20 June 2008

Apparently I'm not big on change.

I was planning on completely re-vamping the blog a little over a year ago.

Really. I was.

Then we found out we might be moving.

Then we found out we were having another baby.

Then we found out we would, in fact, be moving, but we didn't know exactly when.

It was all just a little too much confusion and chaos and fear of the unknown for me to fiddle with the look of the blog. I decided I'd wait until we moved and had the baby. Things would be less chaotic right after a major move, job change, and a new baby. Right. If you live in Procrasti-Nial Land.

So, reality slapped me in the face. I've realized that, until yesterday, I hadn't officially welcomed sweet Levi to our blog title. He really has no clue. (until he's 12 and finds this post! I love you, sweet boy !)

In honor of my son, I present to you the snazzy new name of our blog........(drumroll, please).........5 Texans! (Yes, I do realize you've already seen the new name and so all the suspense leading up to my big reaveal was really just silly. Humor me.)

The new and improved name really took every fiber of creativity I have in me. I actually had something else there and still had the tagline about NC, but Bryan, being the head of this family, decided we needed to drop NC because, to him, it sounded as if we didn't like the state and it's residents. Not the case, at all. We love almost every single thing about NC and miss those things all the time. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge we have moved away from NC. That chapter of our lives is closed.

Maybe soon I'll come up with a "new" blog that describes the chapter we are experiencing now.

This could be bad. Or, so, so good!

I just found out this place has curbside order delivery.

Fajitas for supper!

13 June 2008

Oh my, oh mii! Look what shii can do on the wii!

I was greatly impressed by Addi's score since mine never comes close to a 215, but also notice how many strikes she got! That's 7! And, 5 in a row! I stopped what I was doing to watch her play. Don't let him know I told you, but Bryan hasn't ever gotten 7 strikes. He was our resident bowling pro.

05 June 2008

Once Upon a Time

In a state far, far away from Texas lived a family of three. There was a daddy, a mommy, and a sweet little girl. They were very happy, except they missed their families in Texas very much. In fact, their wonderful family of three would soon become a family of four. The little girl was especially excited about becoming a big sister.

Soon after the little girl turned 2, and for the next year or so, she decided to exert her independence and test her parents' patience. Most of the time she was still as sweet as sugar, but every once in a while she turned demanding and unpredictable, irrationally screaming and crying for no apparent reason.

One day, early in the morning, the little girl woke her mommy and asked for breakfast. Her mother, suffering from morning sickness and exhaustion, crept down the stairs only to realize there was no milk in the house. Knowing her sweet little girl wouldn't be satisfied with any breakfast that didn't involve milk, she decided they would run to the grocery store around the corner.

While at the grocery store the little girl asked to be carried. The mommy lovingly obliged because she knew soon she would be carrying a new baby in her arms and not have room to hold the little girl. However, once the mommy grabbed some milk, she began to have trouble holding both the milk and the little girl. So, she gently put the little girl down and told her she'd have to walk the rest of the way.

The little girl did not like being put down one single bit. She began to cry and tug at her mother's clothes. As the mommy continued down the aisles, the little girl cried more loudly and began to stomp her feet. She blocked her mother's path and even sat on the floor refusing to walk. When none of that worked, the little girl began screaming as loudly as she could. She screamed, "MOMMY! MOMMY!" She screamed, "NO! NO! NO!" She screamed, "HOLD YOU!" You see this is how she asked someone to hold her.

The mommy finally made her way to the register amid many gawks and gapes. She literally had to drag the little girl through the parking lot to their car. Once in the car, the little girl continued to cry and scream and kick her feet.

Once the mommy and the little girl were back home, the little girl ate her breakfast, sniffling the entire time. Then the mommy carried the little girl to the couch, snuggled her, the little girl apologized and everyone lived happily ever after.

Not really, but what really happened once I got Addison home isn't nearly as fairytale-ish!

This is the first memory I have of Addi throwing an absolute temper tantrum. I told this story not to prove that my child can be a brat just like yours can, but because while my 3 and I were at Target today a screaming, angry, irrational little boy and his mommy passed by our aisle we were sharing with another shopper. My reaction? Distract my children so that mother wouldn't have any more gawks and gapes than she was already getting. The other shoppers reaction? Look right at the mother and loudly tell her, "Oh, my, he needs to go home!" She then continued to groan and gripe about the little boy as long as we shared that aisle.

I don't know the lady. I didn't even really look at her. She was old enough to have children, maybe even young grandchildren.

Honestly, I couldn't believe someone of that gender and that age in Target (which, let's face it, is sometimes nothing more than a field trip destination for young mommies on a week day morning when you just can't spend one more second inside the house!) would react so negatively to a situation that every mother (and probably every father) has to endure at some point. It stinks being on the receiving end of criticism, especially smack dab in the middle of a time when you are being most critical of yourself.

There were so many things I wanted to share with the other shopper. SO MANY THINGS! None of them were nice and I really tried to find a nicer way to phrase what I wanted to express, but, in the end, I just let her rant. She might have been having the worst day of her life. Who knows. I do hope that she's thought about her reaction since and will handle a similar situation differently in the future. As for me, it was a good reminder to love my neighbor...always...period...amen!

Here the sweet little girl is holding a sweet little boy and the sweet little baby the family of three was so excited about is taking a nap. She has also had her demanding moments as I'm sure the little boy will too.

04 June 2008

Where's Levi?

Do you see him among all the clothes?
He fell asleep while I worked!

Here's a close-up of our 3 month old.

I don't know how many times I started to write about his birth story only to be interrrupted and never finish. Well, Reagan Lu needs to go down for a nap and Addison needs to have a little rest time in her room right now. But, I'm risking a future meltdown to get this story written before all the details get too hazy.

