Month: June 2009

  • Snippets From the Past Few Weeks.


    Not having the time to do a long, lengthy article of our lives (as I did the last post!), this is just little tid-bits of this and that… collected and written over the past few weeks.



    -Life with a Family of Four. It’s grand. It’s crazy. It’s wonderful. It’s busy. It’s not OnE oF tHoSe DaYs everyday [thank God!]. :)














    -Thank you so much for all your ideas and tips on the last post. I do have a stroller AND a sling, and for some reason it never crossed my mind to use either one that day. I shall definitely remember that for all shopping trips forthwith!!

    -Zoe was walking around singing, “Happy, happy, happy!”  one evening, which she only does if her little soul is just delighted with life. “Sweets!” I said, “Are you just so happy?” “Yes, Ma’am!”  she replied [something we've been working on, the ma'am and sir] which comes out sounding like “Yes, Sam!”

    - I was very blessed by a comment from the previous post which reminded me that this stage with my children is not the “perfect stage.”  This is the “training stage”, and they are learning. I must not expect perfection or performance, lest I become frustrated with them and myself. That was what I needed to hear right now.

    -Zoe’ loves playing with Baby Leah [what she calls her because she can't say "Olivia" and probably because she hears all the Southerners say, "Oh-LEE-vee-uh!] and I’ve found her doing this a few times: “Dis lil’ piggy… weeeeee weeeeeee weeeee!” complete with motions and tickles on the baby toes.

    -Once when Ben was wiping Zoe’ after a meal, she looked up at him and said, “Daddy’s Zoe!” Of course that melted him like butter, and he picked her up in a big hug. He melted even more when she returned his squeeze with all her might!

    - Sometimes there have been tears at midnight when I’d been up since 6 am with no nap, and babies wouldn’t settle long into the night…

    - Zoe’ loves to play piano, and she’ll often play and sing at the same time. Sometimes we sing and play together. But I heard her singing by herself last week, as she was “playing” piano as well, singing, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Absolutely precious…









    - I have been told that this is probably the most challenging time of life – as far as my life as a mother. Having two little children close together is a lot of work, but I’ve heard that is actually does become easier – even with more children! This is prpbably completely dependant on each situation, but the older children then entertain each other, instead of all the children being too young to help and still needing a lot of attention. That is encouraging to me!

    - I took the baby from Ben one night, to put her to bed after giving Zoe’ a bath, and was surprised at her mouth. “Babes!” I said, “Her mouth is sticky! That’s so strange!” “What? Huh?” questioned my “innocent” husband, doing his best to put on an I’m-not-the-culprit-look. I looked at his quizzically. “Well, actually,” he started grinning, “I put honey on her pacifier. And it really worked! She loved it!” “WHAT?” I gasped. “Honey can make babies die!!” Apparently he had not known that or else it would not have happened, but now whenever she cries he kidds me about honey on her pacifier.  :)

    - Zoe’ loves her “monkey book” as she calls Curious George, and spends most of her waking hours looking at that book and playing with her “tissies” [horses] that we bought her at an auction.




    -Daily beginning: load of laundry washed and hung out to dry

    -Outing this week to the chiropractor, Target, then on to the ocean! This time I was fully equipped with stroller and sling, and it went very well!




    - Woke up one Monday morning to realize that about $500 worth of tools were stolen out of our garage over the weekend. Ben’s tools that he uses daily to work with, and some other ones that he had literally saved for years to buy. He had to go buy tools so he could work that day! I felt so bad for him, it felt like a pretty big loss.

    - Olivia’s dimples are worth paying money to see. Just two big darling dimples. I would never have imagined! She smiles so readily after she eats and her dimples come out in full glory. :)

    -After stepping out the door one morning, I went back inside and saw that Zoe’ had gotten up and was starting her day very happily. A little while later, I realized I couldn’t find a few dollars and coins that I had put aside to pay Mama Yoder back for things she had bought for me. Several hours later I realized Zoe had thrown the money in the trash, and the coins in her piggy bank. Go figure – coins are money, dollar bills are paper trash.


