Our Weekend

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OH this picture.  It makes me smile so much every time I look at it.  It captures each of their little personalities so well.  Brooke is so carefree, happy and always singing.  Lauren is always my girly girl, and with the crazy Oklahoma wind, she was worried about her hair.  Lily is the quiet one of the bunch, and she was making sure little brother was doing ok.  Beckham looks unsure about the whole situation…He hasn’t been in the outdoors much, and although it was warm and sunny, the wind was crazy and he had a hard time keeping his eyes open.  🙂

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We needed a beautiful “spring” weekend in January so desperately.  Over the course of the week, Brooke, Beckham and I visited the Dr/ER/Urgent Care a total of 6 times.  Brooke had the flu/horrible double ear infection, Beckham had the flu, and I have bronchitis.  I tried my hardest to make it through last week, and pray that my cough would improve.  Thursday afternoon I started to feel pretty bad, and was convinced I would sleep it off.  I woke up Friday morning, and could barely hold the baby.  Landon came to the rescue for a couple hours, and I wasn’t able to even eat or drink my chest hurt so badly.  Poppy & GiGi came to the rescue and took the girls for us, and Landon took care of Beckham and I.  Saturday morning I finally felt like I was able to drive to the ER.  We opened the windows to the house, I laid in bed all day, and Landon cleaned the entire house for me.  What a sweet husband!

PicMonkey Collage
After two days in bed, I really wanted to get outside and take a few photos of the girls.  It was so beautiful, and I’m so glad we made it out there.  We all only lasted ten minutes, but we managed to get several great photos in that little time!  

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I’m such a blessed mommy.  I know I say that a lot…but it’s so true!  While I laid in bed, and the girls were at their grandparents, all I could think about was how much I loved and missed them.  I thought about some things that I want to change to make our days better.  I thought about how hard I am on my oldest daughter, and how much I need to change to have a better relationship with her.  Nope, I wouldn’t want to be that sick again this year, but I’m thankful for the downtime to think, pray and reflect on our family. 

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Brooke went back to school today after missing an entire week, Beckham is improving, and I’m feeling a little better today!  I’m so thankful for an amazing husband who took care of us all week and for Landon’s parents taking care of the girls this weekend.  My parents just arrived to help us through the next couple days.  Just so blessed.

Two Month Update // Beckham’s First ER Visit

2 months

SO much has happened in two months.  We are so thankful for our sweet Beckham – he is such a blessing from God.  I can always count on seeing his little smile each morning when he wakes up! He’s been through the ringer with his tummy issues and tongue-tied issue.  We literally went to the Doctor three days in a row last week.  Each day was a major production…it’s amazing all the details it takes to go to a 30 minutes appointment.  🙂  By Thursday afternoon, I was exhausted.  Little man was doing so much better eating after his tongue was clipped on Wednesday.  I think he was going through a growth spurt, because we took a step backwards at night, and I was up at 2 a.m. with him Saturday and Sunday morning.  Once I get up…I can’t go back to sleep.  My brain just doesn’t stop thinking about everything I can get done while everyone in the house is sleeping.  🙂 Sunday night, he was back to “normal” and I got some much needed rest!  Monday, he was having trouble eating before bed.  He had a strange cough and woke up several times after we put him to bed.  At 1:30, he woke up and had a fever.  Since I didn’t know the dose of Tylenol he was allowed to have, I decided to take him to the ER.  We were the only people there, and didn’t have to even sit in the waiting room!  They tested him for RSV, flu, and took an x-ray of his chest.  Thankfully RSV came back negative, but he did test positive for the flu.  We stayed a couple hours to make sure his fever was going down with the Tylenol.  It just broke my heart to see him was so sick, and not really be able to do anything for him!  He was such a trooper, and of course all the sweet nurses loved on him while we were there!

I don’t know if it was lack of sleep, but I started to go downhill around nap-time yesterday.  I was trying to hold sweet baby boy, while all the girls decided to strike against nap-time.  In the course of going back and forth between rooms, I dropped our brand new baby monitor on the hardwood floor….and the video screen broke.  This is when I preceded to cry for about an hour.  I opened the front door to go to the mailbox, and there was a bag full of supplies to help us get through this week from a very sweet friend who just went through two weeks of the flu with her family.  This is when I preceded to cry some more, because God has blessed us with some very amazing people in our life.  Then I sat down, and remembered that God is GOOD.  That everything he allows is for a reason.  As I sit and pray for other families who are going through some very hard physical trials with their little ones, I see everything in a new perspective.  We have four healthy, beautiful children.  It seems like January is our month to go through some hard times…last year we struggled with RSV, and the year before that we had a horrible outbreak of herpes.  I remember those days very vividly.  They were long, winter days.  I also remember how God took care of us and taught us a lot through these seasons. This is the reason I blog…last night I sat down and read my posts from those years.  I’m thankful for these hard times when God shows His faithfulness, His goodness and His strength in times where I feel very week and hopeless.

