Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I feel like I haven't got much to say, but I have a lot to say. My heart is full. 2009 has been a wonderful year for my family. 2008 was really good, but 2009 has been great. We have been blessed beyond measure. My mom gave me a book for Christmas called, "Making Life Rich Without Any Money" and frankly, I already know how. (but don't worry mom, I'll still read the book because it does look good--gotta get through the Twilight saga first--very slow going because I don't have the energy to focus on it :) ). Anyway, I digress, which is what one of my favorite teachers in high school used to say, she also taught me the word, "ergo" which I always applaud when someone uses it because it's such a cool word. Seriously--slip it in everyday conversation and the person you're talking to will think you're brilliant. Anywhoo, back to my train of thought.

We were given a huge surprise in January, which we got to meet at the beginning of October. With his arrival, we found out how loved and blessed we really are. People brought us an abundance of food and gifts, we got phone calls, texts, messages on facebook, and all kinds of offers for help. It was really wonderful. I have never been super popular, and for once in my life I really felt popular--but loved, is really a better term for what we felt. So, thank you to everyone who made us feel loved and loved on us and our precious family.

Rori started preschool this year, and just when I think I can't be more proud of her, she amazes me even more. She was very brave starting school, she's been a big help with the baby, and my proudest moment was when she said her line at the Christmas play at church, in front of a large audience. She said it calmly, clearly, and proudly. "Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord." If you'd like to watch the video of her line, click on this link to my mom's blog and be sure to turn the volume up. She's just precious. My heart was full and tears came to my eyes. Our two oldest children are really learning to love the Lord and understand what that means. I really couldn't ask for anymore than that--except for maybe a magic diet pill that will let me eat whatever I want and lose the baby weight that seems to have permanently attached itself to my rear end...

12 Sticks of Butter

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A few years ago, I found the best recipe for butter cookies that you roll and cutout. It has 4 sticks of butter and 4 egg yolks per batch--can you say coronary? I also found the best frosting recipe--it dries shiny and hard and tastes fabulous! So, we have started a Christmas cookie tradition.

The first batch of cookies, the kids wanted to just put sprinkles on (we were going to do half just sprinkles and half frosting, but they got carried away). We had a special helper while we made them. Auntie Val came over and helped us. We used to go to her house every year and make Christmas cookies--we called her the "Master Baker." So it was really special to have her help.
Then Bill complained that he needed ones with frosting. So, I made another batch with the kids and we frosted them with my parents and grandma. Aren't they pretty? I would warn you not to eat Liam's because my dad video taped him licking the frosting off of the one he was making, while making it, but unfortunately the cookies didn't make it much longer than a week or so before they all disappeared...So...4 more sticks of butter later, I made these.

Note the lack of coloring the frosting. I was much less enthusiastic by the third least they have sprinkles :) I've been beating Bill off of them, but fortunately they need to only last one more day!

Merry Christmas everyone! Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

ps if you want the cookie recipe, and the jiggly behind that comes with it, click here For the frosting recipe, click here. Note that these taste better the day after they are made as the butter sets in.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last Christmas we gave my sister, Jenna, and her husband movie tickets and told them we would watch their kids when they went. Almost a year went by and they finally took us up on our offer. It was our first time watching Noah and Juliana. We were really excited to get to spend time with our niece and nephew--usually when we get together the grandparents are around and Noah wants to hang out with grandma and Juliana is usually with her daddy or grandpa.

When Jenna and Ryan left, I was worried that Noah would start to cry, but when he went looking for them, I explained they had to leave for a little bit and we were going to play with him. He just said, "ok." and went back to playing with his cousins. Rori and Liam taught him how to tackle. They ran around the house chasing each other and having a great time. Juliana was all smiles and we didn't want to put her down for a nap, but we were worried that Jenna and Ryan would be mad if we didn't, so we put her in the swing and she went to sleep. Then Noah, Rori and Liam all played tackle with Bill! It was NOISY but FUN! Here's some pictures of our fun day!

Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Technically it's still Fall--and I know this because Jenna's husband, Ryan's birthday is December 19th and he reminds us he's a Fall baby. Looking outside, I would say winter is officially here. Fortunately, I get to stay inside with this cutie...

Bill's Day Off

Friday, December 11, 2009

Guest post by Bill :)

This past Tuesday it was my honor and privilege to be the helper in Rori’s preschool class. I had a ball, it was so much fun. I am so proud of my little girl. She is so smart. I always knew she was smart, but when you ask her what she learned at school she tells you a letter, and says I cut things out and colored. The same thing happens with Sunday school and Cubbies. What did you learn today, I ask. About Jesus she says. I’ll learned on Tuesday that Rori can count both forwards and backwards, she knows the days of the week, the months of the year and the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a treat to see her interact with others kids. I got to hear all about Spiderman and Princesses from the little boys and girls in her class. I got to help them learn the letter K and found out everyone likes Cheez its. Not Cheese Nips, but the real deal Cheez its. My fun day did not end after school though. Rori and I picked up Liam and met my buddy Dan and his son and daughter at McDonalds playland. It was hamburgers, fries and cokes all around. There is nothing like a McDonald’s coke! The kids had a great time running for the 2 and half hours we were there and I had a nice adult conversation about something other than work. You think that would be a full day, but it was not. When we got home we blew off Liam's nap (sorry mom) and got bundled up and headed out into the snow. Rori shoveled off the sidewalk for me. Liam raked the sidewalk too--we only have two shovels. After I finished the driveway, it was playtime. We had a snowball fight, made a snowman and some snow angels too. I got to watch and cheer on Rori and Liam as they went down the Jungle Gym slide to see how fast and far they could go. After being outside for an hour and a half and the kids little cheeks being red it was time to go in. Rori was ready, Liam needed to be convinced. We all shared a bowl of hot oatmeal once we got into our dry, warm clothes. It was the perfect day even if Brendan would not go to sleep for me again. I can’t wait be to sick from work again (shhh) and help in Rori’s class in the New Year. Papa


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bill has always been the "baby whisperer" with our children. He could almost always get them to stop crying and go to sleep. There was a point in the early months of Liam's life that I didn't even think that he liked me. (That went away and for a while I was the only one he wanted--it was wonderful while it lasted). I assumed it would be the same way with Brendan. I was happily wrong! I feel like Brendan and I have a special relationship--symbiosis--if you will. Snuggling him calms me and it seems to work for him too. For example, the last two nights he has been crying uncontrollably while Bill was holding him. Bill tried all different ways of holding him to get him to stop, feeding him, swaddling him, nothing worked. Nothing worked, that is, until Mommy came along. Immediately, completely instantaneously, upon my putting my hands on Brendan and before he was even transferred to my arms, he stopped crying and didn't resume. It was wonderful and magical and made me feel so special. I pretty much melted into a puddle of love. I feel like I really know Brendan, I can easily figure out what he wants or needs, and I think because of this he rarely cries with me. I am not meaning to brag about my mothering skills, but I just really "get" him, you know what I mean? Bill on the other hand is a bit devastated to have lost his baby whispering skills, but we won't mention that to him.

I am going to enjoy this special time and hold onto it for as long as I can. With the other two, I couldn't wait until they could talk and walk and I just never really loved the infant stage. With Brendan, I don't want it to end any time soon. I realize now how quickly it goes by and how the snuggling and dependence for everything doesn't last forever. (Well, we still get snuggling from Rori and Liam, but sometimes I have to ask for it).

The big V

Monday, December 7, 2009

This weekend Bill and I realized that we are getting OLD! I hope this post isn't too much information or too personal--if it is, just skip it :) Anyway, we met our small group for brunch this weekend and discovered we are the only couple in the group that hasn't had the big V...vasectomy, that is. And the small group couples aren't the only ones we know who've had it done--other friends have too. I think we have more friends that are all done having kids than are in the child bearing stage. This just makes me feel old! What's next? Talking about our aches and pains and how we can't have coffee after lunch, lest we never fall asleep, or having dinner before 5pm and following it up with a trip to Wal*greens to get my Aqua Net? Oh dear, I just realized that I am watching PBS while I'm typing this...I've got to go now and turn on MTv--but I don't understand today's music and what is with that American Id*ol kid???

