Sunday, January 30, 2011



That sweet smiles comes easier every day.

Aliza has declared these items as her favorite things. She revealed them at her "favorite things show."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Confidence Booster

While discussing with Meghan whether we would get together on Thursday morning, I looked out the window and saw that I had a flat tire. Jeremy put air in it and could hear the air running out of it as soon as it was full. We knew that I could get to the tire center safely if I left as soon as he pumped up the tire. Jeremy called the tire center and they estimated 45 minutes to patch a tire. I figured I could survive in the small play room for that long--since I really do like having transportation at my disposal. We planned for me to get the tire fixed Friday morning.

We arrived at the tire center at 10:15. Aliza and Josiah had spent 5 minutes in the play room before so they were really looking forward to it. They went straight to play and I checked the car in. Jeremy stopped by to make sure we got there ok and then he headed off to work. Aliza colored and Josiah played with trucks and tractors. They stayed in the play area. They shared toys with the other children that came in. Anna laid on the bench beside me and looked around. Aliza stopped being a dinosaur and making siren noises when I directed her to. It was a most amazing experience....that lasted for not just 45 minutes, but ONE HOUR and 45 minutes.

When it came time to pack up and pay it got a bit hairy since Josiah was quite interested in the tire display and Aliza was interested in the candy machines on the other side of the showroom. A kind employee asked if he could help and I let him carry Anna to the car. The bill was far less than I expected and they showed me an at least 3 inch piece of what appeared to be a kitchen knife that was my tire. Thankfully they were able to patch the tire on the inside and we didn't have to buy a new one.

We got in the car and I told Aliza and Josiah how proud I was of them. We got McDonalds for lunch as a treat. They both even got a milkshake with their Happy Meal. Believe me I would have given them a million dollars if they asked. To top it off the toys in their meals were perfect. Josiah got a truck with a snow plow attachment and Aliza got a My Little Pony. A first for her. She played with that pony all afternoon and evening and is still playing with it this morning.

That was an experience I needed to continue on this journey of parenting. I must be doing something right. A retired woman was sitting beside me and even told me I was a good Mom. Seriously, I needed that!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Must be Baby Blues

I'm sure hoping that my recent feelings of inadequacy and low level of self-confidence, preoccupation with how much weight I have yet to lose, and seemingly constant frustrations with my older children can be chalked up to baby blues. Instead of airing all the details I'll just leave it at that and write again when I'm feeling a bit better about life!

Monday, January 24, 2011

After Almost 2 Years...

....of pulling out my hair and banging my head against the wall, Aliza is finally pooping in the potty! I cannot describe how profoundly exciting this is to me. The first night it happened I was at Bible study. When I came home Aliza tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear that she peed and pooped at the same time. I started feeling for wet thinking I needed to change her and didn't feel anything. I asked if Daddy had helped her. She said "No, I pooped in the potty." I said, "You did??? YOU DID!!!!" I wrapped her up in the arms and gave her a huge hug. When I looked at her she had the proudest smile on her face and happy tears in her eyes. I was done in. My eyes were teary and I looked at Mom, who happened to be there, and her eyes were teary too. Since then there has not been an accident and she has told me several times, "Mom, I'm getting the hang of it."

Here's what happened. Aliza went 12 days without pooping. I had to do some serious intervention and we got her back on track. My solution to preventing this problem was stool softener and that seems to have been just what was needed. Why, oh why, didn't I think of this 18 months ago? I had a feeling there was something wrong with the trainer... One day I will apologize to my little girl for all the spankings she endured during the time when we thought that might motivate her in the right direction. The final threat was that she would not be able to have her 5th birthday party until she was pooping in the potty. It looks like she will have her party on time!

(Christie, the first time was the same day we talked.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Anna--2 Months

Once I start kissing those cheeks it is very hard to stop! Right now Anna is laying beside me talking and smiling. She likes to stay up late and talk to Mommy and Daddy. Very soon Anna will be enrolled in the Heslop Family School of Falling-Asleep-By-Yourself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rooftops by Jesus Culture

I have not been able to get enough of this song. I could listen to it over and over and over. Not that I ever have a chance to listen to adult music. This Jesus Culture is in the car now and today Aliza said "Is this the Rooftop song again?" My response, Yes, it is as I turned it up loud enough that I would not be able to hear any little voices over the music!

