Warning: this post will be full of triggers… miscarriage described in detail. Please do not read if you will be upset by it.

November is here and it’s harder than I’d hoped. I should be due this month. November 26th. I should be 36 weeks pregnant by now. I should be having Braxton Hicks and restless legs and pelvic pain keeping me up at night while I anticipare the arrival of our baby in 2-3 weeks. But instead I’m up tonight with waves of still present grief, so I decided it’s time to write it all out.

March 5th… headed off to Florida for our month long respite from winter. I neglected to pack my pregnancy prevention because I didn’t think I’d be ovulating while in Florida (pcos). Turns out, I was wrong.

March 16th. I’d been at the dollar store and grabbed a couple pregnancy test for literally no reason. I just saw them and bought two. I knew we’d dtd without prevention and if I’d been ovulating, I should be 11dpo. So I took a test, just cause. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it came up positive. I was in so much denial, I really thought it was faulty. So I took the second one. It was positive too. They were super super faint and I was just like, well, probably a bad batch and just weird or something. But the next morning I had the urge to go get another brand. So when that came out positive too, I had to belive it. But honestly, it didn’t really sink in until I took a digital test later that day while at the park with the kids. I sat at a picnic table while they played and set the test, that I’d just taken in the restroom, on the table and waited the 3 minutes for the result. Finally, I believed it. Honestly, it had felt terrifying and slightly unsettling before, but now it felt absolutely perfect. I was just awash with peace and love.

So, we enjoyed our vacation with our little secret baby on board (we didn’t tell the kids yet) and picked out a name and took pics on the beach and designed an announcement photo to send out after the ultrasound. I added the sneak peek gender test to my online cart so we could tell everyone the gender with the pregnancy announcement. Matt started shopping around online for a new vehicle, we reconfigured the kids’ rooms in our minds… it was all perfect.

At 5 weeks 6 days, I booked a super early reassurance ultrasound at a boutique. I wasn’t having morning sickness anymore and I had a nagging worry that things weren’t progressing properly. My dr had sent scripts into the pharmacy in Florida and I’d been taking my shots and progesterone etc, but something felt wrong. Knowing it was probably too early for a conclusive ultrasound, I hoped maybe we’d see some reassuring signs. There was sac and what looked to be a yolk sac. There was no obvious fetal pole or heartbeat, although we thought we did see a fetal pole briefly. The ultrasound was abdominal, so the sonographer apologized that it was just too early but everything looked good. I felt somewhat better but just didn’t seem like I could shake the thought of something being wrong, due to my morning sickness being gone while usually I’m sick as a dog and on meds.

6 weeks 2 days. We’d gotten home the day before and straight away I went for an hcg level check. It was only 9,000. It could be ok, but I knew it wasn’t. I went in that afternoon for an ultrasound and was devastated that the pregnancy sac had collapsed and my body hadn’t recognized the loss yet. I was told it would be a heavy period. It wasn’t.

I don’t share this bit to scare anyone, but this was my honest experience. 6 weeks 4 days, I started bleeding. At 6 weeks 5 days, I passed a lot of tissue while in the bathroom at the bmv, of all places. At 6 weeks 6 days, I went to bed with a low back ache and cramps but I thought things were about over. The next morning, when I should have been 7 weeks, I woke up with cramps that soon led in to contractions coming every minute or so. Nowhere near as painful as full term labor, but uncomfortable and it scared me. I went to the shower and wanted to be alone. After awhile, there was a gentle urge to push. Then a very large placenta, for my dates. Still a mystery and the Dr even sent it for testing because apparently it shouldn’t have been so. But it was. And it was a horrible and scary and devastating experience. I cried for days. I was told it would be a heavy period. I wish I had been prepared.

The grief felt really immense at first and like it was consuming me. I functioned for my kids, but it was hard. Then I became more functional and spent less time hiding in the shower to cry. I could go days without crying, I could even feel joy again. But I never forget my baby. It’s as if I’ve been mourning the collective losses of all my babies that I’ve lost but didn’t get the same chance to bond with. It’s been hard. Some days I think I’m ok. Other days, I know I’m not healed yet. Honestly, I know it’ll always hurt. This summer was awful in and of itself, in many ways, and not a time to consider purposely getting pregnant. But I wish I still had my baby. My heart aches for what could have been and I’m sure now that I do want another baby, but I don’t know what is best for our family. I wish … I just wish I hadn’t lost it. It was so perfect. I’ll love my little one forever, and treasure them always. โค๏ธ

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I’ve wanted to write this for weeks now but haven’t really known what exactly to say or even how to share. This is all so new for me that I’m not even entirely sure how to word it all, so bear with me. Hopefully I can explain in a way that makes sense.

Quayd had his speech evaluation in July, after many months of waiting to have an evaluation done. I had done just a tad bit of research on speech and language delays during the wait and had stumbled across a fairly uncommon speech disorder (not a delay) that sounded just bang on exactly like what we were observing with Quayd. Obviously with no previous experience with speech delays/disorders, I had to wait to see what the professionals would say, but I kept the name in the back of my mind. So thankfully it wasn’t too shocking at the end of his evaluation when the SLP said she was leaning toward this particular diagnosis, but that the official diagnosis couldn’t be made until we had multiple sessions under our belts. We are at the point now, 3 months later, where the diagnosis is official. Importantly, Quayd does not have any delays with language – meaning, he understands everything we say, can follow directions precisely, he knows exactly what he wants to say to us – the only barrier to communicating freely is an inability to produce clear speech.

