Friday, April 29, 2011

Finding Joy...and other favorite things

I decided to join my new friend Rachel at Finding Joy for her "Friday Favorite Things" this week.
I have quite a few favorite things on any day of the week, and I do love looking for (and finding) joy!

I always appreciate Rachel's lists and photos; her heart and perspective. 
It resonates with mine for sure!

friday favorite things | finding joy

Delight with me in finding joy this Friday....

Last night I woke at 2am to nurse Aloria.  Her tummy didn't appreciate the beans I ate
for dinner, and so I spent a little time patting her back and putting gentle pressure on her tummy.
Finally, when she had been peaceful for a bit of time I lay her down so I could sleep.
Looking at the clock before I shut my eyes I chuckled because it was 4am - I knew she'd
be waking up again any moment!  I must have shut my eyes, and THAT is the theme and variation
of my life: Don't blink.


























When I pried my bloodshot eyes open this morning I asked my beloved
"Did you order snow for May Day?"
Because this was the view off my back porch.

A little later, the girls and I had a little party on my bed when we decided to stamp
Aloria's foot prints on her decorative birth certificate.


































Then...(drumroll please) the sisters dressed her!


























Snaps are HARD!










































But they were conquered with fortitude and perseverance.
(And some gnashing of teeth)

video

It appears that Carolina is plumb worn out from the experience!


























Wow.
Four girls!

The mornings snow has mostly melted off now, and it's very drippy outside.  It makes for a very cozy
day for a fire in the wood stove and maybe a candle or two.  Certainly not the April weather I grew up with!
I like it anyway.  It's perfect for hunkering down with a new baby.  We in our den, like bears not yet out of
Winter hibernation.

I can hardly take my eyes off this new display of God's miraculous creative work!
Aloria and I are really enjoying getting to know one another.
This is what I spend countless moments gazing at - trying not to blink.


































She's pretty perfect.
Just like her big brothers and sisters:-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Blue Bell

Otherwise titled: OH . MY . GOODNESS!
And this barrage of pictures is dedicated to the Great Grandmas :-)


































A dear dear friend knit this beautiful Blue Bell hat and I am smitten!
-Especially when Aloria is underneath:-)




































I crocheted the red baby afghan a few months ago. 
Since it was  * s.n.o.w.i.n.g.*  today I'm glad we have a few cozy things like it to bundle her up in!





























































































































We love you grandmas!
We hope you like pictures of our Aloria because there will probably be a few
more in the days/weeks/months/years to come!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Soaking it all in


































It's not that I am so organized, or diligent, or amazing.
I get these recent pictures and posts up for two reasons:
1) For the grandma's and aunties and all the family far from us in body.
2) Because AJ and the children are running the home so I can rest.


























Which is what I've been doing.  Rest is good.  Aloria is pretty good at it too:-)
She's been nothing but a pleasure.  Well, that and a wonder.
Each of my other children too, as I see them rise to new challenges and embrace things that are hard
or not fun (such as doing the necessary chores to keep things afloat).
Zachary has been cooking for us.  He even made a grocery list and Dad took the 6 big kids shopping
(everyone knows that grocery shopping with dad is FUN!  It's a whole different ball game.).
Here's last night's dinner of fajitas - well done my son!


























Tonight he made hamburgers and green jello and took them up the hill to share with cousins.

The Bugletts climb up on the bed all through the day to cuddle and read, and admire sister.
It's been delightful to see their love and devotion to her already.






























































































































































I am soaking in every moment with Aloria in these first few days.  I love it.
There have been the usual hormones and pains that go with the package,
but these are the memories to savor.  They are the ones I want to keep with me always:-)


video

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It All Started... (the story of Aloria Mercy's arrival)

It all started on the first sunny day of our slow-to-come Spring.
It took me some time to dig out the "mud season" clothes and help all the little ones
into their shoes, jackets, hats...
Then I found a spot in the sun to watch from and to sip frothy chocolate from my red mug.


























