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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4 years ago

In 2009, we decided that 5 3/4 years in Florida was long enough. When you enter the military, you're told that 3-4 years on station is normal- be prepared to move. However, what we didn't realize is every time he deployed, that time clock restarted. He deployed 3 times (6.5 months or more gone each time) from 2005-2008. Every military member makes a "dream sheet". A list of 8 bases they would like to go to or be near. We had just had our second child, Lauren, and desperately wanted to be closer to his family who were just starting to get married and have children. So he volunteered for a year to Korea, in return they would send us somewhere else after. We packed up and moved to Arizona for the year. The girls and I stayed with his parents.
Christmas 2009, right before he left for Korea
He left January 11th, 2010, with a 3 week leave from Korea to come home for my brothers wedding and R & R in September. That was the longest we've ever been apart by far to date. It was easier yet hard this deployment. Easier because I was with family. Harder because Lauren at 2 years old was a #dowhateveriwantdontcareaboutpottytrainingNOnapactlikearottenegg24/7toddler. AT LEAST 3 nights a week, it ended with a 2-3 finger glass of wild turkey. It was his dad's bottle, and it was 90% full if not brand new. By the time CJ came home I had it down to 1/4 full maybe less.. Soooo many stories that year that I fully intend to use it against her in the future when need be :o) 

That April, CJ and a few friends went in the DMZ tour (demilitarized zone located on the border (ish) of North and South Korea). You take a bus up there, and he said on the way he didn't drink a lot of fluids. Restrooms were..less than desirable. He came back from that, he had had a good time, and then had flu like symptoms within a day or two. I knew he wasn't feeling good, he had gone to the clinic on base and was seen. He went back a second time, not getting any better- more intense really. By the third time, the DR had gone on leave and left a note "If this guy comes back- send him downtown immediately. I don't know what's wrong."

He was sweaty, delirious, feverish, not right..way off for a normal flu or cold.  Last I had heard, he was at work feeling crappy, going home early. Within an hour of that communication, his health took a dive. The clinic had the ambulance come and take him to the local hospital. From that point it was about 2-2.5 days before I heard from him. Not our routine at all. I got a call from him at 2 am Arizona time. 

First thing I said was "Where the hell have you been?! Freaking out over here." 

"I'm in the hospital, they're not sure what's wrong." 


Information was hard to get from him. He was still incoherent, so I talked to whoever the Air Force assigned to stay with him at all times. Tests were being run, at that time they weren't sure what he had. The Doctor's were foreign and barely spoke English. A day later we got a call from the Chief over there. He was being prepped for a spinal tap, they thought it could be meningitis. My poor baby... Here he is across the world, lying in a bed made for a short Korean person (CJ is 6'4"), being poked and proded- and I can't get to him (no passport). From what I understand, there was some hours there where..it was REALLY bad. We just stayed by the phone 24/7. I held it together until I found out he would live, they had figured it out- started to treat him and was all ready getting better. I thank God for that trait. Otherwise I'd have be sedated. This isn't his first time putting the family through a life threatening ordeal (because it's all his fault lol!). 
September, on our way to my brother's wedding, look! He's alive!!
When he was around 11-12, he contracted strep throat 9 times in a year. He'd get better for a 1-2 weeks, then sick again. The meds just wouldn't kill it. The Doctor argued with his mom as to what it was half the time and neglecting to do a strep culture, wasting time. He became septic, and organ failure started. He was medi-vac'd to Phoenix Children's Hospital. They were told the next day after it was figured out and he was being treated, that last night if they asked- he had a slim chance of survival. 

So you see, God had plans for this man's life. I think he's pretty special myself, and we have a lot to be thankful for. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3rd Trimester Blues

"What to Expect when Expecting"
The third trimester

During week 34 of pregnancy a baby boy's testicles start their downward journey from abdomen to scrotum (bon voyage!). A baby's noggin turns southward too, settling into a heads-down, bottom-up position. By week 36, you've got about a six-pounder in there, with fat continuing to accumulate (Look Mom, I'm gaining too!). Two weeks to go in week 38 as your baby sheds his vernix (the waxy substance that protects his skin from your amniotic fluid) and lanugo (the hairy coat that keeps him warm in there). All's pretty quiet through week 39, though you may find yourself waddling as your little bundle drops even lower in your pelvis. 

Belly Big..CHECK!
Getting Sleepy..CHECK!

They forgot to add, baby gets the hiccups like ALL THE TIME. I get a "tick" in my belly 2-3 times in 24 hours. It's super awesome when you get up in the night to use the bathroom to then lay down and can't sleep because SOMEBODY has the hiccups. I always disliked this time, you can't eat until you are full because he's getting bigger thus my "stomach" is getting less space. Which then gives you extreme heart burn. And then he gets the hiccups. 

We've always saved our baby stuff, even though being military doesn't really give you a lot of space to store. People may walk in and think, "There's a lot of stuff in here.." We just knew that in the long run..you save money by not having to replace things you sold/got rid of. Jason's going to use Lauren's baby bedding, with baseball decor splashed around. 

