Saturday, 30 October 2010

Extreme Measures

As the title suggests, we've had to take some extreme measures over here in the Short household.  It has been 'brewing' for a while.. the attitude, the lack of respect, the whining, the laziness.. all of these things are in reference to the boys and their toys.  They are so privileged to have some lovely, lovely things, but they fail frequently to look after them properly.  By properly I mean caring for them when they play with them AND when they are done playing with things putting them away.  Now I don't mind the house getting into a bit of a mess as they get carried away in their play, but at the end of each day we have a complete tidy up and lately that has become the dreaded part of the day.  The playroom has looked like a bomb has hit it and it takes them a long time to sort it all out.. bed time was getting later and they were missing out on stories. A few nights ago it was particularly bad and I looked up at Alex and said I think we need to take all their toys away. At that point it was more of an exasperated comment, but things spiralled, the boys attitude stank, and I said to Alex that I think we actually need to go through with it.  I was thinking about how much work it was going to be to remove all their toys, but I was really starting to feel that it needed to be done.. these boys need to learn to respect their things and look after them properly. So, we did it!  Alex finished getting the boys ready for bed while I emptied their bedroom of toys.  When the boys were in their beds I calmly explained what I had just done and why.  I explained to them that they would 'earn' their toys back gradually by looking after the few that I'll leave out.  They all understood and actually accepted it without tears or whining.  They were upset about it of course, but I was pleased with the way they accepted their punishment.  They understood why mummy and daddy had made this decision.  They went to sleep low spirited, but determined to improve in this area.


The rest of our evening was spent sorting and emptying their playroom.. 

which now looks like this:



This is the extent of the toys I've left out for now:



Will update on how this is going at a later date.

As Promised

As promised last month, here is a 'photo video' of Rosina's birth story.


video

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Fill Your Pants!

NAPPIES!

Maybe I'm just really daft but I'm SO excited about Rosina's cotton nappies that arrived this week!  The world of cotton nappies have come on in leaps and bounds since we had our first little baby 6 years ago.  They are SO soft and provide some really slim fits.  Cotton nappies are a bit of an investment - an investment in money, time.. and the environment.  I was a little reluctant to yet again pay out for more cotton nappies after having bought some for Caden, and as they wore out.. bought new again for Quinn.  Again they wore out (the covers not the cotton nappy insert) so I had to make the decision of do I go disposable (easy option) or pay out for yet another round of cottons? After much research I was pretty much decided to go ahead with the cotton... I just couldn't sit comfortably with doing disposables.  This was, however, a decision that soon became easy when I was given £60 (the exact amount I needed for the cotton nappies revamp) for agreeing to do market research on, strangely enough, disposable nappies!  I had to take Rosina to try on 5 different nappies and review them.  Only took 1.5 hours (plus travel time) and I earnt my cotton nappies.

Here is my gorgeous girl modelling: 
(7 lb 11oz baby)

The 'itti bitti D'lish AIO

TheWeehugger

The Bummis Wrap
 

Weenotions, modelled by Quinn as it is too big at the
moment for Rosina.  This is an adjustable sized nappy
and is modelled at it's largest size.

How cute is this!!  ?


I bought these nappies from a FAB website, who supply a large variety of cotton
nappies and accessories.  http://www.fill-your-pants.com  and I think they deserve 
a round of applause for such a brilliant name for their website!


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Back To It

School has re opened in our house!


I was quite anxious about starting back to the schooling.  I'd spent rather too many moments last week trying to figure out how on earth I was going to find the time, while remaining sane and not turning grey. How would I manage it?  I talked it all through with hubby, explaining what challenges I thought I'd have and expressed rather exasperatedly that I didn't know how I'd manage and to please forgive me in advance if a home cooked dinner didn't make it to the table one evening.  He was very understanding and said that he has it easy going off to work everyday and that he wished he could help me. (so blessed to have such a caring husband!)  I told him that he does by encouraging me and by not putting pressure on me to have everything just perfect and dinner on the table as soon as he walks in the door! (I put enough pressure on myself to achieve those things without anyone's help!) I find talking through my concerns with my husband usually so helpful, but on this occasion I think I just needed to get on and do it before my concerns could be diffused.

