"Not Me!" Monday

Embarrassed that a total stranger pointed out the baby spit-up on your blouse at the grocery store? Too exhausted from being up all night with an infant to say "no" to a Curious George video...for the third time in a row? Wondering if anyone else's kids enjoy coloring every blessed thing in the living room yellow? No worries! "Not Me!" Monday was written just for you! Here is where I admit some of my imperfections, and vent about the parts of my week I'd rather didn't happen in the first place. Feel free to join in the fun in the comments below!


In just the past week, I have not developed a total obsession with Naked juice. That's Naked brand juice. Not that naked juice would be improper...it's juice, after all. It just sounds a little weird. Which is probably the point...a total marketing ploy. Smart, actually. Anyway...

Part of last week's "Not Me!" post involved Kayden, a huge puddle of urine, and my bare feet. You may recall that - for only three seconds, mind you - I reacted rather strongly to Kayden's two-in-one-day-accidentally-on-purpose-enormous-puddles-of-urine-right-in-the-doorway-of-the-bathroom-in-a-span-of-mere-hours "demonstrations." However, my reaction was in fact not so cemented in my precious three-year-old's mind that he actually boycotted me from helping clean up this week's accidents (when Dad was home - oh yes, there were several). Oops. Not my finest three seconds of parenting.

Additionally, I am a responsible mother who only has the best interests of her children in mind at all times. So it certainly wasn't me who, after a middle-of-the-night feeding, lazily put Callan right back down in the co-sleeping bassinet in our room without changing his diaper, completely dismissing the sound emitted from the southern end of his body as "just air" when it, in all likelihood, was not...

What's that? Ummm...as a matter of fact, NO, I am not eating pizza again while blogging this. Even if I were, I certainly wouldn't whine about it later tonight when Callan has a bellyache.

I also have not been completely terrible about returning e-mails, facebook messages and phone calls over the past month.

Regardless of the demands of having an infant and two toddlers (and the inherent logistical impossibility of having five minutes to myself during any given day), it was absolutely not me who chose sleep over good hygiene, and only managed to shower twice over the course of six or seven days last week. TMI, I know. Sorry. Something about delivering a baby in front of complete strangers makes TMI just spontaneously pop out of your mouth (and also onto your blog, apparently...) for a few weeks afterwards.

For example, after being harassed about having only one (partially) painted toenail at practice the other night, I certainly did not then announce to the entire choir, worship team, and band that I also had just managed to shave my legs for the first time in a month. Not me!

Let it be known that I do not squander my time, nor do I waste opportunity. Therefore, it is not me who is blogging while all three boys are asleep. Breaking the cardinal rule of new motherhood, I know. Until you consider that while that is the cardinal rule of new motherhood, the cardinal rule of young motherhood is, "if all the kids are sleeping and you attempt to take a nap yourself, someone will inevitably wake up screaming." 

I am, unfortunately, still wrestling with the postpartum emotional roller coaster. To try and remedy (or at least weather) the more difficult spells, I've been pep-talking myself with timeless wisdom from a highly revered source. That source may or may not be an animated Disney flick involving a talking llama and the voice talent of David Spade:


I'd love to hear about all of the things you didn't do this week! Scroll down and click on the comment link to leave a note. "Not Me!" Monday is an incredibly fun, blogging carnival started by MckMama on her blog. Basically, it's where we all can be brutally honest about our imperfections and admit parts of our week that we'd rather not have happened.



...Callan turned three weeks old. I simply cannot believe how quickly the time is passing. He is likely around 9 lbs. now and is sporting some pretty adorable cheeks.


...Cameron is showing many signs of potty-training readiness. Oh, but am I ready? He's asking to be changed as soon as he wets his diaper, wants to "go pooooottttty!!!" when his brother goes, and tries to get his soiled diapers off if I don't quickly enough (like when I'm nursing Callan). Sigh. I can't ignore the probability that it will only get more difficult as he gets older...here we go again!

