Saturday, July 21, 2012

Little Workers

Sometimes I come here, and just have guilt.  Well, maybe it's just that I have one more thing to keep up, and I'm not doing such a hot job.  I now have four kids and diabetes turned eight this year!  I have to get this redesigned.  I'll add it to my things to do... along with changing out the kids' old pictures, updating my prayer list..  Ha!  This all comes after cleaning their undies, making dinner, and making sure their teeth are brushed. ; )  Oh, and having a meaningful conversation with their daddy that lasts more than five minutes, and doesn't only involve their names! : )

We've survived the surgery, and Carter went back for a post-op appointment on Friday.  He's healing well, and we don't go back for a month.  He'll be dismissed after that as long as everything looks good at that point.  He got to go back to tub baths again, thank goodness!  And, I seriously have to say that he's really doing better.  I don't know if we crossed some critical time barrier or if it was the hernia, but he has a much better attitude/disposition.  He can now just SiT with us, and be o-k-a-y.  No shushing, jiggling, walking, patting him.  He's just content (and maybe out of pain?!).  It's really fun to be around him now!  He just smiles, and babbles, and today he laughed-twice!  Precious.  This is how babies should be. : )

I took Mary Claire (just the two of us!) to get some school clothes today.  She was so excited!  And...she'll be the turquoise girl this year.  She's been dying to get these new shoes that are all the rage here (Tom's), and we got her some turquoise glitter ones.  She's saving them for school (per our agreement) ; ) but had to get lots of things to go with them!  I think she only got one outfit that wasn't turquoise.  What happened to pink?
This was the first year I've let her pick out her clothes.  Well, she's been shopping with me before, but this time she chose what to try on.  Normally, I just bring home clothes and she tells me if she'll wear them or not, and rarely objects to anything!  But, she's getting older and her body is changing, and I wanted her to try some jeans on for a better fit.  I can't believe she's ten.  This is my girl I still remember rocking to sleep.  Time sure flies.

She's asking to carry a purse.  Separate from the purse for her meter.  I'm not sure how to deal with it.  I mean, she has lots of little purses (basically ones she used to have her meter in-like little glittery, sequined ones), but do I have her combine her meter with her "Girl Stuff" or let her carry two separate bags?  I'm just not sure.  She didn't want to combine her little Vera Bradley meter purse with her girly stuff, but who wants to carry two purses?  And school is getting ready to start, so we have to get it figured out.  She's not just carrying lip gloss and a note pad anymore in there anymore. ; )  Ideas?

We decided not to just give the kids Trip Money (for our summer vacation to the shore) this year.  We told them they'd have to earn the money they wanted to spend.'s kinda worked out.  We have a long list of chores/jobs they can do (like skimming the pool, unloading the dishwasher, helping Ethan practice writing his letters, folding laundry, etc.) and the pay for each job.  Let me just say that Ches is really generous, and I'm cheap.  I foresaw the future of my enterprising kids, and did they!  We agreed on prices together (like .50 for taking out the recycling or .25 for setting the table...we paid less for jobs they like and more for the drudgery).  Then we used a huge white board with their names, and they keep a tally each day of what they've done.  In the first day, Clay earned over $21.00-I knew they were opportunists!
Mary Claire is very intelligent too.  She decided what she wanted from American Girl, made a list, added it up, and divided by the number of days till our trip.  She figured out that she had to make about $5.50/day to get what she wanted.  No reason to overwork. ; )  Ethan isn't too terribly motivated, he earns about $1-2 a day.  Not bad, but certainly not ambitious.  He'll figure it out when we don't just buy him stuff this year.  I guess we teach the hard way. ; )  Only 'cause we love them.

I should go-getting to bed at one a.m. isn't doing me any favors!  Hope you are having a great summer..and your kids are helping you.  (but maybe you shouldn't implement a pay-as-you-go chart.  Just sayin'.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Surgery

I tell you what.  I have the best friends.  Need some help?  Just holler!  Need a prayer warrior on your side?  I got 'em!  That has to be my absolute favorite thing about my girls.  They got my back.  I am rolling along in prayer-I know only God could have helped me through last night and today.  Really.

