Sunday, August 31, 2008


Levi's First Haircut - It would not have happened without the help of Nana. I didn't want anything too drastic and I was pleased with the results. I will have to get a few more pictures since his hair never stays to the side and it makes him look completely different. He wasn't exactly happy with getting his haircut even though he was sitting in my lap, holding a suck while holding two pacifiers. It's now done and I won't have to worry about his hair for awhile now.

I never like cutting Josiah's hair since it's so pretty. Fortunately, we were able to take just enough off so it doesn't bother him. He's pleased with the results and I'm glad he didn't want it cut as short as Caleb's.

Caleb is full of surprises. His original plan was to just get it trimmed and keep it a little longer. Once he looked in some books, he asked if he could get this haircut. It wasn't a mohawk so I didn't complain, especially knowing that this is probably the only time he will spike his hair up. He likes the idea of this haircut but he never fixes it like this once it's cut.

Friday, August 29, 2008

39 Weeks

My Mom just left yesterday afternoon. We could not have made it through this week without her. I should have believed the doctors when they said I would truly need to take it easy. I really thought that after a day or two of rest, I'd be ready to take over my house. My Mom has done it all this week. She has cooked, cleaned, washed clothes, and spent tons of times loving on the boys. She took time to let them swim almost everyday, played games with Josiah, colored with Caleb, and snuggled with Levi. She has helped label drawers (to make it easier for Granddaddy to find things when he gets here on Monday). She helped me pack for the hospital and helped me think through a lot of things.

I tend to take care of things myself even if it might be easier to ask for help sometimes. I have seen God at work this week with people's willingness to bring us meals and gift cards for meals. I know this really eases the burden from Kerry and my Mom since they are the ones who have been taking care of everything. And for my mom's willingness to stop what she was doing to come take care of us. And for people last week who were willing to stop what they were doing to help us. It's been very humbling to be where I am right now. Even asking help from my husband is sometimes hard for me. After Levi fell asleep next to me on the couch tonight, I had to ask Kerry if he could take him to bed. I'm used to just taking care of it myself. I could sit here and get depressed over my inability to take care of everything, but I'm going to do my best to thank God for showing me his love through all the people who have reached out during this time.

Changing topics - My Mom drove us to get haircuts at the nearest salon yesterday. That was one of those things on my list of things to do that I was thinking I would have to let go but we decided to give it a try. Fortunately, there was no wait and the lady who ended up cutting our hair was out neighbor (who I hadn't met yet) from across the street). What another blessing! She recognized Caleb since she has a son his age and they talk over the fence. Nana had already gotten Josiah's haircut a few days ago. Caleb now has a nice haircut, I feel good about my hair, and Levi got his haircut for the first time. He now looks like a little boy. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow while I'm on the couch tomorrow. The outing wore me out even though it was just walking to the car and back but it was worth it knowing that's done.

We also started school back up yesterday after Nana left for the airport. Once again, this is something that can be done from the couch and I think Caleb was glad to get back into somewhat of a routine even if it is for a few days. It did make me feel good to know that I was able to accomplish something even though I was stationed on the couch. I will wait to start Josiah back up once I'm completely back on my feet. I told Caleb since we missed so many days, we'll work everyday until Silas arrives. He didn't even complain. I can tell he's missed having a routine during the day.

Kerry is home pretty much the next three days except during the times he will be at church. Fortunately, those times are spaced out. Caleb is a wonderful help when Kerry is not around. He did not complain one bit today after my Mom left and Kerry had not gotten home yet. He is able to lift Levi when I need his help and I truly appreciate his positive attitude when asked to do something. Josiah has even been able to help out by picking up things off the floor since I can't really bend down. He can bring me a pillow or run grab a diaper. They have really shown what they are capable of this week. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the continued help and prayers coming our way. For now though, I'm headed to bed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

