Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy


The night before my surgery, my mom and dad had the kids overnight, so Arnold and I took that opportunity to go out on a date! We went to dinner first, and I had some grilled shrimp, baked potato and hushpuppies.. soo yummy. Then we went walking around a few stores.. bought the kids a few new books at Ollie's (because you know I can NEVER have enough books!!) and also walked around Ross, Barnes & Noble, and Target. We were deciding rather or not to go to the movies and see "Bridesmaids" but it was getting late and I still had to go home to take a shower with my special "Sterile soap" so we went on home.

The next morning we got up at 5:00 am. I can never sleep well when Im nervous. I ended up laying down around 11ish and slept off and on, so at least I got something. I wasnt allowed to wear any makeup or body spray or jewelry or nothing (which I understand why) But i felt all icky and ugly going to the hospital like that.. but oh well! We got there around 6 am and waited in the waiting room until they called us back to a room. Then i had a nurse and anesthestiologist come back and talk to me, tell me what would be going on, and put in my IV. The lady said I had an awesome vein in my left wrist, and she stuck that one, but when she did I got this shooting pain through my thumb, and ever since then when I rub something against my arm at that place, my thumb tingles really bad. Im wondering if it hit a nerve? I dont know but that better not be permanent!! Anyway, my good friend Katie that I used to go to church with came by and visited me while I was waiting, and that was a nice surprise.. it helped calm my nerves some. Anyway, at that point my IV was going with antibiotics, fluids, and medicine to reduce inflamation or something like that, and we were just waiting on the dr to come back and talk to me.

Around 7:30 they took me back to the operating room. At that point my morning anxiety pill had taken effect and I was feeling pretty mellow, but when I got into that room with the bright lights, and they moved me to that big table, it all came rushing back to me, and I felt so nervous. They stared my IV with the "good meds" though, and within SECONDS (i couldnt get over how fast) I was feeling loopy, tired, and then I was out. The next thing I knew I was sitting up and they were asking me how I was. I went in and out of consiousness for awhile. They checked all my vital signs and stats, and let me have some ginger ale to drink. The dr had gone out to the waiting room earlier and told Arnold that the surgery had gone great, and that I was due to come back in a week for my post-appt. I actually go on my birthday.. woo.. what a great present, haha ;)

I was able to go home a LOT earlier than I had expected. We were out of there by 10AM. They had given me the opportunity to stay there and rest, or to go home and sleep in my own bed, so Arnold just took me home. I was still pretty drugged, so it didnt hurt to bad to walk, but i WAS sore. I went home and climbed into bed and laid there for awhile.. I rested but couldnt really sleep. I seem to have bad insomnia when I am anxious, or on lots of meds, so I know that was part of it. I spent the whole day resting, off and on. Arnold went out and got my medicine they prescribed me for pain, and I only ended up taking one of them, so I was recovering a lot quicker than I had imagined I would!

That night my mom brought the kids back home to us. Brooke came in and asked me if I had had another baby in my tummy, hahaha! That silly girl. To be honest though, it felt soo weird being at the hospital and not coming home with a little bundle! I felt sad about that part. At least the pain is worth it then!! ;) The kids have been obsessed with looking at my "boo boos" over and over again. Its been a little tough with Rachel because she doesnt understand and wants to climb up in my lap or be picked up, and Im not supposed to be lifting much right now. Arnold has been SUCH a great help.. I cant thank him enough. he took lots of good care of me, and kept the kids busy too, so I could rest. Mom brought us dinner that first night, so we didnt have to worry about that either. Thankful for some great family and friends!!!

Thank you ALL for all the prayers, You all knew what a big deal this whole thing was to me, and I could feel all the prayers. It went alot better than expected, and Im recovering nicely. As for the bloodclot issue, they just told me to walk around a lot, and keep the blood flowing, so thats what ive been doing! So far no issues and I dont expect any! I am thinking positive!!!

Up at 5am, ready to head out the door

Waiting to get my IV's hooked up

Laying back resting, waiting to go to the OR. I am smiling, but I was nervous!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thoughts About Tomorrow...

So how do I feel about tomorrow you may ask? A mix of lots of things, really. Worrisome, anxious, curious, empowered, ready to feel relief, stomach all "twisty." I am just one of those people who does not handle things well, I wish I could. I used to be a lot better, before the PTSD and starting to take anxiety pills. I just feel like I live my life on a constant "edge of my seat" type deal, and I wish It wasnt like that. Day after day, things get better with time. But that event in 2009 just really scarred me, and I know Im still healing. So to be back on an operating table again tomorrow... of course I have worries and doubts, but I cant let it from stoping me get the help I need.. I have been in pain since last Nov, and lately really sick from these gallbladder attacks, so I am ready to get some relief and hopefully be able to be there even more for my family.

Got a call today from the pastor at my old church, he is actually the one who married Arnold and I. He told me he hoped everything went well and he was praying for me. He said he wouldnt be able to visit (which I wasnt expecting him to, but it was nice of him to say) And that another lady of the church (who I have always been close to actually) is coming to visit me in the morning. I also have had several friends offer to bring us meals this coming weekend, and Mom is making me dinner the first night Im home, and of course watching the kids for us. I am so thankful for awesome family and friends. Seriously.. I could not get through half the stuff I do in life without you guys. I feel so blessed! And thank you for all the prayers and kind words lately, from all of you. :)

So I headed to the Surgical Office this afternoon to sign the consent forms (you know the "we are going to hack into you and you might die, just to let you know forms) LOL! Just picking. I still have a sense of humor ;) And then I had to hurry over to the hospital to my pre-op appt. Did i mention I left the house on a empty tank?! I didnt know I was that low.. but.. I was, and I was in a hurry so I was driving all over the place watching it get lower and lower.. I set the marker and I think I drove 12 miles on "empty" before I finally pulled over and got some gas.. just a little to get me by so I could get to the hospital! Then I got there and drove around confused, I could not for the life of me remember which door to go in.. I had been there for my pre-op with Rachel, but that was 2 yrs ago. So i finally get up to the desk (almost 10 mins late I might add!) and tell the Lady IM SO SORRY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE TO GO!! And she said that I was in the right place, so thank goodness for that! (Yes I get stressed when I am late.. I have always been that way. You may notice that Im one to show up really early to playdates and parties, etc.. just because I hate being late to things!!)

