Hallway Update

With a smaller house I feel I’m always rearranging. Our kids have switched rooms a few times, we’ve rearranged our living room multiple times to accommodate the needs of our kids at different ages, and I’m constantly re-organizing and moving things around to make it as functional and comfortable as possible! Starting homeschooling last year caused some additional rearranging also. Did I say I re-arrange a lot? Ha! I’m trying to make things accessible for the kids, but not have them out all the time.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on updating our hallway and our two hallway closets. Let me show you the before (and this is also before we replaced our carpet with wood floors)…

I originally got the first piece of furniture to store diaper bags, baby carriers, etc. The bottom was just one big open space so it worked well for that. Since we no longer need those baby items (insert tear/happy dance), it became a place to hold board games. I then began to think that board games don’t deserve a whole piece of furniture in our house!! It was hard to keep things organized with the bottom being one big open space.

I was on the hunt for a more functional piece of furniture when I saw a piece on one of my favorite home decor bloggers feeds. You really should follow Brooke at Nesting With Grace if you don’t already! She has a smaller home also and said this dresser was great for storing art work and crafts. I thought it would be perfect to keep our extra homeschooling crafts in! I also kept a few drawers empty for random things.

The basket on the ground next to it is our “clutter basket”. When I find little clutter things around the house (socks, hair clips, legos, matchbox cars,…) I just toss them in the basket. When I have time, or when its full, I put everything away. As I go through it, I also toss what I can.

I used this pretty artwork from Minted, titled A Mother’s Embrace, to somewhat hide our thermostat. I don’t cover it all the way, because we use it a lot. It’s nice to be able to just scoot that photo over if I DO want to cover it though 🙂 I might add, I would probably keep it covered and just move the photo when I wanted to use thermostat, but my husband won’t do that. lol

I’m excited to have this updated and more functional space for my family! As always, thanks for heading over to my blog!

xoxo

Danielle

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Tips and Ideas for Surviving Break with Kids!

 

Christmas is coming which means … all the kids will be home from school!! I’ve seen a lot of, “I won’t be able to get anything done!” so I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned since we started homeschooling (aka, kids home all the time)! Now, I’m NO expert in this, and this won’t solve all your problems, but I just want to help in anyway I can! I’m also encouraging myself with this daily, because I don’t/won’t ever have these things perfected. Ok, so here are a few tips and ideas:

  • Lower your expectations. Our children have lots of needs. Oh, wait, you knew this?! 😉 Its always “Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, can you help me? Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, I spilled. Mom, I finished going to the bathroom….oh wait, I’m not done yet. Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, he/she hit me. Mom, so-and-so took my toy! Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, I broke you’re stuff as we were bouncing off the walls. Mom, I’m not going to listen. Mom, you really think you can pee in peace? Mom, I wet the bed. Mom, I had a bad dream. Mom, I’m hungry. Mom? mom? MOM!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!”

And then times all that by the number of kids you have.

Ok, you get the point! HA! I’m constantly getting annoyed and then constantly reminding myself that yes, they have needs. My job is to care for the needs, nurture, love and be an example to them. And to be honest, sometimes I think they go overboard and we do just flat out need a break. Amen? But we have to remember that they do need us. They need our help, our love and our patience. And one day they won’t need us so much, remember that too.

 

  • Plan your days. I really noticed I had to do this when we started homeschooling. I had to be very intentional to plan ahead with school, outings, and activities. I try to plan and prep projects for them to do, game ideas, a fun outing I could take them on, or even plan just having a day at home. By doing this I can also plan MY tasks. If we are spending a whole morning at the zoo, I need to wake up earlier that morning to start some laundry, pack the lunches, and tidy up so we don’t come home to …well, our own zoo. If I don’t pack the lunches before, or while I’m making breakfast, I get way too behind and everything is more chaotic. It’s even HARDER to get out the door. While we are on this topic I will say I also plan their “TV” time. For example, if we are going to the zoo, I’ll get them ready and then turn on a show while I load the car and do a quick tidy. Use it strategically as an aid instead of turning it on just because they want it on.  🙂

 

  • Online shopping.
    It worked out really well because right about when the school year started our local Walmart started grocery pick up. If you haven’t heard of it, you order online, reserve a time slot to pick up, and they bring your groceries out to your car. All the things. It has saved me so much time and stress!! Before I would either take all 3 kids, or have to spend kid-free time…at the store. Boo. If you don’t have a store locally that does this, there’s also the option of Walmart delivery to your house with non-perishable items to your home…free of charge if you spend $35 or more. Or maybe you have Amazon Fresh! I do make Costco trips and a random store trip for a few things, but its better than doing a big shopping trip with kids! Anyways, maybe try something like this if you are worried about taking the kids out shopping when they aren’t in school (and not to mention fighting the crowds!).

