Monday, September 21, 2015

Whoops!!! Update desperately needed!

I forgot I had a blog here! So much has happened to the Campbells in the 2 years since I last blogged.

I had the baby. It was a boy born just before Christmas on Dec. 19th at 11:59pm and his name is Benjamin James. He was born in the water at Birth Care Birth Center & was the most amazing drug free birth experience I've had. I'll share his birth story one day. He will be 2 soon & is my little pal during the day. He's quite the daddy's boy though & loves nothing more then to watch sports (any sports mind you) with his dad.

Sophie, Maddy & Noah are all in school all day now! Sophie started 3rd grade and is loved by everyone. I swear she knows every single person in the school! She's incredibly bright & has a big heart. She just turned 9 (!!!) last week and still loves Monster High!

Maddy is in 1st grade and really starting to come out of her shell. She has been making a lot of friends and shares all about the adventures she has at school. I cannot believe she's reading and writing now. Wasn't she just a preemie yesterday?! At 6.5 years old, she's in love with everything Frozen (mainly Elsa) and is quite the comedian once she's comfortable in her surroundings.

Noah is in all day Kindergarden & does so well already! He's an excellent listener and eager to do as the teacher asks. He makes friends easily & has 2 best friends from church, Hunter & Benaiah. They love being rough and tumble boys and are hilarious to watch play!

Brian started a job last summer at Fox Pool company as a network administrator and loves his position. He also does side computer networking and repair that he has plans of one day pursuing full time. He finally got his own actual truck & we've made use of it quite often already hauling things!

I'm busy maintaining our new house that we bought last summer after nearly a year of waiting due to it being a complicated "short sale". It was a jungle outside and the inside needed fixed up, but I've worked my butt off and it's awesome. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath rancher with a full attic and semi-finished basement (the water heater broke and flooded the basement before settlement so we had to rip out carpet and drywall etc upon moving in. We have new flooring and are slowly refinishing the basement again). It also has a separate inlaws unit for Brian's mom, Linda. Outside , we have an above ground pool (dark green when we moved in, and swimmable and clear this summer!), about an acre of fenced in yard, a big fire pit, horsebarn, 2 man-made frog ponds, a neat playset for the kids and gardens galore. This year I planted mostly heirloom veggies and my garden thrived. I'll be sad when frost hits in a few weeks and I'll stop being able to go outside and pick my salad off of the plant! Our flower beds were a mess, but I've filled them with annuals and perennials, so now they're something I'm proud to show off.

I haven't doula-ed since I became fully certified almost 2 years ago now, but I've been keeping up with my knowledge and enjoying the time I took off to be with my young children. I've also started teaching Puggles in AWANA this year (2 & 3 year olds) and it's been so fun! That age ground is a blast to be a part of.

Last August, just after we moved in & Brian's parents moved in, we lost Brian's dad.  He was an incredible man that I wish we had many more years with, but I'm glad he has new lungs now in heaven. He was able to meet all of his grandchildren & the oldest kids have fond memories of J.C. to last for the years ahead. It was a hard transition for all of us here, but I'm very glad that God gave us this house with the inlaws unit already here so we could grieve and move  on together.

It's amazing how God plans out every detail, no matter how insignificant it seems at the time. He is truly awesome! And He's brought some of the best friends we've ever had into our lives as well. We're a part of a small group that meets biweekly, but we see each other way more frequently then that. One of Brian's best buddies leads the small group and is a pastor at our church.  If you would've told me 2 years ago that Brian not only goes to church, is involved with a small group, volunteers at church and is best friends with a pastor, I would've laughed at you! God is amazing with house he has blessed our lives.

The struggles we've faced throughout the years have made us stronger and built up our character. I am so glad that my faith has grown stronger, as have God's blessings.

I hope that's enough of a quick update for now. There's so much to do everyday, and never enough time to do it! But I'll keep trying to do my best! Blessings to you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Baby News Well Recieved!

So I finally shared our exciting news on Facebook yesterday like this:

"With all of these statuses celebrating Independence Day, I feel compelled to share our joy of celebrating the 4th from the Campbell's!"

