10-31-16 The Story

Tomorrow I would have been seven weeks pregnant. 

I took a pregnancy test at three and a half weeks and it was a faint positive. Afraid to rely on it I took three additional tests in the week to follow. All positive. The final one I took gave me bold immediate confirmation. I was pregnant.

And happy… So very happy.

We hadn’t told many people about it. My parents and sister knew. My currently pregnant sister in law and her husband knew. And a few close friends. I wanted to do a huge, fun announcement.

The first week and a half I felt great. I was getting a little tired in the afternoons and I was hungry all the time, but other than that I was feeling wonderful and mentally preparing myself for weeks of morning sickness. Then about a week and a half ago I started to have some abdominal pain. I attributed it to my digestive track slowing down and the prenatal vitamin that I had been taking. The pain would come and go, and there were days it didn’t happen at all.

I woke up on Saturday morning in an incredible amount of pain. Within an hour I was throwing up from the pain. After dropping the kids off, Tim took me to the ER. All their beds were full and as we waited the pain greatly intensified and I started throwing up again. After that episode, the pain let up quite a bit and that’s when I noticed I had started bleeding. At that point I was convinced I was having a miscarriage.

When a room opened up, they checked my vitals and started giving me fluids. Then they sent me down for an ultrasound. I could tell on the tech’s face that something was wrong. Very wrong. Tim could see the monitor and the expression on his face confirmed not all was well. The tech called the doctor immediately. By the time I was back in the ER room, the doctor was close behind.

She informed me that the pregnancy was ectopic. It had planted itself into my fallopian tube. It was still alive and had a heartbeat, however my tube had ruptured and blood was pouring into my abdominal cavity. Incompatible with life… for both of us. I needed surgery as soon as possible to stem the flow of blood. She said that it had probably burst when I felt the rush of relief earlier in the morning. The on call OB doctor arrived and confirmed. They were calling people in and prepping the OR. Because of my previous c-sections they weren’t exactly sure how they were going to proceed. They would try laparoscopically but there might be too much scar tissue. If that was the case they would have to open me up completely. The good news was all my blood work was coming back beautifully. I had enough reserve blood in my system so hopefully I wouldn’t need a transfusion. My kidneys were working well. My EKG looked great. Tim remained with me through as much as he was allowed and Tim’s dad stayed with us as well while we waited for the OR.

When it was finally time go to back the surgery took about 2.5 hours. Thankfully they were able to do the operation laparoscopically. They removed over a pint of blood from my abdominal cavity. They cleaned up the rupture and saved what they could. The baby was lost. There was no way to prevent that, even if I hadn’t ruptured. Because it was so late when they finished, they decided to keep me overnight. We were told multiple times that we were lucky. I believe we were blessed.

I’m recovering now. It reminds me a lot of a c-section recovery so I know the routine. The doctor said to stay home from work for a couple of weeks. No heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks. I have to follow up in two weeks and we will reassess what happens next. I’m sore, but I’m up and walking. I took a shower this afternoon, which helped to wash away some of the funk.

I know this description has been mostly devoid of emotion. We’re still processing that part. Naturally Tim and I are very sad. My typical reaction to trauma is to switch into survival mode and turn off my emotions. I’m fighting very hard not to do that this time. I cry when I need to. I’m sleeping when I can. Tim has been amazing. He is suffering the same loss that I am, but he has been taking care of me and the kids and making sure our house is running smoothly. I am blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life.

We never told our kids about the pregnancy. They know mommy went to the hospital and mommy had surgery, but they don’t know much more than that, so if you see them, be careful not to mention it around them. They desperately wanted a baby sibling.

10-30-16 Home

My family is all under the same roof again. The past 36 hours have been rough. Everyone is OK. I have a few weeks of healing ahead of me. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. I will explain more when I am ready. Know that I am grateful for my family and friends for their support. I’m also grateful for the wonderful hospital staff that helped us along this journey. We still need time to process. Apologies for the vagueness! 

10-28-16 Trunk or Treat!!

There are certain things that I do not do when I have all three of my children…

1- Go to the grocery store- I don’t think I have ever actually attempted this with all three children and just myself. This is the most intimidating thing in the world to me, because I need the shopping cart to contain both my children and my groceries, and it just isn’t capable of doing that, so I have to choose. So I choose to leave my kids with Tim when I go grocery shopping. If we can’t make that work… we starve.

