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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

The past 9 days since Ariel was born have been flying by so quickly I hardly have time to think. Last week while I was in the hospital I got my days all mixed up and at some point on Friday I realized that it was not Monday. I completely missed Thankful Thursdays last week and have been trying to get to it today for the past 4 hours.

So while little Ariel is sleeping I have (hopefully) enough time to finish this and grab a bite to eat, maybe even get a shower if I am really lucky!

This week Thankful Thursdays is pretty obvious for me, This week I am Thankful for:

1. A perfectly healthy and beautiful little girl.

2. Ariel's labor and delivery was so short, easy and even though I didn't get to the hospital in time for any type of pain was fairly painless compared to my huge baby Owain!

3. My husband Will was awesome during my labor (the part he was awake for) and the delivery of Ariel. He is my rock and did an amazing job of supporting me, making me comfortable and for being able to keep me focused. He stood beside me, held my hand and gave me strength and confidence, he kept me sane, made me laugh and was quick to move when I needed his help. Thank you so much for standing beside me for the birth of all 5 of our beautiful children, I love you!

4. My parents who are here to help me adjust to life with 5 kids, 2 of which are babies and 3 of which are in diapers. Thanks Mom and Dad you are made of awesome!

5. My 3 year old is doing a great job potty training himself, but is still very content to use his diaper occasionally.

6. My 4 boys love their little sister and are so excited to have her home with us! They are already asking for another little sister, sorry boys...the answer is no...and I mean it this time, no more babies for us.

7. My body doesn't hurt so bad any more and I am not so grumpy because of it!

8. Ariel is nursing like a pro with no troubles at all!

9. Ariel is sleeping very well through most of the night and will sleep for about half of it in her bassinet.

10. I am still so very thankful for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!

11. Our addition is completely wired and we have full power out there...its all lit up!! (I started a post with pictures after we passed electrical inspection last week when I was in labor, but had to abandon it after my husband reminded me I was in labor...shortly after that I realized I had better get to the hospital pronto!)

12. My dad is awesome with home remodeling (I get my DIY confidence from him!) and has been helping William out with our addition since my parents got here a week ago...Thanks Dad!

13. The last of the gutters is going up on the side of the addition right now...That means our basement will no longer flood and at some point I can get that mess cleaned up.

14. Some of my veggies are not doing so great...but others are thriving and producing something harvestable every day! Grow veggies grow! I love free food!

15. I have little patches of grass that are popping up around my it is only about 3/4 of a muddy mess.

16. William's mother was able to hang out with the kids and take care of them for 2 days while I was in the hospital...they had a great time hanging out with grandma Linda! Thanks Linda, you are made of awesome!

17. Grandma Linda took the kids to Target to buy cute little pink clothes.

18. My aunt Lorraine and Uncle Steve sent a box of cute little pink clothes, they are so very cute!...along with her first little beany baby...Thanks guys!

19. Ginny who works for my mom sent a box of cute little girl clothes, they are so very adorable! Thanks so much Ginny!

20. Will's Aunt Christy sent a box of cute little girl clothes, and they are so very very cute...I can't wait until she fits into the denim jacket with the pink faux fur collar!

21. All the summer clothes are on sale, so we have been getting great deals on cute girly-girl clothes...after 4 boys I have become a cute and adorable girly-girl mom and can't get enough of these cute and adorable girly-girl clothes!

22. I am Thankful that Stellan is hanging in there and his Heart meds are working! I am still praying for him.

23. It just occurred to me that today Ariel is 9 days old...when Owain was 9 days old he had his first Open Heart Surgery for the BT shunt. I am Thankful everyday for Dr Peeler and the amazing work that he does for his Heart Babies!

24. For the most part my boys have given me the peace and quiet to sit and post this and with any luck, I will be posting pictures by the end of the day...I know the suspense is killing you all!

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ariel Margarete, Our New Pea-Nut is a She-Nut :)

Can you believe it?! We have a little girl! I still can't believe it.

Her name is Ariel Margarete, she weighed 7 pounds and was 19 inches long at birth. She was born at 7:10am on July 21, 2009. Margarete is my mother's middle name and was the name of my great-great-grandmother on her fathers side.

After I posted here yesterday, I realized that things were moving along rather quickly and that there was no time to grab the laptop. We were only here for about an hour and a half before she was born. It was just about as perfect of a labor and delivery as I could ask for. I got to stay home through most of my labor and had just enough time to check in, wait for my midwife to get here and deliver Ariel.

