This little bundle of awesomeness is 4.5 mo old already! (I know typically you would do a 4 mo update and a 5 mo update, but since I tend to post in 4-5 mo spurts you get what you get! ;-))

Feb 22 he will be 5 mos old. He is truly the closest thing to a *perfect* (crosses fingers/knocks on wood) baby that we could hope for. He is almost constantly a bundle of smiles, and so laid back. If he cries I know something is really definitely wrong.  He is very laid back and loves to watch Alex and Kalea play. Big Bro/Big Sis LOVE him so much. They constantly ask to hold him or come up and give him kisses.

He is a super big boy. Well for me at least! At his 4 mo check he was 15.5 lb and 27″ long. He is in 6-9 mo clothes for a couple monthes now, today as I was dressing him I realized I’m about to have to go through his clothes and bring out the 12 mo stuff soon!

He loves to talk, and laugh. He started sitting on his own this week. Emphasis on starting he is definitely tripod sitting, but he likes to and likes to grab and play with Alex’s cars and trains.

On the food front its pretty boring yet. Still totally on mama’s milk  and no sign of being ready for solids anytime soon. He eats somewhere between every 2-4 hours. Except at night when he goes to bed at 8 and sleeps till 8 or 9 usually. Ahhhhh a good sleeper, how blessed I am with that. His brother STILL occasionally wakes up more often than him!

OK a couple pics of the little smiley pants, affectionately dubbed “Mica-Moo” by Kalea.

 

He is ready to be on the move!

So big!

 

Focusing all his attention on keeping his balance.

Love that smile!

 

 

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*insert obligatory apology for lack of postage here* (I have 3 kids, two and a half and under, I am chronically dis-organized with my time)

OK so you know how January is all about resolutions and February is all about forgetting about them? Well thats why Jason and I didn’t set a resolution, just goals/lifestyle change. We both felt like we needed to focus on getting healthy, and a (wonderful) consequence (is there really such a thing as a good consequence?) is losing weight. Our focus is more on getting healthy because that keeps us motivated when we don’t see much of a scale budge. So here is our change.

We are definitely more “strict” during the week and pretty much not at all on the weekends. We are humans, we really enjoy eating and we enjoy eating unhealthy foods. So if we don’t allow ourselves “looseness” we are setting ourselves up for failure. This part of our change is from the “no S diet”

We also read through the book eat right 4 your type. The theory is that different blood types respond to foods differently. Jason is type O (carnivor – He was happy to hear he should eat steaks) I am type A (a vegetarian). Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Obviously to save my cooking sanity and our budget we adapted the theory. But here are the biggest changes:

We eat a TON of more veggies (Frozen is cheaper than fresh and WAY better than canned. Walmart has great stir fry mixes for a good price, we easy go through a bag or more per meal)

We don’t eat white flour. Well, our kids will eat “normal” bread but our grains are now consist of Spelt, Brown rice, Quinoa and Ezekial Bread. These grains are low gluten or gluten free, lower in carbs, the carbs are complex and they are high in protein.

I have stopped eating meat while at home and am getting used to Tofu. I am really loving things like Hummus and lentils for protein. For snacks we have ditched the chips and cookies, and replaced with dried fruit (cranberries are especially good) and mixed nuts.

Emphasis more on making the calories count (as in being good for our bodies) than counting our calories (did you know you can lose weight by eating 1500 calories of twinkies only a day). Though we do that some too.

So what kind of progress are we seeing?

We have both lost a few pounds (Jason around 14 and myself about 8 ) and for I one feel a TON better. I feel like I have more energy, and my body just works better eating this way. Yeah we still go out for wings occasionally (human remember) but we don’t eat as many and we balance out our other meals better. So, who knows what we will look like in a year or two, but thats why this is a life change and our focus is on getting healthy, not just getting skinny. Though we sure wouldn’t complain about that!

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I can’t believe he is a month old. One month ago we welcomed Michael Zachary into our little world. He is such a treat to have in our family!!!!

Lets see what is he “up to”

Well not much he is only a month old! But growth wise – he is about 11 lb (based on the oh so scientific mommy weighing him while holding on the bathroom scale) He is definitely in 3-6 mo clothes. Once I finish up the size one diapers I have I will probably be upping to size 2! He has outgrown most of his NewBorn cloth diapers and is now into the same One Size diapers that his big sister is! (it took my other two till 2-3 mos to be able to wear the one size!) I need to move the straps on his car seat too!

He has about 2-3 looooong naps with good awake times during the day. And sleeps from 1030/11 till 4 and then wakes up about 7 or 8 at night. He does so well. Honestly sometimes (most nights) his big brother wakes up as much as he does!

He has started to smile. I know that before like 3 mos or something its supposed to be gas, but I don’t care its stinking CUTE!

On exactly his 4 week mark he started to really coo. I love hearing his little voice!

His hair has gotten a little lighter, but he is still definitely our brunette! His eyes right now are pretty blue. They are darker than Alex’s were, so I can’t tell if they will stay but I kinda hope they do!

