Friday, November 30, 2007

Courtney's Birth Montage




******

Read all about Courtney's birth story here!
A special thank you to Jillian for staying with us, and doing our labour and birth photography. We cannot thank you enough! Thank you!

Happy Friday

Here is my chalkboard today:
My blogging friend Alyson said she is choosing joy even in her sleep deprived state, and so am I!
Today I am thankful for:
  • Sunshine
  • Parents that help me when I need it the most
  • crockpot dinners
  • Dad's who vacuum and Mom's who dust
  • Laundry that is washed and put away (and not by me)
  • my family
  • my kids
  • my husband
  • good friends

I hope you are having a great Friday everybody!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Update

My Mom was over today again. Poor Mom. We are wearing her out I think. But she keeps on trucking. Doing my laundry, putting it away. Making my fave soup, making stuff for the kids. Entertaining the kids. Basically doing everything while I sit and do practically nothing. Well, except my duties to Courtney. Anyways, don't expect any blog updates from her for awhile. Right Mom!! We had a good laugh about that. We are really thankful for everything that is for sure. Last night my Mom in Law was over helping me out. Thank goodness for help. Cliff and I really have appreciated it all!

My leg is getting worse I believe. Cliff drew a bigger circle into a different part of my leg. Weird. Anyways. Time for a new photo. I called my doctors office and asked what I should do. We have Caroline and her bladder problem. So far, cranberry juice is helping her. Poor gal has been crying every time she peed. But, she would say poo poo, so we thought maybe constipation. The trouble is that Caroline says poo poo for everything. Turns out it was her pee that was making her do that. Poor little gal. So, hopefully no trips to the clinic this weekend. As for Courtney, well her eye swab came back negative, but is more weepy and goopy than ever. Her little eye is swollen. Maybe it has to get worse to get better. We are riding out the waves on that too.

So, a busy time right now. I find it funny because I am the person who never takes any pills etc. And here I am popping Advil 3x's per day, and then my antibiotics 4x's a day. Did I mention that the pills smell like cat pee?! They are really gross. I gag on them. How many more days left!?

So, I am just trying to rest and keep my leg up. Today, I got an online photo solution from my Mom, and I spent the day in my office organizing all of my photo files! That felt so good!! Yay! I just need to go through the files I made and re-name them. Then, organized to perfection!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hump Day

My Mom has been with me for a few days. Arriving just in time to take the kids to school, and stays long enough to do all of the pick ups. And, doing a whole bunch in-between the day!
I am so thankful for her care. And for the all of the laundry she has been doing, making a dinner, lunch, snack or tea here and there. I am thankful for that gift. I think I would be fine without her here, but I am happy to be resting my sore vein leg. It doesn't appear any better or worse. I am hoping my leg will get better soon. I am thankful my Mom will be here for a couple of more days. I am hoping this pain and swelling goes away.

Yesterday I was able to start Courtney's baby calendar, write all the important days on my daily calendar. And just get a little bit more organized. I was feeling kinda EEEEKKKKK!!!

Last night, was a long one. Courtney wouldn't settle in (wondering if it was from garlic? maybe not?) Anyways. I fed her, well I tried and off to sleep she went at 1:00 am. Only to just shut my eyes. And there goes a crying Caroline, and a calling out Carly who had to make a late bathroom break. Then, guess who woke up AGAIN. Yup. Courtney. Triple the trouble last night. And, then the alarm went off at 6 this morning. I can say I am officially sleep deprived. But, I know this stage does not last forever. I am trying to enjoy every moment. Regardless.

Courtney got a bath this morning in the sink. Nannie took some cute photos of her And we dressed her in a sweet little nightie from Aunty Amy. And, I think Miss Courtney is growing out of her newborn diapers already. Last night, I noticed when I was feeding her that her diaper was open. Thankfully her diaper did not leak. So, that figures eh! I just opened a package of newborn size diapers this morning. I may just have to give them to my friend Lisa (you know same family, pregnant STILL with her 6th) who is due today. I hope she has her baby soon! I want to know if Lisa will make a girl playmate for Courtney.

