DH had his surgery to remove the testicle with the mass on May 21st. We arrived to the hospital at 12pm and surgery took place around 1:15pm. Praise God, I was allowed in the hospital with him before and after and I waited with his parents in the parking lot during the surgery. At 2:20pm the nurse called me to come in and sit with him. They said everything went well and the dr came in to talk with us after that. He believes the mass was contained and we are waiting on pathology results now. The Dr explained that DH does have elevated tumor markers but a negative HCG, which means it’s not likely to be choriocarcinoma, which is a relief.

DH went home with his parents for the night after the surgery and came home the following evening (He wanted to stay longer but I was an emotional wreck without him. I just needed to hold him!) Thankfully his recovery has been smooth and he’s had very little pain whatsoever after the first day. He’s been using ice and took ibuprofen once in the last 3 days. He’s 5 days post op now and worked from home today. It was a little uncomfortable to sit upright as it makes his incision bend but he has spent the evening resting in the recliner and feels pretty good. Definitely anxious to get back to his usual routine and being able to lift the kids again. Thankfully they have all been careful around him and haven’t jumped on him, although I kept a mountain of pillows on him the first few days.

Still hoping and praying for good news! Thankful for DH’s positive outlook and that he’s been pretty much himself with his mood after the first couple days. The first 2 days after were hard for him to process and it was worrying me as I felt him distancing emotionally. But we had some good talks and a quiet day together while his mom and sister watched the 3 older kids and we stayed home with just Quayd. I feel like that day helped us both get back in perspective and afforded us the uninterrupted time to talk about how we felt. It’s tough emotionally, the unknown. And surgery is never easy. But I do believe God has blessed us with peace during this time.

I don’t know how to title this post. I don’t think there is a simple way to title the current chaos of life right now or the emotions that I have.

*Personal information ahead involving anatomy. Possibly disturbing to close family.*

About 2 months ago I noticed a hard mass on DH’s testicle. I immediately knew it wasn’t normal and wasn’t something that should be there. He hadn’t had pain or noticed it himself but he tried to assure me that it was probably just a bruise from where one of the kids accidentally smacked him, but I wasn’t so sure. Bruises aren’t rock hard masses that get larger over time. But this did. Finally I convinced him to see a urologist who, for whatever reason, thought everything seemed normal (😶😶😶😶😶) but sent DH for an ultrasound 3 days later to just make sure.

Side note: I can’t understand how it is possible to think what was going on is normal. I just can’t imagine…

The ultrasound tech immediately saw the swelling but assured DH that he shouldn’t worry and that it looked like a hematoma to her but added that she’s no dr and can’t say for sure. So we drove home feeling relieved but also thinking how odd it was that a hematoma would last so long and wondering if it would need treatment. That evening a nurse called and moved DH’s telehealth visit up 5 days and changed it to in-person instead of a video call. She also instructed him to get bloodwork done so the dr would have the results asap. Obviously we knew at this point that something was up but we hoped the dr was just making sure the “hematoma” was just that, a bad bruise type thing.

DH was able to request prayer at church Sunday and on Monday we headed to his appointment and the nurse informed us that normally I wouldn’t be allowed to go back with DH to the exam room but that this was special circumstances. She then went on to say that there was a mass and the dr would be discussing surgery with us. So, in came the dr (with the worst bedside manner, I might add) and informed DH that he highly suspects testicular cancer, the testicle has to come out asap and oh… by the way… he can throw in a vasectomy on the other side while he’s at it if we don’t want more kids. He goes on to say that DH might need chemo but there’s no way of knowing yet and if he does need chemo, that will almost certainly destroy sperm production.*

DH and I were just sitting there trying to process the information but it was really hard and abrupt and it wouldn’t have been any easier if it had been the nicest dr on earth telling us this news, but with this dr it was just so hard to process. He sent us out to the waiting room so the nurse could set up the surgery appointment and at that point DH looked like a sad, lost and confused little boy. It hurt just to look at him and I just couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to be calm and collected (and had tried to prepare myself for this news from the beginning) but it was hard nevertheless. The nurse let us come back to another room to talk about the surgery etc and just have a minute of privacy, which we appreciated.

At home we talked more and DH decided to see another dr who is well liked around this area. That appointment was 4 days later and the dr agreed with the diagnosis (which we expected) and arranged for his colleague (who actually did a cystoscopy for me years ago) to do DH’s surgery. He was able to get him scheduled a day sooner than the first dr and the hospital he uses is only 20 minutes away vs almost 2 hours. So, obviously DH decided to go with him.

