Bumblebee Inspired Halloween Costumes

We just got back from Indiana.  We went up there to visit Devin’s family and we timed it so we could celebrate Dieter’s first birthday and Halloween all at the same time.  Devin and I knew this year that we wanted to dress up the whole family and we wanted it to be one cohesive idea.  After a little brainstorming we came up with this.

There we are!  The entire DeWitt family dressed up with a bumblebee theme.  It was really fun to make all these costumes and I’ll give you the rundown.

Devin was the beekeeper, naturally, and his costume was the easiest.  His white suit is one of those painter coveralls from Home Depot that I just bought.  His hat is one he uses when he’s working out on the golf course.  If you’re looking for one, it’s called a “pith hat” and you can Google it and probably find one at Party City.  Since he needs his hat on the course, I couldn’t glue or sew anything to it so I just bought a half yard of some white tulle and pinned it to the underside of his hat.  Then, I bought some of those little bees in the flower section of Hobby Lobby that have the wire attached to them and I just pulled them off the wire and hot glued them to his hat and suit.

I was the queen bee.  I made myself a tutu out of black and yellow tulle, some elastic and some black satin ribbon.  I also made myself some wings out of 4 wire hangers, 2 pairs of white tights, and some more elastic.  I wore black leggings, black boots, and a black sweater.  Simple.

Rylea was the princess bee.  (Seriously, you can make anything into a princess version to get your little girl to love it).  I made her a tutu also and added sparkly tulle to hers.  Her wings were made the same way as mine and I added some puffy paint to hers to make them more fancy.  Her shirt is a black long sleeve tee from WalMart.  I ruffled some yellow fabric scraps and sewed them to her shirt.  She wore black leggings under her skirt too and some little ballet type shoes.

Dieter’s costume was originally going to be a honey pot but I scrapped that idea when I got a couple more Sugarplum orders and I went the store bought route and got him this adorable bear costume online from WalMart with free shipping.  He actually kept the whole thing on the entire time.  Score.

We had a great time going to a local trunk or treat, and Rylea told everyone that she was a princess bee.  Devin and I are already talking about next year’s costumes and what we’re going to do.  Hopefully I can get started on those a little earlier so I’m not scrambling to get everything done in the end!!


June has been a very challenging month around here to say the least.

Teething has been awful for Dieter and has caused all sorts of symptoms like fever, throwing up, no sleep, no eating, stomach problems, you name it he’s got it.  I even took him to the doctor once because I thought surely something else must be going on here but they couldn’t find anything else wrong with him.  He’s just been super sensitive to his teeth and he’s miserable.  He’s got 2 now on the bottom and he’s working on 2 more.

I started potty training Rylea which was a complete failure up until recently and we often started our days with her screaming, “I NEED A DIAPER MOMMY!!!!!!!”  No amount of Minnie or Dora big girl panties was going to convince this girl that she could be a big girl.  I was determined though to not regress so we pushed through it.  If she can tell me when she’s doing a #2 and tell me she needs a new diaper then it’s time to go on the potty as far as I’m concerned.  Plus, 2 babies in diapers is exhausting mentally and financially and I’m over it.

Dieter also discovered this new trick called crawling.  He’s not the typical crawler though, he’s an army crawler.  Using one of his feet to get some leverage, he pulls the rest of his body using his arms and just kinda drags himself everywhere.  Surprisingly he’s really quick and getting into everything he can get his hands on.  I also think being direct pressure on his belly constantly has added to the throwing up and it’s often heard around here, “Mommy, Dieter pook again,” and sure enough I round the corner to see him sliding around in it all over the floor.  Yuck.

All of this is normal kid stuff, but I don’t think it would be as taxing and exhausting if we had friends or family around to lend a hand when things get tough or when I need to go to the doctor or the store or something.  I have not had one single break from the kids since we moved here 1 year ago.  There’s just no one around to offer that break to us, and I refuse to offer my children up to any strangers.  It is so the desire of my heart that the Lord would orchestrate a job for Devin closer to family!

