Monday, May 31, 2010

Day One of Homeschooling

Today was our first day of Homeschooling.  It went really well, and went much quicker than I originally expected.  Except for a few minor melt downs we had absolutely no issues either.  We started with independent journaling.  Writing and journaling are skills we are really trying to instill in Anthony, and so far he really seems to enjoy it.  For Anastasia we got her a sketch pad and she draws pictures during journaling time.  After breakfast (a nice primal breakfast of eggs and steak!) we moved onto Language Arts.  Anastasia seemed really disinterested in sitting still today so I concentrated on Anthony most of the time.  We began reading, "Stuart Little" today, and Anthony read aloud the first chapter.  He did amazingly well and only needed help on 2 or 3 words.  Afterwards I quizzed him a bit on comprehension and surprisingly he retained all he had read.  He then composed a short paragraph about the first chapter in his book log notebook.
He only misspelled a few words, which we then added to his spelling list notebook as a start for this weeks spelling list.

After Language Arts we had health.  The first unit study is about our bodies so we decided we wanted to measure everyones height, weight, hands and feet.  The kids weights really surprised me!  Anthony is now 38.5 lbs! Anastasia is 28.5 lbs (which is amazing, she's been 23 lbs forever).  David is now 19.5 lbs, so still not quite big enough to turn his car seat around but growing.  Our chunky baby, the only child of ours who has ever had baby fat and rolls, is now 10 lbs!  We figure he'll get super heavy and then stop growing like Anthony did.  I must be making cream this time instead of skim milk!

After Health we had music.  I originally wanted to start with the recorder but I haven't purchased them yet, so we are learning about composers instead.  Today we learned about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and will continue to study him for the rest of the week.  This is where our major melt down happened.  After reading a short biography on him I gave Anastasia a coloring page of his face, and Anthony received a word search to complete.  Anthony didn't want the wordsearch, he wanted to color.  Out of 9 words he only found one without help, and 2 with help, before he gave up. Will keep in mind he does not like word searches, but I will still give them to him because I do think they teach valuable skills.

After Health it was time for Spanish, which is computer based.  Anthony wasn't feeling it today and didn't really try, resulting in only getting half correct.  So we will be repeating lesson one for a while.

Next was Science, one of the subjects I'm the most excited about this year.  Today was a really easy day for Science, basically an intro into this years subject and some journaling in his Science Journal followed by adding Vocabulary into his Vocabulary Journal.  Tomorrow we start our first lab using thermometers to show how certain objects conduct heat!

Then we had Social Studies where we just introduced our current unit - Geography.  We learned basic definitions for Latitude and Longitude, identified the on a world map, learned how to read coordinates, and discussed the equator.  I guess he learned a lot of this already by reading one of his encyclopedias, so we flew through this quicker than I thought.

Finally we had Math.  I showed him how to do the word problems, and gave him two sheets to complete.  He flew through them very quickly and got every question correct! I was so proud.

So far things are going smoothly, but today was pretty easy.  On days where Anastasia is more interested we'll be doing a lot of things with her as well which will make things a bit more complicated.  But so far, so good.

Here's Anthony working on his Language Arts journal.

Here's my homeschool shelf, and our dining room with the alphabet posters, and the "Mizzell Money" reward chart (more on that in another post)

And of course, pictures of the kids!  David playing with Charlie's playmat, he can't keep himself off! And David getting into the homeschooling supplies.

Anastasia dancing to her "Get Ready For School" CD
And some of Chunky Charlie Bear.  So cute, so sweet, looks like me, but has little baby rolls!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saw the Surgeon Again

