Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Story of Hudson's Arrival


Hudson John
11~16~09   9:05pm 
7 lbs 11 oz. 21 1/4 inches 

I think a birth story is kind of a woman thing.  If you have had a baby, are about to have a baby or have even wondered about having a baby - the story is intriguing.  We like to hear them.  And we love to tell them.  It is almost like becoming a part of a "club". I like it and want to tell my story...for me...and for you if you wanna hear it :)

This is a birth story that deserves to be recorded in detail (well, most of them): the fast and furious arrival of our fourth son Hudson John. A boy that has been waited for and anticipated for a long time now. A child that has been loved and cherished and prayed for from the first knowledge of his existence. A baby that completes our family and reminds us of the true miracle of creating and delivering new life. My heart will forever remember the moments of this evening. My mind might somewhat forget the pain of contractions and delivery (yowsers!) But I do know - in my heart and my mind - that I am so humbly thankful that we have this little guy. That he has arrived and that we are holding him. Here is how he came...

Monday, November 16th. When I awoke on this day I was not expecting to actually meet my fourth son. The night before I was relaxing in front of the tv and my belly was in motion - major motion actually. In retrospect I think Hudson was feeling too cramped and was trying to let us know that he was out of room! He must have been preparing himself for the position to escape his cramped quarters and meet the world...because my tummy was in all kinds of strange shapes! Bu I awoke on Monday, feeling a little disappointed that nothing had transpired during the night. I was expecting another normal day and went about the morning as usual. Reece and I followed through with our plans for a date to celebrate him finishing his first chapter book. We left the rest of the family with my Mom and headed off to McDonald's. Reece was beaming with joy and it so quickly confirmed in my heart how important it will be to reserve one on one time with my boys. We ate breakfast and talked about all kinds of things - I loved the time together. Later in the day we all went out for lunch and bi-passed the plan to head too far from home...just in case. The traffic was bad and I had been feeling a little different by midday and didn't think it was worth venturing too far...plus I was rather hungry :) So - we took my Mom for a great hamburger at Chazz's. I have had a harder time reading my body these days - likely because I've been trying so hard to soak up every moment of this pregnancy that I am second guessing a lot of twinges and feelings. I had kind of jumped the gun already in feeling like labor might possibly be beginning so was hesitant to "commit" to the possibility of it this day. Besides, in any of my other labors, I have not been a text book case that labor is beginning. I don't sense contractions early on, etc.. etc.. Anyway - I felt nothing during our entire time at the burger place. On the way home we stopped to pick up a few groceries and I begin to sense that it actually really, possibly, maybe may be happening :) I told Benjy to give me an hour to know for certain but that we might be meeting our son that eve....and so it happened! I gathered the family for our final picture before officially becoming a family of 6 and then began to finalize packing the bag and calling the doc. He asked the typical questions about contractions and I assured him that I was not feeling any but just knew it was happening (I was certain by now - that old familiar feeling down low of pinching and stretching). He suggested I wait at home and I proceeded to tell him that we were leaving for the hospital in about 30 minutes (the quick delivery of Chase coming quickly to mind!)

       Family snapshot before heading to the hospital!

So off we went to the hospital. The pain was intensifying and I told Benjy in the car that we were actually going to meet our boy that night. I didn't know but yet I knew that my labor would be quick again. We had called our doc to meet us there but when we arrived he wasn't yet there yet. The nurses received me and had me change into the dreaded gown. They hooked me up to the fetal monitors and assured me that baby's heartbeat was strong and stable. It was 7:20 pm at this point.
                                          Last pregnant belly picture! 39 weeks and 5 days

