Tag Archives: baby

Help!! I don’t know what to do with a happy baby!

As many of you know my first born wasn’t a happy baby.  We figured out a few things (like giving up dairy) but he was still fussy for the first 19 months of life. I feel like I grew as a mother and parent, and learned so much from that first year of James’ life. But. it. was. horrible! To have a constantly crying baby, that needs to be constantly held and doesn’t sleep well is very very draining in every single way. 

James’ first Christmas 2 1/2 months old.


James magically became a happy baby the day we had Gideon. Go figure on that. I worried my whole pregnancy! How in the world could I take care of James AND BABY!! I’m not going to lie, that summer was pretty hard. I had to give up dairy and wheat with Gideon. Gideon also woke up to nurse every 2 hours until he was about 14 months old. No I’m not joking!

Aug 2012 Gideon is about 3 months, James is almost 2. This picture sums up our summer pretty nicely.


I couldn’t put Gideon down either. He cried quite a bit, and if he was happy on the floor James would attack Gideon (out of love) so I had to watch both of them all the time. I had people tell me, “Oh enjoy these years!” “I miss my kids being babies!” “They are so sweet at this age! And then they grow up!” What a joke! I couldn’t wait for them not to be babies anymore!

While I was pregnant with Faith I remember telling my aunt that I wasn’t looking forward to the big black hole I seem to live in the first year after having a baby.  It’s not really postpartum depression, it’s just really hard!

But Faith! Faith is different!


She hardly ever cries. And when she does it’s pretty easy to figure out what she needs. James and Gideon like to hold her and talk to her, but when she’s playing on the floor they mostly leave her alone. Oh, which by the way, SHE LIES ON THE FLOOR! I don’t know what to do! I forget to even try and will ask Titus to hold her so I can go do something quick. I feel guilty leaving her on the floor. Shouldn’t I be holding her? Isn’t she lonely on the floor by herself?

I feel sad when I look at all the clothes she has out grown. I finally understand what all those people were talking about! I am totally enjoying Faith as a baby, in a way that I never did with my boys. Some people might judge that statement but if you haven’t had a fussy baby than you really really don’t understand. And to those moms that have had a fussy baby, it’s truly truly worth it to keep having babies until you get a happy one. It is a completely different experience that every mom should have!


Speaking of having kids. I have been very very surprised at the amount of people who assume we are done.  Random people at the park, at stores, in church (“I had three kids in three years too! It’s hard but then you are done and they grow up and move away.”). It took me awhile to figure it out, but I think it’s because we have both genders now and most people would stop.  Well I guess we aren’t most people. We hope to have more children. We view children as a gift and blessing from God.

Psalm 127:3-5

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Proverbs 17:6

Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers.

Not every one comes away from a big family with a good experience, but I did. I love my family and love the thought of having my own big family. We haven’t set a magic number of when we would stop, we’ll just take it one baby at a time. And if babies are really as fun and easy as Faith than we have a happy future a head of us. 🙂

James & Gideon meet their Sister

James and Gideon were gone for a whole week when I had Faith.  I still can’t believe they were gone that long, especially since we had never left Gideon over night.  From all the reports I got from both grandmas and numerous aunts they did just fine.  When they got home it was very very late and were already asleep, so they didn’t get to meet Faith until the morning.  James was sleeping in our bed when Faith woke up crying.  When I went into the room James had the most confused look on his face.  He pointed to the co-sleeper and said, “Baby?”


Gideon likes her


Daddy, Gideon and baby Faith

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Titus, daddy of 3!!

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Gideon really likes to hold Faith.  Not sure Faith really likes to be held by him….

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Looking back 4 years

Last week marked four years ago I married the love of my life.  As I look back on our four years together I can see how much we have been blessed together, and how God has taken such good care of us.  Our first year was in Hawaii, which was amazing.  We lived in this beautiful little one bedroom apartment on the second floor. I loved it!


July 4th 2010


God knew we really needed time together as newly weds without any friends or family around.  We had plenty of money, and Titus didn’t work much.  We just went on lots of dates the first half of living there.  God blessed us with a son in September that first year.


Since James cried all the time it slightly changed our newly wed date life we had going on. 😉  But you can’t stay newly weds forever!

We went to Maui as the first family vacation ever!


Titus and I went to the Marine Corp ball.  I think it was our first date after having James. (Which I think got cut short because he started crying at the baby-sitter’s house ha ha!)


Our first year anniversary.  We didn’t do much (it was just too hard to leave James), but we did borrow a friend’s motorcycle and took a ride up through the island.  I don’t ride motorcycles when I’m pregnant and it was something Titus wanted to do.  I don’t think we even went out to eat or anything.  It was just a quick ride.


