Sunday, December 12, 2010

my new goal

My 'old' goal was to lose the 32 pounds I gained with Charlie and to lose it by Thanksgiving (4 months). And I did it! But now my new goal is to complete the Fifth-Third Riverbank 25K in May. Jordan and I have just begun training for it! Two years ago we did our first 5k and Jordan has done 3 since then. So we'll see....

Jordan is a good runner and doesn't have to train for long to go far distances (at least that's what I think). We're just hoping he doesn't get knee issues like he has in the past. And I have been running since one week after Charlie was born (so this is about week 17). I think I've averaged about 2 miles a day. I can run 3 miles straight which is something that I've never be able to do (or never pushed myself to do) and I know that I can go further but it's more of a 'time' issue for me. It seems like I usually have to stop because someone wakes up and needs breakfast, or Charlie gets fed up watching me from the floor. I don't know how we're going to each make time to run when it gets up to 5+ miles. I guess we'll have to take turns at night or run when everyone's asleep.

I've been running mostly on the treadmill- I've only run outside a few times when it was still nice out. I ran my personal best yesterday: 3 miles in 28:58. I think my first 5k was 32 something. And I feel GREAT from all this running. My friend Jamie said that if I kept going at it then eventually I would get to the point where I want to run, where I have to run and I'm THERE!!! If I go a day without running, my body is itching to run again. And where time used to kind of drag, it doesn't anymore because I enjoy it so much.

Jordan got me some running clothes and I feel like an 'official' runner now. It motivates me that much more. Also, I've lost 37 pounds since I've had Charlie!! I gained 32 pounds when I was pregnant with him and I lost 12 after I got home with him before I started running. So I owe 25 pounds to running and a little dieting! Maybe I'm just bragging now but I'm proud of myself for setting a goal and making it!! It wasn't easy though because it took about 3 months for me to actually start wanting to run. Otherwise I was forcing myself to 'just do it'. But it was sooo worth it!

Since I've had three kids in a 3 years and 1 month, my stomach is NOT what it used to be. And even after all this hard work for all these weeks, it's still not what it used to be. Anyone who has had 2+ kids knows what I'm talking about... unless you're one of those perfectly skinny girls who I secretely hate (Just kidding...kind of!) Anyways, I've got the 'extra wrinkly skin' going on (tmi maybe?!) but I did a 'before' picture recently and I'll do an 'after' picture when I've completed the 25K and I'll share it at that time! I think this 6 months of training is going to be the final kick to my belly fat! I've come a long way (and I'm kicking myself for not taking a 'before' picture after I had Charlie to compare to now) but I still have some firming up to do!

Whew, I blogged it!! I feel so much more committed now!! Wish me luck!


So even though Jordan and I never thought we'd torture our children with home-made costumes like our mothers did...
...we're doing it to our kids, too. Who wants to spend like $20 on a store-bought costume that they'll only wear once or twice? Not us, we're too cheap.
Here's what we came up with:

two peas in a pod...

...or two sisters in a bed!

Shortly after Charlie was born, we put Natalie and Ruby in the same bed so that we could convert Natalie's toddler bed back into a crib for Charlie. We didn't know what to expect but it has gone really well having them share a bed. Sometimes we catch them fighting but a lot of times, we're getting after them for having too much fun!! Every night, Jordan and I peek in on them. Here are a bunch of the pictures I have taken of them sleeping together....

