April 30, 2007

Let's Hear It for Dad!

I realize I often dote on our kids in my blog writing. It's for a good cause, keeping friends and family up to date on their growth and cute antics. But it's high time for a tribute to my other half, my dear and loving husband, my one and only lover, best friend, and confidant! Since this is my 200th post on this blog, I will now list 200 reasons why I love my man! (OK, really I won't, but I'll list a few anyway!) Here they are, in no particular order...

I love Ted because:

1. He adores me.
2. He adores our children.
3. He fixes me hot tea every morning...mmm!
4. He has a great bed head. (See picture!)
5. When his blue eyes sparkle at me, he rocks my whole world!
6. He has a great laugh.
7. He loves to be punny.
8. He wrestles with the kids so they don't climb on me!
9. He gives the kids their baths in the evenings.
10. He gives me backrubs.
11. He knows when I'm tired and tells me to take a nap.
12. He loves my cooking.
13. He's BUFF!!!
14. He looks cool in sunglasses.
15. He teaches me about hockey.
16. He likes to play tonsil hockey. ;-)
17. He doesn't seem to mind my obsession with stamping.
18. He appreciates the scrapbooks I make and shows them off to others.
19. He has his quiet time with God first thing in the morning.
20. He prays for me.
21. He prays for our kids.
22. He reads my blog.
23. He teases our kids.
24. He jumps on the trampoline with the kids, even though he has a bum knee.
25. He hates running but does it anyway (that's a commitment to good health!).
26. He slow dances with me even when there's no music playing.
27. He gives the best foot rubs.
28. He warms me up when I'm cold.
29. He picks up the newspaper every morning and the mail every evening.
30. He loves my parents.
31. He encourages me to follow my dreams.
32. He values time with family.
33. He doesn't put his career ahead of his commitment to God and family.
34. He faithfully attends church.
35. He has a passion for serving young people.
36. He's a great listener.
37. He has an extensive CD collection.
38. He likes having me be a stay-at-home mom.
39. He fully supports our efforts to home school our children.
40. He loves to read.
41. He always closes the lid to the toilet.
42. He's a great cook.
43. He does laundry.
44. He always holds my hand when we go for walks.
45. He loves me without make-up.
46. He can always make me laugh.
47. He's patient but firm with the children.
48. He loves me sacrificially.
49. He desires to be the man God wants him to be and pursues godliness.
50. He makes decisions with eternity in mind.

Wow...I could keep going, but it's time to feed Kenna and get to bed. I hope when Ted reads this he'll smile and know how much I love and adore him!

Too Cute at Two Months

Wow, is Kenna really 2 months old already?! Friday was her checkup, right on her 2-month birthday. She now weighs 10 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 22 1/4" long. (Her birth stats were 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and 19 3/8" long.) She is doing great, as you can tell by this adorable picture of her and Charis! At night she is going anywhere from 4-6 hours during her long stretch, usually 4 1/2 to 5 hours on average, but we've made it 6 hours once! So, she's getting there. I'm hoping it will be sooner rather than later that she begins sleeping through the night consistently, as I'm beginning to wonder about my mental health these days. :-)

April 17, 2007

Our Life in Pictures

Kenna is smiling! This is the only photo I have so far of her cute little grin, but she is consistently smiling at us throughout the day. I love it! Now I can't wait to hear her giggle for the first time!

Tobin is growing more and more fond of Kenna every day. He has gone from saying he hates babies to telling Kenna "I love you" multiple times each day. He loves to put his head next to hers when she's lying on a blanket on the floor and smile at her while repeating, "Kenna, Kenna, Kenna!" (At least she'll learn her name fast!)

Charis and Arden are forever finding creative costumes around here. The characters of the day in this picture are gypsies. Don't ask me how they came up with that--as far as I know, we haven't referenced gypsies since last November when they read the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney style, from the library).

Charis is still in love with her baby sister. She asks to hold her many times each day, and I try to accommodate her request as often as possible. The only thing that bothers her is when Kenna spits up! She loves to make up songs to sing to her, and she coos and talks to her in such a sweet little voice. I love listening to her--makes me think she'll be a great mommy herself one day!

We call this pose of Kenna's "The Thinker." Looks just like the sculpture, don't you think?!

Arden playing his "drums." He's been inspired by his friend Kyle, who plays drums and let the kids play on his drumset when we were at their house for Easter dinner.

The day The Box came...our new Sonlight materials! Charis and Tobin are thrilled!

Should I Be Worried?!

