Elisabeth Rose 1 Year Old

484864_473876542689528_1240994137_nElisabeth turned 1 year old two weeks ago.

I have a whole lot I can write about from this past month. But for today, I just want to write about Elisabeth.

 Elisabeth Rose is our 6th child. She has been in our family for 1 whole year and we already can’t imagine life without her. 

I’ve found that I am so much more laid back and less worried with 6 children than I was when we had only 2. I’ve learned quite a bit about patience over the years.

We celebrated Elisabeth’s birthday with a small party over at my Mema’s house.  We enjoyed a delicious chocolate cake. This was Elisabeth’s first taste of chocolate.

She seemed to like it, once she realized she was supposed to eat it. 

And of course, most of the fun is taking pictures of her messy face. She had cake all in her curly hair.

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Elisabeth is a little young for me to really describe her personality. I think she is a bit between Ruth and Hannah’s personalities. Ruth is quiet and precise. Hannah is jumpy and excitable. I think Elisabeth will be somewhere between those two. 

I think she may have a stubborn streak in her personality. (I wonder where she gets that from.)

She refuses to walk. She stands up by herself. She’ll even stand up and clap. But whenever we try to get her to take her first steps she drops to the floor and crawls.

She does walk holding onto her walking toy. And she’ll walk holding on to one hand. I know she could walk by herself if she wanted to but she hasn’t figured out the value in learning that skill yet. 

She has curly hair, that we all love. If she were one of our boys, those curly locks would have gotten chopped off by now. I think once her hair grows out her hair will be wavy like mine. Right now it’s a little on the unruly side. But unruly hair is cute on babies.

She has six teeth. Four on top and two on bottom. Two of her teeth came in the same week as her birthday. 

That automatically leads into the subject of weaning. I’m not in any hurry to wean her. I’m not a die-hard breastfeeder but I prefer my babies to wean themselves. Its so much less emotional stress when the process isn’t rushed. Although she has been warned that every time she bites me could be her last. She doesn’t bite me very often now. I can tell when it is just an accidental bite versus an on-purpose bite.

312206_473878232689359_2004387060_nWhat other major milestone should I mention?

She can say a few words. “Ada” means just about anything. “Ba ba” is “bye bye”. “At” is “hat”.  And “Ama” is “Amen”. Her favorite word is, “Uh Oh!” 

I’m trying to get her to say “drink” but right now she prefers to bang her mouth against me whenever she is thirsty. I’m afraid she views me as her personal vending machine. So when am I planning to wean this girl again? Hmm…

 She got quite a few fun toys for her birthday. She loves to play with them all. Whenever she plays with a push toy she “vrooms” like a car sound. I’m guessing she learned that from her brothers. 

I have learned so much from this little girl. She is a true blessing in our family’s life. 

There are still challenges. Especially at church when I want the children to be quiet. Elisabeth seems to be bent and determined to be the loudest and steal everyone’s books while she is at it. So even though this is my sixth child, I’m still learning.

How about you? What are some things you have learned from your children when they were little? If you don’t have children, what have you learned from your little nieces, nephews, or cousins? Please share with me in the comments.

I took a break from blogging last month in order to organize my home and schedule. I still plan to do less on social media. But I think I can now resume blogging at least once a week. 

There are some changes I hope to make in the next few weeks to my blog. All good changes. I even have a manifesto I am currently working on and it looks like I’ll be able to finish it soon. I’ll be writing more about that in a future post.

Thanks for following me! 

~~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~~

 

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Here For My Children

photo (1)I am linking up again at Lisa-Jo’s for another Five Minute Friday.

The rules are

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Today’s word prompt is “Here”. 

My timer is set.

GO!

Here I am with a baby in my lap. Wondering if I can have a few extra minutes for typing a little encumbered. But I won’t I’m sitting here thinking about why I am here.

I am here for a reason. There is a reason I choose to type. God gave me my beautiful family. I have many friends online and in real life.

I am happy here. I have my baby here sleeping in my arms. I like having my children here with me. Even when they try to distract or draw my attention from what I am doing here. I know they are the reason I am doing this. I remind myself of that and I stop and listen. If I am doing this for them then I can stop typing for them too.

But here in this moment I have five minutes of quiet granted to me by 5 of my 6 children and I type.

Stop

This is my second time to do Five Minute Friday. I did it in one take this time.

Now your turn. What are you doing “here”? 

