Five Ryans In Five Years

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Day # 18 & 19-Cough, sore throat and a phone call

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Yesterday was a day that was studded with giggles, squeals, laughters and coughs coming from our munchkins.  Collin had started to develop a cough since mid last week but nothing too serious until this Wednesday when his nose started running and he began to sound under the weather.  I checked his and everyone’s throats; quite challenging feat to achieve with a one year old I might say.  The girls’ throats were clear but Collin’s throat was red and swollen and Avery’s was slight red and starting to swell.  Since I couldn’t just make an appointment, pack up the munchkins and walk to the doctor’s office; Titus has to stay out of public until the end of May, I made an appointment for Collin to go in today.

By morning, Avery was really tired and just wanted to lay down for 30 minutes after breakfast this morning.  After I laid the kids down for their naps, I realized that Avery was also getting sick.  Since our clinic…errr….band aid station….err….clinic changed their policy to only allow 2 kids per appointment and a 20 minute wait in between to clean the room if you wanted to bring in more.  Normally, like a logical person would do (I’m usually not that person,) I would bring all the sick ones with the healthy ones just to get everyone seen at once.  Logical right?!  Well, I can’t don’t do that anymore.  Thankfully, Mike was able to watch Jasmine, Cora, and Titus while I took Avery and Collin in today.

Also, this morning, Mike got a phone call from his work, Jack Links Beef Jerky in Laurens, Iowa, that he had to come in to work because his Family Medical Leave Act had ended.  The reason that his Human Resources Manager said was “That since Titus was home from the hospital now, he’s no longer medically needy.  Therefore Mike has to come in to work.”  Surprisingly, this is coming from a non-doctor.  Hummmmm.  I guess my losing 6 pints of blood, needing to have 2 pints of blood to recover, having to stay in Des Moines the entire month of December, traveling to and from DSM for 3 months on the weekends, bringing home Titus on:

-1/2 liters per minute of oxygen

-has to use oxygen tanks to breathe or his oxygen blood levels would drop to 50%

-has to have steroids to help his lungs to continue to develop

-his lung doctor classifying him with Chronic Lung Disease

-has two nebulizer medicines a day

And he considered “not medically needy so therefore Mike has to be at work instead of helping me take care of Titus and the kids.  Hummmmm…..  I know I went to public school and all but MAN!  WOW!  I’m so glad I didn’t hear my phone this morning when Jack Links Beef Jerky’s Human Resource Manager called my phone to tell us this at SEVEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING?!

Please pray for peace to come out this situation.

Please pray for Mike and I as we seek God’s will in the situation and in the future.

Also, please pray for everyone get well and that Titus doesn’t get sick too.

Oh a lighter note, yesterday Collin didn’t want to obey and put away his toys and get into his chair for supper.  When I went to fetch him, he started yelling “NO!” at me several times then of all things, he started blowing raspberries at me!  I was surprised and wanted to laugh but didn’t.   hehe  The look on his face was too cute and funny.  So, here’s “Mommie’s Revenge” and a picture of Collin freshly new born!  BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!  (Susan, do you remember this chunky monkey?)

Freshly new born Collin


Day #17-Boredom is bless!

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Not much happened today other than the normal poopy diapers: Avery had 1, Jasmine had 3, Collin had 1, Cora had 2, and Titus had 1; really important stuff, huh?  I hope you weren’t eating while reading this post.  If so, I’m sorry but just keepin’ it real.  Most of the evening had I been trying to figure out what to blog about.  When I mentioned this to Mike, he pointed out that boredom is better than going to Des Moines every weekend to see Titus.  To which I totally agreed.  I thought about taking pictures of my piles of clean and dirty laundry, piles of dirty dishes, cluttered counters and unswept floors but was too tired to move.

For all the people that are expecting a stay at home mom’s house to sterile, I’m sorry but I’m laughing so hard that milk just came out of my tear ducts!  I applaud the moms that have this talent; I don’t have it.  God has taught me a lot in valuing my time well these last four months.  Before Titus was born, I would get this feeling I can’t clean the kids are awake, asleep, or whatever.  I’ve had to choose to change this mindset  hundreads of times.  Whenever,  I start to feel depressed and lazy, I remind my self of not being about to clean my home “my way.”  Then I pray for forgiveness for being selfish and lazy and try to get at least 5 things done in an hour.  Granted, sometimes those five things in an hour include 3 diapers, cleaning up a spilled mess, etc.