Anyways. I smell poop. I need to go change a diaper.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Doctor Appointment Update

Well, we survived our appointment. Courtney made not a peep. Dr. swabbed her eye, and perscribed an ointment for under her arm pit. She is 1 oz shy of her birth weight. So, she is a lean, mean 7 lbs. 7 oz. Usually babies gain back their birth weight within 2 weeks so she is right on track. She is officially 10 days old. The doc will let us know if her eye turns out to be an infection. I am thinking she will be fine.

And, for myself. I have a prescription for my h'roids. YAY!! I also was prescribed a big dose of antibiotics for my Thrombophlebitis in my right leg near my vein. Yup. Vein trouble. I have to take antibiotics now, 4 x's per day. And also take Advil 3 x's per day. My doc drew on my leg around the circular red pattern over my veins. IF it is to grow larger, and outside of the lines I am to get my but back to the doc. He couldn't give me anything stronger because of my breastfeeding. All I can say I have had enough troubles with my veins in the last 10 days. Did I tell you the nurse at the hospital blew out my vein trying to do my IV? Yup. That really hurt. Bad things in threes! Yup.

Thank goodness for vascular surgeons. They are going to have a hay day with me! Cliff took some photos of my veins. I was wondering if I should post them. They might scare you all.

The appointment ended on a good note. My doc is so sweet, and he loves to talk about our family to the nursing staff at the hospital, and to his other patients. He said he was so pleased that he has had the chance to deliver four of our kids. I told him that I was so pleased I have had him deliver our last 4 kids. He is such a special doctor and I am so thankful we have him for the whole family. I gave him a thank you card, and a birthday card.

Monday

Well, my darling hubby is back to work today. I shed silent tears as I know I am going to miss his loving, and caring ways. The kids are going to miss him too.

Everybody is doing very well. The kids are adjusting to the new sibling Courtney. Courtney is doing very well too. She is very much like clockwork and predictable. She is quiet and the easiest of the bunch I would say. Today, we are busy with appointments. Thank heavens for grandparents. My Dad is taking Claire to her eye appointment, and my ever loving Mom is here to help today. Courtney has her 1 week check up (and we will also check out her weepy eye that started in the hospital on the 17th) and I will have a mini appointment. I am having troubles with my veins. All kinds of veins. So, I will have everything looked at, and hopefully taken care of. I have been experiencing a deep aching pain in my right vein leg. Hopefully nothing.

I have been recovering really well, I have lost 20/34 pounds which I find amazing considering Courtney is just 10 days old. The breastfeeding has been seamless (as I expected) and I purchased new nursing bras that are actually very nice looking and FIT!! That is so cool. I guess when you pay almost 200 dollars for 2 bras!! Well, worth it if I breastfeed for the year I guess! They pay for themselves, and I am giving Courtney the best that I can. I also bought a new pair of jeans to help me get through the postpartum period. And, two v neck t-shirts.

Anyways. I must go. Courtney is calling, and Caroline needs to get up. The rest of the kids are ready to go to school today.

Happy Monday! And, I promise to check in a bit more. I just have been a bit busy! I have way more photos to download, but later.


Toodles!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Welcome Home Courtney Elizabeth!

Courtney, Cliff and I came home late evening on Saturday, November 17th 2007. It felt good to be home, and with the family again. I really missed my crazy household. Look how tiny she is, even being our 'biggest' baby at 7 lbs. 8oz. in her cousin's seat


A first family photo of the eight of us! All of the kids were ready for bed. Thankfully my sister Amy and Tyler stayed the night, and watched over all of the kids for the whole day until 6:30 pm at night when they left. The kids had so much fun with them! We are so grateful to them both!



