Thursday, April 30

What do you do

when you have 5 children by yourself at a therapy building for an hour long wheelchair 'fitting and eval' for one child?

I guess I'll find out in the morning! Lucky me! :)

What? No blogging for THREE days??

Ha, things have been busy!

We're doing well, though :) Settling in as a family of 7 for the time being. Lots of hand holding, lots of diaper changing, and lots of feeding! I'll post more later but just thought I'd put up a quick "HI!"

Monday, April 27

My van looks like this

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and yet my OB says that having 5 kids must not be so bad because my BP was great today :)

Ok, so check out the face Micah is making... goodness, couldn't re-capture that goofball face if I tried!

All the kids are facing forward now... The youngest being Micah at 2 1/2 years and 27 lbs... I would have left him and Brianna, 3 years, 24 lbs, facing backward, but there was just no way to fit everyone in that way.  Backward facing seats behind the driver don't let Mike put the seat at a comfortable distance.  Both are well over the weight and age requirements for forward facing seats, though, so I'm confident that they are still safe :)

Kristopher is enjoying being in the third row- his first time back there!  He also begged to sit next to Brianna since he's had a turn by Micah and most recently by Emma in this van.  Of course the first thing they did was fight... but what are siblings for?

Today I had my 20 week OB appointment and all is well.  I should get a call in the next week-2 weeks scheduling my ultrasound with the perinatologist which will include a fetal echo just for good measure.  Baby's measuring right on, I'm back up to the weight I was at the beginning of the pregnancy, and things generally look good.

I brought my little visitor to the appointment today and he did great.  I brought in a stroller :)  He sat with me, played patty cake, and did HUGE high fives while we waited.  He wasn't so sure about the nurse taking my BP but he just covered his face then played with her a little later.  I haven't brought any of the kids with me to appointments except the ultrasound that the dr wasn't present for.  I don't know how many kids w/ Ds our doctor has contact with, but he was quite taken by my little visitor.  I told him, briefly, the little guy's story and some of what he'd endured in the early years of his life- much like my adopted children.  During the summer visits when the kids aren't in school I think I'll have them take turns coming to the dr with me so he can meet all of the crew.  I think it says something for a dr that's giving a prenatal diagnosis to KNOW some of the kids that have Ds and what a wide range of abilities they have as well.  You sure can't put all 3 of my kids in the same 'shoe box' of what Ds looks like!

Sunday, April 26

Day two and going well :)

Today we can see that our friend is more comfortable here. He woke up happy, had breakfast, got dressed, and played. We had decided last night we were not going to go to church service this morning. We don't just skip very often unless someone is sick- and then usually one of us still goes with those that can. But a combination of things- Mike coming off of his stomach bug, our car not having the extra seat installed, and our visitor not really being comfortable here yet- made us decide that today we'd spend playing and run the one errand we needed to then come back home.

We did move around the carseats and head over to Target and picked up a few things Mike needed and an extra body pillow since we stole Brianna's last night to go between the mattress and wall on the bottom bunk. Surprise of all surprises we found something else that we'd been looking for 2 weeks ago and couldn't find ANYWHERE and there they were... bean bag chairs! So, yes, we got two bean bag chairs too :).

Then we headed home had some chicken nuggets, cheese, and crackers with milk for lunch :) Yummy, LOL, well, for all the kids 6 and under that can chew food anyway! After lunch the three youngest kids went to bed. We put Micah in the playpen in the guest room so there weren't two kids in any one room... it doesn't seem to work for naps. Surprisingly, all three kids napped! And not only that, since Mike was home I was able to lay down after they'd been asleep about 30 minutes and I slept the last hour along with them :) Emma and Kristopher played in the playroom and watched a movie under Mike's watchful eye.

