Tuesday, September 30, 2008

one of those things...

there is nothing better than a newborn baby blessing your home...

hmm, pretty sure that is why I have had so many...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Monday Makeover

me huge and preggo right before Paxton was born
Not only do I feel like a new woman being out of the hospital for the last 11 days- getting close to needing to enter another type of hospital if you know what I mean, but the good news is I am not pregnant anymore!!!!! So the makeover for this week is all about me, big old pregnant woman just 11 days ago onto big old not pregnant woman! Although I am down 22 pounds and I only gained 14, but I still have along way to go, four kids in two years does not do a body good...at ALL! I guess when you are in the hospital worried sick about your helpless little baby and the other four you have left at home, you can drop weight like crazy. So there you go, I guess there was a something good that came out of that hospital stay besides getting a healthy baby to come home!

right before we brought paxton home

words cannot describe how happy i was

and on a side note i am pretty sure i aged like 10 years in that hospital, every picture i have from the NICU i look so darn tired

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We are home!!!!

After 11 days of some what torture, we are home!!!
I have much more to say, but at the time I feel the need for sleep in a major way!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life in the NICU

"Living" in the NICU is such a weird thing. On one hand it can be so depressing. And then at the same time it can be so fascinating and wonderful, like when the babies get to go home. Since each child has their own rooms, you don't see a lot of the other families. You see them down in the cafe or in the parents lounge, but that is pretty much it. Last night when I was talking to some family updating them on our little guy I was talking to two ladies. One was in the middle of adopting her baby that has downs, and three wholes in her heart and she was so happy and so optimistic about it all. Another girl was 15 and had her 13 ounce baby at 24 weeks. She had mentioned how her back was hurting from sleeping on the couches in the room and how she will be happy when they can go home, obviously having no idea of the reality of it all. That baby will be in there for at least 18 weeks and probably more, but she doesn't seem to get that. The whole floor with 60 rooms is just a weird thing. You see breakdowns a lot and you hear laughter. Weird.

I think the weirdest thing about it all is this has only been my 3rd day in the NICU, but honestly this is no exaggeration when I say that it feels like I have been there a month already. Each day seems to be a week long. It is so weird. I also feel like all I think about is numbers, all his labs and such. It can sure be exhausting. How can I have only been there for 3 days! What on earth do the mothers who have had babies there for months do? I have no idea and I don't want to know either.

Ok, now onto the good stuff, our little Paxton. He has been such a trooper. He is just chugging along impressing us all. The doctor tonight said you can tell on the babies who just needed a little more time because at some point all of a sudden they start making rapid improvements and that is exactly what he is doing. Yesterday things were starting to look up. His numbers were looking good although they did put him under the lights because he was as orange as a pumpkin. He skipped straight over the yellow and went straight to orange. By this morning his levels looked good so his tanning days are over. His CO2 numbers were great too, so they have now taken him off the oxygen completely, he is on room air. They still use the cannula for flow and he is on 5 liters which is pretty high, but they feel like he will do well coming off that too. They also took the artery line out of his belly button. That is what they used to draw blood. The doctor had said once that was out it would be a good thing because it means that they will not have to do nearly as many labs on him. Since they do not have that advantage now he gets blood drawn through his heel which can't be fun. But talking to her tonight she said she thinks she will do one more draw tomorrow and that is it. That is great news to us all! And he went from drinking 5ml of pumped milk up to 75ml. All the pumping I have done, will not last long at that rate. And since he was doing so well they are letting me nurse him which is huge. He did so well the very first time. I was a little afraid because he had had a bottle for 2 days now and was on iv fluids up till then. I thought maybe it would be too hard for him to work for it or he would have no interest and he was a true champ, probably my best eater at this point. They completely took him off all fluids as well so all he is getting now is milk. They do make me offer a bottle after each feeding because if he does not start to gain weight they will have to put a tube down to make him eat, and we do not want that, so whatever it takes. He does not like the formula at all. It is almost like he purposly falls asleep immediately when I put the bottle to his mouth. It is actually quite funny.

So today he has made large strides and we are so pleased with his hard work. He is so much more awake now and alert. His little eyes open just melt my heart. His cheeks are irresistible and I cannot keep my hands off his little head. He is so laid back which I appreciate. He cried for the first time ever today and it was nice to hear that. When they put his IV back in because it clogged he slept through it and when they took the artery line out of his belly button he didn't bat an eye. He has been such a trooper.

