Friday, September 30, 2011

Natural Cleaners

So today after trying several cleaners, I found out that Good 'ole baking soda is the best for my plastic shower floor.  A good scrub brush, and some baking soda(of course some elbow grease) really works well : )

Next I think I will be purchasing some clear bottles to make some vinegar/water solution for the kitchen counters : )

Please check out these Moms' blogs for more ideas....

What do you use to clean your home that works well?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PA Trip

2 weeks ago we took 2 days and went up to PA. The 1st day we went to the Hershey Factory. We enjoyed the tour ride, and making our very own chocolate bars. We even got to design the cover for them. From there we drove to Easton, PA and stayed the night. The next morning we took the kids to the Crayola Factory. September is Home School month. It is a great discount, and barely anyone was there. They enjoyed watching how crayons are made, and even got a brand new crayon. We learned that if you run a dried out marker under warm water, put the cap on, and lay it flat for 24 hours it should work again. We had lots of fun working with Model Magic. If you haven't bought any, it is so much fun. It is white, and you can make it any color just by using Crayola markers. Hope you enjoy the pictures from our trip...

Link to PA Trip pictures

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Mariann!

It is hard to believe it has been 2 whole years since you were born, but a fun, blessed, fun-filled 2 years it has been.  We waited 11 years to be blessed with another baby girl, and oh the joy you have brought us.  Your 4 brothers adore you, and your older sister loves dressing you : )  Now you are a Big Sister to your very own baby doll.

Brand New Mariann

Daddy, Mommy & Mariann on her 1st Birthday

Mariann & her Best Friend (and brother) Daniel

Big Sister Mariann &  Little Sister Sarah

Mariann with all her brothers & sisters

Here are some stats about you currently:
-You love to sing your ABC’s, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star(and many times the 2 are combined into 1 song)

-You love playing with your 4yo brother Daniel, and make many yummy “meals” together

-Your favorite book is “Goodnight Moon”, and Daddy reads this to you @ night while rocking you

-You went into your “Big girl” toddler bed almost 2 weeks ago, and seem to like it now.  You are even staying in your room at night : )

-No more “Paci” for over a week, and this has been challenging for you, but you are doing well.  You  barely ask for it anymore

-You love markers, and draw on yourself with them almost daily : )

-You are a wonderful big sister.  You get upset when your little sister is crying, and you love holding her hand.  It is so precious to watch you 2 girls together

Looking forward to seeing you change, learn, and grow every day….

We love you Mariann.!  Happy 2nd Birthday

Love Always,

Daddy & Mommy : )

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sarah Jean's Birth Story Part 2

Almost time....

At 12 noon my midwife asked if I wanted to be checked, and I was pretty curious, then amazed to hear I was 8cm!  Contractions were about the same in intensity, but seemed to slow down unless I was up, and moving.  I was pretty wore out, but walked up and down the steps.  Around 1:30-2 Daddy put the two little ones down for their naps, our oldest was hanging out in her room, and Joshua our 6 yo was down stairs with us.   I remember having a really strong contraction, and leaning over the top of the couch, seeing my 6yo, and asking the Lord to give me help.  Joshua went off to play his DS, and I went upstairs. Leaning over my ball, on the bed, I asked my midwife to pray with me, and she did.  She also told me "Next time we should do this sooner."  I then got on the floor, leaned over the ball again pushed once, and broke my water.  There was meconium (baby pooped inside for those who don't know what this is).  Normal again for me, as 3-4 of my other babies also had this.

Baby's coming....

