Thursday, July 3, 2014

Where I am at

A two parter, stay with me here, this is just how my brain works.

Part I
Yesterday I took the plunge and actually moved Carly into Annie & Mia's room. A Big Deal. Joe set up a crib in there 4-5 months ago in preparation for Alice coming and needing to switch and he even attempted to move her in there once. But I wasn't ready, and she wasn't ready, and the girls weren't ready and it didn't go well and since then Alice has been in the bassinet and Carly is in the nursery with all of Alice's stuff.
Yesterday I was ready. Mostly because I need to get Alice out of our room. She does this thing where she partially wakes & wakes me up. And then I think shes up enough to eat even though she only does this 3 nights a week so I feed her and shes not really awake so she only eats a little and then my day is spent regulating supply that got started at 2am instead of 4am like the other 4 days a week and my body and I can't decide what is normal or right and its really annoying when a good solution might be to just move her to the nursery where I wont hear her and she will fall back asleep and we all live in rhythm (haha!)
Joe put Carly to bed while I read to the girls on the couch where Mia subsequently fell asleep and the day ended on a fairly good note. She did not wake up during the night and scream for her father like she will randomly do (which is one of the thousands of reasons I was hesitant to move her) and this morning I woke up to she and Annie in my room at 6:15. Not ideal but I went with it. Annie says Carly woke her up because she was sucking her paci too loud which is something I foresee Annie possibly getting used to. What I don't know is how she got out... I think Annie got her out of bed but the verdict on Annie's honesty this morning is still out :o)

Which leads me to part II

Once up at 6:15 it was a gloriously sunny and cool morning and I came through a new baby fog as I remembered how much I love morning! I have been caught in this spider web of interrupted sleep and around the clock feedings and grabbing z's wherever possible and older girls who can be sent away with a mumble of "eat a granola bar and watch a movie" to catch 30 (and sometimes 60) more minutes of sleep!
I love morning! I love the air, I love the sky (I love the sky at all hours of the day) I love the stillness, I love the newness, I love the dew (as long as I don't have to walk in it). I don't love parenting and doing things for others but I decided I need to get over that already. I can instill in my girls the love of morning too! Since they CLEARLY are early risers, I can teach them the loveliness and sacredness of the hour! At least Annie and Mia, Carly still acts two no matter the sacredness of the hour. So I decided for the first time ever to stop being Just mom and start being ME mom and for once do something that you love just because you love it!
So I made eggs and handed out muffins and opened the back door and sat at the table and enjoyed the morning Mama Kate style. With every chair pulled out haphazardly (which I hate and would never be if I didn't have oxen living with me Prov 14:4) and crumbs on the crooked tablecloth (ugh! Drives me crazy!) and their coloring books stacked 16in high with baskets of crayons and pencils strewn about on my sideboard (which I long to decorate) And I read my bible and an article on Thanksgiving vs Greed and His providing all that we NEED and I was convicted to keep up the mindset of my purposeful day. Doing what needs to be done and doing it well to achieve the goals that I have for what HE has given me!

Reality is: I can't do whatever I want, whenever I want. There are butts to wipe and babies to rock and laundry to fold and floors to be scrubbed. However, I don't have to be ruled by those things ALWAYS. Yes some things I am ruled by, a dirty butt waits for no man. However I can choose to have the dishes done and table cleaned off before I go to sleep and therefore wake up to an already clean kitchen and enjoy well cooked eggs on a sunny morning. And I prefer farm fresh eggs, so go get em! And I prefer expensive orange juice or lemon in my water. So Buy It! And it calms me and therefor the girls are calm (proverbs 15:1) And I don't need everything the world tells me I need, but life is nice when you are able to express yourself and your personality. Is it necessary? No! (2 Peter 1:3) but it feels good and he wants us to be happy (Ecc 3:13) and I starting thinking about little things that that make me happy that I could be doing, that I want to do as soon as possible or that I want to save up for. Some of them I don't do because they fall off the priority list. Some things I don't do because of my season of life but some things I just don't prioritize and I would like to!

Here are just a few things that I came up with.

Attend estate sales & Auctions just to people watch and treasure hunt
Decorate my house
Get a massage
Bake bread
Pick berries
Meander the farmers market every Saturday morning.
Take a walk
Learn to Embroider
Schedule Date Nights (we are good at date nights but we tend to scramble to find last min babysitters and just wing it and its fun but there are things I want to do that require planning)
Schedule a family photo session
Schedule Girl Time with Best Friend or sisters
Take weekend trips

And now as I type this I plan on adding to this list as I dream :o)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lately (an update, With Pictures!)

We all know that this blog is for my own reminiscent purposes, however that makes me NEED to find out how to back it up because I have 6 years worth of memories on here and oh. my. word if something happens I would be so very sad.
So anyway I just feel the need to be all bloggy because my kids are infuriating and sanctifying and adorable :o)
I seriously love each of their stages right now.
Annie is such a big girl. She gets so easily upset and frustrated because she is getting big enough to do things and therefore its a new type of parenting season for us and we are just learning as we go with the poor girl. She gets asked to do so many helpful things around the house but sometimes she stretches it too far and tries to spank her sisters or pour a glass of milk and that just ends poorly.
We are all mentally ready for kindergarten we just need to do some physical shopping because we don't have a single uniform shirt or anything yet. The spirit shop opens up on the 10th and they have a second hand section that I am excited to buy from!