    -Lots of canning/freezing already. Not good timing with a newborn baby, but it’s how the season went so we ride with it. Corn; tomatoes: diced, juiced, salsa, pizza sauce;  blueberries, zucchini into relish and also shredded for the freezer; cucumbers into pickles…

    - I was preparing supper one night, anticipating a delicious meal including Grilled Bruschetta Chicken and zucchini casserole. As I was slicing the zucchini on the Pampered Chef DNA Sampler (not really, but their hand-slicer/grater/shredder), I didn’t realize my finger was down close to the blade and I sliced off a corner of my finger. I am not very good around blood, I wish I was, but I really am not. I have fainted several times over gory situations. And I was afraid I would this time as well. But fainting did not seem like an option, because I had the baby in a sling around the front of me, and fainting would be damaging to her. Plus I had a wide-eyed little one-year old watching me with a terrified expression on her face as the blood was dripping off my hand. So, I bandaged it up as good as I could and laid on the couch so I wouldn’t faint until Ben came home. Poor man, no supper was ready that night… and we had egg sandwiches later.

    …Or the next night, for that matter. I was preparing the very same meal mentioned above, when I opened a door right onto Zoe’s toe, not realizing she was on the opposite side of the door. It ripped her big toenail off, and the poor child was in so much pain. I was nearly weeping myself, and while trying to take care of her, the baby started wailing for lack of attention. And that is the scene that greeted Ben upon his return home. And upon hugging his wife, she promptly burst into tears as well. Supper was served. Much later.

    -Several days after this, Zoe stepped in almost invisible ant bed, and almost instantly had about 50 bites on her legs. A day later, she pinched her finger terribly in the car door. Must I even say I asked Ben to start praying a hedge of protection around us??



    - Zoe has eagerly devoured sweet corn this year, really her first year to eat it on the cob. Her record is 3 ears of corn for breakfast, and  4 for supper. “Another funny day in the life of a parent,” says Ben. I agree!

    - Ben and I celebrated 4 years together yesterday! It’s been the most wonderful, the most stretching time of my life, and I am so thankful and blessed to be married to him! We have been very busy lately this week and so hope to celebrate a bit more later.

    …….and that’s been life the past few weeks!



  • One of Those Days…


    The day started out fine. It really did.

    Zoe was up soon after 6am, and declared vehemently that she was so hungry. So I fed her breakfast and ate breakfast myself. And was I ever delighted when she actually told me she was still tired and wanted to go back to bed. I guess she really was as hungry as she said she was, and that was what woke her up so early. Although 7-ish is when she has been waking up, and staying up for good.

    So back to bed she went, and by then the baby was awake and hungry as well, so off to bed we went too, to feed the baby in a more relaxing position. :) Whereupon we both fell asleep and it was quite the restful morning…

    So restful, in fact, that I decided we would make a trip to town on this wonderful day. I had a gift that I needed to return, as well as another birthday gift to purchase. One store, two kids, one mom. This would be a breeze. Zoe was so happy to be going away and I was perfectly confident in her continued happiness.

    Getting all of us out the door took a bit of time. I still haven’t learned that it takes so much longer to get ready to go anywhere with a little baby, especially trying to work around her eating schedule. Zoe didn’t need to go potty, so all was good. I dressed us all us, good and proper. Not Sunday outfits, but you know, dressed up. That way if things went downhill rapidly we wouldn’t look completely disgraceful.

    And off we went, a happy little family. On the way in, we passed Bealls Outlet (that and Cato are our only clothing stores for an hour around). Now, I’m not really a Bealls Outlet fan. I shop there about twice a year. But I hadn’t been out of the house shopping in weeks, and I thought that we’ll probably hit that store on the way back home, since my destination was Cato. Oh, and maybe we’ll go to the little consignment store in town too, and see what they have…

    Zoe was thinking food. “Donut shop!” Donut shop!” she kept chanting the whole 15 miles in to town. Oh dear. I think I took her there too many times when I was pregnant and had donut cravings. Well, maybe we’ll stop there on the way back too, I thought, although I didn’t promise. She’s too young to understand future tense happenings, so I would only have made life more difficult for both of us if I had promised but not gone immediately. Thankfully. Or else I probably would have promised.