I saw my surgeon again on Friday.  After reading the report from the rheum. he asked me if we wanted to set a date up for surgery.  My left wrist is the one that is bothering me the most, so we are fusing that wrist first.  Surgery is set for June 23rd.  I'll go in at 11 am, and the surgery is scheduled for 1 pm.  They booked the OR for 2 hours, and said I should be back in recovery with Chris and Charlie by 4 pm.  Right now we are fighting for the right to breastfeed after surgery.  I know Charlie will need a bottle while I'm in the surgery, which frightens me to no end, but the doctors are telling me they don't want me nursing for 24 hours after surgery.  That isn't going to happen.  All the literature shows that a nursing mom can nurse as soon as she is alert.  There is no danger to baby except the possibility of passing out and smothering the child - so it should never be done without supervision.  I tried to explain this to them, but they weren't listening and the scheduling nurse was very condescending.  I told her I'd contact my IBCLC if that would help, and she set me up with a liaison at the hospital where the surgery would be.  The hospital agreed to allow Chris and Charlie to room with me, so that was one hurdle that was cleared.  On Tuesday my IBCLC is contacting the hospital on my behalf and working it out with anesthesiologist, not only for me but to educate him for future surgeries on lactating women.  It will be quite a feat to nurse, but I will let nothing deter me.  For the first week after the surgery I can't move my arm at all, I can't even bend my fingers.  It will require a lot of discipline on my part, and I think I'll spend most of it in bed with Charlie.  For that week I'll be in a heavy gauze wrapping, and a half cast.  After one week I'll be put in a hard cast up to my elbow for 6 weeks, and then I will be put in a removable brace for 6 more weeks.  The fusion will be complete after 9-12 months at which point I'll have the metal bracing removed.  A few months after my left wrist is operated on we'll do the same to the right wrist. My IBCLC is coming out to teach me to nurse one armed, and bringing me a special pillow to assist me.  I really do love her.  She's been there since I had Anastasia.  She was shocked when she got the message that I needed help, she knew I didn't need latching or the normal type help.  I'm constantly keeping her on her feet!

Now that surgery is scheduled the reality of it is hitting me.  This just plain sucks.  My arm is going to look deformed and scarred up.  I will never move my wrist again.  I will have to relearn how to live and function. Three more weeks is all I have with mobility in my wrist and unscarred arms.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I have been dubbed, "The Mean Mommy!"

Anthony has hit this oh-so-wonderful stage.  If he wants something he promises to be mine or Chris's best friend in exchange.  When he doesn't get his way he yells, with his voice gradually getting louder, about how horribly mean we are.

Last night he wasn't behaving well at bedtime.  We let the kids stay up as late as they want, as long as they are in their bed and quiet.  Anthony uses this time to read, and he knows that he must have his books in his room PRIOR to bedtime.  Last night he kept coming out of his room to get more books, and the final time I told him he needed to get back in his room immediately or he was losing all of his books for the evening.  He ignored me, so I confiscated his books.  This resulted in a full on melt down with me being the evil person and him accusing me of breaking promises.  He said he made a promise to himself that he could read every night before bed, so by my taking his books I was breaking his promise.  I think his meltdown went on for nearly an hour.

Today, prior to lunch, he kept picking on David and Anastasia. So I sat him down to have a talk with him about stopping when someone asks him to stop teasing them.  The whole conversation he had this grin he gets on his face when he's being a smart butt, and he kept talking back so at the end of it I told him to go to his room and stay there until it was clean.  An hour later it wasn't clean, so I sat the other two down for lunch and told him he could eat his lunch when the room was clean.  Again, another hour of screaming about how he was going to die if he didn't eat right then, and how awful I am, and that it's MY fault he can't clean when I ask him to because of me asking him to (?).  Finally he decided to clean and was happy as a clam afterwards.

I really don't like this stage, at all.

Picture update

I promised pictures, so here are a few. I promise to get some more up soon.

Heres some of Charlie.  I love this little jacket!
And here is some of David.  He wanted to wear his sisters headband.  I love how big his eyes are, and how long and dark his lashes are.
Here is Anastasia.  It's not as easy to get pictures of the older two, they constantly ham it up.
And here is Anthony.  He lost his first tooth on Saturday!
Here's David and Anastasia walking down to see the puppies
And here is the newest addition to our family, coming home in 3 weeks!!  And his little litter mates.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quick Update

Juggling 4 kids and a household is proving to take up a lot of my time, who would have thunk it?  So while Charlie sleeps on me, I'll post a quick update - and then it's off to bed for me!

