Monday, June 27, 2016

Sleep Training? What Sleep Training?

He's a dream baby.  I don't know what else to say.  The first night of sleeping in his own room, in his own crib, I nursed him at 6:30pm then put him in the crib.  He cried for 10 minutes, and I went in and held him for a few minutes, then put him back down.  He cried for 15 minutes...and let me stop and explain "cried".  Because Caroline's "cry" was screaming until she scream/cried herself to sleep...well, for hours.  Cooper's "cry" is more of a fussing...he was not doing a full screaming type of cry.  His cry is just....well, more laid back.   It's like he has a cry to fit his personality....laid back cry for a laid back baby.  So he fussed for 15 more minutes, I went back in a 2nd time held him, and then put him down and that was it....he just fell asleep.  And then I was anxious and couldn't sleep all night and he did not wake up for 8 hours!!!  When he did, I nursed him and laid him back down and there was no fussing at all...he just rolled over and went back to sleep for another 3 hours.

The next day I put him in the crib for his nap and he literally just laid down and went to sleep.  What?!?!
It was amazing.

And so it's pretty much continued.  Not all naps have been as easy as the first, but as long as he is tired then he is pretty happy about going to sleep in the crib.  And night time has provided us with at least 8 straight hours of him sleeping, then a quick nursing session and then right back to sleep. 

I am just in awe.  And so thankful.  I am thankful for all my children, but boy, after dealing with Caroline being such a difficult sleeper for so long, it is a super duper blessing to have an easy baby who likes to sleep!

Coop turned 6 months yesterday, and I just can't believe it.  Each baby I have makes me want another baby.  That seems like such an odd thing to say, but I just can't imagine that Cooper would be our last, although I know all too well that my fertility is completely in the hands of my Creator.  And I will be happy with His plans for our family.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A 6 month hiatus.

Wow....I had a baby and never intended to drop off the face of the blog world, but that is certainly what happened!  Unfortunately, I cannot completely blame it on the baby.  Because he is SUCH a GOOD BABY!  And the fact that he will be 6 months old this Sunday makes me want to cry.  All of our babies have started out their first 6 months of life co-sleeping with us.  And our bedroom just happens to be where my desktop resides.  And that desktop is my preferred medium for creating blog posts, so let's just say that for the last 6 months, once the baby goes to bed, the computer gets turned off and so blog posts have not been born.

But tonight, my friends....tonight is the very first night that I put Cooper down in a different room.  In His Own Crib.  He cried for about 30 minutes (during which I went in twice) and then after putting him back down the 2nd time, he just went to sleep.  And now he has been asleep for 2 hours.  So we will see how it goes.  Really I have no clue how it will go.  The old routine was:  nurse him to sleep in the bed, slowly inch my way off the bed like a ninja so he wouldn't wake up, and then go back in and nurse him if he did wake up. 

The last 6 months have gone by fast.  When I just had my first baby, the days were long, the nights were long, but these days with 4 kids....there is always something going on and barely a moment to think before the next diaper needs to be changed, dishwasher unloaded, garden tended, goats can fill in a number of daily activities.  So life is busy.  But it has made me realize that I need to slow down and reconnect myself with God.  Because I have just been going through life in this blur and not really growing in my spirituality, at least not in the way that I know needs to happen.  Perhaps more on that in another post....I mean, who knows how long I've got before the baby decides to wake up!  Besides that, I've got to tell you about the baby goat with the broken leg, my thyroid nodules and difficulty swallowing, snakes in the barn, 3 birthdays in April, making goat's milk mozzarella cheese for the first time, and the new kitten.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, "It's good to be back!" and hopefully I will update before Christmas ;)  In the meantime, here is an updated pic of my hooligans.  Clockwise from top:  Cooper, Isabel, Ian and Caroline.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Our Newest Bundle!

Welcoming Our Newest Bundle!
Cooper Thomas
10lbs 1oz


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Trip to D.C.

