Monday, September 23, 2013

It's finally over! Time to celebrate!

Brian passed his board exams.  He defied the statistics (30-40% pass rate) and passed all four sections on his first try.  He has been studying so hard all summer, and we are all so happy that his hard work paid off.  We said a novena to St. Joseph of Cupertino as well as a family.  I think we have prayed about this for 3 years now.  God has heard our prayers and we now get him back on the week nights and weekends.  No more studying!  Brian is now a board certified veterinary pathologist!  Congratulations, Honey!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

That's so Genevieve!

Setting the stage here.  It's after dinner last week one evening.  Children are getting ready for bed, finishing up their piece of candy for dessert, and tidying up the downstairs area.  I am finishing up the kitchen.  Genna runs down the stairs crying and dives into my arms, saying, "I didn't mean to!"  She explains that she was getting ready for bed and bent over when chocolate fell out of her mouth onto the quilt I made for Hannah's First Communion.

Well, I guess my hormones are starting to even out because I didn't panic or freak out or anything.  Her sweet and utter sorrow over her mistake, the state of Hannah's quilt, and my hard work helped on this front.  Genna and I went up to assess the damage after consoling Genna and finding that Hannah was being very forgiving of her sister's accident.  Turned out it was only on the satin trim, so that was good news.  However, it was rubbed in.  We then had a discussion about not rubbing things in and bringing them to me first.  Then I see the chocolate all over her pajama pants.  Turns out she used her pants to rub in the chocolate onto the quilt, trying to clean it, of course.  This just made me laugh.  This is just so Genevieve that it was funny.

The chocolate came out of everything, by the way, with a little Oxiclean.

The other day another incident happened that showed me how not safety conscious Isaac and Genna are.  They were assigned to cut out eyes, noses, and mouths out of magazines.  They were giggling away, and I was getting stuff done while the two littlest boys asleep and Hannah reading.  They I hear it.  "I didn't mean to!  I'm sorry!  Genna, I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!"  followed by the siren that is Isaac's signature hysterical cry.  Genna also was crying.  Isaac had cut Genna's finger with the scissors, pretty good.  Lots of blood.  Again, thank God those hormones are evening out because I totally didn't freak (like I did a few weeks ago with the stair incident.)  Turns out after Isaac calmed down he tells me that Genna asked him to snip the scissors at the magazine as she turned the pages.  Genna reluctantly admitted to it.  Whoops!  A good lesson for both, I guess.  I had told both of them not to snip the scissors in the air that very day.  I guess that should have been my first hint that they were not going to be safe with the scissors.  Lesson learned.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cave Man Drew

Drew is putting lots of words together now.  This is not to say though that he is speaking in sentences like my other children did at a much younger age.  He talks like a cave man.

"Put baby down.  Hold me."
"Me do it."
"Dew Dew, take me."  (Translation, "Take me with you.")
"Here Ite!  Help."  (Ite is Isaac.)
"Mornin' Dudah"  (Translation "Good morning Judah")
"No Hannah.  Mom do it."
"Me have it please?"
"Thursday.  Dandy.  Eat.  Me."  This is followed by a big open mouth.  (Translation "It's Thursday, I want to eat candy.")  Further explanation for this one is that we have dessert days, Sunday and Thursday, every week.  Those are the only days we have dessert barring some special occasion.  The kids are constantly reminding me what day it is when it is dessert day.  He has caught on to what days are dessert days and now just declares when it is Thursday or Sunday.

He gets the point across.  We all especially love when he uses made up signs to help us if we don't understand a word or something for some reason.

He says t's in place of k's.  So it is "montey" instead of "monkey" and "Bater" instead of "Baker" (his godparents' name.)  He also says d's instead of g's and j's, like "Denna" instead of "Genna" and "Dudah" instead of "Judah."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Some Spontaneous Fun

 We busted out the slip and slide a week or so ago when the weather was in the 90s and the pools were already closed for the year.  I bought this on clearance one year and never got it out.  The girls loved it, but the boys didn't really play on it.  Isaac thought it hurt his tummy too much.  Drew couldn't get going on it and really didn't love that the water was spraying all over him.  Weirdos!  The boys played with the water they collected from the sprinklers while the girls perfected their slides.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Judah: Week 4

Once again, I am behind on my posting.  That's life, I guess.  Judah is now 4 weeks old.  He had his first blowout diaper during his third week, and had some good nights and some bad.  In his fourth week, he began to have trouble falling asleep on his own with all the noise.  The noise hadn't bothered him at all the first few weeks, but he had trouble getting good and asleep this last week.  I tried a little sound machine in his bassinet downstairs.  I tried adding this blanket...

