Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Newest Treasure

Look what's under our Christmas tree!
Judah Lee Hoffmann
Born December 22 at 2:58 p.m.
8 lbs. and 21 inches long

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Still Waiting...

No baby yet. What a trickster. He's already like his Daddy.

I'm 38 weeks as of yesterday. I went to the doctor Wednesday and I'm around 4 cm. and 90% effaced, so I am making progress. She said, "If I broke your water you would have a baby in a couple of hours." I assured her I had nowhere to be, but she said she wanted to give him another week to mature before she did that. I took that to mean that if I make it to my next appointment on Tuesday she would go ahead. I hope she knows not to tease a very pregnant woman. She also said she didn't think I was going to have time for an epidural once I really started labor because, according to her, my cervix is "like butter". I hope she's very wrong about the no epidural part...

The night before both Luke and Eli were born I drank raspberry tea, so I have always had suspicions it might have had something to do with my labor coming on. I've had rasberry tea twice in the past week and a half with no success. Does anybody else have any suggestions?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Luke's First Day of School

Luke started school last Wednesday. He has been dropped off every day without tears (excluding my own) and only minimal lip pooching. He's happy every day when he gets picked up, so that makes me not worry about the sad face when he gets dropped off.

The first day I picked him up a little girl in his class came out the door after him to give him a picture she had drawn. He just looked at her and said, "That's not mine." After I explained that she had drawn it for him and was giving it to him, she said, "It's me and you." He has his Daddy's innate charm, I guess. The ladies already love him.

He came home this week talking about the Christmas story and singing Christmas songs. He told me about Mary and Joseph, Baby Jesus, the donkey and he's been singing Jingle Bells with random words. It's been fun to hear the things he's learning.

There was one day when I had doubts about our decision to put him in school. Not that anything in particular made me worry, but I guess it's just letting go of control. Then I thought about all the wonderful people aside from my parents who have had an impact on my life and helped me become who I am. I'm grateful my parents let go enough to give those people an opportunity to help me grow, and I know this is a wonderful school and a wonderful chance for him to grow in ways that I can't provide. It's a gift. To me, to him, to Eli (he likes being an only child in the mornings, he has decided).

The face I see every day at the end of the school day

Friday, December 4, 2009

How Low Can He Go?

I'm officially 36 weeks and officially ready for the baby to make his debut. I went to the doctor Wednesday, and she was way too encouraging that I would make it another week. She was not on the same page as me. She did say that he is as low as I thought. That was confirmed yesterday when I went to the bank and a guy about my age stopped me to ask if I was having a boy. To be honest, he was a little bit thuggish, even though he had a sweet face and smile, and I was surprised he would be interested. When I said "yes" with a question in my voice, he made a motion with his hands below his belly and said, "Well, they say boys hang lower."

Mom has been making me take all kinds of pictures so she can show everyone how huge my belly is. As with the comments from the fella yesterday, I have been a good sport. You can't really tell in this picture, but my belly no longer will rest on my lap, but rather between my legs.

I'm hoping these will be the last of the belly pictures. I appreciate all prayers that have been made for baby to stay put until it's time. Would you mind revising those prayers, please? It's time. Thanks. Much appreciated.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Staycation

The thing I was most disappointed about after my doctor's appointment last week was that the boys wouldn't be able to spend Thanksgiving in Camilla. We had been talking about it and excited about it for weeks, so I wasn't sure how we were going to let them down gently. Plus, when Luke talked about going to school, he always made sure to say that he was not going to go until "after Georgia". My parents solved the dilemma and gave me, Kris and the boys an incredible Thanksgiving gift. They met us halfway Wednesday night so the boys could go spend Thanksgiving with them since I needed to stay home.

I didn't know if Luke would be willing to go without us, and I felt positive that Eli wouldn't go. Apparently I don't know my children all that well. Luke wasn't sure what he wanted to do until Eli declared without hesitation that he was going to Georgia to see Grandaddy and ride tractors. Done and done. According to my mother, neither of my children ever asked about me or Kris. And they were perfect. Hmmm...Perhaps this should become an every six months tradition. What do you say, Mom?