Charlie is doing really well.  He is such an easy going baby - knock on wood.  He has his cranky moments, but for the most part he sleeps or eats most of the day.  He prefers sleeping on me to sleeping anywhere else, and I'm perfectly okay with that.  I hate putting my babies down in the early months.  It's especially bad with Charlie because I know we are nearing an end on having kids, so it makes every moment even more precious.  We are definitely having at least 1 more, maybe 2 children but I am starting to feel closer to being content.  At Charlie's 2 week check up he weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz! Thats 1 lb 5.5 oz gain from birth!  I think for the first time I'm making cream instead of skim milk - and I credit my placenta capsules to that.

I have had a few moody, hormonal days but for the most part I feel pretty normal.  It may or may not be the placenta capsules, but whatever it is I'm happy - for now.  I was really worried about PPD with this pregnancy because I've battled depression for nearly a decade, and this pregnancy was pretty bad.  So far I'm doing well and I hope that keeps up.  I haven't been getting nearly enough sleep, which concerns me, but so far it's not completely messing my head up.

Chris and I have cheated a bit with the Primal diet, but I think we've figured out a decent balance, for now.  Grains are the worst food for me, especially, so we are trying to hardcore refrain from those.  I can tell when I eat grains how badly it is affecting me, within a few hours my entire body aches.  It makes me a bit angry that grains have been hailed as being so healthy, and the more I look into it the more I realize that this wasn't always believed to be true - it's just politics that make it appear to be true.  Maybe had I known I could have saved my wrists.  I can now feed myself with my right arm, wash my own hair, touch my face, touch the back of my head, ect... with my right arm.  All from eliminating grains.

We saw the surgeon again last week.  He is so impressed by the changes in my elbow that he no longer wants to do surgery on it - for now.  This is great news!  He still wants to go ahead with the fusion, however he wants me to meet with the rheumatologist to ensure that there is absolutely nothing else that can be done first.  I see him Thursday, and I see my surgeon again next Friday.  In the meantime he had custom made braces fitted for my hands to help the pain, and to simulate what a fusion will be like.

Anthony's last day of school is Thursday, and I couldn't be happier.  Every day I hear him tell me about the candy he was given and the movies he watched - it totally pisses me off.  We are both eager to begin homeschooling.  We are starting on the 31st - Chris and I are planning to switch to year round school and give days/weeks off where WE see fit. 

Our puppy, Jovi, is just over 4 weeks old now.  I can't wait to bring him home.  He is looking more like a Golden than a Huskie, and Chris is thrilled.  He wanted more Golden features.  He's so tiny still but he's looking more and more like a puppy.  It's absolutely amazing how quickly he's changed.

The next post, I promise, will contain some updated pictures of everyone.  Hopefully it won't be weeks before that happens.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Charlie's birth story

At my appointment on Tuesday I was 3 cm and 80% effaced, and again I was told I could go at any time.

On Thursday morning David woke me up at 5 am by climbing on top of me. I managed to get him back to sleep about 10 minutes later and right after he fell back asleep I had a pretty painful contraction across my back. It wasn't tightening up my stomach, but it was very painful. I figured it was a false contraction and tried to go back to sleep. Three minutes later I had another one. I told myself that if I had another one I would get up to see if they stopped. My contractions alway stop with movement. Three minutes later another one hit. Chris had slept on the couch because his snoring had been keeping me awake, and I was absolutely exhausted - so I walked out to the living room to tell him I thought I may be in labor for real. As soon as I began walking another contraction hit. I woke him up and told him and then went to run the bath to see if that stopped the contractions. The hot water felt really nice, but as soon as another contraction hit I knew this was real labor so I got out to warn Chris. I woke him up again and asked if he could make me breakfast - he looked at me like I was crazy. I really wanted to eat before we had to leave for the hospital - I thought for sure this would be a really long labor. As soon as I was done asking him another contraction hit that had me holding on to the back the couch and had me moaning pretty loud. That got Chris up! He began dashing around the house getting the kids up and told me that we were leaving NOW to take the kids to the babysitters and we were going to the hospital. At this point my contractions began stacking. They weren't tightening my tummy at all so I figured, again, that it was going to be a very long labor. We were both trying to reassure the kids that I was okay because it was becoming impossible for me to not moan through the contractions. As soon as we got in the car I called my mom to let her know we were on our way in and could barely get the words out of my mouth.