Please share with us in the comments. If you participated in today’s Five Minute Friday, let me know and I’d love to check out your post.
Five Minute Friday

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How to Baby Proof Your Kitchen in 8 “Easy” Steps

You may remember a recent post I did on How to Maintain a Clean Kitchen in 6 “Easy” Steps. Well, the more mobile your youngest becomes your methods sometimes have to adjust. Especially when your oldest young’ns are away.

I now present you with my latest method of baby proofing the kitchen with less helpers.

Are you ready?

Step 1: Hold your baby out in front of you. Take a good look at her. Pay close attention to her size. Smile real big and coo before continuing on to Step 2.

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Step 2: Position your baby on your hip and hold her with one arm. Grab a broom with the other.

Step 3: Sweep a spot on the floor at least two baby lengths square. (May need 3 baby lengths if your baby is a fast crawler.)

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Step 4: Keeping broom in close reach set baby down on the floor.

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Step 5: Quick! Grab broom. Immediately start sweeping the area your baby heads toward.

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Step 6: Throw a pan lid and spoon in her path to slow her down a bit.

(WARNING: Pan lid and spoon are no match for the Cheerios clear across the floor in keeping your baby’s attention.)

20130221-233757.jpg(But having a big brother with a matching lid and spoon helps.)

Step 7: Grab dust pan. Sweep it all into dust pan before baby sees the dust pan. (Dust pans are even more attractive than Cheerios!)

Step 8: When baby gets fussy because you took all the “fun” stuff away give her a nice big carrot to teeth on.

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How about you? Do you have any great baby proofing tips you’ve learned along the way? Please share them with us in the comments.

I have so many things to write about. The hard part is deciding what to write about first. I’m also contemplating a few book ideas. Be watching for more on that.

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For those who have already joined, you may have noticed that I’ve tweaked the look of my email posts.

Let me know what you think!

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When Do I Find Time to Write?

I’ve been asked this question so many times I decided that I’d dedicate a whole blog post to answer it.

When do I find time to write?

Let’s see right now I have about 45 minutes to type with one finger on my phone while my husband drives us home from karate class.

Oops! I have to pause a moment to feed the baby while my husband runs into the store to get sandwich makings.

Okay, I’m back. Um the baby is reaching for my phone now. My husband is still in the store. It’s times like this I a……..

I just answered the question, “Why is that guy carrying trash in a buggy?” Yes, we call the shopping carts buggies.

Okay, back to writing… Where was I? Oh, yes! It’s times like this I really appreciate auto-correct.

20130124-211446.jpg The baby is now thoroughly distracted. She is laughing at her siblings that are laughing at the worker taking out the trash.

She’s not going to be happy when she gets put back in her car seat. I may or may not be able to write during this drive.

What did I tell you? See, she’s mad.
Time to make sandwiches… I’ll be right back.

Those were good sandwiches. My sweetheart went all out and bought cheese for our sandwiches.

Finally, the baby has fallen asleep I can stop patting her mouth. I only got bit once. Okay, back to writing.

Right now I’m writing about when I find time to write. Normally instead of telling you about the interruptions I write a few words about the subject I have on my mind.

I can get quite a bit said in 45 minutes or so even with distractions. I’ll need fewer distractions when I finally stop to edit this. Right now there are a lot of typos even with auto correct. I’m pretty sure I’ve repeated myself a couple of times.

My eyes are tired from looking at this bright screen in the dark. I’m going to stop for a moment. I might have a few minutes to work on this at the house.

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I’m glad I went ahead and got all the dishes washed right before running out the door for karate class. I knew I’d be too tired when we got home.

Just got the kids to bed but I’m too tired to think right now.

I only made it my goal to post two blog posts a week. I didn’t say which days they were going to be posted on. Last week I had my first post out by Tuesday or Wednesday. This week I posted my first post on Thursday. I try to be flexible though. If I made it a set day I’d probably give up.

Good morning, everyone! Yes, I’m finally up and at ’em. I woke up too late to write much this morning. However I have a few minutes right now while the kids are happily chit chatting over their breakfast. The baby is enjoying some Cheerios.

Uh oh! My baby is no longer enjoying her Cheerios. I only got one paragraph in during that break. Of course, I did check my notifications on Facebook but we don’t have to talk about that distraction. Do we?

My almost 8 year old keeps bringing the baby to me before she even cries.

I dare to hope right about now that the baby will take a mid morning nap. I still hear bowls and spoons clanking in the kitchen. I’m feeding the baby who is not cooperating on this nap idea.

Um… She’s working on a diaper. Would that be TMI (Too Much Information)? I better change that diaper.

She is wide awake.

Battery warning!!! I need to charge this phone and get myself breakfast.

Is this post almost done?

