Friday, September 4, 2015

Bobs at 6 weeks

At 6 weeks Bobby is getting big and filling out.  His diapers are leaking constantly so we are moving on up to the size 2's and he's getting too long for some of the onsies that are 0-3 months.  Most of the 0-3 month clothes still fit him, but the onesies are getting snug.

Aunt Barbara came for a visit before our trip.

We started getting very quick, random smiles.  Brian got the first one on our trip and says it wasn't quick.  He is so proud that he got the first one.  I'm happy for him since he missed the birth and all.  I figure he deserves it.

Bobby has had a hard time with sleeping for naps.  He had trouble falling asleep and even more trouble staying asleep.  When we were on the beach, he would sleep on his tummy in the pack-n-play tent just fine.  I wore him in my wrap on the walk down there and usually carried him back so I didn't get the wrap covered in sand while I put it on.

I think I've got this carry down.  I would've just left him in it, but it was so hot and I wanted him fully shaded since he can't wear sunscreen.

In that cool pack-n-play

Best pack-n-play for the beach ever

Anyway, back to the sleeping.  We did find that if we got him drowsy before laying him down and gave him a few pacifier reinserts and pats he did do significantly better in his Moses basket (zipped up in his Woombie and on his side.)  So I am going that route with his sleep training.

He is nursing well, about every 3 hours during the day.  Unfortunately, during the trip he started doing every 3 hours all through the night too which was not fun since I was desperately trying not to nap or go to bed at 8pm on my vacation.  I spent afternoon rest times alone or with adults on the beach or at the pool.  The first night home, he went 6 hours between nursings and then 3 more hours after that.  It was like Christmas time in summer for me!

Rough schedule:

8am wake and nurse
9am nap
11am wake and nurse
12pm nap
2 pm wake and nurse
3pm nap
5pm wake and nurse
(There is sometimes a bath in here.)
6:30pm bed
8pm wake and nurse
(He usually goes right back to bed, but sometimes is awake for an hour.)
11pm dreamfeed
(He usually wakes at 3am ish and sometimes again at 6am ish, but he sometimes only wakes at 4 or 5am.)

 He's getting better about staying awake during most feedings.  It seems like he has a harder time in the afternoons staying awake during the feedings though.  He's also getting better at letting me put him down during his awake times, but again is better in the mornings than in the afternoons.

He does love that tummy.

His siblings haven't been asking to hold him quite as  much, but they still ask a lot, with the exception of Hannah.  Hannah will jump to volunteer though if I ask if someone can hold him for me though.  Drew has a hard time keeping his hands off of him.  He told me with a giant smile, "I just love him so much!"  So sweet!  I love him so much too.  So. Much.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Just Today

I'm taking a break from the catching up posts to post about today before I don't remember today well enough to post about it.

I am officially back in business.  We are starting school again on next Tuesday, but this week I was out and about with the kids by myself Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  It really wore me out.  I haven't had a real nap since my mother-in-law left two weeks ago.  And Bobby is rarely giving me more than 3 hours of sleep in a row.  So today, Thursday, I declared a mental health day and decided not to even get dressed.  Normally I am a big proponent of getting out of my pajamas everyday even if I'm not leaving the house, but not today.

So my plan backfired and by dinnertime I felt crazier than I did this morning.

Judah has started saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," in response to questions instead of just one assent.  It's pretty adorable.  He also has asked me,"What is this/that?" about a hundred times today which actually hasn't contributed much to the aforementioned insanity because it's cute.  Judah really only contributes to my insanity when he refuses to let me change his clothes or diaper and pitches a giant, kicking, screaming fit about it (which sometimes results in a naked timeout where I pray the whole time he doesn't pee on the wall.)  Most of the time though he is just stinkin' cute.

Like today when he came in from playing in the 90 degree backyard all sweaty and dirty and precious.

He stayed in his pajamas today too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, Judah (or whatever you call him)!

I am bad.  I am so bad.  On Judah's second birthday we were driving to Florida to meet my side of the family at the beach.  We drove a total of 13 hours that day and we got exactly zero pictures of the birthday boy.  On top of that we got up and started immediately packing the van, AKA the Beast, that morning and hit the road.  We did not even say happy birthday to him until his godmother texted me a birthday message for him 2 hours into our drive and we suddenly were reminded that, yes, today was his birthday.  And, yes, we did forget.

We quickly all said, "Happy birthday," to him.  To which he responded by yelling, "Nooo!" therefore declaring himself officially a two year old.  Maybe he was secretly angry at us for taking so long to say it.  Or maybe he was mad at the two people who said, "Happy birthday, Benjamin!" instead of "Happy birthday, Judah!" ;)

The drive went well, but other than Bobby, no one got more than a half hour nap the entire drive.  Well, Isaac fell asleep at the end there.  Drew wore his Seaband bracelet and didn't throw up once even when we finally relented and let them watch a movie the last few hours.  The big van is really good for his motion sickness.  My theory is that you don't have as big a disconnect between how fast you are going and how fast you feel like you are going since the suspension isn't as good.