2- Go into a restaurant with all three of my children. I am using the term restaurant rather loosely here. This can range from a nice dine in to a fast food joint. You will not see me and three kids in one of those alone. Not going to happen. Nope.

3- Travel more than two hours with them. My parents live about one hour and thirty minutes from us, and I refuse to drive them much further than that. Why? Because inevitably someone will have to use the bathroom, and all chaos will commence.

And then there are the things I have done with three children in toe and I have totally regretted it. Like the time I took them all to a doctor’s appointment for Baby E and the big kids proceeded to wrestle on the ground as the doctor examined Baby E. To make matters worse the doctor referenced the incident months later when he thought he was referring to their cousins. Nope those were my children. *sigh*

All that to say, I am not too adventurous when Tim isn’t around, so usually I just opt for quiet activities or ones very close to home. This evening, however, I was feeling pretty daring. C’s school was holding a “Trunk or Treat” (Big E kept referring to it as “Trick or Trunking!!”) I’ve never done an activity like that, but I figured the kids would love it, so I asked Rebecca to get the kids in their costumes so we could head straight there after work.

C dressed as Elena of Avalor, while Big E wore his Flash costume. We didn’t dress Baby E, but out of coincidence the only lightweight jacket I had for him in the van was Superman.

The kids had a great time going from car to car and trick or treating. C got to see her teacher and some of her friends from school. The cars and trucks were fun because the owners did a great job decorating them. It was a lot of fun to see. Baby E caught on pretty quickly that candy was involved once he saw the first lollipop, so he was a blubbering mess the rest of the evening begging people to give him candy. I let him eat some twizzlers and smarties, both of which he rejected. He was very happy with a cheese puff. Go figure.

I would label our evening a success. I let the kids have a mini binge of candy on the ride home and then gave them containers for the rest when we got to the house. I’m going to have to hide the candy though, because Baby E gets all worked up when he sees it and refuses to eat any other foods.

I wish I could post more pictures from this evening, because naturally I took plenty, but the internet is incredibly slow. 😦


Getting a photo of all three of them looking at the camera at the same time and smiling was impossible. So here are three pictures of only one of them looking at the camera at a time!


C’s turn!


Oh wait! This one actually has them all looking *towards* the camera. 

10-27-16 A Whole Week of Mommy Fails!


Wear what you would wear in the future… 

So this week was a special week at school where the kids were supposed to wear something specific each day of the week. As the awesome, very sleepy, scatterbrained, full time working mom of three rambunctious small children six and under, I promptly misplaced the paper that explained what each day was supposed to be. But I did remember that Monday was wear red, (something about saying no to drugs,  I think… again, paper lost.) But I we totally nailed Monday in the clothing department.

Tuesday I totally forgot that it was wear something specific week and sent her off to school wearing, gasp, normal clothes.

Wednesday was wear blue and white day. I’m not positive about this because I couldn’t remember what it said on the paper, but C informed it was so I picked out the only blue and white I could find in her dresser and then argued for ten minutes because it wasn’t what she wanted to wear.

Wednesday night was superhero night at church… She’s outgrown all her superhero stuff, but thankfully I found an old generic superhero mask peeking out from under the couch. Bam!

Thursday (today) was dress like what you would wear in the future. This could go two ways, right?!? #1- dress as the profession you want to be when you grow up or #2- dress like people will dress in the future (you know, with space hats and silver jumpsuits.) We went with #2, so we opted for a red sparkly dress, because you know the future is totally going to be covered in sparkles. I was informed tonight that it was actually supposed to be #1, so she told everyone that she wanted to be a ballerina teacher.  (Good save, kid.)

Friday (tomorrow) is bat day. I have no idea what that means because I lost the paper (did I mention that already?!?) But I think she is supposed to be wearing orange and black. Which is awesome, because she doesn’t actually own anything orange.

So I pretty much mommy-failed this entire week in the wardrobe arena, but you know what, it’s going to be a-okay, because at least I didn’t embarrass her by sending her in her pajamas or crazy hair when it was neither of those days! But I sure am looking forward to next week when we can slap on whatever clothes we like and roll out the door.

And while I mommy-failed the clothing, I mommy-rocked some other things like…

1- Cuddles- what I lacked in attire skills, I totally made up for in cuddles. Seriously, I’m a great cuddler.