Therapy happened to begin on Quayd’s 3rd birthday and he has gone mostly 2-3 times weekly ever since. Currently he has 2 appointments a week, one is virtual and the other is in person. The outcome for this speech disorder varies from person to person, therefore it is unknown what to expect for Quayd’s expressive speech over time. Nobody can say whether he will be able to speak clearly someday or how long it could take to see real measurable progress. Currently Quayd has very few words that we recognize and even then, they are distorted and rare. He HAS successfully said Mommy a few times now and it was absolute heaven to hear it!! Finally!! I was so overjoyed! It requires a lot of effort for him to say it, and therefore he has settled on calling me “Ma-ee”, which is still absolutely beautiful. It’s been a little over a month and I’m still getting used to hearing him address me by name. It’s amazing! He also has approximations recently for no, daddy (dah-ee), yeah, I, hurt (ur), fish (bur), more (bo), nose (bo), pee and a few others. I would say that without context, we understand maybe as much as 1% of what he is saying. With context, we can make out a little more of what he is trying to communicate. Maybe 5% and mostly in the form of approximations.

We have begun to implement “aided language boards”, which are laminated pages with common words and items that he can point to in order to tell us what he wants to eat, play with, how he feels emotionally, and what areas of his body hurt, what color he wants of an item etc. He LOVES his boards. We have a whole binder of them, and we add to them constantly. He’s started taking them with him when we go places. They have really helped him feel empowered and he gets upset a lot less now. He is also learning sign language. He is a very fast learner and picks up on signs with only a couple demonstrations. Quayd is desperately eager to be understood! (I’ve noticed at his appointments that how he communicates depends on who is doing the therapy. One of his SLPs does a lot of sign language with him and he primarily talks to her with sign. If he’s not sure that someone understands sign, he grabs his boards.) Next week he has an appointment to trial an “augmentative and alternative communication device”, which is to say, a tablet that he can use to speak with. If he does well with it, which his SLPs are very confident that he will, he will Lord-willing have his own device in the next few months, after training and insurance processes.

I could go on a ramble about my emotions regarding watching my child struggle and work so hard just to talk, but I won’t. I do let myself feel the feels for a bit here and there but I’m most beneficial to Quayd’s support when I am in positive focus mode. The emotions for me often center largely around worries about Quayd’s feelings concerning this difficulty, and his inability to share those feelings with me yet. We see him feeling sad and frustrated at times, and he is increasingly aware that people don’t understand his speech, to the point that he doesn’t attempt to talk to anyone outside of immediate family very often anymore. This is heartbreaking to watch. I am grateful for advances in technology, like the AAC talker. And I’m thankful for good old fashioned aided language boards and for sign language. Any form of communication is a blessing, and while the end goal is clear expressive speech, as long as Quayd is able to communicate with ease, I am happy and thankful and relieved!

I do have immense hope, moving forward. There ARE success stories in abundance, we’ve started therapy at a good age, Quayd has shown huge progress with the aided language boards and sign language. I believe he will learn and adjust quickly to using the AAC talker and maybe once the pressure is off, he can work more on his expressive speech. Having the successes of him saying “Mommy” and “no” and “uh-oh”, while being just minimal progress, it shows that he is working very hard and giving 100% to developing his speech. As he gets older it will likely get much easier to work with him, vs how it is now, trying to keep the attention of a 3 year old for an hour speech session. Yes, I do believe he will progress well. He has the full support of his family and brothers who love him so much and are above and beyond wonderful at helping Quayd communicate well. Whether they run to bring him his binder of words, or practice sign language, or play with playdoh together while making long vowel sounds, these boys have stepped up to the plate to make this journey a whole family support effort. I am so blessed to watch these loving brothers in action. Sweethearts, all of them. God is good!

I have no idea how long it’s been since I last posted… I know a lot has happened. Some good things, some bad. I’d love to catch up on chronicling the adventures – the joys and the hardships. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s more than can fit in one post, I know that for sure… But I’ll try to get started somewhere. The highlights version is:

  • After a hard winter of illness that resulted in pneumonia with a 105ยฐ fever for me and many fevers and coughs etc for the kiddos, we packed up and went down south to Florida for a month to recover and regain our strength. We had an amazing time! We made friends with the folks who own the air bnb we stayed at. They are wonderful people and we dearly hope we will see them again. The ocean and the warmth just filled us with so much strength and vigor. It was hard to even come home but it was good to be back with our families.
  • While on the vacation of a lifetime, we found out that despite months of preventing pregnancy, I was indeed expecting. Unfortunately, upon returning home, and before we had the opportunity to announce the baby, we had a devastating loss. It’s been 3 months ago now and the grief is still present in waves. We haven’t shared this with more than a couple people though, so if you haven’t heard, it’s only because I haven’t been able to bear talking about it yet. ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ’” I’m sure that day will come but its still raw. In the 3 weeks I knew about the baby, I loved it with everything I had. I’ll cherish that time forever.
  • We came home just in time for kidding season to kick off with the goats. Lucy had triplets. All was well until about 6 weeks when the babies came down with a terrible illness that claimed the life of the runt kid. For 2 weeks, the little buckling hung in the balance also and every morning I was surprised to see him still alive. Praise God, he pulled through and is now happy and thriving at his new home. โค๏ธ
  • Our cats, who were supposed to be spayed during the time I had pneumonia and had to postpone their surgeries, all ended up pregnant and had 15 kittens altogether. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ 3 kittens didn’t thrive, despite our best efforts, but the rest are growing fast! Thankfully we have secured good homes for all but 1 of them. I’m sure we will find him a good home too. Spays are finally happening next week, Lord willing.
  • We took a quick 4 day, 3 night vacation a couple weeks ago and had a fabulous time. West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky…
  • We were home just 3 days when Destin became ill. Rather than type that whole story out, I’ll just share the screenshots of the story as it was unfolding. After 3 days and 3 nights in the hospital, he is home and doing well.