Over a largely rounded belly I watched as the kids, all dressed in varying pieces of camouflage,
scurried into the woods armed with buckets and shovels.
"We're prospecting for worms!"  Susanna tells me.
And they were.
Imagine if you will, six-gallon buckets full of dirt and a mother lode of worms.
It was impressive.  And entertaining too!
There was much talk of Summer time fishing, while Bryce in his last day as baby
scouted for sticks and bugs...























 ...and talked Tractor with Daddy.



























































Carolina had an ambition to climb a tree.
This was as far as she ever got,
but that's okay.  I think that watching her made my hot chocolate taste even better!






















One of my favorite things to see from that sunny spot was this precious man
meeting my needs in such a gracious, tangible way.


































Here he builds my co-sleeper (a crib to set up next to our bed) and tells me when I thank him:
"I have little choice when I start getting bashed on the blog!"


































*Sigh*
He loves me ;-)

I think he has reverence for the good opinion of all you - O' friends of mine - who know the
joys, pains, and hearts desires of a mother.  So be complimented, and I thank you too
for contributing to the timely arrival of my coveted co-sleeper :-)

Then there were little people who getting into the spirit of things,
built a table and bench...






















It was a VERY productive day - for every one!

********************************************************************

A week and a half ago I predicted having this baby on Saturday night, the eve of Easter Sunday
(which is April 24th this year - my due date being April 26th)
because I think babies like to double up on special dates.
Remember Bryce was born on our 12th wedding anniversary?  A Saturday night labor nonetheless.

I thought I'd better make the special Easter dinner preparations ahead... just in case.
So after soaking in the sun  for a sufficient spell, and sipping the last from my red mug
I made jello, and hard boiled eggs for the Clayton-requested deviled eggs.
Carolina helped me mix up the egg yolk filling, and there was no indication of not being able
to complete the rest the next day.

It's amazing though, how quickly things can go from this "my baby":


























to this the newest edition of "my baby":


























Now I will recount a few details of the hours between making jello and smooching on these chubby cheeks
but first I warn you, that this is for the posterity of our blogging journal
(which I hope to one day have made into a book).

If you will feel a strong desire to throw tomatoes at me or boo me out of the house where labor horror stories are told
because you shortly find I went into labor at 9:00pm on Saturday, and was holding my darling three and a half hours later... 
you've read far enough-and-thank-you-for-visiting this post. Come back next week :-)

*******************************************

For those who look for reasons to rejoice, and for those who love a story that gives hope...
carry on.

Although I had been having more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions during the early evening hours,
they were not abnormal for me.
It wasn't until 9pm when I felt that first "real" contraction that I knew it was time to buckle up for the ride.

(Up 'till that point, I was still hoping to be one of that minority who goes through an entire
labor and birth pain-free.  Haven't you heard those stories?  One can dream anyways.)


AJ called Uncle Char and had him come pick up the kiddos for a slumber party with the cousins
so I didn't have a deadline to accomplish my work by
(morning light and the pitter-pat of little feet, in this case).

With the Bugletts packed off AJ called the midwives; and I posted briefly on my blog divulging my fears
for the upcoming unknown.

I asked the Lord to help me worship Him.
I held close the knowledge of His death and power over it; His resurrection and the fact that death to myself was bringing forth life.
I wanted to receive this work as a privilege and accept it with joy for His names sake.
And yet...
I was fearful.

I am not proud to say it, but it was very difficult not to wander into the future, to predict how long
I'd be fighting to relax through painful contractions.
To resist anticipating Transition - that place where there is no hope of backing out!


Alas...


I found my laboring groove, sat on my birthing stool, and heard the midwives arrive and set up.
My face was in a pillow as I leaned over the back of my chair.
I had large breaks in between contractions with time to relax and regroup. It was fairly peaceful.

Amazingly, my water broke at 12:05am.and after that I turned to the midwives and said
"Okay.  Another couple good...bad...hard...contractions to bring the baby down and I'll need 
to move to the bed on the floor to push baby out."

