12/31/08

Mamaw update

She's still in hospital. Too weak for angioplasty/surgery so they're going to try medication and also run some more tests. But for now, she's stable.

Mamaw

Please pray for my 90 year old grandmother. My Mom just called saying she's had what appears to be a heart attack and that she looks to have suffered some damage.

12/28/08

New book, new dessert

(not at all related!)

Crazy Christmas week around here. Will update about the holiday and my parent's visit later. For now, I wanted to get a blog out there about 2 things I've discovered this past week.

I love to read. My nightly ritual, in fact. I'm particularly a fan of Christian fiction (like the "Love Comes Softly"series by Janette Oke or the "Mark of the Lion" series by Francine Rivers both of which I've read all of). I've now discovered a series of Historical Christian Fiction and, IMO, it rocked! I'm ready to jump into book 2 of "The House Of Winslow" series by Gilbert Morris. The first book "The Honorable Imposter" was excellent and centered around the sailing of the Mayflower. You should check it out. Easy read, loved the interjection of history (although admittedly I couldn't tell you how much of it was accurate), and a love story to boot (very clean, btw).


And, if you're looking for a cheap way to curb a sweet tooth, here's a great dessert!

Ingredients:

milk
1 package of chocolate chip cookies
1 tub of cool whip

Pour milk into the bottom of a bowl. Soak the cookies individually for just a second. In a small casserole dish (like a 1 qt, perhaps (?) -- certainly not anything cake pan size although it would be very simple to double this recipe to fit a standard 9x13 cake pan), layer the bottom with milk-soaked cookies. Then add a thin layer of the cool-whip. Continue layering until you near the top (I think my Mom had 4 layers but I'm not sure). Then add the remaining cool whip and crumble any remaining cookies on top for decoration. Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours before serving and that's it. My personal favorite part of this dessert was actually hitting a chocolate chip from one of the cookies so I think adding mini-chocolate chips to the top of the cool-whip layers would be great although you certainly wouldn't want too many. Or if you run out of cookies, that would certainly make a great topping for decoration. Either way, I plan on adding them next time. Someone said something about it sounding too sweet and I can definitely say that didn't happen.



Happy reading and eating!

12/24/08

What a difference a year makes!

Timothy was born on 12-6...after being discharged from the hospital on the 8th, he was admitted to Children's Hospital -- our very first time being in that hospital! -- on the 9th for jaundice but discharged on the 10th. Lots of drama that week including a "fight" with the doctor as we had to have blood draws to make sure his levels were going down. Then, just when things were starting to seem to get back to "normal", along came December 23rd. I noticed Timothy seemed kinda stuffy on the 22nd and that John was coming down with something. Then, right before bed on the 22nd, Timothy started making weird noises. I thought to myself that he was holding his breath but then I thought I must be crazy. Even though he didn't seem really sick, I was very uneasy about both him and John and decided to take them to the dr on Christmas Eve. Jonathan thought I was loosing it or hormonal or both. "But," I thought, "I don't want to be going to the ER on a holiday, should one of them get sicker". John's turned out to be nothing or at least nothing serious. I honestly can't remember what his symptoms were or what the dr said. At first, the doctor said that Timothy did appear to have a cold or something similar and while he really wasn't holding his breath in the office, it would not be uncommon for him to hold his breath with a virus and to keep an eye on him. They had him on a pulse-ox monitor and his stats were steady in the 90s which is good. Then, he dipped into the 80s. After it took a while for him to get back up into the 90s, it was decided that we were to go to the ER at Children's for observation. After he never really improved -- and after being put on an apnea monitor that monitors breathing and after he set off that monitor several times -- it was decided that he should be admitted. Admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve. I missed Christmas morning with my other 4 but after several break downs, decided to go have lunch at my in-laws house with the rest of the family so I could at least see my kids opening SOMETHING on Christmas Day. Turned out Timothy had RSV, a form of the common cold that does very UNcommon things to little ones, even causing death. He was admitted on Monday and discharged on Friday....

And here we sit, exactly one year later. The Lord has certainly stretched me beyond what I thought I could handle with Timothy's breathing issues and hearing loss. But as I sit here this morning, watching him pull himself up to standing by the couch, feeding him oatmeal (he loves the cinnamon roll flavor!), wrestling him for over 5 minutes to get his hearing aid in his ear, listening to him babble and cry, with the realization that he's got a baby sister coming in less than 100 days, I'm amazed at what a difference a year can make, at what strength God gave us to endure what we have endured. And I wonder what surprises are in store for us this next year with a new addition to the family and the drs appointments Timothy continues to go through. If the Lord wills, we'll be blessed to watch John turn 4 (and hopefully be potty-trained?!?!) and Elizabeth turn 5, both in May. And Nathan will hit double digits in July, turning 10. And then the Christmas season will come again, if the Lord wills, and we'll watch Caleb turn 7 and Timothy turn 2, not to mention the multitude of things Lydia will probably go through in her first 9 or 10 months of life. If the Lord wills..... Never have I realized more than this year exactly what that means. And never have I been more grateful.

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas!

12/21/08

Fun with ultrasound pics, part 3





Last but not least, 2 pics of her looking at us!

Fun with ultrasound pics, part 2










Next up is her foot. No help with this one, it's should be self-explanatory.
Then we have an arm.
And last, for this post, a profile picture.

Fun with ultrasound pics, part 1

Some ultrasound pictures as is and some we've "helped" you with via Microsoft Paint.Net.

First up, like we've already said, it's a GIRL!

Second, this will probably be the most difficult to "see". This is JUST a pic of her nose and mouth. We've rotated it, too, so maybe that will help.

12/18/08

3 blog posts in 1 day?!?!

Aren't you lucky?!?! :) Actually, this is more of an FYI than anything. As many of you know, Timothy is being followed for his "noisy breathing" by an ENT specialist. After a bronchoscopy in October, they wanted to repeat it in February just to keep an eye on things to make sure his airway is growing appropriately. As of today, Timothy has an appt with the ENT on 1/30 and is tenatively scheduled for another bronchoscopy for Monday, 2/9. Of course seeing the ENT could change things but that's the plan for now. I didn't want to wait until that 1/30 appt to schedule his next bronch b/c I knew they scheduled as much as 6 weeks out and that would be mid-March and we all know that's a bad, bad time for him to be in the hospital! So there you go....

Good news for OH homeschoolers

From the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association):

December 17, 2008

Ohio--No Change to 08 School Regulations

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We are pleased to be able to share good news with you. After the legislatively mandated 5 year review of the regulations governing non-chartered, non-tax supported schools, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has told HSLDA that it will not recommend any changes to the regulation and that therefore the State Board will not be making any changes.

That means that everything stays the same as far as homeschooling laws/regulations in the state of Ohio. It's scary what some families go through in some states and other countries for the "right" to homeschool their children. I pray my children have the same freedoms I do when they're having children of their own!

Little behind on posts....

So here's a recap....

