Wednesday, February 18, 2015

First 10 days

Better than Christmas Morning…

I must say we were unprepared to bring Teague home.  Although we had 9 months to prepare, we did not.  We didn't have any bottles, we didn't have any formula, we didn't have any diapers.  Andy rushed out and bought all of the above but wow!  A lot of pressure, all at once.  We moved in slow motion and all of the children huddled close by watching.  Every single arm move, sneeze, and wiggle was exciting!  
Considering the kids said this past Christmas was the best day of their entire life we were surprised that they excitedly race to wake up early and get ready to be with their new baby brother.  More so than they did Christmas morning.  Who will hold him first?  Who will kiss him first?  Who will touch his arm first?  Who will look at him first?  The morning suspense is on going and hasn't let up!  The problem is that it is getting earlier and earlier….

The first week home was busy busy busy.  Doctor appointment after doctor appointment for jaundice.  My doctor appointment for blood pressure and anemia.  Too many things stacked up with Choir/Student Council/Gymnastics/Pre-school…here, there, everywhere.  We missed a couple of activities and just stayed home for a family movie night.
Tate was a champ and helped me give Teague his first bath.  He is a great helper.  Official "diaper runner", clothes "picker outer",  water measurer, blanket folder, and song singer.

 I hadn't notice that Tate was only picking out clothes with stripes for Teague.  He had handed me a plain shirt and quickly exchanged it saying, "No, no…here a stripe shirt so he can pretend to be in jail!"  Weird, but then I thought about it.  I had family game night with the kids a couple of days prior.  I taught them to play Monopoly.  During the game Tate drew a card that made him GO TO JAIL (do not pass go do not collect $200).  He flipped out!  He instantly paid $50 to get out of jail.  Maybe it is connected. 
On Thursday night while I took the 3 older kids to Parent Teacher Conference, sick hit home hard.  The worst stomach virus since 2008.  A full 24 hours.  
Ending the first full week with 5 kids could have gone smoother.  With 3 days of no school, Tate's stomach virus turn cough, a busy Valentine's Day Saturday with a friends baptism including a morning baking refreshments.  It was a special Valentine's Day with our new little Teague to make our house full of love!!
Week 2 with 5 kids I was determined to figure it all out correctly.  To not be exhausted at the end of the day when I have accomplished nothing, to try to establish a better routine, and to try to get meals on the table at a reasonable hour.  
This is much harder than my mom made it out to be!!!!
I am at the end of day 3, week 2….
Pictures to document.  Call it bad luck or good luck.  Either way.  Tate has bronchitis with developing pneumonia on the left side…he spent the last 24 hours spitting up his medicine.  Ainsley started with the stomach virus first, an hour later Aubrey, and then Caleb….all 4 kids so very sick.  All 3 older kids throwing up/diarrhea.  24 hours of unbelievable sickness.  
Bribe…I am going to be THAT mom.  Andy brought home the coolest super hero action figures.  Tomorrow if he swallows his medicine he gets to pick a super hero.  
Ainsley was so sad she missed class pictures.  Her fever broke first!  She was the first to eat apple sauce and keep it down!
Aubrey handled being sick the worst.  She was so sad.  
Everyone's temperatures are down except Caleb.  You know your kids are sick when they do not even want to play video games or watch tv.  After a day of non-stop laundry I was able to get beds re made in time for them to crawl back in and fall asleep.  After a long day I have decided I would rather have them all sick at one time then have a domino effect…
Teague missed everyone, all the attention.  Everyone missed him to but as soon as they feel better they can hang out with him!!!  I think next week might be a good week for me to figure out a routine??!

Things I have learned about having a baby again…
1. My fingers hurt from all the buttons on the baby clothes
                          2. It takes me a lot longer to get out the door with a baby, double prep time            (forget make-up, not worth it)
                                   3. There is no need to rush, if I get there I get there.  If I do it, I do it.
                                  4. Folding clothes at night when the baby is awake is awesome.  Why didn't I do this with the other children?  
                                   5. Car Seat covers are really a great invention.
                                   6.  Having a Caleb with a baby means undying honesty.  
Example:  I say we should go to the pool today so I can sit in the hot tub.  I feel like I have been hit by             a bus.
Caleb replays: Mom, "Being hit by a bus would hurt worst than having a baby"pause then cautiously and quietly says, "I do not think your upper body would fit into a bathing suit."