On top of all the stuff with the kiddos, some terrible stuff has happened at the golf course and Devin’s job security is now questionable to say the least and we’re just kinda living day by day not knowing what’s going to happen next.  Through all of this though, I hold tight to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 for our family and know that He is in control and He is the One that we will answer to in the end.  I’m so thankful I’m not at the wheel of my life because I’m sure I’ve drive it into a ditch constantly!!!

Here’s hoping for a better July!

Training Up My Children

I just checked out my Google Reader and noticed that I have 211 subscriptions at the moment.  It gets bigger just about everyday.  I love to read a good blog if I’ve got some spare time, and it’s where I get inspired for many of my crafty ideas also.  I’ve got them all organized into different categories some of them are: Crafty, Quilts, Coupons, Homeschooling, and People I Know.  If you’re ever looking for an idea, I’ve got a blog for that.  Seriously.  But, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you in the Homeschooling department.  I’m sure you seasoned moms have many more resources that you use online so please share them with me in the comments!!!

  • 1+1+1=1: The woman that runs this blog is a pretty awesome homeschooler.  The title comes from Ecclesiastes 4:12 (also from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being 1 God).  It’s an amazing resource for printables, ideas, you name it.  Make sure you check out “Tot School” and her philosophies on teaching her children.  I’ve gotten lost in her blog for hours before.
  • Totally Tots:  Ran by the same woman as above, the mission of this blog is to help Christian mama’s train up their kiddos in the way they should go.  There are really awesome resources and printables that you can use to teach your kids ABCs and Bible stories all at the same time.  FANTASTIC if you ask me.
  • Bible Story Printables: Ever heard of Seeds Family Worship?  Well if you haven’t, check them out.  They have these awesome CDs (find them here or on Amazon here) that take Bible verses and change them into catchy songs to help your little ones memorize scripture.  (It’s never to early to start hiding those bits of truth in their little hearts.)  This website has printable worksheets, coloring pages, books, flashcards, etc. that go along with each of the Seeds songs so you can reinforce those verses even more.  Pretty awesome.

Now, I realize that Rylea isn’t even 2 yet, but it’s never to early to start working on things with her, and I’m home all day, so why not?  I’ve made her laminated flashcards that she really just kinda throws around and plays with right now but I can sneak in a “What’s that Rylea?” or “What color is that apple?” and we can work on learning basic things as we play together.  Being home is such a blessing, and I’m going to chose not to “eat the bread of idleness”, at least not when it comes to teaching my kids and raising them to be God honoring people!

RSV Update

Dieter’s appointment at the doctor yesterday went well.  He’s a whopping 11 pounds already by the way.  They listened to his lungs and all of his wheezing is gone, and his breathing is much less labored so we didn’t have to head to the hospital.  That’s an enormous answer to prayer so thank you all you prayer warriors out there joining us in praying for the healing of our babies!  I got a prescription filled for some meds to put in the nebulizer that will help open up their bronchial tubes and help them breathe better.  I have to do the breathing treatments with both kids every 4 hours around the clock for the next week.  Then we go back to the doc with both kiddos and have them checked out.  The doctor said that they should both be much better by then, so we’re going to continue to pray that that’s the case.  Praise the Lord for His hand in all of this because we all know He is the Great Physician and the only One that can cure my little ones!  Here they are getting some treatments last night.

So, here’s a typical day for me now:

8:00 am Rylea is up.  Clean out nose. Breathing treatment for her.  Clean nebulizer.  Administer antibiotics and other meds.  Change diaper.  Take temperature.  Put on her favorite show so I can take care of Dieter.

8:30 am Dieter is up.  Clean out nose. Breathing treatment for him.  Clean nebulizer.  Clean out nose.  Nurse.  Change diaper.  Take temp.

9:15 am Make breakfast for Rylea. Eat whatever she’s having. Clean up breakfast.

10:00 am Clean out vaporizer and fill with new water.  Start vaporizer in living room for the kiddos.

10:15 am Ry’s meds have kicked in so she’s crazy.  Play with Rylea and keep an eye on the baby’s breathing. Try to do some laundry/dishes/computer time ect.

11:00 am Rylea starts to have her afternoon meltdown because it’s getting close to naptime.  Hold her off of nap until noon so I can do another breathing treatment with her.  Clean out baby’s nose. Try to nurse the baby.  Clean out nose again.

