Sunday, July 29, 2007

What a great, busy week!

I didn't really get much done this week and my house looks like a hurricane hit it, but this week was just so full that I can't possibly complain!
Levi had his very first ever sleepover at a friend's house. I really expected to have to pick him up in the middle of the night, but he hardly seemed to miss me at all! It was definitely harder on me than on him - I really missed the little guy! But I am so thankful for friends that I can trust to take good care of him and that he has a friend he loves to spend time with. He is really growing up!
The sleepover was Monday and Tuesday night my dad and sister got here with my niece and nephew. We only get to visit with the kids about twice a year so it was really wonderful to spend time with them. Eric and Levi were pretty much inseparable the whole time. There were so many wonderful moments - handing out popsicles to a yardful of kids, staying up late talking to my sister, watching eleven year old Paige play dress-up and tea party with three year old Brenna, hearing Eric say his prayers, setting up all the kids to "camp out" in the living room just like we used to do at my granny's house, Jack saying "Eric" and seeing the grin that put on Eric's face, making up bedtime stories for Levi and Eric. Kids are a handful - there's no denying that - but they are such a blessing and such a riot! I had a ball! I even got to visit for a little bit at my Grandma's and see my favorite Aunt and Uncle:)
I'm especially grateful that this horrible cold held off until today! Now I plan on sipping tea and propping my (puffier than life!) feet up for an afternoon! Tomorrow will be our "first day" of homeschool for the year - we plan on playing with our new school supplies and books, taking every one's picture, setting up our school area and reading on the couch! We're getting an early start this year so we can take lots of time off in September when "new baby" (who still remains nameless) gets here and so Levi won't feel left out when his buddies talk about starting kindergarten this week.
God's just been so good to me this week - did I mention my hubby even brought me home chocolate with hazelnuts when he took Levi school supply shopping? I just don't know how it could get much better.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Soldier's Wish List

A lot of you know that my baby brother is serving in Iraq right now. As Levi and I put together boxes of things to send him, I can't help thinking about the soldiers who don't get much mail from home. The Any Soldier program is a great way to support our troops and it can be a really fun service project for families or Sunday School classes.
My sis-in-law forwarded a copy of the wish list she received from my brother's company. Obviously not every soldier will want or need the same things - Any Soldier has some tips and links about what to send here - but I thought this was really great because it shows all the little things they're missing from home. The toys and balloons are for them to carry and give to the local kids that they meet. My brother has three kids at home and I think making an Iraqi child smile probably does as much for him as it does for them. Here's that list...

Board Games
Little toys
The little Debbie type snacks
snack crackers
Sunflower seeds
Pringles type chips
drink powder in the tubes - all varieties (and yes that includes the caffeinated kool aid - the company is now addicted to it)
Plastic containers
Air Freshener
Baby wipes
fruit leather things
white board markers
things to make us smile....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Seven Weeks To Go!

I don't know if it's the mile-long to do list or what, but seven weeks does not sound like very long to me. I am getting pretty uncomfortable, though, what with the sciatica on top of the "morning" sickness in addition to the swollen feet and the weight gain. But I'm so excited about meeting this little guy!
It's taken me all week, but I finally have the storage closet cleaned out! This is the closet where I keep all of the kids' clothes that don't fit anyone right now. Casey's sisters both pass on clothes that their boys have outgrown so Levi has a steady stream of hand-me-downs just waiting for him to grow. And I'm saving the clothes he outgrows for Jack and Baby Boy. Brenna doesn't have many hand-me-downs, but I'm saving her too little clothes for a (hoped for) future little sister. I went through all those rubbermaid containers ruthlessly - sorting stuff into piles for the Salvation Army, for my great-niece, and to sell at the big kid's consignment sale. I was just saving way too much! Hopefully now it will be much easier to see what they have and avoid stockpiling more than they need. After all, it seems like a shame to keep clothes in my closet when there are kids out there who need them now.
While I was down there, I went ahead and pulled out all of the fall and winter clothes so that will be one less thing to do after Baby Boy gets here. And I pulled out the big box of boy baby stuff to wash up ahead of time. Washing things for a new baby is probably the only time I can honestly say I enjoy laundry. Next up is cleaning and organizing those closets!
I have a busy Saturday planned this week. Casey will be home to keep the kids so I'm planning a morning of yard saling followed by an afternoon of cooking ahead for the freezer. And hopefully a quick nap in the middle there:) I'm trying to pack the freezer and I've gotten so many great ideas from Maggie. I get so inspired seeing the tables full of food she's putting up at one time!
And next week I'll be busy with visiting family! My dad and sister are coming for a week with my niece and nephew. They live in Ohio so we don't get to see them very often. My dad has promised to take Levi and my nephew (who's 6) camping so I hope there's a dry night! And I hope my dad knows what he's getting into! I really want them to have a wonderful time, but I'm just not a run-somewhere-everyday kind of person. We do a lot of staying home, especially lately. So I'm trying to think of some fun things to do at home. I love Laine's Letters and this one about showing hospitality to children is really great. I'm so looking forward to having my sister here, too, since she'll be headed off to college in the fall.
With so much going on, I bet this little guy will be here before I know it!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Great Name Debate

What to name the name has quickly become the topic of conversation around here. After naming three kids, we have developed certain guidelines. But we seem to have different opinions about how to apply the guidelines - and therein lies the dilemma. But at least we've kept the conversation interesting. And it's kind of fun to still have "picking the name" to look forward to - we had names picked out for the other three well before the big sonogram!