He does have black hair that seems to look like my other boys, but he really doesn't look like anyone else. He totally has a different look to him. It will be nice to get the cannula out to really get a better idea of what he looks like. All I know is I fall in love with him more and more each minute I am with him.

Physically I am beat. It is bad enough I had a major surgery 6 days ago, but I am getting no sleep and I wasn't getting great sleep the last week or so of the pregnancy either so I am wiped out. My incision actually does not hurt really at all, my tail bone still kills and my feet are getting better, but still a little too puffy for my liking. Oh and the headaches have got to go.

Emotionally I am doing pretty good. I have my moments that is for sure. But for the most part I am holding up pretty well. When I think about juggling all of this and my little baby laying in a hospital and then my sweet children here at home, I really struggle. I wish so bad I didn't have to choose home of the hospital, but the reality of it is, I do. I miss my kids when I am there and I miss Paxton when I am here and that is the hardest part of it all.

I want to thank everyone for their comments and emails. It really means so much that we have such a great support team and such great friends and family. I am grateful for all the prayers and honestly I feel them when I am at that great hospital. It is what keeps us going and we are so grateful for that. We will be sure to keep you updated so be sure to check back soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Updates on the Babe

What a few days it has been. I finally made it out of the hospital on Saturday morning. I was so excited to get to see my little man. We drove right over. Right when I was wheeled into his little suite (they all have their own private rooms in this NICU) I was completely overwhelmed by his little presence. He was breathtaking to me. I could not fight back the tears and actually I didn't even try.

Up to this point he had been intubated when they picked him up from my hospital to take him over to the NICU and given surfactin to help the lungs out. He had two IV's one through his hand and one through the belly button. One for "food" fluids and one to give or get blood counts. He had a pulse rate cuff on his foot and little pads for his oxygen readings. Paxton problem is the lungs. That is the only problem and the problem is actually he is getting plenty of oxygen in, he just has a hard time putting the CO2 out. So they have to get readings every 4 hours to see how the number is. If it is good they ween him from oxygen if they stay the same they keep his oxygen the same and if they get higher they play the waiting game. So it is really important to get that number down. Well the very first night they thought he was doing well to extubate so they did and his numbers rose too high. So they had to intubate again.

Well the morning we arrived which was yesterday morning which honestly seems like weeks ago, he was doing okay. Within the first two hours we were there they lowered his oxygen three times. And by that evening they extubated again. I was a little worried because of what had happened before and he did struggle at first with some grunting that the nurses do not like and some striders which is basically like if we were sounding like we were gasping for air. I was so sad and terrified. I went over and had another talk with him like the one I had with him when we first got there that morning about what his mama wants and what is going to work for me. He struggled through out the night. Not bad, but enough to make me worry. By morning around 8:00 he was a new baby. No struggling at all. His doctor came in and she said he looks great and a little bit of grunting is okay. So they took his cannula's air down to 50% and forward we went. They kept taking it down as the day progressed today he is not on any meds anymore either which is fun because he is awake more. I even got to hold him most the day which was such a special thing to me. I also got to feed him. Thank goodness that pumping is actually paying off because it is not fun. They are hoping to take the belly button uiv out tonight.

I feel like things are looking up although we are not out of the dark yet. Emotionally I am doing alright. I have my moments. Like tonight when everyone convinced me to come home to recoup a little bit. I am dying knowing I am not the one there at my little ones side tonight. It is hard. I have often thought of many of my friends who have had children in the NICU this past week. I find them even more amazing now. I try to focus on the positive, but at times it is hard to do that...


Paxton is making progress
He is healthy in all other areas we just need his lungs to dry up already!
He is so cute, I cannot stand it.
He is in an amazing hospital with amazing nurses, resp. therapists, doctors and residents.
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful supportive family who has helped us out so much.
My husband has been so wonderful throughout all of this.
I must say I feel really good, REALLY really tired, but as far as just having a section a few days ago, I am doing amazing.
I really have been so blessed with such a wonderful little baby.

