Wednesday, November 30, 2011
So we are scheduled to head to Iowa City on January 19th for a pre-op, lab work and an appointment with anesthesia, then surgery on the 20. The nurse said that Dr. Menezes blocked 4 hours for the surgery but I don't know how much of that is prep and how much is the actual surgery. They will keep him sedated for 48 hours after surgery because he needs to be on his tummy. Hospital stay will likely be 5-7 days.
Not quite sure how I feel about it at this point. It's good to have answers and to know that he is scheduled for surgery, but at the same time it's so scary that he actually SCHEDULED...like this is REALLY going to happen! I like Dr. Menezes so that helps, but it's just so scary that my sweet little baby has to even go thru this. I am thankful though, that it seems as if once this surgery is over, the cord will not retether or anything of that nature, so that makes me feel better too. I was a bit freaked out by the wait time, but then realized that it will be ok after all. This will get us through the holidays and Claire's birthday, a couple weeks to bounce back and be ready to roll for Kai's surgery. We are on the wait list for the Ronald McDonald House, so hopefully that works out as well.
Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Along with your prayers, they mean a lot. We are so blessed!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Ok, back to the story at hand. I have been fighting a stomach bug the last week so I have had a bottle of 7-up in the fridge. The exception to my no-pop rule is when the kids are sick. I usually let them have ginger ale to encourage drinking and such. I have let Claire have a little when she said her tummy was hurting. She was actually wanting milk, but I didn't really want to take a chance, so I gave her some pop much to her SHEER delight. My little Claire Bear LOVES her some pop! I don't let her have it mind you, but Grandma does and sometimes she sneaks a drink of Daddy's when Mommy isn't looking. So tonight at supper I asked the kids what they wanted to drink-meaning milk or water like I do every other night, and it doesn't take a genius what Missy Moo decided she wanted to drink...POP! I gave her "the look" and told her no, her choice was milk or water. She kind of sighed and made her choice. Supper continued with all family members calmly sitting perfectly in their chairs, using perfect table manners, and having a calm and lovely conversation....SIGH...or not. It was the usual supper chaos, but that's my life! :) All of a sudden, Claire must have swallowed her milk wrong or something and starting coughing like you do when it "goes down the wrong tube". I asked her if she was ok, and she looked at my, as earnestly and honestly as you can image, eyes huge with sincerity, and said "MOM! SEE??? THAT is why I needed POP!" I looked at Sam, who was struggling not to laugh, and just couldn't contain myself. Oh Claire B-you make me smile. :)
So awhile back, Sam's company switched cell phone providers so he got a new, upgraded phone. That, of course, made his Blackberry of no use to us, so we gave it to the kids to play with. Every so often, it surfaces from the murky depths of various toyboxes. Yesterday happened to be one of those times. My son took upon himself to carry "his phone" in his pocket all day. Now, we happened to have a VERY busy day today. We had to be to the ENTs office at 8:50, and dear friends, I try to not have to be ANYWHERE before 10, so this was a stretch for us, but we made it! Then it was groceries, lunch and wal-mart, a quick stop to drop off a few things to my mom, and finally home with 3 exhausted kids and 1 exhausted Mommy at 3:00. Alright, enough whining-back to the story.
So, anyhoo, my son has his Blackberry is his pocket all day. 1st stop-ENTs office: Darren whips out his phone and asks Claire what kind of music she wanted to listen to. Now you have to remember, he gets to play with Daddy's REAL phone on occasion and that one is FANCY SCHMANCY with games, music, cameras, flashlights, you name it. So he asks Claire is she wants to listen to some music and can she hear the princess song playing? She looked at him like he had grown an extra head and when back to her book. Not wavering at all he looked at me and said "how about you Mommy? What kind of music do you want to listen to?" I told him I felt like a little "I am a Promise" which is a song on a CD that he got for his birthday that I LOVE listening to him sing along with. Not missing a beat, he said "Ok!" and starting pushing buttons on his phone. He then turned around so his back was to me and started humming the song, pretending it was coming out of his phone...HAHA! I love imagination!
We then moved on to Fareway. The newest thing there is these little mini kid-sized shopping carts that they can push etc. I figured why not? and let each kid have one. They actually didn't do too bad with them, and the back of my heel only got rammed about 468 times, but who's counting right? Anyway, I so wish I would have had a video camera. I was in the canned veggies aisle checking out prices and look over at Darren. He is leaning kind of on one hip, proped up against the cart handle "talking" on his phone! I quickly looked away, but kept one eye on him to see what he was doing. He talked for a bit and then ended with "Ok, I'll call ya later. Bye" and pushed some button on his phone, stuck it back in his pocket and went on with his day, just very nonchalant like he talks on a cell phone all day..no biggie! I just about lost it trying not to laugh. Then a bit later "oh shoot, someone's callin' me, I better get this" and out of the pocket comes the phone and up to his ear for another short convo that involved a lot of "yeps" and "oks" and ended with "ok, see ya" and back in his pocket. The best was yet to come tho! We continued on and I was aparently taking too long looking at something or another and I look over and he is standing, kind of just a chilaxed pose, flipping his finger on the screen part of the blackberry like he was just browsing some apps. I chuckled but just went on my way, (Darren having stuck his phone back in the pocket) but there was something vaguely familiar about it that I just couldn't put my finger on. Fast forward to about 5ish. Sam is home from work, I am (still) working on putting away groceries, and we are just chatting and catching up, etc. Sam leans up against the dishwasher, crosses one ankle over the other, pulls his phone from his pocket....standing, kind of just a chilaxed pose, flipping his finger on the screen part of his phone.....Holy smokes I just about died laughing. Darren had looked EXACTLY...EXACTLY my dear readers, like Sam. He even put the phone BACK INTO HIS POCKET THE EXACT SAME WAY!!!! THAT was the reason it looked so familiar-my hubby does it EVERY DAY!!! HAHAHA!!!!! Oh man. I know all parents probably feels this way, but seriously my kids are so stinkin' funny they CRACK me up everyday!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ok, you kept reading, so here it goes :)
Tuesday Claire had to get tubes in her ears. She did FANTASTIC and was so brave throughout the whole thing. I was so proud of her being such a big girl. She has recovered great and was back to normal within a few hours! There was quite a bit of thick fluid in her ears so the doctor gave me some antibiotic drops to put in her ears for a few days. I'm sure it feels REALLY wierd, so obviously she is not so fond of me doing it to her. When I had to do Darren's when he had surgery, it was all out battle to get his drops in! When I say battle I mean battle-I had to almost lay on him to get him to hold still to put them in! Needless to say, I was not looking forward to doing it for Claire Bear!
