Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Card

Storytime Pink Baby Announcements
Birth announcements, Valentine's cards, & invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Cameron's birth story

Warning: For those of you who hate reading all the details of birth, don't want to see pictures before a baby is cleaned up, or think "woman things" are gross--don't read. This blog post contains all of the above, and more.

Let me first start by saying--a cesarean birth is SO DIFFERENT than a vaginal birth. I had many conflicting thoughts going into this. Cameron was transverse (sideways) for most of the pregnancy, largely due to the location and appearance of my placenta. The placenta was low, 1.2 cm away from the cervix, and n the front of the belly. There just wasn't room for her to head down toward the pelvis, and even after she was successfully guided into a head down position, it must not have been comfortable, because she turned back to transverse and stayed there for the duration of the pregnancy.

So, we scheduled a c-section for Friday, October 28th. I had a lot of guilt 'choosing' our baby's birthdate, as it seemed like I was controlling events instead of letting her choose when to come. We did have the option to just come to the hospital when I was in labor and they'd assemble the c-section team at that point, but I really wanted to have a team that was prepared and read instead of called in from home possibly in the middle of the night.
Also, I really wanted little girl to have an 11-2011 birthday as that's kind of neat, and Ryan's birthdate is 6-2006. (First and last children, that would have been kinda neat). But, I didn't want to wait until 3 days before term to schedule the c-section as none of my children have made it to 40 (or more) weeks. Granted, two of them were induced and Libby was born just 4 days before her due date, but still.
Also, Friday seemed to work well. David would only have to take 2 days off (Friday and Monday)--one for each pay period, so the financial hit would hurt less--, our caregivers for the older three would be less burdened as David could spend part of the weekend with them and they wouldn't have to worry much about school, etc...and if we had waited til Monday, the baby's birthday would have been Halloween. Not only is that not very fun for a kiddo (is it Halloween or my birthday? Which are we celebrating?) but, I wouldn't have been able to see my kids' costumes and share in the excitement of class parties, trick-or-treating, and sugar highs.

Additionally, the 28th is kind of a big deal in our family! My sister's birthday is November 28th, my Dad's is December 28th, and my best friend Lindsey's birthday is January 28th. Now Cami can start the whole winter processional of 28th birthdays!

And one more tidbit on the date (I know, I spent WAAAAY too much time thinking about the date of her birth)--Brooklyn and Libby are exactly 19 months and 15 days apart. Libby and Cameron are now exactly 19 months and 15 days apart! Not many sisters can claim that.
Moving on...

We were given a 5:00 checkin time. From my previous experience with hospitals, OB, and surgery scheduling I figured her c-section would start either at 6:00 or 6:30. The kids spent the night with Grandpa and Grandma, which was nice to not have to wake them up at 4:45 to bring them somewhere! And I went to bed right at 10:00 the night before, as I was instructed to not eat or drink anything after 10:00. So, at 9:45, I had my last snack of pie, cheese fries from Outback, water, and cereal. Gotta cram it in when you can ;)

I was up at 4:00 to shower, dry my hair and straighten it--I really hate laying down with a ponytail or bun, and also knew I wouldn't be able to shower right away after the delivery and would have to make my hair last as long as possible! Plus, it just feels nicer when it's straightened...and we all know that anything that makes you feel better during or after delivery is a good thing. (Like my pedicure! It's still looking great, a week AFTER birth--and I got it done 2 weeks BEFORE that!)

I digress.

We got to the hospital, checked in, and went down to the room where I was being prepared for surgery. They put me on the monitor to check on baby and also to see if I had any contractions. We had a very nice nurse, Erica, prepping me for surgery. She had us fill out all the paperwork, she started an IV, we chatted a LOT...because she said surgery wasn't scheduled until 7:00! She had no idea why we were there so early, and we had no idea why we were waiting so long for anyone to come get us for surgery! :) Miscommunication between scheduling and surgery, I would guess.
I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes, and by the time we were walking down to the surgery center, I was having to breathe through the contractions and concentrate on what people were saying instead of the pain of the contractions. I have a feeling God was letting me know that regardless of my worries of "picking her birthday" and taking control, God had intended October 28th to be Cameron's birthday regardless of delivery method.

