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My life as a young wife to one, a mother to many and a flawed yet faithful follower of Christ.

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Weight Loss Update

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on May 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (6)

A little vlog on where I am according to my "goal"......


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Sleeping Babies

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on December 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Getting a baby to sleep in a house filled with lots of noise is sometimes a challenging feat.  Our last two babies have been VERY light sleepers.  Babies 1-4 could have easily slept through a bomb raid; babies 5 and 6 awoke at the slightest things (unless they were already in deep sleep).  The fact that these light sleepers were the most recent additions to our family has its advantages and disadvantages.  The biggest disadvantage is the extra noise.  With each child the noise and chaos of our home has increased a bit.  It isn't like monkeys swinging from the ceiling fans, but I do have 6 kids playing, talking, learning, laughing and the like all over the house all day long.  It is just a fact of life with a house full of kids.  I can't expect the older kids to walk on eggshells all the time....they're CHILDREN after all; and children I will allow them to be.  But there is an advantage to having the light sleepers as child #5 and child #6.....my skill level is ever increasing with each child, as is my patience.  I am always amazed at the amount of people who say to me "You must have been born a very patient person". WHOA, you’re talking about ME....patient?  HA! Ask my parents; patient I was not!  God obviously wanted to fix that little flaw in me and did so by downloading the patience package into my operating system via Children6.0!  While He has greatly improved that attribute in me, He has much work left to do!  Although it is so hard to consider myself a "seasoned" mommy to babies (because it makes me feel OLD!!!), I will offer you some tips and advise on babies, sleeping habit and "spoiling" from my "seasoned-mommy" brain.

Getting a baby to sleep

First try the 5 S’s – Google it if you have never heard of them….they are life savers!  I will list 3 of them because the others, I find, are only needed in cases of colic or a way overly tired, overly stimulated, cranky baby.  

Swaddling – This works SO well I have listed it first.  I have heard many people say that their babies don’t like it.  I presume most of them aren’t doing it right.  While there may be a baby or two in existence that DON’T like to be swaddled, they are the exception not the rule.  Learn how to do a good TIGHT swaddle from an experienced mother or neonatal nurse.  The big idea of a swaddle is that it has to be TIGHT!  The babies where crammed in a nice, warm and SMALL womb for 9 months; they are used to the movement restrictions.  In fact most of the time my newborns would awaken themselves because they would “startle” and their arm movements jolted their bodies, waking them up for good.  

Sucking – Some babies just like to suck.  Ever seen a baby sound asleep at the breast or a bottle and then you remove said apparatus from their little mouths to lay them down (because of course they are OUT) and their little eyes pop WIDE open?  For some babies sucking is synonymous with sleep. Go with it.  Most of the time they will drop the pacifier or you may remove it if you are so inclined once they are sound asleep.  I would suggest a pacifier being used as a tool while they are small and not carried over into toddlerhood (or beyond), but again…do what works.  That five year old with a pacifier will eventually give it up, guaranteed.  Sometimes as parents we need to pick our battles.

Side or Tummy – Most babies prefer their side or tummy to sleep on.  Guidelines today say you are not suppose to sleep them on anything but their backs, so weigh your own conscience and good sense with this one.  If tummy positioning seems to help my fussy babies I make sure they are on a flat (FIRM) surface with no loose bedding and I stay close to them checking them often.  Also, they can always just sleep on their tummy on you…another excuse to sit down and do nothing but snuggle and smell that oh-so-soft baby head!

 

Other Tid Bits

 

Lack of Sleep. Just get used to it! (Sorry,  but I am gonna’ tell it how it is, sister!) Stop comparing your hours of sleep now with your pre-kid hours of sleep.  Try not to be irritated that you must awaken all hours of the night for various reasons…this is a short season.  It is a blessing to have a baby to be up with, try to be thankful for that.  I know it is easier said then done.  It became a WHOLE lot easier, actually, for me to do so with our “surprise” blessing.  Ezra really wasn’t suppose to be here (by our planning) and I fell so head over heel with him in those first few days that I would actually SMILE and beam when I got up at night with him marveling at how I couldn’t imagine not being able to snuggle this little baby!  So, my advice here is just to give of yourself joyfully to the service of motherhood.  Lack of a sleep is not going to go away by complaining and being angry about it.  It is a fact of life with a new baby.  My advice for this comes from a Little House on the Prairie book that is often quoted around my home: “What must be done is best done cheerfully.”