Our second year we moved back to Minnesota into this little house:


Titus’ grandma had moved to Kansas and she let us live here rent free for our second year of marriage.  It was a huge blessing since it helped us make ends meet that first year out of the military.  Our second year we didn’t do much, but reconnected with family and friends.

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We went to Texas and Kansas that year for vacations.  For our second anniversary we went out to eat at Bergen Bar.  I think we might have gone back home and watched a movie together too, before getting James. I can’t remember.


Our third year involved another baby and yet another move.

God blessed us with a second son, Gideon.


A month later we moved to this beautiful house:


We had a happy third year with our two little boys.

The 4th of July


For vacation we went up to northern Minnesota.  It turned out to be a horrible trip with the two little boys, but at least we spent some time with family. This picture sums it up nicely:


On our 3rd anniversary I forgot. Completely forgot! In my defense, I was under large amounts of stress, and incredibly sleep deprived!  Titus how ever went all out, dozens of flowers all over the house, chocolate every where, and a beautiful pink set of jewelry.  He is truly a wonderful man. Maybe he knew I needed some extra love that year!

That brings us to this last year.  Last summer I think was one of our best ones.  The boys were a bit older and loved going to the barn.  We spent lots of time there since we decided to move yet again!

Half way through our 4th year we moved to Denver, CO.


And God blessed us with a little girl two days before our 4th year ended:

Faith Natalie


In our four years of marriage:

we have lived in four different houses,

in three different states,

been blessed with three healthy and beautiful children,

Titus has had three different jobs plus going to school,

and I can truly see God’s hand in all of it.  From providing the money for our home births, to all our moves, and Titus’ different jobs.

And one of the biggest and best blessings of our four years together is the fact that other than when he worked at Mountain Power (for about two months) Titus has not worked a normal 8-5 job.  He has been home during the day a ton and we get to see him a lot.  There have been times that he has been busy (like when they bale hay or during harvest time), but for the majority of the time he spends a lot of it at home.  This has been an amazing blessing, one that I am very very thankful for!

I love you honey, here’s to another wonderful 4 years together, with hopefully more babies, and hopefully not as many moves. 😉


Baby of Mine

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

Little one when you play
Don’t you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew sweet little you
They’d end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they’d give just for

The right to hold you
From your head to your toes
You’re so sweet, goodness knows
You are so precious to me
Sweet as can be, baby of mine

Song from “Dumbo”

Little one I think we are finally ready for your arrival. 


20ish weeks pregnant


33ish weeks pregnant.


We have people set up watch your big  brothers for 17 days.  It would be good if you came during then. Mommy has been cooking and freezing meals to help her spend more time with you, little one.  She did want to make a few more, but as you can see, she is ran out of room in the freezer. 


We have your basket all ready with little diapers in it.  But no name on the front because we aren’t sure what to call you yet. 

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We have the birth kit all ready, hiding under a blanket to keep big brothers from digging in it.


We have a pink outfit and a blue outfit in the birth kit.  One of them will be just right for you.


Mommy has gotten a lot done on her lists.  And thanks to Daddy helping out last night she crossed off three things on the lists!


Daddy and Mommy went to a movie today while Grandma Kathy watched your big brothers.  It was something on Daddy’s list to do before you come. 😉


Baby Mine, we are so excited for your arrival.  We can’t wait to meet you and hold you.  Come soon little one. 


Almost 40 weeks. (no Mommy doesn’t look that great, it must be the angle of the camera!)

What ever birthday you decide to pick will be just perfect!


A few days short of 40 weeks.

God is good

James is doing remarkably well with having a brother.  I really struggled when I found out I was pregnant last summer.  James was such a hard baby I wasn’t ready for another one.  Plus I really felt like James still needed my undivided attention and that he would totally freak out when the baby was born.  So, I worried and fretted for 9 months.  I had prayed that I wouldn’t get pregnant for a few more months, but God didn’t answer that prayer.  I questioned God, “Why, would you do this?  Why is it a good idea for us to have another baby so fast?”  I would ask Titus, “Why does God think this is a good idea?”  I did pray a lot that James would be fine when the baby was born, but I didn’t really think he would be.  I had feelings that we were ruining his life, and would never get over it.  I know that sounds drastic but you have to remember this child has been the center of my world for the last year and half.  My life has been totally turned upside down because of him.  And God wanted to give us another one. But you know what?  James loves Gideon.  Has he had his moments of not liking him?  Sure!  Has he had melt downs because I’m holding the baby and can’t help him? Sure!  But over all he has adjusted just fine.  In fact I think James is doing better then he ever has before.  He’s playing by himself more then he did just a month ago.  He’s never played by himself for very long, but now I sit on the couch and watch him play.  Maybe it’s an age thing, or maybe just maybe God answered all those prayers sent up in tears, worrying, and stress.  God is so good to answer our prayers even when we are praying with very little faith, or dare I say it, anger.  I’m not saying my life is easy right now, for pete’s sake I’m typing this with one hand at 3 in the morning!  What I am saying is, God is good.  And even though I prayed I wouldn’t get pregnant so fast maybe it really was for the best.  I just hope I can remember this lesson next time I’m worrying about something.

