adjusting is learning...

being a new mommy again has been an adjustment. it hasn't been a negative experience. in fact it has been a very good one overall. yes, there have been hard times and times where i feel like i am losing my mind. being a mom of a newborn is the easy part for me. i am tired but who isn't when you are a parent of a child of any age. i love the newborn stage - taking care of a baby is easy and comes natural to me and i can't think of anything i enjoy more! balancing that responsibility and the needs/demands of the three older kids is where it gets a little tricky. but we just take it one day at a time. and i am learning a lot being a new mommy again. here are a few things...

1. i have really enjoyed this down time. i have basically cleared my schedule and have made no commitments since jaelyn was born. i have kept the days and the evenings very wide open. something that i didn't do with baby #2 and #3 - which i regret. i jumped back into doing things very quickly then. occasionally we will have a visitor or two or we may go on an outing here and there - but i have said NO to a lot of things. in some ways it is hard for me to miss out but i have enjoyed having quiet days and quiet nights. i am not quite ready to get back into the busyness of life - it will always be there when i am ready to commit again!!

2. i have my own "mommy style" it took having four babies to realize that and to be confident in that fact. each of us parent our children differently - we do what works for us and our family. i remember feeling so clueless and fearful with my first child. and then with the next two babies - i knew what to do but wasn't as confident. this time around i know and am confident in how i "mommy" my baby!

3. i love holding jaelyn and i have made that a priority. i let everything else take second to that. i have made the choice to hold her and love on her while she is tiny - because i know how fast this time will go by. i will choose to hold her over vacuuming or folding laundry - those things always are there for me to do - she won't always be so little!!! obviously, i don't let the needs of the rest of my family go unmet!! i am learning how to balance them all and still have plenty of time to love on jaelyn.

4. i love to "wear" jaelyn in a baby sling!! i love it. i haven't done it much around the house but i have done it while we have been out. my friend, gina, made me a sling as a gift!! it is one of my very favorite pieces of baby gear! i didn't use a sling with my other babies - i did use a baby bjorn and liked that - but i LOVE the sling!!!! we get lots of attention when i am wearing her - no one can believe there is a tiny baby in it!!!

i am sure there will be lots more that i learn as a mommy of four, this is just the beginning of our new adventure!


too cute for words...

isn't she the most precious thing you have ever seen?? can you tell that i am a very proud momma and totally smitten with my new baby girl? i just posted some new pictures on jaelyn's blog...check them out!! she will turn three weeks old tomorrow and i plan to post another update early this week on her blog.

also, i have been trying to catch up on posts that are long overdue!!! i posted today about jordyn's sleepover (august) and her fairy tale ball (october). i still have a few more drafts for this blog that i hope to finish and post this week...including the long awaited detailed post on our sun stand still prayer and a few things i am learning about being a "new mommy" again!!

stay tuned...

fairy tale ball...

in my last post, i told you a little bit about jordyn's fairy tale ball. here are a few more pictures and a few more details!! the kindergarten classes at union academy study fairy tales and their culminating event is the big fairy tale ball. the kids dress up as a fairy tale character of their choice. jordyn chose cinderella. they wore their costumes to school for the ball. each kindergarten class was set up for a fun event and the classes rotate through each class. they did crafts, read stories, ate festive food and learned to dance...

here is jordyn dancing with a little knight in her class!!!

at the end of the ball, jordyn's teacher had the class give each kid an award, telling what they liked about the costume they were wearting!!! jordyn was awarded most sparkly dress!!! she was thrilled!!!


Picture #4...

My friend Jessica Robinson tagged me to do this little blog activity!!!! So here is how it goes... You go to your fourth file and choose your fourth picture and write a blog about it!!! Kind of like Jess - my laptop is kind of "new" - we just had some work done to it and new software installed - so I have a limited number of photos on it - so this is a recent one that i haven't blogged about!!!