Nap schedule.  Don’t get so wound up over “schedules”.  Think of it more as a routine.  From about one to three months your baby will have random sleeping/awake/eating times.  This is normal.  It may differ from day to day.  Go with it.  I have found that once they are awake for longer periods of time (6 weeks +) most babies will fall into a E.A.S.(Y.) schedule (you can google “EASY schedule” for more info).  Eat. Awake. Sleep. (Yourself – time for yourself)  So for instance, if he wakes and eats, he will be awake or a short period of time and then get tired and sleep for a bit.  And the cycle starts again.  So if you notice your baby is getting a bit fussy an hour or so after they eat he may not be hungry again, but tired.  Try swaddling and snuggling (and giving a pacifier maybe) him and see if those cute little eyelids start to get heavy.  It is a lot easier to transfer a baby from arm to crib successfully if they are tightly swaddled (see below). Once babies are about 3-4 months old they will start taking longer, more routine naps.  Right now Ezra is 3 months exactly and he usually takes a morning nap (9ish), an afternoon nap (1ish) and another one around dinner time (6ish).  He also takes cat naps here and there but this is his general (longer) nap schedule.  As they get a bit older 6 months + they start to drop either the afternoon nap or the evening one, keeping two naps per day.  Then again at about 9-15 months they will drop the morning nap and take a longer nap after lunch.  Eventually they will stop napping (2-4 years), but we do have a rule here at the Farmhouse that if you are not yet school aged (Kindergarten) then you must have a nap or quiet time in the afternoon (1pm-3pm).  Most of my older nappers end up falling asleep at this time.  

Nurse them.  Not sure if this works the same with a bottle, as all my babies have been tried and true booby babies, but you can try.  Nursing will always send my babies into a sleepy milk-induced coma if they are even a little bit tired.  

The Swing. If all else fails put them in the swing.  Some babies just adore these things and it works like an instant sleeping pill.  

Co-sleep. Again this is one of those “not-suppose-to-do-things” from the pediatrician, so do this at your own discretion.  I am a light sleeper (even when very tired) and I sleep with them in the crook of my arm so that I would basically have to break my arm to roll over them.  I also sleep with my knee jutted out so that if my husband rolls he would hit my knee first.  I would NEVER recommend co-sleeping if you are deep sleeper or move around a lot in your sleep.  Mike would be a danger to the kids if he were to try it! If you are comfortable doing so, co-sleeping lets mom AND baby sleep more restfully.  I have co-slept with all of my kids from newborn till about 6 weeks and then off and on (whenever convenient) until they are sleeping LONG stretches (like 8-10 hours) which usually happens anywhere from 3-9 months, depending on the baby.  At that point they are moved into their room and into their own crib. Up until then they sleep in a small crib in the master bedroom.  

Gas. My kids never really had too much of an issue with gas, so I have little advise for you there.  If you nurse your baby from the breast it seems to lessen gas (because there is no air inside your breast for them to swallow), although I have had times where the baby gulps so quickly they can end up with some LARGE belches.  After about ½ the feed, raise baby to your shoulder pat their backs and rub from middle of the back to the top, leaning them slightly forward and back once or twice.  Usually this will get a solid burp out.  I have heard gas drops work well too although I don’t have experience with them either.  

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY – ENJOY THEM!!! You can NOT spoil a newborn!  They are only small for such a short period of time.  Enjoy them, snuggle them, kiss them, SMELL them, rock them, keep them close to you, wear them in a carrier all day. You will not ruin them if you do.  They can not get too much love and affection at this age.  They need, want and crave you. Give yourself to them fully and with a cheerful countenance.  They are one of the greatest gifts given to us in this broken world, so enjoy them!    

Side Note: This blog was written a day or two before the school shooting but I believe it makes the last paragraph even more important (for your older kids as well).  We never know when our last day or when their last day is.  My heart breaks for the families of those lost on December 14.  I am sure none of them thought that the goodbye kiss in front of the school bus or the lunch they packed or the words they said would have been their last to their precious children.  I can not imagine their pain.  May God hold all of them tight and comfort them in their grief.  May God bring His glory from this tragedy as I know that everything that happens will reveal His glory even if, with our finite minds, we don't see or understand it. 

 

 

BUSY Two Weeks!!

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on September 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Oh me, oh my!  What a busy two weeks we have had.  I need a nap!  Let me just give you all a run down of the last 14 days or so....