I wrote about how memorable Baby P's birth story would be because it snowed the night before I was induced. It was one of those quirky Texas weather things and we really thought the snow would be what we remembered most about the night before our third child was born. After what really happened, I'm surprised I remember the snow at all!

The girls were at their Nana and Poppa's house and Bryan and I were all packed for the hospital. We had to leave at 5:30 the next morning, so about 10 pm I jumped into the shower. After I turned the water off, I could faintly hear shouting. It was very quiet and my mind was occupied with meeting my new precious one and all that involved, so I didn't think too much of the noise. But, as I walked out of the bathroom I noticed the shouting again. I asked Bryan who he thought it was and he replied it must be some kids out playing in the snow. You can tell I'm a previous school teacher and a mother who values bedtime because I immediately thought, "What crazy mom would let her children out at 10:30 on a school night to play in the snow?!" Something didn't seem right about his guess.

I walked to our window to find our across-the-street-neighbors all huddled on their front porch. They were yelling which made me think they'd locked themselves out, it was cold, and someone was inside they were trying to get to open the door. About 2 seconds after that thought, I saw the black smoke. I yelled, "Bryan, their house is on fire!" He shot out of bed to throw on some clothes. I shot to the front door to have them come in our house. They couldn't hear me over their own terrified screams. Thinking I could alert them, I turned on our porch light. It didn't work. But then Bryan ran out our front door and I ran to call 911. This really all happened within a matter of minutes.

The 911 operator informed me that the fire trucks were already on their way. Bryan grabbed the 2 older boys and brought them into our house. The mom ran over and handed me her baby boy. She was hysterical, shrieking, "Where are the fire trucks! All our stuff is gone! Everything's gone!" Apparently she was also screaming that she couldn't find her husband. Just as the 911 operator asked me if everyone was out of the house, I saw Bryan run inside.

Just try to imagine my state of mind. I'm 9 months pregnant with our third child, scheduled to be induced early the next morning and I see my husband run into a burning house. I'm telling you, had I not been holding a new baby and pregnant, I would've become a crazy person and run across the street in just the t-shirt I was wearing (thankfully it was a long Army pt shirt) to GET HIM OUT OF THAT HOUSE! As it was I had to trust the Lord and believe Bryan wouldn't do anything stupid(-er). I remember saying a quick prayer as I told the operator that my husband had just run into the house. She told me to get him out, but he couldn't hear me yell. I know now he wouldn't have listened to me anyway because the neighbor lady had said her husband was in the house. Bryan wasn't going to stand outside the house when there was a possibility someone was still inside.

I never saw him actually come out of the house. Thick, black smoke covered the house across the street and there were 2 scared little boys on my couch shivering from standing in the snow in only their underwear. I did my best to take their minds off what was going on.

About midnight, I realized there was no end in sight. I felt a little selfish, but I knew I needed rest because I would be feeling every single pitocin-induced contraction while I delivered our baby. I waivered between heading off to bed with my house full of people or staying up to help. Once the boys left with other caregivers and a grandmother came to take care of the baby, there wasn't much for me to do.

Except maybe clean. Our house was full of smoke because the door was open so much as all the neighbors streamed in and out offering help. Our carpet was sopping wet because the firemen tredged in snow on their big, soot-covered boots. Our washer and dryer were loudly banging because each was filled with clothing and shoes saved from the house. Although that just made our laundry room smell like a bar.

At some point, Bryan and I found out our neighbors had no place to go for the night. We had 3 spare bedrooms upstairs, so, naturally we offered. It was clear our neighbors felt bad about taking up our offer, but they did anyway. So, about 3 am Bryan came to bed and told me they were upstairs and all the other neighbors were gone. I had tried to go to bed about 1. I'm sure you can imagine how well that worked. The fire trucks finally left about 3:30. I fell asleep sometime after that and our alarm woke us about 5 am.

We got to the hospital still in disbelief, but so excited. I settled into my room with butterflies in my stomach. My nurse came in ready to poke my arms full of needles, but I was ready for her. My OB promised me she would only break my water and not give me any pitocin unless breaking my water didn't move me along. She had also told me I wouldn't need an IV unless I had to have pitocin. That was my plan - an all-natural induction! The nurse was obviously annoyed with my plan and insisted on giving me an IV. She called my OB to complain about this nutty woman who wanted to interfere with the conveniences of modern medicine see when she'd be coming by to break my water. My doctor didn't get there until 8 am. Clearly she never had any intentions of "just breaking my water" or she would've met me at the hospital and she would have instructed my nurse to wait to give me pitocin. Instead the nurse hooked that drug up to my IV before the doctor even left the room. So much for my plan.

My parents got to the hospital about 10 am and I was feeling those contractions. They weren't too close together so we were able to talk a little. At first, at least, and then they just got too strong.

The nurse came in to check me about 10:30 and found out I was at 5 cm. She was calm and said she'd check me again in about an hour. I told her that my labor with Libby progressed very quickly once I reached 6 cm. I was at 6 cm at 3 pm and Libby was born at 3:27. The nurse got a little fire under her when I mentioned that. She called my doctor and checked me again 15 minutes later. All the "extras" came in and started preparing for a new arrival. Levi was born at 11:17.

I'm not sure how long I was actually pushing, but it was a lot longer than I pushed with Libby. She was my easiest delievery. Not coincindentally, she was also my smallest baby. Looking back I think my biggest struggle was my exhaustion. I really started to wonder how long they would let me push in vain. Of course, what seemed like an eternity to me was probably not more than 10 minutes.

It's funny when I hear women say that you forget the pain as soon as you see the baby. Those women must have gotten epidurals! I didn't forget the pain. I still remember the pain. But, it was so worth it! Every pound, every contraction, every worry is worth it.