12:00 Rylea breathing treatment. Clean nebulizer.  Clean nose.  Gather Ry’s baby/blanket/etc. and lay her down for a nap.

12:30 pm Clean Dieter’s nose. Dieter breathing treatment.  Clean nebulizer.  Clean nose again.  Try to get the baby to sleep at the same time Rylea does.  Baby sleeps.

1:00 pm Rylea is screaming in her crib “mommy daddy mommy daddy” because she can’t breathe when she lies down and doesn’t want to sleep.  Go get Rylea after having zero nap time.

1:15 pm Rylea comes to living room and wakes up the sleeping baby by trying to clean out his nose like mommy does.  Put cartoons on for Rylea so she will lie on couch and rest while I try to get the baby back to sleep.  Baby sleeps and I count his breaths per minute.  (Should be anywhere from 20-40, anything more means a trip to the hospital).

1:45 pm Rylea asks for lunch.  She doesn’t want anything I offer her.  She ends up snacking on an orange.  She isn’t eating much because she’s sick.  The afternoon meltdown returns because she still hasn’t had a nap.  Nap time attempt #2.  Let Rylea scream and cry in her crib until she finally passes out from exhaustion.

2:00 pm The baby is up coughing.  Clean his nose.  Beat his back to break up the mucous.  Clean his diaper.  Blowout.  Awesome.  Change babies clothes.  Run a load of laundry.  The dryer died so I now have to find creative areas to lie our clothes out to dry until Devin can fix it.  Try to nurse baby.  Clean baby’s nose.

3:00 pm Devin is home from work.  Get Devin’s meds and something to eat.  Get him comfortable on the couch with the vaporizer so he can rest.  Go through the mail and pay some bills.  Try to clean up and organize house and prepare for kids’ breathing treatments. Give my husband some attention.

4:00 pm Wake Rylea up.  Breathing treatment #1 and #2 with all the nose cleaning and nebulizer cleaning in between.  Try to keep kids happy while figuring out something for dinner.  Think about passing out or hiring a nanny.  The thoughts pass.

…and on and on and on…

My days are filled to the brim, but really I can’t complain about ministering to my family.  This is what I was made to do, and I love doing it.  I just hope my family gets better real soon!!

Respiratory syncytial virus

Ugh.  The babies are sick.  Really sick.  Devin is sick too.  I’m the only one not sick and I’m so thankful the Lord decided to protect me because I have no idea how anyone would be able to function if I was as sick as the other 3.

All started on Thursday when we were flying from Buffalo, NY to Louisiana after our Christmas vacation up in NY.  (It was awesome by the way, but more on that in another post).  We stayed in a hotel in Buffalo because we had to be at the airport at 6:30 am.  But, during that night Rylea woke up with a fever and an awful runny nose.  Then it just snowballed from there.  Travelling on an airplane with a toddler and an infant is hard enough, add some crazy sick symptoms in there and forget it.   We managed to make it home by about 2:00 that day.  The kids got progressively worse and on Saturday Dieter was having a really hard time catching his breath and lost his voice completely.  Have you ever heard a baby cry that has no voice?  I have no idea how anyone could take care of an infant that was mute.  I have to actually be looking at him to tell if he’s happy.  Thus, no sleep.

Anyway, Saturday was the worst day and it also happened to be New Years Day.  Only one emergency clinic open in all of Monroe with a three hour minimum wait.  Forget taking two really sick babies into an office to sit and wait for three hours.  So, we decided to take everyone in on Sunday when it opened up first thing.  Long story short, both kids have been diagnosed with RSV.  It’s a horrible respiratory virus that kids get.  In adults, it’s just a cold.  In babies less than 6 months, you’ve got major problems.  Rylea has been tolerating it pretty well and we’ve been able to control her fever.  She’s just restless, and sick.  Dieter has it the worst.  No voice, stuffed nose, phlegm, the works.  He even has so much phlegm that he’s passing it in his diaper.  The stuffed nose and chest makes it really hard for him to nurse and he chokes constantly or just doesn’t eat at all.  Rylea has a double ear infection also.

