For us, 2011 was a year of learning…
Monday, December 26, 2011
For us, 2011 was a year of learning…
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Here is our most recent family picture. I am including it in our Christmas card...if I can ever find the time to write them!
Life for me has become even busier than it was before. I am struggling to find a balance between my expectations and reality of what I can accomplish in a day. My "To Do" list is so long and yet it seems I spend all my time between laundry, dishes, and caring for children. It is discouraging to see my list get longer instead of shorter, but I know soon enough a routine will be established and life will get back to "normal," whatever that was.
On a different note, Taryn is gaining weight quickly because she eats so often! During the day, she goes about 2 hours between feedings. However, starting around 8pm, she feeds about every hour and a half. I am nursing her but find myself giving her bottles of formula more and more because she just doesn't seem satisfied, even after nursing for 30 minutes or more. On the bright side, the kids (& TJ) can help feed her bottles whereas with nursing they obviously can't. The down side is that formula is expensive and pumping is too time consuming.
Sleep is still a rare and precious commodity for me, and I chuckle every time someone (well-meaning) advices me to nap when the kids nap. I really wish I could (trust me!) but it seems that Taryn wakes to eat when the others go down for a nap, and by the time I'm done feeding her, Ta is usually walking in the door from school and we begin our routine of homework, snacks, and getting him ready for school the next day. Once we're finished, the girls are waking from their naps and supper needs to be prepared, etc. In my "spare" time, I try to get another load of laundry going, the kids to help me with chores, and Annie down from wherever she's climbed. I am thankful this is only a season of life because sometimes I feel like my head is going to spin off my shoulders! It truly is a busy household, but God has blessed me abundantly and I love my children dearly.
Because I doubt I have a chance to update before then, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Once I finish our yearly update, I will share it here. =)
Monday, December 5, 2011
My dad and a close family friend (Donna) drove down from Ohio to visit us for Thanksgiving. They arrived around 1:30pm on Thanksgiving day. After some playtime with Grandpa and a tour of the house for Donna, the younger kids settled down for naps while Th and the adults chatted and I finished up dinner preparations.
We ate our Thanksgiving meal around 4:30pm, I cleaned up and then prepared dessert while the kids and other adults played outside, enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures. Shortly before 7pm the kids came in and began their bedtime routines of showers/baths. We then sat and enjoyed a variety of desserts prepared by both Donna and myself. Once dessert was over, bedtime for the kids was not far behind, and by 8:30pm all of the adults were gathered in the living room for the evening.
The busyness of the day left me exhausted and as I sat watching TV and chatting with the family, I realized I was having mild contractions accompanied by cramping. They were not anything serious, and by no means close together, but they were strong enough to get my attention. When we went to bed about 11:15pm, I briefly mentioned the contractions/cramping to TJ just to keep him informed as to how I was feeling. I immediately fell asleep and slept great...until about 3:15AM.
I woke to find a pain in my lower right side, and thinking it was because my bladder was full, I used the bathroom. Upon returning to bed, I found it difficult to get comfortable and the more I tossed and turned, the more contractions I had again accompanied by cramping. After trying for more than an hour to get back to sleep, I decided to get up and take a bath to see if that helped to relax me. I woke TJ to tell him of my plan (so he wouldn't worry if he woke & found me not in bed) and he mumbled "Okay" and rolled back over to sleep. =)
Once in the bathroom, I again used the potty before getting into the bathtub. It was then I saw spotting and knew the situation was more serious than I had thought. I proceeded to get in the tub but the contractions only became stronger and more frequently. Finally, about 5am, I made the decision to wake TJ so we could prepare to head to the hospital. He asked if he needed to do anything immediately and upon hearing me say "No", he told me to wake him when I was ready to go and again rolled back over to sleep. =)
Because I was just 36 weeks that day, I was not prepared for a hospital stay. I opened the door to the crawl space under the house to search for a suitcase, stopping only to breath through each contraction. Since Donna was asleep in T.G.'s room, T.G. was asleep on the floor in our room. I didn't want to turn on the light and wake her so I used the light from my cell phone to pull clothes out of my drawer and throw into the suitcase. In my haste to get to the hospital, I couldn't think clearly enough to remember what to bring. Let's just say I'm thankful we live close to the hospital so TJ could bring me the items I forgot. =)
Once I was packed up and ready to go, I again woke TJ and put a phone call into the doctor's office. In the meantime, TJ woke my dad, explained the situation, and gave instructions for the kids upon their awakening. We then got in the car and headed for the hospital. We arrived shortly before 6am. The nurse took me to the "Triage" room where she checked me, asked if this was my first baby, and, after picking her jaw up from the floor because of my response, immediately escorted TJ and I to a L&D room. I was given a hospital gown, an IV was inserted, and preparations for delivery were made. The doctor and anesthesiologist were paged, and we waited for them both, all the while I tried to breath through my contractions. About 7:15am I received an epidural and at 7:45am the doctor came in. And about 5 minutes later he left...Let's just say I was not very happy with him!
He informed me that he was going off-shift and the next doctor coming on had a C-section scheduled for 8am. He was only "hanging around" until after she finished the C-section in case there were women, like me, in labor. But, since my water hadn't yet broke, he wanted me to wait until the female doctor could deliver. I was upset because, although I had an epidural, I could still feel the contractions and I was in a great deal of pain on my right side. I simply wanted the baby out!!
|A ceiling tile in my L&D room...supposed to help me to focus on my breathing & not the pain.|
|Shortly after birth|
|Th was the first to hold her (being the eldest has its privileges)|
|Despite his tough exterior, Ta couldn't WAIT to hold the baby! =)|
|The "Mini Mommy" & her baby|
So far she is a good baby and the biggest challenge for me is trying to keep her safe from her siblings. Annie and the other girls all want to help care for her, and sometimes they aren't as gentle as they should be. =) I know their intentions are good but it is often overwhelming for me as they literally fight over the baby.
|Teagan couldn't believe she really came out of my belly. =)|
|My dad & Taryn |
(so thankful the Lord allowed him to be visiting with us!)
|A shot just to put her tiny size into perspective...the carseat swallows her up!|
|Close up of her face|