Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

What if's

Sometimes its really hard not to play the what if game. You know the drill, what if this happened or what if that happened, the how would I cope with that game. On the opposite side is the whole ostrich burying the head in the sand deal. I cant quite embrace that approach either.

I tend to like the google route, googling search terms related to whatever quandry or medical issue I find myself dealing with. Sometimes knowledge is power, othertimes its just a distraction.

I saw the rhemotologist today and found myself surprised that I actually like her. My last experience with a rhemotolgist specialist was a disaster. He completely dismissed almost everything i said and I felt like I didnt get any answers or questions dealt with. FAst forward to today, 3 yrs later and we are still dealing with the same issues. BUt now I have time, pattern history and test results on my side. I have had 3 positive fana/ana tests and the last one(the only 1 i have the number for) was quite high. Normal is under 1, postive is between 1-3, 3 is strong positive and mine is 9.8. So well that means somthing is going on.

I was greatly relieved to actually be listened to, this new doc today took me very seriously. She didnt dismiss me out of hand , as i expected her to, just because my flare up had abated by the time I got to her. She even noted things that I didnt even notice myself. So i feel like im good hands.

She is looking at possible lupus or maybe sjogrens syndrome, neither of which do I have enough of the symptoms to fully diagnose yet. She took like 8 vials of blood for like 10-15 different tests. I go back in two weeks to discuss those results. She stated that if they come back normal, we wait and watch, if some come back abnormal, we may still decide to wait and watch due to my darling little Gideon nursing. She did say though if they come back "nasty"(her word) then I may need to stop nursing and go on a pretty strong medication. This med takes 4 months before it becomes effective. Doesnt seem very pleasant. Right now the flare up has eased, so im not having any pain issues, so IM thankful for that as well.

The though of having lupus doesnt really bother me. I think part of that is that I came to terms with that possiblity 3 yrs ago , when my original doc brought up the possiblity. I never fully let go of the idea that lupus may be brewing under the surface in my body. Or some other autoimmune disorder. My doc had said at that time, that she was pretty sure I had some autoimmune disorder brewing, when and how it manifested itself was yet to be seen. Although I must say when the doc today mentioned it can affect the brain, that startled me a bit, as I didnt know that fact. So with Gods grace if i get diagnosed with lupus, I feel like i can handle that.

The part that has me a bit more shaken up, is the possiblity that I may have to stop nursing. I know, the what if game isnt helpful. But I think I need to mentally prepare myself for the next steps. While Im pretty positive, that the labs wont show organ involvment, I cant know that for sure. I know that not nursing Gideon wont be the end of the world and if I have to do absolutely for my health, I will. But its hard to even contemplate it. I have nursed my first 8 babies , none of them had formula and Im somewhat proud of that fact, that I managed to do that. And I really want the same for Gideon.

I dont really know what lies ahead for me. I do know this though, God is with me every step of the way. He is still on the throne no matter what goes on down here. So i rest in that, that he doesnt change yesterday, today or tommorrow.

God is good ... all the time!

TGI Friday!

Sometimes I am amazed at the amount of people who say they read my blog. I wonder, really, its kinda boring writing. Im not even that great of a writer, hubby can claim that fame. No one really comments, so I tend to forget that anyone could be lurking and reading. What keeps people coming back? I suppose some of it is our voyeouristic tendencies, some may just want to keep up on our family, some probably just want to see how crazy i get.

Things will be a bit busier today, as i have a rhemotolgist appt in the cities. So need to get various kids off to the sitter and get things in order. Other than that, just plugging away, havent really felt much like blogging lately.

I was really blessed last night by an older woman in our church. She wanted to take me out for a queen for the night type deal. She took me shopping at JCPenny's and I got two new shirts, a pair of capri pants and a cute skirt. Then she took me out to supper, which was really fabulous as well. It was a much needed breakand the bonus was that Gideon slept hte entire time. So it was very relaxing and uplifting! May God bless her for her generousity!

God is good all the time!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Its Quiet

You wouldnt think that possible in a home in which 9 children live but occasionally the silence wins out. Gideon is sleeping, Zemirah and Katarina watching Saturday morning cartoons in my room, Josiah sleeping after being up all night, and the rest watching a movie downstairs. Im sure it wont stay this way for long but we are enjoying it while it lasts.

Andrew is working on transcription for our pastor, Im sitting here with my laptop contemplating getting my book to read and all is peaceful.

