Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our newest minion. Meet Shirley.

Behaving just long enough to take the picture. Chaos ensued. 

This picture from the last OB appt before Shirley was born. Yes, all 5 had to go with me. Finding a sitter is not as easy during the day. There is no way I will pay $50+ to send 5 to a daycare for 2 hours. Nope. Not happening.

As you can see, Shirley was born pink. A few hours after the Csection (interesting one) we went to our room. The Pedi came to do the newborn screening as we were calling Aunt Julie to bring the minions to the hospital. The kids literally made it to the parking lot when the nurse came in and told us that she needed us to wait. The Dr. needed to talk to us. Shirley would need to stay in the nursery.

The Dr. detected a heart murmur. She felt because nothing was detected on any ultrasound that it was most likely a PDA. I can handle a PDA. Clark had one when he was born. They gave him some medicine and it helped it close. Not a huge deal. Still, our hospital did not have the equipment needed to do further testing. The decision was made that she would be taken to the closest NICU. It was an hour away and happened to be the one Clark was in. The only hitch was, I had just had a Csection with a tubal ligation. They do NOT bring the mother with the baby.  So I remained and started begging my OB to release me so I could be with my daughter.
Shirley getting ready to leave with the transport unit.

I sent The Elder to be with her. Pa took him for support. The nurse with the transport unit felt it was more than a PDA. So they left with Shirley and my OB came back in to talk to me. She was really nice and made a deal with me. This was far from my first Csection. I already knew what not to do and danger signs. So, as long as I could pee enough on my own, as long as I could keep down food, and as long as I could make a full lap around the halls, she would release me the next day.

Testing was finished at about 10pm. The Elder had the Pediatric Cardiologist call me. Sadly, I had the beginnings of a spinal headache. I could barely follow what was going on. The Elder opted to come back to me that night (I told him to stay there with our daughter).

Dr. Chris drew this for me

This is what came back with The Elder. Dr. Chris (Shirley's Pediatric Cardiologist) had been nice enough to draw this picture for me. By this time, it was about 11:30pm. My nurse had made arrangements for the anesthesiologist to see me first thing in the morning to see about a blood patch. I was warned that they may not release me even though I was doing what they asked of me. Mainly because while I could do it all, it was clearly a struggle due to the pain in my head.

Shirley has Tetralogy of Fallot. There is a hole between her ventricles. In addition to that, the valve where the blood goes from the heart to the lungs is tight. It moves enough to let some blood through, but not enough for her to have 100% oxygen saturation. She was hanging out between 75-85%. This is why her nose was a purple color.

Shirley in NICU
My OB did end up releasing me about 30 hours after my Csection. She pretty much asked me was I sure. She knew I was struggling to do things, but she was my OB with Clara (Glow Stick). She knew how stubborn I can be. I was sure and I was released to go be with the youngest Minion.

I know she was the easiest baby in all of NICU. Walking into the nursery she was in (#11. Not a small NICU) brought back memories of Clark's 73 day stay. By then Shirley was keeping her oxygen saturation at around 89%. Her stay was extremely short. She only needed to stay for 3 days. She is on medicine to help the valve move. We have weekly visits to check her saturation levels (steady at 85-89%).

Thinking about stuff and things. 3 weeks old.

What does this all mean for us? We are lucky and we know it. We cannot let her cry a lot or she could turn blue. We have a baby that turns a dusky purple at times. LOTS of hand washing and sanitizer in the house. If she gets ill, we have to take her to be seen right away. Meds every 6 hours and she will have surgery between 3-6 months of age. They will replace the valve and repair the hole in her heart. She may never be able to do most sports, but that is ok. We will just have to wait and see how that goes. At some point she will need another surgery before she is an adult.

The goal now is for her to grow as big as she can before surgery. Either way, it needs to be done before she becomes  active. Shirley is now a month old and doing well. :-)
The Minions

Friday, August 1, 2014

Let's play catch up. The addition!

Adding on 2 rooms and expanding the existing room on that side. We lost the window and some space due to needing a hall and the window placement.

A lot has happened to my little tribe. I told myself that I would start to post again. It is a way to wind down at the end of the day... or something to do while I am ignored in the morning. Where shall we start? Hmm... How about the addition. A little back story, yes, we are a one income family. We haven been saving for several years now for this addition, basically since we moved into this house and the Elder realized I was right. There wasn't enough room to put 2 bedrooms into the man cave and still keep it for his side's family Christmas party. That was just shy of 4 years ago. This house was originally a 2 bedroom house with an above garage family room and a living room in the main house. We already had 3 minions at that time. We had hopes to have the addition the year after Colonel Sanders was born (we co sleep). Only my van died. So it was delayed. We were trying to do this all without an added loan. This means saving like mad and some sacrifices.

Anyway, IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!!! The hope was it would be finished by Clark's birthday at the end of June. No luck. After many hiccups, scheduling issues, and being at a stand still because the inspector stood us up, we finally had our last inspection this last Tuesday!

Our contractor and his little crew work mainly on the weekends (Fri-Sunday). Sometimes a guy or 2 would come out during the week. It meant slower work, but that was ok. They are great guys and they did awesome with the minions.

We built onto the back of the house. At this end there is the bathroom to the left and on the right was our old bedroom. We decided that our old room would become the boys' new room. We added a slider into the plans for one of the new bedrooms.

The plan was to build as much on the outside as they could before they broke through the existing outer walls to the house to join the 2. The main reason was to keep the house closed up as much as possible since we had little ones.

They framed in the new addition and then put in the closets. Next came another inspection, then taking out the walls between the old and new, another inspection. Electrical was run next... with another inspection.