 

  • When you have things you just have to get done (wait, when don’t we?!) try spending some quality time with the kids first, and then do your tasks. For example, sometimes if I do have to take them grocery shopping, I’ll take them to a park first…something they like, and something that burns some energy. If I have to get some work done around the house we will play out front first, or I’ll try to do something intentional with them. I then feel better about telling them, “Ok, mommy has to get some things done now”, and they usually do better after I focus just on them. Maybe you could set up some train tracks, set them up with a project, build a fort, etc. And YES, you’ll still be interrupted, but I do think it helps…even a little  😉

 

  • Make everyone have “down time” in the afternoon. Even if they don’t nap because they’re usually at school, still do it. Make a certain hour quiet time…aka, keep-mom-sane-time. I think its good for everyone. They can take a nap, read, play quietly with legos, etc.

 

  • Give them some chores to do, and maybe add incentives. As most of you know I’m on a purging frenzy. So last week I actually told my kids I would pay them if they got rid of toys! My husband said, “So we spend money on toys, and then we pay them to get rid of the toys?!” Ha! But, they got excited when they came out with some trinkets and got a quarter…they even went back for more things to give away. To me, its worth the $1 I spent  🙂

 

  • Use the crock pot. I know this is random but, when life is a little crazy, crock pots can help that mad dinner hour! Here are a few of our favorite recipes the whole family enjoys.

1. Chicken Pot Pie. My whole family loved this! And we even splurged and made the Pillsbury Grand Rolls to go with it.

2. Teriyaki Chicken. I just boil some rice and steam broccoli to make little chicken teriyaki bowls! I feel like what sauce you use makes a big difference, I like using this one.  🙂

3. Shredded Chicken. I couldn’t find a recipe for this but its something my mother-in-law shared with me and the whole family loves it because its basic! Here’s the jist: Throw in a few frozen chicken breasts, add a tsp or 2 of minced garlic and 1/2 a diced onion, cover 3/4 of the way with chicken broth, and then add some salt, pepper and a few TBS of cumin. Cook on high for about 6 hours. Shred the chicken then make burritos, tacos, or nachos!! Super yummy and easy!

  • Savor the time with them! Savor the fact you don’t have to rush them off the school. I love our slow mornings at home! Take a minute to breath and slow down…even if you have a million things to do.

Here are some ideas (if you need them) of things you can do:

  • Pack a picnic lunch and explore a new spot
  • Build a fort and watch a movie with a projector. (See here for a good priced projector!)
  • Pick a puzzle for the family to work on throughout break! My kids enjoy this puzzle and this puzzle! If you’re kids are a little older, click here and here for a few fun ideas!

 

  • Try a new park or indoor trampoline place (especially if its snowing where you live!)
  • Take them out for a treat. I love taking the kids to starbucks, letting them eat a bagel, and just hanging out together! It’s kind of our thing now. Sometimes it’s a little crazy, but its fun. I find if I’m away from all the tasks at home I can focus on them more.
  • Have a “theme” day. The other day we talked, crafted, and read about reindeer! I also printed a world map and they colored in where reindeer live. It was a fun way to learn! This is the book we read, and then I used good ol’ pinterest to print some things out!
  • If you are traveling, order a new book on CD! The DVD player in our car broke this summer and I’m actually glad about it! We now listen to a book on CD instead, and sometimes we mix it up with fun kid music. This is the book on CD my son is really enjoying, and these are some fun kid songs for the car!
  • Have a day with no plans. I think its just good for everyones soul sometimes  😉

I hope my simple ideas were helpful in someway! And I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas celebrating with those you love!!!

xoxo

Danielle

Book Ideas for Kids!

I want to start this post by saying there are so many good books out there! But because there are so many I feel like it can be  overwhelming to know which ones to get! So, I simply want you to think of this post as you and me sitting down over coffee, sharing some fun books we have come across! 🙂 Please feel free to leave some of your favorites in the comments below for everyone else to see!

(Just click on the title of the book and it will take you to the product link)

  1. Press Here. This is a fun interactive book that grandma introduced us to! If you haven’t seen it you should take a look  🙂 

2. Here we Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. This is a book we recently got that talks about how vast the universe is! Its a good and fun little introduction to the solar system, etc.