It was bound to happen. With having a new little sister, plus a big sister who is obsessed with babies to the point of "nursing" her dolly at the table, Arden decided that it would be a good idea to nurse his Mr. Tiger. Just before this picture was taken, Arden had informed me, "I need to feed my baby from here" and lifted his shirt and pointed to his nipple. Trying not to laugh, I told him that daddies actually needed to feed their babies with a bottle and that only mommies fed their babies from "there." He looked at me, completely serious, and said, "But, um, I need to feed my baby." Sure enough, a few seconds later, there was Mr. Tiger, latched on for lunchtime...

April 14, 2007

Tobin Turns 5!

Friday the 13th was Tobin's 5th birthday! I can hardly believe he's 5 already. Some days it seemed we would never get out of the toddler phase with him! For all the difficulties he gives us, he really is a sweet boy who is learning to think of others before himself on occasion. :-) He's grown and matured so much in the last year. I especially thank God for his sensitive heart for those who don't know Jesus. (He always wants to pray for the people who go to the Mormon church by our house, that they will find a church that teaches the truth so they can know Jesus and go to heaven!)

We had a small home party for Tobin this year. It was a little disappointing that 3 families we invited were unable to come, but Tobin didn't seem to mind and had a great time with Sarah's kids and Debi's 11-year-old son Kyle. Tobin absolutely ADORES Kyle--sometimes I think Tobin really needs a big brother, but since he obviously will never get one, it's nice that Debi brings Kyle over now and then to play with Tobin!

Tobin wanted a superhero birthday party (of course), so we printed out Batman invitations from a kids' web site and told everyone to wear their favorite superhero costume (or any costume they wanted, for that matter). Friday morning I dropped Charis and Arden off with the B's so I could take Tobin and Kenna to the store. It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with Tobin (Kenna doesn't really count at this point!). I treated him to a fruit and yogurt parfait at the Walmart McDonald's before we started our shopping, and then I let him pick out his cake. After much deliberation--Spiderman cake or Incredibles cupcakes?--he chose the Incredibles cupcakes. I was glad--there were only 12 cupcakes, compared with 1/4 sheet cake, which I knew would be way too much since the attendee list was pretty short. Then I let him pick out the ice cream, and he chose rainbow sherbet.

Then we headed to the party store. I would have gladly skipped this errand, as the winds were tremendously strong Friday morning. However, getting a balloon bouquet for our kids' birthdays has been a tradition, and I knew Tobin would be disappointed if he didn't get his balloons. We puttered around a bit looking at the superhero stuff, and I got some Batman napkins and Spiderman and Superman plates. I also got a Spiderman "bop bag" so the kids could play with it during the party. I had decided I would not do any organized games, there would be no prizes, and there would be no party favors. At this point in my life, it's all about simplifying! I did print out some superhero coloring sheets and word puzzles, but they actually never got used during the party. No matter--Tobin will do them all eventually! At the party store Tobin spent his $5 of birthday money from Aunt Iola on two superhero coloring books, and he spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon coloring in them, a great way to keep him quiet! We managed to get the balloons stuffed into the back of the van despite the strong winds, thanks to the help of a very kind customer who took pity upon seeing me struggle with Kenna's car seat, the store door that was being suctioned shut by the hurricane-force gales, and 9 helium-filled balloons that were ready to take off into the wild blue yonder.

We had the party in the afternoon, and the kids enjoyed bouncing on the trampoline for most of the time. They ran around the house awhile, too, and then they did settle down for cake and ice cream. Tobin had a ball opening all of his presents (which included a Spiderman t-shirt, Spiderman backpack, Spiderman puzzle, Spiderman slipper socks, and Spiderman web slinger...notice a pattern here?!) and was extra thrilled to get $20 spending money as well. I'm sure he'll find a fun way to use it the next time we can get to the store!

The party must have been a success, because Tobin has said several times today, "I really like all my presents that I got!" or some variation thereof. Now, if I can get him to sit down and write thank you notes, we'll be all set...


Now that it's been nearly a week, I guess maybe I should write about our Easter! Our church had 8 services instead of the usual 5, and as they encouraged regular attenders to think about coming to an "off" service, I decided it might be a good idea to attend the Saturday afternoon service at 2:30. It was very strange getting dressed up in the middle of a Saturday, let me tell you! I think my system would go haywire if we ever had to attend Saturday evening services. I'm just so set on having "church" be a Sunday morning thing, but I'm glad that there are additional options for those who need them.

