Friday, September 30, 2016

Standing Tall and Taking Steps (in the same week!)

Bobby is making giant leaps in his development.  He started standing all of the sudden on his own time.  I'd been trying to get him to let go of my hands, but if he noticed I wasn't holding him he'd sit down immediately.  He now is standing up in the middle of the floor when you tell him to "stand up" or randomly when he feels like practicing.  Then while I was at the hospital with Hannah he took his first steps.

 That's right, I'm with the kid every day and the first day I am away he takes his first steps!  Where's the love?

This boy loves his books.  Just today I was wearing him in the Ergo when he asked for a book by pointing and grunting.  When I gave it to him, he opened it, propping it up on my chest, and proceeded to "read" it diligently.  A-dorable!
The day I came home he stood up and took two steps for me though so all is forgiven.  I am so happy that he seems to be making progress in the physical development.  He also put food on a fork/spoon to feed himself (in the same week).  He was previously completely disinterested in self feeding with a utensil.

Don't recall if I mentioned this before, but this is his mealtime book.  He must have a book during his meals.  It can get messy and dirty.  I picked one that we don't care too much about, but has lots of thing s to look at.  He likes these type of books when just looking at the pictures the best.  This book gets cleaned every once in a while with a wet wipe.  It has since broken in half and become two books.
He understands a ton and will point and grunt to get what he wants mostly, but he's definitely trying some words out too.  "Drink" and "Drew" are two new ones that sound very much the same so we have to go with context here.  He also says "Judah" and "Choo choo" very similarly.  And he is saying "Dino" and because it's a family joke he sometimes says, "Di-Uh uh" instead with the head shake.  He started saying "Papa" for my dad who is here visiting now.

His smiles kill me!
Other words he has said multiple times are: cat, thank you, moo (he leaves off the "oo" part, but consistently answers that a cow says "mmm" and I totally count that,) and Bob.  He also finally found a sign he likes to use.  And, boy, does he use it.  He signs please for everything!  Judah is probably the reason for this. If he signs please, Judah will give him anything he has even if he was still wanting to play with it.  All the kids really will give him anything he wants if he signs please.

As I write this up I am realizing that this guy has been busy learning some serious stuff.  I love this boy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

But the biggest surprise by far- on her stomach was a scar!

(This post is completely out of order, but I am so behind that I am forgetting things and wanted to get this typed out before I forget.  Brian R. left after a month long visit and my parents came the very same day.  I literally drove Brian R. to the airport and picked up my parents at the same time.  So to catch you up, they were here during these events.)

In the middle of the night

Miss Clavel turned on her light
and said, "Something is not right!"

Let's start at the beginning.  Wednesday, September 8th, we were at the library, Hannah's favorite place of all time, and she started having a stomach ache.  She didn't feel good still by the time we were leaving to go to the track for our homeschool gym day.  I told her she could lay down on a blanket and skip the exercise that day.  Bless her heart, by the time we left she was feeling really bad and I was wondering if this was something like a stomach bug.  The plan had been for me to drop the big four kids with Mimi off at the movie theater to see Pete's Dragon because it was the last day it was showing.  She didn't want to go, and I knew then she must feel really badly.  I get her tucked in and she is writhing in pain all evening. Finally she starts throwing up around 8:15pm and I was still sitting with her at 10:15pm telling her she'd feel so much better in another 5 hours or so when this stomach bug passed.  That's been my experience.  We've had a lot of them in this house and it usually doesn't last long.  I turned on a movie, disinfected the bathroom, brought her a clean trash can, and said good night.  I went to bed and checked on her first thing in the morning since I hadn't heard from her all night.  She was sleeping so I went down to start getting ready for my eye appointment that morning.  She comes down, doubled over right before Brian leaves fro work and says the pain is worse and its a different pain now.  Turns out she never threw up again all night, but she barely had been able to sleep either.  She was up until at least 4am.  My sweet girl didn't come get me in all that time because she didn't want to wake me, but I felt horrible that she went through that alone.  

Brian examined her and told me I needed to take her in ASAP and rule out appendicitis.  He said it seems like all signs are pointing to that.  I couldn't get her an appointment, so we headed to the ER.  We got there at 9am.  Praise the Lord my parents were visiting and could watch the other kids while I took her in.  It was a classic case of appendicitis the doctor thought, but he needed to confirm with an ultrasound.

