Saturday, December 28, 2013


(Okay okay, so I know we JUST celebrated Christmas and I'm about a month late but stick with me while I catch us up! :) If you need a refresher about my goals for this blog, feel free to read this.) 

We spent Thanksgiving 2013 in Hastings with Brad's immediate family and Great Grandmas. Contrary to Michael's face above, we had a great day. (I'm learning that with every child added to the scenario  it becomes increasingly difficult to get a good picture)


Mama forgot her camera, but thankfully camera technology on cellular devices is pretty great these days! :) Gordon celebrated his first holiday, at 3 1/2 weeks old, and enjoyed all the cuddles and coos that were freely given him. How cute is he?! Answer: Adorable. 

Side Note: Looking back on these pictures a month later... 
I can't believe how much he's filled out!

Our daddy cooked us an equally yummy and beautiful turkey... 

...while we watched the parade and goofed off. 

I had a lot to be thankful for this year.

A God who loves me, more than I realize. 
Jesus, through whom the steadfast gospel is applied to me.  
A husband who works hard to provide for our family and values time with me. 
THREE kids who are healthy and all-around wonderful (even though their "wonderfulness" is sometimes hard to spot).
The fact that "the Church" is a global entity of people who follow Jesus and is not contained to one location.
A safe move to Michigan from Texas. 
The Lord's provision, in so many ways, as we await the sale of our Texas home. 
Our rental house in Lansing. 
A community of believers in Lansing who love Jesus and live out grace. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Transitioning to Three

I was a little worried after having Gordon that Michael, who has always been a mamma's boy would respond negatively to having a new baby held by mamma so much of the day. I have been so surprised and pleased with how Michael has responded to Gordon - he truly loves him. His favorite question for the weeks after Gordon was born was "Hug?" He wanted to hug, kiss and hold his brother all day long - it made this mamma's heart so happy!

The first week of transitioning to three kids was relatively easy, I had constant help from Brad or my mom. My goal on my first day alone with all three kids was to get ready for the day at some point (Brush hair, make up, brush teeth, get dressed) and to care for the kids. I had no other agenda - the day went pretty well (like I said in previous posts, my mom set me up for success before she left!). 

Since that first week, we have had many highs and lows. Yesterday was a definite low. Lucy was being super sensitive, Michael fussy and moody (we think he has an ear infection) and Gordon wasn't quite right. Added to the mix was a tired, congested mamma. Oh and tears - everyone had tears at one point or another.  Honestly I didn't respond well to the kids attitudes, I matched their bad moods with a worse one and had to apologize for the way I spoke to them later in the day.  We made it to nap time and I joined them in sleeping for 45 minutes. Naps were shorter than normal but we all had a snack of cookies and milk after we woke up and our afternoon outlook seemed a bit better. I gave the kids separate activities (they were still picking on each other) and we made it through the afternoon. Daddy to the rescue, Chinese delivery and a glass of wine helped the evening end well.

One of my favorite "high" moments thus far with three kids happened right as our Life Group was starting, we were all set up and ready but then Gordon decided he was hungry and Michael had a melt down. I took both boys upstairs (our house is small and two fussy boys makes it feel smaller) and gave Michael some books on my bed while I sat down to nurse Gordon. Usually looking at books quietly helps Michael calm down but this particular evening he was really upset. Lucy came in and I got to witness a super sweet sibling interaction,
L: "Michael are you still feeling upset?" 
M: (Through tears) "Yeah"
L: "Can I read you a book?"
M: "Yeah"
Lucy proceeded to "read/recite" him two or three books and Michael calmed down. 
L: "Are you feeling better now?" 
M: "Yeah" 

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Any transition comes with highs and lows. As we settle into parenting three kids and finding our new normal (what used to work just won't anymore) I'm so thankful for the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ. I keep being drawn to 2 Thessalonians 3:5 and thinking of the love that God has for me and what that love produces in me - in thought or action. How does the knowledge of how much God loves me help me better love my husband and kids? I've also been thinking about the phrase "steadfastness of Christ" - I am anything but steadfast these days, maybe that's what's drawing me to it. I'm a mess. But knowing that my Savior is steadfast in his love for me, that my salvation - bought by his blood - is steadfast, has been a calming reassurance in the midst this transition.

I've also found this verse to be a wonderful verse to pray for friends - what better request could we offer up for those we love? 

How does this verse impact your thinking today? 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1 Week

Much like I've done with our two older kids, I'm looking forward to taking monthly pictures of Gordon. To start us off, here are some shots I took when he was 1 week old - I took them right after breakfast when he happened to be awake, I wasn't sure if I'd see his little eyes again for the rest of the day! (This boy sleeps all. day. long!) 

1 Week:

  • Does a great job nursing! After working and working on getting the "perfect" latch (including some worrying, tons of un-helpful internet searching and talking to friends) we decided that Gordon was getting food, I was feeling fine and we were going to give ourselves grace and let the issue rest. "Do what works for mama and baby." was wonderful advice. :) Gordon nurses every 3 hours. 
  • Sleeps really well! Gordon has slept a few 4 hour stretches at night (What? Aren't you just days old child?!) and stays awake relatively well to eat during the day and in the middle of the night.
  • First outings: We went for a drive to get a special coffee treat for mommy and daddy (we all stayed in the car for this one) and went out to lunch at Chipotle and then walked around Horrocks (our favorite grocery store in Lansing) a few days later. :) I had pretty low expectations for our first week with a newborn in the house but Gordon has been such a good baby we've been able to do some fun things - in addition to resting a lot.
To see Lucy at one week, click here.
To see Michael at one week, click here

Friday, November 29, 2013

Of Visitors and Visiting

Gordon's first week was full of hugs and cuddles from those who love him, both from extended family and friends. 

