Monday, May 4, 2015

These Days

They keep telling me I'll laugh at days like these.  I'll look back and never want to forget these days.  Today, I beg to differ.  I don't want to remember the day that Mattox put sand in my bed.  Yes… lots of sand.  How I didn't notice it at first is beyond me, but at 3am while feeding Mason - is NOT the time to strip the sheets and wash them.

Mati Claire will be getting braces in her very near future.  We were discussing what color she would get.  After thinking all day, she comes up with GOLD.  Yes… "can I get gold braces, mom?"  My response:  "as in a grill?"  She's 7.  And white.   Not disrespecting those that wear grills… Did I mention that she's a 7 year old white girl?

I've been told that everyone has "that child."  It appears Merritt is "that child" for me.  We are working on manners and all things "normal" instead of a terrible 2 3 behavior.
Mitt:  "I want more [breakfast], mommy!"
Me:  "How are you supposed to ask?"  [meaning the word please]
Mitt:  "more, NOW!"

yeah, its like that with her.  The word spoiled doesn't even begin to cover it.  Attitude, personality, and spoiled rotten.  Yall just go ahead and start praying for me and her for the next 10…maybe 15 years.

And Mattox is the one who keeps me grounded.  He is my logical, down to earth, healthy as a horse, and funniest child (MC is awkward funny, Merritt is silly funny, but Mattox has a dry sense of humor).   And boy does he have a sweet mouth = always giving me compliments and telling me he loves me = way to my heart.  Anyway, we got a schedule of things to review for the summer for him to be prepared for Kindergarten next fall.  Its all easy stuff that he knows, but alas…we do it anyway.  Mati Claire was helping him review his numbers 0-10.  Helping him write them, say them, etc.  She was drilling questions that he instantaneously knew the answers.
MC:  "How many fingers do you have?"
Mattox:  "10."
MC: "How many dogs do we have?"
Mattox:  "1."
MC:  "How many eyes do you have?"
Mattox:  "2."
MC:  "How many sisters do you have?"
Mattox:  "Too many."

So that's how I've been spending my time lately.  4 kids under the age of 7 = not recommended at the moment.  God knows I love 'em though.

Seriously though, May is crazy month.  I don't feel the urge to homeschool, but I can see the benefits when it comes to days like this.  Baseball, ballet, swim lessons, end of the year programs, Teacher Appreciation WEEK (why isn't it just one day instead of a week? not that I don't appreciate them every single day of the year?), school parties, graduations, recitals, games, play dates, dr appointments, church, field trips… ALL while trying to breastfeed, clean, cook, laundry, potty train, driving to all the above, and reason with an irrational almost 3 year old.

I. Am. Tired.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Double Trouble and First Easter

I seem to be running about a week behind on everything lately!  Last week, we welcomed our first nephew (on either side for us) into the world!  Mr. Colton Howard Findley came out a week early with a head full of hair already!  His daddy is so jealous I'm quite sure!  Our family is blessed beyond measure!  Mason and Colton are 3 weeks apart ---- and we are anticipating a fun and entertaining future with these two.  Congrats, Rachel and Aaron!

I can't seem to get any good pics of Mason actually AWAKE -- he slept through their first meeting but that was ok because it gave me plenty of time to hold Colton.

Easter Sunday was really close to all these births!  Mason was only 2 1/2 weeks old and I didn't want to get him out yet, but decided it was his first Easter and we made it to church (late of course).  I have the best in-laws who brought Sunday lunch to our house after that!  Here's our first family photo of all 6 of us!

Can you tell who has to be center of attention all the time? 
MC wasn't mad, just cold!  But here's one without Mitt's hands in front of Mattox's face.
Yall know I'm obsessed with my Easter baskets and Christmas stockings.  I FINALLY got to use all 4 of my baskets I bought when I was pregnant with Mati Claire!  Who knew back then because I bought 2 pink and 2 greens ????  WEIRD!  

 Speaking of other things weird, we realized that not only was Mitt born on Mati Claire's due date, but Mason was also born on Mattox's due date!!  that's really weird to us.  Not to mention that the girls are both July babies born 5 years apart, and the boys are both March babies born 5 years apart.  History definitely repeats itself in our house.