And we have received overwhelming support and love. :) It really made me feel good to have so much excitement about another adorable Campbell joining our family. This wasn't exactly the timing we had planned for adding to our family, but God has different plans and everyone who matters to us is happy for us too. :)

And truthfully, this baby won't cost us anything extra except for gas money to dr appointments, as we've already met our deductible this year  "thanks" to my allergies/sinus/ear issues & the fact I have a full set of cloth diapers in perfect shape for another babe if not for 2 or 3 more babies, all seasons of clothing for a boy or girl up through age 2+, an infant seat that won't expire for 3 more years, tons of toys/baby carriers/swing/blankets/baby extras/etc from the others & my BFF has already put aside some of her milk for the likely chance that the new babe will need to be supplemented. I also scored a few hundred milk bags at a consignment sale last weekend for $2 to give her. But I have been proactive with trying to build breast tissue and have a solid plan in place for the third trimester to help as well, with a goal of the new babe receiving only breast milk for 6+ months. We can do it!!! And Noah is still nursing every once and a while, so maybe that will help as well. I never thought I'd make it to nearly 3 years of nursing, but here we are. :) Nursing while pregnant is no easy feat, so extra kudos to all of the mamas out there doing it! You all have my deepest respect.  

I've been feeling movements for about 5 weeks now, but they're starting to get stronger. I cannot wait until the kids can feel the baby too. Sophie asks about what he/she is doing and their size all of the time. Maddy & Noah have been fighting over it being a boy or a girl. Maddy insists its going to be a girl with blonde hair & blue eyes named Sarah. Noah says its a brother. We should hopefully find out in about 5 weeks--likely on my birthday for our big ultrasound! What a great way to celebrate the big 3-0! And my mom is planning on being down that week so we can share that moment with her too. I cannot wait!

Just glad for such a positive reception for this sweet babe! :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life Update!

So it's about time I officially announce our big news on the blog! If you've noticed the updated "about me" section, you'll see that we're expecting baby #4! I'm due Dec. 22, so this new babe may be a Christmas baby! Pregnancy-wise, I've been feeling fine. A bit of nausea in the early weeks & I've been easily exhausted, but I really can't complain about feeling terrible.

However, I've been sick with a sinus/ear/throat issue since Mother's Day, which I'm FINALLY getting to go to an ENT to check me out tomorrow. I've been on 4+ different meds my family doctor prescribed before sending a referral out. I've been counting down the days to get some answers/relief!

Our "blessing" of a car turned out to be not as great as we thought.  It's been in the shop 3x since we bought it for things that supposedly checked out fine. So we pretty much bought the truck twice and ate up all of our savings. :( But at least it has room to carry all of us (and the new babe when he/she arrives). I'm just praying we can save enough again for a 2nd car, even if it's just a commuter car for now.  I'm also praying Brian finds a new job, as some of his coworkers are being incredibly rude about the new babe. One of them keeps telling Brian that he should've just "had it taken care of", meaning murder a tiny baby though abortion. Brian reminds him that it's not an option and he will be taking care of it once it's born and for the rest of it's life, but this ignorant guy keeps at it almost daily. He's getting tired of this behavior & I just pray another position opens up somewhere (closer to home would be even better!).

The kids summer vacation has been going great so far. They've been playing outside a lot, having fun and today we even went to the new splash pad our community put in. They all had a blast & took some awesome naps too (hence the time for a quick update here!). :)

I had better go start some dinner for the troops, but hopefully will be writing more again soon! :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

God Hath Provided!

We've been praying for months--probably a year+ now--for a new car.  Well, last Thursday I get a text from Brian that he wants to check out a Dodge Durango that's on a car lot about a mile from his work.  We finally got our refund check last week after waiting about 10-12 weeks for it, so we've looked at a ton of other cars, and even almost financed something else, except that the payment was about $50 more than we could do. We've been praying & a bunch of people at church have been praying and I knew God would help us when the time was right.  So Brian checked out the truck & it was perfect.  Plenty of room for all of us, good condition, strong engine/tranny and it was even less then we had saved! No monthly payments required! So after talking it through & saying a quick prayer, we decided to buy it! We still have a bit saved toward a down payment of a van for me to replace our current old/broken car. I know God will provide for us again. We have prayer warriors prayerfully working on it.  I am working on keeping my faith strong that God will lead us in the direction where we need to go & will show us where he wants us to work so we can finally move out and on in our lives. He is ever faithful!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Updating after a long break...