But anyway, the Pre-op appt went well, the nurse was really nice. I had to fill out some paperwork and go over medical history and all that. She weighed me and got my height. I happened to notice her stats on my paper and thought that it wasnt right.. and I asked her to check and she had put down my height as 5'5!! Well, hello, I am 5'10! So.. under my BMI I was under the (very obese) category, and hey, I do have a lot of pounds to lose, believe me, but I didnt think I was there yet ;) So she changed things on the form and.. proof that a few inches makes a difference (THATS WHAT SHE SAID!!!-- Couldnt resist-- "Office" fans will understand ;) Anyway, she gave me a special soap I am supposed to wash with tonight and tomorrow morning, that makes my skin more "sterile". So i guess I will be bathing twice then! She said nothing after midnight to eat or drink, but she would allow me to take my anxiety meds in the morning.. As i pointed out to her.. I would NOT do well without them.. and then they would have to deal with me ;) Oh and I made the mistake of flipping through the catalog which describes in detailed pictures exactly what they are doing to me during the surgery.. could have done without that! Most medical stuff just flat-out grosses me out.

So tonight Mom and Dad are taking all 3 kids overnight, because we have to get up to go to the hospital really early, and be there by 6am. Because they have to start IVs of fluids, meds and stuff before the actual surgery. And the surgery is at 730 am. If everything goes well afterwards in recovery Arnold gets to take me home later that day. So I should be out of actual surgery around 8:30 or 9am. Not too bad. I will be asleep during it, so I wont even know what is going on, which is a good thing. Never been put to sleep before, so I hope everything goes well with that, but Im sure it will.

Tonight Arnold said since we'd be without kids hed help take my mind off things and take me on a date! We can go to dinner, maybe to the movies, who knows.. As Lauryn put it "go have my last meal" haha! I am excited to spend some alone time with him. Its sad that to get a date night I have to be put under the knife.. but whatever works! (again-- kidding!!! ;)

Thanks again for everyones prayers and support! And I am FULLY aware that this is a very common surgery and people go through it every single day and are just fine. And im about 90% sure Ill be fine too. Bloodclots and anxiety are the only things that really worry me, and I have a good dr who I know will try his best to keep me safe :) :)

My Dr! You have a visual aid! haha. Dr Parish, and he is very kind. He actually recently won a medical award, so you know he knows his stuff ;) He said "Dont worry, we wont let what happend last time happen again to you." :) :) I feel really comfortable with him.

3rd time going through a surgery and I actually never would have thought Id have so many surgeries by this young of an age.. and Dont look forward to it, but I know every time can be different.. so think positively!

So this is what Im doing! Or trying to do! haha :)

And of course, since I am a Christian, I believe 100% that God will be there for me every step of the way. He has gotten me through so much these past 2 years and I know he wont let me fall. I wish I could be MORE confident actually, because I know I have my faith, but I am still learning to be brave and push through things.

Visit with Jess & Baby Hunter

Every since Jess had baby Hunter, I have been dying to go visit them and see how they were doing, and of course cuddle baby!! We hadnt been to their new place yet, so we were driving around for quite some time looking for it, we turned around on the same road at least 3 times.. quite comical.. if you know Arnold and I's sense of directions (or lack-there-of!!) Thankfully Jess called (probaby wondering why we were so late) And told us how to get there the rest of the way. Thanks to her, or we would have NEVER made it.. there was a whole other road to turn off on ;) So remember.. not to always trust google maps!!

Anyway, the kids were running around wild and wanted to go see Hunters nursery and all his toys. They kept bringing me stuff from his toybox (I miss the days where they couldnt reach anything and would leave stuff alone!! My house was a lot cleaner, too!!) First thing though, they ran in and saw the big bottle bank and screamed MONEY MONEY!! Kindof embarassing.. how are we raising these kids?! Haha, but it was funny. Hunters room is SO cute by the way, John Deere theme. And a sweet cozy room with carpet! I ALWAYS wished I had carpet in my kids' rooms. Hardwoods are nice, but something about playing on the soft floor with them appeals to me! Arnold says maybe ONE DAY, so we'll see!

Jess is looking great!! Just a little tired, but thats to be expected ;) I know shes wanted to be a mommy for so long, so I am so beyond thrilled for her. Her and Stephen are both great parents.. they seem so happy, and involved and I know they love that baby boy so much! Stephen is so proud, it was so sweet, he even showed me some of his baby pics.. and my previous thoughts were correct.. that baby DOES look alot like him!! I sat there and cuddled Hunter, and at first he was staring at me with those bright eyes (makes me melt, I tell you!) and then he started getting very sleepy and I put him right to sleep. he is very comfy with his Aunt Abby ;) One time he started crying and I was startled b/c Ive only seen him very mellow so far.. but I pulled some of my tricks out (sway, "shhh" and soothe) and put him right back to sleep ;) Jess called me the Baby Whisperer, but really, I think its just experience ;)

Brooke was so happy to finally get to see Hunter (she had been in VBS when we went and visited them in the hospital) She asked me what the thing was on his bellybutton, so we got into the whole discussion of umbiblical cords, and what they do, and that she had one too, etc etc. She just seemed very confused ;) I could sit there and hold a newborn baby ALL DAY LONG. Something about how sweet and innocent they are, and how they just mold perfectly into the bend of your arm. I wish there was a job where I could do that all day long! I have considered nursing in the past, which would be great, but Id also have to deal with them sick and hurt, which would break my hurt, so Im still thinking...

THANKS Jess for letting us come visit!! And congrats again!! Youre a wonderful Mommy and friend. Love ya!! :) :)

He went right to sleep for his Aunt Abby

Brooke had to get pic too. If you look close you can see the cut on the side of her nose from yesterdays accident on the swingset. Its looking better!