Annie seeing newborn poop "Wow, I can't believe our baby poops gold!"

Annie after an early spring snow "mom, this snow must be from Satan because God knows its supposed to be spring!"

Overheard: Mia "when will we go to heaven?" Annie "not till we are ten nine eight seven like grandma glenn"

Mia has changed so much recently, I feel like 3-4 was a big jump for her. She is becoming a big girl and I dare say she is going to be TROUBLE! I just shake my head and say a prayer when I see her get all dressed up in fancy dress up clothes and heels or when I catch her standing in front of the mirror tossing her hair and dancing, girls got moves and she wants to have a good time and I foresee her wanting to sneak into dance clubs in the future :o)  She is so smart and I just know that when Annie goes to school and I start working on preschool with her she is going to just explode from all the new stuff she will learn. She has a different style of learning though and so that will be tough for me not to expect Annie style from her. But I am so excited!

Carly is a punkin headed crack up! She is sooo sneaky and gets into little trouble all day long. She is constantly sneaking things and doing things that she shouldn't, however has yet to cause any major catastrophes. except the day she woke up while I was out voting and Joe was home. Instead of coming out of her room like she normally does she took her clothes off and pooped on the floor and then just played in her room therefore tracking poo all over the carpet. BLECH! however my wonderful father in law has some miracle carpet cleaning concoction that he makes with ammonia and fabric softener and water and who knows what else that is amazing and it cleaned everything up perfectly! She is ALWAYS dressing up in random clothes she finds lying around the house. Today it was her baithing suit over top of her dress. Last week she was wearing premie pants as shorts!
She talks non stop and says big words and full sentences. some of my favorites have been:
At the pediatrician "um my sis-er wants no shots"
Coming downstairs in Mias shoes "Mom, you wike my fip-fops?" Oh yes I love them "sanks, mom, sanks you wike 'em"
Anytime she is doing something shes not supposed to she says "I not mama, I not"
Trying to touch the bathwater during Carly's bath "No! No you 'pank my butt mama, dat hurt"

Alice is still in the wonderful tiny baby stage where she sleeps all the time but also sleeps 8ish hours most nights. Its glorious because it makes a HUGE difference during the day when you get woken up a million times at night. She started laughing last week at 3 1/2 months old and although she has been doing it more and more throughout the week we can't figure out how to make her laugh it just sort of erupts and its adorable. She's so soft and snuggy and chubby its wonderful.

However all together they are quite overwhelming at this point in time. They are all just so very little and can't do things for themselves which makes for some very long days and very difficult hours. However they are good girls and play well together and most every day I do get a few hours where they are all napping/resting/quietly playing and I get a breather and rest if I need it as well.
But it feels as though they gang up on me and they all have legitimate needs. So I just take a deep breath, choose patience (because it is NOT a natural occurring thing) and help them all one at a time and it is working for us.

Your update in pictures during May/June
 At the Krohn Butterfly Show Carly was the only one who cared, the other two were afraid of the butterflies and Mia asked if they had "claws on their paws that they can scratch you with"

 Made it to the zoo again, this time with Sam!
 Krissy had Ruth Kathryn on mothers day. It was also the day before I went back to work after maternity leave so I got to go up and visit twice during my shift :o)

 We dedicated Alice Grace and will strive to parent her in Christ 
 Made a weekend trip so Alice could meet Great Grandpa Neal
 I thought I was dressing her in one of my outfits from when I was a baby... however Mom says she doesn't remember it so who knows if it was mine or where it came from but it sure is cute!
 This is what our days look like around here

 Memorial day picnic
 Happy Girl!
 Thursday Night Small Group Volleyball
 Carly turned 2
 Mia turned 4
 Fathers day with The Man!
 Great Grandma Glenn with grandbabies #24 & 25 (with three more on the way from Kelly, Matthew and Seth)
Gram took ALL these kids to VBS at Calvary this year, they loved it! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