    So to Cato we went. Carseat in one hand, with the baby who had fallen asleep. Zoe in the other hand. The “other hand” proved to be a challenge from the start, because how do you hold a carseat in one hand, a purse over the shoulder, plus a one year old in the other hand, and still try to shop?? Tell me if you can. There must be a trick to it.

    I soon realized that this shopping trip was not the best idea, and that I had to make fast tracks. So Zoe was let loose, and given firm instructions to “stay close to mommy.” I don’t know what naughty streak entered that child, but she thought she was given free reign throughout the store. As she saw me browse through racks, she “browsed” herself, pulling hangers off the racks and carting the item through the aisles.

    I felt like all I was doing was running after her, making sure she returned each item. How is one supposed to do any shopping with this kind of system?? The only kind of disciplining I could do in public was stern talking, and that wasn’t working very well. Finally, she started following me a bit more closely and I pulled a few different clothing items together for my intended gifts.

    That was when I noticed shoes where they weren’t supposed to be, and the named one year old right beside them, pulling  more  boxes of shoes out with the intention of opening the contents. That was quickly stopped, the shoes returned, and once again we tried to shop for the gifts a bit more.

    I wished with all my heart for a shopping cart. Didn’t these stores realize they weren’t going to get business from the mommy class if they couldn’t even bring their kids and keep them all in one place??

    And that was when I rounded the corner and saw the said one year old girl pull an entire stack of shirts off the shelf and onto the floor, while reaching for another stack. This mother made fast tracks, disciplined in a way that was a bit more than stern talking, and decided it was time to leave.

    By this time I was feeling like I would have been the next case study for the Pearl’s “No Greater Joy” magazine…

    That was when I saw her reach up by the register and pull off several boxes of fragile perfume bottles… Okay, this is not going so well!! Whatever happened to my obedient child?? I wondered in agony.

    We walked to the checkout counter, Zoe, the baby, and me. Zoe was crying because she wanted to look at the colorful jewelry about 10 feet away. Knowing her record the past 10 minutes in the store, I wasn’t about to let her go that far, especially not with jewelry in sight. So the car seat was placed on the floor, the one year old’s hand was firmly clasped in mine.

    The item was returned, and one clothing item rung up. When I went to pay for it, I had to release the hand of the one year old. The transaction took only seconds, but when it was over Zoe was no where in sight. I opened my mouth to call her, and before I could get a word out the saleslady quickly volunteered, “She went that way!”

    Oh, great. Now the salespeople are nervous and keeping a watchful eye on my child. That only makes things worse. Seems like children always act worse when more people are watching them. So much for dressing up to make a good impression. They probably thought we’re a rich, spoiled family. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

    So I went “that way” and found her, I don’t remember where. Shoes? Jewelry? Brain doesn’t remember anymore. Point is that I found her, and out the door we went. Whew. Shopping mission accomplished. Whoever knew it would be so much work to purchase one little shirt and return another??

    Baby was waking up and very hungry. It had been three hours since she last ate, and that’s long for her.

    As I was buckling Zoe in her seat, I remembered that she hadn’t gone potty for a while, and asked her if she needed to go. No, she said she didn’t, and I was gullible enough to believe her. Because I hadn’t even put the car in reverse before I saw that she had totally peed herself right then and there.

    I was not a happy mama. My patience was already tried to the max, but there was nothing I could do. Her skirt was soaked as well. But thank God for Piddle Pads from BabiesRUs, so at least the entire car seat didn’t get soaked.

    We were homeward bound. No donut shop. No Bealls Outlet. No consignment store. We were done. We were done for weeks, as far as I was concerned!

    The baby wailed most of the way home, but with Zoe’s peed condition, I decided to keep going and feed the baby at home. Zoe kept giggling at me in the mirror, while I kept giving her stern looks and trying to explain why she needs to tell mommy if she needs to go potty. Finally I realized I was making things worse for both of us and I couldn’t keep trying to punish her by putting her on a guilt trip. Guilt trips are really not how I want to discipline my children, although that sure was what I felt like doing in that moment.

    And I decided right then and there that there really is something to the “Keepers at Home” theory. It really is best for a mother with two children ages one and under to stay at home.

    Home. Undies changed. Lunch eaten. Nap time!