Here I am before You, falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live, my life to You, oh God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All the good You've done for me, I lift up my hands for all to see
You're the only one who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth, the beauty of Your holy worth
So I kneel before You, God

I lift my hands cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am, I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Here I am, I stand, with arms wide open
To the One, the Son, the Everlasting God

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday it took all of us to give Anna a bath. I'm still loving that puj tub!

Yesterday Aliza had a photoshoot with her most favorite book. There were at least 15 pictures of the book in various poses on my camera.

Today Anna weighs 11 lbs. 11 oz.

Today I made a major step towards becoming addicted to the Amazon Kindle. If only I could borrow digital books!
Today Grandad brought Josiah a box of scrap wood so that Josiah can build.

Today Josiah learned to cut. He concentrated so hard that his mouth opened and closed with the scissors.

Today I remembered that I forgot to say that I'm going to be an aunt again!!! Janell is expecting a baby in August.

Today we spent 45 minutes at the table doing crafts. Entertaining Aliza for that long is near impossible!
Today Aliza made a doll house out of construction paper. Each paper is a room. She cut out pieces for each room from papers she had printed then glued them.

Today Anna got shots so she hung out with me in the Moby Wrap. Her little legs were sore. =(

Today I love that Aliza provides me with blackmail for the future with her self-portraits.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Smiling Video

This video is on the long side. I know there is a set of grandparents that will enjoy seeing Anna is action!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Future Daddy

Now that Anna is smiling, Aliza and Josiah are a lot more interested in talking to her and feeding her. During supper Anna was fussing a little bit. Josiah proudly stepped up to the challenge of taking care of his sister. He was so serious. It was a sweet moment. Anna really wasn't hungry so she tolerated the bottle coming and going quite well.


It is always interesting when I read something that ties in with another aspect of my life. This morning I was reading the January 2011 issue of Woman's Day magazine that my Gramma gave me for Christmas. In their fitness article entitled more energy now! this paragraph jumped out at me.

"What fertilizer does for plants, joy does for people. Without joy in your life, you may survive, but you won't thrive. Living joyfully is about learning not to sweat the small stuff, achieving a balance between work and play, taking time for yourself and living in the moment."

And that's what I'm working to achieve this year....and the next....and the next...

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Have a Word!

I didn't think that I was going to have a word to live by this year. I thought about it when I read some blogs, but otherwise it really didn't cross my mind. But while I was driving this week I thought, "I really hope I survive this year." I have a baby, a toddler, and a preschooler. We embark on home education this fall and I really hope I just survive. I thought survive would be a good word for the year. Then I thought some more. "Wow, Carla, such high standards for yourself. Just survive. Make it through each day only to fall into bed. I can do better than that."

What is a higher calling than survive? I thought some more.

Thrive. My word for the year is thrive. As I thought about it I got a little excited. Growth, joy, contentment and confidence are all encompassed in the word thrive for me.

So, for example, on days like today where I figure my chance of survival is on the lower side, I'll turn on another DVD so I have a moment to sit and think and rebuild my patience. I won't feel guilty about that extra TV time because a grumpy Mommy does not make for happy children and too many of those grumpy moments do not lead to a thriving Mommy or children.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I opened the pantry this morning to get a new bottle of apple juice and there was none! I was trying so hard to keep tabs on our food supply to avoid the inevitable first grocery shopping trip with 3. I was hoping to put it off for another month. But I needed to give Aliza mineral oil in her apple juice and it was supposed to snow tonight so I was in a fix. I had to go for it.

It was a real fix. Aliza and Josiah were both outrageously needy and grumpy this morning. Anna was fussing. The last thing I wanted to do was pack up and head to the store. I had to think about the logistics a bit. I went with the plan to park beside a cart return and load the baby carrier in the back of the cart (leaving no room for groceries). Josiah riding in the cart in and out of the store was a bonus. He usually walks the whole time. He did walk in the store. As I walked out of the house I desperately prayed (out loud), "God, please go with us!" When we got in the car I wanted to high five Aliza and Josiah and pump my fists in the air. They behaved so well! I couldn't have asked for a smoother trip. It definitely exceeded my expectations, however, I don't plan to attempt this on a regular basis--yet!