Oh, no! The baby thought her sisters’ hair bands were fruit loops. I rescued them and her.

20130125-092414.jpgI think you probably have the general idea of how I find time to write. Last year my goal was to post 1 blog a week. My husband had gotten me a tablet that helped a lot in accomplishing that goal.

This past Christmas my parents gave me a smart phone. I tell you what! That phone has sure helped me with my goal of two blog posts a week. I can type a few words here and there where ever I am at. I just save it as a draft and then I can finish writing on my computer.

Hello, Elisabeth!  I’ll be right back…

Okay, I fed Elisabeth. Picked up Joshua from his job feeding the neighbors animals. Now I’m determined to finish this post!

I used to try staying up at night after getting everyone to bed. However I kept falling asleep with my computer in my lap. Then I’d be tired all day.

I tried getting up early to write. That doesn’t seem to work too well. I prefer to read first thing in the morning. I read my Bible and then the blog updates that I follow. By the time I get all my reading done Elisabeth wakes up.

Basically I find time to write whenever I can. Sometimes I just have to tell my kids to give me a few minutes. I let them know what I am working on and that I only have a few more sentences before I’m finished with my blog. Then I write like crazy for those few minutes.

Typically, with distractions, it takes me a couple of days to get a blog written and a partial day to edit and tweak it. Depending on the topic too.

I’m almost done with this post. Right now, I’m typing with one hand while trying to feed the baby who is fighting sleep. She’ll probably fall asleep right about the time I hit “Publish”.

I know I’m not the only busy person in the world. Some of you probably have more going on than me.

Do you have a hobby? When do you find time to work on the things you enjoy? 

What did I tell you? She’s out like a light! Now that the baby is finally asleep, it’s time for me to hit “Publish” and get the rest of my kids back on task.

Now if I could just find the time to shower. 😉

 

 

 

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Little Miss Fussy’s First Tooth

Elisabeth has been a bit fussy the past few days. She seemed to get mad at the oddest things.

I thought the reason was her tummy. I started giving her some rice cereal, an occasional banana, crackers, and last night she had her first taste of avocado. Delicious!

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I know this picture doesn’t look like the face of a fussy baby.

She isn’t fussy all the time but she does want to be held constantly.

She cried the whole drive to karate class.

Okay, maybe not the entire time. She did stop crying for a moment to chew on her daddy’s knuckle. I was driving. He replaced his knuckle for a doll and she was content for a few seconds chewing on the tag.

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We arrived at karate class and she was still crying. Normally she can be distracted with a friend so I can participate.

I thought that I was prepared for her fussiness. I brought a sippy cup of water and crackers.

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Hopefully once her teeth are in she’ll be her normal cheerful self again.

Meanwhile I’ll sit here with her and enjoy the fact that her problems are so easily solved by my holding her.

Just knowing that someone that loves her is nearby makes her feel better.

Were you surprised by your baby’s fist teeth? What are some ways you have found to soothe a fussy baby?

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Reflections on 2012

Well, I wrote this last night but in my tired state of mind I didn’t hit publish. I fell asleep instead. Hmm… Maybe I should add not writing while tired to my New Year’s Goals. 

The end of another year quickly approaches. Right now I want to take a short moment and just look back at the past year. We have had so many blessings and I’ve learned so much from the things God has given us this year.

Our Newest Addition in 2012

I think one of our biggest blessings this year was the addition of Elisabeth Rose to our family in May. It almost seems that she has always been here. She just fits right into our family.

I’m so glad to have a husband and children that love our growing family. None of our children are at all upset at having another sibling. In fact they are surprised to hear when someone decides to not have any more children. They love every new baby that is added to our home. They also love each other and are each other’s best friends.

Kids and Mom at Church

Am I overwhelmed with this many children? If I am, I’m overwhelmed with love. My husband teases me that I never knew that I’d be this popular one day. I have no idea how I can love so much. Maybe it’s just practice. I have so many children to love that with each new child my love just grows even more. And as each one gets older my love for them grows with them.

I love how my 14 year old is growing into a man. Joshua is a hard worker. He loves his siblings and is so helpful. He has been showing great work ethic and has been keeping up with his education.

Our Family Picture in May

My 12 year old has grown into a beautiful young lady. Ruth, affectionately known as “Woofie” by her younger siblings, is such a good big sister. If I am busy with one child and another needs attention, she is right there with open arms ready to hold whichever little one needs holding.

Hannah is now 7 and is also growing up so fast. She was very happy the day I let her hold Elisabeth while standing.. Hannah is also our Drama queen. We are never short of laughter in our home. If there were ever a sign of life getting boring Hannah would be the first to liven the place up.