Mommy and her littlest little baby girl Courtney. Oh, how I love her so deeply! Words cannot even begin to express my love for her. I never want to let her go...she is so unique and lovely.

First bath in the hospital - day 2

Notice the helping hands! The kids stayed for Courtney's first bath. The kids really enjoyed getting involved with the process. Look how red she is! Wow. She cried all during the bath!

Here is Courtney, not even 2 days old wearing her 'going home' sleeper that we picked for her. The boy stuff and cute sleeper went home with my Mom already. I hope somebody has a sweet little boy because we have a BIG bag FULL of brand new things for a boy! I just love that sleeper on her!

Here are the sibs oogling and googlin over her!


Here is big sister Claire protecting and loving her little sister Courtney. I love this photo! So precious.

Here she is, all washed up, smelling clean, wearing her hat and being warmed by warm towels.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 2, and the big brother and 4 big sisters come to visit...

It was so good to see the kids, and watch them meet their little sister Courtney for the first time. They all filed in so quietly and carefully. Made my heart just swell up with pride. To see all six of the kids together! My family! My beautiful family.


Here is the big sister Caroline meeting her little sister for the first time...she doesn't look very big for being a big sister, but I know she is going to do an excellent job of it!


I chose one photo to post, as we took a photo of each and every sibling holding Courtney. Why did I choose this one to post? Well, because Carly has told us she was having another sister (and she was right with Caroline and with Courtney) and she was SO very happy to meet Courtney. I just love this photo!


And, a photo of the handsome big brother to his five sisters! I know he will continue to be a wonderful big brother. I love to see how gentle he is with Courtney. He smiles at her so much, and touches her so delicately. It is a wonderful thing to see. He looks so big to me here, but I am sure when I look at this photo 10 years from now, he will look like a little man still. He sure has a big role to play!


And, the new big sister Caroline, who is now figuring out that this baby is here to stay! She loves Courtney and says baby.

Our first night together in the hospital with Courtney





The evening Courtney arrived...

It's a girl! Here is Courtney with my wonderful doc!
Here is my doc admiring Courtney, and me in the background marvelling in all that went on and the extreme joy I felt the moment she was born!

And here is a very happy Mom and Dad holding their sweet number six Courtney!

Thank you to Jillian for taking on this wild adventure with us, and I cannot wait to see the rest of the photos you took! Jillian stayed with us for the duration on my labour and delivery! If you ever need photography done...she is the one to see! I am excited to do the newborn/family session!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Hey! I have six kids!

Well, well well. I cannot believe I am a mom to SIX beautiful kids. I have one lovely son, and five beautiful daughters and we can not feel any more proud. We are so happy with our family!

If you told me even 9 0r 10 years ago, that when I was 36, I would be married and have six kids in the span of 8 years, I would have called you crazy. But hey, this is the journey of our life! I am so happy with the path we have chosen to take. It has been crazy at times, but so amazing, so much more than words can truly express.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting back on this journey we have taken since our marriage, and then the birth of our first, and how inexperienced we were, how scheduled we were, and how rigid we were. I thought I had no time, then we added our second, and boy were we in for a surprise at just how difficult it was to go from one baby, to two in 18 months. But, we survived.

Then, we added in a third, and it was not so hard. But challenging to be at home with three kids 3 and under. Two in diapers. But we coped and we managed.

Then, the next pregnancy. Pregnancy number 4. We experienced and early loss. That taught us that having being pregnant, doesn't always mean there will be a healthy, beautiful baby there at the end of 9 months. That pregnancy we learned a lot, and felt a lot of sadness and emptiness that we still feel today. Every January, we think of the baby that could have been, and every June, we remember that Fathers Day when we lost the baby. We still do the 'what ifs' and we realized that this baby could never be replaced, only remembered.

Then, we got pregnant again. This was our 5th pregnancy, and our 4th baby. We worried a lot during this pregnancy. Only because I always wondered if this baby would make it. Especially being pregnant after a miscarriage. But, she was born and she was a wonderful addition, and we learned to trust that all would be well.