A couple sweet little baby smiles--complete with happy noises that you can't hear!

(I did fix the red eye on the above photos, but I chose the wrong file. I'm too lazy to redo it. Why won't the computer just read my mind! It should know to replace that file. lol.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sorrow Into Joy

This story is begging to be written. I need to get it on "paper" and out of my head. The weeks of wonder and sadness need to be closed. I hesitate to write because just a generation ago this issue would not be discussed with the closest of friends let alone on digital "paper." I'm choosing to share what has happened in my heart because answers have been acquired and the decision has been made.

This is the rest of my birth experience from the last 7 weeks:

Not long after Anna was delivered, my surgeon (who is not my primary doctor) said, "Carla, I strongly recommend that you not get pregnant again." I immediately started coaching myself not to cry. I knew I couldn't look at Jeremy. I turned my head away and looked out the high windows at the gray sky and watched the occasional bird fly past. The surgeon briefly explained that because scar tissue does not heal as strongly as muscle I had a "window", a very thin area in the uterus. This "window" caused the surgeon to fear a uterine rupture should I have another pregnancy. She said she would attempt to repair that area. Nothing else was said during the procedure.

I was left with my thoughts and dreams. I went to recovery and finally got to hold my baby. I kept it together while Mom and Dad met Anna. There was a moment that I got my Mom's attention. She came to me and I told her and started to sob. To my surprise, she already knew. Jeremy had told our parents which told me that it was heavy on his mind and heart. He and I shared our disappointment later in the afternoon. We were not ready or prepared for this to be our last baby.

My surgeon was the doctor who saw me the day I was discharged and I took the opportunity to ask her how the repair went. She explained what she did. I told her how sad Jeremy and I were as we had planned to have another baby. She looked very slightly sheepish and said that we could have another pregnancy. That the group of doctors would all be comfortable if I got pregnant, they would watch closely and deliver early so as to avoid contractions. That was nice to hear, but why would she have made such a wild statement in the OR? She is a fine surgeon, but I had lost some confidence in her by then. Jeremy wasn't with me for this conversation and I knew I could not have another pregnancy with only this information.

I needed to wait for my 6 week follow up appointment for some answers. In the meantime, I cried. My heart was sad. The tears came in floods. I held Anna and tried to be ok that she was my last. I imagined our family with 3 children. I was a little angry at medicine that determined I had to have 3 c-sections which seemingly ruined my womb. I started grieving the little not-yet-conceived person that already had a spot in my heart and in my dreams.

I'm not trying to be dramatic. This is really how deeply I felt this. I even felt guilty for not being able to easily walk away from my child bearing years with 3 healthy children. And I couldn't talk about it. This verbal processor had to be quiet!

Last Friday that 6 week appointment finally came. Jeremy and I were able to have a conversation with my primary doctor. In her office. She took a lot of time with us and we left confident. After reading the surgery report and listening to what the surgeon had spoken to me she didn't hesitate....if you want another baby, have another baby. Really?? She had to convince me a little despite my happiness. She explained uterine rupture, uterine window and what steps would be taken to make sure I don't have contractions. People with higher risk of uterine rupture than me are told they can have another pregnancy. My doctor said that I did not have a true uterine window because the doctor had to use a scapel to get to the baby. My uterus looked like she would expect a laboring uterus to look. (Well, I did have contractions for 6 hours before the c-section. Not that anyone really cared about that when I was being monitored.) I would deliver another baby between 36 and 38 weeks to avoid any contractions.

My prayer was that I would have a solid answer. That prayer has been answered and I am so thankful. My sorrow has turned to joy.

Now it is time to enjoy not being pregnant! Anna started smiling and is delighting me with her little coos and happy noises. I am feeling very good. It is great to be able to lift Josiah or bend down to pick up toys without discomfort or thinking twice.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Thyroid Drama

I was thrilled to find out this morning that I will make it through this post partum time without having to deal with high thyroid levels. I had labwork done 4 1/2 weeks after delivery which is earlier than my previous two experiences. I thought that I was having some very mild symptoms of high thyroid so I made the decision to go back to my pre-pregnancy prescription before I got the results. Today the doctor's office called to tell me that my thyroid was slightly high and if I wasn't feeling bad to stay on my pregnancy dose. I explained that I had just had a baby and that I would like a prescription for my pre-pregnancy dose because my TSH was just going to get higher. I'll be very happy to have that new prescription in my hands (I finished what I had leftover). I wanted very badly to avoid a high TSH. I'm thankful that I followed my gut and have learned to manage my own health care in this area.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stretching Out the New Year