I am convinced that I was fully dilated when my water broke, even though I hadn't been checked
at any point prior to that.

It was at this time that I became excited!  I got my second wind and knew the end was near.

It went just as I had predicted to the midwives.
12:10am I moved to a reclining position,
a couple pushes and a head;
A lusty cry.
Another couple pushes

and then a baby.
12:20 am AJ caught her beautifully -
he announced with a laugh "We have another GIRL!"

I was just so relieved. SO relieved. SO thankful, so grateful and so thrilled to be holding that wet
slippery, vernix-covered little girly, who soon quieted once she was handed up to me.
I didn't hear an unhappy squeak out of her the rest of the night and she latched on beautifully
shortly after her cord was cut.

To be completely honest (and humble here), I could not BELIEVE it went that quickly without
being a furious labor.  I mean... I STILL can't believe it.

I really didn't think we could top Bryce's labor and delivery, and then... O' marvel of marvels,
to see this baby for the first time - we hadn't any ultrasounds this pregnancy - and realize that
everything I saw appeared perfectly formed and health-filled.






















To realize that the Lord God had blessed me above my wildest hopes in the mercy of His grace!
His unmerited favor has been great upon me and AJ.
We were confident even before-hand that He would faithfully glorify Himself in whatever form
our labor, our child, our story... took.
I just did not expect that glory to be in such a manner that would make our lives so filled
with ease and uninhibited joy once again!

So... a couple hours sleep for my Fella, and I lay sleepless beside him, Aloria nestled into the crook
of my arm - close enough to my face that I could bury my nose in her hair.
Breathing in that sweet new-baby-smell I waited for the morning light
and watched the first rays of sun touch our south hill treetops, then break over the landscape little by little
proclaiming the resurrection of our Lord!
Proclaiming new life FOR us, and proclaiming our own new life.  Glorious! 
That calm spring sunshine spoke all the volumes in my heart without me ever saying a word..























And that is the story - our story of how Aloria Mercy came to join this clan -
short, sweet, and with a happy ending;
which actually, is only the beginning of other wonders to be opened to us as we watch God
write the rest of our Aloria's story.
We are confident we will watch Him weave into that account
many many evidences of His wonderful Majesty and grace!

My heart wells up with Hallelujahs!  Thank you LORD, for your mercies.  I am in awe.

*******************************************************

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NEW LIFE on Resurection Morning!!!

With great rejoicing in His perfect gifts, 
and awe at His abundant mercy
we introduce you to:

Aloria Mercy


She is a pudgy, scrumptious little cupcake she is!

Miss Aloria arrived into Daddy's hands at 12:20 am on April 24, 2011
(what was I afraid of again?)


She measures 22 inches long and weighs 8 pounds 14 ounces!  
"weigh her again..."  I said, "...I don't believe you"

Later that morning she was discovered...























Susanna discovers her hair.... and a bow for it.
Bryce discovers her tiny nose.



























































LOOK at all that puffy, scrumptious pudge!  Oh MY!  She'll even out later :-)


































Someone discovers her cheeks!


















And Clay...


































Thank you for your prayers!  I know the Lord answered them because I am the
most blessed recipient of His great favor!!!

More to come later, but 'scuse me... I have some cheek-smooching to do!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Baby's on the way...

I'm feeling like a coward and would covet your prayers for peace especially.
Hope the next news is the news you want to hear!


-me

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One more down!


































I finished Bryce's Christmas stocking BEFORE new baby's arrival!
Truly - this is a noteworthy accomplishment.  I started it soon after he was born
a year and a half ago and barely completed Carolina's in time for last Christmas:-}

When I started this tradition I knew I'd want to make a stocking for each of my children,
but it's getting harder to keep up and honestly, I'm not too inspired to start another right away!

If the next one goes anything like this last one though...
I have another 18 months before I begin to fret.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SUCH a BOY!