#1 Question

"Are you people serious with this?"
"How are you?" "How are you recovering"? "What is it like with 4"? All said with a good natured chuckle, a look of fright, or a wince. The wince is from other soon to be moms of 4 :o)
The answer is quite convoluted and I have been trying to be honest with people in as few words as possible because no one is looking for a full update on my physical and mental health. However because I have been asked this question a million times in the past month I feel I should expound upon my answer a little.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan says "If you want to know what its like to have 4 kids just imagine you're drowning... and then someone hands you a baby" Which I thought was very funny when I heard it a year ago and now I think its very, very wise (however Dude went on to have a 5th and we all know that since he has now drowned that explains why kid #5 and on basically raise themselves or are raised by older siblings ;o)
This 4 kids stuff is not for the faint of heart, its hard, its time consuming its mentally exhausting, and all of mine are healthy (for now)! What do mothers with sick or special needs kids do?? Have LOTS of help that's what!
We first got our taste of life with 4 Saturday when we got home from the hospital and that very evening 2 of the 4 woke up puking in their beds! I will. never. forget. the lost and confused feeling of hearing Joe say "she's throwing up!" twice within 5 minutes of each other! I just sat on the bathroom floor washing puke out of hair while holding a 48 hour old baby whom I do not know yet so I have NO idea what she wants/needs at the moment and trying to cry all my scared and self pity tears out before Joe can get back upstairs from washing sheets so he doesn't see his wimp ass team mate breaking down! :o)
Joe sprouted wings and a cape while he was in the laundry room because he came back and saved the year! He took puking babies to hunker down for the next 48 hours of pukes and tears of illness while I was quarantined to my bedroom with the baby so neither of us got it. It was So Hard hearing him struggle with sick babies and 2 puking at once and washing sheets and entertaining them in a 12x12 foot area so the rest of the house stayed less infected. I couldn't show my face or they would cry for me and eventually I just had to turn the fan on and drown them out and take a nap because I have had about 2 hours of sleep in 4 days and I just had a baby and that's just not good!

Today is week 5 and just yesterday I noticed that I am finally feeling somewhat normal physically. That is a ridiculously long recovery time! I just had so much more delivery related aches and pains than I've ever had before. I'm not sure if its because of  4 babies in 5 years or the c/section scar tissue or if I had some sort of issue going on that has resolved. Unfortunately now I think its my job to feel all the way normal because I simply have no endurance from laying around for the past 8+ weeks and the extra 20lbs doesn't help!

So now for a look into life here with 4. This is my full time job, mother to 4, wife to 1 a few short hours a week I also do some Childrens Ministry work for church at the same time I am doing my full time Mommy job, but I am compensated for it and I like the way it keeps me connected to a calling outside our four walls. Also in a few weeks I will spend 8 glorious hours outside these 4 walls taking care of pregnant women which I have decided I am now over qualified for considering I am now an expert on all things birthing and babies. If it weren't for permanent placenta brain I might go around saying that more often, however I can no longer remember my name or why or when a patient might get antibiotics or the way around an O.R so there is still plenty in life to keep me humble ;o)

This place is like a work environment nightmare. Not only am I in charge of keeping everything running but I am the one who is supposed to do the running also! Then there are these people I have to put up with. Right now I have the "seemingly helpful but overzealous brown noser" following me around all day repeating what I say to the others. Asking me 100 times a day if she can help do things she is less than qualified for or even able to do. Yes, I would love for you to cook dinner however you are 5 and I do remember something about proper delegation from nursing school. Since the job of "poopy diaper tosser" is already taken by the 2 year old we are going to have to get creative in your role around here! Its probably going to involve something where you follow me around all day and talk my ear off... is that a position?
I also have the "lay low and you wont get caught and asked to do something" one. Who is also the professional mess maker and liar extraordinaire! However she is also the comic relief so she has that going for her. If she weren't so darn difficult to reason with I'd promote her but for now she is simply known as the "geyser" for all her drama filled emotional break downs and constant runny nose. Today in the car she cried all the way home because her paper cut on her "fien-der got one bleed".... no further comment necessary. These two despite their difficulties are somewhat self reliant and require less from me than the other two as long as I am willing to clean up after them while they do whatever craft/play/food mess they do while I am otherwise occupied.

The pumpkin headed one keeps me on my toes, she still requires full help unless you like your dirty diapers in the hamper and your clothes in the trash, or your toothbrush dipped in the toilet and then left in the diaper pail! She runs around after the other two trying to do what they do and just spoiling all the fun, unless its a dance party then she is the belle of the ball and can do the cha cha slide with the best of  'em! Heavenly blessings for me she is a good sleeper and I don't see her between the hours of 8pm-8am or from 1pm-3pm, sister likes her bed as long as there is a blankie and a paci!

The baby is a good friend, her current role as my official nap buddy might be the reason I still have 20lb to loose and if she weren't so darn snuggly I might put her down and lift a weight or even a finger but as life has it I am not willing to because she is already looking 12 years old so I think ill hang on to her as ridiculously long as every mother clings to her baby and spoil her until I die :o)

I am blessed with good girls but have yet to find my groove with all four of them and mostly I feel down right ganged up on! I also feel a little bit trapped right now because I have the desire to go out of this house after that magically beautiful but long and confining winter but the thought of going anywhere and trying to wrangle Carly and manage Allie and not just scream at the older two for very small offenses simply because my stress level is escalated seems terrible and awful and I'm not willing to try it quite yet. I have just managed to make it out into the yard with them last week! I have now made 2 trips to Sams because their carts are magically enormous and they give free cookies and I can make it there and back in less than 2 hours. I also managed 1 trip to Target which resulted in screaming baby and a blow out diaper change in the ladies dressing room but overall it wasn't horrible, just not overly enjoyable either.

