Sunday, December 29, 2019

Two for One Tonsillectomy

So we heard they were doing tonsillectomies on BOGO as after Christmas sale so we bit the bullet and signed up for Double the Fun with M and A getting their tonsils out on the same day. And if by BOGO I mean that I'm a total liar and by Double the Fun well that's only with the Bubblemint gum. 

This guy has/had a major drooling issue at the ripe old age of 4 so his tonsils got nixed in the hopes that would help (in addition to them being large as per the ENT) plus his future wife might thank me in 30 years. 

This girl sounded terrible at night sleeping in Costa Rica and I already knew something was up when her preschool teacher brought it to my attention that she might have enormous tonsils (and she did and I will spare the graphics). 

So we finally got in with a nurse in the ENT office because we only had one ENT for a really long time and she was always super busy so the nurse could recommend surgery - which she obviously did. We were originally scheduled for 9/13 which was a hot minute from when I was due with J plus it was the middle of the first month of school and soccer season and who wants to miss out on school and soccer?!?!?!?! 

So that date got the super nix-a-tion and we settled on two days after Christmas. Not the most ideal time but there'd be a whole week off from school for break. Christmas fun would have been had and Papa would for sure have little to no work to do so caring for two patients plus a new-ish baby seemed reasonable. 

In the days and weeks leading up to the surgery I probably asked myself a hundred times if this was the right thing especially after hearing just how expensive this whole thing would be. The surgeons fee is about half of the OB fee for baby J's delivery and the facility fee was nearly the same - PER KID. I have no idea how much anesthesia is going to bill but you can bet it ain't cheap. Plus the kids were getting nervous but we tried to focus on the milkshake after and not think about it too too much. 

There was much angst and anticipation and singing and dancing waiting for the surgery. We had to be at the hospital at 6:30 the morning of and the kids couldn't eat anything - which we wisely failed to mention that. C camped out at Grammy and Grandpa Joes for a few days because her HIGH energy state of 2 yr old being was too much for recovery. E and R stayed with Jibbe and J stayed with at the hospital since he's still not a bottling baby. 

A got taken back first since they schedule surgeries by age. He courageously walked back with the nurse - they won't let moms and dads past the double doors and then we sat and waited with M. About a hour and a half later as A was getting wheeled back out - in a super angry state - it was M's turn to go and I think she might have opted for the wagon ride back but she probably wondered what the HECK was going to happen because A was MAD MAD MAD. 

They say every kid comes out of anesthesia differently and A was an agitated one. He realized immediately that he had an IV placed in his arm (they put it in when he was asleep) and he wanted it OUT. The nurse said she'd take it out once he drank his juice which is was MAD that it had ice in it and that was quickly remedied. He started drinking it and probably a bit too fast so we snuggled and he slept a tiny bit more and drank the rest and demanded his IV be taken out. I thought he might pull it out. Then we snuggled more and he was mad Paw Patrol wasn't on so he settled in to watching videos of himself and his siblings on my phone. 

At some point M came back out and I was expecting something similar to A but that didn't happen. She was super groggy and had a few fitful and pitiful conversations. She got her LOLs out and stared blankly at them and laid around and was not bothered by the IV and refused to drink anything. Not long after she she back, Lee and I realized we'd be here for longer than with A so he took A and J to McD's to get us lunch and them milkshakes and to get the prescriptions. Well the prescriptions were at a different pharmacy so that got changed but not in time, so the guys came back with food and we waited on M some more. A only spilled his shake a few time but downed the entire thing and proceeded to inform me that I better not eat all the fries; he finished my fries off 4.5 hours after surgery! M still wasn't drinking anything, J was super tired from all the day's and previous days activities so he was screaming so we did some laps around the atrium and outside. I got back and the nurses were convincing M to drink something. She can be quite stubborn at times. 

M finally drank the minimum amount we were off to the races to get home but not without getting the prescriptions from pharmacy number two. The lines were insane - drive thru and in store. The meds had been pulled but not mixed and M's tylenol hadn't been filled because it had a touch of extra strength in it so it had to come from the narcotics safe. It was basically a nightmare and took forever. Should have used a different pharmacy and who the heck are all these people picking up all this medicine?!?!? I got back to the van. A had an emergency potty trip, J was screaming and M was staring blankly into space... 

We've survived the first two full days of tonsillectomy recovering pretty well. Lots of iPad time. Lots of bargaining to drink a sip of this and that. Lots of resting. Fighting over which iPad is being used. Yesterday M was still napping and A went outside to his happy place - under the tree. He raked and collected leaves and he tried really hard to remember not to run - because they aren't supposed to do ANY physical activity for two weeks - not that they'd want to this early on anyways. Everyone's been out of sorts but overall it hasn't been too terrible. 

We've been setting alarms to give them medicine and waking them (and us) up to do it because misery loves company so I'm hoping when we don't have to do an early AM wake up everyone will be happier because they aren't loving the medicine in the middle of the night but it's got to be better than waking up in pain because their behind on a dose, right?  

So here's to the next (few) days of post-tonsillectomy recovery

Saturday, December 21, 2019

O Christmas Program

O Christmas Program, O Christmas Program
How cute are thy children
O Christmas Program, O Christmas Program
How cute are thy children!

This year the big school and preschool Christmas programs fell on the same night... again.

Joy to the World
Moms cannot bilocate
But thank goodness for dress rehearsals!

