Thursday, December 15, 2011

Whirlwind of birthdays

We just went through our whirlwind of birthdays, starting on September 1st with Caleb's 1st birthday and ending on December 11th with Sydney's birthday. It is always a crazy time of year for us in the fall, that Christmas ends up being a breeze! First, our baby boy turned 1, and we did a zoo animal theme. We were pleasantly surprised that Caleb did not follow suit with his older brother by crying over his cake... he didn't mind getting a little messy, and enjoyed every bit of it!

We had a great time celebrating with our friends and just can't believe how fast this year has gone!

Then on October 16th, 3 days before Carter's actual birthday, we celebrated Carter's 5th birthday with a Pirate theme! Talk about not believing how fast time has gone by... I seriously can't believe I have a 5 year old already! His friends had a blast dressing up like pirates together!
Carter is growing up so much every day... he is starting to read and really enjoying going to Classical Conversations. The biggest joy I have gotten from this experience is watching how Carter loves to teach his little sister all of the stuff he is learning. I haven't had to teach her anything at all this year, Carter is taking the lead with that! Maybe I have a future teacher on my hands!

Then on December 11th, Sydney's actual birthday, we celebrated Sydney's 3rd birthday with a Princess theme. At first she had asked for a Dora party, but then she settled on a Princess party because "I'm a Princess!" she says. All of her friends came dressed up like a Princess too! Sydney loved wearing her tiara and enjoying her birthday with her friends.


The biggest treat from her birthday, was watching the joy on her face after she opened each and every gift. It didn't matter how big or small it was, she had such joy in her reaction and kissed just about every gift! It melted my heart!

The big news with Sydney is that she is finally potty training!! We started a few days before her birthday, and hasn't had very many accidents at all. Something just seemed to click at 3 for her, because we had been trying off and on for the past 6 months with her. I am thrilled, because this mama was not looking forward to the possibility of three children in diapers come February!

And this is me, 32 weeks pregnant, putting my feet up for the first time all day at the end of the party.... and the end of a whirlwind few months of birthdays. And now, on to Christmas, and baby girl on the way.... For a more detailed update on my pregnancy, please visit my other blog:

Friday, October 7, 2011

I've become that Mom

You know the Mom I'm talking about... a minivan Mom! Yes that's right, we are now proud owners of our very first minivan. It's surprising we even made it this far without having to buy one. When we first found out we were pregnant with Caleb, we had talked about getting a minivan. My husband, being the frugally minded man he is, decided it would be worth it to buy more expensive but thinner car seats for our Saturn SUV that only seats 5 people and squeeze in three car seats across the back seat, rather than shell out the thousands of dollars it would cost to buy a minivan. I agreed, and we made it work... until we found out #4 was on the way. We no longer had a choice in the matter!

So here it is, our new minivan... not new, but new to us. It's a 2005 Honda Odyssey. Honda's are built to last, so we weren't too worried about buying an older vehicle. We were just glad we finally landed the deal we were praying for and were able to pay it 100% in cash and not have to go in debt over it. We were very frustrated with the search for a vehicle and often considered buying a newer Honda and taking out a small loan that we knew we could pay off in a short amount of time. Thanks to the wisdom of our dear friends who always give us great advice when it comes to finances, they encouraged us to continue praying that God would lead us to the right deal within our price range with exactly what we were looking for and could pay cash for it. I'm so glad we listened to them, and asked God to lead us, because not too long after we started praying that way, we found our van!

If you have been keeping up with my VBAC blog, you will know that we are expecting a girl this time. We are very excited to be evening out the genders in our home! But for now, I couldn't be a happier mama with my three beautiful children. I'm often tired, but loving what I do. Carter has started Pre-K this year, including a once a week homeschool co-op called "Classical Conversations." We go together each week and I get to sit in his classroom and help the teacher as she leads them through the process. It has been such a fabulous addition to our homeschool curriculum. Carter absolutely loves it! Thanks to Daddy working from home, he is able to keep Sydney and Caleb at home while Mommy and Carter get to have a morning at school together all by ourselves. Then during the week, we get to practice what he is learning at home. I am amazed at how much he has learned in 6 short weeks, and love to watch as Carter teaches Sydney what he is learning! I hope to share more about "Classical Conversations" soon. I highly recommend it to any homeschool family out there!

No, life just doesn't get any better than this! :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And so the journey continues...

It's been awhile since I have blogged. Obviously, my last blog post was when Caleb was born, and now here I am announcing that baby #4 is on the way! I am due the beginning of February! This was not planned, but a true blessing indeed. I wanted to let you know about my new blog where I will be blogging during my pregnancy:

I also hope to get back up to date with my family blog, so stay tuned! Here are a couple of pictures of our precious children, plus the newest additions to our family:

Meet Custer (white male) and Shiloh (brown female) our new puppies! The kids are absolutely in love with them!