  • Week 1: - 4 soccer practices, a doctors apt, Georgia's birthday, we had a baby!!!, kids first soccer games, and a birthday party for Georgia here at the farmhouse.
  • Week 2: - 4 more soccer practices, a doctors apt for Ezra, first errand trip with six kids by myself, library, SAMs, park play date, and ER visit with a facial plastic surgeon to stitch up Maddie's accidental fight with the ottoman, my mommy's group at the church, another doctor's apt for Ezra's circumcision (they didn't do it in the hospital), 2 away soccer games, a birthday party for a cousin, a mother-son date night with all three boys and another doctor's apt for Maddie's follow up with the plastic surgeon to check out her forehead.


"After" photo of poor Maddie's head!

Whew...........


I am planning on taking it easy for the next week!  The only thing we will have (hopefully) is soccer practices (4 a week) and games for a bit. While I am a bit tired (sleepless nights with a newborn on top of all the activity lately) I am EXTREMELY grateful for my beautiful family for all the help they have thrown our way lately.  My mother has been a tremendous help to me...watching the older kids while I have had doctor's appointments (that seemed to occur HOURLY the last couple of weeks!), coming with me to the ER when I couldn't get a hold of Mike (cell phone issues), and keeping all the kiddos during the hospital stay.  I don't know what I would have done without her!  (I love you, Momma!) Mike's dad has also been at every soccer game of the kids and they love to have their "Papa Charlie" there watching them....not to mention and extra hand with the littles when we have to split the herd and have games in different cities on the same day!  (Thanks, Papa!) 



The daily stuff has been going well and it really has been an easy recovery (probably my easiest) and I feel AMAZING!  I was able to jump back into my normal routine and have been happy that it is running quite smoothly.  This week I plan on implementing some routine changes to get ready for school which will be starting on the 15th.  I am planning on changing some chores around (to allow more time in the morning so we can get started with school at a decent time), getting some "busy bags' put together for my littles for school time, and adding back in some things that have fallen to the wayside over the last bit of summer; namely our literature time for read alouds and practicing math facts to name a few.


Most of all though I feel so awesomely blessed by this little guy......this little happy miracle that blesses me beyond measure.  I couldn't imagine my life without all SIX kids, even though our plans were to have only five.  I can't help but to be completely overwhelmed at some moments thinking about how God's plans were SOOOOOO much better than my own!  He is such a perfect addition to the family and he has been getting his fair share of love!

Happy Birthday Georgia.....and Ezra

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on September 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (7)

My "Little Miss Georgia Grace" is TWO!! Yeah, hard to believe!  My little tiny baby isn't so baby-ish anymore!  We celebrated with an (early) breakfast of baked oatmeal and ice cream topped with some candles, of course. 

We opened presents (early) in the morning. 

We did all of this so early because we headed into the hospital at 8am to have our little boy, Ezra!

Ezra was born at 2:04pm weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounce and 19 inches long, making him our TINIEST baby to date!  He is so stinking cute and we love him to pieces.  For now I will leave you with some photos. 








Crocheting to Pass the Time

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on September 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

I have been crocheting a lot to pass some of the day away.  We aren't yet doing school work (didn't want to start just to stop again when baby got here), so outside play has been BIG here!  While the kids are enjoying the cooler temps and the sunshine I have been finishing up some custom orders before I closed my Etsy shop for maternity leave and also threw in a couple of things for the baby!  Here is a little peek as to what I have been up to!


Ezra's blankie with finished trim....


which matches his momma-made Moses basket bedding perfectly!


Ezra's going home hat.....


......which matches his going home outfit!


And a bunch of custom orders....

a Hello Kitty mitten/hat set
little loafers



a monkey hat
reindeer hat
and a couple of pumpkin hats (one for my Little E!) ....and, no, that isn't him!  That is my little Georgia less than two years ago....man how time flies!!!

Still here....still pregnant!

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on September 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey y'all!  I know you were all wondering.....but NO BABY! Sorry!  I am (by the doctor's due date) 38 weeks, 4 days.  I suspect that I may actually be a week behind.  We really didn't know when we got pregnant since I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to my cycles.......we really didn't think we COULD get pregnant!  I am basing that assumption on the fact that morning sickness came in a week late and left a week later too.  Hmmmm.....so maybe I am only 37w4d?  Either way I was 4cm and 80% effaced at my appointment on Thursday and my midwife stripped my membranes.  I had a bit of cramping immediately afterward but then NOTHING!  Boooo! I want to hold this little fella! 

