Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012!

This year was a great year! I can't look back on it and think of any awful times or extended periods of frustrations. It was a year of mostly awesome health for us all, if you exclude Bailey's constant ear issues. It was also a year of new beginnings with our family compete! This was the first year since '06 that I wasn't either pregnant or welcoming a new baby. It's been nice to have not have make any new adjustments or changes! I also think I fell more in love with my husband and daughters this year! I'm so blessed:)

Next year (wow, weird to say, since it's tomorrow!), I know we will have more adjustments. Adrienne will start Pre-K and I will most likely be starting the nursing program in the Fall... I applied and have the grades to get in but I'm not promised a spot. I just keep telling myself to take it one day at a time. My days of worrying about every little detail really, really need to end! :)

I'm looking forward to spending tonight with my husband, who surprisingly is OFF for the next 2 days! We'll be having a few family members over and John promised the girls they can stay up until midnight. It should be lots of fun!

Here's to making 2013 the best year yet!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

iPhone Ap for Blogger??!

Someone (Ashley, I think??) told me about the Blogger app a while back and I forgot about it! I'm so glad I finally checked it out! It makes uploading pictures and writing short updates a lot easier. Hooray! So, without further adieu, here is an updated picture of my beauties! :) Man, that was easy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

The past month has been a whirlwind... When you combine my birthday (December 2nd), John's birthday (December 9th), finishing up classes (that ended on December 18th), school concerts and parties for Brooke and then everything that comes with Christmas, you have a hectic schedule. I love Christmas and am sad to see it go but it hasn't been so bad unwinding for these past few days!

So , what's new?? Let me think! I finished out the semester with 2 A+'s, an A and one B+, giving me a GPA of 3.7. I'm pretty gosh darn proud of myself! I really learned a lot and I enjoyed my classes. I will be starting my winter break chemistry class in a few days and I'm a little nervous about it. It's online and I have NO chemistry knowledge whatsoever so I'll have to figure a lot out on my own. It's also one semester worth of chemistry packed into 3 weeks. Wish me luck! I really need an A in that class so it ups the ante quite a bit.

The girls are all doing pretty well! I volunteered in Brooke's class before Christmas break and her teacher and I chatted for a while. She told me that Brooke is "absolutely perfect at school" and that she "wishes she had a classroom full of kids like her. " What mama wouldn't be beaming with pride?? Brooke has also become quite good at reading and spelling. She's actually better at spelling words out and writing them than reading them but she does well in both areas. As for Adrienne, she has been having constant urinary tract infections on and off for about a year now. The doctors have been testing her kidneys and tried all sorts of things but it just keeps happening. I feel bad for the poor girl! Other than that, she is doing great, though! She finally learned how to spell her name and she's proud. Then there's Bailey... She's hilarious and silly but if you make her mad, she will throw a temper tantrum like you've never seen. She's my moody girl, for sure. Her language has improved greatly since her ear surgery and she has started speaking in 2-3 word sentences. It's so exciting!

Christmas was really great this year! John had to work all night long on Christmas Eve so he came home on Christmas morning just in time for breakfast and to open presents. We then went to spend time with my parents, his grandma, and then his parents. He did this all on NO sleep and he didn't so much as complain about being tired once. My husband is an amazing man! I'm not even exaggerating:) The girls got piles and piles of clothes and toys and movies and activities. It was a sight to behold when we emptied the contents of our van in the house. We are so blessed to have so many that love us and want to do nice things for us.

The best part of Christmas, in my opinion, was the day after... We were hit with a big storm and got about a foot of snow. So the 5 of us spent 2 days cooped up in the house and we organized all the toys, watched some movies, played some new games, and just relaxed. It was very low key and just what we needed after being so incredibly busy. Speaking of snow, we got another 8 inches today. Blek! We were supposed to get a dusting at first, then they changed it to 1-3 inches and then, about an hour before it stopped snowing they changed it to 5-8. Lol. Gotta love it!

The horrible Sandy Hook tragedy has taken an incredible toll on me, as a mother. I have been a bit obsessed with it and I have become familiar with the names of the children who died, along with their parents and siblings. I can't get them out of my mind and I have felt this awful pit in my stomach since it happened. A pit for my own children and wondering how I'm ever supposed to feel secure letting them go ANYWHERE. And a pit for those families who lost such beautiful children. I have literally had to cut myself off from reading about it and looking at the pictures because I was saddened so deeply and in such a fog. How will those parents ever feel "normal" again?

I think that about sums the last month up! The next few months are my least favorite of the year.. The dark, freezing and gloomy months of winter where all you want is Spring. We will survive, right? We always do!  Until next time...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bailey's Surgery

Bailey had her ear surgery early yesterday morning. It was absolutely awful, probably one of the worst mornings of parenting I've ever had in nearly 6 years. It was especially hard because she had been really sick with a bad cold and double ear infection, not to mention the 2 molars she's been cutting. When we got to the hospital she was running a fever and I just knew they wouldn't operate on her. However, the anaesthesiologist and the doctor were in agreement that the fever was most likely a result of the ear infections and because her lungs were clear, they determined that it was safe to do the surgery. That didn't change the fact that Bailey was a disaster, though.. She wouldn't let anyone touch her and even when they tried to put a hospital bracelet on her (the easiest part of the whole day), she just about had a heart attack.

It wasn't long before they took her from me and letting her go off with complete strangers as she was screaming hysterically was not easy. I held it together and lost it as soon as she was out of sight. We went into the waiting room and the whole time I was a nervous wreck. For this surgery they had to put in a breathing tube and IV, which had me anxious from the beginning, and with her nasty nose and cold, I was more worried about a complication. Her doctor is the most popular ENT doctor in this area and he had come highly recommended from several of my friends, along with Bailey's primary care doctor, so that did help ease my mind. 

Before I knew it, the surgery was over and the doctor was out to see us. He told us that Bailey's ears were in horrible condition, some of the absolute worst he's ever seen. He took out her old ear tubes that were completely colonized with bacteria and thoroughly cleaned her ears. He also got cultures of all the crap in there so we can  have a better understanding of what has been causing the never ending infections. In addition, he removed her adenoids, which were covering 75% of her nasal cavity. He said that that is huge and that they could be the culprit for a lot of the issues that she has.. As far as constant colds, infections, etc..  He then said that he couldn't make any promises or guarantees that this would even fix her because the last course of treatment "should have done the trick." He said that if this surgery doesn't work then we're going to start testing her for some type of immune deficiency, which scares me to death. So I'm hoping and praying that it was just the adenoids causing all of these severe problems and that she'll be completely better this time! I guess I have to take it one day at a time...

So that's the latest on Bailey. She's been a wreck and extremely out of sorts. I know that she has to be in some pain, plus she is still teething and still has a cold. I'm trying to be as patient with her as humanly possible! I can't wait for things to get back to normal!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Trouble-Twisted Life of Bailey Quinn

To my sweet Bailey girl:

20 months ago from today you made your entrance into the world with a bang... Quite the bang, actually. One big enough to land you in a NICU 30 minutes down the road. I thought that that troubling experience was just a difficult start to your life but little did I know,  your many challenges were just beginning.

From an awful case of reflux, which caused so much concern that you were admitted into the hospital, strabismus, a trip to the ER for cracking your head open, to horrible ear problems, I'm afraid that your life has been anything but trouble free. Tomorrow you will be having your second ear surgery in your life and as I put you to bed, you were very sad and your ears were bleeding. Oh how I held onto you and wanted nothing more than to wave a magic wand and spare you of the frustrating morning that you'll have tomorrow. I can't even imagine how it's going to feel to tell you can't have your milk or your "bayfest" (As you like to call breakfast) and how my heart will break as I hand you over to the doctors and the nurses.

Each and every day you push me to new levels of patience that I never even knew I had. I cannot put a number on the amount of times in one day that I pull you off of the dining room table, drag you down from the stairs (now that you've gotten smart enough to get around the gate), reprimand you for hitting or biting your sisters, or redirect you when you find the light sockets, my purse, your dad's wallet, the cleaning supplies, etc.. You keep me hopping from sun up to sun down and you really don't even sleep long enough at night for me to recover. You are my earliest riser yet!

The best part is that for every single one of your many "quirks" there is something beautiful about you that I love. I love your sense of adventure, how everything is a game and everything seems to new to you. I love your beautiful smile and how others are drawn to you by it. I love how friendly and outgoing you are and how no situation, animal or person seems to scare you. You keep us cracking up all day long and daddy and I truly can't imagine you not being in our world.

We love you so much, baby girl. Tomorrow will be a tough day but are excited to see you get better and to watch you grow more and more!

With all my heart,

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Month???

Okay, okay... I'll admit. Maybe, just maybe, I have labeled my blog as "just another assignment." After I do my schoolwork, the very last thing I want to do is sit behind the computer, even if it is for leisurely purposes. I've said it a million times, though, I really do like having a record of our lives so I'll try to keep up!

What's new? Not a whole lot of anything, really. Brookie is doing awesome in school and has started to read really well! She was chosen as the student of the month a few weeks ago and I also received a sweet letter from her teacher about how cooperative and wonderful she is. That's what every mama loves to hear:-) My poor girl had a horrible go at it a few weeks ago... She came home on a Monday complaining that her tooth hurt. I took her to the dentist, where we learned that her previous filling had broken off and exposed her tooth, leading to a horrible tooth infection. This resulted in a root canal... Which was NOT fun to watch. I kept her home from school the next day because she was running a little fever. After a couple of days of that, we took her to the doctor for the continual fever and found out that she had pneumonia and an ear infection. It was a long week but truthfully, it was really nice having her home!

