Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crazy Hair and Lazy Fairies

It's crazy hair day at school today. I pried the girls away from the game they were playing in the basement to take pictures. Have I mentioned yet how much this non-morning person is loving the later school start? :) I love that they had time to play before school while I packed their snacks. A big change from the roll out of bed and go that we used to do. Anyway....

(My children dressed themselves. Parents always feel obligated to share this when their kids go to school in things like pleated skirts with t-shirts and outfits that resemble a gym uniform.)

As per the usual, there were big plans for crazy hair day. Grace was going to be Venellope Von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph and stick candy all in her hair, haha. And then the day rolled around and we ended up just doing ponytails all over, because that's all we ever do. But the girls still get a big kick out of it!

This is all part of the excitement with their school's one and only fundraiser this year. On September 16 the kids and their families are invited to participate in a "Walk for Ostmann." I got the scoop on this event a little early at kindergarten orientation this year when the PTO president shared all of the details. This is the first year that the school isn't selling something but rather is doing an activity with little overhead to raise money. I think it's brilliant.

The PTO worked over the summer to find local business sponsors for the event, and the money raised from the sponsors is what paid for all of the prizes, t-shirts, etc. that were needed to keep the kiddos incentivized and motivated to raise more funds. So that means 100% of every dime donated by the students' family and friends goes straight to the school. Not 30-40% of sales, but every last penny. Here's the girls' link to online donations. I know everyone's kids are selling or raising money for something at this time of the year, but I like to share for those family members especially that we don't see very often! (THANK YOU to everyone who has already pitched in...the girls are working towards earning a neon green shirt to wear during the walk instead of the regular gray ones...that means they each need to raise at least $100!)

Okay, and Grace would really like to win an iPad or an electric scooter. Haha. Evie is okay with just the shirt. ;)

In other news, guess who lost another tooth?

Grace face!

Now the girls are really excited, because they are officially "tooth buddies." Both of them are missing the same teeth. Unfortunately, our family "tooth fairy" sucks really bad at her job. Really really bad.

She falls asleep and forgets all about teeth, and/or didn't realize the first child never got anything for her second tooth loss because said fairy was giving birth that day and was a little distracted...and...incapacitated. And both girls LOST their second teeth before they ever made it into their little tooth fairy music boxes. Evie lost hers in a pool, Gracie's is floating around this house somewhere. 

I think they are both owed a little something extra special in their music boxes tonight. Dang lazy fairy. ;)

The rest of us are just enjoying living life at the moment. Lincoln continues to be a great baby and a great sleeper. Although, the last couple of days he's been extra attached to mommy, and if his eyes are open, he wants to be held...right now. He doesn't use them often, but he has a powerful set of lungs. Most of my children have been blessed like that. It's loud around here. Very loud.

Ah, what the heck, let me snap a quick picture of him....

There he is! Sitting right next me, my little blogging buddy. :) While he's not posing for many pictures awake at the moment, I do believe this one is going to have blue eyes. And if he does keep his blue eyes and dark hair I am going to LAUGH, because I always said that I hoped he would have dark hair and blues eyes. That's the only combination of kid we didn't have. We have blonde hair and brown eyes (Grace), blonde hair and blue eyes (Reagan), brown hair and brown eyes (Evie), red hair and hazel eyes (Charlotte), but we were just missing that brown haired blue eyed baby! No two kids the same.

And these two...oh my goodness....

Lucy. And. Ethel. 
I'll tell you what.

They crack themselves up! Evelyn and Charlotte are total twins born six years apart. They are SO goofy, and no one enjoys their slapstick humor more than they do. Charlotte is totally Lucy with a very fiery side to her personality, and Evelyn is the perfect Ethel...mostly sweet and innocent and will go along with just about anything anyone else is cooking up! They keep us all entertained, that's for sure. 

And for those of you who always pay attention to the details...yes...we did get a start on some early decorating this week, and maybe...just maybe...a sneak peek at tomorrow's blog post. September, say what?! I'm aware that the first day of fall is over 20 days away, as Eric loves to remind me, and guess who doesn't give a care? Me. It's me. I do not give any cares. :D I loooove it.

That's it for today's check in! The very last day of the month...the seasons of fun are right around the corner...can I get a woot woot?

Woot woot!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From Royals to Explorers: Robert Girls Make the Switch!

**Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. :) I decided to "take the day off" and just did whatever I felt like all day long. Of course, that did include a few chores, but only when I FELT like doing them. :) Eric left work a little earlier than usual and bought me some dinner, so I was happy camper. It was good day!**

The Robert girls have been zooming off to school in a big yellow bus for over a week now! In a week that was full of big adjustments for our family, I have to say that they handled the change very well. We all LOVE the new school that they are attending. We are now "Explorers" per the elementary mascot, and we're proud to be!

So today we are winding back the clock, to before Lincoln was born, when the girls started exploring their new school for the very first time.

Evelyn's open house and meet the teacher night was on Wednesday, August 10. We were all anxious to meet Mrs. Frownfelter, who had just had a baby of her own four weeks prior. Evelyn said, "When I walk into the classroom, I'm going to FROWN." Haha. I'm sure she's never gotten that one before, Ev.

Despite her name, Mrs. Frownfelter was anything but a frowning personality. She was warm, bubbly, and fun! I couldn't believe she had just had a baby. I think she will be a great fit for Evie this year, and so far, so good!

We dropped off Evelyn's school supplies, signed up for conferences and all of that good stuff, and even met a classmate or two. I walked out of the school that evening feeling really great about things.  There is something oddly comforting about walking through unfamiliar halls and classrooms in a new town and seeing our own kid's name on a desk or bulletin board. It makes it real, and for the first time we could start to feel like we actually belonged. Hey, we didn't just wander in here, they were expecting us!

The next day was Gracie's kindergarten orientation. It was at an odd time in the morning, so Eric stayed at home with the younger kids while Grace and I ventured off for a morning of fun. I really liked the way they did orientation, with a special time for parents and kids together, and then a separate time for the parents to get information while the kids stayed with their teacher and explored the classroom. 

After meeting the principal and vice principal, the PTA representatives, and other teachers and staff our kids would have for the year, the parents met back up with the kids, and we had a scavenger hunt through the school. All of the kids LOVED it. The idea was for us to find all of the different classrooms and important places our children would need to know for the year. At each stop they collected a sticker, and when their sheet was full they got a prize. Even I was thankful for this exercise, because there's no way I would have found where the school nurse was on my own. :) Other stops included the library, the kindergarten water fountain, the gym, the playground, and more!

I also loved that this was a great day to meet other parents. The nice thing about kindergarten is that everyone is new. (There is no pre-k at this school.) So Grace fit right in with everyone else, and I wasn't the only parent who had no clue where I was going, haha. One of our favorite things from the whole day was when we realized the new friend that sits by Grace was wearing the exact same shirt as her that day. Instant buddies! :)

On our way out, the ladies in the office said, "Still pregnant?!" They were tickled to know we were having a baby the very next day. It was so nice to know that we already had connections in this place, and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Even the vice principal teared up when he was talking to us about knowing how hard it is to send our little ones off to school for the first time. (He had just sent his own daughter off to kindergarten at a different school that morning.) "Just know that we love your kids and we're going to take really good care of them." Are you kidding me? I love this guy! Needless to say, we left that day excited and ready for the year!

There are a lot of things that we're loving this year, including....

* The fact that on Grace's school supply list, there was a REST MAT. kindergarten! Just like the good ole days. :)
* School starts at 9:00am. Thank you, Lord.
* No letter grades on report cards until the 3rd grade! 
* Evie only gets homework on Mondays, and it's due by the next Monday. Awe-some.
* New this year: No weekly spelling lists or tests. "We will just be working on these in class!" 
* Bus transportation right outside our front door. What a blessing to have that help this year!

But of course, there are a few things I don't like or that we will sorely miss.

* The age cutoffs for grades start on July 1 instead of September 1, making Evelyn super young in her grade. She was already among the youngest, but now she truly is! Good news for Lincoln, though! With an August birthday he'll be one of the oldest, and that's certainly a change.
* No pre-k yet. They are opening up a new preschool next fall for the entire district (which covers nine elementary schools) that will accommodate over 800 preschoolers!!  I'm sure next year will be great, but that means that Reagan is spending another year home with me when he was really looking forward to school. 
*We will miss teachers who know us well and who are invested in generations of our family. We will definitely miss the fact that we no longer have a grandma who works at the school and who gets to say "hello" to our kids every day. Some things we just can't replace or duplicate here!

The first day of school went off without a hitch! I have really been enjoying our new morning routine with the later start. This new routine includes packing a snack every day for the girls. Since school starts later, they get home later, too... after 4:00. So afternoon snacks are totally a thing here even with the older kids. And water bottles - can't forget the water bottles!