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I’m so thankful for the gift of motherhood He has given me.  I never imagined I would have four children…I never imagined how hard being a mom would be…but I also never imagined how blessed I would be and how much I would learn through my little ones.

back to “normal” & tongue-tied

We are finally starting to get back to “normal” here, and back into a routine.  Here’s what our day looks like when ALL the girls go to school…

5:00 – Feed Beckham, Shower, Eat Breakfast, Read, Check Email
7:30 – Feed Beckham
8:00 – Brooke wakes up, eats, gets ready
8:25 – Wake my teenagers twins up, give them an eggo waffle to go, load up the kids and drop Brooke off at school
8:45 – Arrive home, unload kids, get twins dressed for school
9:15 – Reload the car, drop the twins off at school
9:30-11:15 – This is my “free time” which consists of feeding Beckham, running errands, and going to the doctor.
11:20 – Pick Brooke up
11:30 – Unload kids, make and eat lunch with Brooke
12:30 – Nap for Brooke. lunch for Beckham
2:00 – Wake up the B’s, load up the car, pick up the twins
2:30 – Finally home, unload the car, feed four kids a snack, get dinner ready, etc, etc, etc…. 
WHEW

I got tired just writing all that out.  My girls LOVE school though, and it’s totally worth all the unloading/loading to get everyone where they need to be. I don’t know if it’s lack of sleep, but I still have extreme memory loss and forgetfulness.  I can really accomplish only the necessary tasks for the day, usually not able to get to anything “extra” still unless it’s on the weekend when Landon is home.  Oh, and I lose everything.

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waiting for the dr. with my sweet little man

I have always enjoyed breastfeeding my kids.  I mean, I tandem nursed a set of twins (exclusively no bottles) for one year.  This fourth kid will be a breeze, right?  I could write my own book on breastfeeding.  ha ha ha.  NO.  For eight weeks, we have struggled through almost every feeding whether nursing or on a bottle.  He would scream the entire time, and suck in a lot of air.  As a result, he would have some major gas and tummy issues.  Thinking he had colic or reflux, I cut dairy, chocolate and most caffeine out of my diet to help his tummy issues.  I would cry….he would cry…poor Landon (he would hear about it).  Feedings were takeing 30-45 minutes, and they weren’t pretty.  Last week, I took him to the Dr. for thrush.  While she was looking in his mouth, she noticed that his tongue was slightly tied.  This was probably the reason he hadn’t been latching on correctly.  We got some meds for the thrush, and I started watching him very closely during his feedings.  Nursing + Thrush + Frustrated Baby = Stressed out Mama. We went back to the Dr. yesterday, and got a referral to see an ENT about his tongue tie issue.  Thankfully the specialist got us in this morning!  Beckham had a moderate tongue tie issue, and he did the simple procedure to free his tongue.  I’m really praying this is going to fix his latch issue, and that our feeding times can be more pleasant…because I sure would love to hold his little hand and enjoy this special time with him!

such a happy boy (when he isn't eating)
such a happy boy (when he isn’t eating)

I can always count on my girls for a laugh.  The twins sit all the way in the back in the third row.  On our way to drop Brooke off at school today Lily was stuffing her face with a waffle.  A waffle that she had been saving in the backseat since Monday’s breakfast. “Mom it’s okay, it still tastes good, but can you get me some donuts?”  You just can’t help but laugh.  🙂

Eggo Waffle
Lily after I caught her eating the three day old waffle

Snickers Poke Cake

Snickers Poke Cake
This recipe is from Christmas day…I kind of forgot about it until I was looking through the photos on my phone.  Landon and I are not cake people.  I love to make cakes, but I don’t really love to eat them.  These leftovers disappeared…we enjoyed every bite.  It’s a super easy recipe, and perfect to make ahead of time.  These “poke” cakes taste better after being refrigerated overnight to allow all the flavors to meld together. The condensed milk and caramel make this a very rich cake, so I used light cool whip for the top to “lighten” it up (and justify my cravings). 🙂

Snickers Poke Cake
Recipe adapted from Plain Chicken

Ingredients:
1 box devils food cake, plus ingredients for cake
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar smucker’s hot caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 snickers bars, chopped
1 tub cool whip
Caramel & Chocolate Sauce for topping

Instructions:
Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan according to the instructions on the box.  While the cake is baking, mix the condensed milk and caramel topping until blended.  When your cake is done, poke holes in it while it is still hot with a kitchen utensil (i used the end of a wooden spoon). Pour the milk mixture over the cake, and allow to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the cake.