Saturday evening we made our traditional Easter Story Cookies, which involves putting the little "tombs" in the oven and "sealing" it (with tape) and waiting for the next morning, when we get to break open the cookies and find that they are hollow. We have made these for the past 4 years, and the kids love the whole process. However, since they have nuts in them (very essential for the "rocky" part of the tombs), none of the kids will actually EAT the Easter Story Cookies. Good thing I enjoy them, ha!

Sunday morning was very nice and relaxing. I hid Easter baskets for the kids outside, and they enjoyed playing with the goodies while I made our traditional Sunday-morning whole-wheat pancakes. Then we went back to church again so that I could fulfill my volunteer duties at the 11:45 service, the time I serve weekly in the pre-school ministry. After that we went home and rested a bit before going to Debi's house for a wonderful time of food and fellowship. Debi and her kids had put together an egg hunt for the kids, which was GREAT because I didn't have energy to do an egg hunt this year. We did, however, hide the "Resurrection Eggs" a few times while going through the stories associated with those.

Anyway, after the egg hunt we enjoyed a delicious dinner of honey-baked ham, cheesy hashbrown casserole, sweet potato casserole, green beans, fruit salad (the only thing I contributed to the spread!), rolls, and cute little cupcakes that looked like Easter baskets. I was very proud of the kids--they were well-mannered and ate quite well. They had so much fun playing with Kyle and Katelyn, Debi's kids. Kyle introduced them to drums--he had recently gotten a drum set and showed off a little for them, then allowed them to bang away, too. I'll have to post a picture later of Arden and his own little drum set...he has been inspired, to say the least! While the kids played, Debi and I enjoyed relaxing, visiting, and oohing and aahing over Kenna. :-)

And speaking of sweet little Kenna, here's a picture of her in her Easter outfit complete with cross bib. She promptly puked all over everything once we got to Debi's house, so it's a good thing I took a picture of her before we left!

April 11, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Funny

What a morning! This day has been...interesting...to say the least. It's times like these that a good sense of humor keeps me going, despite a less-than-desired amount of sleep last night. (Kenna nursed at 10:15, 1:15, 3:30, and woke again at 4:15 and 4:45 to fuss.)

Today's "Baby Blues" comic was so appropriate for my life these days. The mom says to herself, "Zoe and Hammie are playing with friends, and Wren [the baby] is napping. I might as well stop, relax (she sits, then lies down on the couch)...and rest up for the next fiasco!" This last part is said as Hammie tugs on her sleeve and announces, "I think Trent's pet snake just had babies under our stove!"

Thankfully, we don't have baby snakes running (oops, slithering) around our house, but resting up for the next fiasco is definitely a familar scenario around here. First of all, Kenna was fussy all morning. I think she maybe napped 20 minutes at a time. Second of all, Arden had diarrhea and went through 3 pairs of underwear before I even had a clue what was going on! I put him in pull-ups and he went through, I don't know, a lot of those before he finally started making it to the potty. Before this happened, though, he did manage to completely unload once on the floor right beside the potty. I'm sure I could have been extreme comedic fodder had anyone been watching me scurry from one end of the house to the other, trying to figure out how to balance a screaming baby, a poop-machine boy, breakfast, laundry, and home schooling all at once!!

We did make it through the morning. Charis was delighted with the new Flashmaster that I got for the kids to practice drilling math facts. It came with our Sonlight order, and I can tell it's going to be a hit with all of them. Tobin isn't ready for it yet, but once he sees it, I'm sure he'll be teaching himself some math facts just so he can have a chance to "play" it!

A friend came over after lunch to watch the older 3 kids while I took Kenna to base for my 6-week postpartum appointment. Had Kenna cooperated with the perfect schedule I had envisioned, she would have nursed right before we left, thereby giving me plenty of time to get to and from base before she would need me again. Obviously, given our less-than-perfect morning, this did not happen, and as I was sitting half naked in the exam room waiting for 20 minutes or so, I ended up with a definite first in my 6 1/2 years of motherhood: I endured a pap smear while nursing a baby. Hey, you gotta do what ya gotta do!

I did have a quiet afternoon as all the kids played in their own rooms--after running around outside together with their friend while I was gone, I think they were glad for some individual play time. The brief respite was most welcome, as Kenna began fussing again and made dinner preparations rather stressful.

NOTE TO SELF: Please stop eating queso dip! It didn't make for a happy baby 5 1/2 weeks ago when you tried it, and obviously it's not helping now, either!!!