Then, along came number 5. (6th pregnancy) and again, you just expect the pregnancy to go a long smoothly, but only to find out that there are problems during the pregnancy. And, our baby would have some sort of kidney troubles. So you worry, worry worry and worry the pregnancy away. And, to have the baby born and have the best possible outcome. You do not take a pregnancy for granted. We learned you do not assume that everything would be perfect, but to us she is. Even with her extra ureter! She continues to amaze us! And inspire us.

And then, here comes number 6. (Pregnancy number 7) and you hope and pray that all will be well, especially now that we have had so many healthy babies in a row. You tend to wonder if the chain of good luck will end. So, there is a lot of worry and anxiety especially during the first 'routine' ultrasound, will they find something wrong again? and the extra blood work because I was AMA at age 36. But, then to find out baby number six is healthy AGAIN is only a miracle. And even with the labour and birth of Courtney, we just 'expected' labour to be quick and easy. 8 hours tops. But then to have about 30 hours from start to finish, was a big shocker to EVERYBODY who was waiting for that call. This was our longest labour EVER! But, I just kept telling myself, that good things come to those who wait. Good things come to those who wait. And wait we did. And Courtney was REALLY worth the wait.

I now longer have to look at the empty seat in the van, and wonder who will sit in there, I no longer have to look at the dinner table and wonder who will sit there. I no longer have to stare into the bassinet and look at the boy outfit and the girl outfit and wonder who will be in there. We no longer have to decide on names, because this name that Cliff picked for Courtney was perfect. (even though he swore we were having a boy!) And, I will share the name of the 'boy' name now...if there was no Courtney...we would have had a boy named Cooper Ralph!)

A lot of unanswered questions have been answered with the birth of our sixth child. That is a great feeling to know all of those questions have now been answered.

I wonder where our journey will take us now? I know our life is going to be full of adventure and I cannot wait!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Courtney Elizabeth


TO OUR CHILDREN, A SISTER
TO OUR PARENTS, A GRANDDAUGHTER
TO CATHY AND CLIFF, A DAUGHTER
TO OUR FAMILY, A FINAL BLESSING
COURTNEY ELIZABETH
WAS BORN 11/16/07 AT 5:34 pm
WEIGHING 7 LBS 8 OUNCES.
SHE IS HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL
AND WE CHERISH HER ALWAYS

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Long Weekend Update

Monday night dinner, prepared by my hubby Cliff for all of us. It was really good. The pasta was olive oil, garlic, spinach, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan and Asiago cheese. The chicken was Parmesan chicken. We even had garlic bread! It was a hit for the whole family and we even had left overs (even with seconds!!)
****
Well, after a very hard Friday, my hubby had 3 days off. It was a good weekend. We had crazy stormy weather Saturday, overnight and Sunday morning too. The wind really scared the kids. When they see/hear the wind the assume the power will go out for days like in our last place. Thankfully we seem to be on a different grid and the power stayed on! The power only flickered several times. Many people went without power this weekend. We were extremely grateful for ours.
We have a new stove and a new dishwasher which have been super. Cliff got the bathroom all patched up, and will paint tonight. We have the stuff ready to be installed in there. We got a lot done off of the list. We even got batteries for the car fob and our watches! FINALLY!
Lots of laundry of course, and cleaning and preparing for baby and the arrival which will most likely be next week. Just the upstairs bathrooms, a bit of dusting and the windows again. And, maybe some more vacuuming.
It was a nice weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beautiful Day

Today has been a MUCH better day. We have been enjoying the sunshine as a family. We went for an hour walk with the kids, collecting leaves that were big, small and all different colours. We also collected handfuls of acorns. We saw Claire's teacher, and our babysitter and we also walked through the forest. In the sunshine. It was glorious. Did I tell you that we saw six fighter planes fly over our heads today?! I will take that as a good sign.

