Friday, December 31, 2010

one tired mommy

This past week has left me one tired mommy.  For Christmas, my brother, sister-in-law, Sean and I gave my mom a bathroom remodel.  The wallpaper in her hall bath was around 20 years old, and the carpet (yes, I said carpet) in the bathroom was original to the house, which is older than me.  Can you say yuck?!  My mom always says for her birthday and Christmas instead of gifts, she just wants us to help her out around the house.  So, this year we actually listened. 
Sunday we had our Christmas celebration at her house, and then my sister-in-law, Heather, and I got to work taking down the wallpaper.  I'm so glad we started that on Sunday with how crazy the rest of the week has been.  We got the wallpaper down and one coat of primer on the walls on Sunday.  Monday we did a second coat of primer and the first coat of paint.  The guys had the tasks of removing the vanity, carpet and toilet in between our work.  Unfortunately, Monday night my brother came down with a stomach virus, so we missed a couple days of work because of that, but the guys have been hard at work again yesterday and today, and just have a few more things to finish tomorrow.  I can't wait to show pictures of the before and after.  I'm so excited! 
Brooklyn is now 7 months old.  In the midst of this busy week, I completely forgot to make that post.  Sorry Brooklyn.  Those are just the hazards of being the 5th child.  She's still a crawling maniac, and pulls up on everything.  I am sure she'll be cruising soon.
In other crazy news, the permanent retainer I've had for 13+ years broke late Wednesday night.  It came loose on one side, so I spent Thursday morning desperately trying to find an orthodontist who was in the office this week that could get me in.  I did not want to wait until Monday and risk things getting worse and me ending up with a piece of metal wire stabbing me in the mouth for days.  I am unlucky that my orthodontist had retired, and no one took over his practice, so I had to find someone new.  After calling about 15 offices, I finally found a place that could get me in.  I definitely lucked out as the orthodontist is super nice, as is everyone in her office.  I have pretty severe anxiety about dentists and orthodontists, so I am VERY thankful I had a great experience Thursday.  Seriously, I got to the office building and thought I was going to throw-up from being so nervous.  Anyway, I chose to have her remove the permanent retainer removed so I didn't have to worry about something like this happening again, and I ordered a removable retainer I'll have to wear at night.  Go ahead and make your jokes now.  :)  I figure that's better than needing braces again.
All that, plus Brooklyn sleeping like crap has left me sooo tired.  I need a day that I don't have anything to do so I can just sleep, but I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen.  I'll take sleeping in a little tomorrow though if I can get it.  I wish I had a magic solution for getting Brooklyn to sleep, but I just can't figure anything out.  She only sleeps when she wants to, and nothing I can do can convince her otherwise.  At least it won't last forever, but I sure do miss sleep. 
And just so this isn't a long boring post with no pictures, here are all the kids at my mom's for Christmas.

and just a sneak peek of the old bathroom.  (awesome red carpet, right?)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!  We had a great day today.  I have to say, I LOVE that we don't have to go anywhere on Christmas.  For a while it kind of was a bummer that we didn't go to my mom's on Christmas day, but now, I love that Christmas day is just our family hanging out at home together.  We open our presents, eat breakfast, and then play with the new toys, watch the new movies, and hang out together.  Since we got lucky and had a white Christmas this year, the older three even went out and played in the snow for a while.  Such a wonderful day!
I will try to get some more pictures posted tomorrow, but for now, I think these will do.  :)

before Santa came
After Santa's visit
The next two are the post present opening chaos.  :)

I hope everyone else had a wonderful day however you spent it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

picture time!

Here are some pictures of the kids from the last month.  I'm terrible about taking pictures anymore, and even worse about sharing them, lol!  Enjoy!

Emma preparing to do a handstand at the Christmas show.

Megan being Megan at the Christmas show. She did do her dance though.
Brooklyn didn't care for the peaches, but loved the spoon
Jackson with his new toy he got for his birthday
The girls when I was trying to take pictures. Megan REALLY wanted to hold Brooklyn.

The boys being goofy

Brooklyn trying to escape

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Got some good news on Friday.  Jackson actually grew 2 inches, and gained almost 4 pounds in the last 6 months.  I think I breathed the biggest sigh of relief in the pediatricians office when he told me those numbers.  The doctor said Jackson is obviously still small, but he gained and grew taller, and actually moved up in the percentiles as well, so he's not really concerned at all.  I cannot tell you how much better I feel about Jackson being such a little guy.
Unfortunately we also got a little crappy news on Friday, I'm still sick!  I came down sick back on November 14th, and my body still hasn't kicked this crap.  I am now onto round 3 of antibiotics to try to clear up this nasty sinus infection I have.  I have to go back to the doctor in 3 weeks for another check to see if everything has cleared up.  Also, the doctor did some bloodwork on me just to make sure everything else is working properly, and to find out why I've been so tired.  My fingers are crossed it's nothing serious and just a side-effect of being a mom of 5, lol!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jackson is 2!

Wow!  Jackson is 2 today.  He is such an amazing little man, and he cracks me up every day.  He is still really tiny, everyone comments on it (which is really annoying from strangers by the way), but he seems like he's healthy and normal, just small.  He was supposed to have a check-up in the morning, but the pediatrician's office is opening late because of the bad weather, so I have to call to reschedule.  Anyway, he talks a TON!  He is picking up new words every day, and he can actually be understood a lot of the time.  He is showing some interest in using the potty, but we've been taking it slow and following his lead on it.  Some days he'll ask to go on the potty and actually use it, and some days he'll ask and not go, or it will be just a minute too late.  But, I know we're making progress, and I hope it won't be long before he gets serious about it.
Jackson has pretty good motor skills too.  His newest thing is jumping with both feet off the ground at the same time.  Sounds silly, but that really is a milestone and takes some coordination.  He still hates using utensils to eat, but I don't really care.  I figure he won't eat with his hands forever, and at least he's eating.
Jackson is quite the funny guy, but we love to refer to him as a little old man.  The more you watch him the more you can see he really is a little old man.  Recently I've started referring to him as Mr. Fredrickson, which is the name of the old man from the movie UP!.  Pay attention long enough, and you'll start to see the resemblance.  I think we should get Jackson a cane to walk around with to make it even more complete, lol!
I just love that little boy, and even though he is definitely hitting the terrible two's hard, he's still a lot of fun, and you can't help but like to spend time with him. 
Sadly, no party for Jackson today. We've all spent the last week fighting a stomach virus, and poor Jackson is just now starting to feel better. The kids were very sad for Jackson he didn't even get cake on his birthday, but I promise he'll get one in the next day or two.

Fingers crossed his check-up goes well.

Friday, December 3, 2010

slow growing

well, like all the other kids, Brooklyn has really slowed down in her weight gain, but she's still healthy.  At her 6 month check-up she's up to 15 pounds 5 ounces, and 25 1/2 inches long.  That's not up much from her stats at 4 months when she was 14 pounds 4 ounces, and 25 inches long, but at least she grew.  Fingers crossed she continues to grow and stay healthy.  I find it hard to believe she only grew 1/2 of an inch, but I really don't think they do an accurate measuring job every time, so who knows.  She is outgrowing a lot of her pj's in the length, so I think she's still doing fine.  I have a feeling her slower weight gain has to do with her increased mobility, but I'm not expert.  I always stress so much about the kids' weight gain, but chances are I have nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brooklyn is 6 months old

