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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Pictures

Well, it looks like we should have a baby by Wednesday! I had a doctor's appointment this morning and the baby is pretty large. They estimated 9lb 12oz, although they can't tell accurately from an ultrasound and I'll be surprised if he/she is actually that big! I had an ultrasound because I was measuring a little small last week and the doctor wanted to check my water level. My water is fine, but some of the baby's measurements were quite big. My doctor is going to be out of town on Thursday and Friday, and he is not on call this weekend, so we've decided to go in for cervadil tomorrow at 4:30. Hopefully that will kick-start labor, but if not then they'll start pitocin on Wednesday morning. I'm not too thrilled about an induction, but I'm even less thrilled about ending up with a c-section because the baby is too big. We're praying that I will go into labor on my own between now and then! I've been having a good many contractions today, but nothing regular or even uncomfortable.

Since we don't have any baby pictures to post yet, here are a few from this past week!


The kids have been enjoying the little pool in our backyard!











































Adam has been planning to paint clouds on the blue ceiling in the nursery for a while and he tackled it this week! They turned out great! Although I do have to say that the pictures don't really do it justice...they look much more realistic in person!

Before...














During...














After!













Friday, July 27, 2007

Almost Free Baby Food!!

I just came across this GREAT deal today! If you go here you can print a Target coupon for $1.00 off of two baby or toddler food purchases. You can print the coupon as many times as you want, and it doesn't expire until the middle of August. I printed 12 coupons today and we went tonight and bought 24 jars of stage 2 baby food for $0.49 (including tax)! Woohoo! Our Target here has the two-packs of plastic containers for $0.88 right now, so those would end up being $0.38 per two-pack, or $0.19 each (plus tax...which would be maybe a couple of pennies?) You can also buy the Graduates foods and I think juices and stuff like that too.

Esther is phasing out of baby food right now, but I'm going to do some major stocking up. I can always give them away if I don't need them. The ones that I bought today don't expire until 2009...who knows how many more babies we could have by that time! :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Still Pregnant...

Since today is my due date, I thought I'd post to let you all know that I'm still pregnant! I'm having a good many contractions every day, but really no more than I've had for the past few weeks. They're nothing serious...I can easily ignore them. I'm very comfortable for the most part (except for my feet and not being able to get out and get some exercise!). Of course I'm anxious to have the baby here, but I'm definitely not miserable or tired of being pregnant. Any time now is fine with me! Adam put up a new popcorn ceiling and painted in the living room last week. It looks really nice! I'll try to post a picture soon. Projects like that somehow always manage to make the house a wreck, but we've got everything back in order now and are ready for a baby!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Poetry

Poetry is something that I have never really been into. I didn't like reading, studying or memorizing it in school. But Adam likes it and I have to admit that it's really been growing on me lately! He gave me a neat book called Verses of Virtue that I've been reading and enjoying very much. (As a plug for one of our favorite websites, you can purchase it here!) Joshua, Abigail and Esther love it when Papa reads poetry to them (or poemtry, as Abigail calls it!). One of their favorites right now is the Crispian's Day Speech from Shakespeare's Henry V, which is included in this book. Both Joshua and Abigail have a good part of it memorized, and Joshua likes to walk around the house saying things like "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers", to which Abigail replies (with much gusto and expression, I must add) "we band of brothers"! It's really funny to listen to them and I'm amazed at how much children can retain at such a young age. And I mean children in general. Of course the proud mother in me wants to think that my children are advanced for memorizing Shakespeare at 2 and 3 years old, but I know that's not the case. :-) I think that we as parents often don't require enough out of our children because we think that they're too little or that they can't handle it.

Speaking of retaining things, we celebrated Communion several weeks ago at church and Adam took all three of the children out into the hallway because Esther was being a little loud. They sat in the hall and Adam explained to them what the elements represented and why we celebrate the Lord's Supper. Well yesterday Joshua brought a piece of wooden play bread up to me and told me that he was holding the "bread of life". I asked him who the Bread of Life is, and he very solemnly said "Jesus is the Bread of Life, broken for our sins". :-)

So, back to poetry! Adam wrote a poem for me the other day and I really liked it and thought I'd share it here. If I was good I'd write a poem for him in response. But you don't want to read my attempts!

I Love My Wife
I love my wife so very much;
She cooks and cleans my house and such.
She's more to me than precious gold;
I want to live with her when I'm old.
She likes my jokes and silly rhymes;
I'd die for her a thousand times.