And had she not been transverse, I think it labor may have been even quicker than Libby's--due to the fact that within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital in no pain, no contractions, I was contracting every 2-3 minutes with need for breathing techniques! Dr Hartung was very interested in this development when he came to talk over the c-section with us, and felt to see if she was head down, but, alas--she was still high up in my belly, and transverse. Vaginal birth was not possible.

Around 6:45, they took us down to the surgery center where the circulating nurse, anesthesia (the CRNA named Jeff--you'll hear more about him later), surgeon/OB-GYN (Dr Hartung) and pre-op nurse all chatted with us and had us sign papers, etc. I started getting a little anxious/excited here, because I knew we were minutes from seeing our baby girl and having delivery DONE. All the rush and busyness kept my mind off the contractions, and David made sure to share his humorous side with me.
Jeff and the circulating nurse took me back to the OR, where Jeff started the spinal block and intrathecal for post-op pain control. Getting the spinal was not much fun--zings down my legs, pressure in the back--thankfully the circulating nurse held my shoulders very well and pressed her forehead against mine. I don't know if it was to prevent movement or what, but, it comforted me at the very least and made the discomfort more bearable.

Within 10 seconds of starting the spinal, Jeff and the nurse hurried to get me to lay down before I lost all feeling in my legs. They really did start feeling heavy and 'dead' quite quickly. I did not like that feeling AT ALL. They had to pick my legs up to position them where they needed them and I really hated feeling so helpless like that. My arms were also strapped down. They then put in the foley catheter, which just is a bit humiliating and humbling. It was no fun to keep that in for 24 hours...

It won't be an issue, but having this spinal experience made me SURE that I never want an epidural or spinal block for labor in the future. (But like I said, it's not an issue for the future--it just reaffirmed my decision that epidurals or spinals are not for me!)

Dr Hartung and I had previously discussed lowering the drapes and raising the head of the bed slightly so I could attempt to see some of the c-section. I was so grateful for that opportunity! I love things like that (I watched my sister's c/s) and to be able to view my own child's birth was very special.
Before the surgery started, however, I started feeling very sick and had to throw up 3 or 4 times. Let me tell you, when you are strapped to a table, can't feel half your body, and have limited movement--getting sick is even worse!! I was given some epinepherine to raise my blood pressure and started feeling better. So, Dr Hartung began the surgery and sent the circ nurse to go get David. Dr Hartung brought in another surgeon, Dr Druffner to assist in the surgery, due to where my placenta was and the amount of bleeding and placental issues he was anticipating. This made me feel very reassured, and a bit nervous as well :)

The nurse had a hard time finding David, apparently, and Dr Hartung at one point said "Is David coming?!" Just then, he walked in and quickly took a seat by my head. He had no desire to watch any part of the surgery :)

I have come to realize that whoever is doing anesthesia during your surgery quickly becomes your best friend, especially if you are awake. Jeff became my guide and comfort during the surgery. Anytime I felt sick, I told him and he immediately responded. He described what they were doing during every part of the procedure, and he even volunteered to take pictures with our camera for us. I never thought I'd become so attached to a stranger so quickly, but Jeff was my lifeline.

Apparently I had quite a lot of blood loss (estimated around 1200 cc, and normal for a c-section is around 500). The OB nurse there to help with baby said as soon as Dr Hartung cut into the uterus, the placenta was cut (it had to be because of location) and blood was 'splurting out'. I am glad I did not see THAT part!