So last night before bed, I got the drops out and readied myself for battle. However, I needn't have worried! Claire started to cry and protest when I said it was time for drops, and immediately her big sister and brother were there. Long story short, this is how we now to drops for Claire bear-she lays on the floor between my legs. Inevitably, she starts to whimper. One sibling or the other (usually Darren) says something to the effect of "remember ClaireB, it's just a tickle-it won't hurt-I PROMISE!" and SHE BELIEVES HIM! Ellie holds her hands and Darren rubs her back, and talks to her ("It's ok ClaireB, it's ok, almost done") while I do one ear. Then we all count to ten while I have to do a wierd thing to basically pump the medicine into her ear. Then she flips her head and Darren and Ellie switch roles. Darren holds her hands while Ellie rubs her back and talks to her. We count to ten again and then she's up. Both kids heap praise on her, telling her that she did such a great job,etc. This morning, Darren even gave her one of his stickers! This is all without ANY prompting from me! She wants so bad to be big like they are, so them telling her that she's doing a great job means so much more than if Mom just says it! I never have to call them-they just hear it's time for drops and spring into action! I'm so proud of them I could just burst! It's moments like this that I think maybe, just maybe they do listen when I tell them to be nice to each other! I guess in my mind, I LOVE it that they feel like it's their duty to help and protect their little sister. Moments like this seem to make it all worth it. It's just a little moment like that that keeps me going. Granted, they are all sleeping right now, and it's past my bedtime, so I'm allowed to feel sappy. If they were all awake and running around like hooligans, I might not feel the same.... :) Just kidding-they really are pretty cool kids.
Darren told me the other day that he thinks that since Kai is the cutest baby ever, we should put him in a baby show. Those were his exact words. It just struck me as hillarious-I know what he meant, but in my mind a baby show is like a dog show, except with babies...think about how funny that would be....ok, like I said, it's past my bedtime.
Got some good news today! They called from Iowa City and we have an appointment with Dr. Meneses on Nov 30th-2 weeks from today. I am so relieved to finally have an appointment, but at the same time, it kind of brought back all those nervous feelings that had kind of lessened while we waited! We just keep praying for patience!
Monday, November 14, 2011
Meanwhile Little Man is growing with leaps and bounds. He is crawling all over the place and is starting to get brave enough to crawl out of the living room (mostly when he is trying to find me :)) on his own. He gets frustrated that he can't crawl as well on the kitchen floor since it isn't carpet but it's kind of funny, so we just let him go. He loves people-especially his siblings, even though they think it's fun to wrestle with him now. The kid eats like a trooper, and is a solid little bugger but when we went to the doctor for a well baby check, he was around the 50th percentile for both height and weight, although his head measured in the 97%! Big head, big brain right! :)
And speaking of siblings, I have to share a funny story with you:
So Claire has a My First Dollhouse, which she LOVES to play with. We had it down in the living room the other day and her and Darren were playing with it. Darren was of course the daddy, and Claire was the Mommy. Daddy, when he wasn't fixing things by banging his head like a hammer on them, seemed to spend a crazy amount of time on the toilet and hiding from Mommy (you know they say kids mimic what they see, so I had to check with Superdad to see if he was indeed hiding from me when he wasn't in the bathroom) while the Mommy was taking VERY good care of the baby and rearraging her kitchen table and chairs about 500 times (THAT Claire must get from her Aunt Heather b/c my kitchen table and chairs are in the same place they were when we moved here!). But anyhoo, back to the story. I was in the kitchen, listening, but not letting them see me and this is a paraphrase of what I overheard:
D: I'm going up on the roof Mommy!
C: Don't go up there Daddy! That's dangerous!
D: It's ok! I'm just going to go parachuting! Do you want to parachute too?
C: Oh Yeah, ok! That would be fun!
D: Bring the baby too! We could take her parachuting for her birthday!
C: Oh yeah! That would be fun! Ok Daddy, here we come!
...and so on! I got a smile out of that one! But remind me when Kai's birthday comes around, let's not let Darren and Claire plan his present....
Now that it's WAY past my bedtime, I need to head to bed. It was a crazy busy weekend around here. Friday, I did 13 (that's NOT a typo friends...13...I REALLY needed to get caught up...'nough said) loads of laundry, made a wal-mart list for the hubby of all the last minute party supplies, got stuff picked up and organized so that when Sam got home we all worked together and cleaned. Joe and Heather came to watch the Iowa game on Saturday, so they were here a little early which was super fun, and then the big party Saturday night for Ellie girl's birthday. That = late bedtime for super tired kids from all the excitement and fun. This morning up bright and early for meeting, then lunch at the hall and a baptism. Helped clean up, got home about 3:45, quick changed and took Ellie to dance. Dike Rec does a dance class for 6 weeks and some girls from the UNI dance team teach the little girls a routine. Today was their final class and then a "performance" for the parents, so my poor little kiddos got about a 40 minute nap before we had to be ready to go watch El. Then home for a quick "supper snack" as my kids say, changed again and headed to Gospel Meeting! Kiddos and hubby to bed means some much needed quiet time for Mom! I will probably need a nap tomorrow but that's ok-it's worth it for the few minutes of peace and quiet now! :)
So that's a quick (ok, so it turned into a not-so-quick) wrap up of the happening of our family. I will keep you posted on the status of the appointment for Kai. Thank you all for you concern and prayers. We appreciate them all!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I'm taking the Now & Forever challenge: During this month of November I challenge you to say something you are thankful for everyday!
