan was to go to the Durham L&S Museum.  I went back and forth over whether or not Jamison and I should join them or stay home for a morning nap.  It stinks, because this is supposed to be a family day, and I hate to miss we decided to all go.  

We had a good time.  Unfortunately, Jamison fell asleep for the last 10 minutes in the car and decided that was his nap.  For the ENTIRE DAY!  Not good.  Not good at all.  

Here is Jamison during his afternoon nap after I gave up after 45 min - 1 hour of crying and got him up.  He seems happy here to be sprung.  Thank goodness I was able to put him down for a power nap about 3:30.  I needed a break.  Even though Derek was off he had to waste spend time taking the van to the dealership to figure out what was making the brakes make a thudding sound.  Add to that getting ready for the crazy consignment sale drop off and getting groceries and it was one crazy Monday.  

As for Family time, I'd like more please.  Just gimme a nap too.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Small Group Time!

I've been wanting to be a part of a "Small Group" for some time now.

For many reasons, it just hasn't worked out.

I finally decided to recruit my own group and give it a go.  Tonight was our "kick-off" with a chili pot luck.  It was a success!  I'm still hoping to find one more family (for a total of 6) but so far, so good.  

The group is made up of 5 families in our church all with "preschool-age" kids.  There are a few (3) siblings that are in school, but the majority is the under 5 set.  I was looking for a group like this so we would have this in common and keep nap schedules (see this post) in mind.  My ship runs best on a schedule, and therefore I have more fun when my children can keep to their schedules and aren't cranky.  I wanted a picture of all the kids and I predicted there would be a problem with at least one of the four.  Who knew it would be Maverick:

Here's the rest of the agreeable children.  
We had a great night and can't wait to get together again in February!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Singing at Church!

We like to dress up for church. 

We have "church clothes."

I like to make the effort for the boys to wear nicer things to church, and they look so stinkin cute, that I usually want to take pictures!  This time, my two middles obliged me.

Brighton and Maverick sang in the Cherub Choir this morning.  I think I saw Maverick sing some of the words this time (he knows all the songs, but get shy up on stage).  He definitely did the hand motions.  Chandler & Brighton are similar in most regards, but Maverick is definitely his own person.  During the children's sermon he actually answered one of the pastor's questions, and although I wasn't  close enough to hear everything he was saying and understand it, he certainly had something to say.  Chandler was probably in Kindergarten before he would speak up, and I don't think Brighton has yet. Our pastor just smiled and told Maverick that he'd take his word for it.

The children's choir also sang this morning, and Chandler did well as usual.  It just warms my heart to see how my children are growing in their faith and learning more and more about Jesus each day.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Getting the Wiggles Out!

These boys had energy to burn, and I really needed them to get some wiggles out.

The weather outside was horrible, tornado-ish even, and rain, rain, rain....

Even though I'm with the boys by myself today, I thought a trip to Monkey Joes was in order.  We've never been there, but I had a coupon, and also won a birthday party certificate, so I thought we should check it out beforehand.

Chandler & Brighton were so good about watching/helping Maverick for me while I filled out all the forms to reserve a party.  I'm not sure if Maverick actually went inside any of the inflatables, but he eventually just hung out with me at the counter while I finished.  Finally that was all done, but I had to nurse Jamison, so then when that was done, I told Maverick I'd play with him.    Maverick wanted no part of going inside any of the inflatables, which is frustrating when you have:
  1. Paid for all this "Fun" he is supposed to be having
  2. Taken him here to burn off some energy and he just wants to sit and watch

So I did what any other good parent would do and I went inside one of the inflatables (while holding Jamison, nonetheless) and waited patiently for Maverick to join me.  My trick worked and he was having fun in no time.  Poor Jamison was clinging to me for dear life and wanted no part of the "bouncy house" experience.  I probably sat inside the bouncy house while Maverick played for about 45 minutes.  He made friends with a little boy (black shirt) who along with his sister, kept photo-bombing all my pictures.

The big boys were good and sweaty by the time we called it quits.  It was worth it to not have my house destroyed and not listening to the noise that would come along with that.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bathtime Cuties

Tonight, the big boys were at Mimi & Grandaddy Bob's.  I had the two little ones, solo, and it was so much easier than I thought it would be.  Reduce my load by 1/2 and everything seems easy, breezy.

I was so on top of my game that I gave the little guys a bath.  Jamison has graduated to not using any bath supports/seats.  We just have to keep the water level a little lower and keep an eye on him :)

They had a good time, and like normal I put lotion on them after baths.  Jamison has had a rash that is constantly there, just not always as red, since the start of the year.  I'm not sure what is causing it, and the doctor didn't think much of it when he looked at it on the 3rd.  Anyways, I thought it was looking particularly bad now, so I snapped a picture to track it's progress.

Hopefully some hydrocortisone cream will help!  It doesn't seem to both Jamie though.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I made it to Bethlehem!