I have a very nice husband. :-)




Cloth Diapers (Part 2)

It's incredible how many different types of cloth diapers there are out there! And some of them are ridiculously expensive...like $40 apiece! After Joshua was born we bought a dozen medium Fuzzi Bunz and I really like them. The only problem is that they cost $18-$20 new, which is a little more than we're able to spend right now. So we've decided to go mostly (at the recommendation of several people who may be reading this!) with prefolds and covers. Prefolds are really cheap, and covers can be very reasonable too. And there's this neat little thing called a Snappi that fastens the diaper so that diaper pins are unnecessary! A couple of websites that have been helpful to me are Diaper Pin (they have really good reviews on a lot of products) and Baby Cotton Bottoms (I've bought a few things from them and have been very satisfied). There are also several websites where you can purchase new and used cloth diapers at very good prices...Diaper Swappers, Diaper Traders, and the Bargain Basement at Baby Cotton Bottoms. One of my favorite covers is the Thirsties cover. I like a lot of things about them, one of which is the cute colors that they come in. They cost $11 apiece, which is a little on the high end of what I'm willing to pay for a new cover, but you can buy them for as discounted price as seconds here. I'll gladly pay $5 less per cover for just a stitching error or dirt spot that will probably wash out anyway!

So those are some of the things that I've learned recently...I'm sure that a lot of you know much more about it than I do! Feel free to comment and leave tips if you'd like!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pregnancy Update

I'm 39 weeks today! I had a doctor's appointment this morning and everything is looking great. My blood pressure and hemoglobin were both really good. My weight gain is strange (I gained 6 pounds last week and lost 1 pound this week, but the doctor said that it's due to the swelling in my ankles and feet. I've gained 26 pounds total with a week until my due date, so I'm not worrying about it.) I'm 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced. Of course that tells me absolutely nothing about when I might go into labor, but it is nice to have made a least a little progress before labor starts! When I was pregnant with Joshua people always told me that I would be so sick of being pregnant and I wouldn't be able to wait to have the baby out. I waited for that feeling, but it never came. I've never once felt that way with any of my pregnancies! I am very blessed to have easy pregnancies. After I had Esther I told the midwife that if I had to pick between being pregnant for the rest of my life or not being pregnant for the rest of my life, I'd pick being pregnant (however, not being in labor!). I love being pregnant and I like for it to be obvious. When I get big towards the end I feel like I "have my body back"! :-)

Anyway, enough rambling. I'm off to work on packing my hospital bag!

Cloth Diapers (Part 1)

I thought I'd do a two-part post about cloth diapers since we've decided to pretty much go all cloth. We've used cloth part-time since Joshua was born, but we've also used a good many disposables. Our original decision to go all cloth was based solely on the fact that it's a good bit cheaper in the long run and since Adam will be in dental school for the next four years, cheaper is definitely better! But in doing research about what kinds of diapers to use (and there are a TON of them out there!) I came across some information that really made me glad that we're not planning on buying any more disposables...or at least not many. A couple of our children have been very heavy night wetters and our cloth diapers didn't do the trick, so we may use disposables at night for a while. (We were very graciously given a lot of disposables when Esther was born...2700 diapers to be exact!! Esther is 14 months old and we still have several packages left! We are very grateful to have those, and of course we will use them up!)

Here are a few of the things that I learned while researching cloth diapers:

*Although most people don't realize it, it is illegal to throw human waste in the trash can. That includes dirty disposable diapers! Here I am about to have my fourth baby and I had no clue.

* The disposable diapers available in retail stores contain sodium polyacrylate which absorbs liquid and turns it into gel. Sodium polyacrylate is commonly linked to allergic reactions, skin irritations, and possible reproductive organ dysfunction. It has been linked to toxic shock syndrome and caused hemorrhage, cardiovascular failure, and death in rats who were injected with the gel.

* The dangerous chemical dioxin is reported by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals, and is a byproduct of the paper bleaching that is used in disposable diapers. Whitening through the use of dioxin has been prohibited in most countries, but not in the U.S.

That's kind of scary! Anyway, all that to say that I'm very glad that we're planning to use cloth. Yes, it is a little more work since they have to be laundered, but I don't mind doing it and it doesn't take that long. And since I don't think I'll be up to taking 4 children (3 and under) out by myself for a good long while, I'll be home all the time and washing diapers won't be a problem!

