Wednesday, May 29, 2013

School's *ALMOST* out for Summer!

Tomorrow should've been Jordan's last day of KINDERGARTEN!!! But because of snow days (one on May 2nd for crying out loud!) - - they go through next Thursday & Pat works on Friday. Chase is already out & spending his days with Levi & I! 
It is nothing but RAIN RAIN RAIN these days. No pool for us! yuck. periods of sunshine here & there so we can be outside, but thunderstorms almost every night. The aquatic center is technically open....but  my requirement is 82+ degrees. That hasn't happened yet.  I did get Levi's little splash pad all cleaned up & ready here at home.  Although, the zero depth at the aquatic center will be much better. We went to King's Pointe in Storm Lake this weekend.  It was so fun & even Levi got to splash around in the water most of the time.  He loved it! 
 one of VERY FEW pics of me & my 3 boys!

Before the computer goes dead (and I can't go sit by the charger b/c I'm technically at work, Apple, and have to stay by this computer in the play room).....but here's my "listen to what _____ said today" story: 

Jordan had a field trip to Dodger Stadium with the ENTIRE school district.  Which means that for the first time ever, Pat & Jordan were at the same field trip! Fun! (which meant Levi, Chase, gramma Sherry & I ALSO joined in & went too ; ) So I asked Jordan how the rest of the field trip went & if he had fun.  He just started crying....saying he was crying getting on the bus.  I couldn't believe it & asked why, he was so sad.  He said that he was so sad because he "wanted to be with dad so bad & he didn't get to be with him....he only got to wave at me, but I wanted to be with him"..... : ( Oh my goodness, that made my heart melt for him!!!! He said he just barely got to see him as Pat waved at him before he got on the bus...and that must be when he just wanted to go over & be with him - - is that just heart wrenching or what? Not that he was seriously deprived, but that he saw his daddy & just probably wanted to run over to him! But Jordan always follows the rules & expectations & would never ask Mrs. Winter if he could go see him.  So it must've really made him sad while he was sitting on that bus.  So precious....sad, but precious!!! I told Pat that story & he made sure to say something & hold onto him tonight after supper. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I can't love them enough

SO most of this blog is about my kids! Which I guess is a testament that MY personal life isn't that exciting - - only that of my kids : ) But the title of the post actually refers to the fact that I can't even come up with enough ways to show how much love I have for them.  I can't hug them enough, hold them, kiss them, talk to them each individually & just stare them in the face for a while.  There aren't enough hours in the day for how much time I want with my kids. Especially now that Jordan is in school & I have 3 boys to take care of.  Time is NOT on my side!!! We are all so busy....and I don't mean that I'm too busy to do these things. I just mean truly, I don't have the time I'd like with JUST Chase, or JUST Jordan.  To just sit & hold them & talk & laugh.  But luckily, I have so much of my time with all 3 of them - - I shouldn't complain.  Because I stay home with them, there ARE SO MANY memories we've created as a family.  So while I'd like to sit & just have a private moment or conversation with one of them, I am so lucky just to have spent that time with them in general. 
For example, I had a GREAT morning with Chase & Levi today.  We dropped Jordan off at school (which okay, if we were never running late & if I didn't have 2 other kids sitting in the car  - - wouldn't it be great to walk Jordan into school every day?!).  Anyways, we drop Jordan off & I honestly didn't feel like going home to face all the housework.  Darn it, the laundry just doesn't motivate me! We tried to visit Grandpa Bob, but he turned us down.  So, I was driving slowly wondering what we could go do.  It was a decent temperature for Levi to be out - - and Chase just learned to ride his bike without training wheels - - so we headed for the Crawford park trails. PERFECT! 

