Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

What a great day!  It sure has been busy, being in the kitchen all day to prepare a feast for my family, but I do love it!  I am so thankful I have a family, I have a kitchen and I have food in abundance to prepare for the ones God has blessed me with.  I'm so thankful for all that He's given me this year.  I reflect on where I was last year and my heart was still a bit heavy after losing Nathaniel (even though I was newly pregnant with Naomi).  What a good year it has been! 

As we sat to eat I asked the kids some things they're thankful for.  I really want to get them to think outside the box!  We've been writing in thankful journals every day when we do our Bible time.  I didn't want their standard answers, so I asked them to think about this past year and what we can be thankful for, what God has done in their lives.  They still couldn't really come up with much of an answer so I told them how I am thankful that Zach is here with us, explaining that many boys and girls have daddy's who aren't home with them but in Iraq or Afghanistan.  I then got really teary thinking how thankful I am that my family is all together.  It was so precious because then Gabe got teary eyed also.  He tried to blame his tears on something else, but I could tell he was really touched.  It still makes me tear up to think about that!  I also explained how I'm thankful we have Naomi.  I also said how thankful I am for the many friends who've blessed and helped us during the time that Zach was in Iraq.  I am truly blessed!

I know not all of my friends or family are having the same kind of day.  Maybe your year is a difficult one, as mine was last year.  Loss, changes, hurts may bombard your thoughts this day and you may struggle with having a thankful spirit.  Hold on to Jesus.  If nothing else you can be thankful for His giving spirit, His work on the cross.  And that is the ultimate blessing, the greatest gift we can grab hold of.  So truly, we have lots to be thankful for in that one act of His, no matter what circumstances may surround us at this time.

Something I totally forgot to post last month....

Here are some random thoughts I've had on our trip so far.  We left Sunday night, drove just south of the Twin Cities and stayed the night and finished our trip to the Northern Shore of Minnesota yesterday.

- You know you're close to Canada when you use an ATM and it asks you what language you'd like to proceed in and the first language listed is French.

- You know you're in a small town cafe' when everyone seems to know everyone else in there!

- Small town cafe' has awesome prices and I thought the food was good.  However, once we got back to the cabin I had a full-blown headache (I had one before but thought it may have been due to hunger) and my stomach hurt horribly.  It still hurts a bit today, I've eaten but only a little here and there, and the baby seems to be ailing a bit too as she's been cranky and pooping a lot.

- Why does it seem like someone has to get sick every vacation?

- I grew up playing on the beaches of Lake Superior and yet didn't seem to enjoy it then like I do now, as an adult.  I do enjoy the beauty around me when I go 'home' and this trip is no different.  It is fun to explore somewhere new on the shores of such a grand lake.  I really realize how blessed I was to grow up where I did.  Boy, did I take it for advantage!

- What is it about this place that makes it seem so much more relaxing than being at home?

Thursday, September 29, 2011


ONE~ There is only one of me to go around though I feel like I'm yanked in a thousand different directions.

TWO~ The number of hands I have to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished in a day.

THREE~ The number of years we've been in Iowa.

FOUR~ The number of children I had the first half of this year and first half of this deployment.

FIVE~ The number of children I have the second half of this deployment.  A number that is difficult to adjust to, especially being I am only ONE.

SIX~ The number of months that Zach has been gone and the number of people currently residing in our home.

SEVEN~ Seven is a great number and is the number that will complete our family in less than a month when Zach finally returns home.

EIGHT~ Eight total blessings God has given to Zach and I- FIVE here with us and THREE in heaven.

NINE~ The number of months until we "could" move from Iowa, if the Air Force, and ultimately God, moves us.

TEN~ The number of "important" things Zach has missed the past SIX months- Hannah's birthday, Josiah's birthday, our anniversary, Nathaniel's "birthday", the 4th of July, Naomi's birth, "Grace's" "birthday",  Gabriel's birthday, Abigail's birthday, my birthday.

It has been a LONG SIX MONTHS being just ONE me.  I'm so thankful that I serve the ONE true GOD and that HE has given me STRENGTH to get through this time.  I cannot wait for the next....well...LESS than a MONTH, when our family is complete again when my husband returns.  It cannot come fast enough!  Some days I've wondered how that rope has been long enough to sustain me.  Especially these last couple/few weeks that are d.r.a.g.g.i.n.g. o.n. b.y. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where have I been?

Wow this new blogger layout is weird.  I'm not sure I like it or not!  I have been meaning to post for some time but it must not be quite a priority these days.  We've had a busy time of birthdays, we went to Kansas City to visit some friend and have began school (officially).  We're just trying to keep busy now as we're nearing the end of this deployment.  Hopefully less than 30 days to go!  Unreal.  I can't believe we did it (almost).  What an accomplishment.  There were so many times I was at the end of my rope.  I thought I was going to lose it and couldn't continue on another day on my own.  But GOD sustained me.  He gave me strength.  It is only through Him that I have gotten through every single day, every single good and bad moment.  From delivering a baby without my husband to something as simple as putting the kids to bed every night.  I know Zach can attest to the same- he couldn't have done this without the Lord's strength either.  Whew.  All that saying, I've had some trying days lately.  Lots of tragedy for those I love lately and it's almost been too much to bear sometimes.  I know the enemy is trying to get me down, to cause me to stumble and to discourage me these last days until my husband returns.  I will not let him!

Anyway, this is our second full week of school and it's going pretty well.  I have an AWESOME Bible book we all do together in the morning.  Really is thought provoking and eye-opening and I hope will cause the kids to ponder God and grow in Him.  Each of them has really surprised me already this year and taken off in their work. 

As I said, we went to Kansas City to see some friends.  They live in the country on a 'farm' (they pretty much just moved there so are a small farm but one day will grow)!  It was wonderful being there with them.  So peaceful out there.  That's the first time ever I've seen the advantage of living out of town!  I think because as my boys grow I see their need to be outside- and they were always outside over there!  Our yard is 'boring' to them :)  We don't have trees to climb and land to explore (nor animals to chase).  You'd think, having only met these friends ONE time in real life it would've been weird going to stay with them, but nope.  I wasn't even nervous about it.  I've known Amy for years via the internet and we have a special bond.  I think losing a baby really bonds people together.  It was a blessed time for our family and I hope not too much time goes by before we can see them again!  We did discover that Gabe is allergic to cats, though, much to his dismay! 

Anyway, that's a bit of what's been going on here.  Time for me to get back to my to-do list!  I'm not even sure who comes around the blog here anymore, so let me know if you read still (please)! 

Monday, September 05, 2011


Have you ever been so bone weary in every conceivable way?  That's how I feel with this deployment.  I know we "only" have a little over a month left, but at the same time that seems like eternity right now.  I am just so tired of parenting alone.  So tired of no breaks.  Even now my kids have been in bed for almost an hour and the only one sleeping is Naomi (who is down here with me).  Seriously?  They see my tears, they see how weary I am and they still persist to disobey, to be flat out brats.  I'm tired.  So tired of it.  Right now I have two girls hollering for me.  I think I am going to snap.  This deployment needs to end now.  I'm so over it.  I'm sorry but I'm just not used to FIVE kids and to do it ALL alone is just that much more difficult.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birthday Boy

Another birthday in our house today.  Gabe is now 7.  That is so hard to believe!  I swear that boy was JUST born!  How can 7 years have gone by?  I used to look at him and he was always my 'little Gabe', just my small, little guy.  Now he is 7!?!?  Why must kids grow so fast?  I asked him tonight as I put him to bed if he felt older and he said no, but then piped up that he thought he was bigger and stood and said "See!"  Indeed, son!  He had a really fun birthday and tonight during prayers even thanked God for his good birthday.  A party at the park with friends, getting wet in the splash pad, cake and pizza, building his many Lego's he received, shooting his Nerf gun all over the house until I yelled at him, coloring, dinner at Applebee's where he got free ice cream.  I'd say that's a pretty good birthday for a 7 year old!  Only thing missing was daddy!  I hate when they seat us at a table and there's always so visibly an empty chair where dad should be.  Bums me out.  But, less than 60 days to go!  Anyway, we're so blessed by Gabe being in our family.  What a silly little guy with such a tender heart!  Happy birthday Gabriel John!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good & Bad

Well today was a rough day.  I had to say good-bye to my mom today.  She was here for 59 days!!!  I don't think either of us expected it to be that long, but what do you do when a baby comes late!?!?  I cannot put into words how GRATEFUL I am that she was here.  What a blessing, and I can only pray that God blesses her in return.  It was wonderful having her help, her companionship and most especially her presence at Naomi's birth.  She typed something to me tonight that said something like "it was so nice spending so much time with you as we haven't had that since you've been an adult and moved away."  I never thought of that, but how true!  We've had week-long visits but never month long like this!  It was so fun to share in this time with her- even in little things like going to the park or getting together and visiting with friends.  How awesome that she could share in that with me!