So sad, my sweet baby girl is 6 months old already!  It feels like it was just a month or two ago we were in the hospital with a newborn, but I think it live in a weird time warp world where things happen at hyper speed without me realizing.  So, yep, here we are at 6 months.  Brooklyn is so sweet and snuggly I just want to eat her up.  But, now that she has figured out how to get around on here own, she doesn't have as much time for snuggling, and would prefer to chase after the toys her siblings leave lying around.  That's right, Brooklyn is crawling. I'm sure a lot of people would say it's not officially a crawl, but I think it is.  It's a half crawl half army crawl scooting thing, but she is fast and always gets where she wants to go.  She can't sit up unassisted, or even using her hands as support, but I have a feeling it won't be long because she keeps pushing herself back onto her hip like she's trying to sit.  Megan crawled before she sat, and she learned how to sit by just pushing herself back onto her butt while crawling one day, so I expect Brooklyn to be the same way.
For a while she was sleeping really well and only waking once or twice a night to eat and go right back down, and would be in bed about 12 hours a night.  Now, she totally sucks at this sleeping thing.  At first I think it was due to teething because her bottom two teeth have cut through.  Then I got sick, so we were wondering if she was just extra hungry.  I wasn't eating much at all, so I'm sure the quality of my breastmilk was kind of crappy, but now that I am at least eating a little more, her sleeping habits are still awful.  Today though, she seems to be running a fever, so I guess she is coming down with something.  I miss the days of being able to put her to bed at 7:30pm and know I would only see her a couple times before morning.  Now she is up and down all night, and I'm exhausted because of it.  Not only am I trying to recover from an illness, but Brooklyn wanting to nurse at least 12 times a day is sucking the life out of me.  But, as Sean pointed out, our only other option is to try to give her some formula (she hates bottles by the way), and I'm not ok with ending breastfeeding because it's gotten hard, so we're plugging along.  If everyone could pray she starts sleeping better again, that would be awesome!
Even though I complain about the crappy sleeping, I do love nursing Brooklyn in the middle of the night when the house is quiet and dark.  She is so peaceful and content it almost makes me forget how exhausted I am and how much I'd rather be sleeping.
Brooklyn still hasn't had anything other than breastmilk, but I definitely think we're close to introducing some solid foods to her.  She is very interested in what we are eating at meal times, and tries to grab our stuff if we are holding her.  Unfortunately, our high chair died.  It survived 7 years and 4 kids, but we just couldn't make it last through one more kiddo.  So I ordered a new one, and Brooklyn's entry into solids will have to wait until it arrives.  I tried to find a replacement cover since that was the really horrible part, but our high chair was such a dinosaur, there aren't replacement covers out there for it.
Brooklyn loves her older siblings.  Even Jackson, as long as he's not trying to sit on her.  She thinks Nathan is hilarious, and Emma can calm her down almost as well as I can when Brooklyn gets upset.
These first 6 months have passed by in such an exciting blur, I'm sure the next 6 will be more of the same.  Even though we didn't plan to have Brooklyn, I LOVE having her as part of our family, and cannot imagine life without her now.  Thanks to God who knew we needed Brooklyn, even though we didn't.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Days like today

Some days of my motherhood journey are wonderful and amazing and make me feel so incredibly blessed.  The kids all (pretty much) get along, and everyone listens and we have a lovely family dinner, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something right on the crazy road I'm on.
Then there are days like today that there are more tears and yelling than smiles and giggles.  More fighting and arguing than loving and talking about our days.  It's so exhausting trying to keep my cool when the kids are having meltdowns, and still trying to manage the wife and mom responsibilities.  I already feel constantly behind on all the things I should be doing, but days like today make it seem impossible I'll ever reach a point that I won't be behind.  They also make the things I'm failing in stand out more, and matter more.  On the good days I can overlook the dishes in the sink, and the crumbs on the floor, and know that those are not the things that truly matter right now in life.  Days like today make all my failures stand out more, and make any success I've ever had virtually disappear. 
Days like today make motherhood  feel harder than serving time on a chain gang.  Days like today make me wonder why I felt I could handle not just 5 kids, but any kids at all.
Days like today are not the days I'll remember when my babies are grown... and for that, I'm grateful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life gets in the way.

Oh my goodness, I think I just need to give up on blogging.  Normally I just post something quick on facebook and everyone I know is on there, so that's just a much easier way to keep up.  Lately though, even facebooking has taken a back seat for me.  I have nothing interesting to say.  Seriously, the life of a stay at home mom is pretty un-interesting.  Today's excitement was Jackson's pooping in the potty.  Really, who wants to hear that?  It's a big deal in our house, but to everyone else, it's just gross.  Other daily activities include laundry, dishes, making meals, nursing a baby, changing diapers, homework with the big kids, running errands, and getting the kids to their activities.  Most weeks pass in such a blur it's over before I know it, and it's time to start all over again.
In addition to the daily grind, we've had plenty of weekend activities, including two camping trips.  I love when we can get away as a family, even if it's just for a few days, but it's also really exhausting for me since I'm the one who packs everything, unpacks everything, and washes everything once we're back home.  I can't really complain too much though, because I don't think I'd let Sean do the packing, even if he offered.  I'm pretty sure we'd all end up with one extra shirt, and maybe a toothbrush, regardless of how long our trip is.  lol! 
I wish I could be better about blogging, but without something fabulous to say, and not a lot of readers dying with anticipation to read something from me, the motivation just isn't there most days.  Of course the motivation to scrub bathrooms isn't usually there either, but I have done that more than I've posted a blog entry in the last two months. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

helpful hint

Hey all you google reader users.  Are you like me and you just read all your blogs in your reader, and almost never go to the actual blog site to read posts?  I love reading everyone's blog posts, but rarely come out of google reader, and therefore rarely comment on blogs unless I really have something useful to say.  Anyway, thanks to Cara over at Me?AMom? for sharing this awesome next bookmarklet info.  Now I can easily read through all the blogs I like to follow and visit their site at the same time.  Sorry if this is old news to everyone but me, but I just thought I'd share in case any of you were still in the dark like me.  :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swimming at Grandma's

We took the kids swimming at my mom's quite a bit this summer.  I love going there to swim for several reasons.  1 - It's free, you can't beat that.  2 - I don't have to go out in public in a swimsuit.  3 - Mom always always feeds us something yummy for dinner while we're there.  :)
Anyway a few weeks ago we finally decided the water was warm enough to get Brooklyn in the pool with us.  She snuggled up next to me and fell asleep.  I just laid on a raft with her while she took a nap.  What a great way to spend a hot summer day.

Nathan being a goofball
"Enough with the pictures mom, just hold me!"

First Day of school 2010

The kids went back to school today.  I'm excited about having less little people underfoot during the day, but I'm also bummed because I'm losing both my helpers.  This morning went well despite my fears Emma would be a beast.  Last night at bedtime wasn't pretty, so I thought for sure we'd be in for an awful morning, but I guess she got it all out of her system last night, since she was quite pleasant this morning.  She still said she didn't want to go to school, but at least she didn't throw a fit or make excuses to try to get out of it.  Nathan was super excited and couldn't wait to go.  Such different kids.
I played annoying mom with the camera and got a picture of the kids this morning.  I told the kids I'd be doing this every year on the first day of school, even when they are seniors in high school.  To which Emma said, "Mom, you are sooo annoying!"  lol!  I think secretly she loves it though.
I'm sad the summer is over, but looking forward to fall and dance starting up again for both girls.  I guess we're going to try Megan in dance again and see if she's more interested in participating.  I sure hope so if I'm going to drag a toddler and an infant all the way to the studio. 
Anyway, here is the picture from today

and last years pic to compare

Saturday, August 7, 2010

lunch box battles (and a glimpse of my childhood)

It's August, which means it's back to school shopping time. So last weekend with everyone fed and napped, and presumably happy, we headed out as a family to buy school supplies for Emma and Nathan. We were not int the store for very long when I realized taking the whole family on this shopping trip was a horrible idea. First Megan played the in the cart, out of the cart game, then Jackson started crying to get out since Megan was, which Sean finally gave in to. Then Brooklyn started crying, so Sean ended up holding her. I was busy with Emma and Nathan and my lists I had made; one for each kid. Things were ok on my end briefly, until I started picking up the items on Emma's list that were not on Nathan's.
N: "mom, who's that for?"
Me: "Emma."
N: "no fair!"
Me: "I'm sorry Nathan, but I don't make the lists, and this is what Emma needs for school."
N: "hrumph" and then the pouting face.
We repeated this exchange a few more times until I discovered the store was out of the rest of the supplies we needed. At that point I suggested we go to the next aisle and look for new lunchboxes. The kids need new ones since their old ones had survived 2+ years and were pretty gross from being thrown on the ground at recess. So we pushed the car, and herded the kids over, and that's when the REAL fun began.
Sean and I both agreed on one type of lunchbox that wasn't really cool, but one that would hold their food, keep it cold, and fit nicely in their backpacks. I asked the kids to pick out which color they wanted, and Nathan promptly picked up a blue one, tossed it in the cart, and hopped on the side of the cart ready to go. Emma had other ideas.
While Sean and I had been discussing lunchboxes and corralling kids, Emma had been doing her own shopping, and had found the perfect lunchbox. Unfortunately for all of us, it was not the same one mom and dad had selected. Emma's choice was an adorable purse-like ladybug lunchbox, that she could carry "just like this" she demonstrated throwing it up onto her shoulder. I took a deep breath knowing I was in for a battle over this, and tried to explain that even though I agreed the ladybug one was really cool, we did not need to spend that much on a lunchbox, when the other one was 1/4 the price and would do the job just fine. Instantly met with more resistance than I was prepared to defeat that day, I handed things over to Sean, and took Brooklyn from him, who was really starting to fuss.
As Sean tried reasoning with Emma, first with humor, and when that failed, with the same logic I tried, I began to feel sad. Not because we were that crazy family in Target with crabby kids and one throwing a fit over something she couldn't have, but because I wanted Emma to have that ladybug lunchbox too. The tears started welling up in my eyes, so I took the cart, and all the other kids to start to make my way to the checkout, and I left Sean to deal with Emma.
I know you're all thinking "ok crazy post-partum hormonal lady, get a grip, it's just a lunchbox," but to me, it's much more than that.
When I was a kid, I was teased about all sorts of things. I'm sure everyone got teased in school, but the way it made me feel has really stuck with me. My dad passed away right after I switched to public school, and right when puberty started to hit.  As if switching schools, and dealing with all the pre-pubescent crap wasn't enough, my dad died and I was left with my mom as my only parent.  It's not that my mom is a bad person, she and I have always butted heads about everything for as long as I can remember.  My dad made a nice referee for us, but without him, the only rule-maker in the house, was the one I never got along with, and she was insanely old-fashioned.  Her old-fashioned rules made things very hard for me to fit in at school. No, I didn't have to wear long dresses, and turtlenecks all the time or anything like that, but I definitely had more restrictions than other kids.  And let's be honest in middle school and beyond, the last thing you want to be is different.  It's much easier if you fit in with everyone else.  In addition to being left with my mom's rules, we were also left with less money.  We were not poor by any stretch of the imagination, but we also couldn't afford for me to have all the best of everything, and all the stuff everyone else had.  Now that I'm an adult, I get it, and I know lots of people were like me and didn't have everything all the other kids had, but when I was a kid, I felt like I was the only one missing out, and I hated feeling like I was less than everyone else because of that.
So now that I have kids, I'm having a panic attack that they are going to experience what I went through.  Realistically, even if we had all the money in the world and could afford to buy everything for our kids, we probably wouldn't.  But the reality of our life, and our family of 5 kids, is that we will all have to sacrifice some things we really, really want.  We will always provide our kids with the things they need, but they won't always get the coolest, most expensive item to fill that need.  I'm sad that they may someday have that feeling that they are less than everyone else because they don't have the newest, greatest things all the time.
It's been almost a week, and Emma still isn't happy about her plain pink lunchbox, and to be honest, neither am I.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2 new recipes

