Tuesday, April 26


So I've never been a fan of the baby carriers. I've tried the carriers and the slings and {maybe because I have giant children}, they all strained my back so badly. But before Eden was born, a friend of mine gave me this ERGO carrier. I was skeptical and figured I just pass it on to someone else if I didn't love it, but turns out - it's amazing! All the weight is supported by the belt around your waist and it doesn't strain my back at all. Best of all, it converts about 10 different ways, including being able to carry them on your back (when they're older). The price is not awesome, these things are crazy expensive. My friend was SUPER sweet to give it to me! But I would definitely recommend looking into them if you're in the market for a carrier.
Graham's newest love is taking pictures.
He started out being really into self portraits, so we have about 20 versions of this shot on our camera. :)

 now he's getting into the abstract......?
 everyone knows there is plenty of ocd in our house :)
 a great Easter!
 8 people officially joined our church after seeing 4 of them baptized on Saturday night!!
We had a great Sunday service followed by lunch with friends.

Saturday, April 23

He is Risen

Let the joy begin, let our songs ring out

Let our hearts be glad, love has banished doubt

See the empty cross, all our debts are gone

Only grace remains, for the victory’s won

Oh what a day, what a glorious day

Oh what a day, what a glorious day

When You conquered death

And rose up from the grave

Oh what a day, what a glorious day!

© 2011 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Get the new SG Easter album here.

Friday, April 22

For Me. For You.

 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.  And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,  and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.  And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.
(Matthew 27)

Tuesday, April 19

changes for some bums around here :)

I can't believe this is even close to reality...but I think someone is about potty-trained!!
Around 22 months, Graham started telling me when he needed a diaper change and then even to when he was actually going. Oh boy, I wasn't really all that estatic about diving into the whole potty-training saga! Basically if you ask 10 different moms, you'll get 10 different experiences and overall the basic sentiment seems to be AGH. (which I can relate to!) So we tried the 3 day blitz with just wearing underwear and seeing how it worked. Well the first thing we learned is that he could HOLD it. Which can be a huge hurdle for some kids, so I can be thankful for that. He went a couple of times in the potty, but usually just held it until a point that he was wearing a diaper - nap or errand, etc....he would hold it for 3-4 hours sometimes! Around day 4, he started screaming whenever I would try to make him sit on the potty. After a day or so of that, I decided nope, this must not be his time!
I had a lot of moms swear to me that boys will not train until they're 3! Lots of moms told me he was too young. I had to trust my mom instinct, because by knowing my son and seeing several signs of readiness, I felt like he was capable of it. But I wasn't going to make it a huge fight either. I talked to some moms that would swear by the 3 day thing, but then as I talked to more moms I came to realize it was a marathon, not a sprint, for far more. So that made me feel better!
With Eden arriving, I knew it would be awhile before I felt like plunging in again!
Around her 8 week mark, I felt that he was ready to try again. I discovered that if I asked him if he had to go potty the answer was always "no", but if I sat him on the potty, he would usually go. I would sit him down and set the timer for about 10  minutes, gather his books and let him read away! Whenever I sat him down, I knew he had a full bladder, so if he would just sit still for 5 minutes he would usually go.  So after a day or two of that, it c.l.i.c.k.e.d! Then he would go as soon as I put him on the potty. And he started coming to me to tell me when he had to go and hasn't had any accidents for over a week! I've even started letting him wear underwear for short errands and he has come home dry and goes when we go home. He has only gone poo one time (and I think that was an accident!). I am told that definitely can take a while. He still wets at naps & bedtimes, who knows how long that will last! We also have to get him adjusted to going when we're out of the house. He did not want to go this weekend when we were out. He finally went at church one time because 2 of his buddies were cheering him on. :)  But wow, I'm kind of in shock because I didn't really expect it to happen. I think it's different for all kids, but when you feel like your child it ready, then go for it!
Our big boy who loves his sticker chart!
We're actually on sticker chart #4 now.
 I'm not sure when to end the sticker thing. haha!
With Graham I decided to cloth I think sometime around when he was around 4 months old. For new moms, I definitely encourage them to allow themselves to settle into mommying before they tackle cd'ing.
This time around, I figured I would be ready to jump in a little earlier, but I still wanted to give myself some time. Especially since I wasn't too estatic about 2 in diapers. :) And turns out, the timing worked out pretty great!
With Graham, I started out with pre-folds, liners, and Thirsties covers. They worked really well for him and continue to work well. Though he is seriously getting close to outgrowing them, which I wasn't expecting.  Over the last 2 years I would occasionally pick up various other brands to try as well. So I am excited to use more all-in-ones with Eden this time around. They are definitely a lot more convenient for me.
A lot of the all-in-ones I had gotten, Graham has grown out of, even though they are supposed to be one size thru potty-training! I guess if you have a healthy-sized boy, that's not going to be the case. But I am now finding that these are working perfectly for Eden!
The dipe in these pics are the SoftBums Echo Diapers. I really like it so far!
The links here are for a cloth diaper store here in Pittsburgh, *The Happy Baby Company*, but they offer FREE shipping in the U.S., so I would definitely say for anyone to use them!
Adam is the owner and I've worked with him thru the Momtourage. The customer service is awesome. I've placed an order and it's shown up on my doorstep the next day!
Their inventory changes so fast that he can't always keep up online, so if you see something online that you want, but it says it's out of stock, just give him a call and he should be able to order any product for you.
I also really like BumGenius and Grovia.
For Graham, the Grovia's didn't work great, but they seem to be working much better on a smaller bum. :)  
Can I just say though - going from cloth-ing a 2 year old to a newborn is awesome!
Whew, I'll deal with the newborn dipes any day. :)
Our sweet girl, with too many rolls to count. :)