...the boys and I attempted (and survived!) a short trip to the grocery store, without incident! Now that I am sufficiently over-confident, stay tuned for a report on our next few outings...they'll probably turn up in a "Not Me!" Monday! :)

...Kayden's imagination is growing and growing! This week, we've had in-depth discussions about the elephants that are jumping over and into the car as we drive down the road. Several times, Kayden has quite nearly demanded that I stop the car so the elephants can catch up. This morning, I came downstairs to find him, Cameron, and Kyler stomping around the living room with straddled legs "like BIIIIIG ellphalents!"

...I have been negotiating the postpartum emotional roller coaster. It hit pretty significantly about a week ago. Although it doesn't make the emotions easier to control or less intense, it is helpful to know the cause (and that in time, it will pass).

...my sweet babe loves being close to Mommy. He frequently cries when he isn't snuggled up against me. I love "wearing" him, but just can't find a sling that fits right, so am looking for another. Does anyone have an outstanding (relatively inexpensive) recommendation? Or one you aren't using that I can borrow?


...I am looking forward to returning to leading worship at Covenant this weekend.

...I took a shower! Yes, this is a big deal.

...Cameron is becoming more and more of a risk-taker and daredevil. He now takes stairs two at a time on the way up, and jumps clear over the last two on the way down. He vaults over the back of the couch, and pulls the cushions off of the couch himself so he can jump off. Meanwhile, I'm stockpiling the bandages and preparing for another two decades of ER visits. Oh my...

...Kayden is having a more difficult time (of the two big boys) adjusting to having Callan around. Without a doubt, he loves and dotes on his baby brother, but also has more frequent spells of helplessness and needing Mommy's help with things he's done on his own for a year now. While this is sometimes frustrating, I know it will pass as we all adjust to having Callan around. And besides, it's so nice to be needed! :)

...I have lost nearly 25 lbs. I have at least another 25lbs. to go, and am contemplating training for a 5K. Other than the normal frustration with a completely dysfunctional wardrobe, I'm pretty happy with my progress!

...Callan is showing glimpses of a more regular nighttime schedule. This means Mommy and Daddy are experiencing more chunks of sleeping, fewer chunks of screaming...hooray!


...Cam's phrases of choice are "I got it," "My do it," and "Yep." It's pretty darn cute.

...we are slowly adjusting to this "new normal" as a family of five. Pray for Kyler and I, as the demands of juggling his normally packed fall schedule coupled with significantly less sleep for both of us can be quite taxing.

...I am rediscovering the importance of "getting out" to my mood and ability to manage this "new normal."

...I have been totally moved by Christy Nockels' new CD, "Life Light Up" that Kyler bought me. Just now getting around to listening to it, and I can't turn it off. I am so thankful for the way God has used her ministry and music to speak into my life!

So lately, what have you been up to?


"Not Me!" Monday

Wishing you had an outlet that would help make your crazy life seem a tad bit normal? Wondering if anyone else's kids enjoy shouting farm animal noises at complete strangers in the grocery store? Looking for a place to vent your frustration at your toddler's propensity for eating squished grapes off of the grocery store floor (when you aren't looking, of course...)? Look no further! "Not Me!" Monday was written just for you! (Well, and for me, because really, I just need to get this stuff out!) This is where I admit my imperfections and the parts of my week that I really wish never happened! It's a little like free therapy - enjoy!


After a week staying at Kyler's parents' house (the extra help was spectacular!) we returned last Wednesday to life at home, and began this "new normal" together as a family of five. Surprisingly, we escaped relatively unscathed after my first two solo days as a mother of three kids ages 3-1/4, 2, and 2 weeks. Not surprisingly, all but a few of the following "Not Me!" Monday entries came from just those two days.

First off, I need to set something straight. Cameron has most definitely not just recently become completely entomophobic. Just before leaving my in-laws house, the boys and I were enjoying some playtime outside. It most definitely was not Cameron, the previously fearless child, who found himself (his cheek, actually) the landing pad for a very small cricket, and instantaneously developed a morbid fear of all things buggish (bug-ish? bug-like? Anyway...) This paranoia most certainly is not accompanied by painful-looking facial contortions, small limbs clambering onto his mother (whether or not she happens to be wearing his baby brother in a sling and isn't prepared to "catch" him...) and girlish screams in octaves that very well may break glass. And since this incident, it has not been mandatory that every bug spied by his pale blue eyes either be eradicated or removed from his immediate vicinity in order for life to continue on in peace. Sigh...

