Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I had a fun weekend planned, complete with The Handel's Messiah, 4-H Project Meetings (Horticulture, Sewing and Shooting), 
Wreath Making
 Archery Fund Raiser, Community Chili Feed, Lynden Lighted Parade, and Hay Ride and Caroling with our Church!
I invited my Momm, and niece, Sarah, to join us for the festivities.
Some like to do it without assistance.
We didn't actually make The Messiah (the one thing I really wanted to do). We opted for homemade pizza and Christmas movie night instead. It was probably the best choice. The children had to be up early for Project Meetings. 
We all had a fantastic time, made messes and memories, played Playmobile, read books, and spent time together. 

Others like to check and make sure everything is perfect. 

During the weekend the following conversation was overheard: 
  Liberty (5), "Do you know what fed-up means?"
  Sarah (7). "No, What does it mean?"
  Liberty, "It means you are 'done' with something, Like, it's enough already."
  Sarah, "Oh! Like I am fed-up with your whining?"

Out of the mouths of babes. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

7 Months

I just cannot believe how fast the time has gone. Wyatt was 7 months on the 16th. I know I am late. Seriously, I am happy to get anything done. I am living by the "It's the thought that counts", "Better late than never", and "I had the best intentions" club. 

Wyatt's favorite thing to do is roll
 These really were the best pictures that I could manage. You might notice his cute little 7 Month sticker, or the beloved quilt that has been in all his 'month' photos. Yes, they are there just not very well.

Can't keep this little guy in one place

 This month found Wyatt rolling all over the place. I might set him down in the family room and find him under the dining room table in no time flat! Much to their dismay it brought the end of Lego play for the big kids (at least Lego strewn all over the floor).
Wyatt discovered his tongue and makes the cutest sucking noises. He also intently watches anyone else and what they are doing with his tongue. He joins us for every meal and wants to try all the food we are eating. He has discovered that he can join, or dominate, a conversation by making his voice louder and louder. Wyatt loves to scream, look at lights, nurse, be tickled. He loves all sorts of animals: dogs (when they aren't barking), horses, cows, cats & kittens, and chickens. He laughs and touches them.

I love kissing those cheeks and his neck! 
He has also figured out how to throw a fit, kick, scream and even bite! He is still easy to put to sleep, all one has to do is swaddle him in a tight wrap and give him his binky. He naps well and sleeps fair. He wakes up happy.
Our little guy is already over 25 pounds!
He attended his second birth with me and did fantastic. At one point I was holding him on my hip and he reached out and touched the laboring mama with the sweetest chubby little hands. He also matched his noises to her sounds. He was quiet when she was quiet and cooed at her. He loved the birth ball.
Wyatt watches all that goes on around him, he likes to look out the window and will stare to figure something out.
He recently figured out how to sit up and is happy like that for quite some time. I adore how he sits, most of my children skipped the sitting. He is content in the Ergo. He plays for a long loud time in the Exersaucer.
He is notorious for eating homework that was left on the floor. Still loves to splash and kick in the bathtub.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Outstanding 4-Her