We finally got the laptop here tonight so I could post and let you all know. I have some pictures to post, but they are not ready yet. I don't know if I will get them posted before I get home. I have to see what kind of photo editing program William has on the laptop.

Ariel is a quiet, little thing and loves to sleep. She loves to eat too! She is doing a great job with nursing and loves to cuddle up with mama. I think she is spoiled already! Her brothers love her and are so excited to have a little sister. Even little Owain smiled and laughed when he saw her.

She is sleeping now and I desperately need to lay down and get some good least try to anyways. I will be going home tomorrow and my parents will coming down for 10 days. It will be nice to have some help at home for a while as we all adjust. Their trip could not have been scheduled any more perfectly!

Time for a quick snack and off to bed for a quick nap before she needs to eat again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Its Baby Time...Heading to the Hospital


I wonder if this little Pea-Nut will be a boy or a girl?

I have been in labor since about 9 last night. I was hoping to wait until the office opened this morning to see how things have progressed, but the contractions are 5-8 minutes apart & about a minute long.

With 4 boys so far, do you think it will be a boy or a girl? We shall see in a few hours.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Electrical in our Addition is Finally Done!

It looks like Will got all of the electrical finished up this weekend! He has been working on getting everything wired since March or April. It was around Easter time when he started. We have been cleaning it up and getting everything organized so when the inspector comes he is not walking through a big construction mess. Were hoping that the inspector will be able to come out tomorrow morning, and then if there is anything that needs to be fixed, Will can get it fixed by the end of the day. Even more than that, we are hoping that nothing will need to be fixed and that everything is correctly wired and up to code.

That means the next step is getting insulation up and then drywall! I might actually have drywall up in my addition, at least some of it before the end of the month. How exciting is that! The electrical took way longer than we were hoping, but now that we have (hopefully) gotten past this phase things should move along quickly!

It was 2 years ago (and 2 full pregnancies ago) in August that we decided that we were going to build an addition because we couldn't find the right house. And at that time our house was too small for the 3 kids we had. Now we have actually been working on the addition for 14 1/2 months...and it has started to get a bit overwhelming.

I can't even believe that we are going to be putting up actually walls on the addition this month. I don't think I could be any more happy than I am right now!

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Ice Cream Maker

An Ice Cream Maker is what I have recently added to my must have list.

This is a very big hint, for those closest to me...who know that I have a birthday coming up. I have been hinting in the direction of a pasta maker for quite some time now, but as I am newly obsessed with getting an Ice Cream Maker, talk amongst yourselves.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

It has been a much better week than last week! I feel like my head is a bit more organized and things are finally starting to fall into place. There is definitely lots to be thankful for today.

I would love it if you would join me in celebrating all the great, simple, unforgetable, strange, daily, pleasant, sigh of relief, exciting, or underwhelming moments in our lives. What are your Thankful Thoughts?

1. I am Thankful that my head is more organized and I feel less stressed.

2. I am still Thankful for Edy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream...and the fact that it was on sale this week!

3. I am Thankful that I finally got a bassinet for the new baby and when the time comes I know there is bed ready.

4. I am Thankful that I finally managed to find the time to dig out some baby clothes for new baby that will work if it is a boy or a girl. I am almost ready for this baby...I hope its ready for me!

5. I am Thankful for Bing Cherries!

6. I am Thankful for Mended Little Hearts of Charlottesville & I am so excited to become a volunteer to help new Heart familys!

7. I am Thankful that my parents are coming to visit and help out with the new baby next week and that they will be here for 10 day!

8. I am Thankful that my mother-in-law and her husband insisted on hiring someone to finish our siding on our addition, and that it is almost done!

9. I am Thankful that my husband is almost done wiring the addition, and that it is almost ready for inspection! Insulation & drywall are up next!!

10. I am Thankful for the veggies in my garden that are actually doing well enough to produce food for us!

11. And of course I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy ;)

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nuthouse and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good News is so Good, Some News is Not so Good Though

Yesterday was a good day. A long one, but still a good one.

First bit of good news is that my 8 year old Wing-Nut is finally done (for the moment anyways) getting all of his cavities filled! Poor little guy has huge teeth, packed into a tiny little mouth and has such a hard time getting everything when he brushes. He gets it from his mother. We went in thinking he was going to have to go in one more time, but it turns out that one spot they thought was a cavity was just a stain and now it is gone. Not sure how they confused a stain with a cavity, but either way no more fillings.

