It's been a busy place around here! During James' two day adventure at the hospital on Friday and Saturday, Michael took on the other 7 kids on the homefront and even made it out to horse therapy on Saturday morning! Sunday we all got up and going then realized that church was early and it was a combined (aka there would be limited seating) service. We had everyone up and dressed for church before realizing it was also a weekend with no elementary age childcare. Let's see... James was already staying with us since he'd just been in the hospital, Aleksa always sits with us, Delaina always sits with us. Then add on Emma, Kristopher, and Brianna without childcare and we would have a busy group!
We went anyway. :)
Sunday afternoon Michael started on his project... build-a-pantry. He finished it on New Year's Day and it is WONDERFUL! :) A 4' x 2' pantry that extends up to the 10' ceiling. Exactly what we needed for our family's needs and it looks great in the laundry room.
We invited a friend over for New Year's Eve which then turned in to three couples coming over including our friends, my parents and sister and brother-in-law. We had fun just hanging out and that good ole midnight toast (minus the bottle of alcohol free 'champagne' which someone happened to break the neck off of and send glass shards flying...)!
Wednesday flew by as Michael returned to work and I attempted to tackle our "closet room" to attempt to make some better arrangements in there that maybe... just maybe... we (I) can keep up with better for 8 of the kids' clothes. That, and actually caring for the 9 children, which is of course more important and made the task take allllll day long!
Thursday was therapy day, which would be today! 2 1/2 hours of OT and PT rotations for 5 of the kids (James had this week off) and Kristopher and Lynae were in tow again since their school isn't back in session until next week. Plus Delaina, of course, which equals 9 little people, and a lot of 'busy' in the gym room at our therapy center! Then tonight our speech therapist came out to the house to work with three more kids and I disappeared for an hour, leaving Michael with all 9 kids, quite possibly for the first time while they were all awake... though he may have kept them that I don't recall.
I took off to the shooting range! It was my first time firing... or even holding... a gun... or even a bb gun for that matter... :) I shot a 9mm and did pretty ok if I do say so myself :) I hit the 'target paper' every time, got ONE bullet on the "outer body", maybe 8 or so on the inner torso, and every other bullet was straight on the target. That was one dead piece of paper, as a friend put it!
This afternoon I scheduled James' g-tube revision to put in his Mic-key button, and surprise surprise... it will be tomorrow! Mike will be taking him for that since it can be difficult to juggle the baby and James, and Mike probably prefers to take 1 child to the hospital rather than keep 7 at home again! :) I'm sure James will do fine, and it will be nice for ALL of us to have the low-profile button for James since he's constantly flapping it, pulling on it, having it dangle, etc. The mic-key is much more manageable and will give him more 'freedom'.
Saturday is horseback lessons again, for the boys this week, and then our last Christmas celebration, this time with my siblings.
I can't leave off one of the most important parts of the week, though, and that is sweet Brianna's 7th birthday today!! It's hard to believe that she is seven already! I'm sure I say it every year, but wow, how her birth has changed our lives so much, and for the better! We are so grateful for a wonderful medical team that kept both she and I safe and made some tough calls through her emergency delivery, and for our pediatricians that kept searching to get answers about what was 'going on' with her.
We didn't know that Brianna was going to be born with Down syndrome, and even after her birth we didn't have any indication that she had Ds. It wasn't until she was 5 weeks old that doctors began to suggest that they had been seeking out answers for several weeks and wanted to run more diagnostic testing to 'rule out' any chromosomal abnormalities. In fact, they told us they were considering a different issue pertaining to chromosomes. When Brianna was 8 weeks old we got the phone call to say "come to the pediatrician's office now" during their lunch break and we were brought in to a room and told "there's a problem with Brianna." Then, as they told us that she didn't have the condition we were originally told they were considering, but actually had Down syndrome, our hearts' burdens LIFTED and we were grateful that God had gifted us this little baby girl with a condition that to us... was nothing bad :). Of course we also were told to go straight to the hospital because she could have a heart condition, and two days later that fear was confirmed when we learned that she had a major defect in her heart and would need open heart surgery... But none of that was a part of her birth story.
Brianna is such a beautiful gift to us, and her life gave us the ability to say 'yes' to more children who we may or may not have felt the same burden for if it wasn't for her. Our lives could have been very different, but I wouldn't want to have it any other way. What a blessing it is to have each of our children, and to celebrate the joy of Brianna's birthday today! :)