March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feeling Guilty

Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is the one day that my three big children are all at school ~ at least for a couple of hours. Throughout the fall I spent my Tuesdays volunteering and keeping appointments with the doctor, with the dentist, with the architect, with the interior decorator, with the contractor ~ all of those things that are just more difficult to do with little ones in tow. But now, Betsy is here and the reality is that Betsy sleeps a lot! I should continue to get a lot done on Tuesdays, right? Today, I had a list {in my head} of things I should accomplish:

- read with Mary Frances' friends at the elementary school ~ check

- laundry/ironing ~ does folding one load of clothes count?

- sewing ~ does dreaming of spring wardrobes for four children count?

- junior league stuff ~ does getting out my nursery rhyme binder and sending an e-mail count?

- filing ~ does moving a stack of papers count?

- thank yous {from Christmas and a birthday} ~ does addressing some baby notes count

But what have I done ~ not much on my list. Instead I have held Betsy! Just ask my children, she is pretty fun to hold. I feel guilty, but not too guilty. This is the end and so the justifications begin ~ there will be no more babies in our house, there is only a short time where they want to sleep snuggled up in your arms, I have only a limited amount of time when there are not numerous distractions clamoring for my attention and so I have held Betsy today.

Once the boys arrive home maybe I can tackle some of my list or then again maybe not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Visitors from the South

I don't know about you, but when there is a new baby in the house our family lives for the weekend. This weekend was no exception... We are always so thankful to have daddy at home with us! Maybe we always live for the weekend, but it just seems more pronounced when there is a newborn at home.

Before I fill you in on our march, I want to share some pictures of Walker.

This was Friday at the breakfast table...I said, "let's pray" and looked up to see this angelic face sweetly folding his hands and waiting..

He is certainly warming to the idea of being a big brother...

On Saturday, we had visitors. In order to meet Betsy, my dad and his 93 year old mother made the 250+ mile jaunt to come visit us. We were touched and honored that they went to this effort. It was a quick turn around, but each of them was able to hold Betsy.

We were all able to visit and enjoy a tasty lunch ~ my boys {particularly Stephen LOVE my father}. My dad is great about loving and accepting them unconditionally.

Frank took Dad and Stephen down to inspect the progress on the house. {They are still working with the blocks to build the foundation though they did put in the fireplaces over the weekend.}

On Sunday, we had hopes of making it to church but woke up and realized it might be too much sugar for a nickle. Instead we were part of the "live listening audience" ~ something I didn't understand until having children but now feel so blessed by its presence.

Frank sat on the floor and played legos with the children for hours. We went to the storage unit to get some additional baby paraphernalia, the train set, and my non-maternity clothes {not that they are going to fit}, and I took a much needed nap.

And now for a sneak peak on my week...a baby bonnet for Betsy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Betsy is one week old today! So, what have we been doing since leaving the hospital?

First and foremost we have been trying to get well! I think everyone's health is completely restored, and for that I am thankful. I just hope ShuShu is recovering and didn't come down with the fever flu-like bug. It is no fun to be sick.

Monday was a holiday Monday so Frank didn't go to work. We love holiday Mondays! Some of Frank's cousins stopped by for a visit on their way out of town. {We truly missed seeing everyone at the lake.}

I'm so thankful that this sweet little bundle of love and joy came to join our family a week ago.

We are adjusting to a life of six living in somone else's home. Mary Frances can't get enough time holding Betsy. It is the last thing she wants to do before leaving for school and the first thing she wants to do upon arriving home.

The hardest part is not being able to drive especially since Betsy has needed to go to the pediatrician three time this week. I'm not great at being home bound. My family has always called me the "go go girl" and then coupled with my difficulty in asking for help makes staying in trying.

Why is picking up the phone to ask for help so hard for me? Call me stubborn! Call me independent ~ to a fault! Call it my pride! Call it the human condition of sin! Call it what you will but I've got a bad case of it! I think it is quite common among mothers particularly "stay at home mothers" though I have some friends who are so good at knowing there limits and being willing to ask others for help. I, unfortunately, don't have that gift. I want to feel like I can do it all and feel like I am in control of it all. It is good for me to be forced to step out of my comfort zone and to surrender and so I have picked up the phone to call on neighbors and Norval's friends who have over the last nine months graciously offered to help. And so I've picked up the phone to arrange transportation to and from school, ballet, and the pediatrician.

It's cold here ~ on Wednesday Steve came home at lunch and built a fire that burned the rest of the day. It was so nice! I think I was having withdrawals after a constant fire at the lake over Christmas and New Years and then three days of being home bound with ice.