Day 1: I am thankful for the awesome man that God has brought into my life. He is truly my best friend. I appreciate his steadyness when I feel like I am about to go crazy. He is wonderful at thinking logically instead of emotionally, which I will admit drives me CRAZY at times, but more often than not, I find myself drawn to it when I can't think straight. He is always willing to help me (ok, not while Hawkeye football is on TV, but we'll give the guy a break!). He is an wonderful dad and I love it that my kids adore him. He makes rockstar pancakes and is the official Saturday morning breakfast maker of our house! :) I think we truly do balance each other. I know he has his faults, unlike perfect me :) but I know that every day I am blessed to have him be my partner in life. I love you Babe!
Day 2: I am thankful for my smiley little man. He had brought so much joy into our home. His big brother and sisters think that he hung the moon, and we all go to ridiculous lengths to get him to laugh. He just started to take a bath in the "big tub" and LOVES to splash and would stay in there all night if Mommy would let him! :) He is so happy, even when he has to get IVs, dilations, surgery, etc that he makes me happy. Even his little baby drools and slobbery grins makes me happy. I am so sorry that he has to go through all that he does, but at the same time, thankful because I truly believe that by going thru this trial with him, Sam and I have learned more about the love of God and how to depend on Him in all things. So Little Man-I love you and every day I am thankful for you!
Monday, October 31, 2011
To start from the beginning, we got a call last week from our PA that we work with in the pediatric speciality clinic that she had talked to Dr. Pitcher and the Radiologist and they both agreed that Kai needed to be referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon. My heart just sank. "Neurosurgeon" sounds so scary when its in regards to my precious little man. She assured me that the doctor that we will be seeing is a world renown pediatric neurosurgeon, so that made me feel a little better that it wasn't just some Joe-Schmo just out of med school that's going to be operating on my baby's spine! We are now just waiting to hear back from the doctor when he can squeeze Kai into his clinic schedule. I just called this afternoon, and there are several factors that they are waiting on to determine the doctors schedule, which will determine when our appointment with him is. Sounds like it won't be several weeks for sure, which isn't what I wanted to hear. I have had a headache since I heard "referring to a pediatric neurosurgeon" so a couple weeks isn't my ideal, but I'm learning to be patient! The lady I talked to said that surgery was much easier to schedule because the the dr has 1 clinic day and 4 surgery days per week, so hopefully it won't be too long after his appointment that he has his surgery.
To be honest, I have good days and bad days. I have to keep myself busy and try not to think about it but it's definitely hard. I don't sleep real good at night and like I said, I think I am destined to have a permanent tension headache until this ordeal is over! :) I am trying hard to keep reminding myself that nothing in my life is outside the plan of God and to have peace and rest in His love, but most of the time I am absolutely terrified. Most of my fears are probably completely illogical, but even though my head knows that, my heart just can't seem to catch up. He is such a happy baby, so it's hard to be sad when I see his little drool-y grin with those 2 little teethy peeking thru. :) It's a definite postive that he won't remember all this. I have kind of started a journal because someday I know he will like to know how I am feeling and all the details that might slip our minds as the years go on and this ordeal becomes a distant memory. Thank you all for your prayers. We value them all more than you know-please keep praying!
Love to all~
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Sound asleep, heading off to get his MRI
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Claire has finally decided to be potty trained! I say that she has finally decided because we have been working and working and WORKING on it for MONTHS but being the stubborn little thing that she is, she pretty much had to decide. So, one day she just decided that she wanted to wear undies and has had VERY few accidents ever since! I don't even have to remind her-she just goes like she's been doing it for years! What am I going to do with that girl....
In the last week or so, Kai has gotten 2 teeth, started sitting on his own, is now army crawling wherever he wants to, and rocks on all fours-crawling will start soon I have a feeling! :) He also is now "talking" and has discovered how to holler loud enough to keep up with his siblings! He is still a happy guy and brings so much joy to our family.
We are still dealing with lots of colds in our family. I had a sore throat for couple days and it was downhill from there for the kids. Seemed like we were at the doctor just about every other day for a while there! We're talking spiking 104.5 fevers and horrible coughs. Darren and Claire were sick FOREVER and still cough quite a bit, but they are on the mend. They both seem very tired still, so I think it took a lot out of them.
Sam, Kai and I are heading to Iowa City tomorrow for an MRI for Kai. I think I have mentioned before that there is a syndrome that can be associated with his malformation, so they have to check for tethering of his spine. They had to wait until he was 6 months old because he has to be sedated for the MRI. I know that more than likely he is going to be completely fine and the MRI will show perfect results, but I am still scared/nervous/worried...I don't even know how to explain it. He has to get an IV for the sedation, which makes me want to cry because of the last time he had one. Granted, it was when he was 2 days old and dehydrated and I was post partum hormonal, but it gives me a pit in my stomach to even think about his pitiful little screams as they tried and tried and TRIED to get that stupid thing in. I will never forget that feeling as long as I live. They called from sedation the other day to get some information and tell me about the procedure, etc and said that I can hold him and they will rub some medicine on him so it's not so traumatic for him (and hopefully me! ). Plus, even though I know he's more than likely going to be fine, there is that very small chance that they will find evidence of tethering. I don't even know what they will do if they find it, but my guess would be surgery and that scares me to death. My mind gets going a million different directions and I start to think worse case scenarios and that makes me crazy. I have been earnestly praying the last few days for God to help me to leave my worries in His hands, knowing that He holds the future and all things are according to His plan, but would appreciate your prayers for this and for my baby as well.