And in the spirit of randomness and normalcy, here’s a few pictures I took of the kids “helping” one of the MANY awesome babysitters “fold” clothes back in January 2011.  Can you guess what Collin is “folding?”

The kids "folding" clothes with Nicole.

Collin "folding" the laundry.

Have you figured out what Collin is helping "fold?"

Day # 16-Daddy’s Little Girl and Boy

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 at 12:36 AM

Today the kids tackled and pinned down Mike the only why they know how:  be cute.  Just about every night, Mike will climb on to Avery’s bed and the kids would crawl, poke, squeeze, hug, and squeal to their heart’s content or Mike get sore.

While organizing, yes I said organizing, I found Jasmine’s old hat that says, “Daddy’s Little Girl.”  Since Cora IS Daddy’s little girl, I had Cora wear it and have Mike hold her for a picture.  Cora was all smiles and loved very second of Daddy holding her and kissing her cheeks.

Daddy's Little Girl, Cora, and Mike

Not to be out done by his older sister, Titus, had to make sure Daddy didn’t get to sleep on time. Titus turned on HIS charm and conned Daddy into hold him, too.

Titus cutifying Daddy before bedtime.

Day 14 &15- Easter Princess and Doctor Appointments

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2011 at 10:10 PM

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY EVERYBODY (A day late 😉 )  We celebrated by EASTER by me (Mike) getting up early helping the guys  make the breakfast for the annual church breakfast made by get this all guys, and yes it is edible ;).  The girls had really cute and adorable dresses picked out as well.

Princess Jasmine and Cutepie Cora showing their dresses off.

After myriads of pictures taken we left church, ate and traveled to the Studio Plus Hotel in West Des Moines to get ready for Titus’s first and early appointments in West Des Moines and Mercy Hospital.  Later that night to wear out the four older kids, we let them run (Supervised of course) down the halls.  See picture below.

Avery, Jasmine, and Collin getting their wiggles out.

Then of course came bed time and time to tackle daddy so we can get all their energy out (ha ha ha)

Time to get daddy.

As for Titus’s appointments, he is officially off the Apnea machine but must be on the Pulse OX.  He also got to see his favorite staff err nurse err Girlfriend Nurse Angela.

A picture of Nurse Angela holding me while I still had my staff at me beck and call.

A message from Titus, I saw my girfriend today whined to her that mommy and daddy aren’t meeting what my staff gave me she just laughed and put me back down in my carseat.  She is going to Las Vegas for a few months so other babies like myself can get a good snuggle from an awesome nurse.

Day #12 & Day #13-Petticoats are EVIL!!! Just sayin’.

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2011 at 1:51 AM

I have spent the better part of my “free time” sewing a petticoat for Jasmine’s Easter dress that she will wear to church tomorrow.  The idea of making a petticoat/tutu has been tickling the back of my mind for months.  I have seen some CUTE tutus on the internet, most of which can be really expensive.  Determined to make Jasmine’s dress “poof-ier,” I pulled out some old material that I had orginially intended to use to make my own wedding dress but didn’t work out.  Now that I have “completed” the petticoat, I say that loosely because its not officially done; I ran out of material and a few seams are backwards.  I will admit readily that I LOVE to sew but most of the time the project wins and I lose.  This project won BUT I will WIN the next time.  As crazy as it sounds I will try to make more tutus/petticoats for my girls to be pretty in and maybe give the “pretties” to other little girls in my life.  I know I wish I had a tutu when I was growing up!  I’m going to be jealous!  But not jealous enough to make myself one!  🙂

I'm gathering the trim for the hem of Jasmine's petticoat.

I think I have logged in two naptimes (2 1/2 hours), two after bedtimes (3 hours), and one hour or so after naptime this afternoon.  I did learn A LOT from this project.  I still don’t follow directions very well.  Anyone that knows me well should find this a real shocker.  🙂  Be sure to use material that doesn’t fray at the slightest touch.  Be certain you have enough material in the beginning (or beg for some before even starting said project.)  🙂

Today, we had a slight scare with Titus, for the record his is safe and healthy at home; we discovered that his Liquid Oxygen Concentrator and Pediatirc Flowmeter that gives him oxygen wasn’t working right.  This morning he was happy and all pink but by the time early afternoon came around, he was getting lethargic and not pink any more.  I checked the machine and the flowmeter and it was at 0 Liters Per Minute (LPM); I fixed and called Apreia Health Care.  I talked to the customer rep and he made sure the tubers were correctly attached between the two machines; which they were.