                                                   Getting hooked up to the monitors.
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I was feeling the labor pretty good and wanted my doctor to check my dialation - I felt like I needed to know, for my own mental toughness, where I was at in this lovely process called labor. I needed to prepare myself for the endurance that lay ahead of me to deliver this child...and when they finally agreed to check me and stated I was at a 7 - 8...I knew I had it in me to make it without help. I explained to the nursing staff that I did not want an epidural and asked for permission to get out of the bed, walk around, and change positions to ease the pain of labor. Thankfully they agreed. It helped so much to be moving around. It was so so hot in the room so Benjy asked for water for me to drink and began to wipe my face down with a cool paper towel. They sent Benjy downstairs at this point to admit me to the hospital and fill out paperwork. I was alone in the room for sometime....just going through labor and trying to ignore the hard and fast contractions that I was now feeling down low. I got up to use the restroom and my water broke (first time that that has ever happened on its own for me). I told the nurses and I knew that we must be getting close by this point. The doctor (mine had still not arrived) came in again to check me and encouraged me by saying I was now at a 9 - that pretty much when I felt the urge to push I should let them know. They asked if there was anything I needed. Ha! "My husband please" (he was still downstairs and I was not interested in him missing the birth of his son because of paperwork!!!) They called him and as I continued to walk around the room he soon arrived. The nurses asked me to lay back in the bed because they needed to give me the IV. The dreaded IV. I didn't understand why I even needed it but all the more didn't understand why they don;t have nursing staff that know how to put one in!! She tried on my left arm - and happened to do so during the most intense contractions that I had yet experienced. They were coming hard and fast and I was having a hard time laying still for her. Needless to say she stuck me, my vein rolled - or something went wrong so she pulled it out and proceeds to the other side of the bed to get my right arm. She understands that I am at the height of pain so patiently waits for a moment when she can stick me again. It takes her some time again but finally gets it and leaves me alone. Benjy and I are alone again - he is being so kind and trying to help me in any way as I tell him to rub my back or stop rubbing my back or to give me a cool cloth, etc.. etc. (I was a bit agitated at this point - ha!) He patiently reminds me to regain control by breathing when I feel that I am about to throw up - so he holds up the trash can for me and catches my several hurls. The man isn't usually too good with gross stuff like this, but is so graceful and took such good care of me, wiping my face and continuing to rub my back. I was now out of the bed gain - trying to distract myself from the hard and fast contractions that did not seem to let up for much time at all. I was walking, squatting, leaning against the wall or the bed (believe me - this really helps!) The hospital staff were all out in the hall - waiting for my indication that I needed to push so that they could move me over to the delivery room to deliver my boy! They were giving us our privacy and thankfully so. Benj peeked his head out and asked them for another glass of water for me...and for some strange reason, we would later find out that it was my doctor (who by now had arrived by the way) went for the water???? As Benjy turned back around I was squatting down by the bed and suddenly felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. Sparing any more details - lol - I suddenly felt that it was the baby's head between my legs. I yelled it again because I don't think Benjy could believe it and he ran to the door, flung it open and yelled "YA LLEGO EL BEBE - ES SU CABEZA" (the baby is here - it's the baby's head) Immediately the room was a buzz with nurses and doctors all around me. Remember: I am NOT in the delivery room - just a normal hospital room. Remember: my doctor is gone, getting me a glass of water! And remember: I am squatted beside my bed and my baby's head is RIGHT THERE! The anasthesiologist on staff comes running in and tells me to lay on the bed - I should say he yells at me to lay on the bed. I feel panicked and a little confused and a little afraid to change position and climb up on the tall hospital bed for fear of hurting my little baby. So I freeze. The doc pushes me/tackles me to the side of the bed and I simply lift my leg and out comes Hudson John - into the arms of the anasthesiologist!!! It was CRAZINESS. In those few moments, they had brought in a few sterile towels to lay him on and the scissors to cut the chord. I see my baby but to me he looks blue and is not crying. My heart is racing as they cut the chord and begin wrap him in a blue towel and rub him. He begins to cry and they assure me over and over again that he is great and that all is well. It was amazing. He is amazing! Although I did not have a chance to hold him in that moment - I did stop them from whisking him away from me so soon and to allow me to snap a few photos (a far shot from my original plan to video and record his entrance...but as you can see that wasn't very realistic!!) They carried him off to a sterile place to measure, weigh and check him out and Benjy and I were left in a state of shock and awe at what had just transpired. Hudson John had a wild and crazy entrance into our world at 9:05 pm on November 16th, 2009!  We are in love!

Finally, our first glance at him and his first cries!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hudson John Has Arrived...

If you have not yet heard.....

Hudson John was born to us on November 16th, 2009 - at 9:05 pm weighing 7 lbs 11 oz and measuring 21 1/4 inches long. He is perfect!!

Well, although I am one month late in announcing the arrival of our sweet little Hudson, I do so tonight with no less pride and joy! I cannot believe a month has passed since he entered our world with an adventurous bang! I will share his birth story (the edited version - ha,ha)....and other things about him fitting in and completing our gang...but truth be told - it has been a little difficult to find the time to sit in front of the computer and post about him. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist...and I have so so so so so many amazing pictures - so I don't quite know where to start with the limited "free" time :) Hudson is keeping my arms full and my other boys too....as well as the many, many activities we have had going on since Hudson was born. I do intend to "catch up" someday but until then I can briefly say the following with true confidence....

* we already loved this little guy when he was in utero - but from the moment of seeing his face - we have all been pretty smitten! he is a handsome fella and has already proven to be pretty good at stealing hearts.

* even though it technically has not been that long since Pierce was a little one like this....and having 4 new babies in the span of 6 and a half years....it is strange how quick one forgets how FAST these little things can fly through diapers - crazy!