It is now day 3 of being back to school and I can gladly report that I was needlessly worrying last week.  So far it has all gone very smoothly and we've managed to fit it all in during baby's naps.  I am continually thankful that she is a very good and placid little lady,which makes it all a whole lot easier than it could be.  :O)
I don't think I'm going to have as much time for visiting people as I used to for a little while, but that's okay - the investment of home educating is of so much value and this stage, in the long run, is not a very long one.   At the moment I have to do 1 on 1 teaching as neither of the boys are at the point of me being able to set them work and leave them to get on with it while I help the other one. Once I am able to do this (and I'm hopeful that it isn't too far of as Caden is well on his way to competent reading.) I should have a bit more time to 'play' with. 

I have to say that I am very proud of Caden since returning back to school work.  He has a personal struggle with procrastination when it comes to school work, which he'd admit himself. However, since starting back to school this week, he has been doing amazingly.  He has carried on with his work when I've had to leave the room to sort Rosina out and has done his work in a timely fashion (even his Math! lol).  I'm so, so proud of him, as this really does not come naturally to him.  This beautiful new attitude which is emerging will also help me with trying to integrate the 2 boys doing their school work at the same time. 



Thursday, 14 October 2010

Go on - try it!!

After several request for this recipe I decided to blog it. :O)

LENTIL LASAGNE



Preparation = 25 minutes Cooking = 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

15g (1/2oz) butter
1 medium-large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded & chopped
(i use which ever colour pepper I have in)
175g (6oz) split red lentils
397g (14oz) can tomatoes
300ml (1/2 pint) stock
300ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk
30ml (2 tbsp) tomato purée
5ml (1 tsp) dried mixed herbs
freshly ground pepper
100g (4oz) ready-to-cook lasagna
(I use 6 sheets)
2 eggs
225g (8oz) natural yogurt
100g (4oz) cheddar cheese, grated

METHOD:

1) Melt butter in a saucepan, add onion and cook until soft
2) Add pepper, lentils, tomatoes, stock, 150 (1/4 pint) of the milk, tomato purée, herbs and pepper. (it may look curdled to begin with.)
3) Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender.) (I find it works best for me to leave it uncovered and to stir frequently otherwise the lentils stick and burn to the bottom of my pan, but I do not use a non-stick pan, so if that's what you are using, it probably would be fine to do as recipe says)
4) While the lentil mixture is cooking, whisk together eggs, remaining milk and yogurt. Stir in half the cheese.
5) Place half the lentil mixture in a a 25.5x20.5cm (10x8 inch) ovenproof dish.
6) Cover with half the lasagne sheets, repeat layers.
7) Pour the sauce you prepared earlier over lasagne
8) Sprinkle remaining cheese over lasagne and bake at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) (Gas Mark 6) for 35 minutes or until golden brown.


ENJOY!


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Messy Memories



Time is whizzing by and my little girl is 3 weeks old already!

Desperate to capture something special from this
time in our lives, I came up with this idea:

Some messy fun making some lasting memories:




We used a canvas and acrylic paints.

I divided the canvas up with string (as pictured).
This helped in getting the prints as accurately placed as possible.

Our first attempt at this failed as the paint was too thick.
So if you fancy trying your hand at this, make sure you dilute the paint.

:O)

I plan on finishing it off with the date on the bottom right hand corner.

Friday, 8 October 2010

With Hope


A while ago a dear friend shared this song with me - the words gave (and still do give) great comfort and remind me of truths I know.

This time in my life is undoubtedly a wonderful and happy time and I'm enjoying every second of having a newborn again, however, I can't deny that having my new baby here reminds me of all I lost last year. I look at my daughters precious little feet and remember vividly holding my sons tiny foot.. each toe so perfectly formed. I remember saying to my husband.. "hunny, he has your toes!"

BUT

As Steven so eloquently puts it.. I can cry with hope! :O)
One day I will see his face again

Until that glorious day, I will enjoy the many, many blessing God has poured into my life, especially my children that remain with me on this earth.

"Heavenly Father & Almighty God, thank you for my loving, caring husband and my sweet, precious children.
Thank you for all the family and friends you have blessed me with who prayed and supported me through such a difficult time.
Please help me to love, as You love, all these precious people. Amen"

I will sing to the Lord because He has been so good to me. Psalm 13v6

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

This is what happens when you get your little girl all dressed up pretty...

video

I can't quite believe I caught this on camera!