In our house, it is a never ending quest to find foods I can cook easily that everyone will actually eat.  There is always at least one complainer in the bunch that doesn't like whatever we're having, unless it's spaghetti or pizza.  I am always on the hunt for new things to try hoping one day I'll find something else we all like.  The last two nights I tried two new recipes, and everyone seemed to like both of them.  Well, everyone but Megan, but she's currently on a "there is nothing I will eat willingly" kick, so she doesn't count.  Seriously, she won't even eat ice cream or cake.  Every once in a while, she'll have a day that she eats anything and everything I put in front of her, but for the most part, she eats a couple bites per meal at best.  I can't wait for this phase to be over.
Anyway, the two new recipes.  Both are on the spicy end, but I'm discovering the kids tend to eat spicy things better than bland things, which is odd because I've frequently read most kids are the opposite and only want bland items.
Last night we tried a Mexican Lasagna from this blog:  I really liked it, and even though with the first few bites I thought it was lacking in the heat department, the more I ate, the hotter my mouth got.  Sean didn't seem to like it as much (though he didn't hate it), but also said he had a late lunch and wasn't super hungry, so maybe I'll try him on it again another day.
Tonight I made Salsa Chicken Rice casserole:  and everyone ate a ton of it, so it must have been good.  It definitely didn't have a lot of heat to it, but was still really tasty. 
Both were pretty easy to make, and if I think it was easy, it is probably ridiculously easy for your average person since I'm no Betty Crocker. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brooklyn's Christening

Brooklyn's Christening was today. We were the only family there for a baptism, which was odd, but also nice since Jackson and Megan were incapable of sitting still through the service. To be fair, they were both really good during mass, and the baptism was after mass, so they were DONE sitting still and being quiet.
Anyway, Brooklyn wore the family gown we have all worn. It's amazing how many people have been baptized in it since it was made. My grandmother and great grandmother made the gown back in 1948 for my Dad's older sister, and since then everyone in the family has been baptized in it. I love that we have this piece of history that we have all shared in.
Brooklyn received two very special gifts today. One, from her Godmother, was a beautiful bracelet that Brooklyn wore today on her ankle, and came with a card with a saying that when she gets married it can be used as a charm on her garter. It is gorgeous and I will definitely have to share a picture of it and the little card that came with it. The other super special gift was from my mom, and it was a little handmade bonnet that you can clip a couple of threads on, and it becomes a handkerchief for her to carry on her wedding day. I absolutely love this gift idea, and it came with the sweetest poem too.
Happy Christening Day Brooklyn!

and a picture of all the monsters.

oh, and at her two month checkup Brooklyn was up to 12 pounds, and is 23 inches long. She gained 1.5 pounds, and grew 2 inches in one month. Keep on growing girl!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brooklyn is 2 months old

It's unreal that Brooklyn has been part of our family for 2 months now, and yet it also feels like she's always been here. I think the more kids you have, the easier it is to adjust to another baby, so you don't notice the change as much. That doesn't mean we don't love her a ton, and love having her as part of our family though. She is a really great baby. She sleeps well at night, and usually eats around midnight, and then sleeps until anywhere between 5 and 7, just depending on the day. She sleeps with us though, so when she does wake up, I just start feeding her in bed, and we both falls back asleep pretty quickly. Gotta love that part of co-sleeping. :) She is also a very smiley and chatty baby, which shouldn't surprise me with as much as everyone else in the family talks. She loves to be snuggled, which is great since everyone loves a snuggly baby.
We are already trying to get Brooklyn used to how much we travel. We have taken two trips to Cloud 9 since she arrived, and she did ok on them. She cried a lot on the way home on our most recent trip, but once we reached a stopping point, we discovered she had a majorly poopy diaper, so I think that was the cause of her distress. Once she was changed and fed, she went back to sleep for the rest of the trip. Still to come this year will be at least one more trip to Cloud 9, a trip to Ohio, a trip to Chicago, and I'm sure we'll end up with at least one more road trip to somewhere, so hopefully she'll continue to travel well.
Brooklyn has her two month check-up tomorrow, so I'll update with her weight after that. I'm sure she's doing just fine though. Also coming up this weekend is Brooklyn's christening, which I'm really excited about. I must go for now and work on cleaning house for our guests following the Christening. I'm still not caught up, and fear I never will be.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Fatty fattness

That's how I feel right now. I want to punch every first time mom who popped out a baby and a week later slipped their pre-pregnancy pants on effortlessly. I will be honest and admit that I have never been able to fit back into my pre-Emma clothes. NOPE, not EVER! After having Emma I lost all but about 10 pounds right away, and that's where my body stayed until I got pregnant with Nathan. With Nathan I gained a lot more weight, so I had more to lose, and of course, never got off my lazy butt to lose all of it. After Megan I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight quickly, but I still had a lot more to lose. I did great losing the weight, but even getting the numbers on the scale back to where they were before I got pregnant with Emma, I was unable to wear the same size. Seriously, when I got pregnant with Emma I wore a size 5 or 7 depending on the clothes. After Megan and I lost all the weight, the best I could do in pants was a 10. I was super stoked when for Laura's wedding I got to order a size 8 dress, and it fit perfectly, but seriously a size 8 in pants just wasn't happening.
After all that I got pregnant with Jackson and I gained a lot that pregnancy (something about those boys I guess), and after having him I lost a lot easily, but then stalled with a decent amount left to lose, and I never made myself do the work to lose it all. When he was 9 months old I got pregnant again and swore I was not going to gain a ton of weight. My body doesn't like to listen though, and I still gained about 35 pounds, even though I should only have gained 15 since I was overweight to begin with. (Weird note here that I really did gain about 35 with all three girls, and about 50 with both boys. I find it odd that happened and wonder if I'm the only one like that)
Anyway, now that Brooklyn is 7 weeks old, and I am still hovering around that initial 20 pound loss that I achieved after about 2 weeks, I'm disgusted at myself. I hate how I look in clothes, and in swimwear, and especially in my birthday suit. I am still wearing maternity pants and shorts because not even my "fat" clothes fit me right now.
The image in my head of how I should look, definitely does not match how I really look. I feel bad for my husband that this is definitely not the person he met, fell in love with, and married. I cannot believe that I graduated high school wearing a size 1 jeans (admittedly that was too skinny though and I looked sick), and here I am almost 10 years later and I am this huge person now.
So, a change is coming. It will not happen overnight, or all at once, and I will not be the perfect picture of health and fitness, but I will be better.
Stay tuned for more of my journey. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worst Blogger Ever

If there were an award for this, I think I might win. Granted I have some good excuses; 5 kids, a new baby, and being out of town, but still, this is ridiculous!
Here's a quick rundown on recent events (I promise my blog will not turn into one post a month of a bulleted catch up entry, lol!)

