Quotable boys

~Can't remember if I shared this one yet or not: A stole something from the store yesterday... so I get to go with him to return it later today. When I told him he was in trouble, he asked, "You're not going to call the police are you??" And before I could say anything, E looks forlornly at him and says, "Yeah, she is."

~October 29th, 2013
Our littlest boy hasn't been on here yet. And he's pretty cute. So he get's a spot. A.M is still drinking out of a bottle. He's 13-months-old and still attached to the things. I went into the kitchen to give him some milk since he was all sorts of annoyed at me. When I gave him his bottle, he grabbed it, and walked out the the kitchen, laughing triumphantly like some evil little elf that had just pulled one over on someone. :)

~October 2013
E rubbed toothpaste all over my just cleaned bathroom counter tonight. We'll forget right now that this means most of his teeth did not get cleaned, because all of the toothpaste was on my counter. I was pretty ticked and feeling fairly justified in my anger since he does this ALL the time. I snapped at him to clean it up and to not rub toothpaste all over my house! (yes I have found it rubbed on my walls before.) He yells back at me: This is not your house! Everything belongs to Jesus!

~August 2013
Papa K and my cute oldest boy, A and cute middle son E went shopping while he was watching them for us. Each got to push their own little shopping cart. A was the only one with something in his cart, milk. Both boys, being my kids of course, were running all over the grocery story. So Papa asked them to slow down. A says to Papa, "I know, if I go too fast, I'll turn the milk to butter."

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As most of you are aware, we are trying to maintain at least some of our privacy on this blog, so if you know our actual names, please don't put them in your comments! ~Thanks!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

If We Can Do It, So Can You

Daddy M graduated today. It didn't really feel like a big deal though, probably because we have another 4 years of schooling to go through while he gets his doctorate of Audiology. We didn't make graduation announcements. We barely told anyone. Heck, we told his grandpa the day before that if he wanted to come he could, but no big deal if he couldn't. We didn't plan a huge party. It was just another step in our lives.

But then, as I was sitting in the stands with my 4 beautiful children, ggpa, grammie and papa, and I see my awesome husband walk out with his gown and hat on, it hit me.

I realized how much we had gone through; triumphed, and suffered to get here. To this moment. This very much NOT small moment. A little overwhelmed by this realization. I cried.

I cried for joy. For relief. For the pride I felt for my husband and what he's gone through. And a little out of sadness that we will be leaving what has become our home over the past 7 years.

M and I have created a story worth hearing. A story worth sharing. Maybe some day I'll write it in depth. But for now. I'll tell you shortly why I think it's worth hearing. And why this moment of watching him receive his degree meant so much to me.

In 2006 a few very important things happened. The first of which would be that M and I graduated from high school. Then we both went to college that fall. I got pregnant. And we got married. I'm not sure how many of you know that, but it's a piece of our history, so please, keep any rude thoughts to yourself. Anyway- if you missed it in the second sentence, we were both VERY young.

This beginning to our lives made things very difficult if you can imagine. We were both barely 19. M was now no longer going to school and instead, was working 3 jobs. So that was about 16+ hours a day. I stayed home and looked for jobs.

Over the next 7 years, to today, we faced challenge after challenge. M felt like he couldn't leave work, because he had to take care of us, so school wasn't an option. Soon after we had our 2nd baby, M got sick with liver disease. And this led to depression. Probably on both our parts, but mostly on his. This put a huge strain on our marriage. And left me for a long while to be the parent by myself. He recovered. And we became stronger as a couple.

It was around this time that we decided to take the plunge, live a few pennies cheaper or several thousand pennies cheaper, and send M to school. I worked full-time, but didn't have a job that paid a whole lot. As in, some months we only spent $50 on groceries for our family of 4. That was at our leanest.

We pressed on and dealt with normal marriage issues. As in, it's not actually as easy as you think to take 1 person from one life and another person from another life and put them in the same existence together to create another entire life together. There are bound to be cultural differences from simply being raised in different families. But we learned from each other and became stronger still as a couple.