As I type, said baby is "helping" me :) so I should probably wrap this up and get that washing machine going again! Have a wonderful Monday-it's a beautiful day!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I know you will never see this, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated you today. You saw me with my 3 little munchkins-1 IN the cart, 1 BESIDE the cart, and 1 strapped to me-and didn't comment "oh my! You must have your hands full! Are they all yours?". Instead, you looked at me and smiled and then asked if I needed you to unload my cart. I think I was in shock but managed to reply that I would be fine, but thanks so much! You didn't stop there however-you then asked if I wanted you to wait with me and help me get my purchases out to my car! My hooligans were actually not being too bad (if you don't count Claire STANDING in the front of the cart-with no shoes on and VERY old socks that she INSISTED on wearing-reaching precariously for a little box of Goldfish-I don't so you shouldn't either) so I assured you that I was fine but thanks so much for offering! I turned around to finish unloading my cart and when I turned back around, you were gone. Almost like you had never been there-but I will never forget you. I promise you this though. Someday, when I actually go to Wal-Mart by myself :) and I see a mom with her busy little people, trying to keep them occupied while they are waiting in line, I will offer to help her unload her cart and carry them to her car. And I may even tell her about you, Mrs. Nameless Stranger who made this Mom's day. And if you see me again...please offer again. Just because I didn't need you today doesn't mean there aren't days that I HAVE to run to the store when I would rather just keep my tired babies at home. There will be times that I am THAT mom with THOSE kids who people "tsk tsk" at and I would rather just sit down in the aisle and cry as opposed to going through that check out. At those times, you really will be my heaven sent angel, so please-keep offering and someday, in your honor, I will do the same. Thanks Wal-Mart Lady-from the bottom of my heart.
Friday, September 16, 2011
So the other day my kids were playing Dora. They found a little mat thing that you can drive cars on, you know like it has roads and stuff on it? So they had the mat and that was their map. They were walking up and down the halls singing "Where are we going? (clap, clap, clap) To the (fill in the blank, wherever they were going)". I thought it was pretty cute but didn't think too much of it-hey they were happy and playing nicely together, so I was happy! I was cleaning up the kitchen, which is seems I do ALL day-how is that possible???? ANYHOO, Darren walks in with a screw and said "Here Mommy, this came out of the wall". I hadn't heard anything crash, so I didn't think too much of it and went about my business. All of a sudden I hear Sam holler "WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!" I run to the living room where my living room curtains are hanging precariously-one end of the rod is completely off the wall (hence the screw my son brought to me) and the other end is just about there. I just about had heart failure. Long Story Short-they were playing Dora and were in the Jungle. Everyone knows that in the jungle there are vines and you have to swing on them, right? We we seem to have a shortage of vines in our house at the present time, so the next logical thing is the living room curtains, right?!?!?!? Oh my dear...what a disaster. They got in trouble, but sercretly, inside I was kind of proud of their creativity! :) Let's just hope that next time they find a "vine" outside....
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Yesterday I had to take Kai to Iowa City for another checkup. I had to go by myself which I wasn't crazy about, but it turned out ok. Fellow mom's understand how nice it was to listen to NOT kid CDs or just have silence if I so desired...ahhh sweet silence...I miss you! :) I left a little early and hit up the Coralville Mall and actually found stuff for myself-that NEVER happens so I consider it a sucess! I even bought a few birthday/Christmas gifts-go me! :)
We have been tapering off on Kai's dilations and I was really hoping that they would tell me we could stop. My wishes were granted-Dr. Pitcher said that everything looked GREAT and he was extremely pleased. I pointed out some more "cosmetic" issues that I wanted to make sure weren't going to lead to other issues (I tend to be a slight bit paranoid, but I think that's acceptable) and Dr. Pitcher smiled and said something to the effect of "I do the best I can, but I am a man. I can't make it like the Creator would." :) I knew I liked this guy! :) He said that's Kai's little bum looks almost better than normal and we can completely stop the dilations!!! YAY!!! We have to go back the end of October for Kai's MRI and we'll see Dr. Pitcher again and he will evaluate Kai to make sure he hasn't regressed at all, but he didn't seem to think that would be a problem. He said he may have some problems with constipation in a month or so, but was very thorough in explaining how to spot it since it's a little different than normal constipation and I feel confident that I could do so. He commented on how happy Kai was and was rewarded with a "full face" smile! :)
On a completely different note: my Ellie girl has her first cheer clinic this afternoon-she is VERY excited and I have to admit that I'm pretty excited too. :) I have to admit, I kind of wish I could get out there and cheer with her! HAHA wouldn't that be a sight! She gets to cheer before the football game on Friday so my little performer is VERY much looking forward to that! :)
Claire just informed me that my name is now "kid" and she is "Mom" and do I want some butter on my toast? Yes please. "Ok kid-it's time to eat your breakfast and then I have to go to the store". Guess I better get going to get something accomplished today! Wish me luck!! :)
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
This morning when I opened my Facebook page, a little message on the side told me what I had posted on this day in 2010. It was as follows:
Tiffani Harbaugh Brandt is SUPER excited to make the big announcement!! Another little Brandt will be joining our family next April! We are all very excited and I have answered about 6 million little questions in the last few days! :) Ellie cried she was so excited, and Darren is convinced the baby is warm and cozy with his blanky in there! :)
