Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Boys & Their Bikes

I guess since the four pictured above are now five and Elijah is no longer the squishy faced baby it might be time to update our blog. All in due time, but not today.

Big news in the life of Elijah Ryan: he is riding a two wheal pedal bike at two and a half years old.

We were at the park yesterday and he asked Jude if he could ride his bike. Jude said yes and then he asked me. Well, when my boys choose to share I go with it almost every time. Elijah hopped on the bike and with Bennett bouncing on my hip, I grabbed onto Elijah's shirt and pushed him off. And really, truly off he went. I think it took three tries before he was off and pedaling. The grin on his face was priceless and both Jude and I caught the fever. Jude was so encouraging to Elijah and it was a very sweet time for me and my three adventurous boys.

This is a clip from the next day since I wasn't prepared with a camera for the "first time riding a two wheeler" photo opportunity.

Not to leave Jude out, two weeks ago his Dad (aka Father of the Year) took him on a Daddy Date to the skate park for the first time. Here is a short clip of one of his runs.

Then there is Bennett. He is riding a bike now too! Not true. But he is drooling an ungodly amount with two teeth sitting just under the surface. He is full of smiles and giggles and...not sleeping through the night.

What a lot of fun it is to have boys! I am so blessed and look forward to many adventures in our future.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bennett Mace Whitacre - July 24, 2013

It started like any other Tuesday of late. I took our boys to their Aiya's house (Tim's mom) for the day while I headed to SLO for appointments. I saw my OB first and found out I was 3 cm dialated. I was partially encouraged because at least my body was doing something, but I also kept any hopes of labor in check because I was at 3 cm for a month before our second son, Elijah, was born.

From the OB, I went to see my chiropractor. The right side of my pelvis and hips had been very painful for about 24 hours. She said I was very out and that hopefully aligning my pelvis would get things going. Again, I kept my expectations low. I kept reminding myself that God knew what was going on with my body and our baby. I could rest in that and not worry about what, where and when. That is much easier said than done for me after our birth experience with Elijah (accidental home birth, 911, ambulance ride, blah, blah, blah...).

I finished the errands I needed to run in SLO and headed home. I wasn't feeling very well and laid down for a nap. I am so thankful for all the Tuesdays when Aiya and Papa Carl have generously taken the boys for a full day for me to go to appointments and rest. I was especially thankful on this day.

For the last couple of weeks, I had been distracting myself with projects and activities and Tuesday would be no different. Tim's sister Linda had invited us to a Blue's baseball game that evening. We took the boys and had a great time eating candy and playing on the grass. I would say we watched a baseball game but I don't think we saw more than ten minutes with an almost four year old and a two year old.

We came home and I didn't feel great but I hadn't felt great for a month. It felt more like the state of my existence than the beginning of the end of this pregnancy. I went to bed at 11 pm and fell right to sleep. At 12:20 am, my water broke and I woke up in a panic. I told Tim and since he is a hard sleeper he mumbled at me. So I upped my volume as any crazy pregnant lady would do. He woke up wide eyed and adjusted to the fact that this was on like donkey kong. I was a bit panicked, but we managed to call Linda to stay at the house with the boys while we got all our goods in the car. She pulled in to the driveway and we backed out determined to get to the hospital.

Contractions started about 15 minutes into the drive and were anywhere from two to five minutes apart. I was white knuckled and anxious. All I wanted at this point was to get through the hospital doors. We got in a room and "settled" around 1:15 am. Our good friend and doula, Amy, arrived right behind us and we were so thankful to have her there.

I lose track of time around this point in his birth story, but to the best of my recollection contractions picked up significantly around 1:45 am. They started coming about one minute apart and ever increasing in intensity. My stud muffin of a husband, Tim, supported me literally and figuratively the entire time. He sat on the bed and I leaned my entire body weight onto him for the next hour and a half. It doesn't sound like the best way to labor, but it worked for me. I kept focused on relaxing and telling myself that the pain was productive and that I wanted to meet my son. Holy Smokes! It hurt.

Amy did an awesome job of reminding me to relax different parts of my body, especially my face, as the contractions intensified. She also read our needs so well. I became very internal, closed my eyes and didn't want much talking during contractions. She was such a blessing to both Tim & I. (A lot of the photos here were taken by her as well. I'll just go ahead and say it, "Amy rocks.")

7/24/13 at 3:17 am
Just after 3 am, I started to feel the need to push. Amy called the nurse in and she (very casually) came in and checked me. She said that there was still a small cervical lip and left the room. Again, my eyes were still closed, but I was pretty annoyed with what I perceived as her "Yeah right, sweetie, you aren't having this baby yet" tone. I was also in a lot of pain and easily bothered this late in the game. About two minutes later, I could feel him coming and I yelled it again. Amy ran to alert the nurse and things moved in high gear in that hospital room. They tell me I pushed for about ten minutes before Bennett Mace made his grand appearance three hours and seventeen minutes into his due date, July 24, 2013. (Very punctual. I like that.) He weighed in at 8 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches long. He was 1 pound larger than our other two sons. I guess he already knows he is going to have to hold his own with his two big brothers.