Carter and Sydney are taking swim lessons together this summer!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Caleb Asher's birth story

Well I think we have established that I am the world's worst blogger! But here I am finally to share the story of our third child's birth! It all started on Monday, August 30th when my parents arrived from Lynchburg, VA. We were so thrilled that Grandpa was able to come, since he had his bypass surgery only a couple of months ago. He has had such a great recovery and was given the green light to come. We were all thrilled to have him here and the kids took advantage of every minute with Grandma and Grandpa!

I think by the end of their week here, my parents were exhausted from reading books to my children! But these were precious photo moments for sure!

Grandpa and Carter also enjoyed putting a puzzle together!

Here I am, my last evening being pregnant! Last time just sitting with two of my children, I would soon be the mother of three...

The next morning, we had to be at the hospital by 6 am to prep for surgery.

At this point, I was just ready to get the show rolling and be done with all of this!

Sydney ended up being with us that morning even though she was supposed to be spending the night with our friends. We ended up bringing her home late that night because she woke up crying and wouldn't go back to sleep. Then we had to wake her up early to go to the hospital with us. She was a trooper, but it looks like she is about to fall asleep here!!
It was the third time I was having a c-section in this hospital, but everything was very different from the start. For starters, my previous two c-sections had been around 6:30 pm on a Thursday evening. This one was at 7:30 am on a Wednesday. I had a different anestheologist this time, and was in a different OR this time as well.
Surgery was supposed to start at 7:30 am, but there was an issue with the epidural... as in, it wasn't working! As they were prepping me for surgery and testing to see if my legs were numb, the anesetheologist kept getting worried when he would ask if they were numb, and I would say, "No!" Surgery was delayed about 30-40 mins because they finally had to re-administer the epidural! You know, once is fun enough, really! But once it was put in a second time, I began to get numb, and we were well on our way.

Before I knew it, I heard my baby boy crying, and so I began to cry! Tears of joy, and just thankful to be done. It was a fairly easy pregnancy, but the last couple of months, being the hottest summer on record in Texas... were not fun to say the least!

He was perfect, in every way...

Our precious baby boy! He was finally here!

Steve and I couldn't have been more thrilled! Okay, maybe Mommy was the most thrilled... but Daddy was pretty thrilled as well!

Soon we were rolled into the c-section recovery room and were allowed to have visitors.

Proud Grandpa Blackburn was the first to hold Caleb!

Then of course Grandma Blackburn had the honors.

Sydney surprisingly took to the new baby right away. She is going to be such a wonderful mother someday!

All this passing around, and I finally realized that I hadn't held my baby boy yet!! So we had a little bonding time!

Then he was whisked away to the nursery to be weighed and measured. And the verdict was...

8 lbs even! Actually at first, the scale said 7 lbs 15.9 oz and the nurse began to say that he was 7 lbs 16 oz! But another nurse quickly responded that didn't quite add up right! So they weighed again, and it was officially 8 lbs. He was also 19.25 inches long.

We were soon taken to my room to wait the several hours before they bring the baby to me... yes, it is a torturous few hours! But once they brought him up and we had our first nursing session, our guests began to arrive.

Our friends brought Carter and he finally got his first peek at his new baby brother. He wasn't quite sure what to do with him at first.

But he finally warmed up, a little... Carter takes time adjusting to new situations, and this was a big one for him!

Here our friend Alex is holding his new little pal!

And then proud Grandma Westdyk...

And proud Grandpa Westdyk!

Later on our good friend Robyn stopped by to say hello!
We spent three days in the hospital and were well taken care of. By Saturday though, I was ready to go home and be with my children and parents. Fortunately, Steve had been there with me most of the week but I just really needed to be home again. Upon discharge, I was checked out by the on call Doctor and she told me that I had gotten an infection in my c-section incision. She wanted to keep me another day. She could tell by the look on my face that I really didn't like that option! So I was given a shot with an antibiotic and a prescription and was told to come back if the infection got worse.

Caleb passed the seat check...

And he was given the green light to go home as well! Our Pediatrician said he was just perfect in every way. Even didn't get jaundiced at all, which he said that 95% of babies do get it! He was also our tiniest baby. By the time we left the hospital, he was 7 lbs 8 oz. We have never had a baby go below 8 lbs!

So now, our little angel is at home! The first week was really rough, I'm not going to lie. I was feeling really sick from the infection and was having a rough time with nursing at first. I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and overwhelmed with now having three children! I began to wonder how I would ever make it... but it got easier with time. The infection began to heal up, and nursing became easier. I learned that I needed to sleep every chance I could and take advantage of the fact that my husband works from home!
The kids were definitely adjusting, but doing well. Little Sydney is definitely a mother at heart. Every chance she gets, she likes to pretend her doll is her baby and put her in the baby's swing or carseat...

Caleb is a sweet, and sleepy baby! Unfortunately a little too sleepy during the day and less sleepy at night... but we are working on that! When he had his first bath, he didn't even cry!

So now we are two weeks in, and he is doing great! Nursing is going really well and we are slowly but surely getting back into gear. Today at his two week check up, he had already gained back to his birth weight and then some... he was 8 lbs 9 oz, a full lb in one week! Guess that milk really does work! We are so happy with our little family of 5 and enjoying every moment!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Catching up!

