The Kids

The Kids

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Church Lessons

One of my favorite things about our church is the children's program. From an early age, they begin learning Bible stories and come home full of information. Sometimes it is a guessing game to figure out what exactly they learned since we are hearing from a young perspective, but it is always entertaining.

Given what my kids have said recently, I am curious to what they have been taking in.

-Caleb came out of his room yesterday during his nap (i.e. goof off and destroy his room) time and said, "Mom, I don't want to die and get a new body because I like my skin."

Um, okay.

I reassured him that he does not have to worry about dying right now and I am sure God would understand if he wants to keep his skin. Anything to comfort the kid. He was still worried about this and cried a little when he went back to bed.

Either my son is really sensitive or he was stalling from naptime-take a guess at which reason I think was true.

-Abby mentioned this morning how adults do not have recess. Then she stopped herself and said, "Well, I guess they have recess at church sometimes. Like when they come out and stand around and talk loudly. That must be like recess because they get to be loud together."

Pretty observant.

-Another mom from church mentioned to me that her son was talking about how she and her husband were slaves under Pharoah in Egypt. He must think they are really old.

Okay, so maybe they are not Biblical scholars quite yet, but at least their little minds are thinking.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Little Preachers

The kids have been "preaching," lately. Abby has been inspired by her Friday chapel services at school and has decided it makes a great pretend game to be the preacher for the family (first born preaching to the rest of the family-shocker). She sets up a footstool in the living room, stands on it and begins preaching.

Most lessons are school related, so it should be called teaching. Then she takes a bow (as all preachers and teachers do) and has us give it up for Caleb, who then takes the stand.

The other day, Caleb was preaching and he said very seriously, with arm gestures included, "The Bible is God's holy word." We said, "That's great, Caleb! What does holy mean?"

His quick response? He shrugged and said, "I have no idea."

Well, at least it was an honest answer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Second Arrival

While my pregnancy with Caleb was more eventful (afternoon into the evening sickness during the first trimester and back pain during the third trimester), his delivery was a lot more relaxed. Well, as relaxing as the miracle of birth can be.

Because Abby was a healthy 8 pounds 7 ounces on her due date, and because my dear son decided to plant himself right on a nerve causing tremendous back pain for three months, my doctor was understanding enough to induce me a week early. God bless that decision.

My mom came to town with plenty of time to spare. She stayed with Abby while we went to the hospital. I had a great meal the night before and a lovely shower that morning. Once the induction started, I was able to decide when I wanted an epidural. I dealt with the contractions for a short time (Nick claims that I ordered the drugs within the first contraction, but I know I went slightly longer than that) and felt great the entire time.

I was calmly visiting with my mother-in-law (on break from working across the street) when I suddenly felt a lot of pressure. She went back to work while the nurse rushed in, knowing it was time to push. Caleb arrived so quickly that I am pretty sure he came out before Christi made it back to her office.

It was amazing. A couple of pushes and there he was! Nick had a great view of Caleb's first glance at the world. Apparently, only his head was out between pushes and he just looked around, most likely thinking, "What the heck is going on?" He finished his entry into the world and as my doctor jokingly pretended to drop him (really funny to the mom who is laying there helpless), we all knew within seconds that inducing was a great idea. Mr. Caleb was 9 pounds 3 ounces, a week early.

I will admit, with such a smooth delivery, I did get a bit cocky. When I went to stand up to move to the wheelchair, I did so a bit too quickly and immediately fell to the floor. As soon as Nick knew I was okay, he laughed for a long time. The nurse was grateful for the laughter because it meant she just avoided a lawsuit.

Perhaps it was because Caleb was the second, but everything continued to go smoothly. He nursed well, slept well and was a pretty laid back baby. I even felt great pretty soon after labor, most likely because he came out so quickly.

Which is why it was quite frustrating to fall on the wet driveway during that first week while getting the mail. Have a baby-feel great. Get the mail-sprain my arm and get a huge gash on my foot that has left a scar to this day.

Ever try nursing a newborn and caring for two small children with one arm? Not easy.

I am so thankful for Caleb Paul. What a blessing this little man has been to our lives. I cannot imagine life without him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The First Arrival

In preparation for the arrival of baby Noah, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and write about the arrival of my first two little ones. Today, I will begin with Miss Abby.

