Sunday, September 28, 2008

well, it's done

and now
I really could use some chocolate!
I'll miss those sweet curls
I actually like the new look
better than I thought I would

and I sure do love the boy sportin' it!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am such a dingbat.
I just walked outside
to get the diapers off the line and thought,
"Mmm something smells good!"
Which is odd.
I can't remember ever smelling a neighbor's dinner
since we've lived here.
Oh, maybe the occasional grill going
but that doesn't count.
Then I realized
that's our dinner!!
I forgot for a moment
that I had dinner cooking in my summer kitchen.
Silly me.
Let's just hope I remember to start the rice that goes with it.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

she knows what she likes

Brandon told Lily,
"I don't know what I should get you for Christmas."
(He is most definitely not a procrastinator!)
She immediately told him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

another birthday boy

Tyler was finishing up a major project at work.
Things were stressful, to say the least.
We’re used to our papa working 40 - 45 hour weeks
and he’d been working 80+ hours a week for several weeks.
We were both on our last nerve
but the end was in sight.
His program installed on Sunday
which meant there would be fallout to deal with on Monday
but after that
things would be okay.
I remember telling him that evening
that I hoped we had a few days
to reconnect
before the baby came.
Tyler went to work on Monday;
I took the kids to school and went back home.
(what on earth did I do with myself all day long?!)
By late morning, I was pretty sure
we weren’t going to get those couple of days to reconnect…..
I called Tyler at work
and asked how everything was going.
He was fixing
what he thought
was the last ‘bug’.
I let him off the phone so he could finish fixing it.
He called back a few minutes later.
I didn’t regularly call just to see how things were going,
so he got a bit suspicious
and thought perhaps I’d called with something else on my mind…..
Next call was to my dear friend Terry Frey
who lived an hour and 10 minutes away.
For various reasons,
we’d decided on a hospital birth this time,
going with the doctor who owned the Beginnings Birth Center.
I’d written up my birth plan months earlier
and fortunately, he didn’t have a problem with any of my wishes.
We wanted the kids there for the birth,
so Terry was coming to be with the kids.
Lana and T were especially anxious to attend
as they missed seeing Tony born….
and Tony was a bit worried about his momma.
I don’t remember for sure,
but knowing Terry, she probably picked up some treats on the way.
After rushing to fix that ‘final’ bug, Tyler hurried home
and we went to pick up the kids from school.
I can still see those excited faces
and huge smiles
as they walked out the door of their classrooms.

By about 3 o’clock
contractions were coming hard and fast
So I decided it was time to head on over to Mercy.
(Of course, it had to be the year before they remodeled….)
We quickly got settled in & they hooked me up to the monitor
but only for a little while.
That was part of the deal.
As soon as they unhooked me
I headed to the toilet.
Without a hot tub, that was the best I could do.
The kids were
I’m not really sure what the kids were doing….
(I was a little preoccupied)
I’d fixed them all up a bag of goodies;
maybe they were messing with those……
At some point the nurse asked me how I wanted the bed
for the delivery.
I told her I had no idea.
I had yet to deliver where I was supposed to
(‘cept T, but that hardly counted…)
My water broke somewhere between 4 and 4:30.
Tyler told the nurse it was going to be pretty soon.
Why don’t they listen??
She checked me.
I know she was thinking
Pretty soon, huh??
Around 4:45
Tyler called her back in the room.
“It’s just about time. You should probably get a doctor in here.”
There were 3 doctors in the practice.
All three were at the hospital, in various places.
She makes the call as she’s checking me again.
“She’s only an 8.….”
They decide there’s no need to come yet.
The bed was still just a bed.
I think there is some change up thing they do
To make it more of a delivery table sort of thing.
Not sure about that one though.
Minutes later
I told Tyler I had to push.
Tony was getting real concerned about his momma
and asked Terry to take him out of the room.
Terry knew me well enough to actually believe me.
If I said the baby was coming
she was coming
(we were so sure it was a she)
The nurse didn’t think I really had to push yet
but Tyler had been warning her for the past hour I go fast at the end….
She starts to check again
and whadya know?
She sees baby’s head!
And frantically makes another call,
“Get a doctor in here now!”
Terry’s trying to talk Tony into going back in the room.
She knew she was there for the kids,
but she sure didn’t want to miss out on the birth.
How many people get the opportunity to witness such a miracle?
“Momma’s fine. If we don’t go in there right now
we’re going to miss the baby being born!”
They made it in the room just before the doctors
- All three of them -
rushed in.
Seconds later
our fourth child
entered the world.
screaming bloody murder!
Doctor Berumen turned her over
‘she’ had a package!
We had a boy!!!!
Brandon Levi
You are a treasure!
Brandon is a thinker;
He figures out things
I’ve never even thought to wonder about.
He’s creative.

He is compassionate.
He may be serious
but he loves to play tricks on people
'specially his mom!
He’s a good friend.

One of his favorite things in the world is playing board games
and he’s a great winner
(and loser)
He’s thoughtful.