Just in case you were wondering, it is not me who has found myself resorting to VeggieTales, Word World, and Curious George (repeatedly, in that order) to distract my two toddlers long enough that I can nurse the baby in peace and without disaster. Not me. We have discussed my personal policy on using DVDs to babysit my children. Doesn't happen. Ever.

Kayden is 100% potty trained. For this reason, I am confident that it must have been little gnomes who sneaked into our house earlier this week and left a giant puddle of urine in the doorway of the downstairs bathroom and snaking, like a small river, out into our entryway. Actually, that's considerably more disgusting. But still, I know it must not have been Kayden who left this accident.

It most assuredly was not me who walked into the entryway to check on Kayden (who was supposed to be using the toilet, you know, in the toilet), while carrying the baby and paying no attention to my feet, who stepped directly into the previously mentioned puddle. I definitely wasn't barefooted.

And I certainly didn't completely lose it for about three seconds when I realized what I was standing in.

We have a cheap couch. It has big, incredibly comfy pillows. But, said pillows have no slipcovers. They're basically glorified pillow cases. A zipper and tons of fluffy white stuff. White stuff that I did not find all over the couch and living room floor when Kayden discovered this little zipper and "distributed" the fluff. And the reason that I was completely oblivious to this "free the fluff" party is not because I thought I had distracted the boys with puzzles long enough to check my e-mail three feet away. Clearly, I was not in need of a break badly enough that I remained in my little happy place and didn't even hear the little song Kayden made up and was singing while flinging the fluff everywhere. Nope. Didn't happen.

Similarly, I did not have pizza and soda for dinner one night and then whine pitifully when my nursing baby was up all night long with a belly ache. Not me!

Friday, we headed down to the pediatrician's office. Well-checks for Cam (2 yrs.) and Callan (2 weeks). We were at least 20 minutes late for our 11am appt. Not because we didn't get the boys to bed until 11pm, were up all night with Callan, and didn't roll out of bed until nearly 9:45am, when the doc's office is an hour's drive away. It was traffic, definitely the terrible traffic...

At the ped's office, the doctor did not tell Kyler and I that our sweet babe is gaining too much weight. You heard me. My little three-week-old is a fatty. (Except he's not. Let's just not talk about it.) Ugh.

This morning, I noticed that the big boys have started slapping each other on the rear end while playing games like catch. I am choosing to believe this has nothing to do with the nearly six hours of football we watched at Kyler's parents' house yesterday afternoon while the boys were playing nearby. For the record, I will never understand why boys do this...

And...(disclaimer/warning to those of you who can't read about birth stories or nursing babies...)

Callan wouldn't nurse much this morning. Despite being ridiculously uncomfortable, it certainly wasn't me who decided it was a good idea to just plop right down on the couch and pump, sans cover-up, while attempting to distract the boys with VeggieTales. It definitely didn't take less than a minute for them to notice. And they were not completely amazed. Or terrified. Probably both.

Regardless, no dancing cucumber was going to tear their eyes away from the medieval-torture-device hooked up to their mother. Ah well, now that they're sufficiently traumatized, it ought to make for some pretty hilarious future "Not Me!" stories. You know, when they start pointing and talking about Mommy's milk to some random teenage boy bagging our groceries at the store. I feel sorry for him already... 


I'd love to hear about all of the things you didn't do this week! Scroll down and click on the comment link to leave a note. "Not Me!" Monday is an incredibly fun, blogging carnival started by MckMama on her blog. Basically, it's where we all can be brutally honest about our imperfections and admit parts of our week that we'd rather not have happened.


And The Winner Is...

So, I guess I'm obligated to actually provide a little closure to that little blog contest I held (twice) back when I was oh-so-pregnant. I know you have all been absolutely biting your fingernails waiting for the results. Or...you checked for yourself long ago and already know who the winner is. Or...you never really cared in the first place. (Surely, that isn't the case...)

Anyway, there IS a winner!

Actually, there are three winners.


For the birth date contest, the prize goes to my dear friend Abbie (guessed Sept. 1st at 2:34pm)! Yay!

