Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Trip to the Doctor's Office in Coleman

Gloria got hurt today. The kids were swinging her by her arms and legs and she ended up with Nursemaid's elbow. Apparently this is a common problem among young children, but we didn't experience it until our 8th and 9th children.

It happened around 10:30 this morning. It took a while to figure out why she was crying and then to settle her down a bit. A little before 11 I called the dr.'s office. The earliest appointment they had was 2:45. I turned on the tv, gave her ibuprofen and hoped she wouldn't just scream for the next few hours. She ended up falling asleep. That was good.

I was dreading the trip to the dr. Memories of doctor visits from when we lived in Grapevine were in my head. Roger worked all the time so I always had to take all the kids. We would sit in the waiting room for an hour, then in the exam room for half an hour (where they would try to explore every drawer and cabinet and--eew--trash can). Finally the dr would come in and within a few minutes answer all our questions. I would then pay a huge bill and leave feeling frazzled and exhausted and praying the kids wouldn't catch anything from the multitude of germs they'd just come in contact with.

So off we went to see Dr. Atwood today. I only took 6 of the kids and that's because they were worried about Gloria and asked to go. Roger was home so I could have said no and made most of them stay home. We were a few minutes late for our appointment. I figured this would mean an especially long wait since that would happen if we dared to be late in the metroplex. I'm not sure how long we waited, but we were home by 3:30 so it sure wasn't long!!

You know how sometimes just going to the doctor seems to miraculously cure children? Well, this happened today. She still hurts, but it seems to have popped itself back in to place. The doctor looked at her, but he really didn't have to do anything. Now, we still took his time so I expected to still pay for this visit. But Dr. Atwood said he wouldn't charge us for this! What a blessing!

To top it off, Ezra slept through the whole thing! It couldn't get any easier than that! All the kids were good. Rather than leaving frazzled and exhausted, I left in a great mood, praising God for blessing us so richly.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Some things

I took Clark and Grace with me to Abilene to buy birthday gifts for everyone. We have the birthday kid (kids in this case) buy a cheap little gift for each sibling or a 'big' gift for the family. They got Gloria dress-up shoes, a car for Sam, a crown for Joy (this may have been a mistake), a Polly Pocket for Claire, a rope for Faith (I don't know) and super glue for Mitchell (he has a guitar to fix and this is actually helpful). For the last two items we were in Home Depot - I had to go there anyway - and saw the grills. They have a great big grill - a cooking surface of about 20" by 30" - for $199. We bought a grill that is about 15" by 24" for $350 about 12 years ago. Two things about this - 1. I have put in a strong request for a Fathers' Day gift, and, 2. we actually have owned something that is still in use 12 years later. It isn't like we abuse the stuff we buy, it's more like I am not the most careful person you'll ever meet (see posts about me cutting off tip of finger or stabbing myself in the leg) and that makes us tough on tools and such.

Over the past few weeks I have been trading a 'tidbit a day' with my birth mother. I now know that she has b+ blood, golfs and went to a Stones concert last year with a District Judge. Pretty cool, huh? I have revealed my blood type as well as the fact I cannot resist piling crap on any and every flat, horizontal surface. So, I am boring and my mom is a rocker.

About a week ago we were looking at trading in the Suburban and getting a Nissan Versa or Honda Fit. Took a test drive, got low-balled on the trade-in, walked away. We were looking to do the trade to save on gas, but the Suburban is such a great vehicle and the test car was such a rattle bucket we were just not motivated buyers, still aren't.

Last weekend Mitchell and I went to Battlecry in Dallas. This is a youth ministry day and a half event with worship, concerts and mini-sermons. It was freakin' awesome. We went with a local ministry that reaches out to kids that could almost all be considered 'at-risk'. It was great and we are going to be working with their semi-fledgling youth group. We had wanted to work with our church on this, but they told us we were too weird. Not that direct, but that was the gist of it. Well, we are weird, but it will still be great.