* love is certainly stronger than sleep - let's just say it like it is: Hudson isn't the greatest sleeper at night but seems to be very gifted at eating - often. this Momma is a little tired from his late night shinanigans - but when I hear his cry and roll (or drop) out of bed and look down at his face - love takes over and I feed him and talk to him and hold him close and realize how blessed I am to have him here. lots of reflecting in those wee hours of the morning. good stuff.

* having a new baby in the house brings out the sweetness in the older siblings....they love Hudson so much and I am amazed at how calm they are with him - even when he is crying...they hold him and don't panic when he is crying and take pride in being able to calm him down. they wanna hold him often (even tho they have been banned form him the last few days due to colds)

* having Hudson here has officially made us a "freak show" when we are out in public - yes, because he now makes a grand total of 4 blonde heads we have to count - but also because we have him out. and. he. is. so. little - not a very common thing in Mexico....and because I don't wrap him in four fleece blankets while the sun is beating down :)

* and let's just end this short list with thanks to all of you who have prayed for us as we have walked this journey of awaiting this child - God has answered our prayers for a healthy child - he is a beautiful gift that we have humbly enjoyed for the last month!

Keep checking back - I do intend to catch this thing up - including pictures you won't want to miss!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lovin' Books! (dedicated to Mimi)

This post is dedicated to Mimi - Benjy's Mom. She has been a huge influence on our kids in the way of "reading". She is a big reader herself and from the beginning of my pregnancy with Reece and on through the boys' baby, toddler and preschool years has been providing our kids with books....and books...and more books. Many of the books on these shelves have come from her and we are thankful for that!


Note to everyone else: the rest of this post is a full of a Mommy's pride so....just be warned :)

So, Mimi, I wanted you to see that putting books in the hands of your grandsons has paid off. Reece loves reading - it seems to have come quite naturally for him, in both languages. He has now accepted my challenge to begin reading chapter books. Chase is in the very beginning stages of sounding out words and pulling the concepts together but he is eager. The other night he prayed and asked God to "please help me read". And Pierce loves books. He asks for them regularly before nap and bedtime (sure, I do understand that some of that is a stall tactic - ha!)...but I have often caught him home alone in the mornings just paging through book after book all on his own. He often asks for books about "Jesus" too - I love it! I am thankful that there are now moments when I will simply ask Reece to read to his little brothers and he can do it! Very fun! I took the initiative to record these early reading moments on video because I am learning all too quickly how much these kids learn and transition from one stage of life to another right before my very eyes. I love to capture where they are at and thought this was a great way to share it with you...

This first video is Pierce and I reading his very favorite book - "The Giving Tree" - he requests it over & over & over again.  He surprised me one day when he began filling in the blanks....proof that this book has been read A LOT! Note: the video is the whole book so it is a little long, but it IS a good story if you'd like to hear it too :)

This next video is Reece on his first day of tackling, on his own, a book from The Boxcar Children Series. I gave him the "challenge", sort of unsure of how he would react. We all sat down together and made bookmarks and...well - he has taken a hold of it and he finished his first one this morning - 121 pages. Him and I have a milkshake date set for tomorrow to celebrate :) Here is just a short snippet of him reading....

And last we have Chase trying to sound out a few words in one of his favorite books. He is still very much into "guessing" when reading but he has come really far in sounding out words for spelling them out.

We are proud of our boys and of their love for books. Hopefully that love will grow more and more, and they will be good lifelong readers...like their Mimi :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Who We Are Today!

Here we are, 11 days away from our official November 18th due date. With the big change about to happen in our sweet family, I captured a few pics to remind us how we look today, waiting for Hudson to arrive. These are precious photos that remind us how blessed we are to have one another and to be awaiting another little one amongst us.

We decided to take advantage of one last "date" opportunity with baby on the "inside".

Here I am at 38 weeks - full term and feeling quite "full".

A whole lot of love awaits baby Huds.

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Perhaps one of the last photos of the trio - about to become FOUR BROTHERS!

Happy Halloween! Especially If You are "GREEN"

These costumes will require a little background information: The boys' school sent home a note explaining that for their Halloween party they would be playing games, etc.. and were not to come in full costume. Rather, they were encouraged to make something from home to create a mask from recycle-able materials or things already at home. Obviously the school is attempting to encourage parent involvement and recycling!

So - when we sat down to "create" their masks...we started with more traditional ideas like ghosts or monsters...but Reece then came up with the plan to become "trash". Honestly, I couldn't have been happier because it involved a few simple steps and "whalll-lllaaaa" - we have two very recycle-oriented masks. Unique. Definitely. Creative. For sure. And...even a little smelly :) Mexico has begun a campaign to separate all of your garbage for reduction. So here we have - organic and inorganic trash. The rest of us joined in the simple theme, mainly because the Mommy didn't have any energy or creative juice to come up with anything else. Pierce loved popping out of his own trash can, being toted by the "white trash" collecter (I know, I know - very lame).





