Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School

The 16th of August was the older two kids' first day of school. A started 2nd grade and J started kindergarten. A was not really excited at all which kind of surprises me. She has lots of friends and really excels academically. Despite my explanations to the contrary (and her own experience here at home), she is under the impression that we do some really awesome stuff here at home during the day and she misses out by going to school. I like to think that maybe she just misses me...who knows. J, on the other hand, was so excited to start. He was thrilled about everything related to starting school, and excited the morning of too. Here are my big school kids...


The first day went great. I am so glad it was not a repeat of last year. A actually had a good day...she has a really fun teacher and they have a bunny in the classroom that she just loves. J's teacher is such a sweet lady and I think she will be perfect for him. He was pretty overwhelmed the first couple of days and apparently knows the answers to all the questions so he has a hard time not blurting everything out.  He is doing really well and adjusting to life at school. I almost didn't cry that first day...almost.  They are just getting so big and I do love having them all home with me. I miss them while they are gone but I suppose it's something I better get used to.

PS Ike started preschool the day after I had the baby so all of his pictures are on John's phone still. He LOVES school and even more exciting...he gets to ride the BUS!! "That was so AWESOME!!!" were his exact words.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The New Princess

SHE'S HERE!!!




I LOVE that they take decent pictures at the hospital these days!!

After no sleep last Tuesday night, we were up bright and early to deposit older children and made it to the hospital only 8 minutes late. We filled out the paper work, I got changed, and after poking (and bruising) me a number of times, the IV was in. My surgery was scheduled for 8:15am (we were there at 6:23) but it got pushed back for another c-section. We went back to the OR at about 8:40, they got the spinal in very quickly, did the other things to get me ready, and called John back.

SARAH KENDALL BALSMEIER
was born at 9:01am. She weighed 8lbs12oz and was 20in long.
The docs finished up with me and wheeled me to the recovery room where I finally got to hold her. Usually, you're in the recovery room for an hour but all the rooms were full. Apparently, everyone had a baby last week. After three or four hours in the recovery room, we finally got a real room (#425) that I would have for the next three days.

Things went really smoothly. My time in the hospital is always kind of bittersweet in a way. It's so nice to have nurses to care for me and someone else to cook and clean. It's a necessary time to let my body heal some but I miss my kids and my dear husband. My stay this time was very relaxing and much needed. I had some wonderful nurses and some not (ie Nurse Slacker and Nurse Nazi), but overall it was a nice time to relax, sleep and heal but I am always excited when it's time to come home.

I was actually looking forward for John to have some time with the kids....it never happens. He had quite an experience with them...
He was with me most of the day Wednesday. He left about 5 or so to go get all the kids from different places and brought them up to see me. A big thanks to my friend Katie and my SIL, Jennifer!!! They stayed for a bit to see us and take a few pictures then Daddy took them all home. On Thursday, we had an electrician to the house. The wiring in our home is a disaster and we kept having issues with it. John figured getting it done before I came home with a newborn was a good plan. Thursday was also Ike's first day of preschool!! He has been so excited. So the older three were at school and E went to Aunt J's house again while John and the electrician went to work on the house.

Thursday night there was a big storm. We lost power at the hospital for a couple hours and the house's power never came back on. John called me Friday morning with that news. He got the kids to school (all three at two different schools...Ike is supposed to ride the bus, but the school district screwed something up and it doesn't start til Wednesday), and came to the hospital when Ike got out of preschool at lunch time. Still no power at the house. E has been out of sorts for a few weeks now, but man...that kid was full out having issues. John got him to fall asleep in the chair in the hospital room. Ike was fine watching cartoons but I noticed he was talking funny. I check out his throat and see that his tonsils are so swollen they are almost touching in the back of his throat. John immediately takes Ike to the docs for them to do a swab and E stayed and slept at the end of my bed. John got Ike checked out then had to race to get ice in the fridge and freezers (still no power at the house) and then go get A and J. He came back to get E REALLY quickly and made the kids stay on the stroller in the hall so as not to spread more germs than necessary. Anyway, kids are out of sorts and ornery, no power at the house, a sick kid...John took the kids to dinner (which apparently was a terrible dining experience...not because of the kids) and got a hotel for the night.

On Saturday, we had A's birthday party. And by "we", I mean John. John got everything ready and made it to the party which was a big success. It's expensive, but paying to have the party somewhere was a wonderful convenience this time around. Then he came and got me and the baby from the hospital. The power did come back on sometime Friday night or we would have been going to the hotel. Luckily, we were able to come home. We hung out Saturday evening in peace...as much peace and four upset children can allow.