We tried to find a hotel on the way in Tallahassee, but it is a college town and all the parents were taking up all of our queen suites.  So we had to settle for a king suite which sounds better, but is actually worse.  A queen suite has 2 queens and a full pull out sofa.  A king suite has only one king bed and a full pull out sofa.  So we, being the good parents that we are and not wanting to share a bed with wiggle worms, took the pull out sofa and slept with springs jammed into more places than I though possible so that the kids could squeeze into the king bed together.  Hannah opted out of that close quarter arrangement and slept on our couch cushions on the floor.  Judah got a crib from which he serenaded us for a long long time, and Bobby slept in his Moses basket like a champ.  It was not my best night sleep.  BUT.  We woke up and ate breakfast the next morning and only had 2 hours to go.

Speaking of breakfast, Brian took the early bird, Judah (who was serenading us again at 6am,) down for breakfast first while the rest of us got a little more sleep.  He then got his first juice, which is his 2 year old privilege.  When I went down with the rest of the bunch while Brian and Judah stayed in the room, an older gentleman asked me if they were all mine.  (That's a question I get a lot.)  I said yes and he asked me if the two kids behind me were also mine as a joke because it was obvious they were with another set of parents.  I said, "No, but I do have one more up in the room."  He laughed, and I am not sure if he believed me or thought I was kidding too.

I didn't get one single picture of him on his birthday.  I am also bad because I am so behind on this blog.  Hang in there while I try to catch up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

All Boy Birthday Party

Daddy played host for this party.  I played nursing mom to a newborn at home with the girls and the youngest two boys.  Being that the details of the party were reported to me by boys and a man, I don't know too much about what happened except for what the pictures tell.  My only contribution was the ice cream castle cake (pictures at the bottom of the post) that Isaac requested.

Looks like they had a blast which is all that matters!

This is not my best cake, but it is what he requested.  All the boys LOVED it so it was a success despite my perfectionist problems.  I had to back up and start over twice and it still turned out messier than I had hoped.  Ice cream and whipped cream is not an easy medium to work with at all.  I prefer real cakes to decorate.

A last minute, in the freezer, picture

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our Bobby: 4 Weeks Old

Well, I am starting to feel normal-ish again.  Last week I actually did other things than just sleep and nurse and take care of the kids.  I actually crossed things off my to-do list every day.  My mother-in-law helped with that by cleaning, doing the regular everyday stuff of making snacks and lunches, reading books to the littles, and taking the littles outside for me.  We still have friends bringing meals for dinners so I didn't have to do that.  So, by no means take my normal-ish feelings for meaning I am back in business again.  I have had a lot of help.

This is just a funny picture because it looks like Judah's trying  to eat Bobby, but really it was supposed to be a kiss.

Bobby is settling into a rough schedule of waking, eating, and then sleeping until three hours after the last waking during the day.  He usually has a time in the morning and a time in the evening where he is awake a little bit more than the thirty to forty-five minutes that he does most of the day.  If he is awake too long he often has a harder time settling down for a nap.  His normal settling is a few minutes of crying followed by looking around and blinking sleepily for awhile, sometimes dozing off for a while, and then repeats for a half hour to an hour sometimes.  Then he is in a deep sleep that nothing can wake him from.  He's had a couple of days where he did not follow this pattern and had a very hard time sleeping or being happy at all.

Beginning of a sleepy smile

Every time I sit down to nurse Bobby, Judah asks to hold him.
Things I know about Bobby this week that may or may not be different next week:

1. He cries in the carseat a lot, but if we are moving he sometimes chills or even falls asleep.  Sometimes.  It will be interesting to see how the long drive to Florida goes in a week.

2.  He does not like to be put down unswaddled on his back.  Ever.  Not even during awake times.  He only likes his tummy, to be held, or swaddled in his Moses basket for nap/bed.  This makes getting pictures of just him difficult.

3.  He doesn't last long in the swing even if he does miraculously fall asleep it's been only for 45 minutes or less.

4.  I have a hard time rocking him to sleep.  In general, I don't make this a habit because I am all about teaching them early to fall asleep on their own, but from time to time they need a little help.  He has yet to accept that help unless I wear him in the wrap.

5.  He has TWO dimples!!!!  This is my favorite thing ever!  I love dimples, but I've mentioned that before.
Here's one of them!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Blessings

So, I have been really busy.  I know that seems like a given, but really I have been REALLY busy.  Brian has been gone all summer during the weekdays, starting at the beginning of May.  His work has taken him away during the weekdays to live in a hotel for four months.  He drives the 3 hours home every Friday and drives back in the wee hours of the morning on Monday to get back to work again.  This was, of course, when my 6th baby was due, smack in the middle of this.  I hired some babysitters to help me a couple evenings a week while I was pregnant to help buffer this less than ideal situation.