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The boys also had opportunity to dress up and "trick or treat" here in our apartment complex. We threw together some quick costumes to play the part and they were excited to go with their neighbor friends, collecting candy!

Curious George!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

A Power Ranger

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All the neighborhood kids!

The Birthday Man!

We celebrated Benjy's 36th birthday on October 28th, here at home with lots of friends (it is almost impossible to have the two words - "party" and "small" go together). It was a fun night honoring a good man who has touched the lives of many people in his young life - some of them with us to celebrate, many of them far away. I prepared some of his favorite foods and desserts and we just hung out. It was a good time.

My husband has many honorable qualities. I appreciate who he is becoming - definitely. He is often self reflective and wanting to grow and change and become better. But I also appreciate who is today. Period. I am thankful for his honest nature, for the friend he is to others. For what he means to me as my best friend and life companion. My husband. The Daddy to our boys. Leader and provider for our family. He is smart. Gifted. Funny. Caring. Perceptive. Fun. Insightful. I appreciate that he is here and engaged and present. He is a very good man - a life worth celebrating.

So happy birthday Benjy!




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Tuesday, November 03, 2009


As the big birthday of my fourth son approaches, I sense the desire to record my sentiments, my thoughts, my feelings.... I choose to do so in a letter to my sweet baby boy Hudson who is currently tucked safely under my heart, kicking my ribs and causing my tummy to form into some strange shapes as he nestles in for another night.

Dear Hudson,

We are all anticipating your arrival. Reece specifically asked if you might come tonight because he is so eager to see you and hold you. He asks me if you are going to be chubby and what you are going to look like. Chase often kisses you or pats you through my tummy. He loves to be near you. Piersen says your name numerous times throughout the day...and although he likely doesn't understand what all of this "baby brother" stuff means, I am certain he will be quick to protect you and beam with pride that you are "his" baby. Your Daddy had his hand on you last night, wondering when you were going to make your big appearance. He is anxious for your arrival - ready to have you here. And me....

Well, I love you deeply already and am just so very thankful that God has given us this long journey together to bond and experience life together. You are one special baby - you have given us hope after loss. You have given us joy after sorrow. You have given us thankfulness and appreciation for another experience at being parents. You mean so much to us - so much more to us than just "another boy". You are unique and your arrival to our family is full of celebration! I am excited to meet you here on the outside - to watch you grow and change and to see your personality develop. To get to know just how God has knitted and formed you. I have so enjoyed my pregnancy with you. The adventure has brought many smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. Seems like forever ago that you scared us during the very early ultrasound that questioned your viability. And then each check up, each ultrasound, each pregnancy milestone or movement from you - all so cherished and accepted as real miracles. We are so grateful for you.

As we await the moment when you decide to truly let us know you are ready to come (because there have already been a few questions in my mind since I can't seem to predict much about you these days :) ) I just want to wish you a safe and healthy journey. I want to thank you for giving me one more opportunity to experience the beauty, pain, and miracle of childbirth. I thank our God for giving you to us - just exactly in the timing He saw fit. You are very special, very loved and very much anticipated. We've been waiting for you. Come quickly and come safely. Praying for you to be strong and healthy and ready to steal the hearts of all of us....and to join our family (get ready! it is quite the adventure!)

All my love, Mommy

Monday, November 02, 2009


I am not so sure our little Pierce truly understands the reality of a new baby entering our family...and our home! Can't say I blame him... I have had my fair share of moments when I have to remind myself that we are really going to have four little boys! That we really are going back to the newborn stage of parenting. That I really won't have to wear "too short in the leg maternity pants that for some unknown reason rarely have pockets" much longer.... That before long we really will be able to hold and know this sweet little baby. It really all is just a little surreal!

But...back to Pierce.... For the past months we have been talking a lot about baby Hudson. He knows his name and we talk and pray openly about him and that he will make Pierce a big brother and all that stuff. But Piersen also knows that this little Hudson creature is inside his Mommy's tummy - no big threat right?! This afternoon I had the baby car seat out - getting it ready to be washed and installed into the car. When Pierce entered the room and saw it his face lit up and he said, "that's my seat". "No, not anymore. Now you are a big boy...that seat is for baby Hudson." Pierce looked up at me with this confused and almost bothered look - as though in slow motion he looked at my tummy and then at the car seat....almost as though it was s-l-o-w-l-y coming together in his mind as to what is about to happen.

I couldn't help but laugh.

This little boy is going to change all of us. Really!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Think On This...

I wanted to share something I read today. A lot of wisdom and a lot to think on...hopefully it encourages and challenges you like it has me today...
by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, to his young niece

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually–let them grow,
Let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

Words Worth Remembering...