I began this post a month ago, before she won the Outstanding 4-Her of Whatcom County. 
This was Taylor's 3rd Year doing 4-H at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. She showed in Senior Class for Rabbits. 
Although, this was her first year showing Dairy she showed in Senior class as well, because of her obligations showing Rabbits. Her Show Rabbit is an English Spot, and she got Reserve Grand Champion and Best of Class for Type.
Taylor has diligently chosen rabbits based on what she has learned. She has even attended a Rabbit Show in Enumclaw to get good rabbits for breeding and showing.
Taylor competed against all other Seniors  in our County,  it came down to her and another member of our club. He received Grand Champion and Taylor was awarded Reserve Grand Champion. They both earned a spot to compete at the State Fair.
State was a great experience for both of them, as well as the other members of our club who attended.
It was a growing experience for both Sean and I, as well as Taylor. As a family, we try to do as much together as possible. Especially when it comes to big events in the children's lives. This was the first time we sent one of our children off with other families to compete, and at a State event as well! Sean was out of town for work, and the logistics of me taking everyone to Puyallup for 3 days was too much.
Taylor has great showmanship. Much like her father, she is stoic and keeps her composure, but sometimes she forgets to smile. She did impress the judges with her confidence and knowledge.
She organized members of our Rabbit Division to decorate the Rabbit Barn and Our Club received the award for the Best Decorated Club!
When I was walking around the Fair I discovered our Club Booth and remembered that I was supposed to do something about that. I noticed that we were awarded a Blue Ribbon and Best Booth (I am sure I got that name wrong) complete with a $50 premium. Taylor knew I wasn't going to remember, so she implemented that as well.
I am proud of her growth, and commitment to her projects. From purchasing her animals, to feeding and caring for them she had complete responsibility both fiscally, and with all the daily chores.
She did her public presentation on Rabbit Breeds of the World. She earned a blue ribbon for that as well! She picked up extra barn duty, went to the Rodeo, and rode rides with friends.
Since her Pen of Fryer Rabbits earned Best of Class, for the Second Year, she was Third Seller in the Junior Livestock Auction. She requested many add ons and earned enough to get started on her Organic Rabbit business. She has found mentors to help her with marketing, record keeping, developing feed, and other business knowledge.
A sampling of her ribbons and our club decorations in the Rabbit Barn.
She was our Club Reporter and won the 4-H News Award for the county. She also earned awards for her involvement in Community Service Projects that she organized and participated in. She also received an award for Outstanding 4-Her of Whatcom County.
At our End of the Year Celebration Taylor raked in the awards with a Trophy for Outstanding 4-Her of the club, Perfect Attendance, Teen Leadership, and she was elected Vice President of Country Partners Club.
As our daughter enters her 17th year, we couldn't be more proud of her decisions, goals, and character.

Monday, October 20, 2014

4, 5, 6 Months

I have the best intentions. I plan blog posts, but never get them written. 
 I take thousands of photos, but don't know how to edit or organize them.
 Every time I begin to blog, I spend hours looking at all the photos. That, or someone needs my computer to do their school work.
 Wyatt is a happy baby. He loves his people. and adores animals. He gets so excited when he sees a cat, dog, horse, pig, rabbit, chicken. He laughs and reaches for them.
 At 5 months he started to reach for food and grab. Way earlier than any of my other children. I gave him some avocado, peas and sweet potatoes. He wants to sit at the table with us and hold a big spoon.
 He has grown so much hair in the last couple of months. No, really, he has!
 His 6 month photos did not go so well. He just wanted to eat the sticker.
He got his 2 bottom front teeth this week and slept in his crib for the first time. He was sleeping all night but now is up a few times. He loves to nurse, but only on one side. We (meaning I) finally gave up on the other side. 
He has been on a big car trip, accompanied me to a birth, and to the ER for 3 stitches (for me). All the children still compete for who gets to get him up, dress him, and help with bath time. Liberty can get him laughing the best. He likes to chew on Aaron's chin, Ruby is the baby whisperer and can get him to sleep. Ian likes to move him from place to place, and Wyatt seems to like that. Erik is still trying to teach him things and can't wait to teach him to ride a bike, do a flip, and talk. Wyatt just watches him with fascination. Taylor hangs out with him in the mornings while I am getting everyone else on task, she is also protective of him and likes to feed him when the opportunity arises. 
I cherish this time and love snuggling him, making him laugh and nursing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

3 Months

Everyone is growing up right before my eyes. I remember being in second grade thinking that the year was never going to end. I can still picture the calendar on the wall above the blackboard in Mrs. Lugar's class. Will Summer Ever Come? 
I still look forward to summer, but it seems to come and go so quickly. Wyatt is now 3 months old, My oldest daughter got married, and I am a Mother in Law.
Liberty, "It's so fun to have someone to chill with."
We got 2 kittens, 4 pigs, I had Mastitis, We had a wedding, Mariners game, 25 year High School reunion, got strawberries picked and made in to jam, Celebrated the 4th of July, picked and jammed raspberries, we got started on the blueberries with 87 pounds in the freezer. 4H Season in in Full swing with 3 meetings in one day last week.
His little crooked smile brings me joy
 The fair is just around the corner. I have a few weeks before I am on call for my first birth since Wyatt's arrival. Sean is going on a Tuna Fishing trip and I have started the planning for school in September.
He is always smiling, when he is nursing, sleeping, sucking his thumb. Always. 
 Meanwhile, every chance I get I sit and stare at the baby. He is such a sweetie. I love that Ian gets up early and waits outside my bedroom. The minute he hears Wyatt cooing he is in there to get him up. The girls always want to choose his clothes and dress him. You have to be easy going to put up with that!
Wyatt, The.Most. Blue.Eyes.Ever. 
We just finished a major purge and reorganization of the boys room.
Unfortunately, my cooking has drastically taken a back burner. As well as my blogging. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Special Treatment