I'm not using the bumper, because SOMEBODY ripped 2-3 of the tie downs off.. I am not using the valances, mobile, or the square trio wall decor either. I need to get a lamp base, crib sheets, some kind of baseball mobile...I think. I have a cylinder clear vase that I'm displaying CJ's baseballs he's had since forever and a day ago. I got another sign from Hobby Lobby that has baseball stitching and says "Hey Batter Batter". I have a few other things I'd like to do, pics will come soon! I still can't believe I'm putting together a BOY ROOM. I guess I'll believe it when I see it ;o) I know we'll be an emotional wreck during delivery day. I can't imagine if we had stuck with "not finding out" what the big day would have been like... I'd probably keep checking his diaper to make sure "things" were still there lol. I'm sure every parent that has had multiple of one kind, suddenly gets the other kind knows how I'm feeling. It's just as exciting as having that first child all over again, plus he'll be our last. Bitter sweet. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Harlow and the pistachio

I grew up snacking on nuts of all kind, and a lot of my side of the family does too. So I didn't have a second thought about sharing Lauren's pistachio bag, knowing that Harlow is old enough to have nuts/made with nuts things. Of course I only gave her one at first. She liked it, asked for another. I gave it to her, and thought, "Oh she eats so well. Nuts, fruits, greens, yogurt. So proud of her." Then 5 minutes went by, and she asked to spit out the second nut. Ok, she changed her mind. No biggie.

Then I noticed her cheeks were puffy, tongue swollen, her eyes went darkish, upper throat glands swelled..and she started to cry "It hurts, it hurts!" 

Immediately I gave her the zrytec, two minutes later she doubled over yelling out. She was figgity, crying, face flushed..NOT A GOOD SIGN. And also not one that I've seen before. 

"Taylor!! Get the Benedryl, and the big pasta pot!"

Gave that to her, 10 minutes later she threw up. Emergency room- here we come! So from the moment she ate the nut, to the moment I walked into the ER- it was a 25 time frame. On the way there, a 10 minute drive, she started to talk less. I asked her, "Harlow are you ok? Does it hurt?" She always answers me with her words. I got no answer so I asked again- also with no reply. I slammed on me brakes, and as I turned around I asked her again...She was nodding her head the whole time. Of course now that I'm looking at her she answers, and I notice her speech is better. One heart attack a day please Harlow! 

We were immediately taken to a room. Vitals checked, they said her breathing is perfect, heart is up because she's now nervous- but overall she looks good. We stayed for about 2 hours beginning to end, got a prescription for an epi pen for her. Then next day I called and got her in to our clinic (military has their own doctors, labs, pharmacy- at most locations). He ordered a blood test that would test for particular nuts. YAY. ME. But it's to save my baby's life. She was such a trooper. Daddy held her, plus she had seen me have blood taken before- and knew I didn't cry..but she did :o( She held still though, didn't squirm or fight back, poor little baby. They had to stick both arms and came up short to test for all nuts. So we chose peanut and pistachio. Turns out they had enough to cover some more, so here's her findings:

PEANUT: LOW positive
BRAZIL NUT: LOW positive
ALMOND: LOW positive

We will now be reading our nutrition labels more thoroughly!
Pistachio...was obvious lol. The other's he said she could totally grow out of by 4-5 years old. I bake, and she has had almond extract in cake/frosting with no signs of a reaction, never had a brazil nut (not even me lol) and she can eat peanut butter things with no reaction..just JIF pb caused her at 1 years old to have hives, and threw up in the night (just like your body, your stomach produces histamine- so it expels it when you start to try to digest it) but she eats actual peanuts with no reaction and eats ALL NATURAL peanut butter with no signs either. So for the next year or two, she doesn't eat all the other stuff regularly- just on occasion, we'll slow down her intake of peanut stuff until she's older. BUT NO PISTACHIO'S!!! Now I need to get her one of those special bracelet/necklaces. Good thing she likes to wear jewelry :o) 

Nope, I'm fine.

That is Harlow's most common response. "Nope. I'm fine." That has been attached to many questions I've asked her haha..

Lauren's most common response: "There's this (toy) I don't have.." Yeah, because that's what I expect to hear when I ask you to go put your shoes away.

Taylor's most common response: "I didn't hear that." Oh. Sooo you didn't hear the second half of EVERY. SINGLE. SENTENCE. I. SAID. ALL. DAY. LONG. It's getting old lady..

At least one kid is "fine." Ha ha ha..

And the fourth one is just growin' every day.