Second bit of good news is that my 2 year old had X-rays to look for the swallowed penny and it looks like the penny has moved on. I just spent the past week and a half searching diapers for the penny and it feel so good to finally be able to stop. It was kind of hard to do any extensive searching, especially while potty training. He only used his diaper about half of the time and decided to use the potty the other half. Since he is taking it upon himself to potty train, with no guidance from me, I found it hard to turn him down when he asked just because I was supposed to be looking for a penny.

Not so good news...We have been struggling with my 8 year old's weight for almost a year. My kids have always been small and tiny and my oldest has always been the lightweight in the family. We have also been struggling with certain aspects of his behavior that has lead to an officially diagnosis of ADHD...which was one of the final situations that prompted us to finally Homeschool him. Last year we had him on a medication that caused him to loose a lot of weight rather quickly, so we switched him, but he has not managed to rebound and gain the weight back. Yesterday he had a weight check and has lost weight since May and while he is not loosing weight now, he has not gained any weight in about a month, despite being on Boost and getting lots of high calorie foods and "good" fat. He also saw a gastrointestinal specialist last month who ran tons of tests. Everything came back as negative or normal except for a genetic marker for Celiac disease. Before running any, more invasive tests, the specialist has decided to put him on an appetite stimulant to see if that will help him gain weight. So he is starting that today, and we will see if that will help him to gain any weight. He has been in the 0-2% for his weight for well over a year despite everything I have done to get him to gain weight. So if he gains weight with the stimulant, hopefully we wont have to do any invasive tests. So, I guess that it is bad news that he is not gaining weight, but it is good news that we have one more option before invasive tests...So wish us luck!

We went to our Mended Little Hearts meeting last night. As a new chapter we are working on getting volunteers trained to meet with families of new Heart babies as they come into the NICU or when the families first find out during pregnancy that they will be having a Heart baby. Last night we had a member of our parent organization Mended Hearts come in and give us a bit of advice and let us know what is available to us as a MLH chapter and as a MLH member. Turns out we have all sorts of resources available to us that include business cards and stationary. One member was showing off her membership card & mentioned that she just got it in the mail along with a Heart was then that I remembered getting a good sized envelope in the mail last week from Mended Little Hearts as I was running out the door for something. I also forgot all about it until last night, and forgot where I put it. I am guessing that it is one of those things where I wanted to make sure I didn't loose it, so I put it some place safe. Not real smart on my part, at this particular time in my pregnancy. I have spend a good amount of time looking for it today, but it still hasn't shown up. The search for this is going to lead to another moment of mass organizing, and probably in the end, moving furniture to clean under it...nesting at it most uncontrolable moment.

Overall, it has been a pretty good week, much better than last week, that is for sure. I woke up exhausted this morning from all of my running around, but so far that is the extent of my troubles, aside from being uncomfortable beyond all explainable words...but less than 11 days to go and I will be able to hold my new little Pea-Nut...and then it is on to a whole new list of complaints, but for now I am happy to say that things are Good this week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

As I was...

As I was...

...settling down last night, feeling like I accomplished a lot, and the baby was trying to wiggle its way under my ribs, I suddenly realized that while I packed my bags for myself for the hospital, not only did I forget to grab some clothes to pack for the baby, I have not yet pulled out clothes for him/her to wear when they get home.

...mowing the lawn at 7am this morning, I realized that even at 7am it is still way to hot and humid to be out mowing the lawn in the South while 38 weeks pregnant, but I couldn't stop myself from finishing.

...standing in the shower this morning, thinking that something was not quite right and wondering what on earth it could be, I realized that I need to turn the water on in order to actually take a shower.

...looking down, contemplating the fact that just because I can see my feet, I realized that does not mean that I can actually reach them to paint my toenails.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I have many Ah-Ha moments when I realize that I know exactly what to do. Life at the Nuthouse has a tendency to be crazy, and most of the time that is just fine with me. Sometimes I feel like things are a bit to crazy even for me. I have been having a hard time getting through my day lately and I decided that it was time for me to turn around, grab my kids and walk in the other direction completely. My Ah-Ha moment happened around 5am this morning when I realized that the contractions that I was having all night long that were keeping me up were probably due to a long day of running round yesterday, and that I was not going into labor exhaused...and as much as I am ready for this baby, I am Thankful that it was not real labor!

So here is my first Thankful Thursday post. I would love it if you would join me in celebrating all the great, simple, unforgetable, strange, daily, pleasant, sigh of relief, exciting, or underwhelming moments in our lives.

