Hurry up and wait

Thanksgiving is over and I am SO ready to decorate for Christmas! But we’re not going to decorate the apartment, because we’ll be moving out of it just a few days before Christmas. Technically our lease here isn’t up until the end of January but I’m packing things up here, not getting them out. Plus I don’t want to drag out the move, so even though we could spend Christmas here if we wanted, I’d much rather spend it in our new house. So I’ll wait.

I’m in a weird sort of waiting place with packing too. I’ve packed up almost everything that we’re not using on a daily basis, and I can’t pack the other stuff yet, because HEY! Using it on a daily basis. I did finish sorting through the kids toys today looking for stuff to get rid of. I feel like the kids have too much stuff, but they play with everything they have, so what do I get rid of? Is this just life with 4 kids? I don’t know.


There are always so, SO many things I’m thankful for. I could list 100 things and not even be close to done. But this year there’s something extra big to be thankful for.

We bought a house!


We’re moving in a few weeks.


Fun times with kidney stones

This is the story of how I ended up in the hospital last week. FYI it gets a little graphic if you’re squeamish. (Really not very much though.) Also, kind of long. Apparently I get wordy when I’m complaining. 

Sunday night I was watching TV and about 10 pm when I was getting ready to go to bed I thought, “Man, I don’t feel great.” I felt a little nauseated and my back was achy. But I figured I’d go to bed and be fine. I mean, I’m very pregnant. There are a lot of days I don’t feel great. However, by the time I walked up the stairs to our bedroom I was feeling alternately hot and cold, I was shaky, very nauseated, and my back was killing me. After I’d been sitting on the bathroom floor for about 20 minutes wondering when I’d finally throw up, Brian came to check on me. When he asked if I was okay I said, “I think it’s kidney stones.” (I don’t think I ever wrote about it here in detail, but I had kidney stones when I was pregnant with Kalena. Never anything that sent me to the ER, but I recognized all the symptoms this time around.) Some more sitting on the bathroom floor and I finally felt okay enough to get into bed. That was short lived however. Back in the bathroom 30 min or so later, this time actually puking and in significantly more pain. (When I had kidney stones with Kalena every episode like that brought at least some relief. Not the case this time.) By the second round I was crying out it was so painful to move, and after round 3 I told Brian, “I think I need to go to the ER.” You know what’s really fun when you’re new in town and know basically nobody and have 3 small kids? A midnight trip to the ER!

Brian helped me into some clothes and then out to the car and then he brought the kids out one by one. They were, fortunately, quite chipper and good sports about the whole thing. We went to the closest ER which was blessedly empty. I told the lady at admittance that it was kidney stones and of course she asked how far along I am and then called labor and delivery to ask if they wanted me up there. And of course yes, because 33 weeks pregnant means they want to check on the baby in addition to anything else. Admittance lady told me she’d take me upstairs and then asked if I was sure it wasn’t contractions. I just said, “This is my fourth.” She laughed and said, “Oh, okay! You know what you’re doing.” And then Brian walked in with the kids from parking the car.

L&D was also wonderfully empty so they got me into a bed right away. I answered questions while they tried to start an IV (I warned them that the inner elbow on my right arm was probably the only place but they tried a couple others anyway. I was right.) I got to do some more puking at this point, in case there was any question about my pain levels. Just before that some other nice nurses showed Brian and the kids where the snack station was and the kids had a midnight snack. Ice cream for Kalena, graham crackers and juice for Will. They were pretty pleased about this turn of events. (Bonus of L&D over the ER I guess!) As soon as I had an IV they gave me morphine. I believe that was around 1 am. Brian asked the nurses how long things might take and when they had no time frame I told him to go home. He said the kids went right back to bed when they got here (they were so well behaved through everything. SO fortunate.) The first dose of morphine didn’t do much for my pain. It DID make me super sleepy though, so I managed to doze on and off anyway. They gave me a second dose around 2 (I think?) and then set me up with a continuous drip. (And a button I could push every 8 minutes for extra. Gladly I never had to use that.) Finally comfortable and waiting on lab results I slept for a couple hours. By 4 am I had passed the stone. I’m REALLY hoping there’s just the one. I had at least 3 with Kalena.