Its nice to have a quiet saturday morning with not a lot of things on the adgenda!

Praising God!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I think I had forgotten how rough this stage of babyhood is: the waking up several times a night, the constant eating and needing to be held, the crankyness and just adjusting to a new baby. Add to all of this, the fact that I have 8 other kiddos running around, fighting, negotiating, creating power coups and well its a recipe for insanity at the very least.

Some days are better than others, just the other day I felt motivated enough to sneak out for a walk at naptime. Today, I feel like a puddle of tears and very overwhelmed. This too shall pass, I know that but right now IM living it, so its a lot harder. Add the fact that hubby has been working longer hours and it somtimes feels like we are just seeing each other in passing.

Maybe this is my mountain right now... Maybe IM not supposed to move it ... maybe Im supposed to walk over it. And I think right now Im still trudging up the side, not even halfway there yet. But there will be a peak, God makes sure of that and there will be the fun sled ride down the other side. So Im counting on Gods goodness to get me there, and to be with me every single heavy step of the way. So while it may be hard now, Im counting on the fact that I can make it with Gods help.

God is good ... all the time!

Monday, June 18, 2007


My friend Joan was here this weekend. Not only does she love doing laundry and she did; she also loves holding babies. Often she would come up and just take a fussing Gideon out of my arms so i could finish whatever I was trying to do. At the lake, she just held Gideon the entire time, so I got to swim, play wiht the kids and just sit and chat with her. It was an incredible time.

I didnt realize how much I needed the break from the baby. Gideon isnt fully colicky but he definitely is a more fussy baby than some fo the others. So often, the only thing that will calm him is holding him or his vibrating bouncy seat. Since I cosleep with him as well, there isnt often a downtime for me in regards to baby duty. So God provided me a wonderful respite this weekend and IM so thankful for that. It was nice too, she would do all the tricks to calm him, so I didnt feel like i needed to take him right back to get him calm.

I really do miss having her close by but this way we get her for the whole weekend.

God is good ... all the time!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gotta love it when God answers before you even pray!

I wasnt even praying for this but it definitely something our family needs or well really can use. My friends from HS called today, said they had a local appliance store going out of business. They bought us a 2nd dryer really cheap! Pretty m uch figured iwht our family size, who couldnt use a 2nd dryer.

Not only that, they are going to come up and help us with installing it! God is so amazing in how he provides things we need. We have talked in the past bout wanting a 2nd dryer but it wasnt in the forefront of our minds. But God knew! And he says Im blessing you today with this. Praising him in all his glory!

I sit here in amazment wondering what hte rest of this year is going to look like. Our income will be reduced due to not enough students for andrew to teach. So I cant wait to see how God brings us thru this year. It may be rough but I have no doubts he will meet each and every one of our "needs". He already provided above and beyond, two freezers, a 2nd dryer and more money than the trip costs for my daughter. So not only will she get to go to washington DC, she will have a significant amount of spending money thanks to Gods provision! I am humbled that he has chosen to bless us so much this year!

Praising God!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Laundry Fairy is coming!

Yes, I do indeed have a laundry fairy.

I met Joan 6 yrs ago at an informational girl scout meeting. We wanted to get our girls into girl scouts and they needed leaders. So along with one other mom, renee, we formed troop 681! The three of us worked really well together and friendships were formed.

As I got to know Joan, I discovered she loves to do laundry! She would often drop in for an hour, start a load or two of laundry and help me fold whatever I had sitting around. The chatting was fabulous, its much more fun to fold clothes with a friend! She always says she loves laundry, because it has a beginning, a middle and an end!

I love her daughter ally, too! I call her my other adopted daughter! She is an only child, not by choice and I love including her into our family.

They have visted us once out here since we moved. Joan lasted 1 whole hour before she had to go do laundry! Once while they dogsat for us, i had caught up on laundry, Joan was beside herself with nothing to do! I always threaten to get all the laundry done before she comes!

I cant wait to visit with t hem this weekend!


Friday, June 08, 2007

God is good

Updated below: andrew used my laptop and posted it before it was finished!

God is good , no matter whats going on down here on Earth, but its easier to proclaim when you see tangible evidence of his workings. This week hes provided over and over again and I sit back and watch in amazment at the awesomeness of my God.

Last weekend our freezer bit the dust. We had just filled it up, it had over 400 dollars of meat in there. Our first inclinations were to grab the credit card we paid off this year and get another one. But knowing that wasnt our best solution, I proceeded to call aroudn to various friends asking if anyone had room in their freezers. Amazingly enough, we found places for all the frozen food. Praise God!

