Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cutness and Sillyness

One of our dear babysitters, Hanna, told me a couple of weeks ago that she had uploaded some photos of the kids to the laptop....I just finally went and looked at them.

I love that she was able to catch such looks of the kids. 

Cuteness and sillyness all around.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Introducing Frankie Grace

It seems it's been almost an entire year since I last blogged. The day to day life seemed to take over and the extra time of blogging was put aside...not that there was a lot of blogging in the year prior to that either.

The end of 2014 brought us another precious gift...a little girl. Making that a total of 5 little ones here for the Neatons. 


Frankie Grace

She was born on New Year's Eve (12/31/14) at 8:45 pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs 9 oz and was 23 1/4 inches long.  

**Birth story at the end, after the photos

Minutes old

About to get weighed...probably about 90 minutes old

Weighed - 8 lbs 9 oz

Big sister Cori

With big brother Joseph

Big sister Charlie

Just like with my pregnancy with Arthur, I was 'overdue' this time around too. My due date was technically December 15th. But you know babies come when they are ready not necessarily when you are ready.

Pregnancy was going well. I was gaining appropriate weight, my blood pressure was good, baby's heart beat was good and she was plenty active in the womb. I had had a conversation with my midwives earlier in the week and we had decided that an ultrasound would be appropriate by the end of the week if I hadn't delivered yet.

At 16 days past my due date (12/31/14), my midwife, Kim texted to remind me to schedule the ultrasound. We talked back and forth about what to do to get labor going at this point and I decided on giving castor oil a try.

Around 2 pm I took the castor oil and went about my day....I was working in the office that day and the kids were upstairs with the sitter. Contractions came and went for awhile. By about 3:30, I knew I was in labor. I took the babysitter home, told Joe I was in labor and texted my midwives back with an update. They decided they would head out this way.

I called Joe's mom to come and picked up the kids for the night. We had a little conversation back and forth about whether it could wait until after they went to dinner, etc. In the end, she came and picked the kids up instead and they were out of the house by about 6:00 pm. Our midwives, Kim, Jane and Rachel got her about 6:30 pm. I was in active labor at this point and was having horrible back labor...which is very typical for me. What I love about our midwives is there is very little intervention/checking, etc that occurs unless I want it. So, they just check baby's heartbeat and my blood pressure and let me labor as I wanted. I showered and headed to the couch to try and find a better position for real luck.

Joe was napping on the couch at this point and I had to actually wake him up to go get me a heating pad for my back...I'm guessing it was about 8:15-8:30 pm. Jane came down with a heating pad for my back and I worked through some more contractions but it was very sudden that I knew I needed to push. It was quick...which is awesome if you ask me. I pushed through about 3 contractions...starting at 8:41 and baby girl was born at 8:45.

One of the sweetest things heard that hubby telling me that I make labor and delivery look easy and a midwife telling me that I'm good at birthing babies.

She was wrapped up in cord and Jane did a quick untangle job to free her and she was in mama's arms. At that point, both midwives commented that she didn't look like an overdue baby. She was covered in tons of vernix (the white cheesy stuff on her skin) yet and typically the longer a little one is in the womb the less of the vernix they have at delivery. We figured, I must have had the due date wrong...which easily could have been the case this time around.

...but when I delivered the placenta and they were checking it over and the placenta clearly indicated a 42 week pregnancy. So, in typically Neaton fashion....a contradiction all around.

Little girl nursed, then we clamped the cord and then she was weighed and checked over and dressed.

One of the best parts of having a home birth, midwives who feed you, do your dishes and laundry and hang around for a few hours to make sure everyone is settled in and postpartum visits in your own home.

Sweet Frankie is already 5 weeks old and the time goes so fast. It seems like she has been here forever and not all at the same time. She is overly loved by all here.

God bless!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Crosslake - July 2013

Back in July of last year, we headed to Crosslake for a weekend. We went to celebrate Joe's brother Chris' wedding. We spent the weekend with wedding activities, camping activities, swimming and other fun family stuff.

Cori and Anastasia

I love this photo and I can't believe how little Arthur seems....way back then.

Joseph and June. He was trying so hard to tell her some stories and she didn't care.

July 2013 Family Photo
It's hard to believe how much bigger the kids seem 8 months later....

Grandpa and grandma Neaton and all the grandkids.

God bless!

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 2014

It's been crazy around here....but I'm not sure that that's anything new for us. Just when Joe and I start talking about stepping back and doing less....opportunities arise that draw us in the exact opposite direction.

We are trusting the Lord that He know what we can handle and that His hand's are on all the activity around here.

Over the last few months, I have been using Young Living essential oils in our home. I'm pretty much a natural fix things the cleanest way possible kind of girl, but the essential oils have added another level to my adaptability here and we are loving what they are doing for our family. Check out my new Facebook page here - Holly's Healthy Homestead.