We have had some funny and or special moments as of late...ones worth recording :)

I Have Someone Fooled....
A few days ago Benjy took the older boys along with him to help paint the house of some of our friends. While they were working, Reece noticed that Lauren was resting instead of painting. She is in her first trimester of pregnancy, and naturally...tired. When she came into the room, Reece did not hesitate to ask her why she was tired. She explained to him that she had a tiny baby in her tummy and that him/her growing and changing makes her tired. Apparently, Reece looked at her and plainly stated, "hmmm - my Mom has a baby in her tummy too and she is never tired" (yes, I got a good laugh out of that one when it was shared with me - if he only knew!)

A Little Out of Context....
We have been working on learning a few memory verses around here. The boys love it and it serves as a good way to gently remind them what God wants in certain circumstances. A few days ago Reece was sent to his room as a punishment. In fine "sibling rivalry fashion" Chase wanted to know what he did. My response was to protect Reece because really it had nothing to do with Chase and he didn't need to know what had transpired between me and him. Chase asked several times and when I told him that was enough - we weren't talking about it anymore - he looked up at me and said, "well, don't you remember what the verse says....you should do to me what you want me to do to you....so tell me what Reece did cuz I wanna know" :)

When I Am the Playmate of Choice...
Pierce LOVES to play with his big brothers. He gets right in there and plays whatever they are playing and he has a good time. What makes me feel super special is when Piersen come to me (especially when the boys are available and home from school) and he says - "play trains. Me and you. You and me. Come on Mom" He is the sweetest!

Does He Still Believe?....
Mimi (my mother-in-law) commented the other day that she is thankful to be able to spend Christmas with us this year because she fears that this just may be Reece's last year to believe in Santa Clause. Here is some confirmation that she can be sure he still believes.... We were making a "wish list" to honor the requests of Grandparents who are wanting to prepare well for the holiday season. Reece was having a hard time really knowing what he was interested in in asking for. As he thought, it suddenly dawned on him (it really did seem like the light bulb came on in his head) - "I am just going to ask Santa to give me one of those little helper guys...what are they called? " I told him, "elves". He continued, "ya, I am going to ask Santa to give ME one of his elves so he could just build me whatever toy I want whenever I want it!" Not long after that thought came out of his mouth and I tried to hide my smile he had already realized in such a sweet and innocent way, "but I already know he probably won't do that" I reminded him that he probably was right because Santa needs his helpers to make toys for everyone.

Fast like when I was born...
Obviously with the new arrival expected into our family very soon, we have been talking about babies and my boys' when they were babies and where they were born and what they were like and on and on. Chase seemed especially interested about his birth so I told him the story of how quickly he arrived (us making it to the hospital at 3:00am and holding him in our arms at 3:30am). As I have said before, Chase tends to do things in his own time. For whatever reason - he has grabbed a hold of his "birth story" and it has been highly motivational for him. A few days after hearing about his birth story, he told Benjy that he was going to get something (whatever Benjy had asked him to do) fast - fast like he was born - because he was born fast...and Reece wasn't!

Out of context...again...
Reece, being the oldest, has nearly perfected the technique of manipulating certain situations to get things from his little brothers. He isn't always successful but has learned quite skillfully how to make the toy he doesn't want to seem super cool so he can get the toy he really wants. I walked in on him the other day with the toy that Pierce had just been enjoying in his own hand. Reece flashed me a bright smile and said, "Mom, Pierce really understands our memory verse - he is being a peacemaker and just gave me this toy!"

Telling It Like It Is...I Guess...
My boys, like all boys, enjoy being swung with their arms when walking down the street or in a shopping center, etc.. I am not particularly fond of it since it tends to happen suddenly and in unexpected moments. My balance is a little off these days too so although Pierce was happily being swung between Benjy and Reece - I had Chase's hand and he wanted to do likewise. I told him he couldn't and his response: "oh ya, you can't because you are fat." Sure....thanks?!?

Well, that wraps up a few "fun" conversations as of late. Hope you got some smiles from these kiddos of mine. As we say around here, "never a dull moment"!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pierce & His Potty

Potty training? Yes...maybe a crazy time to tackle this with just a few weeks until baby Hudson's arrival, but Pierce seems interested and I don't wanna miss the "window of opportunity". I decided to take the "work in progress" approach rather than "we are going to have quick success". Thankfully, Pierce is co-operating quite well, is overjoyed by receiving a sticker and overall is just doing pretty well. He has several fun pair of underwear that makes it more exciting too. Whether it is Elmo, Diego, Cookie Monster or Thomas - he is the cutest when you frequently remind him "now don't pee on Diego" and he says emphatically "IIII nooottttt" (if he knew to roll his eyes I bet he would).


We started out needing a few books to get the timing down right. A lot of hittin' and missin' - literally - those first few attempts.




