Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Making Changes

FYI -- I am playing around with the look of my blog and trying to create a new header. It doesn't look right yet but the old one doesn't match the new background so it will have to do for now. There is supposed to be a verse from a song below Mason Moments. Does anyone know how to make the words flow along the bottom rather than having them stationary?

Odds and Ends

Some more odds and ends for you. I updated my slide show with the pictures from Christmas up until today. You can see the boys birthday cakes which turned out nicely. I made Tank a checkerboard cake using a special pan but the cake was so dry and I didn't like the flavor. I used the recipe that came with the pan so I had never tried it before. It was also putzy so I wouldn't do it again, although it looked neat. Thankfully Tank still enjoyed it. Pete and Re-Pete chose a carrot cake and that was so yummy with cream cheese frosting. I used black sugar for the road and it turned our lips black but definitely looked like blacktop.

Pete & Re-Pete with the 6 race track cake

Tank with his Cars cake

We ended up going out for pizza as my husband had a last minute business trip last week and it was too much to get the house in order, bake cakes, and make a meal. We ended up having cake and gifts at my parents house which was nice seeing as it was snowing and it is more difficult for everyone to get to our house in the snow.

A friend of mine started a blog a few weeks ago. If you get a chance, stop in and say "Hi".

I had a couple of comments regarding Baby Boy's routine and sleeping through the night. For each of the children I have used the method in the Babywise book. It seems to be a "controversial" book but I am not rigid with scheduling feedings, etc. The basic idea is not letting your baby fall asleep while eating. I always wake the baby after nursing by changing the diaper or some such thing, except at the last feeding at night or in the middle of the night. Just this simple thing organizes the day for the baby and they learn to fall asleep without help. I have done this with each child, including the twins. They each accomplished the goal at various times but each by the time they were 3 months old.

The boys went outside this morning before the big snowstorm and below freezing temps hit. They decided to make my husband, me, and Baby Boy out of snow.  Don't you love my hair?

Daddy, Mommy, and Baby at our "feet". In the slide show Baby is in Pete's arms

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Everyday life

I am finally back into a somewhat "normal" routine. Last week we had birthdays but will celebrate all three tomorrow. The boys have been looking forward to this for awhile and have waited more patiently than I had thought possible. We were originally going to celebrate this past Friday but seeing as I had been at the hospital with Baby for a week that changed our plans. We are going out for pizza this time as it will be so much easier than putting a meal and cakes together. I made the mistake when I started having the boys pick out the birthday cake they want me to make each year (see the coolest birthday cake website in my links) and some can get more elaborate than I have time for. I do enjoy it but it is always the time that is lacking. This year the theme is Cars from the movie.

Missy Blue is increasing her vocabulary daily and this week is stuck on the words "no", "STOP!" and "what Mama?" and has also taken to calling me by my name (she says "MeMe") instead of "Mama". She is also getting much nosier. I can't imagine what it will be like at our house when she is really talking. Right now she just jabbers on and on with much nonsense mixed in (at least to us) and we all sit and look at her in amazement. I suppose that is why she has taken to saying, "what?"

Baby Boy has settled into a nice routine for me. He has increased the length between feedings to 3 1/2 to 4 hours which is great! That in turn causes his naptimes to fall at the typical times of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and also an evening nap. I am able to accomplish so much more with just this small change. He is also sleeping from 10:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m! Yesterday he scooted himself from the middle of my parents bed to having his feet off the edge. I don't recall that stage being so early with the other children, especially Missy Blue who was slow as molasses for any physical movement. I was hoping I would have another content and less active baby but we'll see as he also managed to get himself from his tummy to his side yesterday. Slow down please!!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. We have been having a problem downloading them from our camera to the computer. (I am fairly certain some little fingers were playing around with the connector) I should have some posted next week.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday

Happy 4th Birthday Tank!!!