Proud Mommy! Im sure she went to bed right after we left! ;)


Monday morning we went to Joanne's house for a playdate. I am really loving all these playdates lately, because it give the kids (and me!) something to do, and the kids really work out alot of their energy, and may even nap better later ;) There were several kids there, including a lot of older boys, so it was WILD in there. I felt bad for Joanne at one point, she was brave! I kept cringing because I was afraid something would get broken or someone would get hurt. At one point the fish food was knocked into the tank, and there is a slight possibility it was Rachel who did it so.. Sorry Joanne! haha. I enjoyed getting to cuddle baby Ben, he was all smily for me the whole time :) :) We had lunch of pizza and chicken nuggets, and the kids sucked down juice packs that they love so much. Then we had icecream.. best part!! I somehow ended up scooping it out for all the kids, and they were all lined up staring at me as if to say "HURRY UP" ha. Then we poured on all the yummy toppings (sprinkles for most of the kids!) And after that sugar rush you can guess how the rest of the playdate went ;) But at least they had fun!!

Since I knew I wouldnt be taking the kids to their weekly playdate at the mall, we decided to take them to the mall for dinner and to play when Arnold got home from work. We went to eat at Chick fil A and Caleb was just so upset that the cow wasnt there.. he thought he was supposed to be there everytime!!! Then we went downstairs to the play area and let them run wild. I ran off to Gymboree to look around for a few minutes to catch a quick break alone.. any time alone is sacred!! Then I came back to find Caleb seated beside a young mom and playing with all the "boy toys" her sons had brought. Obviously he thought they had awesome toys.. but I wish he would have been more interested in playing with THEM and not their toys! I really hope preschool really brings him out more socially this coming year. Hes still somewhat of a loner and a follower.. but I cant say much, because Ive always been shy, too. Hes probably most like me of the kids, personality-wise!!

That night I sat by myself on the laptop all evening as Arnold laid beside me snoring!! He has been going to bed pretty early these days, thanks to his new job schedule, which is making him extra tired! I am soo not used to this, though, because he is my night owl, and usually he is the one putting ME to bed. I like the extra quiet time at night though ;)

Cuddling baby Ben

Rachel having a good time!

Erika and I hanging out

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rachel's 2-yr Dr Appt

First let me point out and say that today this is my 300th blog post!! Oh yeah, how awesome is that?! (Yes I am fully aware that I am a dork!!!)

Anyway! This morning was Rachel's 2 yr dr appt. I am used to taking the kids to their appt one at a time, and the others staying at home with their Daddy. I have been totally spoiled to the help he is usually able to provide during times like this. But his work schedule has been crazy lately, so I told him not to worry, that Id take all 3 with me this morning. Well just saying that made me nervous.. but I knew I could handle it (especially along with the help of my morning anxiety pill!!)

On the ONE Morning I actually have somewhere to be early, Brooke decides to sleep late. She was really dragging and I was having a hard time getting her ready. I gave them all some breakfast and ran to take my own shower and get ready.. then finished up getting them ready and made it out the door JUST in time. It was of course pouring rain the whole way there and I was afraid it would slow us down, but we got there with 5 mins to spare, actually! The wait wasnt too long.. Brooke kept herself busy with her new Barbie Laptop toy and Caleb read one of the books in the waiting room. The only way to keep Rachel quiet was to let her draw all over my forms with her pen, so I let her.. but that led to her drawing on herself too.. so then we had blue marks all over her when we went back there.. Oh well. you pick your battles.

Rachel was NOT happy to be at the dr. She is in the "Terrible Twos' stage full-force right now. She was scared also. The nurse did all the measurements and she was 28 lbs, and 36 inches now. Wow, 3 feet tall already! She had done a major growth spurt since last time. She actually has been the slowest growing of our kids (and was the shortest when she was born). But she is catching up with her siblings now!! Then they had to prick her finger for an iron test, and give her one shot. I had to hold her down for that because she was flailing all OVER the place. Brooke and Caleb kept looking very worried and asking them what they were doing to their sissy. They are so sweet and protective of her (when they want to be!) But aside from that, everything went well, and they said she was right on track, and everything looked good! Thankful for a happy baby! And she doesnt have to go back until her 3 yr appt next year.

Father's Day 2011

Fathers Day morning we all got up and got ready and headed to Malachi's church. Since the kids had been in their VBS program all week, they were going to sing their songs for the church. The kids did great on their songs, but got very restless during the service and wouldnt sit still, so we took them to a back room and let them sit till the end of the service.. They are a smaller church and actually dont have a nursery. I was worried the whole time beforehand how the kids would act because they arent used to staying in the service.

We were supposed to be meeting Arnold's parents and Sister for lunch at The Holiday Inn (I think its called something else now...) But they have nice Sunday brunch and its yummy. While we were waiting to pass the time we stopped by Target (can always find time for Target!) Anyway, for lunch I think I ate waay too much, and ended up sampling two different kinds of cake.. both chocolate of course! We gave Arnold's dad the "True Grit" blu-ray for Fathers day.. he has seen that movie and really loved it. Arnolds parents gave him some $$$ so he was excited about that too.

When we got home and the kids laid down for a nap, I ran by CVS to try and use some of my weekly coupons from this Sunday's paper. Found a few good deals, especially on some cereal. Then I went by the movie rental place and handed the girl my card and she said "Oh no need.. had you pulled up already! You guys rent soo many movies" Haha! You can tell we're lame ;) Nah, seriously.. I used to take Caleb in there just about every single Monday for 99cent movie day, so he could rent some of those annoying "boyish" movies about superheros and stuff, so that he could watch them while i tried to get some work done around here. Anyway, Arnold and I watched "Hall Pass." Hilarious movie but sooo inappropriate, especially this once scene which is SO graphic.. Arnold definately cringed! (if youve seen it, you probably know what Im talking about!!!!) Anyway, I enjoyed it but definately not something Id like to see happen in real life.. my husband would never in a million years get a "Hall Pass!!!!" Hes stuck with us for life!!!! ;)

That evening we went to Walmart (Most of you know I despise that place so I did not like to go in there) But Rachel had gotten 4 pairs of Pjs for her birthday, and two were the exact same pair, so I exchanged one of them for a new pair. She got a pink pair with elephants that says "Little Peanut".. soo cute! Of course the big kids begged us for new pjs too, soo.. we gave in.. they could use some new ones anyway. Caleb picked "Cars" and Brooke picked these wild, leopard print ones that were totally tacky.. she gets that from her Daddy!!! Oh, and while i was in there, I tried to use a 10% off coupon on a magazine, and the lady said they dont take "percent off" coupons.. so I guess thats a good thing to know.

