Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sleep Like a Baby?!

Who came up with this phrase? It doesn't make any sense. Who would want to sleep like a baby?
Who would want to .......
- Fall asleep only while eating, sucking on a binky, being rocked or bounced.
- Or scream until you fall asleep
- Sleep with noise (fans, heartbeat, waterfall, ocean or whatever else works) and a vibrating bed
- Wake up every 2-3 hours to eat

I want to sleep like a toddler. Nolan has it made. I want to .......
- Go to bed with no fuss, no "routine"
- Sleep for at least 10 hours (I would pick different hours as he is right now going to bed around 8 and getting up around 6!)
- Take a nap after lunch for an hour or two.

If you haven't guessed Vivian is having sleep issues. (which means mommy is too!) She isn't really a horrible sleeper. I have heard of (and experienced) much worse, but with chasing Nolan, doing school and trying to keep up with the rest of our home life I am exhausted! I have been pretty grumpy with the kids and yelling much more than I would like. And of course as I am typing this last paragraph I am thinking "duh I can't do all this. This is an "opportunity" to admit I am not able and depend and trust the Lord for my needs. (including energy when there has not been enough sleep!)" Man how many times do I have to learn this lesson? (daily!) Darn independent Millers!

Monday, March 27, 2006

The sun is out!

It is a beautiful spring day in the 100 acres woods. It is amazing how quickly weather can change. Jake and Delilah were down this weekend and it was just ugly. Cloudy, cold, snow and hail and then the snow all melted and it was cold and muddy. I tease them that they bring the gross weather with them from NE Ohio. I think every time they have come we have had the worst weather!

Well today it is cool (50) but sunny. Just how spring should be! (ok it is till muddy but I can overlook that for sun!) I took all the kids out this morning. We looked at our "nature spot." That is a place we picked in January to observe how it changes during the year. I had Kellen pick four plants at the spot to draw. So today we went to look again and he drew them and wrote some comments about how they have changed. They haven't changed too much yet. We were surprised because along the driveway the brambles have small leaves on them already, but our spot is in the woods so we are blaming lack of sun.

Then we looked at the tadpoles in the ditches. That has been fun for the kids. There are so many hatched now. In a couple of spots it just looks like one big, squigly, black mass. Some of the first hatched ones are getting pretty big. It will be interesting to see how many actually survive.

Now Kellen and Lydia taking a walk down to the creek with the dog. Nolan and Vivian are sleeping. Glorious (and rare) peace and quiet! I am (obviously) blogging. I should be doing laundry (it never ends) or picking up toys (Jude, Lydia and Nolan had a grand time this weekend!) or various other chores on my list. I guess I am procrastinating. Better get to it now! Hope you are having a great sunny spring day!

Friday, March 24, 2006

A trip to the grocery store

Before Vivian was born I really thought that I would not try to go anywhere alone with all the kids for a long time. I often could barely handle shopping with the three. But the reality of life is, for many reasons, I have to go places and run errands when Tim isn't home. When Tim is home I cherish the little "family time" we get (see his blog even when he is home he is often not available) and I don't want to lose even more. And honestly often when he is home I am too beat to think about running to get groceries ect. So with all that said I have given up on the idea of not going places alone with the kids.

Yesterday we went to story time at the library. It is pretty easy to handle them there. It is a small library and there are mostly other parents there during story time. Kellen is happy to browse and read the whole time. Lydia is totally into the activities of the story time. Nolan will participate in some of the activities and "read" other books and flirt with the other moms there . (Did I tell you he is a people person?) Vivian naps during this time and is happy to nap in her car seat with all the activity going on. I did have to grab the car seat a couple times and go chase Nolan in the adult books, but no biggie!

Then I was brave (foolish?) and decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store. By this time we are usually eating lunch and Nolan goes down for a nap. Vivian is still sleeping but will be getting up soon. So I am trying to hurry. I got one of those double seater carts put Nolan and Lydia in the seats and Vivian on the cart. Kellen "helped" me push the cart. The kids did really well. The biggest issues was Kellen and Lydia arguing and Nolan yelling "daddy" through the dairy section (I don't know why) and kicking off the mud on his shoes through the checkout. Vivian slept peacefully until we were almost finished checking out. Shopping with four was really not much different than with three. The only thing that was more difficult was finding space in the cart b/c the car seat was in my way.

The reactions of other people at the store made me laugh though. Picture the cart with two in seats and one in the cart then add to it that this cart was one of the loudest carts I have ever heard. So as if the kids weren't enough to draw peoples attention I feel like I am being announced by bull horn with my squeaking cart. Most of the shoppers were senior citizens. I only saw two other kids in the store. They were there with their grandparents. Here are some of the reactions we heard,
- Walking around the corner we surprised the lady there who says "Oh my!"
- "Are they all yours?"
- At least three times "Wow you have your hands full!"
-"Oh look at the new baby!" (of course)
- "Is this you first trip out with them all?" I didn't realize it was so obvious! :)
And of course we saw lots of what Tim and I call the "raised eyebrow" look. The look that says, "Are you people crazy?" or "Ok I don't get you."