  • We got home from that horrible little adventure with just 1 day to spare before Susie kidded twins. It was the hardest birth we’ve had with our goats and I’ve decided to retire her after this. She is doing well and so are the babies, amazingly. I prayed the whole time. I was afraid I’d pull the first baby’s head off in the process but glory to God, he is healthy as can be. ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธโค๏ธ
  • Quayd is supposed to have a speech evaluation done next week. We’ve been waiting MONTHS for this. He will be 3 next month and he still can’t talk. He wants to. He tries really hard. But he just can’t properly form words. He does comprehend everything we tell him perfectly and even laughs at stuff we say. We just need to help him find a way to convey what he wants to say! Bless his sweet little heart. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

In summary, it’s been a wild and crazy year, full of joys but also full of stress and sadness. I hope we are on the upstroke now and can enjoy the rest of the year and finish the last few details on the addition etc and move forward finally with speech therapy for Quayd. Thanking God for helping us through it all. ๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve logged in and oh, how I miss this space. โค We are just living life here in our little corner of the world and the days pass with increasing speed the more kids we have. Haha! But seriously…..

We just celebrated Destin’s first birthday. He’s doing amazing. He is walking everywhere except when he wants to get somewhere fast, then he crawls on his hands and feet and I must say, I think he is our fastest crawler yet. Unfortunately, he has also mastered the art of climbing on furniture including chairs and even the kitchen table. ๐Ÿ˜ We are on constant alert! He will also stick his hand in the toilet, given the chance. We call it “stirring the potions” lol. But those are really his only vices at this time. Destin is a charming baby! So happy and giggly. He is like a tiny celebrity in our house. Every morning when he wakes up, his brothers go “Teensy!!” (his nickname) and fight over who will play with him first. But his very first stop is to nurse! He still nurses 5-6 times a day and sometimes once overnight. I’m not sure when we will wean but currently, I’m not feeling any rush. He is sleeping well at night at the moment, waking once or sometimes sleeping through. He takes one nap a day, usually around 1:30-3pm or a little longer, depending. He is well established on solids also and eats EVERYTHING! It’s like he finally realized how good food is and is a little hound dog following everyone around looking for a morsel lol. He babbles a lot like he wants to talk and says dada and mama occasionally, which he knows makes us significantly excited but I’m not positive that he connects the names to us, just yet. He does, however, shake his head no with certainty when we do something he doesn’t like or if we tell him no. I have also seen him nod yes a couple times the last few days. โค We love our little Teenser.

Everyone is doing well and growing faster than I ever expected. People tell you that it goes by fast – they aren’t kidding! I just blinked and Tru is almost 9 years old. NINE YEARS OLD! Levi’s 7th birthday is coming up also…. just crazy. They are doing so great with school. I am so pleased with their learning, and I have the best time teaching them! Tru is reading every book he can get his hands on lately, even reading to his brothers to entertain him. When he wants to master something, he is highly motivated. At night I keep catching him reading by the light of his nightlight, which is exactly what I would do as a child. I am so happy to see his love of books. He loves to build Legos and draw and write stories. A very creative child. And so precious and loving, I am so touched that he still cuddles next to “big bear” to sleep at night with his cat asleep beside him. My heart!

Levi is my outdoorsman. If it involves adrenaline, he’s interested. :’D Currently he has been following me around talking my ear off about 4 wheelers and dirt bikes. I like how he comes to his conclusions on things though. For ages he wanted a dirt bike but just the other day he told me after much pondering, he thinks “if you are driving that fast, the vehicle should have more than 2 wheels, since I still don’t balance that good”, so now he’s decided on a 4 wheeler. I’m really worried because he’s saving up money and the last big purchase he saved for was bought before I had time to adjust to the idea lol. He loves to work and earn money and is always asking me what he can do to earn money around the house and yard. “A man buys his own toys”, he tells me. He’s still my cuddly little boy though and loves his mommy. He is quick to clear the air if he thinks he’s hurt my feelings somehow and is always looking out for me. He says he will take care of daddy and I when we are old and come mow the yard and check on us and it’s just the most precious thing!!

Zane is our little storyteller and boy can he tell some tales! We are in stitches with this kid lol. And just the way he words things cracks us up. Me: “Zane, do you want a cheeseburger for lunch?” Zane: “No, I don’t want that, but I do want a cheeseburger.” My mom: “How did he get to that conclusion from saying no?” Me: “That’s just Zane, haha!” He is a very fun and funny person, very loving, very busy, with very quickly changing moods and emotions. He benefits the most from one-on-one time with each parent. He absolutely LOVES to run errands with me and “help with the baby” etc. He likes to feel needed and important. He doesn’t like getting lumped in with the little kids, because he is clearly one of the big guys! I love how he is still ever so happy to sit with me and chat and snuggle. His smile is absolutely the best. โค

