Friday, January 5, 2018

Just Some Random Thoughts Five Years Later

(At some point, I really should write a blog post introducing Penelope Quinn Little to this blog, just so that she thinks that I was aware of her existence. ;)

Shawn ran off to the deer lease tonight with his Dad last minute, so I had the pleasure of putting the kids to bed alone. Lex was already asleep downstairs, so I carried him to his bed and got him all tucked in. Easy peasy.
Penny had been asleep, but was now screaming and crying in the hallway- clearly she had been woken up and was extremely unhappy about it. I carried her to my room, changed her diaper (read: wrestled an alligator), and she was yelling at me to "toggle" her (snuggle), so I handed her her Rocky Raccoon me-me and gladly obliged.
She fell asleep almost immediately, and I just stared at her little toddler face, mouth open breathing.
I just can't get over the fact that in two months, she will be three years old. She forms whole sentences now, repeats every word (Note to self- write about Pitch Perfect incident) and can clearly tell me what she needs at this point in her life.
Some things have gotten easier, especially here lately. It's a conflicting stage to be have lived in chaos- true, utter, sanity-threatening chaos for so long, and for things to start to feel more stable. It's almost like an identity crisis. I'll gladly move out of this stage of life, but I'm having to re-teach myself some key things that most adults don't lose. Having a rhythm to household tasks and chores, eating healthy because I have some time to meal plan, exercise again. It's so great, and don't get me wrong- life is still chaotic (I think with 4 kids it always will be), but I'm starting to not wish away every day anymore.
And that's when it hit me, just like everyone always said it would. I wished to go back in time for just a millisecond and hold little, tiny, sweet baby Penny again. To have her squishy little cheeks and gingerish hair in my arms again.
I'm going to be real honest for a sec here. I don't remember much of the past few years. It both scares and saddens me, but when I go into self-preservation mode (i.e. the past 3 years), my memory takes a backseat. Thank the Lord for Facebook, Timehop and Instagram.
In that moment, I grappled for one real, solid memory of holding baby Penny, and came up short.
And then the mom-guilt hit so hard. Why did I wish that time away? Why did I get so mad when seasoned moms said the old "You'll wish for these days back!" Why did I bury my head in the sand, and just survive instead of enjoy and hold and relish?
And then, almost as if it's becoming second nature, I gave myself some grace.
"Those were h-a-r-d times, friend. (Yes, I call myself friend in my head.) You for sure did the very best that you could. Lex was so freaking hard to handle- so angry and difficult at times. Birdie was so freaking hard to parent- she would hit and destroy and just be a disaster. And then you threw in another baby. While you were living with your parents (thank God for them) and building a new house (SO stressful!!!) You have dealt with unimaginable panic attacks and anxiety since Lex's birth. You had to go into survival mode to do just that- survive. You're coming out of that, but you won't shame the woman you've had to be the past few years to get through those years."

Grace is so good, and so healing. Jesus extends it to us, and may we learn from him and extend it to ourselves also. On the daily.

Also- I'm going to rock the teenage years. I can just feel it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The One Where I Can Write About My Labor and Delivery And Never Think About It Again...

Dear, Sweet Lex. My darling, darling boy. As your mother, I never want you to experience any type of pain that can be described as "agony". Having said this, you will never really know enough about what women go through to ever really appreciate what I have just gone through to get you on this earth. And that's a little frustrating. Just know that when you are old enough to make your own money, I expect flowers every year on your birthday. Yes, YOUR birthday. :)