A Sweet Boy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please pray for my dear friend Christina, her family, and especially her sweet three year old boy, Owen, who is having open heart surgery today. This is his third heart surgery since birth and obviously there are possible complications that I know they would appreciate prayer for. Christina is an incredibly strong woman. She has worked full time in order to carry the health insurance for her family--something they obviously couldn't go without. And she somehow manages to keep the numerous appointments with specialists and therapists for Owen all straight--while also raising an adorable toddler girl. She is a super mom--I don't know how she keeps it all together (and she looks fabulous all the time, on top of it!). I'm praying for you and I love you, Christina!

Tis the Season

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It is good to be children sometimes, and never
better than at Christmas, when its mighty
Founder was a child Himself.
Charles Dickens

Advent is here! Tis the season for Christmas cards, making cookies, wrapping presents, but most of all for celebrating our Saviour's birth!

More 4 year old logic

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Today Rori came to me and said, "I accidentally broke the bracelet that Baba Hoo Hoo gave me. I need a new one." Rori is needing to learn to appreciate the things that she has and not assume that she can always just get a new one. She doesn't always treat her things very well--which I know is typical behavior. However, it is getting frustrating when I threaten to throw something out if she doesn't take care of it and she just says, "okay." Grrrr.... Anyway, I digress. I told her that Baba Hoo Hoo was going to be sad because it was a special bracelet. So she proceeded to tell me, "Well Santa Claus can get me a new one and then she'll never know!" sigh. I love that little smarty pants.

Happy Birthday Baba Hoo Hoo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy birthday Baba Hoo Hoo! Love,

Rori Rose


and Brendan, who doesn't understand why mama doesn't have a picture of you with him...

What is a baba hoo hoo, you ask? Well, she's a grandma, of course! She got her name because she would rock Rori and sing, "Bababababa." and one day I noticed she was calling grandma and patting the ground next to her for grandma to sit by her. Only she wasn't saying grandma, she was saying, "Baba." She started calling the grandma's "baba." And one day she was talking about "Baba" and I didn't know if she meant my mom or Bill's. Both grandma's have dogs. Bill's mom's dog is named Casey and my parent's dog is named Sarge. However, she couldn't say Sarge. She called him "hoo hoo." "Hoo hoo" was how she said "woof woof." Thus changing Sarge to Hoo Hoo. She was pretty young with limited vocabulary, so I asked her which grandma she meant--the one with Casey or the one with Hoo Hoo. And Baba Hoo Hoo and Baba Casey were created. Sometimes she still calls them Baba, but now it is mostly Grandma, but they are still Grandma Hoo Hoo and Grandma Casey--even to Liam. So, as Paul Harv*ey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story!"

Santa Came Early

Sunday, November 15, 2009

If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you may remember this post and recognize this picture

That is my vacuum cleaner complete with duct tape on the cord and on the hose. I have been complaining about it for over a year now, and even hinted that I would be okay with getting a new vacuum for Christmas or my birthday. Both came and went without a new vacuum. But, the last straw came when I was vacuuming nine months pregnant and felt a horrible shock on my leg and screamed in pain. The cord had ANOTHER frayed part that had hit my leg and given me an electrical shock.

I remembered that my friend Lesley had mentioned in the comments section of my previous post that she had gotten her vacuum from Amazon. I grabbed the newest issue of Consume*r Reports which happened to feature vacuums and went online. I found this beauty and ordered it and got free shipping, no tax, and didn't even need to leave the comfort of home--thanks Lesley! It truly is a thing of beauty!

I love it and don't mind vacuuming. It almost goes by itself! However, since I did have to order it myself, I think Santa still needs to pay me a visit on Christmas.