Quayd is really mellowing out from the loud and sometimes needy baby, he is really a fun and happy toddler. He is still loud at times like all kids his age, but he actually has a really quiet personality. Quayd follows me around all day long. He wants to be part of everything I am doing, and I actually really love it! If I’m putting in laundry, he helps. Cooking, he’s standing on a chair watching and I talk about each thing I’m doing. (I swear, I see being a chef in his future lol.) When I’m picking up toys, he’s picking up things and putting them away too, and usually in the proper places! He is always doing little things without being told, like throwing away trash and putting dirty laundry in the hamper. He is very independent and likes to dress himself. He is also in the process of potty training. His all-time favorite activity is eating (we share this in common lol) and he is quite appreciative of all the things I cook. Whereas sometimes the other kids can be picky, Quayd just eats whatever I serve, happily. My mom and I were laughing the other day because Quayd seems to virtually always have an apple in his hand, carrying it around the house. There were apple cores in practically every room when I was cleaning the other day, bahaha! Unfortunately, Quayd isn’t talking yet aside from a few words or part of words here and there, so he has some appointments coming up to see what may be hindering his speech. He follows multi-step directions to a T, so we don’t think it’s hearing related, but you never know… so hopefully soon we will get him moving forward with talking. I’m so anxious to hear all his thoughts and be able to understand his babbling. He does a LOT of babbling but all we can pick out is a few names: Truett, yane (Zane), T (for Teensy), Buhee (buddy)…. and maybe a few words like: eat, P (for pizza but also when he is talking about his diaper being dirty). He is very engaged and loves playing games with the whole family like tossing a ball to each person and hide and seek ect. Just got to get those words flowing!

I would keep going with this, but bedtime is calling, so that’s all for tonight. To be continued, Lord willing. ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless you all. โค

I’m not a fall person. Never have been. I remember my Dad telling me when I was a kid that Fall was his favorite time of year. I generally wanted to be just like Daddy but there were a few things I just couldn’t agree with him on – Fall isn’t my favorite, I like silver color over gold and I do not like to be alone at all.

Anyway, there’s just something about those falling leaves and falling temps that leave me with a falling mood. (how poetic) I feel the seasonal depression creeping in more and more as the days shorten each and every year. I think I was meant to live in the tropics and you better believe, as soon as I strike it rich, we are buying a second home in a warm and sunny state. I cannot live my golden years in a gray state, even if the snow is silver-white.

This fall does have some very special perks, however. My sister and her family are visiting from out of the country for at least 6 weeks. (Not gonna lie, fingers and toes are crossed that they get to stay a little longer!) This is even more exciting because I got to finally see my 4 month old nephew whom I had never met and see my niece who I haven’t seen since she was an infant. The warm fuzzy feelings have been on hyper drive the last few days as I’ve snuck away during naptime and left hubby in charge while I go get some baby cuddles in. โค Oh… and it’s also been nice catching up with my sister and brother-in-law. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I managed to get a lot of our Christmas shopping done already. So far it’s all been online shopping because apparently Santa sent some gift catalogs to our house and you have to circle the items you want and mail them back to him and that’s what your options are for presents. It was nice to take some of the guesswork out of what to get the kids. Thankfully they picked very reasonable items and also, Santa picks from the list what he brings, you don’t get everything you circle. – I’m learning more and more about Santa the older I get.

As a side note, T is getting wise about the tooth fairy. He asked me the other day if the tooth fairy is just parents putting money under your pillow while you sleep. I didn’t confirm or deny but I could tell his mind was pretty well made up. I think he knows about Santa too and kind of always has but he likes playing along with it, so we do too.

So yeah, that’s kind of just a little micro dose of thoughts for today. Thanks for listening.

I’ve been absent here since June. I’ve wanted to write so many times but just haven’t really had any leftover energy at the end of the day. We’ve been busy living life and taking care of business. Everyone is doing well, we’ve just been so incredibly swamped!