First, I had a wonderful ultrasound last Friday! I seem to have misplaced the pictures (thank you, pregnancy brain!) but when I do find them, I'll post. Lydia weighed in at a healthy 1 pound, 14 ounces! Little bit bigger then "average" but still considered normal. At the time, I was 24 weeks, 3 days pregnant and she was measuring 25 weeks, 4 days -- about a week ahead which is totally fine. Next appointment isn't until 1/2 and aside from the occasional contraction, some nagging hip pain, and my carpal tunnel syndrome being worse than usual, I'm feeling really well. Progesterone shot as usual yesterday -- only 10 more to go! YIKES! I know, I say that a lot but -- YIKES! I'm starting to panic thinking about how soon this little girl could be here.

Second, if you haven't seen it yet, look on the right side bar under the baby countdown (which is about to go UNDER 100 days -- YIKES -- which I think I've already covered). We're twittering now! :) Twitter, for those of you who don't know, is basically a mini-blog, meant to be a place to put in 140 characters or less what you are doing at that very minute or to share a link or something useful. Little micro blogs. You can see my twitter page at www.twitter.com/Mom2HalfDozen and Jonathan's twitter at www.twitter.com/Jonathan75. The twitter update that's on the side is just my lastest entry.

Third, major family drama. Jonathan's grandmother has 2 surviving sisters after the passing of her sister Patty recently (early this year or late last year, can't remember). One of those sisters, Jonathan's great-aunt Janet, is in the hospital for the 2nd time in just a few weeks. She's very weak, cannot take care of herself, and has had at least 1 confirmed heart attack. The other sister, great-aunt Doris, was diagnosed with a brain tumor literally out of the blue. We had no idea there was something wrong. She's been moved up here (from Portsmouth, where she lives and was helping take care of Janet), is in a rehab facility and is supposed to start having radiation treatments. No biopsy scheduled at this time but they have said the tumor is inoperable and that she has 6 months to a year. Pray for Jonathan's grandmother first and foremost for her own salvation and, of course, as she's the only one to really take care of things for both sisters, complicated by one of them being here and the other one being in Portsmouth.

Last but certainly not least -- pictures! You should have seen our little "cherubs" on stage Sunday night. Caleb, Elizabeth, and John are in Cherub Choir and sang a Christmas version of "Mary had a baby boy" and the first verse of "Away in a manger". Nathan is in Music Makers and their class performed a Christmas program and did a fabulous job. Unfortunately, I was not in a good position to get pictures of Nathan. I'm not biased, it was just easier to get pictures of the little guys. Caleb couldn't pose seriously for a picture if he tried, I'm almost certain!

Then some funnies. Turned around and saw Elizabeth like this the other day in the play pen with a pacifier....

And I came out of the room on Tuesday to hear them laughing hysterically and singing a version of "Jingle Bells" except they were saying "Jingle Buddies". "Buddies" is what they call Timothy. Lo and behold, I find them putting Elizabeth's Christmas headband -- with tiny jingle bells on it -- on the little guy. Perhaps a glimpse of what Lydia might look like?!?! Once I took a picture of Timothy, John decided to get into the act with Elizabeth's green sparkly headband saying he was "Sparkly John-John".


And while I don't have a picture to share -- I thought it was sooo cute to watch Timothy "talk" on the phone with my dad the other day. Nothing more than "Ah" over and over but he was certainly trying to talk. And I think that's it. Busy week coming up! Timothy goes for a hearing aid appointment tomorrow, got to finish up Christmas shopping, and then got to get ready for Mamaw and Papaw's arrival on Christmas Day!! I can't believe Christmas is already here! YIKES! :0

12/8/08

Happy birthday, Justin!

It was a Saturday last year....We were getting ready to be discharged with Timothy after a rough couple of days since delivery. Timothy had failed hearing tests, I had barely tried but already given up nursing, Timothy had mysterious bruising that prompted tons of tests that revealed nothing, and he was starting to get real jaundiced. Anyway, as we were preparing to leave, I got a phone call. As I was giving Candace an update on Timothy -- and she sounded completely normal, by the way -- I was telling her about the jaundice and she said something like she thought her baby would have jaundice, too. Took me a minute but then I got it. "What baby?!?" I asked. And then she filled me in. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning, she had given birth to a tiny little guy -- ALONE, I might add! (Matt was in the bathroom, midwives were on their way) I totally thought she was bluffing! It was pretty neat to have gone through pregnancies together (she had come over to do something, what I can't remember, the day after we had gotten back from visiting the beach in May and when I told her I had gotten a positive pregnancy test that morning, she told me she thought she was pregnant, too....kinda weird, but that's just the way it worked out) and then to have had these 2 little guys at the same time. So a very special "Happy First Birthday" to our buddy, Justin!
Timothy (L) and Justin (R) in March
Justin (L) and Timothy (R) in May, matching outfits!

Timothy (L) and Justin (R) in October at a baby shower

12/6/08

12/5/08

Good news from the OB....Urgent Care, take 2

Much to my surprise, everything looked very stable today at the OB! Blood pressure still a little elevated but unlike my house nurse, the docs are not concerned about my feet swelling nor are they concerned about my blood pressure. Not to be too frank, but every woman who's ever been pregnant knows that they take a urine sample at each visit. They check for white blood cells (a sign of infection) and measure your level of protein. At every visit this pregnancy, my protein was +1. Today, however, it was back down to "trace" which is less than +1. That's really weird considering my blood pressures are creeping up but great news! My cervix was also surprisingly stable -- last time, it was all over the place, measuring anywhere from 30mm to 34mm. This time, every picture they took was 33mm so for it be not only stable but also over 30mm is GREAT! I go back next Friday for a growth scan to see how Little Miss is growing and the not back for a cervix scan until 1/2, provided I have no symptoms!! WOO HOO! I feel like a huge burden has been lifted! Praise God!

But then there's the rest of this post....Nathan....Fever started on Thursday morning (so church friends beware!) but by this afternoon, it was over 103 and he was talking funny so I knew things were getting crowded back in the throat. Indeed, his tonsils were huge! Getting a strep test done was a treat. Nathan may only weigh 58 pounds but it took 1 nurse to hold his hands while I held his head while the other nurse took the test. Then the dr comes into tell us that it is indeed strep throat and tells me I have 2 options for treatment (I'm sure you can all see where this is going....). Much to Nathan's dismay, I chose the faster injection, I mean, option. Took him FOREVER to "get into position", having to have his mp3 player and headphones and having to be promised a milk shake and a trip to the store with $5 (okay, so maybe that was overkill but I was still reeling from holding him down for the strep test). Anyway, now I'm sitting here wondering a few things -- 1, tomorrow night is our Sunday School class' Christmas party and Nathan will be 1 hour shy of his 24-hour no-longer-contagious cutoff (do we take him?!?); 2, are any of my other kids coming down with it and I don't know about it yet (and again, do we take them?!?!)?; and 3, Nathan went to church on Wednesday night as we all did so I'm wondering who we exposed....Here's praying all is well tomorrow! *sigh*