Then as my due date approached I got so excited that my mom was coming to help with almost the rest of this trying time with Brian gone.  Seriously, I was giddy that my mom was finally coming when I got the bad news.  The bad news was that my dad had cancer and needed a surgery to remove it on the Wednesday after my mom was scheduled to arrive here.  A double whammy, if you ask me.  Maybe even a triple since the children and I were so counting on that time with my mom before having to move to another country.  The decision was made that my mom would still come, but would possibly have to return early depending on how the surgery went.  My brother and sister stepped up and agreed to take time off work to help dad with the day surgery.  It was supposed to be an easy recovery and a day surgery.

The surgery went well, but his bleeding was much more extensive than they had planned for and he wasn't able to get the single local dose of chemo that he was supposed to get because of the bleeding.  The day surgery turned into, "We'll keep him for one night," which then turned into three nights.  He was in incredible pain and my poor mother was on the phone constantly getting updates and worrying about my dad.  When he finally did go home, he had to return to the ER with more complications.  He was readmitted to the hospital and that was when my siblings started asking for my mom to come home.  Bobby was almost a week old at this point and my mom decided to switch her flight and head home, three weeks early.  This was a very hard decision for her because she knew that she was needed in both places, she was desperate to spend time with her grand kids, but my dad was in so much pain and my brother and sister were heading back to work.

Saying goodbye to her was certainly not easy.  The day she decided she needed to go back early was the day I came across this quote in my book, Perpetua.  Couldn't have been better timing.

"It is agreed.  I hold you loosely.  While you are here, you are God's gift to me; when you are gone, it is my privilege to send you without complaint."

I read this to my mom and burst into tears halfway through it.  It is something that is much harder to live out than to say, and I could barely say it.

This was just all around bad timing.  However, blessings did come.  My dad's pathology report came back with great news.  They got all the tumor with clean margins and the type of tumor it is is a slow growing, non-invasive one.  He is cancer free and just needs close monitoring to catch any recurrences before it gets too big.

Then a friend from college, Barbara, who had been praying for my dad found out that my mom was going home early and volunteered to come up and stay for a week and a half.  I totally took her up on that!  I barely thought about it before replying to her that we would start looking for flights.  She has been a tremendous help!  We were sad to see her go on Sunday.  But then just a couple of days after her departure another blessing will arrive, Brian's mom offered to come and help out for the remaining time.  God has truly put so many people in my life to help out this summer.  That's not even all of the people that have stepped in to help.  So many friends locally have brought meals, run errands for us, taken kids to VBS or the pool, and don't forget the incredible act of virtually delivering Bobby for me!  I am so blessed.

Plus, I was struck later by the mercy God showed me by having Bobby be born only 2 days past my due date, making him almost a week old when my mom had to leave.  I had fully expected to be in the hospital still when my mom had to leave if Bobby had followed in the footsteps of his older brothers.  I am so humbled by it all.

We have less than two weeks until this nightmare of Brian's traveling for work is over.  I cannot wait to have my husband back full time.  Then the real preparations for the move begin, and chaos of a new kind starts it's engines.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday, Isaac!

Isaac turns 7 today.  I can't say enough about this boy of mine.  He is sweeter than anything, generous beyond measure, a great problem solver, and a little genius (like his dad.)  We love him to pieces!

He requested a picnic for his birthday, but we are putting that off until next weekend because of a myriad of things that have to be done this weekend.  We went to Mass first thing in the morning.  Well, Brian got up with the big kids and made waffles early so I could sleep in with Bobby.  I woke up at 8:15am and I was walking out the door while nursing the baby at 8:45am to head to Mass.  He opened presents when we got home.  He got a big Ninjago Lego set and a tent building kit from his grandparents.  We got him some Nerf guns, a Nerf vest, and extra bullets.

The girls made him gifts and Drew made him a card.  It was so sweet how much he enjoyed their gifts.  Hannah made him a duct tape box with his name on it.  Genna made him a card and gave him a lot of candy and gum from her stash.

Drew was very worried that he hadn't made a gift, but I insisted that the card was perfect and that he Nerf stuff was from the whole family.

We went to dinner at the restaurant of his choice which was Red Robin.  He had a great time and got a free ice cream sundae.

His seventh birthday privilege is to have an all boy's party.  He wanted laser tag, but many of the kids on his list aren't quite big enough to handle the equipment, so we settled on a bouncy house type place.  His party isn't until Friday.  Daddy's running the show.  All I have to do is send the cake.  Yay!

He gets another celebration with all the boys (All the boys in the family were born between July 20th and September 13th.) at the beach where he'll get even more gifts from his aunts and uncles.