Lastly we went out to eat at Subway for dinner. Gotta love that our "nice Fathers Day dinner" was there.. but Arnold didnt mind.. he actually liked that he was eating pretty healthy. The kids were pretty much done for at that point, and were whining and talking too loudly and being restless.. totally embarassed me. The workers there were both pretty young and I know our family acted as good birth control for them.. whenever they see kids acting like that, im sure they arent ready to have any themselves anytime soon!!!! And yes.. on the way home I stopped by to get ANOTHER Pina Colada freeze drink. (Hey, we were RIGHT there at Taco Bell!!) And the bummer is I didnt even get to finish it.. it ended up melting because we got distracted when we got home and I forgot about it until later. We had been setting up Caleb's new bed for him (which he totally loves by the way!) and re-arranging his room. I think I like how it looks now!!

So all in all I think Arnold ended up having a pretty good Fathers Day. He got to spend time with me, his kids, his family... watch a funny movie he had been wanting to see, get some rest, and he didnt even have to mow because it had been raining ;) Oh and he liked his gift too.. The new Brad Paisley CD and a new stainless steel water bottle I had gotten him for the gym. We dont really go BIG on gifts for each other anymore.. if you have kids, you probably understand ;)

Arnold with his babies!

Brooke, Caleb and Malachi at Church on Sunday morning

My brother Alex, Dad, and myself

Arnolds' family after lunch. This pic is funny.. and Rachel is cut out.. because we set the timer to try to get a shot of all of us. Didnt work so well... ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rachel's Birthday!!

Yesterday morning we got Rachel up and let her go into the living room to check out her presents. No wrapping or anything to make it difficult for her, just laid it all out on the couch! She seemed to like everything.. as did her brother and sister.. who seemed very jealous that they werent getting anything!

We went driving around for awhile to look for some yardsales, but only found one that was halfway decent. I got a few books for the kids (I am ALWAYS on the lookout for kids' books, I have found some great ones and gotten some great deals) Brooke also found a Barbie laptop thing, that we let her get. Good thing because it keeps her occupied in the car ;)

After we had driven around forever and gotten tired of that, we went to Jitterbugs.. a consignment store. We usually stick to OUAC or Jelly Beans because they are closer to us.. I dont think I had actually been in there before. They had a great selection of stuff.. they were a little higher than the other stores though, In my opinion. I DID get Rachel a shirt though, for Thanksgiving.. I am thinking waaay ahead, but its all good, it was cute! ;) Caleb saw this big iron man mask that talks and lights up and begged his daddy for it. First I said no. Then Arnold said "well ok.. but only if you wait till your bday." To "OK we'll get it!" Hes such a sucker. Even at consignment store price, it was still expensive to a toy and I didnt really want to get it for him, but oh well. And when Brooke saw he got something, she had to have something too, and picked a My Little Pony with a moterized cart thing that rides around with the use of a remote control. To be fair, they played with those toys all day long after we bought them, so I guess they are a hit. But youd think it was THEIR birthday, not Rachel's, with all the goodies they got!! Rachel didnt even seem to mind though ;)

After our unexpected shopping trip, we went to Village Inn for lunch. It was "Rachels' Birthday lunch", but it was really more for Arnold, since thats his fave restaurant of all time. So it was a combined Fathers Day lunch too ;) On the way home I got really sick, and Im not sure if it was the food or my gallbladder acting up really badly, but I was in some bad pain for quite awhile, and ended up falling asleep at home. I woke up to that horrible storm that came through the area. We were supposed to go to a friend's bday party, but because of those two things, we had to miss out on it.

Later that evening we went to Mom and Dad's for a Fathers Day cookout. Alex was there, and so was Grandpa. We gave dad his gift (A bottle of wine and a cigar) and he really seemed to love it. Just to be clear, I dont really condone those habits but I know he would love them, haha. Thanks to my brother who keeps up with the brands dad likes or else I would have been in the dark!! Anyway, Mom had made this really yummy buffalo chicken dip that we snacked on before dinner. We had hamburgers for dinner.. we were going to have "Crap in a Pot" (thats a mix of things like shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, polish sausages and onions all mixed in spices and cooked in this big pot.. that my dad makes.. but it has that family nickname now) But Grandpa is allergic to shellfish.. so we had something else. We all had a great time hanging out with the family that evening. But boy were we ready to crash when we got home.. the kids hadnt gotten naps earlier that day so they had been going all day long!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!! :) :) :) You really are...

Rachel's Bday presents. I had been buying a little at a time over the past few months. Thats my thing now, pick up things as I see them! The toy hairdryer was a Kmart clearance, the plate and bowl set was on clearance at Target after Easter, the block set, toy cd player and books were consignment, the outfit was at Gymboree on sale with a coupon on top of that, and the Picnic basket I got at Toys R Us fullprice but it was too cute! Can you tell I love my deals?!

Upclose of her new outfit. Did she need one? No.. but I couldnt resist. Just tooo cute. She wore it that day when we went out, too!

Checking out her new toys!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rachel Then & Now!!

Well today is the day.. that day I have somewhat been dreading for the past few weeks or so because I knew that my last baby will not be a "baby" anymore!!

Happy Birthday Rachel Louise!!! You are 2 years old today.