My pregnancy with her was a morning sickness, no backpain, right on schedule weight gain, worked the entire time with no problems and apart from tiredness and stretch marks, I really could not complain.

Then came her delivery.
I woke up on October 5th with some labor symptoms (I will spare the details for my male readers), but still felt fine so I went to work and figured I would stop by my doctor's office before starting my day, since their office was a whole floor below the office I worked in. The nurse told me what was going on was normal and not to worry about it.

I worked all day and kept feeling some painless tightening, but again, figured I was still fine since the nurse said so. The medical receptionist I worked with was very sick and left early that day (even though she kept protesting, "No! Tammy might go into labor!") leaving me to be the only one working with the doctor (I used to work for a podiatrist practice for anyone who did not know that).

In the meantime, my parents were back in Pennsylvania, hurrying around to get things ready for a quick departure since my mom is much smarter than me and knew baby Abby would be arriving soon.

Nick stopped by to see me after teaching that day and was shocked to see how far my belly had dropped. His decision on what to do next? Buy spicy food.

With money in hand from the doctor (who always wants in on any mention of food), he went to Taco Bell and stocked up. We all ate our healthy food together (it was a slow patient day) and with more tightening and symptoms, the doctor I worked for ordered me to go downstairs and see my baby doctor.

This time, the nurse working actually listened to me and had me come back for an exam. Apparently, the tightening I felt all day were contractions (who knew?) and I was already 5 cm dialated by then. Still, my doctor said I had plenty of time to go home, get my stuff and head back to the hospital (which, from where I was standing, was right across the street).

Great! I got to finish work, drive home and Nick could go to school and get his lesson plans ready for his sub. Perfect plan.

Then it happened. I was driving home, on the interstate, during rush hour, driving away from the hospital, when I felt it-the painful contraction. As I used every muscle in my body to keep from crashing the car, I realized it probably was not the smartest thing for me to be driving. I continued on, and about three minutes later felt another one. Another three minutes went by and there it was again.

Are you kidding me?

I managed to get home, run up into our apartment and proceeded to lose everything I just ate (thank you Taco Bell-you did your job). I called the doctor, called my mom (who, by then, went into panic mode to get on the road as quickly as possible) and attempted to pack a bag. The contractions were so painful that I could only get one article into the bag before doubling over each time. I put in a Friends DVD for distraction (it is usually a comforting show) and that was pointless. My only thought was, "Nick will be home soon."

You can imagine my outrage when the home phone rang and the caller id showed him calling from school. Again, are you kidding me?

When he heard my denomic voice explaining my situation, he raced home.

I should point out, this was way back in 2004 when we only had one cell phone between the two of us. I had it so there was no way of me being able to contact him at school after hours. And, the last he knew, I was feeling fine. Still, you cannot blame me for my anger-he is the one who put me in the painful situation to begin with.

Nick even tried to call a few people who might be closer to me to help. He called his best friend, Chad, who was announcing a local football game. He, in turn, told other friends who were there and within moments, I had many phone calls coming through to check on me as word spread of my situation. It was a real joy trying to talk politely while falling over in the most ridiculous amount of pain I had ever been in.

Nick finally got home, we raced to the hospital (he was actually hoping to get pulled over for a speeding ticket just so he could use the phrase, "My wife is in labor!") and thankfully made it without an emergency delivery on the side of the road.

Everything from that point on was a blur. I think an orderly wheeled me to the maternity floor. I slightly remember signing in, but I am sure it was not legible since I had a contraction while writing. I think I put on a gown and probably had an iv hooked up. All I remember in detail was just trying to breathe through the contractions and wondering what kind of sick joke it was to put women through this. Thanks a lot, Eve.

The magical man with the epidural finally arrived and did his thing. When I did not feel the pain go away within a second, I felt my anger rising. I gave it some more time, yet the pain was about the same. Mr. Epidural Man finally realized I was not overreacting and gave me a little more medicine.

Ah, yes, sweet relief.

