July 31, 2011

Yoga for Pregnancy

I have never been into yoga.  Too much new age business for my liking. However, at the beginning of this pregnancy, Brianna tracked down this video with Ann Richmond.  I instantly fell in love with it!  Actually, the whole family became intrigued with yoga.  The girls and I started practicing together every day.  The boys frequently asked if they could join us.  Allen even did it once.  Okay, he skipped the kegels section.

This DVD contains 6 practice sessions.  One for each trimester.  One focusing on morning sickness, another for back pain, and the last with exercises for the sleep impaired.

I found all 6 sessions helpful at different times during my pregnancy but the one I was most grateful for was the session to help with sleep issues.  Sleeping was such a problem for me this entire pregnancy and I found I truly fell asleep quicker and slept deeper and longer if I practiced my yoga before I retired for the night.

Not convinced to give it a whirl?  How about this?  Last summer I injured my leg playing with the kids.  I didn't tend to it as I should have.  When this January rolled around, I still had an extremely limited range of motion in that right leg.  After just two weeks of yoga with Anne Richmond, I had regained full range with no discomfort at all.

I enjoyed my twice daily yoga sessions so much, we ordered her Post Natal video "Yoga for Mama and Baby."

Not expecting and don't plan on expecting?  Don't let that deter you.  I think these workouts are fabulous for anyone who wants a gentler approach to Yoga or someone who is new to exercise and would like to start off light.  I would also recommend this for anyone who suffers back pain or chronic illness that makes more strenuous exercise impossible.

July 30, 2011

Playtime For Winnie

Here it is almost the end of July and I am looking at 20 posts I haven't written.  So I will be playing catch with my July posts this weekend... hopefully.  It is amazing at just one month old, how many photos we have already accumulated of Winnie.  She may be our most photographed baby yet, since everyone, including Elisabeth, takes pictures of her.

Her first month, sure has been eventful for such a tiny girl.  I had to laugh as I scanned through all the pictures at how her play time with the kids pans out.

It all started the first night we brought her home.  Do you remember that nightgown Elisabeth tucked away for her?  The size 2T?  Well, I was getting her ready for bed that night and Ellie ran and got it.  Of course we put it on.  Who wants to discourage such love and sharing?  We figured she'd be swaddled anyway and it wouldn't matter.  (For the record, she wears this every time it is clean.)

So we bring her home into this loud place, dress her in this huge nightgown and then tuck her into bed.    As we all nine gathered around to say good night and pray over her, she looked up at us with this face. I think that's the moment it hit her... life will never be the same.
She has slept ever since.  You know how some people eat or turn to drinking or drugs as a defense mechanism?  Well, I think sleep is her protective mode.

The kids love to have playtime with her.  And it doesn't seem to matter whether she is awake for it or not.  They are just as thrilled if she snoozes away as when she looks at them with her toothless smile.  So long as she is there beside them.

She was with us just a few days when Ellie asked if Winnie could play in her pink pool with her.  It was very hot out so we figured no harm in dipping her toes in the water.  Ellie had a blast and Winnie slept.