Our 3rd child was born and 6 weeks later we were in the hospital with him. That was a pretty awful, scary, emotionally traumatizing week. And then for several months after, as we waited to see if the pathologists could decide if our baby had cancer or not, we stressed, cried more, and worried for our future. But M pressed on with school. Hoping he wouldn't fail his classes with such a huge and important distraction.

We were so blessed and found out our baby boy was going to be ok, a few more scars on his body than before, but he was no worse for wear. And M finished his semester with a 4.0.

It was at this time that we needed a little more help to just live. I wasn't working still from being on maternity leave and I postponed going back longer, so I could take care of my baby at home. He had his Broviac line in still and his chance for infection was very high because of this. So I stayed where I was needed and where I wanted to be. This was during the time that we didn't know if he was going to be ok and I didn't want to be at work; I wanted to spend time with him. If he died, the last place I wanted to remember me spending my time, was at work. This led us to some unfortunate extreme levels of poverty.

We got help. It was extremely humbling. For our entire marriage, up to this point, we were self sufficient. We did it on our own, we lived on $50 worth of groceries sometimes, but we were doing it by ourselves. So this shift in our needs, as our family changed, was hard for us.

M continued school and we could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! But now with his last few semesters in sight, he decided to go back to work, so I could be at home with our family and we could begin to find our independence again. Working and going to school is hard for M, I know a ton of people do it. But for him, he wants to put 100% of himself into both things and he just can't. So he kills himself trying to. And then on top of working full-time and going to school full-time, he was applying for grad school, schmoozing for grad school, and was also raising our family with me. And we're pretty needy at home, especially me, since I was pregnant with our 4th little baby. :) But he kept on, made a few sacrifices in some places so he didn't go mental just barely before he graduated.

And we had our 4th little baby halfway through Ms last semester of school! Things were finally beginning to feel a little more normal.

We were becoming once again, more independent. We knew where M was going for grad school! (He got in where he wanted!) We were having some very special doors open for us.

It seemed like the path we decided to take; that began something akin to traversing the side of a very steep and actively spewing volcano- think Lord of the Rings; had transformed into a lovely stroll through flower-filled fields with rolling green hills and frolicking cute wildlife.

Which brings us to this place. Graduation. Here, with me standing with our 4 kids watching a pretty amazing man graduate! You'd never know he'd experienced an insurmountable amount of resistance in his young life and still managed to get where he is today. He has shown me what real strength looks like. He's shown me what a good man in a storm does. What a good man is. What strength is. It's quiet. It's ever present. It's enduring. It's finishing the race, no matter what slowed it down. It's not boastful. It's not loud. It doesn't brag. It doesn't put others down to get ahead. True strength is my husband. Through all his ups and downs, our ups and downs. He finished his race and he finished well.

So, I'm really serious when I say, if we can do it. Seriously. So can you.

Bring on the next 4 years of grad school!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Girl's Birth Story

I've just gotta share the birth story of our 4th child and 1st daughter right? I just love that each birth experience is so different! But then again I actually enjoy all the excitement and energy surrounding labor and delivery.

So, we'll start a few days before.

Had a doctors' appointment on Wednesday, the 26th. I didn't really feel like this cute little baby was ready to come. Probably because out of all the pregnancies I've had, this one had been the easiest on my body. I could still turn around in bed without making a huge effort. I was still sleeping relatively well, unless my heartburn decided to hate me on some nights. I could get up and down from a sitting position with relative ease. As in, it was easier to get up and down as a 9-month pregnant lady THIS pregnancy, compared to the others. I remember being pregnant with my last child and crying a lot more that last two weeks of my pregnancy than I would have preferred. My belly felt smaller. I was sure it wasn't as big as the other bellies I had to deal with. :) This also gave me the suspicion that it could be a baby girl since I was smaller. But I wasn't about to hope too much!