Twenty or so minutes later, we noticed his coloring was really bad so I put the Pulse/Oxygen monitor on his foot which immediately read 50%.  NOT GOOD!  I quickly attached him an oxygen tank and turned it on, so I thought at the time.  I picked up Titus and stimulated him to get him to take big breathes but his oxygen was only going up to 78% at best.  Mike looked at the gauge on the tank and asked if it was open, I said, “Yes” but checked anyways.  Come to find out, I attached Titus’ oxygen line to the tank but FORGOT to open the valve completely.  I opened the valve further and his numbers dramatically responded by jumping up to 100% and only dipped down to 98%.  As it stands right now, Apreia is going to come check on the machines on Tuesday.  Until then, Titus will be using his tanks of oxygen instead.  I currently have enough tall tanks to last me 4 days and 10 smaller more portable tanks that would get me close to 2-3 days.

I’m so thankful that Mike was home today helping with the kids and Titus that he noticed Titus’ coloring and energy levels.  THANK YOU, Mike!!!!

This is Titus' coloring around early afternoon.

This is Titus this evening after the kids were in bed.

Day #4-Bath Time!

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Today was pretty “normal” day.  Amid the squeals of delights coming mainly from Avery and Collin, the older kids got to enjoy another “welcome Home, Baby Titus” they got to watch “Garfield, The Movie” this morning.

Avery got to help me make homemade hash browns for lunch.  He took it upon himself to dry off each potato before handing them to me.  Since our family has a love affair with hash browns, I had to figure out how to make them without spending at least $2-3 a bag at the stores.  My first attempt was BAD!!  Then I figured out to shred the potatoes into cold water, rinse the starch off THROUGHLY with cold, running water, and spread the cleaned off hash browns onto a large bath towel and VIOLA!  Homemade Hashbrowns!  I made extra so now I have a large gallon size ziplock bag in the deep freeze for the future.  Yippe!  Now to figure out how to make tator tots…hummmm….  🙂

Titus is doing really well learning that he doesn’t have a wait staff of nurses anymore.  He usually is the most fussy in the morning when he is trying to get used to the kids’ extra noise and deciding if he is, in fact, hungry or not.  Since coming home, Titus has been eating 4 ounces of formula per feeding.  Today he ate at:  7a, 9:30a, 11a, cat napped, 1p, took a nap, 3:45p, 5p, cat napped, 9p and is sleeping still.

I gave all the kids their showers/baths tonight; which I normally did on Thursday nights because of Mike and I traveling the past 4 months down to see Titus.  I figured I try to do it tonight and at first Titus seemed to think that it was more important for Mommie to me the Centurion of the Pacifier instead of bathing this brothers and sisters.  Mommie convinced him to learn to keep his hands away from his face and keep the paci in himself instead.  Hopefully soon Titus learns to keep the paci without help; which he can if he WANTS to.  😉

Titus is funny to watch getting his baths.  At first he is horrified about the water but as soon as he is completely laying in his baby bathtub, he just relaxes and enjoys the warm water.  I’m thankful he’s used to baths because bathing a newborn is HARD!  Typically newborns, and all parents know this, HATE water and will scream their little brains out from start to finish and then beyond their dressing until they get feed.  Titus, however, just gets upset, like his sister, Cora, when you take him out of the water.  I didn’t get any pictures but maybe the next time he gets a bath, Mike can take a bunch of pictures and a couple of videos.  I wonder what I can use as a brib?  Hummmm……I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.

Day #11-Burpday and Bride In Waiting

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2011 at 2:07 AM



Five years ago, I was recovering from pushing for two hours just to get my oldest boys HUGE head and WIDE shoulders out!  That day, like each Labor Day of my childern, I remember the most vividly.  On April 20, 2004, I worked in the Target Food Ave in Ankeny, Iowa.  I got to work at 7am and worked until 4:30pm.  That morning I felt fine, preggy, but okay.  Around 10a, I started to feel REALLY bad and I figured I would just have another yucky day.  But that Yucky feeling never left but got worse steadily as the day wore on.  To top of the situation, we were down 2 people on the morning/afternoon shift, had 3 health inspections, and 2 HUGE food shipments come in that, your’s truly had to deal with.  By the time, my boss came in at 11a, I was ready to go home but couldn’t and that didn’t stop me from begging from time to time.  Carol was awesome and put up with my whining for the most part.