12/4/08

It's official

The Stevens Clan is pleased to announce that our soon-to-be baby girl has a name! I'm anal like that and have to have a name picked out so that I can call the baby by its name instead of "he" ."she" or worse -- "it". Chances of changing our mind? Pretty slim -- we don't usually do that. Apologies to Jonathan's family -- we know you don't like the name but this is our pick. My husband, clever as he is, picked this name because he says Elizabeth and John's names "go together" in the Bible -- Elizabeth being the mother of John the Baptist. Lydia "goes together with" Timothy's name (Timothy Paul) because Lydia in the Bible is a convert of Paul and Timothy -- see Acts 16. So from here forward, Little Miss' name shall be


Lydia
Caris
Stevens
The Stevens Clan....Jonathan, Karen, Nathan, Caleb, Elizabeth, John, Timothy, and Lydia :)

12/3/08

Nurse's visit

Prayer request -- The nurse was just here for my weekly progesterone shot. I had a rough night last night, not sleeping well, and the kids were up at 6:30 (ugh!). My blood pressure wasn't great but was higher than usual -- 130/70 as opposed to 120/65 which is my average. The bad part was that my feet/legs are starting to swell. That's a very big no-no in pregnancy. So until I get to my dr on Friday, I'm on orders from the nurse to keep my feet up as much as possible, to drink tons of water, and to monitor my stress level.

12/2/08

Surprising results

We had a WIC appointment tonight and John, Elizabeth, and Timothy were weighed and measured. Elizabeth nearly weighed 40 pounds!!!!! She has 4 whole pounds on John, something that's NEVER happened. She was always so tiny that she and John were often within less than a pound of each other. We printed off some growth charts for the fun of it. Here's some results (we weighed and measured Nathan and Caleb at home also for the fun of it):

Nathan weighs 58 pounds (25th percentile) and is approximately 53 inches tall (50th percentile) so he's average in height and a little on the small side

Caleb weighs 42 pounds (50th percentile) and is approximately 45 inches tall (50th percentile) so he's average in height and weight

Elizabeth weighs 39 pounds (WOO HOO!) (approx. 40th percentile) and was 43 inches tall (90th percentile) so she's nearly average in weight (finally) and very tall for her age

John weighed only 35 pounds (gasp!) (50h percentile) and 41 inches tall (75th percentile) so he's average in weight and a little on the tall side

And last but not least, Timothy weighed 23 pounds, 14 ounces (approx. 60th percentile) and 28 inches tall (approx. 25th percentile) so he's a little over average for weight and a little under average for height

In case "percentiles" have never been explained to you, let me take a stab at it. We'll use Timothy's numbers. Timothy is in the 25th percentile for height. That means if you measure him up against all other one year old little boys, approximately 24% of them will be shorter than he is and approximately 75% of them will be taller than he is. And for weight, approximately 60% of all one year old little boys will be smaller than he is and 40% will weigh more than he does. The basic idea is this -- you want to be as close to the 50th percentile in both numbers as possible. Okay, bed time now -- must run!

Happy 6th Birthday, Caleb!

Caleb was due November 28, 2002, Thanksgiving Day. The weekend before Thanksgiving, Jonathan spent some time in the ER with stomach pains. Being as pregnant as I was and not knowing for sure what was going on with Jonathan, my mom and dad came over from Illinois, where they lived at the time. Once Jonathan was home (with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome which basically means "we have no idea why you're in pain"), they decided to stay for Thanksgiving and, of course, Caleb's big debut. Thanksgiving came and went and mom and dad decided that they shouldn't miss another Sunday so that Friday, they took Nathan and went back to Illinois with the plan to come back on Monday as my doctor had promised I could be induced that next week. While they were on their way home, I went in for my final appointment and was told I could pick an induction date. Since Jonathan was scheduled to have a colonoscopy on that Friday, I picked that very next day, December 3rd, so I could be out of the hospital and home before Jonathan's procedure. Went home after my appointment and went to sleep. Woke up around 4:30 with plans to go pick up Jonathan from work, grab some dinner, and do some Christmas shopping before Mom, Dad, and Nathan got home around 9:30. While at Lifeway, I realized I was having contractions and wanted to go home. We picked up Jonathan's car and headed back to our townhome. When I got out of the van, it happened....my water broke. It was just before 7. Thinking we had all the time in the world (because Nathan's labor was 15+ hours), we tok our time -- packed some final things, changed the outgoing message on our answering machine so my parents would know where I was, and I think I even did some dishes. Then we stopped at Arby's to get Jonathan something to eat. Check-in time at the hospital was just before 8. Only 1 bed left in triage but it's monitor was broken so they reasoned that since I was scheduled to be induced the next day, even if I wasn't truly already in labor, they'd probably have mercy on me and go ahead and induce me that night so I got a labor and delivery room. And boy is it a good thing I did or I'd had that baby in triage! Little after 8, I don't remember how dilated I was but I was in some serious pain and begging for an epidural. Anesthesia, please! Then I was told the only anesthesiologist was in a c-section and it would be a while so I got a measly little shot of something in my IV. Right at 9, when I was REALLY begging for something, they determined that I didn't have any time left. Caleb was born around 9:15. Mom, Dad, and Nathan still wasn't there....and my in-laws had taken their time, too, because they didn't think I'd have him any time soon. So, Caleb's entrance was with me, his Dad, 1 doctor, and 1 nurse, and no pain relief. Everyone else got there around 10. Caleb weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces -- identical to his big brother. Have no recollection of how long he was or the exact time he was born (happens from multiple deliveries and the lack of writing anything down!). So today, that baby turns 6. Happy Birthday, Caleb!
(Caleb at one year)(Caleb at 3)

(Caleb helping his dad put together the new bunk beds last weekend)

Too cute!

This is pretty funny! Be sure to stay for the outtakes at the end.

http://www.citizenlink.org/videofeatures/A000008654.cfm

Also, Leah had commented on our bunk beds in the last post. Well, Leah, the first set came from KMart and we really like them. They're wood and I believe the cost somewhere around $200 (gift from Jonathan's parents). This second set we just put up is a metal set, which we really didn't want to have, but they were free from our next-door neighbor who's girls were getting ready to be in their own rooms. So we have a lovely metal set of bunk beds which cost us nothing! KMart periodically puts their bunk beds on sale so watch the circulars.

Post coming later to celebrate someone's birthday!!

12/1/08

Busy, busy, busy

Seriously. Crazy is the only word to describe it. I'm loosing track of time, loosing track of my mind (or at least I feel like it), and maybe loosing track of my kids but latest head count proves they're all accounted for (joking, of course). Here's a snipet of our holiday weekend:

Last Thanksgiving we decided we wanted to start a tradition of our own, one that we could continue whether we were celebrating with Jonathan's family here at home or with my family in South Carolina and/or Tennessee. So we decided that every year there was a kid friendly movie playing, we'd take the kids to the movies on Thanksgiving. Last year, I don't remember what movie it was (I think it was "Bee Movie") but we could only find whatever-movie-it-was at the dollar theater. Turns out the dollar theater had been robbed the night before and has never reopened. So, no movie last year. But, we were succeesful this year! We thoroughly enjoyed "Bolt" and highly recommend it. Good clean, kid-friendly, interesting but not scary, family movie! John's fever was breaking by that point so we had a successful trip. Nathan was the only one that needed a bathroom break and Timothy only got cranky once. After the movie, we headed to Jonathan's family's dinner, ate some very good grub, and then us ladies played Hand and Foot (a card game, not a disease).

