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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Comfort of being with family

As I said before, we went down to Comfort for the winter.
Like birds, we migrated south to the Grit 'N Glitter Ranch.

I had cabin fever after being cooped up in a house with three kids, no neighbors, no friends nearby, no social outlets, no places to shop and see other people, and the most exciting thing here being a goat fair.  
Ryan moved the RV down there.  Shane had MacGyver'd the road and the hookups so we could squeeze into little Sursaville.  
Within a few days of being there, the girls had already broken the bird bath.  By broken, I mean knocked the cement bowl off the stand... all 780 pounds of it... onto the ground... barely missing their toes.  They colored all over EVERYTHING IN SIGHT with their chalk.  It looked like a semi-polite gang of thugs had swooped by, really wanting to be rebellious and edgy, but not wanting to be too offensive or permanent.  Instead of knives, they carried sticks. 
Tay ate every one of Sandra's cactus leaves - not the whole thing, just a bite out of each one.  Maybe it was in hopes that the next tasted better than the previous.  Gotta admire her tenacity and dedication. She left little wads of wet toilet paper origami ALL over Shane's bathroom, and painted Shane's bathtub with a bar of soap.  She is always weird, but she went bat poop crazy out in the wilderness.  Full on feral child.
They were fighting dog aliens

So many of these.  So many.

 Her face is covered in frosty pink lip gloss.

 Christian found a spearhead!

Yep. Tay is wearing a helmet.

And we all had lots of shooting shenanigans with Shane:

I love the way he teaches CK.  
Its always about respect and safety, which applies to all things.

 Adam used his pistol like a machine gun. 

(Lets not look to closely at the back of the 9th months pregnant chic.  Ew.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ebola on a plane

Remember that time when people were getting ebola?  And it seemed to be the most rampant and contagious on airplanes?

See how many looks you can get while flying with morning all day sickness, but aren't visibly pregnant.  My neighbor jerked himself closer to the window as Sandra slapped the barf bag on my thigh.  Too late fella!  I've already been blowing breath all up in your Koolaid!  There's no hope for you.

I felt like I needed a shirt that said "I don't have ebola!".  But, they don't make those.  Or, at least they didn't at the time.  

So, yes, I flew.  And I flew to Florida with Sandra (who is now my cousin) to see Natalee, my other cousin.  We sought out beer pickles, shopped, whispered to pirates, criticized baby names ending in "ly", ate REALLY good food, saw a dickie do award, and laughed until we almost peed in our pants. 
I was also felt up at the airport.  

(I threw up right before we took this)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

And then this happened...

All of the sudden I had a brand spankin' new baby in my arms!  

No, that's not exactly how it went down.
I WISH that's how it happened.  I might be THE worst pregnant person EVER.  Its pure psychological and physical torture.  
Have you ever had a 24 stomach bug where you're exhausted and throw up at even the slightest mention of food - all day every day?  Do that for FOUR MONTHS.  Then come tell me how happy you are.  
I also carry a lot of my baby inward.  I don't have small babies, so that means my organs have to rearrange to accommodate their occupancy.  My lungs usually get the shaft in the agreement.  I live at about 14% lung capacity from about 2 months until 9 months.  However, I will say, I don't gain a ton of weight, have relatively easy and uncomplicated labors, and bounce back fairly quickly.  Its just the 9 months that really suck.  