Then there is Jonathan. He turned 5 in November and just suddenly grew up right before my eyes. One moment I thought of him as a little boy and suddenly I realized he is now a big boy. He does things so grown up. He is also very inquisitive. You never know what he will ask about a given thing but you know that the question is going to be serious.

Next is Elijah. We call him Jonathan’s shadow. Which is pretty fitting since Elijah just learned about shadows this year. He loves to copy his big brother. Most everything Jonathan says is echoed by Elijah. Elijah can make some of the cutest faces too. He’ll look at us with those big brown eyes and then if you have a camera he hollers “Cheese!” while squinting.

Our newest blessing, Elisabeth came into our lives this year. I turned 35 while I was pregnant with Elisabeth. My doctor gave me the “High Risk” speech. But then she informed me that she had to give me that speech but if I preferred to be treated as a normal pregnancy that she would. I chose to have less tests done while I was pregnant with Elisabeth. I didn’t want to know if there was any problem. If there had been we would have continued to have her and love her none the less.

Elisabeth on my shoulder

I am so glad I had her too. I have had the easiest time taking care of Elisabeth. I haven’t had any serious postpartum depression. I’ve only had a few crying spells but nothing relating to the care of Elisabeth. If I hadn’t had her I would have never known how easy a baby could be to take care of. She has her fussy moments but overall she is incredibly sweet.

Our Family Picture in November

Oh! Happy New Year everyone. Ha! I was trying to beat the clock in writing this post but I didn’t make it. I’ve blogged into the New Year. I guess that’s fitting. :)

I really have learned so much this year. I look back over all my blessings. There is my God, my husband, my children, my family, my extended family, my old friends, and my new friends. I have really gone over and beyond my goals for 2012.

This past year besides having a new baby. I joined a writing course. I created a new blog with my own domain name. I started a Facebook page at https://facebook.com/rocksolidfamily. I joined twitter  and pinterest. I learned to use MailChimp and Disqus. I even wrote my first ebook.

I accomplished so much this past year without even planning to. How much more could I have accomplished if I had been more intentional about it?

I have very happy memories of this past year. There were some sad and frustrating moments. But overall it has been a very good year.

How was your year? Do you have happy or sad memories of this past year that you would like to share? 

May God bless you and your family in 2013!

 

 

 

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4 Months Old

Jonathan turned 4 months old yesterday. I wanted to post a video I took of him but dial-up would not allow it. So I decided to just post some pictures today. The first one is the only baby picture we have of Scott. I’m not sure how old he is exactly but I’m guessing he is at least 3 months maybe 4 months. I am guessing that age because of how well he is holding his head up. If he were younger, his mom would have been holding him differently. So i think that is about his age. I am also putting on here a picture of Jonathan. I thought it was neat to see their resemblances. I need to get a good baby picture of me on our computer. Sometime I’ll try to put pictures of all 6 of us at about the same age. So stay tuned for more pictures.

And as soon as I get batteries in my camera, I’ll take a better recent picture of Jonathan. The top picture was taken yesterday and the bottom picture was taken in January. Sadly I didn’t take any digital pictures in February. But I do have some film that needs to be developed. So I’ll eventually scan those pictures of our Zoo field trip onto our computer. I know everyone will be waiting in anticipation now. So I will definitely blog again soon.

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Much needed Update

It’s been a few months since I’ve written. Jonathan has now entered our lives and Scott and I have agreed we can’t imagine life without him. He is only two months old but he adds so much to our family life. I mean homeschool lessons wouldn’t be the same without the occasional “Isn’t that right Jonathan?” He just loves it when any of us talk to him. He usually returns a big smile in response.
He also loves the attention of his doting brother and sisters at least until he gets a little overwhelmed by them. Then they all say, “Oh, Oh! We’re making him mad!” then they run away from him. He usually calms down again when I pick him up.
I’m getting fairly proficient at typing one handed as well, being as the only time I really get to get on the computer is while I’m holding him.
Scott and I are very proud of our children. Every time I bring all four of them to Jonathan’s doctor’s appointment I receive compliments on how well behaved they are. The doctor told me that it is very unusual to have a room with that many children that quiet.