Back on track to the doc appointment. Daddy M wanted me to strip my membranes- if your body is ready and the doctor does this- you'll likely have the baby in the next two days. The downside to getting your membranes stripped, is it feels awful! I can only compare it to a weed-wacker being stuck up your hooo-haw and turned on. The doctor, who's never had to feel this pain, said it felt like a roto-rooter being shoved up there. Either way- it's not pleasant. (If you've never had kids and want this done, ask them to go slow. They don't need to go crazy fast.) AND I promised Daddy M that I'd do it at this appointment.

Bring it on.

We left without me feeling any real contractions. So I was kinda bummed. And angry. And emotional. And hormonal. Basically I was a basket case. We got home and I started to walk around all over to help induce contractions. The only response my body gave me for this was my usual braxton hicks contractions that hurt a little more now. A few hours of this and I hated my body for not doing what it was supposed to do. HELLO-- I got my membranes stripped. It hurt like hell, now go into labor like I've told you too.

It didn't listen. So I went to bed and cried.

Next day. Daddy M was at school all day. Then he came home and went to work for the rest of the day. My body continued to have it's usual contractions throughout the day. They hurt more. So I figured they were real contractions now. They were just ALL over the place. Super inconsistent. I would have one, then five minutes later, have another. Then ten minutes later, have another. Wait a good half hour and have another one and then jump back down to five minutes. I couldn't trust my body for crap. I ended up going to bed that night around nine, and while lying in bed, I would still have these super inconsistent and super strong contractions. I called Daddy M around 11pm and told him what was going on. He came home from work. We called a relative and asked them to come babysit our 3 boys and headed to the hospital. I was in denial that I was in labor. The only indicator I had that may have convinced me I was in labor was the fact that the contractions were extremely strong. I couldn't walk through them-- or at least not well. I had to focus on breathing through them. And it felt oh so wonderful to squeeze out a tear here and there while trying to breath through them.

*Let this be a note to you that have no had babies yet-- the rule of wait for them to last longer than 60-90 seconds and they should be 3-5 minutes apart, might not apply to your body. It sure as heck didn't apply to mine*

We got to the hospital. A 15 minute drive. And I had only 1 contraction during the whole drive. I was pretty convinced I was going to get sent home with my 4th pregnancy. (How embarrassing would THAT be.) We made it upstairs, got put in a room and the nurse's began the monitoring. I didn't have very many contractions at first, they were just extremely strong and lasted about 2 minutes. So about 20 minutes in, a nurse checked me, then asked Daddy M and I how far dilated we thought I was. He said a 6. I said a 4. She said a 5 and told us we were staying and having a baby soon!

It was about 12:30am by this time. Poor hubby had been up since 7am yesterday and now had to be up until this little baby was born.

I settled in for the party and got my epidural. I think I was to a 6 by the time the anesthesiologist came in. He was awesome. I had almost full function of my legs and numbness right where you want to be numb. :) Not gonna lie, I was pretty tired. I tried to rest, not successfully.

Around 4am, my nurse came in to check on me, we turned my body since little baby's heart-rate wasn't doing so well on the side I was on. Turning me, for whatever reason, sent my body into high gear. During transition phase I shake like mad. My legs were going crazy, my arms and teeth were on berserk mode and the nurse decided maybe she should check me again. I was a 10!

We got the doctor in and prepped for me to have this baby. She broke my water and my contractions only intensified. I am so thankful for epidurals people. Just saying. I would watch my contractions on the monitor and some of them didn't go away for at least 3-4 minutes.

