Hey, It's Jade!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Introducing Brennan Michael...

Thanksgiving bump.
Today our fourth child is one-month-old!  Hard to believe, but true.  I suppose that means I should introduce him on here and post a birth recap, for posterity's sake at least!  Poor #4, barely mentioned on the blog. 

I had a feeling that baby would come early, and not a week or more late like his previous two siblings, but I really had no idea what to expect from this one.  After all, his very existence was a surprise, and then I was pretty sure he was going to be a girl, so his gender was a surprise, too.  Why wouldn't his entrance into the world be a surprise as well?  It was.

Thursday, December 7th... I noticed that getting in and out of the car and moving around in general was more trouble than usual, but I just shrugged it off as "getting close."  I had a midwife appointment that day, but didn't see my usual midwife (Lisa) because she had been sick with stomach flu.  I went to the ECCHO monthly board meeting and got back home around 945pm.  We got everyone ready for bed, and I chatted online with Amazon customer service because they had sent me the wrong Alexa cord replacement.  I stood at Michael's computer and got really frustrated with them because they weren't understanding what I needed and tried to send me the wrong cord again.  Once it was finally worked out, I laid down in bed next to Michael and felt something... odd.  My water never broke on it's own with my first two babies, and with Josie it broke RIGHT before she was born, after I had been pushing for a long time... so my water breaking was new to me.  But that's what it was I discovered - it happened at 1125pm.  I was excited and nervous as I texted my birth team (midwife and two students) to let them know that my water broke but I wasn't even having contractions or any other sign of labor.  I texted my mom so she would know what was going on, and Michael called his boss so he could be off work.  When I didn't hear back from Lisa very quickly, I called her to see if she was still sick or what the plan would be regarding who would come for the birth.  She said she was well and would be coming.  She said it sounded like it would still be a while before delivery because I wasn't having contractions yet.  She wanted everyone to try to get some rest before things heated up, so we all laid down and tried.

I could not get comfortable because almost instantly the contractions started up, and they were strong and intensified every few minutes.  She had said to call her back when contractions were about 12 minutes apart, but they STARTED at 4 minutes apart.  Michael fell asleep but I just laid there feeling the waves getting closer and stronger until I just wanted to get things ready.  I called Lisa again around 1am and told her I would like her to come now because the contractions were strong and close.  Also texted my mom and dad to head this way.  Michael and I tried to start prepping labor stuff... gathering trashcans, towels, etc.  I had most things gathered in the corner of my room.  But pretty soon I couldn't take it and laid back down and tried not to cry.  The contractions were so intense and close, I was already telling Michael that I couldn't do it, and that I was stupid for not wanting to pain medication because it HURT.  I was so scared that it would be like Josie's birth and I would have to endure this pain for hours. 

My contractions were right on top of each other when the senior student, Rachel, showed up at our house a little after 2am.  She was like "oh!" when she saw me go right into another contractions after breathing through one.  I said I would get up so they could prep the bed for delivery, and I made my way to the bathroom because I felt like I needed to go.  I sat on the toilet and immediately felt like baby was coming, and I started screaming "HELP!"  Rachel and Michael came running down the hall and I was like "I feel pushy!"  Rachel started getting ready to deliver him right there... she called Lisa on speaker phone and we found out she was just minutes away, her GPS had gotten her turned around a bit!  About then the other student, Emily, came running in and threw on some gloves.  They asked if I wanted to deliver him there in the bathroom or try to make it to the bed.  I decided to head for the bed between contractions.  I made it into my bedroom and beside the bed and I was like "No, he's coming now!"  Rachel said if I felt like pushing on the next contraction to go ahead, so I did - standing there beside my bed!  As I started pushing, Lisa ran in the door and his head was born.  I pushed again and he was out - Rachel caught him with a little assistance from Lisa who had just enough time to slip on some gloves!  It all happened so fast, it was insane. After he was out, I turned around and laid on the bed and they tried to bring him up to my chest, but the umbilical cord was so short they just got him kind of on my lap.  His head was really coned the first glimpse I got of him, but it returned to shape really quickly and he was just beautiful and perfect.  From the moment my water broke (no contractions!) to him being born was a total of 3 hours!  It was the absolute perfect birth I had been praying about (except the part where the midwife almost wasn't there!). 

My mom and dad called as they were coming into town to see how I was, and that was when I was on the bed and Rachel had just got there.  They asked if they had time to go to the store to get snacks in case we were all there a long time (because that's how the last one was, who knew!), and we had no idea at that point...so they went ahead and ran into Walmart for a few minutes.  Because of that, they arrived at our house just a few minutes after he was born!  When my mom walked in I said "I'm sorry, I couldn't wait!"  Lol.

