Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jo vs The Laundry

I was in the kitchen cleaning,  when I saw Josiah folding the wash cloths and hand towels out in the living room. (Yes, I had a pile of laundry on my couch waiting to be folded).  He told me he was going to fold some laundry.  I told him that would be wonderful and continued cleaning.  Then I saw him grab a big towel to fold.  Now,  last week was the first time I taught him how to fold a big towel, and I only showed him once or twice, thinking he will never remember all the steps.  I completely underestimated his abilities, because he did a fantastic job.  I am not talking about an easy fold either,   I am talking about hotel style folding.  (I worked in a hotel during high school and some college)  I can not believe he remembered how to fold it like that.  He forgot one step, but I don't think anybody would have noticed, or even thought a four year old folded the towel.  I am so proud, I have to post a picture.

2:00 am

What was that?  Was that screaming I heard?  Something definitely fell.  Wait, now I hear some sort of humming noise.  Is one of the kids sleep walking?  What is all that ruckus? 
It's 2:00, am and I happen to hear something fall, most likely a book off Josiah's bed, that's not unusual.  What is unusual is I hear some humming coming from the kitchen or living room.  It's not coming through the baby monitor.  So I wake Justin up and tell him I am hearing strange noises.  (Again it's 2:00 am I am not thinking clearly, so my mind goes to the worst, someone is trying to break in.)
We get up,  I go to check on Juliet first, while Justin checks the living room and kitchen.  Juliet  is sound asleep.  I move on to Josiah and Jada.  I walk into their room fully expecting to see one of them  out of bed.  Nope, both in bed sound asleep.  HMMMM, that's weird.  Was I in such deep sleep that I was dreaming the noises?  I go back out to the living room, embarrassed that I woke Justin up.  When I get back to the living room, Justin says all he sees is a cow elk out by the car.  We turn to head back to bed when I hear the humming sound.  It was the cow elk talking!  Then we climb back in bed, and we hear the bull elk bugle, there's the screaming sound I heard.  There were some cow elk and a bull elk walking around right outside our house, making a ruckus. Now it's 3:30 am and I'm wide awake. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Volunteer EMS Training w/PHI helicopter

This post was written by my amazing husband, Justin.

Today was one of mixed emotions for me.  On one hand I was unhappy that I was going to be away from my family for several hours on a day that I normally spend with them.  However, on the other hand I was given the opportunity to train with one of the rescue helicopter companies, PHI, that support our local volunteer EMS.  I enjoy serving my community by volunteering as an EMT as well as chief of our Volunteer Fire Department.  It can be very difficult to see people in their worst moment, but also very rewarding to be able to help those in dire situations.
Our EMS department has relied on the help of PHI  to get our patients to definitive care as fast as possible.  They have always been one of our greatest assets.  This was an opportunity for us, as a department, to train and talk with the flight medic, flight nurse, and pilot in a non-emergency environment and become more familiar with what happens to our patients, after they leave our care.
I have also had the unfortunate privilege of being a passenger in on of these helicopters.  The work these people do in such a small space is amazing. 
If you happen to know anyone in the emergency medical services I would ask that you thank them for what they do.  You never know when you might be in need of their help.



                                                                                              Grammy and the helicopter

4:00 am

It's 4:00 am and I am so rudely sweetly awaken by the pitter patter of little feet. I try to ignore it at first thinking I am just hearing things.  Then I hear the little voices.  I try to tell myself maybe they are just talking in their sleep, but then it grows louder.  I can no longer ignore it, for fear they will wake the one baby still left sleeping.  I walk in their room to two wide awake little ones.  There is NO WAY they are going back to sleep now.  I tell them to play quietly, that it is very early.  I go back to my room, and turn on their monitor thinking I will be able to get a few minutes of sleep as long as I can hear them.  Of course I can't sleep, I am too worried someone might cut a finger off, or start the house on fire. (At 4:00 in the morning, I'm not thinking clearly)   So here we are. All three are awake now, because it was only a matter of time before they woke Juliet up. I think I will have some coffee now, and enjoy the early morning time with all my babies.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

26 Week Update

This has been a really fantastic week pregnancy wise.  My back has felt great. Which really is amazing. The varicose veins are unfortunately getting worse. The exhaustion I felt during my first trimester is back, but is easily handled.  Thankfully all the kids take a nap at the same time, which in turn gives me about an hour and a half to rest.  If I don't get that time to rest, I am asleep by 8:00 or 8:30.