Sunday, the electrician was back to finish what they started on Thursday. So the power was on and off, so they could work, but it was a fairly calm day. That night we had family over for cake and ice cream for the newly-seven-year-old. The electrician hadn't finished yet, and our house is kind of small for that many people but I am so glad they were here. A was thrilled to see her cousins. I went downstairs to get the ice cream and noticed the wires and such, and the freezer covered in tools and what not, so I enlisted John to go get the ice cream...bad idea. He tripped on some of the wire and fell down the stairs!! Poor man. I felt so terrible and there wasn't much I could do to help him. His brother helped him up the stairs and into the recliner, and he iced it. He insisted he didn't need to go to the ER or anything.

We had cake and ice cream. And Ike and a few cousins helped her blow out the candles...we did candles again. Then A opened gifts. Dad and I got her a bike and Grandma Kathi and everyone got her a Littlest Pet Shop toy, a sticker book and a guitar!! The girl was thrilled.

The swelling went down in John's ankle and it seemed to be feeling better. We wrapped it and hoped it wasn't broken. It was great to have everyone over for our daughter and we were ready for kids to be in bed.

Wow. That was a CRAZY week!!! Actually, crazy doesn't begin to describe it. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband. He didn't complain once (other than mentioning that things were CRAZY!) and he handled it all so well. What a trooper! I know the kids were having such a hard time starting school, losing Mom for a few days, getting a new sibling, not being at home and everything else that happened last week, but they are such great kids. J is so sweet, A is a huge helper, Ike was fairly good considering his sickly state and E is not even 2 so we don't expect much. I love my children and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Sarah and I are doing well. She eats great and sleeps wonderfully too. My body is healing as expected. We are all so excited to have her here with us. All the kids just adore her. A and J argue over who gets to pick her outfit! We are all just ready for life to settle down a bit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Week

One week from today we will welcome our fifth (and last) child into the world. It's very surreal. I had my first child seven years ago this month....a beautiful baby girl. It only seems fitting that we end in August with another baby girl. We are all so very excited. It seems I have been constantly pregnant for the last seven years and I am pretty excited not to be as such again.

Being pregnant is not terrible, I just don't enjoy it all that much like I know a lot of ladies do. I don't like being tired or sick all the time, the swelling, sleepless nights, the heartburn, headaches, or backaches. I don't like that I can't get down and rough house with the very active children I already have. I don't like that I don't have the energy or my body is aching so badly that the thought of taking them to the park or the zoo or the pool is a daunting one. I don't like that my house is in constant disarray because of the same reasons. Although, knowing the date and time of delivery is convenient, I do not enjoy going through major surgery every time. The recovery is dreadful. I do LOVE, however, the feel of the little human that we created moving inside my abdomen. I do love knowing that I have been given the opportunity to bring 5 of our Father in Heaven's spirits into this world. I love bringing a new baby home from the hospital and adjusting my life to accommodate another little miracle. I do love the excitement that's involved in the whole process. I do LOVE my children with every ounce of my being and I am so incredibly blessed to have them.

I know that this chapter of our lives is coming to an end and I am really trying to relish it and remember. Remember the feel of her kicks and even all the things I don't enjoy so much. I know I will miss them someday. I look at my eldest and remember what I can of when we brought her home, when she first smiles and laughed. She is only seven (almost) and still she has grown so much. It seems like she came into our lives only yesterday but at the same time, I can hardly remember life with out her. I remember my parents telling me that time goes faster the older you get...it's so true. My kids are growing so fast and I won't be having any more to rewind the process, so to speak. I am truly trying to relish the precious time I have with this pregnancy and with each of my kids.

I have a friend who said once, "I am ready to stop having kids and start raising the ones I have." I know what she meant now. While bringing those precious spirits here is so exciting and important, we both feel like our family is complete and we have done that work. I am excited to bring this princess home and enjoy how she fits into the dynamics of our family. I am excited that it's a girl I will be bringing home this time. I am excited for the soft sweet baby skin and experience all the "firsts" all over again. I am excited to have my body back, even if just to a slight degree at first. I am excited for all the things that growing up means. Trying to raise responsible, kind, faithful, honest people is a daunting and frightening task, but I am excited for it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

another post?!

I know it's crazy. More than one post in a month....crazy stuff. I figured I better get 'caught up' before I have this baby. Also, my mom wants to see pictures!

Well, we did get another ultrasound. I was pretty excited because I was sure I wouldn't get another. The doc wanted to see how big she is getting though. They estimated her at about 7 1/2 lbs and that was at 36 weeks. HA! Why do I have such huge babies? I kind of like that they come out with some chubs though. I got a new pink swing and a new pink carseat...I have a problem, I know. And the nursery is all done and ready for the princess to make her debut.



The baby bedding was not difficult to do and I think it turned out well. Thanks Mom for the fabric! I have also made the baby several blankets, onesies, leggings and hairbows/flowers. I have also finished the birthday shirts for A and E as I didn't think that they would get done so soon after the baby. All I have left on my to do list is some cleaning. Only 2 weeks and 2 days!!!