Sunday, May 31, 2009


I cannot believe George Tiller is dead. I cannot believe someone murdered him. I think of his family, his daughter, how horrid this must be.

And I would put money that a self-proclaimed "Pro-Life" activist did it.
I bet the murderer was also a self-proclaimed Christian.

"Hypocrite: a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives"

I was raised to hate the sin, love the sinner. And, "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." And, judge not lest you be judged.

You cannot be a cafeteria Christian. You cannot pick and chose which parts of the faith you believe. You cannot condemn someone for killing, and then kill that person.

But that's my opinion.

My prayers go out to the Tiller family.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Awesome full weekend

Let's review the past week

Wednesday-Maggie's last day of school
Thursday-Lainie's last day of school
Friday-Katie's last day of school
Saturday-Farmers Market, get ready for...
Sunday-Natalie's baptism, Katie and Maggie went home with my parents for a few days (for the first time!), then out in Aggieville with awesome college friends
Monday-headed to Salina to buy a new dishwasher YAY!
Tuesday-headed to Wichita and back to get Katie and Maggie

Now it's Wednesday and I'm at work. And exhausted. Gee, I wonder why? In addition to the crazy schedule, Natalie also has had a hard time sleeping, which means I'm sleep deprived. Last night, I took advantage of Jay's relaxed schedule for today and asked him to take care of her at 1:30, after she was fed and changed but not sleeping. Now, I feel guilty because I've dragged him into my sleep-deprivation-club.

Adding to the guilt is the fact that I'm letting him run into the lion's den, so to speak. He scheduled Maggie's follow-up doctor appt for the latest ear infection, and he scheduled it for today. At 1:30. So, not only is he taking the girls to the doctor, which he rarely does. He's also taking all 4 with him solo, which he's never done. AND, he's doing it at naptime. Pray for the poor boy.

The funny thing about being surrounded by teachers is that, when summer comes, you feel like the ONLY person who has to show up at work. (Katie and Maggie were indignant that I left for work this morning..."but MOMMY, it's summer!?!") But, as my mom so kindly reminded me today, I need to remember that just because he's not heading into an office job, doesn't mean he isn't working. In fact, he's working a thousand times harder. And, I am grateful.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Laughingly crazy

Our household is just funny, some days.

Maggie can't hear. Her ears are infected and are clogged enough that you have to talk loudly, one step below yelling, for her to hear.

Lainie, of course, can't talk, at least not very clearly. And, she's refusing to do sign language, out of toddler stubbornness.

Now just imagine the conversations the two of them are having with each other. Lots of "huh?" and "what?"

Natalie's tummy has been upset, so she's having some nasty blow-outs. Typical, but not fun.

And then Katie, who was the only one NOT to worry about, got BIT today at the bus stop. Apparently a 4th grade girl was getting picked on by other kids, and took it out on Katie.

What can you do, but laugh. Well, not laugh at Katie's situation -- it's being dealt with. But at the big picture of the insanity of our family...just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quote from radio today

I work like it's all up to me and pray like it's all up to God, and rejoice the outcome no matter what.

Rolling with the punches

Natalie rolled over the first time yesterday, at the doctor's office. Yay, Natalie! She's weighing in at 10 pounds 16 ounces...that's what they wrote down on the paper. Gee, that's almost 11 pounds, isn't it? Funny thing is, that's what Jay's birth certificate says too.

Natalie also got some vaccines. Specifically, the Hepatitis B, HIB haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), and Pneumococcal. She was also supposed to get the DTap and IPV/Polio,, but I asked that we space the out a bit, saying I'll come back in a two weeks. I also asked that DTaP vaccine not be paired in one shot with the polio vaccine, since the DPT is what my brother reacted to, and I like to watch her reaction that specific shot a bit more closely. So far, so good. She was a little warm and a little sleepier than usual, but the site reactions are minimal and she seems fine otherwise.

With my brother's reaction, the first shot resulted in a very high fever and bad site reaction. The reaction to the second shot was more violent, and the third shot put him in a coma and caused the brain damage. So, we go slow for the first round of vaccines and then relax more if there are no abnormal reactions.