Another birthday today and Tank is excited. He has been counting down the days along with Pete and Re-Pete and was not too happy when their day came along on Monday and he had to wait two more. The "official" celebration will be next week but we are doing little things to make him feel special today. Each birthday child wakes up to ribbons hanging in their doorway and a special breakfast of their choosing. Tank wanted "sgetti" (spaghetti) but I reminded him that we only eat that for supper. So he chose apple cinnamon muffins (while George tried to convince him to choose chocolate chip). Unfortunately he couldn't see the apples so he wasn't happy about that. (I shredded the apples rather than diced them).We sang to him and had a candle on the muffin as well. Missy Blue seems to think she needs a candle also. I am thinking we will each make our own mini pizzas for supper. Tank also does not have any chores to do today but for some reason he really wanted to make his bed.

Tank has been dubbed "Captain Chaos" by his Grandpa and that fit him quite well but I have noticed that lately he isn't getting into trouble as often. He still has a stubborn streak but not to the extent that he was. Tank is still my very loveable little boy. If you would like to read more about my sweet boy click HERE.

Here are Tank's answers to my "interview":

What do you like to do for fun?

Tank: Play with Tinker Toys. Wrestle with Daddy

What do you like to eat?

Tank: bread and red peppers (they all like to eat the entire pepper, something they did on the farm)

Where is your favorite place to go?

Tank: To Wal-Mart where the movie cars are. (They all collect diecast cars from the Disney movie – Cars)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Birthday Boys

Happy 6th Birthday to Pete and Re-Pete!!!

I am yet again amazed at how the time flies! I meet people who have twins now and I have a hard time remembering what it was even like to have two babies. They were always so similar not only in looks but also personalities. Now they are 6 years old and have many more differences, although still look alike. I am so thankful for my thoughtful and compassionate Pete and Re-Pete, the thinker who keeps us guessing and laughing. If you want to read more about them their birth story is HERE

Each year for our Christmas newsletter I "interview" our children. I am going to include Pete and Re-Pete's answers here.

What do you like to do for fun?

Pete: I like to color with chalk, play with Noah’s pirate ship and movie Cars.

Re-Pete: Play with cars and I like to go “skiing” (a made up game going down our hills on their knees – not necessarily in snow – no wonder we have so many holey jeans!) and ride my bike and I like to climb trees and I like to make chairs in snow.

What do you like to eat?

Pete: pizza

Re-Pete: spaghetti and strawberry pie

Where is your favorite place to go?

Pete: To the zoo

Re-Pete: Missouri


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Going Home!

Praise the Lord!!! We are going home today! After my post yesterday Baby Boy "turned a corner" and started to improve quickly. He was happy and very energetic and giving smiles all around. They started to wean him off of the oxygen late afternoon and he did great while awake but while sleeping he gradually improved. He continued to have breathing treatments every two hours and the respiratory therapist (a fellow Christian) kept encouraging me with the improvement he has seen. We will need to continue the treatments for awhile as the cough will most likely linger for weeks as he had been so inflamed.

We have had the best care here and I have gotten to know so many people that it makes it "almost" sad to know that I will most likely never see them again. Although one of my nurses said that with six children she is bound to see me again. I hope not. She has been so supportive of me this week and when she thought I looked down would think of something to try and cheer me (like bringing me this laptop). Everyone loves a baby and seeing as there were only two on this floor we had quite a few masked visitors. (Masks were hanging on the door as RSV is so contagious).

I am so thankful this week for our family who were so willing to help out with the children while I was at the hospital and my husband worked. My Mom had them for part of the week and my Mother-in-law came down for the end of the week. I have no idea what we would do otherwise. We have also been blessed with a church family who saw a need and provided meals for my family this week.

We now head home back to the chaos, noise, and constant activity and I cannot wait! Last night before bed my husband called and put the children on speaker while they prayed and each told how much they loved me and each kissed the phone. Oh, how I miss them all! My only concern being home is that some of them are still coughing and/or have fevers and I do not want Baby Boy to get anything else.

Thank You to all of you who have prayed and encouraged me through your comments! This has been a journey and I so appreicate the body of Christ that rallies around and will lift a need to the Lord in prayer.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Quiet Heart

I woke up this morning thinking that maybe today would be the day that Baby Boy and I could go home to be with our family. He had a rough evening of coughing and I hoped that would help to clear out the thick mucus in his lungs for today. He was still coughing this morning and his lungs were still "gunky" as the Doctor says. My sister told me how well I was handling being here but I periodically struggle with asking "why?" This morning I was quite discouraged and feeling sorry for myself after the Doctor made a comment of being here a "few more days". When will I stop hearing those words? It also didn't help that the other little baby next door was able to go home today. I was so happy for my new friend and her baby but disappointed that we would still be here.