Who: Jordyn (age 5)
When: October 2, 2008 (just a few weeks ago)
Where: at school - Union Academy
What: Kindergarten Fairy Tale Ball

Jordyn's Kindergarten class "studied" Fairy Tales and the Fairy Tale Ball was the culminating activity!!! Each class was set up into a station... crafts & food, storytelling and dancing. And all of the kids dressed up as a fairy tale character. Jordyn chose Cinderella!! So this picture is her at school doing her famous pose!!! I promise to post more pictures from the event later - it was on my to blog list for this week!

Ok, so now I choose four friends who blog to do the same thing.... So take it away Chelsea,
Jess H, Stephanie V, and Patti Cakes!!!! (Don't let me down gals - if I had time to do it - you do too!!!!)


jaelyn's blog...

i am using my other blog... baby jaelyn's blog... to keep up with pictures and little things that have to do with her specifically on it. more of a scrapbook than a journal. check it out!!!

her first two weeks...

here is a little update on what life has been like around here over the last two weeks with our beautiful new baby girl! it is really hard to believe that she is going to be two weeks old tomorrow. the counter on my side bar reads that tomorrow is our due date - funny to think that by that calculation she "shouldn't be here yet". but instead of being pregnant for the last two weeks, i have been caring for baby jaelyn!

jaelyn is such a sweet baby! she is such a great baby. jaelyn rarely cries. she sleeps a lot and has been nursing really well. jaelyn is such a blessing and has assumed her role as the baby of the family quite well. she is very easy going. we couldn't have asked for a more precious little girl!

we came home from the hospital on wednesday, october 8. jaelyn had lost quite a bit of weight in the hospital - she was discharged at 6 lbs 5 ozs - a teeny little thing! so on friday, october 10 we took her to our peditrician's office and she was up to 6 lbs 11 ozs. jaelyn was gaining weight in just 2 days. our doctor wanted to see us back in a week. so this past friday, october 17 - we had our went back to the pediatrician. she weighed 7 lbs 5 ozs!!! she was back to her birth weight plus 4 ozs!! our doctor was very pleased. jaelyn is quite healthy and looks great!!!

our first week home, jamil was off of work, so we spent the week resting and adjusting! we were so blessed to have friends and family bring meals and help with our older three kids!! last monday, jamil went back to work and i was home with all four kids by myself - the big kids were still on their fall break. my mom was off of work but feeling sick - but still helped out as much as she could. on tuesday, school was back in session and it was quite an adjustment getting up early and seeing them off to school. but we survived the week with the school schedule - it was a little tough but again, i had friends and family helping out in a major way, bringing meals and helping with the bigger kids. such a blessing!!!

i was able to rest and regain my strength over the last two weeks because of all of the help! i haven't had to cook a meal - just reheat leftovers for lunch. i have done a little housework here and there. but between my mom and my hubby - i have just done what has needed to be done. this has the easiest birth for me to recover from. i have been feeling pretty good the last couple of days - almost back to normal, just really tired. and i know when i have done too much - i will start feeling it. so i have been trying not to do too much.

on friday after jaelyn's doctor's appointment, we went to target to get three things - it was an adventure. jaelyn slept the entire time and jesiah just begged for a new toy. needless to say it was probably the shortest time i spent in target ever.

yesterday, jamil had to go into work for a project that needed to be done and was already rescheduled once before b/c of jaelyn's arrival! so, we planned ahead and had our awesome babysitter - "jojo" - come for the day to help me out. the day went really well. i had some special things planned for the big kids to do with her and they had a lot of fun. they went on a nature walk and collected leaves. they used the leaves to do crayon rubbings and make placemats. then they played with brand new playdough (one of the things i got at target the day before). it had been awhile since we have had playdough in the house - they played with it for like 2 hours!!! having johanna was such a big help!!! the kids had a great time - thanks jojo for coming over to play with them!!!! you are such a blessing!!!