So, throughout this pregnancy I had Braxton Hicks contractions (pretty much from the get go), but when I hit 38 weeks they started to feel different. For a few days, I had contractions that would come and go, getting so intense and close together at times that we thought "this is it!" and even packed and got in the van one time, only to have them stop completely. It was a very confusing couple of days! On Thursday, March 7th at around 2am, I woke up and felt like my water had broken. I walked around a little, and sure enough it had! I called the midwife who was on call, and she said if I wasn't having consistent, uncomfortable contractions then I could stay home for a while to labor, but to call back around 8am if things hadn't picked up. 
Around 7am I started having some slightly uncomfortable contractions, but nothing too intense so I waited until 8am to call again. I called, and they recommended that I go ahead and come in to the hospital around 9am. So we got up and packed, shipped the girls off to Mother's Day Out with Granna and Rae Rae, and headed to Texas Children's Pavilion for Woman (after picking up breakfast, of course:). We got there, got checked in, settled into a Labor and Delivery room and waited a few minutes for the midwife to get there. Granna, Rae Rae and Auntie L (with Norah) met us there, too. Dawn was the midwife on call that day, so she was the one who would be delivering Lex. She checked me at around 10am and said that I was barely dilated to one cm, and that Lex was at a -5 station...he was basically floating and not at all engaged or "dropped". 
Dawn said she recommended that we go ahead and start pitocin even though she knew I didn't want pitocin this time around. She said we could wait an hour or two to start it to see if I could get my contractions going a little stronger, but since I had been contracting for days with nothing to show for it, she felt that pitocin was inevitable and delaying it would only make me more tired.
I agreed to pitocin, but we discussed the possibility of an epidural if I felt like the pain became unmanageable. I remembered Charlotte's birth with pitocin a little too clearly and wanted an "out" if I felt like my labor became too intense.
We started pitocin at around 11:30, and it definitely felt like labor, but was still bearable at that point. At around 2:30pm they felt like I wasn't progressing fast enough so they bumped up my pitocin. From that point on, my contractions were beyond painful. Almost immediately, I felt like I needed to push. Dawn checked my progress, and flat out refused to tell me what I was dilated to (which was SO maddening. In retrospect, there were many things I was unhappy about and things that could have been handled differently.) I found out later I was only dilated to 4cm. I did at this point ask for pain meds in my IV and got something that I can't remember the name of. I just remember thinking that it made life so happy and really made me feel like I could do it. And then *literally* ten minutes later it had worn off. I spent the next 2-3 hours crying, yelling, a scene from a movie where the woman in labor is very loud and everyone on the floor is scared to death to have their baby. It was pure agony. At some point, Shawn asked Dawn if we could go ahead and get an epidural. I gladly agreed and asked to get the ball rolling. Dawn said she would make me a deal. I told her I knew how their deals worked...she would stall on the epidural just long enough for me to have the baby, and I assured her that I wanted the epidural. She said that they would start the IV fluids necessary for the epidural and that once those had gone through, then they could call the anesthesiologist, and it would take him about 30 minutes to get here from that point. I remember thinking at that point "It should NOT take that long!", but I was pretty much out of my mind from pain and so I just agreed. At some point during this process, Granna and Rae Rae couldn't take it anymore and had to leave, but Auntie L stayed by me with Shawn (or Daddy...I forget what vantage point I'm writing this from now...) and held my hand and encouraged me (which I remember being a little bossy about. I clearly remember crying and asking "Will someone please tell me that I can do this??" after every. single. agonizing. contraction.) I ended up progressing to an 8 about 45 minutes later, and was ready to push about 20-30 minutes after that, so I never did get that epidural. When it was time to push, Auntie L ran out of the room, and I had to lay flat on my back because Lex's head could not get under my pelvic bone. I only pushed for about 5 minutes, and I finally understood what some of my friends meant when they said that pushing brought them relief. I finally got to meet my sweet boy. It was, of course, all worth every moment. There were just a few moments I would rather forget. :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yep! She's Two.