With all that said I am so happy with my little collection of ladies and wouldn't have it any other way and I am blessed with plenty of family around to help me out with them when I need it which they have done wonderfully! We have even managed to still have 2 date nights since she has been born which shows you how well things are going even if my brain hasn't computed it yet.

I think they've got it under control, Ill go take a nap

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Alice Grace

Ohh the birth story. Everyone's most anticipated blog post of the formerly pregnant blogger :o)

Allow me to set the stage...
36 weeks pregnant I mentally exhausted myself wondering when I would go into labor.
37 weeks pregnant (and mentally exhausted) I laid around waiting to go into labor.
38 weeks stinkin still pregnant and I started calling all of my friends to make plans because I couldn't take thinking about it any more and I needed distraction. Playdate, Zoo trip, OB appointment, errand running followed by bible study was my week leading up to baby debut...

Funny fact: when I was pregnant with Carly I drank Dr Pepper Ten one day (a lot of it) and I contracted all day. I don't know if it was related but decided that drinking any more probably was not a wise choice.
I got a little curious if the same thing would happen again and might have purchased the Dr Pepper Ten at Target that day. And I might have gone into labor that night. Now I am not saying that Dr Pepper Ten induces labor... but I thought it was quite a funny coincidence!

Thursday I made a lovely roast for dinner, I felt a few contractions during dinner (6:00) but they were not painful and hardly noticeable. 6:45 Dave and Meg show up for Small Group and Meg and I talk about how I have been scheduled for an induction for the following Thursday morning because the MD's don't want me to try to VBAC after my due date. I admitted to Meg that I was feeling a few non painful contractions but I seriously didn't think any more of it.

Early Labor, last pregnancy picture EVER! ;o)

However they got stronger and by the time we finished praise and worship around 8:00 I thought I could probably time them. So I put Carly to bed and timed few 3-5 min apart! I joined the ladies (as they guys had gone for separate discussion) and after a few more I informed the gals that I indeed thought I was in labor! They were all so excited (mostly Meg and Lauren who tried to convince me to just let them deliver her for me here at home :o)
I was going to sit join the discussion however the men decided that they would prefer to talk about our topic along with their wives and they wanted to rejoin the group. At that point I couldn't see the boys appreciating me laboring during small group. I have the need to pace and move around during early labor anyway so I headed upstairs to pack and informed Joe that I thought I was in labor but we had lots of time and he rejoined the group. I called my mama and packed our hospital bags and the girls bag for Grams house. Everyone cleared out of Bible Study pretty quickly (after cleaning up, thank you for that by the way!) Joe sent the girls upstairs to "help me" and I informed them that it was baby time. They were excited but way more excited to find out that they got to go to a slumber party at Grams house!
Now can I just say that one thing I was looking forward to was using a handy contraction app on my phone, I don't know why I just was. So I had downloaded one weeks ago and it sat there on my phone taunting me and now I get to use it! However after 20 logged contractions it said "you must purchase the full version of this app if you want to keep using it"! LAME! I quickly downloaded another one but I was so over it by then and really didn't care how close together they were because all I knew was that they were close enough :o)
While Joe quickly deposited the girls with his mom I called Dr Schuermann who was the doc on call(yay!) and let him know I would be in sometime although I didn't know when as I knew it was still early. However as soon as Joe got back he couldn't handle not going to the hospital so we went.

10:37 In triage. I'm 3-4cm 80% effaced and -2 station. I had just been 3cm/50% the day before but I was not worried, they were a little stronger and I knew it was labor. The nurse asked me if I would want an epidural eventually and I said "uhh I don't know, maybe, we will see" As soon as she left Joe said "Whats this about the epidural?" I told him I just hated getting them and I wanted to just wait and see. Simple enough right? I was admitted which took a while and transferred to my labor room where they were still very manageable, still talking/walking through them etc.

Heres the big oops you are all waiting for... I might have forgotten to tell my loving, wonderful, no nonsense, husband that I wanted to try going natural! Here's my reasoning.

A. I thought I did tell him. I told him when I was pregnant with Carly that I wanted to try and he said "I think that's stupid but you can do whatever you want" haha. some of you ladies might take offense to that response but I know my husband well and I was not. See Joe is no nonsense. Get it done, Do it well, do it the most efficient way that makes the most sense. Anyway I ended up with a c/section and so it really didn't matter.
B. My only reason for trying it was because my labors are pretty quick and text book as far as progress and I have always gotten an Epi before I would say I "needed it" just to be safe and I have always HATED the process of getting the epi. I realize that most people don't mind the process one bit but I have serious issues with it and I did not look forward to it at all!
C. I had pictured what my natural labor would be like and if at any time I wasn't ok with how it was going I would go ahead and get the epi. I wasn't trying to be a warrior woman, I don't mind being numb. I have seen my fair share of natural labor and so I was pretty sure I knew what I would like mine to look like. I knew I wouldn't want help from anyone, I don't need a cheerleader or coach. I hate background music, I hate being wet and I had no desire for my rear end to be hanging out for hours on end. I didn't want to be overly noisy or move around much. I just wanted to be left alone and I would let someone know if I needed drugs or to push a baby out :o) If at any point it was going different than this I would get the epi. So I didn't feel that Joe needed any sort of education on how to help or assist me. I didn't need anything from him. What I failed to think about was the affect watching me be in pain would have on my lovely husband. Oops. Now that I have heard his thoughts about the whole ordeal I feel really, really super duper bad about putting him through a situation that he had no control over and no preparation for. He never would have been excited about it, but I could have at least told him what to expect and that I had no expectations from him as my helpless mate ;o)

