Friday, March 30, 2012

One Down

I have been crabby all week, and I know it is the underlying anxiety about going back to work.  Last night was my first night back and it was fine.

I "dream fed" Everyn right before I left (I am not sure how necessary that was, because she typically sleeps all night, but it was just an extra precaution, I guess).  She woke up around 6:30, Noah gave her a bottle and she went back to sleep.  I was late getting out, and my mom gave her the rest of the pumped milk when she woke up again.  She started hyperventilating and kicking her little feet when I arrived home and picked her up though- it's nice to be loved :)

The key to all of this working is "guarding my sleep".  That is going to be my mantra.  You have no idea how hard it is for me to do this, but I am going to have to be diligent.  That doesn't mean doing nothing but work and sleep on my weekends-that would be like Noah only working and sleeping all week (and that would be ridiculous!)  but I am going to have to make sure the timing of things is right and the amount of time is acceptable.  

And I need to remember that 2hours of sleep 3 times throughout the day is not the same as 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.

I am working on lists of jobs for Noah and the boys to take care of daily and I think on my 4 day stretches I am going to break the house-up-keep chores into a schedule so that the essentials get done and I am not left looking at an absolute disaster when I arrive home on Monday morning.

It was good to be back.  I enjoy being a nurse.  I like my coworkers and I like patient care.    

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10 Things

1. I found a New York Yankees "Jeter" T-shirt in a bag of clothes for the boys.  It fits me, and so I wore it.  Noah hates the Yanks and wasn't impressed with the shirt.  This discussion of the "face of the Yankees" brought up Reggie Jackson.  I commented "didn't Reggie Jackson play for the Oakland A's?"  Noah's head whipped around.
 "Yes", he slowly responded.

"And I thought that Reggie Jackson was their right fielder...I believe it was the 1970s."

"You're right! I'm impressed!"

Sometimes I file sports trivia and randomly pull it out- just for his reaction.

2.  Deacon and Roman both can read, which adds special interest to their arguments.  Deacon doesn't like cereal, and Roman does.  Roman doesn't like Mac and Cheese "without pictures" and Deacon doesn't mind it. Anyway, Roman refused to eat the Mac the other day, stating "I am only going to eat healthy things like apples and applesauce."  It is amazing how that kid can manage to refuse to eat what I made and make me feel guilty for serving him something "unhealthy".

After lunch I heard Roman and Deacon talking about cereal.  Roman was heard to announce, "fruity cheerios are full of whole grain!  In fact, whole grain is THE NUMBER 1 INGREDIENT."  Deacon responded with, "yeah, well, I bet sugar is NUMBER 2 on the list!"

Sure enough, they were directly quoting from the box.

ahh, the power of marketing.

3. Baby girl is huge.  She has three hobbies: sleeping, smiling and sucking her thumb.  I could just be forgetful, but I think she is our smiliest baby.  She coos and talks and grins with a little twinkle in her eye.  I swear sometimes she says "hi" back to me when I say it to her.

4. Baby girl may be huge like the boys, but she does not have the same neck strength as they did.  This may be partially due to the fact that when I put her on her tummy for tummy time, she promptly falls asleep.  As soon as she can roll over, I am pretty sure "back to sleep" will no longer be possible.  Yesterday I wondered if she had rolled over, but I am fairly convinced that a certain older sister helped her out.  She is an unreliable witness (victim?), however, so the true story will be forever lost.  I am guessing that it is not the last secret that Bre and Ever will share.

5. Speaking of Berean, that girl is well, a girl.  She is emotional and she requires a great deal of help to keep her accessories together.  Today she wore Deacon's size 8 athletic shorts because they are shiny.  She really likes shiny things.  She also loves her glittery shoes.  Thankfully, since she has been spending so much time outside she is getting tired and taking more naps again.  To give you a sense of her, here is my followup facebook post from Sunday: With the help of some reduced stimulation (nap), family involvement (neighbors and friends), distraction (bouncy house), reorientation and reassurance (by removing her from counters and chairs and providing her with appropriate snacks), we are happy to report that we were able to make it to the end of our shift without the need of a 1:1. Good luck next shift, may the force be with you. Oh wait, I am the next shift...

6. Lincoln had a good report at his speech team meeting.  Lately he has been asking me if certain numbers are "main numbers".  I am not sure what he means, but he asks me often, so I have formulated a response.  I tell him that I think that the main numbers are 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100.  Am I missing any?  What numbers do you consider "main numbers"?