As for Adrienne, she continues to be stubborn and strong-willed. I try not use that infamous "middle child syndrome" label on her but boy, if anyone had it, it would be her! Lol. To go with it, though, she is amazingly funny and silly and she will just come up to you and kiss you, which of course, fixes anything and everything. She is my little buddy while Brooke is at school and she definitely makes my life fun!

Poor little Bailey will be having her ear surgery on the 28th. We her pre-op appointment the other day and the doctor said that her case is one of the most severe he's seen and her situation is quite unusual. Along with new tubes, he will removing her adenoids. He said that there is no promise that it will fix the problems with her ears but it's worth a shot. Thanks, I think??  I feel bad putting her through this all over again but we have to try everything possible to get her better. She's finally starting to repeat more words and say things but the doctor thinks that her delayed speech is mostly a result of constant ear problems, which obviously impact her hearing. Ugh!! I can't wait for this to be over.

We're gearing up to have a houseful for Thanksgiving again this year. I can't wait! I really love cooking and this feast is my favorite meal to make. I don't really like setting up the tables and chairs and all of that, but other than that, I love it all. It's nice to come together as a family and enjoy all of our blessings!

As for me, school is over for the semester in a little over a month! I still have all A's and I'm extremely proud of that... And I'm hoping to finish out on a strong note to lock in those grades! Next semester will be quite busy for me.. During the winter break I will be taking a crash course in chemistry online. I can't imagine what an entire 15-week semester worth of assignments will look like condensed into one month. I had no choice but to make that decision, really... If I had waited I wouldn't have been able to apply for the nursing program for another year. No way! Then, in the Spring I'll be taking medical terminology, pharmacology, another Biology class (that is the second half of the course I'm taking now), and creative writing as an elective. It will all be online and I'm confident that I'll make it work. One step at a time!

Oh, and I can't forget, I became an aunt again on the 19th of last month. My brother and his wife had a little boy, Jacob Matthew. He is so precious! I love having 2 babies to hold and it feels pretty darn nice to send them home with their mommies and sleep soundly through the night:-)

Alrighty, off to make dinner! Until next time... (whenever that may be!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello, blogging world! I knew it would be a while before I had spare time to get on this thing but now that I do, I'll take a chance and get caught up.

Let's see..

-The most exciting news in our family is that my sister gave birth to my precious little niece, Lauren, last Friday! She is absolutely gorgeous and I have, of course, fallen head-over-heals in love with her. She has jet black hair and I simply cannot get enough of the girl. This is the first time my sister has had a baby that I haven't been expecting a baby of my own and honestly, it's felt really nice to have a little bit of extra time and energy to help her out. My brother's wife is due TODAY my nephew decided not to come. Maybe tomorrow?!?! Isn't new life amazing?

-Little Miss Bailey went and saw another ear specialist because of the constant infections and drainage from her ears. On November 28th she will be undergoing another ear surgery to replace her tubes with a different type of material and possibly remove her adenoids. This doctor thinks that she must be sensitive to the current synthetic material that's in her ear tubes now and by replacing them we will have better results. This all stinks for her! Poor little princess:-( She's doing well otherwise, though! She's starting to talk up a storm and while she's crazy and super busy, she's finally becoming more content and much easier to get along with. She had her 18-month appointment yesterday and at 22 pounds she is in the 25th percentile for her weight. She's a bottomless pit so I'm not sure how she stays so little!

-Last week John and I had our first overnight date since before Bailey was born. It was amazing! We went to Pittsburgh to watch the Braves play the Pirates (because the Braves are John's team). We stayed in a nice hotel and had a nice road trip. It felt beyond amazing to just be the 2 of us. It's always nice to come home again, don't get me wrong, but we're so busy that it helps to reconnect.

-School continues to go super well for me! I currently have "A's" in all 4 classes, which is a big freaking deal when you're Jillian! I got a 100 on my math test yesterday and when I found out, I just about screamed with excitement. I've said it before, but who would have ever thought that I would like and succeed in school???

Life is pretty wonderful lately! We've been busy but we've also had lots of quiet down time as a family of 5 lately and I fall more and more in love with our little family every day.

Until next time! Hopefully sooner than a month from now...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do I Dare Share?

Well, I learned some interesting information this week. At first, I didn't want to share it with people because it's kind of personal, but then I got to thinking about how much this vital information explains about me and my past. There is not a reason in the world for me to be ashamed. So here it goes... I have dyslexia. There I said it. That wasn't so bad!

You would have to understand my history to really get why this "diagnosis" explains so much. For starters, I was never a "good" student. I always had trouble with charts and graphs, I was hyper-sensitive to dractions, to the point of being agitated and frustrated by someone tapping their fingers on their desk, and I had to work very, very hard to even get a "C." I would know material but it was never clearly reflected unless I was writing an essay, which was always my strong point.

I can remember being in high school Boology and really enjoying the material. I studied my butt off and got a a grade in the upper 70's. I was pretty excited! I went to a Christian high school and my teacher wrote on the top of my paper, "Do everything as unto the Lord. Is this effort really unto Him?" I will never forget ripping the test up and telling myself that if I was going to get accused of not trying, even though I studied hard, then what was the point of trying? I pretty much stopped all attempts at studying and had more fun skipping class and goofing off. It was easier to pretend like I didn't care than to acknowledge that I really DID care and it just wasn't clicking.

My "lack of intelligence" has always bothered my inside. I know that I have other gifts and abilities that make me unique but I've often wondered if people take me seriously or think of me like I'm an idiot. In a social situation it kind of makes me feel insecure. I'll want to interject something that I know about but deep down inside I wonder if I really do know what I'm talking about and I'll choose not to share things. Sometimes I wish that I had some way of validating what I know because I really do know things and I'm not stupid!

I've always had this uncanny ability to speak backwards. It sounds weird but when I'm trying to focus, I repeat words backwards. If I can remember how a word sounds backwards I can remember how to spell it forwards. I also read sentences backwards. When I read a road sign, for instance, I will automatically go to the last word because in my wacky brain I don't think that I'll be able to read the whole thing. It's odd. I know.

So, what really lead to this discovery was a couple of things... My math teacher this semester noticed that I have a great understanding of the mathematical process but along the way, I transpose my numbers incorrectly and make silly little errors. She suggested talking to the staff at the college that specializes in learning disablities. The second issue that lead me down this path was my testing abilities thus far this semester. I took a quiz in Biology and I KNEW the material. That wasn't the issue. I studied very hard. However, I got a mere 60% (luckily it wasn't worth much and I had some extra credit points to bring it up quite a bit) and when I reviewed the mistakes, I realized that I had inadvertently chosen answers which I knew to be wrong. It killed me!

I went to talk to the learning disability specialist fully expecting that they would tell me I was fine. I thought these differences for all these years were "normal" and that I just wasn't as smart as my peer counterparts. However, the lady told me that in 30 years of working with people with learning disablities, she has never seen someone with such an interesting and severe case of dyslexia. Thanks, I think? She told me she was fascinated by me because I have come up with such creative strategies to compensate for the unusual ways I take in information. She said the very fact that I graduated from high school and even had the courage to come back to college shows intelligence on my part and she's confident that a few little tweaks could make me an excellent student. AHHH! I wanted to hug her!

You have to understand, I had a principal give me a quarter in his office once. He said, "Do me a favor... Use this quarter to give me a call if you're ever successful. I'll have you know, I never expect to hear from you." I had teacher after teacher wrongfully accuse me of not trying. I'll admit, I was a trouble maker and I probably deserved to be disciplined, but I never deserved to be treated so poorly in regards to academics.

From here out I just have to do things a little differently. I'm given time and a half for all future exams to allow me to process and re-read questions if neccessary. In addition, I'm also allowed to have someone read me an exam and based on my oral answer, they will choose the appropriate response. I'm able to do this from home with John and my school is okay with that. I take my first BIG test using this method tomorrow and I'm so excited! I truly do know my material.

I'm really excited for the days ahead! Knowing that my oddities have a name know is so encouraging and I've decided that when I do graduate, the success will be that much sweeter!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Soooo Much to Report!

I have been crazy busy. Actually, crazy busy probably doesn't adequately describe just how insane and jam-packed my schedule has been as of late. Let me get caught up!

Vacation was wonderful! We spent an amazing week on the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland. We did some shopping, ate lots of seafood (Well, everyone else did... I'm allergic), played in the sand, walked the boardwalk and relaxed. It would have been the perfect vacations if it wasn't for a few factors. For starters, Bailey did NOT sleep well the entire trip and it was frustrating. Luckily we had family that put us back to sleep a couple of mornings (John's mom and sister) and we were able to catch naps from time to time. Once Bailey and I even feel asleep under and umbrella at the beach. It was amazing! Also, I started school on the middle of vacation and the house that we rented had no Wifi so I had to run back and forth the local McDonald's to get assignments and figure out what the heck I was doing. It all ended up working out okay! We came back with awesome tans and we had an incredible time.

Brookie started Kindergarten last Wednesday. I'm not going to lie... It's been tough being away from her. Every time I drop her off I just want to hold her and squeeze her and not let her go but she's always ready to start her day. She loves school so far and she has some really good friends and an amazing teacher. I find myself looking at the clock all day and wondering about what she's doing and if she's happy or tired or having fun.We also started letting her ride the bus home (but we still drop her off in the mornings) because the pick-up time is at 2:30, which is the middle of Bailey's nap and it's just not possible.  She loves to ride the bus and sits with 2 of her friends so that makes me feel better. All this school business is a lot to take in! People tell me it will get easier. I hope they're right!