Because Cameron was SO high up, Dr Hartung really had to pull muscles/belly fat/uterus and maneuver his hands quite high to get her. Dr Druffner was attempting to push her down to Dr Hartung, from the outside, and I felt a LOT of pressure, tugging, and pulling from those two docs. An arm came out first, and then little Cameron Cate emerged to greet the world!! 7:33 a.m. We were only given a quick glance at her before Dr Hartung passed her to Jen and Annette, the OB nurses, and began working on extracting the placenta, controlling the bleeding, and stitching me back up.
After they made sure Cameron was breathing well, and got her Apgars (which I have no idea what they were by the way)...David brought her over to me and we spent a few minutes of family time. They put Cameron back in the warmer and brought her to my room on OB. The original plan was to have both of us recover over on OB, but due to my bleeding and blood pressure issues (more below) this wans't possible.
The placenta was quite well adhered (which comes as no surprise looking back at the rest of my deliveries and the issues after birth with those) and abnormal in appearance...I look forward to reading the pathology report from the hospital as well as the operative report and delivery summary (I know. I'm a dork, but I will request those records from Medical Records for my own reading enjoyment!) I was given at least one of not two injections of Methergine in attempt to slow the bleeding, in addition to pitocin in the IV. I was stitched up and steri strips applied externally, but during the 'post delivery' portion of the surgery, I started feeling awful again.
Thankfully, David and Cameron were already gone. David didn't see me get sick at all. Jeff was watching the surgeons work on closing me up and I started feeling "funny" again--tunnel vision, couldn't hear well (all I could hear was the scrub techs doing their instrument count!) and felt terrible. "Jeff?" I managed to squeak out. I turned to the right since that is where he was and noticed my blood pressure was a measly 86/32. No wonder I felt awful. "Jeff, I feel sick again". He ran and got an emesis bag just in time and even stroked my hair and squeezed my shoulder while I threw up (again).
Jeff started Neo-Synepherine in my IV bag since epinepherine had only temporarily raised the blood pressure and I kept dropping back down. Due to the Neo drip, I was unable to recover over on OB as they wanted me close to Jeff and the OR in case Neo wasn't successful. Dr Hartung kept apologizing that I wasn't able to go be with Cameron, but to tell you the truth--I didn't honestly care that I had a new baby at this point. I couldn't focus on anything except feeling so rotten.

In PACU, a very nice nurse (Ev) stayed with me and talked to me about her kids (grown now). The Bair hugger was put on me (ahh, so warm and nice!) and compression boots (which I coudl only feel in my left leg, due to the spinal). I got the anesthesia shakes but slowly started feeling better. Gradually, my blood pressure started to rise, so Jeff decided we could stop the Neo. When my blood pressure was at least 100/50's for a good 20 minutes, he decided I could go down to OB. I remember the Neo was stopped at 8:10 and I was 'good to go' at 8:40, but I don't know how long I was in PACU all together.

I was wheeled down to OB and into my room (Room #130) where my first look into the room showed me David holding Cameron and trying to comfort her as she was rooting around on his arm. The doc for her hospital stay had already examined her and the nurses had already done her admission assessment (one thing I was a bit sad about missing out on). They situated my bed, locked it in place, and handed Cameron to me. I think I was still a little out of it or overwhelmed or something, because Annette had to tell me "lets try nursing now". RIGHT!

Cam latched right on and nursed for a full hour. No problems there! After she was done, she wanted to suck more, so literally, we gave her a pacifier within minutes of her first nursing. She loves that paci, once she gets used to it being in her mouth instead of milk.

The spinal started wearing off, but as it did, I started having problems with the intrathecal. They put narcotic pain medicaiton into the intrathecal for longer-term pain relief, and apparently, some people have slight itching for a couple of hours. Mostly, it's in the face. Annette warned me of it, hoping it wouldn't happen to me (or the power of suggestion wouldn't make me think I was itching!) and about 15 minutes later, I started having random itching spots across my body.

I mentioned it to Jenn, my nurse and told her I wasn't sure if it was the intrathecal or just my body not feeling right still. 5 minutes later, when I started itching more and more, I rang for Jenn and asked if I could have Benadryl.