I have been crying off and on all day when it hits me.  I think today is the most I've cried in a long time (I never even had "baby blues" or cried much after Naomi was born, although there were a few times).  It stinks that I am alone again.  As I pondered it, I was used to life with 4 kids and though the end of my pregnancy was so hard with the pain I had, I had a groove.  Now I have a new baby and need to figure out a new groove, and its all just new to me!  And it scares me!  To be alone with 5 kids!  YIKES!  They SO outnumber me.  At the same time I KNOW GOD is here and my strength.  I also was very teary thinking of how the reason she came is FOR the birth (and to help afterward).  Well, now it's over and she's gone and (Lord willing) she'll see Naomi in a couple of months again.  But, she was here for such a special time and now it has to end.  And she'll miss seeing Naomi grow up.  It just breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes again. 

But I did it.  I got through today.  One day at a time.  And Zach will be home in two months (Lord willing).  Hannah was supposed to have book club today but it was cancelled.  After we brought my mom to the airport we ran to Barnes & Noble to get the kids' free books for their summer reading program.  We grabbed some fast food to eat on the way home, came home and relaxed (and Abby napped).  Then we ran some errands (picked up Mary Kay, mailed CPI forms (for homeschooling) at Hy-vee, dropped off gift for doula, went through car wash, picked up Daisy from groomers).  And I got through all of that alone with 5!  And it wasn't that bad!  Well, I panicked a little as we had JUST gotten into the car wash and Abby said she had to go to the bathroom.  Great!  Well, she held it through the car wash (I had forgotten all about it) and through our walk in Petsmart and reminded me when we got back to the car.  Good thing I had her potty chair in the back.  I can only wonder what the people in the car that passed thought! 

We had dinner when we came home and then I did another Bible lesson with them.  We have the best Bible book we're going through and you can even purchase a workbook and it's a lot of fun to do with them.  Then I let them each pick a praise song so we sang together and then prayed.  I didn't want our time to end so I even took them for a walk!  And something dawned on me after I got them into bed.  They didn't fight as much or get into as much trouble when I was SPENDING TIME WITH THEM.  WOW!  And I enjoyed it!  I was even monkeying around with them on our walk and we had some good laughs :)  How thankful I am for such a good ending to our day!  I only pray that our other days go as well!

Speaking of thankful, I am reading such a good book that everyone needs to get their hands on.  I only pray I can keep applying what I am learning, but boy it can be HARD to be thankful (even for the bad, yucky things in our day).  It is called One Thousand Gifts.  Get it!  That's an order!  OK, I am off to bed now.  The house is enjoyably quiet but I do need my rest now that I am the lone adult!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life with 5

My mom and I were talking last night.  It's a lot more work with one more child!  The only reason being that Abby is still so little and needs help with things (especially since she's potty training).  When I had Abby the older kids were just that- older.  They could go potty themselves and such.  Now its almost like having just two again- a toddler and baby!  Remember those days???  I do have the other kids to help out though, but I think they think that because Nanny is here they don't have to do as much.  They'll be in for a rude awakening when she leaves in two weeks (I will be too).  I'm nervous about that.  Not so much the staying home with 5 kids part, but the going out part.  How will I do it?  I am not going to drag 5 kids into a bathroom when Abby has to pee but I'm also not going to leave them alone!  I may seriously be homebound until October when Zach returns!  Grocery shopping?  I will definitely have to get a sitter to do that.  It was stressful enough being pregnant with 4.  Now I have a newly potty trained girl and a new baby.  My blood pressure goes up just thinking about it! 

Otherwise, I am enjoying life with a baby in the house again!  She's such a sweet little girl.  I have been a bit sad lately because I see how she is already growing.  She starting to get chubby cheeks and a bit more meat on her legs and arms.  I want her to stay little so her daddy sees her that way (granted she'll still be little at 3 months but not as little as now).  I feel like we're just used to "hanging out" with each other now!  She is such a cuddly little thing.  I need to work on laying her down more or I will really have it hard when my mom is gone, but on the other hand I just want to hold and enjoy her because I know how fast they grow (and honestly I'm not sure I want a number 6, at least at this point).  Everybody has adjusted well with her around.  Abby has been super.  More often than not she'll be telling my mom to put the baby in her bed or give her to me so she can have my mom, rather than telling me that!  I'm sure it will change when my mom is gone! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Outings and Firsts

Naomi had her first outing two days ago.  First we ran to the Air Guard base to see about getting her enrolled in DEERS.  No such luck with that.  I know before we could use just the crib card to enroll baby.  Now they say you need the birth certificate AND social security card.  So let's pray those come in before she's 60 days old!  Geesh, they sure make things difficult!  Then we went to eat at Legends.  Naomi slept through the whole experience and the kids got to watch Spongebob on the TV at our table- they sure thought that was neat.  Afterwards I had to go to a hotel where the Bob Jones people were to order some schoolbooks for the kids.  My mom came in with the kids after awhile and as soon as I took Naomi she blew the loudest poop- the whole room had to have heard!  Too funny!  We then ventured to the mall, which was a miserable experience because it was so darn hot.  It was hot outside, but you'd think they'd have their AC cranked up.  No beans.  I was carrying Naomi in the Ergo and thought maybe it was just me, but my mom was super hot too.  So I just got what I needed and we left.  It was long enough anyway, when you have 5 kids!  I have to say that I got myself a few cute shirts from Old Navy!  I was appalled to see Christmas ornaments out at Hallmark.  Man oh man, ridiculous!

Abby has been potty training and doing such a great job.  She didn't even have any accidents when we were out that day!  I wasn't sure how she'd do having to go on a big potty, but she did GREAT!  SO proud of her!  She is such a big girl.  She was so afraid to poop- she hadn't gone in days and wouldn't go because she was so afraid.  Finally that evening she sat on her potty and pooped the biggest poop.  I was so proud of her!  Isn't it funny the things us moms are proud of!?!  But a first poop on the potty is a big deal!  So far she hasn't gone again.  She is doing great peeing though and does not like when she wets her pants.  It just makes her seem that much bigger- this whole potty thing.  She seems big enough since Naomi was born!

It has been so weird, but I think I really had my first visitors today.  My doula came to visit last week and my friend/neighbor came by with her daughter so she could see (my friend had visited in the hospital), but that was it.  Today I had a few visitors so that was nice!  It was just weird that I hadn't had many.  Maybe people are busy with it being summer or maybe once you have your 5th it's different.  Then I had a few people come to bring meals, mind you people I don't really know, and it was weird but they didn't even say anything about the baby.  Maybe it's just me thinking it's weird though (well, and my mom).  I'd be oohing and aahing over a baby!  But again, maybe that's just me.

Abby talks SO much and copies so many things she hears.  It cracks me up and sometimes she sounds so grown up saying things like "what, I don't know, oh my gosh."  Her newest thing is to say, "I think so."  It caught me off guard the first time I heard her say it.  When I asked her where she got that from she responded with, "Garage sale."  I busted out laughing.  Normally if you ask her where she got her clothes from (or anything of hers really) she will say a garage sale.  She must assume mom only shops at garage sales!  I just love the things that come out of their mouths!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Birth Story

Warning, this is VERY long!

