Thursday, January 15, 2015

? Snow Day ?

Today was day two of a smiggin of snow at our house. Yesterday was busy and cold so we didn't make it out. But today the snow cancelled bible study so we had lots of fun being spontaneous with our day filled only with potential! It started with a yummy treat for breakfast. In our pj's we dashed out to pick up breakfast from Chick-fil-a. Then out we went to enjoy the 'snow' and mostly ice. Lauren tried collecting snow but it was lots of effort with little yield, so she moved onto collecting ice. Olivia just had a ball sliding around and playing in the playhouse. Good times! Here are some pictures of the two cuties I got to spend my fun day with and the hot cocoa we enjoyed after we got in- at 9:30 am. Mommy was feeling adventurous- obviously. Then we spent the rest of the day playing and enjoying our free day! Gotta love God's little gifts in each day.

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 
Worship the LORD with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs. 
Know that the LORD is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his; 
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." 
Psalm 100:1-3

Friday, January 9, 2015

We see the 'yellow' light!

Disclaimer: This whole post, or most of it at least, is all about pee and poop. If that makes you ill then I suggest you read something else. If you're interested in our potty training craziness then read on my friend!

So I was crazy in the head this morning, after such a trying experience with Olivia's potential potty training last Saturday, as I tried to yet again put her in underwear. 

Again she was really doing great this week at actually going whenever I put her on the potty. I know she knows how to 'make it come out' but it is the knowing when it's going to come out she hasn't figured out yet. Then I remembered my own advice to myself after going through this fun with Lauren. It really isn't until they truly need to that they actually figure it out. Another words, it isn't' until they're diaper free and have to learn - oh this is what it feels like when I pee and right before that feels like this - do they actually learn it all.

So that brings us up to speed and this morning she woke up and did her business on the potty and I asked her if she wanted to wear undies today (oh I have energy in the morning that I would love to have at this time of day). She was all about it, jumping up and down and carrying on as she went to pick them out. I reminded her to tell mama 'pot.' Within twenty minutes she pooped in the first pair but she had true remorse and was very upset by the fact that she had pooped in them. That means so much to a potty training mama since if they are upset that means they don't want to poop in their undies and therefor will work at not doing it. Encouragement to continue was all I needed and this was it.

Onto pair number two. About a half hour after she then showed up at the bathroom door, where I was tending to Lauren and she just had this pathetic look on her face. I asked if she had pee peed in her undies and she said yes. I looked around but there was no trace of anything except on her clothes. So I think she was honestly trying to make it to me. She again was not happy about it and I had to talk to her about how we would try another pair and that she was doing good coming to me and telling me and that she'll get it.

Onto pair number three. This was no less than ten minutes after putting this pair on that she called me upstairs to tell me she had pooped again. She again was so visible upset with the situation. I reassured her again that it was okay and we can try again with a new pair.

Onto pair number four. This pair is the one I'm so excited to write about. You see she kept this pair dry and clean all the way to nap!!! (can you hear the squeal of excitement behind that statement) That is four hours of no accidents!!! I put her on the potty about every forty-five minutes starting after the first pee accident. She actually went in the potty each time she sat on it and was overjoyed at herself. Right before lunch she even looked at me and said "pooh, pooh!" and made it to the potty before she did her business. I was overjoyed with her progress and she was too!!! She was so happy to see the clean and dry undies each time she went and the M&M was the candy on top after each success!

I called Matt to tell him what progress we had made and he was reluctant (he is still a little scared after Saturday) but excited for her. 

I put her in a diaper for nap but had her use the potty before I did. This is one of the many times she has been regularly going to the bathroom anyway so to see that continue was a huge reinforcement that she's getting there.

I know this is not the most interesting post but I need to document for myself that we can do this, she can do this, I can do this- prayer and perseverance will get us there. We can reach goal number two (refer to previous post for more detail on this) before April!!

I still worry, for what reason I'm not sure, about tomorrow because we have planned a trip to the library as a family but then I remember I got through all those moments with Lauren and I'll get through them with Olivia too. Extra clothes in the diaper bag, lap pad on the car seat, bathroom trips before you leave the house, asking five hundred thousand times while you're out "do you have to go pee pee?" I got through it then and I'll get through it again- and in two years again...oh bless my heart!

Just the joy of raising kids. I hope and pray that her success continues tonight so Matt can see it too and have some relief for the future too. I know he's going to be a hot mess on tomorrow's outing but he can do it. We can do it!

How can you not just love that face...even when it's covered up...cutie!

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I'm still here, or at least I think I am

Well here I am again at the doctor for my three hour glucose test for baby number three. Yes...again, since I failed the one hour and will now get to endure the quiet of the morning in the cozy lab room across the hall from the doctors office. Oh did I say endure...silly me I mean enjoy! I did not want to fail the test and I’m hoping I pass this one with flying colors but this time I’m embracing the alone time to write on here, read a little from my book, and get more acclimated with the curriculum I have selected for high school bible study that starts up again this next week.

I haven't had a moment to blog this holiday season with all the hustle, celebration, and visiting. It was a good holiday, not without it’s foully but enjoyable all the same. 

I am in awe of how much the girls are growing these days. Lauren has started taking showers, with mommy’s assistance of course, but she’s big enough now. I also kept thinking- how on earth are we doing to bath all three of them? So I set some goals for the girls and I to achieve prior to the baby’s arrival in April. Lauren is going to learn to take showers (mission accomplished) and Olivia is going to get herself potty trained (I hope you're laughing with me not at me on that comment).

