Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 years of bear


Happy Birthday!  The day you had been waiting 364 days for is here!  Daddy and I love this day almost as much as you do son. For today we celebrate you, and you are worthy of much celebration.

You are so dynamic,  bear. Every single aspect of your life is deeply felt. We love this about you. It makes you an awesome storyteller, an incredible defender/protector big brother,  and an enthusiastic receiver of gifts.  Seeing your devastation (because everything is either super wonderful or tragically terrible) breaks our hearts, but witnessing your joy fills us with gladness.

You are really doing great at school.  Last week you decided not to go, and I literally dragged you from the suburban to the building while you fought mw. Once inside the door, the principal blocked your escape.  Never did you stop smiling, or fighting.  Max walked calmly in ahead of you. Mrs. Pitcher pulled me aside when I picked you up and told me that she asked you what was making your time at school so bad and you replied "sitting".  Even though you don't love school, you are so smart and you work hard.  We are proud of your efforts and happy reports at the end of the day.

This year you are also playing soccer again. Oh we sure love watching you in action.  Your first game this year you scored at least 15 goals. I stopped counting because wow. You are so driven and work  crazy hard. You hate watching max. There is whining and pleading and so much boredom. ( I think you may be a bit jealous to not be on that team with your bro and clay)

You have such a beautiful heart for people.  You are quite concerned with grandma lyn's health.  You despise when molly is crying. (Mom! Take care of molly! ) the troubles others face move you. Even when kids move their clip at school you either defend them or are worried that they showed no remorse.  I am so excited to see how God uses this for his kingdom. Your sweet heart and bold spirit are such a strong combination for a warrior for the weak.

We celebrated your day with donuts with daddy first thing. I had blown up balloons so they filled the hallway outside of your room and that delighted you lots.  At school you handed out these plastic leap frogs tied with ribbon and stickers. (Non food birthday treats this year required :/). You loved gifting these to your friends!   When you came home, we opened up some cool Legos and a great loader from mr. Wayne. Dad took max to soccer and you and I labored over the Legos. After a supper of lasagna (homemade per your request), you opened up the rest of your gifts (stuffed eagle, little chair, and skateboard). You entertained us all with your sweet moves on your new wheels.

Setting aside the day to love and celebrate you is so much fun. You make every one of our days special and exciting. We pray for God to continue to equip us to parent you in a way that harnesses your passion to bring Him glory and teaches you to find the blessings in all circumstances.  We love you so bear bear.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The beach

Today began gray. The forecast was for lots of hot, but the beginning was drab and dreary and rather demanding. Ayla jo assisted me in the making of zuchinni bread (the boys fave). Good news: we produced an amazing loaf. Bad news: we produced a disaster in the kitchen/dining room that somehow became fruitful and multiplied as we Meiste's are known to do.

I watched the radar like a hawk. Between the radar obsessing, picking up of bread making,  playing pet store with blue (who by the way has some bargains right now on dogs), and pulling various wrappers, cards,  and sharp items the cute little baby Molly mouth, it was hard to be productive.  So after some mac and cheese for lunch,  there was a break in the clouds that only  meant one thing in my mind: beach.

After hastily grabbing a suit for ayla,  I suggested she pack a few things while I raided the laundry (I am not telling whether it was the clean or dirty pile) for some towels. Suddenly the slow sluggish morning gave way to a speedy, sparkling afternoon.
During the drive, the guilt set in.  I felt bad for getting an afternoon at the beach without my boys.  To make it worse, they were all either slaving away at school,  or supporting this beach outing by working.  Then I really just missed having my sons along.  Then I thought of the state I left the house in ... not good. Then I recognized we were well on our way, no turning back now baby!

Oh am I thankful we went.  The waves were huge! Crashing all my worries and sadness with their beautiful power! The sun was shinning bright, reflecting off the water and dazzling us with its shimmer! The water was cold and refreshing us after the monotony of laundry and wiping of the table and picking up the tractors. The air felt cleaned after the rain. The beach is like balm to my soul.

I could feel myself smiling the entire time, letting the sun warm the corners of my heart cold from missing my boys.