We also have some freakishly weird birthdays collectively.
My mom's is 10/21/52 and my MIL's is 10/12/52.
My dad's is 3/3/48 and my FIL's is 2/1/48… who I thought for the longest time was on 2/2 but that's my SIL's birthday.
Mattox was born on my parent's wedding anniversary.
The whole due date thing I mentioned above.
Mason was born on my BIL's and my cousin's birthday.
and now Colton was born on my sister's birthday!  Who turned 40 by the way.  ;)

Matt and I take "written in the stars" to a whole new level I think. ;)

Today is my first day without mom here to help me.  Luckily Matt didn't have to be at work til 10am so I had some help doing the morning routine/school runs.  And luckily for everyone involved, Mitt is at MDO.  Lawd help me… that child.  Yesterday, she went poop in her pull-ups THREE separate times (potty training not going so well after a month), painted her entire body with pink toothpaste,  and managed to ALMOST lose a Lego up her nose.  1 more millimeter and we would have been visiting Daddy at work.  She alone totally exhausts me.  I am mentally and physically drained just being around her.  Love her to bits and she makes it all worth it when she smiles through it all.  How does she do that?

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The "End"

The day I walked in from the hospital, my hormones definitely got the best of me.  Its even harder when you KNOW its hormones and there's not a dang thing you can do about it to stop the flood of tears.  There are definitely moments when I wonder 'what the heck were we thinking having 4 kids?' and I tend to lose my mind when all 4 of them are talking to me at the same time.  Not to mention my 5th kid (hubby) asking me whats for dinner while the other 4 are seeking my attention.  Bless him, he had no idea that asking what the kids wanted for dinner would put me over the edge.

Luckily the hormones have been in check since that day.

Then Mati Claire says "mom… Mason FINISHES us."  I questioned what she meant (not understanding).  Then she said "He finishes our family."  oohhh!  I said "As in, he completes us?"  Leave it to Mati Claire to say the darndest things at the most opportune time.

No flooding of tears thank goodness, but definitely some sadness.  I think there are some extra physical pains from getting my tubes tied because I hurt in places I've never hurt before (2 wks later still).  That pain keeps reminding me of what was done… so it needs to go soon.  I don't need constant reminders that "we're done."  I love the babies!  Not regretting it, but just sad knowing that chapter of my life is done.  On the bright side, I'm already planning vacations in my mind and things we'll do when Mason is old enough!

Already I'm looking forward to getting back in my regular clothes and having energy again (which I know is a long way off)… but looking forward to it.

Looking back, as much as I HATE seeing pictures of myself, I do cherish the time I got to hold him closer than anyone:

talking to him

The most comfortable maternity dress ever.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ready or Not Here I Come!

I don't know how I have time to blog, but if I don't do it now it will never happen.
On the eve of the day I was SUPPOSE to have Mason, I will tell you about what happened LAST week!

I had my regular weekly OB appointment last Wednesday, March 18th.  I've been having weekly BPP's (biophysical profiles) where they do a ultrasound to measure 8 markers - the main ones they look for are practice breathing, amniotic fluid levels, and baby heart rate.  I had BPPs done every 2-3 days with Merritt but only weekly after 32 (?) weeks with Mason because of my age!

Because my regular doctor had been out of town 2 weeks ago, I had to see a different doctor the week before and she failed to schedule my BPP for this past week.  I ALMOST didn't get it done.  Which is scary.  But luckily, Dr. T's nurse Jana and I both agreed that I would wait to get worked in with the sonographer.

I hadn't been feeling well but chalked it up to the last 2 weeks of pregnancy.  I had begun to swell just a little bit but also had been up doing housework and running errands.  The swelling was nothing out of the ordinary.  I had a dull headache that would NOT go away (even with Tylenol).  But my blood pressure was fine when I got to my appointment.  Was having constant Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing out of the usual again.  Not dilated as usual.  So nothing to worry about, right?

Wrong.  I could tell by the look on the sonographer's face that something was wrong.  The sonogram went from black/white to blues and reds and yellows.  I noticed the measurement of amnionic fluid in a few pockets read "0.00".  She measured everything THREE times.  3 of the 4 fluid pockets were 0.00 and the fourth pocket was extremely low.   I still wasn't worried but also wasn't registering the severity of the problem.  I figured Dr. T would just tell me drink more water or possibly give me IV fluids and send me home.

Wrong again.  I go back to the exam room to wait on Dr. T.  I will never forget this moment in my life.  She walks in and says "So your fluid levels are not good.  What do you think about having baby tomorrow? Wait… "  Then she leaves and checks with the OR department and comes back  "What about TODAY?"

You couldn't have picked my jaw up off the floor.  I thought she was joking.  I still had a week and even that was still a week earlier than my due date.  So we're talking 2 weeks early.