I broke down and had some chips and queso dip last night. It was calling my name, and I thought perhaps the one bad night we had had the last time I ate it could have either been a fluke, or perhaps her system would better be able to take something a bit exotic. I haven't really had any other problems with foods I eat while nursing--none of the other kids had any noticeable reactions to anything I ate. So I thought it wouldn't hurt to try the dip again. Well...I don't think I'll be eating any of it for a long time now.

OK, I guess I've covered the "Bad" and the "Funny" so far, so I'll close with the "Good." Remember the "Mean Mommy" notation Charis wrote on her handwriting page yesterday? Last night she gave me an index card, turned lengthwise, with this precious message:

To Mommy,
from Charis.
You are the
best Momm-
y I do know.
You rerry
are. I Love
you so so mu-
ch. Yes I do.

Ah, sweet motherhood!


Whew. I could write tons about what all we've been doing lately, but if I put it in a nutshell, it wouldn't be terribly exciting. Basically, the kids run wild while I try to nap. :-) OK, that's probably an extreme, but sometimes it seems as if all I'm doing is trying to catch a few extra winks while calling out something along the lines of "Would you PLEASE be quiet so Mommy can get some rest?!"

Kenna has actually gone 4 hours between feedings almost every night for the past week or so. The problem is that it's only once, and the next stretch would only be 2 1/2 or 3 hours at the most. Even worse, after that feeding, she sometimes would wake halfway through her cycle and fuss awhile. By Saturday I was thinking I would check myself into a funny farm, but thankfully the last two nights have been better. Sunday night I fed her at 10:30 p.m., 3 a.m., and 6:30 a.m. Not bad! Last night I fed her at 9:30 p.m., 1:30 a.m., and 4:30 a.m. and just stayed up after the last feeding so I could have a semi-normal morning with my hot tea, quiet time, and shower. Aaaahhh! I've even gotten naps 2 days in a row, despite the efforts of the older kids to inform me about every little transgression committed by their siblings.

In other news, we have our Sonlight box!!! The language arts instructor's guide is on backorder but should arrive in the next week or two. I'm beyond thrilled with all of our new stuff, and let me tell you, it was no easy task to keep all those great books away from the kids while I was sorting through the packing slip! Tobin actually did read almost all of the readers already, but I'm sure he won't mind reading them again when the time comes. I did manage to keep the read-alouds out of their greedy little paws! It warms my heart to see my kids so excited about books. I plan to take some time to read through the instructors' guides, organize my binders, and rework our daily schedule so that when everything is here and organized, we can start off the right way.

Updating our daily schedule is something I've felt very convicted about. Now that Kenna is 6 weeks old, I desperately need for us all to get back on track. This haphazard approach to life of late has left me discouraged and frazzled. I realize that we need to be flexible while I am nursing a small baby who may or may not want to nurse every 3 hours on the dot every day the way she has much of the time. And I realize that a certain amount of clutter and chaos is perfectly normal for anyone, let alone a mom in my situation. Still, without a plan, I find myself going crazy when I look around and see all the piles of STUFF that somehow accumulate despite my best efforts to clean the house before bedtime. (The kids do a pretty good job of helping with this, but their standards of cleanliness are much different than mine!)

School days have also been hit and miss. If I've had a rough night with Kenna and try to snatch an extra hour or so of sleep in the morning, we don't eat breakfast until 9 or 9:30 and I don't shower until who-knows-when. It's awfully hard to get motivated to start school when it's after 10 a.m. and my mind is still foggy from lack of sleep. I'm hoping that our new materials will restore the excitement for all of us and help me feel my kids are getting a more well-rounded education. For awhile now it seems all I've had energy to keep up with is their math and handwriting. I know they've been getting lots of reading practice, and I've read aloud to them often while also letting them read to me, so that all has to count for something. And we do try to do our Bible stories every morning...though that falls by the wayside on my grumpy mornings.

I'm doing a lot of praying these days--praying that God will help my kids forget all the negative things I'm saying because I'm hormonal, moody, and tired. Praying that I can be consistent with training and discipline. Praying that I will show love to them even when they are driving me crazy. Praying that somehow God will use me to teach them what He wants them to know, despite all my flaws. It's been a rough year already, but I know it's only going to get better. Kenna should be sleeping through the night before too long, and I know from past experience that it's amazing what a difference it makes in my perspective to be able to sleep without interruption.

