28 July 2012

Baby is becoming a true part of the family

I am sure you are all waiting for an update on life with this little Munchkin.

Well, I have to brag.... I just have to! She is such a GOOD baby! A pure delight and joy, and I want to cuddle with her all day long. I can not get enough of her. And when I am away from her for more than half hour, I actually miss her. I have not left her side for more than that anyways. She is with me day and night. She sleeps with me or right next to me. I love to carry her around. I love to wear her. I love to sit on the couch with her, and just sit there..... and look at her.
I think you are getting the picture.....

So she has finally getting the hang of day and night. She sleeps less during the day, is more awake and also more aware of things around her. She is more alert, too.  She definitely can recognize my face, and sometimes smiles at me. At night, she sleeps longer chunks which makes me a much happier camper/Mami. The most she has given me is six hours, and that was a night I really needed it. I am hoping that she soon sleeps through the night..... even though I might miss it at first. Eventually, I do need my own nights again. For now, I am enjoying it to the fullest.

She loves to sleep on Mami, on her tummy. The other day, I put her on the couch on her tummy and she slept so long that I woke her up eventually. Alot of times, she sleeps with her mouth wide open. She likes the swing and the bouncy seat, but she prefers ME the most.She loves to hear music, too, it calms her when she sleeps.

The kids love her and want to kiss her all the time - at times they smother her with all their affection. They are still helpful, you know with bringing me diapers or new clothes. Coqui wants to teach her how to read, Peanut wants to teach her how to potty train. Apparently, they have big plans with their little sister. I love to see that. Even though they have acted up, a few times, in general, they have accepted their little sister very well.

God was good during this time of transition because it seems like it was so easy. It was natural to bring her home the day of her birth. She fit right in, and it felt like we were complete, finally. I haven't had a bad day since..... I am just so happy. I know that it is partly because of my attitude. I am taking everything as a welcomed change, knowing that all of it is just a phase. She will stop eating at night, she will sleep through the night eventually, she will grow and become more independent. So for right now, I am enjoying my last baby! And I am welcoming every phase of it, with JOY.

My Three Rugrats
Yes, there were some not-so-fun moments, but I have a loving and understanding husband, with whom I am able to communicate very well. He has been awesome, giving LOTS of attention to the older two kids, so I can concentrate on the youngest. He understood that I was emotional at times, especially during the first three weeks. Now it feels like, we have all settled down, and this is not so new and foreign anymore. It feels almost like normal and this was always meant to be this way! I have friends that I can talk to and that are so supportive of me. This all has made this a very joyous time for all of us. I feel so blessed and happy right now.

21 July 2012

The day of the BIG firsts

Today seems to be the day of the big announcements and Firsts at our house. First, I wrote about Peanut's success in potty training this morning (here).

Munchkin right before the blowout....
Then I want to tell you about the major poopie blowout that my youngest had this afternoon. This IS worth mentioning, because for a while I was very concerned that this little girl would only go poop once (yes, just one time) a day! In case you don't know this, it is very unusual behavior for a newborn. So when this happened today, I was very excited..... yes, about poop!!!

She also started to pull herself up - you know, with her head when I pull on her arms. She is one strong little girl.

The next major thing that happen today, happened to my oldest. He has been anticipating this for a long time.
We are talking about teeth. Old ones and new ones.
He has been having two new teeth coming in on the bottom of his mouth. When he realized this, he thought, the tooth fairy would come immediately. We all know, this is not how it works. So we had to explain it to him. He was bummed, but nonetheless, waited for the day to find out that his 'old' teeth would start to wiggle. Which they did soon.....

.... until tonight, when the first tooth finally came out! Yes, he lost his very first tooth today.
It had been wiggly for a while, but since this early afternoon, he kept saying that it wiggles more. So Mami started to wiggle and pull, and sure enough, I felt it give way under my fingers. So I encouraged him to do some more of that. Then Daddy got his hands on him, when it started to bleed. It wasn't until teeth brushing time tonight at bedtime, that he let Daddy do the final pull!

You can imagine how thrilled he was. At bedtime, we read "Franklin and the Tooth Fairy". He then wrapped the tooth in a tissue and put it under his pillow. I am not sure how he fell asleep but he did..... I can not wait to see his face in the morning!