I made it to Bethlehem!  I wasn't sure that I would make it there, but I did.  I'm proud of myself for not giving up and getting discouraged, but pressing forward each day and getting there with the Wisemen (January 6th), for a total of 101.3 miles 

Here's a little background as written by my pastor: 
The metaphor of the Christian life as a journey is well attested throughout Christian history.  In fact, one of the earliest names given to Christianity was “the Way,” the road, the path.  Friends, we are on a journey together.  Are you familiar with the story at the end of Luke’s gospel we call “The Walk to Emmaus?”  It is a story about two of Jesus’ disciples walking together on that first Easter Sunday.  The important detail to remember is that these two are disciples.  They are individuals who knew Jesus well.  They are not outsiders.  They are insiders.  Despite their inclusion within the ranks of the disciples they do not recognize the identity of the stranger who joins them in their walk.  They do not recognize Jesus.  It is only as they walk the long road together that the stranger’s identity is slowly revealed to them.  The story functions as a parable about our lives as followers of Jesus.  Discipleship is a walk that takes us from a rudimentary understanding of a God out there somewhere to the realization that God’s presence permeates our life.

Until recently I had never made the connection between the word “travel” and the word “travail,” but it makes sense to me.  Often times to get somewhere new requires some work–strenuous work.  You have to work to move.  The work, the travail, the travel, and the destination are all part of a seamless whole.  It is a process, not a point in time.  In an article on religious pilgrimages it was noted that the original notion of pilgrimage, regardless of religious tradition, was that getting there was more important than the destination.  The Emmaus story is programmatic.  It is our story.  

Our church challenged us to make the walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the same walk that Mary and Joseph made over 2,000 years ago.  The distance is approximately 99 miles.  Now I know that many of you are runners or even walkers, of which I am neither.  You could easily knock out 99 miles in a period of days or perhaps weeks.  Me, well, I'm just glad I made it there by 1/6.  

It's not that I don't want to walk.  I do enjoy a nice walk, in the sunshine, on a warm day.  But walking in December, on many days where it has been rainy and/or cold has not been my idea of a good time.  Keeping in my the fact that when I walk, I am not alone.  I am walking at a toddler's pace, or pushing a stroller, or carrying a child, or both, and it's no wonder it took me so long to arrive.  Most days I did between 2.5-3.5 miles and this was in the confines of my house.  Yes, that's how much walking around I do everyday inside.  I imagine if I had been outside playing and running with my children more, that the total would have been higher.  I did try to actually "walk" on two occasions.  

One day it was raining and I took the littlest two to the mall and pushed them around for 30 minutes before the crying to get out was more than I wanted to endure.  The other day was New Year's Eve, where the family went to a park and walked maybe 1.5 miles.  Once again, the "walk" ended due to the little guy being tired of just sitting still.  

All-in-all, I did enjoy the journey once I realized I should not be discouraged that I would't arrive by Christmas.  It was more about being purposeful in my efforts and trying my best.  Hopefully I will get there earlier next time :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Jamie is 9 months (aka 9 months in, 9 months out)

Wow!  Jamison is 9 months old already.  The time is just flying by.  These past two weeks with all the boys home has been fun, yet exhausting.  I tell you, the energy around here is non-stop!  Luckily, Derek has been home for most of it to help me keep these four occupied.

Jamison has been living in PJs for the most part.  We've been enjoying our non-school days and relaxing, so I figure why not.  Plus he got a few new pairs for Christmas and if he doesn't wear them now, he'll outgrow them in no time flat.  

Jamison now has 4 teeth (2 upper, 2 lower)  I think he was enjoying feeling them with his tongue or something this day.  The tongue was out a lot!

It's hard for him to sit still for a picture.  What do you mean I have to sit, Mom?  I'm outta here!

Caught getting ready to go!

Okay, I'll sit, but make this quick.

Chandler offered to hold him still.  I love how these guys share a birthday.  I hope they will always be close like they are now.  Chandler is so caring towards Jamie.

Jamison can now pull up to a stand (if he has the right object in front of him).  His crawling is still his own brand, but he is doing more of the military style, and less of the head/shoveling/twisting/scrunching.  He is also getting up on all fours occasionally, but that is not his preferred style.  Just after Christmas he started "sleeping through the night."  To me this means not nursing from the time I lay him down (7:30 p.m.) till the time he gets up for good (7:30 a.m.)  It's been a blessing and a slight problem as well.  He still occasionally wakes up and has to be settled, and a few times this has meant feeding him, but the main problem has been with breastfeeding.

This guy has always had a strong side-preference.  So with sleeping through the night (dropping a feeding), teething, and a slight cold he has totally given up on the one side!  So annoying.  Iv'e been pumping once a day, but this doesn't maintain my supply (on the one side) so my choices are pump 4x a day (so annoying) or just let him be a one-sided baby.  It would be nice if he would take both sides, so I will try pumping 4x a day for a week, to see if the supply will go back up, and he won't keep rejecting it....oh the things we do for our babies!

9 month stats:
Weight: 19 lbs (~40%)
Length: 27.5" (14%)
Head: 47.15 cm (96%)