Four Boys and a Man on a Mission

I figured that after a month of silence it was about time for an update on the baby and life in general, so here we go. Let’s start at the beginning…the day Abram was born.

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I’m one of those women that is chronically overdue with babies and I expected nothing less with this one… I don’t think I even packed my hospital bag until after my due date. Anyway, when 41 weeks (a week overdue) rolled around with no signs of labor, Adam and I decided to go ahead and induce. So one Wednesday, October 26 we went in for our induction at 5:30 am, and it went pretty much exactly like the induction we had with Judah 19 short months ago. The doctor broke my water, started pitocin, and when things started heating up I got an epidural. A couple of hours later, at 12:35, I had baby #4!

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We’ve never found out the gender with any of our babies, and this one was no different. If you’ve ever wanted to feel intense pressure from everyone over something you can’t control, have three kids of the same gender with a surprise fourth on the way. So when that pushing moment finally came and we hear “It’s a boy!” Adam and I both just started laughing…because of course it’s a boy. I thought it was a boy all along, I’ve thought I was having a boy each and every pregnancy. Someone upstairs thinks Adam and I are good at raising boys, evidently.

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Ten days into being a family of six

So how is life with four young boys? Well Abram is a month old now, and let me tell you….it is absolutely insane. INSANE. Four is a lot of kids. I feel like Adam and I had a pretty good handle on three, but this is a whole different ball game. Allow me to quote comedian Jim Gaffigan here…”Do you want to know what it’s like to have four kids? Imagine you are drowning…and then someone hands you a baby.” Ha…so true.

We’ve had a lot of medical stuff happen in the last few weeks as well. First, when Abram was a week old he had a very scary episode where he seized up and stopped breathing. I’m not sure how long it lasted because it felt like a lifetime, but it was long enough to start turning blue and scare the bejesus out of me and a friend that was visiting. Adam and I took him to the ER to get checked out and they said everything looked good and reassured us a bit, and he has been fine since. That doesn’t meant that I don’t sit and watch him breathe at night and jump every time he makes a weird noise, but so far so good.

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Then a few days after that Judah (the toddler) fell off the back porch, hit his head on a rock, and had to get five stitches. We had the stitches taken out a little over a week later and the would didn’t heal all that well, so he is going to get a grizzly scar as a memento. Luckily it’s in his hairline and probably won’t be noticeable. He was a champ when it happened though and it hasn’t slowed him down at all….I have a feeling he is going to be my stitches/broken bone/lots of urgent care visits kid. There’s one in every family.

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Judah a few days before his injury. I wish I loved anything as much as Judah loves cake.

That same day that Judah fell, Elijah (the oldest) got sick. He was sickish for a few days and then started looking pretty bad, so we took him to the doctor and came back with a pneumonia diagnosis. Then the day after that Judah came down with croup, which if you’ve ever had a kid with croup you know how it sounds…like a seal bark cough and labored Darth Vader breathing. It sounds terrifying, but it only lasted a day or two and he was back to his normal self. Unfortunately me, Levi, and Adam got sick shortly after, wrapping up a super fun two weeks of illness and injury. We are all better now though, and I’m pretty sure we met our sickness quota for the season, so that’s good.

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Tired mom selfie

I think the hardest thing about having four kids so far (besides all the medical chaos) is the age gap. The transition from two to three was fairly seamless, and I think the major factor there was that there is 3.5 years between number 2 and 3. That age gap is crazy easy compared to the 19 month age gap between 3 and 4 (there is also 19 months between 1 and 2). Do you like how I just call my kids by their number now? It’s because there’s so dang many of them, haha. Here is the kicker though…these past few insane weeks? Adam has been home for all of them. He took a month off of work and I am so SO happy that he did. I wish he could take a year off. Or forever. We’ve been tag teaming parenting and it has been great. He went back to work a few days ago I’m not quite sure how I’m going to handle all four of them on my own, not to mention school drop offs and pickups, homework, and all that jazz. And why does school start so dang early? Elijah has to be at the bus stop at 6:30 am… which comes mighty early after a long night of not sleeping. We’ll figure it out and things will get easier, but goodbye sleep…it’s been fun. I feel like I may never cross anything off my to-do list ever again, besides “dishes”, “laundry”, and “keep everyone alive”.  Although I am writing this blog post, but that’s only because  my mom is over here playing with the kids. Thank goodness for moms.

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At a baby shower for my newest nephew, due in February.

Speaking of to-do lists, Adam has been a man on a mission during this last few weeks. He took a month off for the baby and to help me…but his real goal was to get stuff done around the house. In the last few weeks he has built this banquette in the dining room (now I have to paint and upholster it)…

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Framed out our chicken coop…

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built these shelves in the kitchen (which I blogged about already)…

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Helped the landscapers built this retaining wall in the backyard..