The surgery is scheduled for this week and DH is definitely feeling emotional about the whole situation. It’s bad enough to lose a testicle but to also be unsure as to what is going to be the outcome is really hard. Naturally we hope and pray (and appreciate the prayers of everyone else) that the pathology shows its not cancer afterall. And if it is cancer, we hope and pray it hasn’t spread. Even though testicular cancer has a high cure rate, it’s still a scary thing to face and especially knowing that treatment caries unpleasant side effects is hard to bear for both of us.

For me it is so hard to see DH face this situation and know that the most important thing to him is to be healthy so he can take care of his kids. It’s been his main concern this whole time… Will he be able to work? What does he need to get done before he’s unable to lift for awhile? How can he make sure he’s spending enough quality time with all the boys before he has to take a break from playing on the floor with them? (This is unimportant but we had been scheduled for the basement to be dug the week that all this happened and had to tell the contractor to wait. That really was upsetting to DH because he’s been waiting a whole year to start this project and finally the contractor was ready but now it’s not going to happen, at least not for awhile.) It’s all so emotional for me to watch. I feel like I flop back and forth all day between being at peace and taking everything one step at a time or finding myself choking up and dreading seeing DH in pain. I also worry about the boys because even though they don’t know the extent of what is going on past daddy needing to have surgery, I know this is still stressful for their little minds and emotions too.

DH was prayed over at church again this week and I really appreciate our church family letting us know we are not alone. God is already moving in the situation. It may be a small win but our hospital was not allowing anyone but the patient inside. I was supposed to drop DH off at the door and then pick him up at the door when they called me after the surgery was over. But thank God, after many prayers from our friends and family and several calls to various hospital administrators, they finally called me back this evening to say that they will let me come in before and after surgery and wait in the parking lot during. Like I said, its a relatively small thing but it’s a comfort to DH to know that he doesn’t have to be alone.

He said he appreciates all prayers on his behalf. We both do. I love him so much and I hope that this is just a little bump in the road and that he will be back to normal very soon.

*Actually, the testicle which is now the “healthy” one is the side that was previously operated on during our infertility journey. It is assumed to have a lot of scaring around the spermatic cord and likely isn’t a major player in sperm production anyway. We do hope that testosterone production isn’t compromised and that DH will feel the same as usual.

So much going on, it’s downright hilarious. Remember how I posted that we were incubating chicken eggs? Well 9 of them hatched and I gave my brother 6 chicks like I’d promised him. That left us with this huge oddball yellow chick, whom we call Big Bird (all the others were black and yellow) and one chick with a deformed leg, whom we call Peggy and another nondescript chick which still remains nameless. That was almost 3 weeks ago. Here we are awaiting our next hatch (we set 9 eggs this time) which are due to hatch in a few days. Hopefully we will end up with a nice little flock. We intend to use them for eggs.

Peggy

And then we also bought a goat. A very pregnant goat. She’s due to kid May 10th and from the looks of her belly, it’ll probably be several babies. She’s 5 years old and has had sets of twins, triplets and quads in past years. I have to say, this is my first time raising goats and I’ve been pretty nervous about getting things right. But we’ve had her almost 3 weeks and we’ve really warmed up to eachother now. I daresay I think she even likes me (because I feed her treats… she’s so shallow) and we all like her too. We are anxiously awaiting her babies. And I do mean anxiously. I have things prepped for kidding and I’ve been watching some videos in case she needs assistance but I think she will do fine seeing as she’s had lots of experience. We bought her for milking but we will probably also keep some or possibly all of her babies, depending on if they are does or bucks. This is all new territory for me as I’ve never raised goats. DH did when he was a youngster but they didn’t have dairy goats, so he’s no help in that department. I’ve literally been reading and researching constantly for the last couple months!

I’m finding this way funnier than necessary

Naturally all these animals needed somewhere to live, so DH scrambled to build what we have dubbed “The Gicken Barn”. He started March 27 and he’s pretty much done now. We just need to paint a few things to match our pole barn and put up a fence to keep the chickens safe. Their coop is ready and the goat loves her fancy pen and pasture area. I’m super impressed with DH’s construction abilities. Super.

Levi turned 5 in March and I wrote an update post that I need to upload. I want to also post an interview with him soon. His birthday didn’t go like we had planned but he seemed unconcerned. He loved his gifts that we got him and I made him Ninjago cupcakes. All he’s really been concerned about is how many birthday cards he gets. It’s over a month later and he still asks if he can check the mail for a card every.single.day. Who knew cards would make a kid so happy? He was actually sad that I didn’t get him a card. I still feel bad about that….

Quayd is cruising, crawling, eating everything he shouldn’t eat and turning his nose up at baby food. He’s very very excited to try bites of regular food but he doesn’t eat very much at a time. He has 3 teeth and another almost through. He babbles constantly and I swear he says “mama” for real. 💚 The big brothers have accepted him into their “herd” (these goats are getting to my brain) quite well and he’s usually just following them or me around. He crawls so fast! He’s getting really hard to breastfeed as he won’t stay still. He’s basically doing yoga and headstands and crawling away with my boob in his mouth. It’s all a bit traumatic for the old girls and I wonder if our days of breastfeeding are almost behind us. 😢 But first we have to get him eating more food!