It was so convenient that first week having Eric home with us to help get the girls on the bus. The timing with Lincoln and the start of school couldn't have been more perfect. 

The girls come home from school every day happy as clams, shouting goodbyes to their friends as they get off of the bus. They already talk about all of the exciting things coming up for the year, like "A big party for the 100th day of school!" and "The second grade school play!" Haha, if they are happy, I am happy.

As for the rest of us, the days go by so quickly! I'm loving being home with the little ones knowing that the girls are learning and having fun all day. Reagan and I are looking forward to starting our own preschool at home after Labor myself a little time to get adjusted to a new schedule! And I am just looking forward to fall and all of the activities that come with it. We love our new school and feel so happy and blessed that we ended up where we are. Had we been one subdivision over in a different direction, we could've been assigned to a different school entirely. With nine schools to choose from, it really does matter exactly where you live here! But I'm glad we landed RIGHT where we did. 

Here's to a great year ahead for your kiddos, too!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekends in Seventh Heaven

We survived our first, full, official weekend at home as a family of seven. It was a close to normal as we could get, with Eric going back to work on Saturday at the radio station - my first test home alone with all of the kids by myself. And... it wasn't bad at all! I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that it really wouldn't be quite as crazy as I feared. I suppose once you've crossed the four child threshold, it's really no big deal throwing in some more. The more the merrier? :) I actually think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the three oldest kids are pretty self-succient at this point. They can happily keep themselves entertained for a little while. Of course, it's pretty sobering during the week when we send two of ours off to school, and I realize I still have three here!

Lincoln is the easiest of the them all, though. I hoped he would be just like Charlotte was when she was a newborn, and he really is. (Jackpot!) He sleeps and sleeps...wakes up to eat and goes right back to sleep. I can't even express how relieved I am that my "easier" babies were saved for last! He only wakes up once or twice in the night, but he's so drowsy that he can barely get in a good feeding before he's snoozing again.  Without the discomfort and insomnia of the last trimester, I think I'm getting better sleep now than I was a month ago. Overall, I can't complain, and life is good!

Friday was Eric's last day home from work, and we took advantage of it by getting out of the house for a little while. Lunch and shopping for lamps. (Yay Home Goods.) It might not sound like the most exciting afternoon, but it sure was a treat for me! My flip flop broke and Eric had to run into the mall to get me a new pair, haha. But we were not thwarted. We made it through the land of endless knick knacks with three kids three and under and didn't break anything. That's a win.

The rest of our weekend was full of visitors. My mom was here on Saturday afternoon, and she came bearing cakes and pretty flowers....

It might be someone's birthday this week. But I don't know whose. Someone might not be celebrating birthdays from now on. :)

It was a nice visit, which ended up with a pizza night and then some good family time. This will be the first year in as long as I can remember that my mom doesn't live just down the road, so no traditional jello cake at mom's house on my birthday. Instead, she brought two others, because, "I wasn't sure what kind you liked!" Moms never stop being moms.

On Sunday we ventured out for Lincoln's first trip to church. He did great! We've only been attending our church for a little over a month, but we received the sweetest baby gift and card from the "care and connection" group. It made me feel so...cared for and connected. Haha, good job guys. :) And I love that even though we are over an hour away from our hometown, in a much larger area saturated with churches, we have run into people who go to our church who are from Red Bud. In fact, this week a sweet new friend came up to me after the service and said something to effect of, "Okay, this is going to sound really creepy, but...I read your blog." Ahahaha. It really is a small world!

The list of household projects is never-ending around here. Eric spent all of last week while he was home assembling furniture...dressers, a bed, side tables. And after church he set to trimming the hedges.

He's going to love me for this picture. :) We already had our bushes professionally trimmed once since we moved in, and they already needed trimming again. Eric thought he'd do it himself this time. Eric ended his session conceding that, "I now know why we pay people to do this." Haha.

Lincoln was exhausted after standing outside to watch him.

It's a really hard life, you know.

Then Eric's parents stopped by and took the older kids to play while we ran some errands with the quietest Robert child and the LOUDEST one...aka: Miss Squeals-a-lot, aka: Charlotte Rose. She is a handful! Cute and temperamental, just like Gracie was. (Heaven help us.)

Grandma Joan snapped some pictures while they were at the park:

Can you guess which one of our kids this is?

It's Gracie. 