    It’s after that that my mind starts getting foggy… However, I do remember another “accident”, which was really not an accident at all, on the couch before supper. And another “accident”, which was not an accident at either, on the other couch after supper.

    And I remember telling Ben that we seriously have child-training issues!! As well as dissolving into tears when he said, “Babes, you sound like you’re having a rough day.” And I wailed in return, “But you’ve said that almost every day this week!!”

    Somewhere around midnight I fell asleep. I awoke this morning, after several night-time feedings to Baby, to hear Zoe beside me, and opened my eyes to see her waving a wet toilet bowl brush in front of my face.

    Yes. That really happened.

    This is the impish little girl that challenges and delights my days! And she is every bit as mischievous as she looks. :)


    Oh, it’s just OnE oF tHoSe DaYs! :)



  • Olivia Caroline – 4 Weeks

    These were actually taken a little while ago, but I just haven’t had time to post them…

    In between feeding the baby every 2-3 hours, changing the ever-full diapers, keeping Zoe’s tummy full, and taking Zoe’ potty, I feel like that is all my days consist of! :)

    The Little Princess in pictures… We took these when my sister, Ervina, was here. And called it the Disastrous Photo Shoot. :) It rained the entire time she was here, so we had no option but to take pictures inside the house. The house has the longest eaves I’ve ever seen anywhere, so lighting was a huge problem. A lot of editing later, they turned out better than I thought, but still not the lighting I desired. But all that said, here she is!




    … a few black and white




    and because I love her precious tiny head…


    … and her darling little feet…




    … i am still in awe of her perfection – so tiny, yet so complete and precious!







    She was four weeks old yesterday. I can hardly believe how time flies! Already, I can hardly imagine life without her! Olivia is such a precious addition to our family…

    She weighed in at exactly 8 pounds yesterday. Tickled me, because at 4 weeks she is still tinier than Zoe’ was at birth!  We are all enjoying her so much…


  • Summer Has Come!


    And with it Summertime Fun!

    Just spending some time outside with Zoe’… She’s been needing it lately, with the adjustments of the baby.

    Today I told her I had a surprise for her – and pulled an ice cream cone out from behind my back. The look on her face was priceless! She was so delighted she could hardly squeak out, “ICE-EE!!!” (her way of saying ice cream).




    She was so busy eating I could hardly get a grin out of her, so intent was she… :)


    Licking off all the drippy goodness…



    “Zoe’s messy!!” She kept telling me, wondering why I didn’t clean her up like usual!



    And one last picture in color.


    Zoe’ Grace. How I love you. It’s been a rough few weeks for you, but you’re a good big sister. I’m glad you’re you!


    More pictures will be coming. When, I can’t promise. It’s been a busy life around here. Whew. :)


  • These Beautiful Days…


    I find I have much less time on my hands these days than what I was accustomed to… Between feeding the baby every two hours during the day, changing her diaper (Ben calls her the Poo Fountain, he is quite amazed at little babies all over again!), and running after Zoe’, I have very little time left for anything else! But that’s okay, I love this career of motherhood!

    As of now, Zoe’ is down for an early nap, after having a rough night last night. Between Zoe’ and Olivia, I think I saw every hour on the clock all night long. But Zoe’ is sleeping, the baby is fed, and after a quick little update I shall go rest myself.


    This week is a big week for our church family…  Our dear friend, Mary, wife of our deacon, passed away last weekend. She was dearly loved by everyone who knew her, and was one of the most life-giving and fun-loving/happy  people I have had the privilege of knowing…

    I’m struck by the paths of life given to each one of us. For our little family, we are celebrating new life on earth with the arrival of Baby Olivia. For our friends, they are grieving life that will be no longer on this earth. All this reminds me once again that there is so much more to today, to Life, than what I often live with. Eternity is real, and although Mary’s passing is an incredible loss to those who have known her, she is living Life more fully than she ever did before!

    Ben and I were talking about all this, and he said how that we often view life through the perspective that we’re in the land of the living, going to the land of the dying. But the reverse is actually true – we are in the land of the dying, and will go to the land of the truly living!