Tru and Zane are doing fine also. Tru is taking after DH more and more every day but he has my sense of humor. He’s almost constantly spouting some verbal nonsense that has DH and I rolling. He’s getting so creative with his art and play and game ideas, idk where he gets his smarts and talent from but it’s not me! We went for a mushroom hunting hike today but Tru had one mission – find a salamander. He was turning over every log in the woods and he did indeed find one, much to my surprise. He didn’t have a moment of hesitation before he picked it up and held it for a minute. But don’t worry, he put it back in it’s log home. 🙂

Zane has hit this phase and we’ve dubbed him “The Tod”. In fact, we call him Tod so much that I’m not sure if he knows that’s not his name. He’s just so darn cute and such a cool toddler! Not a day goes by that he doesn’t have DH and I in stitches with his story telling attempts. His eyebrows are so expressive and he talks.so.much!! It’s impossible to not laugh while he tells us how the fish moves it’s mouth, complete with demonstrations and how the dog is “barfing” (barking) and then proceeds to bark himself. Zane is also finally growing physically, so I’m thankful for that! It could be coincidental but I have heard for years that zinc is important for growth and some kids just need more. I started Zane on a children’s zinc supplement and around that time he started eating better and gaining weight. I’m so thankful and I decided to keep him on it for awhile.

Ok, this is getting long so I’ll end for now and hopefully pick up again here soon. I hope everyone is doing well!! I’m still here, still reading your posts but not getting many comments out these days. I miss being on this space more often. I love the interaction! God bless. 💚

Well, actually I don’t know how much of an adventure it’ll be, but we currently have 17 eggs incubating on the kitchen counter. Today is day 3 for 9 of the 17 and when we candled them this evening (which means we turned off the lights and held the eggs up to the flashlight so we could see through them) we saw embryos growing in all 9!! The other 8 eggs will be ready to candle in 2 days, Lord willing. Hoping for a high hatch rate and lots of chicks!!

It only takes 21 days to incubate a chick, so even though I do have to monitor the temp and humidity and turn the eggs every few hours, it’s not too involved. I got the first 9 eggs from a lady down the road who sells eggs. I have bought eggs to eat from her before, so I asked her if they were fertilized and she wasn’t sure if her rooster had been around the hens but I decided to give these eggs a go and yep, the rooster definitely did his thing. 😂

The spider shape in the middle is the chick with blood vessels extending outwards

Notice the dark area and light area, the yolk and egg white. You can also just barely make out the air cell at the bottom of the egg. Hopefully this little chick will peck through that in a few weeks and take its first breath.

It’s harder to see in this picture

The second batch of eggs is from my friend who raises chickens. I’m really excited to see what these chicks look like because we definitely have several different breeds going on.

Originally we decided to incubate some eggs as a learning project with the boys. The plan was to give the chicks to my brother since he was going to buy some anyway as he does nearly every year. But he only wants 6 and we have 17 eggs. 😅 The old saying not to count your chicks before they hatch applies but now DH and I are hoping for a high hatch rate and some chicks for us to raise. 🤗 My family had lots of chickens when I was growing up, so I’m used to raising chickens, we just need to build a coop to keep them safe and warm.

So that’s our little adventure for now. 🙂

Ok, it is definitely WAY beyond time for an update. Quayd is crawling all over the place as of Feb 23 and cut 2 bottom teeth on Feb 24. It’s so cute now that he can chase his brothers down and steal their toys. We just so happened to have influenza A during the week that he perfected his crawling and cut his shiny new teeth. It was an absolutely miserable virus. Like beyond horrible (I’d rather go through childbirth) but thankfully we all came through no worse for wear, although more tired than usual for a couple weeks. The kids were all sick for 2-3 days and then had lingering coughs for awhile. DH and I were hit much harder and it was nearly impossible taking care of all the kids while being sick. It was kind of a matter of which of us was physically able to fight our way out of bed at any given moment to dose the kids with their Motrin, get them drinks and popsicles, wash laundry etc. *Shudder* I gotta stop talking about it now. 😂

So, Quayd… He is so hilarious. He laughs constantly and has a great sense of humor. He also has a temper… Boy does he ever! He goes from 0 to 60 darn near instantly and has quite the set of pipes! If Quayd is mad, everyone hears about it. 😂

Cousin bonding time with N

Quayd eats solids at least once a day, although he is really not a too excited about purées. It took a whole month to get him going on eating and I just kept trying every day. I let him stick his fingers in food, hold a spoon, tried pouches, tried feeding him off my finger … I even tried putting baby cereal in a bottle (He still won’t take a bottle) but he just wasn’t interested. We are finally making progress though! Quayd is enjoying tiny pieces of table food, puffs, melts, teething wafers and even a few bites here and there of mixed purées. He still nurses about every 2 hours during the day, sometimes less often.