By the time 4:30p FINALLY creeped across the clock, I stumbled out of the Food Ave, clocked out, then made the LONG walk from the front door to the side of the building where I picked.  (I was supposed to be parking in the employee parking lot by Radio Shack, if you know Ankeny, but I almost didn’t make that far three weeks earlier.)  I drove across town, walked up TWO full flights of stairs, changed out of my uniform, and collapsed in my bed for about 45 minutes until Mike called and told me to come pick him up at TruGreen across Ankeny.  I told mike I would get there when I get there because of the entire situation.  It took me 15 minutes just to walk/stumble from our apartment to the car and another 30 minutes to drive across town; normally it takes 20 minutes but I didn’t care if I was driving SLOW.

I picked up Mike, HE drove to Target to do some last minute shopping and exchange a baby outift.  Of all places, we ate supper at the Food Ave;  I ordered the kids mac and cheese meal and mike had the Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  😉  I was half way done eating my meal when I suddenly dropped my fork, slumped forward and started crying for no reason.  This TOTALLY FREAKED out all the cashiers, guests, and Mike.  When I was finally able to control myself I told all the cashiers to go back to work, told Mike to call the midwives, and I just sat there just trying to relax and breath.

Mike called and talked to the Midwives and then they wanted me to talk to them.  Since I could only talk for a less than a minute with short periods where I couldn’t talk, they told Mike to bring my bag and me in to check to see what’s going on.  This meant:  getting to the door of Target in a wheelchair, driving BACK to the apartment, Mike went and got my bag that was mostly packed, drove to DOWNTOWN Des Moines to Methodist Hospital, he dropped me off at the door in a wheelchair, parked, then took me up.  As soon as I was wheeled into the maturity ward, the nurses jumped up and took me right to the Triage Room to be evaluated.  They and we thought that I was dialated to 2-3cm but I was pronounced to be SIX centimeters dialated!!!!

After getting settled in our room, Mike called our close friend and AWESOME doula, Susan, to come to the hospital.  (I miss you STILL, Susan!)  Anyway, that was around 8p or so; my midwife wanted to pop my bag, at first I didn’t want to but I was so tired that decided to did it.  At first it was total relief of the pressure but that also ment Avery moved down FASTER.  OUCH!!!  The nurses teased me at each birth, that I’m the worst person to watch in labor because I actually fall asleep during active labor!

By the time 3:14a came around, Avery was born 9 pounds 2 ounces 21 1/2 inches long.  Avery is now up to my elbow and weights 45 pounds.  He has blonde hair, blue eyes, looks like his Daddie, loves bacon, cars, school, building blocks, and helping Mommie at home with his younger siblings.  WE LOVE YOU, AVERY!!!!

A VERY NEWborn Avery on April 21, 2004. Yes, he still like to scream and, yes, his feet are STILL that BIG!!

Avery looking handsome at five years old!

Finally in other news, I got a little Bride In Waiting, Cora!  I am in the process of making some sewing projects and I had some very old curtains that I turned into scraps.  Here’s what Cora did with the scrapes for about 15 mintues.

Here's our future bride in waiting, Cora.

Lately, Titus has learned a NEW trick.  He’s figured out that if he squeezes his chubby cheeks together and then pushes up, he can pull his nasal canula out of his nose.  This is okay except for ONE thing, doing this makes his oxygen levels drop QUICKLY from 100% to 89% in about 10 minutes or less.  Eventually this will be remedied when I get better stickers on this face for the canula.

My latest Go Fish fan in training. I have the other kids INSISTING on listen/watching the group, now I have an earlier start on Titus. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Day #10-The Snake Man

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Since its late and I’m brain is turning into dust bunnies, I just wanted to share the funniest part of our day.  The kids and I were watching Star Wars I for the billionth time today.  Each time it get to battle scene of Darth Maul (sp?), Obi Waun (sp?) and Qui Gon (sp?) Avery gets really confused as to what Darth Maul is.  Today, however, in this 4 year old wisdom and experience, Avery walked right up me and told who Darth Maul was.  After I hugged him tight and smothered him in kiss, Avery said, “I just saw the Snake Man fight.”  “Oh really!” “Yes, and he had two swords stuck together.”  “What did the Snake Man look like?”  “Red and Black.”  All of this was said very seriously.  I just smiled, squeezed him tight again and, of course since its a Mommie’s job, smothered him in kisses.

darth maul

Honestly, I don’t see the connection between Snake Man and Darth Maul but, Hey, I wasn’t going to rain on his parade.  Even though I did tell him Darth’s real name at lunch.  Just Keepin’ It Real!