-June 12th, Brooklyn had her two week checkup, at which point she was 9 pounds 1 ounce
-That same day, we went to my cousin's wedding. She was a beautiful bride, and despite the rain, it was a fantastic day.
-At Brooklyn's one month checkup she was 10 pounds 7.5 ounces. What a chunker!
-Nathan had his 6 year checkup, and he's doing great. Still on the smaller end for kids his age, but still just fine.
-Jackson had his 18 month checkup, and he is finally back on the growth chart. First percentile for weight and Second for height, but at least he's on the chart now. lol!
-We went to Cloud 9 for the first time this year. Sean's dad, brother and his family, and sister all came as well, so it was fun to have them all together. We intended to stay 12 days, but cut it a few days short. The heat was a lot for the two little ones, which led to me spending lots of time just sitting around with them in the camper, and I was going crazy.
-Once home Sean took the three oldest bowling one day, we went to the zoo and out for ice cream the next, and then swimming at my mom's the next day.
- The older three stayed at my mom's for two nights, and came home exhausted. They love being over there, but they refuse to let themselves slow down at all, so they are always wiped out when they come back home.
-Brooklyn is doing really well. She sleeps at night, and is even going for stretches longer than 3 hours at night, which is awesome. During the day she doesn't like to nap anywhere but in my arms, which means our house is being severely neglected.
But as the last few lines of a great poem go:
"The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

laura's version

Laura wrote up her account of Brooklyn's birthday, and gave me permission to share it with everyone, so here it is. Her times are different from mine in places, but I have a feeling hers are more accurate since I pieced together the timeline from texts on Sean's phone. (hey, I was in labor, I didn't pay attention to the clock after about 3pm, lol!)

I thought you might want to hear a fly on the wall’s perspective of the birth of Brooklyn! I know you already wrote her birth story – but I obviously had a different point of view since I wasn’t the one going through any of the pain!

Months ago Cheryl had asked me if I wanted to be in the delivery room when their baby was born – there was no way I was going to miss that opportunity! I had been keeping up with Cheryl’s progress, and had been trying to stay really on top of things at work so that if she went into labor it wouldn’t be a big deal for me to miss a day of work. Friday afternoon Cheryl had given me an update of her doctor’s appointment, and had said that there wasn’t much change from the week before. With Cheryl’s history of having to be induced, I figured there would be no action this weekend. Boy, was I wrong!

I had big plans over the Memorial Day weekend to paint my bedroom and hallway since my DH was working every day. Friday night I went to Lowe’s and bought all my paint supplies, then ran a few other errands and went home to start painting. At about midnight I finished painting both the ceilings. By that time my DH was home from work, and we stayed up until about 2am watching TV, and went to bed.

A little after 8:00 Saturday morning, our house phone rang. Since my MIL has a habit of calling our house early on the weekends, I didn’t get up to answer it because I figured it was her. Then my cell phone rang (which was by my bed), and it was Cheryl. I didn’t even say hello – I just picked up the phone and said, “Are you in labor?!” I was so excited! Cheryl told me that her water had broken and they were getting ready to leave for the hospital. She told me to take my time getting ready, and to eat breakfast because it was going to be a long day. I packed up a few things I might want during the day, got ready, and left - I was trying to take my time, but I couldn’t help thinking what if it goes faster than she planned and I miss it?! I got to the hospital at about 9:45, and went up to labor and delivery. Cheryl was still in a triage room getting all checked in – her mom arrived a little after me, and we all helped her get settled into her room once they moved her. I stayed with Cheryl while her mom and Sean went to get the rest of their things out of the car. After that, we all just sat in the room for a while. Cheryl was feeling pretty good at this point, and the contractions weren’t too strong. They had given her a little pitocin to get things moving a little more consistently, but she really wasn’t in too much pain…yet.

We all decided to leave for a bit while the nurse came in and checked Cheryl’s progress, and she was going to get an epidural before the pain got too bad to sit through it. We just sat in the waiting room and made some phone calls – this is also the point at which I discovered the blue kool-aid slushies that they had on the floor (I might need to get a machine for my house). I drank one while we waited. After a little while I went back in Cheryl’s room – the anesthesiologist was finishing up with the epidural – after she left, I sat with Cheryl while her mom and Sean ran to grab something to eat, and I decided to get another slushie. At about 3:00 the nurse checked her again and she was between 4-5 cm. She had felt a little window of pain on her lower left side that the epidural hadn’t reached, so she had been trying to lay on her left side to run the medicine down that way. That had worked until she switched to the right side, the pain on her left came back. Even though she again switched to her left side, the pain never subsided for her again.

Around 3:30 I was on a sugar high from all the slushies, and decided I probably needed some food. I ran to get something to eat with Cheryl’s mom – I think her mom was having a hard time being in the room, so she was trying to keep herself occupied! We got back up to the room at about 4:00, and Cheryl had started to experience a lot of pain. That little window of pain from before was growing, and Cheryl had started lightly moaning through most of the contractions. The nurse checked her again at about 4:30 and said that she was between 5 and 6 cm. The nurse called Cheryl’s on call doctor (since her normal OB was out of town), and also called the anesthesiologist back to see if she could do anything else for the pain. She gave Cheryl what she said was the dose the she would give for a C-Section, and said to give it about five minutes to work. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to help at all, and Cheryl was obviously in a lot of pain, moaning through all the contractions. We all just sat in the room with the lights dim, and Sean was holding Cheryl’s hand trying to help her through the contractions. I didn’t want to be in the way, so I really just sat there at this point watching her try to manage the pain. The anesthesiologist came back and tried to move the epidural up thinking that might help – the only other option was to get a new epidural put in, and Cheryl wasn’t really in a state of mind to think about that. Unfortunately, moving the epidural didn’t work, either. The nurse thought that since she had been experiencing so much pain, and since Cheryl had warned her that once she gets to 6cm that she generally goes pretty fast, that she may have made more progress and checked her again. This was a little before 5:00 and she was at 8 cm.

At this point, I took it upon myself to get in touch with the photographer to make sure that she would be there on time. Cheryl had wanted to have this birth photographed, and since I couldn’t take any of the pain away, I really wanted to make sure that the photographer was there. Sean was so focused on Cheryl, that he couldn’t really think about this part of it either, so I grabbed Sean’s phone and went out to the hall to call Kristen and tell her that Cheryl was at 8cm and progressing fast and that she may want to come up as soon as possible.

I went back into the room, and the doctor had arrived, took one look at Cheryl and went to change his clothes. By the time the doctor came back in, Cheryl only had a lip of cervix left. Things started to move quickly to get things in order – they were dropping the bottom part of the bed down, and pulling up the stirrups. I grabbed Sean’s phone again and texted Kristen to tell her that Cheryl was about to start pushing – this was at about 5:15. I was on Cheryl’s right side, holding her hand, and one of her legs to help her push. Sean was trying to encourage Cheryl at one point, but she was in so much pain that she just yelled at him to SHUT-UP! I was really glad I wasn’t the one that was talking! The nurse grabbed one of Cheryl’s legs and put it in the stirrup and she yelled to not move her because it hurt! The nurse told her, “I know it hurts, but I have to do this so you can get this baby out and feel better.” Cheryl’s legs were both in the stirrups and she had another contraction. Cheryl yelled that she was pushing because she couldn’t help it. The doctor said that’s ok, go ahead a push. A little bit of the head came out on that push. At this point Kristen came running into the room with her camera snapping away! I was so glad that she was there and that Cheryl would get the pictures that she wanted! The next contraction Cheryl pushed again and got the whole head out. One more push and the entire body came out. The doctor flipped the baby over, and Sean announced that it was a girl. I had to hold back tears – it was such an amazing moment. They announced the name Brooklyn, and put her on Cheryl’s chest.

A few minutes later they took Brooklyn over to the warmer and were cleaning her off, and getting Cheryl situated. She had no tearing on the outside, and none that they could see on the inside, but she wouldn’t stop bleeding. It was a little scary, since Cheryl’s blood pressure dropped pretty low, and her pulse was really high. They gave her a shot of something in the leg, and kept massaging her stomach to get her uterus to contract and try to stop the bleeding. Cheryl kept asking what her stats were, and then would ask about the baby since she wasn’t crying much. Brooklyn was perfect, and happy, but I’m sure Cheryl was just worried about her since she needed to be focused on herself. Eventually the blood stopped, and they got Cheryl all situated, but she was feeling sick and dizzy, and didn’t feel like she could hold Brooklyn enough to nurse her. The nurse brought her some crackers, and I took the opportunity to hold Brooklyn while Cheryl ate. Eventually Cheryl felt good enough to nurse at around 6:30 – and Brooklyn latched on like a champ! I stayed at the hospital for a little while longer, but decided to leave so Sean and Cheryl could get some rest. I was exhausted from all the excitement of the day, so I can’t imagine how exhausted Cheryl was!