Wanted to do a "then and now" post about how much you have changed.

Rachel on the day she was born. 6-18-2009. 8lbs, 30zs and 19 inches long (our shortest baby of them all, but biggest!) 2:05 in the afternoon. She was born a week early, by csection, because she was breech. She was in such a strange position that they couldnt get her turned around (and believe me, they tried!!)

And here she is today, my big 2 year old. Nearly 30 lbs! In Size 3t Clothing. Loves running around, dancing, playing games, swinging on the swings, being pulled in the wagon by daddy, bossing her big siblings around, and being read to. She carries her stuffed Monkey around with her everywhere, and has to sleep with him, too. One of her favorite foods of all time is Mac & cheese and will eat it by the handfull, and any kind of fruit! She is the entertainer of the family, and is always cracking us up. Saying LOTS of new words every day, and is so smart. No interest in the potty yet, but we know she will get their eventually. We LOVE YOU Rachel!!! :) :) :)


Friday morning Joanne came over with Ben. We had originally talked about going swimming that morning with all the kids, but plans fell through, so she just came on over anyway and we got to hang out and chat for awhile. Rachel loved getting to see "baby Ben" and even wanted to climb into his carseat a few times.. I think she was regressing bac ;) After she left I let the kids play outside for awhile. Rachel is always begging me to "GO SWING MOMMY!!!" After awhile, I noticed Calebs shorts were wet, and he went inside to take them off and left a trail of (you guessed it!) poop throughout the house. I am just downright tired of this potty-training mess with him!!

I ended up ordering two new books off Ebay that I am excited to read. The first one is part of a 4-book series, and this is the 3rd one. The other 2 were great so I cant wait to read this one when it gets here. The other one just came highly recommended, so I decided to check that out too!! I love to read any and everything really, so Im sure I'll enjoy it.

Arnold called me that afternoon from work and said that he had gotten a "patent" on something. Its hard for me to explain, but of course its a very good thing!! All his help and ideas, and contributions with that certain thing helped the company out, so his name is on it too. And along with that came a nice check, which he WASNT expecting, so that was such a nice surprise. He is such a hardworking guy, and works hard for our family so I can be a Stay-at-Home-Mom. And the only word to describe how I felt from his phone call was...

I got another call that afternoon from our Family Doctor. Which i had no idea what was going on there. The nurse was like "Oh.. i was expecting to get in contact with Arnold." Yeah.. well.. you got his crazy cooky wife instead, sorry!!! (Sidenote-- with all the anxiety and other medical issues I went thru the past 2 years, lets just say they got to know me verrrry well at that Dr office. Probably two well. They ALL know be by name, even though I was a new patient at the time. Heck, I even think some of my trips and meds paid for the Drs' latest vaction ;) But anyway...) They told me to have him call them back to discuss his labwork he had done at his yearly physical last week. I was a little worried (oh who am I kidding, its ME-- a LOT worried) because they usually just send him a paper in the mail. Well turns out his cholesterol was high.. in a risky range, and they wanted him to start taking a prescription. So now he is on Lipitor.. that crazy medicine that you always see in the commericals. They said lifestyle change probably wasnt enough.. but that he could definately try some changes. I hate he has to go on this.. I hope he doesnt have to take it for the rest of his life. But we're doing what we have to do to try and get him healthier, he needs to be here a long, long time!! Oh, and now we have a new $20 monthly medical bill.. the folks at CVS really love us!!!!

The kids had been going to VBS all week with Malachi, and last night was the closing night. They had the last night of their program and invited the families to a cookout afterwards. We all went downstairs and had hotdogs, chips, and icecream. The kids were WILD after they had their icecream.. running laps around and on a few occasions had some accidents (including a smashed icecream bowl on the floor, and Caleb getting hurt from running into Malachi) But they all had a great time. Tomorrow we are going to that church, so the kids can be part of the program and sing/dance to the songs they learned this week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lots of Babies!!!

My friend Jess had her baby!! 6-16-11. His name is Hunter Levi, and he was 7lbs, and 22 inches. I am a very proud "aunt." :) Jess is such a trooper, she went a whole week overdue with Hunter, and then they decided to induce her. She was very overdue herself as a baby, so she said she didnt expect anything different! But still, I cant imagine how she dealt with being pregnant in the Summer for that much longer! So kudos to you my friend! ;)

So check this out.. FOUR friends had babies on the same day. Yep...four. I am still in amazement myself. My mom says it was due to the full moon on Wed night.. you know that myth ;) Anyway, Jess of course was being induced that day. And another of my good friends from HS, Krista, had to be induced due to BP issues, they were just doing it to be extra safe. She ended up having a csection but everything is all good! She had baby Tyler late last night! And Arnold's friend Shane, who works with him and they are in the band together.. his wife went overdue a few days and SHE was induced that same day! So after we visited Jess we got to go down the hall and meet Garrett.. he was a cutie also..and weighed in at over 9lbs! (another kudos!) Then Im checking FB today and found out that a friend I used to work with at Babies R Us a few years ago had HER sweet baby girl yesterday too.

So there you have it, 4 brand new, precious, healthy miracles! All on the same day! God is so good! They now all share bday week with Rachel. so we will get to party big time in the future ;) You know what it is, they were all trying to copy me.. having babies is cool enough, but.. having them in mid-June is even better! ;)

Ill admit that as I was walking out of the hospital last night after visiting, I felt myself tear up. I felt so nostalgic. Everytime I am in there, and smell the smells of the birthing floor, and share in everyone's excitement, It brings memories of all my kids' births just FLOODING back in. It seems so long ago, and yet at the same time it feels just like yesterday. I can see myself in that moment, holding each new baby in my arms, and being so much in love. Almost 2 years to the day I was in there holding sweet Rachel, all 8lbs, 3ozs of her cute self! And now she is walking around as a funny, sassy 2-year old. She is in such a cute stage right now. Sometimes i wish I could just freeze time because I dont want it to slip away. They arent kidding when they say "enjoy the time" because it is gone way too fast!!