38 Weeks: Another Change in Plans

This past week has been basically awful for me. I woke up Tuesday at 1:30am to the power going off in our home and the realization that my back was hurting on the left side. "Not again," I thought. Here comes another kidney stone and so late in the pregnancy. I was in a lot of pain and was barely able to function. Kerry stayed home that day to take care of the boys and I prayed the kidney stone would pass quickly. By Thursday evening, the kidney stone still had not passed. I wasn't able to take care of my own children, and I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced. I finally gave in and let Kerry take me to the emergency room. Kelly, who works with Kerry, was at the house in 30 minutes to take care of the boys. We got to the emergency room and were sent to labor and delivery for about and hour to monitor Silas and make sure I wasn't in labor. I knew I wasn't and that was confirmed after all the monitoring. I was then sent back to the emergency room. All the emergency room staff was wonderful. The doctor immediately saw how much pain I was in and gave me some pain medicine. When that didn't make a dent in the pain, he tried some more. I was then sent for a sonogram of my kidneys where it appeared I did have a kidney stone. I was also severely dehydrated even though I was trying to drink and eat over the past few days. They finally admitted me close to midnight.

Kerry went home to be with the boys once I was settled in my room for the night. Friday morning at 5:00am, the urologist comes into my room to meet with me. I was in so much pain and on pain medicine that I know I didn't process everything he was saying. There was talk of placing a stint to drain the kidney until after Silas was born. I kept thinking that I would pass the kidney stone. During this time, my wonderful Mom was on an airplane to Florida to come take care of the boys. Another wonderful lady from our church, Betsy, drove our boys to pick up Nana while Kerry came up to be with me. Before Kerry arrived for the day, Donna, our pastor's wife, came and sat with me. Lets just say, she got to see alot of the "fun" stuff - a shot given, lovely white hose put on to help with circulation, a trip to the bathroom, and how I look at my worst while all drugged up. The on call obstetrician came in and she was very nice as well to check on Silas. I had some sort of sonogram on Silas to make sure he was okay and his score was perfect, 8 out of 8. The rest of the day was pretty much a blur laying in bed in pain, pain medicine as often as I could have it, fluids being pumped in to my veins, and attempts to drink fluids since I was on a clear liquid diet.

Saturday, the first urologist's partner came in and once again discussed placing the stint to drain the kidney. I really wanted to wait until Monday for the procedure. After Kerry drove home to spend time with the boys and my Mom came to sit with me, Kerry called back and said he thought I needed to go ahead and have it done. He made the calls to all the doctors and to make a long story short, the surgery took place on Saturday evening, close to 8:00pm. I have never had surgery in my life so I was really nervous. I was given a spinal because I was pregnant. There were at least six people in the operating room for just and Silas. It was slightly overwhelming. The kidney stone was completely blocking the kidney. The doctor couldn't even put the original size stint because the kidney stone was so large. Thankfully, a smaller one fit and so far it's working well. I was later told my kidney was in trouble. As soon as the spinal wore off, I was able to feel complete relief in my back. Kerry even got to go and get me a milkshake that evening and it tasted so good. We spent Sunday pretty much waiting to go home. I had to have another sonogram on my kidneys to make sure the stint was working properly. We also visited with the urologist and obstetrician. Then we waited for what seemed like hours to go home.

Yesterday afternoon, we arrived home. I was so glad to be home and so emotional as well. Since I was feeling better, I was really ready to see my boys and start taking care of them again. It wasn't the reunion I expected. Josiah and Levi wanted nothing to do with me. They cried if Kerry or my Mom tried to get them to let me hold them. Another frustrating thing is I'm on moderate bedrest until after Silas is born. I do understand but it's hard when I can't lift Levi. I can hold my boys on the couch, but I can't carry them or do any cleaning, cooking, or driving. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Today is better with the boys. Caleb was the only one excited to see me last night, but Levi was ready to snuggle this morning and off and on the rest of the day. Josiah sat with me briefly this morning but having his Nana here is a very special treat for him.

Due to the fact that I have kidney issues now, Silas will be born in the hospital. The on call doctor has agreed to take me through the end of this pregnancy which hopefully won't be much longer. Several weeks after Silas arrives, I will have a complete work up on my kidneys, cat scan included. The stint will be taken out and the kidney stone broken up. I'm hoping that will be the end of my kidney issues. My Mom was supposed to go home tomorrow, but she was able to change her plane ticket for free and stay until Thursday. I am so glad to know that she will be here to continue to help take care of us. Kerry will be here pretty much the entire weekend and my Dad arrives on Monday.