Some might think these goals random but not me. You see my girls are growing and as much as I want to hold them in my lap and pray they don't get any older...just yet, they keep doing just that- growing. Lauren has so naturally become more independent these days and Olivia is just coming into her own. Oh her fun, crazy little personality is too much. She has a few words she likes to use these days but she can say a lot more than that when prompted- so I'm waiting for the day when she just burst forth with some crazy decoration or goofy remark. She is a little independent girl with one of her favorite words being ‘me.’ She likes to do things for herself and sometimes that is so appreciated but when there is a time crunch situation, oh man it can be painful for this mama to endure. But never the less, I try to encourage the independence since in just a few months I'll look forward to it as I am tending to the baby who will need me to do everything for her.

I’m getting so excited for little ones arrival although I don't want it to come any faster than it needs to because I'm also enjoying life as a family of four. I'm very curious about the family dynamics with three kids. I grew up with just one older sister but Matt was the oldest of three so he can envision it better than I. I have no idea what to expect and I like that there are no expectations just possibilities.

So back to those goals. Well I started them both this past Saturday but they were both flops...and oh big flops. I put Olivia in underwear all morning and she went through five pairs of Cinderella and princess undies before nap. Not once did she actually pee in the pot even though she desperately needed to many times, and she sat there resisting. All I have to say is our floors are cleaner than they've been in months right now! By nap I was so happy to see her monkey diapers I think I could have danced around like a monkey. You see I feel she is ready because she has been using the potty on and off for months. She uses it before bath, sometimes in the morning, and other random moments that pop up here and there. She is well aware of how to ‘release’ the goods into the pot but sometimes she fights it- like she’s got some better pressing plans to tend to- like dancing around the bathroom?!? It makes me laugh most of the time but other times I get so flustered because I know she’s got it but yet she’s just being a kid- so I can’t blame her for all. She'll get it, now when I’m not sure. But oh how her personality plays such a big roll in her development it just amazes me. So very different from her older sister.

Speaking of that crazy older sister, she also enjoyed her first ‘independent’ shower on Saturday. She fussed and carried on the whole shower. Yet another fail. But I’m one who doesn’t give up so easily. I came at the situation from a different angle and on Sunday Lauren and mommy took a trip to Target and she picked out three new ‘shower’ washcloths. She got her wild watermelon (aka pink), blue, and mint green washcloths and then Monday nights shower was “a whole new world!” (and yes I was singing that Aladdin song right there). Not a single fuss, whine, or crab about anything- it was like she had showered all her life. I tell you never a dull moment or a predictable moment when it comes to kids!

Me on the other hand, I've been as unpredictable as them. I seriously have no brains inside my head. I've been so forgetful or just plan out of sorts. I try and hold it together but most of the time I look like that dancing monkey I was talking about earlier than anything! I'm enjoying all of baby's movements and trying to find moments when Matt can enjoy them too but when I'm not dancing around like monkey, I'm sleeping like a cat- but we still have three months of my belly getting bigger, baby getting bigger, and movements being easier for others to enjoy too! She likes to kick my bladder and all the other organs in my lower half- which makes for some interesting moments. She has also, thankfully, moved out of my pelvis area causing me to find much relief on my poor, frail hips and for this I'm so thankful. It won't be long before she heads back down there causing me to walk and sit in funny ways- maybe by then I'll have to throw in the white flag and quit my monkey dance, throw my feet up and do more of those cat naps...hahaha, oh I crack myself up! No it will most likely be more slow and awkward dancing for this mama- aren't you glad you don't get to watch this?!? 

So I guess you can say we're getting along just fine. Slowly making our way through these days with joy and craziness in the midst of it all. We've met one goal...now about that diaper thing...well we've got until April right...maybe we'll make it. Well life continues to keep us on our toes and always wondering what is behind the next door- most of the time we end up with the the door full of crazy but we come out smiling all the same.

The silliness of us. I got new
kitchen towels and this is what the
girls did with them. So goofy!

"Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs" Psalm 100:2 (Or crazy monkey dances;-)

If You Want My Advice...Or Not

I've been needing to write this blog for myself. I've had so much swimming round in this crazy head of mine and I find ease when I spew it down here. This post is simply for my own selfish need to get this stuff out of my head and also because maybe, just maybe the thoughts I have might ring true to someone who reads them.

So I've been thinking a lot lately as I've been mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually preparing for baby number three. So much is different when you're preparing for the third child than the first, or even the second for that matter. I'm noticing a big change in my expectation and my dreams as this one grows inside my ever growing belly.

First, I want to say that I am indeed no expert. I just know what I've experienced and these thoughts come from just that- my experience. In fact, that is one of my first thoughts- how everyone is so very different. Each couple is very different from the next. So it is so hard to give parenting advice to anyone since they are two very different people, with different personalities and vastly different upbringings usually. For Matt and I you can see just that. Matt came from a home with three kids, laid back parents who have been married to each other his whole life. His household was very steady and consistent. His personality makes him a parent who doesn't act irrationally and has patience with just about anything (that goes out the door when he’s tired though- as it does with anyone who is tired). I, on the other hand, came from a family with two kids and my parents divorced when I was three. I had a working mother from then on and only went to my dads every other weekend and on holidays/vacations. My life was not as steady and consistent. My personality makes me a parent who will gets twenty five things done at the same time and I’m the snuggler/comforter.  Neither one of us is better than the other but each very different so we bring our own dynamics into our parenting style.
This also remains true when it comes to our children. Both can be very different and their personality cause us to parent them just a little differently. What will work for Lauren might not work for Olivia and vise versa. So not only does each parent come to the table with different personalities and different upbringings- each child is so different.

Sorry if this is sounding like a college term paper but what I'm trying to say is this is why I struggle giving people parental advice and often just stay away from it unless asked. 