By 5 am lab results were back (bladder infection. No surprise there.) and I was feeling fine. In fact, at that point I asked the nurse if I could go home. See, there was a big HUGE issue at this point. It was 5 am Monday morning. Monday the 13, Brian’s FIRST DAY at work. At the job we MOVED HERE FOR. And he needed to leave by 6:30 to make sure he had enough time to get there. (Training the first couple days was not at the building he’ll normally be working at, which is much closer to our house.) Now, obviously we knew this was going to be an issue when he left me at the hospital at 1 am. But we still weren’t sure what exactly we were going to do about it. I actually felt super guilty about the fact that I was laying in a hospital bed and he was going to have to figure out what to do with the kids so he could go to work. My only contribution was to say, as he was walking out of the hospital, “Call (name.) She left me a notecard with her number. It’s on the kitchen table.” See, we called our church out here before we moved out and several guys came out and helped us move in. I knew at least one of them had left phone numbers for himself and his wife with instructions to call if we needed anything. In addition, another of the wives had stopped by during the week. She wanted to meet me and introduce herself, and she brought cookies and left me a card with all her info. (We had a really nice chat while Will and her youngest daughter played.) She also instructed me to call if I needed anything, and that’s who I told Brian to call. Anyway, back to me in the hospital. The nurse informed me that no, I couldn’t leave until I’d actually been seen by the doctor who wouldn’t be in until 7 or 8.

I knew I needed to call Brian and get him up to date but guess what?! I didn’t have my cell phone! (Or my wallet or anything. At midnight all I could think was- get me to the hospital.) And because we still have Colorado phone numbers, Brian is long distance so I couldn’t call from the hospital room phone! Fortunately my lovely nurse loaned me a cell phone so I could talk to him. I was worried about what we were going to do with the kids- worried that nobody would answer a phone call from an unknown number so early in the morning, worried that bringing them to my hospital room might be the only option (and THEN WHAT? I’d have no way home and no way to deal with Daniel who would be in to everything.) But by the time I talked to Brian (around 5:45 am) he had everything taken care of. He had called both the families who had left phone numbers and although neither had answered the first time both called back within a few minutes. My friend who I’d instructed him to call happily took all 3 kids, at the crack of dawn, with no idea of when we’d be picking them up. And the second family he’d called, when they heard someone else was taking the kids offered to bring dinner over since, again, we had no idea how long I’d be in the hospital. The relief I felt was overwhelming. To have people who had met us once or twice willingly step in and help us out was incredible. 

With the kids taken care of and the doctor not in for a few hours I went back to sleep. Glorious sleep. Of course, it was hospital sleep so alarms went off every 20 minutes or so, but eh. You take what you can get. The doctor came in around 8, discussed lab results briefly, prescribed me some antibiotics and some vicodin (with tylenol instead of ibuprofen. So weird to me that I can have narcotics while I’m pregnant but ibuprofen is still a big no-no.) in case of another stone. FINGERS CROSSED I DON’T NEED IT. Then she insisted on getting a better monitor strip on the baby. They’d been monitoring contractions (none) and the baby’s heart rate the whole time, but when the new nurse (there was a shift change in there) knew we were just waiting on the doctor she’d been nice enough to let me sleep instead of adjusting when it started picking up my heart rate instead of the baby’s. Anyway, the doctor wanted to see some good reactivity before she let me go. Plus the nurse wanted to make sure I’d been off the morphine for a while before I drove anywhere. IV out, another quick half hour of monitoring and I was all set. (Baby was fine.)

At this point I had to call a cab because I had no car at the hospital. My sweet nurse told me if there was anyone extra on shift she would have had someone drive me home. Anyway, took a cab home (where I let myself in with the key Brian had left for me so I could get my wallet and pay) then changed clothes and went to pick up the kids. It was about 9:30 am. My friend was very sweet about the whole thing. She even made us a pasta bake to take home for dinner! I mean, COME ON. Let me just take your kids at 6 am on a moment’s notice for who knows how long and then when you pick them up I’ll have dinner for you! (Our other friends also brought a dinner over later, so I didn’t have to cook for 2 days.) The rest of the day actually ended up being pretty normal. I took one of the vicodin for residual pain that evening, after all the effects of the morphine had worn off, but other than that I’ve felt fine.

Now I’m just making sure to drink a ton of water every day. I feel normal, just hyper aware of any pain in my back. I’m a little paranoid that I’ll have more stones since I did with Kalena, but I’m holding out hope that it was just the one. Anyway, there you have it. The whole fun story.

The first two weeks

Well, we’ve lived here for two weeks now. (Okay, almost 3. But it was 2 when I first started writing this. And all this stuff happened in the first 2 weeks.) So far, we’ve dealt with the following:

Frozen pipes. (Nothing broke, fortunately)

Daniel got croup and we had to find a pediatric urgent care since we don’t have a pediatrician. He got an oral steroid since Down syndrome generally means smaller airways and complications are more likely. Fortunately none of this was too expensive since, HA! No insurance until Brian’s first day at work. 

Kalena flushed half a roll of toilet paper, causing the toilet to overflow, something we did not discover until HOURS later when Brian noticed that the ceiling under that bathroom was wet. FUN. (How we made it 5 1/2 years without having a kid overflow a toilet is beyond me.)