I had to wake up 2 of the kids after 2 hours!! Micah, of course, was fine to wake on his own LOL. Then we played a little bit, watched the new dynamic of interaction (which was really pretty fun to watch!) and after a while we decided to take everyone for a walk. I bet we were a bit of a sight, Kristopher on his bicycle, a triple stroller, and a single stroller going down the road :) On the way back to the house we got the two walkers out and let them walk part of the way home. Everyone enjoyed the fresh air and even though it was kindof hot, the nice cool breeze was great!

Before we knew it we were getting some Mac 'n Cheese ready for dinner (um... except Mike and I had shrimp coctails LOL, only so much kid-food is tolerated!) and it was time for baths, brushing teeth, drinks, stories, and bed!

I'm actually typing this sitting in the boys' room waiting for them to fall asleep :) Everyone's being very good, but I have two boys that aren't sure they're ready for bed yet... one is dancing in his crib to the quiet music I put on (which seems to soothe our friend) and the other is talking to himself- or his stuffed animas?- in the top bunk. The third little boy is laying quietly just peeking at me every so often to see if I'm still here. Yep. Not going anywhere :)

Tomorrow is a regular Monday of school for K and B and I have Mike and my mom back in gear to help it go smoothly! I also have my 20 week OB appointment. HALF WAY!! In the afternoon Emma's teacher will come for an hour and then Emma and I and our visitor will go to Emma's therapy appointment. Depending on how it goes we'll sit in with her as usual or I'll take my friend to the playground :) It should be a nice 'normal' day back in the swing of things with a well husband and a fun, sweet group of kids!!

Saturday, April 25

I think today

went better than we had imagined. Not without some rough spots of our little guy not knowing where he was, why he was here, or why his mommy wasn't by his side... but he did exceptionally well and is settling in ok. He's sleeping now- all 3 boys in one room and the two girls in another.

Please continue to keep us all in prayer and our friends as well. Both family dynamics have changed today and there are 6 little kids whose worlds are different.

Thank you for your faithful prayers for our family. We have seen God's hand of peace today and pray that our friends have as well.

The boys' room and Daddy's better!

Kristopher sleeps on the top and our visitor gets the bottom.  My dad made a new bed rail for the bottom bunk.  After I found one on a good sale and bought it, I found out that a typical bed rail wouldn't work!  Oh, well... This one eventually will be stained to match but for today it will work just how it is :)  The side rails and ladder are all removable, in case you're wondering how in the world you get in to the bottom bunk!

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This one's Micah's, complete with small sleeping child :)

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The dresser between the beds.  Micah has been grabbing the lamp so everything's squished over to one side ;)  The bin has some clothes we pulled out for our friend.  Kristopher gets the left half, Micah gets the right.

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Look who's feeling better!  Can you tell the kids are excited about Daddy being back in the action?

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Friday, April 24

Evidence of Children...

I'm sure there's MUCH more... but here is my "keeping it real" post about how there is evidence of children in my home!  I didn't clean up, pick up, straighten up... so here it is straight from a busy day :)  There are, of course, random toys strewn about in each area, but these are the 'fixtures' that either keep me sane (organizationally) or are there simply because there are kids in the house...

The "kids' computer" complete with Magic Touch screen for Brianna (she can't use a mouse yet).

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Next to the computer... yep, the potty seat (and that's not an electrical outlet, it's audio cables for our intercom!)

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The entire 13-disk set of Signing Time... One of our favorites...

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And another favorite, Veggie Tales and Hermie series (and a few Baby Einstein for good measure).  The kids don't watch much TV, but with no cable, this is what they watch!

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Our changing table- 4 bins with diapers in them for the 4 kids in diapers.  The green bin has hairbrushes, diaper cream, detangler... And below the bin are Emma's overnight diapers.  LOVE them!

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Diaper pail and laundry hamper

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The shoe bin.  Or I'd NEVER find a shoe!  (ok, I'd find A shoe, but not a PAIR of shoes...)

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Plenty of kid-sized seating in the family room :)

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Creativity central.  Kristopher's (and often Brianna's but not supposed to be LOL) art station...

