Saturday, January 28, 2012

A much needed down home cozy day

Finn started my day early at 5:30 but it was actually pretty nice.  We came downstairs, changed his diaper, I made coffee and he and I got to hang out alone for an hour before Teagan and Gray came down, then Haven and finally Britt.  Kids enjoyed breakfast and I got laundry running and made two beautiful loaves of cinnamon raisin bread which will make French toast for tomorrow's breakfast.  Now I am hanging around while the kids straighten the playroom and the babies sleep.  I am planning a big family dinner tonight, my famous stuffed meatloaf, roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar and mashed sweet potatoes.  I also promised the kids some fried apple pies with ice cream for dessert, so I need to get working  on the apple filling soon.

As with any time where change is looming, I hunker down at home, cook, clean and spend time assessing the situation.  There is something serene about rolling out dough, or cutting vegetables or scrubbing a tub.  It is simple, easy and the result is always a good one.  Right now we are trying to figure out what to do if I lose my job, and what we will do if I don't.  Times like this make me feel excited and scared, there is a chance for a new adventure, a new page in the book and new scenery, but with that comes the fear of the unknown, the work needed to get somewhere else and the sadness of having to leave a place you know well.  Time will tell, options are being explored and I truly believe that fate will lead us in the right direction.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gosh has it been a week?!

Ah well I guess it has.  It has been quite an eventful week so I have been busy running around.  Sunday we were supposed to have a date night, but Grayson kicked off with a fit and basically we ended up just running out to get some takeout instead of enjoying a leisurely kid-free dinner out.  It was a huge bummer, but what can you do?

Monday the kids had a delay due to ice and Finn had educational/speech therapy. He makes lots of noise now, but no real words.  We have also been working on signing but he has not really been doing that either.  He does "get" what we say a lot of the time.  His therapist had a card with a hat and when she identified "hat" he put the card on his head.  It is frustrating for him since we don't always know what he needs or wants, but we will get him to speak someday and when it happens it will be worth all the trials.  On the bright side, he saw his physical therapist Tuesday and she is recommending that we stop physical therapy.  Finn is walking really well, and while his arms and shoulders are weak, he is able to use them well.  I am thankful that even with poor muscle tone, he is progressing well physically.

I headed back to PT school this week and have a long day Tuesday and a shorter day Thursday.  I also had a meeting at the school Wednesday so it made for a long week.  Add to it that my FT gig is going through layoffs which we just found out about and the week has been busy, crazy and stressful.  I am so thankful it is the weekend and I don't have to worry about a call or email that my job has been eliminated, and hopefully next week I will be just as lucky.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fixin the dogs and a laundry list

OK, so 2012 has had a rough start.  We have had the two week stomach flu, that was super fun.  The heat stopped working, but thankfully we got it fixed by our home warranty company.  The faucet exploded and I coughed up the buckos and got a nice replacement.  The cable modem kicked off the other day, thank goodness there is a Comcast place down the road and we were able to just grab a new modem.  Now it is the washing machine which is revolting (ha!) against all the disgusting laundry it had to deal with during the sickies.  The agitator wasn't working right and thanks to the handy dandy Internet, I was able to diagnose the issue as bad agitator dogs.  The part, including next day shipping was a whopping 12 bucks.  Hopefully it will be as easy as they made it look on You Tube.

We have had a lot break, but it was all pretty easy to fix in the end, until today, when I broke.  A broken Mama is never good because when she goes down, the ship goes with her. It started a few days ago when Teagan started gagging in the kitchen.  I grabbed her, as I had been doing morning, noon and night for days, and ran her to the bathroom.  Sadly when I grabbed her, I wrenched the hell out of my back.  It hurt, but was manageable, and well, I don't have time to deal with pesky back pain so I took Advil. Then the next night Finn was up every hour and I tried to sleep with him for awhile and well, my back was really sore yesterday.  So of course I went out, dragged babies in and out of car seats four times, lugged groceries, vacuumed and did laundry.  Last night I struggled to sleep from midnight until 3 am when I finally gave up.  The pain was excruciating and rivaled a pitocin labor with no epidural.  By morning I was really suffering and spent the day coated in Icy Hot (sexy I know) with a heating pad plastered to my back.  I did what I needed to for the little ones, but that was it, and by 4 I realized I needed help that only a prescription could provide.  My hubby loaded the fab five into the van since there was no way I could drive, ran me to the doctor where they handed me many, many meds to make me feel better.  Just since taking the muscle relaxer I feel so much better and can finally get a deep breath.  I also took half a pain pill since they knock me on my ass and I am feeling pretty good and super tired.  I am happy to finally be mostly pain free, but I am not sure I could spell all the kid's names at this point :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Must get this