11:45. Dr Schuermann comes in to check me and see if I wanted him to break my water. I had no objections to him breaking my water so he did. I was now 5/100/-2 Kelly arrived after this and shortly after my parents and Kara came too. I knew to expect my water breaking to speed things up and intensify the contractions and it did. After standing for a few I decided to kneel facing the back of the bed and this is where I stayed. It was such an out of body experience after watching other women go through the process it was pretty cool to "watch myself" progress. I was breathing through the contractions for a while and it was really no big deal, not anything I couldn't handle and not super painful, then my breathing changed, then I couldn't be quiet through them and I knew that I was nearing transition. This scared me just a little because I realized at this point that they were pretty intense and if I wasn't as close as I thought there was NO way I could sit for an epi at this point. My nurse (wonderful Mandy, she loves Jesus and prayed with me when I got there, that was awesome) came in and I asked her to bolus my IV bag. It just made me feel better knowing as I labored that I would have the required liter of fluids in me if I wanted an epidural. I knew that Dr Schuerman would be back to check me around 1:30 but at 1:20 I couldn't take it anymore and asked for him to come. I had always told myself that if I got to 8cm I would go natural. Sure enough I was 8 and I was feeling tired. Joe said he knew then that we were in for the long haul.
 I was sitting in the bed at this point after being checked and I liked it because I could relax in between contractions better however they felt closer together and I knew they were more intense! However I was surprised at how short they seemed. I thought they would feel never ending but the truly painful part seemed to only last 2-3 seconds and so I was still managing ok. All along as I progressed Joe was inching his way closer to my side. I really didn't need anything from him but he did keep my sheet and gown in place while I moved which I truly did appreciate and thanked him for repeatedly. During most of my labor I kept my eyes either shut or covered with my hand, and even in my blindness I could tell just by his body language and breathing that he. was. mad! I knew he was frustrated with the situation but I didn't dwell on it and by then things were happening very quickly. Dr Schuermann had the room set up for delivery and Mandy never left the room after this which I appreciated because at this point I needed to be done and get her out and if Mandy was in there then that could happen :o) I have no good recollection of time or how many contractions I had but I just remember about 3-4 contractions of "get out, get out, get out!" and wishing I had the urge to push. I remember having a contraction and just deciding to push and see what would happen and NOTHING did... until the next contraction I still don't think I had the urge to push but I told (or yelled, whatever) Mandy that I had to push. She told me not to which I think I am going to de-friend her for and I pushed anyway. Dr Schuermann was called in and then I had the bowling ball in the rear feeling that everyone talks about but for some reason I didnt associate that with an urge to push. But push I did! Dr Schurmann told Mandy to prep me and I yelled at her to "get back here and get her out!" hehehe lovely. Then I thought that Dr Schuermann was certainly for some reason prying me open to go in after her, I may have demanded that he get his hands off of me to which Joe tells me now that the doc was about a foot away from me when i said that and Dr Schuerm said oh, so, calmly "that's her head Katie, push her out" And with two pushes I did! It was not the feeling I was expecting. I had delivered her head with the first push and didn't even know it, I thought "this is going nowhere" and they said "now push her shoulders out"...

 I remember them saying she had a short cord and by the time they laid her on my chest I was in such aftershock that I couldn't even look at her. Joe tells me he felt the same way :o| I felt like I had just been through war, it was weird to try to hold and cuddle and coo... for about 5 seconds, by the time they got her turned around to face me I was over it all!
She weighed 6lb 4oz 19in long and she was tiny and cute and dark headed. She nursed right away and everyone came back in to see her. It was weird delivering in the middle of the night because there were no phone calls to make or text messages to send. There were only a few dedicated visitors there to see her right away and then its early morning and you haven't slept all night long but I couldn't fall asleep and didn't end up sleeping until the next night. When I sent her to the nursery and slept HARD until they brought her back to me to feed every few hours.

