Friday, April 20, 2012

Back on the Roller Coaster

Life with our precious six month old has been something to cherish.  We have thoroughly enjoyed (OK – except for the colicky nights – which are fewer these days!) the time we have had with our FREE baby!  It’s so nice to be able to take him places and to not have to worry about oxygen or monitors or anything like that!  And with a smile like this, how can we NOT be enjoying our baby boy? Now, if I could just remember to take extra burp cloths with me when we leave the house, that would be most helpful!  I always have a change of clothes, bottles/formula, and plenty of diapers, but it seems every time we turn around and need a burp cloth, there is none with us!  I’ll get it together one of these days!

Along those same lines, this going back to work thing has proven to be a bit of a challenge.  Finn is still not on any kind of schedule (really), so mornings are very unpredictable.  It’s a challenge to get Finn taken care of, plus get Jake, Lara and Emma dressed, packed for school, forms signed, library books found, hair/teeth/shoe issues resolved, and still get to work on time (for both of us).  Some mornings go well, others, not so much!  We are super lucky that our Babysitter/Nana/personal assistant/Mom-of-the-year comes to us in the mornings – she can just walk in and pick up on whatever chaos is going on so Britt and I can get out the door!  I had a couple of rough days this week, but I am starting to see the light.  I am settling in at my new job, and I am starting to learn more of “the ropes” so I am not as stressed about being here on a daily basis.  New jobs are just HARD to get used to!

As for Finn, he has had quite a week, too!  Hence the roller coaster... After we all survived the threat and reality of severe weather last weekend (shout out to all my LTC ladies and a WOOT WOOT for the fun ladies night we had last Friday night!), we took him to Tulsa on Monday morning for his surgery consult.  We were all very impressed with the facilities, doctors and staff at the Children’s Hospital at St. Francis.  We even ran into one of our FAVORITE NICU nurses from Mercy that is now working at Children’s in Tulsa!  It was a great experience, and we are set to have his inguinal hernia repair next Thursday.  Our pediatric surgeon is a great guy, and we have all the faith in the world in his abilities and his concern for our family.  But, having said all that, we are still apprehensive about putting our child under and having him intubated again.  It's still scary.  We have to be at the hospital at 5:15 am next Thursday, and they will keep Finn overnight for observation.  We hope to be back in Stillwater mid-day on Friday.  Just in time to start the NEXT adventure!

We move NEXT WEEKEND!  We got the keys to our new place this past weekend, and we have been over once to look things over again (the landlord is completely repainting the house and doing some other needed maintenance) and to measure some rooms.  It is really going to be a great place once we get in there and personalize it.  We hope to start moving things Friday afternoon, and we need to be done by Sunday!! Anyone who is willing to help – whether its move boxes or wrangle kids – we would love the help!  Moving 6 people is quite an undertaking!  To help prepare for the BIG MOVE, we are having a garage sale tomorrow morning.  7am start time!  Lots of good stuff – including a CAR!  Come check us out!

I also got the link for Finn’s TV debut!  If you have not seen the piece, here it is!

Here’s to a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Half a Year

Dear Finn,

In the hustle and bustle of a family of six, you turned six months old a few days ago.  Last Thursday, to be exact!  Your Daddy was home that day with you, and we were still trying to get your child care situation worked out since I went back to work.  (Not really BACK to work so much as I got a new job, but I am not home with you all the time now – I sure miss it!)  I have a silly tradition of taking my kid’s pictures on the monthly recurrence of the date they were born.  I did it with your older twin sisters, with Jake, and with you.  Those first few pictures are some of the most precious pictures I have ever taken, and I hope as a family we always remember that time and how far we have come as a family.

As for you, you are a fighter!  And still completely unpredictable!  You eat when you want to, sleep when you want to, and never do the same thing twice!  We have a better pattern going than we did for a while, and you only wake up once in the night, eat, and go right back to sleep, but the days are hit or miss!  You have good, fun, smiley days, and long, hard, crying days.  Still have colic most evenings, and still break my heart when I can’t make you feel better.  In the past few days, you have mastered grabbing at things, and my long hair seems to be the number one target.  We have gotten a few toys in your hands as well, but your muscle control isn’t the best yet, and you often end up banging yourself in the head with things!  ;)  Your doctors, SoonerStart child development specialist, and all the books say you need to do tummy time as often as possible.  That’s all fine and dandy, but you are not so much of a fan!  You still don’t lift your head up off the floor, and you don’t use your arms to help hold yourself up.  You do, however, plant your forehead firmly on the floor, and scoot (right, left, right) with your legs to move yourself forward.  While this is good, we really need you to hold your head up, buddy!  You are getting there, though.  When I hold you up over my head looking down at me, you support your head then, so we know it’s coming.  You also like to sit looking forward some.  Your head still wobbles and bobbles, but you can catch it and correct it yourself!  SUCH a strong boy!
This past weekend was Easter weekend.  You made your big public debut all over the place!  Saturday morning we took family pictures on the OSU campus, then Saturday night we went to Enid to Grandpa Jake and Grandma Mary’s church to see Grandpa sing in the Easter pageant.  You were a bit fussy, so you and I spent the first part outside, but we got to see the 2nd half of it!  Then on Sunday you went to LifeChurch for the very first time!  You made some people cry, and our campus pastor said seeing you made his whole weekend!  LOTS of people were excited and thrilled to see you and to finally get to meet you!  Seems like we have come full circle since this was also the anniversary of Uncle Brian’s death.  That’s the event that started this whole roller coaster ride.  Seems fitting somehow…