So that was our first adventure to the store. Things were crazy by the time we got home. We were all very hungry and Nolan fell asleep in the car for about 15 minutes but would not go back to sleep when we got home! I guess I have to work on my timing for errands. I did have the passing thought that if I sent the kids to school it would be a lot easier to run my errands! I guess that isn't a very valuable reason to stop homeshooling! :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

A table for 6?

We did it! We made our first trip out as a family of six. (We did go to church last Sunday, but I don't really count that) After church yesterday we decided to go out to eat. There is a new Quaker Steak & Lube in Charleston. Quaker Steak & lube is one of our favorite places to eat. Kellen, Tim and I love wings and it is always fun to look at all the cool stuff they have there.

Getting a table for 6 was a little weird, but I guess we will get used to it. The kids were awesome! Vivian slept the whole time. Can't ask for more from a two week old~! Nolan stayed content in the high chair which is a rare event. I think he was entertained by all the cars and people there. The place was very busy. Lydia also was happy to "people watch" and eat her corn dog. Kellen liked the "fun facts" in the menu and was in heaven to have BBQ sauce all over his face and hands.

The only chaos apparently happened while I was in the restroom. I heard that while I was gone Nolan flung his mac and cheese on the floor and Lydia almost flipped Vivian out of the car seat. I am guessing this must have happened while Tim was distracted by the WVU basketball game playing on the numerous TV's there. :)

All and all we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and family time. We did get a lot of "looks" though. I haven't decided how many of the "looks" were due to the new cute little baby with all the hair and how many were oh my they have four kids! Are they nuts? Four kids doesn't sound like that many kids. (to me anyway) A lot of our friends in Akron had three or more kids, and we know families that are much larger than ours, but it seems down here we are a rarity. Tim and I were talking about it the other night and could only think of two families we personally know here that has more than two kids. We were even thinking of people with grown kids.

Well the first trip was great and not much of an adventure. Unfortunately I don't think we can count on them all going this smoothly. Rats!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Done running to the doctor!

Vivians bili level is down again. Still not back to normal, but on it's way. So we are done with the blood work, bili blanket and doctors appointment. Yes! Those appointments were very draining, physically and emotionally. Thankfully my parents were able to watch the other kids or I would probably be a mental case right now.

I am looking forward to getting back into a normal (well as normal as we get!) schedule. I feel like I haven't spent any time with Kellen or Lydia in two weeks. Kellen's attitude is reflecting that!

Spring is here (ok officially on Monday) and we are loving it! We hear toads and birds singing all day long. The toads laid eggs in the ditches and now there are tadpoles to watch. Trees are budding, daffidols are in bloom, the weather is still a bit chilly but the sun is out. I love spring!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Moving in the Right Direction

Vivian's bili level is finally coming down. It is still high and they want to check her again on Friday, but at least it came down. We are still doing the blanket and sunny windows.

I didn't know what the blanket was either until we got it. It is phototherapy. It has a rectangular pad that gives off a blue light. You put it right on the baby's skin (back or belly). We put it inside her onesies. It helps it stay in place better. When we use it that way she has a blue glow. Nolan has a glow in the dark Care Bear. It is also a light blue. At night with the bili blanket Vivian looks like Nolan's Care Bear.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another update

We went to the Dr again today and her level is even higher! This is so frustrating!They put her back on the "blanket" and we have to go back again tomorrow AM. I was surprised that they didn't keep her today, but I am pretty sure if it doesn't at least level off tomorrow they will put her back in the hospital. I just don't get it. She seems to be doing so well eating, sleeping, alert, but still the level climbs!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Vivian update

Just a quick post to give an update. Vivian has jaundice. The other kids had it too but theirs were mild and cleared up easily and quickly. We have been to the doctor three times since we left the hospital (and we are going again tomorrow). Her heals are all bruised from the blood draws. Her billy level just keeps going up. She is getting close to the level where they will put her back in the hospital for treatments. It is frustrating and exhausting. Everything else is going really well with her and the family, but I'd appreciate your prayers for the jaundice. Hopefully tomorrow we will see the level go down. I will let you know!

Friday, March 10, 2006

We are home!