    Our love and prayers are with the Overholt family…


    Adjusting to a new little person in the house has gone so well! Far better than I expected, really.  Olivia is a dream of a baby, nursing well (every 2 hours during the day and spaces to 3-4 hours at night), and cries only when hungry and tired. She is such a teeny-tiny baby, I just love it!

    [getting ready for the one-week checkup]



    Although I feel sleep-deprived, I know it could be much worse, and the day will come when I will sleep again! So for now, I am enjoying this newborn stage so very much! I remembered that I was just overwhelmed with the beauty of a newborn baby with Zoe, it was such a wonderful experience for me to have a newborn child! And now with Olivia, I fall in love all over again…

    [our "angel", Lois, whom the Lord arranged to have with us at the car birth]


    [Aunt Bekah was playing outside with Zoe']


    These precious little baby noises, little hands waving in the air, little head bobbing around trying to hold itself up, little poo explosions… I just love it all! Okay, maybe the explosions aren’t just grand, but it is a sign of a healthy baby!

    [my mother, with her second grandbaby]


    Zoe’ has done superb with the new baby. I have been truly amazed! I expected some negative emotions from her regarding the baby, and so far there have been none! She did have one really rough day shortly after Olivia was born, and it was probably partly the newness of the baby in the house, but I think more so the lack of “normal” in her schedule for over a week, due of being gone several days while I had midwife appointments/was in labor, and then quite a few people in and out of our house.

    [my father, who adores babies]


    But to the baby herself, Zoe’ gives completely adoring affection. Her first waking word is “Baby?” and we must run to say good morning to the Baby. I have found that I must watch her at all times, lest she smother the poor infant with her love… :)


    [Daddy overseeing the affection given by Big Sister! Uncle David was Zoe's hero when he was here for a few days]


    [This was so dear, and unimpressed Baby had no idea!  One evening after supper, Zoe' ran to the bookshelf and chose, " Guess How Much I Love You", then came back and "read" the book to the baby! She'd "read" for a bit, then show her the pictures, saying, "See? See?" When the book was finished, she placed it right by the baby, then ran to get "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." :) Zoe' has also been known to furnish her with cell phones and such things...


    As for me, I am so grateful to be recovering so well and so quickly. Although I had a 50 hour labor, I only pushed for two minutes, as opposed to a 17-hour labor with a 2-hour pushing time with Zoe. Somehow I feel incredibly better after 10 days this time than I did after 2 months with Zoe. I am so so grateful - it would be very difficult to be bedfast while attempting to care for a 22-month old at the same time!

    I have looked back and seen the hand of the Lord so clearly  over the whole birthing experience... The timing of when the active labor started; Ben being on the phone with Lois at that same moment; Ben being at home instead of at work (!!); the active labor and delivery time being almost one hour exactly (I was so exhausted by that point I don't know if I would have had the strength to do it had it been longer); there were no complications (the back seat of a car 20 minutes from hospitals and birthing center would not have been an ideal place  for complications); Olivia's head was a full 2 inches smaller than Zoe's was at birth, and she was 1.5 pounds lighter, which made birthing her much easier)... Although I was dreaming of a water birth, by the time Olivia was born I was just so grateful that she was born I didn't care where it was!

    [My dad and his two sons (my brothers) with the two grand-daughters]


    People have been blessing us so much too… Ben’s sisters and mom who have helped clean the house, prepare some meals; my mom and dad and two brothers who arrived a day after Olivia was born and stayed for a long weekend; and other various visits and meals by friends! My sister, Ervina, is arriving tomorrow and staying till the weekend, and I am more than excited about having her here! I have felt so cared for! And so undeserving!

    [Sleeping Darling... Ben is worried I'll spoil her, I just love to hold her!]


    [I think I have been the most surprised by this feature: two deep dimples! Neither Ben nor I have dimples, but have siblings that do. Amazing how this gene pool works!]


    [Love from Daddy, even though Baby looks a little distressed :) ]



    Still haven’t done a real photo shoot, but I’m thinking when Ervina is here we may tackle that project together. Somehow the idea of me trying it myself seems rather chaotic. :)

    So much for a quick post! :) Turned out longer than I expected.

    Wishing you a lovely, blessed week!