3. O’Shae the Octopus. This is a sweet book about an octopus who has two extra arms. He discovers “that although it can be hard for others to accept his differences, embracing what sets him a part can truly make him sensational”. 

4. The Big Book of Bugs. I love books that are loaded with lots of fun pictures and learning! This is one of those books  🙂

5. This is How We Do it: One day in the lives of seven kids around the world.  The title explains this book! A book about 7 kids in different parts of the world and what a day in their life looks like. When we went through this book my oldest was so interested that some people live in huts and eat such different foods! I want to start opening my kids eyes to the diversity there is in our world!

6. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. Our favorite part about this book is finding Gold Bug on every page! He’s a sneaky little guy that can be hard, but fun, to find!

If you have a wee little one  🙂  Things That Go- Flip-a-Flap Book might be a good option!

7. The watermelon Seed. My sister got us into this book! My kids think this crocodile with a wild imagination is hilarious!

8. This Moose Belongs to Me. This is just a fun little book book about a boy and a moose! And the cover is so cute I use it as decoration in the boys room 😉

9. The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings us Back to the Garden. This is such a good book on how all the stories of the Bible create an overarching message about God’s wonderful plan to redeem his rebellious people! “In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung—a best-selling author and father of six—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.” It was even a good review and summary for me!

The Biggest Story ABC. This is a version for younger ones!

10. The Fox Wish. A sweet story of a little girl that shares her jump rope, to make the fox’s wish come true.

11. Nature Anatomy. A book full of fun ways to learn about nature! Sometimes I’ll open to a page and have the kids draw images from it!

Farm Anatomy. We don’t have the next two books but they are by the same author and look fun!

Food Anatomy

 

12. The 50 States. Its obvious what this book is about..but I just love books that are jam packed with fun learning opportunities!

It also has The 50 States Activity book that goes along with it. We don’t have it but its on my list!

13. Stars. A cute book about stars!

14.The Garden the Curtain and the Cross. This beautifully illustrated hardback book takes children on a journey from the garden of Eden to God’s prefect new creation!

15. Jayde the Jay Bird. “Come fly away with Jayde and see what happens when she finally gets the courage to sing loud enough for the whole forest to hear.”

 

16. Atlas of Animal Adventures. This book is all about animals!!

I’ve only looked through the Atlas of Animal Adventures Atlas of Adventures looks fun too!

I hope this gave you some ideas if you’re stuck in a book rut!!  😉

xoxo,

Danielle

 

Why homeschool?

My husband and I had our second date at starbucks, which we closed out, talking for hours about our families, how we were raised, etc. When it came to education I told him I was homeschooled from 2nd grade to 8th grade. He just started laughing. I laughed with him but thought “Oh great, this super cute, nice, baseball player now thinks I might be weird because I was a homeschooler.” So I stumbled on trying to explain… to which he cut me off and said, “No, I’m laughing because I was homeschool till 8th grade too!” So, before I go on about why we are choosing to homeschool this year, I just want you to know, my husband and I have been on the other side!

I want to preface what I’m about to say with a few things. First, we are taking it one year at a time. I felt called to homeschool this year for various reasons, but we are keeping an open mind and heart year to year. Secondly, I don’t agree that there’s only one right way to school your children. Whether it be public, private, or at home…all can be great!

So why are we homeschooling? Well, I honestly wasn’t really planning on homeschooling. Last year Levi went to THE sweetest preschool which we absolutely loved. We sent him 4-ish (it was flexible) days a week from 8:30-11:30. I heard that the private school I used to go to had a half day kinder option, so I knew thats where I wanted him to go. I feel like our society (and satan really) is creating chaos in the family with all the busyness. I knew I didn’t want him to be in school 7 hours a day as a young 5 year old. I’m a big advocate of pushing, encouraging and discipling our children (aka, not let them be lazy and have their way) but I’m also a big advocate of letting kids be kids. I want my child to learn, but I want him to be outside throwing dirt clods, building forts, catching bugs and riding bikes. So this half day kindergarten seemed perfect for us and how I feel! I went to the open house and was told they were no longer offering half day. My heart literally sunk, I had a pit in my stomach, and I fought back tears as I was talking to the teacher. It may sound dramatic, but it was just the mama in me. 🙂  I didn’t want my “just” 5 year old in school till 3:15 everyday, when he still naps 5 out of 7 days! I didn’t want to get him at the end of the day when he was tired and worn out. I didn’t want his siblings to only see him for a few hours before he had to turn in early for the night. And, I also took into consideration his personality. He loved preschool, but some days he said he missed us and just wanted to be home. When he was at school he felt like he was missing out with the family. So the thought of making him go every day, for a total of 34 hours a week, didn’t seem the best for us. My husband and I also agreed that if he was in school he would not participate in any extra curricular activities, such as sports, as a 5 year old. We didn’t want our family to be running here, and there, and not have enough quality family time!