 Once he was in a deep sleep, there was no waking him.  I ended up starting putting him awake in his Moses basket upstairs, doing his little bedtime routine and all, for most naps.  He did great with only a couple minutes of crying, if any at all, most of the time.  It is possible that him being downstairs made it too easy for us to interfere with his falling asleep at the first sign of discontent.  Whereas by the time we got to him upstairs he was usually peaceful and nearly asleep.  There have been times when he doesn't fall asleep for 30 minutes or so, but during these times he is mostly just laying there looking around with the occasional grunting or fussing.  

His version of fussing sounds a bit dramatic, so that has taken some getting used to.  He goes from happy to screaming to happy again in a minute's time.  It turns on and off like you wouldn't believe.  First time Brian noticed it, when Judah suddenly stopped from his hysterical scream without me going over to him, Brian asked me if he was alive.  :)  I told him, "Yes, that's just how he is.  Screams, then stops and is fine."

Nursing is going great.  The fast and furious gulping has begun.  This has happened with some of my babes, but I can't recall who specifically.  My milk comes so fast that it takes them a while to figure out how to let some of the milk run out of their mouth.  Judah seems to be trying so hard to just keep up with the milk flow come hell or high water.  This results in gulps and gasps for air.  He sounds like he is drowning when he nurses.  The last few days he has started to let some milk run out of his mouth, but he is still gulping and gasping a lot.  I love the red face covered in milk when he finishes nursing! 

He is sleeping on his side in the Woombie for naps, and the Miracle Blanket for night time.  His arms are still up.  He uses the pacifier during the day, but rarely needs it at night.  I have been giving him gripe water or Mylacon for gas on occasion.  He doesn't seem to be a great car seat sleeper, but he isn't upset in the car seat most of the time.  I hope that won't be a problem.

Nights are not getting any longer for me.  He is going only 3 to 4 hour stretches.  His ideal daily schedule is as follows.

6:30am wake and nurse
7:30am nap
9am wake and nurse
10am nap
12pm wake and nurse
1pm nap
3pm wake an nurse
4pm nap
5:30/6pm wake and nurse
8:30pm wake and nurse
hopefully goes right back to sleep here
11pm dreamfeed
(usually wakes around 3pm to nurse)

Today, however, was totally off and he woke up early (hysterical) to nurse almost every nap.  I am trying to squeeze in an extra nursing before bed tonight in hopes of avoiding a bad night.

I almost forgot to add, that I have been lucky enough to catch some awake smiles in the last two weeks, but not on camera yet.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Drewy's turning two!

As of Friday, Drew's officially two years old even though he claims to be "8" most of the time if he is asked.  On Friday we went to JCP to get pictures of all the kids (and baby pictures too.)  They did great, but I couldn't have managed without my mom since it took 2.5 hours altogether with picking pictures and paying.  Drew was so done after the 45 minute photo shoot, and so my mom walked them around the mall while Judah and I picked out pictures and finished up.  Super cute pictures and it was so worth it!

We doled out some of his gifts slowly over the next few days.  We went to Ruby Tuesday's for his birthday dinner before his daddy headed out for his big exams that he has been studying for all summer (and the last three years that he has been in the residency.)  He was great during dinner, but unfortunately he bit Isaac the day before and actually drew some blood.  I thought he was growing out of this, but this week he has been a total monster again.  I am praying he learns soon to stop this since I am super consistent with punishments and I don't know what else I can do. 

Drew as Michaelangelo, Ninja Turtle.

This was Drew trying out his new Justice League bat that we got him.

Isaac was comforting Drew when he got scared during a movie.
 Last year I skipped out on a real birthday party for him, and I didn't want to do that again.  I planned a "mini" party for him for this Sunday morning.  His dad had to miss it, but my mom was here to help.  Turned into a "not so mini" party, with 26 children and their parents.  I ordered pizza, set out grapes and carrots, and baked him a cake of his choice.  He is a big baseball guy, so you can guess what he picked...