Adrienne is a new kid while Brooke is at school. It's crazy. From 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon she is compliant and happy and eager to please. Then, once Brooke gets off that bus, she is like something out of a horror movie. Lol. She throws herself on the ground when asked to do something, she hits and yells, and is overall very grumpy with Brooke. I'm not really sure why this is but I'm attempting many strategies to make the afternoon hours less stressful.

Bailey has had a rough go of it lately. For starters, on Labor Day we were walking around our neighborhood and all three girls were in the wagon. We stopped to talk to some friends and she stood up. At the same exact time, we started to walk away and she fell straight back and hit her head on the concrete sidewalk. She was obviously upset so we tried to comfort her but then we realized that she was cut and bleeding like crazy. We took her home and tried to determine where the blood was coming from but her curly hair was completely saturated, making it hard to see what was going on. We quickly threw her in the tub to get a look and there was blood dripping everywhere. Not a pretty sight. She then started having a hard time staying awake, which I didn't know if it was because she had a concussion or because she was just so upset. We took her to the ER to be safe and the doctor said that she could have used a staple in her head but because the bleeding had stopped we wouldn't put her through the trauma. And apparently CAT scans carry a high cancer risk with young children so he opted to not do one and wait and see how she progressed throughout the day. Thankfully, she was completely fine! What a scare.

Not to give Bailey 2 paragraphs and my other girls only one... But she's also having substantial issues with her ears lately:-( She has yet another infection and her ears are dripping with blood. Her ENT hasn't been the greatest with the reoccurring infections so I took her to our pediatrician, who we love and trust. He said that her ears are completely colonized with bacteria, to the point where he couldn't even see her eardrum in the one ear. He also thinks that her tubes are about to come out. He referred us to another ENT (who is supposed to be great) and we're getting a second opinion. It just gets frustrating for the poor girl:-(

As for me, I'm plugging away with schoolwork. I'm enjoying my Human Biology course, which is notoriously hard. It is a time consuming course but it's very interesting. My English class has been really easy, which is a blessing. and as for my Trigonometry class, I'm really struggling. The teacher awesome and lenient so my grade isn't suffering but I'm having a hard time staying on top of it. I know it will click one of these days. It's been a lot juggling the girls, John, the house and school but I think I've done pretty well so far and I'm coming up with a great system that doesn't really interfere much with anyone else's life but mine.

So, there you have it. A complete update! Don't count on another one for a while:) Lol

Monday, August 20, 2012

Falling Apart

I have reached my breaking point, as far as my asthma goes. I have been depending on massive amounts of steroids, breathing treatments and constant doctor visits just be able to breathe enough to survive. I want to breathe like a normal human being, without drugs or treatments, but if I'm going to mess with taking all of those things, I want to breathe great... And I'm still not.  After a while, it gets old feeling like an old lady at the ripe age of 26. I should be able to run after the kids and carry them up the stairs without needing an inhaler or feeling like I'm going to pass out from lightheadedness.

This has been going on since the middle of May so I have every right to be fed up. They keep putting me on steroids, which is like putting a Band-Aid on the problem... They cover it up for a few days but don't really fix the problem. To top it off, the steroids aren't good for you and there are some serious consequences to taking them long term. They can lead to osteoporosis, weight gain, liver problems, etc.. And even when I'm on them, I'm horribly hungry and all I want to do is eat. It's to the point that I love taking them because I can breathe but at the same time, I hate taking them because I don't want to gain back all the weight I've worked so hard to lose. It's a lose-lose situation.

To add to  my already horrible asthma, I caught a nasty cough from my kids and that lead to a bout of bronchitis. When I have bronchitis I am extremely sick... I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air and truly wondering if that next breath is going to come to me. I take a breathing treatment or a puff of an inhaler and I'm always fine but I shouldn't have to get to that point. All of this has left me exhausted and it's hard to feel so groggy all the time when you have a house full of energetic little girls who need you!

So right now I'm on an antibiotic, oral steroid, inhaled steroid,  an emergency inhaler, breathing treatments and another medicine for allergies and I still feel like garbage. To add to this mess, I have a new doctor because mine moved. I love the new doctor but she's still trying to figure me out and she doesn't know me as well, obviously. She's pushing for me to go to a pulmonologist because she's concerned but I'm anxious about that. It's kind of my "last resort" and if they aren't able to make me feel human again then I don't know what I'll do. That may sound weird but that's how I'm feeling.

The biggest worry I have is that Fall is approaching and that is my worst time of year, by far. In the Fall I usually end up in the ER with such severe asthma symptoms, no matter how hard I try to avoid it. They have attempted to hospitalize me before but I'm pretty stubborn and always demand to manage my own care at home. Maybe that's the problem? Lol

I'm hoping that I'm miraculously better by vacation and that I can enjoy my time away without asthma controlling me. I know it could be so much work and that some people could read this and think I'm a big baby, but in my small world, it's a huge deal.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

No Judgement, Please

Disclaimer... The purpose of this post is, by no means, to down homeschoolers. In fact, one of my best friends is going to be homeschooling one of her kids this year and I totally respect and support her. As I will explain, it's not homeschooling that I'm opposed to... It's people that think homeschooling is the one and only way to educate their children and that they are superior for doing so.

Lately I have been feeling very judged by many people in the homeschool world. There are quite a few people who have questioned why I would send Brooke to public school and not teach her at home. One lady suggested it and for every single reason I gave her, she was argumentative and simply could not see it from my point of view. That makes absolutely no sense to me because it's my child, after all, and it's not up for her discussion. Just like I don't look down on her for homeschooling her kids, I would appreciate her for giving me the same social courtesies.

I also met another lady this week who treated me the same way. She was talking about how she homeschools and I simply told her that I don't feel as though I have the level of knowledge that a trained educator has. She said, "Well, it's your child. If there was every anything to invest your time in." Oh yes, because I don't homeschool I'm not invested. That's right. She then gave me the whole spiel about how I should be the number one influence in my child's life and not allow the school to "indoctrinate" her. I kept explaining to her that John and I feel comfortable with the school system and like we're doing the best thing for our daughter and she just kept pushing and pushing the issue.

I'm not saying that there aren't great things about homeschooling and that it's not perfect for some families. As for our family, though, we are going to send our kids to public school. In my opinion, if we pull all of our Christian children out of schools for fear of tarnishing them, then what hope is there for the public school? And how will we ever expect our kids to stand up for what they believe if they are never given a time or place to have to give an answer? Our home is such a loving and secure place where we're all obviously like minded and unfortunately, little to no exposure to the world is not setting our children up for the day that they have to venture out on their own. Then, there is the educational aspect of homeschool..  I know that I could never teach them everything they need to know to go out and attend college. I'm not trained in teaching, let alone math, biology, history, English, etc... These teachers go to school for a reason and I want my children to have every opportunity to learn and grow. This is how I feel for MY children but if you feel differently for yours, good for you! My feeling and opinions are rooted out of love for my children, as I'm sure yours are.

I'm just so frustrated by the "holier than thou" attitude that I've encountered recently. I was listening to a Christian radio station a few weeks ago and they were interviewing one of the speakers at a local homeschool conference. The man was so overwhelmingly critical of parents who chose not to buy into his way of thinking and it really made me feel judged. I'm no less of a Christian because homeschooling isn't for me. My parent are some of the most Godly people I've ever met and they sent us all to public school and guess what...We are all living for the Lord and we have all made something of ourselves. The same could be sound for countless other families. Public school is not the enemy.

Like I said, there are several homeschoolers that I love and respect and I know that I can't label everyone who homeschools because of the few that have been rude. I just wish that we could all unify as parents trying to raise Godly, productive children and not become divided by which method happen to choose.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Bailey carries around something that we call her "mischief stool." This stool is what enables her to reach things that would otherwise be out of her grasp and it makes our lives crazy. We try to hide it from her to prevent her from getting into things but sometimes we forget and we find her on the kitchen table or pulling things off the counters. The girl is absolutely fearless!

Her favorite forbidden item to get with her mischief chair is our home phone and I could spend the entire day taking it from her and putting it back. If I'm trying to get a meal on the table or something, I sometimes let her play with it because it keeps her happy. John always tells me not to let her play with the phone because he doesn't want her calling 911. While that's a valid concern, I figure that mathematically speaking, the probability of her dialing those numbers in that sequence is slim to none.

Wrong! The other morning I was rushing around to get the girls dressed and ready to go. I had run upstairs for a few minutes to get clothes for everyone and about 15 minutes later, I heard the door knock. I saw one of John's co-workers at the door and instantly my heart started pounding, Thankfully, John was sleeping soundly in his bed so I wasn't worried that they were coming to deliver some horrible news to me. Completely perplexed, I answered the door and the deputy standing there said, "Jillian, is John beating you? We had a 911 call from your house." Of course she knew better and was laughing but at that point, I just felt completely stupid. The department has a policy that they send a car to all 911 calls just to be safe but because they know us, they tried to just call and see if we were but the phone was still busy. They also tried calling John but he was sleeping and didn't hear his cell phone ring. It kind of makes me worry that they wouldn't have rushed right out if there really was an emergency!

I'm still shocked that Bailey actually dialed 911. I know that the other girls didn't do it because they were playing in the toy room nicely and hey don't even know to dial 911 in a real emergency, let alone just for the heck of it. I'm not one to put away things that children shouldn't have... I would rather discipline and teach them not to do something. However, I'm thinking that this phone is going to have to be an exception to that rule for a while. I'm not interested in having the police at my door anytime soon... Unless it's my husband, that is!