J and I went to the big school dress rehearsal which is probably and will forever be my preference over the actual program because I get a front row seat and I show up 2 minutes before it starts and I don't have little people who belong in bed with me. LOVE a dress rehearsal. It was E's last year in the program - which was sad - but she and her friend sung together and it was cute. R was a narrator who knew about 2.5 lines the week before the program so I was nervous for her but she did GREAT. M was part of the little happy family getting out a nativity set - in the dress rehearsal, it was the most sober, sullen family EVER. That was kind of hilarious.

That night it was onward to the preschool program and if by onward, I mean spiral downhill into the depths of Christmas program hell.

Don't let this cute pic fool you because I was. 

It is probably worth mentioning that in the spring A refused to go on stage for the spring concert. I wasn't there because E and R had a soccer game - but I heard the reports. He wouldn't go into his class and kicked and screamed and it was a mess.

He had been talking about his program all month. Singing the songs. Screaming the bible verse. He was worried about being late for his program. He didn't want to wear his tie but then relented. So we snapped that cute little pic after leaving the seats we beelined for and saved as soon as the doors opened 15 minutes prior. We dropped C off in her room and she didn't want to give up her flower that her friend in her class gave her before the program and she laid out in the hallway for a minute but made a quick recovery.

I was really worried for a minute. She was going to repeat A's performance from last year.

Then we head down to A's class and as soon as we get to the threshold of the door he freezes. He grabs my leg and won't let go. I try convincing, coaxing bribing... anything to get him through the door. Tearful cries. Locked arms. I finally let his teacher take him unwillingly but I had my doubts.

J and I make it back to our seat five minutes before the show was to begin. I keep staring at my phone waiting for a text that says to get him. I thought we were in the clear but finally does come through.

So J and I make the long walk back to retrieve A and then we head back to our spot. At this point I think I'm in the disbelief stage of - I can't believe this is happening again and I can't believe I'm lugging around this heavy carseat and dragging my noncompliant 4 yr old in front of a zillion parents and grandparents and aunt and uncles and EVERYONE AT THIS PROGRAM!

A is still crying/whimpering loudly and the pastor is talking and we are 5 rows from the front and it is kind of a problem. He is being too loud. And he tells me he has to use the bathroom. And C is on next. So I grab A and leave J in the carseat because what the heck else am I supposed to do because we have to be quick or we'll miss C and the 2s only sing 2 really short songs - see I know this because I've been to this program for the past 7 years.

We get to the bathroom and A is wailing because he knows he's in trouble and I'm rushing like a crazy to get his pants down and he goes and then as I'm pulling his pant back up the snap breaks off because I didn't unsnap them in the first because I was rushing.

A snap in time saves you a meltdown.

At that point A LOSES IT like loses his mind. So what do I do? Leave him in the lobby screaming but in the back of my head I'm like what if he runs away. I get back to my seat and to J who had a kind mom give him his paci back during the bathroom antics. The twos are coming on stage and I get a video of C who is proudly jingling her bells but I'm more worried about A who might have been stolen from the lobby so I run back out there and tell him we have to watch C and that he must be quiet. So we get back in with enough time to catch the last part of the second song and A and I go to collect C from the stage.

Somewhere in this mix of events I gave up my highly coveted seats on the end of row 5 so A and C and J and I crouched behind the first block of seats and watched the big preschoolers come on stage. I told A he needed to go up on stage or we would leave. Well bring on the crying once again. So I drag J and A back out to the lobby with C following dutifully behind. A is screaming about how he doesn't want to leave and I tell him he must go on stage and that I was not going to stay and watch the program unless he was in it! Finally I give up and realize this is the end and we must go so lug the carseat and a fitful A outside only to realize that the crazy crazy crazy stroller is still inside... See I moved it off to the side as to not block the aisle.

Repeat repeat the sounding JOYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm like A get it together and go on stage and sit with your teacher and all this will be forgiven. He settles down and agrees. So I lug the carseat back into the church with A and C following and we get to the stroller and I'm like okay A, go up to your teacher.

Insert all the crying.

So I swear I am pushing the stroller with one hand, dragging A with the other, bumming into chairs all the way down the aisle and C skipping right behind us with her pink flower.

It was epic. It was epic. It was epic. In front of everyone.

Now maybe people will believe when I tell them I really have no idea what I'm doing and I'm flying by the seat of my pants and living on a prayer. So many people are like, how do you do it? You have it all together? Oh this is old hat? Well you are a PRO at this then - even the cashier told me that just the other day when I was checking out with J, assuming he was my first and found out he was actually numero six.

I will be the first one to proudly tell you, no I don't and tonight proves me right. Because you never know what kind of wild hair someone is going to get and throw you the biggest curveball on the ONE night of the season you desperately want everything to go right.

I could have gotten to the van and cried but I think I was too mad to cry. We got home and A headed straight to bed where he needed to have been hours before taking a nap. C and I snuggled up on the couch even though she should have been in bed and watched her playing Jingle Bells on repeat. She loves seeing herself. I love that she started jingling even faster when she sees me in the audience.

So the next day once I had time to collect myself and my psychological state of mind I calmly told A that he would not be going to his Christmas party at preschool because of his performance - or lack thereof - the night before. You know what, he didn't even fight me on it. He was definitely upset but he didn't cry. I thought I'd have to drag him out of the class kicking and screaming when I picked him up an hour early but you know what, he didn't cry one bit. He knew he was in trouble and was accepting of his punishment. I, on the other hand, felt terrible in some ways and vindicated in others. The last thing I wanted to do was pull my 4 yr old out of his class Christmas party - how cruel is that? But I knew I had to make a point and I did. A kept on saying that next year he WOULD go on stage. When I asked him why he didn't go on stage this year his response - I just didn't want to.