I had kidney stones! And spent the morning of Brian’s first day at work in labor & delivery! (Don’t worry. I’m giving this one its own post.)

I went to pick up Kalena from school, got her in the car and then it wouldn’t start! Had to take a taxi with all 3 kids and no car seats to get home. Brian managed to get it started and we got it home later that night. Seemed fine. Turned it off and started it again multiple times.

Next day, went to take Kalena to school and HA! Car won’t start. Decided the battery was to blame (despite it not seeming like any dead battery I’ve ever had. And a flashing “No Fuse” warning.) Replaced the battery and so far so good. I mean, the airbag warning light won’t turn off, but at this point WHATEVER.

At this point I feel a little bit like Kuzco in this scene of The Emperor’s New Groove:

The schedule

This post is about the issues I’m having with our new schedule. You can skip to the bottom if you’d rather not waste time reading a rundown of our days. Also, I’m not proofreading this, I’m just posting and going to bed. Sorry.

In Grand Junction, our daily schedule looked something like this:

6-6:30 all the kids are up for the day. Breakfast and morning stuff. Finishing Kalena’s homework if she had any left.

8:30 Kindergarten drop off. I was totally spoiled and Brian did this almost every day.

9:00 Daniel goes down for a nap. Will plays or watches a movie. I do productive things.

11:30 Wake Daniel up if we need to and leave for kindergarten pickup. School gets out at 11:50

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Kalena and Will go down for naps. For Kalena it’s just “quiet time” most days. She falls asleep once a week or so.

Sometime between 2 & 3: Lay Daniel down for an afternoon nap.

3:00 Kalena is done with quiet time so she plays. Sometimes we read. Sometimes she colors or does crafts while I make dinner.

Between 4 & 5: Will and Daniel get up. (Generally Will doesn’t fall asleep until after 2, even though he goes down at 1.)

5:30 Dinner

7:00 Bedtime

I didn’t really think switching to afternoon kindergarten when we moved here would be a big deal. I mean, sure, Kalena wouldn’t have afternoon quiet time anymore, but she was rarely napping anyway. I figured Daniel would still nap in the morning while she was home and that both the boys would have time for naps in the afternoon while she was at school. Except that’s really not how it’s working out at all. For one thing, Daniel seems to be ready to move to one nap a day and he wants it to be from about 11 to 2. Here’s how things go here most days:

6-6:45 All the kids are up for the day. Breakfast, normal morning stuff, then play time.

9:30 (ish) I lay Daniel down for a morning nap. He doesn’t protest, but he also doesn’t go to sleep. Sometimes the kids watch a movie or play on ipads at this point. Often they just play. I try to get a few things done.

Between 10:30 & 11 Daniel falls asleep. Not every day, but most days. Some days he doesn’t sleep at all in the morning.

11:15 Feed the big kids lunch. It seems way too early, but if we wait longer we end up too rushed.

12:00 Get Daniel up and get everyone ready to leave.

12:15 Take Kalena to school.

12:30 ish. Home again. Send Will to his room for a nap in the hopes that he’ll go to sleep at a reasonable time. He plays “until he’s tired” he tells me. Feed Daniel lunch and let him play.

Between 1:30 & 2 Put Daniel down for an afternoon nap. Again he doesn’t protest, but he also doesn’t go to sleep right away.

Generally around 2:30 both the boys fall asleep. Not always though. Sometimes neither of them sleep at all.

3:00 wake anyone who’s asleep. If Will is sleeping and I wake him? He’s a MESS. Teary, inarticulate, uncooperative.

3:15 Leave to get Kalena from school. School doesn’t actually get out until 3:40, but it’s a madhouse and getting there early is the best way to avoid most of the craziness.

3:40 get Kalena and head home. Fix dinner while the kids play or watch some Sesame Street (Daniel’s favorite. Okay, the only show he’ll actually watch.) Between now and Brian getting home the kids are generally INSANE. Very rambunctious, nobody listens, often lots of fighting.

Between 5:30 & 6 Brian gets home and we eat dinner. After dinner I usually read with Kalena while the boys play. We get all the kids ready for bed and put them down about 7.


In summary, the kids are sleeping about the same amount at night (11-11.5 hours.) But instead of 2-4 hours of naps during the day (for the boys) they’re getting more like 30 mins. And Kalena, even though she probably doesn’t need the nap, was definitely benefitting from “quiet time” which she no longer gets. Will is a mess if I have to wake him up, but if he doesn’t nap at all he’s CRAZY all evening. He bounces off the walls like he knows if he sits still for more than 30 seconds he’ll fall asleep. It’s really wearing me down and I have no solution. UGH.




Hey! We moved!