Friday Jonathan was off again so we decided to conquer 2 big projects. #1 was setting up a new set of bunk beds in the kids' room. We already have 1 set of bunk beds in that room with Nathan on top. Caleb, originally on the bottom of the 1st set, now resides on the top bunk of the new set. While we're waiting on 2 new twin mattresses, John and Elizabeth's toddler mattresses are in a T shape on the bottom of the new set and that seems to be working out. Very, very crowded in there now but, hey -- what's a growing family to do?!? We also got down the Christmas tree and other decorations. Tree went up Friday night; other decorations went up last night.

Saturday we had decided to take the kids to the zoo to see Wildlights. Elizabeth already had plans to spend the night with her cousin Kaylee and her grandparents. So when they called and said they'd like Elizabeth at 5, we decided the zoo was out since it would just be getting dark around then. Off to COSI, we decided, but stopped to get lunch first. That's when we saw that Caleb was acting awfully weird. Yep, his turn with the virus that Nathan and John had already had. So, back home we went after lunch. I went to the store to gather cookie making supplies for next week's cookie exchange and did a little Christmas shopping. Dropped Elizabeth off, ran to Target for another few minutes of quiet Christmas shopping, then home to watch Wall E with the boys.

Yesterday was church but, of course, Caleb was sick and Tiimothy was still sick. John still was questionable so I stayed home with those 3 yesterday morning. Went last night but only because I had nursery and the kids (Nathan, John, and Elizabeth) needed to get to choir, if at all possible with the Christmas programs coming up. With Timothy still no better today, I decided we needed another visit to the dr and turns out I was right -- another sinus infection and this one is worse than the one he had a few weeks ago. So we're going to start with a 10 day set of antibiotics, a different one this time, and if that doesn't work, we'll go for the full 20 days. John's still got a runny nose but Caleb's fever broke yesterday. That leaves Elizabeth, me, and Jonathan....

Please pray for us in a few specific areas:

#1 -- that little Timothy will be able to get well so that we might not have him in and out of the drs office all winter

#2 -- that my drs appointment on Friday will show that I'm holding stable

#3 -- that we would be able to find someone to come in and help me a few days a week with the youngest 3 so that I can work with Nathan and Caleb on getting school done (any volunteers?). School is really suffering around here and we are prayerfully considering what step, if any, to take next.

11/26/08

I know you all are just DYING to know...

...that Steven Curtis Chapman and family are celebrating again! Eldest Chapman child, Emily, was married on 10-4 of this year. According to http://apostlesplace.blogspot.com/, Mom Mary Beth now announces that next-in-line, Caleb, is due to be married this next spring! Congratulations to Caleb and Julia and the rest of the Chapman family! Don't you just love his name?!? (wink, wink) Please, in all sincerity, remember the Chapmans as they go through this holiday season without their precious Maria.

Now for what you really do want to know, Timothy is doing much better. I won't go into all the details but we did make the decision to put him on the steroids and after only one dose, things are already greatly improved. Still not out of the woods yet and now, with him being on steroids, we have to be careful not to expose him to anything extremely yucky as steroids weaken the immune system.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

11/24/08

Urgent Care

One of the moments every parent dreads....a trip to the urgent care. Timothy's had a sinus infection although was much better and was breathing normally. Started breathing his loud got-a-cold kinda breathing over the weekend again. Tonight, he sounded just awful and then we heard it....wheezing. LOUD, old-man-wheezing. We were even rushed straight back to a room when we got to the urgent care. Thankfully, this isn't in his lungs, per se. He's having no trouble breathing, oxygen saturation at 100%. After 2 -- yes, TWO -- albuterol treatments, he's still wheezing but it is a little better. He's resting comfortably now. He'll have to be taken in to the pediatrician first thing tomorrow morning for evaluation. The urgent care dr gave us a prescription for a steroid. We wouldn't have started him on it at night anyway (we've seen the nasty side effects of steroids in Jonathan -- a grown man -- so we're scared at what might happen to such a little guy) so we've decided to wait until I can talk at length to our pediatrician to make sure it's necessary. With the RSV he had last winter and the airway issue he already has, it looks like we're in for a bumpy winter. He just doesn't have the resources a typical 1-year-old would have and that's not good. And, with a dad with asthma, he could have asthma which would just compound the problem. Asthma is a 3-strikes-you're-out deal and the RSV counts as strike 1, tonight as strike 2. You don't get an asthma diagnosis from just one wheezing episode. Oh, how I'd like to never have to go through this again! Especially this winter -- #1, he's still so little and #2, I'm in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy. Thankfully, my baby wasn't turning blue or gasping for air. Jonathan's parents have seen those a number of times with him when he was little....I can't imagine. Let's just pray this doesn't get into his lungs and get serious, okay?

Not Me Monday


(If you happened to read Candace's comment on last Monday's "Not Me", then this will not be a surprise to you.) I certainly did not drive Nathan to gym class last Monday with my lights on, pull into the parking lot, drop Nathan off, and forget to turn my lights off. My lights then certainly did not continue to run for the 45 minutes Nathan was in gym class while I periodically turned the car on and off for heating purposes (me and the other kids might have been in the van watching a DVD). This certainly didn't cause my van's battery to die so I didn't need Candace and Matt to come help me. And, if certain things didn't happen, then I certainly didn't walk out of the door on a cold, snowy Monday without a coat for myself and without bringing a diaper bag for Timothy because I knew we'd only be gone an hour and 10 minutes. So Timothy didn't scream from hunger and tiredness while we didn't wait on the Bauer's to come. Nope, didn't happen.

Of course, I didn't just spill freshly made, hot tea all over my left hand and part of my ever-growing belly just now because I'm always careful.

I didn't just wash and dry a black ink pen because I always check the pockets.

I didn't say a quiet "YES!" when Nathan woke up with more coughing so that I don't have to take him to gym today because I'm tired, because I'm hip deep in laundry, and because I'm already loathing bundling up 5 children and taking them out in the cold. I'm never too tired to take my kids places, I'm always caught up on laundry, and it really doesn't bother me to bundle everyone up so they don't fit right in their car seats any more. In fact, I love winter and take the kids out as much as possible just so I can get the opportunity to do said bundling. Oh, and I would certainly never be even a little happy for one of my kids to be sick, even if it is just a virus.