Here are the rules we're sticking with...

  • the name must be gender specific (no little girls named James or little boys named Leslie - no offense)
  • names for boys must be either short or have a short nickname
  • names must have a meaning that rings true for us
  • every baby is named for someone. This is tricky because I don't mean that we necessarily have to pass on an exact name. Brenna, for example is named after my mother, Brenda and both she and Jack have last names for middle names so they're actually named after lots of people:)

So far we aren't finding the name in any baby naming books! We're just praying that God sends us a name for this little guy - and that He sends it to both of us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Creating a Birth Plan for a C-section

I really meant to do this before Jack was born, but I didn't have as much time as I thought since he made an early appearance. I did have a few things in mind that I wanted to do differently. Unfortunetly, there were a few complications (unending nausea for me and some breathing issues for him) that threw a wrench into my plans.
This time around I'm trying to think things through and develop a plan. AND put it in writing. I may need Casey or my mom (or my Grandma like last time!) to go to bat for me if I'm a little out of it, so having it written down seems like a smart plan. The first time around I had such specific ideas, but nothing went according to plan. I wound up feeling very out of control and disappointed (when I should've been feeling extremely grateful!). I'm a lot more flexible these days! A ceserean birth is pretty complicated so if things come up I'll just have to roll with it. But, there's no harm in planning, right?
One big thing is the kind of anesthesia I want. So far I've had three c-sections with three different types of anesthesia - general with Levi because it was an emergency, an epidural with Brenna that took three tries and was extremely painful to get, and a spinal block with Jack that was easy to get and worked like a charm. The epidural did have one charm - I got to keep it for the first twenty four hours. It was great to be able to get up and walk around with no pain and I didn't even notice any afterpains. However, the tape holding it on to my back left whelps when they pulled it off - very painful for about a week. The spinal just worked better for me. It was easier and faster and less painful.
And then there's the catheter. Forgive me for being indelicate, but this is a big issue for me! I don't want that thing near me until after the spinal I hope it's not a problem because I will be ugly about it!
I want to see the little guy as soon as they pull him out this time. I almost got to see Jack right away, but, just like a boy, he started peeing everywhere as soon as he was born (marking his territory perhaps?) and they had to pull the curtain back up pretty quick. I'd also like to slow down and spend a few minutes with him before he's whisked off to the nursery. It just never seems like long enough.
From the operating room, it's back to recovery for a long boring hour. I really, really want the baby brought to me back here. They allow a visitor or two, but I'd rather have the baby! It would be so nice to have a little quiet time to nurse him before they move me to a room. If there's a good reason why they can't bring him to me in recovery, I think I'll aim for a little quiet time in the room before visitors start pouring in. I love having everyone there - it would break my heart not to have all our family there - but I don't like to put off that first feeding. I might just have to be a little selfish this time and keep the baby all to myself for a little while:)
Well, that's the plan so far. I'm sure I'll be adding to and updating over the next few weeks as I do more reading and thinking.
Next I need to think about what to have waiting at home!

Monday, July 09, 2007

A doctor's appointment, rescheduling, and other super exciting stuff

Today is the big 30 week mark which means I actually only have 8 1/2 weeks left until little Shane (? Nick? Zane? Gabe? maybe we'll just wait until he can tell us what his name is...) makes his appearance. I've said it before but the only good thing about scheduling a c-section is knowing I have an end-by date. I'm getting soooo excited! We're working out all the details of who stays where with who. So far it looks like the plan is for Casey's mom to spend the night here (and hopefully my mom, too!) the night before. Then Mom, Casey and I can head to the hospital nice and early - gotta be there at 6! And Casey's mom and sister can bring the kids just a little later. I'd really prefer that they were at the hospital right when the baby's born, but... this way I'll be all settled in a room. Levi saw me in recovery after Brenna was born (he was 2 1/2) - I felt fine, but was I shaking all over and that scared him a little.
I'm already gathering supplies to take to the hospital. There were lots of things I wanted last time that I didn't have (in my defense Jack was early) so I'm trying to remember what I wanted and get it together early this time. Here's a quick list of what I want to take...
  • take out menus for a few places around town (once I could eat the hospital food was...less than appealing...and yet I was starving! Everyone kept offerring to go get me something, but I couldn't think of what to send them after!)
  • really nice pampering stuff
  • my nursing pillow (the hospital pillows shift around so much, but you do not want a baby laying on your tummy after a c-section!)
  • chlorophyll - I'm hoping to avoid another transfusion!
  • oatmeal raisin cookies - fiber is good
  • presents for the big kids when they come to visit - probably little stuff from the dollar store
  • a picture of Casey and the kids to keep me company when they're not with me

I'm adding to this all the time (I haven't even gotten to the extremely neccessary stuff yet!), but if anyone thinks of anything I should add - let me know!

In the meantime, I'm off to get everyone ready. I have a doctor's appointment (otherwise known as an hour of peace and quiet) and the kids have a playdate with their two grannies:) That one hour will take about four hours of getting ready/dropping off/traveling time, but, boy, is it worth it!

edited to add (for my own benefit!)

  • chapstick!