Teagan is a Ni Hao Kai-Lan junkie.  I seriously don't think we could have made it through the last few days without the recordings we had of the show and her doll.  Just saw this and think it will be perfect for Easter!

Find it here

These are the days

that frightened me as a young mother.  That kept me up at night whenever we were expecting and our family was growing.  This is what I feared.  Not college payments, or feeding the masses, was mass illness.

It got so bad here last night.  So. so.bad.  Haven went down, then Teagan was up sick again, and then Finn had diaper after diaper explosion.  Then the hubby was sick again, then Brittan this morning.  The carnage was impressive.  We had to completely toss a entire mattress.  Multiple loads of laundry were done, pillows were tossed out as well.  I would clean a bathroom for the last few healthy ones to use and one of the sickies would use it and I would then reclean.  I spent the day with whining, crying babies climbing all over me, Lysol spray and cleaner being wielded everywhere I went and the constant hum of flushing and the never ending washing machine running.  I put the entire family, even those who are well, on a strict diet of chicken broth, white rice, poached chicken, toast, tea and Gatorade.  Finn is not even being given anything beyond breastmilk since he is looking so worn out and I am worried he is getting dehydrated.  Teagan mainly drank Gatorade today but finally looked a bit better by evening.  My only goal is to keep the babies out of the hospital and for the biggies to rest.  The little ones have been so sick for so long I am closely watching them for dehydration and really need them to turn the corner tomorrow or they will need to go in for fluids.  It has been hell, and I was right to be afraid, but we are managing and hopefully we will start seeing improvement soon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Onward and upward baby!

So...the plague is still ongoing and the locusts have started coming as well, figuratively speaking.  Teagan and Finn are suffering through the tail end (pun intended) of the stomach bug and we are doing lots of extra laundry as a result.  Teag spiked a fever last night as well, but since getting it down she has been ok and even ate a little today!

Took Gray to the ped this morning since he has been really tired and pale.  They check his initial numbers which looked good, but the doc was concerned after examining and talking with him so off we went for a full blood workup.  Results will trickle in all week, and hopefully he just has a virus that he can't kick.  While out with him, the hubby called to tell me the heat stopped working and it was 60 degrees in the house.  Swell.  I also needed to get a new kitchen faucet since the old one decided to blow out the inner tubing and leak.  Got Gray's blood drawn, called our home warranty people (best decision I have ever made) and they arranged to have someone come right out, got home and the hubby built a fire to warm things up then back out to get the faucet and a few other needed items.  Then home again, helped with lunch and straightened, then loaded Britt and Finn in the car to head to Finn's cardio appointment.  Are you tired yet, cause I sure was!

While at the cardio, the tech came and fixed the heat (YEAH!) and we got decent news from the cardio. She was not seeing the heart rate spikes or any issues with oxygen which was good, but his gradient on his heart went up a bit more. He is at a 25 and around a 50 we start thinking surgery, so we have time on our hands which is a relief.  He goes back in 9 months and we all just assume he will slowly keep going up until he needs the surgery, but that shouldn't be until he is in elementary school :)

Then home again where it is warm and toasty and the stuff that I threw in the crockpot for soup smells grand, and we are finally seeing the day turn back around.  Now just waiting for good test results for Gray and all will be well.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Payback baby

Know what happens when you lose your positive mojo and let the day get to you?  If gets exponentially worse.