And last, but not least, I did not resist the urge to oh and ah at the 2 babies we saw on the labor and delivery tour at the hospital yesterday. I'm certainly not feeling overwhelmed at the idea of having another baby and taking said tour didn't make me feeel very, very nervous. I'm totally at peace with a new baby coming, a new baby who's going to be up every few hours screaming, who's going to need diaper changes and bottles. I'm SO looking forward to doing it all over again. In fact, I may even breastfeed this time 'cause the thoughts of breastfeeding just brings dreams and images of beautiful bonding between me and my baby. The thoughts of breastfeeding don't dweeb me out at all. Not one little bit.

Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. (can you hear the sarcasm?) Oh, and if above things were true, I'd want you all to know that my hand and belly are fine, the pen did not ruin any clothing, and Nathan is really on the mend and really does just have a virus.




11/21/08

Updates

Life is always interesting. Here we are 34 days from Christmas. Where has the time gone? Here's the updates on the latest 2 drs appointments:

1 -- "We're still in an observational period" with Timothy's ortho dr, his words exactly. The curve in his spine isn't any worse but still there and his 12th vertebrae isn't developed as it's supposed to be but isn't any worse, either. So, we go back in May for another set of x-rays unless he starts having trouble with being hunched over after he learns to walk.

2 -- Okay-but-not-great is how I would explain my OB visit today. Weight still under control, sugars looked good, and blood pressure was okay. They're watching me closely for some headaches I've been having and they want me to start keeping tabs, so to speak, on when I have them and the heart racing I've mentioned earlier -- what am I doing when either of them happens? Where am I? Am I physically exerting myself? Those kinds of questions....right now, it appears the heart racing is part of pregnancy and the headaches are stress/tension. As for my "zipper" (cervix), things are a little interesting, although no need to panic (yet). Cervix length for this stage of pregnancy, to be considered "normal", should be somewhere between 3 and 4 cm (or 30 and 40 mm). 3 weeks ago, I was 3.8cm and today, I fell to 3cm. While still considered normal, #1 three cm is the bottom border of normal, #2, I shouldn't drop below 3 cm anytime before 30 weeks or so (a full 8 weeks away) and #3, that's a "significant change". What happens if I've "fallen" again on 12/5 when I go back? Well, that will depend on the numbers and all the other things, like is my zipper starting to unzip. Still no guarantees -- they really can't predict with 100% accuracy when a woman is going to go into labor. I may stay at 3 cm for the duration of the pregnancy, although that's highly unlikely, especially if we make it past 30 weeks or so. These numbers are just a caliber of where things stand overall and monitoring them closely will hopefully help us to predict when we're headed for trouble so we can do something proactively. As for holiday travel, since I'm "on the border" and have had a "significant change", if we had to call Christmas today, then it would definitely be a no. Maybe, just maybe we can reevaluate things at the next appointment but that's unlikely. We're going to owe my side of the family 2 or 3 Christmases in a row once we're done having babies! :(

11/17/08

"Not Me" Monday


Saw this and thought it was funny. The idea is to post things on Mondays that you "never" do (which is, obviously, not true). Let's give it a try....

Nathan is not still in his pj's at 11:30 in the morning. Nope. Never happens. My children are always dressed by 9 AM. And John's never been in his nighttime diaper at this time of the day either. I always change him promptly when he wakes up.

Elizabeth is not sitting in Timothy's baby seat while said seat is sitting on the couch. That would be too dangerous, right? Besides, my older kids never play with baby toys. Especially Nathan.

I did not have to banish Nathan to his bed to do school work because he was too distracted by "The Wonder Pets" on t.v. He never watches kiddie shows like that.

I am not currently having to tell Elizabeth not to eat Timothy's baby food. She would never do that.

I am not so tired I could fall asleep sitting up at this hour of the morning. That never happens. I'm always full of energy and always so polite to the kids. And I never have to walk over dirty floors or block off the kitchen to keep Timothy off the nasty kitchen floor. I always clean them well enough you could eat off them.

11/15/08

Just in case....

....the new pink blog didn't tip you off or you don't keep up with us on Facebook....Yes, we're having a

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Her first picture
Everything looked great! She's the perfect size and weight for her age, right on target for a 3/31/09 due date. Wouldn't it be funny if she's born on St Patrick's Day and ends up being our only red head? (Come on, a lady can dream, can't she?!?!) Tossing around some names but no hints. It's been difficult enough since having Elizabeth. We used our favorite names for the first 3! I didn't think we'd ever name Timothy. I don't think it'll be that difficult this time, though, 'cause we haven't used that many girl names! :)

11/11/08

Half-way Hodgepodge

So, here we are -- half-way through the pregnancy (or at least, what the half-way mark should be; I shutter to think we may have already passed what will be our half-way mark). Baby is moving tons and tons which is fun. (S)he is still small enough to where I don't feel a foot in the ribs or a butt crowding my lungs. I can tell a kick from a roll but nothing like what can sometimes be misery when a nearly full-term baby starts kicking and rolling around inside of you. Braxton Hicks contractions (contractions that don't do anything other than annoy you) have already started and that's NOT fun. And I've been having moments where my heart races. They say it's normal but it certainly doesn't feel normal. I didn't have any trouble yesterday so maybe I'm over the worst of it. They say that your blood volume doubles during pregnancy and that it reaches its peak volume around the mid-way point. But, you take the good with the bad....Life, in general, isn't slowing down one little itty-bitty bit which is not fun, either. Nathan's in gym once a week on Monday afternoons and yesterday was awful (for me). Wrangling 4 kids -- including chasing the baby around the stage where we sit above the gym floor and 3 almost-bored preschoolers that got sick of me telling them to stop running -- was just exhausting and we were only there 45 minutes! There's too many steps to climb so I can't use a stroller so I have to carry Timothy in and out, too, which doesn't help and leaves me with a killer backache. Honestly, I'm thinking I might see if I can find someone that would be willing to drive Nathan to gym these next 3 Mondays before this session is over. Or else maybe borrow a travel DVD player and sit in the car with the younger 4. So that's Mondays, which are always after Sunday which is, by far, our busiest day of the week with church services and family time. Tuesdays, Jonathan meets with a man from church concerning RA's but he's so nice to schedule to meet with him at 9 pm after he's helped me get the kids in bed. Best husband in the world, hands down! :) Wednesdays are church again and Thursdays, I have a ladies meeting at church. Every other Friday night is grocery night. And that's not counting the 3 days/week that I take John & Elizabeth to Candace's for preschool. That's going soooooo well, though, that I have no desire to give that up until I absolutely have to (or until the weather gets colder -- nothing I despise more than bundling up children and stuffing them in car seats -- YUCK!). Weekends, you ask? Last Saturday was a doozy -- Jonathan and Nathan went to men's prayer breakfast at church at 8 and got home a little before 10; we dug our heals in ("we" meaning me and Jonathan) and moved beds around to clean out from behind and underneath them, cleaned out the toybox, changed sheets, etc, etc, etc; then at 3 me and Timothy went to a baby shower and Jonathan took the other kids at 5 to a birthday party. Actually nothing on the schedule for this Saturday, thank goodness! I still have a ton to do to get winter wardrobes where they need to be and dealing with the unbelievable amount of summer clothes that I have to sort through to either keep or not. Ah, life....there are days when I wish childhood was less than 18 years! But then there are days when I wish the baby days lasted more than just a few years.