To be four again.

To parent a four year old, again.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart and you have to crisis manage and make game time decisions and stand by them. You may question decisions and replay situations in your mind OVER and OVER again but say a prayer, trust your gut and know that there's a hundreds of other parents are doing the exact same thing.

Friday, December 6, 2019

7QTs - Gobble Wobble, Sibs, Strep

Linking up with Kelly ... reversing it from St. Nicholas to Thanksgiving


Today is St. Nicholas Day.... 

E and I got home late last night (see next) and I nearly forgot about having to set things up for St. Nicholas' visit. The stuff the kids had sorted out for him to take had been in the chapel for at least a week.

He did not disappoint with Christmas outfits, pajamas, sugary cereals, books, ACT and bandaids. A and C played store with the ACT and bandaids before school. I absolutely love that this family tradition and I have to dig through the closet to remember what I've gotten throughout the year. We only give the kids one thing on Christmas so this is very exciting for them. 


Last night I got to hear E's choir rehearse for their concert tonight... 

I had to stay for the rehearsal because Js 2 month appt turned into a joint appt for M who had 1. the crud, 2. swimmers ear & 3. strep but PRAISE THE LORD not the flu. Huge praise up in here. So I knew it would be risky bringing her to the concert late at night when sick (as planned) even though she wouldn't be contagious. Well as it turns out, A appears to have strep also as of this afternoon late sooooo... here I am typing out my QTs and wishing the concert was live streamed. It was surely going to be amazing. 

I would be a complete liar if I made it sound like I was at all of the 4 hr rehearsal because J and I weren't. I had made dinner plans earlier in the week and I knew if I broke those we would probably not connect again until Easter. Can I tell you how good and refreshing and fun it was just to sit and chat all things, kids, life, school, lice (gasp!), extra curriculars with a few moms I've known since E was in preschool (ancient history, I know). 


We probably won't do it again because between the three of us there's double digit number of kids BUT... when we do we'll just pick up where we left off.  



Baby J is 2 months old! He's slept 6+ hours at night which is glorious. He's had his tongue tie lasered which has made all the difference in the world nursing. He loves to talk to me when he gets some one-on-one time. His smells and noises are oh so very boy and sometimes I still can't believe he's here. 


M doing planks for swim and A supervising

These two people will be tonsil-less three weeks from today. Or at least have significantly smaller ones. I think the end of year and Christmas is forcing me to block out how nervous I am about two kids getting their tonsils out back-to-back but they have each other and it may be a rough few days but I think when they are 18 they'll thank me. 


The boys - 

A has been desperate to do things with J like play with him and talk with him. It is funny and cute and I can only imagine them in two years raking and mowing and burning leaves which are all things on A's to do list this weekend. 


The Highway Patrol horses were at preschool one day at pick up: 


Unfortunately they were there for an officer's funeral 

A and C could not get enough of them saddling up and finally one of the officers asked if they wanted to get out of our van and get close. C was thrilled until she was right there. 


Thanksgiving seems like weeks ago even though it wasn't. This past week I kept telling Lee and everyone okay we just need to get to Sunday without an issues. Rehearsals, swim practices, work meetings, birthdays, and the concert were all on the radar. M getting sick put a kink in things but E and R did not succumb to anything yet so that is great. 

I only made turkey cookies for one class this year. Still a Thanksgiving favorite of mine because it is a cute crafty-ish thing I can do well - if I may say so myself. 

J with his pumpkins 

C in her hat from school 

So we may have a new tradition on our hands... I found this 5k in the next town over and Uncle Kev and Nicole and E and R were game. Lee gave his blessing to let me take half of the kids out of the house while he cooked up a storm for the afternoon. 

Nicole and J and I power walked the whole thing and caught up on all things wedding and life. E took off and ran on her own which was fine by me. R left the walking crowd less than half way through and her street sense made me more than a bit nervous but we did find her at the end - and she was fine. Uncle Kev started with the walkers and then did not want to lose to a niece so she caught up with E and R and controversy remains about the finish and involves a turkey blocking his way : ) 

J was happily past from aunts and cousins the Friday after Thanksgiving and we continue to be so grateful that we have 2 days of Thanksgiving and not two meals in 2.5 hours that we have to rush to both sides of the family for. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thoughts on Two Months with a Six Pack o' Kids...

Kids better be prepared to step up their pic taking game as the infamous family Christmas card pic taking session will be upon us... 

So we are two months in with six kids. 

Trying to let that sink in. 

Two months with six kids. 

So what's is like? A lot of the same as it was with five just with a little baby who happens to want to eat every so often. Life didn't stop when J came. We were showered with gifts and meals by family and friends so that made transitioning from five to six a bit easier but school, soccer, swim, AHG, church, choir, work, life continued as if J had been here the whole time. 

In some ways it feels like he's been here the whole time but obviously that's not the case. He's a good baby. I like him - well actually I love him but he really is great. He wakes up 2ish times a night to eat. He is a great companion going to work. He tolerates all the shuffling of big sibs. He has already touched our lives (and others) in ways only God knew we needed. In his first two months he lost that newborn look (or at least I think) about 2.5 weeks ago. He's not wearing NB clothes anymore - always a tough one to throw those clothes back in the bin. He's had his posterior tongue tie lasered in Chapel Hill - that was an ordeal for sure. 

