Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MG turns 2!

On Sunday our little lady MG celebrated two wonderful years of life.  The rest of us rejoiced in two years of being totally blessed to have her as part of our family.

She is a sweetie and captures our hearts with every smile and gentle touch.  Her Daddy declared recently, "Well if it wasn't certain already, I now definitely have a crush on MG."  Wrapped around her little finger and then some.  She has handled the arrival of her baby sister with flying colors.  I can tell she's been humbled in the best of ways and seems to love her sister all the more.

At two, MG has just learned to hop, which is so cute to watch.  Her hops are now incorporated into bed jumping and dancing.  She loves to dance and will boogie at the slightest hint of music.  While her words are slowly coming along, she clearly understands everything we say.  I have been surprised lately at her ability to follow pretty complex verbal directions.  Not too shabby for a lady who is barely speaking!  She does everything her brothers do, but always in a much more gentle fashion.  If they clobber the baby, she pats her gently on the head.  If they wrestle with Daddy, she piles on top for an extra hug.  If they play chase, she runs after them, laughing and having a grand old time.  The boys are very sweet with her and seem to enjoy taking care of their little sister (even if they can be a bit rough sometimes!)  She takes it in stride, is a pretty tough cookie, loves her binky and NaNa (pink elephant) if sadness strikes, and otherwise, is a sweet little lady.

MG loves Mickey Mouse and had a Minnie-themed birthday "party" (it's always a party around here! ;) Mimi and Papa joined our family for festivities, along with Gramz, who was in town to travel with the 2 older boys back to FL!  We had a cookout celebration, complete with giant-sized Minnie balloon, Minnie cake, bubbles in the backyard, and present-opening (a menagerie of Calico Critter gear--she is in heaven!)  All in all, it was a fun event and our lady felt loved...

After all the celebrating, on Monday we said farewell to these two rascals as they headed down to FL to spend an amazing week with Gramz and Pappy in Daytona!  It was T's first time on the airplane-- "I always want to fly so I can see the world" was heard as he peered out the airplane window during their travels!  They are wave riding and pool swimming and have already ventured to the science museum and chocolate factory.  Tomorrow they hit Legoland, which you can imagine will be the highlight of their year.  Can't wait to hear about the fun...

Meanwhile, it's been a little quieter around here and we've been enjoying each other.  J is in swim lessons all week and seems to be reveling in his role as biggest brother.  He's especially enjoying keeping his brothers' legos company while the boys are gone.  lol

GG is wrapping up his final weeks at the firm and was the busiest ever up until yesterday.  Last Thursday he left for work at 8am and we didn't see him until Friday at 10:30pm.  These stints were followed by some really late nights on Saturday and Sunday.  Poor guy!  The good news is he survived and this is the last craziness he'll experience before the job change.  Can I get an amen?

Mama is hanging in, tired, but feeling so blessed to have such a sweet crew to manage.  They are nuts, but the best kind of nuts a mom could ever want!  There's no doubt 5 kids is very busy, but since when did I like to sit still?  God made me for this role.  Thank you, dear Lord, for giving me such purpose.  I embrace it.

God bless from crazy G-Ville!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Postpartum Equations

1 fussy baby - 1 case of RSV - dairy in breastmilk = 1 very happy, sweet, and smiley baby

1 happy, sweet, and smiley baby + 1 amazing night's sleep (in bed at 8pm and only one wake-up) + 1 pump-it-up first spinning workout = 1 very happy, content mama (without dairy, but still aok)

Hallelujah, we're making it!
God bless,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thinking of friends...

Thank you for continued prayers for our friends, Ed and Katrina, upon the birth and passing of their sweet Annie Rose yesterday.  From all reports, the event was full of grace, mercy, and love, thanks be to God.  Baby Annie, pray for us!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why we'll never leave the house again... At least not for a very long time

In case you think G-Ville "has it all together"...

Tonight when dropping M off at a birthday party, I threw the rest of the kids in the car in a flurry.  We had to get there and not forever-and-a-day late!  I put our first post-partum home-cooked meal in the oven and away we went!!

Thankfully the party was close by and when we arrived, I parked the car, put the windows down and ran M to the backyard.  We weren't too late.  This was an awesome party--a petting zoo, pony rides... Hello!?  The mother was very gracious and welcomed us, saying that if I wanted to bring the other kids around, I should feel free.  How sweet!  I knew they would be in heaven--yellow chicks, soft bunnies, goats, a llama...  It was too good to be true.  Survival mommy wanted to run back to the car, put the keys in the ignition and high-tail it home.  Good mommy argued this was too good of an opportunity for kid fun to pass up.