And here is the picture to proof it:

Big Announcement

I have a BIG girl now..... oh yes I have.

That means I only have one child in diapers now! Yippy!

Okay, so to be more specific, I will explain. I am sure you all remember my struggles with Peanut's toilet issues, here and here. It feels like it took forever to get her to use the potty. But finally, she mastered it! Number One was not that much of an issue, but Number Two still can cause some stress for her.... to this day. But that is okay - she does it in the toilet, even if it hurts.

So every night, for the past month or so, she has asked to go to bed with her underwear. And every time, especially with a newborn, the thought scared me. Even though, every morning, she gets up, is dry, and changes into underwear pretty much immediately. So she gets it!

Last night, she asked again. I thought: 'Okay, she has been dry for at least three or four weeks in a row! And tomorrow is Saturday, so if she does wet the bed, Daddy is there to help me wash it.' So I said Yes! She was allowed to wear her undies to bed. Oh the joy on her face! Priceless.

This morning, I woke up late, because we had a bad night with the baby. But when I asked her if she stayed dry all night, she said yes!

I have a completely potty trained girl now! What a celebration! I think she deserves a special treat today! (I am just not sure what that will be...)

20 July 2012

I just have to share my joy

When I think about how blessed I am, it strikes a bone inside of me that is so filled with thankfulness, to the point that it feels like I am bursting with happiness.

My life has not always been easy, and as a more negative person, I can easily fall into the pattern of "why me?" all the time. But lately, I have to say, that it has been big 'payback' time for me. God has been so good to me and my family. It really is mind-blowing.

I feel like God has provided a real home for us. I don't mean just a roof over our heads. I mean a home where we feel right. A place where we have friends and feel loved. It's a feeling of building a life together at the right location. Somewhere where God lead us six years ago, and we never regretted coming here.
Our family has been enjoying coming here to visit us. We are missed in church when we don't go one weekend.  And I have made a real friend for a lifetime that has become more like a sister to me through this last pregnancy. I am amazed by the love we receive from so many sources, and the support we had especially the last nine months. God has redeemed so many things. He has heard our prayers and made things happen, He has delivered surprises, and He has blessed us with peace over anything that concerned us.

I just have to look into Coqui's face to be reminded that he is my first miracle. Then I look at his sister who sits next to me on the couch sucking at her big toe (yes, I know, pretty gross!!!). But she is  my second miracle, when all my hope had vanished. Then I look down on my youngest who just smiled in her sleep, and I just want to kiss her all over. She is my latest miracle and I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

Sometimes, I have gotten mad at the way our children had to come into this family - especially when I think about the financial part of it (grrrh!). But now that it is over, I am thankful that God provided constantly and faithfully. I appreciate that my husband has a study job and that we have family that is willing to help out any way they can. We are very fortunate. And I know it.

I am equally amazed by the support we have gotten from the people around us. I know that we were and are covered by prayer each and every day! That is pretty awesome, especially when I don't get to do my daily quiet time anymore. Everything that Beth and I got to do special during the pregnancy was possible because our friends had stepped up and watched our kids, so we could go to a doctor's appointment by ourselves, or simply go out to eat ice cream. Thank you. We had two very special ladies throwing us a baby shower and we were so blessed by it. Friends have checked on Beth and on me, to make sure that we are doing fine. And we are. We both had friends providing meals for us, and that is wonderful. I never had the honor to be granted with meals ever before, and now that I did, wow - it feels really good to have people care about me so much. Thank you, all of you, who came out here and provided food and other goodies. We feel very blessed.

Yes, there have been bumps in the road, hard days and moments of desperation or anger, grieve or sadness. But I always come back to this: my happiness is still there, no matter the circumstances. I don't want to change places with anybody. I am truly happy. So when I am cooped up in the house for a few weeks and my social life is very downsized, I am more than willing to give that sacrifice. She needs protection and I am providing it for her. I am thankful for the friends that have come by, so I could spend some adult time, too. Beth has been so supportive, helping me through my emotional days, offered an open ear over the phone, and has stopped by with coffee or snacks. We cried together and then laughed and just enjoyed what this new season has brought us. And we are looking forward to what else is coming our way.

I just wanted to share my happiness and my thanks with you. I feel very blessed.

And now I go change a stinky diaper! Because I am blessed with a girl that only has one a day!