Katie's the only one of our girls who have had a significant reaction, and that was to the MMR. She spiked a fever of 103+ and had a knot in her leg for over a year. Thankfully her second MMR shot wasn't as bad, but it was frightening.

I know all the hype and controversy about shots and the link to autism. I hear all the studies saying they are safe. But, here's the thing -- they said the DTP was safe in the early 80s, that it wasn't actually causing those supposed SIDS deaths and anaphalatic shock in the babies, that it was just a coincidence. And then in 1983 or '84, they apologized, said they were wrong, changed the vaccine formula to be a safer one. If they were wrong then, they could be wrong now, and I refuse to let them "be wrong" on my children.

And so, we're cautious. I'm grateful our new pediatrician doesn't fight me on it, understands my concerns. I promise to get them all the required vaccines by the time they are five, if only the medicial community will let me do it slowly and carefully.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

I think it's safe to say this Mother's Day weekend was more about the grandmas and great-grandmas than me. And, I'll admit, I'm a little pouty about it, but at the same time, I'm glad and grateful that we could spend that time with them.

Saturday, the girls and I were in Wichita with my family. It always goes by too fast and seems hectic, but it's always worth it. My parents and I took our four girls to Krispy Kreme, where we met my brother and his two kids. Then my parents and I took all six kids to Wal-mart to pick up a few essentials, then back to their house for play time. It's great to see the kids get to play with their cousins, and I even got a big nap. My highlight of the day was during church Saturday night, with Natalie smiling in my lap and Lainie, Maggie, and Katie all snuggled up next to me, making faces at her. It was just one of those sweet, mama moments when I can appreciate what wonderful gifts I have, a window of calm sweetness.

Sunday, I got to sleep in until 9:30, if you don't count the 4 a.m. feeding and 6:15 Wake-up-Jay-Lainie's-awake-and-it's-mother's-day-so-you-get-up shoving. Then, we ate breakfast, got everyone bathed and dressed nicely, then headed to a late lunch. Natalie and Lainie fell asleep during lunch, so I got to eat with both hands! Now THAT was a treat! From there, we went to Abilene to spend a few hours with Jay's mom, and then with his grandma.

My grandmothers both passed away while I was in college. I still wish I could call Grandma Pete, stop by her house and show her my daughters, call her when I'm struggling with my faith or relationships. She was a one-of-a-kind woman, one I strive to be like. My grandmothers are gone, but Jay is lucky enough to have both of his with us. I love it whenever the girls can spend time with either of their great-grandmothers.

After getting to see both their grandmas in one weekend, Katie and Maggie asked if they could spend a couple days with each of them this summer. Since we're not chasing t-ball this summer, I hope that can be arranged. It'll be hard on Lainie, but Katie and Maggie would love it.

We got home in time for frozen pizza for supper, then a busy busy couple hours to get everything ready for the week. My house needs cleaned, my laundry needs put away, and we'll have company on Tuesday. It's getting to the point that it's easier to stay home and do nothing during the weekend, so I can maybe not stress about everything the rest of the week.

But, I'm trying to recall and hold onto that moment of sweetness Saturday night. Now THAT is what Mother's Day is all about.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Much better bovine

It's amazing how one little piece of information can help so much.

A friend (thank you, Mandy!) recommended that I take acidophilus to help clear up the thrush. After 6 weeks of thrush medicine for Natalie and me, and eating tons of yogurt, we had made no progress. After 5 days of taking over-the-counter acidophilus, the thrush is gone. I even had another round of antibiotic and it still stayed away.

Another friend (thank you, Tara!) recommended kellymom Web site for breastfeeding info, specifically related to pumping and quantity. The article on that site said, "Most moms who are nursing full-time are able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session" and "4 ounces is an unusually large pumping output" and "It is quite normal to need to pump 2-3 times to get enough milk for one feeding for baby (remember that the pump cannot get as much milk as a baby who nurses effectively)." I wish I had known that 4 children ago, so I'd stop thinking I failed as a milking ma. Instead of worrying about how much I was getting each pumping session, I added 2 or 3 pumping sessions each night. And now, instead of Natalie being on formula and me being a bottle shy of what she takes at daycare, I have an extra bottle in the fridge and she is still formula free. I didn't even have to take the fenugreek/blest thistle combo yet. I can save that for the next growth spurt.