If I only end up posting twice a year (soon to be three times) on my kid's birthdays, that's okay with me... being a mom doesn't afford me much extra time to blog about the children I am always chasing. It means I've got more important things to be doing. Also, I'm super unorganized and quite often unmotivated :)
So this post is all about my little Birdie...
Sweet Birdie. I would like to say "How are you two already?!", but I feel like you are every day of two years old. You have been quite a trip since birth. You do one thing amazingly well (many things, but this in particular is an art form): you keep us on our toes! We never know what to expect from you....if you are going to hit, kiss, jump off of something, smile the biggest crazy smile, or go from barely speaking to complete sentences. You do everything in your own time, that's for sure. Here is what you currently do:
-Talk. A lot! You repeat everything, and literally went from saying a handful of words to speaking in sentences. You love to say "NO NO Doggie!" every chance you get, "Westie!" (or "Baby Westie!" You take that 8 week age difference seriously), You sing Taylor Swift "We are Never Getting Back Together" and have perfect timing when she sings "Like........EVER." You also love to sing "Happy To you!" (happy birthday to you),  "Thank you God" before meals, "Cold Ousiiiiiiiide" (Baby It's Cold fact, you don't ever say something is "cold"...It's always "cold ousiiiide"),
-You LOVE your Yi Yi. If she gets in trouble, you run over to me, yell "NO! Yi Yi!!" and run back to your sister, shush and pat and hug her, then run back to scold me again. Repeat 10 times. You are also a typical little sister. You love to terrorize Lorelai, and will hit her, then kiss her and love her, then five minutes later bite her, etc. You're lucky she's so passive or you'd be getting a beat down quite often :)
-You also love your Westie and Baby (Norah) and LOVE to mother them. You treat Weston like he is years younger and needs your help with everything. You constantly bring him his sippy cup and ask if he needs help. You're also doing your best to show your Auntie up as a mother. You are always bringing Norah her blanket, trying to take her from Auntie L, and shushing and patting her. You are doing a lot better at obeying commands so I'm getting less scared about you smothering your baby brother.
-You have no idea what's about to happen in your life, but you always kiss my tummy and say "baby!" and if I ask where brother is, you rub my tummy. I have some of Baby Lex's blankets and clothes in your closet, and you love going in there and holding "Me-me brubber!" (brother's me-me blanket). You are no doubt going to be over the moon for him. I've had some people say that you're probably going to have a hard time not being the baby or getting as much attention once Lex is here, but I know for certain you won't miss a beat. I'm betting you won't even realize anyone in the world exists besides him once he's here. You will finally have your own baby.
-Speaking of babies, you LOVE baby dolls. You carry them around, shush them, rock them, check their diapers for poopoo (not kidding) and use real wipes to change their diaper. You stroll with them in their stroller and put them down to go "night night" in their pack and play. You really, really love playing with most any toys, but babies are certainly your absolute favorite. You even play "airplane" with them the way Beeeeeen (Ben) plays with you, flying them around the room and making whooshing sounds.
-You are a fairly good eater. You really, really love cheese and will eat that anytime. Other than that, you're a little hit or miss, but not too terrible. You'll usually eat at least half of whatever we give you.
-Although you seem to be slowly outgrowing it, for a while we swore you had pica. You wanted (REPEATEDLY) to eat soap, hand sanitizer, wipes (you still love to suck on wipes), and deodorant. You're old enough to understand that you shouldn't eat these things now, but sometimes you will still sneak off for a snack. Gross. :)
-After probably the most exhausting year of my life, as I've mentioned, you are finally starting to understand obedience and consequences. It has really made my life easier. Instead of being totally crazy and out of control, you will for the most part obey yes and no commands. I remember with Lorelai thinking that it wasn't "two" that was hard, it was right before two. So hopefully we are settling into a less psychotic time period :)
-You have almost all of your baby teeth, minus your second molars. All four of your canines are coming in right now, which has been fabulous. You've had some SUPER cranky days, but who wouldn't. That's a lot of sharp teeth to come through at once.
-You love your "Dat!" SO much. when he gets home, you dance and scream until he picks you up. Most mornings, you wake up and say "Where Daddy goooo? He seepin? He wake up?" and I love it. You are perfectly happy with him and just being with him and letting momma rest.
-You of course love the rest of your family, also. They know you love them and think you're so funny when you say their name and want to be with them.
You bring us so much happiness, and it totally outweighs the exhaustion that accompanies taking care of you (thank goodness, or we'd never get babysitters! :) Happy second birthday, Birdie!
 A few snapshots from the past year...

