When Life Happens

When Life Happens

Sometimes life happens.
Sometimes life happens and its ok to admit that it’s hard.

I normally don’t write posts like the one in the picture. I know parenting is hard, and I know that YOU know that parenting is hard. MOST times social media is not the right outlet to complain. Maybe I should repeat that…

MOST TIMES, SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT THE RIGHT OUTLET TO COMPLAIN

Ok, Back to your regularly scheduled post…

As I said, I do not normally write posts like this, but the exuberant amount of unadulterated chaos happening at my house at that time was so overwhelming it was humorous! Seriously, here is the low down:

2 out of 3 of the kids were screaming
The baby was screaming to be held in between shoving amazing amounts of green beans in his mouth and promptly choking on them. (Or screaming because we wouldn’t let him shove more in) Before dinner he was screaming because he wanted dinner.
My 4 year old was throwing a fit, screaming that she is mad, running around the house (for the millionth time NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE) and asking for more food (If you know her, this makes complete sense). Before dinner she was asking for food. EVERY.KIND. OF.FOOD.EVERY.BREATH.SHE.HAD.

The oldest is trying to be overly calm because he feels the chaos in the house. With his mini-notebook in hand, he has a million questions (which he asks VERY calmly) “Mommy, how do you spell AGAIN?” Mommy, will you teach me to crochet with a hook?” “Mommy, can I have my K’NEX back?” “Mommy, can I play with this toy that has tiny, microscopic pieces while the baby is right here?”

It always starts with “Mommy” and ends with me giving him this “Are you kidding?” look while holding a screaming baby and telling (yelling over the baby) the 4 year old to STOP RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!

Oh, did I mention that EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE IS OPEN? Oh, yes, there’s that. While cooking dinner the hubby nearly smoked us out of the house. Seriously, we are talking open front door, red eyes, waving the smoke away from the fire alarm type of smoke. We were one step away from having to crawl around the house!

On top of that (oh yes! There’s more!) my husband had to leave for a meeting at the height of the chaos, smoke, screaming and dinner. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! The only thing I could muster was “Please don’t leave me!” He promised me he would be gone for not very long and would bring back some wine. SOLD!

As soon as he left, the chaos in which I had mistakenly thought had climaxed, indeed increased…three-fold (I can neither deny or confirm this relation to the amount of children in the house). About 30-minutes in, the chaos got too much for me to bear and I gave in and called the hubby to return pronto because, no. As I heard it start to ring, I noticed a ringing sound coming from the counter…

No. This is not just happening.
This is when I started writing my Captain’s…I mean Mommy’s… Log.

Mommy’s Log:

Stardate 69593.6
I have just lost communication with the co-pilot. I must now trust that he will return to the mother-ship and not abandon his crew.

Stardate 69593.7
The co-pilot has been gone for a suspiciously long time for what was supposed to be a “short excursion”. I can only assume he is acquiring provisions of wine and cookies.

Stardate 69593.8
The princess of the crew is finally in her quarters. After much convincing, a firm talking to and a lullaby, I think she has officially retired for the evening.

Stardate: 69593.8
I am growing suspicious of the youngest member of the crew. He seems out of sorts. I suspect mutiny! Or he might just need a nap.

Stardate 69593.9
The co-pilot has finally returned! There was much rejoicing until we took inventory of the acquired provisions. Mistakes were make and in this time of crisis, there is no room for error!

Stardate 69593.9
The entire crew has finally retired to their quarters for the night. The oldest of the crew was commended for his assistance and bravery in a time of crisis. I still have my suspicions about the youngest. I must keep a close watch overnight and the days to come.

and on top of that, we are out of wipes.

***These are actual stardates based on a stardate calculator from TrekGuide.com.

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Looking Back at 2014

Every year I love to take some time on New Years Eve and reflect on the year that is about to end. What were the things that were good? Bad? How did the year compare to what I expected it to be? Then my husband and I sit down and make a list of the top 10 things that happened that year. I love this little tradition! It sparks some fun conversations and memories from the past year.

I remember being quite happy to see 2013 come to an end. It was a rough year. I knew 2014 would be a good year, and it was! As I look back, 2014 was very exciting, and at the same time somewhat uneventful year.  Here are the highlights of 2014:

 

1. In February of 2014 we found out we were pregnant and that we would be a family of 5! Panic and excitement ensued! It was the roughest pregnancy yet, but we were both healthy the whole way through. I tried to enjoy being pregnant knowing it was probably going to be the last time.

baby brewing

2. In March 2014 we got Ian allergy tested and finally figured out what was making him feel so bad. Thus ending the year-and-a-half battle of trying to figure out what was bothering him and starting the crazy adventure of avoiding ALL grains (and peanuts).

Allergy bracelet

3. In April 2014 We bought Jeff a car. This was very exciting because 1) Jeff needed a car and this was exactly what he wanted, and 2) we were able to pay CASH for this car and not gain any more debt! (Dave Ramsey would be proud!) He loves that little car.