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Worked on the cabinet doors for the kitchen

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And various other things like fixing my van, hanging light fixtures and fans, clearing and burning cedar, etc. The craziest part is that when his time off came to an end he was like “I feel like I got nothing done”, and I was like “Something is wrong with you.” Although, I do sort of get it because we didn’t actually finish any projects and get to cross them off the list…but still, he is crazy (and a very hard worker that I am extremely grateful for).

Anyway, I think that about covers the last month of life. I’m trying my best to snuggle and enjoy little newborn Abram as much as possible, after three other babies I’m very aware of how sweet and short these days are. Knowing that this is my last baby has only made these days feel so much shorter, and I honestly get a little weepy knowing that all of this babies firsts will be my last firsts. This morning Abram smiled at me for the first time (on purpose) and it was adorable and amazing and made me want 100 more babies. But knowing my family is complete is a great feeling as well. Adam and I have now met all our family members, and in a few years we will be out of the newborn fog and be able to take our boys on adventures that they will both appreciate and remember. And this weekend I gave away my bin of maternity clothes and wasn’t the least bit sad to see it go. I anticipate that giving away all the newborn size clothing might be a little harder though…last babies are weird mix of emotions.

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All four of my babies at one month. My second born, Levi, sticks out as the only child to take after my side of the family.

I’ll leave you with this awkward, adorable picture of all four of my boys…Elijah, Levi, Judah, and Abram. With the exception of me (and my overly popular 80’s cheerleader name) you could switch us out with an Amish family and no one would be the wiser. Old Testament boy names are the best.

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Comments

  1. Kate Phillips says:

    I love this post and you and all your boys!! 😍❤👍😙

  2. Maureen Hayes says:

    Oh sweet Ashley, thank you for taking the time to post this. I know that with all you have going on this was next to impossible, but it was wonderful to see your beautiful face, your gorgeous family and to “hear” your voice. I am praying for you as you walk into this next stage of parenthood. You are such a terrific Mom and I know you will do a fantastic job raising these young men God has given you, but I pray you will have some rest too! You and Adam make a wonderful team and make beautiful babies❤️❤️❤️

  3. A beautiful family. I was so happy to open my inbox and see your post today. And then I save it for the last read as I clear my inbox because it’s always so personable.
    After the challenges of the last couple of weeks, you’ve got this from here on. Enjoy the ride!

  4. Juanita Lane says:

    What a beautiful family! As a mother of 2 boys( now adults) I had to laugh at all doctor visits, I can so relate.

    Enjoy the moment!

  5. My third son is also the broken bones, crack a tooth diagonally and then bite through his tongue kind of kid. Tough and stoic beyond words. Just a word of warning: never say “done”. God thinks it’s funny when I make definitive future plans like “four kids and done” or “moving on from the baby phase of life” and I give away all the maternity stuff, baby clothes and gear. #5 is now on the way (another boy). We’re not building a house – just more loft beds, and we homeschool so we have no crazy 6:30am demands, but I think 5 is going to put me over the edge anyhow…and I think that’s His point. Dependent relationships are real and God likes real.
    Patience and grace and continued health to you!

  6. I’m so glad to see this. Been wondering how you are doing. Your family is precious and they will be grown before you know it! So glad everyone is great and your home will be absolutely beautiful! Love the updates….thank you! Treasure each day….you are truly blessed!!

  7. Kelly Thomas says:

    I have been following you for over a year now and was hooked by your kitchen renovation post! I absolutely love you, your family, and the faith we share!

    I have been inspired and encouraged by your debt free living and I am so greateful for this blog! So happy for you and your family!

  8. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    We just found out yesterday that our fourth will be our third boy (our girl is the oldest) and the name discussions have begun. We’ve used our favorite names with our other boys and have had a girl name picked and unused two times now… Back to the Bible to find a boy name!

    I enjoyed this little slice of life post! May you get into a routine that provides some much needed sleep soon!

  9. Let me know when you are ready for a nap (or heck, even just a long hot shower). I’m just around the corner and would totally wrangle a few kiddos for you for a couple hours. Congratulations again. They are all so beautiful.

  10. Congratulations! As the mother of three “boys” I hate to tell you this but I was on a first name bases with the guard in the Emergency Room. When my husband got hurt, I had a friend take him to the ER. Anyway one of my sons – he is 42 now – did a pop up wheelie and came down on a landscape timber. There was so much blood I didn’t know where to touch him. The Plastic Surgeon told us that after it healed to rub the scar as many time as we remembered and it would bring the blood back to the area and it wouldn’t scar. We did that and there is no scar. I know the cut is in his hair line and I don’t want to scare you but you might need this info for later.

