Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baby's First Adjustment

When Judah was 5 days old, we both got to take a trip to the Chiropractor. Well, I was excited about it anyway, I don't know that Judah felt the same. But that's just because he didn't know.

Now that he knows Chiropractic adjustments lead to relaxing sleepy days and full diapers, I think he'll feel differently next time. lol

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May Christ be at the heart of your Christmas celebration,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Judah's Birth Story

Tuesday I was so emotional, thinking I was just never going to go into labor. I had called Kyle at work and told him I needed a date night to get my mind off pregnancy. We went out for burgers and then wandered around Target afterwards. We decided we weren't going to talk about the baby at all. We practically just stared at each other during dinner, not knowing what else to talk about. LOL
At 2 am the next morning, I started having very mild, short, and infrequent contractions. Some were 10 minutes apart, some were 25 minutes apart. I just stayed in bed. At 4am, I started getting excited about the possibility of being in labor and went downstairs to time the contractions. Same pattern. After an hour, I was exhausted and decided to go back to bed. By 6:30 am, I couldn't rest through them, so I woke Kyle up and we got into "Baby Day" mode. I was getting dressed, fixing my hair, and putting on make-up in between contractions, which at that point were 5-10 minutes apart. Kyle called Rose Marie, my midwife, and she wanted to hear me go through a contraction so she could gauge how far along I was. After 20 minutes on the phone with her, I hadn't had a single contraction! I was pretty frustrated when she told me to time the contractions for an hour and then call her back.
I called her back at 7am, telling her the contractions were now 3-4 minutes apart and she got to hear me breathe through one. She took me seriously then and said she'd head our way, planning to arrive by 8am. Kyle aired up the birth pool and started filling it up. Then he called my friend Carrie to come pick up the littles (Daniel, Lydia, and Julia), our photographer, Isabelle, my best friend, Gretchen, and my sister, Jamie. They all arrived around 8:00.

When Julia woke up and came downstairs, she saw a pool in the middle of the den, surrounded by lighting equipment, and me on my knees leaning over the couch taking deep breaths. She started asking the big kids: "What Mama doin'?" Hearing her trying to make sense of it all made me emotional. I couldn't wait to be able to explain it all!
At 8am, I was ready to get into the pool but needed Rose Marie's permission to make sure I didn't get in too early. (I did not want to slow labor down!) Jamie called her and she said she would be here soon. 10 minutes later, at my request, she called again. This time I realized Rose Marie was being vague. How far away was she anyway?? I said: Forget this, I'm getting in! (Turns out she was stuck in traffic and wouldn't arrive until almost 9:15am, over an hour late!)

Labor becomes sooo much easier just getting into water. Amazing difference! During contractions, Kyle was saying: "You can do this! You're doing great!" His encouragement gave me strength. I was so worn out from getting so little sleep, the work of relaxation was making me dizzy. At my request, Rose Marie broke my water to get things moving. All of a sudden, she was explaining to the photographer that things were going to happen really quickly now. I saw her getting everything ready for the delivery and I got really emotional! I was crying: I'm so excited! I'm so excited!
When I hit transition, I panicked like I always do. I couldn't find a position I wanted to be in and I felt out of control. I decided to focus all my energy on deep breathing. I was praying: "Lord, you make Baby do what he needs to do. I'm just going to work on relaxing." That helped a lot. The deeper breaths I took, the more in control I was.
After what seemed an eternity, but was really only a few contractions, I felt the urge to push. YES! I have purpose! As soon as his head was out, all the pain disappeared. I sighed: "Oh sweet relief!" lol

At 10:39 am, Kyle delivered Judah into my arms after unwrapping the cord, which was wound around his neck THREE TIMES! Judah did a triple back flip under water before I was able to hold him!

When Kyle announced that it was a boy, Maya threw her arms in the air and said: "YES!!! I KNEW IT!!" The kids were all ecstatic!! All of the kids had been praying for a boy.
Julia's first words to Judah were "Hi cutie!"

Needless to say, we're all smitten with Judah the Handsome. What a perfect early Christmas gift!!