I have a friend who is very different from me- she gave birth to her first child shortly after Olivia was born. She would often ask for advise for this or that and I would tell her how I did things with my girls but I knew deep down that her personality and her daughter’s personality were nothing like my kids and I so I'm not sure what good I did or if she was able to use any of the things I told her- and I'm pretty sure she didn’t. I felt bad that I wasn't able to help her out but at the same time I was thinking- you'll figure it out. I felt like more than anything she needed more confidence to trust herself than anything. That is advice you can’t really give a person though.

I recently went to a baby shower for a wonderful lady who is about to give birth to her first. When I went shopping for her shower I was thinking that she needed to have something for when baby wasn't a newborn anymore. So I thought about six months out she might need stuff for teething and eating- so I themed my present around that. Then I wrote a one page explanation of my gift- since I wanted her to know the reason behind each purchase I made and let her know the multiple uses of a teething ring and pacifier tether, the reason I purchased the bowls I did and those wonderful inventions- the disposable bib. I didn't want her to think- oh great another person who completely ignored my register and for her to just shove my, what I'd like to believe were thoughtful gifts, into the Target bag to be returned. When I got to the end of my WAY TOO LONG explanation of the gift (surprise, surprise) I was thinking about the advice that I did appreciate along the way. The stuff that wasn't about how to get baby to nurse better or sleep longer or other such nonsense. These were the three things I am glad someone told us or we learned on our own:

1. Just when you have it figured out, it all changes.
2. You can't spoil a baby.
3. Trust your gut and your God.

If anything has held true through the raising of both our girls is that as soon as things seem to settle or you think you've got the upper hand on this parenting thing they change, grow, and throw you for a loop. It has held true each and every step of the way for both kids. Now I'd say there is an upside to this advice because the stages you'd rather not endure but must, also go away. The never ending crying of a newborn passes, the I’m not going to listen to you since I've realized I have my own opinions and desires passes...you name the stage and it will pass. But the stinky part is the good stages pass too. The part where they just want to be held or everything they do is new and exciting...this will also pass. I always think of how Lauren could go no where without Bunny Night-Night and lately she sometimes comes and sometimes doesn’t- how sad that she doesn’t always want or need her. I think it makes me sad because someday down the road I will be Bunny Night-Night and she will seem to need me less and less (sniffle...oh I'll get through it but I won't like it...sniffle).

But this ever changing thing makes parenting always new and always adventurous that is for sure. With every new child there are different stages and different goods and not so goods. But the fact remains that as soon as you gain the confidence that you have it down- the game changes.

Secondly, you can’t hold your baby too much. I’m talking newborn to six months. In fact, the honest truth is usually by then they want to be down exploring and getting into everything anyway. So don't let people tell you to put your baby down! Hold it all day long if you want. That stage is soooo short in the grand scheme of it all, so don't waste a minute- but do give yourself a break- you'll need it. I remember with Olivia just embracing it so much more and maybe because I got that little bit less with her since I still had to love on her big sister too. I think that is why this time I'm so adamant on getting a Moby Wrap of some kind- I just want to hold that sweet thing as much as I can and if I can’t do it with my two very busy arms then the wrap will do (plus I’m preparing for any kind of baby that might ‘pop’ out -fussy, laid back, snuggler, etc.). Where with baby number one they're all you have to worry about and all you have to love on- so have at it!

Lastly, everyone is going to give you advice whether you want it or not. About every part of your parenting. Most will say it in this form “when my kids were young...” or if it’s your parent “with you...” or still others "well with my child..." and it usually something you're not going to do or it won't work for you and your spouse/child. There is no big problem with other people giving you advice except that it often drowns or clouds over our natural gut instinct. Or as I refer to it as the Holy Spirit talking to us. God equips us with the tools we need to parent our child. Sometimes, yes it is through others advice but more often the advice we ask for not the things said to us. 

He made your baby special for you. Unique to fit perfectly into your family. I think most of us parents know what will work for us and what won’t. For instance, with Lauren we took her pacifier away at 9 months. We endured three nights of her crying and crying to fall asleep at night. And I endured a whole week with no naps. I know many parents...many parents who could never and would never had been able to do that. They would have given her back the pacifier. And I was not better than them by any means. But we did what worked for us and our baby. I think for us  we endured it because I am so revolted by the thought of a child walking around with one hanging from their mouths, pulling it out to talk only to put it back in again. That might not bother you but I does me. So for me it was worth it in the end. Now my MIL told me her kids just simply stopped them on their own. I've had another friend who only allowed them at bedtime and yet another who took it away and had no ill effects like crying or such. Again this just reinforces my point that each parent and child is so different, that what worked for me might not work for you. But what does work often times is what you feel is right. And God is prompting you through the Holy Spirit and if you take the time to listen then you will figure out what works for your family.

That’s the fun of parenting isn't it? Well to some. The fact that we get to go on this grand adventure discovering things about ourselves and our child along the way. The best is that God is with us on the whole journey and each child He created was a special order for each family. You get to navigate it with the special spouse He sent you too- each with your own unique gifts and talents to bring to the table. Where I am weak, He is strong. And I say that in the context of God and my wonderful Husband. I am so amazed at how perfectly He created such imperfect people to fit together so perfectly. I hope that make sense beyond me.

In our family we like to do ‘sandwich’ hugs. Matt or I will be holding a kid or two and we give a big family sandwich hug. Matt and I are often the bread or bun and our sweet girls are the PB&J or the meat and cheese that make us so yummy all together. Yes, we have our moments when we don't see eye to eye or our own selfish desires get into the way of things but all in all we're the perfect little family of four...soon to be five...for us. God didn't make a single mistake anywhere along the way. Thank goodness we can count on Him and not ourselves to know what is right.