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This is the 8' bookcase in our guest room.  The top is games, books, puzzles, etc. and the bottom are toys that have lots of pieces and only come out one at a time :)  In the drop-down desk area is paint and play dough supplies!

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Since all the 'paper books' are up high... there has to be a bin of board books down low!

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Three shelves of diapers.  And on the top left are all wipes refills.  I needed to restock on Emma's diapers- bought some today that haven't made it to the cabinet yet ;)

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"Baby" tub in the guest bathroom.  This one's for a quick rinse and go if it's just one kid! 

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My favorite addition to the guest shower... the loooong hose so I can wash the kids with it!

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Evidence of GIRLS.

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Miss Brianna's sleeping quarters complete with "lovey" and her board books.  Two rails make a good side for her since she's ALL OVER bed at night!

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The girls' dressers... complete with a pile of shorts that Brianna emptied out of a drawer...

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Emma's bed, which she can almost escape from.

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Baby guard to the bathrooms/bedrooms (makes it possible to have the bathroom door open while ONE or TWO kids are in the tub and not have all FOUR kids climbing around the bathroom!!

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The kids' bathroom- 5 colorful towels, one for each kid!  We already hung our friend's towel to get ready for him :)

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Wash cloths up to dry and bath toys!

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Soft spout cover...

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Toilet decor?  Well, washcloths anyway

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Tiny hiney, tiny seat.

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The "step step step" stool as Brianna calls it.

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You can't mistake this bathroom for an adult's!

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Two sets of toothbrush holders- one for the boys one for the girls

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The monster gate that keeps the kids out of the kitchen... complete with monster :)

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Playroom swings, SO FUN!

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Playroom slide and rubber mats.

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Where the little ones' toys are "supposed" to be...

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Evidence that I seriously DIDN'T pick up before taking pictures!  This is our ball pit... how it looks 75% of the time... EMPTY

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The play kitchen, a bulk of the ball pit balls, and Kristopher's very messy play area.  Hmm...

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Cabinet with V-Smile and V-Smile Baby and a 'dance pad' below.  Electronics that are kept out of the general toy circulation :)

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Child-proof handles on  the laundry room and guest bathroom

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Hmm... this doesn't belong in the dining room...

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Everyone has a bin for their 'goodies' when they come in the door, and the 3 cubbies are for the 3 kids that are in school. 

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Coat racks... which we need to re-vamp for summer and just leave the lightweight ones there! YAY :)  Oh, and the diaper-bag backpack on the floor :)

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Still in the foyer, my mom used the umbrella double stroller the other day when she babysat and I haven't put it back in the garage...

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Evidence of kids?  Hmm... maybe not :)  We like to play too though!  (and yes, a few of those are K's games)

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Our friends from Vegas.  My parents brought these home for the kids, aren't they cute?

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The 'tiny table' and chairs we use for snacks and company :)

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The side of the refrigerator... farm animals

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The front of the refrigerator... alphabet

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And of course my 3 prayer kids from Reece's Rainbow.  The one in the middle is now HOME!  The one on the left has been moved to foster care and is no longer available but... that little sweetheart on the right can be seen at www.reecesrainbow.org/atriskgirls.htm

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Brianna's straw cups and a mass of bottles

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Plastic cups, sipper cups, and 'kid size' cups too.

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Table for seven.  Tonight was McDonald's!  Kristopher earned it :)

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A seat for our new friend

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And one for Emma

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Um... this one's Micah's...

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Brianna's (enjoying some French Fries)

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The baby-food shelf.  Nothing but baby food...

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How many gallons of milk and containers of juice can you count?

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Maybe this will help... there were two on the door plus... 7 gallons of milk in the fridge and 5 containers of Juice (plus one to the right in the pic above).  And a Brita water filter and a few more 20 oz Sprites...  Yes, I just got groceries today :)  And that will last about a week...

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I didn't make it in to the boys' room before bedtime, so that room's missing from the batch :)