Probably one of my favorite parts of Wyatt's birth was what I felt was Special Treatment. I have done so many hospital births and worked really hard to develop relationships with the nurses and doctors. I am never really sure how much they remember me, or value what I do. After the care and genuine smiles. Along with the time people took to encourage me, I know that they really do know who I am and value me and what I do when I am at the hospital.
Not only have I attended several births with Heidi, but she was one of my nurses when I delivered Liberty. She saw my name on the board and came in to give me a big hug and some words of encouragement. I was having contractions when Heidi came in, but her hug helped distract me and gave me a great boost of confidence.
Carolynn and Nurse Heidi 
Karen, is another nurse that I have worked with often, and was one of my nurses when I delivered Ruby. When the kids came in to meet their baby brother, Karen asked, "Which one of you is Ruby?" When Ruby smiled and said she was, Karen told her that she was one of the people who suggested Ruby's name.
I had many other nurses stop in to say hi and offer congrats after the baby was born. Dr. Madsen was my provider when I had the little girls and He came by to give me a great big hug. He said, "Finally, you get to bring one home this time."
I was concerned that my strong preferences would make me a difficult person to care for, while that may be true, I never, not even once felt like I was putting someone out, or that I wasn't important. When I noticed that my pic line had saline in it I requested that it be pulled immediately and my request was granted. When it became obvious that our original plan of having Sean deliver the baby was not going to happen, the doctor apologized to Sean.
All the way through the entire birth I felt protected and cared for. It was an amazing delivery.

Friday, May 23, 2014

1 Month

I can't believe Wyatt is already a month old. My sweet baby is growing so fast. 
I put away the newborn clothes when we got home from the hospital,  I was fine with the fact that he was in size 3 month clothes. However, it is hard to believe that he is already moving into size 6 month clothes. 
 There have been times that I have gone to put something on him only to find his hand won't fit through the sleeve, or, if I snap the onesie it pulls down off of his shoulders. We weighed him the other day (with Sean holding him on the scale) and he was over 13 pounds.
I absolutely love to sit and snuggle with him. He is such a sweet nurser. He just stares up at me, and nurses till that side is empty, then pulls off and waits for the other side. He hardly ever cries. Unless he has a dirty diaper or big burp. He loves to be swaddled and doesn't mind being held. Wyatt is consistently going between 4 and 6 hours between feeds at night. He does like to start his day early. I can relate to what my Mother In Law said the other day, "I love mornings, I just wish they didn't start so early." I am not ready to get out of bed until sometime after 8, well maybe closer to 9. Truth be told, it is more like 10 but Wyatt is ready to go at 6. I can coax another hour out of him if I am sitting in my chair holding him close, so that is what we are doing for now.
 There is Always a line of children waiting to hold him. Aaron likes him when he is awake, Ian wants him right after he nurses, Erik likes to be in charge of the diaper changes, Ruby loves to get him to sleep, Taylor likes to hold him while she is reading or doing school, and Liberty will take when ever and wherever she has the opportunity.
Erik is ever the diaper hoarder. He doesn't want the diaper to be wasted. He figured out how many diapers a day Wyatt uses and how much each diaper costs. He also figured out how much we have spent on diapers in the last 16 1/2 years, with the average child being in diapers for 2 years. I blocked out the number, you would have to ask him. He knows.
Wyatt loves to coo and talk.  He has the sweetest voice. His smile lights up the room. Aaron loves to smell him and rub his fuzzy head. I love to kiss those cheeks. Ian tries hard to get a smile. We have been so blessed with meals and gifts. I have some recipes that I am anxiously waiting to get a hold of. We were given a gift a few days ago that included 2 boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The children were ecstatic! They couldn't believe that they were going to get to eat store bought mac and cheese!
We attended a reunion class for a Childbirth Education Series that I taught last fall and Wyatt was the same size or bigger than some those babies.
He also has many nicknames already. Taylor calls him Little Chap. Sean refers to him as Baby Jep (the spoiled 4th son on Duck Dynasty). I have also heard Wy, Babykins, The Baby, and Little Dub.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wyatt's Birth