So all that to say you got this- you know what works for you, what you're willing to put up with or deal with, and the solution that will solve your current problem. And heck even if you don't get it figured out- don't worry because things will change before your eyes and you'll be dealing with a new puzzle, challenge or if you're lucky a moment of reprieve!

So those are the words of ‘wisdom’ that have been floating around this big ol’ head of mine as I think about this third miracle growing inside of me. Oh I can't wait, well I can, to meet baby number three.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Glitter, Dreams, and Moments of Grace

First I need to say I might be the only mom of three girls that can't stand glitter. Now I like it when it is on crafts but the darn stuff never stays there. Thank goodness for the invention of glitter glue- it is a life saver. But to those of you who insist on sending glitter covered Christmas cards- I cringe each time I hear the crunching as I open the card. I've been known to throw away some extreme glitter cards without even removing them from their envelopes- I do read them and say prayers for the time they took to think of us but straight into the circular file they go! This year they haven't been too bad but oh glitter how you get everywhere!!! 

Okay can you tell life is better here now that my only grumble is glitter and such. Normalcy has settled back into our lives and the pure crazy is now back to a minimum. 

It all came with my mom and stepdad. They were the first to venture our way this holiday season. They were just stopping on their way on to their final destination but they got here on Monday afternoon and with them came a gust of fresh air that my mind, body and soul so desperately needed. They were able to visit, go see Santa with us, take us to dinner, give me time to grocery shop on my own, love on us and then off they were the next morning.

Then that week seemed to settle some- still not totally but some. We headed back to bible study after missing a week because of the 'bugs.' Lauren sang in the children's concert that was so precious to watch. I didn't get any good pictures of her but took videos and they were priceless. Matt appreciated it since he couldn't be there.

Then Matt's parents were here the following Saturday. They stayed in a hotel this time, which is something different. I appreciated it since it meant less clean up once they left and it was neat to try something new. Their presence gave us the time and rest we, Matt and I, so desperately craved. Matt and his dad got a lot of small projects down around the house and I got a few big ones done. I got the girls summer and fall clothes all packed up and set them home with my in-laws. They are so wonderful and house the billions of boxes of clothes we have accumulated- one reason I'm so super excited that baby three is another sweet girl! But that cleaned up my closets and just felt freeing and refreshing. I also got the crawl space door painted- yeah the one we put up just under a year ago. But it's done so now Matt can figure out how to insulate it and that project can officially be done.

Then if that wasn't enough my MIL cooked and took care of the girls the whole weekend. Then they took Lauren to sleep with them at the hotel Sunday night. It was so fun for her and Olivia who soaked up all the wonderful mommy and daddy love all for herself. Then on Monday I got to go workout in the morning, meet Matt for a date lunch, shop, go to a PT appointment, and grocery shop (again) for a few weeks worth of food- and all of this was done all by my lonesome. Then as an extended family we went to our local botanical gardens for the lights festival. The weekend was like a dream come true. I tell you I went through the ringer at the beginning of this month but God is sure giving me time to recover and rejuvenate. It was a wonderful time Monday but boy was I tired by Monday night- I had gotten so much in that day! Then the next morning they headed home. 

Tuesday morning had Lauren sick again. I tell you our house this year has been a revolving door of one nasty germ after another. Luckily she was the only one who came down with this 24 hour virus that left her just lifeless on the couch with a mild temperature. Since we had done oil in their hair again just to be double, triple sure all was well, they needed to take baths that morning. Lauren did a quick bath and then asked to lay on the couch, only to fall asleep (something my little girl hasn't done since her baby stage). Olivia was on my lap while I talked to Matt about Lauren and then she fell fast asleep, so I laid her down on the couch. There they napped. I had to snap a picture of this! They both sleep about two hours, staggered, but my goodness.

Wednesday was the first day since December 1st that we got some school in! In fact we had school again today- two days in a row!! And it's on the schedule for tomorrow too- yes that means we completed a whole week of school!! That is the lovely thing about homeschooling- besides the many other things- flexibility! But getting off schedule really throughs Lauren and I off- we both love routine and knowing what to expect so when everything goes wonky (Lauren loves that word) it throws us off. So glad to get back into the normalcy! 

So onto more exciting stuff, Olivia is now sleeping in her big girl bed. It is funny because with Lauren we set the beds for the first time when we were rearranging the house for impending Olivia's arrival and she just, on her own, went and slept in there and never looked back at the crib. With Olivia we've had her big girl bed set up since before her birth and it has always just been there. We've always called it "Olivia's Big Girl Bed." Lauren knew that one day she would come to sleep with her. In fact, she has been looking forward at least since the end of this summer. I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. One day, over a month ago, I attempted to nap with her in there but that was nuts. Then on Tuesday we were playing upstairs waiting for Matt to get home and she was just snuggled in there and she looked so ready. I thought we could give it a go and see how it all works out. Lauren was all for it and Olivia too. Matt said sure when he got home and now she is out of the crib and into her 'big girl bed.' We're two nights in and they did just fine. They took a bit longer to fall asleep due to the excitement of it all and Olivia and Annabelle are still working out this new arrangement (Annabelle woke her twice in the middle of the night by loving on her). Nap has been more of a learning curve for Lauren and I then anything. Lauren doesn't need a nap everyday and even when she does it is hard for her to head off to dreamland the nights she naps. So I've done 30 minutes of 'rest' time in bed and then an hour or so of 'quiet' time where she plays in her room and enjoys a small snack. Well now that Olivia is sleeping in there she has to leave after the 30 minutes of rest. And I still need my time and Lauren still needs her time, so I have her playing with toys in the nursery, but it just isn't the same as having all your toys, books, and games at your disposal to entertain yourself. She has had shorter quiet times the last few days and until something comes to me. I'm not sure how to solve the problem. Olivia sleeps like a rock but I can't expect Lauren to be pin drop quiet while she plays. I'm sure it will get figured out somehow. Until then, we'll roll with it. 