Jeffs Car

4. Sometime in the summer Jeff took on the role of worship leader at our church. It was something we both prayed about and talked about. Jeff has a passion for music and was very excited to help the church out in this way. It was a lot of work, but Jeff had a blast and I was pretty darn proud of my husband using his gifts for God’s glory.

Jeff leading worship

5. Sometime during the year (because, let’s be honest my super-memory has its limits!) I bought a domain name and started designing this website you are reading from now. I had made the leap from casual blogger to a little less casual and a little more serious blogger. It was a step I had been looking forward to for a while and was very excited when I actually took the leap. (I also gained a “web-tech”. My husband wears many hats!)

gfd logo

6. In August 2014, my parents took the kids to spend a few days with them. They had done this before, but this time was a little special because we knew it would be the last time they would take ALL the kids for a long time. Jeff and I planned a one day getaway to Inks Lake and Longhorn Caverns. No big deal, I just hiked around 2 miles of rocks and trails at 29 weeks pregnant. It was so much fun and I felt like a badass pregnant lady that day!

Hiking at Inks Lake

7. In September 2014 Jeff and I found out that we were FINALLY going to be an Aunt and Uncle! We are so excited to finally get this promotion instead of just providing the babies! We cannot be happier for my brother and sister-in-law, but let’s be honest. We are mainly happy for ourselves! Aunt Katie and Uncle Jeff have a good ring to it!

Baby Slaten

8. In October 2014 we welcomed our third child. Griffin Daniel was born on October 18. He was beautiful and a little swollen (but still cute!) I got to experience my second home birth and I couldn’t be happier with the experience and the wonderful people I was surrounded with. He has been a joy to all of us already. Both of the other kids love their baby brother and I love seeing him smile when they talk to him! I cannot wait to see all the relationships build as they all get older.

birth of Griffin

9. Also in October 2014 (just a week before Griffin was born) my husband got a promotion at work. He is now a “SENIOR Implementation Engineer” and I could not be more proud of him! He loves his job, he’s good at it, and they seem to love him too. In addition to his promotion, he was also on a team that won a programming contest at work. And he won a PS4! (I use it to watch movies, not gonna lie!)

Jeff and PS4

10. In December 2014, my whole family made the trip home to be together. When I say home, I just mean we came together. It wasn’t at the house anyone of us kids grew up in, or the town, but we all traveled to my parents’ house and had some good ol’ fashioned Christmas fun. My brother and his wife came and visited from New York where he is stationed. My sister came home from college, and Jeff and I braved a trip with all three kids. It was a wonderful time!

Family Picture

Honestly, I was sad to see 2014 end, (I can now say my baby was born LAST YEAR!) but I know 2015 is inevitable and I plan to make it great!

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Griffin’s After Birth

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

 

As Kayla and Heather helped me catch my beautiful baby boy, and I laid him on my chest for the first time, my heart was so full! I was so excited that he was here! I then noticed that he wasn’t crying, and he wasn’t all newborn pink like I remember Ian and Hazel being. Knowing that babies born in the water sometimes take a little longer to transition, I tried to not worry. I realized that he had not taken his first breath yet. (Still trying to not freak out) Griffin was obviously taking his sweet time getting adjusted to life outside the womb and making everyone nervous in the process. I started rubbing his back and Heather told me to talk to him to see if he would respond. I was getting worried. I started asking if he was ok. I can’t remember if I asked this aloud or in my head. The calmness, but prompt attentiveness of Heather and Kayla were the only reasons I was not completely flipping out. Heather asked if she could give him a breath. (Like I would have said no!) Heather gave him a breath and everyone was sweetly encouraging him to take a breath and start crying. He finally did take a his first breath and start crying. I think I started to breathe again also. The total time that went by between the time he was born and when he took that first breath was probably under a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life!

 

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

As soon as I knew everything was fine, (he still wasn’t very “newborn pink” and his face was pretty swollen and bruised, but he was fine) I remembered my mom was still in the living room! I was sad that she had not been in the room when he was born. (She was there when both Ian and Hazel were born) So I had to get her in here as soon as possible. I had someone go get her. I felt relieved when she came in and apologized for not letting her know when he was about to be born. She, being the most wonderful mother ever, said she didn’t want to get in the way and knew she would get to see him. (Yeah, I do have an awesome mom, be jealous!) I then announced that his name was Griffin Daniel! This was the fun part because no one at all knew what we were going to name the baby. Most people knew that his name would start with the letter G, but no one knew the name. So it was fun to reveal his name to everyone.

 

Newborn exam

Griffin and I stayed in the tub a while, pretty much until the water started getting cold and I was worried he was going to get cold. He was pretty swollen in the forehead and eye area, and he had a cone head too. I’m thinking it was from being squished in my pelvic bone for so long before he was born, but who knows. The move from the tub to the bed is always an interesting trip after giving birth, especially with his cord still attached, but we soon got comfortable in the bed. (On Jeff’s side of the bed, which I am still sleeping on, four weeks later!) We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, well really my midwives just let us have a little time to soak everything in and then Jeff cut the cord. I was so proud of Jeff. He does not do well with blood, but has cut the cord with each baby. Let’s just say this time was definitely the least eventful. I found that I had only torn just a little bit with this birth (I had torn more significantly with the other two) which was actually a little surprising given Griffin’s shoulder got stuck and needed a little help. Kayla would only have to put two stitches in, which she did after our herbal bath (I’ll get to that) I waited for what I felt like was forever and delivered the placenta. Heather, Kayla and I “Oooed” and “Ahhhed” over it while Jeff and my mom were totally weird-ed out by our fascination. (It’s a birth worker thing and they just didn’t understand) This was the organ my body made to grow and sustain life inside of me! That is so cool! It was also in the shape of a heart which I thought was really cool too!