I will admit that I do not feel like my complete self yet, like I could take on the world doing all the laundry and cleaning. At this point, I'm just thankful to be at home spending time with my boys on the couch and visiting with my Mom. Kerry has been amazing during all of this. He has managed the house, the boys, and took care of me. I could not have made it through this without him. We couldn't have made it without the help of my Mom either or the wonderful people who helped out until she arrived. Thank you all so much!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Questioning and Confirmation

Questioning - Even though I know we are where God wants us, I have to admit that at times when talking to God I ask him why he has moved us here, especially when I was finally feeling settled in California. I mean it took me two years to finally feel at home there and to have friends (it takes me awhile to form close friendships). I truly liked where we lived, only wished my family was there too. I always assumed God would take us back to Texas to be closer to family if He moved us again. As you know, one of the things I've really struggled with is finding a midwife and doctor here.

Confirmation - I received a letter in the mail last Thursday. It was from my midwife in California. I was shocked to learn that the hospital I delivered Levi at discontinued maternity services as of May of this year. To make a long story short, my midwife has taken a job in Arizona and will see patients on a limited basis who want to remain with her at a birth center near where we lived in California. If we had stayed in California, I would have been left to either find a doctor that delivered in a hospital setting different from the previous hospital in order for me to have the pain medication I have grown accustomed to during deliveries or I would have been having a natural childbirth at the birthing center and probably not with my midwife as she would be out of state 4 days out of the week. As sad as I am to learn this, it really has helped me. I can no longer say, "If only. . ." Isn't it amazing how even though I should trust God and not question his decisions for my life, that he's willing to give me such a clear answer/reason to help me feel at peace with where we are today?

**Please refrain from comments that mention I look like I could have this baby at any time or that my children and I all need haircuts. I know these things are true, I just don't want to hear them. My plan is to take care of these two things in the next few weeks. Before and after pictures will be taken of both events.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boys Living in Paradise

I think we live in a boy's paradise! Part of me wants to say, we live on only 1 acre of land but then knowing how small of yard we had in California, an acre is huge. In the short time we have lived in this house, the boys are already having a blast, especially Caleb and Josiah. I love the fact that the acre is completely fenced, front and back which allows for a lot of room to play. The boys enjoy riding their dirt bikes when Daddy gets home from work. They also like to shoot their bows that Daddy brought home from the store one day.

Josiah can often be seen on his 4-wheeler riding all over the place. We also put the training wheels back on Caleb's old bicycle. Josiah now thinks he is a big boy since he can ride a big bicycle. He also likes to swim in the pool. He does notice the heat and if it's too hot, he will come inside and express how hot it is outside.

Caleb would live outside if we would let him. He has found numerous creatures outside. He has found snakes (much to my dismay), tadpoles, frogs (by the thousands), lizards, rabbits, hawks, and skinks. I'm sure I've left some creature out. He also enjoys riding his dirtbike, bicycle, and scooter. He would probably swim everyday if I would let him. It's great to know that he's getting so much outside time and enjoying it.

Little Levi wishes I would let him live outside as well. Unfortunately for him, I am not comfortable with sending him outside alone with his brothers. I do my best to let him go outside each day but it never seems to be enough. Sometimes he can be found at the back of the property by the time I finish bringing in groceries. He throws a fit almost each time the boys go outside without him. He also will throw a fit when Daddy tells him his turn is finished on the dirt bike. He loves bubbles and overall just enjoys watching what is going on outside. The previous owners left a swing in the back and he would swing for a very long time. Too bad it doesn't swing itself. I probably should place a chair next to the swing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

36 Weeks: A Change of Plans

I am now in my 36th week of this pregnancy. It has definitely been a journey this far. I have been blessed with a wonderful pregnancy but finding the right person to bring Silas into the world has been overwhelming to say the least. Originally, I assumed we would be back in California for the birth of Silas. I had no problems with that since I loved my midwife Lisa and the boys' pediatrician, Dr. Bob.

As you know, God had a different plan for our lives, one including a move all the way across the country to Florida. My original plan was to find a midwife for a hospital birth but I had trouble getting anyone in the area to call me back. It was quite frustrating, many tears involved. Then I tried two different ob/gyns and came out in tears after each visit. I really started struggling with the thought of a hospital birth and could never get a peace that that was where we were supposed to be for the birth of Silas. So, after much prayer on our parts, we have decided on a homebirth. God led us to a great licensed/certified midwife that makes me feel so much better than I have in the past couple of months.