our little girls

....they aren't so little anymore. Well not compared to Charlie. Having a baby again made me realize how grown-up and self-sufficient Natalie and Ruby are. It's nice that they can put on their own clothes and do little errands for me (like: 'go get a diaper for Charlie') but it makes me sad that they're growing so fast. Almost every morning, I try to remind myself to enjoy all of my kids just where they are in life even when it's a challenge. I don't want to have any regrets.
Natalie amazes me everyday. She is almost 3 and a half. She seems to get smarter everyday. She can write her name with my help and 'nata' by herself. She loves to think about going to school one day because she says she's going to leave home and marry a boyfriend. For now, Sunday school is her 'school' which she really loves. Natalie did gymnastics this summer and she really liked it but it brought out the shyness in her. It's funny to see her get shy in social situations when she is far from shy when she's at home! Natalie also loves her brother which she calls 'Tarley'. I love our conversations lately. Jordan asked Natalie what she wanted to be for Halloween and she said she wanted to be God. She said she was going to fly through the sky and then she ran off to get her superhero cape. And her prayers are the best. She prays for Jordan while he's at work and talks to Jesus like she knows him personally. Really gives you a look into what 'faith like a child' means. She loves Jesus so much already and that's so important to Jordan and I. We are also starting to see that Natalie is somewhat of a perfectionist. She hates to stop when she's in the middle of something and everything has to be just right or she's not a happy camper. She enjoys cleaning and picking up her room. What used to be picking up was throwing everything in her closet and shutting the door (her father's cleaning technique!) But now, everything has its own place and I can't even move it without her getting after me! She loves to color and is very good at staying in the lines (which is probably due to her perfectionism). Natalie loves to sing, either real songs or made up songs about what she's doing (another Jordan trait!) and she has some great dance moves! Her favorite things to play with are her coloring books, legos, she plays pretend (mostly pretending she's a dinosaur or monster!), and she helps out her daddy when he's working at home which she takes very seriously! Natalie also just learned how to snap her fingers which we think is pretty cool!
And then there's Ruby. She is 2 now, spunky and independant. I think she's starting with those 'terrible twos' a little bit just by testing her limits. She sometimes gets out of bed 15 times in a row in one hour and gets spanked (yes, we spank) but she doesn't care. That area of disobeying is getting better but she makes up for it in other ways. Ruby is a FOGHORN and she knows how to use that against us. She will yell at us to try to get her point across. I hear 'don't talk that way' frequently throughout the day. I'm sure I said it to her first but now she'll say it to me if we're 'arguing'. I heard a 2-year-old-tip the other day about how to give choices to let them think that they have some control but that ultimately we have the final say and it's been working well. Maybe it's a better way to get through to her than spankings, we'll see. Ruby has the cutest talk right now, too. This summer, all we heard was jibberish which was adorable, but now we can understand her. She loves to tell people (and Gary) to "follow me" or "c'mon". She's finally starting to say 'I love you' and she prays too. When Ruby finishes reading a book, she says "Amen" instead of "the end". She says Charlie really cute, too and instead of saying "pooped" she says "poot". Ruby is so playful as well. She is always jumping around or wanting us to chase her. Her favorite things to play with is mostly just babies. She LOVES her dolls. She talks to them, disciplines them, and loves on them. Ruby loves to sing, too and sometimes her and Natalie try to sing duets! We're working on the potty thing... she can pee on the toilet but no poopin' yet! I cannot believe she is two!!

So here are some pictures of the girls over the past six months.

Friday, November 12, 2010

charlie is five months already!

We were without internet for 4.5 months and without tv for about 3 months and that's including local channels!! I think it was good for us though since it was summer anyways. But it sure is good to have it back :)

So, time for some much needed updating. Where to start.... Well since the biggest change has been our little Charlie, I guess I'll start with him! Wow, do I love my little man! He's looking more like his daddy all the time. So far, he has been a very calm and content little guy. I can lay him down and he'll go to sleep just fine and he has slept through the night a few times now. He doesn't cry much and when he does, it's usually something I can fix. But I've been told that he is a momma's boy. I guess he's not that content with everyone! But for me, he's not fussy at all! It's true what they say about boys and girls - girls are much more dramatic even as babies. Charlie loves to smile and chat already. He was trying to roll over from his back to his stomach for the first time and he was laughing as he was trying! I love to make him giggle! He loves his bath times, too. I can actually manage giving all three kids a bath at the same time. Of course, the girls like to help out with that! Natalie and Ruby just dote on him all day long. They love him so much! Natalie says his name like 'Tarley'. She is really gentle with him most of the time until she becomes a monster and scares the daylights out of him with her roar. Ruby is really rough and motherly at the same time. If Charlie is crying, she'll tell him to stop it but then she showers him with kisses. Ruby will hold him and be all over him and then just like that, she says she's 'all done' and she'll start to push him off of her lap. Charlie has made the transition from 2 kids to 3 kids really easy on me and the rest of his since he doesn't demand all of my attention. He is a perfect fit for our family! He has been sleeping in a bassinet until now. I just set up his crib and I'm working on his bedroom. He is almost five months old now and i don't know where the time has gone. Here are some pictures of our little man over the last five months.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

charlie tyler

My little man is finally here!!!!!! I knew my baby was a boy! Charlie Tyler Barkel made his appearance at 7:57 pm on Friday, July 30, 2010. He was 2 days overdue but worth the wait!

