Happy 10th Birthday to my baby boy double-digit, best big brother, all-around great guy!

8 years old, August 2007

6 years old, July, 2005

4 years old, September 2003

2 years old, June 2001Wasn't he cute???


Tired, frustrated, confused, not knowing which way to turn....

....yep, that about says it all. Tired not so much physically as mentally but you get the picture. What's causing this dreary set of emotions? Other than trying to live with 6 kids day in and day out? Ha! Seriously, my kids are great, they really are, but there's so many of them and so little space in this house! Rainy days like today really magnify that! There's so much NOISE in this house, too, so that isn't helping. Baby crying, toddler wailing or babbling, big kids singing or fighting (of which they do more of the latter -- and John can REALLY wail -- unless you're talking about Elizabeth who does more of the former), and electronic devices running....it really gets to a person after a while (or at least it gets to me after a while). Throw in a phone call and doctor's appointment every now and then and occasionally the running of the washing machine and/or dryer which set in our kitchen so therefore cannot be ignored, and I feel like I live in the zoo! This, in and of itself, while an accurate description of my day, is not necessarily what has me confused and not knowing which way to turn. You see, there's this monkey on my back that I'd really like to get rid of but he's a stubborn little buggar! Amidst all this chaos, I'm supposed to be teaching my kids at home, remember? Sure, we didn't have a stellar year but I'm over that now. No one is pregnant around this house and Lydia is on a pretty predictable schedule except when she's not breathing correctly. So, I thought, after my Mom left, we'd "test drive" what life would be like with 6 of them here & trying to homeschool at the same time. Didn't have any lofty goals other than getting Caleb reading on a first grade level. Just wanted to get up in the morning and spend an hour MAX on school work (it's summer after all). Wanted to see us get into a routine with waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and doing school. Wanted to prove to myself (and those around me who seem to be waiting for me to fail) that I COULD do it, that I could take care of 6 kids (after all, it's not like they're NOT mine!) and homeschool them, too. Many, many, MANY other large families homeschool succesfully so why can't I? Can't really answer that question but our 2 week experiment certainly seems to be failing. Haven't gotten a lick of stuff done with anyone other than Nathan and it's not like my house is spectacularly cleaned, either. In fact, it's quite the contrary....So, here I am again, beating this dead horse. Except now I really don't think I can do it anymore. With quite the lump in my throat, I'm afraid it might be time to admit that I can't give my kids a decent education, operate a household with 8 people in it, and live to tell the tale. But what's the alternative? They have to go to school, right? That brings in a whole bunch of other questions.... Nathan's already mentioned being afraid of going to school -- afraid of bullies (his words, not mine), afraid of being made fun of, afraid of being overwhelmed with middle school. And then there's Caleb -- is he ready for first grade? I'm not exactly thrilled with putting him in kindergarten but I'm just not sure he's ready for first grade on the reading level and the maturity level. His feelings are very easy to break.... Surprisingly enough (or perhaps not), I'm not worried about Elizabeth who would be going into kindergarten. Little worried about John feeling left out, though. But what about the homework, getting everyone out the door on time, putting Nathan on a bus, etc, etc, etc. And would putting the older 3 in school really solve the my-house-is-falling-apart problem? After all, kindergarten is only half day so it'd mean a lot of running around still........

Surely it's clear to you now why I'm tired, frustrated, confused, and not knowing which way to turn, yes?


Four and Nineteen

Months that is....So sad to say I don't really have new pictures, though. :(

Little Miss Lydia turned 4 months old on July 2nd! Crazy, huh? She's doing great, for the most part. She's recently learned to roll over, right on cue for her age, and a big feat, if you ask me, since she doesn't sleep on her back (she's still sleeping in the bouncy or swing). We hit a rough patch recently with her breathing. She came down with a pretty bad cold while we were in Tennessee in June and has just hung on to her cough. While my Mom was here the first week of July, we could tell she was getting just a bit worse. Trip to the doctor on a Saturday revealed nothing....but by the following Wednesday (last week), it was obvious something was worse as I could hear her audibly wheezing. Still no sign of any kind of infection so the doctor put her on an inhaler. She was okay for a few days but then last Saturday, she was really bad and I ended up taking her to the doctor early that morning. They decided that she definitely responds better to the nebulizer treatments (a mask that vaporizes the medicine and is breathed in over the course of about 10 minutes as opposed to the inhaler which just sends 1 or 2 puffs of the medicine in through the mouth) so we gave those over the weekend every 4 (waking) hours. Yesterday was her 4 month check-up and the pediatrician said since she was not longer wheezing, we could stop the treatments every 4 hours and just give them when needed. Unfortunately she had to have one this morning 'cause she was stuck breathing too fast again which is why I had to take her in last Saturday. She was also congested in her nose today, too, so I'm hoping we're not about to take on another cold which will probably make things worse. We're in a watch-and-wait period to see if this is like the other kids who experience wheezing every now and then or if this could possibly be "real" asthma. Obviously, we're hoping for the latter.... She weighed 13 pounds, 2 ounces but I can't remember how long she was. Unless she continues to have breathing trouble or were to get sick in any way, she doesn't go back until September.

