Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grandpa and herbs...

Brennen loves his grandpa!!!

Our herbs are growing very nicely. We've had to raise the light 3 notches already... Time to start looking for recipes that will take advantage of all those fresh herbs. (Ack!!!! That means actually cooking?!)
Cael had his first meal without mama tonight. I pumped a small bottle for him and Jason fed him. You'd think he'd be offended. Milk from a cold plastic nipple. Uhhh... No. He sucked it right down. He doesn't love the mama- he just loves the milk! I've been knocked off my pedestal and he's but a week old...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Baby Cael

Thought I'd post a bit while dinner bakes. Amber brought Chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner. Jason loves that my friends are bringing meals. He gets to eat all kinds of yummy things that I never make! Some of the MOPS moms and some friends from co-op have offered to bring dinner. We don't "need" meals, but it sure is a treat for all of us.

Here's baby in the new swing. I had to take back the not-so-pretty one since it didn't work. Bummer (not really). Now, Cael has a new boyish-blue swing and it works great.

This weekend was very busy at our house. Besides adapting to new baby, Brennen is undertaking full on potty training. It's going... okay... I guess... I'll let you know in a few days. Rhys and Kjersten conspired Sunday morning while playing outside. Rhys removed Kjersten's training wheels and now she is a free woman! Dirt roads are hard to navigate with training wheels. Now, she can ride the loop and to the mailbox with Rhys. No photos yet. It's too wet today for a photo op...

Jason was busy painting Kjersten's new bedroom and the new downstairs bathroom. Before you look at the photos, keep in mind that Kjersten is a six year old girl. The color is "pink tiara." How cute is that? The bathroom is "merri gold" and matches the yellow in the lions on the shower curtain. You'll see when it's all done. In the meantime, trust me- the colors are awesome!!! We just need trim and flooring. Soon...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cael Edward Daniel is here...

Well, as most of you already know... Baby has arrived! Cael Edward Daniel was born Monday, May 21, 2007 at 2:53 pm. He weighed 10 lbs. 6 oz. and was 22 inches long. (Waaaaayyyy down at the bottom, I'll put a short birth story. Those of you who are easily creeped out or just don't want that much info can skip it. I'll warn you well in advance!)

Here's Amber, Amy and I just hanging out- waiting for baby to arrive... It's hard for some to understand why I'd have friends present (as well as hubby) present at the birth. My mom was there when Rhys was born. Barb (my mother-in-law) was there with Kjersten and Brennen. Their presence was special and my modesty was overcome by wanting them to be a part of their grandchildrens' entrances. Well, by the fourth child, one no longer has any modesty and a ringside seat can be had by anybody! Not really...

I have been fortunate to see a handful of births (besides my own children) and cannot adequately describe the wonder. Sounds earthy. Sounds odd. But there is something about seeing something so close to God come into this world. It is indescribable and it is different than birthing your own. So, I had a few friends interested in being there. Jason was okay with that (he was able to nap and I still had someone to visit with).

Turns out Amy missed the birth (had to pick up some kiddos from school) by minutes. Nicole, on the other hand, took her place and provided play-by-play and some great photos.

Thank you for all of your prayers. We are still amazed at God's hand in this whole event. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this whole birth experience was and how very blessed we feel to have avoided a c-section! I know God's timing is perfect~ but it sure helped to have so many of you remind me of that!

He looks a lot like all our babies. He really looks like Rhys did. It's a bit unnerving.

We're all home and getting back into the swing of things. Rhys is thrilled to have another brother. Kjersten really just wanted a baby, so she's not disappointed in the least that its not a sister. Brennen keeps calling him "Jack" and can't believe we get to keep him. Jason and I are still shocked he's here... so soon!

**** Birth Story below *** (not graphic but still too much info for some...)

Previous posts talk about our issues with baby and his refusal to do what we thought he should! With polyhydramnios and his refusal to “drop” at all, we were looking at a c-section. (No one could feel a presenting part and the risk of cord prolapse is quite high when baby won’t engage.) I have never gone into labor on my own. We were supposed to go on Tuesday for another OB check and an ultrasound for size. I am very grateful we didn't have to do that. There is no way they would have let me go on my own if they knew how big he was.

Well, Sunday at midnight my water broke (actually a small tear) and that allowed us to avoid having to plan what to do. I didn't realize it was a tear as I was leaking everywhere. I got to wake up Jason with the "honey... it's time..." that I've always dreamed about. I called Labor & Delivery who agreed that I was not peeing and I needed to come right in. We called grandma, who had given up on us ever having baby. She was over within minutes. She crawled into my nice warm bed and we took off.