Today I am Thankful:

1. That, as I said earlier, I am not going into labor exhausted!

2. That my pole beans are thriving and we should have fresh from the vine green beans soon :)

3. That it looks like the Chickenpox have come and gone in at least one of my Little Nuts, and the other is showing no signs (yet!) and at this point I still don't have shingles.

4. That I have a small patch of baby grass growing my back yard from a handful of seeds I found in my pantry (of all places).

5. That I only forgot 1/4 of the things on my grocery list yesterday and I can run out and get them all in one place.

6. I am very Thankful for Eddy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream!

7. And of course I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy ;)

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nuthouse and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to Mister Linky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Thankful Thursdays

Many things have happened to our Happy Nut House since Owain was born in May 2008. I have recently realized that I am still recovering from the stress of being surprised 14 hours after his birth that something was wrong with his Heart, finding out about his complex Heart Defect, standing by his bed fearing for his life, watching over him after his 2 surgeries and caring for his special needs. That itself is a lot to handle, but when you combine that with our home addition that we started the week before he was born, another pregnancy, William working out of town most of the time, and my inability to work as much as I would like (both jewelry vending and working at home) I end up feeling Overwhelmed and Underpaid.

I get stressed over money, our home addition, our back yard that is a never ending construction zone, Owain's next surgery, the piles of laundry, dirty dishes and this strange and endless overflowing of toys that come from 4 kids. I stress over my cracked windshield, the new tires I need and the strange sensor light on the dashboard. I stress over silly little things like a house covered in Cheerios even though I just cleaned them up, along with the never ending scattering of crayons and little scraps of paper that my happy little children left behind in a frenzy of brilliant craftyness.

I sleep very little at night (although at this point much of this is due to a very huge baby in the belly) and I spend my days worrying about dozens of things. Many times, I get through the day by turning my back on all of my stress and completely focus on my kids...but then when I try to focus on things again everything is so out of control that I don't know where to begin.

So to help me get through the week and get my head organized, I have decided to start Thankful Thursdays. Every Thursday I will post a quick list of things I am Thankful for, I would love it if you stopped back on Thurdsays to join me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chickenpox at the Nuthouse

It is interesting how the littlest things can change everything about my day, and even my week.

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that Little Nut Nut had a chicken pox blister on his neck. I watched it for a few hours to make sure, but by the time I figured out it was actually chickenpox there was not really much I could do about it. He has tested positive for an allergy to milk protein, but passed the milk challenge. Milk just gives him a mild case of eczema, mostly he has small little bumps all over his body, that you don't normally see unless he eats lots of cheese, like when we have pizza for dinner or he has cheese and crackers as a snack, or if he eats a whole container of yogurt. So it is really hard to tell if the bumps are going to turn into blisters or if they are due to his slight milk allergy. I think I am going to have to keep him off of all dairy for the next few days and once the bumps from that settle down it will be easier to tell if it will turn into a blister or not. With any luck, he will be over the chickenpox before the eczema settles down.

My 2 older Nuts have already had it, so I know that at the moment only 2 Nuts in my house could actually get it. All of my Nuts have had their chickenpox vaccines, so the very mild case that my older Nuts had gives me hope that this will be a mild case for every one involved.

I have been worrying about Owain, my littlest Wee Nut. With his single ventricle, that makes him more susceptible to respiratory distress associated with heart defects and chickenpox. So far though, not a single blister on him...good news there. So far, that just means that he doesn't have it yet. There is still a chance he could get it, I am hoping that he doesn't. We just have to watch him for junkieness in his chest, coughing or pulling to breathe.

I had to reschedule my Midwife appointment that I had this morning, with hopes that I can actually go to the appointment on Friday and that this whole chickenpox thing will blow over. I just hope that I don't end up with shingles! Every little itch and every little bump I find sends me running to a mirror to check for blisters. The midwife that I talked to this morning said that if I get shingles, that it could be very painful...not what I was hoping to hear, but I am glad for the warning. She also said that there is something that she can give me that is safe to take, I will just have to make that decision if the time comes.

It seems that the littlest Nut, the baby in the belly is very safe for the moment. Most likely, when I had the chickenpox as a kid I created immunity for the new Pea-Nut that will last throughout the last days of my pregnancy and for 1-2 months after delivery. I am very hopeful that the new Pea-Nut will be born with a good dose of immunity from me.