Anyway, I've enjoyed the moments of answered prayer and God's grace that have come my way in this past week and a half. I am looking forward to a continued calmness for the rest of December as we anticipate my dad and step-mom's arrival this coming week and Christmas excitement just around the corner. 

Many blessings to you as we continue through the advent season- the season of hope and great expectations. Where we see God's grace through the celebration of the birth of a baby. Who came to rescue us from the sinfulness that can consume us if we let it. Who came to rescue us from the pain of this world as He brought the light that shows us the dream life in the next. Who came to remind us how to live life gracefully now and how to behave in a way that is pleasing to God. Who came to guide us and encourage us. Who came to, more than anything, show us God's unending love! 

Amen for that little baby boy!

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." Luke 2:6-7

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Today is Day 5

Day 1

I awoke at 4:30 in the morning, excited with anticipation. Today was the day we would find out if we had another girl or a baby boy on the way. What made today even more special was that Lauren was coming with us. She was going to be there when, hopefully, baby would cooperate and we'd find out the gender. I was excited for me, baby, Lauren, and of course my sweet husband. Both Matt and I had no inclination or hunch as to what this baby might be but when you would ask Lauren if the baby was boy or girl she would like right at you and say plain as day "a girl." It was the same way my MIL looked at me when I was pregnant with Lauren and didn't yet know she was a sweet little girl. So she had me leaning towards girl when I would talk with her but other than that, again I had not a clue.

After running around the house trying to get everyone out the door by 7:30 am we were on our way to drop off Olivia with Esther and family while the rest of us headed on to the doctors. Although we arrived on time it was another half hour or so before we walked into the room. Baby was not making it easy for the US tech. She tried twice without success to get baby in the right position to reveal to us the gender. She took her measurements and we all enjoyed watching the baby move, wiggle, and stretch, as well as Lauren's comments and questions, like "is there a baby inside the baby?" or "So when the baby pops out..." or "Is that the baby's eyes" for the better part of the time. Finally baby got into position and revealed to us that Lauren was indeed correct- it was another sweet baby girl. Matt smiled his same smile of excitement since his little girls adore him and he them- he still says he wouldn't know what to do with a boy- but I know he'd be fine no matter what, he's a great daddy. We were all excited. I immediately started talking names. We were all smiles. We had a new healthy baby girl in the womb!!

To top it off, when the doctor came in to check everything out, she let Lauren use the wand and make the picture of her little sister show up on the screen. She loved it and I Matt and I couldn't get enough of the joy exuding from her as she got to be the doctor. It was amounting to a wonderful day. We had so much to celebrate and be grateful for!

We called Matt's mom first as we made our way to my OB GyN just the next building over. I wanted to tell her first since we're using her mother's name for the middle name- that is set in stone but the first name is still being debated. I then called my mom and embraced the joy from her as well. Nothing was killing this good mood, not even when the receptionist informed me that they didn't have me down for my 20 week appointment that I was suppose to go to that day. She fit us into the schedule and we should only have to wait 45 minutes- no biggy. I still had many more phone calls to make and Lauren still had lots of stuff to color and do on her activity mat. Each call I made I let Lauren tell the person that she was going to have a baby sister. I could have listened to that all day.

My mood did start to change after the wait turned into a almost two hours. Lauren was doing sooooo well until she dropped something and bumped her head when she was trying to retrieve it. Then she started flopping around with annoyance and so I ushered her and all the stuff we had into the hallway to minimize the fallout. Thank goodness when we walked back in after a few minute cool down period the nurse was there to usher us into a room. The receptionist probably called back and said get this lady in the back! Either way we could relax in private now. We were enjoying our goofiness when she was sitting on my lap and I noticed something in her hair. As I looked closer I saw a bug. I told her to sick still, reached for the tissues and got it out. I killed it, examined it and tried not to panic. 

When I mentally talked myself down for panic we resumed the snuggles and chatter only for me to notice another one. This time though when I reached for a tissue it hid itself. Now I was starting to panic a bit. I put her on the counter and tried looking for it. I couldn't find it and of course this is when the doctor walks in. Just shy of two hour after arriving at the office. I couldn't focus on her and tried my hardest to answer her questions. She was in the room for less than five minutes and there was nothing I was concerned about and vise versa- I'm not sure it was worth the 2 hour wait. But off we went. Me trying to convince myself there was nothing wrong with Lauren and trying not to be too annoyed by the doctor visit wiat time.

We picked up lunch for everyone at good ol' McDonalds before arriving at Esther's house. We ate, played, and headed home for naptime. I told Esther about the bug incident but she agreed it was just a fluke. It wasn't until after putting Olivia down and getting ready to lay with Lauren for her book that it popped into my head again. I told her I just wanted to run a comb through her head to make sure it was nothing. 

Well it wasn't. My daughter had lice. I went into panic mode as soon as I used the internet to confirm that the bug I pulled out of her head with a comb was indeed a louse. I called the doctor to talk to the nurse but I had to leave a message. Then I called Matt and told him, and then told him he needed to head to the pharmacy stat to get the medicine needed to treat this situation.  Being a wonderful husband he left work to grab it, with full intention of heading back. That however never happened. Poor sweet Lauren did the best she could but she didn't understand what was going on and why she needed to do what we were asking of her. We spent about three hours total tending to her head and pulling out bug after bug. It was gross.