18 July 2012

Coqui's Bedtime Prayer

I just had to share this good night prayer from Coqui. He can be so funny sometimes, and then he throws in his honor.... hilarious. And I am thankful that our God understands kids' humor. 

 "Dear Lord, heavenly Father, I thank you for this day, and every poops and pee. I thank you for the cars and all our toys we have. Please bring me a new Lego Star Wars set (added by Mami: because you don't enough? *ironic smile*).
We honor you. Your name. Bless Mami, bless Peanut, bless Daddy, and bless Munchkin. We love you always. All the time. No matter what. In Jesus Name. Amen."

12 July 2012

Finally A Family Of Five!

I have been lazy about blogging lately.... or have I?

Well, not necessarily! The end of pregnancy can be hard and so it was natural for me to take care of my wonderful best friend Beth who was carrying my baby. Yes, you read it right: 'was'.
(And if you read this and can't figure out what I am talking about, you need to go back and read this post here to catch up what's been happening in my life in the last nine months.)

So without further ado: we would like to introduce our baby to everyone.

Oh where am I suppose to start? It was a beautiful birth experience that we shared together as best friends. God really had His hands all over this entire process, but we felt it most for our birth, and it was great to see so many prayers answered for us, from the perfect timing to the way it happened. The birth took place at a local birthing center, it was a water birth and our baby was born right into my arms. And I will stop right here, because it is not my place to share OUR birth story - we will do this TOGETHER at a different time.

What I will tell you is this: it was such a special moment shared together - I will forever be grateful for this experience. I was the first person to get a hand on that baby -well, technically, the second after the midwife.
A BABY GIRL was born right into my arms and I held her for the first day of her life pretty much nonstop. It was so awesome and it felt so right and good to bond from the very first second on.

She is perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes. One beautiful face. She smells oh so good. She is very strong and alert. She is also my smallest baby. She is my calmest baby. Even though she has her days and nights mixed up. But I love her so much that that doesn't matter. We bonded so nicely and strongly - it makes my heart all melt. She loves to sleep on top of me, with her cheeks glued to mine. She doesn't like bath or lotions or massages - so I am predicting that we got ourselves a tomboy. She is a wish come true, a blessing, and so precious to us. We love her so much.

Beth is doing great as well and you can read her thoughts here.
One particular moment stands out to me during the birth: it was when the baby was born, to see the joy on Beth's face! It was such a genuine joy.... it's hard to put it into words. But I felt so happy and so close to her at that specific moment. We were both out of breathe and both exhausted, yet so euphoric. We had done it, together and I felt so blessed at that moment. Blessed that I was able to be there, blessed to have a friend like her, blessed to have that baby in my hands at last. God has been good to both of us.

As a family, we are very happy. The transition has been going great, too. Her brother and sister were convinced that they would get a brother, so at first, they were pretty upset. But by the time we came home, Munchkin was welcomed with signs and drawings and hugs and kisses. To this day, both kids love to come over and give her a kiss. They like to help as well, holding the bottle or throwing out dirty diapers. At times, I feel a bit claustrophobic when I got three kids right on top of me, but then I just look at their faces and feel like I am the happiest and most blessed person in the world.

Beth and I had become very close during our shared pregnancy, and I think we both didn't know what would happen afterwards. So I really love to see that it has not changed since the birth. We are close as can be, sharing our postpartum experiences with each other, cry together, encourage each other, and laugh together. As partners, we had joined in for a shared pregnancy, and as partners, we have had a wonderful birth experience. We met each others needs and wants, granted wishes and shared so many special moments. I am very thankful for this experience.

And at this time of joy, I also want to remember someone else special in our lives: Heather. She has given us our first blessing, and we are so thankful for that. What both these women did for us as a family will never be forgotten. I mean, how could we? We are seeing these miracles each and every day! We are a family of five today because there are still people in this world who sacrifice for the benefit of somebody else. They have given me hope and shown me love, a Christ-like love, that feels so good.
Thank you, Heather and Beth. You both are special women and we love you both so much.

So you can see that I have NOT been lazy at lately, just been really busy taking care of a newborn, adjusting to life with her, and helping the two older children adapt as well, and just being happy. I think I can say that I have my hands full. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes and congrats - it's very appreciated and makes us feel so loved by you.