Well, let's see....oh, that's what I was going to mention -- did you see the new pic at the top of the blog? (If you use Google Reader or any other RSS feeder, you'll have to actually log onto our blog to see it). Not bad, considering all the effort it takes to get 7 people looking in the same direction, especially when 4 or those 7 are 5 and under! And I usually can't stand pics including myself but this one ain't half bad.....I guess that's it! Stay tuned for the big reveal this weekend!

11/5/08

And a good Wednesday morning to you, too!

What's the worst wake-up call you could think of (and I'm not referring to politics at all!)? Might not be the WORST but how 'bout a nice injection in your backside? That's what I got to wake up to this morning and will wake up to every Wednesday morning at 7:45 for the next 15 weeks or so. I'm now getting weekly injections of progesterone, a hormone the body normally makes and the primary hormone responsible for keeping a woman pregnant. They believe that more progesterone may help women with histories of preterm labor stay pregnant longer so it's hoped to be preterm labor prevention. Not exactly thrilled about getting a shot at 7:45 for the next several months but gotta do whatever I can to keep this baby inside where (s)he belongs, right? Didn't hurt like I was afraid it would; needle felt small. Starting to burn a little bit and my heart is racing a little but other than that, so far, so good. The nurse was wonderful so at least she'll make the experience more pleasant than dreadful. She said there are women who have one "side" better than the other so hopefully we won't find out that my other side is uncooperative. Nothing like dreading a painful injeciton to shoot your blood pressure up! Oh well -- on with my day I go, taking Timothy to get his hearing aid and then I'll probably stay at home tonight. Timothy's still fighting some sort of cold. And no, for the record, I'm not exactly thrilled about the outcome of the election. However, I was very pleased to hear that issue 5 passed (making permanent restrictions on so called "payday loans") and issue 6 failed (no casino in Ohio!). Haven't heard yet if the tax levy for Reynoldsburg schools passed but it wasn't looking good for them last night when I went to bed (not that I voted for it anyway!). Just my two cents worth.....

And only 1 guess on what the baby is? You guys are no fun! :( 9 more days to go!

11/4/08

2 random pictures

First up, I had thought about putting this in a post titled "She's kinda green. I think she may BLOW!" but kept forgetting so I'll stick it in here.

Second, here's one of the few pictures of all 5 kids together before trick or treating. Timothy stole the show but the kids ended up with 2 giant bowls of candy.

10/31/08

It's a.....

BABY!

Ha -- I'm having too much fun with this!

Okay, so seriously, they did do an unexpected ultrasound today. However, that was just to verify the hearbeat, not to do a full blown ultrasound. So they didn't look very hard or long but they did make a GUESS. BUT, not wanting to cause any confusion, I think I'll just keep this guess to myself. Everyone only has 14 more days to wait. I think you can handle it!

Otherwise, things looked surprisingly "normal". Blood pressure was normal, weight down 2 pounds (yipee!), cervix length was normal and everything is thick and closed, as it should be. Fasting blood sugars have been high so they've put me an a pill called Glyburide which wasn't a surprise. I can't get it filled until tomorrow because of insurance and I want to take it when I'm sure Jonathan will be here in the mornings. I have to take it at bedtime and I have fears of it causing my sugar to drop too low so I want to make sure I have someone here to get me help should I need it. Pray that the medicine will do its job but not work too hard and cause me to get sick. I don't want that for me, certainly, but I don't want to scare the kids in any way. Go back in 3 weeks, unless something happens. And of course the big ultrasound in 2 weeks. Anyone want to make a guess as to what you think they told me the baby is?!?! Could be fun.... :)

10/25/08

Talent?

Nathan's latest art creation. What do you think?

"Flowers on an October Day"

by Nathan Stevens

10/22/08

Just call her Chef Elizabeth

Cute story that I just had to share! Elizabeth and John were at Candace's house for preschool today and we had just returned home from picking them up. It was time to start lunch but I noticed I had a few emails. I said my usual "what should we have for lunch today" and Elizabeth said she'd just check the freezer. She said she'd like to have chicken nuggets and I said fine. She then said she'd get the pan. I turned around mid-way through my very few emails and saw her with the broiler pan. Told her that was the wrong pan and to put it back. I then turned around to hear her getting out a cookie sheet. Then, while concentrating, I neglected to notice her actually pouring out the nuggets onto the sheet. Next thing I know, I hear the oven door open (thank goodness it wasn't on yet!). She had gotten the chicken nuggets out of the freezer, found a cookie sheet, put the nuggets on the cookie sheet and placed them on the cookie sheet into the oven, all in the time it took me to read 7 emails! After a lesson in not going near the oven when it's hot (something I've said a millions times), I turned the oven on to bake the nuggets. It's so weird to realize how closely she's watched me do that in the past and that she knew exactly where to go and what to do. At least she's imitating something I'd actually want her to imitate!

10/21/08

IT'S A GIRL!!!

Did that title make you look? Well, guess what? It's true!! :)

But I didn't say it was MY baby, now did I? (excuse me while I laugh outloud....there, I'm better). Okay, so seriously, it is a girl but seriously, it is not my baby (meaning we just don't know yet). My brother and his wife found out yesterday that they're expecting their 3rd little girl! Kinda hoping for a little boy since they plan on this being the last one but they are thankful for a healthy mom, healthy baby. As for me, I'm seriously planning on hearing the opposite at my ultrasound....just assume it's a boy and be surprised, that's my philosophy.

Onto more good news -- my liver enzymes are down, completely in normal range! BP not a problem (at least for now). Everything thus far seems okay. Having a hard time adjusting to the diabetic diet but it's mostly because of the food we currently have in the house and the fact that we're midway between pay days (and yes I realize I should have already been following the diet so please refrain from yelling at me over that one). Can't really go buying a whole new set of groceries so I'm trying to do what I can. Monitoring my BP here and it's been normal. I am beginning to suffer from those side pains I've had in the past. With John, I was plain ol' miserable! Thanks be to God for answering prayers, I didn't deal with them too much with Timothy but if the drs are right and it's muscle fatigue, then it stands to reason I'll have them more with this baby because my body has had zero time to recover between pregnancies. I was expecting them but I am highly disappointed that they're already starting and I'm only 17 weeks. :( Also with being with a new dr/new hospital, I'm afraid if I complain too much they'll start running a bunch of tests that reveal nothing and I'm already spending enough time at that place!

In other news, first day of "preschool" with Mrs. Candace seemed to be a hit with Elizabeth and John! Thanks, Candace, for taking this on! The kids had a great time and are looking forward to seeing you again in the morning!