Somehow, in the midst of all the trials, the Bible study for Commission is coming along. I've written all 5 quiet times and am almost finished with the third day of group study. Two more to go, and if I have time, the Staffers' supplemental material and Counselors' discussion questions. If I don't have time to do the latter two, I know the Commission staff will understand. The theme this year is "Escape from Fantasy Island." We're examining Truth and the path to freedom. It's been an exciting and challenging topic. It always is, though! Whatever our theme, God always makes it come alive in my own heart as I'm writing it, usually through difficult circumstances. :-)

Most of my difficult circumstances (aside from lack of sleep) revolve around problems with the children's attitudes and behavior. It seems we are currently struggling with Charis's attitude--if it's not her idea, she doesn't want to do it, and that includes everything from chores to schoolwork to playtime activities. When she gets it in her head that something is "NOT FAIR" (usually meaning that she doesn't want to do what she's been asked, and it's NOT FAIR that I asked her to do something as horrible as working on her handwriting assignment or setting the table), then I suffer the Look of Wrath as only can be given by a 6-year-old. I've found papers with the words "Mean Mommy" written on them, and while part of me wants to die laughing at the drama, part of me just wants to cry because she's just not getting it. Today I talked with her about what "mean mommies" are really like. Hello--reality check! Mean mommies are mommies who beat their kids, yell and hurt their kids, or even abandon them forever. Is it mean for Charis's mommy to try to teach her to do the right thing?! I think not! Sigh.

Tobin's issue is less complex but nevertheless difficult. He hits. Or kicks. I've tried various approaches to this, but nothing seems to be getting the message through to him that it is never appropriate to hurt other people who are not trying to hurt him. Interestingly, the book Creative Correction (by Lisa Whelchel), which I love for its various ideas regarding the training and discipline of our children, is silent on the issue of hitting. You can look up nearly every other problem, from lying to tattling, and find some great ideas for stopping the behavior, but I haven't found anything on this topic. (Granted, I still haven't finished reading the book, but I did look in the topical index!!)

Arden, easygoing child that he is, nevertheless has his own issue. He's becoming quite the little drama king, crying over every little thing. Sometimes it takes great patience and a fair share of interpretation skills to be able to discern what the problem is, as his crying makes it difficult to understand what he is saying. On occasion he has a legitimate complaint (often related to Tobin's issue described above), but more often it's something ridiculous or a request that I simply can't grant. "I want to have Charis's bear," for example, when Charis is playing with it. As pathetic as he might look and sound, I can't just take his sister's toy away from her to appease him. This results in much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Add to this the fact that most drama occurs when I am nursing Kenna, and you have an idea of why we accomplish so little when it comes to ticking off tangible tasks on a to-do list. I can only hope and pray that the character education is somehow taking root and will pay off dividends down the road...

April 05, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl

And another one that has Daddy wrapped around her little finger...

April 02, 2007

A Visit from Grandma

After having my mom here for 2 weeks, the house seemed a bit lonely when she left! You wouldn't think there could be much difference in noise level with 4 kids remaining here, but the choruses of "Grandma, come play a game with me!" or "Grandma, look at this!" were no longer ringing out. So it was fun for all of us when Ted's mom, Rhonda, arrived for a brief visit last Wednesday. It was wonderful to have her here and very fun to introduce her to Kenna. I got a nap every day she was here except Saturday--ironically, the day both she and Ted were home, but also a challenging day with Arden's allergies/asthma and Kenna's sniffles. The kids enjoyed playing games with her, reading with her, coloring with her, doing puzzles with her...generally anything they could do with her, they did. They packed a lot of Grandma-time into those few days!

Since we knew Rhonda would be here this past weekend, Ted and I decided to do his birthday outing while she was here so she could go with us. We all wanted to see the Blue Man Group, so we asked my friend Debi if she'd be willing to help babysit. We were going to have her daughter come as well, but she was taken that night, so Debi's husband and son came along, and from all reports the evening went very well. The show was AWESOME!! Tickets were expensive but definitely worth it. Ted and I have decided that as long as we live in Las Vegas, instead of buying gifts for each other's special occasions, we will just choose an experience to enjoy. Seeing the Blue Man show was something we both wanted to do ever since we knew we'd be moving to LV, so it was a treat. Rhonda has also always wanted to see them, so it was fun to experience it together.

Despite a rough night with Kenna that night (she was having a hard time breathing because of her sniffles and woke to nurse every 2 1/2 hours, then waking to fuss somewhere in between), we did manage to all get to church Sunday morning. Then Rhonda treated us to lunch at Red Robin, a family favorite, before we had to take her back to the airport. We're so glad she could come and visit so soon after Kenna was born. Probably the next time we'll see her is when we take our family vacation to Denver close to the time for the Stampin' Up! convention.