here are a few pics of jaelyn from the last two weeks: (i will post more soon! i have been going back and forth between my camera which works sometimes and sometimes not and my mom's old camera - which we can't find the cord to download the pics i have taken)

isn't she just precious??? we think she is just beautiful! we are often asked who she looks like - she doesn't really look like the other three kiddos when they were babies. she actually looks like me and my sister when we were babies!


back story: the big delivery day! (jaelyn's birth story)...

the two weeks leading up to having jaelyn were crazy busy, almost like a blur. we celebrated josh's birthday, jordyn had a fairy tale ball at school and the kids started their fall break - just to name a few things. so i will tell the birth story starting at my last weekly midwife appointment. ( i will catch up on the other family stuff later!)

on wednesday october 1, i had my weekly midwife appointment. i was making good progress, already 3 cm dilated! i knew it wouldn't be long until we would meet our precious baby girl! of course the planner in me was dying to know when and all the details. but i didn't know when, just soon!

on thursday october 2, i was exhausted. i was very tired and feeling lots of pressure and different things going on.

on fridayoctober 3, the kids were off school, they began their fall break the day before. so we headed out the door to get haircuts, go to target and have lunch with daddy. while we were in target, i was feeling pretty uncomfortable, lots of pressure and knew the day was coming. i kind of thought i would go into labor that day or that evening. that night jamil and i went out for a date night, knowing it would be awhile before we would have another one.

saturday october 4, was a busy day, my sister and i went for a pedicure - yeah! one last one before the baby arrived - glad i made it to this appointment! we also attended our dear friends' daughter's birthday party that day. and that evening we went to have a little fall fun at aw shucks corn maze in monroe.

on sunday october 5, my contractions began while i was at the 11:30 service at church. they were not regular and didn't hurt. that afternoon they became a little more regular. we were suppose to be heading to elevation's praise and worship night, but i wasn't sure if we would make it. in the end we decided to go, contractions and all. they didn't hurt and there wasn't a true pattern. so off we went! i had contractions throughout the night while we were there. they stayed 15-20 minutes apart and didn't really hurt. i was so glad that we were able to be there that night. jaelyn knew she had to hold off until after this event!

i couldn't sleep that night and was up for most of it with on and off contractions. i slept from 11:00 to 12:45. and then was up the rest of the night. by about 3:30 am, with the fear of going into hard labor at home and not making it to the hospital, we decided to call my midwife and tell her what was going on. when i talked to her she told me to come on in. we left for the hospital at about 6:00 am.

jamil and i were able to get things in order at our house, finish packing and take a leisurely drive to cmc hospital. my mom came up to watch the kids and we told my sister, who was planning on attending this labor and delivery, to go into work and we would call her with the details. on the way to the hospital, we stopped by krispy kreme and got some donuts! who would have thought that would have been my last "meal" for another 12 hours.

after we arrived at the hospital and got settled in our labor and delivery room, we learned that our friends from church, the lineberger's were two suites down and autumn was in labor too!!! how fun!

when my midwife came in around 7 am, i wasn't having any contractions and the baby was doing great. i was 5 cm and 80% effaced. after i was monitored for awhile, they let me do some walking, so we met up with greg and autumn and walked the halls. it was so special to have a friend there and share in this experience together! the walk did great for autumn - she had her beautiful baby girl within the next two hours of our walk. for me it was another story. at least it made it easy for our midwife to have our two births so far apart.

for the next couple of hours, i walked and rested and still the contractions hadn't started back. so at 11:15 am we decided to break my water. i was still only 5 cm. in the past once my water breaks, my babies make their appearance within 2 hours. so we called my sister and had her come to the hospital. we expected to meet our little baby girl in a short amount of time. i braced myself for a fast and furious active labor and delivery.