Example 2: I am trying on pre-baby dresses for a baptism exactly a week after I got home from the hospital.  Caleb looks at me and says in a kind and cautious voice, "Mom, maybe you should try on a different skirt."

The honesty of a 9 year old.  Just looking out for me:)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Welcome Baby Teague

Welcome Baby

While we had 3 extra weeks to prepare, prepared we were not.  I had set a date to be induced because I had polyhydramnios.  Which explained why I was so sick, why I hadn't go into labor at 34 weeks, why I was measuring big, why I hadn't really felt baby, and a mixture of other complications.  I did make a list and planned on getting everything ready on the time for the 10th induction date (which made me nervous because I had never had an induction before).  Unfortunately, sick escalated and when I went to the doctor on the 4th I wasn't able to go home (of course there was a sleet storm) and they scheduled for me to be induced first thing in the morning.  I must say I was relieved to see a future without throwing up but spending a night throwing up at the hospital wasn't fun.  I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of showers and Andy hurried home for work to be with the kids.  I am so grateful for my carpool mom's who helped me out last minute!  

At 6:30am the nurses gave me petocin.  At 8:00am my epidural was given (I hadn't planned on it but because I was still throwing up, and they had planned on it being a long delivery it was recommended).    At 8:30am my water was broken and Andy arrived around 9:30.  He was able to get all the kids off to school, Tate dropped off at a friends, and Winston walked before heading up to the hospital.  It was a waiting game.  Would my body kick into labor?  Would I be having a c-section?  How was the baby?  How was my blood pressure?  With no contractions by 10:00am still we were still sitting and waiting (and throwing up).  At 10:30 I finally had a contraction!!!  Very exiting except we noticed the epidural wasn't working on my left side (the side the baby was on…of course).  The nurse checked me and I was a 6.  I had another contraction 4 minutes later…the nurse checked me and I was 10…go time!  With everything being rushed and doctors being called,  I was given oxygen.  When everything was set up and everyone was there, it was time.  After 11 minutes of pushing Teague Hyrum Griner arrived at 11:21am.  7 pounds 9.5 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long. 
 He only cried for a second and then they laid him on top of me for the longest time.  It was peaceful and perfect!
 Dad and Teague
 They took him for a bath, did some tests, and then he was ours for the day!  A special nurse from a neighboring hospital was over him because of the polyhedramnios and my blood pressure had to be taken every 20 minutes but Teague was perfect.  
It actually took all day to finalize a name (not unusual for us).  
 When the kids got home from school they were excited.  Andy brought them up to meet their brother!!
-The kids all noted that Teague had no teeth!
 Tate's first comment was "Oh mom, another kid to potty train!"-as if his life as been deeply inconvenienced due to potty training!!  
 They loved how soft and small he was!
 They loved his little fingers and his small lips!
 They loved his soft fuzzy head!
 We had to stay in the hospital an extra day.  I wasn't able to talk my way out of it but the quiet was nice.  The rest was nice.  Moments that had with other kids came back…they are so easily forgotten.  They are precious moments never to get back:)
 Andy's mom drove up and brought a Roast!  She picked up Tate for his much anticipated weekend with Grandma!  She said Teague looked like Ainsley:)
 We had another visitor Selena and her daughter Halley.  They brought a gift.  A cute outfit to wear home from the hospital.  My parents sent flowers/balloon!
Coming home from the hospital on a gorgeous warm winter Saturday (late) afternoon.  The kids were excited, I was ready to come home, and I think Andy was ready too.  We are so lucky to have this little guy (late to the game) in our family!  Such a precious addition.  

When we got home we were a little flustered.  Unprepared and beginning from scratch are the words I would use.  Moving in slow motion.  We stayed up and watched 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, toasted with glass bottle soda, and popcorn!


Kicking off 2015 was mellow!  We were invited to a couple of different New Year's parties but went with the one that ended the earliest!  They set their clocks forward (like we do) at at 9:00pm we banged pots, threw "dynamite", toasted sparkling cider, and kissed for good luck.  It was nice to be at someone else's house, relaxing!  The kids had a blast and we were all home and asleep by 11:00pm! (this might be the last year we can do that)

January came and went fast.  School started, temperatures dropped, new homework was added, and gymnastics 3 times a week.  Tate started swim lessons, Aubrey/Caleb and Tate got the stomach flu, and Andy was called to teach Ainsley's Sunday class.  