So yesterday, after the bleach in the eye and the crummy day I then decided to take the kids to CVS so I could avoid having to do it later at dinnertime.  We went and needed a handful of things, it should have been easy peasy, but two kids decided to act up and not listen which then made me have to be the mom out with five kids who looked like she couldn't control them, which morphed into the mom of five who began yelling at those two kids once the van door closes.  Between the exiting the van to go into the store and getting back in to go home, I had to call one child's name no less than 20 times, the other child about the same number and she had a cart that I needed to put stuff in, that first kid managed to full on kick me in my injured ankle (it was an accident, but it HURT!) and he also managed to hit me in the cheek with a 12 pack of Coke.  See, it was bad.  Then we came home and the oldest, who was one of the offenders, had a melt down because I dared call her on her behavior, and the other offender did as he was told and sat in his bed.  He was released early from his punishment since he had to listen to the ravings of his partner in crime in the other room, and well, that was cruel and unusual punishment.

So I fed the kids and felt we were turning the corner on the crap day.  Husband and I were going to get our own dinner, I had big plans to finally sit down and watch a movie that night and the kids were being shuffled off to bed.  As I nursed the baby and got him settled, Ryan was getting Teagan into bed just before having to log on to work when she threw up...big time.  I then spent the next 5 hours sitting in the bathroom with one sick little girl.  I don't think any of our kids have ever had the tummy bug that bad, she was still waking every few hours until about 4 am and is struggling this morning to keep tea down.  I think I ate something around midnight finally since I had only had a cup of soup all day, and fell into bed at 12:30, just in time for Finn to wake every hour and Teagan to wake every hour on different schedules until we came down at 7. I will work hard to be positive today since when I let my guard down it gets really bad around here.  So I am looking on the bright side, the bathroom upstairs is SPARKLING and the baby's bedroom is scrubbed and every blanket and towel and sheet we own for her has been washed. Positive positive!

**Edited to add that barely an hour after I posted this Finn threw up all over me.  Trying to remain positive I reminded myself how freaked out vomit made me with my first few kids and how I would have lost it back then and been a wreck all day.  This time I cried a few tears while waiting for a towel, helped clean the floor and the baby and switched the laundry before even taking off the clothes that were thrown up on.  I am now eating breakfast.  That is progress baby! See POSITIVE***

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not positive today

Sorry my positive pixie dust has run out today.  I am exhausted and really need Finn to start sleeping.  The newborn schedule should not be going on 13 months later, and while I know it is related to his condition, I am slowly losing my mind.  I average 4 hours of sleep a night, non-consecutive hours and I am really feeling it.  Everything hurts lately, I can't keep my mind focused and basically when nighttime rolls around I get a sense of dread since I know what is coming, I lay down, fall asleep and as soon as I get deeply asleep, he is up.  This repeats all night long and it sucks and I am really done with it.

Add to that I got bleach in my eye today and it hurts really badly and well, no positive voodoo left.  Kids will get leftovers, toast or cereal for dinner and I will take a loooooong shower and shed a few tears because I am so damn tired and there is no one to do it for me.  I love that little boy with all my heart and I will do whatever it takes to make sure he is well and his needs are met, but it is getting hard to survive when I am so exhausted.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sticking with the word of the year

I am really feeling a change in myself and my outlook since I decided to try to see everything in a positive light.  Now don't get me wrong, mix a cocktail of too little sleep, a messy floor and missing breakfast and lunch and that goes straight out the window...just ask the hubby about the salad he brought me that had the dressing ON it and how I had a meltdown.

I am trying to be thankful and positive in my actions.  I feel more present lately.  I feel more alive.  Most of all, I feel more aware of what has always been in front of my face.