Wow, this was such a neat trip.  On Tuesday of this week, we woke up early, took care of all the farm chores and headed up to Washington, D.C....about a 4 hour trip from our house.  We arrived near 10:30am at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.  The monastery has replicas of the shrines that you would find in the Holy Land, and it was beautiful.  I handed the camera off to Isabel and she just took all kinds of pictures.  We toured the main level of the church and then had a tour of the replica crypts below the church.  The entire tour was about 1 hour.

From there we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed over to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and ducked down into the crypt church to attend the Solemn Mass of First Profession to witness the first vows of ten sisters of Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara which is part of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word.

Although people did take pictures during the Mass, I did not feel comfortable doing so, nor could I have as Ian fell asleep on my lap during the first reading and slept through the entire Mass (which lasted from 2pm until 3:45pm!)  But it was so beautiful....there were so many priests and brothers there, the family of the sisters, the other nuns in the order, the celebrant was Cardinal McCarrick, the singing and atmosphere was other-worldly!  What an inspiration to all of our homeschool friends who attended this ceremony....particularly those who God may be calling to a religious vocation.  (Maybe even Isabel!) ;)

And after the Mass, I also have zero pictures of these beautiful sisters...but it was like attending a wedding.  Their faces were just all smiles and glowing! 

We went upstairs to the main part of the Basilica and found a chapel for our family to make our own family was appropriate that we stepped into the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa (as our home parish in Raleigh is a Shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa!).  There was also a mosaic (well, almost everything in the basilica is made of mosaic tiles) of Saint (Pope) John Paul II, which was really neat because our sweet homeschool friends gave us one of the holy cards of JPII that they had been handed when they walked into the vows Mass (we had come in minutes too late and they had run out of these holy cards, so I had no idea until she handed me one of theirs for us to keep) and it is not just a holy card, but a 2nd class relic of one of his garments!  So walking into the chapel with both of these images was really a little smile from God.  We literally had just enough time to kneel down and pray this consecration prayer that I had found online before Caroline was just at the end of her little 2 1/2 year old "rope".  So it was a disappointment that Isabel was not able to see, explore, and pray at this magnificent is just gorgeous and every nook and corner calls your attention to God's glory!  What a place!



The next morning we woke up and swam in our hotel's rooftop pool (enclosed and heated, thank was still chilly, but the kids loved it).  Then we went to visit the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial which led us by the reflecting pool and both the WWII and Vietnam Memorials.  The younger kids were pretty uncooperative with pictures but I suppose that was to be expected as it was a long walk from the monument to the memorial and back to our car, and they had exercised themselves quite thoroughly already in the hotel pool..... ;)  So the pics that we got were just what we got!

This field trip was a great reminder that planning a trip with little ones never ends up exactly how you envision it in your mind ;)



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10 more weeks...more or less.

I am 30 weeks pregnant.  So we are in the real countdown!  Just 10 short/long weeks left until this new baby arrives.  I had an ultrasound with Maternal Fetal Medicine docs on 10/5 and baby is still showing a slightly larger area near it's is actually the "renal pelvis" that they are looking at.  But the good news is that my placenta has shifted into a favorable position, so it is no longer covering my cervix at all!

I have to go back for one more ultrasound with MFM on 10/26 and the doctor said they will know for sure by that time (32 weeks) whether or not the renal pelvis is too big/a problem.  So 2 more weeks of waiting for that.

This is a super busy month and I know it will just get busier as we get into November and then December! 

Isabel will be showing our baby goats in the NC State Fair in about a week!  So there is a lot of preparation for that since this will be our first time showing any sort of animal in a competition!  I'm sure there will be a learning curve ;)

Then we have Halloween and All Saint's Day the following weekend and right after that we zip up to Washington, D.C. to see some religious sisters take their vows!  I am so excited about this trip because we will visit the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and our family is going to make a family consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary while we are there.  We also get to take a tour of a Franciscan's just going to be a treat for our family and I am so looking forward to it! 