Vivian still found some "early" (previous post) It really was a surprise to everyone. I was convinced we would go to the 14th! I started with contractions on the 3rd (Friday) and they were irregular in intensity and spacing. This continued the whole weekend. I was s o frustrated and just knew I would have to put up with this "fake" labor until the 14th. Finally Sunday evening out of desperation Tim convinced me to call the doctor. He sounded doubtful but said the only way to be sure was to go to the hospital to be "checked"

Again I was sure this was a waste of time b/c this wasn't real labor. At the hospital they hooked me up to all the monitors and wouldn't you know I didn't have a single hard contraction the whole time I was on the monitor! The doctor checked me and said I have her dilated to 5 or 6! The nurse shot him the "are you sure?" look. He asked her to check and she said "oh at least 5 or 6 and almost totally effaced!" So we got prepped for the c-section!

We came home Wed afternoon. Tim has pictures posted on his blog if you haven't seen them yet and you can the see the hospital pictures at cabellhuntington.org Choose the online nursery.
I am a little sore and tired, but already feel better than I did before she was born. Vivian has some jaundice we are trying to take care of and of course we are fighting sleeping during the day instead of at night. We are still settling in and getting to know each other. The other kids have been very good and helpful too. So I just wanted to give you a quick update. More later.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

She Had the baby

Steph had the baby Sunday night. In case you don't read any other of the families blogs click here to read more and see some pics. There are more posts over there.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Patiently waiting

Ok an honest title would be trying to patiently wait! About a month ago Tim and I were convinced that this baby was coming early. Well baby . . . come and see us! We are running out of "early" At this point I am trying to wait patiently and be thankful that with a scheduled c-section there is a very real deadline and no unnecessary pain. (if I go into labor, I still have a c-section)

Oh but waiting is soooo hard. Was it like this with the others? I don't think so, but I am not sure. I think my memory plays tricks on me. I should have kept a journal before! One thing I do know is that I didn't have all this extra discomfort before. The end of this pregnancy has not only had the normal pregnancy discomfort, but I have been fighting this stupid head cold and sinus stuff all winter too. It is so frustrating! I want to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream and say "IT IS NOT FAIR!" Well maybe lay on my bed and throw a fit! If I got down on the floor to do it I might not be able to get up again! :)

The 14th is close. (I wish it were today!)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Extreme Personalities - Lydia (4)

Last week I shared how Nolan's personality is complex. Today I thought I would continue with Lydia. Lydia is our sweet sweet little girl. For those of you familiar with life languages, she is a responder! Her two most common nicknames are "girly girl" and "little momma."

She has been a "girly girl" from the beginning. She of course loves dresses especially when they are pink or purple. She is usually very polite. When I say "bless you" after she sneezes, she responds "thank you" One of the cutest polite things she does is instead of saying "no thank you" to something she will say "no please" I am not sure how she picked this up but it has stuck. And in the last year she has become very interested in makeup, nail polish and jewelry. Interests that have struck fear in her daddy. She is very pretty (I'm not biased am I?) and her baby chub has melted away to reveal a thin, long legged little girl. Tim has joked (I think he is joking) about gating the drive, getting a shot gun and only allowing interaction with preapproved boys! Of course she tells us she is going to marry Ezra (a friend from Akron) so maybe we won't have to worry! :)

At first she didn't like the nickname "little momma", but now she is like "ok I am a little momma and I like it!" The nickname came not because she is just like me. It came because of her kind and nurturing nature. She takes care of her baby dolls; feeds them, reads them stories, tucks them in bed (everyone's beds!), does their hair and sings them songs. She is very gentle with real babies and animals. She is so excited to help me with the new baby. (She is hoping for a girl by the way) She is very concerned about others. In the past week or so I have taken her alone to several places (hair cut, doctor ect) that give a small treat like a sticker or sucker. Everytime she has asked me or the employees if she could have something to take to her brothers! Wouldn't most siblings be rubbing it in, "look what I got haha you didn't?" I know I would have been! It is very common to hear her talking to her brothers telling them to be careful or trying to help them. Just today she told Kellen something he did was dangerous and he was going to get hurt.

Isn't she sweet? Now before your teeth rot on all the sugar, let me tell you this girl also knows how to stand up for herself. She takes no bullying from her big brother. She will get in his face and very firmly state her opinion and tell him how it is in no uncertain terms. She will do this with me too and I am left thinking "where did my sweet little girl go?" It is also very common to hear her say in a very firm tone, "Kellen you are not my boss!" She can also be very competitive.

Girly girl she is, but she is tough, doesn't mind getting dirty and bounces right back if she gets hurt. She wrestles and body slams Tim. She loves to ride on the tractor. She does her best to keep up with Kellen, Miles and Ashley when they all go on walks. She also wants Tim to shoot a deer for us to eat. When we see a deer or almost any other wild animal she says, "Daddy should have his bow to shoot it and kill it." Maybe that will change when he actually kills something, but she is pretty persistent.

Well that is my girl. Sweet and spicy all rolled into one. I wouldn't have it any other way. It is fun to watch them grow and develop. I am enjoying taking this time to reflect a little bit on the kids. Hope I am not boring you too much with it! Only one more to go! Ok two after the baby comes!:)