At the hospital, we checked in and watched the monitor to see that we really were in labor. It's a bit different that coming in at an assigned time and waiting for pitocin to start contractions. Amber came up around 2:00 am and kept me company while Jason catnapped. With the not-so-small leak, I dilated some on my own (to 5 cm) and got to experience a bit of “normal” labor. We ended up using pitocin to encourage productive contractions. Despite the looming threat of a section, my very conservative OB allowed me to labor in hopes that baby would descend. He told me later that he was very nervous, but my nurse practitioner encouraged him to relax and give us some more time. The epidural (I agreed early on due to the likelihood of a section) helped with pain but I was so nauseated that I don't think I was good company to anyone. No matter- I had other things to worry about. Baby did nothing for hours and then with one roll onto my side (a last ditch effort before c-section plans), I was complete, engaged, and pushing within minutes. Big head and stuck shoulders still only took 6 pushes. No tearing for me. No "cone head" for Cael. No broken collar bone to get him out!

Good thing he's the last baby (that we're planning). I know that my OB won't let that happen again. Big floaty baby and not being inducible doesn't leave a lot of options. So, our last birth experience was the "normal" beginning I had hoped for and the miraculous ending I prayed for!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Should have had the camera...

Kjersten showered with me this morning and while I was washing her back, I noticed a new mole on her back. Hmmm... No, not a mole after all... It was a tick!

Smart mama that I am, I made no mention of it. I called Ask-a-Nurse when we were out and dry and dressed. The nurse assured me that all we had to do was gently pull it off. No Vaseline, no tweezers, nothing fancy. I had Jason pull it off and he promptly threw it in the garbage. I guess, we're supposed to keep it for a few weeks until we're sure she suffers no ill effects. Oh well... Only once it was removed and I was off the phone did we even tell her that there was a bug on her. My oh-so-skittish child didn't even flinch. She's getting so much better...

Yesterday, she found a baby bull snake out by the water truck. She came tearing into the house- having a fit. A little talking: I had her describe the snake and where she found it and what it did (or didn't do) and she calmed right down. This is MAJOR improvement. After I assured her that he wasn't interested in her or being on the driveway (where they ride bikes) she went back out and played all afternoon. Good job, Lou!

We do need to revisit the subjects of snakes with the kiddos. Basically, we teach avoidance as rattlesnakes are present in our neck of the woods.

Now... if only we could do something about her pathological fear of dogs...

Grasping at straws...

No, I haven't gone to get the camera out of the van. Maybe today...

In the meantime, I've been reading all the internet info I can find on baby's position, options, and so forth... Yes, I know. The internet is full of useless and potentially dangerous information. I am quite conservative by nature (no kidding?!) and am quite thorough with my research. Anyhow, there isn't much out in cyberspace. Just as well.

The one non-invasive option mentioned repeatedly is working on a "birth ball". It's just a big exercise ball used for pre-natal exercise, labor management, and post-partum recovery. Since they are inexpensive and Jason wants one anyhow for working on core muscle strength, we bought one.

Now, you know why I didn't go in search of the camera! None of you needs to see me on that thing! We'll obviously keep you posted on its efficacy. In the meantime, George is thrilled to have a soccer ball as big as he!

Friday, May 18, 2007

What?!?! No photos?

Yeah... just asking for some grace here. My camera is packed (along with extra batteries, of course) in the car. Also in the car are are the kids' clothes/ necessities for a few days away from home, my bag for the impending hospital stay, my bag of things for hospital admission, labor, and entertainment for Jason. Also have the infant carseat washed and installed. Stroller is clean and just waiting...

All this to say I am hyper-prepared (as usual) and for NO GOOD REASON!!! Boo hoo! And it means that taking photos is a bit of an issue since the camera is not in here with me and the usual suspects.

So, when you see no photos, that's your cue to join my pity party as we wait... and wait... and wait...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Random thoughts

  • Kjersten (age 6) has always called Sesame Street "Stretcher Meat" and I don't ever correct her. I, of course, say it properly, but never correct her because it makes me laugh!
  • Brennen calls potatoes and tomatoes "namatoes" and refuses to eat either.
  • Rhys is reading the Hobbit with Jason. He reads further after Jason heads to bed and can recall, with astonishing detail, pages and pages of story. It's a bit unnerving. (Then again, he's always been that way...)
  • Rhys is depressed tonite. I let him watch some of the finale of Survivor. Save the lecture. We watch it together and this season's ending is turning into a great lesson on lying, claiming to be a Christian, and keeping one's word. Anyhow, he's very sad that his favorite character was voted off. With tears in his eyes, he told me he wished he had the "force." I assumed (incorrectly) that he wanted to change the outcome of the vote. Nope. He just wanted to get the TV remote without having to get up. What a boy!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another baby update...