The more we've had, the more you see that every kid truly is different from the other. They all go through the same physical and mental stages, but their responses to each one have been different from the one before. Not dramatic, but just different. Crazy as it sounds, they all so far have come out looking different from the others. So what the heck will Jason look like?? Lauren was night and day compared to Taylor. She came out and I thought, "That's my baby?" She was so big, and had so much more hair (I had crazy heartburn with her!) compared to Taylor. Dark complexion too. Harlow came out with dark hair like Lauren, but around three months it lightened. I was really hoping she would have blue eyes with the brown hair. I think that is so strikingly beautiful. She's the only one with blue eyes too. What will Jason have..
Taylor around 2-3 weeks
Lauren at 1 week
Harlow at 1 week
Lauren and Harlow looked alike, don't ya think? Personality wise, much different from the get-go. 

Four kids.Why so many you ask? Well. I guess we just kept feeling like someone was missing every time we added another. It's not about the number. It's not about our age. (Although I always said I'd "like" to be done by 30, I'm sliding in to HOME PLATE with 2 months to go till I'm 31.) And it's not about keeping that "baby" feeling going. Someone was missing. Simple as that.

and "I'm fine" with four. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

There's no switch

So for a month now we've been dealing with a stubborn, do what I want, sneaky 6 year girl. A month ago, Lauren was caught with the Nintendo DS in bed after lights out. I took it away, told her no electronics for the next day. Stuck with it all day that Friday, and that night I went to my Bunco group. This next part surprises me..

So I get a text from CJ at 9 o'clock.

CJ "You won't believe who I just caught doing something they weren't supposed to do" (I don't remember the exact text- but that's close)
ME "You've got to be kidding me.."
CJ "Nope"

SMH. Where was the DS you ask? In my room on MY dresser. So when CJ told her it was time for bed, she went up stairs and got the DS from our room. He thought, "you know what, I'm going to go check on everybody." Would you EVER as a child have gone in to your parents room to look for something that was taken from you? Me? NOOOOOO. Not unless I wanted to die from a lonely, secluded, boring, pathetic death in my bedroom from being grounded for 2 weeks. When I came home, we literally sat dumbfounded on the couch for a good 30 minutes. Just discussing as to how to proceed, and what thought process she must have had to complete her "mission". It's not like I left it in the loft/kitchen/her room. It was it the "you do not enter" domain. That sounded more serious then it really is lol. They can come in anytime...just not to secretly take things.

So this time she was "grounded" from electronics for quite a few days instead of just one. Did it work? For a bit..Then this past Sunday night, CJ went to her room to tell her again that it was bed time. While she was gathering what stuffed animal she wanted, he walked to her bed to "straighten" it and snuck his hand under her pillow...to pull out the DS that he suspected to be there. SOH (smack our heads). She just doesn't give up or get it. She had full intentions of playing on it after lights out, AGAIN. So we didn't say anything. Every day this week when she asked for specific electronics, I just answered no followed by because. It's now Thursday, and she finally noticed every day has been "no" and asked whhhhyyy??

Because my child who refuses to obey, you have not earned our trust back. So no you may not induldge like your sisters have been.
I'm just tired of letting it get me all riled up. Because this one- does. Maybe because she's like me..WAIT! who said that...CJ said she has "no switch". Doesn't know when she's pushing the boundaries, there's nothing in her mind warning her with loud flashing lights and sirens "YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT DO THIS." Maybe our punishment just didn't stick out in her mind? I mean she's 6, so we're not talking about 2 weeks here. BUT I did warn her that next time she was caught, she had to sell her pillow pets DS game. Technically..she wasn't caught, but she had intent. So we didn't do that. I sure as heck reminded her "what did I say will happen if you're caught again at night with it?" That got a big response :o) And hopefully remind her that she should be thankful for all that she has, that you have to obey the rules, and that we do not "have to" let you play every day on the things that were so generously given to you. They are a privilege. Here's hopping!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Go Team Coles

I LOVE how Harlow's toddler bed came out! So as you can see, we changed some things. We added 6" to the height of the legs, made a nice paneled headboard, put thicker and less cross bars (sturdier IMO), made guard rails so that it didn't matter which side was against the wall, and then added a plank to the foot board so there wasn't a gap. So proud of CJ! I helped hold and hand stuff, directed how I wanted the changes, and was a second pair of eyes to check levels and straightness. Go Team Coles!!

Next we painted it a pretty white to go with the rest of the room. Harlow was so excited, every time she see's it she says "it's Harlow's? Mine." My little baby is starting to be too heavy for me to lift in to her crib, so I hope she really likes her new bed her Daddy and I made her! 
Panoramic of the beds and wall. Not done yet, I have a few things to make and pics to print and put in frames. I just love their room, fits Taylor and Harlow so perfectly. They are a ray of sunshine! I have a wrought iron white twin bed waiting in the wings for Harlow, so I went ahead and bought the coordinating bedding. So you see a pink twin size set on Harlow's bed there, I just folded the blanket under the mattress. She was sooo excited..until bedtime. She was in bed for around 25 minutes, came out- and when I told her to get back in bed..she cried. "I want my crrriiib". Daddy had to sing a couple songs and explain how everyone slept in big beds. That's all it took. 

I can't believe March is gone. Just *POOF*. Haven't gotten to other projects we wanted to get done, but we still have time.