I am so thankful that Sean and Cheryl allowed me to experience the birth of Brooklyn with them! It was seriously one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and taught me so much.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Yes, we're all still alive. It's been a long 9 days since Brooklyn was born, but I know things could be a lot worse, so I'm trying not to complain. Brooklyn is a really good baby, and she actually sleeps at night. She still wakes every 3 hours, on average, to eat, but at least she's not spending all her awake time when I need to be sleeping like most babies do. I think she is in the midst of her first growth spurt because yesterday she wanted to nurse hourly all afternoon and evening, but I'm glad that did not continue overnight since I was very tired after several very busy days and all the nursing she did.
Sadly, Sean's mom had to leave last Tuesday, but we are so glad she was able to be here when Brooklyn was born both to enjoy her new grand-daughter and to help us out with the other kids. Then Sean went back to work Wednesday afternoon, so all the kids and I are still trying to settle into a routine that allows me to rest, but not leave them bored to death or driving me nuts. Friday I felt really great when I got up, which means of course I way overdid it, and am still paying for it.
Friday night my mom kept the four oldest kids and Sean and I went car shopping. We'd been car shopping for a while, but just couldn't commit to anything yet. Once Brooklyn arrived and we installed all the car seats in the car, it really lit a fire under us to find something bigger soon instead of just waiting for whatever we were waiting for. So we were out very late Friday night looking, and then got up early Saturday morning to go finish the deal. We are now the proud owners of a Yukon XL, which is basically a suburban. I'm excited about all the extra space we have, but incredibly nervous about driving it. I seriously don't think I'll be able to park in a spot at Target at this point, which means Sean is going to have to take me to an empty lot and teach me how so I don't look like a complete moron when I do decide to venture out with all the kids.
Saturday we celebrated Nathan's 6th birthday at my mom's. Yes, I realized I totally spaced on making a post about his birthday this year. Things have just been so crazy. But anyway, we had a small family get together Saturday evening at my mom's house with pizza and cake. Since the kids had stayed the night Friday night, they spent most of the day Saturday in the pool and by the time we got home Saturday night, they were all so exhausted, and so was I.
Sunday the photographer came to the house and took Brooklyn's newborn pictures as well as some of the whole family. I can't wait to see them. I really loved our photographer, and if we were having anymore kids I would definitely be hiring her again to be part of it all. She's fabulous, and takes great pictures! But since we are DONE making babies, I'll just have to settle for hiring her for family pictures as needed.
So there's a quick recap of Brooklyn's first 9 days of life. As always things are hectic in our family, but what else would you expect from a family of 7? Now I just need to figure out how to get the older kids to sleep in because they are still on school time, even though they get to stay up later now.

Oh, and until we get Brooklyn's newborn pics to share, here are the hospital pics to hold you over. Click here

Monday, May 31, 2010

Brooklyn's birth story

Warning, this will contain some graphic info about me and the labor and delivery experience. Also some details may be off slightly since this is just how I remember it and not neccessarily exactly what happened. I know my memory is hazy for parts of the day, but I think I got all the important stuff right. Also this is very long.

WOW, what a day Saturday was! I would love to hear the story told from Sean, my mom, or Laura since they were all there for all of it, and I'm sure what I remember is probably off a little since it was so crazy. Maybe I'll get lucky and can talk one of them into sharing their version (especially Laura). :)

Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning at about 7:30 to pee, this wasn't surprising since I always have to wake up early and go to the bathroom. I laid back down in bed and tossed and turned trying to get comfortable, and then about 7:50 thought I felt what might have been a little trickle of my water breaking. I hadn't heard or felt a pop like I did when my water broke with Megan, but I thought I'd get up and go to the bathroom again and if it was my water, I'd feel more coming out. I went to the bathroom and didn't notice anything else, but Jackson was fussing, so I got him out of bed and brought him into my room and put him on the bed with Sean and half laid down with them. I told Sean I thought maybe my water broke, but I wasn't sure, and as I was laying there, I starting feeling another gush, by the time I got into the bathroom it was running down my legs, and I knew for sure my water had broken. That was between 7:55 and 8:00. I told Sean it was definitely my water, and by then everyone in the house was up. Sean's mom took the kids downstairs to get them started on breakfast, and Sean and I got ready and finished packing my stuff. I called Laura, and Sean called my mom, but we told them both to take their time since I wasn't in any pain or having many contractions, and we were still at home. We got the rest of our stuff together and headed to the hospital.

I couldn't remember if we were supposed to go to the ER to check in, or straight up to the family birthplace. So we stopped at the ER and I told the guy working the desk my water had broken and asked if we should be admitted here, or just go upstairs. He asked if I was having any contractions, and I said a few. So he asked how far apart they were, and when I said I didn't know, he looked at me like I had three heads. I later told Sean if they were painful I'd have paid attention, but it's not like my baby was coming out any minute now, and you'd think the guy would have known that since I was not in any obvious pain. Anyway, he made a call, and said we should just go straight upstairs and they would do everything up there.

When we arrived upstairs they took us to the triage area. That is what they do when they want to make sure you are really in labor, or that your water has really broken. So they gave me a gown and a cup to pee in, and put us in a triage room. The nurse asked a bunch of questions because they couldn't find my info anywhere, and hooked me up to the monitors to check on contractions and the baby. The baby's heart rate was great, and I was contracting, but not often or very strong. Finally the house OB came in to check to see if my water had really broken. I had to laugh because my pants were soaked by the time we got to the hospital, despite wearing a pad, and since I had been sitting in the bed I had been feeling several more gushed of fluid. As soon as the nurse picked up the sheet she realized the ob definitely wouldn't need to verify my water had broken, but he wanted to check to see how dilated I was. I was dilated 3-4 and about 80% effaced, which was some progress from my appointment the day before.

With all that info they gave us a room and called the doctor that was covering for my OB, since my OB was out of town. My mom and Laura had arrived while I was still in the triage room, so they helped us move into my real room and got the rest of our stuff out of the car with Sean. We had left everything out there rather than bring it all in and drag it around until we got settled in our room. The OB said I needed a small dose of pitocin to help regulate things since my body wasn't doing much on it's own, and I really wasn't surprised. I'm pretty sure my body just doesn't get what it's supposed to do, even after my water breaks. So I got my IV started and they drew my blood. I signed a bunch of papers, including the one consenting to an epidural, even though I hadn't made a decision for sure on that. I didn't want to have to sign something for it later when I was in pain should I decide I needed one.

Then the waiting began. It was probably 10:30 or so by the time I got situated in my room and had the pitocin started. I definitely noticed an uptick in the contractions pretty quickly, but they weren't terrible. We all just sat around and talked for a while, and the nurse checked me at about 11:30, and I was only dilated to about 4cm. Everyone else had some lunch and I just enjoyed the quiet and tried to rest. I couldn't really sleep with the contractions, but it was nice just laying there relaxing for a while. The nurse checked me again at 1, and I was still 4cm, and I opted for an epidural at that point. Yes, I totally wimped out again, but honestly, I'm at peace with that decision.

After getting the epidural I felt really good for a while. I had been nauseous all morning, and that went away. The only issue I had was a little "window" on my lower left side that wasn't completely numb, but after laying on my left side for a bit that went away. Then we decided to roll me to the right side to try to move the baby down some more and make some more progress. The nurse checked me again at 3 and I was still only 4-5cm. After being on my right for just a short time, that window of pain came back, and I asked the nurse if I could roll back to my left to get some relief again. She said that was fine, but unfortunately, it didn't help. Not only did that spot not go away, but it was really painful, and the small spot that wasn't numb seemed to be growing.

Things just continued to get more painful and more intense from then on. The spot definitely kept getting bigger, and the contractions were quite painful. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me an extra dose of meds to see if that would help. It did not. So she came back and said she could either try moving the epidural a tiny bit, or give me a whole new one. I said we should just try moving it, so she did that. We waited a few minutes to see if that made a difference, and by that time it was all I could do to get through each contraction, which were about 2 1/2 minutes apart. Having a contraction that was 1 minute long, every 2.5 minutes made me feel very overwhelmed. Once we realized moving the epidural wasn't going to work I couldn't think straight enough to make a decision about getting a new one, so we did nothing.

The nurse had checked me again at 4:30 and I was 5-6cm, but 6cm when I had a contraction. They called the doctor at that point because I had warned everyone once I got to 6, things tend to go fast. At 5:00 I was still at 6cm, and the doctor had arrived. The contractions were so painful at that point I was just laying there holding Sean's hands trying to breathe through them, and could focus on nothing else. I know the OB tried to talk to me, but I have no idea what he was saying. I do remember Sean trying to encourage me and tell me how great I was doing, and all I could do was yell at him to SHUT-UP! I feel bad, but at the time I really needed him to shut-up. I could tune out everyone else, but when Sean talked to me I couldn't focus on breathing through the contractions and everything seemed worse. There were a couple contractions I really felt I couldn't get on top of and was breathing too fast and the nurse kept reminding me to slow down my breathing so I wouldn't hyperventilate. I also found myself moaning through some of the contractions to get through them. I never thought I'd be that vocal in labor since I never was before, but I did whatever I could at that point not to completely lose it.
The doctor came in a little after 5:00 (not sure exactly when) and they finished getting everything ready for delivery. At 5:15 or so, they checked me and I was 8cm. Then at 5:20 (ish) I was complete and ready to push. I pushed a couple times while they were breaking down the the bed, then then threw my legs into the stirrups and I really started pushing. Right after I started pushing my photographer, Kristen, ran into the room and started taking pics of everything. I'm so glad she made it in time. She said she was literally running and couldn't figure out exactly where to go, but someone told her they heard a lady yelling that way (I guess she pointed in the direction of my room), and said Kristen should head over there. Yes, I was the lady that was screaming while I was pushing. I'm kind of embarrassed by that, but I definitely didn't plan it, and didn't feel like I could not do it. At 5:29pm, after just a few pushes, Brooklyn Reese entered the world weighing 8 pounds 11 ounces, and 20 1/4 inches long. Sean announced it was a girl, but with all the craziness he couldn't remember the middle name we had picked out, and I was still not really thinking straight and couldn't help remember either. It was so much harder pushing Brooklyn out than I remember the other kids being, but maybe I just felt it more than I had before. The last couple hours of labor and the delivery were the most pain I've ever been in, and I'm not sure if my epidural was working at all anymore, but if it was working, even a little, that's as close to going natural through labor and delivery as I ever want to get.