Monday, August 13, 2012

How's This For Ironic?

As a baby, Adrienne was the most perfect sleeper. When I brought her home from the hospital I quickly realized that I was mothering a phenomenon, as far as infants go. I could put her on the couch, crib, bassinet, or any other place of my convenience and she would simply put her thumb in her mouth and sleep for hours on end.  Bedtime was no different... When she was just a couple of nights old I put her in her bassinet for the night and was shocked to not hear from her for the next 15 hours. Luckily, we had the Angel Care Monitor that would have alarmed me if she had stopped breathing, otherwise, that would have been freaky.  I called everyone we knew the next morning and most people attributed it to a fluke but it quickly proved not to be. With the exception of the few sicknesses she had as a baby, she never looked back and I was maybe up with her in the middle of night 3 times within her first year of life. Pretty amazing!

Over the past couple of months we have hit a rough spot with Adrienne's sleep. For starters, she has made nap time a horrible hour of fighting and mischief. Much to my dismay, she has outgrown the need to sleep and instead of staying in her bed like she's supposed to, she gets out of her bed and destroys her room, pulling clothes out of drawers and messing with anything she can get her hands on. She also picks fights with Brooke and I usually end up in their room a countless number of times throughout nap time. It used to be the most quiet and relaxing hour of the day! I've tried just about everything and have yet to find a solution. I'm hoping that once Brooke starts school that it won't be as much of issue. If not, I just may go crazy!

Then, there's bedtime... Heaven forbid the child gets even 2 seconds of shut eye throughout the day. In that case, we have hours of protest in her room. She will come in and out, regardless of punishment and disapproval from John and me. When she's really tired (which is most nights, lately), she will go straight to bed.. After first demanding a long list of requirements, such as water with ice, her music on the perfect volume, a special baby, her fan on, etc.. She really makes it tough. That's not even where it stops, though. She has been coming into my room in the middle of the night and screaming at me in my sleep for the past week or so. It's usually something like, "I want a water!" I'll tell her that there is water right next to her and she'll continue screaming, "I want you to get it for me." Then, there's the classic, " I'm scared." Or, " I want you." It's just getting old and frustrating. I'm totally about being there for my kids and but this is getting ridiculous. The way she literally screams at me when I'm in a dead sleep alarms me and of course my adrenaline gets pumping and I'm wired and then I can't fall back asleep. Its amazing to think that because of one little 27 pounds 3-year-old, I'm waking up every morning exhausted.

I'm sure hoping that this is a phase. I know that she's in good health and there are no ear infections or anything to blame because she just went to the doctor. I'm not sure what her problem is or what I can do to fix this or at least make it somewhat better. I do know that that perfect little laid baby that I once had is now a very strong willed creature these days. I would trade her for anything or anyone on the planet and she makes me laugh constantly. Her personality is hilarious and goofy and I can't imagine my life without her. So I guess that during this challenging stage in her life I'll choose to focus on all of the wonderful things that make her uniquely Adrienne instead of focusing on the exhaustion and frustration from getting no sleep.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Lot to Prove

I went to the college today to hand in some final paperwork and to get my books. Despite dropping a wad of cash on the books, I left the school feeling overwhelmed with excitement. I have practically been counting down the seconds until school starts because I'm just that eager to start and this put me one step closer!

I wanted to share my excitement so I posted on Facebook that I had gotten my books and that I couldn't wait to start school. Now, I'm not one to get into silly Facebook spats because, first of all, I live in a house with three little girls and that is more than enough drama for me and second, I understand that people can come across differently in that type of forum. However, someone posted, "You must be sick! What happened to the Jillian that hated school 8 years ago?" I know that this person probably wanted to say something funny or clever and that the intent of the common wasn't destructive. It just kind of stung because for my entire life I have felt... stupid.

There are reasons for this... I have an older brother and sister (who I adore, by the way) who always made amazing grades with their eyes shut. To give a comparison, my brother has a master's degree in engineering and my sister has a bachelor's in nursing.  I was the type of student who would study for 2 hours and be thrilled with a C when they wouldn't crack a book and get A's. When we lived in Texas there were advanced placement classes called "Gifted and Talented" classes and I was the only one out of the three of us who didn't get an invitation into the program. I once had a teacher ask me, "Why can't you be more like your brother and sister?" I also had another incident where I truly studied my heart out and got an 80 on a biology test and my teacher said, "Did you get a boyfriend or something because your grades are slipping?" Comments like that made me not want to try and not care about being intelligent. To compensate, I found myself as the class clown and a social butterfly and pretty much decided that school was a waste of time and energy. And for me, it turned out that skipping class and pulling pranks was way more fun than studying anyways.

For as long as I can remember, I never wanted to go to college. When I graduated from high school I just wanted to marry John (who I had been dating since the middle of my senior year) and have a family. I went to college partly to appease my parents but mostly because I needed to be full time to have their medical benefits. With a severe case of asthma I couldn't be without them. I goofed off for  2 semesters and never went to class because it wasn't what I wanted in that time of my life. Thankfully, John and I were engaged so once we got married I could have his benefits and quit school. He was always happy to support me in whatever decision I made and I loved that about him... And still do:-)

Now that this is what I want with all of my heart, I feel know that I will do whatever it takes to get there. I may not be the most "book smart" person on the planet but it's possible that I'm far more determined than most people realize. And I also tend to believe that intelligence and success is not based solely on a person's ability to score high on a test or write a perfect paper. I have other gifts and abilities that simply aren't reflected in academics.

I have no regrets. I'm so happy that John and I married and had babies super young. In response to my plans of going to school, somebody recently told me, "Hindsight is 20/20. I bet you wish you had seen this desire before you had the kids." That statement isn't accurate for me, though. I would have never been content waiting the 2 years of getting my schooling out of the way and then possibly working before starting a family. My life's ambition and drive was... and still is... to be a mother. And even though I'm furthering my education, it's still all for my family and it will be done with ME being the one to sacrifice, not them.

I know that I really don't have to prove myself to people but I feel as though I do. I didn't try very hard in my previous attempts at education so I suppose people are entitled to think that I won't succeed and that this is weird ambition for me to have. With that being said, though, I intend on working my butt off to show everyone that I can do anything I set my mind to!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Grrrr. My older two girls got sick yesterday. First, Adrienne spiked a high fever in the afternoon and Brooke followed her hours later, right as I was about to go to sleep. It always seems to happen like that, doesn't it? The poor girl did not sleep well so I, of course, didn't either.

Adrienne has been having some frequent urinary tract infections (another story for a another day) so we had her follow-up with the pediatrician today. I wouldn't have otherwise dragged the sick girls out to have them evaluated because I had already taken Bailey on Sunday for the same symptoms, only to find that it was a virus. So, anyways, I told their doctor what was going on and after hearing what each of the girls had and evaluating them, he said that they had a classic case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Basically, get you a high fever, sores in your mouth and throat and sometimes a headache. You know it's run its course when you break out with little red spots.. Which Bailey had on her cheeks and chin, but I attributed them to her teething and drooling a lot. So there we have it... A diagnosis for all this madness. That's why I hate walk-in clinics.. They usually don't have the most accuracy.

The worst part is that this could potentially last for 3-5 days. I'm not up for that and the girls more than certainly aren't! Bailey is completely fine now, Adrienne's case is mild but Brooke is pretty sick. She has horrible sores all on her lips, her head is throbbing to the point where she just wants to lay around and her fever has been the highest. Poor little princess:-( She also has some type of cold or allergies that are making her nose drip like crazy and cough constantly. It's definitely not a good combination for her.

I suppose that the best news about this whole nasty virus is that it's very rare for adults to get it. The doctor said that most adults have immunity against it and the simple fact that it's contracted through saliva is what makes is so contagious among small children, especially. I'm not sure how I would manage all that I have to if I got sick! That's always a crisis.

I'm really hoping that everyone sleeps well tonight and we wake up to three healthy girls but I'm not expecting it. That way, if it does happen, it will be an added bonus instead of a huge disappointment. Lol. This motherhood thing is sure exhausting but nothing makes me feel more "in my element" than when I'm caring for and loving on my babies and when they're sick, I sure get to do an awful lot of that!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mr. Wonderful

I have been on the hunt for a new laptop for school because, while my little net book is great, it's just not capable of handling my full course load. Even though I knew I needed it, I'm always slow to spend money on myself and in this case, I had really been hesitant. I just figured that I would get one when the timing was right or when we saw the perfect deal and I had resigned myself to just working off the desktop for a while.

Well, John saw a great deal on a laptop in yesterday's Target ad. We talked about it and he did some research but I didn't think we would rush right out and buy it. Again, when it comes to myself, I rarely push to get something and would much rather save the money or spend it on someone else.

At 7 this morning I got a text message from John saying, "I got a late call. Running late, babe." I didn't think anything of it because that's not abnormal by any means. An hour and a half later I got another message telling me that he would be on his way home soon. I wasn't suspicious until I saw him walking into the house in street clothes. I couldn't imagine why he wasn't wearing his uniform but when I saw the Target bag in his hand, I instantly knew. I was elated that he had worked so hard to give me such an extravagant gift and surprise. Ah!! I'm such a spoiled woman!