The rest of the day is kind of a blur to me--I know Andrea visited around lunchtime and brought me Pei Wei (hooray!) and the kids and Grandpa and Grandma came up after school was done. We also had some evening visitors and our friend Katie came to visit as well. But the itching was SO BAD that I couldn't really focus on very much. I think I was also feeling out of it because of the blood loss. I was on an IV with pit for a majority of the day and at the very least, an IV overnight. I'm not really sure. I kept asking for my catheter to be removed also, which I wasn't allowed until the next day.
Much of what I remember of Friday afternoon and evening is just the INTENSE itching. I felt like I needed to rip my skin off (violently) and jump out of bed and run away. I honestly felt like I was going crazy and that I couldn't control my thoughts or my itching or anything. The nurse (Jenn) sensing my anxiety and severe itching, called anesthesia. I had already had Benadryl, and Nubain (which didn't help the itching but did help me take a nap)...the CRNA on call came and talked with me. My only other option was Narcan, to reverse the narcotics that I had been given. She explained that with enough Narcan, the narcotics would leave my system and hopefully then, the itching would stop (if it was caused by narcotics), but the bad news was if I had pain, there would be a 45 minute-or-so period before any pain relievers would be effective.

I immediately chose Narcan. I honestly think I would have chosen no pain meds for the remainder of the hospital stay, if it meant I wasn't itching uncontrollably!!

I was given at least 6 doses of Narcan before I felt significant relief. And Toradol was given to me for pain control, which, since it's not a narcotic, worked with Narcan. Pain was minimal, and by morning on Saturday, all itching was gone. Whew. Even when I went to sleep at 11 p.m. I asked for more Benadryl for itching. I had at least 12 hours of intense, all body itching and I don't care to EVER repeat that again.

David's mom even went to our house at 9 pm to get sheets washed in our own detergent and I put my own clothes on, after I discovered that while walking in the halls, I felt okay, but once I layed down or sat in bed, the itching started fresh. It seemed anything touching my body would make the itching flare up. Even though the sheets weren't the CAUSE of the itching, they definitely did not help me feel better. The sheets from home were such a blessing!

The CRNA and nurses have told me to list morphine as a medical allergy in the future.


The rest of my hospital stay is fairly unremarkable. I was up and walking the evening of the 28th, even if only a short distance (to the nursery and back). My doctor had no restrictions on eating post surgery, so I was able to order breakfast within 3 hours of her birth! Raisin toast has never tasted so good :)

We were discharged on Monday, October 31st and David took us to Target for prescriptions, and Green Mill for food. YUM. I am a big fan of food, especially when it's not hospital food :)

We have blessed friends and family who have taken the girlies every weekday while David is at work, so all I have to concentrate on is Cameron, and healing.

Recovering from cesarean birth is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than from vaginal birth. First, I still have to move pretty slowly. I can feel the incision and know when I'm doing too much because it starts hurting and burning. My stomach is still shrinking like it did after vaginal birth, but the area above my incision is puffy and strange. Not at all what I expected. The incision itself seems to be healing--no redness, discharge, warmth.

But it's hard to not bounce back into normal life, like I seemed to have done with the other kiddos. My goal today is to empty and reload the dishwasher AND if I'm really feeling well I will fold all the laundry that was washed all week. Small steps, but as my sister and friends have reminded me--I need to have small steps in order to heal! And believe me--my body tells me if I'm doing too much.
The only bonus to this c-section business is that there has been FAR less bleeding than with any vaginal birth! I was somewhat anticipating this because I have always had bleeding problems with my placentas, but, it is far less than I was even hoping!

Also, I am grateful I didn't have a long hard labor and THEN go to c-section after that! That seems like "double work". While I was comfortable before delivery, the recovery has been far longer than I'd like (and I'm only a week out!) I'd much rather have 12 or 24 hours of hard work and pain and a quick easy painless recovery (for the most part) versus no hard work, surgery, and then at least 2 weeks of slow recovery.

These are just my thoughts on c-section vs vaginal delivery. I can't fathom why someone who is perfectly fine for a vaginal delivery would request a c-section instead (i.e. elective c-section).