Back in the Saddle Again...

...but I keep falling off! We're trying to get back into somewhat of a routine again, and while it is a worthy goal that succeeds on some occasions, on others it fails miserably. But that doesn't matter, I know. The days when we're "on" and things are going well--i.e. we're actually home schooling, we pick up after ourselves, and Kenna nurses predictably--I just try to enjoy the ride. There are plenty of days when we're all wearing our pajamas until well after lunch, school is the last thing on our minds, and the house is in utter chaos!

I know that some day I will look back and wish I had more time with my children during their early years. I know I will never look back and wish I had kept my house cleaner. So I'm trying to lay aside the control-freak part of my personality that always feels the need to control my surroundings by calming the clutter and managing the messes. It does give me a sense of peace and well-being to be able to look around and see things in order. However, I realize that true peace doesn't come from a clean house or a perfectly scheduled day. (If it did, we'd all be in trouble!)

So, we're chugging along, doing the best we can. We've had some fabulous home schooling days...and we've skipped a lot of days. I just placed our next Sonlight order and am SOOOO excited about getting Our Box before too long! I think that will energize all of us. I've really missed "doing Sonlight." This year ended up being kind of piece-meal, and while I think we've done all right, it hasn't had the "pizzazz" that I know we'll enjoy when we're doing a Sonlight core. I've ordered Core C (formerly known as Core K) and plan to have both Tobin and Charis going through it. He may dictate much of his language arts work to me, as he's still in the beginning stages of controlling his handwriting, but I think he'll really enjoy all the history and read-alouds, not to mention the science.

Science!! I'm so excited to actually have a curriculum for this subject! It has been entirely ignored this year. I'm just not one to go looking for little experiments to do, but when it's all laid-out for me--bada bing, bada boom--the Type A personality kicks in and I'll be all set to check off our activities!

We plan to do the read-alouds together in the evening as a family. This is one of the reasons we chose Sonlight in the first place--we all love good books, and I can't wait to share more moments with the kids and with Ted as we read classics together! (The kids and I are currently working our way through Mary Poppins!)

I even ordered an updated Pre-K instructor's guide along with the 3 new additions to the Core B/Pre-K core. (I get a 50% discount off the IG because I've already purchased it.) I may try leisurely working through that schedule with Arden...I think it would be good for both of us to have regularly scheduled time together. He sometimes can sit in on the read-alouds that Tobin and Charis enjoy, but often they just don't hold his attention. He's great about entertaining himself, but I know he also craves some lap time with Mommy.

Kenna has gotten into a great little routine. Unfortunately, she has had the sniffles the last few days, but I think we're coming out of that. I can almost set my clock by her--she's that regular about her feedings! I'm hoping that means she'll be sleeping through the night before too long. (Please, dear Lord!!!) On the days when we're able to do school, it works well for me to nurse Kenna, eat breakfast with the big kids, put Kenna down for a nap, and begin school. Then, when we're finished, or at least at a great stopping point, I get Kenna up to nurse again, then fix lunch for the big kids. On days when we have to go somewhere (Bible study, doctor's appointment...), we just kind of play things by ear, but it does seem that her feeding times are generally close to the same time each day, and I'm thankful for that. This is one mommy who NEEDS a routine!!

Well, I guess I can't close a post without a picture of our dear little one, so here it is! This is Kenna, one month old. Isn't she adorable?! A friend gave us this cute little outfit last week, and it fits perfectly. Another friend gave her the bunny, which Ted and I think will become her most special "buddy." (That's the term our kids use for their stuffed animals--"Mommy, before you tuck me in I need to set up my buddies.") Charis has Snuggle Bear, who has been with us since the very beginning and became especially dear when she was in the ER with croup. Snuggle Bear has been joined by an assortment of animals that come and go from the inner circle of Charis's little friends. Currently the circle includes Lady, Susy, and Hallie, the latter of which recently replaced Sally. Tobin has his Ellie, his one and only love when it comes to Animals Who Can Help With One's Emotional Outbursts. And Arden has the same Comfort Blob that he has had for ages: Mr. Tiger, Duckie, and Airplane Blankie.

I suppose I should start bath time, but I could think of so much more to write! Maybe it wouldn't hurt to let the kids play a little longer so I can catch up on our blog...