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But by now, as you can see - we are cruising along....with numerous successes of both job #'s under his belt :) He is quite pleased to wear underwear and is indicating when he has to go. He has already learned that it is an effective bedtime stalling technique, because surely any parent trying to get their kid potty trained is not going to deny their countless "crying wolf"s would they? (ha, Pierce - I am onto you!) We are far from perfecting this - especially because it seems to be largely dependent on what our day looks like for being in or out of the house...and my energy level to be on top of it. However, I am quickly learning that he is getting the hang of it and I am going to work hard on consistency on my part. Go Pierce go!

A Hockey Mom AND A Soccer Mom!

Life is good around here. Our boys are without question....boys. They are active and full of energy and thankfully, at this point in life anyway, interested in sports! We have been spending time outside playing baseball, soccer, football.... and they have also begun this year, to be involved in extracurricular activities!

Reece has made me a hockey Mom and I am pretty excited about that. He is doing so well and the best part about it is that he really has fun. He is by far the youngest on his "team" and I guess the truth be told they aren't really "playing". Sure, they will scrimmage every now and them but really he is just learning basic skills like skating, shooting and puck handling. Reece is one of these kids who loves to learn and we smile as we watch him listen very very attentively to his coach. They just hired a new coach - and the old saying "its a small world" comes to surface again...Francis is a Canadian who went to school in Saskatchewan, close to where I grew up. So we are happy that he is being taught the Canadian game by a Canadian...even though we are in Mexico City! Check out our boy in all his gear - he looks huge out there on the ice - and is gaining skill and confidence every day. Look out NHL (ha,ha).



And Reece and Chase together have made me also a Soccer Mom. We were really thankful for this because the team formed through the boys' school - they get to play on a team with all of their friends. We are especially happy that Chase is old enough to be a part of all of this. He loves it and counts down the days waiting for Tuesdays and Thursdays (I think they may even have now surpassed "Friday" as his favorite day of the week since Fridays he is allowed to bring his favorite toy to school!). The boys run off a lot of energy and are learning important life skills too about working on a team and commitment and hard work. It is nice for our schedule that they are together. Here are some pics of Reecer and Chaser out on the field. Oh, and how could I forget. Pierce doesn't know it, but he thinks he is a part of it all too. We are getting a deal because he runs along the side lines, and occasionally out on the field if he can sneak past us, and kicks the ball like he is on the team.

I realize that these are the first formal sports experiences these boys are having, but I am amazed at how proud it makes you feel to watch your kid simply do his best and have fun.





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Something I Have Learned...

The other day I received a question from a young, single girl that before my journey as a Mom I would have totally related to. She asked me if I was "against" letting my boys play with toy guns. I simply smiled at first....remembering my personal ideas that "guns" just aren't something that I like, or feel send any kind of positive message for play. And then...I birthed boys.

So my answer to her was not what I would have said in my pre "boy" years. Rather I stated that I understood her point but that when you see your "never exposed to guns before" boys making guns out of sticks, books, or even biting their toast or apple slices into gun-like shapes and shooting each other across the breakfast table...you tend to lighten up a little and realize that it really is in their blood.

Don't worry people, my kids aren't violent and other than little water or nerf ball guns they don't have anything that resembles "real" guns...they don't need 'em - they have imaginations!

Monday, October 12, 2009


An international family like ours has more reasons to celebrate! Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and although I miss my Mom's fantastic cooking and wish I could be with all of my family today, I will reflect on the many, many things I have to be thankful for...

* my family - near and far - both immediate and distant - mine and Benjy's - thank you for being a part of my life!
* my good husband who shares the good, bad and the ugly alongside me - and is committed to our life together
* my boys - the very ones that make my life full and adventurous...I am especially thankful for their laughter and their personalities
* this pregnancy and the blessings I have to enjoy new life...that we will soon meet Hudson and be humbly amazed at the way he makes our family complete
* my friends - I have been blessed beyond measure with very good people in many places around the globe - I am grateful that in many ways the distance has not stolen friendship from us and I appreciate all of those who keep in touch
* for those around me in the same stage of life who just plain understand the joy and struggle of trying to raise good kids
* for my kids' school that has been such a good fit for our family
* for growth and trials that provide opportunity for growth
* our house church community - what a blessing to belong with so many good people who love Jesus
* our partnering congregation in Louisville, KY - we have been blessed by you for years now - thank you.
* the simple things that are too easy to take advantage of: a place to live, car to drive, food to eat, clothes to wear
* our health and safety
* for tears,emotions and reflection and how they keep us soft and open
* for memories and how they help form and shape us
* the ability to read, and write and study, and learn new things
* the opportunities to do fun things together as a family that create memories and bonding and deeper relationship
* for the past - that has lead us to today; the present - which I am working at trying to fully live in and enjoy; the future - that is so full of unknown and opportunity
* mostly for a God who gives graciously and who loves unconditionally and who has patience and understanding - that He is the giver of all the good gifts in my life...and there are many!