Life is busy. Life is good. Life is seemingly normal with him around. Life has been crazy the last two months and it is funny that the 2 months preceding his birth mirrored the 2 months following his birth in some really crazy ways - one (of many examples) the Safelite guy came to our house this month to repair (thank goodness it was not replace!) the van windshield because on the way back from Chapel Hill we got a nice not-so-little ding from a flying rock. 

Crazy I tell you, but pretty standard operating procedure around these parts. 

So I guess the great question that is in everyone's mind and has only been articulated by a few is... Are you done? Will there be more Kibbe kids? 

To that I'd just a soon shrug and laugh and say 'it is possible' or 'maybe' or 'it is not just up to us'. 

Lee and I were recently reflecting on some old pics of the kids and what ifs. What if it was only the big girls? What if it was only the little three? What if it was 1, 3 and 5 what if it was 2, 4 and 6? How different would our life look? 

It certainly would look quite different - in some ways - but maybe not a whole lot. I'd like to think the better question is, who would we not have met? Who could I possibly imagine our lives without? Could I do without? E, my clear firstborn? R, my quiet, happy girl? M, my coulda been firstborn who is just too sneaky? A, my first boy? C, my wild child? J, my newest boy? 

I don't think I can pick one or two or three that I could possibly imagine life without. 

"Therefore, couples should really trust in God and let Him decide to call into existence a new human person and a new possible citizen of heaven. Why limit the number of citizens of heaven? Why not have more citizens of heaven, who for all eternity will see God, love, adore, and glorify Him?"           - Bishop Athananius Schneider, Christ's Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age

Friday, November 1, 2019

Many Happy Returns!

Eleven years?

Eleven years.


As we were sitting on the couch last night after a wild night of trick-or-treating with the kids, we couldn't help but think about what were were doing 11 years ago. The answer was wrapping up our rehearsal dinner and nervously, getting ready for a fun, action-packed wedding day.

But eleven years. In some ways it feels like a million years ago. As in, I've been married for a third of my lifetime! So much has happened. Jobs, moves, kids, trips. How can so many memories fit into eleven years?

But eleven years in other ways has flown by. Sometimes, I have to think about how old I am and that I didn't just graduate from Carolina 2 years ago - it was 11 years ago. I'm 33, not 23. I happen to have the grey hair to prove it too but I like to think that it's my wisdom showing.

I don't know that I have a whole lot of wisdom to share - that other people haven't already articulated way more eloquently than I. But I will say a few things:

A few (of many) keys to a grace-filled marriage:

+ let the Holy Spirit work through your marriage. If you put your selfish and worldly desires aside and let the Holy Spirit in, He will work in ways you never thought were possible.

+ have fun. There is some much to the daily grind and distractions and stuff, but marriage is a fun, wild ride so enjoy it.

+ sometimes it is best to just not say anything. Listen and think and consider the other person before speaking or acting. Some of the biggest misunderstandings come from immediate, emotional responses that are in-the-moment and if you take a moment or two to cool off, it can make a world of a difference.

To close, I feel so incredibly blessed that God put Lee in my life and we got on this marriage train together. I hands down, love the life I am living and while people may see all our kids and think the kids are our life - our marriage is our life. Our kids, our arrows, our olives, are here because of our marriage. We were first so when we do have an occasional dinner and we can reconnect without the kids, we catch a glimpse of what life was like without them. So much of our marriage (in our current season of parenting) is sacrificing for the sake of the kids but I suppose at some point in the unforeseeable future the house will empty out and it will be just us. Then we will be sacrificing in new ways but always for the other and always to glorify God.

This is definitely not the path I envisioned for myself but I absolutely love life. Are there things I don't like, yes of course. But when I take a step back and consider the man who is by my side and our kids who teach us, and force us to grow and think deeper and be better - it takes my breath away and I am forever grateful.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Six Pack of Kids - Thoughts on One Month In

This was the first - and probably only - six kids pic we've taken so far. The hospital didn't have a couch in the mother-baby room so we had to get the first kid picture at home when J was super new. Fast forward one month - how! - later and it probably wouldn't look too terribly different. 

If the walls could talk around here they would say that J has been loved into the folds of this family. They would say littlest sis has the best nickname for him so far - Joe-sis - but has already corrected herself to the proper pronunciation of his name - which super hurts my feelings. The walls would tell you the biggest sister adores this little guy and has been known to rush around the house to get ready for school just so she can hold him for a few minutes before it's time to go. They'd say that big brother was mortified of Mama feeding him for the first time and begged her to put her shirt down. 

For this mama, it is hard to believe that J has been in this family for a month but in some ways he's been here the whole time. He's a pretty great baby and I really like him - despite his tongue tie which is making nursing more interesting that normal - but will be remedied here before too long. Sometimes I don't know how he has passed him hearing test with all the crazy antics that go on around here - this week was no different but that's for another time.

We have been showered with love and support and gifts and food from so many family and friends over the past month it is pretty overwhelming. No more overwhelming though, when I catch myself literally having to count my blessings to make sure they are all in the car or in bed or where they are supposed to be. 

This last month with a six pack of kids and as a family of eight has been wild and crazy - as it was before J graced us with his presence - I really couldn't imagine our family without him. I've already learned so much from him being here and I can't wait to find out what the next month and year will look like with him. 

He's a keeper. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Storm before the Storm

The tale of what lead up to baby J's arrival...