We discussed my delivery with Mati Claire.  I immediately started having flashbacks of that experience and its not one I wanted to relive ever again.  The fluid also "disappeared" with her and it was very traumatic once the contractions started and her heart rate kept "disappearing" (decelerating).  I ended up under general anesthesia with her and I don't recommend that if you can help it!  Dr. T agreed that Mason needed to come out ASAP.

She could tell I was in shock, and left me to call Matt.  I had to wake Matt up after he had worked a night shift to tell him to "get up because we are having a baby today!"  By this point it was around 10:00am I think and they wanted me back at the hospital at 3:00 for a C-section at 5:00pm.  By this point I was shaking and beyond nervous as it was "getting real".  It was really happening TODAY.  Matt wasn't thrilled at the idea because he was scheduled to work that night and most of the week/weekend knowing he was taking off NEXT week for baby.

My mom wasn't suppose to come in town to stay with me until later that weekend.  I had planned to use the entire week to get my house ready for baby and company.  Grocery shop.  Finish washing and cleaning baby gear (bouncy seats, swings, etc).  Matt wasn't off work.  Family wasn't here or ready.  I didn't have his hospital door sign yet.  The other kids didn't have their "big bro/big sis" shirts yet.  I didn't have any hospital bags packed.  The infant car seat wasn't in the car yet.   We weren't ready!

That's when you hear God reminding us that we can make all the plans in the world, but it doesn't matter!  Its HIS plan.  All that truly mattered was getting Mason out sooner than later.

Soooo….I had 4 hours to go home and get with that plan.  If you've ever seen a mad crazy nervous scared pregnant lady - that was me!  I cleaned house, took a shower, packed, Matt started doing laundry  and took the dog to the vet and even got his haircut (Matt not the dog)! :)  We coordinated schedules for help (splitting all the kids up among friends to be picked up from school).  Pretty much stayed on the phone calling family and friends.  Realized later, we forgot our camera - so cell phones were our only option for pics! lol!

And even though its not how you imagined it, its amazing how it all works out.  Thank you, God.  Mason arrived healthy and through my easiest section of all.  Matt got his work schedule straightened out, my mom walked in the hospital door within 5 minutes of him being born after making a normal 7 1/2 drive in 6 hours, friends took care of the other kids so family could all be at the hospital, my sister in law made the drive from Alabama in time... I had packed the hospital necessities but life goes on even if you don't have a pretty door painting with his name on it.  ;)  We even got to go home a day early because my surgery recovery was going so well!  Because of that, the kids only got to see him through the window before we were home for good!  (By that time, they had their shirts in hand too!)

So!  Here we are a week later already!  We are still adjusting and trying to find a new normal.  Completely sleep deprived.  But thrilled and happy that we didn't have a traumatic delivery experience again.  And the other "things" we can live without (door signs, cameras, etc).

On to the most important stuff:
Mason Paul Miley arrived via C-section at 5:42pm on Wednesday, March 18, 2015!  He weighed (to our surprise as we were expecting bigger) 6 pounds 14 oz.  And was 20 1/2 inches long.

Definitely his own person!  A good combination of everyone!  Overall he looks alot like Mattox.  But his hair is different.  I think his hair looks more like Mati Claire's, his eyes appear to remind us of Merritt's, and definitely has his Daddy's ears.  But nose, mouth, cheeks, and most of his face looks like Mattox to me. He's quiet.  Doesn't cry that much.  Even the doctors had to force him to cry when they pulled him out.  Seems to be very sweet and loves for me to rub his face/tickle him!  He's a pretty baby (but I'm biased)!

Because of Merritt's VSD/heart history, they wanted him to get an echo done.  His heart is healthy as can be!  I noticed he shook alot.  He had a very pronounced/exaggerated startle reflex.  I was worried about it, so they ruled out seizures and blood glucose issues.  Their official ruling was an "immature sympathetic system"  that he would quickly grow out of.  Which he has I think.  He was just extremely "jumpy" for a few days. Breastfeeding is going well overall.  He's lazy, but what baby isn't.  He's no Mattox (aka the piranha).  But he's learning quickly how it works!   I had to laugh when cleaning his circumcision and belly button -- I couldn't remember why I couldn't remember doing that --- and thats because Merritt didn't have a bellybutton!! So its been 5 years since I've had to clean those parts!  lol!