Part of me can't believe that was only 1 year ago and part of me feels like "holy smokes! It's been a year already!" From thinking we were going to lose him to a miscarriage to his issues after he was born, it's been a wild ride but I am thankful every day for my squishy smiley little boy. He brings so much joy to our family. He adores his big brother and sisters, even when they are rocking his swing like maniacs and in his face kissing him constantly. He just goes with the flow and is happy as long as he has a clean diaper, a full tummy and Mommy in his sight! :) He even tolerates his mommy kissing on his squishy cheeks all the time.I remember being giddy with excitement when I pushed "post" on that message. I think it was because I knew that he was going to be my last baby so I was determined to enjoy every second of it! I'm still trying too and it just seems to be going so fast! My heart still gets a little sad when I tuck him into his crib in Darren's room-now "The Boys" room- instead of his little cradle in my room, and I admit, I cry a little when I have to put bigger clothes in his closet, but at the same time, he is growing and laughing and talking and is so much fun to be with. AND sleeping consistently thru the night is WONDERFUL! :)
So Kai Geordon Brandt, my Little Man, I am so glad I was able to post that update on this date in 2010. You make our family complete and I can't imagine my life without you in it! I love you Buddy!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Anyway, tonight while we were eating, Sam was teasing the girls and said something to the effect of "You know what? We don't need Darrey. Let's just leave him at Grandma and Papa's." Claire got this look on her face and I honestly thought she was going to cry! I wish you could have heard her-she almost sounded hysterical! "NO DADDY!!! NO! DON'T LEAVE HIM AT GRANDMA AND PAPA'S HOUSE!!!! NO Daddy! Darrey needs to come HOME!!!" Awww...isn't that sweet, I said to myself. Claire is missing her brother! So I asked her why she didn't want Darren to stay at Grandma and Papa's, all the while imagining her response of something along the lines of "I miss him!" or "I wuv him"...you know something sweet and sappy. *SIGH* I should have known better! :) Her actual response made her baby brother jump as both Sam and I just BUSTED out laughing. "Mommy, Darrey HAS to come home" "Why??" "Because if he doesn't come home then I can't go to Grandma and Papa's!" HAHAHAHA! She wasn't worried or missing her big brother at all! She just wanted him to get home so she could have her special time with Grandma and Papa!!! That girl...LOVE HER TO DEATH! :)
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
So last Monday we got all new windows installed in our house-YAY! :) They look fabulous and I love them, but anyhoo. We had been at Garnavillo Conference for the weekend and while everything was unpacked, there were some clothes in laundry baskets, etc that needed to be put away. My thought was that since the living room was ready to go, they could start there and I could just stay one step ahead of them in the bedrooms, etc. Well, that's not how it works. These guys were FAST! They had all the old windows out and the new ones installed in less than 2 hours. They had outside work to do after that, but holy shamoley they were all over the place in here! Of course the 3 older kids had formed the welcoming committee and were making every attempt possible to engage the workers in conversation so they could show off, but Kai was sleeping so he hadn't made his appearance yet. The foreman of the crew walked into our room where Kai was sleeping in his cradle and said "Holy Smokes! There's ANOTHER baby in here! Are you running a daycare????" AND HE WAS COMPLETELY SERIOUS!!!! HAHAHA! I just looked at him and said, "Nope! They're all mine!" and just about died laughing. He felt so bad I think he apologized to me about 100 times, but I wasn't offended and I think I will remember it as long as I live. :)
Sunday we went out for Chinese for lunch. My children absolutely LOVE chinese food. We had finished lunch and were passing out fortune cookies. The kids would open them and pass them to Sam to read. Little Miss Independent Claire decided to read her own and said "Mommy! Guess what my fortune says?" I played along and said "what?". Her answer melted my heart. She was dead serious as she commented with a big smile on her cute little face "It says 'I Love Mommy!!'". Awwwww!
Quick update on Kai:
He is doing great. He's almost 10 weeks already!!! He's kind of a little chunky monkey and I would guess he weighs about 13 or 14 lbs by now! That is unusual for my kids-I think Ellie was about 13 lbs last week! :) Seriously tho-my kids have always been scrawny babies, so I love his chubby cheeks and legs! :) He has started to smile and "talk" quite a bit and LOVES his Mommy! :) There are times I wish he wasn't SO much, but I guess if that's the worst of it, I can handle a baby who just wants to snuggle with Mommy! :)
We head back to Iowa City next week to meet with the surgeon. Hopefully he will tell us that we can taper off and then stop the dilations here soon. We cut back to once a day tomorrow so I think we're headed in that direction. He has to have an ultrasound of his kidneys when we are there since they were a little enlarged when we were in Iowa City after his surgery but the neonatologist wasn't too concerned. This is basically a check to make sure everything is ok, but they are assuming it will be fine. Thanks again for all the prayers on our behalf!
Ok, the 3 big hooligans are hungry and I think the little one might be too, so I better log off for now! Have a wonderful day!! :)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Just thought I would update everyone on his progress and what's going on. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so much to Sam and I.
We went back to Iowa City on Tuesday for a follow-up with Dr. Pitcher, the pediatric surgeon who did Kai's surgery. He was VERY pleased with Kai's progress and said everything looks great. The stiches all fell out like they were supposed to, so I was glad they didn't actually have to remove them. He said the placement is perfect and the healing looks great, so that was wonderful to hear. HOWEVER, now we had to start dilation of poor little Kai's bum. SOOO not a fun thing! Basically I have to put a little metal thing into his bum morning and night. I almost cried the first time I had to do it, and Kai was not pleased either to say the least. Dr. Pitcher made me do it with him watching the first time. I started and then stopped and told him I just couldn't do that to poor Kai. He just smiled and told me it was either that or another surgery down the road. I did it. Every time I do it, it's a little less traumatic and Kai is tolerating it better too. Dr. Pitcher said before too long it won't even really bother him much at all. I think I've said it before, but we are really pleased with Dr. Pitcher. He is very easy to talk to and is a very "real" person. It makes this whole process a lot easier when you completely trust the person running the show! And not just Dr. Pitcher either-I need to keep telling myself that-"This whole proces is much easier when you have faith and just put your trust in the ONE who is running the show!" I have to admit, it's not always easy, especially when I see my sweet baby in pain, but I'm trying.