Drew asked for a baseball cake!  
 I didn't do anything fancy, no favors or any frills.  I didn't want to overdo it, being a severely sleep deprived milk cow at the moment.  :)

Since we had 24 "eating" kids coming to the party, I made cupcakes too, just in case.  Turns out the cake was probably enough.  Most of the cupcakes were left over, but the cake only had a slice left.

We sung "Happy Birthday" to Drew outside on the deck.

Blowing out the candles
 He had a great time, and all the kids were pretty much banished to the backyard since it was a BEAUTIFUL day at around 65 degrees.  Only problem was that he bit one of his buddies who tried to get him out of the kid Jeep.  Aah!  Cute kid, please stop biting and hitting!!!!

Drew got a new truck.

Drew, I love you, and I pray that you have a good year learning and loving like God wants you to.  You are a spunky, tough, little guy with an adorable personality.  I know you'll learn to harness all that energy for the good as you grow up.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Starting School: Crazy. I know!

 Tuesday was Isaac's first official day of Kindergarten.  My mom is doing most of the schooling really, but I did do Isaac's first day to introduce him to the materials and the methods we will be using.  He seemed to think everything was going to to be incredibly hard the moment he opened the books, but I think he realized that it wasn't hard at all once he gave it a chance.  

The girls have done great and not complained nearly as much with my mom teaching them.  At one point, Hannah said, "If this was my mom teaching I would be in tears right about now."  I guess they hold it together for Mimi better.  Go figure!

These two little stinkers have been getting along better *most* days.  On Saturday, they were getting along so well, in fact, that Drew apparently wanted Isaac to carry him down the stairs.  You may be able to guess how that ended.  Yes, my worst fear (falling down the stairs) came true.  They fell head first together from halfway up the stairs all the way down.  It sounded awful from the kitchen, lots of thuds followed by screams.  A million images of my precious boys splayed in various unimaginable positions with limbs going ways they are not supposed to go ran through my mind in the time that it took me to round the corner and find the boys already getting up off the floor.  Isaac was hysterical, but not because he was hurt.  He was screaming because he thought he was going to be in big trouble.  It took me a long time to get the story out of him of how and what actually happened.  It was awful!  Here I am, sleep deprived and hormonal from just having a baby a week and a half before when my worst fear happens.  You can imagine that I didn't handle it very well.  Plus, I cried for 2 hours afterwards, (I mean I could not stop crying.  I cried through making lunch and various other activities.) and felt the effects of the crying the rest of the day.  Isaac cried for a good long while too.  I would like to think that it was because he realized how upset the whole thing made me and how serious it could have been, but with him it is hard to tell.  Most things are about being afraid of punishment.  Anyway, apparently falling down the stairs doesn't mean permanent brain damage or a broken neck or certain death.  You can survive, even if your big brother falls on you in the process.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Judah: Week 2

Judah went to the doctor for his two week check up today.  He was the picture of health and he passed his birth weight up at 9 lbs 11oz.  His head circumference was surprising at 38 cms.  Last week it was 36.3 cms, so I guess they must have measured it wrong the first time.   The nurse checked herself this time twice.  His umbilical cord was off, so he is cleared for a real bath.  He also got his heal stick for the PKU test.  He cried for a second after the initial stick and squeeze, but then chilled out while they squeezed his heal again and again to get enough blood.  He didn't cry during the weighing or exam.  He has been such a relaxed baby this week compared to last.  He is very easily calmed if he ever gets upset, which is rare these days.

Judah had his first bath tonight.  In keeping with his chilaxed personality, he didn't cry at all during the bath.  He did get upset when I took him out, but he calmed down pretty fast and went to sleep on his own in the bassinet afterwards.

He has been sleeping well at night most of the time.  He takes about 20-30 minutes after I nurse him to settle into a quiet sleep.  He grunts, squirms, and makes the occasional little fuss during this time.  I rarely have to do anything, but on occasion I do have to give him his pacifier.  He spits it out at some point and goes to sleep.  He's going 4-5 hours from start of nursing to start of the next nursing at least once at night, but sometimes twice.  When he wakes it is usually a half wake up, and if I didn't have him right next to me I wouldn't hear him and he would drift right back to sleep.  