I haven't updated in months, but there's been a lot of amazing things happening.  Bringing God back to the center of my life has really helped me through some dark feelings as well. It's hard to not feel depressed when you're living with family, drive a dying car, and are still drowning financially despite your husband working and you sticking to a tight budget.  Life has been HARD. But life has also been amazing. The kids & I have started going to a new church that's only 5 minutes away from the house. And God has really been working in our lives and it seems that those feelings of being "stuck" were from being "stuck" far away from Him. My kids adore going to church every week & to Awana on Wednesday nights. I love church, our pastor, and our church family. I love Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday night praise team practice & getting to fellowship with fellow believers almost daily.

Both girls are in school now, but different schedules, so there's lots of running around, but I usually only have 2 kids to tend from 8-3:30pm now. hehe. Sophie has been in afternoon kindergarten since summer and is THRIVING. She's completed all of her "end of kindergarten goals" before Christmas & is now in some specialized extra learning groups to keep her love of learning going.  Her teacher loves her and Sophie has really done well making and maintaining friendships (and a boyfriend named Damian!). I'm so proud of her!  Maddy is in a morning preschool program (Head Start) since early January & is growing leaps and bounds already.  She is learning independence away from me & didn't cry today when I dropped her off. She's been crying for a few minutes most days, but it's getting shorter and shorter in duration.  She is also starting to sing independently and discovering more of her voice. She can write a few letters and knows her phone number now too and is making friends! I was so worried she would have trouble making friends, but she proved me wrong! Way to go Maddy! Her speech is growing too. We've been reading tons and tons of books since starting story time every week (which sadly, Maddy misses due to preschool at the same time now), but slowly Maddy is learning about sentence structure and words are getting easier to understand (mostly). My 4 year old is growing into a little girl now and I am so proud of her!

Noah had a vocabulary EXPLOSION!! He talks SO SO SO much! I swear he talks more then Sophie did at his age. This kid even talks in his sleep sometimes. He finally night weaned and has been sleeping much better at night now too.  I'm grateful for that. Now if only he could go to sleep on his own. One thing at a thing at a time. He's potty learning, and is mostly consistent all day (including naps & short car rides), so I'm hoping we're nearing the end of day time diapers for the time being. He might be able to go to Head Start in the fall, so aside from potty training, I am trying to get him used to being watched by someone else without me there.  He doesn't mind if I leave him home with Brian when I go to church, but he has a fit if he has to be in the nursery without me for more then 20 minutes. I'm praying we can start a church nursery ministry, so we can have consistent helpers he can get used to instead of switching between me and a friend all of the time. It would be amazing to be able to actually listen to a sermon on Sunday morning as it's being spoken, instead of a recording later or not at all.

Brian still enjoys his job, though they are low on work right now and he's still drastically underpaid. I pray that he either finds a new job or more work will come his way so he won't have to worry about how we will pay our bills, get a different car or finally get ahead. I am faithfully praying for peace in that area & know God will show us the way. I've also been praying that God speaks to Brian's heart and he joins us at church soon. He told me last week that he would like to join us at church on Easter, so that's a start!  One step at a time!