I'm pretty impressed that he pulled this one off because I'm extremely nosey and I usually catch on quickly. His brother knows a lot about computers and they happen to work together.. even on the same shift right now... so they both went out to Target on absolutely no sleep. That right there had to have been a huge sacrifice for both of them! And the other thing that gets me is that John came into our room in the middle of the night to pack some clothes to go to the store in and I didn't even realize. Apparently I even talked to him but I have no recollection! Lol

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to have such a caring and thoughtful husband. He really is amazing and he treats me like a princess! After almost 7 years of marriage he hasn't stopped seeking new ways to steal my heart again and again. My love grows for him every single day and I am so extremely blessed to have him in my life!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where to Begin???

Well hello, blogging world! Yes, I do still live and breathe... I'm just a very, very busy wife and mommy trying to juggle it all! I actually blame most of my lack of blogging on my iPhone. I got it a little over a month ago and I do almost all of my internet related activities on it so I'm rarely behind a computer these days, making blogging a forgotten thing. I'm determined to get caught up, though!

Let's see.. Last week we had Vacation Bible School (VBS) at church. Our church does it in the evenings from 5:30-8:30 so it pretty much wipes us out. The older girls had a blast and were sad when it was over but Bailey was pretty sick of being out so late every night. She goes to bed before 7 some nights so that really conflicted with her schedule. Here's to getting back on track!

Speaking of Bailey, she's actually pretty sick right now:-( She's been running a high fever and after a couple of days I took her to the doctor. I assumed it was just a virus and I was right.. Except for the doctor thinks it's the Herpes virus, giving her sores in her mouth and throat. I feel awful for her! That would definitely explain why she hasn't wanted to eat or drink. I can commiserate because I got it 2 weeks before my wedding and I had a severe case... I could eat or drink NOTHING and my throat and mouth were bleeding. It was horrible. It was a great way to trim off 10 pounds for my wedding dress, though! I'm just thankful that Bailey doesn't have it to the degree I did.

My sweet Brookie is anxiously counting down the days until Kindergarten. This mama isn't so ready but she reminds me everyday that she is. She wears around her new La-La Loopsie backpack and tonight she even tried to pack her lunch in her La-La Loopsie lunchbox. Lol. What am I going to do with her?? She also got a bunch of new school clothes and she tried every single outfit on. She's such a girl! I had to buy her 5T clothes for length but they're falling off of her.. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about that. She swims in the clothes but nobody wants to wear high waters, either!

Adrienne has been testing me lately. I know that 3-year-olds often assert their independence anyways but she's quite the strong-willed child. She has given up her afternoon nap, which is fine, but the hour that I require the girls to take quiet time has turned into her causing all sorts of trouble in her room and every single day it's the same battle. I sometimes feel like there is not one punishment in the universe that hurts her. I'm still racking my brains out trying to figure that one out..

It won't before we leave for our beach vacation! The only downer is that we leave on the 25th and my first day of  "school" is on the 27th... So I'll be doing schoolwork while we're gone. Grrr.. Nothing in life comes easy, though, and I know it will be worth it. Since it's the first week of classes I'm pretty sure that it won't be all THAT bad. Let's hope not, anyways!

Here's to blogging more often! Don't hold me to it, though:-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Non-Stop Summer Fun

We have been having jam-packed, wonderful summer so far! I thought our life would slow down during these months but that has definitely not been the case. We keep extremely busy!

John has been working tirelessly with Brooke on her bike.. We took her training wheels off of her bike a few months back and John and I wondered if she would ever "get it." It was crazy, though, because one day it just clicked for her and now she's doing great without training wheels. I can't believe how big she is!

Our pool has been in constant use this summer. Bailey has absolutely NO fear of the pool and has jumped in twice now (don't worry, we were right there to get her). She doesn't even cry or anything when she goes in and that freaks me out that it doesn't bother her. Our pool is impossible for her to access on her own so I don't get too worked up but she sure makes me a nervous wreck when she's near it! We have stairs that the older girls like to sit on in the pool and they also use their floaties and life jackets so it's not impossible to have three of them in there on my own. It's a lot of fun!

The older girls went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my parents, along with my sister's 2 oldest kids, on July 5th-6th. They had a great time and with their cousins and grandparents and I was happy that they got to do something special. While they were gone, John took Bailey and me out of town for the night and we stayed in a nice hotel, relaxed, shopped and went to a nice dinner. If would have been the perfect trip... If Bailey didn't stay up and scream in the hotel until 11:30. Bedtime was rough but the rest of the trip more than made up for it. 

We are anxiously awaiting our big vacation next month... We're going to Ocean City, Maryland with John's side of the family. We all pitched in and rented a beach house that looks really nice and it should be a great trip. We plan on spending lots of time sitting on the ocean but there are also lots of other fun things to do and lots of sights to see. I can't wait to get out of town for an entire week!

One down thing about the summer months is that John works a lot. There are lots of state funded programs for DWI patrol, seat belt safety and aggressive driving patrol. The money is great so usually John signs up to put extra money away. I truly appreciate the way he sacrificially provides for us and try not complain... Especially because he never does and he's the one doing all the work! It will be worth it when we're lounging on the beach:)

Alrighty, off to see why all three of my children have been sleeping for nearly 2.5 hours. I think the sun wiped them out after our morning at the park and I'm not complaining.. But I will have to peek in and make sure they're breathing still! Lol

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Words... Finally!

I have been worried about Bailey's lack of vocabulary for quite some time. I naturally compare her to her sisters, who began speaking at like 9 or 10 months. By this age (15 months), Brooke was saying sentences and talking quite a bit.... But Bailey, up until the past week or so, only said about 3 or 4 words. I know that children all bloom at different rates but I also have to take into consideration all of the months she went hearing at only 60-70 percent, due to her severe ear problems.  Our pediatrician says that she has absolutely no other signs of developmental delays and she can follow directions so she obviously understands words. That's reassuring but as a mom, I have still felt a little unsettled.

Very recently, however, Bailey has started to spout out words left and right! Her latest words are "please" and "thank you," and I'm especially excited because after months and months of pointing and grunting, I'm now hearing her precious little voice. She also learned what a chicken says so goes around pointing to various birds saying, "bok, bok, bok." It's adorable when we go to my mom's house because she has a rooster themed kitchen and Bailey loves it. She has also started to "Papa (my dad)" and "Nickle (her cousin)." She can also say "up," "swing," and "jump." If she's more than doubled her vocabulary in a week, I'm excited to see what the weeks ahead will bring!

I also think that my girl is far too busy to talk. Brooke and Adrienne were very laid back and they enjoyed just sitting on the floor, playing with blocks or reading books. Bailey, on the other hand, is always on the go and she can be found standing in the middle of the kitchen table (If you dare take her eyes off of her for 2 seconds), throwing all of my stuff in the trash can, unravelling countless rolls of toilet paper, etc... She's pretty crazy and I don't think she sits still when she's awake.. Ever.

I love how unique each of my children are. They all bloom at their own pace and have different things that make them "tick." It's so amazing to watch them grow into little girls and uncover new layers of their little personalities!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pre-K Graduation

Brooke graduated from Pre-K last Friday!! It's been kind of a long year of adjustment because we had never had a kid in school or a calendar to follow prior to Pre-K. Now that it's over, though, it's a little sad to think about next year and the high likelihood of many of Brooke's friends being in a different class. She's made one best friend that lives right down the road, along with many others.

They had a nice graduation ceremony where the kids sang and then they were issued a little diploma. Each student was asked, "What would you like to be when you grow up?" Most of the kids said a teacher, vet, police officer, mail man... But my Brookie proudly walked up to the microphone and said, "I want to be a mommy when I grow up." Everyone in the room went, "Aww!" It was precious and I was, of course, beaming with pride! That's all I ever wanted to be for as long as I can remember so it made me happy to hear her say that, even though she's only 5.

It's been nice having her out of school for the Summer and even though we're only on day 4 of break, it's been wonderful. We've been able to relax in our pajamas in the morning, instead of rushing out the door, and we've enjoyed playing outside in the pool, trampoline and swing set. I could definitely get used to this!

I'm so proud of my girl and for all of the things she learned and accomplished in Pre-K... She knows all of her letters and numbers and can now read small words. She's also attained a lot of social skills that she never had before and has started to come out of her shell so much. I know she will do great in Kindergarten and I can't wait to watch her grow even more!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fall Semester

Today was a very exciting day for me! After nearly 4 years of dreaming about going back to school, I finally got to sign up for my classes. I met with a really great advisor who was extremely helpful and wonderful and I feel like all of my questions were answered thoroughly.

This Fall I'm going to be taking 4 classes but one of them is a silly little one credit class. That one measly credit gives me the advantage of being considered "full time" and that means I get more financial aid that I wouldn't otherwise get. I'll be taking three classes online.. Human Biology and College Writing 2, along with that one credit class (which a Health Services Seminar.. and it's only for 5 weeks). The only class that I'll have to actually go to will be my math class and I have that from 4-5:50 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It should be a pretty tolerable schedule and while I know it will be a lot of work, I feel comfortable with it. I also picked things that I'm good at for my first semester... Like my math class is algebra and trigonometry, which I excelled in in high school. The biology class is a big challenge but my advisor said that it's mainly memorization, as opposed to other biology classes where you have to understand concepts. I'm really good a memorizing things so I'm not overly concerned. I'm also really comfortable with writing so that should help me be successful!

I've never been a good student so it's really weird that I'm so eager and excited for school to begin. I keep wishing it was Fall just so my classes would start but I know that I'll regret that once school actually is in session. Lol. I really look forward to proving to others around me (and myself!) that I CAN get good grades and that I WILL achieve the goals that I've set.