The weeks before he was born was a flurry of ALL the doctor appointment I can possibly handle. And my patience continues to grows during doctor appointments. Though it never fails to boggle my mind why appointments are scheduled and you still end up waiting 20-45 minutes to even get called to see the doctor. I mean, I GET it there's paperwork and processing and things that come up and stuff and stuff but my time is valuable too, you know. I digress because nothing's going to change and I ought to be thankful rather than whiny.

Honestly all the doctor appointments really started piling up right after we got back from the beach - the second week of July. Between biweekly OB appointments and ENT checks and dentists and someone getting a tooth pulled because of an abscess - oh and I don't think I've mentioned this but maybe I have.... there were several heads that had lice in our house at the end of July - which was terrible and I don't think you can fully understand the implications of lice unless you have had kids who have had it and you are constantly wondering if you nitpicked well enough and olive oil and yellow Listerine and apple cider vinegar are your BFF for days. On top of an extremely busy pool season plus being a thousand weeks pregnant... I probably need therapy to process all that happened between July 4th and J's arrival.

In fact I think the last three weeks had been even more medical-filled and we have the stacks of bills to prove it. So thankful we live in a time and place that we can get all this stuff taken care of but man has it been exhausting.

Ear aches
Check ups
Waxy ears requiring colase to get it moving
Dental check ups with cavities found
One of the two cavities filled
OB appts
And the hardest hitter... an abscess on a leg that came out of nowhere

I found the abscess late Wednesday night (8 days before baby J) and I was fully prepared to go to the ER that night and dragged Lee home from his Bible Study - I was totally freaked out because at that point I had no idea where it super painful spot came from. It was not black and blue like a bruise but it was basically untouchable.

After doctor appointment 1 of 5 for abscess - what else do you do when you get some news you don't want to hear because your 39.5 weeks pregnant and ain't nobody got time for an abscess... chocolate milkshakes of course

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were sprinkled with pediatrician visits to the point where I wonder when the credit card company is going to call to confirm they are legit transactions.

When part of your treatment plan is taking hot baths and because you're number 4, mom never gives baths because showers are way easier... relish in lots of baths!

Saturday afternoon A and I trekked up to a children's hospital to get the thing drained. Now I imagine draining with a needle and some sort of suction device. Well, let's just say that's not exactly what happened.... at all. I was pretty unprepared for the 20-30 minutes of screaming and tears and MAMAAAAAAAAAAAS that is freshly in my mind.

He was so hungry and so pitiful 

After two popsicles and watching Thomas on the iPad while soccer was on the TV, A was pretty unfazed. I made the long walk to dig the van out of the parking deck (why would a MAJOR hospital only have about 20 parking spots for both the ped ER and regular ER). On the way in I discovered the van is in fact taller than 7 ft 4in courtesy of the plastic bar thing which I scraped the whole way down. SWEEEEEEEEET

I made good on the chocolate ice cream promise I made before/during the hospital visit and we got dinner while we were there and I drowned all my emotions of the last 6 hours into my cheeseburgers and fries (and then proceeded to feel terrible the next day but it was totally worth it).

Such a long day!

Sunday was quiet which also happened to be my due date. A's abscess still looked pretty bad especially with the hole from the ER in the middle of it.

Monday held another doctor appointment. A new medicine (not without its issues of course) and hope that we might not have to go back to the ER for another draining of this crazy thing - next time they'd sedate him which I wished they had done the first time. Though, I have to admit, I love to block out L&D but seeing A go through what he did - I have a bit of a different perspective and thinking, if he can do that, then I can do L&D.

Tuesday was uneventful during the day. Tuesday evening Lee and I squeezed in one more date night without a third wheel - which was so nice, and then Tuesday night I couldn't sleep. I was semi-convinced I might be in labor but not convinced enough to do anything about it. Wednesday morning I told Lee I wanted him to go to the pediatrician with me and A which was the final check before another trip to the ER or a wait-and-see because the medicine was working. Then we'd go to the OB to see what the deal was - even though I was to be induced the next morning.

I kept thinking to myself - come on and just hold out until everyone and everything is in place and planned for - PLEEEEEEEEASE.

Well my plans were foiled because my OB couldn't see me until 1 - he was in surgery. A's appointment went well and we did not have to get the abscess drained. So Lee was on kid duty for the rest of the day and I went to work for a few hours and then trekked to the OB.

While there the nurse used the doppler and discovered that baby's heartrate was in the 180s - which is pretty high - especially considering the week before it was in the 130s. So off to the ultrasound room which confirmed everything appeared to be fine and also I swear the tech said something about 'baby girl' - and I was pretty much validated in my assumption that this baby was in fact a girl (so I clearly misheard her). Then my mind floated to the girls name and how I liked the first name but wasn't convinced of on the middle name - much like M's middle name which I have come to adore. Then the 20 minute fetal heartrate monitor. I'm pretty sure I had more than 2 people ask me if I had any caffeine that day to which my reply was, I had only had water and I wasn't hungry.

With the option to go to the hospital then (I wasn't dilated - but maybe in early labor) or go home and drink a bunch of water and eat something decent, I opted for the latter and headed home a bit more assured I wasn't in active labor - I hadn't been in natural labor since R - so 7.5 years ago and I think I was worried I was going to forget what it felt like.

That night Jibbe stayed the night just in case we had to bolt to the hospital - which we didn't but it felt better knowing if we needed to I wouldn't be waking up neighbors and waving them on to our house as we sped out of the neighborhood.