The clinic hooked us up with a nebulizer to use with Dieter.  I’m giving him treatments every 4 hours around the clock.  So far, it seems to be helping quite a bit.  He’s eating more, not nearly what he was eating before he got sick, but it’s better.  He’s also generally more happy and less fussy.  I’m able to clear his nose out a little before he eats now and I think that’s helping.  Because this thing is a virus though, there’s no meds that can cure it.  You just have to ride it out and try and minimize the symptoms.  We’ve got another appointment at 2 today (central time) to follow up with Dieter and see if he needs to be admitted to the hospital.

So many of you have extended your prayers and have been lifting our family up to the Lord.  Please continue to do so as we fight this crazy thing and try to rid ourselves of this sickness.  Pray for Devin as he has ventured into work today sick as a dog.  I have no idea how he does it, especially while helping me with the kids throughout the night.  Pray for Rylea as she’s sick and I have to sometimes bypass her needs while attending to the baby for a bit.  She’s so understanding and patient already, we’re so blessed by that sweet little girl.  Pray for Dieter.  We really really really really don’t want to have to admit him to the hospital.  With no family here we would be one parent in the hospital and one at home with Rylea the whole time, and Devin just took 11 days off work so we could go to New York.  Lord willing, we’ll be able to stay at home and keep a close eye on the baby while he heals here.  Pray for me too, I’m up 24 hours it seems watching sleeping babies to be sure they’re still breathing and taking care of the other three.  I’ve been making notes on who got what med when, and who needs something at different times because I can’t remember on my own with this crazy sleep deprived brain.  To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement.  I just need enough energy to last me until everyone starts to get better.

Thank you all for your continued prayer!  We’ll keep you updated as best we can.

Is it different?


Dieter will be one month old on Wednesday Dec. 8 and I’ve been thinking a lot about Rylea, and our first month with her.  Our little man is really not even comparable to Rylea right now because he is so different than she ever was.

Dieter is 4 weeks old and really not anywhere near sleeping through the night, as far as I’m concerned.  At this point, Ry was sleeping one good 5 hour stretch throughout the night.  I’ve never been so exhausted as I am now.  The little man is a CHUNK!  He hit 9 pounds at 3 weeks and is out of newborn clothes (it took Rylea about 9 weeks to get to this point).  He eats constantly and can’t really go more than about 3 hours, at the longest, without eating, and usually it’s about 1.5-2 hours in between.  I know I have plenty of milk supply because I’m constantly leaking in between feedings and I’m still really engorged 4 weeks later.  He just really likes to eat, and he hardly ever is a lazy eater falling asleep at meal time.  All that breastfeeding has given me an amazing appetite too, and I can eat huge quantities at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then be hungry again an hour or two later.  I keep saying that I have no idea how my body is producing breast milk at this rate, but somehow I’m keeping up with his ravenous appetite.  It has been amazing for my weight loss I must say though, and hearing someone say, “You had a baby 4 weeks ago?  I can’t even tell,” never gets old.  🙂

Dieter is also a horrible sleeper for another reason.  He refuses to sleep by himself.  It’s driving me crazy.  He’ll fall asleep after nursing and I get up and lay him down in his bed.  About 5 minutes later, without exception, he wakes up screaming his little head off for me to come back and pick him up.  I don’t get how he can be in such a deep sleep that the sounds of his big sister playing with his daddy don’t wake him, and then as soon as I lay him down he’s up and he’s very unhappy.  I’ve tried really hard not to give into him and go pick him up, and I usually let him cry for a good 20 minutes before going to get him.  But, at this point, I’m so tired from lack of sleep that I’m just wanting to give into his wails and go and get him so we can at least get some sleep together.  Rylea was so so so easy.  We would just lay her down and she’d just put herself to sleep, always.  She still does.  She even walks to her room at nap time and tells me she wants to go night night.  This boy is just not a fan of sleep, and I have to rock him to sleep at night and lay him in bed ever so slowly and pray that he stays asleep for just 2 hours so I can get some rest.  Dieter also is at the point where he’s not comforted by Devin yet, and even when my sweet husband wants to give me a break from the baby, he just can’t and Dieter will scream and cry until he’s with me.  Crazy little boy.