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The birth story

Gideon Jonathan Penner: born April 4, 2012 (on his grandpa Jonathan’s b-day) at 10:47 a.m. 9 pounds 4 ounces 22″ long

I used to be one of those girls that just rolled her eyes when birth stories came up.  I’d give my mom about 5 -10 minutes before her or the person she was talking to starting talking about one of their kid’s birth stories.  I just didn’t get it.  I know how all my cousins, friends, and their friends came into this world.  But after having just one child and now a second I totally get it.  It’s the most amazing accomplishment a woman can do in her life.  Women who have given birth know this and love to talk about it.  I think it’s an even deeper feeling for moms that give birth naturally without any pain meds.  I found this out after I had James.  I have a huge sense of pride in myself and my body to be able to create something so amazing and so beautiful.  A woman’s body is incredible!

A week ago today we welcomed into this world a second son, Gideon.  Last Tuesday in the afternoon I started having very strong braxton hicks.  I now know it was pre-labor but then I just thought it was the same old practice contractions.  I put James in the stroller and went for a walk to the park.  We were at the park for about an hour playing and watching the other kids play.  Every time I moved I would have really strong braxton hicks.  I almost called Titus to tell him that I thought maybe I was in labor.  But again I told myself, “Nah, it’s just braxton hicks.  No need to get Titus excited.”  I was ONLY 9 days past the due date at this point. ha ha  James and I walked home and I had to grip the stroller handle bars for support at times.  Still didn’t think I was in labor…..

That evening Titus built a wonderful fence around the front yard so James can play without going in the street.  It was an early birthday present!  And I love it!  At that point all pre-labor had stopped.  Of course as soon as I went to bed it started up again but I think I slept about an hour or so before they got really strong.  At 2:30 the contractions woke me up and I knew that this was labor.  I seem to be doomed to losing a night of sleep.  So unfair.  So I got up and sat on the exercise ball for awhile, did some reading, some timing, watched an episode of Reba.  James woke up at one point and I rocked him in the rocking chair for awhile then carried him to our bed.  Titus got up around 4 and I told him I was in labor.  We called the mid-wife around 6 and she didn’t laugh when Titus told her I had said I wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural. 😀  Titus told me not to joke about that. (who’s joking????)  James woke up again and we got him back to sleep.  Then Sue came a little after 7 and I was happy to see her.  It’s kinda hard to know when to call the mid-wife since you don’t want to call them to early. She took the baby’s heart rate (124-132) and then we just waited.  My mom came to get James at 8.  I was kind of in a resting period with contractions and James was able to sit on my lap for awhile before he had to leave, which he wasn’t very happy about. Poor little guy.

Around 10 I had really bad back pain.  I think I could get through labor so much better if I didn’t have back pain.  Every time I would go from sitting to standing I would get horrible back pain.  I didn’t have that with James at all, so it was very surprising to me this time around.  Titus would rub my back with a vibrating back massager which did help a little bit.  As the contractions to closer and stronger I kept thinking to myself, “If my water would just break then I can start pushing!!”  But I do think I started pushing before my water broke, and that created a lot of pressure!  Once my water broke the contractions were so strong.  Way worse then with James!  I couldn’t believe how intense they were!!  I told Sue and Titus I thought I wanted to try a different position, but when they asked me how I wanted to be I couldn’t tell them.  All I wanted to do was lie down somewhere soft. Sue told me that I only had two more pushes and the baby would be there.  I didn’t believe her since when I was in labor with James that mid-wife had said, “Only one more push.” about a billion times.  But I held onto that hope of only two more.  And she was right!  Two more pushes and Gideon was here!  Titus says I only pushed for about 15 minutes.  My water broke at 10:45 and Gideon was born at 10:47!! The first thing I said was, “He’s so fat!” ha haImage

By 11:30 we were comfortably nursing on the couch.  God has so blessed our little family!  I love the fact that because I wasn’t going to a doctor I wasn’t induced and Gideon was born on his grandpa’s birthday.  What a blessing that could most likely have been missed.  Birthing at home is such a wonderful experience!  You are surrounded by your own stuff, and it’s just you, your hubby, and the midwife.  No bright lights, people you don’t know, and no IV’s! ha  ha (I’m not good with needles…)

I asked Titus how he would describe Gideon’s birth and he said, “Fast!” ha ha!

I’m just glad it’s all over. Being pregnant after already having a baby is totally different then the first time around.  You kinda know what you’ve gotten yourself into now and you really don’t want to do it again.

12 books in 3 months!