And for the birth weight contest, (and may I say Callan had us all totally duped on this one - the nearest correct guess was still over half a pound off!) the prizes go to Kerri and Amanda (with identical guesses of 8lbs. 8oz.)!!


Congrats, girls! We'll be in touch about your prizes!


Going Solo

It's been a rough two weeks.

I guess I should have known something was up that second day in the hospital when I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Right after Callan was born, I was on that natural delivery "high" you hear about for nearly 36 hours. I couldn't sleep, and felt like I was on top of the world. It didn't matter that I had just delivered a baby and needed to rest. I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, fight evil, maybe even brave Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Maybe.

However long that natural high characteristically lasts, mine had most definitely ended - abruptly - by the morning I was to be discharged. You may recall that I caught a cold about a week before I was induced, and that cold had by this point deteriorated into some sort of bronchial/sinus infection. I just wanted to pass out in that hospital bed and sleep all day. Needless to say, I got home feeling pretty darn miserable.

Since then, I've dealt with allergies, days-long fevers, mastitis, and a stomach bug, all at the same time. Ugh! Having done this before - twice - I expected things to be challenging...especially now with a newborn and two toddlers, but seriously?!? I have wanted so badly to get up and do things, and I've tried (walked a mile on day 3 and again on day 7), and generally regretted it big time a few hours later (spiked a fever both days...) I hate that feeling.

Thank the Lord for in-laws. No, I'm serious. I have the best in-laws on the planet, and I wouldn't have survived these past two weeks without them. We've been staying with Kyler's parents since my mom had to return to TX (day 4). My sister-in-law has been around a few days to help entertain the boys, and watched them when we went in for Callan's first pediatrician's appointment, despite being 32 weeks pregnant. My mother-in-law has gotten the big boys up in the morning, dressed, breakfasted, and entertained them, despite working (she works out of a home office). My father-in-law comes home from work and is an endless source of fun and games.

And my husband has been an absolute hero. Through all of this, Callan has been having a difficult time getting his days and nights straightened out. Until last night, he was generally up either nursing or screaming until roughly 4am. Every night. Poor kid. Kyler took the "night shift" (midnight-4am) for nearly ten days straight, walking, burping, singing, cuddling, and distracting our sweet boy, just so I could rest. And then he was getting up in the morning and going to work all day. He is so incredible (and I am so blessed!)

Last night, Callan slept from 2:30am-6am and again from 7:30am-10am. Hallelujah! And I am finally feeling better. Well, better than terrible. Still, reason for more praises!

So, today I'm going solo. It's my first day totally on my own with all three boys. And it will be a definite test - jumping in without my floaties on. It's our longest day, since Kyler has a 9:30am meeting and generally isn't home until 1 or 2am (after Common Ground and college ministry hang time).

Thinking happy thoughts...


Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Poor Cameron. His August 31st birthday was totally overshadowed this year by the birth of his baby brother. I know he didn't know any different, but he sure knew I wasn't around, and he wasn't too happy about that. Seriously, the kid ignored me for a solid three hours (turning his back to me, refusing hugs, going to Grammy for everything, etc.) my first day home from the hospital. Not a happy camper. Though pretty darn mature for only two, I thought. (Not to mention adorable...)

Since Callan's arrival, we've worked hard to eliminate any trace of middle-child syndrome. (Ever read The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo?? Funny stuff.) Anyway...I've tried to spend some special one-on-one time with my big boys every day. Not easy when you're sleep-deprived and terribly sick, but I've tried...

So here's a special post just for my incredible second son. He's my bug lover, my risk taker, my independent, mechanically-and-musically-minded, "I-do-it-my-own-self"-er... He hates having his hair cut or washed, and just yesterday, I discovered that he is absolutely terrified of crickets. Yep. Go figure.


Yogurt with fruit and Cheerios, chicken nuggets, string cheese, most any fruit

WordWorld, Curious George, and VeggieTales, in that order.

Play kitchen & foods (particularly grapes...go figure), cars & trucks, etch-a-sketch and magnetic letters, bouncy balls, baseballs, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls...(you get the idea), and especially anything Kayden happens to be playing with at the time.