Tru drew a mustache and beard on him. These boys!!

Bedtime has been a bit tricky the last month or so. Quayd was sleeping so beautifully but he’s had a bit of trouble sleeping through the night for the last month+. Bedtime is usually around 10-10:30pm. He will almost always wake at 12am to nurse. And then sometimes around 7am and then he will wake up around 10am for the day. But the last few weeks he’s fighting sleep and waking up all.night.long for binky replacement, nursing, cuddling … I’ve been trying to transition him from the co-sleeper by my bed to the pack-and-play across the room but I think the biggest problem is that he needs his own room. I think his biggest barrier to sleep is knowing that I’m right there. That just makes him want to be held and nursed all night. This is what our other kids did when they were ready to move to their own rooms. If we could just get going on the addition we are trying to build on, that would be great! It’s been such a process just getting a contractor and getting the right weather… Someday! (I hope, haha)

So anyway, due to the sleep problems, we have decided to start CIO for bedtime. I’m more than happy to nurse a couple times during the night, but I can’t stay up until 1-2am waiting for him to finally go to sleep for the night, only to be woken up literally 15+ times. The first night of CIO was horrible and I finally caved and laid in my bed by the co-sleeper, at which point he fell asleep quickly. The second night I stayed in the family room until he was asleep. That was much shorter duration of crying. The third night, DH rocked Quayd to sleep at bedtime but by the second wake up of the night (after I nursed him again), I went out to the family room to see if he would CIO without me right there and sure enough, in a few minutes he was sound asleep again. Like I said, I’m his biggest problem when it comes to sleep. He’s too aware of me being right there with a cozy boob. 😂

Anyway, if my past experiences with our older kids hold true, the worst of CIO will soon be behind us and we should be close to Quayd at least going to bed easier. I mean, he actually used to fall asleep on his own quite often and I’m not sure at what point we derailed that but hopefully he will be going to sleep and sleeping well again soon regardless of what room he’s in. We need to work on naps too because they are sporadic and very short currently. I’m trying to get naps moved to his pack and play in my room with the fan on for noise so he can sleep better. Currently almost all naps are in mine or DH’s arms which we actually really enjoy but it’s just hard for Quayd to get good sleep that way.

Lots of cousin time

Let’s see, what else is new with Quayd….

  • He is 18.2lbs now
  • Size 3 diapers and 9-12month clothes (he’s tall!)
  • He’s putting everything in his mouth, which is handy when he’s feeding himself but not so great when he’s finding alllll the crumbs and small toys the boys drop.
  • He is really fun and giggly
  • He kicks and waves up a storm when he gets excited
  • He no longer hates baths, thankfully
  • His eczema has improved greatly the last couple weeks and I’m not having to slather him in cream constantly.
  • He loves chewing on his fingers
  • He gives “kisses” and I love it!
  • He loves his brothers so much and they love him. They’re all excited to see eachother every morning and the older boys love helping Quayd out of his sleep sack and leading him to crawl around. It’s so cute! He’s basically just one of the guys now. We are seeing a blossoming relationship between Quayd and Zane and it’s everything I hoped for. ❤️ Zane still hasn’t shown any jealousy toward Quayd, which is amazing to me.

Dear God, thank You for this precious little boy. He’s perfect and beautiful and a blessing to our whole family. Please watch over and protect him in all the things that he does. In Jesus’ name, amen.

We have a traveller, as the boys are calling him. 😂 Quayd is rolling all over the place, even making his way into other rooms. He’s gotten his booty in the air too a few times while trying to get on his hands and knees. I foresee a potential early crawler!

This little guy has quite the sense of humor. Everything makes him giggle and I love his laugh! He puts his heart and soul into his laughing and it’s the cutest. 💙 Quayd absolutely loves babbling and “singing” too. He has a loud voice and definitely makes himself heard. Nobody is going to overlook him, even if he is the youngest brother. 🤣

Quayd is now 17lbs (55th %ile) and 27″ long (86th %ile). His head is a little on the small side at 25-35th %ile depending on who measures it. (The dr said 42.25cm and the nurse said 42cm.) Either way, he appears to be developing quite normally, so no worries there. 🙂 The pediatrician recommended starting Quayd on barley cereal and apple prune juice immediately as he has very infrequent bowel movements. He only goes once every 10-14 days or so and always has been this way. He’s not constipated though, so if starting solids and prune juice doesn’t do the trick, he will have to see a GI dr to make sure his bowels are functioning properly. 🙏 Praying he starts going regularly! We are battling some nasty eczema but I’m feeling hopeful that he will outgrow it like Zane and Levi did. 🙂 For that we are using hydrocortisone cream, eucerin eczema cream and soothems wraps.