I've been busy with making cakes/cupcakes/cake pops for church events, running kids all over the place, and trying to keep on top of the housework, while still eating as healthy as possible and throwing a bit of exercise in every once and a while. I feel spiritually renewed and want my body to feel renewed as well, so I'm hoping to lose weight to become a healthier version of me. And to set a healthier example for my kids. I also want to be able to be the best doula I can be. I haven't been actively seeking out winter births because honestly, I hate the anxiety winter causes me. I hate driving in snow, worrying about weather, finding childcare to watch the kids despite just stresses me out a whole lot. So, I'm finishing my certification stuff (still need to read that last required reading book!) until it gets warmer so I can find clients again. I also hope to be able to teach childbirth classes in the future as well as become a lactation counselor. It's frustrating that this area has very little in the way of natural birth resources, but perhaps this is a need that I am here to help satisfy. :)

God is working in our lives. Things will continue to change and look up for us. I feel like this year is our year!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Random Thoughts

Life is busy. Our routine is getting a little easier finally, though naps for Maddy & Noah still are not totally consistent yet.  We'll get there.  It's still annoying having pm kindergarten (if you're reading this, sign your kid up early for kinder so they'll have better chances of am kinder--we literally signed up a few weeks before school started, so we were put wherever there was space), since I feel like we can get nothing decent accomplished in such short blocks of time.  Like I want to go check out the damage from recent storms to our storage unit, but it's an hour away. So that means round trip 2 hours, so even only spending an hour there means I'll likely be rushing home to make sure I'm there for Sophie's bus to drop her off (I was late 1x because I went to walmart after dropping her at school and rushing back to pick her up on time, but afternoon traffic got in the way). Ugh!  And now that we signed her up for Saturday morning swimming lessons, I have to make sure I'm not doing involved things then as well. Just annoying that's all.

Sophie turned 6 on Sunday. Where has the time gone?! Wasn't she just my little colicky baby like yesterday??? She's so grown up and such a sweet girl. She cares so much for everyone and loves to help me and her teacher. My mom said she not only looks almost exactly like me, but that her personality is so much like I was as a child, she has to double take sometimes. Yeah, I'm proud! :o) She celebrated Saturday with Brian's parents, his sister and our nephew and Sunday with my mom and extended family at my Mom Mom's picnic. Sophie & Maddy played all day with my cousins (9, 5, & almost 4) and slept SO well Sunday night! lol!  We are having 1 more gathering for her birthday for my dad's family on Sunday. Sophie's counting down the days of course!  I cannot wait until we have a place of our own where we can just invite everyone down for 1 birthday instead of having to break it up 3x and be more stressful.

Maddy and Noah have been really good pals since Sophie started school. They didn't really play too much together (or gang up together!) before then, but now they're best buds. I think Maddy gets a kick out of telling Noah to say new words, so she's trying to say more words too.  She's definitely not talking like other 3 year olds do, but since I can't afford private therapy, Head Start won't call me back and she can't get reevaluated for a few months, we just wait and keep reading books, repeating words, etc. Noah's language is exploding though! He will repeat everything and it's really helping him speak a lot!

I'm finding it a bit difficult to be inspired to read my required reading birth books lately for my doula class.  For example, I LOVED reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth a few years ago, so I got her Birth Matters book to read for my class requirements and it's hard getting into it. I think it's only because my brain knows I have to write a paper after finishing it so it's being difficult.  I just wish I could pour through them like I know I normally would.  I need to do that and find 1 more birth to support and I'll be finished with my requirements! It's exciting to think that I'm almost certified though!

It's still challenging living with my dad & step mom. I love them, I am grateful for them opening their doors to us, but I HATE 2 of their pets!! They have an old 15 year old dog who they inherited from an aunt. The dog, Holly, barks all the time and has woken the kids several times. She also is unreliable to go pee or poop outside and thus it ends up on the carpet. Gross. But not as gross as my step mom's 15 year old cat Hobbes, who was born with half a brain. He is disgusting, plain and simple. He cannot take care of himself and his fur is matted and falls out in chunks all over the place. He cannot climb into the litter box very well, and sprays everywhere or half the time he cannot control himself and poops all over the hallway.  He is utterly disgusting and I just pray that death finds him soon. My dad hates him too, but since my step mom rescued him as a kitten, she can't just put him down. He's mean and meows if we're near him at all.  Brian is also very allergic to him. I have allergies too, but I must be getting used to it since I don't take my meds anymore and just deal with it. I'm debating starting a kickstarter fund to have him euthanized! lol! We all like their other cat, EB, since she's nice, clean and quiet. And the kids like the hermit crab we got my dad a few years ago! ;o) It's just frustrating dealing with 2 gross pets who are probably only still living so they can annoy the crap out of us. It is what it is.