Now, this may sound strange, but once I was pain free, I was suddenly bored. Time seemed to fly while just getting through the contractions, but once I had time to just sit and wait, it was kind of boring. I actually had to wait to push Abby out because of baby boom going on down the hall, but I felt fine. The doctor finally arrived, I pushed for about an hour and a half and she finally arrived!

Apparently, my daughter decided to be difficult and arrive face up, which is why my contractions were so over the top. But, she arrived (on her due date), looked at me like, "Who are you and why did I just have to go through all of that?" and quickly settled into my arms, glad to be bundled up.

I still remember the grandparents coming into the room (my parents first, who arrived 15 minutes before Abby did) and some other family and friends. God bless them for sitting in the waiting room past midnight.

Six years later and Miss Abby still likes to do things on her own terms, sometimes with ease and other times with difficulty. I would not have it any other way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Ninth Month

Oh, the beauty of the ninth month of pregnancy. Here are some of my favorite parts of this miraculous time...

1) No matter your size, everyone will say, "You look great and not at all ready to deliver!" Don't they know it is a sin to lie?

2) You can no longer see your toes (hint to every husband out there-pedicures are a wonderful gift for your lovely wife who is carrying your child) and shaving the upper part of your legs is a joke.

3) As you quickly waddle to keep up with your other children, they yell back, "Hurry up, slowpoke!"

4) Instead of enjoying the last few weeks of a good night's rest, you get up on the hour to use the bathroom because the pressure makes you think you are about to pee the bed, only to have a slight trickle once you sit down.

5) People tell you that you have "the glow." Oh, is that what the sweaty, exhausted and bloated look is called?

6) You fluxuate somewhere between tremendous pressure from the baby dropping to having him up so high in your ribs that the heartburn is out of control.

7) You appreciate all of the prayers for a "full-term baby," but would not be terribly upset for an early arrival.

8) You read in the baby books that it is normal to not gain any more weight from now on and realize that it is the Dairy Queen blizzards that are causing the opposite result and not the baby.

9) If you lean forward too much, sit back too far, or basically change any sitting position, you will immediately need to run to the bathroom.

10) The stretch marks are back and officially turning red.

11) You realize you should have invested in the company of Tums.

12) Even the "Expectant Mother Parking" is not close enough to the store.

13) There are maybe two or three maternity shirts that still get the job done. All of the others pop up over your belly while every pair of shorts or pants fall down.

14) Your pregnancy brain is so far gone that you pour juice on your cereal, forget what time to pick up your children from school, and remember to transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer the next day, when you realize no one has any clean underwear.

15) It is a constant battle between wanting to eat a full meal or wanting to have heartburn all night.

16) You dream of having triplets (seriously, woke up in the middle of the night, relieved to find that I was only pregnant with one child), of losing your baby, of strangling your husband (okay, so that might stem from other things) and every crazy dream is wildly vivid.

17) You no longer wish for your husband to bring home flowers or jewerly, but milkshakes and chocolate are a dream.

18) In the waiting room of the doctor's office, you look around and curse the women who are cute and all belly and secretly smile at the ones who are larger than you.

19) You lovingly feel the baby moving inside, while silently pleading, "Please stop kicking me in the ribs."

20) It becomes official to you that time really does slow down during the last month-in fact, it may last an eternity.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Long Day

Yesterday was a very, very long day.

It started with the night before, when Nick's key to his car broke off in his ignition. At night. After the kids were in bed. I am so thankful for great neighbors who sacrificed their time to sit in my house with my kids while I went to get him.

This led to taking everyone to school, picking everyone up (at three separate times, of course), still attending my 36 week doctor appointment (at a new office-that was loads of fun), meeting the locksmith at the car to get the broken piece out of the ignition, laughing at his quote of $99 for a new key, driving to another place for a $3 key replacement, taking Abby to soccer practice and managing to feed everyone somewhere in that chaos.

Oh, and the replacement key did not work at first so that was an extra bonus of grief. I thought my dear husband might seriously lose his mind. He was close. Very close.

At the end of the ridiculous day, I was reading Caleb a book (an hour past his bedtime) called, "Guess How Much I Love You." When we were done, I asked him how much he loved me and he answered, "I love you all the way over the oceans, across the seas, over South Africa, even over South America, and all the way to Jesus."