Thursday, April 14

coming out the other side

I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Graham ended up being diagnosed with bronchilitus, an ear infection, and rsv. Eden had bronchilitus, an ear infection, and mild respiratory distress. I ended up taking her to the ER one evening because of her labored breathing as well, but thankfully it evened out and we were able to go home after a few hours.
Friends from church started calling and dropped off several dinners for us this week. What a HUGE blessing that was.
Andrew & I came down with terrible colds as well and Andrew saw the dr. today and has a sinus infection. 
Tuesday night our furnace stopped working and it was c.h.i.l.l.y. But turns out, because of cracked ducts, if it hadn't turned off it could have leaked carbon monoxide thru our house. very scary thought, even though we have detectors.
But TODAY.................... the sun came out and we were able to walk to the park, our furnace got fixed, and everyone seems slowly on their way back to healthy!

Sunday, April 10

let them be well

We've been attacked! A horrible virus has invaded!
Wednesday night as I was putting Graham to bed he felt really hot to me. Checking his temp - 104.5. whoa! Thursday is stayed around 102 even with consistent advil. Friday morning it was 105.6, so after calling my dr. he said to go ahead and take him to Children's Hospital to get him checked. So, it's 7:30 am, we've just woken up, Andrew is already gone to work, Eden is not awake yet and obviously she is going to need to eat, and we're supposed to head the the emergency room? oh my, that was more excitement than I wanted to start my day with. So thankfully, the dr. said, no problem, feed Eden, get what you need, it will be fine. So I managed to at least get dressed, feed Eden, throw some things in a bag, get G to eat/drink what he would and get us out the door in about an hour.
Several blessings - we have one of the best Children's Hospitals in the country that is less than a mile from our house. It is an amazing place, and guess what? At 8 am, there was absolutely no one at the ER and we were seen immediately!
Also, after feeding Eden, she ended up sleeping the entire time we were there, SO great.
They checked his ears, did some xrays and everything came back negative which was a big praise. They determined it was a virus and we were able to go home. *In xray as they told him they were taking a picture of his belly, he said "cheese" as they snapped the photo. It was a little sad since he was kind of scared about the whole process!
So we're still fighting the fever. Going on 4+ days now, still has been running 102-104 the last 2 days. This morning after meds, it dropped some, so we are praying that maybe we are turning a corner! He also has the absolute worst cold ever. His nose is such a faucet and that's really what's making him the most miserable. I feel like he's become a broken record - "runny nose....runny nose...". :)
Saturday he seemed the worst. He kept asking to take a nap which is NOT normal!
Of course, one of my biggest fears right now is that Eden is going to come down with this. Yesterday she started this barky cough and it was like choking her. And this morning she woke up terribly congested. ugh. We haven't had these sick of kiddos before and it's so sad. Really praying for their healing.
And for mom & dad to stay healthy! Right now I am really, really drained. I didn't realize how much it was taking out of me until yesterday when I began to feel absolutely exhausted. I was able to sneak in a 30 minute nap yesterday which was really helpful. Especially since I've been up since 5am this morning, both kiddos needing alternating attention. :)
So when your little ones are sick and they want you to sit on their little car and eat breakfast with them.......well, you just do. :)
Our babysitter, Kristin, was supposed to stay with us this weekend and watch Eden while we were at the baseball game and then hang out with us for the rest of the time. She so sweetly volunteered to still come and help for the weekend. We still managed to sneak in a little fun like Chinese take-out, frostys and a movie!
So this morning I am at home with the sickies. Eden is napping and graham & I are hanging out on the couch watching Thomas the train. could be worse. :)
One bummer - potty-training was going really well earlier in the week! I even hosted a Pull-Ups Potty Party, courtesy of HouseParty. We've been hearing the Potty Dance song until we're crazy this week. :)