I mentioned above that tomorrow was the day we were SUPPOSE to have him, but clearly we were SUPPOSE to have him on March 18th!  ha!  My family is excited because that is also his Uncle Rob's birthday (who turned 45 by the way!)  and his second cousin, Lori's birthday.

Big sisters and brother are doing well with the addition.  It took Mitt awhile to warm up to him that day.  But everyone is obsessed with holding him and watching him eat from mommy's boobies.  Sorry folks, my kids know WAY too much about breastfeeding and C-sections.  Mati Claire seems to be having the biggest attention problem.  Gigi has been keeping Mitt occupied potty training that she hasn't had time to notice (because she is getting plenty of attention from Gigi!).  Mattox was the most worried about me.  He didn't like the idea of me being cut open and hurting.  Sweet.heart.

the day before (I cropped my face out bc I had NO makeup on and looked every bit pregnant).  MC called me the "big green giant" on St. Patrick's Day.  

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Superheroes to the Rescue!

Mattox has me wrapped around his finger… and he knows it.  He totally guilt tripped me into a party this year.  "But I didn't have one last year, and you said I probably wouldn't have one next year since Mason would be turning 1…pweeeease…and I want YOU to make my cake!"

The only reason I was ok with doing a Superhero theme was because I KNOW that Mason will want one too and I can reuse all the stuff I bought!  It wasn't as perfect as I would have liked, but I am learning to "let it go".  I never finished the food table's backdrop, but being pregnant I couldn't stand on top of the table to reach everything (Matt was asleep), the cake isn't at all what I had imagined but turned out ok for my first cake I guess… I am a perfectionist usually and the older I get the more I learn that "its ok!"  to let it go.  Mattox had fun, and thats all that matters!  

His birthday always seems to fall during Spring Break when all his friends go out of town.  Add that on top of pushing 40 weeks at that time, I decided to back it up a bit.  He still doesn't understand why a party is on a different day than his actual birthday (by a week).    Considering all the crazy weather we've had in MS during February, we couldn't have asked for better weather when the party started!

I have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to some people who helped me this week and during the party! I can't lean over very well/at all and I think it would have taken me a week to clean up afterwards if they hadn't helped.  Mitt never gets off my foot so I managed to get stuff done with you keeping Mitt entertained:    Nana, Ray, Chachel, and Miss Amy --- thank you so much!!!!!! Yall are awesome and Mason thanks you too!  Mitt prefers yall over me anyway!  Talking about Superheroes to the rescue!

My advice to any parent planning a 5 year old boy's party:  cardboard boxes.  lots of them.   and silly string.  lots of it.  

Just realized I never got a picture of the table withOUT Mitt standing in front of it.  She wanted that cake!  
I didn't make the Hulk fist, but I did make the rest of it.  My first cake, and you can tell I got tired of making layers (each layer was supposed to be double that height) b/c the Superman logo didn't fit.  But at 2am I was too tired to care anymore!  

"X-ray Vision" = carrots and ranch, "Thor's Hammer" = pretzel and cheese cubes, "Crunch" = chips, "Dynomite" = red licorice

That's ALOT of silly string.  The "Spiderman shooters" were a hit at the party.  They shot "the bad guy"
"Hulk Smash" brick wall.  Another big "hit"  

"Spiderman Maze"  Kids tried to build a maze with yarn and then walk/crawl through it.
Photo backdrop!

Party favor boxes included:  Hulk whoopee cushion, Spiderman coloring book/crayons, Batman cookie from Meme's Bakery, Batman throwing disc, and Spiderman bubbles and a sucker!  
  I am really glad I didn't wait til later to have his party, because I've been on the couch ever since with Braxton-Hicks contractions coming ALOT.  Grrr… not feeling well today so I'm glad we got his party out of the way before brother comes.  5 is a BIG deal because it means he is going to "big school" soon and his present from us was our trip to Disney World!  I'd say that is huge!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baby Mason

Mason Paul Miley!  I can not believe he is almost here!  4 1/2 more weeks!  I'd like to say that I'm savoring and cherishing these last few days of being pregnant forever… but I'm not.  I'm over it.  Ready for him to get here.  Ready to NOT be pregnant anymore.  Ready to be done with all the backaches.  Over the 3rd trimester.  Love being pregnant overall - but I'm done.  The bakery is closed.  Oven is out of order.

And WHEN I get baby fever again and want to feel a baby kicking my bladder… I'll just hold some other baby!  And remind myself that I am getting to sleep at night.  And look forward to the days that I will be a grandmother (yep I said it).