  • In May we started breaking ground on building on to our house. This was a big undertaking as we (and our family members) did almost all labor ourselves). We added 3 additional bedrooms, a family room a large closet and several small cubbies and a bathroom. Many many nights, we put the kids to bed and hubby and I worked on the addition until midnight or later. It’s very close to being done now and we are moved into the rooms. Final finishing touches like trim are being done now. The kids all have their own bedrooms now and its pure bliss laying them down at night and not having to go break up fights and tell them to be quiet and go to sleep 357 times a night. Pure. Bliss.
  • Destin is 8.5 months old now. He is amazing and my only regret is not keeping up with posting as he’s been growing. He’s at the precipice of baby and toddler now and he is just wonderful. Everyone loves him. The kids all dote on him all day, every day. He’s never alone except when he’s sleeping. He’s really just one of the bros now. He is a petite guy for his age but growing up nonetheless. He started crawling, sitting and pulling to a stand all around the same time at 6ish months I think. He’s eating solids or purรฉes 1-2 times a day and nursing 6 or so times. Mostly sleeping through the night now that he’s in his own room. Around 5.5 months he had stopped sleeping through the night when he learned to roll over. From that point until we moved him to his new bedroom a few weeks ago, he was up all.night.long. One night he was mostly awake from 1:30am until almost 7am. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I wasn’t getting any sleep and was really not faring well. I’m so thankful that he is sleeping again with maybe 1 wakeup or none at all all.
  • Destin also has 5 teeth now. Guys, he’s just so perfect! ๐Ÿ˜ญ He’s so sweet and cute and still wants mommy to hold him facing towards me so he can snuggle. Of course, he’s wanting to be down and crawling most of the time now. ๐Ÿ˜ข But whatever snuggles I can get, I savor to the fullest!
  • Quayd is 26 months now and starting to talk at long last. It’s still rare for him to say understandable words but it’s finally happening. I can recognize his brother’s names when he says them. Or buddy (the dog), cat, kitty kitty, goat, water (first time saying that was today!), stop, shut up (at the dog ๐Ÿ˜…) and eat. That’s about it but it’s progress. Finally!! He is very smart and follows complex directions well and, as T said today “Quayd might not talk but he understands everything we say!” He is also starting to potty train himself and let us know when he needs to go by running to the toilet. I’m so proud of him for this and I hope he keeps it up! He’s a delightful little boy. Full of energy and very smiley. He’s a good kid although very sneaky and into things he shouldn’t be constantly. He keeps the whole family on our toes! ๐Ÿ˜‚ We are always saying “Where’s Quayd!!??” all day long. ๐Ÿคฃ
  • Naptime for the 3 youngest is now schooltime for T and L. It’s going amazing and we are loving it! T is in 2nd grade and L is in 1st. They’re thriving and learning and I am so excited every time I teach them and see things just clicking in their little minds. They’re so inquisitive and ask questions all day, every day from sun up to sun down. I’m glad they’re learning and I feel so relieved because I’d really worried about how things would progress.
  • Z is also doing preschool with me but not at the same time as his older brothers. He’s really growing up and starting to just do quiet time instead of naps. He wants to be included in whatever his big bros are doing and doesn’t take kindly to being lumped in with the babies, which unfortunately happens a lot. I’m trying to be extra mindful that he is included as much as possible in whatever activities the older boys are doing. Hubby and I took him bowling, out to eat and to play arcades the other day and he absolutely loved it. I could really tell he was loving being the center of our attention for a few hours. It was so fun. โค๏ธ He’s such a sweet kid. He’s always wanting to sit with me and tells me he loves me every day. He also really really loves our cats and is never quite as happy as when he’s sitting with one of them.
  • Our 2 nanny goats gave birth in July and August. Susie had triplets, 2 does and a buck. Lucy (our baby from last year) had twins, a doe and a buck. The bucks were sold at weaning to pet homes and we kept the does to raise until next year. I want to see how they look before deciding who to keep/have bred. Currently milking Susie and Lucy twice a day. They’re giving just enough milk to meet our needs. It’s such good milk and I’m so thankful for it and for the opportunity to have this little side hobby/income. Hubby says I’m growing a goaty empire. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t know about that but I do know that I have plans in mind to expand the pastures and add more housing in the hopefully near future. My goal is to constantly have a couple does in milk and cycle them through.
  • It has now been over a year since hubby finished cancer treatment. He still sees his dr every 3 months and so far, all good news, thank God. I realized the other day that I process these types of experiences very slowly. I cry easily if I think of the appointments we went to last year and the dr telling us it was cancer and so on. At the time, I stayed fairly stable for the most part. I definitely cried at times and worried at times but I don’t think I really processed it until recently. I will sometimes just break down crying when I think about it, out of nowhere. I just pray it never comes back and that he can always be healthy and happy and strong.

So much to write but this is lengthy already and I really want to take advantage of this quiet moment to soak my feet. ๐Ÿคฃ Now that the building project is winding down, I hope to haunt this space more frequently. L asked me today if I had known I would have Destin before I got pregnant with him and I told him no, each child was a surprise blessing for us. So I proceeded to read the boys the stories on here of when I found out I was pregnant with each of them. They were riveted and I realized I really need to pop back on here and document the mundane and the highlights once again, for it is the sum total of all these little stories that make up our lives! Our memories.

Also, one more cute story… At bedtime tonight, T came back out of his room to find me just to let me know, he’s decided what to name his kid someday. JJ Chris. And that’s just too cute for me to handle. ๐Ÿ˜ญโค๏ธ

Dear God, thank You so much for my precious children. They make my life so full of love and joy. I’m so thankful for them. Please bless and protect them all the days of their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Summer heat is here and we are completely consumed by the building project. DH and his Dad and 2 of my brothers have spent several weekends and evenings working on it in the heat and humidity. It’s coming along well, the structure is up, roof is almost finished. After the wall siding is on, we can move to the slower indoor work and I can stop spending my days running tea and ice water out to the guys while simultaneously cooking large meals and deserts to keep our “crew” nourished while ALSO keeping all of the kids safe and out of the way AND running out to the “Gicken barn” (as we call it) during naps to take care of the animals. I’m getting run ragged and it’s manifested in some weird, long term sinus infection thing. But, it’s only for a season. Soon DH and I will be back to our usual team work, Lord willing. That’s the only way we can all thrive in this season. ๐Ÿ˜…

Plus, I need things to slow down so I can get my goats ready for the upcoming kiddings! Susie is due in less than a month now. I also have 2 chicks currently hatching in the incubator because we had a hen decide to sit on eggs for awhile but she rolled some of the eggs away from her. I found them and they were cold at that point but I decided to put them in the incubator, just in case. 2 of them kept growing. Of the 18 total eggs she was sitting on, these are the only 2 still going. But now I’ll have to raise them because she’s no longer broody. Ah well, at least they’re cute.

Destin is 19 weeks old now. I don’t remember what my last update was but he’s definitely growing up more since then. I’m not sure what he weighs now but he’s had a growth spurt and is in 3-6 month clothes now. Still in size 2 diapers but probably going to move to size 3 after we use up this last case. He’s also rolling both ways now! Still sleeping from around 10pm to 8 or 9am. Naps are sporadic and short since I don’t have a way to lay him down in a quite, undisturbed location. Hopefully soon! He’s too easily startled now to sleep for long periods in my arms. But he’s such a loving little teensy person. He watches his brothers with great interest. He also looks for me when he hears my voice and tries to move his body towards me so I’ll pick him up. ๐Ÿ˜ He seems to know his nickname, “teensy”, and looks at us when we say that. Also new the last week or so is he takes toys that we hand him and puts them immediately into his mouth. He’s always slobbering and chewing his fingers. I think teeth are a ways off still but he’s definitely getting ready.