This picture is of where they took out the 2 walls to what use to be our bedroom. Our bed ended up in the living room for almost a month. You see the beam running across? That is where the old exterior wall use to be. All that was our room. So there is the frame in for the hall and also for the expansion of the old room. They used plastic to keep dust out of the house and minions out.

This view is from the existing room. You can see where they took away from the room to make the hall and made an opening to the main house. Colonel Sanders thought this was the coolest thing ever. That mess of wires is our cable modem and router. It was located in our room.

While we waited for the inspection, to run electrical, and the electrical inspection, the guys did the siding. Notice the 2 colors? Our house has old cedar siding that was in need of being replaced in the next few years. So we opted to have the siding done in the color we want the house to be. Then next year we will finish the rest of the house.

Next came drywall. The inspection, and then the drywallers had to mud the rooms... with another inspection when they were finished. Really. I never knew you needed so many inspections while building. They only inspect on Mondays and Thursdays in our area. So if we were stood up for a Thursday inspection (happened), then we lost a whole weekends worth of work.

See that? Happened as a combo of The Elder tripping (uneven floor) while walking to the bathroom and the minions then realizing the wall could be like clay... Mama was NOT amused. Luckily the guys came back the next day and repaired this before the inspection. They just laughed. I am so grateful for such a great group of guys working on our home!

Next came flooring. First they had to even out the floor. When they poured the new foundation, they had it level on the bathroom side. Instead they should have done it on the bedroom side. Our house is pretty old and was actually built in sections. I am told most of the older houses out here use to be cabins that people later built onto. So the new hall was not even with the new added rooms. There was also difference in the height of the floor in what use to be our master bedroom.

Here it is! Even! We had forgotten to ask them to move the heat vent to another location. See that orange? It's suppose to be lava. We allowed the minions to pick the colors they wanted. Clark wanted blue, Pork wanted green like grass, and Tyke wanted lava. For 3 weeks he told us about how cool lava would be. Ok... We compromised. The ceiling is a blue (looks good), the back of the door is green and so is the dresser (a post in the future), and the spots for the supporting beams from the old outer wall were turned into lava. The rest was painted off white. We allowed the minions to pick the shades they wanted too.

Glow stick did not get a voice in the girls' shared room. The Colonel wanted a pink princess room. That pink was the color she chose. I refused to have a room done in total pink. She also requested a "princess room". The compromise was to let her pick out princess curtains, the one wall painted the pink of her choice, and I painted the remaining walls a color called Soap Bubble. It is an extremely light pink that looks white while there is light on it. When it is dim, it is a very light pink.

Our room did not turn out as planned. I got a green with the same concept of when light was on it, it looked white, when dim it was a light green. Then I opted to paint one wall a "metallic" green. It sounds horrid, but the color is nice... To bad the greens did not go well together once on the walls. They looked good in paint swatches. The darker green makes the other walls appear a mint green all the time. Oh well. It is slowly growing on me. Mainly because we did all the painting (to save some money) and I was tired of painting.

Now comes the task of moving everyone into their new rooms. I have stuff from bedrooms in my living room, it has taken over my dining room, and I still have a disaster area in the boys' old room to clean up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


PPD hasn't been very kind to me. I do not have any intention of hurting anyone, I just lack motivation.

Anyway, so news here... Guess what?
That's right. The final addition to our family will be here early December.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Bowling of the New Year


First round of Bumper Bowlers league of 2014! Forgive my poor pictures. As you can imagine, it is very hard to keep everyone going and together when it is just me. I had 4 little ones bowling this year. The best I could do is super quick snapshots.

Notice no headphones on Clark? Yeah! We over came the noise overload at the bowling alley! 

This one is pretty bad. I cannot figure out why he chose to sit down to watch his ball. As long as he got up when it hit the pins, I let Tyke do as he pleased. At least I knew where he was.

 Pork decided he was going to lay the ball down and roll it. No matter what I did, I could not get him to toss it. Needless to say, even though he is the strongest child (and the heaviest by 15+ lbs), he had the slowest moving balls.


Oh Pork Pork. At least the ball made it down all the way. The boys all have their own balls. The Colonel does not. So she had to use one of theirs.

The Elder was going to join us. Normally he is out of work at 3:30pm. Only his job opened up over time until May or June. This means he will not be out of work until 5:30pm. This leaves me to handle bowling (4:30pm) alone.
Colonel Sanders
 This is the first time The Colonel has been allowed to bowl on the league. Normally they will not allow them till they are 4 (or very close). The Colonel turned 2 in November.  The Elder has bowled here for years. Everyone knows him. The boys bowled all last year. So they knew our family as a whole. One of the coaches told us that if The Colonel would remain interested, then they would gladly allow her on the league. YES! It makes my life easier (kinda).

C - Our beloved Glow Stick.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Clark has come a long way with bowling! We no longer need the headphones. He no longer melts down near 6th frame. Now Clark just has a few problems getting started.  Last "season" we had bowling on Saturday mornings. First thing in the morning is always a good time for us. 

Yes, they participate in bumper bowling. Over the last 2 "seasons" they have improved. The bumpers are not always in use.

Snack while bowling seems to be key at keeping the minions in one place. 

This winter their league went to 5 week long sessions instead of 10-11 week sessions. There is no longer a Saturday league. Our only option this winter is 4:30 on Tuesdays. Tuesdays will now become Crock Pot Tuesdays!

My 3 bowling Minions...

:-) Like the shirts? I actually have one for all 5 minions. The Colonel will be joining the boys this winter. She is still under the age, but since The Elder bowls on Sundays there and the boys make up their own team, they agreed to let Colonel Sanders join early, after all, she is there anyway and it will help keep her amused.