Sean cut the cord and they put her up on my chest. She stayed there a few minutes, but then they took her over to the warmer to clean her up. I was fine with them taking her then because I couldn't really focus on anything or even try to hold her right away. The Ob was working on delivering the placenta, which did not want to come out easily. We finally got the placenta out, and then the real fun of me bleeding way too much began. They could not get me to stop bleeding and the poor nurses had to keep massaging my uterus to get it to contract to try to stop the bleeding. The doctor checked me for any internal tears (I didn't tear at all on the outside) to see if that was causing some of the bleeding, but there were none. So the nurses kept working on me, but since they couldn't get it to stop the doc ordered a shot of Methergine to help. I was definitely freaking out because I could see and hear the concern in the nurses voices and faces. I'm sure they were annoyed at me, but I asked a couple of times what my bp was, and at one point it was down really low (like 70 something/50 something), which they told me was still ok. They were more concerned that my heart rate was really high. I also asked if things were ok, and the one nurse said we were still ok, so I asked if she would tell me if I wasn't ok, and she said yes, and at that point I had to trust her on that. Finally after the meds and tons of massaging my uterus the bleeding finally slowed to an acceptable level.

The baby nurse was cleaning Brooklyn off and weighing her and Kristen was taking pics of Brooklyn while they were working on me. I got so wrapped up in my care I had to remind myself to ask how Brooklyn was a couple of times. I knew she was in good hands though, so I figured they'd let me know if she wasn't. Once they finally got the bleeding slowed down and cleaned me up and took my legs out of the stirrups, I felt like crap. The combination of not eating since 10pm the night before, laboring all day, then losing a ton of blood, and having nothing but fluids and meds in me had made me incredibly weak and nauseous. The nurse asked if I wanted to nurse Brooklyn, and I said I knew I needed to, but didn't really feel like I could. They wanted to give me something for the pain I was in (my uterus hurt so bad from all the massaging), but I said I really felt like I needed to eat before I took any more meds or I'd really be sick. So the nurse got me some crackers which I ate slowly, and by 6:30 I finally felt like I was capable of sitting up and holding Brooklyn so she could nurse. I know it was just barely over an hour after she was born, but I felt terrible she had to wait so long to breastfeed for the first time because I was having such a rough time. She did pretty well nursing though, so I don't think it had a major effect on things.

Sunday I was pretty sore all day, and really tired. The ran a blood count on me and said I was pretty anemic, but as long as I wasn't feeling dizzy or having other issues like that, they just wanted me to take it easy and get plenty of rest and iron. I slept a lot Sunday evening after our last visitors left, and then slept decently through the night, of course waking up to nurse Brooklyn as needed. Today I feel remarkably better, though definitely still tired, and my uterus is really sore, especially when Brooklyn nurses. I think it will take me a few days to feel "normal" but I don't feel so exhausted anymore.

Brooklyn is doing really well, and is really getting the hang of nursing. It's been a little harder with her than it was with the other kids, but no major issues. She's such a sweet snugly baby, and I'm so happy to have added another healthy, beautiful baby girl to our family. I'm also thankful and totally ok with this being the last time I have to go through pregnancy and labor and delivery. The scare I got with the excessive bleeding was enough to really convince me we should not have any more kids.

I have to give a big thank you to Sean, my mom, and Laura for being there for me through it all. Even though I yelled at Sean, he was great at supporting me throughout the labor and delivery, as always. Laura had never seen a live birth, but she was fantastic and was right there holding my hand when things were so hard at the end, and held my leg to help me push. What an amazing friend she is! And my poor mom. Saturday was a really hard day for her. Even though she's been there for 4 out of the 5 kids' births, it's still hard for her to watch me be in pain and not be able to do anything. Plus all the excessive bleeding I had really freaked her out, so by the end of the day she was wiped out and definitely needed some rest. Also a huge, giant thank you to Sean's mom for staying with the kids and taking care of the 4 of them completely for the last 3 days. She's amazing and I could not ask for a better mother-in-law.

So it was a crazy, rough day, but it has a happy ending with a healthy baby and mommy, and that's what really matters to me.

It's a GIRL!

For anyone who hasn't already heard, our baby GIRL was born May 29, 2010 at 5:29pm. She weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces, and is 20 1/4 inches long. She is perfectly healthy, and both mom and baby are doing fine. I will work on typing up our birth story to share with everyone soon before I forget things. Here's a picture to enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

38 weeks

I'm 38 weeks pregnant now, still no baby, and that's pretty much it. I had an ob appointment this morning, and both baby and I are doing well. My blood pressure is still great, baby has a good heart rate, and I actually lost half a pound. I'm dilated to 3cm now (cause I know you all wanted to know how my cervix is doing), but really that doesn't mean much since I was 3cm for a week+ before my water broke with Megan, and I was 4cm for a week or more and was induced with Jackson. So really, being dilated means nothing for me, other than all the contractions I've been having are actually doing something other than annoy me. Of course my doc said I could go into labor any day now, but we both know and joked about the fact that we just get to wait until this baby and my body decide it's time. Neither of us gets a say in the matter. I asked him if I was still measuring big, and he said no, I was pretty much average now. I told him I just wanted to be prepared for another Nathan if that was going to be the case, but he said he really doubted this baby would be that big.
I am not looking forward to this weekend since it's supposed to be 90 degrees. I've been so hot all the time with weather in the 70's, that I can't imagine how awful I'm going to feel when it hits 90! Times like this I wish we had a pool.
Emma's recital was this past Saturday, and she did pretty good for being her first recital. Her whole class had problems with forgetting everything they know really well, so it's not like she was alone in her mess-ups. It was fun being backstage and helping out again, but very odd to not be dancing, or able to help do a lot of stuff. I promised Emma's teacher I will not be so useless next year, and hopefully I can dance at least a little.
Don't forget to check out my previous post with pictures from my maternity/family photo shoot. We had this session with our photographer from Bellies & Babies back in April. Thanks to my friend Cassie and her husband who met us and watched the kids so we could have pictures of just Sean and I as well as ones that included the kiddos. I think the pictures turned out great, and the only thing I'm unhappy with is how I look in some of them, but that's because of me, and not a problem with the photographer. Enjoy!
Hopefully my next post will be an announcement of our newest arrival (but don't hold your breath on that). Oh, and don't forget to vote boy or girl on the side of the blog. Only a few days left in the poll. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

full term!

WOOHOO! I'm 37 weeks now, which means I'm officially full term, and the baby can come any day now. Sean asked last night if I felt like this baby would be coming any time soon. I had to laugh and pointed out that I've had 4 failed attempts at this going into labor thing, so I obviously have no clue what I'm doing. I would love to have this baby as soon as possible, but I have no idea how to make that happen. Today is my mom's birthday, so it would be cool for them to share a day, and tomorrow is Mama Sue's birthday, so that would be neat too. Part of me hopes I won't have this baby in the next couple days so I don't have to miss Emma's dance recital, but the other part of me says "to heck with it. She'll have other recitals and I'm miserable, so bring on the baby." Her dance teacher will not be happy to hear that from me since I'm supposed to be a big help backstage. But, I'm sure my mom could fill in since I know she's had plenty of experience doing that. So, if you could please pray I have this baby soon before I go insane that would be great!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

really Nathan? REALLY?