I sure hope I can remember it all.  I went in Wednesday morning, the 6th, and was still only dilated to a 2.  She did rupture my membranes though, so that gave me hope.  She wanted me to make an appointment for Friday to see if anything was progressing, since I was 40 weeks to the day.  That day I had some Braxton Hicks off and on but nothing really serious or steady.  I thought for sure maybe that night I'd go into labor, but no such luck.  The stripping membrane thing didn't do much for me!

Thursday was pretty uneventful.  That evening I went upstairs in my room and just had a good cry.  I missed my husband and was thinking how much it sucked that he couldn't be here for the birth of OUR baby.  I was crying because I was so sore and so tired of being so sore and just wanted to meet our little girl.  Then it dawned on me that I couldn't remember the last time I felt her move.  I knew it was sometime in the morning but I couldn't remember much of it throughout the day.  So I laid there, poking on my belly trying to get a kick.  I drank a ton of water.  I panicked.  So, I called the doctors and told them and they said to just go in to get checked out.  When I was on hold with them I thought I felt a little kick but I couldn't be sure.  So, my friend came over to sit with the kids and my mom and I headed to the hospital (I didn't tell the kids what was going on, just that maybe it was time for the baby to come.  I didn't want to worry them).  As soon as they hooked me to the monitor there was a loud, clear, strong heartbeat!  PHEW, what a relief that was!  While there the doctor wanted to talk to me (on the phone, mind you...a little impersonal if you ask me).  I'd never seen this doctor before and she was talking about how she was looking at my records and how she saw that Dr. Drake (the perinatologist) didn't want me to go past 40 weeks and here it was past 40.  I told her how the previous week at my appt. Dr. Drake said she'd let me go to 41 as long as I had NST's during that week and they checked growth and fluid levels, but she said they never got those notes.  She began telling me how I needed to have a plan, enforcing how I should go ahead and get a c-section.  She said that when I went to my appointment the next day to have a plan in place, that I should think about my baby and that the goal should be to have my baby in my arms that day.  I was SO discouraged!!!  I didn't know or want to make a plan!  Especially if it regarded a c-section.  I'd come this far already, why cave into one now!  That night I talked to my doula and my friend and went to bed, sleeping somewhat fitfully, with my mind made up.  I was just going to go in and tell them to break my water that day (the doctor I saw on Wed. mentioned that maybe they would put me into the hospital on Friday and do this).  So, that was "my plan."

Friday I dropped the kids off at my friend's house, planning to not see them until I had a baby in my arms.  I even cried saying good-bye to them, figuring things would be quite different when I saw them next.  We went to my appointment and sat.  And sat.  And sat.  We waited for a good hour or more to get into a room.  That was such a LONG hour, knowing I had to face the doctor and not knowing what he'd say.  It was a doctor I'd seen before, though hadn't seen in awhile, and I really liked him.  He was one that was really allowing me to make my own decision regarding the VBAC, not pushing one way or another.  Anyway, finally he came in and right away began talking about due dates and how really it is 'safe' to go to 42 weeks.  I told him about my last appt. with Dr. Drake.  He told me I am smart and educated and that I could make a wise decision and that I know what I'm facing either way.  He talked about breaking the water and risks involved in that and also talked about a c-section and the risks.  He said how often doctors won't use Pitocin in a woman with a prior c-section, but that research on that isn't completely conclusive and that sometimes he could see using it.  I was so shocked at all that he was saying!  I didn't know he was SO pro-VBAC.  At the same time he was talking about not breaking my water that day and that really disappointed me.  I was ready with "my plan" and ready to meet our little girl.  When he checked me I hadn't changed at all since last time (bummer).  So, he left the room to call Dr. Drake to talk about the 41 week factor.  He was gone for quite awhile.  He came back saying they could induce me by breaking my water Monday morning.  MAN!  I'd have to go through the WHOLE weekend STILL pregnant!?!  He said to just wait and see if anything happened on its own through the weekend.  I think he must've tried to rupture my membranes more too because he was doing SOMETHING that HURT!  So, I left there crying.  I was so bummed.  I knew deep down this was the best thing to do, knowing that if they broke my water and my body wasn't ready it could lead to a c-section.  But, how did I face my kiddos with no baby yet!  They were ready and eager to meet their sister too!  Just disappointment all around.

That day and evening I did have quite a few Braxton Hicks, but they never got stronger or worth timing.  I awoke real early Saturday morning with more Braxton Hicks, but they fizzled into nothing.  I really wanted to stay busy on the weekend, not just sitting around WAITING for baby!  But I was so tired on Saturday that I just sat around and took quite a few cat naps.  I have to tell you that even though I didn't want to wait until Monday, I felt more peace about it all.  There was an end in sight at last and I felt like I could just relax about it all.  Looking back, I just chuckle to myself about it all now.  We went out to dinner that night (Sat.) at Olive Garden and I was having some really weird pains.  Not contractions, but like the baby was moving real weird- it hurt!  Josiah drank his chocolate milk so fast that he didn't feel good so after eating out we just came home (I was a bit bummed as I wanted to do SOMETHING).  Well, as soon as we got home it seemed those Braxton Hicks picked back up again.  They started to seem more steady so I thought I'd better begin timing them.  I even walked up and down the street a few times, but then it didn't seem like I was having any so I didn't give it much thought.  Once we got the kids into bed I could time them more.  My mom would time how long they were and I'd time how long between each one.  They never seemed completely steady though...some were 8 minutes apart, some 12-15.  And they were only lasting about 30 seconds.  I was in contact with Zach, my friend Angie (who was going to drive down from Minneapolis), my friend who was "on call" to watch the kids and my doula.  Eventually it seemed the contractions started to get worse and more painful.  They also were no longer the Braxton Hicks, these were the real thing.  Amazing how you always wonder if you'll know when its the real thing...but you know!  I began sometimes moaning through them.  My mom thought I should go in but I wasn't sure, being that they didn't follow the 5-1-1 'rule'.  I talked to my doula and she gave me three options- I could either walk up and down the street to see if that did anything more, have her come over and 'work' with me or call the doctor and see what he had to say.  After talking with my mom I decided to call the doctor.

I was a bit nervous about the whole doctor phone call, knowing one of the Dr's who was on call.  I'd seen him two or three times at the end of the pregnancy and he was always just real abrupt- come in, check me, check heartbeat and that's it.  No "How are you doing?" or anything.  So I really didn't care for the guy.  The other Dr. on call was the one who did my c-section with Abby and I really loved him.  I hadn't seen him at all with this pregnancy because he doesn't go to the office I mostly went to, but I did see him with my pregnancy with Nathaniel last year.  Anyway, Dr. N called me back...the not-so-friendly one.  It was the weirdest conversation and went something like this:
Me: Hello?
Him: This is Dr. N
Me: Yes, this is Jamie M.
Him; Mmm Hmm....pause...
Me: Well, I think I'm in labor and wondered if I should come in.
Him: What number pregnancy is this?
Me: Eight.
Him: Wow.
We then went on to talk about what were c-sections and what were 'miscarriages'.  He didn't ask me how far apart contractions were or anything, just said, "OK, you better come on in and get checked."  I was a little surprised.  Maybe he thought because I'd had so many pregnancies I needed to go in.  I just thought his abruptness was so 'off' and then how he didn't even ask about contractions or anything.  Just strange.  So then I got nervous.  I thought, "Is this really it?"  A little bit of fear set in.  Do I really have to go through with this?  Of course, no turning back now ;-)  So, I contacted my friend down the street who came to stay with the kiddos until my other friend who lived further away could get here to stay with the kids.  At this point it was probably about 11:30 pm if not a little later.  I emailed Zach letting him know I was going in, texted my friend in the Twin Cities and my doula and we were off.  I have to admit that when I stepped outside I began to cry a little, knowing that when I came back home life would be so different- we'd have our little girl here with us at last!!!! 