I pushed for a few minutes, but this baby wasn't descending, and the heart-rate kept dropping. So they slapped some oxygen on me. Doc had me rotate my body a bit to help baby rotate it's head the right way. After a few more minutes of pushing the doctor went and sat down at a computer. Not sure why. So, my awesome nurse kept helping me push while fulfilling her other duties in the room. The doctor continued to just sit at the computer. I'm not sure why she thought she wasn't needed in the pushing process of the delivery, but her level of involvement was a joke. At one point she stood up, halfheartedly checked me and then said something like, "Well, if I walk out of the room, you'll probably progress to where I want you to." And then she left. Leaving the nurse there to do the doctor's job. About 1 minute later the baby was crowning. No doctor in the room. The nurse runs for the door and tells me to stop pushing. As the WIDEST part of the head is working it's way through me. She just wants me to stop and wait for the doctor to get back-- not the nurse's fault. I know she could get in trouble if she delivers the baby and the doctor was outside the room the whole time. I would just like to know why the doctor felt like she had to leave. Seriously. I think I said something stupid like, "You seriously want me to wait?? Right now! At this point!"

The doctor heard the commotion. And casually walks back into the room. Lazily puts her sterile gloves on. Then asks me, "So, do you want an episiotomy or a tear?" My first thoughts, were something like, 'how about we try to get this baby out first and if it doesn't fit, we talk about a little snip or a tear down there.'

I told her to wait on the cutting. Honestly, I was just irritated at this point that I wasn't pushing this head out of me. And then she says, "I think this is a pretty big head here." At this point I was done listening to Ms. Doctor and wanted to just have my baby.

Few more pushes and I hear excited voices tell me, "The heads out!" I had a nurse with me when I was first admitted that was super excited that I had 3 boys and didn't know what the gender of this baby was. She was convinced it was a girl. She was switched to some other patients and I have to admit I was pretty sad she was moved. It was fun to feed off her bubbly energy. I told her if she's still on shift when I have this baby that she should come back and see if she was right.

So here was the big moment, the big reveal! The doctor lifted up my little baby and said, "Do you see what you have?" with a massive grin on her face. I looked and saw my beautiful little girl. Exhausted, and full of emotion I covered my eyes and cried.

I have a daughter.

I looked up to see where she was. They were wiping her off a bit and I had to ask, through tears and laughter, "Could I check again? Maybe I missed something." She was born at 4:30 in the morning and I honestly wasn't sure if I was exhausted from the full day I had just had. Or the hours of labor. OR the pushing I had just gone through, but I wanted to make sure my eyes weren't tricking me and I missed a vital body part that belongs to a boy the first time around.

They showed me her again and still in shock they handed me my baby daughter.

I held her close.

Doc was still cleaning me up and told me I didn't tear at all. Thank goodness I didn't give her the go ahead to snip me. Geez. At this moment though, I didn't really care at all about anyone else in the room but my little girl and my wonderful husband. I held her for a few more minutes and then they took her to her warm little crib to clean her up. It was around this time that my first nurse came in, thrilled out of her mind that I had a girl and had to celebrate a little with me. :)
 (looking like a fabulous messy little angry alien.)

So from start to finish-- this was my shortest labor--4 hours. 4 hours in the hospital at least, I did spend most of the day not sure if I was actually having real contractions. And she's my smallest baby. She weighed in at 6lb 2oz. And a dainty 18 inches long. Now Daddy M and I just had to think of a name for her. I won't say it on here, but I will say, that the first name that came to my mind was what we named her. It just felt like that was who she was. Daddy liked it and I obviously did too. So it was perfect. We were now officially a family of 6!

Couple of extra pictures of cute baby girl!! Daddy M was holding here in these next two photos. She's only minutes old here. And I'm so in love with this little picture! She's still messy, but those cute little eyes looking at her dad-- or at least trying to-- is perfect!

The last section of pictures here is me being bored and hanging out with baby girl. And of course getting a wonderful visit from Great Grandpa!

Baby girl is 3 weeks old now. And still pretty teeny. She now weighs 7lb 6oz. Still smaller than some newborns. I'm hoping, and maybe this is bad, but I'm hoping that she'll stay small. It would be a nice change to have a petite little baby instead of my fat boys. NOT that they were not wonderful and cute and perfect with their fat little cheeks, legs and pot bellies. It just gets tiring to carry little chunkers. haha