Ayla jo got right to work collecting stones and other treasures that washed up on shore. There was a man using his metal detector in hopes of discovery as well and he had a discard pile of objects he didn't desire to keep so blue happily rediscovered his junk.

Despite continued chewing and drooling, no teeth have popped through for molly. I am thinking the abrasive sand and teething toy combo had to make some progress. 

Lucky for me, cupcake is always willing to take a break from her running to smile for a pic.  In other news, after the inaugural soccer Saturday, Brad and I decided that though ayla jo is really fast,  maybe she is more of a gymnast/dancer type than hand eye ball coordination sports.

Molls thrives here; with the senses on high alert. Love the chub. 

So grateful for a God who meets us here. 

5 on Friday

We made it! The first week of school successfully completed!  I so tired! Here are my top 5 faves from the week:

The boys first week of school culminated in me working tonight. So day after day after day after day of me roaming the house missing the boys turned into a night of me roaming teermans attempting helpfulness to the customers while still missing my boys, and now really missing my girls too!  Now that I am home and the adorables are all snuggled in bed I am again reminded that this is the sweetest place.

LaCroix water
  So random. But this sparkling water? So yum. And refreshing!  And exciting with the bubbles.  Plus a splash of flavor! Why haven't I ever had this before? Love. It.

Air conditioning
The air was so humid today/tonight it felt oppressive. Work would have been misery without a/c. Trust me. I drove the sad and  broken Tahoe to work so Brad would have at home the reliable vehicle in case of an emergency with the babes and not only was their extreme bad smells, but there was no air. And the rain was coming down in torrents. So I had to breathe through my mouth and sweat it out to work. #firstworldproblems

Yea or no
Bear has recently adopted this phrase as his main method of communication.  He will ask a question and immediately demand a yes or no response. Example: mommy? Mom, mom. Are we going to see someone today? Yes or no? Yea? Or no? It's hilarious and not rude really,  just expectant.

So we went to this tractor show this weekend and allowed the adorables to each bring $2 of their own money for the flea market. It is so entertaining to watch them choose.  This particular market has a lot of... well, crap. But that doesn't stop my babes from wanting some!   While the other two immediately wanted to spend their money on anything and everything,  max was so careful. He wanted to walk the whole thing first then go back and find this one particular vendor with nascar cars including souvenir hoods. Even though the car is probably already lost, I thought his international and contemplative spending to be so darling.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Us girls

Day 2 of school.

Super attitudes from the boys, though my tummy still somersaulted a bit. Wes was especially excited to inform mrs pitcher that daddy punches him. (Bear is referring to last night's bedtime during which Brad tickled him, only weston is well aware that using the word punch may get more reaction than tickle. .. stay tuned for any child protection services communication)

My fave part of school is the girl time. While we fiercely miss the boys,  I adore bonding as just us girls.  Ever since baby Molly was born, ( ps- we had our baby 7 months ago!  It's a girl! it's so busy!) I have felt a constant need to really pour into ayla jo.  Pre molls,  we were beyond close as the only girls and because she was my baby.  Now there's another princess and aylaroo has been bumped to middle. And, babies are crazy high maintenance.

Sweet little ayla has been absolutely amazing with the introduction of baby sis. Blue cheers Molly up with loud yet somehow entertaining babytalk. Ayla jo helps out by telling me that Molly needs me,  and interacts so darling with her sissy.  Whenever ayla has to wait for something until I get molls settled she does so with little complaint. But it's different.  I don't typically get to just snuggle with just blue anymore at night. Ayla has depended a lot more on Brad than she used to, which is so precious, but also confusing for her. The other day Brad and I were like teasing roo roo about who loves her more and when I said mommy loves you so much she said I love you too mom, but I love daddy more.  Ouch

Having molly is such a blessing and I am so excited for the girls relationship because my sisters are my besties and I pray my girls get that fabulous sister benefit. Living your childhood with a sister to share it with builds such a foundation for a friendship so deep with beauty and love. So, anyway,  so glad Molly and ayla have each other.  At this point, however,  the relationship is sorta one sided. Ayla works hard and baby responds.