He waited a long time to be a big brother and he’s an excellent one!
And he’s more responsible than any other kid I know.
Happy 10th Birthday Brandon!
I love you sooo much!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

our big girl

I know.
It's hard to believe
but it really is true!
LilyPie can count
to six!!
what a big

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy 16th

I woke up
and knew instantly
‘today is the day’!
It was Sunday
sixteen years ago, to be exact.
We decided to skip church
and went for a walk around Asbell Elemantary instead.
I called my midwife around noon
and told her she was officially ‘on call’.
We had a leisurely afternoon
with a few neighbor friends popping in and out.
Contractions continued to increase
in frequency
and intensity.
A Bill Cosby tape was in the VCR.
for awhile
he was a humorous distraction.
he was not!
My mom started heading our way around 5 or 5:30;
I called Janessa back
and told her I was ready for her to come on over, too.
She arrived a few minutes before 6:00
and we headed to the bedroom for ‘the check’.
As usual, I wasn’t dilated past a 1.
Usual or not, it was still a bit discouraging.
She announced she was going to church.
You know
since I wasn’t doing much of anything.
I informed her
she was most definitely not going to church;
she was my midwife & I was ready for her to be with me.
She assured me that Kimberly,
her very sweet apprentice with a young baby of her own,
was on her way.
And she would be back in an hour.
My midwife then walked out the door
saying, “Nothing is going to happen in an hour!”
I kept moving from the tub to the toilet
then back to the tub again.
It’s so nice to labor in hot water!
(I would love to have a water birth, but alas, that will never happen.)
My water broke not long after my midwife left.
Then things really got intense!
I told Tyler there was no way I could do this for 8 more hours
(where I came up with 8 hours, I have no idea…)
I was going to have to go to the hospital.
I was already feeling like I had to push
But for goodness sake, I was only a 1,
so my mind and body must playing tricks on me….
My mom thought I needed to just get a grip
(fortunately, she told me that later, not right then :-)
so she took TJ & Lana to play outside.
Kimberly decided she would help me refocus
by checking me again…
She figured she’d be able to tell me I was at 3cm
or maybe even five!
I waddled to the bed
with Tyler’s help.
She took one look and said,
“We’re crowning!”
I’m not sure who was more shocked,
Here I thought I was just a wimp
I was in transition, and a fast one, at that!

Tony Michael
was born moments later
a few minutes past 7:00
as Janessa was walking back in the door.
Nothing’s gonna happen in an hour, huh?!

Tony has been an absolute delight!
He introduced us to the joys of co-sleeping
before we knew there was a name for it.
He’s a snappy dresser.

He is our resident comedian.
He loves the Lord
he loves all kinds of music.
He’s adventurous.

He’s a fantastic big brother
(a pretty good ‘little’ brother, too!)
and an excellent driver
with just the right mix of confidence and caution.

He loves animals.
He will make an excellent husband and father someday.
We love you and are so blessed to have you in our family!

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


beautiful Baby L
I am not always big on technology
but I do love ultrasounds!
I usually prefer the bare bones sonogram
to the more modern 4D's they can do these days
but today
I like this picture of our Little Bit the best.
Don't we have us a doll baby?!
I am just amazed that at 10 ounces
and about as many inches
a baby is a perfect (albeit tiny) person.
God is so incredible!!
Only 19 weeks till we get to meet this precious sweetie
face to face

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

kids in the kitchen

Once upon a time
I used to sneak into the kitchen to cook dinner.
Doesn’t work anymore.
Hasn’t in years, actually.
Which is fine
‘cause I’ve learned a thing or two.
They see me grabbing the bucket of grain
pretty soon
there’s a chair by the mixer
with an eager helper standing on it.
(the chair, not the mixer)
it was really no surprise
when I sat down with some veggies
(yes, Honey, I sat down to do food prep ~ can you believe it?!)
that I soon had offers of help.
My first thought was
I’m cutting vegetables, there’s nothing you can do.
Thanks anyways.
But then I figured
What’s the worst that could happen?
The very worst that could happen
if I let them help cut
a finger tip could get cut off
surely they couldn’t cut hard enough to cut off the whole tip…..
So I went ahead and let them help.
Josiah cut up an entire 8 oz pkg. of mushrooms!

who is becoming quite proficient with a knife,
cut up the broccoli and cucumber

Jeremiah diced most of a bell pepper

...and the pizza was delicious!
Great cutting, guys!
thanks for all your help.


I should probably confess....
I was a bit of a 'mother hen'
Jeremiah suggested I video him cutting the pepper,
but I decided against it
since the entire audio portion would be
"Watch your fingers.
Keep your fingers away from the knife.."

like B1G1

Most of what I do to save money
is so second-nature to me
that I forget it might be 'news' to someone else.
Dish soap
for example.
I'm not even sure that my kids
(or Tyler, for that matter)
know I do this.
Every time I open a new bottle of dishsoap
I pour half of it into the bottle of soap
I just emptied,
after filling it 1/2 full of filtered water, that is.
I gently fill the now-half-empty
new bottle of soap with water.
And I've got 2 brand spankin' new bottles of dishsoap
for the price of one!
I also tear my dryer sheets in half before using them;
I throw half in the dryer
and stick the other half back in the box for the next load.
I figured all thrifty folks did this
once I mentioned it in passing to my mother-in-law
(who was pretty tight herself)
and she said,
"Well, Tracy, I've never heard of such a thing!
You are cheap!"
If I ever find a recipe for dryer sheets that
control static
(as opposed to just softening fabric)
I'll try it.
and I imagine
I'll stretch that
just as far as I can too.