Hunter with his "AUNT ABBY" I am claiming that status, for real! He had his eyes open and was alert the whole time I held him. I set there and carried on a conversation with him and he just stared at me. And did I mention how TINY?! Oh goodness, I was in love!!

An upclose shot.

Check out those tiny, wrinkly feet! Ah! Arent baby feet the cutest?!

Rachel hanging out. We asked her if she wanted to take the baby home and she said "NO!!" haha. Maybe she was a little jealous? She was happy when they gave her a "ITS A BOY" sucker. She enjoyed carrying in the balloon for Hunter, too. She looks so big to me now, after seeing all those teeny tiny babies!! :(

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Think Being a Stay-at-home-Mom is fun???

I had to take a moment out of my day to write this, because I have so much negative energy pent up inside me this week I feel like im going to explode!!

I just spent a good while cleaning SHIT off Calebs walls and dresser. Sorry for the language, but that is the only way to express the pure filth that was his room. Much of it had hardended too, so I was having to scrub really hard. Because I hadnt found it earlier apparently. Soo... why was I doing this you ask? Because apparently my 3 yr old thinks its hilarious and a fun way to pass the time (when hes supposed to be napping) to fingerpaint his walls with his own stinky little-boy poop! We have been having major issues with him and potty training, but never anything like this. I actually caught him yesterday with his pants turned around the other way (he had taken them off earlier in there) and his underwear was clean. So.. yes.. he had been playing around with his butt and i guess smearing AS he pooped. How hard is it to get out of the bed and walk down a short hall to the bathroom?! Seriously?! Oh and this happened not one, but TWO days in a row this week. Some people may say "oh hes bored" or "hes ready to give up his nap" but that does not fly in this house. Brooke even still naps at school and shes almost 5.. most kids need at least some rest time until that age in my opinion, and We WILL continue nap time in this household until that age. If not just for them, for MY sanity as well! I need a little bit of time during the days to unwind, especially after stuff like today.

But this wasnt the start of my day. It shouldnt be a big deal taking 3 kids to the mall for a playdate, and then some lunch, with a few friends, right? I mean people do it every day. Well after I get there, drag the stroller, diaper bag, purse, cellphone, camera, toys and whatever "thing" of the day that Caleb absolutely has to have that day, we try to get into the mall, with lots of yelling on my part because they still like to dart out into the road sometimes. Then we get in and get downstairs to the play area. Where Rachel proceeds to run around and try to steal other kids toys or pacifiers, women's cellphones, you name it. And Caleb.. oh Caleb. if he doesnt get his own way with everything while we are there he will break down and cry. Not just whine, but have a meltdown. "brooke wont let me do this", "im hungry", "im thirsty," "i have to pee", "im bored", "I dont wanna!" and so on and so on, until I get to the point where i grab a sucker from my stash of stuff just to shut him up for 5 minutes so I can attempt to talk to my friends.. I just want a little adult conversation... of some topic.. that doesnt include potty jokes, Toy Story, or "the bigger questions of life." Oh and at one point i look over and my daughter is having the time of her life.. climbing, swinging around.. all while her dress is thrown up and I can see clear-as-day- her pink and yellow panties with owls on them. AS CAN everyone else there!!

So after the playdate ends, we go trekking back upstairs to the foodcourt, where we order a lunch at Subway, which is way more $$$ than i had anticipated because I forgot that I had an extra kid this week since Brooke is out of school. After we sit down and I beg and plead for them to eat their food and not waste it.. of course more than half of Rachels lunch is left. So i pack it up and decide to just take it home. And where is it a few hrs later? In the back of the van.. ruined.. and wasted. Because I forgot all about it. Because RIGHT when we got home, the kids just had to playoutside, and have me push them on the swings, even though its a million degrees out there and I am pouring sweat.

But anyway, I think about the wasted food in the back of the van as I am washing dishes.. while the kids are sitting down watching a movie I popped in so I could get SOMETHING done. Toy Story by the way, which Ive been 10,000 times and can recite every single word to you, in my sleep. So i am washing the dishes, and pull out a broken plate. Yep, broken right down the middle of the plate.. a goner. Oh well.. a good excuse to buy new dishes.. we've had those since we got married and hardly any of the set is left!! Half of my dishes are still sitting in there waiting to be washed, because as I was rinsing, i noticed the right side of the sink filling up very quickly, and noticed I had a bad clog. So before I got angry, I just decided to throw in the towel (literally and figuratively) and take a break, and thats how I got to the point of writing this blog in the first place!!

I just cant get over its only 1pm. I still have hours upon hours to go before I get through this day. The worst days always seem to DRAG by. So... the point of this blog was mostly just for me to vent.. but for any of you that think being a Stay at home Mom is all fun and games, easy, or whatever other labels you want to slap on it, think again. We are more busy and DEFINATELY more stressed than most people. And I know one day Ill look back and wish like anything I could have these days back when they are little and "sweet", but right now all I can imagine and dream about is the day when they are all grown, graduated, and Arnold and I are laying on a sandy beach together. (while still in our 40s I might add.. I guess there IS a perk to being a young mom after all ;)

Now excuse me while I go get my bon bons, kick up my feet and enjoy a nice soap opeara. Because thats what "we" do, isnt it???

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chris' Pre-K Graduation Party

Today we went over to Jackie's house for Chris' Preschool graduation party. I was excited to get out of the house.. these first few days of Summer break havent been bad at all because we have been busy and on-the-go. Get back to me on those days when we have nothing to do and the kids are bored!!!