So sorry to those of you who were about to eat lunch!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Long time

It has been a long time since I posted. I never meant to go so long without so much as a peep.

A lot has happened in the last little while. Our family had a wonderful holiday at the end of July down in beautiful Bude, Son 1 turned 6 years old!, I made it to full term and gave birth to a beautiful little girl, born on her due date and we celebrated 4th sons first birthday. So much to update you all on!

First Son's 6th Birthday:
Son 1 enjoyed having a friend over for a trip to a theme park and to stay the night as his birthday treat.. they enjoyed the wii and sleeping in tents:



Baby girl was born:
All my boys were born early so I was very surprised to make it all the way to 40 weeks. I went into labour on Saturday the 18th of September in the evening. I laboured all through the night, but the contractions remained 10-20 minutes apart, despite getting quite strong. When I got up in the morning I expected the contractions to get closer together, but much to my surprise and great disappointment the labour stopped. I was so confused and quite emotional.. I was feeling quite desperate for this baby to be born (was over tired after not getting much sleep). It was only 4 days until Son 4's birthday and I was desperate for this baby not to share that date. God knew this was important to me and I just had to leave it with Him. After having a good old cry to God about it all I rested all morning trying to recover from the night. Husband took the boys off to church and then out for a picnic lunch afterwards to give me as much rest as possible. I started to have the odd contraction again, but didn't want to put any hope on it going anywhere. They were very irregular although picking up in intensity. Later that afternoon I decided a good old walk was in order.. so we went out as a family. Was lovely. I'm not sure if it helped or not.. things didn't really change for a while, but by 6pm that evening the contractions all of a sudden started to come every 5 mins. I started to get excited that this would be it this time. I called into the maternity ward to let them know I'd need a midwife soon and that I was booked for a home birth. Unfortunately for me though there were no midwives available to attend my home birth. The boys were in bed by now and the contractions were getting quite strong. I asked husband to put on my TENs machine, got the fire going and lit some candles. I REALLY wanted to stay at home. I had my birth pool on hand and desperately didn't want a car journey at this stage of labour. Things were moving quickly now. I told the midwife coordinator that I'd wait an hour and see if the situation changed regarding availability of midwives... I didn't have that long to wait though.. only minutes later I looked at husband told him that we had to go. I was very fortunate to have a midwife friend on call especially for me and because of that I was able to go to a birth centre instead of the main hospital! My friend went straight to the birth centre to get the pool ready for me and husband and I made a move as soon as my parents arrived to look after the boys. The journey was pretty awful, but we got there in 15 minutes and I couldn't get into that lovely hot pool soon enough. Transition occurred shortly after entering the pool. It was so strong and so powerful. I started on the gas and air, I knew it wouldn't be long now. It was just 2 hours after arriving at the birth centre that my precious little girl swam into my arms. She was born posterior, in her sac (born in the caul) on her due date!!

It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life!
Overwhelmingly blessed!

My sweet little girl weighed in at 6lbs 8oz and was born at 11:53pm on the 19th of September

Active labour in the comfort of my own home

Just arrived at the birth centre
BP check
I got very hot and felt soothed by a cold flannel
Transition
Well.. this picture speaks for itself!
It's a GIRL!!!
6lbs 8oz
We did it! :O)

I am SO thankful to have my precious daughter safely in my arms and to have the pregnancy behind me. It was an emotional & long journey! My sweet little girl is now already 2 weeks old.. time is flying past! I'm savouring every second - I love having a newborn in the house. Her big brothers absolutely adore her and regularly come and check on her and give her kisses and cuddles. :O) This is a very happy time for us. God is so good!


4th Sons Birthday:
God heard my cry and I delivered my 5th child on a different date to my 4th sons birthday. Baby girl was only 4 days old, but we managed to make it to his grave and bought some balloons in celebration of his short life. It was day of many tears for me, but it was beautiful in its own way. Here are a few pictures of that special day:

Dearest little boy - you hold a very special place in my heart!

And that just about brings us up to date.