Today, the powder room on the main floor was taken apart and the holes all patched. We picked up a mirror, a towel holder, toilet paper holder and a new light fixture. We couldn't find nice 'jewels' for the sink, so we will keep looking! And tonight after the holes are dry, the sanding and perhaps even a coat of paint. Also tonight, when the kids go to bed. Cliff will install the new appliances when there are less little peeps all around. Yay!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Survival Mode

Today, I had to be on survival mode. Being that tomorrow I enter my 9th month of pregnancy, I feel I have done rather well. Today, I had all 5 kids home on a pro-d day and cooped up inside because of the rainy weather.

Today, my dishwasher gave out and we need a new one. So, today I get a brand new dishwasher and a new range. Just in time for the new baby, and for the holiday season. We have been having issues with the appliances since we moved in. So, that is good.

It has been a day, but soon it will be all over and thankfully my dear hubby will be home for three days. I SOOO need those three days so I can get some much needed help!

I had woken up today with the intent to have a great day no matter what, but it didn't pan out that way. I have accepted that. I have been quite grouchy and moody. I have horror mones to thank for those foul points.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Perfect day in the park...

We took the kids back to the park yesterday afternoon. We had a sunny day and the time change threw our world for a loop, so we decided a trip outside in the fresh air should do it! And, yes it did. They slept well last night. Thankfully they slept in a bit, and our routine is getting back on track. Caroline awoke at 4:30 am, and Catie at 5:00 am but we were able to get them back to bed until about 6:30 am.
Here is Catie, she is wearing no socks, and moon boots and she had a blast!

Here is Caroline, wearing boots a few sizes too large, and decided wearing socks was way more fun. So, off the boots went and off went Caroline running through the park with pink socks!


Here are our five kids on the teeter-totter at the park. Soon, there will be a partner for Caroline! She had help from Daddy, and the other kids too!



Here is Cameron, he decided to wear shorts and slip on shoes and him and Daddy had a very fun leaf fight! They were running all over the place!


Here is Miss Claire, all decked out in pink and brown! She had a blast at the park!


Here is Carly on the teeter-totter! She loved playing on there with her brother Cameron, but he kept bumping her. So, Claire and Carly partnered up.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy 18 Months Caroline



Somebody wanted a bath even though she already had one...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My little treats...

Taken Halloween morning before school! The kids were up VERY early in anticipation of the day ahead! The kids were dressed and ready by 7 am! One skeleton, and 3 cowgirls. Catie didn't have a party to go to, she just wanted to dress up for the day.

Here are the kids with each of their pumpkins that were carved with Daddy's help the night before. The baby in my belly had a pumpkin too, but it was uncarved and sat with the others.


And, here are the little trick or treaters on the night with their pumpkins aglow. Well, minus one pumpkin. My little Carly-Flower gave hers up, and gave it to my parents to put on their porch for their Halloween. I thought that she was very sweet for doing so. I was very proud of her. Caroline, well she went as a baby. You know, she only has about four weeks left to be the baby...She stayed home and handed out treats with her Nonna. She had fun! So did the kids.

Please note: The kids all had to be re-done with make up and hair as the day went by I guess things came off, and so I re-did the kids before dinner!! I am trying to picture what Halloween will be like next year! I am sure Caroline will want to go out too!

We had a few meltdowns at bedtime, and reading was the solution. It brought the kids back to ground, and made life normal right before bed. The kids were really TIRED when they got in after their night out. Most kids wanted their make up washed off, but Carly wanted to leave hers on to wear to school today. So, she slept with her freckles on. She looked cute this morning. And, thankfully the kids slept well, and were back to normal this morning.

The kids sure collected a lot of treats. And, we will have to ration those over the coming days. And, Cliff and I will have to check them to be sure they are alright, if you catch my drift. For afternoon snack today, they had 1 chocolate treat, and an apple. ;D