We had some lunch first and some cake.. which was yummy! Rachel love getting to play with their little kitten.. she absolutely loves cats! I know she would love to have one as a pet but Arnold doesnt care for cats at all, and I know we dont need any more pets (or things to feed!!) So we wont even go there! The kids then played outside. They jumped on the trampoline, played on the slide, with the water tables, and just ran around crazy (which is good, because they were getting rid of all their pent-up energy they always seem to have waay too much of!) A few times they got bumped or hit.. I seriously thought for awhile SOMEONE was going to get hurt.. I was cringing everytime the kids were jumping and someone was sitting down. I let Rachel try it out for a minute but she was terrified and started screaming for me to get her down. Poor kid.. dont blame her! Then the mailman comes by in his car delivering mail to people on the street. Brooke says "Hey, theres the Mail carrier!!" (my daughter is very proper.. and yet she speaks in SUCH a hick accent?! go figure!!! ;) And all the kids start screaming THE MAIL MAN, THE MAIL MAN!! AHHHH!! I mean they are flipping out at him and he is just watching them, halfway smiling, halfway terrified at all those kids, haha. He is this younger guy too, and he gets out to hand the mail to Jackie and I am bright red... I had to turn around for a minute. Its funny how excited kids get over things but they really know how to embarass you too! :)

At the end of the party Jackie handed out some favors to the kids.. some little stuffed animals and some bubbles.. so cute. Brooke got an elephant, Caleb got a monkey, and Rachel got a frog. Rachel carried hers around and then took it with her to her nap, as matter of fact! They all had a great time.. and I figure we'll have to do playdates a LOT this summer so that the kids can stay busy (and the moms can talk and hang out, too!) :)

Joanne and Ben.. He loved wathing the big kids play.. wont be long at all before hes right there with them!

Rachel loves slides.. all kinds of slides!

Thought this was a cute pic I got!

Caleb, Brooke and Chris. Taking a break from all the jumping :)

1st Day of Summer Vacation

Yesterday was the first official day of Summer break!! I have been somewhat excited, and somewhat dreading it, because I know when all 3 kids get together they can be rowdy, chaotic, and fight. It went a lot better than I thought. They DID get up at 7:15 though.. no matter what day, even if its a weekend or a school break, they are always up at the same time! Arnold is having to work weird hours this week so he got up at 5:30 am to go into work, and thank goodness that didnt wake the kids up!

We went outside and played for awhile. The kids got out a bunch of sidewalk chalk and drew all over the carport and driveway. Later i discovered a big, blue mark down the side of the van, so obviously they were drawing places where they werent supposed to!! They are sneaky, because I didnt see it then! Then we moved onto playing in the yard some, and while they played I started a new book.. called "Wife in the Fast Lane." Its ok, but its been hard to get into.

Later that afternoon my Father-in-law texted me and said "lets go swimming", and by then it was almost 2pm and thats when the kids usually nap but I figured what the heck because I know they love spending time with their paw. But I think he figured I was going with him too, so I got myself ready and Rachel, too. She got to wear her new zebra striped bathing suit and matching sandals she got for her bday and she looked sooo cute. No I didnt get a pic of her in that either.. Im afraid im not going to get many pics of her these days because she cries and runs away from the camera.. haha. So we went next door to the pool, and Uncle Gene and Peyton came over and swam, too. The kids all had a great time. Rachel still prefers to sit on one of the steps and splash her feet around, but she has fun! :) Around 3:30 we finally went home and by then there was no point in them taking a nap since it was so late in the afternoon, so we just hung around until Arnold got home from work and had some snacks.

Last night we took the kids to VBS that Malachi's parents were heading. It is a "chef" and "cooking" theme and seems really cute. Brooke was sooo thrilled to see Malachi. They have only been out of school for a few days but she has been missing him like crazy! ;) We dropped Brooke and Caleb off and took Rachel with us.. we figured she wouldnt do too well staying there and paying attention, etc. We drove to his little place near our house and got some icecream.. chocolate chip for me and cherry vanilla for Arnold.. Rachel really seemed to like Arnold's! Then we went grocery shopping.. it is a LOT calmer to do it without all 3 kids. Tonight with the extra time we might actually go look for Rachels bday gift, which we STILL havent gotten yet, but should come as no surprise.. yall know how much I procrastinate!!! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Weekend

After that big party we had for Rachel Friday evening, I could have slept and slept the morning away on Saturday, believe me.. I was EXHAUSTED. But unfortunately, the kids still get up around 7:30, no matter the day, so we all got up and tried to figure out something to do.

We went driving around to try and find some good yardsales.. that has become a tradition on the Saturdays we have nothing to do. There wasnt hardly anything out though.. at least not for kids. After awhile it was lunchtime and we went to Chilis (an early birthday lunch for Rachel ;) And then we ran by Ritas to get some italian ice. I know, we are there WAY too much, but I just cant resist it.. its soo good. We had a coupon for buy one/get one because I signed up for their club online. They also just sent Rachel a coupon for a free one for her bday, so you know we'll be going back ;) Anyway, then we came home and the kids went down for a nap. Later that night we went to Mom & Dad's for a birthday dinner for Alex. my "little" brother turned 22 on Friday!! We had steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and bread, it was sooo yummy! The kids had a great time playing outside.. just walking around the yard takes me back to my childhood and all the fun times I had.. bittersweet. It was a great evening.. we didnt end up getting home until around 9:30 though.. my parents have always eaten late!!

Sunday morning we got up and got ready for church. Rachel wore one of her new dresses that she had gotten for her birthday.. it was soo cute. I wish I had gotten a pic of her in it but she wouldnt stand still! On the way home from church we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch. I also got a Pina Colada freeze drink. I seem to have an obsession with these icy/freeze drinks and like to get them often.. maybe thats why I go to Ritas so much! This is one of the many, many reasons I like summer! ;) When we got home the kids played outside with their sidewalk chalk. They made lots of pictures and Brooke wrote her name.. I added in a few cute messages too, like "Abbs love Arnold" which he saw when he got done mowing the grass ;)

After the kids went down for a nap, I went to a few stores to try and use some of my coupons from this week's Sunday paper. There were some good ones this week! I went to Dollar General and they had their V8 splash juice on sale for $2, and I had a $1 off coupon, so I got juice for the kids for $1.. cant beat that! Ill admit that I WAS excited over that... thats pitiful isnt it? So i see how people can get addicted to the whole couponing thing.. I am still a "beginner" though! That night we had dinner and hung out around the house.. we usually go on a walk around the block in the evenings, but a storm was coming through. That night Arnold and I watched that new movie "Just go with It" with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. It was sooo funny, I really enjoyed it. Dave Matthews even starred in it, and they made him gay in the movie!!! If you havent seen it, id recommend it!