I seriously thought it was Evelyn at first.

Too big. Much too big.

We're just living everyday life here. We get little confirmations all the time that we are exactly where we are supposed to be right now, and it's a really great feeling. I had been waiting for this moment for quite a be moved, have the kids in school, have my baby here, be plugged in to a church, and just start to feel settled. We are finally there. It's a little bit like putting together a puzzle that we never had the full picture for as a reference. All of the pieces are now here, and we're able to enjoy arranging them and to see what life looks like on this side of things.  

A big part of that puzzle was switching schools and getting our big girls acclimated to a new environment. But that could be a whole post unto itself, so...more on that tomorrow! Hope you have a good day, friends!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Linc's Birth Story

What a week it has been for us so far! Lots of changes in our house. Some of us are happier about those changes than others. Some of us are getting much less sleep than others. But all of us are together, which is a great place to be, and more than I could say than about this time last week....

The day before Lincoln was set to make his debut, grandparents drove to our house and picked the four older Robert kids up in the afternoon for a weekend away from mom and dad. It would be the first time that Charlotte would spend a night away from us, and I had no clue how she would do. It might be possible that I was just as concerned about my current baby as I was about bringing a new one into the world.

So Eric and I had one night alone at home to get everything prepared for a big next day! After enjoying a delicious dinner at a restaurant we would never drag the kids along to, I set about making sure the little things were taken care no wet laundry in the washing machine and making sure we had clean sheets and scrubbed bathrooms to come home to. As is often the case, Eric slipped off to slumberland well before I did that night, as I needed to make sure ALL of the important bases were covered. My nails needed to be done, okay? :)

Morning came quickly, but maybe we didn't embrace it quickly enough...we slept in just a little longer than we had planned to. When I rolled over and Eric mentioned the time, I zoomed out of bed and got straight in the shower. I suppose if there is one great thing about inductions it's that at least you aren't caught off guard by the timing. Getting showered and feeling ready makes a world of difference! We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:30am, and we were only a few minutes behind schedule as we finally made our way through the maze of hallways and up the elevators to the sixth floor to start the day.

Getting checked in for an induction always begins with a million and one questions. My answer is the same to every single one: No. No I'm not a drug dealer, I'm not allergic to anything, and I don't have this that or that random illness. I don't even drink. I'm a seriously boring patient.

Next comes the IV, and I've not had much luck in this department lately. I'm poked at least a couple of different times in a couple of different places before they are able to get it just right. Thankfully, as with one of my past deliveries, I can say that this was one of the most uncomfortable parts of the entire experience.

I'm started on extremely low levels of pitocin to get things going, and this time I would never need more than they started me with. That tiny "jump start" that I've talked about is pretty much all it ever takes for contractions to kick in at regular intervals for me. My doctor came in early and gave us the game plan: Get those contractions going, call for the epidural, break the water, have a baby.

And well...that's pretty much exactly what happened. :)

It didn't seem like long at all before a doctor came in to check my progress, and the results surprised both us and our nurse. In no time I had dilated a couple of centimeters, putting me at a 4-5, and that meant I was ready for an epidural. Like with Gracie's labor, I never felt more than mild contractions before the elixir of dreamy delivery was wheeled into the room for me. Cue the hallelujah chorus.

This part does make me a little squeamish, only because I've had such rotten luck in the epidural department before. I have about a 50% success rate with these things working the way they should and on the first try. I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and said a prayer that the person who would walk through the door to deliver the drugs would NOT be the person that I've had bad luck with in the past. And thankfully, this time it was not. I hopped up for the procedure so fast that everyone in the room LAUGHED and made fun of me. Thanks guys. I've done this a few times, and I wasn't messing around. :)

Soon I was feeling nice and warm and tingly from the waist down, and I found myself being positioned to have my water broken. In my mind's eye I always remember this experience as a stranger coming at me with what looks like a knitting needle. And then I get to impersonate Niagara Falls right there in the hospital bed. It's great.

Typically this is the moment of truth. This is the time we will test and see if that epidural really is going to hold out, because once my water is broken the serious contractions begin. I've delivered babies with and without the help of drugs, and no one here needs to guess which one I prefer. Thank you Lord for modern medicine, I say.

Eric and I settled in with the olympics on in the background, just waiting for the crazy contractions on the monitor to do their thing so we could soon have a baby in our arms. I felt basically nothing but a bit of pressure now and then, and I'd peek over at the read-outs to see how strong of a contraction I'd just had that I didn't feel. "Dang, that one would've sucked really bad."