  I had in my mind a picture of The Perfect Birth. First, the birth began with going into labor on my own, preferably a little early. My due date came and went and still showed no signs of labor. Don't get me wrong, I was having plenty of contractions but nothing that was "longer, stronger and closer together."
  I was measuring 48" at my 39 week appointment, that's 9" bigger than what is expected. We all knew that I had a large baby, and I had polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). Knowing that and having the belly to prove it was incredibly uncomfortable. All the tricks I use with clients to get the baby to apply the head to the cervix were not working. I couldn't use the Rebozo or sifting because anything touching my belly hurt. I literally felt like my belly might burst open at any moment. I knew that because of the excess fluid the baby was too high to stimulate labor. However, the contractions were not in vain, I had been between 4-5 CM dilated and about 70% effaced for over 3 weeks.  

I talked with the doctor and scheduled a tentative induction for Monday morning. I knew that breaking my water would get things going. I really wanted some of that water gone so that the pressure would be relieved and the baby's head could be applied. However, from experience I was terrified of a cord prolapse. I have seen it twice, and had a very good friend have a cord prolapse at home. Definitely not something that I was willing to risk. We discussed doing pitocin to get the uterus to start contracting. Again, knowing that I was going to have an unmedicated delivery I really didn't want to artificially begin contractions. The other option was to do a pinhole prick in the amniotic sack and drain off some of the fluid without the risk of cord prolapse. 
When I went to bed Sunday night I knew that I wasn't going to keep Monday's appointment. I was emotionally raw and didn't have the confidence to go through with it. The hospital called to confirm I was coming in and was upset when I told them that I wasn't. 
I spoke with my doctor again and she was fine. Even the nurse Abby was wonderful and listened to me when I cried and apologized for being 'that' patient. When I looked at the schedule for the week I decided to schedule another induction for Thursday. All the while praying that I would go into labor on my own, but not have the on call doctor that was scheduled for Wednesday. 
   I was pretty much out of touch with my family, even my mom was here and I just wanted to be left alone. I went to my neighbor's house on Tuesday evening to take advantage of their super deep jacuzzi tub. When I arrived they already had the tub filling, the fire (in the bathroom) was going, they asked what kind of music I wanted and there were some lovely bath salts and candles on the edge of the tub. I am not sure that they planned on me spending 2 1/2 hours in the tub, but it was absolutely wonderful. I was able to completely relax for the first time in weeks. After I got out we hung out and talked for awhile, then Erin walked me home just past midnight. 

    Everyone was in bed, and I was thrilled that I didn't have to interact with anyone. I climbed into bed resigned to the fact that I was still pregnant. Then the contractions really started to pick up. I tried timing them, but was too busy focusing on them to start and stop the timer. I knew that they were getting stronger but they sure didn't feel closer together. A few times I had to hop out of bed and walk through the contractions. I was able to breathe slow and deep, then get back in bed. I think I even fell asleep between contractions. At 2:00 AM I decided to call my doctor and see what she thought. I was 40 weeks 5 days, had been having irregular contractions for weeks, and had taken my Heparin shot at 10:00 PM. I really didn't want to get things going if this was another false alarm. I woke Sean up and we decided to head into the hospital. We took our time getting things together, then I had him tell my mom we were leaving. 
  In the car I had Sean call Renee and Jess and let them know we were headed in. We asked Jess to let Tami know, since I didn't feel like talking. The drive in was difficult because I couldn't move. I really just wanted to take off my seat belt and get on my knees, but I decided that was too much effort.  When we arrived at St. Joe's we had trouble finding a parking spot, then we had some paperwork to fill out.  Tami and Renee arrived shortly after us, Tami was quick to recognize that I didn't want to answer questions or fill out paperwork and she intervened on my behalf.  I was relieved when they didn't make us go to triage but gave us a room instead. 
  I asked for my Pic line to be placed in my forearm but after a couple of failed attempts I consented to a line in my hand, as long as it did not interfere with my mobility. The monitors felt like someone was slapping my skin on my belly. I did not want the belts or the belly band constricting me. The nurse finally figured out that she could use the waistband on my skirt for the fetal monitor and gave up entirely on the contraction monitor. 
  I thought that the nurse was extremely patient with me and gave me the time that I needed instead of focusing entirely on the machines, but I was told later that while she was patient, I just politely ignored her.  

