Friday, June 19, 2015

Moving... we are...about 2/3 into our move...having left our old house, town, family, friends and staying with family in Idaho...not yet moved into our next home. This has been an ordeal. I know people say moving is one of the most traumatic, trying things you can do but not sure that really registered with me until we actually tried moving our family of 8 across the country. Getting our house showing ready was traumatic by itself....the month from heck. I learned mostly that I need to clean more on a regular basis because my house was not fit for strangers' eyes. Also that I might just have the slobbiest kids on the planet. It's a feat just to undo the daily damage they do....let alone deep cleaning and decluttering....painting...fixing etc. So that's done and then having showing after showing turn up no sale. Really?!! You don't want to buy my freaking gorgeous house at a ridiculously low price?!! WHY NOT?! So we lowered our price a few more times and sure enough we got a bite. So then to just absorb the reality that we were actually moving. Start realizing that we have weeks not months left....then days not weeks....then minutes not days. Saying goodbye is definitely not something I have down. And somehow we managed to make each goodbye its own separate occasion. It would have been nice to have a few lumped good goodbye cry....and goodbye group hug. But one by one they came and each time I had to make the goodbye-ee aware of the fact that I don't have control of my emotions and was completely unstable. I'm not sad about where we are headed but sad about who I won't get to see on a regular basis anymore....sure I'll see them again but not whenever I want. We've moved before but this was different. I've never been as close with my family...never had as good of friends as this. The deep sadness made me feel really grateful....just like Winnie the pooh says..."how lucky i am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.." Will I find friends like that again? I'm not sure...and that's scary. I'll be ok though...I have Daniel...I have awesome kids....I have Daniel's family out here and all of my friends and family in Illinois. That can be enough right? It takes me years usually to make good friends...the kind you can call at the last second to meet you at the park so you don't lose your mind. Thank goodness for texting and Facebook. So now here I sit in sort of a limbo between houses...homeless really for a few more weeks...enjoying a semi-vacation and hanging out with the in-laws. Not sure that having moved has set in since every year we come out for a visit. The real test will be when we move in and there's just us and our new place. till then...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For this child I have prayed.

Emerson Grace Ames was born on 11-12-13 at 12:26 weighing 6 lbs 11 ounces measuring 18.5 inches long.  She is a sweetheart and I love her more than words can express. I'm so grateful she is healthy and thriving....beyond grateful. 
I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant. I even told a few of my closest friends. A couple of weeks went by and I started showing signs of miscarriage. I was heartbroken. Lab numbers came back that in studies have shown to lead to miscarriage over 95% of the time. Only time would tell. I went in for an ultrasound fully expecting to hear the worst news. But, there was a heartbeat and a tiny fetal pole.   So we'd have to wait and see how things would go. Next couple visits/ultrasounds showed she was running out of room in her unusually small gestational sac.  Again studies showed that in over 95% of the cases like this a miscarriage followed. For the second time I found myself mourning the loss of my baby. This along with other bad signs had been there this whole pregnancy. It was an unbearable time. Then slowly week after week things started looking better. I had feared the worst but prayed continually that she would be my miracle. She is. I prayed that if this could just be my miracle....I would tell everyone about my faith in miracles and in a loving Heavenly Father who knows us and hears our prayers. So that's exactly what I'll do. Emerson...against all my miracle. I'm so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who gave her to me.  I don't know that I deserve her but I'll try hard to be worthy of this gift.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Opportune times

Today we are on our way to a St. Louis Cardinals game. It'll be a first for all the kids. So...I thought it'd be fun to make a few Cardinals shirts. I made a few for the boys, Daniel, and I. This was unacceptable to the girls. They whined their way into getting me to stop with all 5 kids at Target after Cub Scout pack meeting. It was going to be a quick run in, grab and buy 2 solid shirts, and run out. Within a minute of being in Target, all heck breaks loose. Everyone is yelling and wrestling. Then comes the "someone stabbed me" scream from Max. Apparently Henry pushed him down and he hit his forehead hard on the carpet. After making sure max was ok I sort of lost it and yelled "Can you all just behave for ONE minute?!!!" To which Henry calmly and seriously replied "No." That was followed by raucous laughter. Perfect timing as I was clearly in a jolly mood by this point. The kids got a good talking to on the way home after that. Here we are in our shirts on the way to the game.