25 Weeks             29 Weeks
27 Weeks             30 Weeks
28 Weeks
 

Jada

I took Jada to the Homeopathic Dr. yesterday.  We were able to look at some blood under the microscope, which was pretty neat.  She still has a little fungus going on, and some digestive issues.  I already knew she was having these issues, without looking at her blood.  It was nice that somebody else was able verify was I already knew.  So we are going to, up her probiotics, give her a few supplements and up her beet intake.   She is doing really well compared to a year ago.  Hopefully next year all the issues in her gut will be healed.

This is the probiotic we use.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Laundry Race


This week I have lost this great laundry race. It seems I may have fallen behind.  I wish I could say this pile of laundry is the whole weeks worth, sadly that is not the case. I folded a pile just like it the other day, and there is more waiting to be washed.  What is that you say,  why don't I do a load a day and fold it immediately when it is dried? That is a splendid idea, it might just work.  I may have lost the race this week, but I need not worry because next week, the race starts again.  I will be victorious.


My little "helper"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Circle Time Schedule

  • Devotions
    • After devotions we have complete silence for one minute. I set a timer for this. They practice listening during this one minute. (How can you hear the Father if you are always talking?)
  • Calendar
    • Counting
    • Day
    • Month
    • Year
    • Weather
  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Going on a Bear Hunt (Action Song)-Video coming soon
  • ABC's
    • Amazing Action Alphabet by The See Hear Do company ( This is fantastic.  It puts the letter and sound it makes with an action.  My kids love it)  We do a letter a week.
  • Read a book out loud to them (Sometimes I choose, sometimes they do)
  • Go over the house rules
  • I usually go over a simple worksheet like rhyming, matching, patterns, etc
  • Practice writing letter of the week.  (We don't do this everyday.)

I don't always do bear hunt, but I try to do some little action song or finger play, like Bunny Foo Foo, Where is Thumbkin, Five little Monkey's, etc.
I also have a felt board I sometimes use, and we read lots of books through out the day.

I found an amazing book called, The Complete Daily Curriculum for Early Childhood. It has tons of different craft ideas, recipes, songs, different age appropriate activities, etc. I think I have the first addition.  The reviews were better for the first addition. However, if you go with the first addition, you will probably have to get it used.  I did buy a used copy, but it was in great shape.  It was well worth it.  I wish I had it when I was teaching Preschool.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jada Part Three

    Read Jada Part One
    Read Jada Part Two
    Read Jada Part Four
     Sometime during all her health issues, Jada developed eczema.   It was getting so bad that I would have to use a prescription just to get it cleared up.  She also developed a yeast issue. YIKES!

      A month or two after I stopped breastfeeding her, she developed a small bladder infection.  So guess what she had to take to get rid of it.  That's right more antibiotics.  Shortly after she did her round of antibiotics, I notices a weird rash "down there"  Turns out she had a yeast infection.  As soon as we would get it cleared up, she would get another one.  This happened over and over.  

     We finally took her to a homeopathic doctor, who suggested we have blood work done on her.  The blood work would determine what she was allergic to.  So we had the blood work done. When I looked at the results, I thought, "What in the world am I going to feed her?"
It showed she was having a bad reaction to anything with gluten in it, most dairy, some nuts, and a few other things.

     So we started our gluten free, dairy free adventure.  After about a week, I started to notice a reduction in the eczema and severity of the yeast infections.  After two weeks on the diet, she got the worst yeast rash/infection I had ever seen.  It went up her belly, and down her legs.  The eczema seemed like it was everywhere and severe in some places.  I thought no way is this happening.

     I was able to get her eczema cleared up with some medication. The homeopathic Dr. gave her some natural supplements to take, we also had to use Monistat on her. (Which was approved by our family doctor at the start of her yeast rash/infections, also it's not used in the exact same way as on adults)

     I continued with the diet.  Since then, Jada has not had ANY eczema outbreaks.   Sometimes she will sneak a bit of food that has gluten in it. As a result she will get a bit of a yeast rash/infection, but nothing like we were dealing with before we started the diet.

     I have since added some dairy back into her diet, but not much. I am hoping this will be the end of her health issues.  I don't know if she will have to be gluten free for the rest of her life, but for now she will stay gluten free. 