It was nearly lunch at this point, and Eric was getting hungry and probably a little restless, so he went down to the cafeteria to get some sandwiches. I was just minding my own business...watching some diving or something...when he came back into the room a few minutes later, sandwichless. "I forgot my wallet." Back out he went! And as soon as he did....

Ouch. Okay, that one hurt.

And then another one. I reached over and for the first time I used the blue button to administer a little more of that lovely numbing juice. (Please oh please don't let this mean that the epidural is wearing off!) They kept coming though, no matter how many times I pressed that darn button...which may have been four or five times by the end of it. Where the heck was Eric?

Soon my nurse came strolling in. I didn't have to say a word. "Okay, something is definitely going on here," she said as she double checked the monitor. Turns out, the baby was ready. Like, RIGHT THERE ready...time to not's go time ready. Eric came into the room just then to the news of, "Hey, it's time to have a baby!" And my poor nurse looked at me and said, "Okay, do NOT push right now, because if you I am going to be the one delivering this child."

In minutes my doctor arrived and we were in business. Having a baby is a little like being a lone star in a broadway show...the lights are dimmed, the spotlights are positioned right on you, and everyone in the room is a captive audience for the performance. :) I pushed twice, and then for one last little bit I was told to do the wimpiest barely push I had ever done to get him out the rest of the way. Lincoln officially captured the prize for the quickest delivery of any Robert child at 1:19pm on Friday afternoon. Even faster than Charlotte from start to finish! AND for the first time ever, I didn't require any stitches, which, let me tell ya, has already made a WORLD of difference in the recovery process. Lincoln really took it easy on his mom in every way! Thank you, son.

7 lbs 4 oz
21.5 inches long - our longest baby ever!

Lincoln continues to be a pretty drama free baby. He was a great nurser from the start, no jaundice, he sleeps pretty well, barely squawks unless he needs something, and boy is he cute! Of course he is a newborn and we are still very early in the game, so I hope his habits don't change any time soon. We have a vacation later this year riding on his temperament and sleep patterns, haha. So far he is passing the test. ;)

After having Charlotte I was told to watch out with the pain of recovery. The more babies you have the more likely it is to have strong contractions even after having the baby as your organs are literally moving back into place. That has been the only bad thing about recovery this time, because...holy contractions. As a nursing mom these are even stronger, since breastfeeding makes those contractions even more productive. My organs are rearranging on double time, haha. It's also giving me some lovely back pain, and I can hardly stand up straight after sitting down for a while. I'm moving around like someone three times my age at the moment. :) But everything else that usually makes recovery a royal pain hasn't been bad at all. I'm on track to bounce back pretty quickly this time...which may just be my body's way of saying...."FIVE kids, you need your strength."

We spent one night in the hospital getting absolutely cruddy sleep, poked and prodded and woken up constantly by different people. By about 2:00pm the next day, all of the normal tests and things they do for baby had been done and we were totally bored just sitting there. The newborn photo session was over. There was nothing else for us to do but wait, and... I don't know, get poked and prodded at some more for another night? No thanks. Eric asked if we could go home early. And since we have a drama free baby, they said absolutely. If there's one thing I'm learning more with age, it's that if you want something in this life a lot of times you just have to ask for it. Worked out pretty well with this whole experience! So we came home early (where we got infinitely better rest!) and that was awesome.

We warned Lincoln that soon this very quiet place we had introduced him to as home was going to get very loud and maybe a little bit crazy, and our older children did not disappoint there. :) But really, it hasn't been that bad. No worse than what we're used to at least, which would likely drive most people nuts, but that's just life for us. If there is one child that I worry about the most in this transition, it's Charlotte. Still a baby herself, this whole experience has been a little bit confusing. She has been pretty emotional, but it's really hard to know if that's down to a new baby at home or the fact that she had just spent several nights away from mom and dad and home. Or both. Also, she's a bruiser and we really have to watch her around the baby, haha. She has recently developed a lovely habit of pinching and scratching, which is a first for me, and boy is it annoying to be living with a giant roaming lobster child who thinks all of the baby gear should belong to her.

I really just can't say enough how very thankful we are right now. We've brought five children home from the hospital with nary a complication, and we just can't figure out how we've gotten so fortunate. When I say we feel blessed, I really mean it. We've been shown a lot of grace and mercy when it comes to my health and the health of our children throughout all of these pregnancies. I wish I had more eloquent words to express my gratitude and praise to God on this one, but all I can really say is a very humbled thank you.