This is when I looked into the schools’ homeschool program. I could homeschool through the school (aka, have help and guidance!) and he had the option to go into the kindergarten class room on Fridays! At first I thought, “There’s no way I can homeschool…I have the other ones at home and theres always a lot of chaos”. Along with the fact that I already have to clean, cook, do the laundry, grocery shop, etc…all while taking care of 3 little ones. But my heart softened to the idea and I felt a peace. Much more of a peace than sending him to school. So, here we are. I’m his teacher.

First day of “real school” in his kinder class!

I totally doubt myself sometimes. Carrying the responsibilities of being a mom, and then adding the job of being your child’s educator is daunting. Even though its kindergarten. I have to teach him the english language, for crying out loud!!! Total shout out to you homeschool moms that teach multiple grades at multiple levels. I have a whole new respect for you! I’m enjoying going through the curriculum and finding fun ways to teach it. I’m enjoying the fact that I get to watch him learn and be so involved. I’m enjoying that we can finish his lessons in less than 2 hours, and he doesn’t have to be gone for 7. I’m enjoying that his siblings are learning with him or that I can postpone starting school because the kids are playing so well together. I’m enjoying that we can learn outside, or do math & numbers on the kitchen floor. I’m enjoying we don’t have to rush out the door every morning to get him to school. I’m enjoying that we can have quieter afternoons and no homework at night.

The younger ones get to join in too…while being half dressed! 🙂

Now, don’t get me wrong…there’s a lot of things that are challenging. Its a hard concept for him that I’m now his teacher, summer is over, and we have to sit and do things that aren’t always fun. Its harder for him to respect me as the teacher because, I’m mom. I know for a doubt he wouldn’t tell his teacher “I’m only doing one work sheet today, ok? Not two.” He may or may not have said this to me. 😉 But there’s also the flip side of me lacking patience for him. I know what he’s capable of and I want the best for him, so at times its frustrating when he’s not focusing. I definitely get to practice extra patience.

I recently read the book (recommended by a homeschool mom I admire), “Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace” by Sarah Mackenzie. It was so insightful in preparing to homeschool! The Lord knew I needed to read it. I was convicted of many things and have tried to change my mindset, as in having more patience and calmness as I teach in our home. I would highly recommend the book if you are even considering homeschooling. A lot of areas can even apply to just being a mom!

We are now a few weeks in and I think our family as a whole is loving this fit. Levi’s teachers at school have been so sweet and accommodating. They always welcome and invite him to other things and he may even be going an extra day a week. I am so thankful for what we have this year! Like I said, we are prayerfully taking it one year at a time, so I’m not sure what next year will look like. I do love the fact that he is plugged into the school so if we do decide to put him in, he knows his classmates. Or if we continue to homeschool, he’ll continue to see them once or twice a week:)

I am not an experienced homeschool mom, but if you have any questions about homeschool and how it works, I’d love to chat! 🙂

P.s. I know a BIG argument about homeschooling is the socialization part. I understand people’s concern, and I agree kids need socialization, but I think depending on the family, there are a lot of other ways to socialize than just school! My husband and I were homeschooled and we felt we had plenty of socialization! 😉 If you have further questions on this, send me a message and I’d love to talk more about it!

Shop our homeschool wall :

Kid Food: Ikea

“Create” letters- hobby lobby

Rug-Target

Chalkboard- DIY, See here how I made the green chalk paint (my hubby built the frame and I just put a little stain and white washed it!)

Happy Shopping!!! 🙂

xo,

Danielle

 

Levi’s birth story

Our sweet 5 year old

On June 1, 2012 my mom, house cleaner, and I cleaned every inch of our first little 850 sq foot house, preparing for Levi who was due June 10th.  We went to bed that night and at 3 am I woke up Charlie telling him my water broke. This eager and excited first time dad pulled out his birthing class notes and went through “TACO”… Time, Amount, Color, and Oder. What a great dad already:) We had our hospital bag mostly packed, with a list on top of last minute items to grab.

Charlie was in charge of the items while I did my hair.

