Life With Everett

A couple of months ago, Ben made some changes to how we store photos on our computer, and I haven’t shared any pictures since then! Pretty much, they’re all of Everett. I need to figure out a way to sneak more photos of the girls before they notice what I’m doing and tell me not to take pictures of them.;) In the meantime, here’s our goofy boy:

EverettHis favorite mealtime trick to get us laughing is to close his eyes, try to find his food by feeling around for it, and get it into his mouth. He loves the attention we give him!

EverettEverettEverettEverett LOVES being outside. He gets extremely excited about birds and cars, and shouts out “Ber! Cah!” every time he spots one or the other.

Everett & BenEverettHe’s also really eager to get into his sisters’ things.

EverettHe is such a sweet, busy little boy, and we all just love him like crazy!!

Our Sweet Birthday Boy

It’s Everett’s turn to join our family tradition of birthday favorites! Isn’t it just amazing that in a single year, a baby can go from being a helpless newborn to a little person with very distinct favorites and fun little personality?:)

EverettFavorite Food: apples, pancakes, muffins, sweet potatoes

Favorite Things to Do: Walk, walk, and walk some more. He also loves stories – he’ll go pick out a book and bring it to us. Bathtime is another HUGE favorite – if anyone mentions the word “bath”, he runs for the tub, calling out, “Ba, ba!!!” He loves to play ball, and makes car noises while driving his little cars around. He is so smiley and cheerful almost all the time, and loves to give us snuggles.:)

Words: He calls me “Mem”, cheers “Yay!”, and shakes his head for “no”.

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EverettEverettWe love our sweet boy!!! Can’t believe how much better life is because of him!

And here are our comparison pictures:

All threeAll ThreeAll Three

Video: Our Miracle Baby

Today is Everett’s birthday! He is currently stuffing his face with pancakes and turkey sausage, so I think he’s enjoying the day so far.

birthday boyI’ll share his birthday favorites on Monday, but for today, here’s a video I’ve been working on – the story of how God gave us our miracle baby. If you’ve been a regular reader for awhile, you’ve probably read parts of this story before, but I wanted to tell it from the beginning. God is so good! Feeling so thankful for our sweet boy, today and every day!

Hello, Hello!

Well, after a summer of recovering from postpartum anxiety and a couple of rounds of mastitis, we were finally getting back to normal…and then school started.

I have met my match.

Homeschooling with three kids, one of whom is teething, is no small task. There are times when I think I might possibly be losing my mind, and then I need to remind myself why in the world I am doing this in the first place, and then we keep going.:)

Somewhere in among all of that, Everett turned nine months old. I wanted to take pictures of him, especially with his new little teeth poking through, but he’s been…how shall I put this delicately??….A total grouch. But with some beautiful bursts of his usual sunshiny sweetness. Poor little guy.

The only way he was happy was with his soother and a measuring cup:

EverettI tried and tried to capture those new little pearly whites, but he was having none of it. A few mornings later, this is the closest I got:

Everett and AnikaApparently teething is a private matter. Everett doesn’t share that kind of thing openly.

So he’ll keep figuring out the teething thing, and we’ll keep figuring out the fall schedule thing, and together, we will press on.

How has your September been going?

Three Months In

I clearly remember the first time the thought crossed my mind that it might be fun to have a son.

We were driving along, listening to a cd, and Steven Curtis Chapman’s son was singing the Veggie Tales song “I Love My Lips”. In the middle of the song, Steven Curtis Chapman “calls” his son, and while they’re talking on the phone, he says to his dad, “I’m in the studio right now, just workin’ on this song.”

And suddenly, the thought flashed through my mind, “We could have a son, and he could play guitar, or maybe drums, and he’d call me, and we could talk on the phone!”

Ben teases me about this, and talks about how we’ll need to have a music room in our basement for when Everett starts playing drums and is in a band. Really, Everett doesn’t need to play guitar or drums, if he doesn’t want to, but I think it would be funny if he did, and my daydream came true!

In the meantime, he’s making many other dreams come true. He’s the sweetest baby, and we all love him like crazy.

EverettI really thought we would be a family of four. I thought we would do the girl thing, and that’s all we would know.