Poor Nathan! That poor kid has so many more issues than anyone else is our house. I am seriously incredibly thankful that all of his health "problems" are minor things and nothing that seriously affects him, but I swear, it is just always something with that kid. In addition to having hand, foot, and mouth disease right now (which by the way, is not causing him any pain or symptoms aside from a few blisters on his hands and bottoms of his feet), yesterday evening I noticed he was scratching his stomach and side a lot. So I pulled up his shirt, and he was broken in a different rash/hives on his lower abdomen, around his sides onto his lower back, and behind his knees on his legs. At first I freaked out thinking, "oh my god! What is wrong with him? EEK, what are we all going to catch now?!" But then I thought about it and decided it was probably hives from an allergic reaction to something. Well, the only new thing in the past few days was the inhaler the doctor gave him to help with his constant cough. He had a dose on Friday night and Saturday morning, and the hives appeared Saturday afternoon/evening. So we stopped the inhaler and gave Nathan some benadryl and everything looked much better today. Tonight he started itching on the back of his legs again, so I gave him another dose of benadryl and put him to bed. I haven't heard from him since, so I'm guessing he's ok. I will be calling the pediatrician again in the morning to try to figure out if a) it's likely he has an allergy to the med and b) what else we can give him for the coughing. I think our family alone keeps the pediatrician in business.
I talked to my mom last night, and told her not to be surprised if I go into labor soon since Nathan is always sick with something when we have a baby. I kept hoping this time no one would be sick when we had the baby, but this weekend is not giving me much hope.

PS. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I hope it was a great day for everyone. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

I continue to be perplexed by how busy we can be, and yet how boring our life seems to be since I have nothing new to say. Mama Sue (she's like a mom to me) pointed out tonight that it has been forever since I posted a blog entry, but as I told her, I feel like I have nothing new to say.
I really am just in survival mode lately. I'm just trying to get through this pregnancy sane, and to be honest, I've been a major crab for the last 3 weeks. I'm also just trying to get Emma and Nathan through the end of the school year, and survive Emma's first dance recital. I have to say, it's quite the experience being on the mom end of things instead of on the performer side of things. Hopefully though, next year I can do both. :) I know my teacher is dying to have me back in class (lol!) and I really am ready to find something to do that's just for me that I truly love. I will readily admit I'm a little sad dance isn't a major part of my life anymore, and even though I know when I do go back it won't be the same (boy will I miss my girls I danced with for years), I think I will still enjoy being there. And I know my body will definitely thank me for it. :)
In other news over the course of the last 3 weeks, here's what you missed; Nathan caught a cold, gave it to Emma, who gave it to me. Then Jackson got it, then Megan. Somehow Sean escaped. Now that we are all on the mend from that, Nathan was diagnosed with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Now I feel like I'm just waiting for everyone else to get it. I swear Nathan brings almost every illness into this house. I'm not sure if he just has bad luck or a crappy immune system, but I'm about to put him under house arrest and see if we all get sick less often.
In the midst of his cold, Jackson has cut about 8 new teeth. 4 of them are molars, and I am shocked he cut all 8 of those teeth while having a cold, and was not hardly crabby at all, and his sleeping was not disturbed. What an awesome kid we have. :)
I'm still plugging along getting bigger and fatter by the day. The great news is I'm medically doing great with the pregnancy, and the baby is doing just fine. The bad news is I'm uncomfortable, and unhappy, and quite crabby. My doctor mentioned today how I never complain, and I had to laugh and tell him I just do all my complaining to my husband. Poor Sean has to put up with a lot. I am 36 weeks, and will be 37 next Wednesday, and I'm ready and willing to do almost anything I can to get this baby out of me after Wednesday.
I will try to keep up with posting more frequently, and put up some pictures of my giant belly, and of Emma's dance recital once it's over. Hang in there with me since I'm sure things will get more interesting in the next month as this baby arrives and our family grows again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

...and then...

(this is really long, so feel free to skip it)
Wow! What a crazy 2 1/2 weeks it's been. Back on March 28th I thought I was going to my friend's house for a purse party, but boy was I surprised it turned out to be a baby shower for me. I'm so lucky to have such fabulously sweet family and friends that wanted to do something special for me and baby #5. Sadly I'm still working on my thank you cards. Sorry it has taken me so long, but I promise I am working on them. :)
That was also the day Emma came down sick with some sort of stomach virus. So we all spent the next week trying to avoid everyone else getting it, and trying to get Emma better. She would get better, and then get sick again, and constantly complained of a stomach ache. Sean finally took her to the doctor on Good Friday, but they couldn't find much wrong with her. The doctor gave us some samples of prevacid in case it's a reflux problem. We ran out of those a while ago though, and no more "my tummy hurts" complaints so far, so hopefully we are past all of that.
By Easter everyone was feeling better, and the weather was beautiful, so we got some work done outside that weekend.
While all that was going on, my car was in the shop getting some hail damage repaired. The original estimate was that it would take 2 days, but each time I talked to the manager about it, I would get a different answer, and of course the deadline kept getting extended. So, we broke down and rented a minivan because not having a vehicle we could all fit in while the kids were on spring break from school was just not going to work. After a couple of nasty phone calls from me, and getting offered a discount because of the extra inconvenience and rental cost, we finally got my car back on the Tuesday after Easter.
After picking up my car, we got a phone call from school that they thought Nathan had pink eye, and we had to come get him. Thankfully Sean did that since I had the two little kids. Of course, he did not have pink eye, it was just his allergies acting up. The poor kid even tried to tell the nurse that he just has bad allergies, but they still made us come get him. By the time Sean got there, his eyes were almost completely back to normal, but Sean brought him home anyway.
Wednesday afternoon I got another call from the nurse, but this time it was about Emma. She had gotten hurt on the playground, and the nurse felt Emma needed to get checked out by a doctor and might need stitches. That happened at nap time, and I still didn't have the car seats installed in my car, and I was feeling sick all day that day, so this was horrible timing. I packed everyone up, installed the car seats, said a prayer I would feel ok while we were out, and picked up Emma and Nathan from school. It was late in the day and I knew I wouldn't be back home from the ER in time to get Nathan of the bus, so he had to come with us. We ended up at the Urgent Care near us, and Emma got two stitches in her lip out of the deal.
That Saturday (April 10) we had maternity/family pictures, so now we have pics of Emma's fat stitched up lip. lol! I haven't gotten any proofs from the photographer, but I will be sure to share some when I get them. I really love my photographer, which is good since she'll be there for the birth of this baby.
Because of the weather being nice, we've spent a lot of time outside, which means Nathan has had some serious allergy problems. Saturday night his eyes were almost swollen shut, and he was miserable for 3 days. I kept him home from school Monday because he was still swollen and miserable. Tuesday morning Emma got her stitches out at the doctor, and Nathan had an appointment so we could help him feel better. The doctor gave us a prescription for some steroids and eye drops, and so hopefully the combo of those and his regular allergy meds he won't be so miserable anymore. And I just have to say, I hope those eye drops are magic ones, because they cost me $70, and that's with insurance!
I'm hoping things will slow down a bit just because I feel like I've been going in a million different directions in the past two weeks, but at the same time I like that I've been busy, because the end of this pregnancy is going by quickly. I still have 7 weeks left, but would love to have this baby a little early since I'm already feeling ginormous and uncomfortable.

Monday, March 29, 2010

poll time

Hey everyone I added a poll to the side of the blog so everyone can vote on if they think this baby is a boy or a girl. I honestly have no clue, so I'm not going to be any help to any of you. So come on out and vote!

Friday, March 26, 2010

30 weeks

I was 30 weeks on Wednesday, but waited until I had my appt. today to post an update. Everything is just fine with me and the baby. I gained some weight, but not too much. My blood pressure is where it has been for pretty much the whole pregnancy. The baby is head down, but not very low yet. I am hoping he/she moves down a little soon so the possibility of them flipping out of head down position is harder. I am measuring ahead of where I should be, but after having 4 kids that's not too surprising. Plus I don't make small babies.
I was supposed to go back to the doctor in two weeks, but he'll be out of the office that day, so I don't go back until I'm 33 weeks. I'm just hoping these last 10 weeks go by quickly. I don't enjoy being pregnant, but love the reward of a newborn, so the sooner we get to that reward, the better.
Here is my newest picture of my belly:
30 weeks

28 weeks

24 weeks

20 weeks

16 weeks
15 weeks 5 days

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

28 weeks

I'm 28 weeks today. The baby has either grown recently, or turned because I'm getting kicked in the ribs a lot more than I was before. Not thrilled about that! I have an OB appointment tomorrow, and I have a feeling the numbers on the scale are going to be ugly. I've been insanely hungry the past week, and when I tried to put on my wedding ring this morning it was really tight, which means I'm probably starting to swell. I did not need any water weight to add to the numbers on the scale! Anyway, here is a picture from this week, and the previous ones to compare because I think it's nice to see them all in order.
28 weeks

24 weeks

20 weeks

16 weeks
15 weeks 5 days

Friday, February 26, 2010

Toy Storage

We have tried SO many different ways to store the kids' toys, but our newest system is by far my favorite, and I think the kids like it better too. After getting tired of the kids pulling everything out of the toy box to find that one toy that had fallen to the bottom, we knew there had to be a better way than just having one giant box that everything got thrown in. Thanks to some other moms, we found this

and bought several of these

Now each type of toy has it's own bin which makes it easier for the kids to find what they are looking for, and easier to put things away when it's time to clean up. Plus it looks really nice and neat in the family room downstairs. Don't tell Sean, but I'm thinking of buying another one or two for a couple other rooms in the house. lol!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Emma