And then there was the morning Ellie made a tent over the car seat for her.
She likes to join us for some Bananagrams during happy hour by the pool.
And, yes, even Charlotte the pig gets in on the play time business!
One afternoon, the girls and I had fun pressing her foot prints into plaster of paris.  And still, she never woke up.
She did wake up for a naptime snuggle with Ellie in her bed... but maybe that's because she knew Elisabeth was tired and wouldn't last too long?
But when Ellie woke up and it was time for a tea party by the pool, she went right back to sleep... but not before she commented on how very delicious the tea was!  Aunt Dawn, do you remember this tea set you gave Kaitlin for her 4th birthday?  It's on the fifth girl!
Sometimes, the two girls entertain each other while the rest of us work.  Keeping cool under the grape arbor one morning while we worked in the garden.
She wasn't even a week old before Elisabeth bedazzled her with some wrist bling.  Kaitlin made these bracelets, at Ellie's request, for them to match.
And cuddle time on Emma's bed.  Yes, they have found a white petticoat so Winnie can match them.  And the sleep cap?  It came off of a teddy bear.  Go figure, it fits perfect!
Then there was the night Elisabeth and Aedan decided to measure her to see if the doctor was right about her length.  As I brushed my teeth I heard a shout from the bedroom, "Mama, she's a cubit!"  Don't you love an eight year old that knows what a cubit is?
She is a bit like Ellie's baby doll.  Brushing the little bit of hair she has is a favorite pass time for both of them.
And changing her clothes.  Actually, all the kids get a real kick out of changing her clothes.  If I leave her with anyone else, even long enough to get dressed, I can be sure she will have a different outfit on when I come back.
This was an unusual play session.  See her eyes are actually opened!
Here's a good one.  Ellie found this box that someone had brought a meal in.  She decorated it and turned it into her house.  The next morning, she decided Winnie needed a house, too.  After digging through the recycling bin, she came up with this box.  Of course, there were pictures.  Later that day, when Brianna was at the orthodontist, they asked to see pictures of baby.  She showed them the camera and the most recent picture happened to be this one.  Dr. C., who has known us a long time and is quite a wit to boot, says,  "So that's where you get all the kids from."
And here are Elisabeth and Carmella playing Mama and baby
And Mama and baby decided to take a vacation.  The horse is Ellie's car and you can see Winnie in the back seat.  Don't you love all the stuff piled up in their trunk?  Not only are half of Carmella's clothes there, but also just about every toy in the nursery.
And then there is playtime in Brianna's room.  She even shared her bear!
Sometimes, all the kids are still doing their chores and I get to hang out with baby.  She likes to help me do my chores.  This pillow makes the perfect perch while we make the bed.
Even our littlest visitors like to hold Winnie when they come for a visit.
Okay.   So I have mentioned it has been very hot.  Winnie has trouble regulating her body temperature.  She gets overheated very easily and it is difficult to cool her off.  Likewise, she gets cold easily and it takes a number of blankets to get her warm.  So mostly, on the very hot days she and I hang out indoors while everyone else is swimming.  However, once in a while, we like her to join the family for happy hour.  To keep her just the right temperature, we put damp wash cloths on her head and feet.  She doesn't seem to mind it much, although, it does look pretty pathetic.  The boys and Ellie love to take turns rewetting the cloths for her.
This one she really likes.  Is it any surprise coming from this family that she loves music?  Sometimes in the evening Pa and her sing a few hymns while I take my shower.
And as you can see, it puts her right to sleep.
And playing baby dolls with Ellie during family Bible time.
Sometimes, she even plays with her toys in the nursery.  When she fell asleep, Ellie decided if you can't get them to stay awake, you might as well lie down and sing.  And for those who were wondering, Ellie's "songbook" happens to be the recipe book for the ice cream maker.
All the little ones like to rock her in their little rocking chair.
At least once a day, Samuel attempts to get her to notice her toys.
She really enjoys being where ever the family is.  In this case, on the top bunk for bed time stories.
And under the big poplar tree on a nice morning.
Or watching the kids swing and dig in the sand.  Well, she slept through most of that.  But she was there.
On a very hot morning, when baby couldn't go outside, the kids decided to stay inside with her.  They played princess dress up and had a tea party.  She was Sleeping Beauty in her pink leotard... which is something like a size 4T.
The other day, the kids were playing on the train.  Sam was the Pa, going to Philadelphia for work.  Ellie decided they would go along and keep him company.  They ate lunch on the train while they traveled.
We had a nice evening this week, when it wasn't too hot to go outside.  Sam asked could he hold Winnie.  They sat in the chair like this for quite some time.  After a good while he said, "This is so nice, I could stay like this forever."
Then there was a cool day this week, meaning it was only 94 degrees, when we sat under the cherry tree and played toys with Winnie.  Then she and Elisabeth had a little cuddle time.
Once in a while, a very rare while, she gets a few minutes to herself, even.  Oddly enough, she still just sleeps.
And even though she wasn't anywhere around, you can see, Ellie has been here.
But this is one of my favorites.  When we had our sonograms, it was not unusual for Winnie to be sucking her thumb.  But for the last month, she has tried and tried and couldn't seem to get that thing in her mouth. Yesterday, she found it again!  I think there is something incredibly adorable about the way she sticks it in there with all her other fingers smothering her little nose.  Notice how her little pointer finger is curved... so are her pinky fingers.  I think that is pretty adorable, too.
And that about sums up Carmella's first four weeks in Wachter world.  She eats, sleeps, and plays... which looks an awful lot like sleeping, most of the time.