I have hair right now, but the long term forecast calls for good weather - lows in the upper 40's at worst - the rest of the month and into April. So it is closing in on time to shave it off. I am so looking forward to that. Apparently my mother's father had a full head of hair.

Oh, yeah. My mother is coming to visit in early/mid April. Not sure of the day, yet.

Finally, if you have not seen Willie Wonka with Johnny Depp you need to see it. Yes, you NEED to see it. I have watched it umpteen times with the kids and it always entertains.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Learning About Babies

This is Ezra in a special sleeper. This is the sleeper his oldest two brothers wore home from the hospital and the next two brothers wore at some point. All five of the boys have worn it now.

And notice the hair. Is he going to have curly hair like Sam and Stephen? We'll have to wait and see. Still no sign of blue in his eyes either. Will we actually have a brown-eyed boy? (Mitchell has hazel eyes, Grace has brown. Until now, the rest were blue.)

Those are a few obvious things we're learning about our little guy.

He also seems to be on a 48 hour schedule. Is this true for ALL babies, or just all of mine? They seem to sleep well for 24 hours, then stay awake a lot for 24 hours. It can be really frustrating during the wakeful 24 hours. But when you see the pattern it helps because you can know that sleep WILL come--tomorrow.

Ezra is a very peaceful baby. He seems to have a quiet calm about him most of the time. Yet there are times he screams and I can't seem to settle him down. I was starting to suspect that it was connected to the anxiety level in the house. Then Clark and Joy left to stay with my mom for the weekend. They fight with each other a lot. Since they've been gone Ezra has hardly cried at all and hasn't had any episodes of inconsolable screaming. Hmmm. I wonder if knowing that will help them stop arguing. Wouldn't that be nice? Maybe I'll just send them outside when they argue.

And farm news unrelated to the baby--Faith and Grace harnessed and milked the cow all by themselves today! May not sound like much, but it was a first and I'm proud of them. And they got the same amount of milk as ever in about the same amount of time as when they work with their dad. Good job girls!


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Baby picture

Ezra is doing well. Everyone is enjoying him. Sam seems to be especially thrilled with his new brother. Today he was telling him, "We'll always be together, Ezra."

After 10 babies I still can't trim their fingernails. Ezra's are especially long and he kept scratching himself, but when I tried to trim them I cut his finger on the second one so he still has eight nails left to trim. At least I got the longest and he's stopped scratching himself. Practice doesn't always make perfect!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pictures of Ezra, Melissa and others we love

I wanted to post this one from last Friday as I am not the only one with a nap time buddy.

This one was taken at 7:15 this morning. Gloria was most confused about all the hubbub. She still is.

About two minutes after he came out. This one was a water birth and Melissa and Ezra are in a 100 gallon stock tank filled with water. Someday Ezra will have to fill this tank for the cows to drink from.

A quick look at the medical staff tending to Mom and Ezra. Yes, the room is rather stark, Melissa hasn't yet painted the flowers, toads and Wilt Chamberlain that I wanted on the wall.

And here he is after being weighed, fed, measured, dressed, handled, kissed and all that. Now it is his turn to nap.


Thomas Ezra has arrived!

8:03 a.m. - He came out.

I am holding him now as Melissa gets out of the tub. Pictures and details to come.

9:05 a.m. - Ezra weighed in at 7 lbs 5 oz and he was 20.75" long. Brown hair, pretty quiet and it appears that all is well with him other than he just took his time to come out.

From start to finish Melissa was in labor just a hair over four hours. He came out just as Faith and Mitch were getting back from milking. They got in the door about 5 sec. after Ezra came out.

Labor has arrived

6:30 a.m. - Melissa is in labor now. She woke me up about 30 minutes ago to tell me she was having real contractions about 10 to 12 minutes apart. They are not about 6 minutes apart. Already called the midwife, Betsy, and she is on her way. Expect her here around 7:45.

7:05 a.m. - Contractions are at about 5 minutes apart with little rest between. The birthing pool is getting filled up. Mitch and Faith are going to go milk in a little while. On a fashion note, Melissa is wearing a "My Son Defends Freedom" Army t-shirt for the birth.