7. The boys have been playing "Wild Kids".  They pretend their plane went down over Africa and they are working on rebuilding it.  Roman is the electronics expert and is attempting to rebuild the engine. Deacon is into wood carving.  This idea is some sort of combination of "Madagascar II" and NTM's "Wild Brothers" DVDs.

8. It has been so mild here that we have been having fires already and burning up sticks.  We have so much wood in our lot that it is never going to be gone.  Noah disagrees, however.  I would like to put in a basketball court, but the sticks must be vanquished first.

9. The boys are convinced that they are going to get a big present for Easter.  I am not entirely sure where they got that idea.  last year we bought them candy and a $6 dollar toy to put in their paper mache eggs.  This year they believe they are going to find gaming systems and Wii games in their eggs.  The Easter bunny didn't form a dot com this year, as far as I know, so I think they may be mistaken.

10.  It is time to quit writing.  My fonts are going crazy, I need to go to bed and I have reached my 10th thing!  Good night!  (by the way, I ordered 4 of my photo books...only 16 more to go!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lincoln (in the past)

I've been working on Lincoln's photobooks.  It is so fun to look back at pictures of when he was just a little guy and see expressions on his face that I still see daily!  You just never know which of the little quirks are going to be life long and which are just fleeting!

Lincoln still does this shaking thing when he gets excited.  This happens frequently now when he plays video games.

Berean can wear that moose sleeper now...but it looks better on  Linc.

Interesting...back then he wanted to ride a bike, now he doesn't

He has always been a little cutie!

Ahhh...Lincoln and his milk, complete with his hands in the "sleeping position"

I was in the best shape of my life that summer...hopefully this summer will be close!

still copies Roman...

still wants to be noticed...

Roman still usually isn't impressed.

Lincoln no longer eats rocks.  Now he can count by 10s, loves to do schoolwork , plays with the big boys and still makes time to be silly with Berean.

Although he still has some trouble with articulation, his speech has come a long way.  In fact he talks a lot, and has a great memory for reciting lines from radio, movies and books. That skill can be both good and bad.

I feel bad for him sometimes because he is the middle child, the youngest of the three boys and has two little girls behind him.  Hopefully he will grow up thinking he has the best of both worlds ( the older and the younger) instead of the worst of both!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Same Old

I haven't been around, because I just don't really have anything new to say!  My days have fallen into a routine of sorts.  It has been beautiful weather around here, and I feel like it is a present from God just for me!  We even had a fire in our lot the other night and a picnic over the weekend.  Certainly doesn't feel like March here! It was spring break last week, and I am glad for the first time that I didn't have somewhere warm to go!

We are finishing up basketball, right in time for me to go back to work.  Deacon will start Little League in about a month.  I am fairly anxious about going back to work.  I am not concerned about Everyn, she is a good sleeper and she will take a bottle.  Hopefully she will just sleep  and not even need a bottle while I am gone.   Mostly I am concerned about my house never being clean again and about remembering everything at work.  I feel like I have been gone forever.  I keep trying to remember that I worked the same schedule with four kids and being pregnant, so I should be able to do it with five kids and not being pregnant.

I ran 8.2 miles last Saturday, and that felt good.  For the last few days though I have been craving cookies and chocolate which probably means I need to up my calories to maintain the breastfeeding.  I tend to start feeling like I need those things when my weight drops too low.  I am about 7 pounds up from where I was when I got pregnant, and I would like to be down another 5 pounds from that.  We will see what my body allows, I guess.

Well, Noah and the boys are home so I better go out on a quick run- then it is back to work on photobooks! (Catching up on these photobooks may be the death of me...)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Berean's Birthday Bash

Berean inspecting her new shoes from Great Grandma Joyce.

She loves the new hat from her cousins!

Our little accessary girl!  She wore the flower, necklace, hat and backpack  (from Tia Erica) all night!

The shoes were a definite hit

Her cake had her favorite animals on it.

Berean was afraid of the candles, but her cousin helped her out!

Birthday cake!

At the end of the party, Berean wanted to put on all of her new clothes and pajamas.  She wore them all to bed.
Berean is talking more every day, is potty trained, takes naps about 3 days a week and firmly believes that her brothers are her servants.  She loves to go outside, play with her food/grocery cart/dishes and read books.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Clean Feet

Yep, I know.

I am supposed to be posting Berean's birthday photos.