I have several posts I need to catch up on (Will’s birthday, Christmas) but let’s start with the biggest thing: We moved! Things got off to a rough start. Brian picked up the moving truck, loaded the storage unit into it and that was it. Nothing else was going in. Now, our storage unit had  a LOT of our stuff, but definitely not everything. So he had to unload everything, get a bigger truck and then re-load it all. Poor guy. That took all day on Thursday, then we got up Friday at 4 AM to get on the road. We knew the drive would be a long one, so we wanted to get started as soon as we could. And LONG it was. Brian and my dad drove in the moving truck (always slow going, especially up the mountains) and I drove our car with Brian’s mom and the kids (also slow going because: 3 kids 5 and under.) After a whopping SIXTEEN HOURS in the car (and various fast food restaurants and gas stations) we arrived at our destination. From the very western most part of Colorado to the very eastern most part of Kansas. Apparently we have a thing for living on the state line.

We spent the night in a hotel Friday night because hey! Super late when we got here! Then Saturday several guys from church came and helped us move in. That was, fortunately, very quick. We’re very much still working on where to put everything. We’re renting a townhouse and kitchen space and closet space are pretty minimal.

So far we’ve:

  • Started Kalena at her school here
  • Started Daniel’s Early Intervention stuff
  • Leased a car! (Honda civic. We left our older car in GJ to sell.)
  • Opened a bank account
  • Taken Daniel to a walk-in pediatric clinic and discovered he has croup! (Fun morning today.)
  • Unpacked not nearly as many boxes as I had hoped.

I still need to:

  • Find myself a doctor. This is kind of a big one.
  • Uhhhhh, unpack the rest of the boxes. (Doesn’t that make it sound easy?)

And there you have it. I’m exhausted.


29 weeks

Another 2 weeks in and everything is basically the same. I guess I’m officially in my 3rd trimester now, which seems impossible. I’ve gained almost 35 pounds, although the weight gain seems to be slowing down some. I had an OB appointment on the 2nd and everything is looking good. She also scheduled my next appointment a week early, so that she can seem me once more before we move. That’s nice since it means I won’t be due for an appointment like the day we get there. I have an OB to call on Monday in the area who does VBACs, so hopefully I’ll have a doctor lined out before we get there. I know not all doctors will take patients this far into a pregnancy. 

I’m still having lots of hip and back pain and my energy levels are super low, which I hate. I spend a lot of time sitting, WANTING to do stuff to get ready to leave and not being able to. It’s not my favorite. We do actually have a place to move to though! Did I mention this yet? Brian got in touch with his company’s relocation specialist and she found us a townhouse in the area we want to be in and we’re all set to go. I’m a little nervous about sharing walls with neighbors since our kids get up at the crack of dawn and are NOISY, so hopefully this place is pretty soundproof. Having a house set up means I should be able to call and get Kalena registered for school there, so that’ll be good too.

Anyway, here I am at 28 weeks.


And 29 weeks.



I’ve had several comments on suddenly looking bigger, and I believe it. I feel bigger. The pieces in my wardrobe that fit are dwindling in number. Especially pants. (Another good reason to switch to all yoga pants all the time.) 

We’ve made no progress on the name front. I’m getting a little worried that I’m gonna end up in labor before we even have a list of names we like. I’m not sure if it’s the move, or not finding out the sex, or just the fact that this is our fourth baby, but we haven’t even really discussed names. Probably something we should do.

Moving & such

I’m pretty sure everyone knows this by now, but we’re moving! Brian will be graduating next month (!!!) and has been applying for jobs and interviewing since the beginning of the semester. A couple weeks ago he accepted an offer from a company in Kansas City, so we’ll be moving out there at the beginning of the year. (For those of you who are curious, the company is in Missouri, but we’ll likely live on the Kansas side of the city. It’s close.) Anyway, there’s a lot to do before we move but one thing I’m finding overwhelming is the number of medical type people we’ll have to replace when we get there. When we moved from Texas back to Colorado I had to find an OB and we had to find Kalena a pediatrician. The end. Here’s a list of the doctors (etc) we’ll need when we get to Kansas.

An OB. One who’ll take me at 30 (ish) weeks pregnant and who does VBACs. 

A pediatrician

A pediatric dentist

A pediatric ophthalmologist


And, of course, a whole new early intervention team for Daniel including:

A case manager

An occupational therapist

A physical therapist

A speech therapist

Now, the reality is I’ll probably only have to find an OB and a pediatrician, we’ll get referrals for the other doctors, and Daniel will be assigned a team of therapists when we get in touch with early intervention there. But YOU GUYS! I love all our people here! I can’t imagine finding a pediatrician as good or that I like as much as the one we have here. Or an OT as good with Daniel as his current one. She’s been his therapist since he was 2 months old! Everybody here is so great! I’m so overwhelmed with the idea of all new caregivers. 

So. Who wants to find me some doctors in Kansas City?