Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Test Post

Since I am using one of Blogger’s new templates, I need to see if I can still use Window’s Live Writer to upload text and photos. 

I really enjoy the simplicity of Live Writer when it comes to uploading photos, adding hyperlinks, etc.  For some reason, my computer or Blogger (not sure which) seems to take forever to upload pictures.  ugh!  No time for that…especially now!  :)

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday…To ME & Baby Luke!

Today I am 41!  And while I normally wouldn’t  blog about such an insignificant number like 41 (I vowed that I would stop keeping track of the birthday “number” after age 40), I do feel incredibly blessed to have recently given birth to our newest blessing! 

Now that is something to celebrate!

Today, Luke Alexander is 4-weeks old and as cute as ever.  Following  is a week-by-week pictorial of our newest little man.  I plan to go to month by month photos from here on out, but couldn’t resist “officially” photographing him each week so that extended friends and family could see his growth.

And while we’re at it…can anyone tell me why 9+ months seems like an eternity to be pregnant and get to hold that babe in your arms, but once he or she arrives the clock begins to sprint ahead at lightning fast speed?!!!  The newborn stage is my favorite…even with ‘round the clock nursing sessions… and I can’t believe Luke is almost 1-month old!  Please slow down, Father Time!  I want to savor every minute of this precious babe’s infancy.

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This week, Daddy’s paternity leave officially ended and he returned to the fire department.  That means 24-hours shifts…for mama too…but we’re all doing fine adjusting to the new schedule.

The only snafu was that Daddy didn’t plan too well with his return to work.  My sweet and thoughtful daughter went into a panic when she realized, last night, that Mommy’s birthday was today and Daddy had not taken her shopping.  (She really is extremely thoughtful!) 

And while she couldn’t convince her father to take her to the Dollar General or Wal-Mart at 9:00 PM last night, she did go to her room and make me the sweetest beaded necklace. 

She even wrapped her gift for me.  And placed it on the kitchen table for breakfast time!

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Just in case I needed a reminder…that’s a giant, albeit backwards, 41 printed on the package!

The following photos were taken by Mary before school this morning. :)

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I couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift this year…

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…being surrounded by the love of my three precious kiddos and wonderful husband.  I especially love watching my older two express their love for Luke!

What a wonderful life!

Oh…and don’t think I didn’t celebrate this wonderful life of mine even though Daddy is on duty today!  I treated myself to a caramel macchiato at Starbucks after driving big brother and big sister to preschool and kindergarten.  :)  Luke and I enjoyed a caffeine moment together!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away, I Have a Kindergartener Starting School Today!

This morning our house was quiet.  Too quiet. 

The only sound to be  heard was that of the gentle pitter patter of rain on the porch and rooftop.

Benjamin was out running errands with Daddy.  Luke was snuggled in my arms nursing.  And Mary was at school.

Yes, our first born started her first day of Kindergarten. 

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It was bittersweet for me.

Yet for Mary, it was all very exciting.  As it should be.  No tears.  No anxiety.  Just a face filled with the joyful anticipation of what’s to come…learning to read; adding and subtracting; forming new friendships. 

Yesterday morning, we spent about an hour up at school for Kindergarten Open House.  Mary’s teacher, Mrs.. Schlatter, had a scavenger hunt for her to complete. 

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Later that day, Mary and I decided on her first “Back to School” outfit.  I guess if you’re a kindergartener it is really a “Going to School” outfit!  We decided on a new shirt that Mary got for her birthday from Mimi paired with a fun, new plaid skort and tennis shoes that Mary and I picked out together.

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(Last night Mary modeled her new outfit for Daddy.)

While out shopping, we picked up an apple for her teacher.  (I loved when my students brought me an apple on the first day of school!)

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We were just about ready to head to school…just one more thing…

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…THE backpack!  I special ordered this off of the internet and just love it!  Now, there should be no confusion for Mary as to who owns which backpack!

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Wishing all of you that are parents to school-agers, a successful start to the new school year!  May the year ahead bring lots of new opportunities for learning and fostering the unique talents and abilities in our children.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And We’ll Be Swingin’…

“Yeah, and we'll be swingin, yes, we'll be swinging”

…and so goes the song lyrics by country music artist, John Anderson.

Appropriate for tonight’s blog as this afternoon marked the first time that little Luke got to experience the “swing”.  Mary and Benjamin have been waiting for this day.  They have become quite proficient at operating this baby mechanism using dolls and stuffed animals for practice.

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Luke seemed to really love the swing, which of course, is a good thing!  I see a future with lots of clean hardwood floors in it!

Tomorrow is all about Mary Catherine.  It is hard for me to believe that my firstborn, in vitro miracle will turn six years old.  She is such a delight to her father and me.  We aren’t having a big shin dig this year, but we do have a few “Aunties” dropping by for her birthday.  Mama promised her a “friends” birthday party this year, so we are going to wait until the school year starts in a couple of weeks.  Can’t wait to share photos with you of “big sister”!

Hope your week has gotten off to a great start!



Monday, August 2, 2010

Partnerships




To be a mother is a woman's greatest vocation in life. She is a partner with God.
Spencer W. Kimball


Proud big sister! At almost 6-years old, she is truly my little helper and forever my first born miracle!

Long days and nights, but I wouldn't trade this for anything! Luke has good feeding sessions and bad ones, but I'm taking it all in stride. His feeding style is eerily reminiscent of Mary; she too struggled with nursing, yet ended up being my nursing partner for 15 months! Benjamin was a nursing champ; he nursed immediately after delivery, had a voracious appetite that required no type of supplementation, and yet quit nursing on me by 10-months. As is true to his personality, he was just too busy for mama! :)

Hoping tonight is better for Luke...or at least that I can catch a few more zzzzzs! (I did get two naps today...Thanks to Grandma Kueter!)

Good night,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We're Home!







Mister Luke and I got home this afternoon. We are both doing well. In fact, our sweet little prince is doing even better at home than in the hospital. We had a feeding (i.e. nursing) setback which resulted in a greater than 10% weight loss during our hospital stay. While the nurses and lactation consultant seemed to be overly concerned by this, I knew that once we got to the privacy, quiet, and relaxing atmosphere of our home that Luke would get this nursing thing figured out. After all, this precious little soul has a bit of a learning curve to master where as mama is a two time nursing champ! Besides, at 8 lbs. 12 oz. he is a big boy and had plenty of weight to spare! LOL

Right now we are snuggled in bed together as daddy does the dishes downstairs. Daddy was also kind enough to load today's pictures on to his laptop so that I could blog from the comfort of my master bedroom as I try to catch up on some rest. (One really does not get much recuperation while in the hospital...nurses are in constantly assessing your pain level, checking c-section incision, monitoring baby's vitals, etc.)

My parents left this afternoon after their 4-day stay with us. I so appreciate that my mom, who is still working full-time, was able to take time off from her job to help Chris and me with Mary and Ben. I think that the older two were so well behaved because they got a lot of TLC from their "mimi and papa"! Tomorrow morning, Chris and Mary are picking up Grandma Kueter. Chris' mom is going to stay with us for the next three days to also help out with the older two. I understand that she has already prepared several meals for us for this week! Sweet!!!

I imagine my posts will be short and sweet for the next few days/weeks, but I know you all understand. I so loved and appreciated all your kind comments on Luke's arrival post! Also, so that I can blog in comfort, Chris is letting me use his laptop which does not have Windows Live Writer loaded. So, I'm back to using blogger to upload photos...not a lot of choice when it comes to altering size, font color, etc.

I'm off to catch up on my blog reading and visiting.

Wishing you all a good night,

Valerie