He's usually totally happy to be snuggled up in this Woombie even if he is awake.  He just hangs out until he gets tired and then drifts off to sleep.

He gets the hiccups all the time.  He's not much of a spitter, but he has his moments.  He is a great burper now.  He sneezes a lot too.

Somebody LOVES me!

He has been very hard to keep awake during feedings.  I am successful for the beginning, but then he starts to close his eyes and there is nothing I can do to stop him.

He's had a couple of naps on his tummy just to get used to the position.  Awake tummy time doesn't really exist yet.

Judah made his first appearance at church on Sunday.  He was oohed and aahed over.  I forgot my camera to get a new pew picture.  That will have to wait until I remember my camera on Sunday.  He did great, but Drew kept bumping the carseat and touching him while he was trying to sleep.  We'll have to work on that!

Judah went to dinner with Brian and I in the city on Saturday night.  He was a champ and slept the whole time.  He also went out with my mom and all the kids and I for a shopping trip while the maid came to the house to clean.  He did great for that also, but Isaac kind of drove me a little nuts.  Plus, we went to my Uncle's house for Labor Day.  So, Judah has been out and about a lot this past week.

Sleepy smiles have begun.  Love it!

I have been just loving this little man to pieces!  He seems so easy compared to the talking and walking children in this house.  :)  I love the innocence!  I really feel that I have been able to enjoy him so much despite the sleep interruptions.  Thanks be to God!  It could have something to do with my mom being here longer to help and the millions of meals that have been given to us.  I haven't had to cook or plan a meal since before he was born.  Thanks to good friends and neighbors!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Benjamin Judah: Week One

Night One: In the hospital he slept great, but spit up a lot and was awoken by nurses and doctors a lot for his blood sugar and vitals.  I barely slept at all, not even one straight hour.

Night Two:  First night home, he didn't do so well.  He was awake from 11pm until 4am, almost solid.  This typically happens with my babes because my milk still hasn't come in and the sleepy-just born phase passes.

Night Three: Judah did better, but still not great.  He had trouble settling into sleep without several pacifier inserts, which I try to avoid making a habit of that.  However, I was getting desperate and I let him cry for about 10 or so minutes with no luck.  He goes from nothing to hysterical screaming back to nothing.  He is a totally different crier than Drew who just did a light fussy cry.  It was easier to be assured that he was settling in and not getting too worked up to go to sleep on his own.  My milk still had not come in which is normal for me.

Night Four:  He went a three and a half hour stretch between two of the feedings which felt like Christmas to me.  My milk started to come in.

Night Five:  He did a little better if I gave him the pacifier when I laid him down and took it away when he pushed it out of his mouth and started to fall asleep.  It took him 10-20 minutes to get really asleep each time.  My milk was all the way in on this night.

Night Six:  This was a really awful night.  He went only 2 hours between feedings and most of that time was trying to get good and asleep.  He would lay in his Moses Basket with the occasional pacifier insertion, but it was all night long, after every feeding.  I slept for an hour and a half once, otherwise it was less than an hour long chunks.  I decided the next day I was going to work extra hard to keep him awake during feedings during the day to distinguish between his nights and days better.  I did succeed in keeping him awake during most all feedings and laying him down awake for naps.  He couldn't stay awake much longer than a feeding and diaper change.

Night Seven:  He finally had a really good night!  If only I could fall asleep faster and take advantage more of the non-nursing times during the night.  The first half of the night he was swaddled like normal in the Miracle Blanket, but he did take longer to settle into a good sleep just like all the other nights.  He did sleep from midnight until 3:45am though!  Yea!  The second part of the night I swaddled him with his arms bent and fists by his mouth, then I was able to lay him on his side like he sleeps during the day.  He went immediately to sleep which shocked me since he had slept so long already.  I thought for sure he would have a hard time going back to sleep.  So I am going to start swaddling him with his arms bent at night from now on since it went so well.  I am also going to continue trying harder to keep him awake during feedings during the day.

Some of this is foggy to me, but I think I got the major details on the right nights.  His umbilical cord fell off on the day after he was one week old, at least the main part.  He is popping and peeing constantly.  I was peed on twice in the first week alone.