We are still waiting for a church to call Scott as pastor. We have been to several churches in view of a call but none have called as of yet. He is not the only preacher waiting for churches to call. We have friends who we go to church with on Wedneday’s and we ask them, “Have y’all heard from ___ church yet?”
And they say “No. How about y’all? Have y’all heard from the church y’all went to?”
“Not yet.”
So many churches say that they are praying for God to call more men to preach and yet there are men called by God waiting for churches to accept them. I don’t know what these churches are looking for. My husband has preached some really good sermons and has the salvation message in each one. He answers all their questions honestly and makes sure everyone understands the answers. He has even stated he is willing to take a part time while pastoring if needed. But he still has yet to hear from anyone. I think these churches should hear a man at least twice before assuming he’s not the one for their church. I don’t know though. Someone suggested that it could be Scott’s beard causing churches not to call him. That seems rather petty to me though. I personally like his beard and I don’t think it should matter as long as he keeps it neatly trimmed.
Scott said that a lot of churches are looking for Saul when they should be looking for a shepherd. The other preachers in our church seem to agree. I’m tired of church politics. It’s almost like preachers have to run for office in order to preach.
Anyway until God sends us to the church he wants us to be at we will continue to do our best where we’re at. I’ll continue to fulfill my purpose taking care and teaching our children and Scott will continue to work hard at his construction job and continue to organize materials for the house he intends to build for us. We will also do our best to help with any local ministries we are able to help.

Well, I must go for now I need to buy some more homeschool supplies. It’s amazing how fast pencils disappear when it’s time for writing lessons. Until next time!

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Jonathan is One Month Old!

I can’t believe I let 2 months go by without writing. Jonathan is finally here! He was born 11/4 and weighed 11 lbs. 4 oz. and was 21″ long. He is sweet and big. I was able to have him naturally and amazingly without epidural. I don’t know if I would have actually been quite as brave if I had known he was going to be that big. But I had my husband there as well as my mom and sister-in-law. It made the long labor go by a little quicker with the conversation going on in the room. I know everyone had to been incredibly tired that night staying up with me, while I was going through labor.

I actually had small contractions pretty much all day Saturday. I didn’t check in to the hospital until about 4 p.m. I was only 4 cm. dialated at that point so they told the Doctor on call and he said for me to walk around the hospital. I don’t know how many women do that but I felt I had to been a terrible sight walking around the hospital in a couple of hospital gowns. I wasn’t real crazy about it but it gave my husband something to tease me about while he escorted me. I had a good visit with my mom on the phone while I was walking around. Then I was tired and went back to the exam room and was told I was now dialated to 5 cm. So I guess walking accomplished something but I had a ways to go before I was completely dialated to 10 cm.

It was about 9 p.m. that I decided to let the doctor go ahead and break my water. He said that it would be the exact same as if I waited for my water to break on its own. The main advantage for his breaking the water is we would be sure whether their was any meconium in the water. The only real difference was that I would be having stronger labor pains sooner. He was going to leave it up to me. He was actually my doctor with my first born so I knew he was well experienced. He told me that our case was unusual for today’s practice. He said that most women do not go past their due dates. Most want to be induced or go through c-section instead of waiting. He said that it was very rare for a woman to choose to have their babies naturally without inuction and without epidural. He even gave me the option as to whether I wanted to be on IV or not to stay hydrated. Since I was not allowed to drink water but just eat ice chips I decided to have the IV keep me hydrated for the baby’s sake.

I’m not sure if I would have had an easier labor if I had just gone ahead and waited to let my water break on its own. It took about 9 hours of active labor to finally have him. I was glad when the nurse finally called the Doctor. I’m not sure which part was the hardest the nurse putting on the blue gloves to check me for dialation during a contraction or knowing that the baby could be out in just one or two more good pushes and the nurses all say “Don’t push! The Doctor’s not here yet! Breath!” I mean the baby is right there! But I am told not to push! I was begging the doctor to come soon. The Doctor finally made it and a few good pushes Jonathan was finally born.

All I could say after the relief of him being out was, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I was so happy he was out! I was thanking everyone and God for helping get this baby out of me. When they told me his weight, all I could say was “No way!” I didn’t believe I had just delivered an 11 lb. baby! I knew he was big but I never would have guessed that big. I thought the most would be 10 lbs.

Well, that is pretty much the main story! Now he is one month old. He will be having a Doctor’s appointment tomorrow. At his two week visit he had already gained his birthweight back and was 11 lb. 11 oz. and 24″ long. So he’s growing strong. He lost his umbilical cord after about 12 days.

He is a sweet baby! He can sleep about 4 hours at night now. The only problem I have is when he wakes up for his feeding getting him back to bed before falling asleep myself. I don’t get the most sound sleep when I’m holding him, but I’ll be so tired that I’m almost afraid to lay him down for fear he’ll wake back up! Ahh… I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep!

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