Each time I am discouarged I bring out Elisabeth Elliot's book Keep A Quiet Heart. It was given to me years ago when I was in the hospital on bedrest with our twins. I brought it along to the hospital with me knowing I would need encouragement. What is keeping a quiet heart? Willingly accepting the trial that God has assigned to us. I have been repeating Psalm 16:5 over and again this week - "Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure. My portion and my cup, what God has lovingly assigned to our family at this time. My friend (whose baby is at Children's) and I discussed this earlier in the week and wondered what it is that God would have us learn through the trials we are going through this week. We each wished that we would learn quickly so that the trial would end much faster.

While I wouldn't wish that anyone be here with me, I am so thankful that God had another baby right next door with RSV. His Mom and I were able to relate this shared experience and encourage one another. We also found common ties as we know people in common and then found that our husbands graduated from high school together. When I thought about her leaving I had a hard time keeping my tears in check. I no longer have a friend next door, but I know I have a loving, heavenly father above who is watching over me and Baby Boy. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Still at the hospital

Baby boy and I are still in the hospital. The stay is longer than I had anticipated but thankfully we are seeing improvement, albeit slowly, every day. I was thinking back to Saturday night when I brought him to the ER and how sick he was. Even the next day he was breathing 80 respirations per minute, had a heart rate that would reach to 200 and was coughing like crazy. He looked at me with eyes that seemed to say "help me Mommy!" which was enough to make me cry.

He is still breathing fast at around 60 per minute. He has been on oxygen (not the tents as were used in the past, but with a canula in his nose. Today he is alert enough again to realize it is actually there and is pulling at it when he thinks about it. They tried today for him to breath only room-air but his saturation level dipped down too low. He has breathing treatments still every 2 - 3 hours and they started him on prednisone yesterday to see if it will help to open the airways.

The doctors said that he is just taking his time in healing but is in good spirits and handling it well. Last night Baby's disposition perked up so much more and he is again smiling, cooing, and kicking his chubby little legs. He seems to go up and down as far as progress as yesterday he was awake much of the day and today he slept most of it. His heart rate and saturation level also fluctuate.

 This week has been a sort of break for me and surprisingly I am not getting bored and am meeting new people every day. There is another baby with RSV in the room next door and his mother and I met earlier in the week and talk when we can. The nursing staff is wonderful and pop in and visit from time to time. Today they brought in this laptop for me to get online again and they bring various food treats. I am able to get out at least once a day as a nurse will keep an eye on Baby or my husband relieves me. He has had quite the load this week shuffling the children back and forth and I am sure he could use a break! I am so thankful for our family as they are very willing to help out in caring for our children.

One of my nurses just let me know that Baby's respiration rate is down to 34! All of these ups and downs but I do see the end in site! Our church has a special 9 days of prayer this week and I know Baby is being lifted up in prayer often.

My friend's baby who is 3 days older also has RSV but was sent to Children's hospital an hour away as he has Down Syndrom and struggles more with this. I found out this afternoon that he is now on a ventilator and will be having a blood transfusion to try and increase his oxygen levels. RSV is a scary virus for babies and so many things can go wrong and the doctors have said that there is no real treatment, just time and making the child as comfortable as possible. I am so thankful for all that the doctors and hospitals can do in times like these!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Baby Boy has RSV

A quick update to let you know that Baby Boy is in the hospital with RSV. He has had cold symptoms for weeks but Thursday night started in with a deep cough and more labored breathing. It continued into Friday and we began breathing treatments with our nebulizer as I suspected RSV. I remember going through a hospital stay with Pete and Re-Pete when they were 1 month old because of this. I took him in last night so haven't had any sleep at this point and I am at home to pack some things for my stay and wanted to ask those of you who follow my blog to pray for our little guy. He is struggling to breath so and it is very difficult to watch him, especially when he opens his eyes and looks at me with a face of "help me Mommy".  We could be there up to five days but I am really praying for much less as I want us to be at home with the rest of our family. Thankfully he hasn't gotten any worse which is a good thing.
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