We're also praying for a new car. We're trying to save money to buy something more reliable and so we have 2 cars (at least temporarily since my car is on the verge of dying. boo!). We were talking about how much we miss our van the other day, so we're hoping that life sends us another one soon. It got way better gas mileage for one thing and the space was awesome so we didn't have tons of hitting and screaming. But if we get another sedan, we will make it work. As long as the turn signals work, it doesn't need brakes, the parking brake light doesn't constantly ring, the windows work, the interior lining isn't falling off, and the transmission is fine--all stuff that's going on w/my car currently--I'll be happy!

Ok, enough typing! Must go get the kiddos lunch before I need to take Sophie to school and try to figure out how to spend the next 3 hours. ;o)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Slowing Down...

I feel like I've been going non stop for weeks now...probably because I have been.  Getting Sophie signed up for school, getting the "must haves" on her new school list, moving the necessities to my dad's house, getting his house settled for 5 more people there (I'm not lying when I say it's the size of an apartment. yikes!), getting our stuff semi-organized, cleaning and vacuuming daily because of the disgusting cat that Judy has, making lists, more lists & more lists!!! I feel like there is always something that needs to be done and never enough time to do it.

I'm about halfway done with my doula coursework, but don't have "me" time to complete everything right now. I'm so bummed about that. I just want to finish and only have to wait to support a mama to have her baby (I need 1 more birth to meet the certification requirements). All in due time, right?

Oh, and I know I need to start planning ahead for Christmas projects, so I have time to get them done. That will be the key to our Christmas this year...slow and steady so we can afford things and so we won't be scrambling at the end like last year.  Luckily, I was smart enough to pin some things on pinterest this spring (when I had time apparently!) for Christmas gifts, so I have an idea of what all I need to get done.

And then there's the meal planning! Oh how I HATE planning meals! I don't like cooking meals. I just don't.  I like, no, love baking!! Just not cooking. And these people want to eat every day! Jeesh! So I've been trying to plan meals out for more then 2 days at a time and am doing a crappy job at it so far.  I need to find something that works to feed 4 adults & 3 kids around the same time everyday and it still be healthy/affordable.  Does anything like that exist anywhere?  It needs to!!

And Sophie started school last week too!  She LOVES it! And has been counting down the summer to go to school. Heck, she's counting down the days this weekend until she can go back. Only my kid would wish away vacation so she can go learn! :op But boy does that throw a wrench into things.  She goes from 12:30-3:30 roughly, so I have a small chunk of time in the morning to feed the kids twice (breakfast & lunch), get them ready, do some small chores/errands and then off to drop Sophie at school.  Maddy & Noah cried so hard when we dropped her off the first day, so we went to the park afterwards and now they expect that! lol! So if we don't do the park, we have a short amount of play time, naps (hopefully. They've been taking totally crappy naps lately! And super late in the day too. ugh!), mom gets some more small chores done or *gasp* has time to check her email!! and then it's time to wake the littles up and walk to the bus stop to pick up Sophie. Walk back home, snack time, Judy gets home, think of something for dinner before dad & Brian get home, get dinner cleaned up, baths for the kids, books and bed.  And by that point, I'm exhausted too and want to go to bed, but stay up too late trying to catch up on everything else and squeeze a chapter of my doula book in if I can.  I hope we can get a better routine figured out soon so I can make better use of my time. If I get up any earlier, I'm in everyone else's way (3 adults getting ready for work in the morning w/only 1 bathroom gets hectic!), so I just hope & pray we settle into a better routine soon!!

I am SO ready to SLOW DOWN! Even just for a day or two.  I'm kinda looking forward to winter for that reason, but am trying hard to not wish the beautiful end of summer and fall days away.  This is my favorite time of year and I want to somehow cherish it too. Getting pulled in every which way is just getting so dang tiring! But the show must go on.

All in due time...all in due time...
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