Well, another baby appointment yesterday. Our due date is/was either last Saturday or this coming Saturday. Either way, baby does not appear at all interested in coming out. This is very discouraging to me. Bear in mind, I am not in a hurry for baby to be here. I just want to know that he or she will actually come on its own. Not looking good.

I will spare you the gory details (my dad reads this, you know...) but suffice it to say that I am not inducible. Baby seems unwilling to drop down far enough to be favorable for induction. The other kiddos (despite being floaty and not engaging either) apparently were further down than this bunchkin. So... we wait... and wait... and wait...

Next week, I'll have another ultrasound for size estimates and we'll see if I am any more favorable. If not, we're looking at a c-section. This is very disappointing to me for many reasons. Yes, I really love labor and delivery and will be sad about missing that experience. More importantly, I have had horrible surgery experiences. Every single one. Horrible. This really concerns me. And, I do NOT want to be recovering from surgery with four kiddos. Recovery is no big deal for most mamas but they don't live at the top of my hill!!!! (If you've been to my house, you know what I am talking about! Can you even imagine?!?!)

The good news? (there's always some!) Baby's NST was fine. Baby seems very healthy, happy, and (unfortunately) comfy in there!

After my appointment yesterday, I went and did BIG Costco and Wal-Mart trips. It took forever and I didn't even have kiddos! (They were playing at grandma's.) I filled the van and had to go home and unload before I could pick up kids. So, all that walking and such seems to have greatly increased my Braxton Hicks contractions. Even today they are much more frequent and stronger. Now, if only they'd pick up a bunch and actually do "something"!

We are praying (with the encouragement of my OB) for labor to start on its own and soon. He still has faith that a c-section is not inevitable- just looking more likely than we'd hoped. Please pray with us that, whatever course we end up taking, baby will arrive safely when he or she is ready. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Camping with Grandma & Grandpa

Oh, this is the kids' most favorite thing to do... CAMP!!! Even better when it's just with grandma and grandpa. They went last weekend which allowed Jason and I a chance to get a few things done around the house and just enjoy the calm before the storm.

Some photos from grandma:

Ewwwwww... This is what happens when a little boy with a runny nose rides the four-wheeler! Apparently dirt and dust are attracted to snot! Gross!

And this is what happens when we let grandpa supervise the kiddos. Ack!

The chain had broken so grandma and grandma took the opportunity to cause a momentary jump in mama's blood pressure! Very funny!

Clearly some very tired (happy) kiddos on the ride home. Grandparents are awesome!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Boys and their Guns

For our last day of co-op, the middle grammar (Rhys' class) and the lower grammar (Kjersten's class) went on an all-day field trip. That left George and I to help a bit setting up for tonight's end of unit party at the church. We helped just a little bit and then we went to Amber's. My hope was that George would take a nap as we were going to be gone all day today. Co-op to karate to dinner to end-of-unit party... Long day!

Well, NO, he did not nap. Go figure. Anyhow, when the kids were allowed to get up from their collective non-naps, they went out to play. The girls (now returned from the field trip) played nicely on the swing set. The boys each chose a 2x4 as their gun/sword and proceeded to "shoot" things- neighborhood cats, rabbits, the house being constructed next door. Very boy-like. And very cute!

(Now, it's time to get out of the van and head inside for our party. Our final co-op event of this school year. Better take the camera, huh?!)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

More kids' projects...

Here, the kiddos (Kjersten and Rhys) created a lovely hanger for their aircraft. They were so proud and rather insisted that I take a picture for the blog. (Neither child can fathom the concept of a childhood without computers, digital cameras, and such...)

Children and their projects!

This is our last botany project (other than the self-contained, self-watering AeroGarden) for a while! Have I mentioned that I don't like plants!?
But... the kids LOVE this stuff! (Another reason co-op is a lifesaver!)
Here's their sock heads sporting hairdos. Rhys' (far right) resembles a pirate. The other two are just cute. Behind the socks, in the pots, are flowers just beginning to sprout.