But I love how Everett balances things out. I love having a whole new dimension added to parenting. I love it that even though before he was born, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have him, it’s only taken a short time for everything to change, and now we wonder what we ever did without him.

I love it that our girls are learning what it’s like to have a brother. I love learning what it’s like to have a son. I love watching Ben with Everett.

If Everett is napping while we’re eating supper, I love it that there’s a huge, gaping hole already. We need him with us, otherwise something is just not right!

EverettBefore Everett was born, my sister said, “There’s just something about boys. It’s hard to describe the bond between mothers and sons.” And I smiled and nodded, but really I had no clue.

Some people say gender doesn’t make much difference when a baby is this small, but I disagree. I feel as though everything is different, and it’s amazing. I was so nervous about having a boy, and I couldn’t picture myself having a son, but now that he’s here, he’s just wonderful.:)

Everett and me

So Many Bodies in the House!

There are a number of kind, supportive people who have been asking about how things are going, and I realized the other day that since my post about how “knackered” I was, I haven’t really given you all an update.

It feels as though we’re getting used to our new “normal”. I’m getting some housework done, and the girls are getting their schoolwork done (although it’s hard to concentrate when you have a cute little brother distracting you…).

school

And this little guy is sleeping around nine hours a night, so we are discovering all over again that sleep is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Everett

There are moments when I’m trying to get out the door with all three kiddies, and I’m suddenly struck by the fact that there are so many bodies to get out of the house! When they all need something at the same time, I wonder how women do it with 5+ children!! Having older kids makes it much easier in a lot of ways, but the needs are just different. Sometimes it’s hard to switch from hungry baby to temper tantrum to preteen character development in the span of five seconds.

There are the moments of feeling frazzled, but there are many, many more moments of feeling incredibly blessed – almost as though three beautiful, precious children is too much blessing for one mom to take in! I feel overwhelmed, in the best way possible.:)

Everett

Stop Growing!

I was scrolling through the photos on my phone, and realized there were a bunch of favorites that I haven’t shared around here….

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He’s getting dangerously close to 3 months – where has my newborn baby gone??! I’m torn between crying because he’s growing up way too fast, and feeling excited about all the fun things to come!!

Anika keeps telling him, “Stop growing!!!” But we would be sad if he stayed a baby forever. So we keep trying to soak in these fun days, and squish his chubby thighs, and watch him grow!

What’s Next?

Kendra: “My massage therapist says I’m doing so well after having a baby, we can have as many babies as we want.”

Anika: “You should have three sets of twins.”

Ben: “Oh boy, Mommy and I better get to work on that.”

Anika (mischievously): “Good luck!!”

Kaylia (innocently): “We are NOT helping you with that.”

Ben: “Good.”

EverettAs sweet as our baby is, and as much as we love him, and think babies are the best thing ever, we also think our family is complete! We’re completely satisfied.:)

And so I find myself in an interesting place in my life. I’ve spent the last 12 years either longing for a baby, praying for one, anticipating the arrival of one, or caring for one. What most families do in a handful of years took a lot longer for us, but our family is finally complete.

I knew it was complete the day I started dreaming about the future – I’ve been stuck in “baby mode” for a long, long time. Because I wanted another baby so badly, my thoughts kept going back to that, rather than looking ahead to what the future might hold.

It is amazing to be set free!

And now I have no idea what comes next. I was longing for the impossible, and now it’s happened! How do you come up with new dreams after that?!

I went to see both my physio and massage therapists in the last couple of weeks, and both were amazed with how I’ve recovered from pregnancy and labor. They’ve both worked with me for a number of years, and know what issues I’ve dealt with in the past. Considering where I’ve come from, along with the fact that I had a difficult delivery with Everett, I’m doing really well.

When my labor started, Everett was face up, but part way through, he turned to the side, which is the hardest way to deliver a baby. In many cases, it just doesn’t work at all, leading to broken pelvic bones or C-sections. My physiotherapist said she’s only worked with one other woman who’s delivered a baby that way, and the woman suffered a lot of damage to her body.

This boggles my mind, because I wasn’t even supposed to be strong enough to have another baby! In addition to all that, I slipped a week before going into labor, and re-injured a bunch of muscles needed for getting this sweet baby out.