It can be big things like Finn's health or small stuff like a missed lunch date, but I am seeing the flip side these days.  Today I was supposed to have a lunch date that fell through.  My response was no biggie, and it wasn't, it was an opportunity!  The babies and I finished up what we were doing at the grocery store and decided that we had extra time before lunch so we went and drove by a few houses we had seen listed.  Then we came home and instead of being bummed about not eating out, the babies and I got a chance to try the homemade yogurt I made last night with blueberries and honey and the verdict was, YUMMY!  Then since I had some extra time and the babies had full bellies and were playing, I made the guacamole for dinner and halfway through decided that maybe we would go out instead, now I have dinner for tomorrow started.  I also made a batch of granola for the big kids to have with their yogurt, I know how much they love granola.  Whole doing all this my sitter let me know she could not watch the two littles tomorrow when Haven has her EEG and I decided that we would all just go and it would be fine, because it just has to be.  Maybe we will even stop for an ice cream when we are done. Positive is working for me.

Life is full of unknowns, and we don't know what tomorrow brings for our family, so I am trying my best to enjoy today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy 1.11.12

Today it is cold and dreary outside, but inside we are happily celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary!  This is what we call our "practical" anniversary as this is when we were legally married in front of the magistrate and the July anniversary is our "fun" anniversary as that is when we had our actual wedding party.  We have our ups and downs, but I am so excited to be entering into this next year of marriage!

Today was off to a great start.  Finn had his speech/educational therapy appointment and his therapist was thrilled with how much babbling and pointing he is doing. We are making leaps and bounds here and I am so excited!  I can only hope that his health does as well as his physical/cognitive development.  Time after time his therapist said she was excited, thrilled and amazed by Finny.  With his diagnosis he should be struggling with walking, squatting, grabbing and he is doing almost as well as any other 13 month old.  His chest and shoulders are still weaker than we want, but he is getting better every day.  His speech is coming around, he almost says uh-oh and he babbles back to us when we talk.  He now copies speech patterns when he babbles and we love hearing the inflection and use of pitch...amazing!  He also saw the ENT yesterday and while his tonsils are a bit big, they are not bad enough for us to need surgery...hooray!  The doctor thinks the snoring/breathing issues are a result of his condition and his tissues are just soft in general so everything falls back when he sleeps.  We are trying some things to help Finn sleep better which in turn means mama sleeps better.

We are trying for a quiet day here, I have a few work calls and I am making our first ever batch of yogurt (I will let you know how it comes out) but otherwise, a down day here hanging with my favorite people.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Things Tuesday

Linking up to The Nut House here

OK, here are my 10 things for this week:

1. Survive today-sick husband and wicked crazy day
2. Get changes made to dissertation
3. Call two of the stores on my list to ask about using them for surveys
4. Finish organizing my room
5. Have a family fun day Sunday
6. Try not to worry about Finn's cardio checkup Monday-fingers crossed his gradient hasn't changed and there is no tachycardia.
7. Teach my girls how to cook another meal
8. Spend an evening with my husband watching a movie or eating a late supper together at home
9. Plan a date night
10. Try to get work done early so I can enjoy my evenings.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dear Internet

Today you saved my rear.  When the 11 year old asked me how to solve for x in some crazy equation, I looked the equation up on you and there was a website....a FANFREAKENTASTIC WEBSITE....that walked us through it, and proved that I had the right answer when I did it the lame old way with a pencil :)  Thank you for not making me look like an ass to the 11 year old since most days she thinks I am the stupidest human being on earth.

2012 is the year I teach her that I am cool and smart.  Okay even I laughed out loud at that one :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am thinking of making Finn his own blog

Because that boy is taking up too much space on here with is ever changing "stuff"

So....we thought his stomach stuff was over, Gray was feeling better and so was I.  So off to work Ryan went last night, I settled the kids in and I was actually having a nice evening (this should have keyed me in) when Finn woke up, cried once and puked everywhere.  Joy.  It was 10 at night and all the bedding and jammies were in Teagan's room where she was fast asleep.  Plus I needed to figure out how to clean him and the bed, go get the bedding and jammies and somehow watch the little guy all at once with two hands. Thankfully, for some reason, Haven was still awake and came in and calmly said, "I heard you say Finn puked, need a hand?"  God love her she can be a pain sometimes but she saved the day.  Stripped Finny and she watched him while I cleaned everything up, grabbed bedding and jammies and got him back to bed.  Sometimes that oldest kid rocks.