Thankfully my mom drove a lot faster to the hospital this night than she did Thursday night when I went in to get checked out!  Go figure there were a few cops out, but we got there in a fairly decent amount of time!  I had a few contractions on the way there and I remember standing at the counter, as they were going to lead me to triage, having another one.  When they checked me I was 3 cm and 70 or 80% effaced.  I didn't really care for the nurse (at first).  She just seemed so down to business as she took my information and all.  I was having contractions throughout that whole time.  My doula showed up and she'd massage my back and all when I'd have a contraction.  That sure felt good!  It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r for them to get me into a real room.  I was having flashbacks of when I was in labor with Gabe.  It was at Keesler AFB and I had to labor the whole time in the tiny 'closet' triage room because the other rooms were full.  Thankfully they had separate delivery rooms so I actually did deliver in a 'real' room!  I was hoping that wouldn't be the case here!  Apparently they were so full that it took awhile to figure out where to put me!  Wouldn't you know that my room was at the very end of the hall.  Boy, that walk did me in, I had a contraction or two on the way down!!!  When they checked me when I got there I was already 5 cm (this was a good hour to hour and a half after I arrived at the hospital).  When I was told I was a 5 I was like, "OK, I will take the epidural now."  If I went from 3-5 that fast there was no telling what would happen!!!  And thankfully I said it then because I had to wait for an hour for the fluids in the IV.  When the doctor came in to check me I was thinking, "Oh great, not him." But he was totally different than what he'd been in the office. Even when we talked to him about skyping and video taping he was totally cool with all of it! What a huge answer to prayer!!!

So, they thought they'd get me on the toilet while I could, to empty my bladder and to just sit in that position for awhile.  Wow, I had some strong contractions sitting there!  Zach had even called during at least one of them and I just had to put the phone down and couldn't even talk to him afterward!  My mom had trouble trying to connect to the internet so we couldn't get skype up and running and Zach was wondering what on earth was going on!  Once I'd gotten my epidural and could sit back a bit more comfortably I was able to connect to the web and get a connection with my hubby. 

Let me mention that it never fails that every time I'm in labor I puke!  This time was no exception.  Not only did I puke but I was peeing all over myself at the same time :/  NOT fun!  They thought maybe it was my water that had broken, but nope.  The doctor did, however, come in and break my water.  That was done either right before or right after they finally gave me the epidural.  Once the epidural took effect I decided to lay back and rest for awhile.  I think I dozed off and on for a bit.  Then I woke and decided I didn't want to just wait for things to happen, but I wanted to try to help them progress.  With my other two VBACs I'd just gotten the epidural, laid back and done nothing to help labor move along.  This time I feel I was more educated and I also had the help of my doula and I feel like I was more in control of how the labor went.  So, I sat up in bed in hte 'butterfly position' and that sitting up really must have moved baby down because at that point I started to have some pressure that I hadn't had before!  The doula was telling me other positions I could try and the nurse came in and offered a suggestion, a position called the Texas Roll or something like that.  I laid back on my left side.  They took that bedside table where the height adjusts and put some pillows on it and put that between my legs.  So one leg was on the bed and the other on the pillows and table, raised in the air.  Seriously the minute I went into that position I had such pressure!  I know I had the epidural, but after awhile I could sometimes tell when I was having a contraction, having some pain in my left side.  I'm so thankful I could tell I had that pressure because the nurse checked me and exclaimed, "You're complete!  You can start pushing!"  Well, I'm thankful now...I wasn't so thankful then! 

Relief and fear coursed through me.  I think it may have been at that point that I began holding onto the rail of the bed saying I didn't want to feel the pain anymore and didn't want to do this.  I think they also gave me another low dosage of meds to help me get through it!  It's so weird that they have you pushing before the doctor is even in the room!  I kept thinking, "Oh man, the nurse is going to deliver our little girl."  Meanwhile, Zach was on the computer able to watch it all, though I think it was blurry.  By this point everything is kind of a blur to me.  I remember them bringing all sorts of stuff and people in (lights, I think).  Gosh, who knows how many people were in there while I was pushing!  I was too busy trying to work through the pain to care, but looking back I remember the room was bustling!  It took less than 20 minutes for me to push her out!  I could feel pressure and almost a stinging down there as I was pushing.  I know without the epidural it would've been MUCH worse!  Kudos to all those who birth naturally!  I love my epidurals!  I remember just wanting to NOT push anymore.  I didn't want to feel that pain anymore.  Then I thought how I needed to hurry and push to just get this whole thing over with, so I began just pushing.  My mom says I did awesome at pushing, she was pretty proud of me and didn't think I'd do so well! 

The doctor laid the baby on me right away and I kissed her and marveled that she was finally here!  Then I realized she wasn't crying and I panicked and asked, "Why isn't she crying?"  Then they took her and she did cry a bit but then they had to put her on oxygen for awhile.  She had a hard time transitioning and thankfully wasn't on for quite a full hour or they would've had to take her to the NICU but it was really close to an hour.  Apparently she'd pooped ALL over the table they had her on!  LOL  I guess it was everywhere.  They were going to put an IV in to give her some saline (I think that's what it was) but when they tried she perked right up!  Let me tell you, even though I knew in my heart of hearts she was OK I was concerned and worried and broke down crying at one point.  We would try to move the computer over by her once in awhile so Zach could see her.  I can't imagine how he felt, being so far away.

While they were working on her the doctor was working on me.  It took forever for the placenta to come out and he told me he'd give it another minute and if it didn't come out he'd have to reach up and get it out.  I prayed then and wouldn't you know it came out on it's own, thankfully!  Another thing, they gave Pitocin after the birth (probably to help with the placenta), but how weird that they give it at all when they're so weird about it with VBAC patients.  I could then see the placenta across the room and started joking with Zach asking if he wanted to see it.  I knew he'd be grossed out, lol.  Then the doctor started joking with Zach, saying we could send it to him and that he heard the food out there is gross and he could eat the placenta!  I was shocked at how great he was!  He was trying to make conversation with Zach through the computer and even was talking to my mom and asking her questions.

Once the time was up and Naomi was fine they weighed her- 7 lb. 9 oz. and 19.5 inches long.  Zach thought she'd be huge and I thought she'd be at least 8 lbs.  Then I could hold her at last!!!  Such relief flooded through me!  I just held on to her and wept.  I felt pure joy and thankfulness for such a blessing!  It was so amazing to hold her at last!  The specialist from the NICU wanted me to be the only one to hold her throughout the day and to have lots of skin-to-skin contact with her after her ordeal after birth.  But by afternoon she was fine and hte nurse said it was OK for her to be held briefly by others and to even have her bath.  They just didn't want her overstimulated.  So everyone was able to hold her for a little while.  She was such a trooper- pretty much latched right on, like she'd been a nursing pro!!!  Come to find out, she must have been a thumb sucker in the womb because she'd found both thumbs within the next hour or two!  She has tried to get at them since then but usually isn't successful in getting them in her mouth! 

I really enjoyed our hospital stay.  I know some people don't like hospitals but it was like a little 'vacation'.  It was so quiet without the kids there, I wished I could've stayed longer!  They (the kids) sure loved coming and meeting their new sister though.  I have enjoyed every single minute of her life.  I can't believe she is now 8 days old.  I feel like time is already going by too fast and it stinks.  I just want her to stay little longer, knowing how fast time really does go.  I don't mind her dirty diapers or middle of the night feedings.  I just love her so much.  I'm so thankful for her.  It's also quite a bummer that Zach isn't here and hasn't met her yet.  I lay in bed at night and just get sad about it all.  It's so cute seeing all the kids interact with her.  Gabe just smiles down at her with his cute little smile as he holds her.  Abby is a huge helper, always wanting to bring me her diapers and wipes, and saying in a sweet little voice, "Hi dede (baby) Woe-E (Naomi)."  Hannah loves to hold and kiss her.  Josiah loves to hold her and talk to her sweetly.  It's so cute to see them all love on her!  And the noise doesn't even phase her.  You could have yelling and crying and she doesn't even budge.  She especially likes the sounds of Abby, I think!  It's amazing how they get used to all that noise in the womb!