Our Schedule

Here is our Daily Schedule
6:30 Bible Time with Dad
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Dad goes to work
8:05 Get dressed
8:30 Clean Up
9:15 Circle Time
9:45 Snack Time
10:00 Outdoor Play
12:00 Lunch Time
12:30 Nap Time
2:00 Quiet time/reading/Josiah School (He is working on the Funnix program)
2:15 Snack Time
2:30 Play Time
4:00 Help Mom Fix Dinner
5:30 Eat Dinner
6:15 Bath Time/PJs
6:45 Quick Clean Up
7:00 Brush Teeth
7:15 Bed Time


This is an example of the schedule we have hanging on our wall. I put pictures by the clock, so they can look at the pictures and know what to expect next.    I am hoping to get all the picture icons switched over to pictures of the kids doing the activities.       

Little BIG helpers

When I do laundry Josiah and Jada fold all the wash cloths and hand towels. They also put them away.
After many attempts of trying to get a good picture,  I gave up and settled on this one.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

These delicious cookies don't require any flour.  They are very easy to make, and turn out soft and chewy.

2 Cups Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
Two eggs
Splash of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients.  Drop by tablespoon fulls on cookie sheet.  Press down with fork.  Bake 10-15 minutes. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

25 Weeks Pregnant

I am nearing the end of my second trimester!  The swelling has started.  It's usually worse on days I have to go to town.  As long as I don't try to over do it, I feel pretty good.

26 Weeks           30 Weeks
27 Weeks
28 Weeks
29 Weeks

Juliet's Birth Story

If only they could have all been like this.

     When I went to my prenatal appointment that morning, I had the midwife check me.  She suggested, since I looked like I would go into labor soon, we strip my membranes (do not confuse this with breaking the membranes).  That way, I could already be in town when labor started. If in fact striping my membranes helped start the process. 

      I called Justin to meet me in town, and we got a hotel.  Meanwhile, I had been feeling pretty crampy but nothing significant.  At about 5:00 I told Justin I thought I was in labor and we should head to the hospital.  When we got there, they confirmed I was in fact, in labor. There weren't any rooms open for me, so I stayed in the triage room and actually fell asleep.  Yes, I can't believe it either.

     Finally a room opened up, and I decided to have my water broke. The midwife broke my water.  She then told me she was going to grab something to eat, but would be back later.
The contractions grew stronger and stronger.  After about two hours of contractions, my body started pushing.  I told Justin to get the nurses. A nurse came in to check me.  She told me I was only 6 cm.  I told her, no my body is pushing.   She smiled and said, "Yeah, you're feeling a lotta pressure, huh".  Then she left the room.   Two contractions later my body pushed so hard I couldn't stop it.  The nurses must have heard me moan, because they came running in. When they checked me Juliet was already crowning.  My body pushed again, and out came her head.  At this point they told me to stop pushing. I told them I am not.  Then my body pushed one last time, and there she was.  Nobody caught her, the bed did that job.  I was able to see her being born, because of the position I was in.  It happened so fast, they couldn't make me get into the standard pushing position.  My midwife got there just in time to deliver the placenta.  The nurse who checked me promised I was only 6 cm when she checked. Juliet was six pounds one ounce and 19 inches. I think the worst part was the contractions I had after Juliet was born.

     Easiest birth yet.  Maybe I will get to have another birth like this one.

Jada's Birth Story
Josiah's Birth Story

Jada's Birth Story

      It was snowing heavily when I woke up to use the restroom.  Justin got up also to add more wood to the fire.  When I laid back down I felt an uncomfortable pop.  I told Justin I thought my water just broke.  He asked if I was sure, I said yes.  He called his parents to come over to watch Josiah. 
     My mom had already come down, and was staying out in a camper.  So, Justin, my mom, and I all loaded up in our truck.  We started our trip to the hospital.  I should tell you the hospital is an hour and 15 minutes away in good conditions.
     There was 18 inches of snow on the road and still snowing.  The snow plows had not even been out yet.  I thought to my self, "It will be OK, we have time, it took Josiah 17 hours to come out."  Then the contractions grew stronger, and stronger.  Pretty soon they were three minutes apart and I thought to myself, "We are not going to make it." I wanted him to drive faster,  but he couldn't. It would have been too dangerous. 
     Finally after two and a  half gruelling hours, we made it. We got checked in, and in our room.  I asked the nurse if I could stand up, and she said no.  What I didn't know at the time, was this particular nurse had never seen a vaginal birth, only cesareans.  Finally another nurse came in, and I asked her if I could stand, she told me yes.
   A few contractions later, I asked if they could check me.  Sure enough I was ready to push.  After 10-15 minutes of pushing, Jada joined the world sunny side up. She was 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches.  We had only been at the hospital for 30 minutes.
     This was a much easier birth than Josiah's.  I couldn't believe how great I felt afterwards.