It happened kinda fast...but Carter had his surgery today!  If you aren't caught up (heck-I'm not!), he had an inguinal hernia (intestine poking out his abdominal wall down low, just above his privates) (we're a family blog, ya'll!) Anywho, we saw a surgeon on Wednesday, and he scheduled us for today.  That's service. ; )

I was sailing along just fine until last night.  I just lost it.  It all became so overwhelming.  I was packing my suitcase (we were supposed to be there at 5:30am, surgery at 7:30am) since we had to spend tonight so he could be observed for 24 hours after anesthesia, and I just started stressing.  Packing for me, packing for him, worrying about the other kids.  My mom had an MRI at ten this morning, so she was busy herself, and I just could not ask my friends for help.  I am crippled that way.  Well..I called a couple babysitters (somehow I can justify asking someone to be at my house at 5:15am if I can pay them), but they were busy.

We'd decided to just have Ches stay home with the kids, and I'd take him alone.  At 5:15am.  With me full of milk, and him starving.  Oh, did I mention I couldn't feed him after midnight?  Yeah, that too.  (Required Ches driving all over NW Arkansas after 10 last night looking for the holy grail of breast and my fancy electric Medela just don't tango anymore...)  So..I called Courtney and she listened to Irrational Me (she's patient like that), and worked through some scenarios.. and ended with her telling me how she really could handle her five kids (while her husband was working!) and my three.  And I believed her, since she tells the truth. ; )

So..I did what I could handle.  We got them ready for bed, jammied, teeth brushed, etc. and Ches took them over there a little before ten.  I didn't want them to get in the way, but what did she do?  Let them do crafts and play and have fun!  I expected quick bed, but she wanted them to have some fun. ; )  She worried and prayed over my babies, and even let Ethan sleep next to her since he got up in the night (like he does here..).  I felt bad and thankful and overwhelmed (again!) and good all at the same time.  Ever have someone worry and love your kids like you do?  It's a happy feeling. : )

They were fine, and Ches picked them up when we heard Carter was out of surgery and had been moved to recovery (Safe!).  They were worried about Carter, and they couldn't wait to see him either.  I was just thankful Ches got to go with me this morning-it was hard with all the crying.  Carter woke up about 4:20, hungry.  Ches went to get him and gave him a paci.  Not quite, he said.  He was mad, and cried for over an hour.  When we finally got on the highway to the hospital, he fell asleep and slept till we got to the there.  Then mellowed for an hour or so.  He must have been exhausted, and had no fuel for his fire.  (Come to find out he was dehydrated, and he had repeated pokes to get an i.v.-thanks doctors for the No Food After Midnight rule!)  But he even laid on the bed and wasn't mad.  I knew it was prayer carrying us-this was odd for him.  He doesn't even like to lay down.  Period.  Angels were holding him probably.  Or singing Amazing Grace, the kind his momma really needed.  ; )

Then we had to change him into the way-big hospital gown:
It was so huge.  I didn't even tie it.  He was covered in cartoony tigers.  Just like Ethan was a couple weeks ago!
The doctor came in and drew a check mark on the side he planned to repair (apparently it's a law now?), then after more carrying/holding, they came to get him.  It was harder than even I anticipated it would be.  Yeah, that's hard!  To give your baby away..well you know.

We waited..and waited.  They assign each patient a random number, and you watch the computer screens for updates on your family member (number).  We saw when the surgery began, and they posted the ending time about 20 minutes late, but at least we knew he was out, and okay.  Soon, the doctor came out and told us he did fine, and was doing lots of healthy screaming.  He was so calm.  I asked if someone was holding my screaming baby trying to comfort him, and when could I go hold him??  He said it'd be another 30 minutes or so.  Agony.  It turned out to be only about 10 minutes.  Either they'd had enough, or he always overestimates.  (Like him saying we'd have to spend Friday night, but then he said we could GO HOME!!)

We decided we really liked him.  He was super calm, and he asked if he could pray with us before surgery.  A really good prayer.  I can't remember it, but the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and comforting me, and it made me have confidence in this man that was about to see inside my baby.  Places only God had seen.

And then Ches went to get the kids, and I went to hold my baby.  My screaming baby that would not eat.  I thought he'd be ravenous, but no.  No momma milk.  He just wanted to be held and rocked..and sleep.  He never did eat, but they let us go anyway.  So today he slept all day (till about 6:30pm, with bouts of crying and little bits of milk in between).  He finally took some Tylenol about 6:30, and ate well twice.  He's now in bed..maybe for the night?