Lincoln's start in this world was a wonderful experience, and he is a wonderful boy. We are beyond thrilled to welcome him to our family. He is, for sure, the LAST on this level of the family tree. We're soaking up this time with him down to the very last drop. All of our babies have been so loved and welcomed into our home, but Lincoln may now be the most doted on baby of all time here...with older sisters and a brother who adores him and waited so long to meet him. Now, if only he survives Charlotte and her plots and attacks against him.

We're getting there. ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Meeting Lincoln

The last few days have gone exactly as I hoped they would, sometimes better than expected, and I could not be more thankful for this special time in our family. Our life certainly isn't quiet, but there is peace here. It isn't perfect, but it is blessed. And I am so incredibly grateful for our friends and family who have supported us with encouragement, with their helpfulness, and generosity in bringing meals or watching kids. When you start having as many babies as we do, it's a team effort. :) We have a great team. You are a part of our great team. You make me feel a little more sane when I know that life really is insane and we're just trying really hard to pretend that it's not.

Our family is all back together again,'s not...awful. Haha. It's not quite as crazy as I knew it could be - whew! Maybe because we were ready for it this time. :) It's still mass chaos, but it wasn't shocking. Truly though, it's great having everyone together finally so that we can start moving forward with life as we know it. I think Gracie said it best today. "When we wake up tomorrow, it's going to be different isn't it?" Yep. It will never be quite the same. But oh how Lincoln makes it just a little sweeter around here.

I'm going to try to sit down and write Lincoln's birth story as soon as possible, because it's kind of amazing how quickly the little details can slip away from memory. Until then, we're sharing the video of our memories from meeting Lincoln. Our kids love and treasure these videos, and so do we.

Now I have a new baby to cuddle.
Lots of love, from us. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Lincoln Theodore

6:20am - Adrien

Good morning! It's baby day!

There was a beautiful purple and pink and blue sunrise this morning BEFORE I got in the shower, but afterwards I barely caught it. Ah well! Eric and I slept in about 30 minutes later than we planned, so we're scurrying around this morning. I just wanted to do our first check in and let you know that you can keep checking back here today for updates on Lincoln's arrival. 

The blog will switch hands between Eric and me all day, and I'll have absolutely no control over the things my husband says or does, so this could be fun, haha. 

It's a good day!

8:15 a.m. - Eric

Adrien is all set up and ready to go! We are doing check in procedures right now. More updates soon...

9:15am - Adrien

Well, the IV is in and we are on our way. :) My doctor has already been in to visit, and the plan is to wait until I'm just a little more dilated so we can call for the epidural and then they will break my water. Just the way I like it, haha.

So hopefully the "good" contractions kick in soon and I progress quickly. We just checked in the with the kids who are staying with grandparents this weekend. Evelyn lost another tooth in the pool already this morning. Life with five kids will never be dull, that's for sure!

It's so now this is all clockwork for us, so I'm just sort of like "Let's get on with it already." I'm not intimated by labor, I just want to hold my baby! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers - so far, so good!

9:45am - Adrien

Well even I didn't expect things to move THIS quickly. My contractions are moderate but very frequent, so the nurse is arranging for the epidural now. There is one person ahead of me, and then it will be my turn!

Oooh wait...contraction....

Hurts so good. :)

This is feeling very much like Grace's delivery did, where I never really felt super hard contractions. I'll take it, and hopefully things continue to move so smoothly.

11:00am - Eric

Alright, everyone, we're getting to go time.

Adrien just got her epidural and her water is broken. If past is prologue, we should be seeing baby Lincoln within an hour or two!

11:10am - Eric

Adrien wouldn't let me post any of the pictures from the last update. She finally approved this one. Here's your proof that the epidural worked:

1:00pm - Eric

Okay, so I went to get a sandwich but the nI forgot my wallet. Came back up to the room, got my wallet, then the line was super long in the cafeteria. After this whole deal, I get back to the room and we're having a baby!

Room is getting prepped. Next update will be the big arrival!


Lincoln Theodore Robert
Born August 12, 2016, 1:19 p.m.
7 pounds, 4 ounces

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Extractions

As with many things in their lives, when big sister does something it's not very long before little sister is doing it, too. Gracie lost her very first tooth!

She was tickled pink about it!

