Monday, January 31, 2011

A Dream.....

I feel like I need to document this emotional journey of the last couple of weeks. This whole pregnancy, I have been thankful for a healthy baby, and have been prepared to have another little boy. Jonah melts my heart so much and is so fun-loving that I can't imagine not welcoming another sweet boy. However, knowing this will be our last baby, I was really dreaming of having 1 more girl. Julia is so sweet and brings a softer element to our house, among all of these boys. She has been praying for a sister for so many years. I can't deny that I would love to balance out all of these boys a little, too. Plus, we have 3 upstairs bedrooms available to the kids and a girl would also allow a nice division among the rooms : 2 boys, 2 boys and 2 girls. I prayed and prayed. I worked hard not to get my heart set on a girl, but the desire was always there and I would share that with God constantly (while trusting His perfect plan).
     At 16 weeks (2 1/2 weeks ago), I had an ultrasound with my OB. I started to get really nervous because, that day, it dawned on me that I may find out the gender. My OB looked and looked and all he would tell me is that he "couldn't see anything between the legs". I don't think I realized how much those words would torture me for the next 2 weeks. It gave me a hope that it might be a girl but it was really too early to confirm anything. So, all of these months, all the work I put in to trying to convince myself it was a boy, was kind of starting to fade. I didn't want that. I didn't want to start envisioning the baby as a girl, unless I knew for sure. I needed to guard my heart. It was a long 2 weeks because of how hard I had to work on controlling my thoughts.
     So, last Wednesday (at 18 weeks), I was at the perinatologist for an ultrasound. My appointment was at 4:00 and I was so nervous. I continued to be tested as I sat in the waiting room until 5:45, when they called me back...the last appt of the day. Well....both the assistant and the Dr. confirmed that it was a girl. I thought I would faint. My heart was beating so hard during my ultrasound (before I found out it was a girl) that the assistant said it sounded like the baby's heartbeat. I found it so hard to believe them and had them tell me over and over. They even gave me a picture to take home with the "3 little lines" to show me it was a girl. When I left, I felt like I was floating on a cloud. I cried on the way home.
    The kids wanted me to tell them in person. So, I stopped at the party store on the way home and got a bunch of pink balloons. When I walked in the door, all the kids came running to greet me. Their jaws dropped and they all screamed and jumped with happiness. There was a giant group hug. Julia told me that she felt like she needed to cry for Joy. So, she clung onto me and whaled for quite a while. The boys kept checking to see if she was ok. It was so surreal and so fun to see how excited everyone was.
     Today is Sunday, and it still hasn't completely sunk in. Every time I think about it, I can't believe it. God is so good to give me my heart's desire, even though I don't deserve it at all.  I am so humbled. God is good...even when He answers us differently than what we ask for...but He has been so gracious to us. The funny thing is, if I had a girl instead of Jonah, I have a feeling I would have felt "complete" and maybe wouldn't have had such a strong desire for another baby. Then, I wouldn't have sweet Jonah. I am so happy that it happened this way. Now I have Jonah and a baby girl on the way.      Excited for a new journey again, after not having a baby girl for 8 years! It should be fun. ( many cute girlie things have come out in the last 8 years!)  I am even excited for Jonah to have a baby sister, because Josh and Julia have such a sweet relationship with each other. I feel like I MAY just finally have a feeling of "completion" after this little one. I never have felt like our family was complete. The Lord always put this desire in my heart for another baby. I can't know for sure now, but I am hoping and praying to have that feeling after this precious one is born. Loving this baby and excited to meet her. The kids are wishing it was already June. In some ways, I agree with them!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Griffith Park

When our 2 oldest boys were young, we use to love taking them to Griffith Park. There is this cute little place with train and pony rides and then Travel Town Museum is at the other end of the park. Jeremy use to be so obsessed with trains, that they loved to go and climb on all of them! Today was the 1st time we took Jonah there. He loves anything with a motor and/or wheels : trucks, trains, planes, cars....etc. 