Stir most of the snickers pieces (reserving some for sprinkling on top) into your cool whip.  Spread over the cake.  Drizzle with some caramel sauce, and top with remaining snickers pieces.  Place in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving!

Enjoy!

Sweet Love // Photo Update

Beckham

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 I haven’t gotten my camera out as much as I thought I would be able to…but the photos I have been able to take in the last few weeks have been so special to me.  Growing up as an only child, I don’t understand the fighting and drama of siblings.  I’m learning….a lot.  🙂  Deep down my kids really do love each other…

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You can especially tell how much they love their little brother in these photos.  He is still the first person they look for when they wake up in the morning!  I know that fighting between siblings is “normal”, but my hope is that they will grow up to be the best friends!

PicMonkey Collage

I’m trying so hard to soak up these moments.  To enjoy our last little baby, and three girls who love him so much. The excitement of his first smile, his first laugh, and his little cooing.  I feel like the last seven weeks have gone by in a flash, so I’m thankful for photos.  One of my goals is to get my camera out more often to preserve these precious memories!

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Grace

Grace
image via Pinterest

Grace.  My word for 2014.  I post a lot of photos on facebook and instagram…we have happy times and we are all enjoying our sweet little Beckham while he is so little.  What you don’t see in those happy photos is a mother seriously struggling…

There aren’t many moments of personal time when you have four kids under five.  Between nursing every three hours, I’m scrambling to feed the girls, get them dressed, get them to school, spend quality time with them, and discipline consistently.  Those are just the important necessities that I sometimes struggle to accomplish these days.  The laundry, cleaning, working out, making myself a meal, reading a book, chatting with friends, checking my email/facebook….those are the tasks and luxuries that get the back burner…they happen IF I have the time.  I’ve had to say “no” to many things I would love to do.  I have made people upset because I’ve said no.  I have been beating myself up over not being able to get everything done.  I’ve worried to much about what people think. I’ve been frustrated, stressed and sad…because I’m trying to hold myself to such a high standard.  All because I’m trying to attain perfection.

There are so many things that I WANT to do.  I feel limited because right now in this season, we can’t get out very much.  I want to build relationships with friends, I want to read more books, I want to start my little cupcake business up again, I want to start running again…BUT I have to also realize the amazing responsibility that God has given me by entrusting me with four sweet and beautiful children.  I will have time for those things when this short season is over.  Right now, my greatest responsibility is right here in my home.  The kids will only be this little for such a short time. I want to embrace this season with JOY.  I want to give grace…to my children, to others, and to myself  just as God has so freely given to me time and time again.

 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 cor 12:9

One day I’ll have more time for “me”….and I know I will be so sad that I don’t have three girls asking me hundreds of questions a day, a baby boy who insists on holding my hand when he nurses, and four little children who need their mommy every minute of the day.  All those things that are important to me can wait. I want to soak this time in and remember these moments, as difficult as they can be at times…because God has blessed me with SO much and I don’t want to miss out on the joy that comes with this sweet little season of life!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I always love a reason to bake cookies. I HAVE to have a reason though…because cookie dough is my weakness.  I also needed a reason to bake with these little peanut butter cups that were calling my name from the candy drawer before I ate all of them…

These were wonderful cookies….thick, soft and bakery style!  I saw this recipe while perusing Pinterest a few nights ago, and knew I had to try it.  You just can’t go wrong with peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate.  This is a “one bowl” recipe that you mix by hand, but you can definitely just use your stand mixer if you want to save a little time!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Averie Cooks

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg and 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or white chocolate, dark chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter…)

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 325, and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter together.  Add the sugars and stir.  Set the bowl in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to cool off…you don’t want your eggs to scramble when you add these in.

Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla to your butter mixture and stir until incorporated.  Now add the flour, oats and baking soda.  Stir until the cookie dough forms.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Form the cookie dough into golf ball sized balls, and flatten slightly, placing the cookie dough 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just slightly brown on the edges.

Enjoy!