  11. You are my hero. I thought that I was heroic with just my one son, but I realized later how much easier I had it compared to other moms.

    When my son was a couple of days old he started gagging and choking and his little legs started thrashing. I was scared to death. Then a few seconds later he threw up all this gross mucus. I think that the nurse didn’t suction all the mucus out of him when he was born. I am pretty sure that I stopped breathing during that episode.

    Your house is looking beautiful. I am enjoying all of the updates.

  12. Four boys! Whew! You have your hands full for quite a while now. Seems like you have good support from a great hubby. I hope no more problems come up and you all enter the new year healthy!
    rose l. recently posted..LOVE, LAUGHTER, LOSS AND MEMORIESMy Profile

  13. Kelly Byrne says:

    Your newest member and whole family is beautiful! You’re amazing! I don’t know how you do it! All the projects look awesome and like they’re going to turn out great. lookijg forward to updates.

  14. Congrats!! I am a mother of 7 and also have 4 boys!! I have 2 in college, 2 in highschool, 1 in jr high, and 2 in elementary school now! I remember those foggy newborn days and you are right they go by sooo fast and I remember how exhausted I was all the time. I do get more sleep now but so busy with sports and school and the extra things we are constantly running to that I do miss those days of just staying home and having a room full of train tracks and dolls everywhere and just going from one meal to the next! I love your blog because your house is amazing and gives us great ideas to try around here even though we are not even close to how handy your husband is!!! Thanks for the update post!!

  15. Congratulations!!!! Lucky Boys Lucky Mom Lucky Dad great family!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Beautyfull Family, congratulations for the parents!!

  17. Emily de Groot says:

    Congratulations on #4, babies are so much fun! As I was reading this post I honestly thought it could have been my own story. We have 4 kids as well all within 5 1/4 years but 2 boys and 2 girls. The part that got me was when you mentioned 3 kids as a fairly easy transition and then you added number 4 and life got crazy. Our youngest is only 8 months so I still have not forgotten the first month or two of sickness and flu season, appointments, pure exhaustion, but not wanting to forget the love of the newborn stage. Good luck

  18. You are incredible! Beautiful post to read. I struggle sometimes with one little baby (and he’s gorgeous) I’m so impressed by people who have two, three… let alone four… and a blog! And DIY projects on the go! You are very inspiring. Congratulations on Abram, what a gorgeous little cutie to add to your clan :)

  19. So enjoyed this post…all the photos are lovely but the last one is priceless!

  20. Jan Horwood says:

    This is a wonderful post. So happy to see your beautiful face and your whole gorgeous family! Baby #4 is adorable and totally keeps up the family standards. :) It’s funny, but I have always thought Elijah looks like you and Levi looks like Adam, not the other way round. Maybe not their colouring, but just their actual little faces.
    I sympathize with all the doctor drama. When my daughter was 1 1/2 she stopped breathing with croup and turned blue. It was absolutely terrifying! My own heart stopped for an equivalent length of time, I’m sure.
    Also, I hear you about the age gap. My oldest son and daughter are 17 1/2 months apart (but who’s counting?) and my youngest came along 4 1/2 years later. What a difference!
    Don’t sweat your to-do list. “Dishes”, “Laundry” and “Keep everyone alive” are the most important things on there and you are clearly mastering them! An easier routine will eventually come, and guess what? Everything else on your to-do list will still be there, waiting for you. xD
    Thank you for this perfectly lovely update and all the great pix, and keep enjoying these days, they are incomparably precious…

  21. I grew up the oldest of six girls, with a wonderful best-in-the-world brother who was number three out of seven. Somehow, when I would dream, I would see four kids. And I though for sure I’d have girls. Every time I was pregnant, I would have a a dream about the upcoming baby. The little person was always a boy – and that is what I have. People have said – surely you want a girl. I figure God gave us what He though we should have. I love my sons and have never regretted any of them. Every child, boy or girl, is a gift of Love. My husband says that mothers of all boys – in his opinion – tend to be more practical, squared away, and unflappable than others. All I know is my sons are wonderful – and a lot of that is from their dad. I know yours will grow up, like their dad, to be great guys, too.

  22. Thanks for the update! I gave away all my baby stuff and then surprise! I am snuggling my 3 month old surprise as I type this :-)
    My middle 4 (I have 6 total) came over a 3 year span and then the suprise 3 years later. So, now I have a 12 year old and then 5 kids under 6.
    It’s totally crazy around here. I’m in survival mode too. Just managing food, sleep, laundry. Trying to savor these little kid days, but also looking forward to the days when everybody is fully potty trained, can do their own laundry, and put on all of their own shoes!
    PS we had 3 trips to the ER this year. 2 broken bones and a total of 12 stitches

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