So in summary I am glad I went natural, I'm glad I had the opportunity and was able to experience it once. I do feel awful for not preparing my husband and No, I would never do it again. I didn't like the mental feeling afterwards. Although it is our plans for this to be our last I would bear the pain of the epidural in exchange for the happy more enjoyable delivery. I think that I am in the minority with those feelings because I have never heard anyone say them before. But I am ok with that, I like being a rebel :o)

Stay tuned for the story about how the night we got home from the hospital my super hero husband said to me from the girls room "they're puking!" and I spent 36hours quarantined in my room! Its a fun story...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I've Never Been So Pregnant

Warning: A boring life update that I took the time to write so I have to publish, I was distracted and brain fried by the end :o)

Here I am 37w4days, I've never been so pregnant in all my life :o) Annie stayed in the longest at 37/3.
I remember wanting to be done with that pregnancy, Mia and Carly snuck up on me at 36 weeks and I didn't have time to wish them out they just came! there's no telling when this child will decide to make her appearance. Physically I am doing good, I'm really not that uncomfortable she's not in my ribs or lungs much at all, I have some pelvic and lower back alignment issues but I know what sitting/lying positions prevent it so they're not a big deal. I am not sleeping well at night but is because I can't turn my brain off once I wake up I think about labor and then Im up for hours and hours. That is my biggest complaint right now. Mind over matter. I thought I would have delivered a week and a half ago so my calendar has been sitting EMPTY! I have practically spit shined the house, kept up with the laundry, packed my hospital bag (something I have never really done before) and now I am SO BORED! I just wander around the house trying not to get myself into a mood. Its a really annoying place to be stuck in and I can't imagine doing this for another 3 weeks!

I took Annie for an eye exam a few weeks ago for her kindergarten admission and she was prescribed glasses! It was really adorable watching her go through the process of the exam and she was making me laugh so hard at her grown up answers to all the questions. It turns out she is near sighted and has astigmatism just like her Mama.
She also got to go to New Hope's Father Daughter Dance for the first time last week and had a blast! She couldn't wear her new glasses because of her tiara of course :o) Gerri and I found her dress for $13 at Kohls marked down from $60 and her daddy bought her a matching corsage!
She came home and told me "My Daddy was THE best dancer" and when I pushed her to tell me if any of the other daddies were good dancers she said "NO my daddy is the best dancer in our whole family!" She had lemon cake with powdered sugar and danced with Anella and then she curled her little lip up and in a disgusted voice said "mom, there was another girl there with the same dress as me" lol. It was priceless and I saw a glimpse into her high school prom days :o)

Mia and I went and painted our own pottery piggy bank on a special date while Annie and Daddy were out and Gram kept Carly. She was very proud that it was her "very special treat" and I had fun just being one on one with her! She talked non stop and had the employees in stitches listening to her comments. She is really easy going these days other than erupting in tears every time I say the word "no". I remember Annie going through that phase and I am just rolling with it. She asks every day multiple times a day what our plans are. Especially every night when I put her in bed. If she knows we have nothing planned for the next day she will say "mama what's after nothing?" The other night she came into my room at 2am and woke me up to ask "what are we doing after we go to Aunt Char's house?" Aughhhh! Its starting to get really annoying she asks so often it wakes her up in the night!

Carly's vocabulary is expanding every day and although I can't keep up with her physically I love teaching her new things because she eats it up! She calls everything in the bathroom the "bafroom" and asks for baths daily saying "mama I bafroom?". She also has started tattling on herself when she plays in the toilet she will come to me and say "mama I pay bafroom". She repeats whatever the girls tell her to and tattles on them constantly which I find amusing. She wanted to work a puzzle last week and Annie told her she wasn't allowed because she wasn't helpful. She came running to me tattling "Mama, Annie no helpful" :o)

And because I was up at 3am my brain has now reached capacity for the day and I am going to end this post without an official ending :o) Hopefully my next post will be a baby story!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Lengthy Christmas Season Recap (for memories sake)

This year we truly cut back and it was appreciated nearly every day! Gifting was cut back, much to some of my siblings teasing chagrin. I just have to say that for a non-gift-giver gifting is not the same experience it is for someone blessed with the joy of gifting. It just isn't something that comes naturally to me. I have weighed it over in my mind, wondering if its related to selfishness or whatnot but I came to the conclusion that I just don't get the JOY of giving! Maybe my expectations of giving are too high? I want to honor the person I am gifting, therefore I want it to be perfect, something they have always really wanted, will use all the time and also something that they wouldn't have necessarily bought for themselves. Something that will bring them joy every time they see, or use it. That is a lot of expectations for a gift! Therefore I stress over what to get someone and think it is stupid to purchase something just to wrap up for the sake of them having a gift to open on Christmas! Children are fairly easy to shop for, they make their dreams and requests known and they are super excited when they are fulfilled. We brilliantly draw names for gift exchange in both my family and Joes so I had a grand total of 5 children's gifts to buy. What Fun! My siblings blessed with the joy of gifting decided to exchange amongst themselves this year to which my like minded brother and sister in law joined Joe and I in saying "Merry Christmas" to each other as the others opened their gifts.
Parents were gifted with things that were needed or desired and we were more than happy to fulfill their requests!

We had our annual cookie baking day at moms with the kids and they had fun and tons of sugar. We accomplished very little in comparison to previous years because we set our sights a little more realistically and we enjoyed the time with the kids. Although I do foresee the possibility of a ladies cookie baking night in our future Christmas season because that was an idea that was talked about that I think just sounds wonderful!

This year Annie and I were invited to join my mom and sisters at the Nutcracker since she has reached the required age of 5. This year my Dad and John Patrick also went and we had a wonderful time. Annie was so excited to be able to wear her pretty Christmas dress and have a special outing with her "best friend Anella". She sat on either mine or moms lap and talked through the entire thing, asking questions and making comments and it was so much fun!