I continued to be extremely sick day and night, our van was broken into (purse/electronics stollen) window shattered, and the kids went to 2 birthday parties!

I turned 30!  I have waited my entire married life to be 30.  I love it and I am so excited!

This is the only January picture I can find.  It has been so cold and Winston doesn't like being outside.  HE ABSOLUTELY HATES HIS COAT!!!  Please also note he is not allowed on the couch but I find that Andy lets him on when I am not around…all my hard work training him gone to waste!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Griner 2014 Newsletter

Griner Christmas 2014
We’ve had a busy year on our Yellow Brick Road, always something to do and places to go.  A summer of musicals, water parks, and days at the lake!  Turtle and frog catching, exploring, camping as a family and sailing for the first time!  The kids enjoyed their weekend turn at Grandpa/Grandpa Griner’s house, cooking on the fire pit, playing board games, and watching the Royals in the playoffs and World Series!

Andy (35) Enjoys working at Garden Terrace, his patients, and co-workers.  He played the guitar for Ainsley’s kindergarten class and the kids loved listening to the new songs he has written! He went to the Monday Night Football game with his brother Nate, big win!  He also went on a couple of elementary field trips!

Aubrey (10) Knows who she is and what she stands for.  She loves to write stories, draw, and go to activity days.  She joined Choir and made the Student Council, which keeps her very busy.  She HAS to pack her own lunch and pick out her own clothes.  She loves bike riding and playing tetherball!

Caleb (9) Went to scout camp for the first time (rain, tornado weather, AND shine), loves skateboarding, reading, playing basketball, and running fast.  He enjoys science and cool planes/jets.  Grandpa Griner took him fishing for the first time and he caught some big ones!!!

Ainsely (7) Is a dreamer, a pretender, and a dancer.  She loves everyone, loves to dance, and loves food!  She loves school, homework, and helping others.  She has had a blast playing soccer this year and recently started gymnastics!  She participated in the high school mini cheer camp and cheered at the high school football game!

Tate (5) Is easy to please, strong willed, and always dirty.  He loves to explore, swim, and can get into mischief so quickly it makes me scared to turn around!  He loves his grandparents, preschool teacher, and always has something in his hands or pocket!

Winston (1) Family favorite, giant fat beast, and lazy.  He likes to play tetherball, skate board, and play keep away ball…we all love to watch him!  He is Tate’s right hand man for exploring and trouble!  He is loveable and affectionate and our family wouldn’t be the same without him!

Sara (29) This year I learned that volunteering in kindergarten is rewarding and I love every minute of it!  I learned that being pregnant while having older children isn’t easier it’s just a different kind of busy with extra hustle and bustle!  I learned that snow in May is not my friend and snow in early November well…no kind words.  I learned how much I love watching my children participate in musicals, sports, and receive awards.  I learned that being called to serve in Young Women’s isn’t scary and it is a blast.  I learned (but haven’t discovered) that there has to be an easier way than hours of Common Core with your kids, if I leave my boots out Winston will eat them, and I love a house full of people!  I learned that through loss comes strength and love, through gospel lesson preparation comes personal strength and compassion, and through silence comes the ability to learn and grow.  I can’t wait to be 30!

With all the after school activities, swimming fun, and play dates we are adding one new adventure to our daily lives…a baby boy in early 2015.  We are excited to welcome a new little person/personality into our family because after all…There is no place like home!
Andy,Sara,Aubrey,Ainsley,Tate, and Winston

Christmas 2014

 The joy of family pictures. I announced that we are taking a quick picture before church.  The special Christmas service, and all the kids come down in random dress clothes?  Making them all go change into their Christmas clothes was not a good way to start off pictures.  They looked at me like I should have told them to put on Christmas clothes….I would think it would be obvious!!!  I think 11 tires in all…then out the door to church!