Timothy was officially 19 months old on the 6th and has changed a lot lately! Not necessarily physically but he's finally learned to walk! Thankfully, after his check-up yesterday, we've laid the talk of physical therapy to rest permanently! :) We're still working on getting speech therapy, though, although he did the cutest thing yesterday. While changing him, he pointed to his shoes, wrinkled his little nose, and said "oos". Funny that his first understandable word is shoes but hey, I'll take what I can get! He weighed 23 pounds which was the same thing he weighed last time, but he'd gained 1 1/2 inches, up to 32 1/2" now. He goes back in September for a weight check and for another well-check in December.


Big news!!!

Look at this beautiful baby!!!!

"Oh, almost, baby girl! Keep trying!!"

"There! You got it!!"


Doctors, doctors everywhere!

For the past 3 nights, we've been at doctor's offices but mostly for check-ups, not sickness, thank goodness! And actually the first 2 nights weren't doctor-doctor's at all but dentists. Nathan & Caleb were up first for their cleanings.... Mostly good reports of no cavities but they both definitely need a little work in brushing and flossing. Nathan still has 11 more baby teeth to loose and when most, if not all, of those are gone, we can talk about what we want to do -- if anything -- for the crookedness and gaps. Caleb has officially lost his 2nd baby tooth and other than needing more thorough brushing and flossing, is in good shape. Elizabeth and John were up on Tuesday night (FYI -- our dental clinic will only allow 3 at a time from the same family -- weird, I know -- so I chose to do 2 and 2 until we can do 3 and 3 but you have to be 3 years old to go to the regular clinic that has evening hours). Elizabeth, we found out, has loose teeth and the potential for 1 cavity but they think with more care while brushing and flossing, we might be able to fix that. John got the worst report of all....he has a pretty bad underbite. He's still quite young so they just said we'd watch it. I wonder what treatment for that involves?!?! And then there was this afternoon. It was only supposed to be Caleb's 5 and 6 year check-up (I was a little busy birthing Timothy when Caleb turned 5 and it just kept getting put off with all his health problems...then there came Lydia...). However, this morning when we got up, I noticed Lydia was wheezing so I called and added her to the mix. The on-call doctor on Saturday had said she thought Lydia just had a virus and while our actual pediatrician agreed, she was definitely wheezing. However, it was worse on the right side than the left so that seems to indicate that she's got a clump of mucous somewhere on that right side and when her air flows over that build-up, we hear the wheezing (gross!). The good news is that her cough is very "wet" meaning the junk is still moving while her lungs are not meaning no bronchitis or start of pneumonia. Her ears were also clear so we're stuck with "it's just a virus" again but we are giving her albuterol to help the wheezing. Caleb's check-up went very well! Caleb, Elizabeth, & John are all within 5 inches and 5 pounds of each other, LOL! Caleb's completely average while Elizabeth and John are above average for their ages, making them all basically the same size. Caleb did VERY well getting his (overdue) shots!!! Very proud of him!

Now, a kinda funny story if you know Caleb and his attitude well.... Since Caleb missed his 5 year check-up which would have done his vision screening, they did it today. I could hear them in the next room and I heard Caleb calling out letters...then I heard the nurse tell him to uncover that eye and cover the other one. Caleb said he didn't want to. The nurse encouraged him but then he said he didn't want to 'cause he couldn't see out of that other eye. The nurse was like "No, remember you just read these letters? Let's read them again with your other eye," to which Caleb responded "I TOLD YOU I CAN'T SEE OUT OF THAT EYE!". The nurse then gave up. Later when we were in the room alone, I asked Caleb if he had trouble with one of his eyes. He said yes, that he couldn't see out of one eye. I asked him how long that had been going on and he said "Oh, forever". (Insert giggle here) Then I asked him why he hadn't told me and his reply was "I just didn't want you to know"! (Yep, another giggle here) Caleb can really come up with some doozies sometimes! [And yes, we're getting that checked out....both he & Elizabeth have eye dr appts on 8/21.]