Not to mention the embarrassment of calling everyone we knew that we had come in contact with during the last two weeks. I wanted to be sure if we did pass it on that they needed to keep an eye out for it.

After Olivia sat in her crib for what I'm sure was long time after waking up from nap, we were so busy with Lauren and she was quiet and content- my sweet little girl, we checked her head. We found only one bug but it was enough to make me feel faint and nauseous. My babies had bugs!!! Nasty!!! We then had to eat and get them into bed. Only to have Matt check my head- I, like Olivia, just had one bug. Again, NASTY!!!! Matt was free and clear. This has made me contemplate buzzing my head a few times... 

By the time we were all cleaned up and on my seventh or eighth load of laundry it was midnight when my bug infested head hit the pillow. That was the end of day 1.

Day 2

I woke up annoyed that a nurse from the doctors office never got back to me. But I was overjoyed that we already had Lauren's 4 year well visit scheduled for that morning. So I rushed everyone and got us out the door and to the doctors. There our fabulous pediatrician told me about Lice Doctors. I had so many questions for her. She told me that the chemicals we used only work at killing the bugs when they are on your head, which is only 10 minutes. We pulled a lot of live bugs off Lauren's head after putting that stuff on there. She told me that when her daughter got it they used this service and it was just a few weeks before all was back to normal, and going the chemical route could be six plus weeks. That right there was enough for me to give them a call. It was also a chemical free route which this pregnant lady liked- I'm not one for chemicals unless it's the only way. It was very expensive but worth every penny (as you'll read in day 3).

After getting back home from the doctors I blew up the air mattress and let the girls watch movie after movie. I made the soup I need to for church and I made about five hundred phone calls. I was very grateful for the outpour of support but if one more person asked if I knew where we got it...I was going to scream. I had no idea. If I did I wouldn't have been so caught of guard and we would have not gone to wherever that was. I've not heard of anyone I know having it, in fact I was the one telling my friends we had it and to check their children. No fun. Thankfully as of today we have not passed it on to anyone outside our nuclear family - and we were just at my sister's house for three day for Thanksgiving!

I also took the time to call the Lice Doctor service and make an appointment for the following day.

It was this day we started noticing Olivia wheezing a bit when she was breathing too. It didn't seem to slow her down any so we lumbered on.

I was exhausted as I went to bed that night. Glad that the lice doctor lady was coming the next day but overwhelmed with everything. I had a pile of clean laundry mounded on my couch. Piles in the office still left to do. And so much more left to be tended to. I had tried so hard that day to keep the laundry train going and keep everything in some sort of order. To get things systematically cleaned up but I just couldn't do enough. 

I was exhausted with no one to help me with all the physical labor. Matt had stayed at work late that day to try and make up for leaving so early the day before, and coming in an hour late since we had the baby appointment. I felt like I just needed some more support than a phone call. I needed someone to battle with me. I kept praying to God for the blessings I had received so far. First, finding it before it had gotten that much worse for all of us. Having Lauren's doctor appointment scheduled and getting to see HER doctor- whom I trust and adore. The help people had given me to pick up the slack of not being able to continue any commitments I had outside of the house. Friends and family that did lend me an ear when I needed to vent all the craziness out. My loving husband who was there to help when he could be. My sweet girls who were surviving just fine even when there mama was going nuts before their eyes. And the fact that this is a situation that can be handled and dealt with- no death sentence here. I did try and cling onto these blessings and try to give thanks for them when I had the energy. But mostly I felt overwhelmed and out of energy. 

Day 3

This day began very early. It was 12:33 am when I was startled awake by the worst cough imaginable. Olivia sounded like a little barking sea lion. She was sick with Croup. I picked up my wheezing baby and took her to our bed. There her and I took small catnaps as we lay there, me trying to elevate her head so she could breath. I wish I would have known that taking her into the cold night air would have helped relax her airways, but I didn't. Matt helped me a few times but taking her to his side of the bed so I could get some small bouts of rest- but she would slip down and start coughing and wheezing again, only to wake me up before I would scoop her back to my side. 

My exhausted body woke up a little late that morning. I heard Matt giving Lauren breakfast as Olivia and I stumbled out of the room. 

I spent most of this day trying to regain some order around the house and tending to the girls. Olivia's temperature was spiking all day long. The acetaminophen helped her but she just wanted to snuggle and I tried to take time to do that, but I didn't get to as much as I would have liked. Lauren was too wired to nap and I just ured for some quiet time I was not going to get. 

I also spent time preparing Lauren about the lady coming and what she was going to do, so Lauren wouldn't be so overwhelmed when she got here. I tried to remain positive. We received another blessing when my step-mom offered to pay some of the super high bill we were about to pay for the service. It would cut our out of pocket expenses for it in half. I also was grateful that we were able to use our flex spending account to pay for the service as well- this will be the first year we will have used that up before the new year began (we have a grace period and have until March of the following year to use it up). 

I did regain some order before Jane got here. She was another blessing. You would have thought it was her pleasure to remove bugs from our hair. The three hour process seemed to go pretty smoothly as we went through the family. It took her an hour to do my head and an hour to do Laurens. Then she did Matt, Olivia, and then the dry check on all three of us girls in the last hour. She was a preschool teacher by day and did this to supplement her income. We talked back and forth about everything under the sun, and I enjoyed the social interaction since I had been cooped up for the last few days. 

When she left I had a positive outlook and felt like our money (and my parents money) was well spent. I can do this!