We head down to Iowa City again in 2 weeks and every 2 weeks after. Each time they will increase the size of the dilation tool until it's where Dr. Pitcher thinks it should be. I was worried it would be a long process-like several YEARS of dilating, but he said probably just 3-6 months, so I can handle that. Plus, when you go to a clinic like that and see how much worse things could be, it really makes you count your blessings and realize this is VERY do-able
Other than that, Kai is a model baby. He is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen and one of these days I will get some pics of him up here and on Facebook. He hasn't got the memo about sleeping good at night yet, but he's getting there. He tolerates the "love" he is constantly surrounded with VERY well. Claire is CONVINCED that he needs his pluggy at all times, so we are working on that he actually does NOT need it ALL the time and when he does we do not just SHOVE it in his mouth. Poor kid! :) He gets about 400 million kisses a day and the SECOND he makes a peep from his bed, I hear about it and 3 little people are there INSTANTLY to see if he's awake! :) To say they are in love is an understatement, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It gets a bit challenging at times, but overall, it's nice they love him so much. He's very calm and has proved he can sleep thru the chaos that is our house, so we are pretty sure we'll keep him. :)
I hear the tell-tale little squeaks and grunts :) that there's a little man starting to wake up, so will wrap up for now. Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
The other day I, feeling particularly huge and preggo, commented to Darren that I sure was ready to get his brother out of my belly. He looked at me, looked at my belly, and said in a very mature, grown up voice "Mommy, you 'dis have to wait. He 'dis needs to grow a little bit more and then he can come out." LOL! Can you tell I've been responding to the question of when Little Man is going to be born A LOT!?!? I looked at him, laughed, gave him a squeeze, and thanked him for reminding me.
My little Claire Bear is definitely my "challenge child". She's VERY determined and gets into everything! The last week or so we have been butting heads and by that I mean, she is even MORE determined to get her way than normal so that means that Mommy has to more determined also. These phases are exhausting! Anyhoo, it was after a particularly "challenging" day, we had taken a quick shower and I had passed her out to Sam to dress while I finished up my shower. He was drying her off, lotion, etc. She was not in trouble in the least. They were talking and out of the blue, I hear her little voice, sweet as can be, say "Daddy, don't give me a 'pankin"! I busted out laughing. I obviously couldn't see her, but I can just imagine her big 'ol eyes blinking innocently at her beloved Daddy. I don't know if she figured it had been a couple hours since she had one and she was about due or what, but she was just so funny that I couldn't help it. I tell her all the time it's a good thing she's so cute!
I think we have finally decided on a name for Little Man. The other day, I asked Darren what he thought of it and he looked at me for a sec, cocked his head to one side and said "Mommy, that's so SILLY! We're going to name him RACECAR!!" Oh dear...I thought he knew we were kidding...
This morning in meeting, my dad stood up to pray and Darren looks at him, puts his little hand on his hip, then looks at me and whispers "Wow! Grandpa sure has a fancy lookin' suit on today don'tcha think Mommy?!?!?" HAHAHA It's the same suit my dad has worn for a while, but apparently today, he looked extra snazzy or something! :)
So Claire has started telling jokes. Except she either just makes something up or mixes several together. Her very favorite is "why chikin' cross road, Mommy??" "I don't know, why?" "To get to other SLIDE" and then she DIES laughing! She's so funny and so stinkin' cute when she says it that you just can help but laugh too and that's what she loves.
(For the record, the actual joke is "Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide" just in case you were wondering. Shout out to Uncle David Harbaugh for that one! It's one of my kids' favorites!)
Ellie is having surgery on Tuesday to get tubes put in her ears. Not a big deal, but she is understandably nervous about it. We have talked about it a lot, she called Grandma Harbaugh to get details since Grandma used to do lots of them when she worked in surgery, etc. We were coming from her pre-op physical when she gave me the look that she gets when she's thinking. Usually there is a doozy of a question coming, but this was just cute. "Mom?" "What?" "You know when I have surgery..." (SIGH from me, thinking We've been over this 600 MILLION times! What more can you POSSIBLY want to know????) "Yep, no big deal, right?" "Right, I know that Mom, but....(I can tell she's trying to phrase it right in her head) do people get presents when they are done with surgery???" LOL!! I just busted out laughing. I tell her that nope, sorry-no presents after surgeries. "That's what I thought, but I was just checking" was her reply! :) She doesn't know it, but there may be a few things in it for her on Tuesday.... :) What a sweetie!