But now I have this beautiful opportunity to spend time with my oldest cupcake and reestablish our connection while the brothers are off at school.  My oldest daughter and I have a lot in common: we both become very close friends with anyone who will listen as we divulge intimate details about ourselves, we both have a flair for the dramatic,  we both really like mirrors and talking.  Most of our time together I spend giggling at her or with her due to the extreme hilarity of watching oneself as a child.

There are also some significant differences.  Ayla jo just loves ponies. She is not afraid of nature (other than bees or insects of any kind), she loves chasing down the kittens with the boys. Her best friend is currently a husky stuffed animal.

The past few days have been treasures for me. While the boys are constantly remembered and spoken of, us girls are grateful for our time. We have been able to spend some incredible moments in the hot tub as ayla pretends to be a dolphin named swimmy and proceeds to splash most of the water in my eyes while performing jubilant tricks. We have done a little birthday shopping for bear bear at target where ayla made friends with the checkout lady telling her age, the names of her siblings,  what she wants for her birthday next august, what she wants for a snack right now, etc. And cabelas where aylaroo laid on the floor crying because she did not get another wolf. We have taken a special girls bike ride with the burley during which ayla quoted from the movie shark tale the I like big butts song until I finally got across to her that the song was inappropriate and we would not watch sharks tale again if she kept singing so she therefore changed the lyrics to I like big mama's. At this point I was sweating so profusely and so extremely out of breath I just let it go and made a mental note to use Pandora next time we I rode the burley so she does not feel the need singing songs about my size.

We have played a letter recognition game and what ayla lacked in knowledge (my we have some work ahead of us during preschool), she made up for in enthusiasm.  And we have logged several hours of pony play. This last episode,  she even played the role of a daughter unicorn (named horse horse horn horn) learning to jump over the lineup of baby ponies. I consider this progress from yesterday's episode starring ayla as daddy pony (papa) hunting for dinner. (The menu consisted of the boys toy deer and the older, worn ponies purchased from garage sales)

I sometimes looked back on being a mama to just two in vague wonderment at how little I had to do compared to my current load of 4 adorables. These past days have reminded me that the busyness is the same. And different. And exhausting. And awesome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to school

Dear Sons

This morning I gently woke you with excited whispers of " happy 1st day of school! " you both smiled before even waking completely.  Already grieving our lazy summer morns, I immediately began your chosen breakfast: mini microwave pancakes.

Bear, you were lightening fast, at the table immediately chatting about the enormity of your planes light up backpack crammed with school supplies and the new shoes you insisted we purchase from costco because your preschool pair were " tight".  You scarfed down your pancakes and said yes to every lunch suggestion I made.  You were so excited.

Max, you eventually,  calmly made your way to the table. I think you were a bit nervous,  you asked for only 3 tiny pancakes.  You knew the drill and went from task to task of getting ready diligently. You carefully selected only a few lunch options and moved the fastest when you ran upstairs to get the egg lunch cooler daddy won for you at a golf outing. You explained to wes about lockers and leaving indoor shoes at school.  You wondered about the new students and lamented not having Dakota back in your class.  When filling out a questionnaire about second grade last night, you said your closest friends were "everyone".

Dad arrived home to accompany us to sandyview.  After he got over the shock of what "on schedule" means to me, he quickly jumped in the preparations, finding ice packs for lunches and matching shoes. We piled into the burbs and daddy drove us the short distance to school. On the way I prayed over your days. That you would feel jesus' presence and bring him glory. We were early, don't get so used to the earliness, without dad's support we tend toward the tardy. We all got out, except molls, to walk you to the door. Smiles abounded as you remembered the mommy loves me and Jesus is in my heart farewell.

Daddy and I stood outside watching you through the window. I desperately tried to come up with small talk with Mrs geukes in order to have a reason to stay. The time came to release you boys into the building and away you went, waving, smiling, anticipating. My heart both danced at how independent and confident you boys are,  and broke at surrendering two of my greatest loves into the care of sandyview.