Yep, that sucker was twice as big as it was supposed to be and she was wheeled to the OR as soon as they got her IV in and gave her some morphine.  That was her first IV and the nurse had some trouble with it so Hannah was crying and very upset.  She was super scared about the whole thing.  I tried my best to comfort her with stories and telling her how the surgery part was going to be the easy part and she'd feel so much better with it out.  The docs and nurses were all very nice and made her laugh and smile a bit before I had to leave the prep room at 1pm.

I was completely at peace about this entire situation.  My mom and sister both really and truly almost died from a ruptured appendix, two of my aunts had cancer that started in their appendix (one of which discovered during a routine appendectomy), and I am a total worry wart.  And yet, I was calm and not worried at all.  I just felt like this was catching it early enough and that she was going to be okay.  I am so thankful for that peace that surpasses all understanding.

In recovery

Of course, she was okay, and the surgery went well.  All was clear and good.  She was sore, but feeling 70% better by the middle of that night.  We stayed only one night and she was ready to go home the next morning.  Genevieve was dying to see her and had been very worried about her best friend the whole time.

The perks of having your appendix out...popcycles!

Genevieve and I pampered our patient for quite a few days while she hung out in my bed.  Brian had a trip that he was supposed to leave for on the early morning of the day she came home from the hospital, but he postponed it a day to make sure Hannah was home and healing nicely first.  When he left she stole his side of the bed until he got back a few days later.  Her room is all the way at the top of the house on the sixth floor and she wasn't doing stairs too easily yet.  She was spoiled with movies and meals in bed for those few days.  She was feeling much much better after that and was able to do the stairs and eat at the table.  She got off chore duty for another week and then had only half duty, so Isaac and Genevieve were working extra hard for a while there.  She is now back to normal...almost.  She still can't do running, jumping, or heavy lifting (i.e. carrying Bobby) for another week or so.  She had her post op appointment and all is well on the healing front.

We are so thankful for this girl and extra thankful that God protected her from a ruptured appendix by having Brian be able to check her out before work.  If she had woken up 5 minutes later, he would have been on his way to work already and who knows how long it would have taken me to decide to take her in.  You only have 48 hours usually before it ruptures once symptoms set in.  She was in surgery at almost exactly the 24 hour mark.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Czech Republic

This trip to Czech was mainly a rafting trip, but, of course, we must stop at the oldest Monastery brewery, Kloster Weltenburg.  And then why not ferry across to it?  It was another hot and sunny day.  I have never seen Germany this dry before.  


We had lunch at the restaurant inside the walls.  It was really delicious food, typically German but not quite the same old stuff, if you know what I mean.  I had venison meatballs and spaetzle.  Bobby loved my venison meatballs and shared them with me.  It was a good thing because I was stuffed.

Restaurant inside the walls of the Cloister (Kloster in German))

The chapel

Back to the van already?

We happened upon this walking to the Monastic Brewery and stopped tpo get a picture on the way back.  The words didn't come out in the photograph of this stone monument, but it was a monument to American soldiers that died there (Oops, can't remember when!) and it was written in English.
This trip to the Czech took some convincing to get me to come along with the little guys.  I truly wanted to stay home and this is why.  It was to be a rafting trip.  Rafting with a (almost) 5, 3, and 1 year old wouldn't have been a safe thing to do.  I was going to have to walk around with at least the one year old and possibly more while they had all the fun.  Then Brian had offered to take turns staying back since it was planned to be two full days of rafting.  So I decide to come along after all.

When we arrived it was decided to leave Bob and Judah with me the first day and see how it went with the other kids before deciding if Judah would be able to handle it.  Something happened where the shorter day of rafting ended up being the first day and so at the end of that day, the Brians were not convinced that I'd be able to make it the whole day paddling.  They did think Judah would be fine to come seeing as the raft was very sturdy and there seemed little chance of it tipping over.  (All had life jackets, of course.)  Anyway, I was getting the strong feeling that they wanted me to stay back and were maybe bribing me with the chance of having only Bobby all day long in the town.  So I stayed back.

The first cast off

The first day for me, Judah, and Bobby was not so awesome.  We played at the park several times throughout the day.  Judah kinda never wanted to leave it.