A Song for Lauren Scruggs

Lauren Scruggs, the young fashion model who lost her hand and was severely injured by walking into a plane propeller also lost her left eye as well. Surgeons removed it Tuesday. I've been praying for this dear young girl and her family.

Today her mom sent out a message saying, “We received a wonderful gift from someone who created a You Tube video for her. It blessed us so much and we wanted to share it with you.” Mrs. Scruggs

Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's a BOY!!!

Judah Benjamin Clark

December 14, 2011, 10:39 a.m.
8 pounds, 13 ounces, 20 1/2 inches long

Ginger and Judah are doing great. All the Clark kids are ecstatic to have a baby brother. Congratulations Kyle and Ginger.

For the record, Ginger did extraordinarily well during labor and birth. Dilated to a 9, she was still smiling between contractions...and looked absolutely amazing!

Birth story and more pictures coming soon from Ginger.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chatty Cathy

Julia, 22 months

A little translation:

When Chloe asks her to read The New Baby book, Julia says: "Minute! Minute! (Wait a minute)"
After she closes the book, she claps and says: "Good job!"

She was so adorable at the church library this morning, I had to plop down and video her. She has a HUGE vocabulary, all thanks to having so many siblings talking to her all the time. She's our prodigy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm Not in Labor

Since so many of you thought that from the title of my last post. That meaning never even occurred to me! Does this mean you haven't spent the weeks since the new Vision Forum catalog came out waiting for the big Christmas sale?? Boy I have!

Still waiting for other exciting events,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Time!

If you've been watching the Vision Forum sales, this is when they get their best!

After a year of waiting, it's finally here! WooHoo!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

When Will Baby Arrive?


Place your bets now. Will it be a boy or a girl? What day will baby arrive? How much will baby weigh? How long will baby be?


Elena was 1 week early. 6 lbs. 15 oz. 18.5" long.

Chloe was 10 days late. 8 lbs. 5 oz. 19.5" long.

Lydia was 2 days early. 7 lbs. 14 oz. 19" long.

Julia was 3 days early. 7 lbs. 8 oz. 19.75"

The winner of this contest will receive a hearty congratulations and free publicity here at Clark Chatter.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Third Trimester Tutorial

This pregnancy has been so much easier than the others, it seems unfair to not share with you what has made the difference! The main difference is I haven't had ligament pains or muscle cramps. Just three things produced the change:

Calcium - I take 2 pills twice a day, per the dosage on the bottle.

Magnesium Malate - I take one 500 mg pill each evening. Calcium and magnesium are both credited for keeping muscles and ligaments relaxed so no more waking in the night with a leg cramp or round ligament pain.

Chiropractic Care - Go as often as you can afford it. Beginning around 30 weeks, I started going every two weeks. In this last month, I have gone once or twice a week, depending on how I'm feeling. It's making a HUGE difference! The only times I have back pain are when I overdo it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Budget Buster - Cold Cereal

Cold cereal is a major budget buster, and unless you have a very slow metabolism one serving will never fill you up. Instead of cold cereal for breakfast, try:
  • oatmeal (or baked oatmeal prepared the night before if convenience is what you love about cold cereal) Try peanut butter in your oatmeal for added protein, blueberries, dried apples, raisins, walnuts or pecans, or just brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • eggs and toast (hard-boiled if you need it quick)
  • fruit and yogurt
  • apple slices with peanut butter
What do you eat for breakfast instead of cold cereal?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks

(My sister and I at Thanksgiving.)

Last week, I went three times to a Chiropractor who specializes in the Webster technique - an adjustment that relaxes the mother's muscles and ligaments, thus allowing baby more room to move and turn into a head-down position. After the first visit, I could tell Baby clearly had a lot more breathing room. Suddenly Baby's kicks were all over the place!
After my second visit, my belly changed shape and I looked and felt different.
Yesterday my midwife came for my 38 week appointment and we found out that Baby has indeed turned. Baby Clark is now head down!
Praise the Lord for answered prayer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Budget Buster - Biscuits

One of our Saturday traditions is making a big breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits is one of our favorites. For what you get, canned biscuits are a big budget buster. Did you know that making biscuits is really easy?