So that's our story and I'm sticking to it. In hindsight the last 3 Saturdays have had completely different feels.

This Saturday - coaching A's soccer game with baby J by our side. I think coaching is semi-therapeutic for me

The Saturday before - sitting in the pediatricians office doing the happy dance that I was NOT in the hospital with baby J and getting the play-by-play updates on M and A's soccer games, wishing I could watch Lee with all five big kids out on the soccer fields, watching Lee single-handedly man the house and the laundry and antics

The Saturday before that one - wanting to be the one to take A to the pediatrician to the final check on the abscess, coaching M's soccer game, getting a text from Lee that said the ER was in our near future, experiencing the ER, coming home crying thankful that A was okay but emotionally drained from everything he went through - mama's of sick kids, I don't know how you do it. A wasn't even that sick or in the hospital for long and it sucked the life out of me.

So who knows what crazy adventure will happen to our house next but for what we've been through, I hope we get a little down time before

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Introducing Baby Boy Number Two

It seems fitting this post is being written almost one week to the hour that this new baby came into this world... so here goes.

The back story on all the events leading up to the birthday are too insane to include in this post so we'll just pretend that everything was perfectly normal and calm. I was scheduled to be induced on Thursday because my due date was the previous Sunday and there wasn't anything happening and I was not trying to be pregnant in October. Why? Well one thing is we already have an October baby and clearly one of our family goals is to hit a birthday every month so that would have really messed us up.

So Thursday it was, I was up and down much of the nights before the induction so when the clock stuck 4 and Lee's alarm went off I was pretty much ready to hit the road. I think we ended up leaving at 4:30 and got checked in everything by 5:15. They remodeled the L&D wing so it was neat remembering what things looked like before.

Then the big waiting game of getting the IV going and stuff set in. I think I commented to Lee on at least one occasion... How in the world did we get back here... again? As I looked over at the empty baby warming table. That is so surreal to me, knowing we won't be leaving the room without someone occupying that little bed.

Anyhow, after the shift change and a visit from the doctor - who promised he wouldn't miss it this time - we were off to the races with pitocin. Last time I think I was on the second highest dose before C was born. I was hopeful this time because I got to the hospital and I was 3 and definitely having some mild contractions so maybe the combo of early labor plus pitocin would get things going without being too crazy.

The L&D nurse was great. First things I told her were - I wanted to walk around and that the last time the nurse delivered the baby. So she got me hooked into the WiFi monitors - Hello 21st century!!!!!!!! - and I could walk and be on pitocin at the same time. Imagine that. Imagine not having that the last 3 times - it was no fun.

I think at some point after 8 I finally got motivated enough to start pacing the hallways. I was pretty exhausted from the nights and days before but I really wanted to take advantage of the freedom while I could. Lee and I chit chatted about stuff. The nurse and I ended up getting into an extensive conversation about soccer - which was a fabulous distraction from the contractions.

Then at some point something happened which had never happened before... my water broke. That was strange. At that point the nurse asked me to just stay on the L&D hallway because ain't nobody trying to have a baby in the hallway of recovery - or in L&D too but you know.

Eventually the contractions got strong enough where I wanted to get in bed. The nurse said I was about a 5 so I had gone from 3 to 5 in 3 hours... perfect. : (

Well not long after being in bed, Lee could probably comment more on the timing of everything, I called for the Stayidol or however you spell it - the narcotic that makes you kinda sleepy and care less. That was at 11:29.

Well a few contractions after that, I was like send for the epidural. Which in the moment and in hindsight I still can't believe I actually spoke those words. I think Lee was just as surprised as I was that I was asking for one but I knew if I had hours more to go then something was going to have to give. The nurse came back and I was like... how long does it take for them to get here?

Someone said, go ahead and call the doctor (the OB) to which someone else replied, he's coming up the stairs. The OB and the anesthesiologist came into the room about the same time and the doctor checked me was like.... nope, she's having this baby.

At which point there was this overarching sense of relief and peace - which was certainly a prayer answered. There was hustle and bustle getting the bed ready and the nurses in place but not the chaotic scene that played out at Cs birth.

A few pushes (which seemed to take forever) a head, two shoulders, two knees and ten toes later - an 8 lb 21 inch long baby was plopped on my chest at 11:47. Lee announced it was a boy and I was basically in shock because I was certain this baby was a girl. Plus I had just gotten a dose of Stayidol (which lasts for 2-3 hours!) so it registered but I was still very much out of sorts.

I'm not one of the immediately bond with freshly plopped baby in the first place - sorry kids, I love you I promise - but y'all that baby just did a whole lot of hurting so call me crazy but it is not my initial reaction.

The room cleared out and we did skin to skin and all that fun stuff. Lee went to get Chik Fil A and cookout milkshakes except those crazy people gave him chocolate chip instead of Mint Oreo - which was rectified the next day as that was my lunch request. The nurse checked him again and we had this funny dialogue that went something like this:

Nurse - Do you want to trying feeding him?
Me - Do you want me to?
Nurse - Well you don't have to, it is up to you?
Me - I mean, I will if you want me to
Nurse - It is your decision
Me - I don't know. I can't make decisions right now (because of the Stayidol) - just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it.
Nurse - (hands me the baby)

Yes I normally keep some number of hairbands on my wrist. No they don't help me remember how many kids I have... just have a few girls with long hair and you'll understand!

That Stayidol took forever to wear off and had I known baby was coming in 15 minutes, I surely would have not gotten it or at least halved the dose.