Avery being serious for the moment.

Day #9-Dishwasher Tablet+Dress=???????

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2011 at 12:06 AM

A few years ago, Mike’s dad gave us a flower girls dress that they had found while moving out of their house.  At the time it fit Jasmine but she was too short and would trip on the hem and it was badly stained from some unfortunate event whenever the pervious owner wore it.  I washed it in the washer with a good dose of laundry detergent thinking, “Hey!  Its already stained; lets see if this works.”  Well, the washing took out most of the dirt smudges and freshened it up a lot BUT made a huge stain appear.  I let Jasmine try it on a few times over the next couple of years but she was getting to chubby so I figured she’d outgrown it.

In all my organizing yesterday, I found it folded up in a pile on the kids’ closet shelf.  I had Jasmine try it on again and it ACTUALLY FIT!  I was shocked and Jasmine was smiling ear to ear!  She wore it around the house for a bit then I took it off so she could play.  This got me thinking….can I still remove those huge stains without damaging the dress?  It was make such a pretty dress for the girls to wear in the future.  I did some searching online and discovered that if you put 1/4 cup of dishwasher detergent in the washer with the dress it would whiten it without using bleach; which was something I DID NOT want to try.

Still thinking I had nothing to lose other than ruining a dress, I threw a dishwasher tablet in with warm water to wash and rinse.  Being very skeptical and very curious, I waited the 30 minutes and then checked on my little science experiment.  As soon as I pulled the dress out of the washer, I could immediately tell it was decidedly whiter but what about the stains?  After wrestling the tulle, petticoat, and skirt to their proper locations, I held it up to the light and it was CLEAN!  m

In other news, I have a Go Fish fan in training!  This morning, Titus was fussy so I set up by laptop beside him on the counter playing Go Fish songs from YouTube.  I at least figured that the noise would distract him but eventually, Titus turned his head towards the noise and was watching Go Fish!  He laid their contentedly watching for almost an entire song.

My phone and I are not getting along so I’ll have to post pictures as soon as we start getting along.  For now enjoy this picture.

This is our FIRST kiss on our wedding day!

Day #8-Organizing, organizing, coma

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 12:17 AM

The work week has started again.  Mike has another week of 12 hour days and he is already very tired of working and of work.  Please pray for him; pray for renewal of mind, spirit, and heart.  Please pray for me and the kids as we try to encourage and uplift Mike as a family.

Mike doing what he loves to do, besides be hubby and daddie, Preach. This is him preaching in the early spring of 2010.

Today, I started the long process if “upgrading” our kids’ bedrooms to big kid rooms.  Yesterday, as you all well know, was when Avery got his Big Boy Bed; today, I was able to reorganize and consolidate the kids’ closet, move Jasmine’s dresses to the office that will soon be the girls’ room, and remove a wire crate storage unit.  I was very tempted to do more but stopped myself from probably bad decision.  I am actually quite dangerous when I get what my parents loving call, “A Melissa Cleany” where in which I clean, toss, and organize until I’m exhausted then get into trouble later for throwing away and/or moving an important item.  There is still much to do but I’m going to take my time so I make very wise decisions.

Titus still like to keep his Mommie on her toes regarding his health.  This time is was constipation issues.  He is currently taking ONE medicine which is a multivitamin PLUS Iron and is drinking my pumped breastmilk with Similac Expert Care Neosure PLUS Iron formula.  Because he is getting a lot of iron and has been somewhat stressed because he’s at home with his “quiet” older siblings and very busy Mommie and Daddie, Titus started getting constipated starting mid week last week up until today when he FINALLY started going again.  Mike and I had been praying that he would start going again soon or we’d have to take him in; something we didn’t want to do because of RSV season still in full swing.  Eventually by late afternoon, God answered our prayers and Titus rewarded us with not one, not two, but THREE messy diapers!  YAY!  You know you are a parent when you get excited about messy diapers and aren’t embarrassed about it.

As far as his overall health, he is doing quite well.  He had his first doctor’s appointment last week that I mentioned and he weights around 9 pounds 10 or so ounces.  I can tell he is bigger than that today though.  I do believe he will be lighter than the other kids because he’s not as much of a chunk like his older brothers.  Those of you that have picked up Avery and Collin will know what I mean.

This is Titus tonight after his bedtime bottle AND after he flashed a very quick grin at Daddie.

This is Titus last week before we left the hospital.