On Monday, Brad's dad, Grandpa Wayne came with Lucy and Michael to meet Gordon in the hospital:
He had come to our house to watch the kids when we left for the hospital (the first time) on Sunday night. 

Grandpa kept the kids the rest of the day and through the night as we rested at the hospital. The kids had a ton of fun and we SO appreciated his help.

One of our pastors and his wife, Noel and Grace, came to visit us on Monday evening in the hospital. I don't have any pictures of their visit but it was so fun to hang out with them for an hour or so. 

On Tuesday, we came home and relieved Grandpa of kid-duity. He went home to work for the afternoon but he and Grandma came back that evening AND they brought us an amazing dinner!
Meeting Grandma Lori

Thursday afternoon our friends the Luthey's came to visit and meet Gordon.
Amanda and Kaiyah

Selah and Ben 

A bit later, Brad and the older kids got home from Detroit with my mom, Grammy! 
Grammy Jo meeting her Gordon :) 

The kids listening intently as Grammy read them new books after dinner. :) What a treat to have her in our Lansing house!! 

On Friday, Amy and our friend Kaleigh came to visit us after work.
Auntie Amy

On Saturday we went to Hastings to show my mom where Brad grew up and to introduce Gordon to the Great-Grandmas. :)
Great Grandma Buning 

Aunt Kris

Brad's cousin, Hanna

Grammy Jo at Grandma Lori and Grandpa Wayne's - Lucy and I counted at one point together: 1, 2, 3, 4 Grandmas all in the same room! What a treat. :) 

Great Grandma Kidder

Gordon Charles is named after Grandma Kidder's late husband, Charles Wellington Kidder. Grandma was thrilled to meet her great grandson and teared up at one point, saying how happy she was that we had named him after Grandpa. :) 

My mom was able to spend a week with us! It was so very helpful to have her around. Lucy and Michael LOVE her and it was fun for me to see mom spend time with them in person (and not over Skype!). She got to see their eccentricities, the good and bad (with a little ugly too!) and got a glimpse of what our lives look like on a day to day basis. We took a trip to the library, got to show her our favorite grocery shop, took her to our favorite lunch restaurant and took advantage of free babysitting on my birthday! :) 

Mom asked how she could be a help to me and took care of everything on my list and more - when we drove her back to the airport on Thursday all my laundry was done (washed, dried AND put away!), the floors in my house freshly vacuumed and my bathroom was clean. She set me up for success and for the next week I was able to take it easy as I figured out what our new normal was going to look like. Thanks mom! It was such a help and delight to have you!

And thanks to all our friends and family who loved us well during our first weeks with Gordon! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Going Home

In keeping with our MO, we were itching to get out of the hospital as soon as we were able. We received wonderful care while there and were very thankful for the time we were able to spend resting and getting to know Gordon without the distractions and responsibilities of home, but at the 24 hr mark, we were ready to return to our space. :) 

So we got our little-big lad all dressed 

He JUST fit into his outfit - it was almost too small! Never did I think this would be an issue for one of my children! (If you remember, Michael was swimming in his going-home outfit!)

All tucked into his seat in the car - a better response than his sister! He was disgruntled, but didn't fuss. :) 
Look at those precious cheeks!

Home sweet home! 

There was quite the welcome crew awaiting us! Dad Kidder headed back to Hastings so he could work for the afternoon and we, after Michael's fiftieth request started on the "hugs."
Such thrill. 

My boys! I can't believe I have TWO sons! 

My big helper girl. 

All three of my guys - Lucy and I are lucky gals! :) 

Gordon and I spent the afternoon (and the next day) chilling out on the couch with the heating pad on my back, working on nursing. :) We watched the live streaming simulcast of the Resurgence conference - it was a really encouraging and restful way to spend our first days at home. Brad was so so helpful, taking care of the older two kids and going above and beyond with keeping the house tidy and picked up.

My recovery after Gordon's birth was so much better than with Lucy or Michael. By Friday, after my mom arrived - I was up for lunch out at Chipotle and a trip to our favorite grocery store, although I did feel like I hit a wall after walking around the store for 15 minutes - it was humbling to admit that I needed to get back home and sit. My mom's arrival and presence for those first days of figuring out what our new normal was going to look like was so helpful... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Pictures of Gordon's visitors are coming up soon! :) 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sibling Meet and Greet

Gordon was born right as his siblings were waking up for the day. Brad headed home at about 10:30 to pick them up and bring them to meet their new brother - they were all so excited! 

Lucy's facial expression.... I love it. 

Michael was so so excited, he wanted to "hug" the baby and kept posing for pictures, "Cheese!"

I hope these three are best-buds.

I had no idea how Michael was going to respond to his new brother - he has always been a mommy's boy and hasn't liked it when I've held babies in the past. It made my already thankful heart almost explode to see how affectionate and gentle he was with Gordon. I think he'll be a great big-brother.

We are a family of 5!!!