Friday morning I started having contractions around 7 am that were about 20 minutes apart and very mild. I went to my doctor's appt at 10:15. My doctor checked me out (I was finally at 3cm after being at 1cm for 4 weeks!) and my water broke! So she sent me to the hospital. FYI- if you ever get sent to the hospital when your contractions are 20 minutes apart, I recommend you make a trip to McDonalds first and then proceed to the hospital. It crossed my mind but I did not make a trip to McDonalds and was starved because they don't let you eat anything but jello once you're in labor! Jordan made it over to the hospital and then we just waited.... I was at about 6cm at 6pm and that's when I finally got the epidural. I still hate those things but it is sooo worth it!! I started to push at 7:25. The doctor and nurse predicted that this was 'one big baby'. My doctor thought he 'may be a 10pounder'. I guess his head and shoulders were positioned funny so I had to try some mid-wife techniques to get him out! At one point, the doctor left the room and later told Jordan that she had told the nurses to prepare for a c-section...sooo glad that wasn't necessary. He finally came after 35 minutes of pushing. Doctor Gootjes made Jordan announce what his sex was and Jordan was very excited to announce that it was a boy!! It was so sweet to hear it come from him! The doctor laid him on a blanket on me and he pooped and peed all over!
We are just so in love with Charlie! He actually ended up being 8 lbs, 4 oz, and 21 inches... my smallest baby so far! He's got the perfect amount of dark brown hair that looks like it may have curls someday. He's got deep blue eyes, a dimple on his little chin and a dimple on each cheek! He has the softest baby skin and I could just snuggle my face in his neck rolls all day! (Is that weird?!)
Jordan made a bunch of phone calls. He talked to Natalie and she asked if he had a belly button and teeth! My mom came up to the hospital with Natalie and Ruby who just love Charlie so much already. Ruby kept saying baby and pointing at him and Natalie had to hold him and pet him. It was so sweet! After my mom and Jordan's parents left, Jordan also decided to go sleep at home for the night (he's never had the option of leaving before since I had the girls during the night) so Charlie and I snuggled for a couple of hours. At just two days old now, Charlie is a good eater and sleeper and I've seen a couple of smiles already.

I can't believe he is finally here! This pregnancy was by far the fastest one for me. The girls did great with getting switched around between grandparents and Matt and Katie and we're so grateful for all the help. Natalie, Ruby, and Charlie were all born healthy babies! God has truly blessed our little family! We are so in love with him!! Four and a half years married and three kids already... how did that happen and where did the time go?!

Friday, July 2, 2010

best $40 ever spent!

Powerwheels Barbie Jeep: $10
Battery for Powerwheels Barbie Jeep: $30
Powerwheels Quad (with missing seat and battery): free
Hours of family entertainment: Priceless!!

I found a two seater, Powerwheels Barbie jeep at a garage sale for $10... no battery or charger but I picked it up for Natalie's birthday present! We ordered a $30 battery online and it became the best present ever! And for those things being $200 retail, we're thrilled at our frugality! And, ok this is sorta embarrassing... we also had a quad sitting in our shed from when we went to FL. We saw this Powerwheels quad that had no seat and no battery in someone's TRASH! Can you believe someone would throw that out just because it didn't work?! Well, we picked it up and crammed it into our van and now 3 months later, we can use our $30 battery in that too! Oh yeah!! The girls LOVE those things and it is hilarious to watch them ride around! Here are some pics:

fixing the radio (I had to take this picture because they're working together and not fighting!) 'Thumbs Up!' Notice Ruby's right hand. See those two little fingers crossed... that is her version of thumbs up!

I will have videos to follow.

If you happen to drive on our road, don't be surprised... if you see Jordan driving the quad and the girls screaming because he won't share; if you see the girls pulling the cozy coupe (via hitch and leash) with Jordan sitting on top; or if you see the girls making a beeline to the Soft Spot while Jordan runs after them trying to get them to stop!

I will have videos to follow!

my 3 year old

I don't know how it can even be possible that I have a 3 year old!! I love this little girl so much more than I ever thought possible. Three years ago, I thought that I loved her as much as I ever could... but my love for her grows everyday! Natalie has got such a fun-loving personality. She's such a tease! And yet, she can be so shy around others sometimes! It's such a difference from what she's like with just family! I can't believe how much I've seen her grow and mature in the last year. And she has such a love for Jesus already and it warms my heart! She is very sensitive and cares deeply for others. I love to see her grow into all these new stages of childhood. I just want to take in every detail of her all the time and remember everything, she grows and changes so fast! Well, I better end this 'sappiness' now before I lose your attention! Here are pics from her party:hmmm, a nervous habit? While we were singing to her, she decided to 'eat' her toes!

Ruby loved the birthday cupcakes:

Happy Third Birthday, Natalie Jane! I love YOU more ;)

lovin' summer!

This has been a great summer so far! We have so much fun playing outside and the weather has been so awesome (for this 9 month pregnant walking furnace). Just thought I'd post some random pictures here of the girls and what they do all day: Natalie just being her {crazy} self!

The girls love to get into trouble in the bathroom - Ruby especially:

Ruby thought she could wear my mascara!
Natalie had to be a Superhero for church one Sunday so this is her home-made costume:
I think Natalie is going to be our tom-boy and Ruby may be our girlie-girl...