I was wheeled out of L&D and passed through the threshold I was said, I am so glad to be outta there. To which it was discovered my room wasn't ready so back to L&D while that was fixed. By that time grandparents were reigning in the big brother and sisters  who were eagerly and I'm sure impatiently waiting to meet their new sibling.

The gang paraded in and was introduced to little brother Joseph Jeremiah

Came through for A on one of his two requests. Baby boy but no twins... 

I think they liked him : )

Lee left shortly after. It was a quiet evening with a visit (and dinner) from a great friend. J went back and forth to the nursery - which I LOVE being able to turn off the lights and try and sleep. I didn't love that you there was no nursery window so when I did wake up I couldn't see what he was doing when I made my circles around recovery. I've always walked alot in recovery - I makes me feel normal after so much not-normal just happening.

He looks enormous in this picture but I promise he's not

The pediatrician caught me in the hallway in the morning and announced he may not discharge J until Saturday since I was GBS positive (I have been every time - and I've been discharged about 24 hours after birth and I got the full dose of medicine) - that was a MAJOR bummer. Though we did agree to waiting until the afternoon and scheduling a follow up with his pediatrician. Eventually about 4:30 we got the green light and a fast pass outta there.

Home to the loud, crazy, loving chaos at the house.

Happily not pregnant and happily not at the hospital.

Here's to you baby J!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

7 Quick Takes - August and September Catch up

Linking up with Kelly ... let's go in reverse order because it has been that long (and doesn't include any of the crazy from this week - that's possibly worthy of it's own post)


Last Sunday... 

(A supervising the clergy : ) 

Our bishop came and blessed the grounds/site/cornerstone for the church that is being built. If you thought single parenting kids at church was interesting then you should give an outside church experience a whirl. Complete with blazing hot temps and a few fire ants smack dab in the middle of rest time. 

In reality it was a really good time and the kids did quite well - all things considered - and we got a special blessing for baby number 6 which was great. Last week I was kind of just blocking out L&D (because who wants to do that!??!?!) but I've really tried to shift my mentality and focus. 

Also, less than a week until a whole other person is a part of our lives??? I mean the baby has been a very real reality in my life for the last nine months but when you get to put a name with a face and a sibling with their siblings that's when the reality of a new baby can really hit me. 


M and the rock wall..

M made it to the top of the rock wall this week. Note the verb climb was not used. Well partially climbed but mostly was assisted all the way to the top. I think this might give her the confidence to actually climb it next time - but she was thrilled either way. 


E has some pretty high aspirations for swim this season... 

Which will require her to really work hard at and outside of practice. I would NEVER tell her not to try but it is going to be a huge stretch. She has taken to doing some exercises at home which R and M will sometimes get in on and C finds wildly interesting and she gets right in the way of her. 

I've encouraged her to run a mile once a week (or more) but I think half the thrill of that is getting to use my phone to track her run pace. I've thought about getting some sort of FitBit device but I'm not sure I'm ready to invite that into the house yet. 


M has her first take home project...

Y'all know me and a project. I've got to block out mental energy and patience to get through them. But this one is an easy one that big sisters remember doing so they had to see what was going on... 

The hot glue gun got us through and this was the final product!


AHG is in full swing:

This is actually from the kickoff meeting and the girls got their faces painted - which they thought was the best so we had to document it because it came off before bed. E moved up groups - which I think she was ready for and it already figuring out how many and who can help her with badges she wants to do. 


Fall activities are in FULL SWING... 

I love a schedule so we've been in the groove now for about a month and it feels pretty manageable. E and R started swimming in mid-August and M and A started soccer (with E and R helping me coach). Helping is very loose term but nonetheless they'll learn early to step up to volunteer. AHG for the big girls and we let E add children's choir to her line up of activities. Having a set dinner plan with quick interchangeable options is huge. I don't know why it took me until last year to see that but now I know the dinner drill requirements and it makes evenings so much less stressful. 

A opted to be the Sharks although the Chickens was a very close second - but I'm thrilled to not be shouting Chickens!!!!!!!! during out team cheer. M (and her friend) picked the Groovicorns - which if you don't know are way cooler than unicorns so check out the double sided sequins book - and I blame my friend (for buying her that book) ENTIRELY for having to yell Groovicorns for a park full of people to hear. I think I laugh every time with cheer : ) 

Yes I'm coaching (with some serious backup assistants). Yes I'm about to have a(nother!!!!!!) baby. Yes I'll probably take a week or so off from soccer but then I hope I'll be out there with new baby in tow. I make no guarantees but I sure do enjoy it. And aside from getting outrun by the kids it is going well. Between the boys and girls teams I've coach well over half the kids which is fun to watch them learn and way easier when you aren't starting from scratch because now they pretty much have a clue as to what I'm trying teach (that's another loose term too : ) 


All things school... 

This is from the day when C's bookbag came a while ago and she proceeded to march around the house shouting 'I pre-tee, I pre-tee' 

School is overall is going quite well. Everyone is happy with their teachers and figuring out expectations and all that fun stuff. M and C probably had the roughest restart runs. C had about a week stretch where she forgot how much fun she had and decided she needed to scream when I left. Which I hate leaving a crying kid but ever since that rough patch I open her door and she (tosses her bookbag to the floor) goes in like she owns the place. 