Again, God, you made your point. There is a reason to celebrate every day that You make.

Monday, September 13, 2010


This marks the 36th week of pregnancy with baby Noah.

Oh yes-in case I never made it official on here, his name is going to be Noah Michael. Noah, because we both finally agreed on the name. And Michael, because that is my dad's middle name. That way both boys will have their grandfathers' middle names.

Naming him is about all I feel I have accomplished when it comes to preparing for this little one. The crib is still not put together in the garage. I have a pile of baby clothes to wash in the special detergent. His dresser is sitting in a box, not put together because I do not even have a room to put the dresser in.

The poor third child.

We are still deciding between dry-walling our loft to make a fourth bedroom or just putting Abby and Caleb together for a short time while Noah still gets up all night. Either way, a decision needs to be made and time is rapidly flying by.

Yet, here I sit, not panicking. Is my lack of preparing based on my complete exhaustion from the first two? Or is it because I know everything will eventually work out? My sweet friend across the street, due the day before me (with her first) has the nursery ready and everything bought in preparation for their little boy.

Let me stress again-crib in the garage, clothes not washed, dresser in box, no bedroom.

If it helps, little Noah, you are constantly on my mind. Not just because you keep me up all night with trips to the bathroom and heartburn. And not just because you have a way of kicking me really hard in the ribs. But, because I have been waiting for you for a long time and I am anxious to meet you. Your room and clothes may not be ready quite yet, but my heart is.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am waiting for the moment when our school calls Social Services on us. Seriously, my children are not making us look too good.

The day that Caleb had his bloody nose (see post below), he just happened to have a new cut on his forehead. It happened when he went to wake up his dad that morning, right as Nick was moving his arm over. His fingernail scratched Caleb's forehead, leaving a lovely little red mark (that is still healing). Apparently, when Caleb was with the school nurse for his sudden nose bleed, he said, "See my boo-boo? My daddy did that to me."

Just perfect.

Miss Abigail, my almost six-year old who has been potty trained since age two and a half, peed her pants at school yesterday. It has been years since she has had an accident and suddenly, she has had issues three times in a row. She had one at home two days ago, her incident at school at the playground, and last night in the middle of the night. Each time she says she did not feel like she had to go, so I am not sure what is suddenly going on. Regardless, my "reading chapter books, loving the social life of school" daughter just wet her pants at kindergarten.

Oh, and Caleb keeps falling out of bed in the middle of the night.

What is going on with my family? Add on a newborn in a few weeks and you might as well officially call our house a circus.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nose Bleeds

We made it through one full week of school before getting a call from the school nurse. Impressive, right?

I was just getting ready to leave to pick up Caleb from preschool, when my phone rang. Caleb had a bad nose bleed and they just wondered if that was normal for him. As I drove to pick him up, I had to question the urgency to which they called-after all, kids get nose bleeds just from picking their noses. I will admit, my son is guilty of that.

When I saw him, I changed my mind on their decision to call.

You would think that being that bandaged up over a nose bleed would scare him, but no-he was calmly sitting there, chatting with the nurse and another ill student. He looked up at me and said, "Hey mom!"

That afternoon, while "taking a nap" (i.e. goofing off in his room), he suddenly ran out, face full of blood, and said, "It's bleeding again!" A few big spots fell onto the carpet (glad I did not have the carpet cleaners come out last week like I wanted), but thankfully most of the mess made it to the bathroom sink.

That poor little guy had to stand there for twenty minutes while I pinched his nose and let him spit out blood. It was everywhere. I have never seen a nose gush like that and it got kind of scary.

We had relief for a couple of days, until he had another episode in the middle of the night. Again, thankfully, he made it to the bathroom instead of all over his room. After asking some advice from others (and ruling out the "stop giving him cocaine" advice from a dear friend who will remain nameless-oh okay, I'll just use the initial "J"), I realized it probably was the dry weather.

Thanks to a new humidifier and some vapor rub for his latest cough, the nose bleeds seem to have stopped. However, every time the kid gets the slightest booger in his nose, he runs to me and asks, "Is it bleeding again?"

Well, at least it is not as bad as getting hit in the nose with a softball bat-oh wait, that was last year.