Try this instead of buying canned:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening or cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in shortening or butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and milk; use fork to stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Using an ice cream scoop, place scoops of dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Do you have traditional breakfasts on the weekends? What are you favorites?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

How foolish we are when we think answered prayers are always the things we wanted most. Any time God makes us more like Him; that's an answer to our most needful prayer, regardless of how that comes.
Lord, make us thankful!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Free Math Curriculum

The Ray's Arithmetic series begins at a preliterate level with counting; then takes the child through addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and so upward until calculus, teaching concepts with thorough explanations followed by ample problem sets. The Ray's series provides a very full-bodied course of mathematics.
I love Ray's Arithmetic because it focuses on mental math and uses an abundance of word problems, teaching children the practical use of math.
You can get it here for free.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thought You'd Get a Kick Out of This

In addition to the exercises I posted here for helping turn a breech baby, I've also been using this contraption:

My dad just happened to have an inversion table AND he generously let me borrow it. {Thanks, Dad!}

Doesn't this look relaxing? Well, it's not actually. I'm faking it for your sake. Maybe without the 6-pounder inside me, it'd feel a little better. ;)

By the way, thank you so much for all your prayers. Your words of encouragement meant so much to me! The Lord answered my biggest request almost immediately: I haven't had any anxiety about baby's position. I have total peace knowing that God is sovereign and His timing is perfect. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's That Time of Year!!!

I love this time of year!! When Vision Forum begins their biggest sale of the year and I can stock up on all the stuff my kids want for Christmas, and save a ton of money on their wishes!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Free Geography Curriculum

Home Geography for Primary Grades walks you through basic geography in a Charlotte Mason style (gentle learning through short lessons) and is applicable to everywhere in the world.
You can get it here for free.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

At my midwife appointment last week, we discovered that Baby had flipped and was in the Frank breech position. I went to my Chiropractor on Monday to see if she could release the ligaments around my womb to allow Baby to turn. Midwife came again on Tuesday. Baby hadn't turned yet, so she referred me to a Chiropractor who specializes in the Webster technique - a maneuver that has great success in turning breech babies.
Thankfully, my midwife has a lot of experience with breech deliveries, but we would all still prefer that Baby turn.

So I'm doing several inversions each day to try to turn Baby:

Kyle and I have been struggling with anxiety about this. We are praying for God to be glorified in the safe delivery of this baby, regardless of which part comes out first. ;)
Please also pray that we will remember that God is sovereign and we can trust Him.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How the Frugal Wealthy Live

The world's frugal billionaires live well below their means and save money in surprising places. Here's their tips:

1. Keep Your Home Simple
Billionaires can afford to live in the most exclusive mansions imaginable -- yet frugal billionaires like Warren Buffett choose to keep it simple. Buffett still lives in the five-bedroom house in Omaha that he purchased in 1957 for $31,500.

2. Use Self-Powered or Public Transportation
Thrifty billionaires including John Caudwell, David Cheriton and Chuck Feeney prefer to walk, bike or use public transportation when getting around town.

3. Buy Your Clothes off the Rack
While some people, regardless of their net value, place a huge emphasis on wearing designer clothes and shoes, frugal billionaires decide it's simply not worth the effort, or expense.

4. Keep Your Scissors Sharp
Cut your own hair at home. Save an average of $40 per person per cut.

5. Drive a Regular Car
The idea is to buy a dependable car, and drive it into the ground. No need for a different car each day of the week for these frugal billionaires.

6. Skip Luxury Items
Carlos Slim (who could spend more than a thousand dollars a minute and not run out of money for one hundred years) does not own a yacht or a plane. (Reducing the amount you spend is the easiest way to make your money grow.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Homeschool Help Needed

If your kids have great handwriting, I need to know what curriculum you use.
If you're like me and haven't seen much improvement in your kids' handwriting, then come back here later for answers.

Thanks in advance, faithful readers,