I am so thankful for my amazing husband.. He's taking me to get a new laptop for school and he's been cheering me on and believing in my dream from the moment I first told him. I am so blessed to have his unending love and support. Because of him, I know that I'll be fully equipped for success!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Three Year Stats

Yes, I'm alive and kicking! John started working the night shift again last week and it's an enormous adjustment. It always takes a while for things to feel "normal" again when his schedule gets jostled around like this but we'll survive!

I have failed to blog about Bailey's language explosion and all of her new words that she's learned. I didn't even post about Brooke's first field trip. What kind of mother am I?? But because I always like to write down the girls' weights and measurements on here (for my own records), I should probably make a note of Adrienne's three-year well visit yesterday.. She weighed in at 28 3/4 pounds (which put her in the 22th percentile) and she was 35.5 inches tall (11th percentile). She's a growing girl and we are so thankful for a good report from the doctor! The best part was that she had no shots!

I go to schedule my classes for the Fall semester tomorrow. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I'll be sure to update about what my course load looks like! As for now, there are three beautiful little girls calling my name:-) Off I go...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!!

Dear Adrienne,

Today is your third birthday! There are simply not words to tell you just how much these years have meant to me and how much joy you have brought into my life, along with the lives of so many others around you. The way you live life with such fullness is such an inspiration!

Your biggest interests these days have been doing people's hair (mainly mine!) and taking care of your babies. You love to treat your babies like they're real and I often catch you "shhshing" them or pretending to nurse them. You are getting lots of practice to be a great mommy when you grow up! You are also very compassionate and helpful with Bailey and you are a huge helper to mommy.

You have such a hilarious personality and you keep us in stitches all day long.. When you're not being fiercely stubborn, that is! You love adventure and exploration and mischief seems to find you wherever you go... I think you "accidentally" clogged the toilet by using too much toilet paper about three times last week. And when I walked into the kitchen and saw you standing ON the counter holding a knife, I almost lost it! You also are VERY independent and take great offense to any help that is offered to you. This makes getting in and out of your car seat, bathing you, brushing your teeth, etc.. Just a little bit more challenging. You're worth it, though:-)

I feel so honored to be your mommy. The way you like up a room with your smile and live life with such enthusiasm is such a blessing to see. There is not a day that goes by that I do not look at you with amazement and wonder how in the world I was the one who God picked to be your mommy. I feel so inadequate sometimes because you deserve the very best.

I am so excited for the days ahead and I cannot wait to see who you'll turn out to be. I dream big dreams for you, baby girl, and I love you with every ounce of me! Happy Birthday, A!!

With all my heart,


Friday, May 25, 2012

True Contentment

I haven't wanted to share too much about what's really going on inside my heart because it involves other members of my family. I didn't want to steal their thunder by sharing their news (in case people I know in real life read this blog) but now I can talk freely.. Both my sister and my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) are pregnant and due within days of each other! 

On Brooke's birthday, which was in February, I literally found out about both of the pregnancies simultaneously. It was so funny because we were at church and my sister-in-law pulled my sister and me aside to whisper her news and immediately after, my sister divulged her secret. It was crazy!  Maybe I was just overly emotional from it being Brooke's birthday, but after congratulating both of them, I went to the bathroom and cried.

I guess I had thought I was content with our decision to be done having babies, but in that moment, I wondered if I really was. It's so easy to say you're done, but when you see others around you experiencing the blessing of pregnancy and new life, it's a whole heck of a lot harder. For a couple of days after the big news I continued to feel a little bit sad. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled about the precious babies but maybe feeling a little sorry for myself that I wouldn't be going through that amazing journey again.

I realized that being content wasn't some magical switch that I could switch on or off... It was a true attitude and mindset that could come from God and God alone. I just committed myself to praying about it and I asked a few trusted friends/family to join me. Let me just say, through the past few months I have grown more and more content by the second. I'm actually at the point now where I look at my sisters having babies and think how happy I am that it's NOT me. Lol. I'm truly excited to finally be an aunt to a baby without having one of my own.. I've never had my hands free to hold a new niece or nephew for very long so this is going to be great! Each of them found out their baby's gender this week and I even had some fun buying tiny little newborn outfits today. I'm pretty sure that would have been accompanied by tears a few months ago!

I am so thankful that I'm truly in a place where I can be happy to move on. There will be things that I will always miss about the whole process of bringing new life into the world... Even when I'm old and gray. Even so, I'm eager to see what God has in store for my family and me as we turn the page on this chapter of our lives.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mommy's Hitting the Books!!

For over three years now I have been tossing around the idea of going back to school for nursing. I initially started thinking about it when I was pregnant with Adrienne but knowing that we would likely have another baby after her, I never really seriously entertained the idea. After Bailey was born, the desire was still there but she was such a demanding baby that I knew I had absolutely NO time for school work. A few months ago John encouraged me to go sit down with a college counselor just to see what a potential plan could be for my schooling and from that point on, things have just been working out!

I really feel my heart tugging me to the field of nursing for so many reasons. First of all, my passion in life is people. I absolutely love people and could talk to just about anyone about anything. I love the feeling of meeting the needs of another, whether it be a complete stranger or someone that I love. It doesn't matter. I had three very difficult deliveries (all of them resulting in prolonged separation from my babies) and those nurses were the ones who sat by my bedside and wiped my tears, made me laugh and cared for me when I couldn't care for myself. The thought of being able to do that for someone else is so exciting to me! Another reason why nursing appeals to me is the flexibility. I never want to be tied to a 9-5 type job because it sounds so restraining to me and the idea of entering a career field where I could work random shifts sounds like a lot of fun! I'm not looking to really work a lot until the kids are much older but even if I wanted to find some part time work, I could work opposite hours of John and never have to leave them with anyone else.

My plan is to start classes in the Fall. All of the paperwork is set and all I have to do is simply schedule my classes. I will be able to do almost all of my prerequisites online so most of my work will be done during nap time or after the kids go to bed. John also told me that one night a week he will send me to a coffee shop for some peace and quiet to get my work done. When I have to actually start attending nursing classes (because you can't do those online), the girls will be older and it won't be so hard to pull myself away for a few hours. I am NOT a student but I'm extremely excited to learn and push myself! I also have an amazingly supportive husband who is every bit as dedicated to my success as I am!

Some people have asked me why I feel the need to do this now, seeing as how I'm not really even looking for a career for this season of my life. In response, I always say that this is something that I will never, ever do unless I start somewhere. I don't want to be 40 and look back and wish that I had just had the courage to step out and take this leap. I'm motivated and I know that I CAN do it... But I could just as easily talk myself out of it. I'm also excited to think about having a way to earn a great income when the girls are older.. This is a career that can help us save for retirement, help with the girls' college and weddings and allow us to bless them more.

I am so excited for the days ahead!! I'm eager to see what classes I'll be taking this semester, even though I know they'll be a lot of work. I can't wait!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Great Outdoors

All of my girls love to be outside.. I think they would rather run around in the yard or go to the park than do just about anything else. But Bailey takes it to the next level.. She loves to be outside so much that she stares out the windows or front door and screams when we're inside and if you dare run out to take the trash out or whatever, she flips out and throws herself on the ground. It's comical, actually.

The problem with the girls' love for the outdoors is that it's so draining for me right now. Bailey literally goes out the front door and runs down the sidewalk at record pace. She also has an infatuation with the road and that obviously scares me to death! It seems like she is about to kill herself at every turn and if you combine that with Brooke learning how to ride a bike without training wheels (and needing me every second) to Adrienne's many requests, it seems impossible! When John isn't home, I've been letting them just run around out back where we have a water table, sandbox, trampoline (And a surprise wooden swing set will be joining the mix in about a week!!!) and saving the bikes and stuff for when John get home.. But I just feel bad, like I'm not doing enough for them. Pretty soon we'll be opening up our pool and that will also be another almost-impossible-activity to do on my own.

I try to soak up the gorgeous sunshine and beautiful weather when I can because living in New York, the warm weather doesn't seem to last very long. It's just more of a sacrifice of my energy and sanity to keep the girls safe. We try to eat on the deck for as many meals as humanly possible and even that can turn chaotic pretty quick! Lol. Let's face it, it really is A LOT easier to stay inside- Nobody has to be lathered up with sunscreen and the chances of someone getting hurt are much slimmer.

I keep reminding myself that before long, they'll be grown and these "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" will be more lazy than crazy and somehow I'll miss that! That's what they keep telling me, anyways!! :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


My week is dragging and I keep trying to enjoy these days, even though they have been long ones. It's a busy time of year for our family... This is when overtime shifts are abundant (the state funds additional DWI patrol in the summer months) so this is when John makes a bunch of extra money. I love him for it and appreciate the way he sacrifices but sometimes the long hours wear on me.

I have been alone every single night since Saturday night, with the exception of last night because John was off. He worked straight through his other day off, which should have been Tuesday. I went to my parent's house for dinner on Monday and it was a nice little break, but other than that, I have not had any dinner invitations or anything else to occupy our time. I'm fine all day long but once dinner time and bedtime hit, I kind of get lonely.

I'm proud of myself, though, because when John used to work evenings I would HAVE to do something, go somewhere or have someone over in order to fill the time. I just love people and when I go so many hours without anyone to talk to (that isn't a child), it weighs on me. It's nothing personal against the girls or anything... They're my world! It just is a lot to be the only person caring for all of them. Let's just say that I sleep well at night!

