When I tell people that I'm expect our 4th child, in 4 years, the typical response I get is "You are crazy!" I don't think they mean I need to be committed or anything like, though give me a few months and I might! I think most people have a hard time imagining having 4 little ones in your house, ages 4 and under, and grasping how you raise them without total and complete chaos. I didn't say there wasn't any chaos, but not total and complete. I decided to start the blog as kind of a window into my world, the funny quirks, daily struggles, and the plain nuttiness of being a stay at home mom of 4 kids!
I suppose I should start with an introduction of myself and my family so you can get to know who your reading about better. As other characters pop up, you'll get the scoop on them!
First, there is me, Jill. I am 26 years old, but if you ask me, I'll never admit it and firmly answer that I'm 25 + 1 or celebrating the 1st anniversary of my 25th birthday! I am the momma bear of the house, and the one that keeps everything in order, er as much order as I can. I'm pretty sarcastic and you'll probably find that throughout these blogs. I also try to throw humor in as much as possible, unless it's a really bad day. Currently, I am 38 weeks pregnant, with exactly 1 week to go until my c-section and the delivery of #4. Kind of in crazy, last minute, get everything together mode, on top of Christmas, and all the daily things. I'm so ready to be done being pregnant, because of bodily pain, miserableness, all of the above typical pregnant lady complaints. Honestly, I can handle the kids, its the pregnancy thing that kills me the most! I'm really not to worried about the addition of another child, because after you have 3, you tend think, "Eh, What's one more." We'll soon find out!
Next is my rock, the love of my life, the man I couldn't live without, my husband Nate or Nathan. I switch on what I call him depend on the mood (Nathan Allen when he's in trouble!). He is also 26 and the great man that decided about 4 1/2 years ago to marry me, at the time we were pregnant with our first. We've been together 6 years and have been very connected from the start. It helps when we're both yelling at the kids in unison when we don't even know for sure what the other was going to yell. He is a very hard working man! To help finance our 4 little ones, he works 2 jobs, day job being at an electrical equipment manufacturer and all the rest of the time on his family dairy farm. He dreams of the day he can quit the first job and just do the farm, but alas the price of insurance is a big motivator to keep the first one! He's also always wanted lots of kids, 10 being his original number but had to settle for 4 when I said I wasn't having more than that. He now agrees that 4 is plenty! He's got big aspirations of little dairy farm hands for our kids. I'm not totally on board for that, I think they need to enjoy their childhood and then worry about work. He's as thrilled as any daddy could be expecting the arrival of his 4th and final seed. A little sad this is his last, but at the same time relieved. Also a little jumpy of every ache and pain of his wife, wanting to rush her to the hospital at a moments notice! My knight in shining (cow manure covered) armor!
Then is our oldest, Abigale or as she is most often called, Abby. She just turned 4 December 9th. She is very much the big sister and takes on the roll of little mommy a bit too much. At the same time, I don't know what I'd do without her help! She is such a sweet heart and will go hug her siblings before she'd even think about hitting or picking on them. She started preschool back in August and as her teacher put it, "At 3 years old, shes just as smart if not smarter than the 4 and 5 year olds." She's always asked questions about everything, wanted everything explained to her, and soaks up everything around her. She is the true meaning of a child that is a sponge and I can see her going very far with how smart she is! She really is a joy in my world!
After Abby, came our 2nd daughter, Emma or Emma Jan. She turned 2 back on September 22nd. That puts her and Abby at about 21 months apart, our biggest gap. Emma is a very opinionated, very independent, and very free thinking little girl. In other words, she doesn't like listening to her parents if she doesn't have to. Her teen years worry me a bit, because of how she is at 2. And yes, we are starting to crash into the terrible 2's which end up in lots of fits and power struggles. She does have her sweet side too, and loves to come up and snuggle with you, on her terms. Unfortunately she picks on her big sister more than the other way around. She is a good girl for the most part and can't wait for the new baby to come. I think this time around I'll have a little mommy, since she was too small last time. Also, our big challenge that will be soon to hit is potty training.
And when we were least expecting it, we got our little boy, Jacob or Jake. Him and Emma are 14 months apart. That was a little bit of bad birth control planning on mom and dad. At least we have our son! We were so overjoyed to finally get a boy, until he grew and grew and grew. You learn a lot about the difference between boys and girls early on. Jake turned 1 on December 11th, 2 days after his big sister's birthday, and already I'm thinking if anything, he'll be the one to send me to the nut house! He was walking by his first birthday, he is very much the explorer and gets into EVERYTHING. He doesn't like being told "No," doesn't really pay attention to any discipline unless it's from daddy, and is a brute that muscles over his big sisters already. I know the girls were never like this, so this boy thing is a new experience for me! But, at least he is a sweet boy when he wants to be. He'll come up and give you hugs and kisses out of no where. He truly is a momma's boy too, when he's tired or upset. Otherwise he'd rather have male bonding, especially with his daddy. It will be interesting to see what this next year will bring with our boy, since the first year has been an experience already!
Just when we thought we were done, and literally my husband had went in and had a vasectomy, our biggest surprise came in May 2008, when a pregnancy test came up "Pregnant." We were pretty astounded at the news, but figured some greater power thought we needed 4 when we tried to stop at 3. Ultrasound scans confirmed my due date at January 6th, but with all of my pregnancies, we knew this one would be coming early for one reason or another. Having 2 previous c-sections (Emma and Jacob), I didn't get a choice for any other exit, which is fine by me. Nate and I agreed we'd like to have it this year for tax purposes, and sooner relief for me. My c-section date is set up at December 30th, 2008, 9:00 a.m. cst the baby should be here! I'm ready to have this baby now between all the aches, pains and everything that goes with pregnancy, but the doctors want to wait as long as they can, unless I go into labor on my own. That's doubtful, since I haven't done that yet! I was hoping to go into labor by yesterday, but at this point, I want it to wait it out until after Christmas. Our 3 little ones at home are really looking forward to Christmas this year, and I want to be there for it! If you haven't noticed, I keep refering to this baby as "it." It wouldn't show us what it was at my ultrasound. I've since had another, but decided to just let it be a surprise since we have boy and girl things! Our biggest struggle has been the boy name. Girl name all along has been Catelyn Louise, but the boy name finally being Joshua Clarence. Nate has had a hard time committing to one. I'm actually having strong feelings that this one is going to be a boy, but at the same time, this baby has left me the most confused of my 4. However I have correctly predicted the sex of all of them so far, we'll see if I'm 4 for 4. And if you noticed by the dates, Jacob and this baby will be a little over 12 months apart.
Now by no means am I a parenting expert. And I may do things that some of you disagree with. But I just figured this could be a place where people can see what life is like with 4 young kids. I do things the best way I know how and with all parenting, it's a lot of trial and error. I'm just hoping to provide a good reading experience for everyone, while at the same time, saving and sharing memories, venting frustrations, and of course, showing off my kids! Thank you!