Monday, July 28, 2008

"you should put 'the Mallard' on the Blog"

An actual quote from my son Chase.

We have returned from a week's vacay camping at the cottage. Each year we spend some time at Big Whitefish Lake with Dan's family. This year was different because we borrowed the coveted, most magnificent, extendo, motorhome lovingly referred to as "The Mallard"

What she lacks in beauty and pleasant aroma, she more than makes up for in space and surround sound entertainment. The kids could hardly wait to hop in watch movies. Movies? Yes. My cousins (the fortunate owners) have rigged up a DVD player with surround sound speakers. Dan was so manly driving that big rig down the highway at a cool 60MPH. I enjoyed the full size mattress in the back and ample closet room. She's a beaute!!!

Many thanks to Carl and Nute for use of the 1987 Mallard for the week. I think I might want to keep her.
We had a great time camping at the cottage!!!

Driving the Mallard. Can you find the Duct tape?

Full Surround Sound Experience

It really is gigantic.

oh yes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3 months old already.

July 15 marked 3 months since Juliet joined the fam.

Dan decided at the ripe old age of 3 mos. she needed to go for her first swim.
She enjoyed swimming with her little bare buns. She did not enjoy swallowing a little pool water.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Do the Dew.

I tried pretty hard to keep my kids from experiencing the joy of pop (soda, for those of you outside of MI.

It all came crashing down just recently when Drew somehow got his first taste of Mt. Dew. Let's just say he has been slightly obsessed with it ever since.

Yesterday while visiting my parents, Drew discovered that Grandpa had a T-shirt with the Mt. Dew logo on it. In fact he had two.

Now my boys are walking talking advertisements for Mt. Dew. They wore the XL T-shirts for PJs last night and put up quite a stink when I wouldn't let them wear them to the mall today.
Oh thanks, Dad!
And as a bonus, one T-shirt came right out of Dad's dirty laundry pile!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

nights to remember

If there is anything I will not forget about the births of my babies, it is my time in the hospital. After an uncomplicated birth the postpartum time spent in the hospital is very precious. Call me crazy, but I love hospital food, hospital showers, and hospital beds. I understand that I probably enjoy these things due to the extremely short term basis that I have to experience them. At about the mid-point of my pregnancy I began to get really excited for my hospital admission.

Nurses took care of me and the baby, food that I choose from a menu--delivered to my bedside. Visitors come to welcome our little one. Cable television and internet access. Solace from whining, cleaning, and meal prep, if only for two days.

Call me crazy, but the best part of all , for me, about staying in the hospital is the middle of the night. Completely exhausted, the pain of labor and delivery still fresh, I lay there wide awake at 3am just recalling the days events. Thanking and praising God for this new life and at the same time feeling so undeserving of such a gift.

I tell myself to "goto sleep, the baby is in the nursery, you need to rest."

I watch the clock tick away and dream about what life will be like with the newborn at home. Again, I praise and pray to God as if my heart just might burst with gratitude for this little life. The hospital room is so dark and quiet, and I am feeling so comfortable sleeping without a giant belly.

"Hurry up and goto sleep" I tell myself again.

Just as I drift off to sleep I hear the sound of my baby crying. I find it amazing that after only knowing my newborn for not even a full day I recognize that cry as my child's. The cry gets louder and closer and soon the nurse wheels in that plastic cart containing my precious one and I can't get a hold on him/her fast enough. It almost felt like time stood still, and I never want to forget those precious moments. Life certainly does not stop and once you leave the hospital walls, it hauls along quicker than most would like.

just a few thoughts to share before too much time passes.

check out this food, Dan took this photo:

first visit from the big kids
Daddy and his little girl enjoying the last few minutes before leaving for home.

Friday, July 11, 2008

News Flash: Hot Moms Leave the House!

A couple weeks backs I had a great night of fun with some wonderful Moms who are great friends as well. It is not an easy task getting all of us out of the house on a Friday night. We have 20 kids altogether!

Thank you to our husbands, moms, sitters, who took care of those 20 kiddos so we could enjoy a night out!

Some memorable moments:

"It don't matta!"

Jamie's Umbrella

Hot Dog Cart

Stacey writing my phone number on the table cloth at SanChez!

Where we almost went that night...where the waitress told us to go.

Cara's cash!
add to the list girls...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

and Baby makes 6!

In an effort to document my thoughts and feelings for future reading, I am going back in time a few months to recall some major family happenings. Read on if you'd like, OR get back to whatever you should be doing. :)

Juliet was born on a Tuesday morning in April. Tax day and Drew's 6th birthday to be exact.
After a full 40 week pregnancy I was ready to birth this little girl. When I went to bed the evening before and I had no idea I would arise at 2:30am to the familiar yet deniable pain that labor was beginning.

With that first contraction I got out of bed, popped open my trusty MacBook and began keeping track of the minutes between labor pains. 10 minutes approximately was the distance. At around 3:30am I woke Dan and told him I thought labor may be starting.

His response as he shot up in bed, "Should I go get the doughnuts right now?"
No, I didn't require Krispy Kremes as part of my birth plan, today was Drew's 6th birthday and we had planned to bring in doughnuts (his favorite) for his treat to share.
After I calmed Dan down and assured him that the Krispys could wait, we called my mom.

Now if you know my mother, she had very likely been laying with her head next to the phone and sleeping with one eye open for the last few weeks of my pregnancy just in case she was needed in a middle of the night rush to the hospital. Rushing wasn't needed as my contractions were not coming closer together and seemed tolerable. We decided to mozy on to the hospital, arriving at 7am. Shift change. I remember praying on the way to the hospital that I would just have one contraction, so I would feel justified in going there. Can you imagine my embarrassment this being my 4th pregnancy and being turned away if I was in false labor?

Will I stay or will I go? Sitting in triage is always a nerve wrenching experience. You are waiting for someone to tell you to pass go, collect $200 (or in this case pay $3000) and have that baby! I felt like I needed permission. Permission I was given. After being examined, I was dilated to 8cm! "When did this happen?" I thought. For some unknown reason when my body goes into labor, my mind goes into denial. Suddenly the room was a flurry of nurses, tubes, fluids, and most importantly--a wheelchair! Yes! I had gained access to the delivery room at last!

By some work of God ( and I mean that) I was able to receive an epidural block. I was hoping for this pain relief this time around after experiencing births the old fashioned and extremely excruciating way. So there we sat. Waiting on those last 2cm.
At one point Dan, looking bored, said to the Dr. "what exactly are we waiting for?"
The Dr. replied, " I am just waiting for Michelle to indicate that she is ready."
"Oh, I thought. I was just waiting for you to tell me when to push."
We were just a bunch of idiots sitting there staring at each other for 45 minutes.

I was ready. After pushing through 2 contractions at 9:13am our Baby Girl was delivered into our arms.

I don't know for certain, but Dan may have still been worried about those Krispy Kremes.

Next Post: Bringing home baby and the first 6 weeks.

First hospital photo:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

"you better write that down..."

My Mother always tells me to write down things that my kids say or do, so I'll remember. Her mother told her the same.

I guess one of the biggest reasons that I blog is to have a record of our day to day lives. To someday look back on this chapter of our family life and see photos, read my thoughts, or maybe laugh about something I may have forgotten.

I am annoyed with myself for letting the past 3 months get away from me with not a lot of blogging. There have been so many things to note following Juliet's birth. I want to do a little bit of back tracking with my next few blog posts, looking back and sharing some thoughts. It may be boring for most of you, but it will help me do what my mom so lovingly suggests:

"You better write that down."

After all, mother knows best.

Next post: Juliet Joins the Family.