Gracie was our one and only baby who actually started getting teeth at the "average" age of six months old, so it's no wonder that she's losing hers sooner, too. Our five year old almost-kindergartner will start the school year just a teensy bit lighter. :)

Unfortunately, continuing another trend, that means Mr. Reagan is wondering why in the world he doesn't have loose teeth of his own. He walked around yesterday afternoon tugging at his bottom teeth and saying, "They aren't coming out!" Poor little brother, haha. And when I took those pictures of Grace he insisted on getting a picture of his own. Well, that I could do for him.

He is SO READY to be the big brother to a little one. I think it will be really good for him!

And that he will be before the week is through. Yesterday was my weekly check up, and boy was I prepared to lay it on thick and beg for this baby to be delivered soon. Turns out that I didn't have to. After discovering I have dilated two more centimeters my doctor looked at me and said, very doctorly like, "We have two options today. I can strip your membranes, or we can do nothing and see what happens."

Well I already know how helpful stripping my membranes seems to be...womp womp. So I said, "Is it possible for us to induce -" I swear I saw a light glimmer in her eyes, " - like, this weekend?"

Never in all my days has a consultation with a doctor ended so abruptly. It was like she was waiting for me to ask. She immediately picked up her clipboard and said, "I'm going to make a call. You can get dressed and meet me up front."

Haha. Wahoo! This wouldn't be the first time that a medical professional has acted this way. When I was in the hospital with Grace my nurse tried dropping all sorts of hints for me to ask for my epidural as soon as possible, but I get the impression that there are just certain things that they can't outright recommend. It had to be MY idea. So within minutes my doctor was asking me if I was available on Friday morning at 7:30, and I said, "YES!"

"Great, they will be expecting you. Make sure to eat a nice breakfast with lots of protein! I know your labors go really fast, but you'll still want your energy."

And that was that. And now we finally have an end date in sight. Lincoln will be born on or before August 12! So unless he decides to pull a Charlotte and come before his induction date, we will be able to blog our experience on Friday the way we did with Grace and Reagan. Hopefully we will be able to give updates here throughout the morning, so anyone interested can ride along in real time! But don't blink, because I honestly don't think it will be a long process. If I am checked in and ready to go starting around 7:30-8:00am, my guess is we'll have a baby by or just after lunchtime. 

I cannot even tell you what a relief it is to know that it's likely we'll be home and getting settled before the school year begins. And did I not just say that I hope this kid comes on Friday? Haha. I'm thrilled! 

Now I can sit back, enjoy the Olympics, pack everyone and get kids where they need to go ahead of time, and just feel prepared for this baby to come. It's turned into a great week. Oh, and to the parents who gave their kid a toy robot for losing his first tooth, thank you so much. Now my second born thinks she has to make a Christmas list for lost teeth. Well, she woke up this morning to a crisp dollar bill, because our tooth fairy is cheap. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm Not Crazy! Hooray!

I am checking in for a quick update today!  Normally Tuesdays are my days. My days when I go to the doctor to find out WHAT THE HECK is going on with my body. My day to confirm or be let down that all the work my body did throughout the prior week actually produced some physical results. Except that this week it wasn't a doctor who gave me news about my body, it was a random fellow pregnant mama on a message board.

While lamenting all of the signs of labor I have been experiencing for weeks, a fellow mom chimed in and said, "I've been going through prodromal labor too, and it sucks! Hang in there!"

Say what? What is this "prodromal labor" that you speak of?

So I did what any pregnant mom would do, and I turned to good ole google. And that's exactly me. That is ME. That is not just me this time, but me every single time I've ever had a baby, and no one ever told me it had a name.

Basically, prodromal labor is real labor. It's not "false labor" as many expectant moms will experience. It's real labor that starts and then suddenly stops. It sends you into fits of scrambling for hospital bags and questioning, "Do we call the grandparents now??" And it can go on for days or weeks before baby actually comes. The good news? When baby does come, labor goes really really fast, because the body has been preparing so long for it. The bad news? Uh, it's laboring over and over and over again with the same child. Only you don't get a child at the end. Haha. It means a lot of late nights, confusion, aches and pains.

I wish I could go back in time five babies ago and tell past Adrien that I'm not insane and that what my body goes through has a name. It doesn't make the experience any more enjoyable, but geez what giving a name to something can do for a person. In the past I never knew exactly how to describe what was happening to me, so I recall saying things like "It's like my body needs a jump start to get the baby out!" That jump start has usually come in the form of some light drugs in an induction. I've rarely needed much in my inductions to get things really going. And it explains why the one and only time my body actually followed through and gave me a baby that it happened SO quickly.