Can I just give one super-awesome note? Eden started sleeping a straight 8-9 hours the last 4 nights! I am so thankful for that! I'll last feed her around 11 and she sleeps till 7:30/8. Last night she slept from 8pm on, with me waking her up to feed at 11pm. She only woke up early this morning because she couldn't breathe well. :-/
God is gracious.
Check out these pop-bead arms. :-)

So hoping the sickies don't set us back to far in the potty or sleeping departments. :)
Thank you to the many people who had been lifting us up in prayer, we sure appreciate it!

Wednesday, April 6

another week flies by.....

Eden is 8 weeks!
She seems to have settled into a good routine.
She loves to give us smiles and we love to see them!
Her one major flaw (cuz everyone has to have one :-).....
she had so many nights that she cried from 10pm-1am. Nothing seemed to work at calming her down and getting her to sleep. So very, very thankful that (fingers crossed) I think we've moved past that. I would love for her to sleep from 7-10 pm as well, but we're still working towards that! So she hangs out with mommy & daddy a little extra in the evenings. But I am just thankful  to have her down for the night, minus the 3 hours of crying first. She sleeps 5-7 hours, still varies a little. But only getting up once to feed her in the night is fine by me for now!
She puts up with a lot of shenanigans from her brother, this was probably on her mind. :)
Graham is so loving towards her, but it doesn't mean we don't have to protect her life!
Andrew walked in to find him pushing her as high as she could go in her swing. good gracious!
She also gets smothered in kisses that can easily turn into head-buts. Working on being very gentle...slow...easy.... :)
and Mr. G....the crazy kid himself.
having a newborn is pure sweetness. but having a 2 year old is pure joy.
not that there aren't many, many moments.....days.... of pulling your hair out.....
But seeing life thru a toddler's eyes is one of the best things.
When else are you going to be SO excited to see a fire truck driving down the road....or getting a sucker at the bank is like the best.thing.ever....or getting to go to the zoo or park...
It bring us such JOY to bring joy to Graham. telling him it's a church day or that we get to go to the toy library or storytime or have ice cream....
simply by allowing these little moments, you are a hero in his eyes. Could there be anything better?
Friday night, Andrew & I are taking a G-date to the Pirate baseball game. He is SO, So excited. He talks about it every day and about how dad is going to hit the ball (hope he's not too disappointed.) But we are so excited just knowing how much he is going to love every single moment.
When Papa came to visit, Graham helped me make one of his favorite - rice krispie treats. So now they are forever dubbed "papa treats"!
one of his major not fun things of the moment is early wake-up call!! seriously? the 6's? He has always been a 7:30/8am riser and suddenly, the moment I have a newborn we're hearing him at 6:30/7. ugh. double ugh. I kind of think it's a result of not being outside as much in the cold days and also probably staying home more than he was used to. So hopefully, as the days get warmer he'll be needing that extra sleep again!
thank goodness for books. We have taught him that he can turn on his bedside lamp and read his books until mommy comes for him. He's done it sometime 30-45 minutes on some mornings. thank the Lord for his grace.
pure sweetness and pure joy. that's what keeps you going through the sleeplessness, the diapers, the feedings, the laundry, the dishes, the discipline, and the "I seriously got nothing done today". And really, it's all worth it.

Tuesday, April 5

birthdays, birthdays!

A big milestone for our favorite triplets!
 Happy FIRST birthday to Tyler, Allison, & Lincoln!
(and congrats to their mom & dad for surviving!) :-)

and a very happy birthday to my sweet, sweet sister!
I love you to pieces!!
you're also an amazing aunt to my kiddos and they love you too.
can't wait to see you in June!