Juliet's Birth Story
Josiah's Birth Story






Jada Part Two

     Twelve months after the hospital stay, Jada fell off the couch.  She immediately started to cry, but when I held her I noticed she was shaking.  A little while later, I noticed she was guarding her arm a bit.  I called my mother-in-law over to help assess the situation.  She recommended I take her in to the ER, I agreed.  So we packed up the kids and headed to the ER.  She ended up having a fractured arm.  It seemed a little odd to me that she actually broke it, but the ER doctors said it happens all the time.  So, I shoved that feeling aside.
  
     Three weeks later Josiah and Jada were playing in their room.  I heard crying so I went to check on them.  Jada was standing there crying, so I picked her up and immediately noticed she was shaking again.  I calmed her down, and set her down on the floor.  When she started walking I noticed she was guarding her other arm.  I thought no way could she have broke her other arm.  We took her back to the ER, and sure enough she broke her other arm.   I remember standing there crying thinking how could this happen. Then the ER doctors sat us down. I thought, "Oh no they think we are beating her."  On the contrary, they told us they believed we were good parents and to be ready for rude comments from other people.  Again they told us this sometimes happens to kids. Now I really felt something was wrong.
    
     The day she got her last cast off she started favoring her shoulder.  So we took her to our amazing family Doctor. Sure enough, she had broken her clavicle.  He ordered some blood work, and when the results came back, we found something was wrong.  Her vitamin D levels were extremely low. She had Rickets. He referred us to a pediatric orthopedist, three hours away. 
When we got to the pediatric specialist's office, they did a full body x-ray. They did this to make sure there were no more broken bones, and to make sure she didn't have any other bone disorders.

     They went ahead and ordered a dex a scan to check for bone density.
The dex a scan results were a little low, so they said they said to retest in six months.

     How did this happen? I started reading trying to figure out what went wrong.
What I found was, sometimes breast fed babies have low vitamin D levels. But this low? I was still breast feeding her, and she was exclusively breast fed until 8 or 9 months.
  
     Now I believe it's because of all the antibiotics and antiviral medication she had at five weeks that ended up messing up her little system.  I can't be sure, I am not a Dr., but  a lot of signs point that way.
I started supplementing her with vitamin D immediately after we found out her levels were low.  Her vitamin D levels came up, and we haven't had any more broken bones since.

     I wish this was the end of her health issues, but it's not.  Find out more in Part 3.
Jada Part One
Jada Part Three


Josiah's Birth Story

      My whole body ached.  I wondered how I would make it three more weeks, maybe more. I could hardly bend my fingers there was so much swelling in them.  I tried to sleep, but was up every 45 minutes because of the excruciating pain. I wasn't even in labor yet.   I prayed that Josiah would come just as soon as he was ready. I was thankful when morning came.  I got up, went to women's meeting, came home, and laid down.  I had just fallen asleep when I felt a pop in my abdomen.  I thought to myself, "Did my water break, it's too early."  I got up and immediately felt a gush of fluids.  I called my mother in law so she could get a hold of Justin. 

     Meanwhile I started packing my hospital bag.  As my mother in law was trying to get a hold of Justin, she spoke with two different people.  She told them she was trying to get a hold of Justin, because my water broke. They replied, "Oh you don't need to get him, I can run over and fix that."  They were thinking we had a water line break. 

     Justin arrived, and we left for the hospital as soon as I was packed.  Our hospital was an hour and fifteen minutes away, so thankfully the contractions were not too bad, yet.  When we arrived at the hospital the nurses were wonderful.  They were all very sweet and accommodating.  

    After 13 or so hours of laboring, I was ready for the epidural, even though I swore I wouldn't get one.  My midwife suggested we wait until I was 6 cm.  I reluctantly agreed. In the meantime she gave me some benadryl and fentanyl.  (I didn't feel like it did anything!)   After about an hour I was 6 cm and ready for the epidural. 