2- I kept everyone clothed and fed this week. That’s a pretty amazing feat! (I did have help in the meal department a couple of times, so thank you to the folks that stepped up with that!!)

3- Reading endurance- I may not be able to dress my kids up in their future outfits, but I can read Llama Llama Red Pajama like a boss. I think we are nearing 45 times this week. Baby E discovered this book about a week ago and will not put it down. He asks for it when he wakes up. He asks for it when he’s eating, when he’s riding in the car, when he’s breathing. Everything’s coming up Llama Llama Red Pajama around here.

Ok, so I rocked three things. That’s fine by me!


This evening was a pretty exciting evening in our house because it was *Make Your Own Pizza* night. I bought some crusts and all the toppings and the kids alternated between fixing their pizza and eating all the ingredients. The kids were proud of their creations and couldn’t wait to gobble them down.

While we ate, I asked the kids some questions just to find out what their answers would be.

1- Who is your best friend?

C- Kaly, Nala, Olivia, Jacob, Allison, Riley, Miranda, Lauren, and Roux. (Wow, that’s a lot of besties!)

Big E- Daniel (Such a boy answer!)

2- What do you want to be when you grow up?

C- A Ballerina Teacher

Big E- A mechanic, okay??

3- What football team do you support? (Remember we aren’t a sports family. My kids have never actually seen a football team. They’ve held a football, so that’s something, right?!?)

C- Redskins

Big E- Huh? I like soccer ball. Soccer balls are the coolest. (This is totally my kid.)

4- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

C- Treating other how I want to be treated and loving others. (I want that one too, kid!!)

Big E- Speed

5- Can you name one thing that scares you?

C- The magic school bus. Spiders. Ghosts. (This kid is seriously scared of the Magic School Bus. We were visiting their cousins the other day and one of the kids turned it on and her eyes got huge and her face looked pretty worried.)

Big E- Dinosaurs if they eat me.

6- What is the first thing you can remember?

C- Nothing

Big E- Oh, playing on the playground.

7- At what age is a person an adult?

C- 14… actually, 44. (Yay, I’m still a kid!!)

Big E- I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

8- What is something that makes your family special?

C- That they named me after my great grandpa.

Big E- By hugging me and all the kisses.

9- What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

C- Listening to mommy and daddy. (I believe that.)

Big E- By trying to listen to mommy and daddy when we are angry because we want to watch tv.

10- If you were a teacher, and the kids in your class would not listen to you, what would you do?

C- clap

Big E- hmmm… Use a train whistle to get them to listen.

11- What is your favorite place in the world?

C- Home. (A kid after my own heart.)

Big E- That one is easy… Daniel’s house!!

12- If you could give one gift to every single child in the world, what gift would you give them?

C- A heart that says I love you. 

Big E- Hmm… Ooohhh… some of my cars.

13- If you could travel back and talk to a younger version of you, what would you say?

C- To listen to me. If there was a fireplace I’d tell her “don’t go near the fireplace!!”

Big E- Hmmm… I don’t know what to say.

14- If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make?

C- Love God and Follow God.

Big E- Listen to God every, every, every, every, every single day, and when we are up in heaven.

10-26-16 My sloth like children.

Sloth like.

Those are the words that I would use to describe my children at bedtime. Seriously sloth like. How can the simple acts of brushing your teeth, using the bathroom, and getting in your pajamas possibly take over half an hour???

I love that the kids are involved at church on Wednesday nights, but I really don’t know how to deal with them when they come home. They are inevitably hungry and they take forever to do the things they need to do to get to bed. And I just get so frustrated with them, (which I think makes them take even longer.) Any recommendations for making a late evening bedtimes run any smoother?


This is actually a picture from this morning. Baby E wandered into the big kids room to find them playing with dinosaurs. 



Baby E has a cold. I’m always on edge when he gets a cold because his breathing can go downhill pretty quickly. The last time he had a bad cold, it landed him in the ER for breathing treatments and x-rays. During the day he is nearly completely fine. He will cough here and there and he sounds a bit congested, but nothing that would cause me any alarm. It’s just at night that he starts sounding bad. This evening I propped up his mattress and pillow, I’m diffusing some oils in his bedroom, and I covered him in an oil concoction my sister in law put together for me months ago. His inhaler is at the ready. Please pray he sleeps though the night and his breathing is normal. Thank you!