I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting to add.  Mommy brain, you know?  I'm so thankful for such a great, successful birth.  It was by far the best one.  I totally recommend everyone having a doula.  Even though I got an epidural (and she knew I'd probably get one), she was still super helpful and helped me to take more control of the birth I wanted to have, if that makes sense.  It was nice to have a doula who was supportive either way- being supportive whatever I wanted.  I'm so glad my friend, Angie, could drive all the way down to be here for such a special time.  What a blessing her presence was, even if she did arrive 10 minutes after the birth!  She took awesome pictures too.  I'm thankful for my friend, Sadie, for being such a great support throughout my pregnancy and for watching my kiddos when I was finally in labor!  I knew I need not worry about them and it was such a relief to me!  And I'm so thankful for my mom.  She's been here for a little over a month helping out now and it's such a blessing to have her help.  I am so glad she could be there to see Naomi come into this world, to share in that time with me, especially when Zach couldn't be here in person.  God is so good and has totally blessed us!  And I see now His hand in it all.  When I was so ready to be done, wondering if I should've just had a c-section so I didn't have to endure any more pain, when I just wanted her out I'm so thankful she came when she did and not any sooner.  I look back now and see God's hand in it all, even in the timing.  It's amazing it was on the weekend, when it worked best for all those involved.  God knew.  I look back now and wish I hadn't rushed the end so bad...if only I hadn't had so much pain!  I know time will fly and she'll grow so fast, but I'll cherish each moment.  I am blessed.  I am blessed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I'm working on typing up my birth story, but in the mean time I have something else to blog about.  Our family has obviously had quite a few changes this year.  Daddy's been gone for almost 4 months now.  Nanny's been here for just over a month.  We just had a new baby.  As you can imagine this all affects each of us.  Some of us handle it in different ways than others.  I'm not sure if it's all of the above plus other things that are getting to Hannah, who is 11.  I know she's in those pre-teen years as well.  When I first came home from the hospital it seemed that she was the one having the hardest time with everything and was just really 'clingy' (mostly clingy with my mom).  Now though I wonder if its not just a whole variety of how life is lately.  Throw in that her friends don't seem too friendly anymore and I really hurt for her.  It seems some of the neighbor girls always play together and Hannah sees that and I know it's got to hurt, even though she doesn't talk about it, even when I try to talk to her about it without putting words in her mouth so to speak.  It hurts ME for her.  Friday she was able to go on a playdate with a friend and tomorrow she has another one.  It's so hard to get together with friends who don't live around us though- we all have multiple children and it just makes get-togethers hard sometimes!  I really pray that the next place we move has GOOD friends from GOOD Christian families in our neighborhood.  Don't get me wrong, our neighborhood now is great.  But it's lacking a bit in the friend department for the kiddos.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


My 8th pregnancy, 5th full term pregnancy and the longest one yet!  I'm 39 weeks 4 days.  I'm so miserable.  If I didn't have this pain in the side of my ribs (my right side) it wouldn't be so bad.  I have this jarring pain that is pretty constant.  It's ridiculous, annoying and I'm so over it.  I know all the things like I need to be grateful I made it this far, that I have a baby and all that (especially when I have SO many friends wanting babies) but it doesn't make it any easier when you have pain like that.  I just want to enjoy the end of the pregnancy but its pretty difficult to do.  If only I could be induced or something!  On Thursday I was still dilated to a 1, but he may have said something about being effaced, I just can't remember because I was so stuck on that number 1.  Last night I had a few stronger braxton hicks but whoopee do, it didn't do a thing.  I know I can't be pregnant forever, but this seems like forever.  They will now let me go to 41 weeks as long as Dr. Drake monitors me twice in that week, which I'm OK with, but seriously I'm praying she comes before I even hit 40 weeks.  I mean how much pain can one take?!?  Abby was throwing a fit earlier as I reprimanded her and she was just all over me and I got so frustrated.  I am so sore!  I just started to cry...I'm tired of it!  I feel like I can barely walk- I feel so huge.  I should say that at this point I feel like I can barely even waddle!  I look forward to the day where I can just spring out of bed again.  Normally I LOVE being pregnant- and of course there are perks- I love the little movements and all, but pain, pain, pain.  With Abby it was constant pain with kidney stones and a stint and now this!  Just ridiculous.  And let's not forget I am so eager to meet our little girl- to hold her, hug her, nurse her, kiss her, stare at her, etc.  I am READY.  What's she waiting for?  Is she scared to enter into this family, this madhouse!?!?  To those who read who desire a baby...I'm sorry for my complaining.  I know you'd love to be in my shoes...please know I am SO thankful to have this baby growing within- I'm just ready for it to be DONE!  Anyway, that's my gripe for today...wonder if I'll shed more tears.  I've been holding it together pretty well...but I'm just so exhausted on so many levels.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Waiting Game

I know considering where I was a year ago at this time I shouldn't complain, but boy oh boy can the baby make her appearance yet!?!  I'm so tired of being so sore!  I already have sleepless nights.  I just want my back/side/ribs to feel normal again.  I want to meet this little girl.  I want to get labor over with.  There are so many unknowns that I just want it done!  (Who will end up watching the kids?  How long will it take?  Will it start in the middle of the night?  What about the kids?  How much pain will I be in?  Will it happen before my doula goes on vacation?  The kids?).  Ugh!  I just want it behind me.  I want to hold my little girl in my arms, kiss her and love her.  And please know I'm THRILLED and THANKFUL to have carried a baby to term!  I know so many of my friends who are just aching for that right now.  At the same time, if you've ever gotten to the end of a pregnancy you know just how I feel.  I can't even move without grunting!  People are starting to get on my nerves with comments like, "You look great", "You look five months pregnant", "When are you due?", "Any day now" and on and on.  Maybe I look great to YOU but I feel huge.  I've never weighed this much in my life!!!  Sure my stomach isn't that big but have you checked out my thighs or butt!?!  Ugh!  Disgusting!  Any day now my butt...I've been telling myself this for weeks now.  Now the days are just dragging so slowly it's like a big joke.  Every night I go to bed I think, "Maybe this is the night."  I hate waking up in the morning being the same!  Well, not exactly the same for it seems like every day I have more and more pressure down there.  So, that's where I'm at today.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  And I've never been very good at that!  I know she'll be here soon and I won't be able to imagine what life was like without her, but in the meantime...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I hate this!!!

I hate this whole thing.  Who'd ever think they'd be pregnant with their 5th (living) child and their husband is across the world in a combat zone!?!?  As I approach my due date (I am SO ready) I can't help but get emotional knowing my husband is not here to take part in such a special day.  I mean, who misses the birth of their baby!?!  I know it happens, but it sure stinks that it is happening to me!  So, I've been a bit of a mess over it all the past couple of days.

This morning I woke up totally in a nesting mood.  I got rid of the dresser in the boy's room and put their clothes in some Rubbermaid bins under their beds and bought some collapsible type bins for under their table.  Much more room in there and I can hope that their room won't accumulate so much junk.  You should've seen the garbage I took out of there!  And it hasn't been that long since I cleaned it!  Ugh!!!  Sure feels good to have it clean, but I'm guessing it won't last long. 

I wish these braxton hicks would DO something!  I'm so ready for this baby!  If nothing else it will give me a break from the little ones under my roof.  My mom will be here in a few days so it'll be nice to have an extra pair of hands to help me out. 