Well, I went to bed with it wet, so I had to make it look half way decent! Besides, the hospital was literally 0.3 miles down the road. So, 45 minutes later we were on our short little way to the hospital and family was informed. I was just feeling a little crampy as they were checking me, and we had second thoughts if we should be there. I wanted to deliver naturally and didn’t want to be laboring at the hospital for 24 hours. As we were about to sign AMA papers (leaving Against Medical Advice), the contractions started coming hard and strong. We looked at each other and decided to stay. At 8 am I was 3cm & 10:20am I was 7cm.

My partner in life
My partner in life

Somewhere between that time my sister, who was my assistant labor coach, arrived from 4 hours south to help Charlie and I through the process. So thankful she was there because she had done this naturally before, is a nurse, and is my best friend. My husband and sister make a great team 😉

A labor of love
A labor of love

So at 10:20 things got intense….transition was upon me. By 10:40 though I was 9cm and 20 mins after that it was time to push! I was so ready for him to come. I couldn’t wait to see my son, OUR baby. I also couldn’t wait for the pain to stop. As the doctor came in when it was time to push I asked my sister, “is it going to hurt?!” (I know, silly question). She said, “Yes, it will burn like crazy”. Honesty. After 45 minutes of pushing, we were parents, holding our baby… trying to study his little face between the tears streaming down our faces.

He was precious, all 8lbs 10ounces & 21 inches of him.

And there began our journey of parenthood.

Levi a day old with mom

LEvi a fathers love

levi first family photo

What a blessing we were given that day! Thanks for reading 🙂

William is ONE!

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When I think of William Charles I think of “joy”. He has brought me (our whole family) so much joy. It wasn’t until Will that I felt I could be fully present in the moment of enjoying my baby. I mean, my heart has almost exploded many a time. I truly understood what people meant when they couldn’t get any housework done because “I was just soaking up the cuddles”. With my first two kids, the housework had to get done. The more kids I have, the more I realize how quickly it goes by. It makes the short naps, night wakings, and teething fuss a little more manageable.
Will is quite the go getter. He’s been walking since 9.5 months and tries so hard to keep up with his brother and sister, who are smitten over him, by the way. He will find the tallest object in the room and attempt to climb it…usually, he is successful. I knew this age was busy from experience, but he taken busy to a whole new level!! Thankfully he makes up for it by 2 good naps a day.  🙂 As sad (insert crying) as I am my baby-of-all-babies is ONE, I am so excited to watch his sweet and adventurous personality develop!

Williams Birthstory

William was due August 6th, 2015, however, by mid July I already felt as though he was “late”. His older sister came suddenly at 36.4 weeks, so with Will, we were prepared early. I was tired of thinking “it could be any day”, so as the end of July approached I just told myself he was never coming out. On July 29th I had a doctors appointment. I dropped the 2 littles off at my moms and drove to my appointment. On the way home I was having some discomfort in my back but thought “he’s never coming, so just forget about it” (sarcastically). I picked up the kiddos, put them down for nap, and had to lay on the couch. The discomfort was getting worse so I casually text my husband to let him know. He walked in the door an hour later (around 3pm) and said he was already planning on coming home early that day…not sure I believe him 😉 By the time the kids were up from naps at 4pm I was 85% certain this was “it”, so I sent the word to our families. And then at 4:30, I knew. Everyone was annoying me. I snapped at my husband to take the kids outside and leave me alone because the contractions were getting more intense. At this point, he was sure this was real labor. We called my mom to come over, and between contractions I packed a bag for the kids, got our last minute things together and off to the hospital we went. And for the record, as soon as the kids were gone and I could focus on getting to the hospital, I was in a much better mood   🙂

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By the time we got checked in it was around 6:00pm and I was 4cm dilated. I told my best friend Kendall, who lived 10 minutes away and was going to come to help me labor, to head over to the hospital. My sister ended HER birthday celebration early that night (yah for sharing a birthday!), and left to make the 3.5 hour drive. Both Kendall and my sister, Brittany, had helped with my previous labors so, they knew the ropes and were very helpful.

My husband and I liked having someone else in the room with us to be an extra set of hands, take pictures, keep family updated, etc. I needed him focused and by my side.

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Once we got checked in and settled I decided to try sitting in the rocking chair to “rock through” the contractions. We dimmed the lights, turned on some worship music, and I rocked away and got some good head and back messages!
For 2 hours it was pretty smooth sailing. I was able to stay controlled and breath through each contraction. At about 8:30 or 9 I was 6cm. Contractions started getting intense as I began transitioning, and around 9:30pm the doctor informed me that if he broke my water, labor would be in the very near future.