10/17/08

Mixed bag

....of updates, that is. Nathan's tooth extraction went smoothly! :)

My appointment today went smoothly but took a dreadful amount of time! :( Poor me? Think "Poor Candace" at home with 7 kids! Anyway, not-so-great news right up front -- blood pressure way high. Drew some blood to check my liver enzymes to compare with the levels they drew back in August. If they're going up, we might be in some serious trouble.... Good news, though -- cervix measured over 4cm (40mm)!! Dr. Iames said "Normal with a capital N!" And as his resident said "Stay boring!". Glucola test was dreadful but yielded a result of 193. Thankfully, Dr. Iames was merciful and said that was close enough to 200 to declare diabetes without the 3 hour test! Can't tell you how exciting that is! So then I ran around meeting with the dietician and the diabetic clinic's nurse. Normally, I would have come back on a different date to do that. I thought it would be better if I could get it all done in one hit and they were very accomodating. The diabetic clinic's nurse, Cathy, is scratching her head and was really wanting that 3 hour test. (WHY? It's not like it's going to yield a different result!!) This is her point -- Normally, a placenta doesn't start excreting (sp?) enough hormones to cause gestational diabetes in a woman until around 24 weeks which is why the glucola test is normally given around 24-28 weeks. So that's why she asked me to have my A1C drawn a few weeks ago. Her question -- if my A1C was 5.5 (a perfectly normal result which should indicate that I don't have type 2 diabetes) then why am I testing positive for gestational diabetes early (now being only 16 weeks)? To her, something doesn't add up. I'm with her and wouldn't quite frankly be surprised to learn that I have type 2 diabetes. However, her answer certainly doesn't lie in that 3 hour test! We already know how my body reacts to the 50mg of glucose (sugar) in the drink I drank today. There's no possible way it would act differently with the 100mg of glucose they give you to drink with the 3 hour test. The question really is -- do I have type 2 diabetes? How do we find that out, if the answer doesn't lie in my A1C? I have no idea! I'm sure they'll come up with some other test(s) to do on me when I go back. That's one bad thing about going to a university hospital....they're blood suckers!

Bottom line -- no signs of preterm labor. Exactly what we wanted to hear. Repeate cervical length scans every 2 weeks; level 2 ultrasound (gender time!) on 11/14.

10/14/08

How do you like them apples?

With a 20# bag of apples, I've been trying to figure out different things to do with them besides apple pie ('cause I am not a baker!). Have several recipes that sound good but I don't ever seem to have all the ingredients on hand. Then I tried this recipe and the answer to the question is -- we LOVE them apples!

*apples, peeled and cored (I used an apple wedger to make wedges but I'm sure you could even chop them), approx. 6-8 medium (I used golden delicious)
*1/4 c butter
*1/2 c brown sugar
*1/4 t cinnamon
*1/8 t nutmeg

Melt butter in skillet. Add apples then add sugar and spices. Saute' 15-20 minutes 'til done!

And it was just as simple as it sounds. Now the only thing missing is some ice cream!!

10/13/08

Updates

Much better night for me! Still feeling wiped out, though. Many thanks for any and all prayers! 2 things I want to point out today for those of you keeping up with us:

First, Timothy's hearing aid evaluation has been moved to this Wednesday. Long story but I'm happy with the earlier appointment.

Second, I've talked with the preterm labor clinic today about my suggested course of treatment. Starting this Friday, they will do what's called cervical length scans. Not a pleasant experience but necessary to make sure we do everything we can to keep this baby in where he/she's supposed to be for as long as possible! Imagine a zipper -- we want the zipper to be nice and long (4 cm would be a great result; 3 cm is acceptable but not necessarily a good sign; 3.5 cm is average) and for the zipper to completely zipped up, not starting to unzip at the top (very bad!). Depending on my results on Friday, this will be repeated either in 1 to 3 weeks (and always on a Friday). Pray for a good result this week most importantly for the sake of the pregnancy but also so I can keep my sanity by not having to run to the drs office all the time! This week, they'll also be doing a Glucose Tolerance Test. This is the test that will tell them whether or not I have gestational diabetes. Expecting a bad result there. And this may sound like a weird request but pray that it's either really good (like less than 150) to where they'll either declare me not diabetic (unlikely) or they'll tell me I can repeat the test in a few weeks OR pray that it's really bad (like 200) to where I'll have the diagnosis. That's for 2 reasons -- 1, I avoid the awful, awful 3 HOUR test and 2, the earlier I know I have it, the more I can do to keep things under control. They will not be doing an anatomy scan this week so don't expect any boy/girl news this time. They will be doing that in 2 or 3 weeks, depending on when I have to come back for another length scan. And last but not least, I will be beginning progesterone injection therapy. More than likely, that will start 11/1 or so and a nurse will have to come to my house once a week to administer the shot. Thankfully, though, my insurance will pay for the shots and for the home nurse.

That's it for now!

10/12/08

Mom down for the count?

I know there's not much chance anyone will see this tonight but, if you do, please say a prayer that I get some rest tonight. Wednesday night was bad (as you already know), Thursday night I only snagged sleep from 1-6:30. Friday night was good and I was hopeful this cold/cough was on the mends. Last night, though, was awful. Went to bed around 11:30 but was violently woke up at 2, 2:30, 3:30, 5, 5:30, 6:30, and eventually for good around 7:30 with coughing fits -- the kind where you can't catch your breath in between coughs and you cough so hard you make yourself sick (and, dare I say w/o embarassing myself too much -- I usually have to go change my clothes afterwards, too; darn the pregnancy bladder!). I did get an uninterrupted 3 hour nap today (thank you, Jonathan) but I've had these coughing fits all day long otherwise. Still, I'm feeling very tired, almost weak, and really must get school work done tomorrow as Nathan has a deadline tomorrow and he didn't get any school on Friday (Caleb didn't get any on Thursday or Friday). My grand plans of house cleaning/cleaning out closets for Saturday were spoiled 'cause I didn't feel well so the laundry has mounted again, although it's mostly clean and "just" needs put away (as if that's a quick task!). Anyway, I'd really appreciate the prayers.

10/11/08

New design

You like it? There are many of them at TheCutestBlogOnTheBlock.com. Let me know what you think.