I had coffee in the stroller, Chase cruisin' on his bike (happy as could be!) and Levi loving the scenery of a stroller ride (personally I think he's sick of sitting on the rug with those same ol' toys. If he'd just get crawling, life would get a heck of a lot more interesting! A lot more worrisome for me, but fun for him!).  Chase just rode & rode, all through the park & then down the trail to the skate park.  On our way back we say 4 deer....amazing.  Then we went back & played on the equipment.  Meanwhile, Levi had pooped all through his clothes.  So there was a SLIGHT hiccup in there ; ) And Chase got to join his cousin Trace's daycare group while they were on a field trip! They all loved that! 
Chase has been super excited & proud about his new ability to ride his bike.  He's really been refusing to ride, or somewhat unwilling to really put in the effort to learn.  We took the training wheels off late last fall & tried to get him to ride.  Since then, he's just had to walk, ride in the wagon, or ride grandma's bike with training wheels.  We thought if we kept them off, surely he'd eventually decide to learn.  After a few trips to Feelhaver & a few jaunts through the yard - - he really just wouldn't work on it for more than 5 minutes.  I eventually just put the training wheels back on.  I wanted him to be able to ride along with us & I was putting Levi in the bike seat.  So the 3 of us could go on bike rides - - FINE,  WITH training wheels.  Whatever. At least we were going ; ) So I worked HARD with the ratchet, or wrench, or whatever the tools are called.  I had to get them out like 10 different times (literally) to get them on, adjust them, move them to the other bike, tighten them, tighten them again because one wheel kept falling off.  UGH! Such a hassle! But that's what he wanted, so I kept at it hoping he'd get some confidence in riding back.  
One morning he woke up & just told me, "I had a dream I could ride a bike without training wheels".  I said, "Well then you probably can.  If you dreamt it, you must be able to now".  I just wanted to encourage that thought - - didn't care how, why, what or when! So when I had some free time with Levi occupied I offered to take him out & try riding.  We went right down our driveway, turned right, and away he went!!!! He was riding & pedaling like crazy! I recorded it & it was AWESOME! Such a proud feeling that is.  I kept saying, "Wow Chase, your dream was right.  You CAN ride without training wheels! I can't believe you knew it in your dream!".  He was like, "I did, I knew it from my dream.  My dream came true!" - - so cute! He later told Jordan (while SHOWING him how he could ride) that, "My dreams & my wishes came true! I wished for this & it came true!".  OH - so precious!!! 

Okay, so back to my title today.  It's heavy on my mind about this girl in Dayton who was kidnapped almost 5 days ago.  Aside from the torture she probably went through - - you just can't take your kids' safety for granted.  You can't assume everything will be fine.  I wish we could these days.  But there are obviously some very sickening people out there.  It's a nightmare situation I never want to experience.  So, because of that girl & her family - - I'm going to hold my kids tight, watch them closer, stay by there side a little more, go biking WITH them when they want to, go jump on the trampoline WITH them when they want, & heck even just sit outside just to watch them.  The housework is gonna have to wait....supper will get done, laundry will get folded, .  My kids need tended to - - and that's what I need to remind myself.  I know I often use their playtime as a time to let them be independent & let myself just sit, relax, get online, or even just organize my thoughts.  But it's not worth taking my eyes off of them for something nightmarish to happen.  Scary world these days.  But I'll spend my days protecting them.  All the more reason I am glad I stay home with if I need more reasons. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Time has flown - - it's 2013!

Well, I've been slackin' on the blog that's for sure!

Best news of all is our healthy & HAPPY baby boy LEVI!!! Baby was still a mystery at my last post.  He is now 7 1/2 months old....again, a testament to how long it's been since I've written ; )

He was born on Sept. 27th, 2012....another "7" baby (although, okay, fine, so I picked that date specifically.  it was a choice of dates from the 24th-28th....of COURSE I'm gonna pick a "lucky" number).  Jordan 27, Chase 14 (7x2, *also* born in July....the SEVENTH month...duh), Nicole 17 (among all of her 17's), and now Levi 27.  And while we're at it - - Melissa died on July (the SEVENTH month) 1st when I was 17. Again, coincidence....??? I think not.