Not so positive...
My feet are huge and puffy.
I hate to pump.
I need two of me to be with the baby and be at home with my other children and I don't.
He is not home with us.
Not knowing when he will ever come home.
Being SO so tired.
Not being able to enjoy Andys time off work this week.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Our sweet little one is here!
Paxton Andrew E*
He was born on September 17, 2008 at 8:25.
He is as darling as can be.
He weighed 8.13 and is 21 inches long.
So cute I must say.
He like his brothers were born and wanted a little personal time before he invites us to be with him, as my sister in law has said. He had a little trouble breathing and since the hospital I delivered at does not have a NICU he was taken over to a top hospital across the river and will be there for a few more days. It has been sad for me to not have my baby with me and pumping is not nearly as fun, but we are getting there. I will get out tomorrow and then be over there till he comes home. The good thing is he is where he needs to be and breathing fine so now we are just waiting for him to stay stable. Prayers would be nice and be sure to check back for a detailed post. Thanks for all the well wishes, we appreciate them all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So tomorrow morning bright and early I am going to meet my baby. The baby that has consistently made me nauseous and gag at least a dozen times a day. The baby that surprised us all and the baby that I have never wanted more. I can't wait!!!! I am still trying to wrap my brain around it all. I will have a newborn tomorrow. I love that part. I will be in pain and not be able to laugh, cough or roll myself over by myself. It all seems like a dream to me, I hope not, please do not wake me if it is.

So here we are with another little game. Guess how big my baby will be. Keep in mind I have always tend to have big babies...

Bennett 43.5 weeks 11.4 pounds
Jadeyn 36.6 days 5.15 pounds
Cortland 36.6 days 7.14 pounds
Maddox 37.3 days 9.1 pounds

Now with this in mind when talking to my doctor Friday at my appointment I asked him what he though and he said with how I am measuring and by the looks of the baby he thinks around 7 pounds. I told him my history with big babies and the weights and he said well the first one is big but the others aren't, is he crazy. But I have heard of a lot of bigger babies being born. I think my babies just like to grow big--fast. Anyway, so state your guess. I will not be offended. I should post a picture of myself, but I can see a comment of a 15 pounds baby coming and then I may tend to be offended. A little bit. Here's to guessing!!!

Andy 7.15 {he is crazy}
Me 8.15
My mom 10.4 {she is rude} jk mom love ya!
My dad 9.7 He could be close...I am after all enormous!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

a Wedding & a Birthday

August was a busy month for us. My grandma turned 80 and we celebrated at my parents house. My cousin got married and she happened to be one of the most beautiful brides I had ever seen and the kids and Andy walked in our annual labor day parade with about the most proud grandfather on earth. It was a busy weekend that is for sure!!!! Enjoy the pictures!

Grandma G* on her 80th birthday!
I have to say that I have always been "grandpa's girl", but I am pretty sure there is a new sheriff in town if you know what I mean!
Jadeyn and Uncle Kyle, we do not promote this, but she has a serious crush on him.
My little lady.
Grandpa and Bennett

Jenny with Grandma and Grandpa

Grandma with Jadie.

My parents.
Jadeyn could not stay off the dance floor.
These two were dancing the night away. I could not believe how much Maddox was out there dancing. He caught every girls eye and they would come up to him and he would run back to our table. It was so cute. My shy, quiet, timid little guy sure feels the rhythm.
My mom with her dancing partner.
I LOVE this picture.
Grandpa getting down with the twins.
Me with my cousin Jenny. Keep in mind folks this is the end of the night with no make up and a very tired preggers woman...and then look how beautiful Jenny is...perfect! Oh and remind me NOT to wear a white bra with this dress. In real life it was not a problem--the flash of a camera on me--PROBLEM!!!
Poor Bennett was sacked out. This was him about half way through the night and he slept like that till 10:30.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I am Rusty

So today with so much to do Andy and I split up and each took two kids. I had Bennett and Jadeyn. We ran to several places that we needed to go and on the way out of the parking lot Bennett sees an old van that is pretty beat up and looks like the typical 70's van. He points out the van and says that looks weird mom. And I say well it is really old it was probably made when I was a little girls to which he replies...

"Oh no wonder it is SO rusty!!!"
I fully admit feeling overly rusty these days!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gone Country

Pay no attention the 8 month pregnant woman...the no make up on the face is scary enough at least you did not have to see the rest of the body!
Our hotel!