10/9/08

Timothy update

As I type, Jonathan is at Children's spending the night with Timothy (they're keeping him purely as a precaution since he already has a cold/cough and they stuck a scope down his throat today; he's doing just fine and will come home first thing in the morning). Isn't my hubby wonderful to give me a break? I plan on popping the other 4 in the bed in just a minute but wanted to get the word out. Good news is that his airway issue is stable, in fact, a little better than it was in May. No need to worry about his airway unless he starts to show signs of distress. They will continue to follow him with bronchoscopies until he reaches the point where they're able to pass a normal-sized bronchoscopy scope down his throat. His next bronchoscopy his dr wanted him to have in 6 months but that's too close to my due date so we're going to schedule one the end of January/early February. As for his hearing, that's the not-so-good news. Thankfully, his right ear tested with completely normal hearing. His left ear, however, showed mild to moderate hearing loss; a kind that is permanent, something he was probably born with and most likely not related to his fluid issues. He will need a hearing aid for his left ear. No surprise there, right? What really took me off guard today, though, was the fact that it is permanent which means he will have to have a hearing aid for the rest of his life. The impression I rec'd from them before was that it if he needed hearing aid(s), it would be a temporary situation. Because the other kiddies have normal hearing (although they way they yell at each other all the time, it makes me wonder!?!), the chances of this being genetic and therefore something the new baby might have is slim. Unfortunately, this is a type of hearing loss without a known cause. If we don't know how he got it, then we don't know if the new baby can have it. At the next bronchoscopy they will also do a CT scan of his ears just to make sure it is not a structural issue. The chances of that, though, are next to nothing. We will probably never know why Timothy has hearing loss. So, we just have to learn to adjust to life with constant appointments with audiology and living with hearing aids. With a hearing aid in, he should develop a normal speech/language pattern (he's already babbling which is great). The next step is the hearing aid fitting session where they make a mold of his ear which will be in the next week or so; then it's 3-4 weeks after that before he'll get his actual hearing aid which he should have in place by Thanksgiving or so. Since he's constantly growing, his mold will constantly have to be replaced. No need to learn sign language or anything like that, although I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. Just speak mostly on his right side until we get the hearing aid in and get him adjusted. I think that's about it but my brain is very fried. If you have a question, drop a comment and I'll try to post the answer tomorrow.

Out the door

It's 5:40AM. Will be getting the kids up in about 10 minutes to walk out the door (they'll be staying at the Bauer's today). Timothy is scheduled for 8:30 but we have to be there at 6:30 for check-in, etc. Very rough night. Long story as to why but we've been putting John to bed in the bigger room with all the bigger kids and that's not going well at all. Add to that the fact that he couldn't find his blankie last night and we fought him for a very long time. I tried to put him, Caleb, and Elizabeth to bed at 7 since I knew we had to get up so early. I fought John off and on until Jonathan got home from church/his mom's at 9:30. It was finally after 10 before he fell asleep. I came out of the shower at 11:15 and tried to go to bed. Caleb was up a little after 12 with a tummy ache (I hadn't fallen asleep yet -- it takes me a while); then I was up a couple of times with John who realized in the middle of the night (1-ish) that he didn't have his blankie. Finally laid back down at 1:55 only to be woke up by Timothy at 2:57. I've probably had 30 minutes of sleep since then. Poor guy didn't want any part of the juice and I was told no formula after midnight. He was fine while I was holding him but didn't want to be put back in his crib. Finally at 4, I put him in his crib with his light on and some toys to play with. Lasted 30 minutes. Jonathan dealt with him after that but I heard his alarm go off at 5 before mine went off at 5:30. Timothy is finally asleep -- sitting in his jumpy-thing (kinda like an exersaucer). Well, off we go. Hopefully we'll have some good news later.

10/8/08

Update -- we're on the move!

Many thanks for your prayers. Everyone seems at least a little better today, some of us better than others. My throat is not nearly as sore as it was yesterday which is great, IMO. Timothy is still the only one I'm worried about and that's really only because he has those tests scheduled tomorrow. Otherwise, I'd be very happy with the progress he's making. He's got a bit of a cough and it did seem to wake him up a few times last night although he never cried and always went back to sleep, sleeping 9 hours (although I would have preferred those 9 hours be from 10 to 7 as opposed to 7:30 to 4:30!). He sounds congested like he did for months after he was first born. But, I keep telling myself they put him under anesthesia while he was making those type noises before, maybe they'll go through with it after all. I just want to get this done so we can move on, one way or the other, KWIM? So far, we haven't rec'd a phone call from anesthesia saying they want to postpone and they do know he has a cold. So, we're expecting a phone call after 4 today to tell us what time to be there tomorrow.

As for being on the move, that's not just referring to everyone seeming to be a little better today! Timothy has officially started moving, not a up-on-all-fours kinda crawl but what we like to call the "army crawl". I'm almost certain all of my kids crawled like this first. In fact, I'm almost certain 1 or 2 of them never crawled the conventional way but I can't remember which ones that might have been. Put him down by the couch yesterday while I was making dinner and about 20 minutes later, he was in the kitchen. Put him down in the living room after dinner and turned around and he was down the hall. We've tried to get him to do it on carpet and he can move but he definitely doesn't have the speed he has here on our laminate flooring. I'm awful at posting videos (and taking them in the first place) so you'll just have to imagine him moving in your head! :) Sorry! And for anyone keeping track, he's officially 10 months old, as of Monday. His buddy Justin is 10 months old today. I know....WOW! (That means we're almost half way through the pregnancy! Yikes!)

10/7/08

Pray for the Stevens Clan

The kids have been fighting colds off and on for a couple of weeks or so. With Timothy's procedure coming up on Thursday, I took him to the dr yesterday just to make sure it was "just a cold" as his symptoms had seemed to disappear but then came back. Thankfully, it isn't anything more at this point. Still, he's starting with a cough now and I'm fearful they'll cancel on us when we get there on Thursday. That I definitely don't want to happen if we can help it. Also, I started having a scratchy throat yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night, though, in terrible pain. My throat was sooooo sore it burned and hurt to swallow and my ears were aching. My throat feels a little better this morning but I'm unable to really say much. Overall, I feel kinda yucky, although I've certainly felt worse. Your prayers are certainly appreciated.

10/3/08

Biblical Parenting - Tedd Tripp

My hubby's post. Several years ago, our then Teaching Elder ("pastor") turned us on to the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. Unbelievable book! There's a video lecture series that goes along with the book called "The Case For Kids" that normally costs about $100. Jonathan found this info, though, a gold mine! Take advantage of this RIGHT away....



Dr. Tedd Tripp author of "Shepherding A Child's Heart"
The video series The Case for Kids covering this material cost $99.95 but Tedd and TheResurgence.com are giving it away! This is only session one and two of the complete seminar, but I believe more is to come.


  1. Biblical Parenting - The Call to Formative Instruction

  2. Biblical Parenting - Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory

10/1/08

7 children; 2 teeth

Hodge podge post....

All of my parent's (current) grandchilren
[My nieces Madisyn (blonde) and Olivia (red head) on the left]

A shot of Timothy's first 2 teeth barely poking through

Vacation pics 3

These are pictures from my niece's birthday party in Tennessee. They had this jumbo slide.
Elizabeth was one of the first ones down
Nathan made sure I got a shot of him going down while waving
At first, Caleb had to be forced to go down, being carried by my brother Kevin
But by the end, he was going down all by himself

Vacation pics 2

Some pool shots

Nathan
Caleb
Jonathan

Vacation pics 1

Just some random shots to share from vacation....

Caleb, Elizabeth, and John relaxing on my parent's back porch (doesn't John look thrilled?!?)
This is the view from my side of the van on the way to the beach
Bubba's -- where we ate dinner on Wednesday night
Don't know if you can tell but everyone (but me) is actually in this picture (Jonathan and Nathan out in the ocean; Caleb at the edge of the water; John and Elizabeth playing in the sand)