The contractions were so bad at this point that Chris ended up running a red light on the way to drop the kids off. The roads were completely empty, so it wasn't super dangerous even though it was completely illegal. As soon as we dropped the kids off he called the hospital to let them know we were on our way in. On the way to the hospital I thought I was going to deploy the airbag because I was bracing myself against it. I could literally feel myself dilate during some of the contractions. Chris ended up running another red light to get me there.

Chris parked right outside the ER and at first I told him I didn't want to walk so he was going to grab me a wheelchair, but then I had a sense of urgency and didn't want to wait on him. I told him to please go in and grab someone as I walking, I didn't want him to wait on me. As soon as the doors opened a nurse was there with a wheelchair. She had called me doctor to warn him I was coming in and he gave his nurses strict orders on how to "handle" me. She ran me upstairs while Chris was getting me registered. She told me that Dr. Schropp had strict marching orders that I was to be processed as quickly as possible, and that the IV was the most important thing to get in me so I could get pain meds in time. He is quite familiar with my quick deliveries. We got to the room and there were two more nurses waiting to help me undress and put the gown on, and another nurse who immediately began prepping my arm for an IV. They checked me and told me they weren't sure I'd get the epidural in time, as I was already 7-8 cms, and I changed to 8-9 as they were checking me. I think I started crying at this time, I did NOT want to go natural again.

Dr. Schropp arrived around then and I told him what they said and he said that he had already called the anesthesiologist who was on his way, and we just needed to get the IV fluids in. Chris came up at this time and as I was talking to him I looked down at my arm and it was twice the size as normal. I commented to the nurse and she replied that my vein had blown. Chris later told me the doctor looked really angry and told her she needed to get the line back in immediately. I started burning up at this point and retching, which made me very thankful that I didn't have breakfast. The cool cloths were amazing on my face. I asked if I could have Stadol while I waited for the epidural, and at first I was told no because the IV had not run through but then Dr. Schropp approved it. Wonderful stuff. The contractions were just as painful, but all of a sudden they were so much more mentally manageable. Somewhere in here I was told that the anesthesiologist had just arrived in the parking garage and was running as fast as he could. The nurses already had all of his stuff out and prepped for him so as soon as he got in the room they sat me up and had me round my back. He told me that he'd go as fast as he could but that some patients don't like when he goes fast. I told him that I wouldn't complain! About 4 minutes later he was done, and the doctor checked me and I was completely dilated. The pain of the contractions were gone, and since they were never tightening my stomach I didn't feel them at all. All of a sudden I felt a burning searing pain though and Charlie was descending. We just let the contractions naturally bring him down until the burning got to be too much. The doctor gave me a local shot to try to help the burning pain but it didn't take in time. I nearly lost it with the burn - it felt like I had no pain meds at all - but a few minutes later Charlies head was out and the pain disappeared. His cord wasn't wrapped around his neck, but it was all bunched up by his face. Even with Stadol, an epidural, and a local my pain wasn't completely gone. I could feel every stitch as I was sewn back up. Charlie was born at 8 am exactly, weighing 6 lbs 5.5 oz and was 19.5 inches. He was born a mere three hours after my son David woke me up. It was so scary how quickly everything happened. My doctor has suggested that if we decide for another that for my health and the babies health that we schedule an amnio and an induction at 37 weeks to ensure we get to the hospital in time. Charlie had issues breathing because he came down too quickly. The doctor also told me that the pain is more intense because they come down so quickly their heads don't mold and instead stay perfectly round making MY body have to mold instead. Charlie has a bruise on the top of his head from hitting my pelvic bone. I definitely want more kids, but I'm not sure I can go through another scary delivery.

*** My doctor is a saint too, the IV still hadn't completely emptied by the time Charlie was born, but he still gave me pain meds!