Brookes apron she wears when she helps Grandma cook!

Rachel playing on the bouncy horse that used to be mine!

The kids with their Grandma!

Birthday boy Alex

Brooke's School Year & Last Day

Brookes last day of Preschool was this past Friday. I feel like I was JUST getting used to the year, the routine, and how things were, and then just like that, its over! I actually was teary eyed for a few weeks when I was waiting in the car rider line to pick her up.. I was just thinking of how much she has grown up this past year and how she is going to be in Kindergarten this coming Fall. I remember when she was born me thinking ahead to big moments like this, and it seemed soo far away. I know everyone tells you "enjoy it because it will go by soo fast" and I listened but didnt truly understand until now! I picked her up that last day and her assistant teacher put her in the van and hugged her and told her to have a good Summer. I told her that "we" would miss her. Then I proceeded to cry the whole way home. The kids were asking me what was wrong. I said "its the last day of school! its over! its all over!" And they just looked at me like I was crazy. But i know theyll understand one day when they have their own kids!

Brookes teachers this year were amazing. I couldnt have asked for more kind, caring, and thoughtful teachers. They were patient with her while she learned to be in a classroom setting and follow their directions. They were comforting and supportive during all the health issues we went through when they diagnosed Brooke with epilepsy. They were actually the ones who caught her first seizure and told me about it because they were so concerned (at the time we didnt know it was a seizure). They always bragged on how sweet a girl she was, and how well behaved she is (proof that kids are better for others than their parents! ;) As a matter of fact, she earned a "star" EVERY day this school year! They gave our stars in their planners for good behavior that day. I am so proud of her, and Arnold and I plan on doing something special for her for earning that.

She has grown leaps and bounds. She learned to ineract with all different kinds of people. She was already at a Kindy/1st grade reading level halfway through the year. She knew all her letters and can count to 13 (we are still working on the number past then.. she starts rambling and making up numbers like "eleventeen" :) She made lots of friends and even a "boyfriend." She is so incredibly social and outgoing..and as yall know she did NOT get that from me! ;)

Just wanted to share a few pictures. I put her in the same dress on the last day of school, and took a pic in front of the same tree outside, to show how much she has changed this year!

First day of Preschool, August 2010

Last day of Preschool, June 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rachel's Owl Birthday Party!!

Well last night was finally the night of Rachel's big owl party!! I dropped the younger kids off at Mom and dads house and got to the church with Brooke around 3:30 to start working. After just awhile of dragging out tables from the back room and situating them where I wanted them, I was already sweating.. i mean it was bad, sweat pouring off my face.. bad day to wear jeans! Brooke was a good help until she got distracted.. haha. We had a small incident, where we dropped a table and it fell on both of our foots... ouch! I felt so bad about Brooke hurting her foot... but she seemed ok after a few minutes. Then a little while later my friend Amanda came by and helped me decorate and set all the food up and blow balloons and everything.. she was a lifesaver!!! I think the place ended up looking really cute with all the bright colors and "owl things". Arnold had to make a run out to Walmart last min because I had forgotten pinata candy, a balloon machine to blow up all the balloons we had, and a pack of bottled waters. He then went and picked up the pizzas, and lastly to get the kids.. so Rachel was late to her own party but its all good!!!

Rachel came in and had nooo idea what was going on. I think she was a little overwhelmed! She saw me and came running up to me, yelling MOmmy!!! and smiling real big.. and I bent down to hug her, it was so sweet! She was wearing her custom owl outfit I had made and looked cute.. but she wouldnt have anything to do with the bow that matched!! The party went pretty well I guess.. Arnold said it was his fave so far of parties I have had, but I think thats because my friends helped me out so much and he wasnt as stressed ;) We had the bounce house set up so the kids spent a lot of time in there. We also had a few owl crafts set up for kids to do if they wanted. Everyone ate, and then we did the cake.. Rachel didnt seem too interested in that at all.. we kept telling her to blow the candle out and she kept saying nooooo. I dont think she ended up eating any of her cake at all!! Oh well. Then we moved on to presents. She was having a meltdown by then (a long day and no nap--even though I had tried!) And of course Caleb wanted to help, but he was throwing gifts at me left and right and stuff was flying and getting mixed together, so I didnt get a chance to read the cards or anything till later, and a lot of the things she got im not even sure who they came from! But she really racked up.. thank you to everyone who came and for all the sweet gifts!

Last thing was the pinata. My brother had tried to rig it up in his owl special (ahem, REDNECK) way. It ended up falling and it frustrated the kids so Arnold just ended up ripping it apart. And the kids went CRAAAZY filling up their bags with stuff. Everyone also took some of the other favors I had made.. the owl lollipops and the owl chocolates. They seemed to be a big hit! All in all the party was pretty big, we had a lot of people, but it was manageable. We had about 7 familes pull out last minute.. so if they would have come too I cant imagine how chaotic it would have been! Afterwards Erika, Alex and my grandpa stayed around to help us clean up. It wasnt too bad.. the church was having a thing there the next day, and they let us leave the tables and chairs out, so that cut a lot of the clean up time out. Overall I think the party was a great success. I still cant get over how much work and time i put into these parties and then its over soo quickly! But its fun! :)

My sweet birthday girl! Only pic I got that was halfway decent of her outfit and she is still covering the owl up! But she is still cute ;)

Birthday cake time!

Group shot of me and some of the best friends ever! Im surprised this shot turned out so well when we just all gathered together so quickly!

Brooke with her Owl Craft

Some of Rachels birthday loot-- all the new clothes she got! I love them all! Cant wait to put her in them. She is wearing one of the new dresses to church tomorrow. And the zebra bathing suit w/ matching sandals ahhh.. I love it! She also is stocked up on pjs it looks like!