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My sister was still 10 minutes away but I couldn’t say no to progressing things, I mean…the pain. So, Dr. broke my water and shortly after my sister came running down the halls (literally). She made it by 10pm. Then, I felt the urge to push. And I mean, I was doing all I could to wait for the medical personal to get there. Doctor walked in and I was out of control trying to grab anyone in my reach. I screamed as loud as I could, “SOMEONE PULL HIM OUT!!!!!”.

Will2

The whole floor heard me. I later apologized and was slightly embarrassed, lol. But, alas, our little man was here.

Will1

What a relief it is when you hear that first little cry and lay eyes on your new fresh babe. We did it. God did it.

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Our William Charles entered the world July 29th, at 10:20 pm weighting 8lbs 13oz, and was 21 inches long.

Will14

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The next day was so fun as Levi and Emersyn got to meet their baby brother!

Will21

Levi had just turned 3, Emersyn was almost 2 and now we had our Will. Our hands and hearts were full. What a joy it was to bring him home. Thank you Lord!!!!

And just like that, he’s one.

Our firstborn

Weeno Photography 2016 (15 of 50)

This sweet boy joined our world 4 years ago, June 2, 2012. What a blessing he has been. There’s something about your firstborn, the one that makes you a mom. I can’t help but smile as I think of the memories we have trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time. The joy, the unknown, the stress, the unexplainable love…all the emotions. And this little guy, he’s a keeper. He’s all boy but has such a sweet spirit. He is thoughtful and considerate. Yes, he throws fits and is too rough on his sister a lot of times, but that is all expected.He loves his siblings and I would have to say they are the best of friends (even if he doesnt know it) 🙂

If I am sad, he picks me flowers. He watches out for his little brother and tells me if he’s getting into something he shouldn’t be. He is mindful to pick up small pieces off the ground so baby Will doesn’t choke. One of my favorite things about him is he is a lot like his daddy… and his daddy is a great man. I am so thankful he has such a strong man to follow and learn from. Levi is daddy’s little shadow, always helping him with projects and interested in learning how to fix things.

As he has anxiously been anticipating his birthday for a few months now, he always reminds me “when I’m 4, I’ll still love you mom!”…because I have told him I am so happy he is getting older, but part of me is sad my baby is growing up. Ok, and maybe I milk it a little because I love when he tells me he will still love me!

Levi’s birth story

On June 1, 2012 my mom, house cleaner, and I cleaned every inch of our little 850 sq foot house, preparing for Levi who was due June 10th.  We went to bed that night and at 3 am I woke up Charlie telling him my water broke. This eager and excited first time dad pulled out his birthing class notes and went through “TACO”… Time, Amount, Color, and Oder. What a great dad already:) We had our hospital bag mostly packed, with a list on top of last minute items to grab.

Charlie was in charge of the items while I did my hair.

Well, I went to bed with it wet, so I had to make it look half way decent! Besides, the hospital was literally 0.3 miles down the road. So, 45 minutes later we were on our short little way to the hospital and family was informed. I was just feeling a little crampy as they were checking me, and we had second thoughts if we should be there. I wanted to deliver naturally and didn’t want to be laboring at the hospital for 24 hours. As we were about to sign AMA papers (leaving Against Medical Advice), the contractions started coming hard and strong. We looked at each other and decided to stay. At 8 am I was 3cm & 10:20am I was 7cm.

My partner in life
My partner in life

Somewhere between that time my sister, who was my assistant labor coach, arrived from 4 hours south to help Charlie and I through the process. So thankful she was there because she had done this naturally before, is a nurse, and is my best friend. My husband and sister make a great team 😉

A labor of love
A labor of love

So at 10:20 things got intense….transition was upon me. By 10:40 though I was 9cm and 20 mins after that it was time to push! I was so ready for him to come. I couldn’t wait to see my son, OUR baby. I also couldn’t wait for the pain to stop. As the doctor came in when it was time to push I asked my sister, “is it going to hurt?!” (I know, silly question). She said, “Yes, it will burn like crazy”. Honesty. After 45 minutes of pushing, we were parents, holding our baby… trying to study his little face between the tears streaming down our faces.

He was precious, all 8lbs 10ounces & 21 inches of him.

And there began our journey of parenthood.

Levi a day old with mom

LEvi a fathers love

 

levi first family photo