And just to prove my numbers theory....which up until this next point, was just a theory b/c I am very numbers oriented myself.  When Nicole's 17's all aligned I took it as a definite sign that God was tapping my brain to let me know she was taken care of.  But THEN, the last time we went to church (which ISN'T often enough), Father Shane specifically said, "Numbers ALWAYS have a meaning in the bible....ALWAYS".  And I lit up....thank you Father Shane.  They have a meaning to me too.  What do 7's mean in the bible?? I shall look that up...soon. Just don't let it be devil's work or something crazy like that!!!! ; )

So Levi: he's an amazing part of my heart. Although it was over a year after we lost Nicole, he put a real genuine smile on my face. My heart did some healing having him.  My mom once said, early in the months after losing Nicole, that shouldn't be the end of my story.  Closing the chapter with such a heart-wrenching loss shouldn't be the conclusion.  Levi has changed that.  He is a happy ending ("ending"?! not sure he's really an ending....that is TBD) to very raw & hurting heart that I had.  I can honestly say, I look at him EVERY SINGLE day & realize what a blessing he is.  It's a dichotomy of looking at what Nicole could've been & yet how amazing Levi is.

And so begins my life raising 3 boys.
As stated above, I can't say with absolute certainty he's the end of the line.  But time will tell.  I'm not sure I can go through another pregnancy with the worry that I had after Nicole.  And when Levi got taken to the NICU shortly after birth, that was enough to shake me to my core again.  Although it was very minor & he was jolted both Pat & I.
These boys will have me running between sports, wincing at the words "poop", "fart" and "turd", cleaning up dirt, sweat & boogers.....YUCK.  And they will have my heart....despite all of that YUCKY BOY STUFF!!!! ; ) I couldn't possibly love them more.  It's incredible how different they all are....well, I mean who knows what Levi will be like??!! How exciting to find out ~~

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oops...forgot the funny stories....

Why I had to get onto the blog in the first place - - to document my kids' funny stories : ) 

Jordan - - tells me one day that he's NEVER getting married to anyone, that he's NEVER having kids.  I was slightly disappointed thinking, "What?! He doesn't like our family structure? He doesn't see the importance of Pat & I's marriage? The love that we show eachother & our kids?! What am I doing wrong?!"...of course those are my thoughts....not that 'he's 5, he doesn't know the difference' - - haha! But after questioning him "Why not?" he says.......because I only want to live with you mommy.....awwwwwwww.....I love that Jordan boy.  

Chase -- we quickly had to drop some food off to Pat at work before we'd be late to story time at the library.  I saw a "scary stranger" walking up near the parking lot & decided to see where he was going before I left my kids in the car to fun food in.  Jordan asked, why I was just sitting there waiting, so I told him I say that "scary stranger" and didn't want to leave them in the car.  A minute later the guy took off walking down a trail in the woods, so he never even came within 50 feet of our car (BUT STILL!).  So I run the food in (literally run) & run back out (yes, running again).  And the kids are asking where that scary stranger is.  He's gone, nowhere to be seen....and we drive off.  They ask what he looks like and how big he was.  I tell them he was just a guy, about as big as daddy...about daddy's age too.  I mentioned he had some long hair though.  Jordan said, "like mommy hair?"....yes, kinda as long as my hair.  Chase then says, "did he have a vine around his head?"......LIKE JESUS???? What?! Where does he come up with this (Oh, I know, St Paul preschool...but still!)?! So stinkin' cute that Chase.  I said no, he didn't have a vine....but Jordan did further explain that boys can wear ribbons in their hair if they love. 

It's April...and I'm pregnant!

Well you already knew that part (from the last post)....but I say it with a little more conviction now too. I've had 3 doctor's appointments that have all gone GOOD -- good as they can up to this point.  And that's all I can ask....for now.  For the next appointment (the full ultrasound) I'm asking for a LOT more -- health and/or wellness.  We'd take a "non-healthy" baby at this long as that baby had a fair shot at life & living somewhat of a decent life as a baby & child.  I say that because Nicole didn't have a chance....from what we found out after EVERY doctor's appointment.  Even in the slight chance that she would survive after birth, it was made obvious she really wouldn't have any quality of life. That's why I say, if this baby has a decent chance at a decent quality of life - - we'll take it. Is that too much to ask? I'm sure most people would think we now deserve a perfectly healthy child with absolutely no health problems.  But really I'm not even asking for that much.  Truly anything would be better than facing the death of your child....and thinking your child will live as a honestly, if I can get a few steps above that....I'm good.  I don't deserve a perfectly healthy child any more than anyone else.  God, or nature, doesn't owe me anything.  Because I don't think this (losing Nicole to such a debilitating virus) was His he doesn't owe me.  After losing Nicole, I would've traded all of that for a deaf child, a child with autism, down syndrome, cleft palate, anything other than the myriad of disabilities Nicole was faced with....and anything other than, "your child might not survive".  Nearly anything is better than that.  
Enough about that sum it up - - I don't need a "healthy" child - - like everyone says.  I just want another live & grow & enjoy life with us for as long as Pat & I are alive.  Got it?! Got it! 