His brother and sister absolutely adore him! Alex likes to remind me to burp him and asks to play with him. (his definition of playing and mommy’s definition aren’t necessarily the same, but we are working on it!) His carseat is right next Michael’s. Tonight Michael was fussing and I could hear Alex singing “its alright Baby Michael, you can be happy”.  To Alex his first name is Baby second name is Michael. And he always says both!

Kalea is such a mom to him. She likes to make sure he has all the blankets he needs. LOTS of blankets. She asks to hold him. and helps me know where his diapers are or get his binky. She calls him “My-My” she likes to walk up to him and say “Hi!”

I can see these three having a lot of fun and keeping mama veeeerrrry busy in the next few years!

And now for what you really want to see : the pictures of sir chubs!

Love the chubby cheeks!

Kalea playing with Michael

Alex helping Michael to swing

Meeting great-grandma Hostetler

2 weeks old

2 weeks old

At one month!

 

 

 

 

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Alex is 2 years old now. And definitely showing signs of being excited about learning. It started by him asking for crayons to color and draw ‘big semi trucks’ with the stencils I got him. I decided to try teaching him to write the Letter A. We did a couple little learning activities, and he absolutely loved it! So after Michael was born and I knew I was definitely done with working I decided to do some “real” pre-school. This has been our first week of it. I had so so so much fun doing the lesson plans for the week. The basics of what we do is an activity that has to do with the letter of the week, a learning game, a song about something the begins with the letter. (Im a little airplane, or the Ants go marching one by one… etc) and then some kind of a craft or coloring page.

Alex absolutely LOVES it! It only takes about 45-1 hour tops depending, but it helps me to give him something constructive to do. I really think he needs that. I wonder at times if part of the problems that we have with him sleeping (yeah he is 2 and we still have problems with that) is that he isn’t tiring/using his brain enough during the day. I know I am biased, but he really is a pretty smart little cookie. Already showing signs of having decent logic… its pretty scary he is too smart for his own good.

My plan is to take the same basic activities and just recycle them substituting the new letter of the week. That will give me 25weeks of fairly brainless (on my part) pre-school ideas. Ill try to share a lot of them as we go. But I do want to share what we did yesterday. It was by far Alex’s favorite.

The learning activity was going to www.starfall.com  and going through their exercises for Aa.

The song was also on that website -their short “a” sound song. He made us play it about 10 times and was doing the motions to it. I wish I had that on video!

The craft was a simple color page. (always a favorite)

And the activity: Bobbing for apples! We talked a lot about apples this week. As he was doing it he kept saying “this apple starts with ‘a’? And this one too?!!!!” I was pretty impressed he actually did get some apples! Since he is little I cut an apple into slices so he would have an easier time, it also doubled as our afternoon snack. I “bobbed” for a couple as well. Its a lot harder than it looks! I was impressed he did as well as he did!

Working on Starfall

IMG_0142 (1) <———-Click here to see a video of Alex bobbing for apples.

Our set up

 

Bobbing

 

I know its totally not centered, but I LOVE his smile here!

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So here is how our not so Little Kalea is doing she is now 16 mos old already!!!! She totally lights up this house with her smile!

She is such a little mom, very concerned that everyone has everything they need. She constantly bringing us our phones, iPods, shoes, Michael his blankets. She loves to push her baby dolls around in her stroller.

She makes the most adorable cheese grin!

Learning how to talk! Mommy and Daddy (she is a HUGE fan of daddy!) And the sweetest “Hi”. Lets see, night night, bath, bye bye, thank you, puppy, Alex, Michael (My-My) More and Milk are also very common things to hear. She knows she needs to say Please but can’t so she just looks at you and smiles real big for please.

Kalea loves to chase and play with Jasper. She gets soooooo excited when she throws the ball for fetch with him.

She is wearing 18 and 24mo clothes (Alex is still in 24 m -2T) size 5 shoes.

She is really getting into reading which I love!

Also quite the helper she has started “helping” me with the dishes.

Getting her to sleep is sooooo awesome, we rock for a few minutes then she points to her bed and says “night night”.

And she gives the sweetest kisses!

And the fun stuff – her updated pictures =)

Flying with daddy

CHEESE!

 

 

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Since my last post oh about 10 mos ago, there have been a few *minor* changes to this Ham Fam. And by minor I mean we bought a home (so there are fun renovations that have taken place) Let me tell you moving with two little ones is an adventure all itself! We are so thankful for all the help our family gave us! We made the decision for me to be a stay- at-home mom. I am sooooooo excited about being able to be home with my kiddos full time. So we are pinching our pennies even closer (Look for more money saving tips to come) =) But of course the biggest and best change has been the addition of a precious new member of the family.