Books about animals, Noah's Ark, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

the PARK! (and anywhere outdoors, really)
Grammy & Ogee's house - particularly if his younger cousin Andrew is there. Then they can scream and chase each other in circles around the house...literally.
Daddy's office at church

"I got it..."
"My do it..."
"My (insert any toy here)"

Some pics of Cam's first two years:

Hello world!
August 31, 2007
9lbs. 1oz. / 21"

Meeting big brother Kayden (almost 16 mos.)

one week old

Wishing Paw Paw (his great-grandfather) a Happy Birthday...
(2 months old)

Thanksgiving 2007
(three months old)

Christmas 2007
(four months old)

six months old

1 year old

18 months

too cool for school
21 months old

Covenant Teen Luau 2009
21 months old

Cape Cod 2009
23 months old

I am Cameron, hear me ROAR!!!


Some pics from the family celebration we had on August 30th:

We love you little man!


Callan's Birth Story

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

12 Then you will call upon me
and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV, emphasis mine)


Oh my word.

What an incredible two weeks it has been! I can hardly believe this beautiful child Kyler and I brought home just a few days ago was created in my womb, birthed from my body, and is now ours to love and raise up. It's been a surreal couple of weeks at home. (Of course now, he's screaming to nurse again, which isn't so surreal, but anyway....) :)

Even with my wild imagination, I never could have written the story that God already had planned for me with this labor and delivery. As Kyler and I drove to the hospital on Tuesday morning, we talked about my desires for this labor again, and I tried to put into words some of those difficult emotional reasons why I wanted to deliver the way I did (namely, without an epidural).

We agreed that one of the most difficult things about explaining these reasons was inherent in the fact that every woman's labor and delivery story is uniquely hers. The emotions, sensations, and impressions it leaves her with are as different as she is. So while scores of women may choose to deliver in the same manner (or even with identical birth plans), and while we love to compare experiences, the fact remains that no two women will ever have the same experience of anticipation, fear, anxiety, pain, relief, or joy that is laboring and delivering a baby.


Long before Callan was even conceived, and long before I had any children, actually, I knew I wanted to experience a natural labor and delivery. That is, one free of pain medication. For me, it was about focusing on God and accomplishing something I knew I couldn't do on my own. It wasn't about being superwoman or purporting to hold one over on women who choose pain meds. Nothing like that at all. It was a personal choice for a personal journey I wanted to take with my Lord. I prayed for another story I could add to my testimony of who He is, why I trust in Him, and what He has done in my life.

And now I have one.


I was admitted to the hospital around 7:15am on Tuesday morning. My blood pressure was proof positive I was more than a little nervous. Our labor and delivery nurse was fantastic though, and did a great job calming me (and keeping us entertained) with stories from her 25 years nursing in maternity wards from Hawaii to Boston.

The Pitocin drip was started at 9am (after a hold-up with the pharmacy), and my doc was in at 9:30am to check on me. I had made a little progress from my appointment the day before, was about 4cm now and almost fully effaced. By around 11:15am, I was 5cm and contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I'd been "breathing through" contractions for about half an hour, and Doc thought it was time to break my water. As with Kayden's birth story, pain (and progress) increased a good deal after my water was broken. Although compared to the veritable Niagra Falls that came during my labor with Kayden, I had only a few Dixie cups full of fluid with Callan.

By 12:15pm, I was losing focus. Contractions were 2 minutes apart, lasting over a minute, and very hard. As with my labor with Kayden, the Pitocin (we think) made them peak almost immediately after they began. I'd been dealing with a cold/sinus infection for over a week before going into labor, so they were also literally hard to breathe through. Our nurse was aware of all of my concerns about getting an epidural, and offered to have an anesthesiologist come in to "chat" about other possibilities for managing the pain I was experiencing. She checked my cervix again, and reported that I was still only 5cm. Hearing this, I was beyond discouraged. Truly, I was giving up on my delivery plan. The pain was so intense I found myself able to only pray single words through each contraction.

Through all of this, my husband was a hero. He didn't leave my side for a second, and just continued to tell me, "You can do this," through each contraction. Despite his best efforts, I had reached my breaking point. I simply could not imagine focusing through that pain for another 5cm. I asked our nurse to order the epidural.