So here we are with the waiting game. Waiting the week out with hopes that Little Nut Nut doesn't get any more and hoping that Owee doesn't get it at all. For now, the plans for the library and the park are put on hold, so I guess it is more cleaning and organizing to get ready for the littlest Pea-Nut and for the next step for the addition.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pregnancy Induced Forgetfulness

As my due date gets closer, less than 3 weeks away I am finding it harder and harder to concentrate. We are trying to get everything in order, and in doing so lots of things are getting overlooked. My brain is overflowing with way too many things not to write them down....but I can only seem to remember to actually write things down about half of the time, so that leaves the other half of the things floating off somewhere in ForgetfulLand without the slightest chance of ever getting done.

I did get my bags packed...well mostly. I got the essentials packed, but none of the comforts from home that make childbirth so much easier. If I had to walk out the door right now, I would have clothes to wear & I would be able to take a shower. I am still missing pictures of the kids, don't have music picked out, I still can't seem to remember the name we picked out for a boy...and somehow that seems pretty important to me because I suddenly have a feeling that it is yet another boy. There are several other things that need to be packed too, and if I could remember them, I would mention them.

It seems that many of the things that need to be done, pop into my head as I am doing things that keep me from getting to a pen & paper. Like changing diapers, washing dishes, squishing herbs into my turkey burgers with my hands, taking a shower, trying to sleep at 4am & hoping that if I don't actually get out of bed I could fall back asleep, driving & refereeing the fight in the back of the van while trying to remember where I am going and why, gardening or changing more diapers.

My oldest Nut may have to start following me around with pen & paper so I can just ramble all sorts of things at him & hope that he gets it written down.

Just in the past few days, I have managed to forget some simple, yet important things that have managed to get under my skin enough to up my stress level.

I turned on the dish water in the kitchen sink, went out to the grill to check on dinner and forgot completely about the water until after I wandered around my garden checking a few things out, talked to Will about the new window he was putting in our bedroom...just hanging around outside trying to escape the Nuttyness of the day for just a few minutes. I returned to the kitchen to find the very deep sink to be overflowing all over the counter, down the front of the cupboards and all over the kitchen floor. A bit of a hassle to clean up while making dinner on the 4th of July, but the kitchen cupboards in front of the sink are so clean now, and so is the floor.

I also forgot to put away the left-over, super yummy herbed with mozzerella cheese chunks turkey burgers that were supposed to be for lunch the next day. They sat on the counter all night long & I found them when I woke up at 4:15am. They were already stinkey...big bummer. They were really good!

I have in the past few days loaded both the dishwasher & the washing machine, added soap and walked away without turning either of them on.

Except for the 4th of July, when we were waiting dinner on Will to finish up putting the new window in our bedroom, I have actually forgotten to make dinner until well after dinnertime...we eat dinner around 5pm every night, and I have looked at the clock suddenly at 6:30 or later on several occations and totally paniced that dinner is not even started & it is almost bedtime for the kids. How can I be so busy that I forget to make dinner...and not put 2 & 2 together to figure out that the kids are probably going bonkers because they are hungry?

So along with all of my other goals that I have for the week, my main goal is to get my head in order & remember to write things down before I forget them again. Hopefully I can make it through the week without flooding any other rooms in the house & remembering to feed my children.

And, Will just got assigned to go back to Deleware to finish(again) a job that he finished 3 weeks ago. So he is 5 hours away for the entire week. I need to clear my head of this looming thought that if I go into labor while he is gone, I will be driving myself & my 4 children to the hospital, hopefully not in the middle of the night.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Oldest Nut Turned 8!

It was actually last week...maybe longer, but not too much.

I can't believe that my oldest just turned 8 and I am so close to having my 5th. What a quick, short, long, happy, hug filled, chaotic, fun, crazy, sleepless, exciting, overwhelming, jam packed 8 years it has been! I feel like there is no way he could be this old already, and at the same time I look at everything we have done in the past 8 years and realize he is every bit of his 8 years.

So a very late (because that is how we do things at the Nuthouse) Happy 8th Birthday to my first, my little (and now so big) Wing Nut.

Just a Few Days Old

Eight Years Later:
(with his cake stuck in his favorite train cake pan, it was still delicious though!)

Two Days in a Row...

One of my little Nuts woke up at 5am with a nightmare...thus starting my sleepy day a bit early.

I am up cleaning & nesting shortly after the nightmare, OCD style...the baby could be here any day.

My 2 year old Nut woke up with a dry nighttime diaper...Yippie!

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