Thankfully, John will get out at 3 on Sunday and he wont' have any shifts until Wednesday morning. I can't wait! I'm sure there will be more overtime coming down the pike but it's definitely worth it to be able to stay home with my babies. I'm trying to focus on the positives because even during a challenging week, life is still wonderful!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Farewell, Day Shift:-(

After nearly 2 months of John being on the glorious day shift, he found out yesterday that he'll be going back to nights on June 1st:-( So this amazing, "normal"  life that we've been living will soon be ending. I do suppose that you sign up for the crazy hours when you marry a cop, though...

The night shift isn't the worst shift, to be fair. For us, the evening shift is the absolute worse because we have very limited family time. My biggest problem with this whole schedule change is that it took John about 2-3 weeks to adjust to sleeping at nights and now that he's feeling pretty decent, he'll have to make the big change yet again. It's going to be yet another adjustment period in such a short amount of time.

I have also grown accustomed to random phone calls/texts from my husband throughout the day just to tell me he loves me and it's been equally as nice to be able to call him with questions, frustrations or just because. When he works nights, I obviously try not to wake him at all costs so when he wakes up for the day, I'm filled with a million thoughts, stories, questions, etc.. It's a totally different dynamic. We've also been eating lunch together a lot and of course that won't be happening anymore either.

The whole situation stinks. The guy who out-bid him only has like 2 days worth of seniority over John... They were hired in the same week as each other. It's nothing personal against him and I know that that's how the rules work but it still frustrates the heck out of me. I almost wonder if all this adjustment would even be worth it again in the future and if John should eternally stay on nights until there's absolutely nobody who can bump him off? I don't know...

I'm not looking forward to spending nights alone, having to keep the house quiet during the day or being alone at night while John naps before his shift. There are so many little things that I'm dreading. But, I guess I need to look at the overall picture here... My husband has a great job (despite the weird hours) and he provides well for us. I'm so blessed- far beyond what I deserve- and it could always be worse! I'm sure there are many people out there that would trade their real hardships with this silly one in my life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kindergarten Screening

Wow! Today was a big day for my oldest daughter. She had her kindergarten screening and I'm wondering how she's already old enough for all of this. Where has my baby gone??

I watched the teachers ask her questions and work with her and I found myself feeling a little emotional over her growth and how big she's gotten. She scored in the 98th percentile overall and the teachers were very impressed with her knowledge and abilities.. They have to say that to me though, right?? Regardless, it made me very happy to see her excelling and doing so well.

My Brooke has been growing my leaps and bounds... She's started to read small words already. The other day John had some paper work out for work and Brooke read "traffic stops." I could hardly believe my ears! She has been sounding out words really well and she also knows how to spell small words and write them down. She's also been doing simple math like adding and subtracting. I am amazed at how quickly she's gone from not even being able to properly identify all of the letters and numbers to doing all that she can now.

I am so excited for the days ahead... I have so enjoyed watching her explore a new world of reading and writing. Just the other day she came up to me all excited and she had written "Brooke is a cat" on her paper. Haha. It definitely put a smile on my face. I sure do love that biggest girl of mine:) 5 is such a fun age!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Worry.. I'm Still Alive!

I've said it before but being the mother of 3 have left me very little time for blogging. There have been so many little things that I could have posted about but at the end of the day, I'm fried. So, to get myself caught up, here's the latest:

*Brookie recently started playing T-Ball! One of our friends is coaching her team and somehow John ended up co-coaching with him. Our friends have a little boy her age and she secretly adores him and loves being on his team. It's cute though and she really seems to enjoy it. She's actually pretty athletic, which shocks me, considering my athletic ability and all. She looks super cute in her pink helmet and she's the tiniest member of her team, though she's not the youngest. My little girl is a peanut!

*Adrienne has us cracking up one minute and pulling our hair out the next. She's got quite the strong will and heaven help you if she doesn't want to do what you're asking her to. On the other side of the coin, though, she can be absolutely hilarious, sensitive and affectionate... Just you have to catch her on the right day. Lol. Oh yes, and she would like for us to call her "Dr. Rachel" now. I'm not really sure where she's comes up with these things!

*Bailey has us on our feet from sun up to sun down. She basically runs everywhere, climbs everything, and yields to nobody. Trying to contain that girl is like trying to contain a tornado! She keeps us super busy but laughing through it all. My older girls were always kind of reserved like their daddy but Miss Bailey has my personality and has never met a stranger. She is afraid of nobody and she loves to flirt and smile and random admirers. Her favorite word is "ugh oh" and she walks around throwing things all day long just she can use it appropriately. She's been wearing her eye patches for an hour a day and she handles it really well. It makes her mad at first but after the first few minute she gets over it and forgets about the patch even being there. On my last post (which will be 2 weeks from tomorrow) I mentioned that she had been running a low grade fever. I took her to the doctor where they found absolutely nothing wrong with her. She's continued to have an elevated temperature ever since (about 100.3-100.8) so today she had blood work drawn. I'm a little anxious to get the results and make sure she's okay..

*Last weekend we took a quick trip to Philadelphia with some friends. We drove down, went to the mall, had dinner, stayed overnight and then woke up, went to the zoo and came home. The girls enjoyed it (along with our friends' three boys) and the weather was gorgeous.. A sunny 80 degree day with a light breeze. Bailey, of course, wanted to walk everywhere, which made things a little crazy, but it was fun watching her explore the world. We didn't catch many pictures because of the chaos, though!

*We are still loving that John is on the day shift! We meet out at a restaurant for lunch probably once a week and on the other days he's usually able to come home. After him working nights for so long it's still weird that I can call/text him throughout the day. They're doing shift bids again for June and we're not sure if he'll get bumped back to nights but we're really enjoying the luxury of days while we have it!

I think that about sums it up! Phew.. I always feel so much better when I'm updated. I don't think  that I've gone this long between posts since I started blogging over 5 years ago. Here's to more frequent updates in the future!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Bailey's pediatrician had some concerns about her vision because she has been squinting so I took her to a special eye doctor today. I had noticed her squinting but I really, in my heart of hearts, thought that we were just being "safe" by taking her to the eye doctor. I never thought they would find anything.

The doctor ran a few tests on her and said that her right eye was straying off and that she would most likely need glasses. Then, he dilated her pupils and got a better look. From that exam he determined that her eyes actually see fine when they're functioning properly ... But she has a lovely condition called "Stabismus," which means that her eyes don't focus well, causing her to have double vision at times. Poor little baby!

So for the next 6 weeks we will be doing patch therapy, which means that we'll cover one eye with a patch for an hour a day (rotating back and forth between the 2 eyes). Doesn't that sound like a blast? Actually, it sounds impossible, if you ask me! After 6 weeks we'll go back and have another exam. There's a chance that she'll need glasses or surgery... Or there's even a chance that things will resolve themselves by using these patches alone. That's what I'm hoping and praying for!

I just feel so bad for my precious girl. First the ear issues that won't go away.. In fact, she's running a low grade temperature and that's usually how a new infection starts. See what I mean???!?! And now this. On top of doctor's visits to the ENT we can how throw the eye doctor right on in there. I realize it could be a lot worse and that she is a relatively healthy child but it just seems like the poor kid can't catch a break. :-(

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Break = Heaven!

Brooke has been out of school for an entire week now. I hated school growing up.... More than you can ever even begin to imagine. I find myself feeling that same type of dread and sadness about her going back to school o Monday as I did for myself when I was in school.

This week I have loved having no real agenda. There has been no alarm clocks or rushing out the door to first drop her off and later pick her up.  I also love having my perky little girl at the breakfast table... She gets everyone's breakfast out each morning and sets it on the counter. It's been extra lounging in our pajamas for half the morning and not finding any real need to hurry up and get dressed. These are the things that I have missed the most having her in school this year... The simple, little things.

I find myself longing for summer break to get here. However, with summer break coming, that means that the dreaded "K" word will be soon approaching. Ah yes, kindergarten... Where could I even begin to express the way my heart feels torn in 2 at the very word alone? I have this precious girl who loves school and beams with excitement whenever we talk about kindergarten. Then you have me who is terrified, saddened and just plain NOT ready to give her up for that many hours a day. Having her gone for 2.5 hours every morning has been hard enough this year and I can't even imagine next year. I am thankful that God will give me the strength because his growing up stuff is simply not something that I can manage on my own!

It seems like just yesterday that my oldest daughter was coming home from the hospital. The thought of having a school-aged-child seemed almost laughable to me at the time. Because after all, I signed up to have a baby... Not a full blown child! Lol. Looking back, I never really pictured her as anything BUT a baby and I was truly not prepared for her to blossom so quickly into a toddler, then a preschooler, then a little girl. I'm pretty sure she'll be a teenager before I even know what hits me. If only I had listened more attentively to the wise older people that warned me about how fast the time flies!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bailey's One-Year Stats

Miss Bailey went to the doctor today for her check-up and she weighed in at 20 pounds, 10 ounces and she was 28 inches long... Landing her in the 50th percentile for both categories. When I get a few minutes I'll have to search back and look at how she compares to her sisters. I know they weighed pretty close to that at a year.

Her ears were clear today, which I was thankful for! However, I wasn't all that surprised or excited because she's been on a high dose of antibiotic for the last week, along with ear drops twice a day. Nonetheless, she's not in pain so I'm happy about it.

I am a bit discouraged, however, because now the doctor wants her to go see an eye specialist. She squints out of her right eye when she's trying to focus. The doctor wants us to go have it checked out to make sure that her eyesight isn't impaired. Goodness gracious. Does it ever end with this poor littlest girl of mine?