In January we found out we were expecting number 3! Many may look at us like we are crazy, but we are so excited about and loving how close are kids are. My due date was September 19.  This was especially exciting because my sister-in-law was also due with their third in September, just a few days before me on September 10.  We decided (and by decided I mean I twisted Jason’s arm) to be surprised with the gender of this baby. Alex and Kalea are still young, and the seasons wouldn’t be that different so we really already had everything we needed already. No need to know =)

My pregnancy was really easy. because of that I had a feeling we were having another boy. Alex and a few others were pretty certain baby was a girl. But it went by really quickly. Until the end. Both of my other pregnancies I went early. So pretty much everyone (myself definitely included) figured I would go early again. We were thinking that my sister-in-law and I would end up going about the same time. We were ready by 35 weeks just in case. Then we waited… and waited… and waited…

37weeks came and went (I was happy about that) 38weeks comes and goes still trying to be patient…. Once I got well past 38w it was getting very mentally hard. I was showing very few signs of going into labor and 39 weeks passed by as well. Now I could have chosen to induce anytime after 39w. But, this time I was DETERMINED to have a natural labor. It is something I really really wanted with both of my others, but I gave in and ended up regretting it later.  I was definitely not ok with electively inducing unless there was a medical reason. I know that induction would decrease my chances of going through labor without pain relief and I have a few other reasons why I know that isn’t the right choice for me.

So 39 weeks passed, 40 weeks passed. *Sigh* God was definitely teaching me patience!  At 40w +3 days I went to my regular OB appointment and also a routine Non Stress Test for being passed due. Something wasn’t quite right. My doctor was very calm and reassuring and made it sound totally normal that he wanted me to head over to the hospital for a bio physical. Maybe it is normal, but we hadn’t talked about that test before so I assumed it was something that showed up on the NST. He asked if I wanted to be induced, and I told him unless there was something wrong with me or the baby  I wanted to let the baby come on his/her own. (this was about 10) After the bio-physical the nurse came and said that everything “looked great” but they heard an irregular heartbeat. It was probably nothing to worry about but that my doctor was on the phone with a specialist to make sure.

Jason and I started talking seriously about the idea of inducing. Long story short after we talked to the doctor we decided that today would be the birthday. Baby had developed a heart arrhythmia since 39w. It usually corrects after baby is born, so it didn’t really make sense to prolong the pregnancy. Baby looked great otherwise.

Now, I did NOT want to be induced. I knew that it was the right decision, I didn’t regret the decision, but it is still not what I wanted. Not how I had envisioned my perfect natural labor going. As I was getting ready in the room I sat back and cried. Man what a control freak I am. I felt like my dreams of a natural delivery were flying out the window. They started the pitocin at 12 noon. The contractions were practically laughable. I figured they would start hurting almost right away, but um… yeah totally not. I sent Jason home to grab our bags (we hadn’t been prepared for that day) and to get some lunch. The Doctor gave the go ahead for me to have a little bite to eat before labor got going. I was SOOOOOO thankful for that because I was STARVING!

After 2 hours of pit, I hadn’t progressed at all. I wasn’t surprised b/c the contractions still didnt hurt. We decided to break my water. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want that to not work and then have to have a c-section. But the doctor was confident that that wouldn’t be a problem for me. Well, yeah the contractions waaaaaay picked up after that. It wasn’t too long before I got my iPod out and started listening to my  HypnoBirthing visualizations. it was so calming for me. Between the contractions it really helped to calm and focus me. My nurse was AWESOME. She let me get out of bed. I needed to stay on the monitors, but I could sit next to the bed, after that didn’t help anymore I leaned on the bed standing, when that stopped working she helped me get on the bed  and find positions that helped to relieve some of the pain. I was NOT flat on my back until pushing after the contractions picked up! Jason was soooo awesome and encouraging. He knew how much I wanted a med free labor/delivery and he was wonderful. I had back labor, so he rubbed my back during the contractions and gave me ice chips between, I definitely could not have done it without him! The rest of labor went really quick! only 3 hours of painful labor!

When it was time to push I couldn’t stop. the problem, my doctor was in a c-section and couldn’t leave! They started calling for him, then any doctor on the floor, then any OB in the area, Jason said they were about to call for anyone who had seen an episode of Scrubs 😛 My Nurse finally looked at me and said “OK This won’t be my first delivery, if I tell you to stop you HAVE to stop because that means that the cord is wrapped.” She was so serious! Just as I was ready to really push my doctor comes FLYING into the room, he literally made it JUST in time. I am so so glad too.

Our precious baby was born with the cord wrapped around his (yes HIS I was right! and so excited!!!) neck 4 times. Yes 4!  Jason said he was very blue when born, I was glad I didn’t see that. They had to give him oxygen at first. It was scary but otherwise he was PERFECT and HUGE (for me) 9 lb 2oz and 20″ long! I had some fairly serious bleeding from delivering such big baby so quickly, but otherwise everything was great!

And so here is the newest addition to our famliy:

Michael Zachary Hamsher (Gift of God, God has Remembered) His names meaning really fit him! Looking back so much could have gone wrong, but God was in total control and gave us this sweet gift!

Sorry this was so long I promise they wont all be so long! =)

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