Then....well, like I said it will be November and then Thanksgiving and Advent starting....whew.  Then it's baby time!

Have I said that I cannot wait for baby time?  I am so excited to meet this new little person!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

27 weeks with a pic!

I just hit 27 weeks and baby is delivering some strong kicks and punches these days.  We attended my brother's wedding this past weekend and got some really beautiful pictures of the kids and a couple good ones of me and Rob too! :) 

Poor Ian, if only I had noticed his pants button had popped open. ;)
C did not want to participate in picture I got a good one of her pouting.



I was really excited because I took all these pics myself!  Well, except for the one shot I am in ;)  And I was so happy with how they turned out....I can't wait to see what the wedding photographer got!
As far as the pregnancy goes, I am still on my crazy thyroid med schedule and my thyroid levels are now balanced for the time being, so I will continue with all the fasting and pill popping.  My next high level ultrasound to check placenta placement and the baby's kidneys is October 5th, so I'm praying all is well/resolved and also quite excited to get another peek at baby.
I am feeling...well, achy.  Ever since about mid-way through my pregnancy with Ian, and during each subsequent pregnancy, my left leg goes numb/tingly/pins and needles throughout my pregnancy and gets progressively worse.  It usually resolves months after delivery, but man, this time it is really just driving me crazy.  If I brush against something it either feels like hot ice (I know, that doesn't make any sense), or a bee sting, or a knife, and if I rub my leg it is painful.  So, definitely counting down the weeks until little baby's arrival with great anticipation!

Friday, August 7, 2015

20 1/2 weeks PIC and Thyroid Med Tweak

My NFP/NaPro doctor tweaked my thyroid meds after a blood draw last week, showing that my thyroid ratios were off.

I did not start these new meds/dosages until today because last week we were on vacation and the schedule for taking the doses is a bit crazy.  I was not about to start that at the beach.  But speaking of the beach, here is an updated pic of our little family from this past week!

Everyone is smiling except C!

My Armour got reduced from 45mg 1x per day to 15mg 1x/day. 

And she added 5mcg of Liothyronine Sodium every 12 hours.

Now, this doesn't sound like a big deal except ideally, neither of these medicines should be taken together, and they both require fasting 4 hours prior to and 30 minutes after taking them!  Plus I have to take my regular vitamins a good bit of time apart from these.

So here is my new schedule:

8pm No more eating for the night.
12am (yes, midnight) Take 1 Liothyronine Sodium pill.
6am take 1 Armour Thyroid
No food until 6:30am.
6:30am-8am Eat lots of breakfast ;)
8am No more eating until 12:30pm.
12 noon 1 Liothyronine Sodium pill.
12:30pm eat lunch!
5-6pm Take vitamins with dinner.
8pm No more eating for the night.....and my medicine cycle starts over.

I think most people take their LS pill like 6am and 6pm, but I thought that might be harder to fast from 2-6:30pm, than to do a morning fast.  So when Rob recommended this time frame 12am and 12pm, I asked the pharmacist and she said that would be ideal, if it was possible for me.

I have been so moody, short and snappy lately....I can't believe I didn't guess that something was off with my thyroid levels.  And frankly, I'm so glad they ARE off, because it helps explain my increased fatigue and my moodiness.  So I'm actually excited to get it my hormones leveled back out and hopefully feel better even though the med schedule does sound crazy.  Honestly, I am waking up so much right now to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night, that it didn't seem that out of line to just set my alarm and take a pill.

Baby is very active these days.  I've started having heart burn if I eat anything with any spice....even BBQ sauce!  We have a boy's name picked out and are very up-in-the-air about girl names....we have a list but I don't feel very led to a certain name for a girl at the least we still have lots of time.  And of course we are thinking this baby is a boy, I don't feel a lot of pressure to have a girl's name ready ;)  That's about it!  Thanks for all the prayers for my pregnancy and Baby Holmes :)