And yet everything went amazingly well! How is this even possible??!!

God is so amazing! Able to do more than we ask or imagine. I have absolutely no idea what adventure might be next for our family.

I daydream about getting strong enough for family bike rides, and playing soccer in the backyard, and we should really get a basketball hoop set up on our driveway…. I dream about hiking and camping and.. I don’t know, anything active that might pop into my head to do, with nothing holding me back! I’m not there yet, but anything seems possible!

Well, it did. Until I went for some kind of new Japanese massage last month. I like trying new things, and this type of massage was highly recommended, so I gave it a go. At the end of it, I asked the massage therapist what his assessment was of the issues in my body.

His answer: “There’s just not enough of you. You and I are both trying to live life, but there’s three times as much of me. You just don’t have the strength for doing what comes easily to someone like me. But that’s okay – you’ll just never be a bodybuilder.”

In a way, it was nice to hear that he didn’t think there was anything terribly wrong with me. And I’ve never wanted to be a bodybuilder. But I left feeling kind of deflated. I had thought anything was possible, but suddenly, I was seeing myself as small and weak and limited again.

I let those words sit in my head for a few weeks, but yesterday I decided to ask my regular massage therapist about it. I like his response much better!

His answer: “It depends on your mindset. It depends on how you exercise, how you eat, how you think, and what you want for your future. The things you want for your life are all within your grasp.” (He knows I don’t want to be a bodybuilder!)

And I started dreaming again. You see, I went to see Cirque du Soleil a few years ago, and there was one performer who was TINY!! She must have been well under 5 feet tall, but she was STRONG! She moved with such great fluidity, strength, grace, stability and confidence, she made me believe tiny bodies are capable of great things.

I don’t want to be a circus performer or anything, but I want to do the best with what I’ve got.

A friend of ours was recently lamenting over how his body started falling apart at 40. After listening to him for awhile, I informed him that my best years are still ahead of me. He laughed and laughed, but he didn’t know I was completely serious.

I spent my 20’s dealing with weakness and sickness. I’ve spent a good chunk of my 30’s figuring out how to work hard and trust God for healing, and I plan to spend many more years reaping the benefits of what I’ve learned and the great progress I’ve made.

Realistically, I know this body isn’t meant to last forever.

Culturally, I’ve already missed “the best years of my life”.

Forget that!!

I’m going to pretend I’m living in the culture my massage therapist told me about.

Somewhere in South America, there was a people group living in villages spaced widely apart in the mountains. They needed to get from village to village to trade things, and so they had many runners who would go back and forth between villages. The young men were amazing runners. The middle aged men were even better runners. But the old men? They could run far better than anyone else.

In their culture, they believed people got better with age.

I believe God made our bodies to work well, and sometimes things go wrong that we can’t control, but a lot of the time, we do our part to mess things up – through stress, food, lack of exercise, whatever. I’m ready to work hard, do my part, and stop messing up what God’s given me.

I want to be ready for whatever He sends my way. I want the strength to fully enjoy the life He’s blessing me with. That may not include miraculous health for as long as I live, but I’m going to do my part.

bikingAnd beyond that? I have absolutely no idea what comes next, and I’m so excited! Can’t wait to find out!

 

 

New Normal

Our sweet boy is two months old this week.

EverettHe giggles in his sleep, but he will not giggle at Ben, which is driving Ben crazy!!

I’ve been finding it hard to pull out my camera often enough – the days just kind of run away on me! Often, Ben will come home from work, and I’ll still be trying to figure what we’re doing that day…except the day is over. They seem to fly by awfully fast right now…

And this little boy is growing fast, so I want to be sure to capture the smiles and the chubbiness!

toesI’m trying to remind myself to grab my camera throughout the day like I used to, and not be too busy to notice all the little moments – like creating Lego masterpieces, “Picnic School” (meaning it’s done on the floor!) , and family games.:)

Kayliapicnic schoolgamesTwo months of beautiful chaos! I’m torn between thinking the time is going too fast, and being thankful that it is passing, because things are getting easier, and we’re starting to get into a new normal routine.

Anika and EverettWhat did we ever do without him?!