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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bobby's First Real Bath

He handled his first real bath pretty well, with only a few squawks when I was doing his hair and face.  This was on Tuesday night when he was 2 weeks and 1 day old.

This is my first shot of the dimples.  It's a funny expression since he isn't smiling yet, just grimacing.

Someone was feeling left out...again.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bonus Pics

Bobby's doing better with naps since we started putting him down upstairs in my room away from the chaos.

Judah has been extra clingy starting about week 2 of Bobby's life outside the womb.  He has asked me for approximately 4,336 hugs and now wants to eat in my lap at dinner, as well as wants me to do everything for him.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bobby: 2 Weeks Old

Today Bobby is two weeks old.  At his 10 day appointment, he weighed 9 lbs 7 oz.  At his two week appointment he weighed 10 lbs 7 oz, so he just made it one ounce past his birth weight.  Although he initially had no problems with latching and nursing, once my milk came in on day 4 he developed some problems with latching.  He would scream and scream when I tried to get him to nurse and then suddenly he would just latch on.  So I was still getting him to nurse every time, but it would take a while.  "A while" turned into sometimes as much as two hours after a few days of this.  At first it was only happening in the evening, but it turned into an every time we had to nurse thing.  I was starting to get worn down, but after talking to a couple friends of mine we decided that he might have a mild tongue tie that was causing this and the doctor confirmed that his frenulum is shorter than usual, but it isn't enough to warrant clipping.  So I tried many different things until we figured out what worked best for him.  I nursed him sleepy, swaddled, and pumped some milk first.  I had to drip milk in his mouth before he would latch on.  This was a pain, but it was more than worth it to stop the screaming and struggling to latch every time.  After a week of that, he is finally able to just latch normally with minimal to no struggle.

Bobby will go days without spitting up and then he will spit up what seems like his whole meal.  Genna did that when she was a baby, but much less often once I reduced to nursing on just one side.  That was one thing we did when he was struggling to nurse was reduce to just nursing on one side, so I am not sure what is causing the huge spit ups yet.  He is pooping and peeing like crazy, so I don't think it is hindering his overall milk intake.

Bobby is doing good at night.  Most nights he goes one 6 hour and one 4 hour time between nursings.  After a couple nights of that he goes to 3-4 hours all night.  He's still impossible to keep awake during nursing which is what I need to be able to get him on a "schedule."  I use that term loosely because all I really mean by it is that he is sleeping, waking and nursing, and then starting the cycle over again during the daytime.  I feel like a schedule naturally follows once I can establish that routine.

The siblings are constantly asking to hold him.  He gets very overly stimulated so I am having to limit their holding time so he doesn't get so worked up and awake that he can't fall asleep for a couple hours.  They are not happy about this, but I promised them in a couple of weeks things will most likely be different and he'll be able to handle more holding.