We don't want to forget this little hand.

This big brother is warming up to the idea of a little sister. Her hand was extended on the blanket and he was sweetly sharing his blocks.

Okay, I'm signing off...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome Home Betsy!

Taken yesterday ~ from the hospital and then upon arriving on our street!
What a homecoming!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our Newest Arrival

One last photo opportunity as a family of five ~

What a miracle! What a blessing! What a relief!
Our newest arrival is here...and it's a GIRL!
So what's her name?

With each of our children we have been downright selfish and boring to the rest of the world. We don't find out what the gender is going to be prior to delivery {there are few good surprises in life and we just want a healthy baby} and we don't share our names {we don't want every one's opinion}. I guess it was with Mary Frances when I ended up having a c-section and the grandparents knew it was a girl because of Frank's pink wristband, but they didn't know the name because Frank was showing them the baby and the wristband through a glass window that we came up with a system to let them know the name. Our tradition has been to prepare two envelopes and give them to Pops the night before the birth. One envelope says "girl" and the other says "boy" ~ Once Frank shows them the baby and the wristband, Steve opens the appropriate envelope and destroys the other one.
Elizabeth Chapman ~ "Betsy" was born Thursday, January 13th at 7:16. She weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and was 18.5 inches long.

Mommy and Betsy went to recovery and Frank and the rest of the family went for breakfast. The children drank pink milk in honor of their new sister.
So what do we think of our little sister~
One sibling is beside herself to have a sister... In fact I think she is still having difficulty finding the words to express her excitement, and I've never known my daughter to be at a loss for words. She can sit and hold her for hours. {Well who doesn't love holding a baby ~ baby sounds, baby smells, baby features}
One sibling would have initially been happier to hear the words "it's a boy" but he is excited to be a big brother again. He can't wait to give her a bottle.
This sibling would have been content to stay the baby of the family, but he is warming up to the idea of being a big brother. He's gotten very good at saying her name and is looking forward to showing mommy where she is going to sleep.
Betsy and Pops~ Betsy and ShuShu~ Our family is complete!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eyes of Wonder

It's a snow day! What a way to start a super star week! Pajamas {all day}, hot chocolate, a fire, a movie, daddy's office is closed, and a national championship football game {War Eagle!}... what more could a super star, her brothers, mommy, and daddy ask for.

The children went to bed last night to some freezing rain...they woke up to a blanket of white covering the yard. Stephen's reaction was priceless ~ my father and I have described my children as having "eyes of wonder" and that certainly described Stephen as he looked out of the window this morning. He could not contain his excitement and could not wait to get out in it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our Weekend

What'd you do this weekend? Well we enjoyed our last weekend as a family of five.

We had friends over for dinner...

We went to the storage unit to get the baby stuff...

The children and Frank went to inspect the progress on the house...

Mary Frances and I finished her "super star" poster...

We went to church...

We made gorp...

We waited for snow...

Stay tuned...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Today, I had it in my head that I would take the boys to the zoo. The sun was shining and the temperatures had warmed. I thought it was a perfect day to be outside and take advantage of a break from frigid temperatures! They had other plans...

They entertained themselves for the better part of an hour with the spray bottles I use when ironing.So, what did mom do while they were otherwise engaged. I worked on this basket...

I perpetually have an overflowing ironing basket. I'm embarrassed to tell you what you might find if you dig deep enough. Take for example, one night this week, I dumped the entire basket out to look for a lacy shirt for Walker to wear to have his two year old pictures taken. Sadly, by dumping the basket out, it looks more full than it did because it isn't packed down as well. Very discouraging for me!

If an article of clothing goes missing in our house, it is best to first check this basket. It doesn't matter how hard I try, I just can't stay on top of it. Yes, it drives me crazy and sends my cortisol levels up, but it is just how it is. I guess instead of going to bed, I should go iron a few articles of clothing, but my bed is calling my name. Maybe, no definitely, in the morning after I work on those thank you notes...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of time with family.

On the second day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of snow.

On the third day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of my mother being in town.

On the fourth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of a daddy coming home for the rest of the year!

On the fifth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of a birthday boy.

On the sixth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of one of the last fires of the year.

On the seventh day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of getting the Christmas decoration down and put away.On the eighth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of a rainy lazy day filled with football, thank you notes, and a yummy dinner.

On the ninth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of coming home.

On the tenth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of laundry and leftovers.

On the eleventh day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of getting back into a routine.

On the twelfth day of Christmas we were given the glorious gift of some quiet time with a bag of library books.