Please forgive me for the massive post, but I have a lot to catch up on! It had been my intention to blog once a week, but it seems to be happening once every 1-2 months! I do hope to get back on the roll with that soon.

Well, we are still cloth diapering and loving it! The only complaint I have had so far is trying to figure out the best wash routine. Not really a complaint but just trying to figure out what works best with our hard water to make sure the diapers don't leak or smell! I am loving cloth diapering and must admit that I am a bit addicted to it.

Here is one of our very favorite brands: Apple Cheeks! I love the look and the fit.

Here is an ever popular brand, Bum Genius, which I do love very much. It is the most like disposables, so very easy to use.

And this is our favorite nap and night time diaper, the Thirsties duo diaper. There are two nice things about this diaper: 1. It only comes in two sizes so it has a good fit but isn't as bulky as a one size fits all type diaper. You don't have to buy a bunch of different sizes either to get that good fit. 2. You don't have to take the inserts out of the pocket to wash. It has openings on both ends of the diaper, so it just comes out in the wash! Very convenient. It's also super absorbent which is why we use it for naps and night.

We planted our first garden in the front yard! We started a little too late, so some of the flowers died early on, because we had such a dry spell in Texas. Sydney loved helping Mommy water the flowers with her little watering can. Fortunately the rain is picking up now, so our flowers are doing much better!

Carter started swim lessons this summer, and as you can see, he wasn't too happy about it at first.

About a month or so ago we were swimming at a friend's house and Carter slipped and fell face forward into the pool. It scared him so much that he has been terrified to get into the water.

Fortunately, by about day 4 of swim lessons, he was smiling again! He is doing very well now! I think next summer we will definitely get Sydney started early with swim lessons.

Sydney had her very first plane ride last week! Unfortunately, not under the best of circumstances. My Dad had a heart catheterization and found out that he needed heart bypass surgery right away. Sydney and I flew out to VA together to be with my family during the surgery. Sydney did very well on the way there! She slept on both flights (whew!) I was thankful to have survived that, considering I am now 7 months pregnant! The biggest challenge was having her on my lap the whole time.

We celebrated Dad's 60th birthday the day before the surgery, because his actual birthday was the day after the surgery and we knew he wouldn't be in much of a "party" mood! We were so blessed to have many of our family there together: Joel, Amy and I were all able to be there, which was great to have all three kids together. Amy's husband Walt, my Grandma (Dad's mom), and two of Dad's brother (Mark and Tim), plus Mark's wife Tammy and their son Josiah were all there too!

Mom and Dad also celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary just on the 19th!

Sydney really took to Aunt Tammy! She loved spending time with her, which was a blessing so that I was able to spend time visiting Dad in the ICU while Tammy watched her. Sydney unfortunately was not allowed in the ICU.

Here Sydney was having fun playing peekaboo with Great Grandma!

I couldn't have been more proud of how well behaved Sydney was all week, considering she was confined to either an airport, airplane or hospital waiting room pretty much the entire week!

She not only entertained our family while we waited 9 hours on that first day in the waiting room for Dad to get out of surgery and kept our minds off why we were there... but she also entertained the other families waiting for their loved ones. There was even one family that was waiting for their loved one to pass away (the Doctor had told them it was only a matter of days.) Sydney made them laugh and entertained them as well! She was so sweet and such a blessing to so many people!
Dad did very well with the surgery. They did 5 bypasses. I can't even describe how hard it was to see him that night after the surgery was over. He was still not awake and had the tubes still in. It was very hard. We all cried a lot. But by the next morning, he was talking a mile a minute! Then by that afternoon, the pain began to set in, and the talking subsided. He began to get depressed. It was hard to watch him through the highs and lows. Most of our family left by Tuesday, but Sydney, Grandma and I were still there. We left on Wednesday and Grandma stayed with Mom another week. I'm glad we were able to stay longer and be there for Mom. I know it was so hard for her to watch Dad go through that. The update is that he is now home (was in the hospital for 5.5 days) and doing well with walking and everything! Long road of recovery ahead, but we are all just thankful that he is doing well!

Sydney was SO happy to see Daddy and Carter again! Carter was also happy to see us too I think! Sydney had som fun trying on Daddy's shoes and hat, while sporting one of her Thirsties diapers!

On July 2nd, Steve and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe it has been 5 years and that we already have baby #3 on the way!

On Sunday, Sydney watched her first fireworks, and wasn't too impressed! She cried a lot, but thankfully we had her bear and blankie to hide her eyes, and that seemed to make it all better!
Whew! That was a lot to catch up on! Hopefully the next post will be a little bit shorter!


About Me

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I am a homeschooling mom to four. I just had a VBAC after 3 c-sections this year after I was told I no longer had the choice by my first Doctor. I am a childbirth instructor for Birth Boot Camp. My first class starts January of 2013!