But, I must post this instead, while it is still fresh in my mind.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today.  70ish and sunny- can't get much better in March.  After gym and swimming lessons we went over to my mom and dad's house.  They live on the edge of a large "wetland"/park area.  The boys and I walked down into the creekbed.  We crossed the creek on a tree that had fallen (they thought that was pretty cool, and it was fairly challenging for them) and then I let them wade in the creek.

Finally it was time to leave, and I called to them to get their shoes on and come up to the path.  I watched with amusement to see what would happen.  They all have little hangups about their feet/shoes/socks.  Deacon insists on wearing socks, because he likes to avoid blisters.  Deacon is always the first one to jump into a muddy situation.

Roman is fastidious about being clean.  Actually, Roman is rather interesting.  He doesn't mind getting messy, but as soon as the fun is done, he freaks out about the mess.  He also doesn't mind if his clothes are dirty, he just doesn't like extraneous dirt on his body.  He also likes to be dry.

Lincoln doesn't mind wearing his shoes without socks, but he doesn't like to put shoes onto dirty or wet feet.

I was curious to see how each would handle the situation when they realized that there was not going to be a good way to get their shoes and socks back on clean feet.  There was no dry place to sit next to the creek, and there was no clean path up to the rocks/path.

 I watched Lincoln walk through the mud to where he had left his shoes.  He sat down to put them on, then seemed to be considering his feet.  It only took him a couple of seconds to see that this wasn't going to work, and then to do his favorite thing: "MOM!  What should I do?  My feet are too dirty to put my shoes back on!"  Grandma and I instructed him to just come up to the path barefoot and we would help him or get them washed at home.  He happily took that advice.

Deacon was next to appear.  He had his socks and shoes back in place.  His legs were dirty, and his shirt was more so.  He told me about his problem and his solution without me asking.  "So, Mom, I didn't know what to do because my feet were too dirty to put my socks and shoes on.  I decided to just wipe them off with my shirt.  It worked great."  Yes, Deacon, except your shirt is now dirty.  Kind of a "Cat in the Hat Comes Back" situation.  I actually did appreciate him problem solving without involving me, and the situation was one that was acceptable and pleased him, so I guess that is ok.

 We continued to wait for Roman.  I saw him walk to the creek, rinse his feet and then walk back to the rocks.  It only took a couple of seconds for him to be back in the creek.  We've all been there, right?  It is an age old dilemma.  Suddenly he took off running along the creek.  Every 10 feet or so he would stop and peer into the woods.  Finally he found what he was looking for: a small blue bucket that we had noticed on our earlier wanderings.  He carried that back to the bridge and I watched him fill it up with water and carry it up to the rocks.  He poured it over his feet.  It simply didn't hold enough water.  He tried again.  Apparently the second time he got them acceptably clean.  I saw him stand on a clean rock and wipe his feet.  Then he sat down and started putting on his socks.  He called out to me, "Mom!  I know this is taking a long time, but I had to figure out what I had to do!"  I yelled back that he could leave his socks off and figure that part out later.  He came running across the bridge with just his shoes on and announced that he hoped he could get to Grandma's quickly because his "feet felt weird".

I  love my boy's little personalities and I love it when a situation like this comes up and allows me to see more clearly their problem solving abilities and how they react to life's little dilemmas.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sleeping Position

Everyn has been edging toward thumbsucking as the soothing method of choice.  She will still take the pacifier, but if it falls out she just uses her thumb.  Within the last week she has added a new twist- the hand on her head.  When she is trying to get to sleep she sucks her thumb with her right hand and places her left hand on either the back or the side of her head.

From the time she was born, she has had a twinkle in her eye.  She was only days old and I told Noah that it always looked like she was thinking about some joke- well, at least in the minutes that her eyes were actually open.  Now she just smiles and smiles, laughs and coos.  She actually makes a lot of happy noises, and is totally thrilled when someone sits and talks to her.  Today Berean was sitting in front of her seat, singing her a "song".  Everyn's smile was ear to ear.

The girls were in for their well child check ups last week- Ever was 13 pounds, 3 oz and 24 inches long.  That puts her at about the 90th percentile.  She is a good sleeper and a good eater- we have no complaints :)

Everyn really doesn't have a schedule, she just kind of works into the flow of our day.  She still sleeps a lot.  I don't put her in her bed to nap, she just naps wherever she is.  Typically she goes to bed between 9 and 10 and sleeps a 6-8 hour stretch, nurses and then sleeps some more.  Some nights she sleeps longer than that, just depends.