Day 4

She left with the follow up instructions that has me putting Olive Oil in the girls and my hair each evening for seven days. Then every morning I need to go through our hair with a $17 nit comb I purchased at out local beauty store after she left (another blessing was the coupon I had for the store). I also purchased a few different kinds of "hair dresser" clips to help me be able to systematically go through each head. I also got a catsup bottle from bed, bath, and beyond to dispense the olive oil with more control. All that totalled to just over $20 and has been a huge help. After I go through their hair and Matt goes through mine, we wash our heads with blue dawn and shampoo. This process takes me close to a half hour each night, applying the olive oil to our three heads and then about two plus hours each morning combing and washing/bathing each of us clean. Then I've also been washing our towels and pillow cases, along with having new pj's each night. This amounts to lots-o- extra laundry. 

This morning started just like the last, Olivia waking in the middle of the night with coughing fits and then Lauren joined in on the middle of the night fun too since the shower cap we had covering her hair was bothering her but of course we didn't figure this out until after the twenty minute temper tantrum of frustration came out first. Thankfully everyone did sleep in their own beds after medicine was administered and the shower cap removed. But the morning still seemed to come too soon.

I spent the entire morning tending to breakfast and hair and bath. When I came downstairs after getting everyone dressed it was lunch time. I then tended to lunch and it was nap. I got Olivia down- she was so tired, her temperature continued to spike throughout the day and when it did she just wanted to be in mommy's arms or asleep. I couldn't blame a girl. I was grateful I was able to tend to her more than the day before. 

Lauren did, God bless, nap on this day. Allowing me the same joy. I took an hour nap on the couch- now clean of the laundry mound (some of which had moved to baskets and my bed but other that had been put away). I was awoken by Olivia's cough and cry. I went to get her still tired body and just rocked with her. The house was quiet, the small fake Christmas tree lite the hallway and I just didn't want the moment to pass. I knew I should wake Lauren so she would fall asleep before midnight but I just couldn't bring myself to put Olivia's warm, sweet, sick self down. So I didn't. About 45 minutes later Matt pulled up and join Olivia and I as she became more alert and awake. He woke Lauren and then entertained the kids while I put together dinner.

The nap had given me back a better outlook with my new revived energy level. I talked to Matt's mom after dinner and it felt like a little escape since Matt played with the girls and I got to enjoy a small bit of adult talk. 

I was still a little sad since it was this evening that I was suppose to leave and help chaperone the high school youth retreat. I had been looking forward to this weekend since early fall. I lead them in a Bible study each Wednesday night at church and have really enjoyed getting to know each them. I was looking forward to seeing them grow that much closer to God through the retreat and be there to again support their growth. I was also looking forward to a weekend away from being in charge since that role would be on Lisa, our youth leader. On top of it all, I didn't have to cook, clean, or change a single diaper, it would be a few days to enjoy being Jennifer. I love being mommy and wife but every now and then it is nice to be Jennifer.

So anyway, we put the girls down and enjoyed our first night of uninterrupted sleep in three days!

Day 5

So I thought that the sleep would help my outlook but today I woke up on the cranky side of the crib. I think me getting sleep gave my brain a chance to process all that had happened and all that I was about to endure as I continue to pull bugs out of my daughters head.

Lauren began the morning well, as did I. However, that did not last. She became extremely demanding and rude as the morning progressed- not usually her character and I just continued to get more irritated with each selfish remark. I sent her to her room at one point because I could feel my patience slip away from me. Even her apology after she calmed and we talked was uncharacteristically insincere. That should have prewarned me her bad attitude was going to continue and my patience was going to disappear. It ended with me screaming at her in anger and going into my room, closing the door, and crying. I was starting to feel the emotions I had no energy to feel over the past four days. I was upset that we have been so overwhelmed with bugs that my role as mommy just seemed overloaded. We haven't had a chance to embrace and enjoy the good news of our newest baby girl. I was missing out on a chance to get away and replenish myself with my God and friends. We were going to have to endure more canceled plans because it is going to take me two plus hours to get through the morning routine for the next five days. I felt awful for yelling with such anger at my daughter who yes was not being her best, but for sure didn't deserve the weight of mommy's world yelled at her.

As I cried in bed Matt came to check on me. I told him I just was looking forward to a little time away and instead I just got more added mommy responsibilities. I just was upset and frustrated by the change of plans. I was trying to calm myself with scripture but I just couldn't summons up anything that would bring me comfort- why was He calling me to stay home? Why couldn't I just have a little break? Why was I wondering why when I knew that His plan is always better? I felt like Lauren, I knew to do better but I just wanted to do it my way- I just wanted to grumble, fuss, and complain. 

I think I feel asleep for a bit and then emerged from my room to eat my breakfast, at 10:45. I've taken a back seat to the parenting thing and let Matt run the show for the day. I've spent plenty of time on here getting my feelings and thought out, in hopes that I will be able to regain some sanity and reflect on the blessings I've seen in the last few days.

Today's blessings continue to come. I've had quiet time, I've chatted with a great friend- who herself had been though the lice fun with her girls just a few years back, I've had a wonderful husband who has put himself last today in order for me to take a backseat, I've had some snuggle time with my still sick Olivia, I've enjoyed the smell of the crock pot meal Matt put together for dinner, I've enjoyed hearing the giggles and play that Lauren has had with her daddy. 

I'm a blessed woman and I know this. I just sometimes need to remind myself. I also need to remind myself that as much as I can feel alone, I'm not. I might not have gotten the physical helping hand that would have helped me through these five days but I did receive a lot of prayer help and a lot of people were there for me in a different way.

I also need to remember that often times after Lauren has gone through a physical growth spurt she often goes through a mental/emotional one where she retests all the boundaries to make sure they're still there and that might very well what we're dealing with here, just an old updated version- bless my soul. So prayer and patience and perseverance are the only things that are going to get us through such a time.

Off to tend to the little ones and come out of 'hiding' for a bit. Time to remind myself what a blessed lady I am by hugging those little girls and that big guy too!