 

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

 

Griffin and I started our adventure in trying to nurse. He didn’t nurse very well the first few attempts, even with the help of Kayla. I was worried this would be the start of a very difficult nursing journey. Later on in the night he seemed to get a little better and my mind was put to ease. While I was trying to nurse, I sent my mom to go get us I-HOP. Eating I-HOP after a birth is kinda my thing. I did it after I had Hazel and it was the best meal of my life. So why ruin such a great thing. The main thing I wanted was BACON! I told my mom to get me some food with bacon. When she returned she found out that I-HOP got everything right except the bacon. I kid you not! They gave us sausage instead. THREE orders of bacon and we ALL ended up with sausage! Seriously?! I was upset! I had just given birth and I wanted some bacon, dang it! It was even on the receipt as bacon! As you can tell, I am not still bitter about that! While we ate our I-HOP (minus our bacon) Kayla gave Griffin his full newborn exam. His official newborn stats were that he was 20 inches long and weighed 7lbs 2oz. He was long and skinny like his daddy. Griffin was officially the runt of our litter. He weighed 8oz less than Ian and almost a pound less than Hazel! He was so tiny compared to them, and I loved it!

 

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

 

Griffin’s birth story concludes with my favorite part of having a home birth, the herbal bath. This is where a mix if herbs and salts are brewed like tea and poured into a bath for mommy and baby to soak in. This is considered baby’s first bath and the herbs and salts are to help with the healing process for the mom. It is also a magical bonding time between mommy and baby. Griffin and I soaked for a long time. Pretty much until the bath was no longer warm. Heather was so gracious enough to take a few pictures of Griffin in the tub and I will cherish those pictures forever! Heather and Kayla stayed for maybe another hour and then left with many congratulations and “Great job Momma!”. They were truly wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth team for Griffin’s birth. Not only are they wonderful at what they do, it is obvious they love it as well.

 

This is part 3 of Griffin’s birth story. If you want to read part 1 and 2 click on the links below:
Part 1: Intro to Griffin’s Birth
Part 2:Griffin’s Birth Story

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Screen Free Week: How to Prepare

I know it’s hard to admit it as a parent, but sometimes our kids get too much screen time. I know that with the third baby on the way, its really easy to stick the kiddos in front of the TV and have some resting time on the couch.

Well, I have a challenge for myself and other moms out there. May 5-11 is Screen Free Week. This is a national (often international) event put on by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, where families, schools and other groups pledge to turn off all sorts of media for seven days and find other things to do.

To find out all the information on Screen Free Week you can go to What is Screen Free Week?

Here a small portion of what the website says about this week, ” Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when schools, families, and community groups pledge to spend seven days without entertainment screen media. Instead of watching TV, surfing the web, or playing video games, they read, play, think, create, get physically active, and spend more time with friends and family.”

So you are on board, but don’t know where to start? 
Let’s get prepared to keep the TVs, smart phones, tablets and computers off for a week and make it fun for everyone in the process!

Here are some tips on how to get prepared:

1. Decide as a family what “screen free” means

Screen free to one family might mean that they just keep the TV off all week, while other families might eliminate all sources of media. Talk about what is best for your family. Does someone need the computer for school work? Are text messages and email included or excluded. Decide as a family so everyone is on the same page.

2. Talk to your kids about what is going on.

Prepare them, let them know that this week is going to be different, but fun! Make sure they know its not a punishment. Present it like a challenge or a game if they are discouraged. Ask them how many things they can think of to do other than TV.

3. Prepare Yourself

Try and plan out your week beforehand. Try and think of some things to do. Maybe have a few coloring/activity pages already printed out when your kids start saying “I’m bored”. I will be writing a blog post about activity ideas and suggestions and will link it here when I finish it.

4. Be Reasonable

Don’t try and do too much. We ALL want to be Supermom, but the idea of this week is to show your family that there are plenty of fun things to do besides sitting and watching TV. Pick a few fun and easy things to do during the week, but be flexible (We KNOW we can do flexible, right moms?!)

5. Have Fun

This week is supposed to be fun for the whole family! Don’t stress about creating the perfect week. Take some time for yourself as well. After the kids go to bed, instead of watching TV read a favorite book or have a good conversation with your spouse.

I hope you will take the pledge to be screen free this next week!
Take The Pledge

I know we will be taking lots of pictures of our adventures (to be edited AFTER screen free week is over!) and I hope to see others pictures as well! Good luck and have fun!

God Bles,
Katie <><
gracefaithdirt@gmail.com
grace.faith.dirt on Facebook

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