Kris and I both really enjoyed the quiet and slow pace. We were able to get completely ready for baby, mostly ready for Christmas and enjoy a few meals out. And I laid around a lot and just tried not to do anything that would send me into labor. They are coming home today, and I am glad. I miss being "Mama".

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Latest...

It's been a little while since the last update, but I've been waiting for things to settle.

Last week Kris and I decided that it would be a good thing for Luke to go to school. I've had him on a waiting list for a three day a week pre-school, but no luck yet. There has always been a spot available for the five day class, but I just couldn't get happy about him being away five days. Then I had a reality check about the fact that once this baby is born I won't even be able to go on a walk without help. Going to the grocery store for more than one item would be impossible. Getting out of the house in general would be difficult for a while. On top of that, Luke is bored with home by about 3:30 in the afternoon. Mornings are fine, but afternoons are no fun for anybody because he's practically coming out of his skin. So, we signed him up, and he starts on the 30th. He is very excited, and if I keep the right thought process, so am I. Eli has no idea that "Lukey" will be gone, but I don't think he's going to like it very much. All he knows right now is that HE doesn't want to go to school. When we went to visit the school, he held both my hand and my leg the entire time and kept saying, "Mama, I wanna go home. Let's go to the car. Take me home."

I am 34 weeks now. I went to the doctor last Thursday for a regular appointment. I had the midwife check me "just to be sure" since we were planning on going to Camilla for Thanksgiving. To both of our surprise, I am already dilated 2 cm. and 70% effaced. Which would be exciting except that it is really too early for this little boy to come. I'm supposed to be resting as much as possible, which means no Camilla. I went to the doctor again today, and she said I haven't changed, but he's dropped more, and I needed to stay home. I'm bummed but know it's the best thing to stay here. And, um, we really don't want to be five hours away, out of the insurance network, and have a premature baby born. Of course, since we're staying here, he won't come for another three weeks, but if we know.

I'm hoping I won't have anything to tell on the baby front for a little while, but I will share a picture. When mom came a few weeks ago we tried to get some pictures. This was one of my favorites. It definitely doesn't do the big belly justice, but it's pretty.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yummy Calzones

I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was met with rave reviews from all three boys. In my house, that's hard to accomplish.

Luke not only commented multiple times about how good it smelled while it cooked but ate his whole piece, spinach and all, and raved about it. Eli gobbled his up, too. Kris came in, and the first thing he said was, "Oh man, that looks good!" He commented at least five times about how good it was and that it was better than the Italian restaurant downtown.

And. It was easy. I love it.

I used less cheese, onion and spinach than it called for and ground sausage from the breakfast food section. You could get creative about what you put in it and even see if you could trick your kids into eating something they normally wouldn't. That's my plan anyway. We will definitely be having this again soon!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Luke's 4th Birthday Party

We celebrated Luke's birthday this past Sunday night. The firefighter idea from Halloween carried over and became the theme of the party. We had dinner, cake, presents, a bounce house and a bonfire. I wasn't responsible for the camera, so I don't have many pictures to show, but everyone had a great time. Mama came in town Friday, so she was able to help celebrate. Luke loved having both his Grandmas (and lots of other special people) there.

The birthday boy opening one of his MANY presents

This is a partial example of what our house looked like that night.
The cake after I removed all the other toys Luke had piled on topSweet love from our big four year old!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Party

Our church has an annual "Pumpkin Party" on Halloween. We've had costumes several years in a row, but this is the first time both boys were excited about wearing them. Luke remembered going to the Pumpkin Party last year, so he was really excited about going, jumping on the bounce houses and playing miniature golf. It was a fun night, and I had to drag both of them away from the putt-putt course when the only people left were the cleaning crew.

Quite possibly the cutest Superman ever.

Taking a break from saving the world. The cape was my favorite part; it made me laugh.

Practicing for his match against Tiger Woods.