We listened to whatever Christmas music we were in the mood for, watched plenty of Christmas movies and the girls even got "Hanes sisters fans" courtesy of their daddy for Christmas so they can now do the Sisters dance from White Christmas with their own blue feathered fans which is pretty adorable.

With the help of my sister taking all three girls to church Joe and I were able to join his moms family in Dayton for their annual brunch which was a nice time for just adults to enjoy one another's company, Joe's Grandpal loved Christmas brunch at the club and we have not made it a priority since he passed away because it always lands on the same day as my family Christmas party. However his Uncle Art has just been diagnosed with cancer and we wanted to opportunity to be together with them this season. We were back in plenty of time for my family Christmas!

We enjoyed a semi-quiet Monday and then the festivities continued on Christmas eve with Joe's family. After a quiet Christmas morning with the girls who enjoyed a tea party on their new tea set (from Joe and I) they played with all of their toys from the previous day, ate candy from their stockings we headed to my parents for our traditional brunch of biscuits and gravy, ham and potatoes and enjoyed a quiet day of Christmas naps and movie watching and were later joined by Kelly & Zach, and eventually Kara's family at dinner.

I think I truly confused the girls on the whole Santa matter this year. Joe and I have always said we wanted Jesus' birth to be front and center during the Christmas season. Its hard to convince children to get excited about that when you have a great and powerful Santa Claus who will bring you anything and everything you ask for looming around you. So we decided to tell them that Santa is a fun thing to play and pretend, he's great fun like superheros and such. So one day when they picked out books to read, one about Santa and one about the birth of Christ I told them that santa is just pretend to which Annie said "I already knew that, Troy told me" No big deal from either of them.
Christmas morning they come downstairs to their table set for tea and I had to remind them that their stockings were even there! Later when my mom asked Annie who got them their presents Annie looked at Joe and I and said "Im lookin' at 'em"
Then fast forward to Christmas night we come home and the girls #1 question every night is "What are we doing tomorrow?" especially during this season when we have been doing so many fun things. Annie said "but when does Santa come?" I explained to her that the stockings that morning and such was pretend from Santa and she mostly implied that I was wrong.
A few days later while riding in the car Annie says "mom, you know on Polar Express they say that there is Santa and I think they are right and you are wrong" ;o) I just let it go and decided to let it ride till next year and we will see where we stand then.

Instead of loading the girls up and taking a Christmas light tour we added a few special stops when we were already out and about. We hit two local homes that have light displays set to music on the radio and were so glad we did, they were pretty darn cool! Other than those we just took a detour down a road or two here and there and pointed out lights to the girls. Last night on our way out of the neighborhood I heard Carly say "Ohhh wook, see, pre-dy!"

Which brings me to my next point that Carly Jayne is really talking up a storm right now and its so adorable! I first noticed her really conversing with me about a month ago, a baby replying when you ask her a question just catches you off guard at first. When you are used to saying "Do you want some milk?" and they reply "milk" for months and then you ask and they say "yes" its just funny! as well as hearing her say "yep & nope". She dropped something one day while at the table with me and said "uh oh I get it" which I suppose was her first sentence, however last week when she spilled her cereal on the kitchen floor and said "uh oh mama, I drop a yereal" it was pretty epic. She came to me when I was watching Samuel and reported "Mama, molmol is stuck!"
She has also added "mia, Mam=Gram, Mamps=Gramps, Char, Juice, Water & Poopy" amongst much more.
She sits on my lap and pats my belly saying "hi baby" and one day when I went in her room to get her out of bed and was putting my shirt over my head as I walked in she said "hi Mama, Hi baby!"

We just got back from our annual trip to Indiana where we had a wonderful time with our family as usual and look forward to celebrating with the Glenn family this Saturday. So with the exception of packing all things Christmas away I am happy to have the season winding down. I think the de-decorating will go slowly according to my mood and ability as the rest of the season has.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Great Wolf Adventure!

Success! Great Wolf Lodge Christmas Gift 2013 was:
 "Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome!" -Mia age 3
"My best day ever!" -Annie age 5

Check in to your room is at 4pm although you can check into the water park at 1pm. We chose to meet Joe after work which ended up getting us there right around 4 anyway.
I told the girls that morning that we were going on an adventure and there would be no naps for them which was exciting in itself (for them). I packed one backpack with jammies toiletries and a change of clothes for the next day, grabbed their blankies and bears and headed to grams to grab swim gear.
Over the summer Joe told Annie he would take her to a water park someday and since then she randomly asks if we can go. She declared when I got in the car at Grams that we were headed to a water park but when I asked her if she wanted to put her bathing suit on and go out in the snow she quickly decided that was not what we were doing!
We dropped Carly off at my sisters for a baby free adventure and ran to Kroger to purchase what ended up to be $35 worth of junk food aka "adventure snacks" and breakfast for the next morning.