When we got there, he was so excited to be out of his stroller and running around. The thing that cracks me up about him is his funny little "trot" he does. He doesn't run. He frolics, or gallops, or trots. I really don't know how to explain it but it is totally hysterical and we crack up about it all the time. The more excited he is, the more dramatic the frolicking! I had to post this picture because it actually caught him in action!

I think the kids were more excited for him to ride the little train than he was. But once he heard the whistle and it started moving, he was beside himself.

Very happy after his ride!

Then......he got to go on his 1st pony ride. He felt so "big". We loved his proud expression. I couldn't believe how little he looked as the pony circled the track with him.

Then, of course, he had a blast chasing the pigeons.  

And he took his 1st drink from a drinking fountain....big day for little man!

Then, we finished up by looking at and climbing in the trains at Travel Town. He will probably never remember this day...but we will. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow souvenir

Is it weird that this snowball is still crammed in my freezer and 2 of my little ones were hoping to save it until next winter?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

These are a few of my new favorite things.....

I had to share a few of my new favorite things in my house. They make me smile, so I thought they deserved and honorable mention!
One set of grandparent bought this new cute chair for Jonah for Christmas.  He feels so "big" when he watches his shows in it. Funny thing is.... I catch all of my other kids trying to sit in it....even my 14 year old!
The other set of grandparents go this cute table and chairs for Jonah. I love that we have this, especially now that we are expecting another baby that can share it with him. It has a cute little drawer for pencils and paper and he loves to sit and eat snacks at it!
 We have been wanting a new rug for the family room for a while. So, I went to one of my favorite places, Homegoods, and found this wool rug at a fraction of the retail price. With Spring on it's way, I wanted to play up the green in the walls a little more. I am ready for something a little more cheery. I found a few pretty green pillows for the couch also......

.....but this pillow got a place of honor because it was my favorite!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Pots and Chili!

So, for Christmas, my mom got me these new enamel-covered, cast-iron pots. I am obsessed. I love them so much. I love the quality, the color, the sizes....everything. I couldn't wait to use them! All of this cold weather and SNOW, made me NEED to make chili. This is a simple recipe that I have been making for years. Originally, I got it from Weight Watchers. I think it was something like 2 points a bowl....and really filled me up. I make it from memory now. It may have gotten tweaked slightly, but nothing that would affect calories. Someone told me once that it won a chili contest.....but I can't confirm it. What I love most about it is that I can always keep the ingredients on hand, I can make it in a very short time or I can leave it in the crock pot all day...and it makes great left overs!

Weight Watchers Chili Recipe (from memory)

1 lb ground turkey (I have used ground beef when making it for other people)
1 onion
3 cans beans, drained (I like a variety so I use pinto, black and kidney)
1 can corn, drained (I've also used Trader Joes frozen, roasted corn)
2 cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope dry ranch mix
1-2 cups water (depending on preferred thickness)

So, I chop the onion and brown the meat with the onion. Then, I dump everything else in the pot and heat until warm. I have also done this in the morning and allowed it to slow cook all day so that the kitchen is clean and it is ready and waiting when we are hungry. Toppings my kids love are: shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips. 

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add or take away ingredients, according to your taste. We love it. It's basic and healthy! Hope your family will like it, too!!!
(I think the original recipe also added a small can of diced green chilies but I usually leave these out)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snow Day!!!! the last time I remember getting snow in Santa Clarita, where it stuck to the ground was in high school. That was a LONG............. time ...........ago! Well, we were sitting home yesterday afternoon, anticipating the rain, when we saw snow flurries! The kids were giddy and running around the house with excitement. However, this has happened before and then stopped several minutes later. Not this time!!!!! We didn't know that at 1st, so we ran right out to get pictures.

 I wasn't sure how well the snow was showing up in the picture so we were trying to capture the snowflakes on their hair. 

 Jake was trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue!

 The snow started coming down harder! Is this really happening in Santa Clarita???? :)
 Jonah wasn't sure how he felt about he decided to watch from inside the warm house!
 The snow started to stick! The kids were so excited!!! We had to get another picture!!!

 I cracked up when I saw that they got out our sleds!

 ...and when I saw them making their tiny snowman! So cute!

A view from upstairs! So beautiful!!!! what a great last day of Christmas Break!!!!