Can you guess which mommy won?

Out came all four kids:
*Baby G was screaming since the car had stopped and she was hungry!
*MG was a picture of filth--she had colored on her arms and hands in two different colored markers earlier.  I had wiped her down, but the marker had gotten on her clothes and there were still remnants on her skin.  Her hair was a mess.  Lovely.
*J only had one shoe!  Thanks be to God, he left his church shoes in the car and we used those.  Oh yeah, and he was wearing his pajamas... from the night before.  Never had a reason to change.
*and T, well, T was his usual, helpful, awesome self, pleading for me to let him pet the animals.  How could I say "no"?
*I should throw in that I was in running shorts and a hole-y T-shirt that the baby had spit-up on earlier.
We were the picture of health and organization. lol.

Thankfully, we're not a flashy sort.  The kids enjoyed the animals and we piled back in the car, leaving M to have fun at the birthday party.

As we drove home, it seemed like all had turned out well until...
I remembered about the chicken in the oven.  doh!

We. are. never. leaving. the. house. again...
at. least. not. for. a. very. long. time. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Vapo Baby

We have a new toy here in G-Ville--the nebulizer!  And we get to keep it!  
Thankfully, 5 kids in, this is the first we've ever had to deal with it, but I'll say, it's pretty nice!  I'm already imagining using some saline and running it when any of us has a congested nose--steam showers are a thing of the past.  

Notice in the pics that baby G gets more and more awake as the treatment progresses.  That's because albuterol is a stimulant.  It opens the airways, breaks up the mucus, and makes sleepy babies VERY awake! ;)  We are working through it and are beginning to wean the treatments.  

GG asked this morning if baby G was our toughest baby so far.  As of now, I don't think it's fair to compare because she's been so sick, so young AND we were making real sleep progress before her illness.  Thankfully, though, whether difficult or easy, she seems to have a very sweet disposition and I'll take that any day!  Yesterday she had a spell where all she did was smile at anything we did or said. The kids were thrilled when they'd look down and catch her smiling at us.  Love it!  Can't wait for all the smiles to come...

**One last reason for smiling to report--GG has taken a new job!!!!!  He will be heading over to Dominion Resources (an energy company) as one of their in-house attorneys.  God was so instrumental in the timing and parameters of how everything played out.  And while the move is extremely bittersweet-- he loves his boss and wonderful coworkers--this is the right choice.  Our decision has been affirmed many times over.  Among the benefits of the change is that his new position will allow for greater schedule predictability.  The kids are excited to have daddy home for dinner and bedtime more often!  Me too! ;) Thanks for rejoicing with us.

Here's to hoping you all have a great weekend!  
G-Ville goal: sleep... ;)
God bless,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

RSV with Smiles

We've actually been living through a little family drama over the past week or so...  There has been a LOT going on in both of our immediate families, all requiring thought and prayer.  My poor mom has been at the crux of all going on in my side of the family and I fear for her stress levels.  She's almost at melting point!

We've had everything from my grandmother's deteriorating health and end-of-life care issues to my sister's fourth miscarriage and a potential molar pregnancy which was ruled out (so sad, yet she has been such a champ through it all) to my parents' house going under contract to G Baby's birth...

Add onto that GG's own family drama--his parents' dog tearing his ACL while his parents were out of the country to now...

Our little Baby G getting RSV.

Welcome G-Ville family drama!

She started in with a cold last Thursday.  My immediate response was a relaxed one--it was her second cold of life and brother and sister had had it last week.  Something about this one, though, gave me pause.  I voiced my concerns to a friend on the phone that day.  It was a mother's intuition, indeed.  Friday the cold escalated and her cough set in.  I began to fear she had whooping cough (a neighbor's daughter had come down with it).  We thankfully made it through the weekend when I finally broke down and took her to our local kid clinic on Sunday.  She had 100% oxygen saturation (perfect), no fever, and no wheezing.  I thought we were clear.

Until they came back with the results from her nasal swab---positive for RSV.

I will admit, my immediate reaction was--hooray, no whooping cough!  But then the reality of RSV took hold.  It is a common cold for adults, but can be deadly in young babies.  Especially really little ones only 4 weeks of age!!  My poor little baby G.