I put the kids to bed early tonight.  I'm just too tired of dealing with their behavior.  I am down here typing this and crying.  I'm just tired.  Exhausted.  On so many levels.  And here our day started out good...going to church, eating lunch out and buying the new things for the boy's room.  Why, why, WHY does it have to end on such a crappy note?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mean Mom

Maybe I'm meanie.  But seriously, it's math and my kids have GOT to finish it.  It's critical information they're learning, ya know?  So, about 4 times a week they have to do two math pages.  Hannah only has tests left.  Gabe has 2 or 3 chapters.  They both can finish their work easily in an hour or less.  I know every child is different, but why does Josiah have to be so different?  It takes him ALL day to do his work (2 pages) and he still has about 6 chapters left.  I want them to be done with math as I hate math...I don't want to be dealing with this all summer long.  All day Josiah works on his 2 math pages (and mind you sometimes there are only 10 problems on a page).  Really.  I cannot sit by him all day when I have three other children, laundry and housework.  As it is I'm so tired and feel like I don't keep up with things like I used to (hmmm, maybe because I'm doing this whole thing alone and 9 months pregnant).  The other day when I was able to sit by him he did 1 page and worked quickly and efficiently, getting the problems right.  But I can't continually do that.  He needs to learn to work, ya know?  I'm at a loss what to do.  This is the one child, I hate to say, that I just do not enjoy homeschooling.  I feel so bad saying that.  I feel so mean.  But it is so true.  As I sit typing his brother and sister just came up from the basement and he's extremely distracted.  When they were in the basement he was busy looking out the window at the sky.  How do I keep him from being distracted!?!  I can't constantly keep the noise/chaos/kids away from him!  I am so frustrated!  And sure, maybe I just could say "Forget it" but he really needs to get this math down!  Last year he started this years math late because he had to finish the previous year's math.  I don't want to do that again and be doing math next year until July!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Last night I was skyping with my mom.  She noticed Abby's pajamas and said something about them.  When I asked Abby to tell Nanny who was on her pj's she said, "Cinderella" and started to sing.  I had only told her one time who was on her pajamas and she totally remembered!  My mom says, "Oh, those are nice pajamas, Abby.  Where did you get them from?"  Abby's response, "Garage sale."  And sure enough that's exactly where they came from!  She is so smart and just growing so fast.  When I call for her she'll say, "Ok, coming!"  She will let the dog in and out when I ask if someone can do that!  She just amazes me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I know so many people who have bigger problems than I do right now, but that doesn't mean I can't complain does it!?!  I am so tired of this whole deployment thing.  It really stinks.  It is so tiring.  I'm tired of always trying to put on a happy face and "look on the bright side."  It's really hard to find a bright side when you're in my shoes.  I'm just so sick of it all- every single part of it.  I'm so glad we're done with school (aside from math) so today I can just stay home, be a bum and fester over it all.  Although I do need to run out to the store at some point- I could've sworn I had another bottle of baby aspirin but when I went to take it last night I couldn't find any!  First time since Sept. or Oct. that I missed a day!  I only have 2 more weeks to go of taking it anyway, so I'm not worried.  Thanks for listening to me complain...if only I could provide some details!

Monday, May 09, 2011

A funny

OK, I just finished reading my friend Sadie's blog.  I love how she posts funny things about her kids.  My friend Jamie also cracks me up.  Anyway, I need to get back to posting funnies about my kids!  So here's one for you:

Abby pretty much always says, "My butt hurts."  I don't think it always hurts, I just think she likes to say it, although she usually says it about the time she's going to poop or has pooped.  Anyway, yesterday we were sitting outside and she was hanging all over me and she said, "Butt hurts" again.  I either asked her if her butt hurt or said my butt hurts too (sometimes I will reply that mine hurts too to see what she says, and let's face it- I am pregnant and sometimes it DOES hurt)!  She proceeded to pry herself off of me and was lifting up my shirt in back.  I was a bit confused until she tried to move my pants away from my body to look down them- to see if my butt really did hurt!!!  I still laugh pretty hard about it! 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Oh poor, neglected blog!

I'm horrible about blogging.  I wanted to blog at least once a week but I believe it's been longer than that.  As you can imagine, life it quite busy with being alone with four kiddos day in and day out!  I do manage 'down' time of course, but my blog seems to not have a place in there! 

We had a great time with Zach's brother and family visiting.  The boys had so much fun wrestling, playing Wii, guns and who knows what else with their 'boy cousins'.  Hannah enjoyed little Sadie over.  I enjoyed the adult time and help.  Miah even watched all the boys and all us girls went out and did a bit of shopping.  It was wonderful and such a blessing!

My aunt came also, on her trek back up to Michigan.  We had a good time with her.  We even hit some garage sales.  The kids love their Aunt Cindy- even Abby!  Abby still asks for her dog, Keesha!  Most dogs to Abby are "Daisy" but there's been a few times where she's asked for Keesha!  It was so nice to have the company.  You don't realize how 'lonely' you get for adults.  Sure, I'm busy all day long and with 4 little people around me, but come night time when they finally quiet down in their beds I really miss my 'socialization'! 

Last week I ended up going to the hospital.  I had this horrible pain that was a kidney stone!  I didn't know it at the time, but the pain I was in I knew I couldnt' stay home!  By the time my friend got me to the hospital the pain was pretty much gone (go figure) so of course they couldn't say for sure that's what it was.  But that night, sure enough, I passed a stone.  A funny part of this whole story: While I was in the bathroom leaving a 'sample' the nurse was asking my friend questions about me.  I guess she asked how to spell my last name, what number pregnancy this was.  Then I came back and she began asking me questions.  After she left Sonja was telling me about the questions she was asking her and we put two and two together and we think she thought Sonja was my PARTNER!!!!!!!!!!!  We just laughed and laughed and laughed about it.  Both Sonja and I didn't have on wedding rings and her hair is a bit just could have looked that way, especially in Des Moines! 

I tackled a lot of garage sales last weekend and made out like a bandit.  I spent entirely too much money so I am not even looking at the options for this weekend (plus I already told my sitter I don't need her tomorrow).  I think I'm really getting squared away on things I need for Naomi.  I finally began buying diapers for her this past pay check so that I can be stocked up on those.  Right now my friend Sarah is watching the kids for me.  She offered to take them and I also passed up the offer!!!  I was thinking how we have school to do and yadda yadda.  I went grocery shopping ALONE for the first time in 6 WEEKS and am just enjoying the silence at home.  At night I've been having to deal with the boys playing, laughing, playing and not going to sleep so it's never really 'quiet' for me, I feel like.  So this is wonderful! 

Speaking of nights, Abby has been waking up a lot lately.  I'm not sure what that's all about but it drives me crazy.  She will stand at the gate in her room and won't say anything (but I hear her there).  I guess she eventually lays on the floor there and falls asleep.  No way am I getting up every time, as it is there are probably about 2 times a night I do have to get up with her and put her back in her bed and explain that I need to sleep in my own bed!  Add in 2-3 bathroom trips a night and I'm already back to sleepless nights!  I'd much rather have sleepless nights with a new baby in my arms, but that will be here soon enough!

There's a little update for anybody who still checks this thing.  I'm going to enjoy some more of my book in the quiet before I have to go and get my little munchkins!

Monday, April 18, 2011

God Strength

I'm still alive and kicking!  I've really been trying to have us tackle as much school as possible, but on the warm days that is really difficult to do- they're itching to get out and I'm itching for them to get out!!!  I just want us to be done so that I can move on to everything else I need to do!  Never a dull moment and it all certainly keeps me busy.  I'm not sure how sane I'll be when all is said and done though!

Last Monday night I managed to get out of the house with my friend, Sadie.  We had an eventful time eating at Panchero's- I swear there was a 'stalker' of somebody driving by continuously for over an hour while we sat there- slowly going by and looking into Fantastic Sams next door.  We eventually called the police because it was just creepy and something was really off about it.  I came home and my poor babysitter had puked all over my floor!  I felt so bad for her (how horrifying for her) and yet I could not get near it to clean it up as I myself was gagging over it!  Thankfully her mother came over and handled it.  Phew! 