On the Cameron Cate front--she is doing well. She eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and at night she'll wake up once around 1 or 2 a.m. and sleep the rest of the night through til around 5 or 6 a.m.--as long as she's tucked in bed with me. I'll take it--I love baby snuggles and am trying to drink in every moment of her newborn stage, knowing she's our last baby.

She was born at 8 lbs 1 oz, discharged at 7 lbs 9 oz, and yesterday (one day shy of a week) is up to 7 lbs 13 oz. I LOVE spending my days with her--and think that after next week, I am going to miss our quiet days as the other girls are back with us.

This (LONG) update has taken me two hours to write, with nursing breaks! I sure hope it doesn't take you this long to read :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Belly flop

Anyone remember this post? Well, this baby girl seems to be head down at this stage in the game, but, my belly is just as lopsided. Belly button a good finger-width off center (to the right), and lots of extra body parts (hers) squished on the left.

Liz the midwife thinks she's head down with her bum and body mostly on the left side of my body. Which would be why I can see knees and elbows and hands and toes push against the right side of my belly between the hours of 8-9 am, 2-3 pm, and 8-11 p.m. Her most active times of the day are of course, when I'd like to be most resting :)

Ah, baby girl--these next 10 weeks seem to stretch out far far away, but I know you will be here before we know it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mothers Day 2010

If April 30, 2010 was the worst day of my life, Mothers Day 2010 was the second-worst.

First, let me start by explaining. David stayed behind in Laramie for a week, while I transported the children and our suitcases to Minnesota. David came a week later with the Fearsome Five with all of our belongings.

My mother-in-law and I drove from Wyoming to Minnesota, over a period of 6 days (I think). We spent 4-5 days in Gillette, and I soaked up time with my parents while Lois visited with a good friend from back in her Gillette days. Then we drove across South Dakota (let me remind you: BORING!!) and stayed one night in Sioux Falls.

The drive the next day from Sioux Falls to "Grandpa's house" was actually pretty exciting. It meant the end of doling out fruit snacks, finding dropped sippy cups, the end of McDonalds (HOORAY), listening to DVDs (but not actually seeing them), and stopping to feed sleeping Libby whether she wanted to eat or not (I needed her to!)

Plus, the land was turning from brown to green that leg of the trip and the LILACS were everywhere. It was beautiful. The drive into the Twin Cities was exciting because it was new, vibrant, and like we were on summer vacation. We got to Grandpa Gary's, where he was waiting for us (and I am sure, his wife) and we spent a couple of nights there until the kids and I transferred to my sister-in-law's house for the duration until we found a home to buy.

Meanwhile, David, working hard in a borrowed home office in Laramie, worked--and then his super special buddies (Sean, Sam, Tom, Ben) took time off work and as soon as work was done, drove all night and all day to bring our belongings in a borrowed horse trailer (Thanks again Kyle and Stacy!!). Might I add they drove in pouring rain across I-80 to avoid the snowstorms on I-90. Might I mention they lost an entire wheel (not just the tire) somewhere along the road and didn't even notice until much further along. Might I add that they are 5 guys, in a 5-seater truck (Thanks Ben!) with wayyy to many bodily functions and snacks to fuel the process. Those guys really love us to do that--and I am actually a little amazed they still love each other after that truck ride :)

They arrived with our belongings--some of them soaked from the downpour for the last 12 hours (the belongings, not the guys--that didn't happen until we unloaded into a storage unit) and exhausted. They worked hard, took showers at Kurt and Andrea's house, and crashed. On bunk beds, couches, floors, and one real bed (lucky them!).

After some naps, we went to John Piper's church for a Saturday evening worship service. To hear Tom and the others singing praise was one sweet last treat that I got to experience--it was a gift from Laramie that came to visit before it had to leave. (I'm crying pretty hard right now for anyone interested). Unless you've stood near Tom in a worship service, it won't mean as much to you--but it meant a TON to me. I very vividly hear his voice in that service, still. (Piper wasn't preaching, by the way) :)

Then, David and I took them to an awesome restaurant where portions are big and homestyle service is even bigger--seriously Debbie, every time we drive past there, David says "it's the Watson restaurant!" because it reminds him of your mom's cooking and love. We stayed way later than the kids needed to be up but we wanted to squeeze every second out of the short time we had with those great guys.