Third child syndrome

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poor Brendan. I fear that he is going to suffer from third child syndrome. Each child gets a little less attention than the previous one. We have less pictures of Liam than we do of Rori and I'm sure there will be even less of Brendan--at least of him by himself. Today he had his one month doctor's appointment and I noticed something. Bill wasn't coming with. We hadn't even talked about the possibility of Bill coming with. However, With Rori and Liam, Bill came to just about every well baby appointment for the first year! What's sad is that this is probably only the beginning of the third child syndrome. I can only imagine that it gets worse with every baby. I'm pretty sure that the only documentation that the Dugg*ars will have of their 19th child are his or her birth certificate and whatever footage gets taped for their television show! So I am vowing to make an effort to catch more of this special boy on camera.

Baby Fat

Friday, November 6, 2009

I am feeling discouraged and frustrated. When I had Rori and Liam the baby weight practically fell off on its own from nursing/pumping. I could eat a double cheeseburger and large fries and still lose 3 pounds. I expected the same thing to happen after having Brendan. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, which is what is leaving me discouraged and frustrated. I have no clothes that fit, except for sweats, my hair is flat and shapeless because it hasn't been cut in ages, and I haven't had contacts for about six months now. I'm clueless as to why Bill would even want to come home to me. My mom says the weight is more difficult this time because it's my fourth baby, but I'm pretty sure that Heidi K*lum isn't having this problem...

So, two days ago I decided to go to the gym. It was the first time in about six months that I worked out. I pulled on a pair of men's shorts, over my hairy legs, squeezed my giant tatas into a sports bra and threw on a giant t-shirt. I wanted to wear a sign that said, "I look like this because I just had a baby." I have to say, that I was pretty proud of myself though, because I was able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine without killing myself. I wasn't sure what kind of shape I was in, so that was encouraging. When I went yesterday, I went with more confidence, (and shaved legs) and even did some weight lifting. I am hoping that I will notice some improvement in my weight loss and hopefully fit into some pants that do not have an elastic waist soon! Wish me luck!

One Month

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy One Month Birthday to Brendan Rhys!

Darth Vad*er and Princess Jasm*ine

Monday, November 2, 2009

This year for Halloween, Rori wanted to be Princess Jasm*ine from Aladdin. She picked out a beautiful dress that looked like something Jasm*ine would wear. We were sure that Liam would want to be something to do with Cars--probably Lightning McQ*ueen. However, he had been watching St*ar Wars with his Papa lately (I was a bit leery and thought Liam was too young, but it was Papa's favorite movie). So, when Papa took the kids to the Halloween store, Liam insisted that he wanted to be Darth Vad*er. Unfortunately he wouldn't wear the mask--but I will get a picture of him with it on at some point :)

We went trick-or-treating with some friends from church, and while it was a freezing day, everyone had a great time. I wish I'd gotten more pictures, but there were so many kids for us all to keep track of so it was tricky.

Princess Party

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last weekend was the "annual" princess party at the park district. It's hosted by the park district's school of dance. My mom and I took Rori again this year. I wasn't sure if she would enjoy it as much--since she is a whole year older now :) Thankfully she still loved it. She wore her Halloween costume which is Princess Jasmine. I think she looked lovely.She met Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Cinderella, and more! Then the Princesses taught all the girls a dance. Rori loved it and told me that she is ready to take ballet now. Thank goodness, I was worried that my only girl wasn't going to want to take ballet--which was her mama's passion growing up!

It was a wonderful time and I can't wait until we can take her to Disney to really meet the princesses!

What I've been up to

Friday, October 16, 2009

I have really wanted to get on here and post, but I haven't been able to, so I fiugred I'd document the reasons why I haven't had a chance.

First, I've had lots of laundry and dishes (I didn't feel the need to take a picture of those things, because I'm sure that everyone knows what that looks like ;) )

Second, I have been attached to this

What is that contraption, you ask? That is a hospital grade breast pump. I'm pretty sure I could milk a cow with it.

Third, for some reason, I don't know if it's the arrival of Brendan or if it's cabin fever because the weather is cold and rainy, but Rori and Liam are out of control crazy. They have been fighting with each other and not listening to us. It's getting a bit better, but it wears Bill and I out.