7:43 a.m. - Betsy is here. Labor is really progressing. WIlll blog again with baby here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Really Love This House

Managing a house and homeschooling kids at the same time has been a challenge to me for many years now. If I focus on getting the housework done, the schooling gets neglected. If I focus on the schooling, the house gets neglected. I've never managed to do both at the same time--until today. I made yogurt and we did school at the same time. Okay, I didn't do well with the yogurt, but we'll blame pregnancy brain on that one.

We were going to be off school for 5 weeks while I recovered from birth. Well, we were off all of last week and no baby. I decided that I really want at least those 4 weeks left to be AFTER the birth so we are starting our next school year while we wait for the baby to come. The kids are fine with this. They know they still have 4 weeks off coming and they are less bored this way. Plus there's some excitement over the fact that they can now say they are in the next grade. Joy is thrilled to now be "an actual number" as she is doing 1st grade work now. Grace is now in 7th grade so she's officially "Jr High" now and not just middle school. And Faith is a Freshman in High School. Of course, we have a 3rd and 5th grader too who are excited to be a grade level higher than before. And Mitchell, having worked ahead, is now a Senior and working on his last year of homeschooling.

The layout of this house allows me to sit all the kids down at the table and still see them from the kitchen. It's all open--the living room, dining room, and kitchen--and so we can all be in different areas and yet I can still keep an eye on things. This has been wonderful for disciplinary reasons too. I've been able to nip quite a few potential problems in the bud.

So this morning, I put the milk in the pot and began to heat it to make yogurt. Then we sat down to read the Bible together. I thought the milk would be okay for a few minutes, but we had some extra long chapters this morning. Meanwhile, I forgot I was making yogurt. Just as I read the last word of the last chapter we were reading, Faith jumped up and ran to the kitchen. She was able to see from the living room that there was a HUGE bubble of milk coming over the top of the pot. Whoops! You're not supposed to actually bring the milk to a boil! But I did, and boiled it over. But I put the pot in the sink with some ice around it to cool it back down to 110-115 and went back to working with the kids. I got them started on their math.

I was able to add the starter, flavor the yogurt, separate it into breakfast size containers (I make 2 gallons at a time and then divide it into 3 containers which, when paired with homemade granola, makes a wonderful breakfast for all of us) and pop it into the warm oven all while answering math questions and reminding Joy that she has to stay quiet while everyone is doing school. This would never have worked in any of our other houses because I would not have been able to be in the kitchen and still see the kids at work at the table. Plus, we didn't have that "crowded in a tiny dining room" feeling that we used to get if we all sat at the table for school. So I was able to expect them to stay put to do school and watch to make sure they really did it. And they were able to keep my attention if they needed help.

I'm sure I won't be able to multi-task this way every day. And there will be times that the kids need more help than I can give from the kitchen. But to know that at least occasionally it will work is very encouraging. Gotta love our floor plan!


Monday, March 03, 2008

Still No Baby

If you made a guess as to when we'd have our baby on the When's the Baby Due? post, you were wrong. We all were. Our kids all made guesses and we are past even the last of those -- which actually had one guess in March. The last time I've ever been this late was with my first sweet baby. But all this is confirming my sleep theory. I really believe that the more sleep-deprived a mother is while pregnant, the more likely the baby will be late.

Our anniversary is March 9. We really didn't want our baby to be born that day 12 years ago, but we've shared that special day with our daughter Grace for nearly 12 years now. We think it would be great if she got a taste of her own medicine and had to share that day with another sibling. So maybe we'll have the baby March 9. Of course, if I had any control over when, it would have been a while ago. I still think right now would be great!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that we haven't forgotten to tell you. It just hasn't been born yet. And it is quite likely that our blog readers will be the first to know when the baby comes. Meanwhile, keep us all in your prayers--both for me to endure with a cheerful attitude and for the rest of the family to endure when I don't have that cheerful attitude.