We had our last co-op for the year on Friday.  The kids are really wanting to do it again next year.  I'm sure I will sign up again, it's just hard to know what will happen between now and the fall!  We've really been blessed by it though so I really can't see any reason to not sign up! 

Saturday the Mommies with Hope group got together and made up some meals for my freezer and then we went out to dinner (Chinese- yum)!  We have seriously just been so super blessed by people- I just cry in amazement and wonder over it all!  God is so good.  I was telling a friend earlier that it's really hard to get down (about a certain situation/thing) when on the other hand I have people, even complete strangers, blessing us left and right!  Truly amazing! 

Little Naomi is doing well.  Kicks up a storm and I'm starting to get a bit more uncomfortable =)  I am so eager to meet this precious little girl!  I wish time would hurry and get here (I know it will).  I just love 'interacting' with them when they kick and squirm!

I went to my first garage sale of the season last Friday evening.  I found two sleepers for Naomi and a pair of shorts for me.  I thought they were maternity but maybe not- I tried them on tonight and they're rather tight!  They'll be good for around the house after I have the baby I guess!  I'm chomping at the bit waiting to attack more sales and hoping to figure out what to do for child care while I go out on Friday mornings.  I have a list of what each child needs and hope to use that (and I also need some more maternity items).  I also went through my items in the basement last night to get rid of and have a tote to bring to the local consignment store.  I was hoping to attempt to do that tomorrow but it looks like it may be a nasty rainy day so we'll see.  I have a few items in there that could work for Easter outfits so I was hoping to hit up the store before then.

Wednesday Zach's brother and family will come into town and stay until Friday.  We're looking forward to seeing them.  The kids love playing with their cousins and Amie and I never tire of talking!  My aunt is thinking of coming Friday or sometime this weekend as she makes her way to Michigan, but it depends on the weather.  We had some GREAT weather days last week and then it just turned nasty!  At least we haven't had tornadoes like they have had down south and in North Carolina!  Just devastating.

Yesterday we visited our old church up in Story City.  I felt like I was at home!!!  It was so good to see our old 'family' again.  The kids even asked on the way home if we can go back, exclaiming how much they like it and how they have more friends there.  I wish it were just a little bit closer!

Thanks for your prayers for us!  God is good.  It is only through HIM that I am getting by each day!  Wednesday will be the 4 week mark.  Unreal!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Some days I feel like I'm barely hanging on.  Other days I feel like this is a breeze and we can do it!  Today I awoke feeling great, ready to tackle the day.  Fast forward like an hour later and I changed my mind!  It is just so much work sometimes!

The flu made it through rounds with all the kids (thankfully I never did get it) and it was so nice to return to a sense of normalcy (being able to run out when needed, getting school done, etc).  Last week we really tackled a lot of school.  I'm trying to double up a lot because quite frankly I just want to be done.  I know it's only the middle of April but I have a baby to get ready for (yay) and potty training to do and I'm sure a slew of other things. 

I did finish my spring cleaning last week though.  That felt great, although I paid for it big time, being so sore and having such swollen feet and ankles!  The past two days I've tried to take it easy and not do much but its hard when you're the only adult around.  Thankfully most of my children can fend for themselves, but they still need mom!  It also helps that the weather has warmed up a bit and I can shoo them outdoors (I just wish we had more for them to play with in the backyard). 

Saturday we went to Camp Dodge, the Guard base here by us, for an awesome thing they had for (deployed) families.  It was called Operation Afghanistan Experience (since most of the families here are deployed there).  They got real dog tags (with their name on them), a cool backpack filled with all sorts of goodies, made crafts, and so much more.  It was kind of set up like what their parents goes through before they deploy.  They had to in process (where they got their dog tags).  They also had fitness.  They got to try night vision goggles.  The went to a bazaar where they took their fake money and bartered for goodies to 'buy', which were toys they could pick out.  They got real MRE's to take home, which they delightfully ate for lunch yesterday.  They got to put on some gear, check out the inside of a tent, sit in some vehicles, go to the post office and so much more.  They had a great time.  I thought it was so neat, but my feet/ankles didn't.  There was nowhere to sit (besides the floor) the whole 2+ hours we were there so I was just beat!  I'm so glad we were able to participate in that.

On another note, Friday after co-op I checked my voicemail.  I had a message from somebody I didn't even know.  Apparently one of my friends who goes to MOPS put in a prayer request for me and the MOPS people want to get together to provide us meals weekly!!!  I don't even know these women!  Our homeschool group is also going to contribute.  What a HUGE blessing!  We'll have meals coming in on Mondays AND Thursdays.  Sometimes I think, "I really don't need all this help with meals" but when I have days like today I'm reminded that yes I do- those "little" things really REALLY help!!!  I just get in tears thinking about it- how blessed we are.  I certainly pray God blesses the people who are blessing us!!!

Friday I had an appointment with my perinatologist.  Let me just tell you how much I love her!  She is amazing!  She is always so excited about the pregnancy and exclaiming over it how glad she is at how far I've come, remembering my first appointment with her when I was getting tested to see why I was 'losing' my babies.  She just will sit and talk for a good amount of time, not rush you out of her office so she can see her next patient.  She also always makes me cry tears of joy over it!  She is just super!!!!  I also got another ultrasound- Miss Naomi is 2 lb. 5 oz at 27 weeks and 2 days!!!  Unbelievable.  It seems so weird that I'm already 'that' pregnant! 

Oh how I wish the fighting amongst my kids would end.  And the constant need for things!  "I'm hungry" "Can I drink this?" "She's calling me names" etc etc.  I'm at my wits end today!  And then we have the toddler who screams at the TOP of her, fun!  So, if you try to get a hold of me and can't reach me just check the local mental health ward.  I'm sure you'll find me there!  (Which reminds me that I really need to call my list of potential sitters and meet them so I have some available, and set up a time every week for me to GET OUT).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Back

I can't believe I haven't blogged in so long.  Then again a lot has happened since the last time I've been on my own blog!  We found out at the end of Feb. that Zach would be deploying at the end of March.  So, our whole month was crazy, crazy, crazy.  I know most of you know this all from facebook, but I also want to try to keep track of some of my life when I remember ;) 

We "knew" we'd be in the hot seat at the end of Feb. for a deployment, especially when he got out of the one last summer.  We just didn't think it'd be so soon (or at least I didn't).  I know I'm a high risk pregnancy but we didn't even try to get out of it.  We know it's our turn, after all he hasn't been deployed at all in his 12 year career.  As much as it still stinks...

So, Zach's dad came for a little visit, Zach had a conference in South Carolina and we had to make a couple of trips to Offutt AFB in Omaha.  Needless to say not much school got done and now I feel like we need to play catch up so that I'm not schooling in the summer when I want to get ready for a baby!

Zach left almost a week ago.  A week ago today we were at a hotel near Offutt AFB, as that's where he had to out process and fly out of.  Our last night together.  It was bittersweet.  The day he left was difficult.  We got passes so we could be at the gate with him, so we sat with him for the time until he boarded.  Boy oh boy, that was the most difficult thing.  It's one thing when this all affects ME but to see it affect our tore me up.  Even Gabe, who doesn't cry over things of this nature, was sobbing.  It broke this mama's heart!  Abby didn't know what to think- she'd just look at us and either put her head on my shoulder or put her hands on my face and look sad and concerned.  Hannah and Josiah were crying about as hard as Gabe.  And I was trying to be strong for them...crying here and there but also trying to comfort them.  As we stood there waiting for the plane to leave an elderly lady came up to Hannah and asked, "Is your dad gone?" or something to that affect.  Hannah said yes, with tears rolling down her face.  The lady had a look of concern on her face, looked at me and said, "Thank you."  That was precious.  I don't know how she knew- he wasn't in uniform that day, but she knew.  And it meant a lot to me to have those two words to hold on to, especially as I had the 2 hour drive home.