Sleep has been really good, although he’s started fighting bedtime the last week or so. I think that’s probably a temporary situation though with him being in a developmental leap currently. He’s typically sleeping from 10:30 or 11pm till 10am or so. Sometimes he nurses at midnight and occasionally wakes to nurse around 6-8am. He naps about 3-4 times a day but he is SUUUUUCH a light sleeper, so he seldom sleeps very long. I’ve started laying him in his bed for naps with his sleep sack on and a fan going. He definitely sleeps better that way. He typically puts himself to sleep and if he cries for more than a minute or two, I go make sure he still has his binky and I’ll rub his head for a minute. It usually doesn’t take him more than 5-10 minutes to fall asleep.

In addition to starting the cereal (which he’s not really swallowing that very well yet, unfortunately) Quayd is still nursing about 8x a day. We have let him taste prune purée, avocado and potato. His favorite was potato. I’m working on getting him to take a bottle but we haven’t been very successful yet. I need to have a procedure done in March and he won’t be allowed to nurse for awhile, so I REALLY need to get him comfortable with the bottle. I don’t know why we didn’t try it sooner but I definitely think I’d recommend pumping and giving a bottle occasionally from early on because my other babies took bottles great but Quayd thinks it’s the most revolting idea.

As for the rest of us, we are doing alright. I’m still battling the same issues I’ve had since Oct but I finally saw a GI dr who is trying to troubleshoot and help me figure out what is going on. I’m just praying that I’ll be 100% back to normal soon!

My sister is due with her first baby in a couple weeks, so we are really looking forward to that. We had a baby shower for her this week and it was a blast. 🙂 I had a great time planning it and as crazy as it is, I really enjoyed the prep too. DH was able to keep the kids out of my hair for the most part and my little sis L and I had some quality time while she helped me prep food and flowers.

I

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since we decided to stay put and build on but we still haven’t started building on yet. It’s ridiculous! Our basement guy who was supposed to start in July 2019 and then Aug ended up not being able to take on the job. So we had to find another contractor and he has agreed to start in late April or May. Really hoping we get the addition done this year! We are definitely needing the space!

Homeschooling is well underway and I’m afraid to get too confident but so far, so good. Tru is bored with kindergarten material so I’m switching him to 1st grade. Levi is doing great with preschool and I’m going to let him try a kindergarten workbook that he’s been begging to do. He definitely has a better grasp of phonics than I realized and is my “I know, I know…. You don’t have to explain” kid. 😂

I am so grateful to be at this point in my life. I never would have imagined I’d be here today with FOUR sons, just struggling (in a good way) to keep my head above water with the house and cooking and schooling and taking care of babies…. DH and I just look at eachother and go “When did this happen? HOW did this happen??” and the only answer that makes any sense is, God. Cause remember? We can’t have kids!! God has blessed us and I never want to fail to give Him the praise for doing the impossible in our lives. I’m thankful for every bit of it.

Dear God, thank You for Quayd and for all of our boys. Thank You for Your blessings on us. Please watch over and protect these little ones and help us with raising them up to be strong and contributing members of society and men of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is your favorite color?
Blue and red and black. (was just black for the last couple years but he’s broadening his horizon apparently)
What is your favorite thing to do?
Play dinosaurs and play with my friends. All I do is pretend that the dinosaurs are bad and they’re starting a fight.
What do you want to do when you grow up?
Farmer. Ablience (ambulance driver) driver and policeman.. and that’s all. (not that he’s ambitious or anything)
What is your favorite kind of animal?
Bengal tiger, giraffe, t-rex… sloth. (He literally says that he is a sloth in a human body)
Where is your favorite place to go?
Indiana. (to see his cousins)
What food do you like best?
Bisgehtti! (spaghetti) Meatballs! And corn! (on the cob)
What games do you like to play with your brothers?
Tag. And hide and seek.
What do you like to do outside?
Ride bikes. Ride my jeep.
Do you like doing schoolwork?
Yes, I love schoolwork! Numbers and patterns!
What age has been your favorite?
Uhhhh, 5.
What was your favorite vacation?
California! Going to the beach.
What is your favorite toy?
My alligator. Slothy (is his favorite stuffed animal)
What is your favorite tv show?
Odd Squad!!
Movie?
Ice age.
How do you feel about Quayd being born?
Uh, I feel that we are starting all over again with another Tru. (??)
Do you like playing with your brothers?
Yeah.
Do you have a girlfriend?
Nooooooo! I don’t!!!! I don’t want a girlfriend. If I had one you’ll be laughing. (Why?) Cause it’s so hilarious.
What’s your favorite planet?
Moon. I was actually gonna say earth but I said moon.
Who is your favorite super hero?
Spiderman! Batman and spiderman sound alike. They both have “mans” in it. The funniest batman is the Lego one.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I like to go fishing. I like to eat hambugers and tacos. And my favorite thing to do is go on vacation. I very like to go on hallways (highways). I like to go on bridges. I like to ride on airplanes. I like to write books and trace and draw.