 This is what timeout looks like.  It's a serious thing that happens when you plow down my nice, nicely decorated, extra tall Christmas tree.  It was recoverable but it took forever and a box of ornaments were shattered!:( 
 Christmas Eve was a lot of fun.  Our 3rd year tradition…fancy dinner that everyone helps with while dad is at work.  Fancy table setting, sparkling juice, and fancy cups.  Afterwards we opened pj's from the Clark Grandparents, did Chimes, and watched It's a Wonderful Life.
 Aubrey's note to Santa and Mrs. Clause.  This was a tough one.  She wanted to believe so badly, she asked me point blank and I just couldn't break the spirit.  I asked her "How does Christmas make you feel?..What do we do differently during Christmas?…Why do we really celebrate Christmas?  I told her told hold onto those feelings and thoughts.  I think it bought me one last year!
 After the kids were in bed asleep we brought the presents down (I am not cool enough to leave them under the tree…no no).  We were extra sneaky this year.  Waiting until 2 or 3am.  We knew Aubrey would be waiting/listening….we did great.  
 Filling the stockings that Grandma Griner made us almost 12 years ago and laying stuff out.  This was a fun year.  Of course, the kids were up by 5 tip toeing downstairs.  We made them wait until 6 until we came down.
Caleb got the skateboard he wanted so badly, metal detector, and fishing pole.  "Santa" aka. Andy also put a Mine Craft shirt in his stocking…which Caleb said, "Santa must be real because Mom would never let me have a video game shirt!!!"  True that is!!!  Andy added it last minute!
 Ainsley about died when she saw the One Direction blanket Grandma Griner gave her.  
Tate was very excited for all the boxes…"Oooo, is this my box I asked for?'  The fact that things came in the box was a bonus.  

We made blueberry muffins and watched The Christmas Story.  We played HiHo Cherry-o, Don't break the ice, and spent the rest of the day being lazy!!  The kids all agree it was the best Christmas Ever!

Let's DO December

Let's DO December!
December has come and gone.  2 musicals, 4 choir performances, 3 kids in gymnastics, party decorating for 350 people, Christmas Fiesta, lights, painting, and preparing.

I do not think we could have squeeze more into December than we have.  With the kids getting older there is more to be done, more places to go, more projects to turn in, and more homework.  Oh the dog….yes, he is still around if only by default (the default is that the kids count him as a family member…he ruined my tree, ate my boots, and is a GIANT LAZY BEAST)!
 There were so many lights to see..The Magic Tree in Lee's Summit was amazing, LongView Lake lights, Edgerton lights, and lights near Olathe Lake.  It was Tate's first Christmas that he could remember (last year he was so sick and recovering from what was suppose to be a minor surgery, nothing is MINOR with Tate).  Everything was amazing, and magic!
 I signed Ainsley up for gymnastics.  With Ainsley signed up Aubrey wanted signed up (because before school Chior and Student Council aren't enough).  Then Caleb was watching the boys pro team and was signed him up for 2 classes a week by the end of the night.  3 nights a week at gymnastics…at least they get all their energy out and they really like it!
 So many performances….Aubrey's 4th grade, Caleb's 3rd grade, and it was so fun to watch them.  Aubrey has a speaking part and did great…Caleb had a main part/solo.  Add, Christmas in the park…at the school…at the high school.  Lots and lots to do!
The kids also had field trips to the Baseball stadium the last week of school in the rain/sleet.  BURRRR!
Ainsley turned in her Family Christmas Tree Project and Aubrey turned in her project with help from Grandma Clark's trip to Israel it made the project memorable with a scarf, wooden flute, and bracelet from Jerusalem for her presentation.
Add a half birthday celebration and it was a wild busy week before school got out!  Me personally, I do not understand half birthday celebrations.  I did birthday, but it was important to Aubrey for me to eat lunch with her and her friends, its rare that Aubrey lets me into her world.  I'll take it!
 Painting the babies room, re-painting the babies room because the colors weren't right.  Having a friend make an awesome Hosmer matted picture…..AWESOME!!!  
 Shifting room furniture, putting together a crazy old crib, all while dealing with the girls sharing a room.  Sharing is going to take some caring…the motto I seem to be hollering more often then a 10 and 7 year old should need to hear it!
 Being asked to decorate for the churches 350 people "ALL OUT, MUST BE EXTRA FESTIVE"Christmas party.  Note, if I ever get asked to do it again do not underestimate set up time!!! Hand painting pine cones, glittering up branches, and cutting out names of the Savior was fun…the gold glitter might never come out of the garage floor.
 I have been trying to learn how to tie the boys ties, I think I am doing a pretty good job!   Although, Caleb always rolls his eyes and says "OH, MOM!!" 
All the kids sang in the Talent Show, Tate next to his best buddy Livvi!
 Caleb was here and there.  He decided to sit with friends for dinner instead of his AWESOME mom!  
Ainsley's brand new, arrived the day before the party Christmas dress.  It lasted 15 minutes (tops) before the tool was torn.  Tom Boy is loosely used…when ALL BOY should be her description.  The 3 older kids sat on santa's lap and Aubrey's "awesome" friends explained in detail about Santa not being real.  
We decide to forgo our New Years Day party because I have been so sick so we had a Mexican Fiesta with 6 other families the Friday before Christmas.  It was a lot of fun with trivia, Christmas Chimes, all the homemade mexican food you can eat, Christmas slushy, and Homemade Hot Chocolate with endless toppings!  
I took the kids to the new indoor pool 2 times, we saw a couple of movies, and the kids tired Chinese…not big fans (except Ainsley who will eat everything and anything).
We had Andy's sister and her 4 kids stay with us for 2 days, we made cookies and watched fun Christmas Movies!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Day in A Life: October