Tru had a 6 day long unexplained fever last week. I ended up calling the pediatrician after 3 days and she wanted me to bring him in. We were almost there when Quayd threw up all over the place, so I had to take him back home to clean him up and just assumed that was what Tru probably was dealing with as well. But as it turned out, Quayd wasn’t sick with a virus, just carsick apparently. He ate everything in sight when we got home and was perfectly normal, so I decided to try again to take Tru to the dr. By then it was the weekend and we had to go to urgent care. They saw nothing wrong with him aside from a little bit of fluid in his right ear but not a true ear infection. Strep and flu tests were negative. So, hopefully it’s not the fever syndrome starting up again but he did have pain in his left eye and right ankle off and on which is a little reminiscent of the joint pain he used to get. Time will tell but we hope and pray it was just a one off experience. ๐Ÿ™

The other kiddos are doing well and having a wonderful summer. Levi has been trying his best to help on the addition project. He’s so cute out there with the guys. Lately it’s not been safe for him to go out there but hopefully he will have some little jobs to do again soon.

Also, Tru and Levi got 2 calico kittens a few weeks ago. They’re loving them and Zane plays with them a lot too. Considering they came from rather skittish strays, they’re really affectionate. They aren’t litter mates but are close in age. We will have to schedule spays soon!

This may be only a drop in the bucket for an update but it’s already getting long, so off I go to tackle the next project. Until later, โค๏ธ

I decided recently that I wanted to create a little bit of one on one time (not counting Destin, because Destin goes where the boob goes for now) with each of my children so I can build a strong relationship with each one of them where we talk regularly and they have a chance to share whatever is on their mind, uninterrupted. I had the idea of doing a lunch date, so I asked the boys how they would feel about going to lunch with me and spending a couple hours together. They were pretty darn enthusiastic about the idea, although Levi couldn’t remember what it was called and started calling it our “lunch mom”. So we went with that because seriously, how cute. ๐Ÿ˜†

So far I have been taking 1 kid per week and its been going great! They look forward to it and so do I. I take them to whatever restaurant they choose and we just hang out. Cell phone is in my purse, I just focus my undivided attention on whatever is important to them.

Each kid is different. Tru barely talks and I pretty much have to carry the whole conversation and think of things to talk about, but he said he’s trying to think of things to say. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Even so, just hanging out is fun. Last week I took him to the Mexican restaurant and afterwards we went to Walmart so he could buy the much longed for Minecraft Legos he’s been saving up for. We talked about cats (his current favorite animal) and other very important things. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Levi to the Amish market and we bought huge sandwiches, a donut and a drink and attempted a picnic. It was too windy, so we ate in the van but it was still fun. Levi does NOT run out of things to talk about and I think I counted 13 questions just driving down 1 road on the way home. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was a fun adventure even though he got carsick and spent the last bit dry-heaving into a bag. Next time we won’t go on such a hilly drive. ๐Ÿ˜…

Zane benefits greatly from a little one on one time with Mommy. DH and I have noticed that after our lunch mom, Zane comes home happy and behaves well all day. Our latest adventure actually combined a trip to the dentist for Zane, but he thought it was all great fun. Afterwards, I took him to the store and he picked out a new spinbrush and we grabbed a quick breakfast from McDonald’s because we had to get back home so my sister could get on with her day. But it was still a sweet time. We talked about all the things important to Zane and he felt loved and cared for. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Quayd to the store with me and we bought groceries and grabbed some lunch at Arby’s. He talked to me in his baby gibberish and I answered him with enthusiasm. We pointed at things on the shelves and I let him hold the items he was most excited about. We also took a trip to the hardware store with DH and went out to eat at Applebee’s on the way home. Quayd just soaked up all the undivided attention from both of us. He “helped” me pick out a sink, toilet, lights and a cabinet for the new bathroom while I carried him around the store. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’ve always been a little sour that there are so many events and opportunities geared toward mother/daughter like tea parties and breakfasts and craft parties but finding mother/son events is hard! The same with mommy and me clothes (I buy DH and I both the men’s shirts and get the boys the kid shirts. There’s no reason mommy can’t be a “ninja legend” too!! And the boys think it’s super special when we match. Of course, they might think it’s a whole lot less special when they get older but they’re just little guys right now, so mommy is still pretty cool. ๐Ÿคฃ) So I’m just going to improvise and find ways to make special memories with my sons. We have plans to visit the splash pad and the really big park with the huge slide on some of our upcoming lunch moms. ๐Ÿ’™ And I can’t wait!

Wow, long time no post. I literally have no. spare. time nowadays. You would think I could at least type up an update while I’m nursing the baby but even if I have a free hand to peck out an update on my phone, kiddos and husband are literally always talking to me all day. ๐Ÿ˜… This is exactly the life I wanted to have and I truly love it but I must say, I’m definitely even busier than I imagined I’d ever be! Destin is 14 weeks and I’ve written the birth story and like 2 updates. I write updates in my mental blog nearly every day but they never make it on to this space, which is a shame because they’re always so much wittier and more interesting in my mind than when I get around to writing them.