M was an interesting case too. New school. Lots of new faces. New schedule (hello all day!). New everything. So basically the first few weeks were really tough. She hated the towel I packed her for rest time - even though it was green - it was too small and the class was too noisy to sleep - she's definitely my best rester if she rests. Everything was a problem (or at least she wanted me to see it that way - to everyone else school was great). Honestly I did see a 180 degree different kid from the one who was here this summer - maybe not everyone else, but I could tell a difference. That first full week of school I finally saw the M I was used to out on the soccer field playing with her friends. It was good and it was relief. I put alittle reward on the table if she knocked some of her school stuff off her plate (but mine too because its K and basically everything at home is parent driven- HW, reading, sight words, spelling etc etc etc). She rose to that challenge - like I thought she would - and despite everything in me that says one sport per season (and an oldest child who has no problem reminding me of my policy) M went back to swim this week and is thrilled. Kindergarten is definitely a huge adjustment and now that we're a month or so in, I think M's found her groove.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

7QTs - All About School

Linking up with Kelly ... before school pics there was back to school prep


Oh the things we do to get ready for the school year around here are some times fun and some times un-fun but we do it anyways. First on the list (without photographic evidence) is shoe shopping. I don't love buying new shoes. They are super expensive to me (even though if you break it down on a daily usage basis - they aren't!) but we take the school aged kids shoe shopping at a kids shoe store because I feel better about spending money if it stays local/family-owned. 

Let's just say shoe shopping 2 weeks before school starts with 5 kids and half of the greater metropolis is not for the faint of heart. I think we got out in about 30 minutes. C tried on a pair of shoes from the sale rack because the brand is one I like and she was done. A took a few pairs and he was good to go. M, R and E were different stories. 

No one could find the right color or style or non-light up shoe. Praise the Lord they wear uniforms to school because if shoes were a microcosm of clothes shopping with those 3, I might lose it. Finally M decided on some sparkley non-pink shoes, as did R but she had to get tie shoes because that's my rule for 2nd graders... learn to tie your shoes. E took the longest and ended up with a shoe that is probably a half to 3/4 size too big but she insisted the next size down felt weird and hurt her foot and after about 30 minutes and 50 pairs of shoes between the five of them - Lee and I said forget it and just wear big shoes. 



Everyone kind of needed a hair trim. E adamantly wanted to wait for a big hair cut until next school year. R was the same until the moment she sat in the chair but I told her I wouldn't let her make a super rash decision in a matter of minutes. M got a bit more than the big girls. C even sat for a second and got trimmed up (see above). I got my hair trimmed and can I be honest and tell you I really wanted a hair professional to just tell me I didn't have the TERRIBLE TERRIBLE L word that gets in your hair (which I don't) but after the girls bout with it this summer I need confirmation. So now I can scratch my head knowing it is probably just pregnancy or stress (that's what the hair dresser said). PHEW!

Also, can I tell you this hair dresser was great. We went late one afternoon. We were the only ones there. We didn't have to play 25 million questions of why we have so many kids/siblings because she is one of six. It was a profound relief to not have to sit and discuss the in and outs and hows and whys because she'd been there done that - and she talked to the kids about large family living. Totally great!


Attempt to do a marathon day at the pool...

And it was a valiant one. We got to the pool right before opening (ten) and staked out a good spot and dropped the coolers and bags and towels and stroller. We had put the word out for friends aka friendly reinforcements to help keep us busy throughout the day. 

The idea was born after talking with a few other moms just to see who could hack the pool for 10 hours straight. My kids like the pool but 10 hours is alot to ask and they don't love the pool that much and C is a crazy and that's all you need to know. Everyone was on board to last the whole day though

This is our mid-way pic. 5 hours in. We had lunch. I brought tons of snacks and water and a juice box for lunch and dinner for everyone plus everyone could visit the snack stand every 2 hours. We were doing pretty great. 

Then probably about 4:30 or 5 the storms rolled in and the pool closed on us. : ( 

No pizza dinner. 

No visit from Papa. 

The kids were actually bummed we didn't do it. 

Next year though. Next year we are going to try again and maybe even make I survived the whole day at the pool shirts. 


Get uniforms organized.

After our marathon school shoe experience, it is a good thing we don't have to do to that for clothes. I've been on the hunt for some heavy duty white polos because everything I found - Target, Old Navy, Amazon, uniform supply store were basically see through (well not really) but I'm not putting tank tops under the girls polos everyday. Can we just get a thick polo PLEASE!?!?!

I finally gave in and got Lands End and spent way more than I wanted BUT considering the polos M is wearing now were worn by E 5 years ago and I need these new polos for E to last through at least 3 girls, I figure it might be best to pay more and know they will hold up?

Time will tell


The school supply run. Last year E reports that I did WalMart pick up for a good chuck of their supplies and now that she said that I do remember something like that but Wally's swapped out stuff they didn't have for things I didn't love so it was back to the old fashion way of supply shopping. 

I felt like we were being super effective on time but we got sucked into the Target vortex and probably spent over an hour and a half there. I do have memories of going supply shopping - for whatever reason Office Max sticks out in my head so maybe the girls will remember our Target runs for years to come. 

There is something exciting out picking the exactly right notebook and cool folder so here's to the experience and thankfully we only do that once a year!


We divided and conquered the Target run spoils...

The day after we went and it killed them to not be able to touch ANYTHING. I think we ended up with every on the lists except for the fat pencils for M which Target ended up sending to us free shipping because the Target App is the bomb. 


I don't know if s'mores are a back to school tradition but they are fun!

I distinctly remember looking at the clock in between dinner and dessert and it being 6:15 and thinking to myself. 


I am not ready for summer to be over!