So we talked bout it and decided to wait rather than rush out and try to get one that day. We began browsing Craigs list ads, classifieds and put the word out amoung the church. Several leads didnt pan out. We were to look at a craigslist listing later that week. I went to my womens bible study on Tuesday night. We are studying Beth Moore's believing God study. And this type of thing is exactly what she talks bout, believing God that he is who he says he is and can do what he says he can do! So i shared my prayer request for a freezer. Immediately after I finished another lady in the study says you know I had been praying for someone to move this big ole freezer out of my basement since I moved in. She gave us the freezer! Hows that for an immediate answer to a need! God provided in an amazing way.

We did go ahead and look at hte craigslist listing since we were thinking of getting a 2nd one "before" the first one broke. We got that one for 30 bucks as well. God is amazing, he provided our needs with the first freezer and a want with the 2nd. Now we have enough space to freeze more bread and milk, not just the meats and veggies.

I also was praying that God would provided funds for the rest of Katarinas trip to washington DC. I was starting to worry, not only did we have a significant amount of money to earn, we needed to come up with some food and spending money as well. So Im mentally trying to calculate where this all will come from and Im reminded that God says to not be anxious for nothing, so I began praying. I let people know at church and around, that she was available to work so she could earn money for her trip.

Not only has God provided the funds for the trip(its competely paid for) but he has started to provide her food and spending money! He is soo awesome. He provided through some babysitting jobs, a donation and some dog sitting. My grandparents just sent her another 20 in the mail today, praising God for his goodness.

Its another reminder that if we let him, God will fulfill all our needs, sometimes even above and beyond what we expect. As we are facing the rest of this year without most of andrews 2nd job income, Im tempted to worry and fret. I wonder how we will make it with only 200 dollars for food a month. But then I look above and remember God is bigger than all of this and if i let him, he will provide our needs.

God is good all the time

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gideon is growing like a weed!

Hes up to 12 lbs 8z and 23 inches long. Which are 75 percentile for height, cant quite remember what his weight was but it was pretty high in the chart. So all in all hes doing good. He still isnt smiling or cooing yet but hopefully that will come soon.

Its hot and muggy today with severe storms expected later today.

Ahh the joys of minnesota summer!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

4 boys for sale

Its been a morning already. I really think they got up on the wrong side of the bed. If i didnt know any better, Id wonder if it was their "time of the month". From grumping bout being asked to do something with the, to fighting over whether or not to play baseball or kickball to argueing over a bath or a shower.

Right now Im thanking God they are outside. But even that hasnt stopped the fighting. Its starting to get to me, thankfully I can call on the God of the universe to prevent me from going insane. Oh wait ... Im already insane. Well maybe then to prevent me from finding a room with padded walls. Although that does sound very heavenly right now.

This too shall pass ... hopefully sooner than later

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just for Pastor Tom!

Now that Ive finished the entire birth story. If anyone is still out there reading, thanks for being patient. Should be back to normal ole boring blog posts this week!

I established a summer routine this summer. For the most part it seems to be working. Its loosely based, so for example, if I feel the kids and I need a little sleeping in, well we can delay breakfast. But mostly we are sticking to it. Breakfast is from 8 -830. This prevents children from appearing at my beside at 7 am asking what indeed is for breakfast. Then chores from 830-930, which include their regular chore room and bedroom. If they are done in that hour timeframe, they are allowed their freetime priveleges for the day. If not , they are relegated to playing outside in the yard only. This seems to be working, for most of them are enjoying going biking around town or to the school park to play basketball etc.

Lunch is between 12-1, then quiet time from 1 -2 pm. This is mostly for my sake, I need to have that downtime in which Im not tracking 9 children all over kingdom come. They resist this hour, every day, but I think eventually it will become more routine. I also think its good for them to learn to be quiet, and read, draw or even nap, despite their protests at doing so. Then freetime til 3 pm. 3 is snacktime, along with a chore room tidyup. I think i could get used to this!

I also have been saying yes to computer, gamecube, gameboy much less often, much to their dismay. I told them all, we arent going to fill our entire summer with video games. Rainy days(when it doenst rain 4 days in a row) are good days for those things. What Im noticing though, is the board games are coming out again, the legos are being played with, kickball games are occuring and they are playing more. So despite the complaining, Im inclined to keep the electronic entertaiment down to a dull roar.