And speaking of Miss Natalie, she's doing so well! Despite having her third cold with a full nose and low fever, she's gaining like a fiend. We take her in next Tuesday for a well-child check and, if her cold is gone, her 2-month vaccines. (I haven't yet decided if she'll get the full course, or if I'll request half of them this visit and the other half in a couple weeks.) She's very strong, pushing her head and shoulders up more and more. She's very social and smiles all the time. And, she's talking, with lots of cooing and gooing and bubble-blowing.

I continue to think how amazing it is that she starts with a clean slate, with no ailments, scars, medical problems...or so we assume. There's a big part of me that worries, wonders if she'll have the asthma, ear infections, allergies, or seizures that her sisters have. A(nother) friend gave me some fantastic advise. Her second child has major health issues and developmental delays because of them, and she too has a new baby. She too admitted to wondering when the baby will get sick, when things will turn sour. But, "all we can do is enjoy each 'normal' day and be grateful for it, thank God for what we have. And what happens down the road, we'll deal with it then."

In the meantime, how can you NOT enjoy baby grins and tiny sneezes?!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Katie's big day

Friday afternoon, Katie's class ran a mile with the area seventh graders, as part of a bigger project to promote positive additions and discourage/prevent drug and alcohol abuse. She loved the training, the special one-on-one time with Stephanie. But, the race was fan-tab-u-lous for her. She came in 15th, she said, and "beat a lot of the boys." She said she had a funny, tingly, happy feeling in her tummy when she finished. In other words, she experienced her first runners-high and adrenaline rush. That night, she begged to go for a run with me, so after Natalie ate, she and I ran/walked another mile. I'm hoping that we'll be able to do more of that, because not only was it fun, but she runs about the same pace I do! And besides, it's special Katie-only time, and I'll take all of that I can squeeze in.

And, on a more self-centered note, that was the first time I've ran since Natalie was born. I was scared to, afraid of what would happen with the prolapse. But, everything was fine and dandy and I felt great! I love that I can not run for, oh, 8 months and then, first time out, jog a mile pretty easily. Now I have no excuse -- it's time to get those running shoes dirty. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Big day for my middle girls

Yesterday, Maggie had her entrance evaluation for kindergarten. She did great, meaning she cooperated. We had no concerns about her ability to do everything they are asking her to do, but sometimes Maggie will fake ignorance or say "i don't remember" when we ask her a question. These fakes are always followed by a big grin, so we know she's just faking it, and I was concerned she'd pull that with the teachers. Thankfully, she did everything they asked and it went well. She told me afterwards that she is ready to go to pretend kindergarten now. I don't know why she thinks it pretend, but whatever works!

And Lainie sang at story hour. I think she knows she sounds different enough when she talks that she prefers to not talk if anyone is around, besides family. Slowly, over the past two months, she started talking to more and more people, in more settings. This is the first time she sang the songs and participated at story hour! It really made my day, like maybe the running to and from preschool and speech evaluations and the constant pushing her to talk instead of grunting and pointing is finally paying off. What's interesting is, she sings on tune. She can't always make the words clearly, but she can sing the tune enough that we can recognize the song.

As a follow-up to last week's post, I haven't started the fenugreek/blest thistle combo yet, but I did start eating oatmeal every day, pumping every time Natalie sleeps for more than 2 hours during the day, and just working on getting more. I loved the article on kellymom, if for no other reason than reassuring me that 2 ounces of milk per pumping session is the normal amount. I'll just keep pumping, in hopes to keep Natalie on breatmilk through 6 months of age, ideally. It won't be easy, but it's a lot easier than the guilt of the alternative and the hit to the checkbook. Yikes, formula is expensive!