They sent us home empty-handed because at the time everything seemed pretty calm, despite her coughing episodes (that they didn't observe at the clinic).  I didn't feel right about it all and Sunday night proved tumultuous and sleepless.  The coughing fits sent us to the bathroom to fire up the shower to create a home "sauna" and help open her airways.  It worked temporarily, but I could tell she was pretty uncomfortable.  We all didn't get much sleep.

I got her in to see the pediatrician on Monday and our appointment proved alarming.  The doc was very concerned over Baby G's current state and the possible progression of the illness.  She put her on breathing treatments and assured me that she thought we could work through this together as a team.  Great.  I did NOT feel very confident heading home.  In fact, I almost lost it a few times at the doc.  Scary stuff.  I was supposed to call back at 4pm that day with a report and monitor breathing patterns to be sure she wasn't going into respiratory distress throughout the day.

Monday was a LONG day.  Baby G seemed to be sleeping well (which was a saving grace), but had a hard time falling asleep while so uncomfortable.  We made it to the afternoon and past breathing treatment #2, when my friend Christy called and offered her daughter's pulse ox to measure oxygen saturation in the blood.  Woo hoo!  Medical equipment in the house!!  The initial readings were 94%--not great and on the cusp of needing hospital help.  Thankfully, though, my nurse practitioner friend just happened to be bringing a meal to us that night and promised to check out G while she was here.  What a relief!

The second breathing treatment must have been taking root--Megan took one look at G, who was sleeping, and confirmed that she looked really good.  Hallelujah!  To top it off, we took ox sats again and they registered at 98.  What a relief for this mama!  I had a LOT of internal anxiety to start unloading!!

We were back at the doc this morning for a follow-up and she was very much encouraged by Baby G's progress.  In the end, we seem to have dodged a bullet with a milder case of the virus.  My little girl has been such a champ... and has started smiling in the midst, believe it or not.  We had seen hints before now, but over the weekend she started flashing her sweetness.  So cute!!

Here's a shot from this afternoon that I absolutely love.  J is such a big boy, MG is her sweet, happy self, and little G seems to be enjoying being part of the crew!  Thank you, dear Lord, for these precious children and for the gift of health!  We are so relieved and grateful...

And to all my FB peeps who have already been praying, THANK YOU!  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy 4 weeks!

It's hard for us to believe that our littlest lady is four weeks old today!  The time has really gone quickly, especially with so much going on during this time of year.

One of the busy events of late was bigger brother T's preschool graduation.  He had an all-star year and couldn't be more excited to start kindergarten.  Gramz and Pappy stayed to help round out the cheering section, which was a good thing because T surprised us with a solo part saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  He did a fantastic job and was very articulate.  So proud of my big boy.

At four weeks, our sweetie Baby G is doing well.  We're working out our kinks, she and I.  I've come to realize that we're not the best nursing team as of yet.  She's been taking in a lot of air with her latch, which means I have to work extra hard to burp her during and after the feeding.  I've been trying to tweak the latch, to no avail, so I think as of right now we'll go with it and hope it improves as she grows.

Since coming to this realization, I've been burping her more and she's been so much more comfortable and has been giving me some nice sleep stretches at night.  The longest so far has been 6 hours and we'll take it!!  I've also been starting sleep training during the day and she's done brilliantly.  The more babies I have, the more I'm convinced that even young babies can be taught to put themselves to sleep and take LESS time to learn it than older babes.  If I can train them young, we're golden; baby G is getting close!!  As long as she's not uncomfortable with air, she's a sleeping gem!!  As I type, she's down for her morning nap, having put herself to sleep about an hour after waking to eat this morning.  Any longer and I would have had to "help" more in the falling-to-sleep process.

Since my parents left a week ago, I admit she has done a little more crying.  That's life with 5 kids.  Mom's not always available immediately.  She'll be better for it and more resilient, right? :)

So that's our life in a nutshell.  We're not doing too much on other fronts; just having some quality home time.  I had ambitions to take the youngest four to the children's museum yesterday to get out of the house while our cleaning team was here.  Well, we made it as far as lunch at the bagel shop, where MG began melting and the baby was taking forever to eat (I had thankfully pumped her a bottle!!), so I scrapped all plans and put everyone in the car.  We drove around for a bit and the middles fell asleep.  I then treated T to an ice cream cone because he didn't get to have an adventure.  What a good guy.  Love that boy!

Happy Friday to you all!
God bless,
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