 

 

 

I just looked back on my posts and I haven’t written a Quayd update since he was 11 weeks! That’s crazy. He’s grown and changed so much since then! His little personality has bloomed right before our eyes and he’s become the most fun and goofy little person. He just looks at us and starts to giggle sometimes.

Around 12 weeks, Quayd discovered that he has hands and started using his left hand to hold onto his right hand and eventually put them both into his mouth. By 14 weeks he was beginning to hold on to objects. At 15 weeks he started putting objects in his mouth. Nowadays he just loves to chew on 2 fingers of his left hand. He’s drooling like crazy and we have to keep a bib on him so he doesn’t soak his outfits. I’m expecting to see a little tooth or two anytime now!

Quayd has himself on a nice loose schedule. Sleep hasn’t changed and naps throughout the day are still sporadic but nighttime sleep is generally good. He still starts fussing around 10pm and won’t settle until he is in his sleepsack. Then I nurse him and lay him in his bed. Occasionally I’ll nurse him around midnight if he starts fidgeting. Most nights he sleeps through the night until at least 6am. When he wakes up at that point, generally a binky puts him right back to sleep. Sometimes I nurse him instead. Otherwise he sleeps until 8-10am. At that point he will nurse and almost always end up falling asleep again until 11:30am or so. After that he is up and playing, mostly on the floor, in his upsitter, or in his swing. He nurses when he wakes up and then like clockwork I can expect him to want to nurse around 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and maybe one more time before his bedtime nursing. As far as pumping goes, I’m only pumping once in the morning and then right before bed. I’m getting about half as much milk per time as before, which is how my body usually does at this point. DH keeps begging to give Quayd a taste of real food but I want to hold off a tad longer, although the pediatrician said that if Quayd seems ready a little sooner than 6 months, go ahead and start a little taste here and there.

As far as growth goes, I think he’s right about 16llbs now. He’s not huge for his age but he is really tall. I unpacked his 6 month clothes and he didn’t wear half of them before moving to 9 month clothes. He still wears a few 6 month pieces but most of them and just too short. His arms are very long too. He is still in size 2 diapers but after we use the next 2 packs, I’d say he will definitely need size 3.

The older boys love playing with Quayd now that he is old enough to interact more. They get a kick out of making him laugh and handing him toys etc. Tru is my number one binky placer. When I’m busy and Quayd starts to fuss, Tru is always there to pop the binky in Quayd’s mouth like that’s his job. He has even changed Quayd’s diaper once because he had been asking to for awhile and I was surprised that he did a near perfect job of it. 🙂 Pretty much every morning either Tru or Levi help get Quayd out of his sleepsack and Quayd is always all smiles when he sees his big brothers come in the room. It’s hard for them to even get his arms and legs out because he’s kicking so excitedly. It’s absolutely adorable!

I’ve noticed over the last couple weeks that the coos and goos have changed a lot and now the sounds that he makes are so much like he is trying to form little words. When I sing, he likes to yell really loud along with me while he stares at my face. When I stop singing, he stops, and when I start again, he starts back up too. It’s perfection. 🙂 Thankfully the fussing and crying are at an all time low now and even though he still goes from 0-60 in an instant and definitely has the loudest cry of any of my babies, he’s reached an age where he doesn’t feel the need to cry and scream very often.

One more major development is that Quayd rolled over on December 11th at 17 weeks. He was laying on the floor and rolled from his back to his belly. I have noticed that so far he only rolls towards the right. Of course, this means its time to ditch the sleepsack. 😦 I have a feeling that is not going to go well since he’s so particular about wanting to be all wrapped up at bedtime. I guess we shall see!

Dear God, thank You for these weeks of fun and love that we have spent with Quayd. Thank You for his loving big brothers and for his happy and silly personality. We love him so much! Please watch over him and keep him healthy and safe. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Where do I even begin? As usual there has been a ton going on but if we are being honest, it’s been sheer laziness that has kept me from blogging. I have soooo much I want to catch up on both in real life and in the blogging world. I am wayyyy behind on reading posts…. Like hopelessly behind. So if I haven’t commented in awhile, it’s not you, its me.