It was like deja-vu.
Little boy, one and a half years old, - wearing that same Water Ways sweatshirt even!
We got this book for Zack, and he was fascinated even at that young age.
It's called Heavy Equipment and is full of pictures of the biggest earth moving equipment
a person could ever hope to see in one place.  I am amazed still, but it has been one of the most
enduring favorites on our shelf, and today Bryce was introduced.

Zachary is such a great big brother and the right person to sit and point out all the important parts.
I was entertained and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
I bet Bryce's vocabulary grew quite a bit today - just looking at this book with his brother:-)

video

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Serenity


































I posted this picture just so I could look at a clean floor for longer than five minutes.  HA!

Actually I thought you might enjoy seeing how I hang the Bugletts current artwork.
I've really enjoyed having a designated place to enjoy their best pieces.  Plus I just love the
burst of color they add to my wall (and life!).

I have a box which holds all the rest of their daily artwork and unfinished drawings
(the ones that have to be put away because it's time to set the table for dinner)
but when that gets filled up (usually every several months), I sort through and collect all my
favorites, making sure to name and date, then punch holes in them for a three ring binder.
(psssst... the rest get thrown away - I know, *gasp*)

The children really enjoy perusing that binder/s every year or so and looking at their great
creations from years past!
It works for me today, so that's how I do it :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

WHO'S Nesting?
















 
I am pretty relaxed about the baby's arrival this time, but usually
there is something I get fixated on that makes me anxious until it's "ready"
for baby BEFORE baby gets here.
With Zachary it was having "his" room completely remodeled.
With Clayton it was having an area rug for the wood floor in the boys room.
With Susanna... there was something, I'm sure.
With Olivia it was was getting doors on the bathroom cupboards.
With Carolina it was finishing OUR bedroom.
With Bryce I wanted AJ to build me a co-sleeper.

Bryce arrived the night it was made and set up by our bed.


This baby?  We have everything.  Or... if we don't we'll survive.
(It occurs to me that I should dig out the infant car seat at some point
- just in case I need it right away!)

It has felt so wonderful to not get all tied up in needing to have something done,
but I've never really needed that something done.  Some of those things mentioned above
didn't happen before baby came and guess what?
Baby came anyway.
They have a way of doing that.
Something about pregnancy hormones just overtook my vision and all I could see was
this one thing I was determined to have done! It was an obsession, and usually one I could
not accomplish on my own.

Don't mistake me, there are things still to get done this time around.
I need another co-sleeper built, but I figure it will happen.  Eventually.
I usually sleep baby on my chest for a few nights anyway just to hear him/her breath.
I just don't have that overwhelming hormonal overdrive!

There IS someone nesting though...


































getting wrapped up in several projects at once.
This, is a closet in the front porch to house jackets, hats, mittens, boots...
Fishing poles, machetes, canteens, BB guns, shovels, saws... you name it,
it's supposed to fit into this closet.
Personally it doesn't look quite big enough to me (nor in the shape of a co-sleeper),
 but I'm thrilled about it nonetheless!  I can't wait to remove the jacket stack from my living room!


































And this?  This is a new sink and vanity in our new pantry, just next to my new dryer...
It is the second ever sink in our house (!) and will accommodate hand washing for the
toilet traffic, and also teeth-brushing which means I can remove 8 tooth brushes from
where they currently reside in my kitchen. 
I'm looking forward to that :-)
There are other things too, such as some LED lighting that turns on with a switch,
and a fan that removes stink from afore-said toilet room.
(it's the little things in life!).

You know, I have been feeling so good for being nine months pregnant!
Still one week left until my actual due date, but I am sleeping all night,
only ONE bathroom call if any (what is the secret to THAT?!),
no back spasms, and very very little heartburn.  Wow.  Just wow.

So anyway, I don't know if my Great Guy is nesting in sympathy for me
or if Spring has begun tickling the senses, but whatever it is we are DOING stuff
around here!
Thanks, my Great Guy - you are the best :-)
Always!