35 pound weight gain for me so far and I still have a month to go!  WOW!  He has always measured in the 30-45% on the ultrasound size (which is still small according to them).  Mattox stayed in the 10% the entire pregnancy and he was born at 7#7oz.  Sooooo…. even though they are estimating Mason at 5#7oz at the moment, I am going to predict an 8 pounder!  I couldn't eat with Mattox and was very sick, but I have had NO trouble eating with this one!

As much as I don't want him coming early (I wouldn't wish the NICU on anyone), I am READY to get this show on the road!  Can't wait to meet Mason and what appears to be his chubby cheeks!

I'm hoping and praying for an easy section and that he is healthy as predicted.   I am hoping he takes after Mati Claire (pregnancy-wise he has) because she was my cool/calm/collected/never cried/always smiled/very content baby.  I hope he takes after Mattox because he was my sleep champion/poster child for breastfeeding baby.  I hope he takes after Merritt because she knows how to eat what I cook (with a smile on her face and then asks for seconds)!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Disney World 2015

Yeah…about that.  #1 question this week is WHY did I go to Disney World at 35 weeks pregnant?  Matt had a conference there and we booked/paid for it BEFORE I got pregnant.  With the girls it took us 5 months to get pregnant…so yeah… not as long this time if you catch what I'm saying.  Poor planning, but Matt threatened to cancel the trip if something serious happened during the pregnancy (i.e. another Merritt or something like that).  My OB/GYN, Dr. Travelstead, said she was ok with me flying and going "AS LONG AS I RODE IN A WHEELCHAIR!"  Or did half days and stayed at the hotel after lunch.  I really thought I could persuade Matt into letting me out of the wheelchair scene… but he took Dr. T's side.  As we all know, walking (and lots of it at that) can start/trigger the labor process; and I still have over a month to go!

Needless to say, I got many "looks" and for me, it was quite embarrassing.  After the first day, even I had to admit to myself that I did in fact NEED the wheelchair.  I thought Mason would fall out at any given moment.   Third trimester has slapped me in the face = swelling, contractions, low pressure, painful back aches, numbness in my joints/hips, heartburn/nausea, etc… oh, good times!

Just when I thought I could do this.  Nope.  Age + 3rd trimester + Mason AKA Brutus the BEAST of a baby =

Luckily, I had lots of help from my parents and sister.  My nieces keep my older 2 entertained (or maybe its the other way around?).  And Matt has moved up to Superhero status as he pushed me in the wheelchair for 4 straight days!  Perks of riding in a wheelchair began to surface and I did feel guilty at first (not like I had a broken leg or was 90 years old like some I saw).  Then I reminded myself that they were probably in the same boat as me because I was mentally asking myself "why would someone with a broken leg come to Disney? couldn't they cancel their trip as well?"  So to each his own!  I began to own my wheelchair by the end of the trip and didn't mind any of those "questionable looks"! :)

Also, because Mattox has woken up for the past 2 years stating that "when I'm 5, I'm going to DisneyWorld"  (and I'm not exaggerating.  He never forgets anything I say).  ]

We had a great time though despite me being pregnant!  I have never been this big physically - I reached my all time record high weight gain like 2 months ago.  Mason has an unending appetite and I am predicting an 8 pounder… hence my beastie.  He may be last, but he certainly won't be the least!  :)

And of course, we can't come home without someone getting sick.  Mati Claire came home running fever with a stomach bug :(  so this mommy is back to reality!

I was proud of MC and Mattox for riding almost everything they physically could.  Soarin' at Epcot seemed to be one of their overall favorites.   Documenting everything here, because we won't be going back for a very…very… long time! :)

Here is everyone except Rob, my brother in law; kids are all wearing hats that my sister's friend made for them.  
My favorite pic of the entire trip!  MC's first roller coaster (Rockin' Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios)  Even I've never seen that expression on Kerigan's face (behind Kennedy) = priceless!

Everyone's favorite fun ride = Toy Story
Mitt's first time in the Tea Cups and was NOT a fan.  
Heather and Kerigan's first trip to the Beast's castle; and I call Mason my "beast"
At our hotel room at the Boardwalk Resort

My precious.  She couldn't do much because of her age/size, but she loved the parades! 
Because he is ALL boy.  
2 years old going on 12.  She thinks she can hold the post while moving in a train like everyone else.

Proof for Dr. Travelstead that I did in fact ride in a wheelchair! 

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