The list could go on and on - but I realize again today how blessed I am in so many ways. Thankfulness is a major ingredient to a peace-filled life and it NEVER hurts to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Putting A Face With A Name...

The excitement for our new baby is growing around here. Last week we took the boys along with us to see their baby bro (yes, he most definitely is still a boy!) I think I said this in an earlier post but the little guy is in breech position right now but we are praying and urging him to flip around soon! We got a pretty clear sneak peak at his little profile - looks like he belongs to us as he looks just like my boys! I shortened up the video some so that you could see his face but spare him the embarasment of having his privates shared with the blogging world. This is after all, his first public appearance. The sound is not the best but if you listen carefully you can hear the kids' excitement when they make out what they are seeing on the screen. Check him out, he is absolutely precious!

And since we, and especially the boys, have been openly sharing our name choice with people, I thought it would be cute for the big brothers to announce to you the name and the meanings of the newest of our Brednich clan (as you are about to see, there has been no rehearsal - ha,ha) The way Pierce says his name is way adorable and I just couldn't resist sharing it with you.

So Hudson John Brednich it is. What do you think?! We will likely sometimes call him Huds for short to flow with the name endings of our others boys. As the boys said in the video, "the son of a brave leader" just seems to fit appropriately as Benjy and I face the joys and challenges of leading and raising FOUR BOYS! And I strongly believe that my husband is a good, strong and brave leader of our family and I believe the name honors him. We have had the name "Grace" on our girl name list for a long time - in honor of what grace really means and also to honor my Mom (Grace is her middle name). After the loss of our two little babies to early miscarriage, we feel more than blessed with the gift of this child and choose to praise the truth that "God is gracious" and so John was selected for the significance of its meaning. John is also a family name on Benjy's side of the family....so it all just works so very nicely.

I wonder if anyone thinks as much about baby names as a Mom does when she is pregnant. It is a big job - a lot to consider and include. But I feel so happy with the names of my boys: Reece Samuel, Chase Lambert, Piersen Benjamin, and Hudson John. It has definitely been team effort between Benjy and I - and so I am just going to go ahead and give both of us a pat on our backs and say: job well done - their names are perfect!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why Downsizing Has Been Great For Us!

When we moved at the end of August into this apartment, which happens to be about half the size of our previous house, many thought we were crazy. I am sure that choosing to have a positive attitude about it has made a difference but I feel really really happy here. We are very blessed and have much to be thankful for. Here are some reasons I am thankful for our new spot to call "home": (in no particular order)

1) we have peaceful mornings.
This is the first year we have dealt with 2 different school starting times for the boys - Reece enters at 8, Chase at 9. I can see the entrance to the school out of our living room window...which means that I take a lazy stroll to drop Reece off, come back home and have some time with Chase before we walk across the street and drop him off. I have LOVED not dealing with loading up in the car, seat belts, traffic, etc.. Thinking ahead to a new baby at home makes this option even more wonderful. And can't we all use a little more peace in our mornings?!?!

2) less storage space means more organization required.
I have strangely enjoyed having to be more creative with where to place things, what to keep (and not to keep) and to try and live with a little more organization and a little less clutter.

3) no stairs.
Since I am...ummmm....rather pregnant....I can't tell you how nice it has been to have everything all on one floor. No stairs to climb - especially at the end of a long day when my little boys need a story, or a drink of water, or another tuck in - and during laundry time when all is within easy access for sorting, folding and the dreaded putting away.

4) we are spending more time together.
This is an important one. I just feel like we have spent more time together - especially reading and playing board games - because everything is stored close to where we are hanging out. In our other house we had a "play room" but it was on the top, 3rd floor and its where all of our books and games were - they weren't utilized nearly as much. I have had so much fun in this apartment playing, making puzzles, reading books. It has been a great thing for our relationships with the kids.

5) we have a nice front yard.
Mind you it is not a private yard - it is a common area for all - but it is pretty and has nice lawn and a good spot for the kids to play. There is even a nice little white bench that I can sit on as the boys play, go down their little slide, kick a ball, or....climb trees :)

6) the windows have screens on them.
This is a nice added bonus in any house but especially when you have a husband who is quite freakish about mosquitos. We have been sleeping with the cool breeze flowing through our room.

7) the boys already had friends who lived here.
Both Reece and Chase had classmates that lived in these apartments so it was a relatively easy transition as far as friends were concerned. They seem to have adjusted well.

8) I like my kitchen better.
I have better counter space and I'd have to say the oven is much better (although that didn't take much - ha!)