Finally, Holly has a new habit which tends to drive me insane. It seems as though when things are extremely stressful in the van(they always are with 5 kids) Holly decides to ask this helpful question, "Mom, are you going the speed limit?!" I love her but this usually isn't what I need to hear when she asks it. I usually need to hear "Don't worry. This car ride won't last forever. They won't always try to kill each other in the van." I need something like that.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nail biter

Although Henry and Max are identical twins they are quite different in some ways. The other day as I pulled up to their grandpa's house I looked back to see Max biting his toenails. He bites all his nails in fact...pretty much all the time. Henry, however, prefers more of a gothic sort of vampire look with longer nails. I have to threaten nap time to get him to let me clip them. I kind of wish he were a nail biter too. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quarter for your thoughts

It had been a long day and I had just gotten everyone tucked in bed. I started doing the daily cleanup when I heard a shrieking coming from the boys' room. It didn't startle me, however, since this can sometimes be a nightly ritual. I calmly took my winded pregnant self up the stairs and opened their door. "You need to stop screaming Henry", I said. Henry looked panicked and said "I lost my quarter! I swallowed it!" He kept coughing and spitting in between explanations of what happened. I hoped it had been a penny but knew that if there's one thing my boys's the difference between a quarter and a penny. So I took him to the toilet since he was breathing and starting to throw up. I hurriedly called almost every member of my family to come over here and help me take him to the E.R. When we got to the E.R. they promptly took us back and after about 20 min. took Henry in for a chest X-ray. Below, you'll see a picture of Henry's chest which shows how the quarter was lodged sideways at the top of his esophagus. I felt so bad for Henry imagining how uncomfortable that would be. They then told us he would need an ambulance ride to the closest children's hospital which was in Peoria about 45 minutes away. The quickest ambulance we could get would be in 2 hours but it had to be an ambulance in case the quarter got jostled and blocked his airway. There's no way I wanted to risk that so we waited until midnight and then I hopped in the ambulance with Henry. He was such a trooper and was mostly distracted by the ipad thank goodness. After we go settled in a room in Peoria we hoped to hear that quarter removal would be quick. But of course it didn't happen that way. The surgical resident told us that since Henry was ok and breathing, etc, he would have to wait until 8 or possibly 10 am for surgery. Meanwhile, he could have nothing to eat or drink, though he did have an iv for fluids. In the morning they took an early xray which showed no quarter in his esophagus. Hooray! The doctor said that if had moved to his stomach then it wouldn't have to be surgically removed and could just take it's course, naturally. Gross I know. Anyway, we knew this meant that he could eat probably but had to wait to hear back officially. Around 8 Henry started asking for food and I told him he'd have to wait to hear what the doctor said. So, every time I left the room to find anything out or to go make a phone call, Henry would have one question for me when I got back, "What did he say?" :( It was such a sweet and heartbreaking question. He assumed I had been talking to the doctor to get permission for him to eat. Of course I would have loved to do that for him but as in most hospitals you spend a lot of time waiting for answers and approvals. Daniel and I were frustrated for poor Henry to say the least. Finally they took a 3rd xray and confirmed it was in his stomach and so we gave him bacon and juice and crackers and well anything we had that he wanted. He had certainly earned it. He got to go home around 12:45 and got a Chick-fil-a milkshake. He napped the rest of the way home since he hadn't gotten to bed the night before until 2. Needless to say I'm so glad to put this behind me and that it's over. It's brought to my attention just how fragile life is and how easily things can go very wrong. I know that I was truly blessed in this situation as it could have been so much worse. I'm grateful for that. It's made me hug my kids a little tighter and read them a few more stories even after I'm tired of it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bittersweet milestones

Well all of the kids started school this week. Andrew started 4th grade. Ashley started 2nd. Holly went to Kindergarten and Max and Henry started preK. It's been an emotional week with all these new beginnings. So far no one has cried about school starting....except me so I'd consider that a victory. Correction...the boys cried when the oldest 3 went to school without them...but quickly got over it. I apparently have a hard time each time I'm faced with the fact that my kids are growing up and things are changing. They won't always be my babies and while I know that's a good thing, it's hard to accept sometimes.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The kids are excited

Since I told the kids we are expecting a baby they have been really excited. Andrew, Ashley, and Holly have been wondering where the baby will sleep. Each hoping for a crib set up in their room. I asked them what nights they'd be getting up with the baby. Andrew quickly volunteered for at least 3 nights of the week. While I doubt he knows what he's signing up for it was still sweet of him.
Henry and Max still have no idea what I'm talking about when I say we are having a baby. My conversation with Henry today went as follows:
Me:Henry there's a baby in there(pointing to my belly)
Henry: did you eat a baby?!
Me: no!!
Henry: did you eat Alden?!
Me: no!!
So pretty sure they have no idea what's coming.