Although I had just taken a 2 1/2 hour bath earlier, I decided to try the tub again. It was not as helpful as it has been for prior labors. I still felt like my belly was going to burst open at any minute. I asked Tami and Jess to read Bible verses that I had saved on my phone while Sean sat by me and rubbed my back. I finally decided that I just needed to move. I was feeling very vulnerable and like I just wanted some reassurance. I stopped walking to kiss Sean and to bend over for contractions. I really enjoyed the kissing and it provided me with much needed distraction and a feeling of just being able to let go. 
  I think that I pretty much kept my eyes closed and walked circles. Tami opened the curtain to give me more space to walk. A few times I almost ran into something, but stopped short. I liked the feeling of being in Sean's arms, but when my belly would touch him it hurt. Tami seemed to be the right height. I felt bad because I knew that I wasn't light when I leaned on her and Sean massaging my back added extra to what she was already supporting, but it worked for me. I alternated between Jess, Tami and Sean depending on who was closest. But even when I was leaning on someone else, Sean was always there to put pressure on my back. 
  I know that we used the oil diffuser and that some oils were used and I found that very comforting, but I don't know the specifics of which oils were used, or where. I also asked that someone place the wet washcloths in the fridge so I would have nice cold ones. They did a great job keeping the cold washcloths on my neck and changing them when they were no longer cold. 
  I could tell that I was getting tense and I did not want to get hung up. I did ask for several exams to see if I was ready to push, or if I could have my water broken. Prior to labor I was determined to let my water break when it was ready. I knew that I would be disappointed if I took action, but at that point I just wanted relief. The doctor broke my water because the baby's head was down and it was safe to do. Mostly because I begged her to. To my surprise it wasn't the gush or the relief I was expecting. 
I decided that I needed to enjoy these contractions. I know that sounds strange, but I thought that if I could talk myself into loving each contraction I could progress faster and start pushing. I love pushing in labor. I love the idea that I get to meet my baby soon and that I am doing something to expedite the process. The power behind each push, the progress and the purpose is empowering. I just wanted to get to push. I couldn't help remember the hours of waiting to push and trying to push when I wasn't complete with Liberty's birth and I did not want to repeat that. So when I had a contraction I tried to imagine myself completely letting go, and being consumed in the moment. I talked to myself, I told myself that this was normal, my body was doing exactly what it was designed to do and that it was a privilege to give birth. 
  Jess was great with verbal encouragement and telling me that I was strong enough to do this. She was there with strength and gentleness reminding me to stay in control. When the doctor checked me and told me that I had a big fat anterior lip left on my cervix (the same thing that happened with Liberty) Jess encouraged me by reminding me that this was a different birth and that God had all things in his control. 
  I know I was not the ideal patient because I couldn't get in the bed. Dr. Kapernick was fantastic and did most of my exams standing up. I remember standing at the end of the bed and she told me to push with the next contraction and we would see if she could get the lip over the baby's head. I did, and she did! I was so happy. I was also so tired. I had been walking, squatting, and moving continuously. I felt like I was going to pass out and go to sleep, so I climbed in the bed. I was concerned because I knew that the shift ended at 7 or 7:30 and when I looked at the clock it was 6 AM. I really wanted this doctor to deliver, because I know she is hands off and trusts a woman to do what she needs done. She knows that we are designed to give birth and allows time for the process to unfold. 
  The bed was so low that they raised it up so that Sean, Tami and Jess wouldn't have to bend over so far. I pushed a few times and quickly realized that I was much better off standing up. I leaped out of bed, which sent everyone scrambling because not only was the bed raised and they were afraid that I was going to fall, but I went to the side that had the least amount of room. 
  The doctor stood back and let me push then all of a sudden the baby went from still not  engaged to crowning. I yelled that the baby's head was here. Because of the size of the baby, they were concerned that his shoulders were going to get stuck and therefore they wanted me in the bed, so that the doctor could help. The original plan had been for Sean to deliver, but we realized that it was going much to fast and needed some assistance. 
  They told me to get in the bed, which was still raised. I am still not sure how that happened. I think everyone lifted and flipped me, but I am told that I climbed up while the doctor had her hands on the baby. It looked like she was moving me by the baby's head. I was almost sitting on his head, so they told me to scoot down in the bed. There was a mad scramble to try to disassemble the bed and they had a hard time getting it apart. 