Some highlights:

  • DH is a few days shy of 1 year post op from the testicular cancer and is doing great. He is due for his quarterly bloodwork again and has to have a ct scan in July to recheck a lymph node that was seen on his ct scan in Jan but the dr is quite confident that it’s not cancerous. He looks and feels as good as ever. I’m so thankful! ๐Ÿ’™

Destin:

  • Destin had his 3 month checkup a few weeks ago and was up to over 13lbs. Already Destin has gained more weight and today he was 14lbs 12oz on my bathroom scale.
  • He’s filling out 3 month clothes and outgrown a lot of his 0-3 months. He’s in size 2 diapers.
  • I had noticed Destin has uneven pupils, so I brought that up with his dr. She said she doesn’t see that often and wanted a pediatric opthalmologist to check it out. So that appointment was last week and the opthalmologist felt that it may be Horner’s syndrome. But, a follow up eye test this week was actually negative, so for now we can safely assume it’s just the way Destin is made. It’s not a huge difference and is more visible in dim lighting. He has gorgeous eyes! ๐Ÿ˜
  • Destin still falls asleep wherever he is at 10pm every night. He’s got a little timer in him apparently and it gets close to 10pm and he is out. I wake him up at 11pm and change his diaper, nurse him and put him in his sleep sack. He usually wakes up at 8-9am. On a rare occasion I will wake him early to nurse him or he will wake maybe around 6:30am to nurse but this happened only a couple times in the last month. I cannot possibly tell you how thankful I am for a baby that sleeps well. After Quayd, I was pretty worried. ๐Ÿ˜…
  • Naps are pretty sporadic and cat nappy but usually we have 1 good nap in the afternoon sometime. That nap is usually on my bed while DH keeps an eye on him while he works.
  • Social smiling, cooing and laughing are all well underway. Destin loves to smile and coo at us. He watches everyone very intently and sometimes he will sit in his seat for a long time just watching everyone. He gets so excited when his brothers come interact with him. He saw a little boy the other day in public and I could tell he wanted the child to come interact with him because he wouldn’t take his eyes off the kid. It was so cute. โค๏ธ
  • I hold Destin almost all day, every day although he’s finally sitting in his seat a bit more. That is to say, I can finally set him in there and not worry as much, although I have to watch him like a hawk because of all the kids messing with him.
  • His muscle tone is way better. He holds his head up straight and his legs are strong. His core seems a little weak to me but I do lots of little exercises with him and I’m impressed with the improvement.
  • I’d say he nurses about 8 times a day now. I also pump once in the morning and right before bed. Sometimes I’ll pump one side a time or two during the day if I’m too full. I’m currently getting 30-35oz a day and my sil is bottle feeding her baby with it. He didn’t tolerate any of the formula she tried except goat milk and unfortunately her milk was nearly gone when he was only a few weeks old, so thankfully this is working well for him and not taking away any time from my day since I was already pumping on the same schedule before. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up but I’m happy that it’s not going to waste and that he’s not spitting up constantly now.

Quayd:

  • I brought up to the pediatrician the fact that Quayd is 21 months old and isn’t talking yet. She said usually she doesn’t worry until 2.5 years, at least for boys. I’ve taken away Quayd’s binky during the day a lot to see if that helps. He does say a few words, although not very often. The past few days he’s been saying “baby” a lot. Yesterday he said “dada” and for sure meant it in reference to DH. He says “mama” occasionally but only when prompted. He has been saying “Truett” pretty regularly. I think we’ve heard him say “more” a few times as well as “no”, “stop (dop)” and “get out (gout)”. So I feel pretty confident that more words are on the way. He follows directions well, even multiple step directions. He can definitely hear us well.
  • Quayd is in size 2t clothes and size 4 diapers. He had his first haircut on May 14th. ๐Ÿ˜ญ It was hard for me but it was getting in his eyes and bothering him.
  • There is almost no food this boy doesn’t love and want to eat. Right now. He climbs in his highchair all day whenever I walk through the kitchen. I feel like he is always eating, at all times. But he’s right on track for his age with growth, he just burns all his energy running and climbing. I’ve never had a kid that runs and climbs so much and its a real adjustment for me. I can’t take my eyes off him for a single second outside or he disappears. He’s constantly getting away from me and it’s so hard keeping track of him. I installed baby gates on my porch so that if he somehow escapes the house, the gates are there to stop him. It’s amazing too because I sit on the porch with him a lot and let him play and the gates help me keep him confined to that area. It’s been great this spring. I fold laundry and nurse the baby and everything out on the porch. ๐Ÿ˜†
  • Quayd is such a sweet little boy. He runs to me smiling to hug me at bedtime every night when I hug all the kids goodnight. He doesn’t sit in my lap all day and snuggle like he did before the baby was born though. He only lets me snuggle him a little now. It’s like he decided he didn’t want to be a baby anymore. ๐Ÿ˜ญ But he still “talks” to me a lot with much pointing and babbling. We understand eachother. ๐Ÿ’™ He’s generally a happy kid and is starting to outgrow a lot of the screaming and tantrums that were very frequent for awhile. I think probably because he understands what is going on when we explain things to him.
  • He goes to bed at 9-9:30pm and gets up at 9:30-10:30am most mornings. He usually goes to bed happy but after we shut the door, every single night without fail, he cries for about 15 seconds. Then he goes to sleep. I don’t know why the little cry thing is mandatory but that’s just Quayd for ya. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He naps once a day around 1pm for usually 2ish hours.