 

A couple of photos from last week.  I keep thinking, "This is the last photo I will take while pregnant!"  But alas, I end up always being pregnant the next day.  To be completely honest I am more relaxed this time around at the end.  I don't feel the days are dragging as bad as they did at the end with the others.  My only complaint is that the kids are still wanting to keep up the usual activity level and I am TIRED at certain times of the day.  We are about to get really busy with school, 3 kids in soccer and all the fun fall things coming up so I am hoping that this baby comes quickly so that some of my energy will return. 


I missed my grandpa's birthday.... But with SO many birthday's in September I am bound to hit (or almost hit) another.  I have an uncle's birthday on the 11th, Georgia's is the 14th, a cousin's on the 16th, and another cousin's on the 23rd!  I am hoping that by the 23rd I will be DONE, but we will see.  I seem to always have everyone say that I am not going to make it but I usually get pretty close to my due date each and every time.  I have never gone over my due date, as I have been induced with #2, 3 and 4 because #1 came a week early and was over the 10 pound mark.  He has so far been the biggest and I believe he will continue to hold that title.  I think that #6 will be one of my smaller ones.  My guess is 8lbs. 4 oz.!


Well, hopefully next time I post it will be with photos of my little E!

Easiest Pregnancy (so far) To Date!

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on August 20, 2012 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (3)

I really was apprehensive at the beginning of this pregnancy.  It was my SIXTH pregnancy in a 9 year span, I was approaching 30 and I was in the process of losing the weight from my previous pregnancy (JUST STARTED!) so I was worried that this one would be my hardest pregnancy.  I have to admit my first instinct was WRONG!  This actually has been my easiest (and fastest-seeming) pregnancy yet.  The morning sickness wasn't quite as bad (although it still was horrible), I haven't gained as much weight as the other pregnancies (only 25 pounds this time so far....gained 68 with #2!!!), and it has seemed to fly by (even the last bit is going very quickly it seems!).  As for me being 10 years older than when I had my first it seems like that hasn't made one bit of difference. 

959A0DF0-123F-473C-BF34-09A8F74F70CA-506-0000007DEEB98860.jpg

I am still feeling as great as I can be, considering I am 9 months pregnant and chasing around a toddler, a preschooler, and keeping up with 3 very active grade school kids.  We even took the bikes out yesterday and took a family bike ride at a nearby bike path.  It felt GREAT to ride my bike again.  This summer has been so darned hot that I really haven't ridden my bike much at all.  Biking is an exercise that I have enjoyed throughout each of my pregnancies.  The only thing I have had to modify while riding is purchasing a wider, more comfortable seat so that I wasn't putting too much pressure on my pubic bone (which was broken during the birth of my second child). 

Here is a little progression of my last two trimesters. Seventeen weeks in the first photo, twenty-nine in the second and thirty-five in the third (taken yesterday).  I have a feeling this baby is going to come a little early (38 weeks?) and be a bit smaller than my usual weight of 8-1/2 to 10 pounds.  I am thinking right at 8.....a very normal and respectable size.

Grandpa, Me and my Aunt Kath circa 1991/92?

Grandpa and Grandma in the mid 1990's

Although I have learned that I am NOT in control (EVER!) I hope that September 6th would be the day that this little one decides to come.  It was my grandfather's birthday and I was SUPER close to him.  Twelve years after his death I still miss him like crazy.  The initial sting of losing him is not as strong as right after his passing, but it never fails to put tears in my eyes when I think about him, what kind of man he was and how much I miss him.  So y'all be praying for a strong, healthy baby on September 6th for me (which would put me at 38+1 weeks!). 

A knee....I think!

We are getting SO close now! I have set up his crib in our bedroom.  The crib that was my great-grandmothers.  The one in which my grandmother and her siblings slept in.  The same one that countless babies in my family have called their first bed, including all five of my kids! 

I have his blanket ALMOST competed (will be adding the final round of burnt orange trim this week!) and his Moses basket is ready to go.  I plan to wash the diapers this week and put them away on the changing table.  I have most of the 0-3 clothes washed, dried and hung in the boys closet.  I am planning to pick up the car seat we are borrowing soon and get the base installed in the van (to make sure the seating arrangement works!).  There isn't too much more to do and good thing because as of Wednesday I am 36 weeks pregnant! ONLY 2-4 WEEKS LEFT!!!!!  I am SO excited to meet this little miracle.  I can't wait to hold him in my arms!

DIY Moses Basket Bedding

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on August 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

While I have never used a Moses basket, I thought it would be a nice addition to our home this year.  Being able to move the basket around to different parts of the house will allow me to be close to Ezra while he sleeps.  I can move it into the dining room during school, the living room during reading time, the kitchen during mealtime and he will have a place to sleep all the while.  I looked at quite a few and it seemed the big difference was the quality of the bedding.  I decided I was willing to save some money and just purchase one for the basket and make a new set of bedding to fit my taste.