So... How did this happen, you're wondering.  Well... see the birds and the bees... 
No, seriously.  I have had thyroid issues for the last 3 years.  I could not get them under control.  I had an amazing doctor in Houston.  THE best.  But, he retired.  I found a lady in Addison that is okay.  But, she didn't quite fix me up.  In Port Aransas of all places, I found another SUPERB doctor that just happened to specialize in women's hormones!!!  He did an across the board blood analysis and told me my progesterone was gone.  None.  He asked if I wanted something to bring it back up.  I declined, since this was a sure birth control method. No progesterone = no ovulation = no pregnant Mer.  He also changed my thyroid medication that day to something waaay legit.  
Boom.  Two weeks later is when we predict I conceived.  I don't know if my body lied to the doctor, or if that thyroid medicine fixed me up PRONTO... All I know is, it was totally not expected!!! 
To add bees to the hive, we also had just purchased a flip house out in the middle of nowhere.  I had to work AND be pathetic!  
We had already moved the RV back up north and were staying at the lake, as we slowly moved into the flip house.  I was at our little cabin that we had (where we intended on building a house on land with my cousin), grabbing furniture and boxes, and totally exhausted.  That's just not like me.  I am usually the Energizer bunny.  And I wanted pickles.  Lots of pickles.  Ding ding ding.  I knew it.  I took the test to confirm.  Yep, I was about to get fat and moody.
I told Ryan.  I don't remember exactly what he said.  I think I just told him and carried on with my day.  Round four isn't nearly as scary or overwhelming.  It just is.  
I hovered over the toilet for the first four months in our flip house.  But, I felt like I was living in isolation out in the tiny little retirement community we called home.  I was about to go crazy!
So, we stayed in our RV on my aunt's ranch in Comfort that whole winter. Once late February came around, she was ready for me to go.  She wasn't going to birth no baby... and I surely wasn't going to let my brother do it!  That's a site that can not be unseen... no matter how many bottles of whiskey go down the shoot.  I left Comfort on the 24th and had a photo shoot in Houston on the 24th.  I was clocking my contractions the WHOLE drive home.  (see the first pic)  I even pulled into the hospital and walked around a bit.  But, they subsided and I went home.
Skip a day.  It was the day before my birthday.  I was due in early March, around the 12th or something.  (The date wasn't clear since my ovulation was so off.)  The kids and I went out to eat with Bonnie, my cousin, and her family.  Mexican food, of course.  I had been throwing up for 2 days and my stomach just hurt.  I told Bonnie that I felt like I could go into labor any day.  I came home and kept feeling crappy.  I had Taylor Rose in 20 min.  I mean, from suspecting I *miiiight poooossibly be in labor* to holding her in my arms.  The hospital is 45 min from our house.  I couldn't be stubborn or embarrassed of false labor.  After Ryan came home, I told him I was going to head out.  This was at about 9:45.  I put the kids to bed first and then left.  When I got there, they checked me out and said I was at a 2.  They didn't consider it actual labor until you're at a 3.  I told her my situation, and she let me stay.  I laid on the bed hooked up to a monitor for an hour.  No progression.  Just contractions.  She said if nothing happened in an hour, they couldn't admit me.  But, she recommended I walk the halls.  Holy moly, that worked.  I walked for an hour.  When she checked me again, I was at a 4.  
I called Ryan (it was now 1:00 in the morning) and told him what was up.  
They moved me upstairs.  I told them that I was using a midwife and wanted the super cool midwife room with the big bed and massive hot tub looking thing.  She said my midwife, THE ONLY MIDWIFE IN THE WACO AREA, wasn't on call that night.  I couldn't use that room without her.  I asked if there was anyone there that could assist me in having the baby without an epidural.  She said "technically they CAN, however they're not experienced with techniques and will have you lay on your back and follow procedure."  Fail.  
Side note: I might be allergic to epidurals.  They make me itch horribly, one made me completely paralyzed (not even toe wiggle-age), I vomit, and I am sore FOREVER at my entrance site.  
So, I waited it out.  For 5 hours.  I started to think I'd never have this baby.  They assumed the baby's head was slightly turned, so it was delaying progression.  She couldn't drop all the way - like fitting an oval in a round hole.  They asked if I wanted pitocin.  I said sure.  It helped.  But, then I wanted an epidural since everything I thought was going to happen just wasn't happening.  I got that and my heart rate sank.  A lot.  I threw up.  After waiting too long for help, she came back and adjusted my drip.  I looked like a marshmallow from all of the fluids.  Again, my heart rate dropped.  Again, I threw up.  I think my heart rate was at a 74.  Something scary.  Things were beeping, I was loopy and pale, and totally about to pass out.  So, they took me off the epidural.  I think I tried it out for 2 hours. 
It was now around 7:00 am.  Finally, my midwife showed up.  She walked in, never acknowledged Ryan, and was quite cold.  I told her I was very disappointed in the situation.  She didn't say much and left the room.  (I already didn't care much for her.  She got onto me around my 7th month for gaining 14 pounds.  I felt like crap, even started limiting my food intake. And she was never very friendly.)  Ryan was livid.  I had to talk him out of confronting her.  No one wants to piss of the person handling your nether regions.  
10:00 came around and I felt like I was ready to have her.  I was having full blown contractions and had the pressure.  My body was about to have her whether I was ready or not.  I paged the nurse.  She said she'd get the doctor.  I kid you not, I laid there trying to control my contractions and not push for 15 min before she came in.  If you've ever had a natural birth, you know how impossible that is!!!  Its going against God and all things rational.  She came in and confirmed I was ready.  Duh!  
After a few pushes and some manipulation to turn her head, she was born at 10:32 on February 27 (which also happens to be MY birthday!).  
All I remember saying is "Woah!  That hurts!"  and she said "Well, yeah!".  No profanities.  I was much less ferocious this time that with Tay.  (Give me some credit, she got stuck!!)
If men are reading, skip this gray part...  
I needed stitches.  She started and then was paged.  She left me all exposed on the table while she answered her page!!!!  I laid there for about 20 min super embarrassed until she came back.  She finished up and never came back to check on me.  Not once.  Ever.
She came out looking like an Isla Kye - the name first on the list and after my brother, Kyle.  So, after a day, I decided that was her name.  
She was the sweetest little cuddly bunny ever.  And still is.  And THE happiest baby EVER!
Since I had her natural, I was up and about pretty quickly.  I took a shower and walked around for a bit.  My mom brought the kids up to visit their new sister.  Tay made my bed practically shoot me through the ceiling, Maven paged the nurses 76 times, they played with the feminine pads in the bathroom... the usual.  Other than that, it was good.  
And Christian.  Oh, he was 100% smitten from the first moment he saw that baby girl.  They still have an intense eye-gazing face-petting bond.  
The weather outside was horrible.  It was icy and cold.  Just like when I had Tay.  Worst weather EVER to drive home with a newborn.  So, as any logical person would do, I drove myself home.  
We made it just fine.  The kids immediately bombarded Isla with welcoming gifts - the kind that smother a newborn.  And its been awesome ever since.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Whirlwind weekend