A few more details about this pregnancy - I'm due at the exact same time I was with Nicole. First week of October....I got pregnant at the exact same time, one year later....and every week I'm the same "pregnant" (i.e. 12 weeks, 16 weeks) that I was last year at the same time. The pregnancy feels exactly the same too - - I got a belly early (and let's not blame this on the baby b/c it's the size of a navel orange right now...and Pat says, "then why does it look like you have a pumpkin in your stomach?!"....real funny Pat).  It's honestly because my abdominal muscles can't hold back all of the rearranging of my uterus & the bloating  I've got.  Only now at 16 weeks do I really have a real "show"...and again, 4 kids later - - I think I'm doing quite well, thank you!!!!  

Similarly, I also have the SAME heartburn & the SAME sciatic nerve pain.  Truly, I'm in a re-run from Nicole's pregnancy....well until my full ultrasound on May 8th - - we're going to change history there.  But if there is a positive note here, maybe it's ANOTHER GIRL! Which I will fully admit would capture my heart....and probably everyone else's.  Again, it's not because I deserve a girl (definitely not to replace Nicole) - - but I want a daughter.  And as I've explained to Pat, I will NOT be disappointed if it's a boy.  I will be disappointed that I lost my only daughter.  I'm afraid I'll turn to the past more & look back on the baby girl I'll never get to raise.  I'll look at her pink blankies & outfits and just think....that's it....that was it....she was it.  That's what I'll be disappointed about.  This baby boy can NOT be a disappointment if he's alive & well - - we will love him to the moon & back - - TWICE OVER! I truly ached the pains of empty arms after losing Nicole, so trust me, that baby boy will be so loved & HELD constantly ; ) Okay, enough about being a boy - - remember, we don't even know yet!!! 
That's a good be continued....May 8th of course (after our ultrasound) ; ) 
I'm praying I come back to this blog with GOOD NEWS!!! Otherwise, I might not be back....

Continuing on....March & the news

From where I left off -- arriving in Texas....but this is a whole 'nother topic. 

I was also taking the opportunity of our time with my parents to share the news that I'm pregnant....again. It's said with "again" because it's so soon after we just had our daughter Nicole....and because there's been much anticipation about when (and maybe even IF) we'd have another baby.  Nicole was born in August 2011 but only survived a short time after birth (this would be a whole 'nother blog entry....actually, it's a whole 'nother journal altogether so I won't get into anyways).  
Focus....March....Texas....telling my parents the news....
Okay, so I wanted to tell them in person & thought I had this real creative way to catch their expression (and assumed emotion).  I was going to snap a picture & instead of "say cheese" I'd say "say 'Heidi's pregnant'!"  Well - - since digital cameras aren't always so "quick to the draw" I barely got my mom's expression - - but we did get my dad.  He didn't even know we had a camera on him & the news slipped out after I said grace at the dinner table (....through Christ our Lord...and Heidi's pregnant....Amen.  haha!).  
This is my mom crying!
This is my mom saying, "What?! What, you are?! What?!"

My dad - in shock! We actually caught his actual reaction...teeheehee! And Jordan's reaction too - - haha! He already knew, but I think he thought the part after I said grace was pretty funny ; ) 

 From there I could finally share all the details I had known since finding out I was pregnant...oh, end of January! And this was mid-March and I had already been to the doctor.  My dad also said (after this Kodak moment)...said to my mom in private that is, that this news scares him.  We had just gone through one of the worst experiences of my life (aside from losing my sister)...and they watched me through it.  And from what I gather, it was hard for them to lose a grand daughter while watching their own daughter suffer so badly.  And knowing what I know about seeing my own children get hurt (scrape their knees, get their feelings hurt, etc.) - - I imagine this was quite a burden of sorrow for them.  
Regardless....we are all approaching this with MUCH more stress & worry than of pregnancies past. 