I have been working on photo books for the kids, hopefully these little blog updates will help jog my memory when I go to compile the books!  I am planning to wade through Berean's birthday photos tomorrow, and get them up on the blog!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Evening Update

Not to toot my own horn or anything,

but I am usually fairly on top of things.

I don't usually forget things,

I don't usually miss things.

Even if I don't write them down, I do a pretty good job of keeping

a mental list,


and clock in my head.

So I don't know if 5 kids are just getting to me,

if it is the potty training,

the standardized testing,

or just the fact that all of our activities have different spring breaks,

but I messed up this morning.

This morning was our Co-op morning.  The boys got up super early and had their jackets on before we had even gotten them breakfast.  They were so excited to see their little friend who has been out of town.  I had Everyn changed, myself showered, Berean dressed and ready to go with Daddy.  We were out of the house early.  For the first time I was going to have plenty of time to get to the church without stressing about being a little late.  I had to volunteer, so I had to be there at 8 am.

I pulled into the parking lot.

It was empty.

Spring Break.

I forgot.

In retrospect, there were a couple of clues that I should have picked up on- but I didn't.

So we got our grocery shopping done early,

and we hung out at Grandmas.

Berean got to skype with Auntie Karla,

and make a birthday cake.

Berean has had 2 accident free days now.

Our testing is almost done.

Noah is playing a championship broomball game tonight.

Everyn is huge and sleeping 8ish hour stretches at night.

I am making photo books and trying to keep the kitchen clean.

Oh, and I am eating 5 servings of vegetables today, and drinking 8 glasses of water.


Because it is on my list.

And that is what is going on over here.

Monday, March 5, 2012


This morning I was monitoring 2 children taking two different tests.

Preschooler was screaming, because someone took his chair.

Preschooler was screaming because he wanted help doing too-hard math facts.

Toddler was yelling "wee wee" and "woo woo",

running for the potty with her panties around her ankles.

Dishes from a makeshift breakfast were in the sink.

Laundry was going.

Supper thawing.


Time to put the pacifier back in the baby's mouth.

Took the stairs two at a time to plop the toddler on the potty.

She doesn't want to use the little one,

she insists on the Dora seat on the big toilet.

Big smile when she goes.

Marshmallows for all.

Tests continue.

I suggested we take a break,

it is too chaotic.

Boys insist we keep going.

It is ok, Mom.

The noise, the chaos doesn't seem to be negatively affecting them or their answers,

so we continue.


Pacifier in the baby's mouth again.

Why is she fussy today?

"Mama, I am done"

"Mama, help me"


This is my life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Life in 1800 Square Feet

I am just about ready for this week to be over.

We started the week with some members of the family having the stomach flu.

One of them did not make it to the bathroom.

One is a very dramatic vomiter.

All of this warranted a repeat of the "Approved Places to Vomit" lecture:

The places are listed in most desirable to least desirable locations

1. The toilet (please, please, please!!!!!!)
2. A bucket or another empty, disposable (or washable) container
3. Sink or bathtub
4. If it must be on a floor, make sure it is the bathroom floor or the hardwood floor

Please DO NOT vomit on carpet, books, toys, siblings, parents and most of all NOT ON THE TOP OF THE BUNKBEDS!

I never thought Noah and I would one day be sitting around with 5 children making sure that everyone understands these very important rules.

The other thing going on this week is that we are potty training Berean.

This is another messy job.  Between the flu and the pee, my washing machine has been working overtime.

But this is a good week to do it, because we have been home a lot and that is where she needs to be.

The whole endeavor has had its ups and downs, but I decided not to give in and she finally seems to understand what her role is.  Today she peed on the potty 6 or 7 times and by the end of the day she was going without any prompting from me.  She still had her share of accidents, but we are going to keep working at it and hopefully by her 2nd birthday (next Wednesday) things will be well in hand.

After all this drama, I was ready to go out by myself tonight, work out,  do some shopping (not fun stuff, just necessities) and enjoy just being alone.  But due to a series of events involving impound lots, lines out the door and goalieless broomball teams, Noah had to head to the hockey arena.  So here I am, baby on my lap, Pepsi throwback on the desk and a bunch of photos waiting for my attention.

Out the door of my room is a messy house waiting to be cleaned,.

but for now, I guess I will stay in here.