As I said before I am mildly obsessed with the chevron fabrics so I ordered a little bit to make some shoes and some bedding.  Hopefully the fabric won't make him dizzy! LOL!

Here is the basket in the processes of making the bedding.  It is a "Badger Basket" and as I assumed it arrived with SUPER CHEAP, low quality bedding....but hey, it was less than $40! Using the original bedding and the basket itself to make the pattern I figured out a plan of attack.  I used fleece and the chevron fabric for the sides, ribbon for the ties, flannel for the fitted sheet and orange double fold bias tape for the trim. 


It turned out relatively good for not having an "actual" pattern.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the modern fabric and colors. The crocheted blanket will have a burnt orange trim to match the basket when I am finished with it.

And don't forget the awesome matching shoes!


All of this will be perfect and match his going home outfit too! I bought this onsie as a half-joke for my husband the day I found out we were (SURPRISE) expecting! I think I am going to sew up some quick and easy jersey pants to go with it (if I have time!) in Blue or Orange. 


BLAH....It is HOT!

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on July 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (3)

So we are officially in a HORRIBLE drought....like record breaking!  Here in the Midwest we are used to humidity and hot summers, but this one takes the cake.  Temperatures that are regularly in the triple digits with INSANE humidity yet NO RAIN makes you feel like you are drinking air when you get blasted from it.  The corn and soybean crop looks sickly and brown and the only thing that is saving our garden (which is growing quite well!!) is the frequent watering. Being 30 weeks pregnant makes the heat only that much more icky.

Yep, I am officially in the "beached whale" stage!  But the little guy is growing well so I can't complain.  We had another peek at him on Monday and I was delighted to see his plump little face in there! And by the way, we have settled on a name.....meet little Ezra Jude!

nicci2-1

As for the rest of the kiddos, it seems we have been in pool or inside for weeks now!  Blah.....



We had a nice cool down Friday that lasted about 24 hours and now we are back in the hot zone with no chance of rain.  Did I mention that we are 10" below the normal rain fall amount????!!!


And on another summery note: SCHOOL IS OUT!!! YAY! We are officially on summer break/baby break until the middle of October!  I am working hard this week and hopefully next to prepare EVERY. DETAIL. so that next year is as smooth as it can be!  Hard to believe this is my SIXTH year homeschooling.... say wha? (Wowzas that makes me feel old!) I plan on posting my organizational methods with you soon, so stay tuned!

23 Weeks

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on May 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We are 23 weeks and this was taken last week (week before?).  Mike thinks I am smaller than the previous pregnancies...I am feeling smaller too... Maybe we will have another little one like Faith (she was only in the high seven pound range...7-15?)  I haven't gained as much weight this time around, but I started at a higher weight than I have with any other of the pregnancies, so that probably accounts for that fact.  I was at the beginning journey of (finally) loosing ALL the baby weight when I mysteriously fell ill...or pregnant, as we later came to find out.  So, I will have a bit of work cut out for me when I get back to my unpregnant state. I am sure there will be many (many!) more pounds coming my way this pregnancy since I seem to ALWAYS (6 out of 6!) be pregnant in the summer and this is what I usually do for fun:
{taken while pregnant with #5}

Yep, ice cream, pregnancy and hot weather seem to go together in my mind!




About Me:


 

Hey y'all! Welcome to our family blog. We are a large, loud and Jesus loving family from the rural Midwest. I am Nicci, also know around these parts as "mom" to my brood of a half dozen and as "babe" to my handsome other half.  We live on a handful of acres and have raised chicken, pigs, bees, tomatoes and most importantly our rowdy bunch of kidlets.  We cloth diaper, homeschool, DIY, and try to eat as "homemade" as possible.  My ratio of hobbies verses free time is COMPLETELY unbalanced.  I enjoy crocheting, knitting, sewing, designing, drawing, using power tools, and anything else that involves creating. I also love to decorate and organize when time and money allow - but come on now, it is hard to make it to the bathroom without little people following 2 steps behind me and my grocery bill is comparable to a mortgage payment!  It is a busy, challenging and sometimes chaotic life managing a larger than normal family but ultimately one of God's greatest blessings that I am immensely grateful for!  In no way have I "arrived" or  "figured it all out", but I am humbled to be able to share my experience with others!

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