10-25-16 Words of Wisdom


This one screamed through the entirety of dinner because dinner didn’t consist of a plateful of cookies. The struggle is real.

In the words of the great poet and philosopher, Kenny Rogers,

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Well friends, today that’s me. I’ve been bested by a bad night’s sleep, a throbbing headache, and three overly cranky children this evening, so in the spirit of knowing when to run, I’m going to run a hot bath, drink some hot tea, and escape into a good book or tv series.

My God is way bigger than my bad day, so I’m going to leave this one with Him. Goodnight!

10-24-16 An Exercise in Self Reflection


What is a dolphin? What does a dolphin look like?


I love my family. 

This evening over dinner the kids and I had a serious conversation. I started it off by asking them one thing that they liked about themselves. C said that she liked that she was nice to people. Big E said he liked that he gave good hugs. I told them that I liked that I gave lots of hugs and kisses. They smiled.

Then I asked them what they didn’t like about themselves, and only themselves. I did not want to hear what they didn’t like about each other! They stared at me for a moment, confused by the question I think, but then C piped up with I don’t like it when I am mean to you. Big E sat for a moment and then he added I don’t like it when I hit you or scream at you when I am mad. And I confessed to them that I don’t like that I am cranky when I am tired. 

(Baby E chimed in, You’re mean… *sigh*)

This was an exercise in self reflection. It’s easy for us to focus on the things we are good at, or the things that we like about ourselves, but it is very difficult to take a moment and reflect that often times we are the villain of our own stories. As adults, we may know our shortcomings, but we dress them up or sweep them under the rug to be ignored for another day,  and rarely do we confront them in any meaningful way. Rarely are we honest with ourselves in a way that ends in changed behavior or a changed life.

My kids get a lot of praises from us and from others. For the most part they are well behaved children (especially in public) and usually get along pretty well (again, in public.) But sometimes I worry that they are going to fall into the trap that they are somehow inherently good.  My children aren’t good. Does that sound harsh? Maybe, but since I’m being honest here, I’m not inherently good either. And neither are you.

I never taught my children to lie. I didn’t teach them to use mean words. I didn’t teach them to push other people, but these are all things I have witnessed them doing. Children don’t need to be taught how to do those things, they just do them.

We do it too. Have you ever been in a situation where you know you did something wrong, but you package it in such a way that it makes it seem like you weren’t really at fault, or the circumstances were out of your control? Yeah, I’ve done it too.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want my children to grow up not taking responsibility for their actions. I also don’t plan on pointing out their shortcomings at every opportunity, but I do want them to recognize them in themselves and come to the understanding that they aren’t without flaw. Having them name what they didn’t like about themselves helped them to own up to their actions. They weren’t embarrassed. They weren’t upset. But it helped them to recognize that some of their behaviors weren’t kind. It was good, for a moment, for them to analyze themselves. After all, if they have an overinflated opinion of themselves, they will have an under inflated opinion of others. And I desperately want my children to love others, and value each person they encounter.

But most of all, I want them to know they need Christ. It is only in recognizing their own shortcomings can they begin to recognize the value and magnitude of what Christ did on the cross for them. And when they understand that, they can truly begin to appreciate the value of another human being.

(PS- please don’t worry about the self esteem of my children. 🙂 They know they are loved beyond measure and we tell and show them that daily.) 

10-23-16 AHG

American Heritage Girls

A couple of months ago I was scrolling through Facebook and  I saw someone’s status about American Heritage Girls. I had no idea what it was, but I read it out loud and Tim got very excited. He asked if there was a troop nearby and I said yes. He immediately said, “I want C in that.”

American Heritage Girls is a scouting program (along the lines of the Girl Scouts) however, it is Christian based and taught along those principles. Tim and I talked about it and decided that it would be a good thing for him and C to do as a daddy/daughter activity, so he has been actively involved in taking her to the meetings and helping her with what she needs to do.

However today, the boys and I showed up to see her in all of her American Heritage Girl glory. She got her uniform and she has been practicing her oath and creed.

I like the idea of AHG because if it is something that she enjoys, she can keep doing it up through high school. There are lots of events for her to be involved with and opportunities to serve in the community. The focus is really on helping others and raising godly, strong, and compassionate women! I look forward to seeing how this organization will have a positive impact on my girl!