I knew the baby was coming, as I started to get that "I cannot do this feeling", and told the midwife " I need to get in a good position." I got up on the bed, then on my side, and began pushing @ 2:55.  I remember feeling somewhat scared as my midwife told me to stop pushing, and breathe several times. I wanted to keep pushing, and I told my Midwife I was scared.  All along she was the midwife I hoped would deliver me from the practice (5 midwives total), and in this moment I knew the Lord chose her specifically for me.  She said to me "It is ok to be afraid, but it is not ok to panic, so you need to listen to what I tell you to do."  She asked me at least 3-4 times to stop pushing, and breath.  Next thing I knew baby's head was out, then body, into my arms.   She suctioned baby out for a few minutes, and I then began asking "Is baby a boy, or a girl?"  She told me to look, and see.  I was elated to see we were blessed with our 3rd baby girl, and 7th child.  At 3:23 pm we welcomed Sarah Jean.  I was given a shot of Pitocin to help with bleeding, but baby was well, and so was I.  Alice later told me she had to help Sarah out, as she was stuck, sort of how Daniel was.  I was so thankful that I had her to keep me calm, and her 34 years of experience to know how to get our baby girl out without injury.  God is good, and we feel so incredibly blessed.  Our oldest came in right after her sister was born, then shortly after the two little ones were up from naps(again God's timing is perfect, since Nana couldn't be here), and Josh came up to meet her as well.  We skyped the older boys that night as they were still in FL.  So thankful for technology : )

Sarah Jean is now 9 weeks old, and we are enjoying every minute with her.

Sarah Jean's Birth Story/Part 1

A little history....

With baby #'s 1, 4, , & 6 I was over my estimated due date, so I knew I had a 50/50 chance of once again going "late."  I also wasn't 100% sure of my timing on when I conceived, and had just 1 cycle this time.  I should have never told anyone an actual due date, as the inevitable "Are you still walking around?", or "You haven't had that baby yet, huh?"  started about a week before my due date, which was June 22nd.

Well June 22nd came, and went, and no baby.  My Mom came into town on June 18th my Aunt Joanne, and then my sister, her husband, and 3 girls all on the 24th.  I had some good contractions on the 25th while out to dinner, but they fizzled out.  I continued to have them pretty much every day from there on.  On June 29th I went for an ultra sound.  The Tech said how "BIG" the baby was, and how she had a "little peach fuzz" for hair (boy was she off on both).  July 30th we went to the midwives, and had the Non-Stress test done.  Baby was doing great, and so was I.  At that point there were 2 other ladies overdue, so they didn't want to put all 3 of us into labor at the same time (both of the ladies had their baby's that night)  Nana had already planned to take our older 2 boys, Gabriel, and Andrew back to FL with her for 2 weeks so I reluctantly drove them to the airport on July 2nd.   I called the Midwives that day thinking it could be the day, but the Midwife on call wanted to break my water, and I didn't feel it was time.  July 4th we had a nice family day(sans my older two boys).  We went to Lowes, and got some mulch, and new flowers to plant.  I still had contractions, and I even thought "Yay a 4th of July baby would be cool."

The beginning of labor....

July 5th I had some contractions, but again they went away.  One of the midwives called, and we decided I would come in the next day to strip membranes, then follow-up at home with some caster oil.  That night around 6:50 Andrew and I were watching "True Grit", and I was starting to have some stronger contractions.  I went up to relax in the bath tub.  Around midnight I called the midwife.  I wasn't sure that it was time yet, so I said I would relax, and call if they got stronger.  I was up all night pretty much with them, and had Andrew call again around 4:30am.  By 5 Lori, my midwife assistant arrived.  Alice, my midwife around 5:30.  We chatted, and I sat on my ball, for maybe an hour to 90 minutes.  Around 6:30-7am, Andrew & I decided to take a walk.  I had some strong contractions on the walk, and seemed to be progressing.  We went home, and our oldest Alisha was up, and soon after Mariann, Daniel & Joshua were up.We took another walk, this one longer, and had a good 2-3 contractions.  Somewhere around 8 am Andrew went to get bagels and coffee.  We sat around laughing a lot, enjoying breakfast together, with some contractions in there(every 5-10 minutes).  Heartbeat was great, and I was handling contractions by getting on my ball still.  I noticed this labor I tend to tense up my shoulders, but the sweet reminders from my Midwife/midwife assistant really helped me to relax.  I spoke to my Mommy, and sister, then later my niece Arianna.  This was great, since they weren't able to be here, I still had them on the other end of the phone.