It's Emma's 7th birthday. She seems so mature some days, and yet it's still hard to believe our first-born is 7 now! It has been quite the adventure with her. She is bull-headed, and stubborn, but also loving, caring, and helpful. She fills the role of oldest child and big sister so well, and loves every minute of helping to care for her younger siblings. She told me today she can't wait for this next baby to arrive so she can know if it's a boy or a girl. She is really excited to have another baby to love on and snuggle with. She loves carrying Jackson and cuddling with him and reading him stories. But despite her excellent care-taking skills, she sticks to her stance that she's never having babies now that she knows how they come out.
She is excelling in school. She has really good handwriting for a 7 year old, and reads anything she can get her hands on. Her favorite books are on a reading level well above her grade level. I could not be happier with how she is doing in school, and how much she loves it and loves learning new things, and succeeding. She is also doing really well in her dance classes. She has a lot to learn since this is her first year, but she seems to be picking it up quickly, and willing to try and to practice to get it right. I hope she continues with her dedication to dance and always has the drive to succeed in whatever she takes on.
Just minutes old

First Birthday

2nd birthday

3rd birthday

Fourth Birthday

Fifth Birthday

Sixth Birthday

and a picture from this year will be added after this weekend when we have cake and open presents. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Emma's birth story

WARNING: This is long, and very detailed with probably a little tmi. Read at your own risk. :)

(I'm not sure what compelled me to write this out now after all this time. I think Emma turning 7 is a really big deal to me, and it's making me feel nostalgic. Plus the reality that I'm about to give birth for the last time has given me reason to reflect on all the kids' births and remember what I loved about them, and what I didn't love about them. Plus, Emma's birth being my first had a significant impact on all the others.)

Our oldest baby is turning 7 at 3:14am. I remember some details of her birth like it was yesterday, and there are other parts that are so foggy, but those parts were always foggy. When Emma was just a few weeks old, I watched what little bit of video was taken while I was in labor, and I did not remember much of it. All I remember was being in pain. Back labor sucks!
I was induced since I was two weeks past my due date, and had broken out in a horrible rash. The rash, of course, appeared over the weekend, and I did not sleep at all Sunday night. Monday morning I was to have an appointment, but I called my ob as soon as they opened and begged him to see me NOW to help me get some relief. He looked at me and said, "do you want to be induced today or tomorrow?" Of course I chose that day, and he said to meet him at the hospital at noon. Luckily my mom was already on her way down to the hospital since I was supposed to have an appointment later in the morning, so we met her and had lunch, and then finished packing my bag and went to the hospital. I don't think the reality that I was about to be in labor and give birth had really set it. I was just desperate for some relief from the itching.
We arrived at the hospital, checked in, and got things going with a cervadil. I received two doses of that four hours apart, and after the second dose I starting feeling contractions, but they weren't too painful yet. My sil and I went for a walk around the hospital, and I sat in the rocking chair and rocked for a while which actually helped some too. (side note: there were tons of people there while I was in labor. My mom and Sean were my biggest support people, but also in attendance, for at least part of the time, were my brother and sister in law, my cousin and her husband, my mom's boyfriend, and Sean's best friend and his wife) They brought me a dinner tray with some jello and other "liquid diet" stuff, but I didn't eat much.
This is where things start to get fuzzy. The contractions started getting more intense and more painful and I thought "ok I can handle this, this means I'll start making some progress." Then the back labor started, and OMG it felt like someone stabbing me in the back constantly. I wasn't getting any relief from the back pain in between contractions. The contractions were painful, but I felt like I could handle them. It was the unbearable back pain that was with me that was making me miserable. I couldn't take it anymore and begged for them to check me so I could get an epidural. The nurse checked me, and I was still at 2cm. I wanted to cry. That's what I was at the doctor's office before the induction started. 2 freaking cm's! She said I couldn't have my epi because of that, but I could get a stadol (this was after several times of me asking about the epi. In my head I think I thought a lot of time had passed, and it had only been like 10 minutes each time or something like that). Let me just tell you, Stadol sucks! Don't ever get it. It's not worth it. It made me loopy, but I still felt all the pain of each contraction. So I still wanted to cry. I remember thinking, "ok I changed my mind, let's stop this induction thing and I'll take a nap and we'll try again tomorrow." Totally unrealistic I know, but I was miserable and going on two days of no sleep, and they had started this labor insanity, surely they could stop it.
I labored for a long time like that, being out of it, snapping back to reality when I had a contraction, and then going back to being out of it after each contraction. That would be why I don't remember much. Finally the nurse checked me and I was at 4cm. Woohooo, that meant I could get my epidural. Unfortunately I was delivering in a very small hospital in a small town, which meant the anesthesiologist was not in the hospital. He was at home, in bed. So they called him, got him up there, and I finally got my epidural. The nurse wanted to check me again after all that, and wouldn't you know it, I was already at 8cm. Awesome! If I'd known that, I would have just toughed it out I think. But since I had an epidural, I took a nap. I don't think it was a long nap, but I needed it.
I'm not sure if I woke up on my own, or if they woke me up. Either way the doc came in and it was time to push. That really is the next thing I remember. I tried to push, but having just gotten my epidural I wasn't doing a very good job. My doctor decided to use forceps to help get the baby out, and I got an episiotomy. I also tore while the baby was coming out.
The baby arrived, and the doc announces it's a girl (which I knew in my heart for sure I was having), but my mom, ever convinced I was having a boy, said, "Are you sure?" lol! Too funny! Emma Wynn Robinson was born 2/25/2003 at 3:14am weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces, 20 1/2 inches long. She had pretty much no hair, and blue eyes, and was perfect and healthy. I remember having to sit there with my legs up for a long time to be stitched up. Sean carried Emma down to the nursery to get weighed and checked out after the initial in-room assessment. My mom who held one of my legs while I was pushing, and was still there by my side while I was getting stitched up, almost passed out. Not sure if it all hit her, she got overheated, or a combination of the two, but we were all really worried about her. She went and sat down, and recovered pretty quickly thankfully.
When I got up for the first time I realized how much I was bleeding. It was scary to be standing in a puddle of your own blood. The nurses reassured me it was ok and normal to bleed a lot, but I think I lost a lot more blood than your average person. They cleaned me up as best they could, brought Emma in to nurse, and then we finally went to sleep. I don't know what time, but it was before sunrise.
The anesthesiologist came in at around 7:30am, and woke me up by sitting me up and ripping the tape off my back to remove the epidural. That was really fun, NOT!
I felt week and exhausted the two days I was in the hospital, and the nurses had to help me shower because standing up long enough to shower made me feel like I was going to pass out. I was so sore from the episiotomy and tearing that sitting was painful. The positives were Emma was beautiful, healthy, and a great breast feeder, Sean was there with me supporting me even though our relationship kind of sucked then, and we had tons and tons of family members calling and visiting and showing us how much they loved us. My mom even cleaned my place, did all my laundry the day before we came home, and went grocery shopping for us and filled the fridge so we wouldn't have to worry about food. Oh yeah, and I had me some rock star nurses who did everything they could to help me recover well, and get breastfeeding off on the right foot.
The other things I remember are Sean and my mom drank like a gallon of coffee, and the smell of it on them made me really nauseous. I didn't have the heart to tell them that though since they were both going on no sleep trying to support me through the labor. After Emma was born the first person I told my mom to call was my best friend, because even though it was 3:30am, I knew I'd be in trouble if we didn't call her right away (love you Laura!). My night nurse while I was in labor was the only one who could find the right spot to put pressure on in my back to help relieve the back pain. Everyone else sucked. lol! I was amazed at the euphoria I felt the instant Emma arrived. The baby blues hit me hard in the hospital, and I remember crying my eyes out the night before I was to be discharged because I was convinced I could not do this mothering thing, and why on earth would they send us home with a newborn the next day. (I still cry like that after each baby, though it's not as much out of fear anymore).
I think my birth experience with Emma was rough, and really scared me into believing that I wasn't/am not strong enough to give birth without drugs. With Nathan I didn't even consider it. I got my epi with him as soon as they said I could, and I really wasn't in much pain yet. With Megan and Jackson I lasted longer, but still got one. I WANT to deliver drug free, but I'm terrified of a repeat of Emma's birth, especially the back labor. And while Sean is a great support to me while I'm in labor, he doesn't like seeing me in pain, so if I mention an epi, he says "whatever you want to do is fine with me." I know he's trying to be helpful, but I need him to tell me I can do it without the drugs. He's a great labor coach, but we both need to figure out a way to get past the epi talk when things get rough for me. I know it's ultimately my choice, but my decision is driven entirely by fear and there is no confidence in myself that I can do it drug free.