Here's a random picture Evie took of me this week unexpectedly and with my eyes closed. It's all I've got, so there you go. :)

Poor past Adrien...haha...I can just remember saying things with my other babies like, "If this were 100 years ago I would be one of those women who just never gave birth to my perfectly healthy baby and DIED." But no. I just get to be one of the lucky few who has a trickster for a uterus. A real joker. It's no wonder that I doubted myself and almost didn't wake Eric up the night that Charlotte was born. :)

Now the question is, "How DO I know when it's the real deal?" Well, last time I barely made it to the hospital, so I think it's just really really hard to time and tell. My prodromal labor (it has a name!) can last for hours. Because it's real labor, it starts dull and it builds, the contractions get closer and closer together, I'm thinking it's just about time for the EXTRA hard contractions to send me off to the hospital, and then...nothing. It just stops. Like someone was blowing up a balloon to it's furthest extreme and then decided to let the air out instead of letting it pop. :)

I'm ready to POP gosh darn it. Just let me pop, haha.

So that's my story. That's my update. I am really really tired right now, which is why there is a lack of blogging happening at the moment. I have literally been in and out of labor for two weeks. But I have so many things I want to start and to share once the baby gets here! I appreciate your prayers as we move through this week. We have open houses and kindergarten orientations in the middle of all of this, so there is hardly a "good time" for the baby to come at this point. Unless that day is say, Friday. Friday would be an awesome day to have this child, because then I wouldn't miss school activities this week, and I would be home by the time we are sending Evie and Grace skipping off to their first day of school next week! Let's shoot for Friday. ;)

Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


One of my children got a hold of the camera this week...and this pretty much sums up the way I'm feeling.

I'm having my membranes stripped today. I think I prefer the other name for it, which is "sweeping" the membranes, because that sounds slightly less uncomfortable. :)

I was offered the procedure with every single one of my children, and with every single one I have said, "No, thank you." I was never in any rush to start labor any sooner than necessary, and the unpleasant possible side effects never seemed worth it to me for something I was in no hurry for. But...this time is different. This time I'm actually very uncomfortable...I have four other kids at home...and my due date also happens to be the girls' first day of school at a brand new place. I do not want to be in the hospital once school starts - especially not within the first week.

So, we're going to try to give this little squirt a gentle nudge. We'll see if it works!

My stats as of last Wednesday: (Maybe TMI for some, so you can just scroll on down, haha.) I have an extremely soft cervix, ready to go! In fact, it made it a little more difficult to check dilation, which...I start at a three and narrow down to a one. Baby had room to move down just a bit more, though he had definitely dropped. That was nearly a week ago. I have been told that labor will move extremely fast for me this time. Like, not unheard of for just a few hours from the first contractions to holding baby, so in other words...get to the hospital stat! Charlotte came so fast, I can't even imagine this being faster.

I feel like life has been at a bit of a stand still for a couple of weeks. That awkward waiting for baby period where I can't venture too far away from the hospital and I feel like I have a million things to get done. Life is simultaneously quiet and chaotic - not much to report in the way of things we've been doing, but going a million miles a minute in my head.

The kids have been venturing out with grandparents....

There are tons of parks around, including this one just up the street. Grandma Joan has been coming up for weekly visits and taking the kids swimming and for treats and all kinds of things.

We enjoy being outside in the evenings....

The mosquitos have enjoyed snacking on my 50% increased blood volume. Yay for being pregnant in the summer. And here are my children in an impromptu conga line....

This is riveting stuff, I know. 

Every single night (and sometimes in the afternoon!) I rest my bones in a giant bath tub. Thank goodness for that tub. I missed having one for the last 6.5 years, and I'm not sure how I made it through three pregnancies without one. I remember it was a godsend with Evelyn, and it has been this time, too...the only thing that makes my aches and pains go away for a little while!

I'm trying to tie up loose ends and prepare for what I HOPE will be an eventful week. (Please come, Lincoln! I don't think I have ever said those words to a baby this soon, haha....) So stay close *just in case* because I'm really hoping our procedure today does the trick! As always, we will keep everyone updated here when he makes his arrival. We're praying for an easy and uneventful delivery and for a healthy baby boy! And that I don't give birth to him in the car.

It's time to get ready for my appointment now, goes nothing!


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