     Now, apparently the fentanyl did do something, because I was a little confused as to what was going on. As I watch them bring different tools and equipment in to the room, I thought to myself, "They must be getting things ready for the epidural. Why are they taking so long?"  (What I didn't realize is that I went from 6 cm to 10 cm in less than an hour.)
Then they hit me with it.  Justin looked at me and said, "You're not going to be able to get the epidural, you are too far along."   That's when I started to cry.  I told everybody that I couldn't do this, and I needed the epidural.  They assured me I could, and I couldn't get the epidural now.

     So now the horrid pushing began.  I pushed, and I pushed, and I pushed.  I wanted to give up, the pain was too intense, and I was exhausted.  Finally the midwife said,  "You have to push harder."  So I mustered up the strength and energy to push even harder.   As I pushed I felt my insides ripping. 

     Finally 17 hours after my water broke, Josiah was born. He came out with his arm up around his neck, which made the pushing a lot harder. He was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 19 inches long.  They put him on my chest, and I thought, "He is so chunky, but the cutest baby I have ever seen."  At that moment I thought the hard part was over, I was wrong.  Now I was bleeding, and the midwife had to find where it was coming from.   So up the birth canal she went to try and find the bleeding.  Finally, after what seemed like ages, she found it.  There were three places in the birth canal that needed stitching. One of which was an arterial tear. She was able to get me stitched up fairly quickly, after she found where the bleeding was coming from.

This labor and delivery was by far the worst physical pain I have ever felt.
This was also the worse pregnancy, delivery, and recovery of all my births, but also the most exciting.

     On a side note,  please listen to your body.  This was my first pregnancy, and I didn't realize what I was feeling wasn't normal.  I was very swollen and in excruciating pain.  I really didn't tell anybody how bad I was feeling.  I thought maybe this was normal, and I was being a wimp about it.  When I got to the hospital they were very concerned about pre-eclampsia.

Jada's Birth Story
Juliet's Birth Story

Friday, October 19, 2012

She Loves Her Shoes

Unlike most toddlers, Juliet loves to wear her shoes. We wait until she falls asleep to take them off her. Otherwise she will make sure to serenade us with screaming. She even wears them over her footie pajamas. I think she likes to hear the clompedy clomp sound as she walks through the house.

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jada Part One

     Jada was born healthy, weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces, and 19 inches.  She is our first daughter and a very welcomed addition.
  Two weeks after Jada was born I began having severe heart burn and vomiting.  Two trips to the emergency room, one trip to the doctor, and an ultrasound later revealed, I had gall stones and was in need of surgery. 
    Five weeks after Jada was born, I had my gall bladder removed. The day I was released from the hospital was the day Jada  was hospitalized at UNM children's hospital.  We originally took her to our "local" ER for what we thought was impetigo.  While in the ER they found her white blood cell count was up.  So they sent her to UNM. A hospital three hours away from home. While at the hospital, they did continuous rounds of antibiotics and antiviral medication. They thought she might have a cold sore, which can be deadly in newborns.
    There was an extra twin bed in her hospital room, so my husband and I crammed on that itty bitty bed every night.  When Jada woke in the middle of the night, I would carefully crawl out of bed while Justin got Jada.  As soon as I was situated, he would hand her to me so I could nurse her.  We were so thankful she was not a colicky baby. She handled the whole ordeal beautifully.  We spent three nights in the hospital, and they could not find what was wrong with her.  After her white blood cell count came down, they sent us home with impetigo medicine.  This was just the beginning of her issues.
Jada Part Two
Jada Part Three
Jada Part Four

A Few Extra Minutes of Rest

 
 
This morning Jada and Josiah decided  to keep Juliet company.  We heard laughter and squeals of delight coming from the monitor. We can't be sure exactly what they were doing, but they were having fun. Which in turn gave Justin and I some extra time to rest.
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where We Live

We live a few miles from the middle of nowhere, which can make life a little difficult and interesting.  The closest grocery store is about 80 miles away, closest gas station is about 20 miles away, and the closest Costco is about 2 1/2 - 3 hours away, one way.  Every trip to the store is like a  road trip.

In case you are wondering what the middle of nowhere looks like, here is a picture.

Introduction

I am starting this blog as a way to journal and keep track our daily lives.  I can type a lot faster than I can write and my hand writing is atrocious.  It seems time slips away so quickly. If I don't write down something cute one of the kids said or did, I sometimes forget about it.  This will also give my kids something to look back on and possibly learn from.  I am going to try to journal weekly about all sorts of happenings. Homeschooling, cloth diapers, pregnancy, and memorable moments.
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