A Day in A Life: October

I would say this was a pretty normal day.  Busy, with a touch of dramatic is how we do things here.
I wake the kids up at 6:40am…showers, begging the kids to take showers, and then making sure they really shower is always a WAKE UP CALL!  
Getting my children to dress in weather appropriate clothes, mostly impossible with Caleb but Ainsley half did it.  I made her put a warm skirt over her leggings so her bum wouldn't get cold!
 Ainsley throws on her gross shoes and one child done! Braiding Aubrey's hair, getting her the required 2 breakfast bars, making sure Caleb brushes his teeth, and begging him to wear a sweatshirt (no luck).
 With all of the morning hustle Tate is content in his box watching Wild Krats.  If only all my kids could be 4th children! :)
 Trash Day…get in the car before 7:25am with Aubrey and make sure the other 2 are on the way to the bus stop WITH their backpacks.  
Drop Aubrey off for student council and head to McDonalds with Tate to get him a breakfast burrito/hash brown because he was so good!  We love driving threw the airbase on the way home, sometimes we see the double army helicopters taking off!

 Hour by hour directions for the dinner Brisket.  
(which has seriously gone up in price!!!!!!)
 Work on my lesson for Sunday while I wait for Tate to hand me his shoes so we can make it to his play date on time.  No pictures, but perfect weather!
Come home and make lunch.  Do laundry, dishes, and walk the dog.
Also, calling the school to discuss the upcoming school directory that I was put in charge of, no luck.
Soccer was cancelled so, 4:30…3 different sets of homework (an hour each)…I have a love-hate relationship with common core, depending on the child. 
 The usual afternoon meltdown over a homework folder and the spelling of Make vs Made.  Also, a black folder but it got pretty intense and I couldn't understand…I just tried to hug and console!
 Homemade dinner leftover from last night.  It was "flavorless" according to Andy (I never have to wonder why my kids are so picky and hate everything I make)  I loved it, so I ate if for dinner while  half of the other children ate Brisket!
Ainsley's reward.  After months of trying an 'x' system I needed them to truly understand the importance of the rules/discipline I have and the long term rewards that come to everyone involved.  After 7 days of eating the dinners I made (without complain), doing homework without complaint, helping around the house, and offering to clean Tate's room (he couldn't find the right super hero and destroyed his room while looking for it) Ainsley earned the dinner of her choice with a milk shake upgrade.  I think that 2 of the other 3 with start taking it more seriously because YUM YUM that looked good!!!
After Ainsely's reward I hustled Aubrey/Caleb in the car because I had NO idea what Tuesday of the month it is…only to find out that it's the 1st Tuesday of the month so no scouts or activity days.  We live to far away from the church for me to drive them back home so they had to find something to do while I had my YW meeting.  
Coming home at 9:00pm to a $300 broken decoration I guess is better than last week when Tate's face was bruised and bleeding from his bike accident:(  
Win some you loose some.  Played with Winston a little, gave Tate some water, sang a song to Caleb, and the night was done.  It was an absolute normal day for me:)

I must add that I am sad this project is ending.  I enjoyed it and reading everyone else's as well!