They crashed again at Kurt and Andreas and got up very very early on Mother's Day Sunday to go back home with an empty trailer and one empty seat in the truck. I don't know when I cried harder, to be honest--when I had to leave Debbie and her children, or when each of those precious men hugged David and I like they wouldn't ever let go. (I'm sobbing now, FYI). Andrea packed them hot coffee (except for the one who wanted OJ instead), hot breakfast sandwiches, and oranges. And gentlemen--may I remind you that the wife unpacking the cooler after the trip reported to me that there were still 4 oranges unconsumed when you arrived back at home, but a majority of the candy and snacks where gone??? :)

They drove away as the sun was rising, taking a big part of our hearts with them. At least MY member of the Fearsome Five stayed with me.

Mother's Day was kind of a bust after that. We went to church (not even sure which one we attended that day) and tried to go to a restaurant for lunch--without reservations--which is apparently impossible to do here on Mother's Day! We did find a place, but our hearts just weren't in the "celebrating mood". I am sure we took some joy out of the Cegielksi's Mother's Day (we had a big breakfast with them) due to our sadness.

So there you have it-why April 30, 2010 and Mother's Day 2010 were such awful days. But I've come to realize--they wouldn't have been so awful if all the other days and the friendships and experiences and people that made up the days BEFORE that weren't so blessed and sweet. God is good to allow us such joy and friendship, even if the sorrow is so very painful when it has to separate.

Aren't you all glad I decided to blog again!? :) These are the only two sad ones I have, I think--so you should be safe for the next few blog posts. I'll try to be funny again, once I wipe away the tears coming from memories of Laramie. We miss you all so very much...

April 30, 2010--The Worst Day of My Life

Spring of 2010 was a very chaotic and tumultuous time in my life. We had prepared ourselves mentally for a move from all we knew, to something new--from Wyoming to Minnesota. Being third-trimester pregnant, working two days a week, caring for two toddlers, packing a house, trying to find a place to live in was very hard. Very very hard.

Emotionally, it was even harder. There was no way to prepare myself for the shock and emptiness of leaving our very best friends.

March 12th and 13th were some of the best days of my life--the birth of Libby. Call me crazy but I really love labor and delivery (but am not looking forward to it as much this time--another blog post to follow as to why). Having sweet Libby join our family was awesome, her delivery was easy peasy and quick (in retrospect) and a two night stay in the hospital with JUST Libby and myself and room service bringing me food--pretty swell (even if I did get bumped from room to room and put on the old-folks floor, honest).

Once we were home, Libby's arrival took on a different meaning. We knew we weren't moving until after Libby was born. Now, Libby was here, and we had to get the house packed up, cleaned up, and moved.

We closed on our house April 30, 2010. That is not why the day was the worst day of my life--I loved that house (still have great memories of it and think I would be sad to see the changes the new owners have made, if that makes sense) but it was just a house. We sold it to some people buying their first house, which was fun--and there weren't any negotiation or inspection problems that we had to deal with.

My mother-in-law came a day or two before closing, so that she could help me after closing. David and I left the MIL at our dear friend Sean and Debbie's house with Ryan and Brooklyn. We stayed at Debbie's the night before closing (as our trailer was already all loaded up) and Ryan and Brooklyn stayed with their best friends for one sweet last playdate.

As soon as closing was done, back to Debbie's we went. I had to collect my children from their very best friends. I had to take myself away from my very best friend. I had to pretend to be strong for my kids and mother-in-law so they wouldn't know that I was breaking up inside (not to mention I was only 6 weeks post-partum and an emotional wreck anyway). The goodbyes lasted for way longer than they usually do...Debbie and I were both wrecks, crying really hard and I could hardly even talk.