Whew! The house is quiet. Absolutely silent. Silence is a glorious sound in this loud house. I need a few moments to unwind tonight. It has been a busy 24 hours! Aliza started with a stomach bug at 1am that kept me awake most of the night. We were scheduled to leave Jeremy's parents this morning, but we delayed that to this afternoon. We arrived home safely tonight with only one throw up incident which I think will be the last. Aliza seems to have perked up a little this evening. She has not kept anything down yet so hopefully after a good night's sleep she will feel like eating in the morning. I don't think I would have made it through the morning without Karen. She took full care of Anna. Then sent us home with supper for the road and enough food for at least 2 meals.

It is so funny how life happens. Yesterday I had such a lovely day. In the morning we had scones and tea with Brandi and her Mom and sister. In the afternoon Jeremy and I slipped out for a few hours by ourselves. Then in the evening Karen and I walked around the mall and found an incredible sale at Gap. Incredible as in $69 jeans marked down to $18 with an additional 40% off. I was just giddy that night....feeling so relaxed...almost like I had a vacation.....and that night Anna slept through until 5:30am.....It would have been a perfect night, but life happened. Aliza got sick.

Anna and Daddy rung in the New Year together.

6 weeks

Grandma Karen bought a pre-assembled gingerbread house for Aliza and Josiah to decorate. When she took it out of the box it was in about 10 pieces instead of 1 piece. One thing I love about my in-laws is that every once in a while I can see why Jeremy is the way he is. Karen spent a very long time reconstructing that crushed gingerbread house. She was absolutely determined to fix it no matter how long it took. (Jeremy is the same way!) Sometimes it drives me nuts. Like the lights on our Christmas tree this year.... He spent 45 minutes trying to figure out which light was burned out, keeping a whole string of lights of lighting, while we waited to decorate the tree. It is good for his line of work though because he can spend forever tracing a computer problem and solving it. Anyway, after trying crazy glue, elmer's glue, duct tape and frosting. It was Jeremy who had the patience and determination to come along and help construct a cardboard roof. Aliza and Josiah thoroughly enjoyed decorating. All the preparation was time well spent!

There were tea parties in which the tablecloth soaked up more tea than the tiny play teacups could hold. There were pretend birthday parties with Brandi that Mommy was decidedly not invited to. There was lots of Anna awake time in which we learned that she particularly likes to sleep on Grandma's bed nice and cozy warm. And there was the trip to church in which Aliza wore slippers because one of her church shoes was size 8 and the other size 10.

I'm pretty sure I could say more, but I feel unwound and that means it is time to sleep. Good night! I'm praying that everyone in my house will be healthy and happy in the morning.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

One More Christmas Adventure

What? It has been a week since I've posted?? I must have a new baby or something. haha. The days seem to slip away and the nights slip away even faster. We've had a good week though and I have some good pictures. Since we are now at my in-laws house I think I'll find some time to post them.

Anna took her first trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house. She was an awesome traveler. We did not hear a single peep from her the whole 4.5 hour trip. As I was driving I realized that we were going to have our first restaurant experience with 3 children. My heart started beating harder. It turned out great. Aliza and Josiah behaved very well. I fed Anna and we were back on the road. We arrived at 3pm. Anna woke right up and ate some more. She did not go back to sleep until 10:30pm and she ate a whole bunch while she was awake and continued to eat every 3 hours all night.

As soon as we got settled and Joel and Brandi arrived we had Christmas with Jeremy's family.

Cuddled in with Uncle Joel

Scottevest is a company that makes clothes for technology oriented people. The clothing has lots of pockets for gadgets. Karen found out that scottevest makes boxers. It is completely beyond me why anyone needs pockets in their boxers.

Now we will be here for a couple days before we start the trek home. It seems like Anna knows she is in a new place. She is taking a good nap in her (familiar) car seat right now. Jeremy is starting the new year with a round of golf. Me? I'll start the new year off right with a nap this afternoon! No, I did not even stay up until midnight last night!