She was only in the hall for a minute, or less. I was in the middle of a contraction when she returned, finding it nearly impossible to keep from bearing down. Seriously, the pressure was unreal. While still contracting, she checked my cervix again. I expected to hear maybe 6cm. Instead, we heard:

"Oh my - ha! Now she's 10. I feel baby's head. He's coming...NOW."

That's right. 5cm to 10cm in roughly three contractions...like five minutes. If that.

She quickly ran to the door, shouted to someone to page my doctor, and came back through the door with no fewer than seven people. The labor room quickly turned into a delivery circus. Callan was already crowning, so the physician on the floor hardly had time for gloves, much less scrubs. She literally walked in, said "Hi Heather, I'm Dr. Horton. PUSH!" and delivered Callan's head.

The next contraction basically piggybacked that one, and just about simultaneously the doctor, nurses, and I had this little exchange:


"Hold on a sec. Don't push..."

"I can't...I'm not..."

"He's coming anyway..."

"This kid is delivering himself!"

"Now, push!"


"He's already here!"


And Callan was born.


Those first few minutes were a bit frightening. Callan was quite blue when he was born, given to the fact that the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck...twice. They had to clamp and cut it off, because it was wound too tightly to even get a finger underneath. His nurse got him suctioned out and used a respirator bulb to get some oxygen into his lungs, and after a pump or two convinced him to start breathing on his own. So, his first Apgar (at one-minute) was only a 5, but after a few minutes of robust screaming, his five-minute was a 9.


In those chaotic moments before Callan was born, still in the midst of intense pain, I remember feeling complete relief. And understanding. And thanksgiving. In those moments when all I could pray was a word or two, and I thought I had so much further to go, I focused on simply, "Deliver me." And I believe that God, knowing just how much I could bear, heard my prayer and did just that. When I thought I'd have to labor through several more hours, He knew it was mere minutes before my son would be born.

Delivering Callan without any pain meds was not easy. It was extremely challenging for me, especially given the induction. My labor may not have been long, and my baby may not have been as large as the others, but I really don't think that had anything to do with why I was able to accomplish what I set out to do. I absolutely believe it is because I leaned on God and He gave me the strength to endure.

I love that my God knows me so intimately. I love that He is faithful to answer our prayers (whether His answer is the one we expect to hear, or not.) I love that His promises are true, and His plans are good. And I am in awe of His mercy, despite all the undeserving things I do on a daily basis.


12 "Then you will call upon me
and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart."


Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Welcome, Callan!

This past Tuesday, we welcomed the newest little member of our growing family, and you have waited so patiently for pictures! As it has with the other boys, my infatuation with photographing his preciousness is growing exponentially by the day, so I am sure you will have had your fill of pictures within the month (if not by the end of this post!) Here are the stats:


Callan Joseph

09/01/09 @ 12:45pm
7lbs. 13oz.

19-3/4 in. long


After all of the poking, prodding, and pricking, he screamed in protest the loudest while the nurses were taking his footprints! Silly boy...


Proof that we are all born with an inherently sinful nature...

Apparently, it's a family tradition...
(below is Kayden, several minutes old)

I know.
Shame on me for including these pics! (I'll blame their father - he took them).
But really, how could I resist?! Too funny!


Buffy, our outstanding labor and delivery nurse.


Proud Daddy. Amazing Husband. Truly, I love him more every day. He was a Rock during my labor. Even in the middle of my most intense pain, he didn't falter for a second from what I had asked of him. What a blessed wife I am!


My first moments with Callan...


My mom was watching the boys while we were in the hospital, and brought them up the first night to meet their new baby brother. As Kayden was with Cameron, I was just in awe of the depth of their comprehension. Mom (the retired Kindergarten teacher of 30 years) had obviously been preparing them all day, as we had throughout my pregnancy, but their understanding was just so far beyond all that. It was a sight to behold them loving on their brother for the first time.

Proud big brother Kayden, who announced to pretty much anyone as they came in the room, "That's my baby brother Callan Joseph! I'm the biggest brother now!"


Various family members with Baby...


The big boys welcomed Callan home on Thursday. They were so excited to see him!


Oh, my soul. So much love for such a small person.
Another precious bundle entrusted to our care.
We are blessed, indeed.