9) We are paying less money in rent so you just can't complain about that.

10) And last but not least....I am certain that it isn't the house that makes a home anyway!

So there ya have it. We feel more or less settled and I have liked learning that less - at first glance - is not always all that difficult.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Quick Update

I have been having internet connection issues and realized that several of the recent pictures I had posted were suddenly not showing up. I tried to fix the problem and re-posted them so let's see if they are showing up now. Thanks!

Grrrrrr....now they still aren't showing up. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A New Slant On Efficiency

Chase is 4. He likes to do things in his own sweet time. It tends to be a "button" of mine that I don't even think he pushes intentionally (well, sometimes he certainly does!) He just does things on his own time.

One of the "rules" when the boys get home from school is to change out of their school uniforms and into play clothes - as soon as they get home - before we eat lunch together. This is always frustrating to Chase.

But being the creative little boy he is, he thinks he may have solved the problem this morning. After breakfast, I sent him to the back to brush his teeth and change out of his pj's and into his school uniform. Oddly, he came out very quickly with a smile on his face. Check out the layering of his clothes - he already has his play clothes on underneath his school uniform. Should make for a quicker transition after school. What a boy! What could I say?!


A Boy & A Tree

I am learning as a Mom that boys & trees make good friends. When we moved over here, the boys were thrilled to finally have a few climbing trees - even though they aren't that big or wonderful, to them it doesn't matter....

On Sunday afternoon as we were relaxing from the post-half marathon (okay, I didn't run it but willingly took advantage of some down time!), the boys were playing outside. We hear a cry - but one of those cries of your kids that you know means something more...it just sounds different. They had been climbing trees and swinging from branches. Reece dropped down and tried to brace his fall with his arms and before you knew it we were investigating the nearest ER to visit. As you can see below, the tree wasn't that big - and the fall not that far - but I guess, leave it to boys to find a way to make anything dangerous! Thankfully, his elbow is not broken, although the doctor was sure it was. The x-ray revealed that nothing was broken, just badly sprained, so Reecer is all wrapped up for a week or so. He was a brave kid and is already figuring out how to do lots of things with one hand...he even attempted to climb that same tree (apparently they are still friends) but I put a hold on that activity for a little longer :)



13.1 Miles

On Sunday, Benjy accomplished his goal of competing in a half-marathon. We are so proud of him because although he was injured and not feeling the best, he was determined and crossed the finish line! Benj has the worst luck and seems to have many a hurdle to cross when he sets a running goal for himself. About 2 weeks before the race he injured/bruised the bottom of his foot. Although I - thinking big picture - suggested he postpone his race and heal up a bit so he wouldn't further injure himself - he looked at me and said, "I am doing this. Even if I have to walk the whole thing. I am not backing out." And so he ran it and he did well!


The boys were so excited for him to come home and hear how it went. We were all disppointed that we didn't go watch him finish but it is just one of those realities of having 3 little ones, being pregnant and not trusting that scenario alone on public transportation in this big city. So instead, we cheered from a distance. Chaser came up with the clever idea of presenting him with medals...so we went to work cheering for him, praying for his foot, and making homemade medals to hang around his neck.



Unfortunatley, when he arrived home, he was a bit too sweaty and exhausted to pose for any pictures - he wanted a shower and food! But I just want to say how proud I am of Benjy's hard work, dedication and determination. Way to go Babe!

Annual Mexico Missionary Retreat

We were so blessed to be able to attend the Mexico Missionary Retreat a few weeks ago. It is always such a great time to be renewed, rested and re-connected with great people who are working and sharing Christ in various cities throughout Mexico. This year we all met in Nuevo Vallarta and loved the beach, the pool and the place. Many thanks to Ryan and Amanda Gray for planning the retreat and to Cory and Toni Burns for connecting us with the great hotel.

Of course, the highlights were the great conversations shared between fellow missionaries (many who are old friends) but those don't make for very great pictures. Much more interesting are the kids having fun in the sun!


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I was so proud of my older two boys - who, in the past, have been...let's just say, "afraid" of the big ocean. But this time the waves were gentle and shallow and they gave "boogie boarding" a whirl. They had so so much fun - check out their smiles.





While Reece and Chase explored the ocean, Pierce stuck to safer places, spalshed in the pool and napped!



My handsome beach bums!

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One of my favorite evenings of the retreat was a family walk down the beach. Pierce was frozen with fear in the beginning but by the end was slowly gaining confidence. The boys collected sea shells and sand dollars...and sticks of course :)

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Here is a group picture of most of the MK's (missionary kids). They are a great bunch and are very good friends to my boys. We are thankful for them and their parents who work alongside us in this beautiful country. Unfortunatley we didn't get a group picture of everyone but I believe there were over 60 in attendance.

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