Hello World!
Brennan Michael arrived at 229am on Friday, December 8th, 2017.  He was 9 pounds, 1 ounce and roughly 22 inches (the team measured him at 23 inches, and then a few days later at the doctor's office, they measured him at 21... so I'm going with 22, haha!). His due date was December 11th, so just a few days early.  He is a great baby... sleeps pretty well, nurses well (still a bit sore, but working on latch adjustment), and now that he is a month old, he's starting to be more awake and alert for parts of the day.  His siblings adore him, especially Josie.  She is constantly hugging and kissing on him.  On occasion, she gets jealous and tells me to put him down so I can hold her, but for the most part, she's been a great big sister so far.

Here are a few pictures we took for Christmas cards and such...

My 4 kids!!!

This was MY Christmas outfit, 1980

Family of SIX on Christmas!
A comparison of my babies...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Lifegiving Table, a book review...

The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith Through Feasting, One Meal at a Time is chock full of wisdom, inspiration, scripture and yummy recipes, all stemming from Sally Clarkson's 30+ years of experience as a wife, mother and ministry leader.  A beautiful follow up to her book, The Lifegiving Home, you'll want to add this to your ever-growing Clarkson collection.  Sally weaves personal stories, scripture and practical tips - from how to set the mood to detailed recipes for specific tasty treats -  to slow down that hurried dinner and make something quality out of it, finding those moments to celebrate life around the table, create memories and draw nearer to one another and the LORD.  I appreciate that while she makes it seem so effortless, she acknowledges that it's not... it takes work and lots of prayer to make the dinner table more than a quick pit stop in our day.  She touches on how to make simple meals to elaborate feasts mean something, how to celebrate milestones, find the joy in the holiday rush, and getting your week started right around your table!  I think we could all use these reminders of taking the time to enjoy our meals together, rather than seeing them as an obligation or a rushed, chaotic pause in our day.  Once again, Sally knocks it out of the ballpark - and brings home her message of love, faith and family in this inspiring book!

Tyndale Blog Network provided me with this complimentary title in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Becoming MomStrong, a book review...

Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight With All That's In You For Your Family & Your Faith was exactly the type of book I needed to read at the moment.  While Heidi St. John is a popular conference speaker, author and blogger at The Busy Mom, honestly, I had never heard of her... but you can bet I'll be following  her work from now on!  As soon as I started reading, I felt a great connection with her, as a homeschool mom myself, often feeling that I am failing in being the mom I should be.  Heidi seems to hit every doubt, question, concern or feeling squarely on the head, and, beautifully, points the way back to Jesus as the answer.  Sometimes we just need that reminder instead of a new idea or training protocol.  I appreciate her use of current events, Bible teaching and her own unique story of raising 7 kids in bringing home message after message, and showing that she truly does know what we're going through and we are not alone out there.  It is possible for us to become MomStrong!  I highly recommend this book to any mom that doubts herself, which... c'mon, is most of us, right?  While she does touch on the fact she is a homeschool mom often (and for me, that's a plus), this book is going to help encourage moms from all walks of life who strive to do what's best for their children, so definitely check it out!

Tyndale House Publishers provided me a complimentary copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Year Has Officially Begun...

I have not blogged about our homeschool adventures in a long, long time.  So, how about some catching up?

We started this year on July 10th, with Preston doing 7th grade and Callen doing 3rd.

What the boys do together:  We are still using My Father's World - this time going through 1850 to Modern Times as our core. That includes our Bible devotions, verse memorization, hymn study, history, science and read alouds. I recently discovered Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool, so we are using that for Art, Music and PE/Health.  We are continuing Etiquette Factory Intermediate and Spelling Power.
Math on computer
Preston only: This year we are trying out Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. He is also continuing IEW U.S. History, Fix-It Grammar Robin Hood and Spanish for Children. Twice a year he will also do a Progeny Press Book Study (he already finished the first one during summer!).

Callen only: Callen is doing Mammoth Math Grade 3 and Easy Peasy Language Arts for Grade 3.

Josie is still not quite two years old, so the main goal with her is keeping her from being a distraction to the boys.  Good luck!
Josie is in pre-pre-pre school.
We are still a part of ECCHO, and enjoy doing field trips and Enrichment Classes will start back up in September.  Also, I am looking into getting Preston enrolled in 4H Arts (Callen isn't quite old enough for this group yet).
Waxahachie Courthouse