  After I was in the bed they took my legs and brought them up to my ears, straightened them out and brought them up to my ears again. This makes the pelvic outlet bigger and they needed it as large as it could possibly be. 
  My birth plan said that I wanted the room quiet so that the first sound the baby heard was Sean and my voice. Instead I screamed him into this world. Finally, the rest of the amniotic fluid came out in a huge gush, right after the baby. 
 He was placed immediately on my chest and I opened my eyes for the first time. Both Sean and I were crying. I was so happy to have him safely in my arms. I think up until that point I was still unsure how it was all going to play out.  I thanked Jesus for the baby, for his safe arrival, and for no complications. 
He didn't cry as much as they wanted him to, and his breathing was a bit raspy so they brought him to the warming table and cleaned out his airway.  We were all curious to his weight so I let them weigh him, before I got him back. 
  Delivering the placenta felt like I was delivering another baby. The doctor and nurse and Renee were all shocked at the size so they weighed that too. Most placentas weigh about 1 pound. Mine was 3 pounds 1 oz! 

I couldn't stop crying and was so happy. I just wanted to kiss my husband and my baby. I felt like there is nothing better in the whole world than to hold a naked newborn on my breast and know that I get to be his mama. 

When I told the doctor there is nothing like a deadline to motivate someone, she let me know that she wasn't going to leave. She would have stayed to do his delivery. 
Wyatt Valor Slocum was born April 16, 2014 at 6:53 AM. He weighed 11 pounds 6 oz and was 22" long.  His name means brave, strong and courageous. A name that we pray he strives to live up to.
While his birth did not go according to my plan, I couldn't have asked for a better birth, or a better birth team. It was so very hard yet, absolutely wonderful.

Friday, April 11, 2014


A few weeks ago, Liberty asked to take a picture of me. Oh the perspective of a 5 year old. This week, a little girl in Liberty's class at Classical Conversations said, "Whoa! That looks big! AND it looks REALLY heavy!"
I really thought that I would have this baby before my due date. I guess he didn't get the memo that Multiparous women are supposed to deliver early. 

I started to feel really discouraged. I have been walking around at 4-5CM and 70% effaced for the past 2 weeks. I really expected to see some progress this week, and was contemplating having my membranes swept. Until I learned that I have polyhydramnios. It is far to risky to do any intervention unless the baby's head is well engaged.
In my Bible reading I came across Paul talking about being thankful in all circumstances.  Sometimes it is so easy to lose sight on all of our blessings. I am not sleeping well and am uncomfortable~ but I am growing a baby! I have the privilege of sharing in God's miracle and He has chosen us to bestow another blessing on.
I am choosing to relish my last few hours, days or weeks of this pregnancy and remember that God has the perfect timing planned for this baby to make his arrival. My arms are aching to hold him. Until then, I will be content in all circumstances.
We had the privilege of having Renee at Little Earthing Photography do some maternity photos for us. Be sure to click over and see her amazing work!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Momm's Birthday

For the past 8 years we have Celebrated my Momm's birthday with some beautiful ladies. These are women, chosen by my Momm, who either she has influenced or been influenced by. Typically, it goes both ways. 
 Kelly always graciously hosts the party and sets the table beautifully. Kelly's talent is evident. Every year there is a different theme, and every year the table is a fest for the eyes. Plus, she always sneaks me an extra treat!
This is a highlight for all of us. The encouragement, joy and faith in each of these women always builds me up. It is fun to know the women in my Momm's life.
Back Row: CeLinda, Brianna, Terry
Front Row: Carolynn, Momm, Carol, Lisa, Kelly
We had the party a bit early this year because of people's travel schedules and this baby's imminent arrival.