Quiet Thursday other than hounding people calling people to see if they're coming to a church function, Friday will be grocery day, and then a cHaOtIc weekend! Saturday, I have errands to run getting ready for a baby shower, then we have TWO birthday parties which means we'll miss potluck at church with our potential-new-associate pastor and his family. Then Sunday we have lunch after church for the 2nd week in a row so I'll have to make 2 pounds of pasta salad sometime on Saturday. Good thing I'm a SuperMom. I don't know how it'll all get done....


Surgery Day

Yesterday was Timothy's surgery day. The plan was to do a CT scan of his ears & his chest, then move him to the OR to remove his adenoid (yes, there's only 1 -- did you know that?) and do the bronchoscopy. Things went mostly according to plan.... Timothy did WONDERFULLY between 6 a.m. when we got there and 8, when we took him down to CT. Happy as a lark! The CT scan was something completely new to us and it was something I hope to never experience again. In the past, we've always handed an awake, mostly happy Timothy off to an OR nurse. With the CT yesterday, we walked him all the way down to CT and were "allowed" to stay while he was being put to sleep. That was something I never want to see again. Timothy's heart started racing, I could hear him crying even though they had the mask on his face, and once he fell asleep, you could see him almost gasping for breath. Scary stuff, I tell you! That was right at 8 so Jonathan and I went and had breakfast together and then parted ways. Jonathan headed off to work and I headed off to the surgery waiting room. I wasn't there long before a doctor from radiology stopped by to tell me that there was some mis-communication...something about you can't do a chest CT with him intubated but you couldn't do the ear CT without him being intubated. I don't think I quite understood it all but it basically boils down to the fact that they got a decent ear CT but not a decent chest CT. Haven't heard any results from the ear CT. That doctor told me I'd have to return for a new chest CT later on. Then, just minutes after 9, Timothy's ENT came in to tell me his part was all done! He said that Timothy's adenoid was huge, that we had definitely done the right thing removing it. Then he said that Timothy airway looked wonderful!! Still a small airway but growing in proportion to his body size. The good news just kept coming -- he told me that he wants to see Timothy in 6 months but that if he's still growing well, eating well, then we can just keep putting another bronchoscopy off into the future until we need to do it but that there's a good possibility he'll never have to have another one! And, as if that wasn't good enough, he said that since Timothy's bronchoscopy went so well, he doesn't see a need to repeat that chest CT after all! If, however, we were to need to do a bronchoscopy in the future, then we'll repeat that CT. He said that he thinks Timothy will eventually outgrow the noisy breathing he has when he's sick. Maybe around age 4 or 5, he said. They called me back to recovery to sit with Timothy (something else I had never done before) and that was nerve racking for a while. He was clearly uncomfortable and he kept trying to get in positions in my arms that I couldn't hold him in. After several minutes, they just decided to go ahead and give him some morphine but by the time they got back with that, he settled down so we didn't give it to him and we really didn't have any problems after that. They went ahead and moved him to a room and told me I could try to give him juice around 11:30 but only a little at a time. Yeah, right! Timothy was STARVED! He drank 8 ounces of juice very quickly so I ordered him some mashed potatoes and green beans for lunch (his fav foods). He didn't eat very much but he did eat and didn't seem to have any trouble. He took another 4 ounces of juice and then slept off and on between 12 and 3:30. He was very aggravated with the IV tubing and the Pulse Ox monitor tubing that kept getting entangled. But his breathing was perfect and he didn't even have any real "side effects" that we were told to expect like a snoring sound or nausea/vomitting. I tried to take him to the playroom at 4 but he was sooooo mad because he couldn't pick up any toys with that IV still in his hand. So we were there less than 10 minutes. Good thing, though, as we hadn't been back to the room but about 10 minutes when his doctor stopped by (we had been told to expect him between 5 and 6 and this was barely 4:30!). Then the best part, the dr cleared us to go HOME! After they got those 2 tubes off of him, he was his happy little self. Ate part of a rice crispy treat, drank some more juice, had a few bites of mac & cheese (that stuff was NASTY!), and polished off pudding. We left at 5 and were home around 5:30! It was so nice to bring him home and not have to be stuck in that tiny room all night! You'd never know he had anything done! He's as normal as it gets. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!



Candace had her baby! LILY RENEE was born around 9 a.m. after just about 6 hours of labor! Congratulations Candace, Matt, Austin & Justin! We love you and can't wait to meet this precious little girl.