As I think of write their funny little sayings out, I just have to thank God again for them. They make my life worth living and put a smile to my face. I am so blessed. :)
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Tonight I was tidying up the house and getting everyone's rooms ready for bed. Darren was in the living room with Sam, when he came and asked me if I knew where his racecar blanky was. It's not his "blanky" but since I've stopped trying to figure out why they want certain things, I helped him find it and he headed back to the living room. When I came in, he was watching cartoons on the floor covered with said blanket, and his special "blanky" was on the footstool. I asked him if he wanted that one, and Sam asked if he had told me WHY he needed his racecar blanket. I said he hadn't, and Sam said that Darren told him that he was going to give his beloved truck blanky that he sleeps with every night to his little brother. He apparently decided that since he couldn't cover his whole body with it ( "my toes are pointing out the end Mommy") that he would just give it to his brother because he would like it. He was just so nonchalant about the whole thing. It absolutely melted my heart that he would so willingly give up one of his prized possessions to his little brother. What a sweetie. I almost got tears in my eyes, I was just so proud of how unselfish he was! I got down to his level and assured him that if his brother liked truck blankys too that we would find him his own and that he could keep his truck blanky even if it was too little. I told him that it's still great for snuggling with, even if it was too small to cover up with. He looked a little relieved and when I tucked him in tonight, guess what was right on it's usual place behind his head on his pillow??? :) Man, I love that kid! :)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My first clue was that the nurse returned my call IMMEDIATELY! They are great about returning calls, but this was around lunch time and I figured they would call me after I had the little kids settled in for naps and I would be able to talk. Jacque (my OBs nurse) called me and said with a very serious tone that I needed to get to the hospital immediately, as in RIGHT NOW! I was in shock, but after a few questions, I understood that when you fall as hard as I did, it can cause the placenta to pull away from the uterus, which could have serious consequences for the baby AND me! Holy Smokes-I started to panic. I couldn't get ahold of my mom-she was at work, I didn't have anyone to watch the kids, I was trying not to be hysterical, started bawling as soon as I heard Sam's voice...ahhhh!! My mom called me right back and told me she was going to get off work as soon as she could and to meet her at Sam's office, where I was meeting him. I got the kids ready as soon as I could and headed for CF. In the meantime, I realized that, while a friend had already planned to drop E off after preschool, there would be no one there when she got home, so I had to try and make arrangements for her too. Looking back, it's easy to know who the important people in life are when you call them in semi-hysterics and they don't blink an eye. You guys know who you are and I love you for it!
So, we finally get to the hospital, and the hook me up to monitors only to find that I am having a few contractions. My nerves are about shot to pieces at this point, but I hold it together admirably well I think. Little Man seems to be doing good, and I breathe a sigh of relief. My doctor happened to be on call for which I was SOO thankful. I like the other doctors in the practice, but she is definitely who I am most comfortable with. She assured me that placental abruption ( I think that's what it's called) while very dangerous, is EXTREMELY rare. However, if anything is going to happen it would happen in the next 24 hours and since I fell hard enough to knock the wind out of myself, she wanted me to stay overnight and be in the hospital until that 24 hour window was over. Now, these things get a little challenging when you have little people that depend on you and need to be places! My mom was wonderful though, and even with her crazy life, she said she would keep my little crazies with her that night. Dad was working late, so her and Trav had to feed all five kids-I can't even imagine the chaos THAT supper was!!! Mom had to work the next day though, so that was our next challenge. Seriously, I don't think my cell phone even had a chance to cool from the time I called the doctor until about 9 that night. It was crazy. In the end, Sam ended up going early in the morning to get the kids from Mom's, took D and C to Andrea's who didn't blink an eye when I called her watch them, brought Ellie back with him, took her to an appointment with the ENT, and then brought her to hang out with me until they released me around 11:30 today. WHEW! We made it! :) I was pretty pooped when we got home, and just kind of chilled. My awesome hubby once again picked up the slack, but this time, there are so many others the filled in the blanks. From Tiffany Asche for agreeing to go out of her way to bring Ellie to Mom's after school, to Andrea for kiddo watching and even supper tonight! My mom was WONDERFUL (and Dad and Trav helped her), and even everyone who called or texted letting me know they were worried-I felt very loved. Even Ellie's ENT called me while Sam was there so I could ask him my questions! Like I said, situations like this make you realize what and who are important and it makes me feel really REALLY good knowing that while situations like this are scary and not fun at all, people surround you with any help they can and love in abundance, and THAT, my friends feels WONDERFUL!
**Side Note: Little Man and I are both fine-a little tired and a little bruised but feeling good!***
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Last night, she informed us about how you can be too full for supper, but still have plenty of room for the good stuff. She's sitting in her chair, big ol' brown eyes just as earnest and serious as they can be and says "Mom, I'm really NOT too full for dessert. See, the food goes like this (finger goes down throat to her tummy) but the dessert just goes like this (finger goes down a short way down her throat and to a random spot between her shoulder and her neck). That's the dessert spot Mom." I paused for a sec and then Sam and I just busted out laughing. "Perks for being creative Ellie!" Darren pipes up that he wanted perks too, so I had to say "Perks to you to Darren!" and then he was happy even though he hadn't a CLUE what it meant. :) It was a great note to end supper on and everyone had eaten good, so desserts all around!
On a completely different subject, last night's supper conversation was again about baby names since we STILL got NOTHIN'! Darren had the winner, so if all goes according to his plan, his brother's name will be (drumroll please.....)