Well thats all for now folks, check in, let me know whos with me reading the daily miscellany!

Part 6 - The homecoming

It was interesting to note, Andrew hadnt held Gideon much in the hospital, deferring to me for that. But as we got home, he took Gideon and walked around with him, introuducing him to our home. The really interesting part was that he seemed to recognize the sounds and noise of our home. As anyone might guess, having 9 children in a home is certainely full of noise.

Gideon began to settle in, still struggling a bit with getting him to nurse well. He was still pretty jaundiced and sleepy at that point. I so enjoyed being back in my home, back with my other kiddos and my new little babe. Of course, Ezekiel had a meltdown right after I came in the door, Zemirah was out of sorts as well but thats all to be expected. Everyone wanted to hold the baby but he seemed so much more fragile than the other babies I had brought home. So I deferred for awhile, he really was flopsy in terms of head control and stability and I guess after such a dramatic entrence into the world, I was a little more cautious.

As bedtime drew near, the stress and emotions of the week came crashing down on me. I found it really hard not to be worried or scared. I went from having a baby complete on monitors and wires to nothing at home. So I had to constantly redirect my thoughts or the fear would have completely consumed me.

After making it thru the first night sleeping at home, things eased a little bit. Although I dont think I slept very soundly or much at all. I constantly was checking him for breathing. I continued to struggle with him over nursing. He would latch on well but then fall asleep. I would find out later that really was due to his high levals of bilirubin in his system. So that defintiely added to the emotions. We did get to enjoy one day, thursday, adjusting to our new little one. Andrew was home from work, the big kids in school. I realized I had been desiring that outcome all week, just plain settling in.

But it wasnt to last. I took him in for a weight check and bilirubin leval draw on friday. Not only had he lost weight, he lost a significant amount of weight and was down to 6 lbs 7oz from 7' 9 at birth. The doctor said we need to be feeding him every 3 hrs, for 10 min at least. He was going for 5 hrs and then eating longer but he was dropping weight fast at that rate. My doctor warned me if the bilirubin leval was up, we would have to rehospitlize him. So i prayed madly on the drive to the hospital to test him. They dont do bili levals at the clinic, so we had to go to a hospital 30 min away. I was instructed to have it drawn and then wait for the results while they called my doc.

His levals had gone from 14 on wednesday to 17 on friday. At leval 20 is the risk of seizures. So she tried very gently to break the news to me that we needed to put him in the hospital again and put him under the lights. I had been told previously by the nicu doc, that if the levals were up that we could go home with a bilibed. Unfortunely his just were too high for that option initially. I was so disheartened. It was like , here we go "again". The only benefit of this all, is we were in the hospital closer to home, only 30 minutes away.

They put Gideon under the double lights. He had to wear these funky eye protectors held on by a stretchy gauze band. I had to watch him close, he liked to push them up or down , exposing his eyes to the damaging UV lights. I would take him out every 3 hrs to nurse him. It was really hard to just leave him there, when I just wanted to hold my baby. They had a bed for me in the room, so I could stay with him. Being closer though, Andrew wanted me to come home and eat dinner with the kids. I didnt want to leave his side really. So i muddled thru that for awhile, I finally made the reluctant decision to come after his 6 oclock feeding. My doc came by before that though, and indicated she wanted to test his levals that evening rather than the morning. She knew how much I wanted to be home. She said if his levals were down enough, we could go home with the bilibed.

Praising God, his levals were back down to 13! So we didnt even have to stay overnight that day! God is indeed Good! We got a funky little UV bed, that had a little gown that velcrowed to the light bed for him to get the most amount of light into his little body. I was so happy to be home for the 2nd time that week. It took a good 2 or 3 weeks before he stopped lookign so yellow and several more times of having his levals checked. Thankfully we were able to ditch the Bili bed after that weekend. And I was back to holding my baby!

After the jaundice eased, his nursing improved, although it did take several weeks to stablize. His weight continued to go up. Hes up to 11 lbs 6 oz currently! Thankfully he hasnt had continued problems other than his "fat" foot. The foot doctor isnt sure but hes suspecting a venous malformation but only time will tell on that part. Either way God is good ... all the time. Im praising him for the blessing of my "mighty warrior". As the biblical namesake started out his career of fighting for the Lord by hiding in a winepress, my Gideon had his own rough start into life.

May God continue to bless him and keep him for all of his day!