The boys and I picked a little restaurant that served pizzas and we shared a pizza.  Oh, yes!  Judah can handle baked in cheese by then.  (This trip was in August and I am just now writing this post as October quickly approaches.  So behind!  Anyway, he has made even more progress than that since then.)  We met a retired American couple that was sitting next to us and chatted with them a bit.

We attempted shopping, but with wearing Bobby and pushing Judah, it was difficult to get in and out of the little shops so when I noticed them both getting sleepy I quickly tried to make it back to the apartment before anyone fell asleep so I could at least have some quiet time while they napped.  But, alas, Bobby could not stay awake and he woke up the minute we walked in the door, having maybe a 12 minute nap with me nudging him the entire time telling him not to sleep yet.  And that was enough for him.  No nap for that crazy baby, but Judah got a good nap.  When he woke up we headed out for Gelato (dairy free still) and more park time.

Judah eating his strawberry sorbet.

Bobby thought the sand was oh so fun.

And the rocks were even better!

Bobby learned to say Judah that day.  Maybe it was being with just the one brother or maybe it was just more time for me to work on it with him, but whatever the impetus, it has become one of his favorite words to say.

The town of Krumlov is surrounded by this river.  The total town is walkable in a very short time.  It has a castle at the top of a steep hill that seems like a mountain, but it probably shy in the elevation department.

That second day in which I was bribed into staying back with the cutest baby ever turned out to be much much better.  I had so much more freedom without the stroller.  I was able to go in and out of stores at my leisure and had a significantly more productive day in that way.  Plus, it was now possible for me to go up to the castle.  I had been afraid to try that because I thought surely there would be stairs, but it turns out there were not any stairs though it was extremely steep.  Bobby and I had such a lovely morning.  He fell asleep sometime during my shopping and the shopping road led right up and around into the castle.  At the top of the castle is a cafe.  Bobby woke up just in time to share an ice cream pop with me.  I asked for an iced coffee and how fun is it that it came with an ice cream pop turned upside down in the drink.  Bobby thought it and the whipped cream were a delightful treat to wake up to.

The precious cafe at the top of the castle

The view from the bench where we enjoyed the iced coffee and bonus ice pop

The fountain in the gardens of the castle

This statue in a random turret on someone's house made me happy.  I love it that Mary is welcome in all corners of Europe.  

This day I had no pictures of people I realized, so I attempted a selfie of us at the top of the castle.
We stopped on the way back at a creperie and shared a wonderfully filling savory crepe with spinach, bacon, and cheese.  Bobby loved it as much as me.  Then we stopped at a couple more shops and I got him back to the apartment before he fell asleep for his afternoon nap this time.  I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.  When he woke up we headed to the park again.  I MAY have gotten carried away with taking pictures of my cutie.

This is in complete reverse order to talk about the apartment at the end of this post, but I took the picture of the room in complete reverse order too when I took pictures after our tornado clan of kids came through and made a mess of it.  However, it was such a perfect place for us that I had to share this room.  It was wall to wall bunk beds, JUST LIKE CAMP!  I totally felt like my kids were all at summer camp when I put all five of the oldest in their beds.  I especially liked that Hannah let Drew sleep in the twin right next to hers when she totally could have had her own bed away from everyone.  And, dare I say, she even enjoyed it.  She told me how adorable he is when he is sleeping.  "Aren't they all?" was my reply.  Certainly more so that when they are awake.

It had another room and then a bed in the kitchen too.  Plenty of space and just right for us.

Three more things have to be mentioned about this trip and then I promise I'll end this long-winded post.  One is that Judah got himself locked out of our apartment when he went looking for daddy (who was standing in the kitchen the whole time) to brush his teeth and wandered outside.  He didn't even cry.  Brian went looking for him and couldn't find him.  Kind of scary that we didn't notice for several minutes that he was gone and that he would even do that.  While frantically looking for him we heard this tiny voice say, "Daddy, I'm locked out."

The next thing is that it turned out to be better that I didn't go that second day because they didn't get back until 7pm.  The bus took them further than they had wanted and it was something like 12 miles of river that they covered that day.

And the last thing is bitter-sweet.  Bobby weaned on the second day there.  He was down to just one nursing a day, first thing in the morning.  When he woke up super happy and just seemed to want to play I just let that be that.  It was time, but it is always a little sad for me.