I was privileged to have my sister, a professional photographer, at the birth of my daughter. Once all the photos have been edited I plan on putting them together in a 'photo movie' I will share this once it is done.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Pizza Night



On most Fridays we have

PIZZA NIGHT!

I've been meaning to capture the events on camera for a while now.
I finally remembered to do it this evening!

Time to mix together the dough:


Yes.. Son 3 does have pants on his head - he wore them up there most of the day! It's his hat apparently. I will just say that they are clean ones and he does also have a pair in the correct place too! ;O)

Time to knead the dough:




Now for a quick clean and tidy up while the dough rises...

Mummy has cooked the sauce and got the dough ready for yummy toppings..
Pineapple is a favourite for all of them!


And finally.. the pizza is cooked, the movie is ready - Time to Eat!



A good old fashioned family night!

xxx

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Introducing lemons!

video

I'm sure if I thought about it long enough - I could come up with some good analogy of 'when life gives you lemons'.. but I'm too tired!

This video was taken 2 & a bit years ago and son 3 was 10 months old.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Bit of an uphill struggle


I'm sitting here in my rocking chair, enjoying the refreshing evening breeze flowing in through my bedroom window. My growing baby bump and I are doing well and I'm so thankful that we reached the 24 week milestone last Sunday. :O)

(25 weeks)

I have to confess that this pregnancy has been an uphill struggle for me in every way possible - emotionally, physically and even spiritually.
The week I found out I was pregnant again was among the most emotional weeks of my life. It was only 3 months after I had lost my precious little Uzziah and I felt such a mixture of feelings. Scared.. would it happen again? Guilty.. I didn't want people to think I was replacing Uzziah, Grief... O I was just so full of grief! I missed my little boy and the 'would have beens' more than ever and being pregnant again seemed to make everything feel more intense and more painful. I felt so bad for how I felt.

A close friend of mine also had her baby that same week - she had a little boy and although I really, genuinely couldn't have been happier for her, it broke my heart. I went to see this precious gift when he was only 1 day old.. I don't know how I got through that visit without balling my eyes out - my heart felt like it was being starved of blood flow. How was I even breathing? The grief was so intense.

Things improved for me slightly as I grew used to the idea of being pregnant again with another child, but as I became more comfortable with that, so it became more difficult not to worry about the health of this child. The pregnancy symptoms soon set in and by 7 weeks I was feeling really sick and very tired. By 10 weeks I was barely coping with the extreme physical challenges the pregnancy was giving me. I didn't ever feel this awful with my healthy pregnancy's and I couldn't help but let this nag at me with worry. Surely there had to be a reason I was feeling so awful. The 12 week scan couldn't come fast enough - I was praying so hard that I would be able to accept whatever God had decided for me with this pregnancy. As I got up on the table for the scan, I blurted out to the sonographer that I'd lost my last baby and I was pretty much terrified. She was ever so sweet and as soon as the scan began we could see that baby was alive and wriggling around. Everything looked normal and my EDD was even moved forward by 5 days. I was so relieved!

I had thought that having such a positive scan would put a stop to most of my worry and emotional struggle with this pregnancy, but sadly it did not. A couple of weeks after the scan I felt I needed reassuring again, but I did not even have my 20 week scan appointment date through yet. I'm not sure words can describe how long those 5-6 weeks felt! It was helped along by feeling the odd baby kick, but even these were much less frequent and later on then what I had experienced with my others, so again.. this nagged at me and caused me to worry.

Worry, worry, worry!! Would you believe me if I told you that I'm not usually a worrier! ?
In fact, I have shared this verse several times with people who have been worrying and then had to have a friend remind me of it!!

My 20 week scan came and it was an amazing day - full of joy, as the sonographer declared that everything looked healthy! I cried tears of joy as I watched our little one move around - what an overwhelming blessing this child is.

Am I still worrying about loosing this baby? O yes, just 2 nights ago I woke up after a terrible dream that my beautiful little baby had died - it felt so real, and I know part of the reason for that is I now have real feelings to relate to. I've come to the conclusion that the worry will probably not go away until this baby is delivered and safely in my arms.