Let me clarify and say, that I am not, by any means, complaining about all of this.  I’m just recording all these thoughts and feelings because I know one day in the future that my sweet boy will be 16 years old and so ready to be out from underneath his parents protection and guidance, and I’m going to dearly miss these days of walking around like a zombie on 3 hours of sleep everyday of the week.  I really love having a little boy, and wouldn’t change anything we’re going through right now for the world.  He’s brings such joy to our lives and I’m absolutely in love with watching Rylea love her little brother.

So, to answer the question from the title: Is it different having a boy?  The answer is wholeheartedly, yes.  But it’s equally fun, and equally an amazing privileged to be this little one’s mommy!

Dieter Bryce DeWitt

November 7-8, 2010.  Those are days I’ll never forget! 🙂

You guys might already know that Devin and I decided to use a midwife for this pregnancy, and that means giving birth with no option of any pain meds whatsoever.  For me, that meant giving birth the way that the Lord intended for me to give birth.  For Devin, that meant that he was stressed out over seeing his wife in the worst pain of her life.  I’m not going to lie and say it was a pain-free experience like I’ve heard some women say it was for them.  It was, by far, the most painful and challenging thing I’ve ever done.  I’ve had a broken/dislocated jaw, I’ve been run over by a riding lawn mower (thank you Mel), I’ve had two of my teeth knocked out in a fist fight (again, Mel), and I’ve even been attacked in the face by a 100+ pound dog.  None of those experiences even come close to natural childbirth.  Devin described the experience to his mom like this, “Well, her head spun around like the Exorcist a few times.”  And he said to someone else, “I really thought she was going to walk out of there and go to the hospital and get an epidural.”

All that being said, I’d do it over any day, any time in a second.  It was amazing to say the least.  I’m very thankful that I was able to go through labor and delivery this way, and I know it was the way the Lord wanted us to have our little boy.  I really feel like God was glorified in the whole process, and I loved every horrifically painful moment.  People have asked me if I’m proud of myself or what I accomplished, and I want to make it clear that without my memorized scripture or a husband praying over me through the worst contractions, there’s no way I could have done what I did.  John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

I’ll spare you the details here for obvious reasons, and I won’t be posting our labor video that’s for sure, but there are some major difference between Rylea’s delivery and Dieter’s delivery that I’d thought I’d share.

  • For one, we were back home sitting down eating dinner just 6 hours after he was born.  He was born at 2:54 pm and I was sitting on the couch by 9:00 after hitting the drive through.  When we had Rylea we were in the hospital for 48 hours.  Being home recovering was a lot more comfortable, and peaceful for us than being in the hospital for that long.  We didn’t have to leave Rylea for very long, and we were able to just hang out in the comfort of our own (well Jody’s) home.
  • Recovery was a lot quicker this time around.  It might have something to do with being my second baby, but I was up and walking to the bathroom on my own (when I had the epidural Devin had to carry me to the bathroom because I still couldn’t use my legs) 20 minutes after delivery.  I was able to get up and do everything on my own and without the after effects of pitocin and the epidural.
  • Dieter was mine after delivery.  They put him right on my chest and let me have him for a good 3-4 hours before taking him to be weighed and examined.  He was MINE.  I just held him and talked to him and we checked each other out for a long time.  There were no doctors to give him a bath and drag him this way and that and take measurements and whatnot.  Those were my favorite moments sitting there next to Devin in a room all alone just taking in what just happened.
  • 90% of the time I was in labor, it was just Devin and I in the room.  I was free to move around, or not as I needed to, and we didn’t have a million different people coming in and out of the room doing a million different things we didn’t understand.  In fact, when it was time to push Devin had to go out and get our midwife.  It was so great having all that privacy and to be able to bond with my husband over the birth of our son.

So, here are the stats:

Dieter Bryce DeWitt

Labor started: 11/7/10 11:30 pm

Born: November 8, 2010 2:54pm

Weight at birth: 6 pounds 12 ounces

Weight 11/10/10: 6 pounds 8 ounces

Weight 11/12/10: 6 pounds 12 ounces

Weight 11/18/10: 7 pounds 4 ounces

Height: 21 3/4 inches