 

 

So to begin: (I always find bullet points to be the easiest way to keep me focused)

  • Almost 4 weeks ago I found out that the crushing chest pressure and myriad of other awful symptoms was atypical “walking” pneumonia. Apparently you don’t have to be coughing up a lung with pneumonia. Who knew? This I found out after seeing my family dr earlier in the day and learning that my symptoms were suspiciously similar to pulmonary embolism. Needless to say, as the day wore on and the test results didn’t come back, I became increasingly concerned. The concern coupled with the pain and the ever decreasing ability to actually breathe in enough oxygen finally inspired me to visit the ER where I found out that it was “just” pneumonia and apparently I’d had it for weeks already, hence the gut feeling that I had some kind of low-level underlying infection that was causing my perma-exhaustion, was spot on. Unfortunately…. Here we are, nearly a month later and 2 courses of antibiotics and I’m still a long way from feeling normal. I spend a ridiculous amount of time snuggled up to a heating pad and have acquired an unhealthy desire to sleep sleep sleep. My primary focus in life right now is to sleep so much that I finally wake up without lung pain and without the feeling that I have been swimming and inhaled a lot of water. I hate it but this too shall (probably) pass.
  • It’s probably partly due to, or at least exacerbated by the infection in my lungs, but the heart palpitations and tachycardia etc got so out of hand that I was experiencing hours a day of feeling like I was about to pass out. I even had a few incidents of losing strength in my limbs during these episodes. It was at the point where I was afraid to drive, be alone with the kids or carry the baby anymore in case I should pass out, and that was putting a huge hindrance on my abilities as a mom. When I visited the ER, they were able to see the symptoms I was having on the monitor and I gained a little peace of mind that I was probably going to live awhile longer despite feeling absolutely terrible during the episodes. Currently I am afraid to be too excited but it seems like the better I get from the pneumonia, the less of that heart stuff is going on. Which makes a lot of sense. But just to be safe, I had to wear a cardiac event monitor for 3 days. That was 2 weeks ago and I haven’t gotten results yet so I’m assuming its all good. I will be very happy to put all this health stuff behind me and get on with enjoying the holidays!
  • All that fun aside, my SIL went into labor 3 weeks ago and finally had her baby last week. Yes, you read that right. She had 2 weeks of almost nightly contractions between 11pm-5am or so. Apparently that is precipitous labor and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, bless her heart. By the time she finally had the baby, 2 weeks to the day since labor had started, she was completely exhausted! But my little nephew is perfect and adorable and mommy is healing and coping amazingly well. We are all proud of her and in love with the newest member of our family. And even though the loooooong labor resulted in 3 nights (including 2 in a row) of me staying up almost all night long with the parents-to-be and eventually resulted in 2 separate trips to the hospital (and that is truly only scratching the surface of the story), I am so honored that I was able to share in the special experience of welcoming little N into the world. 🙂 Hopefully if he has siblings someday, they will give their mommy an easier time of it.
  • We made 2 trips to the pediatrician in 2 days so that all 4 kids could get their checkups done. Everyone checked out beautifully and they are all growing well for their personal growth curves.
  • I am thrilled and relieved to say that after a visit to hematology and 2 more rounds of bloodwork (I think the total is 8 now), Zane has been discharged from the hematology clinic with wonderful news. No sign of cancer, no anti-neutrophil antibodies and only a slight concern that his thyroid function is a little low. We have a lab order for another thyroid test but aside from that, he is as healthy as an itty bitty peanut. Seriously. He’s only in the 15th percentile for weight. He’s our little petite toddler person at 25lbs. As far as what caused him to have neutropenia (and as of his latest bloodwork he is right at the cutoff still), we don’t have an answer. Maybe that is just how his body jives? We may never know. But as long as he is healthy and growing and has no signs of illness, I am happy to put this incidental finding behind us and finally relax after having this constant worry since June. I just thank the Lord for good news and this sigh of relief!
  • We had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with DH’s family at his Grandma’s house. The next day we had amazing homemade wings with his family over at his parent’s house and Tru and Levi spent the night with their cousins. Then on Sat we went to my parent’s house and enjoyed a wonderful meal that my sister M prepared almost single handedly. I contributed some lumpy and pathetic mashed potatoes (my potato game was terribly off somehow) and S and G baked some lovely and beautiful pies. We made it through the entire evening without me “yelling” at anyone (mom always thinks I’m yelling at people cause I’m opinionated…) and without any fights or drama, so it was basically an epic Thanksgiving win. Plus, there were puppies. My SIL’s dog had 8 puppies a couple months ago and they are too much. I have to continually test my willpower to not bring one home now that they are weaning.
  • Speaking of which, next month will be 1 year since we got our dog Buddy from the shelter. He is still such a great dog and I have no regrets on getting him. He is perfect with the kids, calm, quiet… The best part is that he came house trained and old enough that we missed the chewy stage were everything and everyone becomes a chew toy. 😉
  • This is hardly post-worthy but I’m just having a great time lately using up stuff that seems to pile up around here: lotions, soaps, hair products, cleaning supplies (I made the switch over the last couple years to safer and more natural cleaning products but it took a lot of trail and error finding the best ones. I can’t just let the other stuff go to waste though!), supplements (like how many different multi vitamins do I really need to buy before finishing off the last bottle?) I have also been decluttering and getting rid of so many toys and baby clothes. I find baby clothes to be extremely sentimental. It helps that I can pass a lot of them on to my new nephew and at least this way I know they are getting good use.
I think I’m going to end this now as I still have separate updates to post for Quayd and Tru and it’s definitely time to post a Levi update again…. I can’t keep up! LOL But this a great problem to have. 🙂 One I am very very thankful for, now and always.
Until next time, God bless you all.