Today we headed to the ped for Haven and Finn.  Haven needed a weight check and it was confirmed she has only gained a pound in six months so we are looking into adding an appetite stimulant or changing her meds up.  We have to wait until after her EEG next week to make changes...sigh.

Oh and Finny has been having weird high heart rates.  Clocked him at 180 last night, and between 170 and 180 a bunch of times in the last few weeks as well as 150-160 pretty regularly.  Ped checked and first check showed heart rate of 178 and oxygen of, that about made me fall over since that usually equals a ride in an ambulance.  Thankfully when we checked a bit later it had come down to 144 and 99%, but I am guessing that his heart rate keeps spiking like that and his oxygen levels may be plummeting when it happens.  Good thing he sees the cardiologist in a few weeks!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The word of the day is POSITIVE

OK, better yet the word of the year is positive. I am working hard to look on the bright side of things, see the good, appreciate what is in front of my face and be as positive as I can.  See it is so easy to complain.  To see a mess the littles made and get upset or aggravated or stressed.  It is HARD to see the positive, that I have littles to make the mess, that they will grow up way too fast and not be playing with toys on my floor, that I am here to play with them and clean up after them.  Seeing the positive is much harder than the negative, and sometimes we all fall into the trap of the negative.  It is easy to complain when the people around you are complaining,  but I don't want to be around a bunch of complainers!

So starting now I am trying, and not always succeeding, at seeing the good in things.  I want 2012 to be the year of the good and upbeat outlook, and I hope it is contagious :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Well hello plague!

So we just eeked into 2012 and we have been hit with an awful bug!  Monday Finn started throwing up and so we figured it was just him.  Then last night Gray and I went down and I feel AWFUL!!  Really hoping Ryan and the girls stay well, this was a fast but furious illness.

OK, off to lay in bed more and sleep, sleep, sleep/

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wasting no time

The new year is here and I have a few things I want to accomplish so I am wasting no time getting them done!

Today we are working on laundry.  It is piled to the ceiling (OK not really!) and I am planning to do at least five loads today to catch up.  I want all the big kids stuff done so it can be folded and put away before they head back to school.  We have plans for a family game night tonight so the kids are super excited, and I am happy that we can fulfill one of my other goals...more family fun time!

Tomorrow I plan to have the entire family pitch in and un-decorate the house and help me clean. The kids head back Tuesday so I am hoping to start off with a clean house and most of the laundry done :)

I am also working on behavior with a few of our wee ones, specifically at meal time.  I have one who is a stander and is often loud and another who is slooooooooooooooow when he/she doesn't want to eat, last night that child sat at the table for over an hour, and he/she can also be too crazy at the table.  Years ago when my girls were little I used poker chips at the table for behavior, each girl got three chips and if they were naughty or acted up, they lost a chip.  When all chips were lost, their dinner was over and they lost either dessert or a privilege.  The chips came back out and now Haven, Brittan, Grayson and even Teagan have three chips at their place for each meal.  Of course the rules are a bit different for Teagan since she is still small and learning about consequences, but it will help her understand how to behave at the table and she will have three (hopefully) good examples sitting. Maybe if this works, Finn will learn just by watching and have stellar mealtime manners :)

I am also trying to teach the big girls how to cook some simple meals.  I would like them to make one or two dinners a week in summer so they need to learn a few things.  Last night I taught them how to make oven baked potato wedges and roasted chicken breasts.  As an added bonus, I taught them how I make their favorite side...homemade creamed corn (it is more like corn in a cream base, we like the whole kernels.)  It is not healthy and not something I make often, but I know it is their favorite so they would be interested in making it.  Next weekend I am going to show them how to make a simple veggie lasagna using the no boil noodles.  I am going to show them a simpler version of my traditional veggie lasagna so they can put it together in about 15 minutes and then it just needs to be baked.  In the summer with all the fresh produce, this is an great meal option!

So what goals are you jumping on today?