Since I haven't slept in two days, I'm going to sleep when he sleeps. ; )  Hope your babies are well, and home, and eating well.  Sometimes we take those for granted!  It's these times I remember to be thankful for the little things.  Like my own bed.  And dinner with my family tonight. Even if it was at 8:30. : )  Hugs!
Peaceful sleep..precious.  G'night, ya'll!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Flags and Tippy Toes

Oh goodness gracious!  I'm so behind...I think I'm trailing myself.  Oh well, new baby reigns! ; )
Let's see..I've had a baby lose his first tooth, made a long flag bunting, worked on a sweet baby shower for a wonderful friend (with lots of flag-inspiration!), painted Mary Claire's room, trying to work on new bedding and drapes for her, made her a slipcovered headboard (still working on the slipcover..), had an ER trip with Carter on July Fourth, working on planning surgery for him-whew!  No, we don't slow down. : )

Ok, so first things first.  Carter was screaming when I was changing his diaper while out to eat on July fourth (no new thing here).  But..I saw that his groin area was rather large on one side, and I pressed the bulge.  It didn't go down.  Ewww!!  (and Scary!)  I called the pediatric clinic after-hours number, and when the nurse called back and found out "it" didn't go back in, she told me to go immediately to the emergency room, to stay with him, and to have someone else drive us. (!!!)  Well, that'll scare a mom, thankyouverymuch.

I sent a text asking for prayers, and when we got there-I thought, Miracle!  The thing had gone down.  We still had to see the doctor though.  When we were back there (you HOUR later), the doctor squeezed on his tummy, pressed on things, and generally made him scream again...and the thing popped back out!  It was kinda like a small egg-yep, that big.  Come to find out, it was his INTESTINE.  He has an inguinal hernia.  It does require surgery, since they do not heal on their own.  It didn't require immediate surgery as they'd first thougt (if it doesn't push back, it's stuck, and needs surgery right away to remove the stuck/dying bowel, and they resect the remaining bowel).

So, I can tell you all this calmly now that we are a few days out.  At first, I was panicked.  We've also been keeping him as absolutely happy as possible (requiring holding at ALL times).  When he gets mad/cries/stresses, he screams, and the hernia pops out, and it hurts, so he cries more.  Etc.  Our house is FUN!  It's a circus to get someone to hold him so we can go to the bathroom. : )

His crying/colic is starting to get better (and maybe the hernia was part of the colic/crying?).  We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. : )  Sleep helps a great deal!  He now goes to bed about 10:30 at night, and doesn't wake up till about 4am, so a big sleep stretch helps me keep my sanity and does wonders for my personality. ; ) haha!  I think a rested momma is a happy momma.

He also turned over for the first time in his bed today!  Ches found him while I was at my friend's baby shower today (so I didn't get to see him), but WoW-it's early!  He's not even quite three months...well, tomorrow he will be. ; )  Will he do everything early? some crafts!  I'll have to show you how I made these, but here are some pictures!  The bunting (over there > ) was fun, and really easy.  I just made double sets of triangles (front/back), sewed them together inside out, reversed them, sewed the edges neatly, then put them in order into some seam binding with hanging loops at each end.   After I made it, I made some easy ones with leftover muslin and jute string that I liked just as well (if not better!) just running the jute through some small holes in the tops of the triangles I cut with scissors.  (over there > )  The flags didn't even slip around since the jute is really rough.  I used the extras on the gift tables at the shower!  And just for fun, here are the invitations and a little book I made for putting in those cards (my friend had the greatest idea!  We each wrote a word on a card to pray over the baby and family through birth..and who can't use more prayer?!):
Invitations!  (yes, they were all kinda took some practice to perfect them. ; )

Little photo album with colored pages for the prayer cards (with teensy flags!)
Mary Claire's headboard is a work-in-progress, and I had to quit on it to focus on the baby shower I was helping to plan.  I'll get back to it this week.  She picked out her extra fabrics, and they are all silver.  Never would have guessed.  I'm praying her room turns out the way she likes, it's become her room, and I'm not so much in control right now.  I think it's called the Tween years.  They've come a-callin'.
It'll look so much cooler with a slipcover on it!  This is just a 2x4 frame with wood on both sides of the "sandwich", then some ball feet screwed in, covered in extra loft batting, then muslin..followed by the yet-to-be-finished slipcover.  (but the white linen is already prewashed and cut..waiting to meet my sewing machine!)
K, gotta go! ..fussy baby (hungry?)  Gotta prevent the hernia pop-out! ; )  Hugs, and pray for my baby please! : ) 
Need to giggle?  Some of us at the end of Tiffany's shower...guess who's on their tippy-toes trying to be as tall as everyone else? ; )  You guessed it!!