 

 

I don’t see how it’s possible that I haven’t written an update since Quayd was 8 weeks, but… Whatever. The passage of time is like some kind of strange phenomenon right now. Days are whizzing by and life has just literally never felt so fast before.

Anyway… I have an update on Tru in the works. I decided to do an interview this time. 😂 Hopefully I get that posted before he turns 18 or something crazy. My lands!!

Ok, about Quayd…. He’s doing amazing!! He’s growing well and is close to 14lbs now (13lbs 10oz when I last checked). He’s cooing more although he’s not as “talkative” as some of my other babies. He likes to really focus on our faces while we talk to him and he smiles a ton! He likes being tickled and laughs a lot. Sometimes when I’m snuggling him he randomly looks at me and laughs. He’s been doing this for weeks now! I don’t know what he finds so humorous but he’s just sucking away on his pacifier and then he looks at me and laughs. It’s so adorable! Quayd isn’t really a fan of bath time yet but he’s doing less screaming and more looking around curiously.

Much of this schedule related stuff is just for my own memories but I’m putting it on here anyway. 😉

I’m thrilled to say that Quayd is consistently going to sleep on his own anywhere from 10pm onwards but usually he’s ready to nurse and go to sleep by 10pm. He will nurse and then I usually snuggle him in my bed for a few minutes and he coos and smiles. He will then start to fuss a bit until I get him in his sleep sack. Once he’s all bundled up in that, he doesn’t want to be messed with anymore. He fusses until the lights are dimmed and he’s in his own bed with his binky. Generally he will lay there and look at me (I’m usually sitting in my bed pumping at that point) until he drifts off to sleep. It’s the cutest thing! Like he wants to know I’m close by but he’s not able to get comfortable in my arms, so he just looks at me from his bed. 😂

Thankfully Quayd has a good thing going with sleep (for now at least) and its working out great for me. I will oftentimes dream feed him around midnight before going to sleep myself. Then Quayd wakes up anywhere from 6:45-8:30am to eat. Occasionally he will wake to nurse around 4:30am but that feeding is pretty much gone now. If he wakes to eat on the later side around 8:30am, he will usually lay in my bed and kick and smile and coo for about an hour and then sleep until 12 or 1pm. He doesn’t really have a set schedule during the day yet but he has several naps and lots of playtime on his mat. He also loves his swing and will happily swing and nap for at least an hour here and there. I’m so thankful that after the first month or so, he really became a very chill and happy baby. 🙂

I’d say on an average day, Quayd probably nurses about 8-10 times. His feedings are short at about 5 minutes. He just nurses one side and then he’s done. I pump once when I get up and again at night. I use my haakaa at Quayd’s morning feeding and for any feedings where I’m feeling over full but thankfully I’ve gotten that down to just a couple times a day. It’s harder to use it now that football holding such a large baby is much more awkward. 😂

Wearing his pumpkin shirt to trunk or treat.

At his 3rd pumpkin patch/4th corn maze/1st hay ride. 😁

We’ve definitely had a busy and fun filled fall. We went to Indiana for 3 days/nights to visit DH’s sister and her family. We’ve gone on lots of walks and to lots of pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Quayd has attended his first wedding (on the outside of my body, that is) and traveled out of state! I’m so happy that despite my worries that adding a 4th baby to our family so soon was going to be insurmountably hard, he’s actually fitting right in. I’ve learned how to fit another person in and still get ready for church, go grocery shopping, cook and clean, go out to eat etc without any real difficulty. I’m so thankful!!! I know I never really wrote about my worries (I never found a way to express my feelings) but trust me, I had them. 🤣 Thankfully everything has turned out fine.

Dear God, thank You for this precious person. He’s a beautiful part of our lives and we are so grateful for him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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