General:

  • The addition to our house is underway!! 864sq feet more and I’m so thrilled! DH and his dad and my brothers P and A worked hard on it last weekend and made great progress. I am so so happy to finally have this in the works after 2 years of dreaming about it.
  • My goats are both pregnant! Blood test was positive at the end of April, so Susie is due July 21st and Lucy is due sometime after that. I’m excited!! I must say though, I’d never recommend goats for a pet. They’re too easy to mess up with the slightest little thing. I feel like I’m constantly in fear for their lives and over-analyzing their every movement. Shew! I have a whole post I could write about Susie losing almost ALL of her hair last month, in 3 days time. She’s good as new now but she was a sad, cold, naked goat for a time. As near as we can figure, she ate too much alfalfa and the calcium in it depleted her zinc and made her hair fall out. Zinc supplements seemed to help and her hair grew back. It’s literally always something like that though.
  • Mama hen hatched 9 eggs. 4 chicks remain. Sadly nature is cruel and for reasons I don’t know, she took care of all 9 for over a week but then let 4 get too cold one night. And also a predator got 1. But the remaining 4 are getting pretty big now, so hopefully they’ll be alright.
  • But to end on a good note (at least I hope it’s good!) DH is leaving his job after almost 9 whole years and is starting a new job next week. This job basically fell in his lap and he just felt like it was meant to be. It’s a similar position and full time from home. He’s happy about that because he really didn’t want to start doing the 2+ hour round trip drive again to the office. The downside is that it is second shift but that may be fine and dandy, we’ll see.
  • I’d love to post an update on the other kids also and typed one up a few months back that just needs posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I really mean when I say I’m having coffee with some mom friends. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Dear God, thank You for all these blessings. Healthy babies and answered prayers. Please continue to watch over us and bless this whole year. In Jesus’ name, amen.

My, how wonderful these 2 months have been. Destin is a perfect little baby. He makes every day so much sweeter.

At his checkup at 5 weeks he was 10lbs 13oz and 21.5″ long. So he’d gained 3lbs 1oz and grown an inch! The pediatrician prescribed pepcid for his reflux but I forgot to pick it up and actually, he seems to be doing a lot better and not burping up in his sleep and doing those weird sounds in his sleep anymore, so I think he’s outgrowing the reflux now. She was happy with his growth and remarked that she can tell he likes to eat! ๐Ÿ˜‚ She did say he has torticolis and showed me some neck stretches to do with him and I feel like that has also improved a little in the last 3 weeks. She said she could refer him to PT if needed but said that breastfed babies tend to do well just because of turning their head for every feeding. He has an appointment scheduled for a day shy of 10 weeks and I plan to ask her about his eyes. The right pupil is always a little bigger than the left and I’m not sure if that’s ok or not.

The other concern we’ve had is how weak and floppy he is. At 8 weeks he is finally starting to get a little stronger and able to hold his head up a bit better. He will finally put a little weight on his legs too. I’m really glad he’s showing some improvement. I was getting really concerned when I did tummy time with his and he just laid face down on the carpet and didn’t try to turn his head when it was obvious he was struggling to breathe. He actually gave me quite the scare! I didn’t even realize how much muscle tone he was lacking until I held my nephew who was born a month early and 15 days after Destin. He was so sturdy and strong at only a couple weeks old and I realized that Destin was definitely more floppy than was normal. But anyway, I do really feel him getting stronger now and I’m so happy about it!

Quayd loves his own binkies so much that he can’t image how Destin ever goes without one. He’s constantly trying to give Destin his binky, especially if he’s crying. He will even sacrifice his own binky if he think Destin needs it. ๐Ÿ’™

I’m so pleased with the schedule Destin has himself on. I hope he continues on this schedule for awhile. Currently he starts squirming around at 7am every morning (this is also around when he would kick a lot every morning during pregnancy). This is my cue to get up and pump so he can latch on. In the mornings I am excessively full, painfully so. I usually pump 16-20 ounces in the morning. I have no idea why my body does this but it’s been the case with all of my kids, so I just roll with it. Anyway, he wakes up for real at some point during this and I nurse him. Then he’s back to sleep until 9:30-11am, depending on the day. Then he’s up for awhile. He tends to take 1 longer nap in the afternoon, maybe 2 hours or so. The rest of the day he just dozes off and on any time he gets tired. We don’t really have a safe place for naps for him right now because every room has people in it. So most of his naps are in my arms or in his bouncy seat by me, preferably on the porch if the day is nice. He eats every 1-2 hours all day but starting to lean more towards 2 hours. Bedtime is at 10pm now. He previously would put himself to sleep at 11pm, but lately he is out by 10, no matter what is going on. I wake him up briefly to nurse and change his diaper and swaddle him at 11 and that is it for the night. He’s been on this sleep pattern for the last month and I absolutely love it. ๐Ÿ’™ I pray he is always such a good sleeper. I thank the Lord for this after Quayd about did me in from lack of sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Destin smiles all morning and is starting to say “goo” and make little sounds while he smiles. Occasionally he will even make a tiny short giggle! He’s very calm and quiet. He doesn’t cry much. Basically I could just copy and paste my posts from Zane. They are essentially the same in their personalities so far. They look neatly identical in their baby pictures. I can hardly tell them apart! Zane was so much like Destin with sleep also, wanting to be swaddled so tight for all sleep. Very easy going babies. ๐Ÿ’™

As for me, I’m taking advantage of his new schedule to take better care of myself. After he eats in the morning, I go get a shower before Quayd is up (the older kids are up earlier than Quayd, usually before 8am), and then I get my coffee and a quick breakfast and take the older kids outside to the porch so I can do my yoga app. I absolutely love it! I’ve been feeling so achy and stiff and yoga has really helped me loosen up and I can definitely tell a difference in my body even though I’ve only been doing it about 3 weeks. I’m still dealing with daily headaches which I think are caused by tight neck and shoulder muscles. I hope I can get that dealt with soon.


Dear God, thank You for this precious and wonderful baby. He was truly meant to be in our lives and we are so thankful for him. Please bless and protect him and help him to be safe and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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