I am so happy and proud to say that I finished the adult library reading program by finishing my last book a few days ago.  I thought I was nuts when I let the librarian signed me up last Jan.  12 books in three months????  I don’t have that kind of time! I then went home and figured out that I had to read 4 books very month…..yeah right!  But I did it.  And I feel so happy to have accomplished it!  And as a prize I got a beautiful yellow mug! 


On a side note, I am still pregnant. Last Sunday, March 25 was the official due date, not that I really planned on going before that time but you know…..it happens to some people.  I’m about a week over now.  I had planned on going late, but I hadn’t planned on having a baby in April!  Right now the little person has 11 hours to be a March baby…..probably not going to happen.  I feel great not miserable at all, so other than the (seemingly) endless waiting, and all the annoying phone calls (“How do you feel today??”) I really don’t mind going late.  I think with all the people being induced these days our society has forgotten how to wait for the baby.    Plus I’m really enjoying these last few days being a mom of just one.  I still can’t comprehend having two kids, there is only one of me!  God will have to give me the grace and patients that I’m going to need I guess.  And hopefully bless us with a happy baby. 


We still don’t have names picked out.  We like the name Hope Samantha, but I’m worried about Hope ending in a p considering our last name.  So we might go with Hopeful Cara.  Which this week I really like, last week didn’t like.  As for a boy, I like the name Gideon but I haven’t found a middle name yet.  I got another baby name book from the library today to help out. 🙂


On a very positive note, Titus got a steroid shot in both shoulders a few weeks ago and after a week and half of serious pain they seem to be working! Ever since getting out of the military a year ago he has suffered from shoulder pain and we have seen doctor after doctor about it with no results.  The last doctor we went to told us that Titus had tendonitis (which we had been told before but not told what to do about it) and that steroid shots should fix the problem!  Wow!  Then I asked the doctor if he saw a lot of guys Titus’ age with this problem and he said yes. Another wow! What was wrong with all the other doctors we saw????  We even went to a shoulder specialist with no results or diagnoses!


I could probably go on since I haven’t blogged for so long but James is up now and I really want to post this before something happens and I can’t.  Like the water James’ just spilled. 😀

Leap Year Post!

One simply MUST add a post on leap day since you can’t do it again for another 4 years.  Even if the post is a rambling mess that doesn’t really mean much, it still must be done!!


I’m rather disappointed in leap day.  I think we should have parties, or a parade, or something fun to celebrate.  It is after all a very interesting day when you really think about it.  The most exciting thing I have found out so far today is that Bible reading plans don’t count February 29th, so you have an extra day to get back on schedule. (And yes I was behind, and yes I am now currently caught up) A friend’s post on facebook this morning made me laugh quite a bit.  It read:


4 years ago today i asked mary (name changed by blogger) to marry me. knowing how women like to celebrate important dates i figure proposing on a day like today has saved us a couple hundred bucks. i love you dear and we can celebrate again in 4 more years


On a truly exciting note, my husband fixed the bathroom shelves yesterday.  I am so happy.  The bathroom is very small, and while I am so grateful for it, it seems to have been getting on my nerves quite a bit lately.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting bigger (36 weeks and counting!), or if it’s just being grumpy about it.  But Titus fixed all the shelves and I was able to move all the towels and bottles and things into the closet.  I’ve gained probably two feet of space and it’s amazing.  Now I can bring in a chair to sit on while James takes a bath and I won’t have to hurt my back by sitting on the toilet.  And I was able to save two shelves for the new baby’s clothes.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to put them since all our dressers seem to be full, but now I have a spot! Now I want to wash some clothes just to put them in there so I can see them. Oh happy day.

Is it you or me?

My sister posed an interesting question to me last time I was at my parents house.  She asked, “When you are annoyed by someone do you generally think it’s because of you, or because of them?”  I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few days.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been quite grumpy these last few days and many things have been annoying me that usually I just shrug off.  For instance, it’s greatly bothered me lately that my husband generally doesn’t close cupboards and drawers when he opens them.  Most of the time I just close them and go on my way, but these last few days it really seems to tick me off.  My grumpy toddler is getting to me more too.  Plus he’s sick again, which also has me mad.  I wish I could figure out why he gets sick so much.

So why am I grumpy?

Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s the fact that our new baby is coming in little over a month and I’m starting to stress about it.  Maybe it’s hormones.  Maybe it really IS all the other people. 🙂  Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m letting my family down when I don’t have it together.  Which then makes me even more grumpy.  Maybe I need to get out of the house more.  Maybe I haven’t spent the time I should be reading my Bible and praying. Who really knows.

But to answer my sister’s question, I think most of the time it’s my fault when people annoy me. Not being tolerant and grumpy towards other people will always have at least something to do with me.  Some of the time I guess it really is other people’s fault, but for the most part it’s my attitude towards them.  Which, when I think about it in my grumpy state, doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better!! 🙂