Andy had a seminar in Nashville and I got to tag along. It was so fun. We had wanted to go somewhere before the baby came, just him and I, and although he was gone most of the day, it was still time away. A nice little break that was well needed. My plan was to eat, sleep and visit the spa and that is exactly what I did.

We had such a great time. When we left Thursday night I was a little too emotional. I even had tears because I was so sad to leave the kids. Then at some point on our 4 hour drive I decided I had to enjoy myself. This was the second time I had ever left any of my children, so it was hard, but I was determined to enjoy myself and relax. So luckily I was able to calm down and we arrived there and it was so nice. The hotel was SO cool. It was way high scale and everything involved music. SO fun.

The next day I had a day planned at the spa, first I have to thank H* Dental Care for making this all possible. It was wonderful. Although I have to admit doing a day at the spa is not the greatest when you are 8 months preggers. I had the envisions of being so relaxed when I got home and the whole day there, but I wasn't. The first thing was the facial and it was WONDERFUL, then the massage, again wonderful and I should have stopped there, but when someone tells you you can have a day at the spa you want to go the whole day, right? I was there 7 hours and when I got home I was beat. They served lunch too which at the time I thought was so great, then on the way back to the hotel I got REALLY SICK. So sick that I had to pull over at a grocery store and threw up like 6 times. Then the contractions started followed by horrible back cramps...lovely right. I am pretty sure just all the "relaxing" and sitting in weird positions and all the rubbing was just aggravating the baby and my uterus, is that weird to use that word, sorry to my one male reader! Anyway I got back to the hotel and fell asleep. Andy came back and we had plans to go to dinner and a show and I was sacked out. I woke up and felt a little better so we went.

The delicous and well presented food!

We went to a fun little restaurant that had amazing sea food. It was surrounded by a huge fish tank. It was so fun to be there alone. I didn't cut any ones food up but my own. I did mention like 6 times how much the kids would have loved to have been there. After that we walked across the street to The Grand Old Opry. Let me tell you a little bit about that place. It is an experience that is for sure. I remember being little and staying at my grandparents house over the weekend and we would listen to the show every week. I have heard so many people sing on that stage. I created a love for country music because of it. My grandparents live in a tiny little town with all of 400 people in it. They are country folk for sure and because every moment I was with them I heard country music I became quite a fan. I love the old country/blue grass and I love the current more modern country/pop music too. There is something so real and innocent about that genre. It was a real honor to be there and see the stage that I had dreamed of standing on one day. There had been so many songs sang on that stage and so many power house singers it was a little overwhelming. The whole time I wished I had my grandparents sitting right by us, that was the only thing that could have made it more special, my full circle moment. One thing that is really cool about that theatre is that they are so laid back. You can take food in there and drinks and there are people walking around and people all over the stage and you can walk right up to the performers and take pictures and shake their hands. It is really neat I think.

Well anyway, we had 4th row tickets and it was awesome. They had 12 different performers. Several very famous singers and several old style country performers. My favorite of the night was Sawyer Brown. The were so good. Really really good. Josh Gracin from American Idol was there too. We were one day too early to hear Martina McBride. It was really fun. By the last singer though I had to go to the bathroom because I was so sick. Throwing up again and the contractions were horrible. I was actually a little scared at this point. I just thought of me having this baby in Tennessee. I am pretty sure the name Tim or McGraw would have had to be incorporated in the name if that was the case. I went back to my seat and when the show was over I explained to Andy how I felt. We went back to the hotel and I was going to lay down for an hour and see how I felt then. I fell asleep and woke in the morning feeling a lot better. I think I just over did it that day. So instead of shopping like my original plan for the whole day, I ordered room service, watched tv, and slept most of the day. I was determined to now have little McGraw in Nashville.


Later I ended up going to Country Music Hall of Fame and on a recording studio tour which I have to say was amazing. We went to the studio that Kelly, my fave, Clarkson records and Carrie Underwood and Reba records and that was fun. Then we went to the first recording studio there that is still up and working. I played the most amazing Steinway piano. The sound was amazing and let me tell you Elvis played that piano and recorded in that studio every single song he recorded other than the last two in the room where I stood. I played his piano...that is cool I have to say. We were lucky because normally you do not get to go in the actually recording studio, but the owner gave us the tour and there were only 5 of us compared to the normal 35 so we scored. It was so neat. The studio was huge, I have never seen a recording studio that big before. Everyone who is anyone has recorded in that room. It was a little surreal. Fun Fun I have to say!