The walk back to the burbs brought tears from mama and smiles from dad. We are both so proud and so adore you precious boys.  You boys make my life so fun. I missed patting your cute heads  as I passed you today. I missed your sweet and entertaining commentary on life. I missed you. But I am so incredibly grateful for your ability to go to school. And for sandyview,  an awesome school filled with amazing staff and students.

Daddy prayed again when we got home because I was a little weepy without my handsomes.

Finally,  3:30 rolled around and I happily loaded up the sisters to retrieve you. We were so excited.  Ayla jo dragged me right inside the lobby to try to get a peek at you waiting in line. We saw you both waiting patiently with smiles. You ran my way when e leased and I hugged you both close as I rapidly shouted questions. How was your day?  Was it fun? Who did you play with? Do you love your teachers?

Max, you answered calmly with yes or good. Bear, you had a fun day. Mrs pitcher wore a dress. He made me something that will make me cry. It's for dad to. Remember kissing hand?  He read that and he helped lots of kids cut out their hearts. You saw each other on the playground,  but chose other kids to play with.  You both anticipate a wonderful year.

 Great job today sons. Daddy and I love you deeply.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Nothing makes a mama feel as powerless as when a baby is sick.  I experienced this helplessness most recently when baby molly was only 8 weeks old. Molls is so blessed to have 3 amazing older siblings.   Sometimes,  those sibs share more than just smiles with the baby girl. A cold had been working its way through the ranks of adorables,  so I was not surprised when Molly started to get some symptoms. She would wake with a some congestion,  and fuss more than usual.  My mama radar was on high alert for worsening of her first cold.

After dropping max off at school one morning, I returned home and really investigated something that was bothering me all morn. Molly has been a bit noisy from the beginning,  always grunting and making those sweet baby noises. But these grunts occurred on every exhale... that was enough to make me gather up the smallest 3 and head to the walk in clinic.

The drs carefully listened to Molly's lungs and heard some crackling. They sent us to the er where the dr there did not seem as concerned,  cautioning me that these viruses can worsen very quickly in babies so itty bitty.  The remainder of that day and night passed in a haze of worry and continuous attention to Molly's breathing.  By 5 am, I was ready to take her back in, even tho she had an appt for later that day.  I called the on call nurse, who recommended I call 911 for an ambulance due to Molly's labored breathing.

I rushed her to the er where we were admitted to the hospital in order to monitor Molly's oxygen levels.  We were very well cared for. The breathing treatments improved Molly's ability to breathe, and the pneumonia in her lungs eventually cleared. Her rsv resolved. Her story has a happy ending.

But for those days and nights my baby girl was so ill, i was sick as well.  Watching her chest retract with each breath deeply pained my own chest as my heart broke. Seeing the oxygen taped to her sweet baby cheeks made tears spill over my mine.  Hearing Molly struggle to breathe, I added my prayers to the noise.  There lay my precious girl, and I could do nothing to help her.

We are so thankful the lord healed her so completely.  where our power is very limited, Jesus has unending ability.  To heal. To equip. To provide peace.

Every day the leegwaters live with a keen awareness of their dependence on our faithful god. Elliot,  born next door to ayla jo at Zealand community hospital almost 4 years ago, battles daily to stay healthy. Elliot has cystic fibrosis,  an inherited chronic disease affecting elliots lungs and digestive system. Jeff and Marcie,  Elliott's parents, do all they can to keep Elliot healthy; breathing treatments,  enzymes before each meal, precautions against germs, and strict adherence to the use of a percussive vest that works out the extra phlegm in Elliot's lungs. I so admire their amazing organization and beautiful faith.

Let's support the leegwaters with what is in our power to do: support the cf foundation.  Already in elliot's lifetime, the life expectancy for people with CF has increased 4 years to 41. The cf foundation is making incredible breakthroughs in treatments.  Currently in clinical trials is a drug that will help elliot fight CF at cellular level.