I'll post more later about what kind of diapers we're using...and I'd love to hear any comments!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sleepy

Joshua has been having a hard time going to sleep at naptime lately. When Adam is home during the afternoon, he will lay down with the kids and Joshua will go to sleep. But I'm not too excited about laying on the hard floor in my present condition! Not to mention the fact that when the kids go down for their nap I'm able to get a good many things done. So there are some days when Joshua doesn't get a nap and ends up being very tired in the evening. These two pictures are from recent days like that! The first is at a 4th of July BBQ at our church. He wasn't grumpy, just a little weary! The second is from one night last week. Adam always kneels with the children around Joshua's bed at night. They all fold their hands and pray and sing a "night-night prayer". After they were finished Adam looked at Joshua and he was out! A few nights before that, they were reading and praying in Esther's room before bed. Joshua and Abigail were sitting on top of their stuffed puppy dogs and Joshua fell asleep, fell off of his puppy and hit his head on the hardwood floor! He was fine...it just scared him a little. :-)


















Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Frugality and Feet

In an effort to be more frugal while Adam is in dental school I decided to make some cloth baby wipes. That may sound kind of odd, but we also decided to go all cloth with our diapers. We've been using cloth since Joshua was born, but we only have size mediums and they don't fit until around 6-7 months. (I'll do a separate post later about cloth diapers!). Anyway, if you're using cloth, then cloth wipes make sense too. I didn't think that I would really like them, but I do -- a lot more than store-bought wipes! One side is flannel and the other side is terry cloth, both of which I picked up on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. I read online that you can just put the two pieces together, sew with a regular stitch all the way around, and then cut the edges with pinking shears. I tried a couple that way, but after one washing they were fraying terribly, so my Mom let me use her serger to do the rest (thanks Mom!). I made about 65 wipes. I don't need that many, and hopefully I will never have that many dirty at one time, but I thought I'd make up a big rotation of them now and hope that they last several years. Anyway, here's a picture of the finished product!















Speaking of trying to save money, Staples is having a good sale on a few things through tomorrow. There are several items for a penny, and several for not much more than that. We got 18 1-inch binders, 60 pocket folders, 9 packs of pencils, 9 pencil sharpeners, a package of 5 pens, and 9 bottles of Elmer's glue for $8.10! They also advertised pencil cases for a penny, but our store was out of them.















Here's an almost-38-week pregnancy picture. I'd say I'm rather large! Everything is going well. I'm having weekly doctor's appointments now and my next one is on Thursday. I've had a lot of contractions tonight, but nothing incredibly hard or regular and I'm basically just ignoring them. Adam thinks I'll be a little early, but I don't really have a feeling one way or the other. I thought I'd be early with Esther and I was 8 days late, so I'm trying not to guess! I'm feeling good and sleeping great! My ankles are still giving me some trouble. They are swollen pretty much all of the time and are rather sensitive to being bumped or stepped on by toddlers! I've all but given up on exercising because it really hurts my feet to wear my tennis shoes. I'm dying to get out for a good walk several times a week, but it just isn't going to happen. But that is the extent of my pregnancy woes...I'd say I'm rather blessed!





Monday, July 09, 2007

Ummm...not exactly

Adam had an interesting conversation with Abigail last night as he was putting on her pj's. Abigail was singing "Oh, be careful little heart who you trust" over and over again.

Adam: "Abigail, who can you trust?"
Abigail: "Jesus"
Adam: "That's right! Who else can you trust?"
Abigail: "People"
Adam: "Well, you can trust some people, but not all people. What people can you trust?"
Abigail: "Boys!"

I think Adam was hoping for something more along the lines of "Papa"! I have no idea where she got that from, but she now knows that she can't just randomly trust boys!

Monday, July 02, 2007

"Kwahn" and Babies

I've been trying to post this for 3 days now, but Blogger hasn't been cooperating with me! Finally...here it is!

We are very excited to share that we have a new niece! Adam's sister and her family just adopted a sweet little girl from China! Her name is Anna and she's a cutie. I wanted to include a picture of her with this post, but I couldn't get the picture from their blog to ours. Anyway, you can follow their adoption story (they're still in China) and see pictures here.

I thought I'd get a quick update in while the kids are napping...all in the same room! We put Esther in with Joshua and Abigail so that they could all get used to the new arrangements before the baby comes. Esther is in Abigail's crib, Abigail is in Joshua's toddler bed, and Joshua is on a crib mattress on the floor between the girls' beds (we just slide the mattress under the crib during the day). The switch has gone pretty well...better than I expected. Sometimes Joshua does not go to sleep at naptime, but he lays there quietly (usually) and doesn't disturb the girls. Abigail fell out of her bed two nights ago, and last night Joshua woke up and started crying because Abigail was in his bed!

I'm 36 1/2 weeks now and still feeling well! I'm sleeping great at night and I actually don't feel like taking a nap most days! I went to the doctor this morning and the baby is head down and he said everything looks good. I gained another 2 pounds...I've been gaining a pound a week for about 2 months now, which surprises me. I expected my weight gain to pick up a little since I'm hungry all the time and haven't been able to get as much exercise as I'd like. But I'm not complaining!

Here are a few pictures. We've been eating lots of "kwahn" on the cob (as Joshua calls it), and we let Esther try it last night for the first time. I had to include the picture of Abigail too...she's our photogenic one!