I've also been trying to catch a few of these:

I asked Bill to be my stunt double, because if you think I'm posting a picture of myself on my blog less than 2 weeks post partum, you're crazy!

With all of the above, I've also been enjoying this:

and this

I also wanted to add that my dad is doing well after his surgery and wanted to thank everyone who prayed for him last Monday!
So, in a nutshell, that's what I've been up to!

Big Boy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This is going to be quick--just pictures, I'll post the birth story later, and I wanted to thank my friend Anna for posting the stats! She offered to post the pictures but of course we never got them emailed to her :( So here is my handsome boy!

He’s Here

Monday, October 5, 2009


Jaime & Brendan are doing well.

(Pictures to come)

Boys and their Mamas

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've decided that boys just really love their mama's. So much so, in fact, that they will stay inside their mama's so that they can have them all to themselves. When I was pregnant with Rori, the doctor shocked me at 38 weeks and said he wanted to schedule an induction because he felt at that point she was safer outside than in (I think he feared something happening because of what happened with Faith and wanted to make sure that we got our healthy baby). Anyway, we scheduled an induction for just past 39 weeks. Bill and I were super excited and planned out our last week or so. Well, 5 days before my induction date, my water broke. We were shocked and excited. Apparently Rori was as ready to meet us as we were to meet her.

Moving on to Liam. I hoped he would come early as well, especially because the last few weeks of pregnancy aren't so fun. The last month or so everytime I got checked I was another centimeter dilated. Then I would have contractions at night and we'd call my mom and Bill's mom and tell them to be on alert! It could be tonight. Then I'd lay down and fall asleep and nothing would happen. Finally I was 4 centimeters and we scheduled an induction. Fortunately he cooperated, but frankly, I think if we hadn't given him his eviction notice, he'd still be in there.

That brings me to this baby. At 37 weeks I was 3.5 centimeters dilated. The doctor told me not to wait too long to go to the hospital and I probably won't make it to my induction date. He scared me a little because he said that normally he tells people to go to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apart, but I should go at 10 minutes apart, because it may happen fast. This is especially scary because I am all about getting my epidural before any serious pain starts :) So...yesterday at work, my contractions were 10 minutes apart for an hour. I left work to pack my bag and shower, and this little boy, much like his brother did, changed his mind. The contractions eased off to about one every 30 minutes. So here I am today. Waiting. and Waiting. and eating--because what else is there to do when you're waiting? I have come to terms that the doctor was wrong and I will probably be serving this baby his eviction notice on October 5th. I guess he just wants to keep his mama all to himself. That's what I know about boys and their mama's.

Frank and the farm

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last weekend we went up to the farm by my parents house. The main attraction for the kids was Frank the Combine. He is a character in the Cars movie and the farm had painted their combine to look like him and were offering rides. Liam talked about riding Frank for a couple weeks before it opened. Fortunately he wasn't disappointed. Here are some pictures from our fun day.

How cool is Frank?

Liam sat on Papa's lap to ride Frank. He thought it was great! I didn't go on the ride because I knew it would be bumpy and the idea of a bouncy ride, almost 9 months pregnant, with a baby sitting directly on my bladder didn't sound like fun...Rori thought it was pretty cool too, but really I just wanted to show off her curls in this picture ;)

Grandma Rose and Baba Hoo Hoo rode too!
Riding Frank was tiring...but Grandpa knows just what will give them the energy for the rest of the day...

...fresh baked apple cider donuts!!!

Rori and Liam went for barrel train rides--my baby girl insisted on going by herself!

Papa folded himself into a pretzel to ride with Liam

Of course we had to do the inflatables. Rori has no fear climbing up or sliding down!

Liam was pretty brave too...but

Papa insisted on going too, "just in case Liam got scared."

Then they played in the "sandbox" of corn. You wouldn't even begin to believe how filthy they were from that. Thank goodness grandma let us give them a bath when we got back to their house!
It was a fun, but tiring day! We can't wait to go back. Hopefully we will be able to get back one more time before the baby comes!