My kids are sleeping better, I'm happier and less crabby, we have gotten over colds quicker and we are cleaning the entire house with 1 bottle of cleaner.

In this transformation, I had come across a course of study to become a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP) and I am beginning the seminars for it next month. I love studying about nutrition and how the body works and more natural ways to heal it from the inside out, so this just seems to be a great fit for me. I can't wait to be able to share even more of what I learn with everyone.

On top of me taking on more goals and activities personally, we are also going through some employee shifts with the business and we are looking into acquiring some more rental properties. We have purchased a few rental properties over the last few years and would like to add to that portion of our investments. So....if you know of a great deal, a foreclosure, a duplex, etc for sale....let us know.

And the busy and growing up entirely too fast for this mama. A few highlights from the last few weeks....

Charlie (6 1/2 years old) has lost her first tooth....both from her mouth and now has lost it in our home somewhere. She also has completely taken over doing chicken chores. Two or 3 times per day, she goes out to the greenhouse where the chickens are and feeds, waters and collects eggs for us. She is doing a fantastic job!

Arthur (almost 10 months old) is a walking machine. He started walking a few steps here and there at about 8 1/2 months and now at about 9 1/2 months, he is walking everywhere and has completely given up on crawling. He is our earliest walker by far.

Cori (4 years old) is working on learning her alphabet and is still my biggest mother hen around here. She is a great help in taking care of her brothers and always finding ways to help everyone out ans make them happy. One of her favorite things to do is comb daddy's hair at night....and he doesn't mind the pampering at all.

Joseph (3 years old) has mastered his colors in the last few months and is now working on learning his numbers. He can be a helper around here....when he feels like it. He loves to vacuum and can unload the dishwasher by himself. He is also the child that is always into something....on the counter digging, in my purse digging, at my desk and on the computer, etc.

Even the littlest ones help around here....and then can when we are using non-toxic, chemical-free cleaners around here.

Big girl, Charlie and her missing tooth.

Note from Charlie!

Cori at the Children's Museum. We went last month.

Joseph 'helping out'.

Happy Monday! May the Lord bless your day and week friends!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Camping - September 2013

I'm so far behind on the updates. Little Arthur isn't so little anymore. He's 9 months old and walking and I'm pretty sure the last update on him is his birth story. Soon, hopefully soon I can get caught up.

Back in September, we went camping for the weekend with Dan (Joe's brother), Susan and their family. We went to a campground near Caledonia, MN that they have enjoyed for years. It was a blast and a very nice quiet little place. The campground is set down in a cell was a perfect peaceful weekend.

God bless!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Us - October 2013

Not even sure where to start...months behind on updating and I'm pretty sure there is no way I can remember what we did even last week.

A few low-lights and high-lights from the last week or so...

* I paid a $20 fine for overdue books at the library...seriously $20
* We did finally make it to the library and for story-time even
* Joseph pooped on the couch, pooped on the floor and wrote on the dining room wall with a  sharpie...all in the span of 2 days

* There is no worries about any of my children not being 'regular'

* One of my laying hens accidentally drowned herself in the cow's water tank...must have been pretty thirsty

* Joe's brother has 3 more hens for me...just need to go and pick them up

* We basically haven't done 'school' at all in the last few weeks

* I just ordered new curriculum that hopefully will get us all back on a better schedule and back in the swing of things

* We are still canning away here. The last week we have managed to put up - 56 quarts of grape juice, 30 pints of bbq sauce, 5 quarts and 6 pints of tomato soup

* Arthur is sitting up all by himself and doesn't seem too far away from crawling. The last 5 months have gone by way too fast.

* I have managed to bag up and get rid of about 20 garbage bags full of clothes...a lot donated,   some bagged up for friend's that are expecting a baby girl and some for the 2 of our youngest nieces.

* All the purging and it is evident that Charlie needs new shoes and Cori needs new pants and Arthur needs a winter coat and everyone may need winter boots.

* Grandma Lu and Papa Joe babysat our kids today...even Arthur...everyone survived and Arthur even drank breastmilk out of a bottle (a first for him). Joe's parents are awesome!...sure we will keep the baby though you never leave him anywhere, sure we will give him a bottle even though he has never had one of those either.

* Arthur has taken a liken to real food and is loving eating a meal with everyone else. So far he has eaten everything we have tried...squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, peaches, pears, peas, carrots...and probably something else I'm forgetting.

* Children...all of them...have been sleeping horribly. They all think they should be in our room and sometimes in our bed. Joseph comes in around 2 am pretty consistently.

* I keep reminding myself that some day I will get to sleep.

Arthur - 5 months old

Charlie - 6 years old

Joseph - 2 3/4 years old

Cori - 4 years old

Hopefully more posts to come - summer weddings, summer and fall camping trips, both girls learning to ride bikes without training wheels, kids all growing taller by inches in a few short months and more and more.

God bless!