Then I came home and we had dinner out and that was really good and just walked around for a bit downtown. I have to say the city is a lot more fun and clean that I thought it would be and it is pretty small too. It really is nice. We had a great time. It was so fun being there with my husband. I felt so grateful for that time with him. I just love him so much and our time together I really do cherish. A big huge gigantic THANKS goes out to Michelle and my MOM. Thanks for watching the kiddos and taking such great care of them and thinking enough of us to let us have some time to ourselves. We are truly grateful.

All the kiddos at home which we missed!

So who knows when we will be able to do that again, but it was so much fun it should hold us over for a very long time. Thanks Nashville and H* Dental Care for a fun, free, fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So a week from today this little guy will not be my "baby". There will be a new baby for our family to love, but how can he not be our baby. He totally fits the role of the baby in our family. I think that was one of the reasons why I felt like this was going to be a girl, because he was our baby boy and I cannot imagine another boy taking that title. I love this little guy. He has been such a pleasure his whole little 19 months of life. I am so grateful for him. He makes our family perfect. I am interested to see how he does when he is not considered the "baby", but I have reason to believe he will do just fine, he is always the trooper. Oh Maddox, I love you so much.Maddox is getting so old as of late. He is talking so much. He says full on sentences now. Mainly things her hears the twins say a lot, but it is just so weird. He does everything the twins do too. I have to say he is a trooper because a lot of toys get taken away from this little guy each day and he is starting to get a voice around here. Which is good.
I am not sure I am ready for this fifth child. Technically I have done everything, I have things ready, the house is getting there, but am I going to be able to actually do it? We will sure see soon, right? I have 6 days to get myself ready I suppose...here's to hoping!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

6 Flags {backing up to July}

Andy's office often has contests and they normally always win...yes I am a little proud of my new little dentist...but he and his office won tickets to 6 Flags. They have also won several gas cards, which is really really nice. Anyway, I wasn't sure about the whole 6 Flags trip. We had gone to Disney the month before and I was only getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the minute, but we went. I also worked there for 2 years right after I graduated from high school. I worked on a few of the stage shows and one of the shows had the character in it and one day I asked one of the girls if I could go out after as Daffy Duck and she quickly accepted my offer. First things first...those things are hot. There is nothing magical about them. There is no fan, cooler and ice pack anywhere in those things. I am talking hot hot hot. I would die if I tried to do it at this point in my life. HOT!! But anyway, I ended up loving it so much that I asked to work in between my shows and they let me. They thought I was weird, but they let me. I loved it. I loved working with the little kids and see how excited they would get to see Daffy. It was one of my most cherished jobs I had ever had! The Twins.
We took Cami, Andy's sister with us. Bennett always has a good time with her.
I want to eat her...oh she is so darling!
This boy is so sweet!

It was really fun. We spent half the day at the water park and half the day at the amusement park. I could not believe the kind of rides Bennett was now tall enough to ride. It was kind of sad and scary to me, but he loved it. The little kids had a great time too.

Jadyen absolutely adored all of the characters. I don't think she would have been quite so fond of them if hadn't just been to Disney world. She could not keep her hands off of them and just hugged and kisses them over and over.
My sweet Bennett, looking SO old!
Again, YUM!
Cortland was not a fan of this ride. He bawled and the lady running the little ride did not care a bit. Poor Bennett and Cami kept trying to comfort him, but nothing worked.
We got home way too late and were tired, sweaty, and hungry most of the day, but still a great time!!!
PS You do not see baby M in any of these pictures because he stayed home with grandma for the day and enjoyed all the one on one spoiling! Thanks mom!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Makeover!!!

Monday Makeover
Jadeyn's Room
My favorite bedding!

I wish these pictures were a little more clear.

Her mirror says Mirror Mirror on the wall...this was my moms and mine growing up.

Her closet!

I know her room is really really pink. But hey, she is my only girl, here! She totally fits her room too. 100% girl!!! I am bugged that the pictrues did not turn out that, great, but still here is her room!

Our Family Room

My curio cabniet.

I was supposed to have this up last week. That didn't happnen, so here it is today...seriously something must be wrong with my camera, the pics are not that great.

Other posts coming up this week...
6 flags
The wedding
The parade
Bennett pics from his first day