On an unrelated note, I have been having incredible, horrible pain while nursing Bailey for the past 3 days or so... So much to the point that I get tears in my eyes whenever she eats. It's been awful. I went to the doctor today, after feeling a million times worse overnight and as it turns out, I have mastitis. I was running a fever of 101 and had no idea and other than the horrible pain, I really haven't felt THAT awful... I've just had a perpetual headache and have been extremely, extremely exhausted. Now we know why! The doctor says that the antibiotics should fix me in a couple of days... In the mean time it's going to be rough. Yikes! Bailey is absolutely worth it, though, and I would do anything to be able to nurse her for as long as she wants to go.

So that's the latest around here! Now that John works days (YAY!!), I don't have loads of free time in the evening to blog... And trust me, I'm NOT complaining:-) I love that man so much!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Another "Ear-y" Post

I am at the end of my rope with Bailey's ears. She has only had tubes in her ears for two months and she now has her third infection since. I really and truly thought that the tubes would fix everything, once and for all. Boy was I wrong:-(

When I went to get Bailey out of bed on Thursday morning I noticed that there was blood on her face. I looked and saw it on the sheets, too, and I at first I didn't realize where it was coming from. I quickly noticed that it was coming from her right ear so I called her ENT and got her in later that morning. The doctor looked in her ears and then determined that he had to clean them before he could even see in them because they were filled with so much garbage. After the horrible process of spraying them down and Bailey flipping out, he finally got a good enough look. Sure enough, they were severely infected, yet again. He said that perhaps these infections are one big infection that we just aren't getting rid of each time. So now we're on a two week course of Bactrim, that is giving the poor baby awful tummy troubles, and yet another month worth of ear drops, which are obviously a pain. We go back next week and if the ears aren't looking better they want to do a culture and determine what exactly this pesky bacteria is so they can figure out a different treatment plan.

The doctor also mentioned a frustrating possibility... Maybe her body is rejecting the tubes? It's not common but sometimes the body will won't accept the tubes and it treats them like an allergy and tries to flush them out. In that case, they would need to be removed and that would leave us where, exactly? GRRRR!!! I'm hoping and praying that these medications do the trick.

I was expecting to see improvement today after being on the different medicines but now her left ear is bleeding, too. I hope that tomorrow is a different story because this is just awful for her. I can only imagine how uncomfortable she must be:-(

I realize that this a small, fixable problem and that this is by no means a life threatening issue. I'm not trying to over-dramatize this or make mountains out of molehills here, but seriously, this has been going on for like 8 months now. Enough is enough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Bailey!!

My dear, sweet Bailey,

It's hard to believe that a year ago from today I was recovering from your birth in one hospital while you were struggling and sick in another. Daddy would go visit you and send me pictures and I would sit there staring at them with tears in my eyes. I had only briefly met you before they whisked you away and I was longing to have you on my chest where you belonged. I wondered if you would even feel connected or attached to me when we were reunited because we were apart for those long couple of days. I feared that the nurses in the NICU would take my place but everyone kept reassuring me that I was still your mommy and I did carry you in my belly for 9 whole months!

As soon as I was well enough to leave the hospital, daddy rushed me to go see you! When I picked you up for the first time, you instantly nestled in my arms and soon nursed like a champ. I changed your diaper, which made you fussy, and I knew how to comfort you and settle you down. It was like no time had passed and you and I had always been together. I automatically realized that no nurse or grandparent or anyone in the universe could ever have the same type of bond with you that I can have.

Through the past year, you have become my biggest "mama's girl" ever. When I'm in plain sight, you want me and only me. You adore your daddy too, of course, but nothing seems to make you feel quite as happy as when you're in my arms. On the rare occasion that I leave or run a quick errand to the store by myself, you try to follow me out the door and cry when I shut it! When I come back you always rush to see me with that big grin of yours and I love to watch you light up.

I have loved watching you grow this year, Baby! You have gone from that tiny baby to a crazy little girl who is into absolutely everything. You love to get into my kitchen cabinets, remove all the contents of my diaper bag (when I forget to zip it up), and make lots of messes. Your favorite place to explore is the refrigerator and you're never very happy with me when I close it up! You've already been walking for about 2 months and you're so fast that sometimes I have to run to catch you. I think you're just busy trying to keep up with those big sisters of yours!

You have also learned a bunch of new words. You like to hide your eyes with your hands and say "boo!" You laugh every time and in the process, you show off your 6 brand-spanking-new teeth. You've also learned to say "ball," "bye," and "all done." I love hearing your little giggles and babbles and I can't wait for the day that you and I can actually carry on a conversation.

There is not a day that has gone by where I haven't admired your beauty. You have the most beautiful curly hair and your eyes are so vividly blue. You would not believe the compliments I get when I'm out and about with you! I stare at you in amazement and I simply cannot believe that you're mine! I am so blessed to be your mommy and try each and every day to be the very best that I can be for you, Princess. You were that final missing puzzle piece to our family and now that you're here, we're complete. You play such a special role in our family and Daddy and I are so thankful that God entrusted you into our care.

Your first year of life has been challenging at times, but more than anything, it's been extremely rewarding and full of joy. I can't wait for the years to come and all of the things that I'll have the privilege of teaching you as your mother. Happy Birthday, Miss Bailey! I love you more than you could ever even begin to imagine.

With all my heart,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crock Pot Magic

I know that my blog isn't a recipe blog, per say, but I am so excited about my latest concoction so I have to share it.. Chicken Enchilada Soup. I have served it to many people who all agree that it's amazing.. Either that, or they're just flat out lying:-) But my girls, who do NOT lie, absolutely love it! To top it off, it's super healthy. The ingredients are mostly pantry staples that I threw into a crock pot one night out of desperation for a quick lunch the next day. What more could you want?? So, without further ado, here's my recipe:


2 generously sized pieces of chicken (thighs or split breasts)
1 can of chili beans
1 can of enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso mild)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 an onion (I prefer red but anything will work)
1 lime
1 can of diced tomatoes
Garlic Salt
1 tbs of tomato paste
One box of chicken broth (or 2 cans)
2 chicken bouillon cubes


- Remove the skin off of the chicken (Otherwise, your soup will be greasy). Place the chicken in the crock pot and cover with the chicken broth, about a cup of water, the bouillon cubes, diced tomatoes and enchilada sauce.

- Drain the beans and throw them in,

- Mince the garlic and onions and then add them.. There's no need to even cook them first.

- Squeeze the juice of a lime in (watch out for seeds!).

- Add the tomato paste, a sprinkle of cumin and garlic salt.

- Mix everything together really well.

- Turn your crock pot on high and walk away.

- After it cooks (I let mine go overnight but I bet 3 hours or so would be adequate), remove the chicken, shred it and throw it back in.

No joke, it takes 5 minutes to throw together and it's amazing! We top ours with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and avocado.  It's delicious!

Let me know if you try it! I would love to hear if you like it or not:-) Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What A Year!

Today is what I like to call Bailey's "should-be-birthday."  If you remember, I had a scheduled C-Section with her that was postponed at the last minute due to the hospital being full. Instead of having a March 25th baby, I had her on March 27th. At the time, it sure was the end of the world. I was a wreck!

Little did I know on this day last year, but that little setback was pretty much the way the rest of the year would go. For starters, my delivery with Bailey was a little tumultuous (constant vomiting, excessive blood loss, issues with scar tissue) and to make matters worse, she was taken from me and sent to a NICU in a hospital 30 miles away. It was definitely not the joyous birth that I had so desperately longed for. In fact, if I think about it, tears still feel my eyes.

After the hospital and birthing challenges were behind us, I was happy to have my girl home and move on with the rest of our lives. I quickly realized that she would sleep absolutely nowhere but in my arms. We tried the swing, several different bouncers, her crib, the couch, a Pack 'N Play, etc.. If you name it, we tried it. We also quickly learned that she had reflux when she started vomiting like crazy. She would seriously soak me with vomit with absolutely no notice. It made life that much more work. In fact, she had so many issues with throwing up that she was hospitalized at 3 weeks of age because the doctor feared she was dehydrated. That was yet another ordeal.

There have also been the constant, never-ending ear infections. For many, many months we battled pesky ear infections that weren't even touched by antibiotics. After getting her tubes in on January 27, we have seen marked improvement. She stills gets infections but the fluid drains out so she's not in as much pain, thankfully.

All of these challenges aside, Bailey is simply a high needs baby. Healthy, sick, rested, not rested.. It doesn't matter- She requires constant attention and if she doesn't get it, she is a disaster. This means that if I put her down to go the bathroom, she flips out. Dinnertime is still precarious, as well, and it's quite a daunting task to feed everyone because of Bailey's demands. We've had many issues with sleeping (that are thankfully completely resolved, finally) and nap time is still somewhat of a joke.. I'm lucky if she sleeps for an hour. Oh yes, and then there's the constant, non-stop nursing. Anytime she gets her feelings hurt or she falls down, she has to nurse. Otherwise, she's inconsolable. I think she still nurses a million times a day! Lol. Because of all of this, life really seems like one enormous balancing act.

I have been too proud to really post about the emotions and challenges of having such a demanding baby... Mostly because I don't want people to think I'm complaining. That is not at all my intent in writing this and I wouldn't give my precious girl back for anything in the universe. In the midst of a rough day, her smile and goofy personality is all it takes to make it worth it. Her life has absolutely been a whirlwind and things have been (and still are!) a little crazy but I'm confident that it can only get easier from here on out!