July 28, 2011

Cooler (Less Hot, Anyway) Days

After some very hot days, we had a little cool down Tuesday and Wednesday.  During which time, we again confirmed most of life is about perspective.  Tuesday morning it was 81 when we were eating breakfast and we thought it was cool.

We took the opportunity to be outdoors enjoying many of our favorite activities that we had to forgo because of the extreme heat and humidity.   We read on the train, worked in the gardens, rode the zip line, mowed the lawn, took rides in the wagon, played in the sand box, played on the swings and ate our meals at the picnic table.

We spent some time yesterday just sitting under our cherry tree and playing with Winnie... well, we played and she slept.
And then she and I sat on the park bench and watched the kids swing... well, I watched and she slept.
The other night, when it was too hot to be outside, we crawled into the top bunk and read a few chapters of the Bobsey Twins.  Actually, I started out on the lower bunk and then a number of the kids climbed into the top bunk.  As I saw the boards bending above me, I decided it would be safer to collapse in a heap from the top then to be on the bottom when it went down.  Just to authenticate that I was in this mom picture that's my foot hanging over the side.  And for those who are trying to count, there were eight of us up there.
It is so neat to watch how one little thing changes all the family dynamics and routines.  For example, now that Carmella is with us, everyone gravitates to the nursery first thing in the morning to do their Bible reading.  This morning, Elisabeth climbed on my lap for a cuddle with "my sister" (that's what she calls her right now) before we went to do our morning chores.
And that is a few minutes of my week in picture for my Thursday mom's post.  Hope everyone is having a great week and keeping cool.

Until next week,


July 24, 2011

Butterfly trap

We have this beautiful butterfly bush growing beside the deck.  As its name suggest, this bush is sometimes covered with a hundred butterflies at one time.  The other morning, as I was putting my makeup on, a huge beautiful specimen landed there.  Samuel, who was looking out the door of my bedroom caught sight of it.  He asked me what it was... but I just admire them, I can't name them.  We called in the big guns, Kaitlin, who knows about all things insect and plant life.  She identified a swallowtail.  By then, with all the shouting through the house for Kaitlin to "come quick", Elisabeth and Aedan had joined Sam.  They didn't get to see that butterfly, he was long gone.  But the trio did decide to build a butterfly trap.

They started with an empty popcorn container.  

They wedged it into the bush and filled it with some blooms.  Then in went a rotting peach to attract the insects.
Our little observers then pulled up a few chairs and had a seat.  Where they stayed for the next two hours.  Just waiting and watching.  They never got anything in their trap, but they did have the fun of trying and the joy of watching butterfly after butterfly land for a drink before taking off again.

And this is something I love about home school kids.  Not only are they inventive, resourceful and creative.  They are also patient and understand that things don't always work out, but the journey of trying is half the fun.

July 23, 2011

Floating Bouquet

This is the floating bouquet Samuel, Aedan and Ellie made for me.  Isn't it beautiful?
"Make sure you all don't drop my camera in that bucket of water," is what I said just before they took this photo.

"Oops" is what they said, immediately after my beloved Cannon Elf went "splash" in the bucket.

I did about have a heart attack... not because of the camera.  That's why I have an inexpensive camera. But because of all my pictures on the card.

And, yet, amazingly enough, not only does it still work, but the card was untouched.

Just another reason to love my little blue point and shoot.

July 22, 2011

Hot Weather, A Good Sale, And A Sad Corn Story

So it's been very HOT here all week.  It's still HOT.  It will continue to be HOT!  But we aren't complaining. It's perfect for long days in the pool.  And that's where you will find us morning, noon and night.  What else is summer for?

In other news... this morning we woke up to find our corn box looking like this.  And, yes, we are complaining.
Weather was not good for corn planting this spring.  We had to plant four times before we got it to germinate.  Weather has not been good for corn growing this summer.  Too hot and too dry.  Even with watering, it has taken all summer to get one crop, never mind that we usually get two.  We were finally getting close to harvest.  We could almost taste it.
And some critters came in and trampled the whole thing.
And if that wasn't insulting enough, they stripped the ears and left the ruins behind for us to clean up.
In happier news, Lands End is having a fabulous sale so now is the week to pop over and stock up for the fall and maybe a swim suit for next summer.

For now, I'm keeping cool with peach ice cream by the pool.