Oh - I also shared this news - in the same manner with my sister & nephew Braden.  But Gina REFUSES to be caught on camera!!! And I do have Braden's reaction - which is quite good - but it's on Pat's cell phone dangit! I thought I was so clever coming up with this way of telling ; ) 

Gotta catch up! First off...South Padre Island!

Whew - haven't written here in a LONG time! Since February I believe.  And I'll try my best to recap what's gone on! 

March - we took a vacation to South Padre Island to visit Grampa Bob, Gramma Sherry, and Grampa Mike.  The plan ride was just about awful (only because of the emotions involved...the flight itself was fine).  I was VERY anxious about flying.  Now that I have kids I guess there's just an added sense of, "What if we don't 'make it'?!"...and how dare I put my children on a plane to potentially end their lives.  Yes, completely irrational thoughts....but they were real and overwhelming. Pat & I finally sat & talked about it one night and I just cried telling him I don't want to go and that I just want to cancel the trip.  I think I would've if my parents hadn't "gifted" us this trip & if they weren't SO looking forward to seeing us. My mom & dad were just counting down the days until we got there!! I worked through my last bit of anxiety & just forged helped too that the kids were super excited to be on a plane & go to the beach.....and I LOVE the beach, so I too was looking forward to those sunny days. 
I never let on to the kids that I was nervous or anxious at all.  So they shouldn't have had any worries getting on that plane.  When Pat dropped us off at the airport though I couldn't even say good-bye to him & just had to turn and walk away while he told me he loved me.  Jeez did he have to make this harder than it already was?! **kidding** We walked away from him, focused on getting some lunch (I was starving) and after just a small mishap of Chase & I getting stuck in the turnstyle doors....whatever!!! 
After being seated on the plane, Jordan turns to me and says "We're not gonna crash are we?"....WHAT?!  I never let on to this kid that planes even possibly crash!!! Where is he getting this?! I promptly calmed myself....err HIM down by saying, "NO! Planes don't even crash....they can't crash".  Whew! The only concern he had after that was that the plan was going "real fast" on the runway.  Chase on the other hand was excited to see the clouds since it was still light out..."We get to see the clouds? We get to go to HEAVEN! Yay!!" - - WHAT?! NO - we're are NOT going heaven today & furthermore, please keep quiet (for the sake of other paranoid passengers around us!).  The 2 1/2 hour flight went....okay....until the last 45 minutes.  Jordan was nauseated & thought he'd throw up.  So he was crying & had the paper bag up to his mouth thinking he might puke any minute.  Chase also started getting upset when he was "so cold" yet his hair was soaked with sweat...great, he has cold-sweats.....and crying! This is lovely.  I'm overheating now too & convinced there is NO air going through the cabin.  Both kids are crying & upset...and frankly I want off this plane.  Luckily I was able to soothe them both to sleep for about the last 20 minutes of the flight.  However, that meant for an unpleasant departure from the plane.  I had to shake them both awake....drag them off the plane, half conscious.  And when we did make it off (with 2 carry-on suitcases & my huge purse mind you) Jordan started bawling saying he's never flying again & doesn't want to throw up. Oh great....we have another flight in 40 minutes....
Looking as sad and pathetic as we possibly could - I longed for someone to look at us with a little bit of sympathy & offer us some help.  No good.  I asked some kind of worker for some assistance & she pointed to the elevator.  What?! I don't need an elevator! Well, I do actually because my kids will barely walk...amidst their crying.  
I finally saw the "golf cart" thingy transporting the senior citizens around and knew that was my only hope.  I waited for one to come back around our terminal and again looked at him as sad and pathetically as I possibly could (it didn't take much effort at that point...the kids were a wreck).  He gave us a ride....a LONG ride at that (the boys would've NEVER walked that far in their state) to the next terminal.  Here we ended up having a 2 hour layover where the kids got to run around a little, go the bathroom, have snacks, etc.  They were completely fine getting on the next flight....and the next flight went great!  Chase fell asleep almost immediately after take-off & Jordan and I played LeapPad for an hour until landing : ) Yay....safely arrived!