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Ok, back to the story~Since it was Friday night and we had a larger group, Sam went right over when he got off work to put our name on the list. He told me later that while he was sitting there waiting, he saw a family that "looked like they had a TON of kids!" Then I looked some more, and they had FOUR"! LOL! It still makes me laugh when I think about it. In just a few short months, WE'RE going to be THAT family!! :) I can't wait! :)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
So the other day, Claire told me her ears were "owie" and didn't want me to touch them. With the blizzard that is supposed to be coming this way, I didn't want to take any chances of having a poor baby with ear infection in the middle of a blizzard! SO, off to the doc we went to make sure. I had to pick E up from school at 11:15 and our appt wasn't until 12:45. I decided that we were going to make a MAD dash thru Wallyworld to get some groceries before our appt so I wouldn't have to make another trip later in the week. I was on a MISSION and my poor kids were literally running alongside the cart as I hauled thru the aisles. I was so focused on my list that I was very confused when Darren stopped short and said "Mommy! They're calling me!!!" Me: "Who's calling you??? Is my son hearing voices in his head??? He's being summoned by aliens!!" He was SOO insistent! "Mommy, they called me-they said my name at Wal-Mart!" This went on for some time with me being thoroughly confused and him being so upset because I didn't hear his minute of glory where they called his name at Wal-mart! Finally it clued into my thick skull when they did a second call over the loud speaker for someone from DAIRY to pick up the phone!! HAHAHA! "Did you hear it that time Mommy??? They said my name AGAIN at Wal-Mart!!!" He was so excited by this time that he was almost jumping up and down. I assured him that I did indeed hear his name, and tried to explain, but finally gave up. There was no convincing him that they weren't talking to him on the intercom! Ahh, they make me smile! :)
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Today was a busy day. I had a dr appt this morning where they test for gestational diabetes, so it was a long one. Usually I take the kids with me to the dr but since I would have to sit and wait for a while, our awesome babysitter Amanda was hanging out with them. I took advantage of my freedom and did some errands all by myself (YAY for that!!) so it was about 2:30 when I got home. Claire and Darren both took exceptionally short naps, and Ellie really needed one, but I wasn't going to make her take one when both of them were up! *SIGH* ANYHOO, long story short-no hubby, little to no naps, and Children's Meetings in Stout equaled needing something fast, easy and delicious for supper. AH HA-my TV dinners! I KNEW they would come in handy! So, I pop them in the oven, get everyone's clothes laid out, pull out my innner drill sargeant to get the troops to pick up our tornado house, and lo and behold, the timer beeps-Dinner is served!
Well, we got the fast and easy part at least. Oh man, was I reminded why I never buy them. Those things are DISGUSTING!!!! The mac and cheese was like rubber, the potatoes were...I don't know what they were, but they weren't potatoes, and the corn was so overgrown and overcooked, it was pretty much inedible. Claire Bear summed it up best: "Moma, dis yucky. No yike it." I completely agreed with her so we each found one thing in our meal that wasn't disgusting. I ate part of my chicken, Ellie ate her ckn nuggets, Darren ate his chicken and dessert, and Claire had an extremely overcooked, hard as a rock, brownie for supper (which she loved btw!). Way to go SuperMom! Thank goodness tonight was pizza night at Children's Meeting! :)
I think I need to go rock.....
Monday, January 17, 2011
I have to tell you, this is about the most fun pregnancy that I've ever had. The kids have brought a whole new aspect to it and it's a BLAST! While pregnancy is never "ho-hum", after a while you can forget really how amazing it is. Since I've done this a time or 2 (or 3 or 4...) now, I am not so nervous about every little thing and overall, I feel great, which helps a LOT! The questions that the kids ask also remind me of the wonder of creating another little person in your body!! We're, thankfully, past the "How did that baby get in there Mom? Are you sure it wasn't thru your belly button? Did you eat him to get him in there???" phase. Our current "obsession" with 60 gazillion questions is with the umbilical cord. I'm honestly not sure why, and have stopped trying to figure it out. Darren is the main one who just can't seem to ask enough questions. I think he might be just trying to figure it out and asking the same questions over and over is his way of understanding. Although, in his mind, that hamburger and baked beans I ate for supper the other night went to his brother straight thru that "combilcal cord"as a hamburger and baked beans, so now he's a little confused about if Little Man has teeth to chew it, and why he can't eat a hot dog when he comes home from the hospital....*sigh*
SO, based on the above mentioned questions, we decided to check out some books from the library that would help little people understand a pretty confusing subject, without being too graphic of course. There were some GREAT ones, and it really made me smile, seeing them all lined up looking at their "baby books". The books do a really good job of explaining things in ways that kids understand (and make a question-tired Mom think 'WHY on EARTH did I not think of that????'). We even have one that has lots of pictures of umbilical cords! :) We had checked out one when I was pregnant with Claire for Ellie about Mommy being in the hospital and I honestly think she was very at ease there because we had read that book NUMEROUS times, so she wasn't scared to see me in a hospital bed, wasn't scared of all the machines, she knew what the special baby bed was for, knew why she needed to be quiet, and lots of other things that I wouldn't even have thought she might be worried about, but they turned out great.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE it that I can find information from people that are much smarter than me and my kids EAT it up! You would be amazed at how fast they got their jammies on tonight when I told them we would read "baby" books for bedtime stories! :) I love it that they can ask me questions in the privacy of our home where we can help them understand and they don't need to be ashamed. They don't ask too many embarrassing questions at this age, but it's nice to have to time to fully explain and know they understand rather than a quick answer and that's that.
It's funny the things they worry about too. Darren had been asking me a LOT lately if Dr. Rellihan is going to take the baby out when I go in a couple days for a check-up. I told him no, it's just a check up and it's still a while until the baby comes out. He just kept asking and asking so finally I asked him why he was so concerned. My sweet little boy finally told me "Mommy, I don't want your tummy to break"!!!! Awwww....he's such a sweetie! My belly isn't really that big I don't think, but it is DEFINITELY growning, so I guess in his mind, it was just going to break open one of these times, so the dr. better take that brother out!!!! I reassured him that wasn't going to happen, and I haven't heard about it since!
In other pregnancy news...there is no news! I am feeling great-tired and achy back, but that's pretty par for the course! I'm 28 weeks now, so it's coming up FAST! We did some rearranging in Darren's room to make room for a crib, but it's not done yet, so I'll post some pics when it's done. I think the nesting phase is kind of starting, so I'm ready to get some stuff in order so I have a little time to catch my breath before he actually gets here. I am pretty sure this house isn't meant for 6 people, so it's going to require some major organization, but we're starting and i think it will be ok once it's all done.
Guess that's the highlights for now. I am going to try and update my blog a little more often now that the craziness has calmed. Holidays and birthday parties are over, my classes are done, I'm finished filling in long-term at the bank, and life is slowly getting back to normal (soon to be un-normal in a few months-YAY!!). Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night!! :)