When I pulled up to the lodge Annie said "mom, you never told us you were taking us to a big building!" so excited even though she had no idea where we were, you couldn't see the loops of water slides jutting out the sides of the building from the front ;o)
Waiting in the lobby for Daddy

Writing letters to Santa
There was a craft center in the back of the lobby
Needless to say they were super excited. The lobby was all decorated for Christmas and there is a big picture window in the back that overlooks the waterpark. So they ran around like crazy looking at everything while we waited a few minutes for Daddy.
We got checked in and headed to our room to change.
Excited to head to the water!

We chose to book a standard hotel room (with a fireplace because it was the same price so why not?) as opposed to the cool kid friendly rooms with bunkbeds in a small room designed as a wolf den or tent because it was about $30 more for those and we decided although really adorable and fun they wouldn't know what they were missing and we could spend the $ on food. Looking back the only reason I would pay for the bunk room is so that I could have slept. The girls are not used to sharing a queen size bed and they toss and turn all night long, therefore every 30 min they would wake up crying that they were being kicked or slapped until I finally moved Mia to the floor at 2:00 and when she woke up again at 4:30 and I tucked her back in, I never actually went back to sleep!

The water park was AMAZING for their little bitty selves. They had 5 toddler slides and 2 hot tubs (one adult only) a wave pool, 6 tube water slides and 2 open twisty slides, a "lilly pad" pool and a traditional 4ft pool with basketball hoops, a lazy river and a huge jungle gym/tree house where every single part of it had a lever or a button or a handle that squirted or poured or drenched or dripped or dropped water by the gallons... literally, there is a 1,000 gallon bucket that tips over every so often. Its a water wonder land!

I was a little worried about Mia when she didn't even want to go down the kiddie slide at first, but after we took her down the tube slides where she could ride in the front of a double tube sitting wrapped in our legs her spirit of adventure took over and she was riding every slide in the place!

We played for a few hours and then went back to the room for baths and ordered pizza from Pizza Hut (although there is a pizza place in the lodge)

We went to the lobby where the clock tower came to life for story time which was very earth friendly ;o) They sang Christmas songs and then it "snowed" in the lobby. Very Cool!

 In the lobby for story time in our jammies
 Obligatory Hotel bed jumping
 There was never a fight among them, they were adorable running everywhere holding hands!
 Annie in the wave pool when the waves were off
 The smallest baby slide Annie "catching" Mia

 See all those empty chairs? I highly recommend going during the week, we never had to wait for anyone in any line, it felt like we had the place to ourselves! There were so few people there I recognized everyone's faces by the time we left.

 Crossing the lily pads (Annie is in the background)

 Daddy and Annie getting ready to ride into the "Toilet Bowl"
 Ohh the stairs, my pregnant bare feet regret all of this today!
Mia and Daddy riding into the "Toilet Bowl"
Thoughts on our stay.
It was the perfect amount of time, I wouldn't have wanted to stay 2 nights.
I personally wouldn't bring anyone younger than 3, there were TONS of families there with toddlers and infants but as a parent I would have been incredibly bored, I think it was fun to be able to ride the big tube slides with the girls. I think the ideal ages are 3-12 the few older kids we saw looked very bored. The only traditional swimming pool is only 4 feet and there's no rough housing allowed.
It was just a tiny bit too cold in there! They say it was 84, but without sun shining on you 84 degrees is not quite warm enough. We wished we had rash gaurds or something for the girls. We kept heading to the spa to warm up and it was a perfect 98 so I felt safe getting in for a little bit being pregnant.
There are plenty of towels and life jackets so you don't have to bring any.
We ordered pizza from pizza hut down the road for dinner (a large from the lodge is about $15) packed doughnuts and juice for breakfast, there is a microwave and a mini fridge so I even brought oatmeal for myself!
Drinks are $2.50 out of the machine but I had brought a few bottles of water and our water bottles to fill. The prices at the 2 restaurants were not ridiculous. Comparable to any grill, kids meals $6, appitizers $9, a loaded burger was $12 and the breakfast buffet for 4 people was only $26.
We received a $30 voucher when we booked the room (I signed up for their email club which got a 20% discount on the room also) which they loaded onto your wrist band, which was also your keyless entry into the room. They forgot to add it when we checked in and I inquired about it after we ordered dinner. It expired at 11:00am the next day and we planned to use it for lunch. When I asked in the morning what time the grill opened so I could order lunch before 11 they said it opened at 11:30! So my free money was down the tube... however as I talked this out with the lady at the front desk she kindly offered to extend our voucher through the afternoon! Win!
Check out is at 11:00am but you are allowed to stay in the water park until 9:30pm. I would recommend packing very strategically and either leave your stuff in your car or rent a locker for $10 which is what we chose to do since it was Freezing outside. We just took all of our pillows and dirty clothes out to the car and kept a bag with our clothes for the trip home and showered in the changing room, it worked out perfectly!
They offer cool things like bowling, mini golf, an adult spa and a little girls spa (holy expensive) and a cool interactive scavenger hunt type thing called Magiquest. But we didn't find any of it necessary, our time was full with just the water park!
It was a great experience, so glad we did it and we would love to go back some day!