I will admit that I'm slightly nervous about a completely natural birth without pain medication but several people I have spoken with have been honest and encouraging at the same time. Aside from being nervous, I am so excited about after Silas arrives. I will be at home with my family and not need to be separated from any of them. I know I will be so much more relaxed knowing I'm in my own home. It should be exciting! I can hardly wait to meet Silas face to face!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Josiah Turns 3!

Granddaddy, Levi, Josiah, and Caleb

Josiah, Levi, and Caleb

Josiah turned three on Saturday, July 26. After having a birthday celebration with grandparents and cousins in Texas, he didn't think he needed another birthday celebration. His favorite dessert is still cookies like it has been for about a year. He thought a cookie cake sounded wonderful. And he saw no need for any additional presents since he had already gotten some. We did enjoy a fun family day on his birthday. We took Granddaddy to the airport, went to Gander Mountain so Josiah could pick out a camo shirt, swam in the pool, opened a few presents, and ate cake. This is such a fun age when you can see on their face how excited they are about the things they receive and know that they weren't expecting anything.

Josiah has had a big year. When he turned two, he said goodbye to his pacifier. He also started using the big boy potty and wearing underwear.

He moved out of the only house he knew and was on the road for about six months of this year. Once in Texas for this past vacation, he assumed we were there to stay (with Nana). He was so confused that we were coming back to Florida and asked me where we would stay. I think he finally realizes that where we are now is our house once he saw that everything was still here when we returned.

His choice of words in his sentences constantly amazes me. I need to write down some examples so I will not forget. He has a lot of energy when he is around familiar people but in new situations he is very quiet and prefers to just observe. He still likes an arm (Mommy's arm) when falling asleep at night and if he wakes up in the middle of the night he will say, "I need an arm!" or "Give me an arm!" Kerry has got him hooked on hunting and outdoor things. He loves practicing with his bow and arrows outside. He likes to say "BBD or BDD" in a low voice which means "Big Buck Down." He's ready for Daddy to take him hunting even if Mommy is not. I would prefer a trip to Yosemite where we can observe the deer without harming them. I love him so much and I'm so grateful that God chose to bring him into our lives. I look forward to seeing what this year holds for him!

The Rest of our Vacation

Two weeks ago this coming Monday, we said goodbye to Granny yet again. We enjoyed a relaxing couple of days with her in Gladewater. Josiah did get a fever while he was there but it was gone in 24 hours. At least he was somewhere that he could slow down and relax. It's hard to believe that we probably won't see her again until Christmas time.

Once we arrived in Arlington that Monday, we spent time birthday shopping for Josiah, running a few errands and spending time playing with cousins. We took the boys to the park to play. Caleb really enjoyed playing basketball and the little ones enjoyed the playground and riding bikes and scooters.

Caleb just after throwing the ball

Brock with a look of determination

On Tuesday morning, we went to the Aquarium in Dallas. All the boys had a wonderful time. Caleb and Brock probably could have stayed longer, but us grown ups were getting hungry.

Josiah, Nana, and Levi

Nana, Josiah and Caleb (notice Josiah is pretty much attached to Nana in all pictures)

Me, Levi, RyAnn, and Braxton

Nana and her boys (the best possible picture)

Tuesday evening, we celebrated Josiah's birthday. When Nana asked what he wanted for his birthday, he response was, "Chocolate!" So, he got to help make his chocolate birthday cake. I think he would have been fine without any gifts but when he was asked what kind of present he wanted, the only thing he said was a dirt bike with a remote control. Fortunately, we were able to find one on sale.

Josiah before his birthday starts

Levi, Me, and Josiah

Wednesday morning, we woke up bright and early to drive back to Florida. My Dad was wonderful and offered to drive us back. It's not the worst drive but it's not a little 2 hour drive. The boys once again traveled well over the two full days in the car. Although it's two full days of driving, I think I prefer driving over flying. It was so nice to know that we had a home to come back to after these past few months. We arrived safely and are finally getting into a routine again.