it took about an hour for the contractions to start again and become steady and hard. once they did, i was taken off the monitors and began to do all kinds of things to get this baby born!!! i walked, took a hot shower, used a birthing ball and tried to rest. the contractions became harder and more intense. by about 4:00 they were pretty painful and i was getting tired. i started thinking that i would need to have some drugs to make it through. about 40 minutes later, my nurse checked me and i was at 7 cm. some progress but not where i was hoping to be. when my midwife came in, i was in such pain and we talked about the drugs. she really encouraged me that it wouldn't be much longer and i could do this without medicine. she felt like the slow part of my labor was over and it would pick up and she would be here in no time. i opted not to get the drugs and keep on laboring! praying that it would be over soon. i was getting so tired and losing my strength.

about 20 minutes later the contractions were really hard and closer together, i felt a lot of pressure. my midwife checked me and i was still only at 7 cm but my cervix had changed enough and was really thinned out, that we could work through the next phase of labor. without giving a lot of graphic details, i will just say that i began to push through the contractions at about 5:45 or so and jaelyn was born at 6:03pm!!

i was so excited to see her. words never can express the range of emotions that i feel once i have brought a new baby into the world. and it was no different with her! i was in complete amazement of this miracle! i felt so relieved that all of the pain was over and i was holding the best gift ever.

later that night, my parents brought the kiddos up to the hospital so that they could all meet jaelyn!

it was a long day, but a wonderful one! i love being in the hospital after having a baby! i love everything about it. it is like a retreat for me. it is such a special time, one i have enjoyed with each of my babies and definitely with jaelyn's birth too. i stayed in the hospital until wednesday afternoon. i was feeling pretty good. this labor and delivery was probably the easiest on my body, as far as recovery time. but i guess after having four, it knows what to do!!

during my stay there we had a lot of visitors, lots of friends and family came to meet our little blessing. i was so happy to show jaelyn off!!

the big delivery day and hospital stay were just the beginning to a very joyful time in my life and in the life of our family.


our little blessing..

on monday, october 6, 2008 at 6:03 pm, jaelyn aliyah massey made her grand entrance into this world and into our family!! she weighed 7 lbs oz and 19 1/2 inches long. jaelyn is a beautiful and healthy baby girl!!!

i have quite a story to tell about her arrival who doesn't have a story to share about the miracle of labor, delivery and birth? until i have the time to create some detailed posts, i wanted to share a few pictures and make our big announcement on our blog! enjoy our beautiful baby girl!! we are so proud and excited to have her here!!

jaelyn only about an hour old and sucking her thumb!

such a sweet baby, not even 48 hours old!

mommy's baby girl!
just a day old

daddy's baby girl...
taken as we were leaving the hospital on 10/8

jesiah is content to watch daddy hold jaelyn

big brother josh knows what to do when it comes to holding a baby!

jordyn is so excited to hold her baby sister!

mommy, daddy and baby jaelyn

our first family picture... all six of us!


happy 8th birthday josh!

on october 1, we celebrated joshua's eighth birthday! we started the morning off by waking him with jamil, jordyn and i singing happy birthday to him! that afternoon i took cupcakes to school and his class celebrated with him! he was not shy at all and stood right up when it was time for him to be sung to!! that evening we celebrated his birthday by having dinner at fuddrucker's. it was a great birthday.

it is hard for me to believe that he is eight years old already. this past year went so fast. it was a big year for joshua! one of our favorite highlights was when he was baptized in february by pastor! that was such a memorable day and such an important day in his life.

over this last year we have seen him grow a lot - he is a very tall second grader, often mistaken for a fourth grader. joshua is doing well in second grade, although he thinks he knows everything and sometimes just rushes through, we are hoping that we can teach him to slow down and enjoy learning. he continues to love to play sports, especially basketball. he wasnts to give karate a try. recently, he has realized how much he enjoys drawing. josh is very artistic and has taken to drawing all kinds of things. we got him a corkboard for his birthday so he has a place to display his work! atleast a few of my genes are in him! josh looks a lot like his daddy! and they act alike as well!

here are a few pics from his big day..

josh stands up at school while his classmates sing to him

a birthday sundae for josh!

sharing his sundae with mom and jordyn!

picture with daddy!

josh poses with his grandparents