We are working on becoming a superhero family. So, for practice, we test our energy, stress endurance, and speed. We are pretty close, I'd say. 
Christian had a soccer game in Waco on Saturday, but Tay also had a cheer competition in Arlington at Six Flags. We thought long and hard about which was our favorite kid. But, it kept switching depending on who was hollering and who was offering foot rubs. So, Ryan took Christian to his game while I took Tay to cheer. 
She rode a few rides, but wasn't impressed. Tay is an adrenalin junkie like her momma. The faster, the better. We only had 2 hours to kill before her show, so it worked out perfectly. 
(Okay, I saw an 11-ish year old girl with her friend by a ride. She ran around, then came up to where her mom was sitting and asked to PLAY ON HER PHONE!!! What the heck?! That mom said no, and I wanted to high-five her. But, she had an unwelcoming grumpy look all over her face, so I left her alone.)
Anyway... Tay lingered on stage after the performance was over. I think she was soaking in the applause. 
"Thank you! Thank you! It's all for meeeeee!!" 

Christian (#20) was a rockstar, as usual, in soccer. This stuff just comes easy to him. (He got that from me, I guess. NOT.)  
Of course they won! 

Then, the fun stuff started. I went home to pick up Ryan, et al, and we drove down to San Antonio for the night. We kind of just packed into a bedroom like sardines. There were bodies everywhere. We woke up at 6:00 the next morning, and planned to just dump the kids in the car while they were still passed out. That sooo didn't go as planned. They woke up early, too, barking orders and hopping around like methheads on fire. It took us over an hour just to trap them and tie them to their seats. 
With the help of my cousins, we eventually we made it out and ended up in Port Aransas. Sandfest 2015, baby!! Woo hoo!! 

Tay was way more interested in the dirty rain puddles, and even drew a crowd like she was some sort of attraction to be seen. Maven followed her, as always. 

See her in the middle? 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Big Girls

As I do every year, because I am just soooo super organized and am up for the Mom of the Year award, I did a mini photo shoot for the girls' birthdays. 
And since I am just that awesome, I am posting them a year too late.