We consoled the kids with movies in the DVD player and promise of Burger King in Wheatland for lunch, I fed Libby one last time before we started the long drive, and off we went. Good thing my van was used to that drive up to Sybille Canyon, because my eyes were full of tears (or dripping tears) for that first 10 miles until the turnoff. Bless my mother in law--she didn't try to console me, tell me she knew I how I felt, or try to fill the solemn silence. She was a perfect travel companion, especially for those first 10 miles.

Watching Laramie disappear in the rear-view mirror was the second-worst feeling in the world (the first being driving away from Fetterman St). It wasn't just a trip up to Gillette or over to Cheyenne or down to Ft Collins...every other time we had left Laramie, we knew we would be returning Home. This time when we left Laramie, when we we returned, we would be returning as visitors. Our claim in Laramie was being left there.

The first few weeks and months were really hard. Even though we met new people and found a church and found a home and a neighborhood and preschool and grocery store and doctor's's hard not to compare. Especially in that first hard period of time. Especially when your baby is only 7 weeks old when you arrive in your temporary basement home. Especially when you are so lonely for friendship and companionship and familiarity.

It became easier to not think about "back in Laramie" because it hurt too much to think about it. Truly, I have not ever experienced that level of heart pain before. Even now, more than a year later, I still cry for Laramie every now and again. I still miss Debbie and Stephannie and Jo and Wiesje and Megan and Jaime with a painful ache. Any connection to Laramie makes me excited and wistful all at the same time. Things we used to do with friends in Laramie but now do by ourselves--watching a certain show or trips to the children's dentist or shopping for kids clothes or garage sale shopping--get done, but make me reminisce.

April 30, 2010, was the worst day of my life. I am content where we are and know that this what God has for us in this season of our lives. I am doing my best to raise our children as God wants us to and make the choices for our family that are the right choices. We have made friends, but distance and busy-ness separates us from the close easy companionship we shared in Laramie. We don't have 5 or 6 friends within 3 blocks of us and last-minute dinner invites usually don't work.

Our Pastor in Laramie told us that when we left Laramie, not to look for the same church because it just doesn't exist. I think Laramie (and everything that it stands for, and exists within Laramie, and everything we treasured in Laramie) doesn't exist anywhere else either.

We are fine. I think the depression has waned now that the sun has come out for the spring. We do have friends here that love us and pray for us. But April 30, 2010 was the worst day of my life and one that I know I will always remember because of how many GOOD days of my life preceded that date. I don't think it's healthy to dwell on the negative and sad, but April 30, 2010 was on my mind as April 30, 2011 approached. It came and went without incident and probably David was the only one who realized the significance to me.

Minnesota--you are lovely. Thank you for all the bugs (not really) but really, thank you for being green and having water all over the place. But Laramie--you're my first love and I really miss you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cheater's way out

I have been reminded multiple times recently that it has been way too long since I have blogged. I still don't really have the time to sit and blog and make it coherent and something people could actually READ. But I have often thought of things I want to blog about. So here's a quick rundown of the blog titles I have thought of in the past few's as far as I have gotten.

Think of it as a run of Facebook statuses.

* April 30, 2010--the worst day of my life

* My middle child is still the most busy child I have. How does she get an un-removable tick bite and a trip to the ER for a swallowed penny all the span of two weeks??

* I hope people come visit us at the hospital after our baby is born, but I'm not sure if people do that in Minnesota like they do in Laramie.

* Ryan's preschool graduation and the sudden reality that I have a school-aged-child and the panic that my children are growing up too quickly

* Is it wrong for a stay-at-home-mom (mostly) to want to hire a housekeeper??

It has taken me about 36 hours just to compose this measly bit. Evidence as to why I have not had time to make an actual blog post. Sorry, adoring fans (actually I think there's just one of you out there reading this anymore! The rest have given up....)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Busy week!

For some reason (unknown to me), Ryan doesn't have preschool this entire week. A few weeks back, I realized this was my last year for "adventures" with the kids, whenever I planned it, with no regards to scheduling; a true stay-at-home-mom who can avoid the weekend crowds and "no school day" kids at the popular attractions for my kids. And when I say I "realized" this, I actually "panicked" over the fact that next year, any adventures will have to be over by 3:00, won't include Ryan, or will have to be on non-school days when everyone in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area is also at whatever attraction we choose. (And I'm not a crowd person)

So, when I discovered Ryan didn't have school this week, I jumped at the chance to fill the week with adventures!!