I find myself asking the question if my faith has weakened - since I find myself worrying so much of the time? I trust God in everything, so why am I worrying? I guess the answer to that is - it's not that I'm worrying how I'll cope if it is God's will for this baby to not live, I know He'll give me the strength to endure whatever happens in my life and it's not that I'm wondering if He'll be there to carry me through - I know He'll do that, I've experienced it in an overwhelming way. It's that I don't want to go through anything as difficult as loosing a child again.. I want this baby in my arms.. I don't know the future and therefore if that will happen this time or not. Trusting God for everything doesn't mean to say that I'll find whatever I have to deal with easy, but that I can know there is a reason for everything and that God works everything together for the good of those who love Him (and that I most certainly do). Sometimes we are privileged enough to see what good and or purpose was/is in any given trial, other times we don't and have to wait until Glory to find out.

It is a hard thing for me to accept that this pregnancy is part and parcel of my grief process - I don't wish it to be that way - I wish I could go through this pregnancy with the innocence of not having lost a child - the joy that that innocence brings in pregnancy. I can't do that now though and I have to do what I can with the circumstances I have. I know that God is working to complete the good work He started in me and this phase of my life is part of that. (Philippians 1v6) I am thankful that I now can understand in a much better and deeper way other peoples pain and I am thankful when God chooses to use my experiences to help others. I obviously would never have chosen the path of loosing a child for my life and would love to have my sweet little boy with me here today, but I know he is in a far better place and God has blessed my life through my little boy's short life.

I am blessed

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.
1 Peter 5v7

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My baby is 3!


My youngest turned 3 yesterday!

Where does the time go??

It seems only a few months ago I was in that bath tub, holding my precious newborn baby boy bundle!

Born at 2:15 pm on the 28th of May 2007

He was such a cute newborn!

My hands were full after his birth as I was now juggling 3 little boys all under the age of 3. It was wonderful though and I loved having them all so close. It was undeniably hard work, but SO rewarding. When our new arrival was 2 weeks old - I took the boys to the mall to get a picture of the 3 of them as a surprise for Fathers Day.

Goodness they were all so little!
What a difference 3 years makes! Back then I had 3 in nappies and now they can all take themselves to the loo. (Yay!) Then.. my eldest was younger than my youngest is now! (Yikes)

Our precious 3rd son has given us so much love and happiness... and concern!! From early on he was a poor eater, which a lot of mums have to deal with. Our little chap dropped off the weight chart by quite a bit and he was so skinny. The doctor had us putting butter or oil in the small amount of food he did eat, just to try and plump him up a bit! The difficulties feeding him was nothing though compared with the concern he gave us when we were on holiday in Florida. It was a lovely holiday.. until that awful day.. we thought he was just dehydrated and that rest and fluid would sort him out, but when his nappy was filled with blood, we knew it was something more. We rushed off to the ER, with no idea how seriously ill our little 10 month old was. He was limp - felt lifeless. Was the worst feeling a mother could feel - a limp child. He was his happy, usual self the day before.. what had happened?

He had a severe case of intussusception, which is when part the bowl flips in on itself and blocks up the system. The doctors tried treating him with a barium treatment - which was the most awful thing to watch - it absolutely broke my heart to see my little boy in so much pain, and for it then to not work - I was a mess. The doctor then had to decide to operate straight away. If he didn't have surgery he would have died within a day or 2.
While he was in surgery, I was sitting in a waiting room, surrounded by comforting pictures of Jesus. God brought to mind the amazing song - blessed be your name by Matt Redman - which during the chorus says, 'He gives and takes away'. I was more or less in continuous prayer and kept telling God that I didn't want him to take my sweet boy away, but that if that was His will, I would accept it. I was thanking Him for the time I had already been blessed with with my precious baby. While I was waiting, I really didn't know what God had in store for us, but I trusted Him, whatever the outcome.



Praise God, he lived!
This picture was taken a few days after his surgery. He recovered remarkably well and is left with no long term problems. I'm sure he'll be quite proud of his scar when he's a bit older. :O)

And now we are 2 years on from that scary week and our little fighter is a very, very happy and a very healthy little boy! I couldn't be more thankful for his life or for the life of my other boys. We don't know how long we have with our children and although it isn't always easy, I intend to make the most of every moment, the best way I possibly can. Children are such a blessing, and I love being mummy, especially on celebratory occasions such as birthdays!



Love you baby boy!