If it is in your power to financially support the CF foundation,  please join the great strides fundraiser with your donation by clicking through to this page


The power of prayer is undeniable.  Please join me in praying for a cure, continued health for Elliot,  and peace and strength for jeff and marcie leegwater.  For His is the kingdom, and power, and glory forever! AMEN

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

waiting on baby

Here we are: 39 weeks  pregnant.

this is 37 wks actually,  the belly is way more bulging

I feel so absolutely crammed with emotions and baby these days.

During these final days and weeks of growing this absolutely precious life, memories flood my mind of meeting my older adorables. The beautiful moment of first setting my eyes on the little life that's been residing in my womb for such a long time creates such an overwhelming desire to cuddle with this new one. The typical discomfort accompanying the final stretch of pregnancy only adds to my sense of eagerness. Tonight, iam striving to savor while longing for deliverance.

Ann voskamp offered some insights into the beauty of experiencing late pregnancy alongside mary. As I longed for comfort from my distended belly, i recognized that being a dwelling place for my unborn baby is much like surrendering myself to be a dwelling place for the lord. my thoughts are consumed, my actions influenced by this overwhelming presence.  Waiting for deliverance as my due date approaches.

With less than a week to my due date, I am awfully impatient.  My body is weary. It has been stretched and stuffed and kicked and used in to provide sustenance for a baby four times and hasthat feels like too many.  my hips are stretched to make room, making me super sore ans wildy waddley. My ribs are aching and spread. My appetite is lost, my patience gone.

I feel my short temper with the adorables, their whines for attention drain me. Last night bear told me he was so disappointed in me and that I was breaking his heart because I told him he may not sleep over at grandma's unless he demonstrates a good attitude and obedience.  His tantrum left me weepy though of course today he recalls nothing and slays me with his sweetness in helping me with lifting the heavy milks at aldi. Added to the guilt of my current parenting skills, I just ran over kitty power without even knowing. Looks like her 9 lives were spent.

Tuesday evening I went to bed with contractions every 3 minutes. I spent the night timing, growing anxious and more excited as they continued.  Brad woke around 3 and found me recently out of the hot tub, contracting regularly.  We excitedly discussed if this could be the day as I determined not to have any false alarms, but promising to give myself enough time to get the full dosage of group b strep antibiotics.  After walking, and delivering boys to school, and squatting, and resting, and picking bear up, and making lunch I finally called the dr to get her advice. Consistent contractions, beyond eager mama, group b strep,not super painful. What to do? Come in she said!

So we did. Recalling the speed in which Weston was born, dilated from a 6 to holding my newborn in 20 mins, I packed the adorables for grandma's and away we went.

We only stayed away for a couple hours. Tho the monitor picked up on good, consistent contractions,  I had not progressed. So they sent us home.  Despite my pleases and continued stating of the facts.

I'm not coping very well. Typically,  I would not describe myself as prideful,  but this has left me feeling humiliated. This is my fourth time, how could I make such an inexperienced mistake?  I'm certain the nurses are still laughing about that loony mom. connie, my nurse, was nothing but sweet and gracious and a real advocate for us. She told me to take a sleeping pill and come back in the morning wink, wink. Her shift began again at 8, and she remembered me from delivering ayla and told me sI had a sweet nature. Unfortunately,  I only am acting and feeling sour.

Nothing is wrong. Baby and I are fine. Yet, I am acting a brat because I don't think its fair to be this pregnant with my 4th kid. Don't I deserve to go early this time? My expectations are not being met. God is not doing what I am asking of him in the exact way I am asking. Yes, I see the spoiled child whining at her daddy, refusing to accept that he truly does know best and have my best interest and that of my newbie at heart.  I don't like this person I am. This jesus user rather than basking in gratefulness for all the blessings the lord has swaddled me in as I hope to soon swaddle my newborn.

Thankful today for:
The blessing of hearing baby's strong heartbeat for over an hour last night as a reminder of what the sweet little life we get at the end of all this.

Another night snuggled with my fave 5, enjoying the last suppers as a fam of five

The love and anticipation shown us by friends and fam looking for news.

Brads attentive questions,  triying to understand my hormonally imbalanced thoughts and feelings.

Baby's active kicks and swirls and punches and crunches and hiccups.

Please lord, give me the grace toc endure this time waiting on baby.