I was so very thankful when it was over. It had been an anxiously awaited event for me, but it went wonderfully - just under three hours from water breaking to meeting baby. Making it to the hospital was a weighty burden on me for the month leading up to his birth, but by the grace of God we made it in plenty of time. Doctor Freeman delivered Bennett and she was wonderful. She was calming and so kind with a wonderful bedside manner. Another amazing gift from God that she was the one to deliver if our OB, Dr. Lickness couldn't be there. As I look back, I see God's hand in all of this and can see that He knew my heart and my fears and one by one carried me through them all showing Himself all-sufficient.

Bennett Mace is such a sweet addition to our family. Bennett  means "blessed". Mace means "gift of God". He truly is both to us. I already can't imagine life without him. Jude and Elijah dote on him constantly and are always asking to hold him. It is very sweet and more than I could have hoped for during this time. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of new life. Blessed be your name.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

When I had the energy, I painted.

Back in the fall I got it in my head that I would love a sizable china cabinet/hutch piece in our dining room. Unfortunately for me, when I get an idea in my head it usually sticks and doesn't wander too far. I began the search for something that would work for us. I started tearing out magazine pages, pinning photos on Pinterest and diligently searching Craigslist. I knew we couldn't do a new piece so I just kept my eyes open.

I found what I was looking for and thanks to my studly husband and his faithful friend with a big truck they brought it home in December. It was large but luckily came in two pieces.

Here is the original piece in all its pecan wood, daisy carved out glory. You may ask, "What did you see in this chunk?" I saw killer glass. I love the glass work and figured it was worth a try.

Let me tell you it was trying. I don't think it would have been as big of a deal if I wasn't pregnant, but alas I am very, very pregnant. Finding the time and energy to paint was not easy but if I am anything it is determined...at times.

It took two months to rid the piece of its stank smoke smell which I didn't realize was present until it was sitting in our garage. Once I was content with its odor I went to work on disassembling, sanding, priming, and painting. In the last month, Tim has graciously helped me put it all back together.

The only major change I made (thanks to the suggestion of Debra, my friend with an eye for design) was to cut the daisy lovelies out of the bottom cabinet doors and replace with chicken wire. I love how it turned out.

Another amazing task my hubby helped me with to complete the project was to repaint our dining room. When we moved into our home, I had made the unfortunate choice of painting the back wall a deep red. It left no room for flexibility in decor. I am not sad to see it go. I am also not sad to see clean walls after four years of spaghetti splatters and chair markings.

finished and installed but empty

comes with great storage

chicken wire > daisy woodwork

the original inspiration

Just wanted to share the project because I smile every time I look at it these days.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

It's Raining Men

We, and by we I mean I, went back and forth on whether or not to find out the gender mid-pregnancy or wait until he or she was laying on my chest. Tim was set from the start to find out and at one point told me that he would find out and keep it a secret from me. That would drive me nuts. Over the last few months, I came around to finding out and so on Wednesday we had our 20 week ultrasound. We waited until Friday to find out.

We gave the gender ultrasound pictures, which were in a sealed envelope, to Linda, Tim's sister. I gave her a bag of pink balloons and blue balloons and sent her on her way. She filled the appropriate color with helium and sealed them in a box. After dinner, we found out together as a family. Jude understood right away and has been excitedly telling everyone that we are having a boy. Eli was focused on the balloons and could care less whether we are having a boy or a dinosaur.

Funny Thinking of You Ecard: You can't say happiness without penis.

If you would like to share in our big moment, here is the video. It is three minutes so hunker down.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Trash & Tractors

Last week, the Me & Mommy class that Jude & I attend went on a field trip to the local recycling center and the local John Deere dealer. This was basically heaven for Jude & Elijah. They loved watching the big tractors at the recycling center as they smashed cardboard and moved green waste.

The tractor dealer was a massive success. Elijah crawled on almost every tractor and pushed and pulled all the levers and buttons he could find. It was so generous of the dealership to let our little ranchers-in-training crawl all over their brand new equipment. Jude's favorite was a John Deere tricycle that he monopolized for over 15 minutes inside the store.

Here is their reaction to the tractor moving a mountain of cardboard.

Lovin' the green and gold.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Elbow Grease

When we moved into our home almost 4 years ago, the appliances were included. Awesome. No complaints here...well, kind of. Our stove top has had a remarkable residue of baked on everything. I tried cleaning it, but would give up up or get interrupted by the need to build a train track.

Recently on Pintrest, I kept seeing the miracle workings of baking soda and some scrubbing so I decided to give it a try. To the point, it worked. But, it took me almost 2 hours by my estimations over the course of  the day. My fingers and knuckles were sore, but it was worth it. There is no longer the remnants of someone else's cooking. Now any mess that is made will be entirely ours. I much prefer the mess I know and love.

The nastiness.

Secret Weapon: My little helper.

Yes, we lived with it for almost 4 years. I too am disgusted.

Holy Moly! What a difference.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And Then There Were Three

We are blessed. Our lives our full. And yet we are venturing into new territory. What is it? Oh, just the land of having more children than parents - yikes! Really though we are excited to be expecting our third rascal this summer.

It was really fun telling Jude & Eli the big news. Of course, Eli is clueless, but Jude is very excited. There have been a few times over the last six months when he has asked me if I would "grow a baby in my belly?". Please overlook my haggard appearance as this was day two of what ended up being a six day lock down of the plague incubating in our home. And...the fact that I can't speak with my words no good.