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise-- in God I trust and am not afraid." 56:3-4a

Friday, November 14, 2014

Old Lady Gear

I've been trying all week to get on here, thoughts have been swirling in my head and I want to get them down. So here it is Friday and I'm getting to this post. 

Today was such a wonderful day. Mostly because it was very laid back- no rushing, no need to do this, that, and oh yeah that too (you know how life is). Nope today started with sleeping in! I think it was the wonderful husband who went out after putting the girls to sleep and got me Wendy's burgers that helped (oh he's an amazing man!). I didn't wake up starving and both girls slept in as well allowing me to embrace the cozy, warm bed just a little longer today. 

Last night I went to Zumba- can I just laugh at the fact that I can't go an hour without needing to use the facilities during the class. The first night I finally went back to lovely Zumba since exiting the first trimester my sweet instructor thought something was wrong but kindly replied that all that jumping made baby enjoy my bladder like it was a trampoline! She laughed and gave me a big hug- she is a wonderful woman inside and out and I enjoy dancing around like a goof with her.

So yes my lovely body is still moving but not very fast. I continue to be introspective on the differences between your first baby and your third. Maybe I didn't do this as much with Olivia in the womb because I wasn't quite as old as I am with this one or maybe it's just baby number three that sends you over the edge with your body changing more rapidly during pregnancy. This time around I've needed to go regularly to a physical therapist. My hip issues started after Lauren was born but I noticed it the most when I started running again. I went to the Chiropractor then and they were able to put my poor bones back where they belonged for me and my muscles were still pretty strong that they stayed in place pretty well. During my pregnancy with Olivia I contemplated going to PT (my doctor doesn't like me going to the chiropractor while pregnant and I follow what she says) but never did. I just waited until Olivia was born and then headed back in. It wasn't as bad from what I can remember but I do remember my poor muscles being a little more weak after her- needing more secessions to get my hips to stay in place. Well this time I couldn't wait, my hips ached and still sometimes do. It was to the point that I struggled with sitting on the floor to play with the girls and oh boy getting up- it was sometimes downright painful. I felt like I couldn't wait until after birth this time around. So I've been to the see a wonderful PT who specializes in pregnant women and was recommended by my doctor. It has helped immensely and she has given me some exercises to do which help strengthen the lovely muscles around my hips- now I just need to be better at doing them more regularly. She also introduced me to this fabulous belt that helps give your muscles a little rest and holds your hips in place- it's called a sacroiliac belt. Lucky for me I've found a friend who has one and is willing to lend it to me. I'm looking forward to getting it from her since there are some days (mostly nights though) that I would love some help. I've had a few evening shopping trips where I felt like an old women, hobbling around Target and the grocery store. Oh I'm sure I was a sight. 

So if that wasn't enough...lol...my lovely leg looks like someone took a nice softball or hardball to it. Just like the hips I've had a patch of varicose veins that developed with pregnancy number one. They faded after giving birth and come back a little bigger/widespread with pregnancy number two and never fully went away afterwards. Well baby number three must be taking lots of long naps on the right side of my body putting lots of extra pressure on my inferior vena cava making these puppies just that much bigger and better ;-). So today the whole family took a trip to a great old school pharmacy near Matt's work to get mommy some support hose! Yes, my name is Jennifer, I'm 33 years old and I now own two pairs of support hose. I tell you once I get this belt, to accompany my support hose, Matt is going to go wild for his old lady wife!! Hahaha!!! I know he will love me with all my stuff anyway but I'm know I'll look like an ailing women for sure. And I do not plan on posting any pictures of me with my old lady gear on either, sorry!

Speaking of pictures I told Matt we need to snap a few this weekend of my ever growing belly. It looks so cute- like I did when I was about 23 weeks with Lauren...I'm just 17 now. I'm slathering extra belly butter on this time around! I kept laughing since my MIL and stepmom had sent me a handful of maternity clothes they got from friends and garage sales for me and each of them was a size large. I was laughing at God because I'm a medium but he must know something about how my mediums might not cut it with this baby. I'm bracing myself. As of now I've gained 10 pound which seems about right where I was with the other too so I'm not worried but I'm just laughing- this baby is going to be born with a sense of humor that's for sure.

I also wanted to write about how schooling was going. It's very funny since being a teacher you would think I would be use to things being off schedule and constantly having to shift things around and reorganize my plans but the core of me is still a planner and enjoys when things happen the day that it says so on the 'schedule.' Well that is just not how life works and I try my hardest to roll with it all. We've had a few sick days and some days where things popped up or we were cut short on time so I didn't get to everything so now I feel like I'm in catch up mode. I keep telling myself this is the best part of homeschooling - it doesn't always have to follow the proper schedule. I'm going to do some school tomorrow (a Saturday and typically a day we wouldn't do any school). But I'm behind in my 'unit' work and with the holidays it's hard to get off with that. So tomorrow we're going to do Thanksgiving activities and the letter D. By the way the letter and number writing has been the first thing that hasn't come 'naturally' to my smart girl and I've seen her get frustrated. It has been a learning curve for me- but I've got my secret weapon...colored pens! They have saved my life since she loves using them so it insentive to do the learning with the pencil and then she can do the practice with the pens. I also have to remember the special education students I use to deal with and how this is nothing compared to what I would deal with then, so perspective Jennifer,  perspective. 

I'm excited about the holidays, family coming to visit, and all the fun that goes into decorating things. Starting next weekend life is going to be busy, but busy with things that make us smile, laugh, and enjoy each other so no complaints here. Hoping I do have some time to capture the memories on here. But such as life!!

 Sweetness being crazy!

Cuteness being goofy!

"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:21