And here I sit, my children in bed, the house all silent and miss my man so much.  It hasn't been quite the week I expected.  I'd hoped to get started on spring cleaning (which I did- my basement is spotless and I got some of my living room done).  I'd hoped to get right back into school, catching up and doubling up on some lessons.  That didn't quite fit into it all as the kids have been sick with the flu.  Go figure.  You hear that once they leave for deployment things fall apart, but I didn't seriously expect to be faced with sick children on my own right away!  Ugh!  I don't do well with puke!  Hannah and I are the only ones left to get it.  She's got a garbage can near her bed because chances are she'll wake in the middle of the night or early morning with it, just like the other three have.  Or maybe it will be me.  I am PRAYING I do not get this junk. 

Hannah's birthday is on Thursday and she has such high expectations.  I'd hate for her day to be ruined with sickness.  So, I wish if we'd get it we'd just get it already!  I also have an OB appt that day that I really don't want to miss out on.  We shall see...

We did manage to get a wonderful meal brought to us by one of my new friends, on Wednesday, the day we got home.  That was so nice, to not have to worry about cooking that day as my  mind was just frazzled with so many emotions.  Thursday evening we had another new friend and her 4 boys over to play and for dinner.  Friday we took a field trip to the Governor's mansion, Terrace Hill, with our homeschool co-op.  Saturday we tried out a new babysitter and I took Hannah to her book club.   Sunday a dear friend who I haven't seen in probably over a year went and bought some groceries for me.  Monday we received our first meal from our homeschool co-op, who will provide meals for us once a week.

In light of the icky sickies we have been blessed.  I am SO thankful to our homeschool co-op for being SO willing to not only lift us up in prayer but to provide us with meals.  I am SO thankful for friends who are SO willing to run and help us at the drop of a hat (today a dear friend/neighbor brought me some pop).  I am SO thankful for the Mommies with Hope group that wants to get together to make some freezer meals for the kids and I.  It amazes me, these people so eager to help us.  To call and ask if I need something while they're out.  To let me know they're thinking of us.  It means so much.  It's what will help get me through this next 6 months.  God is so very good to provide the friends He has.  So, thank you friends who've helped or even offered to help.  You are a tremendous blessing in light of a crazy time in my life!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Yeah, I'm blogging

Can you believe it?  I am sure lots has gone on the past few weeks worth mentioning, but I cannot think.  I'm rather sleep deprived from everyone being sick for so long.  I've had a cough, then sinus stuff, then a cold that turned into a virus that's all been going on for over a month now.  How annoying.  This past week was the worst- I was so miserable and out with a fever and all.  And it's hit everyone else in the house too- Abby is the last one to get it.  I am so beyond sickness.  Last night I ran some errands and that was my first time out of the house, aside from the doctors, in a week or two!  Crazy!  It's hard not to be discouraged.  I'm trying to not do too much so I can continue to get better (I still have a horrible cough).  But my house is falling by the wayside- you should see the dust just caked on my tv stand.  It drives me CRAZY! 

I also had a weird scare last week where I went to the bathroom and there was blood (it was in my urine).  It was about 4:30 so my OB's office was about to close and they weren't helpful at all.  I went the the walk-in clinic and they weren't going to see me (because I wasn't for sure it was blood in my urine, I was a bit worried it could be the baby).  They told me they couldn't check on the baby at all but they could check if I had an infection.  When I went to the bathroom at the doctors office my urine looked like fruit punch or something (sorry if TMI).  Under the microscope it appeared I had a UTI so they gave me antibiotics and I went on my way, a bit relieved that is what it was and not the baby.  I still was a bit concerned about baby though and later that evening (amidst a snowstorm) a friend (a gal I met from Mommies with Hope) brought me over her heartbeat monitor to borrow.  I couldn't find the heartbeat, but I never have used one before.  I had an OB appointment the next morning anyway, so I wasn't too worried (and the dr. picked up the hb right away). 

Well, I'm going about my week last week, getting worse and worse with my "cold" when I get a call saying the culture came back from the UTI and I didn't have one.  What?  So I have NO idea what that was all about!  I know that morning I totally freaked out for some reason (before the blood incident), fearing for the baby and really having a huge meltdown.  Part of me wonders if I don't have or I'm not getting kidney stones again?  I don't know.

I think I need a new body!  This one is just not working right!  At least it seems to be holding and growing little baby well.  I am 19 weeks today and Friday I have my ultrasound.  I can't wait!!!  It seems most people these days are having boys so now part of me wonders what if this is a boy after all.  I honestly don't care either way, I just want a healthy baby, but I have sometimes referred to the baby as Naomi already!

School is going pretty well.  We're about to hit our 100th lesson!!  Woohoo!!!!  I'm really looking forward to summer break though.  Winter is getting old.  So is this sickness! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catch up

I've began a blog post so many times, only to be like, "What do I really want to blog about?"  I just haven't been in the blogging mood.  Part of it was that I was hiding something and I didn't want to let it slip!  lol  I'm sure most of you, if not all, are on facebook and saw our announcement that we're going to have a baby in July!  We are beyond thrilled!  I am 16 weeks today, praise GOD!  It was so difficult through the morning sickness stages, let me tell you!  And even more difficult was not being able to say, "I feel awful today."  That is also a good thing though, as I think about so many of my friends who desire nothing more than to have a baby and I know what a slap in the face a little comment such as that can you'd give anything to feel awful for that very reason- a baby growing within!  So, it was a good thing!  We had many frozen meals or fast food meals for awhile there, but now I'm back to my cookin' ways!  At my 12 week ultrasound my mom was able to come, as she flew in for Christmas!  That was very special!  The lady said the baby looks like a girl, and again yesterday at an appointment the doctor said that he didn't "see anything hanging" so we're thinking this baby is a girl.  I almost feel more relieved, considering that at least the two babies in heaven were boys...I feel like maybe my body can't carry a boy anymore for some reason.  I honestly don't know...just wonder.  I've been going to the doctor every 2 weeks to check the heartbeat for awhile now and will continue to do so until about 20 weeks.  It sure is reassuring!  On the other hand, it is hard to sleep the night before because I wonder and anticipate that appointment.  I hold my breath waiting for the doctor to find the heartbeat.  Yesterday he found it right away!!!  And I think from here on out I'll feel much better about it all, I just had to get past the 14-15 week mark (in my mind).  So, that's the excitement around here!

Other than that life is pretty much just normal.  School, housework, the norm.  We don't have anything real exciting going on that I can think of.  I guess I'll touch on something from each child and share that (more for my own record than to bore you all).

Hannah began going to a girl's book club on Saturday.  There are about 6-8 girls that will attend.  I think it will be wonderful for her.  She loves to read and loves to socialize!  Also, she'll be introduced to some books we may not have otherwise heard of or picked up.  She's pretty excited about it! 

Josiah and I had a really rough week together last week.  So Sunday we went out.  I got my eyebrows waxed (fun for him, haha) and we went to Kohl's.  He's such a trooper coming with me to shop!  Then I asked him if he wanted to get ice cream at Culver's or share a cake a Chili's and told him it's his decision.  He opted for Chili's and we shared a lemonade and cake and just had some nice conversation.  When I was asking him about the baby he was telling me how he's excited and he doesn't care if it is a girl or boy, he just wants the baby to be safe and healthy.  Such a sweetie!

Gabriel is really excelling in school!  I just am so floored by what he does!  He reads so well, sometimes he shocks me!  He does wonderfully in math!  He doesn't always sit still when I read history or science to them, but that's probably partly the age and partly his personality.  I'm just proud of how well he does, even when he may not be looking forward to doing school.

Abby has been falling asleep with Hannah in her bed for about four nights in a row.  It is so precious.  One night she stayed there all night.  Last night she ended up with a fever and slept real close to Mama.  I really need to start getting her in her OWN bed, especially before the baby arrives!  Right now she's upstairs fussing, so I'm hoping she will stay there with Hannah...not sure how it will work tonight!