Monday, we made valentines, and surprised Daddy at work with some small gifts and took him to lunch. We also went shopping for Libby's 1st birthday cake pan--left with no success but found cute butterfly sprinkles to use on the cupcakes at her party, and found a great little cookie decorating kit, clearance priced, that we will do when we have downtime this week.

Tuesday's plans were a bit stunted due to the fact that I left my purse in David's car, and needed it for our adventure! He met us at 11:00, and we then went to the carwash (pretty exciting for kids, actually!) We then went to the library, where Ryan got his very first library card. He checked out some books for his sister and himself, and also checked out some Minnesota Zoo passes to use later in the week. That afternoon after nap, we went to a DIFFERENT library, checked out more books and two DVDs, and zoo passes on my library card, so we could go with friends and nobody have to pay the (high!) entrance fees.

I also got to get out for a few hours and chat over pie with a friend. I also went grocery shopping afterwards, with NO KIDS. How different!! Though I don't think I'll choose to go back to Super Walmart at 10:00 p.m. anymore--I couldn't believe how many people were bringing (tired-looking!) children into the store and just wandering around the store. Didn't seem to be any purpose of having the children out--like getting medicine--they were just wandering around the store, pushing 1 and 2 and 4 year olds around who definitely could be using some good sleep. I digress.

Wednesday was zoo day!! After last-minute diaper changes and making sure we had enough snacks for the day, we met our friends Katie, Adam, and Isaiah at the Minnesota Zoo. It started off chilly (35!) but we went to the indoor exhibits first. It happened to be High School Spanish day and seemed every high school in the metro area was at the zoo. We couldn't even view the Tropics Trail because of the crowds!! After watching shark feedings and seeing some dolphins and hunting birds, we went to the outdoor exhibits. It had warmed up pleasantly and there were NO crowds. The only downside was that Brooklyn was SO PAST READY for a nap, so we left around 1:30 and the girls slept in the car.

Today, I am blessed to be able to watch a little peanut baby while his mama and daddy have work commitments. Ryan and Brooklyn are excited to go with their grandma to an indoor playground--the Giggle Factory. Tonight is our Bible study's "girls night" and we are going to visit a Bingo Hall! Nothing but excitement here :) I am actually pretty excited and plan to win the BIG POT. I'll buy everyone ice cream if I do :) Maybe even save up for a trip to the Caribbean next year, if I win :)

Tomorrow we will use our membership and go to the Children's museum. The kids love that place and even if nobody ends up coming with us, it's a place I can manage three children OKAY without another adult to help me supervise the runners :)
**on that note, Libby has started scooting! Check out the previous post for a video of Libby! **

Saturday we are going to Babies-R-Us to buy Libby's "next step" car seat--I can't believe she will be ONE YEAR OLD in just a few weeks. Breaks my heart a little, not gonna lie. I love the baby stage, but David much prefers the "I-can-communicate-with-you" stage. :)

After Babies-R-Us, we'll be going to our friend Isaiah's 2nd birthday party, and shortly after that we are bringing the kiddos to their Aunt and Uncle's for a sleepover while David and I meet up with some friends for a couple's date night. (Libby will come home with us when the date is done, as she's not quite ready for sleepovers yet...) :)

David leaves for Chicago Sunday evening and returns late Friday. I haven't been a "single mom" in about a year, so this is going to be interesting! My goal is to not be a "yelling mom" but one who is quick to listen and slow to speak, slow to become upset; to not eat out ONCE while David is gone (we'll see), and to have the house clean, organized, and welcoming for his return!! We'll see how I do :)

I will upload pictures to Facebook here soon, so if you don't use facebook but would like to see them anyway (or aren't family that we send the pictures to on Shutterfly) please let me know and I'll post the best here on the blog. Until then...!