If you couldn't tell, Luke was a firefighter. I was his hat and axe carrier.
A few days later when Luke was helping Eli learn how to ride a bike. I think the goggles helped Eli's concentration.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Luke is four today. Four. Four whole years have passed since my sweet firstborn entered our world. When he got up this morning (EARLY - thanks, time change. You may be excused.) I had already gone outside for a walk, and Kris called me back in because Luke wanted to tell me it was his birthday. As if I could forget. I so remember. I remember the moment I first realized I was pregnant. I remember the first time I felt him move. I remember the first time I saw his face on an ultrasound and found out that he was a boy. I remember going for a walk with Kris the morning of his birth and thinking, "Hmmm...these contractions aren't stopping." I remember that even through the pain of labor I knew I would do it all over again just to meet and love this little boy. And I have so many other little memories collecting in my head and my heart attached to becoming and being the mother of Luke.

Luke, thank you for being my big boy. Thank you for your sloppy, wet kisses and all the fantastic hugs you give. Thank you that you never hold a grudge, even when I get it so wrong with you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for telling me my eyes are beautiful and letting me know you really mean it. Thank you for always wanting me to be your playmate and friend, even in the moments when I get too busy to appreciate it.

You are a smart cookie. (At this point, you would tell me, "I'm not a cookie, Mama, I'm a boy.) You have a love for learning that pleases my academic brain. You love to work on your letters and your numbers, and you always want to know what things are and how they work. You are also an athlete, which pleases your Daddy's athletic heart. You have your Daddy's sense of humor. You make us smile and laugh all the time.

Eli adores you, do you know that? You are a fantastic big brother. The way you share, help, teach, kiss boo-boos, include and comfort him, most of the time without any prompting, blesses me. It lets me know that, while much of who you are gets shaped by me and your Daddy, who you are is born from a heart fashioned by a God who chose you before the foundation of the world and has a plan that reaches far past the hopes and plans of your parents. You are a gift to us, but you belong to Him.

Happy Birthday, my big boy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Patch 2009

We finally made it to the pumpkin patch this year, and we got lots of cute pictures. Just wanted to share a few!

I asked Luke to pick out a pumpkin that matched my belly, and he got the biggest one he could find. Just about right, I'd say.

Luke cut off my head, but he didn't do too bad of a job taking our picture.

And what kind of an outing would it be without at least one moment like this?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Disney Pictures

Day 2 at Animal Kingdom

Poor Tigger getting pummeled by some very happy kids

He was a trooper about it; he just kept smiling.

Sweaty, happy cousins!
We ate lots of snacks.
On our safari ride
Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe'
Two cute little monkeys

Okay, I know Kate had this baby because I was at the hospital when she was born, but does it not look like Daddy spit her out?

More sweaty cousins waiting for the tram home
Day ??? at Hollywood Studios (It's all a blur by this point.)
Luke at the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" playground -
Can I just tell you that if you are the least bit nervous about losing your children, DO NOT take them here! It's a maze, and they can roam for hours and never cross your path. Great fun for them, not too fun for Mama whose belly is too big to haul herself into small spaces.

And that's about all the pictures I took. Like I said, HOT and a little hectic, so I felt proud to have this many quality photos.

The Happiest Place on Earth

I can't decide if Disney should change its slogan to "The Germiest Place on Earth". Although it probably wouldn't do anything for business, it would certainly be accurate. Which is why Luke, Eli, Mama, Raeanna and I ended up with the flu at the end of our vacation. Eli and I are now on antibiotics for sinus infections, and Luke has learned a new fun trick of how to suck snot from the back of his throat. Disgusting, you say? Spend a few moments in our house, and you will be begging for someone to scratch their fingernails down a long chalkboard. The sound would be melodic in comparison.

Enough whining. Now I'm ready to show some pictures!! We had a great time, and everyone had a great attitude in spite of the heat and chaos that is inevitable with seven children ages four and under. Our two nights out with just the adults were yummy and fun. There were a couple of other nights of fun game playing and hanging out after the kids were in bed. I can't remember the last time we've all been together just to hang out like that. Maybe never? Before the first baby was born? Anyway, it was lots of fun. I'm looking forward to being able to do again one day.

First Day at Magic Kingdom