 First time to pull up in the crib:
 Playing on the iPad...
 In Tennessee!

 In Hot Water Springs, Arkansas (on our way home from TN):

 First wasp sting (from crawling in Lance's dog igloo) :(
 Waiting for BBQ outside at Franklins (Austin, Tx):

After busting your nose by falling in the fish pond in our backyard (that Yi Yi both caused and rescued you from...she moved the gate and let you by the pond, but dragged you out when you fell in head-first):
 At Rae Rae and Uncle Ben's wedding!
 Christmas party at school!

 You like to kiss the baby on the wall (aka yourself):

 Angry bird!

 Mr Socko! You like to put socks on your hand and "bite" people with it. It hurts!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Five. (Started on 11/13/12, posted 1/2/2013. I'm a slow writer.)

My Sweet Lorelai,
Today, somehow, you turned five years old. It seems like you've been here with us forever, and at the same time, I feel like the last five years have flown by. I'm going to try to describe you, but you are so many different things it is so difficult! I love, love, love who you are. I love your sweet disposition and compassionate nature. I love that you hold your sisters hand, and you like it. I love that you always want to give hugs and kisses, and that you still think I'm so cool.
You love your "Birdie" and hug and kiss her often. I am just starting to see signs of true "sister" behavior... you kick her out of your room sometimes, you boss her around and she screams at you, etc. I am doing my best to cut this behavior off quickly before it turns into true "Katie and Leslie: The Younger Years", although you seem to be more loving then either of us ever were :) If I let the two of you try to duke it out, you are always the one that ends up coming to me crying because Birdie hit/bit/scratched you...but then you forgive her instantly. You truly live in your own like to be left alone, but aren't necessarily the "independent" type who wants to do everything herself. You understand so much at this age and can have real conversations which is simultaneously fantastic and exhausting. You want so badly for everyone to get along and play together, and this usually makes you the peacemaker in social situations (although, you are a little girl and can get sucked into "mean girl" situations).
You are completely exhausting at bedtime (let's keep it real for a second here). You ask for a million things, you always say you're hungry, and you very frequently have "growing pains" (this I believe is legit since your daddy and I had them so bad growing up). It's never a simple "Time for bed!"'s always you begging for one more book, one more song, one more snack, etc. Please grow out of this.
Also, if we're making requests, please eat at dinnertime. You graze for about an hour and then we give up trying to force you to eat, but you're always "so hungry". At least you always start off so sweet, thanking me over and over for making you such a delicious dinner!
You love all of your Aunties, Uncles, and grandparents and are always excited to see them (and your buddies Weston and "sweet baby Norah", whom you have "fallen in love with").
You are very, VERY excited to meet your baby brother, especially since the first phrase that came out of your mouth when you found out I was pregnant was "I would be grateful if it was a boy!" You got your wish, and always want to feel him moving around and kicking.
You are so smart already and know your alphabet and sounds, can sound out some words, and can copy whole sentences. We are thinking and praying about whether to homeschool you or send you to private or public school. Your opinion on the matter? "I don't care where you send me to school...if it's private or public or homeschool, as long as I can pray to Jesus."
You fill me, your daddy-o and your Birdie with such joy.
We love you, our sweet Lorelai (or Yi-Yi as Birdie calls you).

 Hot Springs, AK:
 We are hand twins!
 Blue Bell Factory:
 Haircut! (after you gave yourself bangs...)
 A new baby on the way...

 After a REALLY rough bout of Hand/Foot/Mouth that included 4 straight days of not eating and hardly drinking anything :(
 Mani/Pedi with Harper!

Halloween: Amelia Pond and Doctor Who, of course!

 Lorelai and Norah:
 Birdie terrorizing you, trying to steal your food!

 Lorelai is 5! and trying out her new skates...

 Ears (re)pierced for your birthday:

And even though this was taken after your birthday, it's awesome.

 Happy Birthday!