On Monday, our SoonerStart worker came and played with you, you helped me take Stella to the vet, then we had another GREAT appointment with your pediatrician!  You weighed in at 12 pounds 4 ounces and were 24 inches long.  Good Growing, Little Man!  She also released you from all your tethers!  No more monitor – even at night!  That was the last thing we were waiting on.  Now, I am sad to tell you we still have a surgery coming up to take care of your hernia, but we’ll worry about that when the time comes.  For now, just rejoice with us that you are a FREE BABY!  I love being able to pick you up in the morning and snuggle you and catch your first smiles of the day without tripping over wires or accidentally setting off the alarms!  Such a great way to start the day!  You got 2 shots and one oral vaccine, and you woke up Tuesday morning with a bit of a fever, but one dose of fever reducer and you were good for the rest of the day - even made it to pick up Lara from dance to go to Emma's volleyball practice where we ended up talking March of Dimes with 3 other preemie parents.  Such a trooper!

Tuesday was a day of resting, because on Wednesday, you had ANOTHER big adventure!  Daddy and I both had half a day off work to take you back down to see our friends at Mercy.   
But this time, there was a camera crew there to see you, too!  We had been asked by the Oklahoma Blood Institute people to tell your story on camera to help promote the Mathis Brothers Furniture / KOCO Channel 5 blood drive that is happening this coming weekend.  You did SO GOOD!  You fell asleep while Daddy and I were talking to the camera, but you sure are sweet when you are sleeping, so the camera loved you like that!  We got to visit with a few of our favorite Mercy staff members as well, so it was a GREAT trip!  We got the word later that afternoon that the piece would air on television THAT NIGHT!  It was fun calling, texting and posting to facebook for everyone to tune in or set their DVR’s!  Unfortunately, the DVR at our house didn’t record for some reason!  We got home from t-ball practice for Jake and church/LifeGroup for the rest of us, and it wasn’t there.  We got to see it at Nana's house on Thursday, but it wasn't QUITE the same!

So, this past 6 months has definitely been the most eventful 6 months of MY life, and probably yours, too!  I have learned so much, leaned on others so much, and listened to God so much.  Thank you, Finn Ricker Weaver, for being the instrument to teach me those lessons.  I am so lucky to be your Mommy.  Here are the pictures of you on the 5th of the last 6 months.  You have come so far!  I think we all have.  And we have you to thank for it.  We all love you so much!  Keep getting stronger and stronger and stronger! Love, Mom

Birth - October 5, 2011 - 1 lb 14 oz

1 month - November 5, 2011 - 2 lbs 2 oz

2 months - December 5, 2011 - 4 lbs 6 oz

3 months - January 5, 2012 - 7 lbs

4 months - February 5, 2012 - 9 lbs 6 oz

5 months - March 5, 2012 - 10 lbs 10 oz

6 months - April 5, 2012 - 12 lbs 4 oz

Friday, April 6, 2012

252,600 minutes

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.  In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.  How do you measure a year?  This year, we’ve measured it in about a million different ways.  This year has gone quickly, and it has dragged out longer than we could have ever imagined.  It has brought more tears than we thought we could cry, and more joy than we could even fathom.  More struggles than one family should endure, and more blessings than we can even try to count.  It’s been 12 months of 2 steps forward, one step back in many areas of our lives.  It’s hard to believe it has been a year already, but at the same time it feels like I have aged 5 in the process.  

One year ago this weekend, on a Friday night much like tonight, I took Emma and Lara on a little date to see a movie.  It was the first time we had done that – just us girls.  While across town, my mom and dad were just starting to worry that they hadn’t heard from my brother since that morning when he had called to tell our mom he wasn’t feeling too good.  Little did we know, we were one phone call from our knees.

That following Sunday morning and the events that unfolded over the next few days play back in my mind’s eye over and over again.  It still feels like a nightmare.  Like something I read or watched on TV; not the real life I live every day.  Some days, it just hits me like a ton of bricks – the loss, the grief, the anger, the weight of responsibility for the future I feel.  Other times, it’s more like a quite wave of sadness, melancholy, and sorrow for the “what could have been”s.  Either way, I am always reminded of the gift we got to experience just being part of his life.  And the legacy he has left us in the stories and favorite quotes we can still chuckle at.  I hate that my big kids’ memories of him fade every day.  And I am crushed by the notion that he won’t know our sweet little miracle Finn in this life.   But, then I remember the good times growing up – family vacations, keeping each other’s secrets, FIGHTING, seeking his advice.  And I know I am a better person for knowing him.

So, we enter this Easter weekend with heavy hearts, but so very thankful for our Risen Savior!  Because of Jesus, we know Brian is in a better place, rejoicing.  He gives us strength to face each day, and His grace is sufficient.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back in the Saddle again!

Well, a LOT has changed since my last blog entry 12 days ago!  The biggest news is, I am BACK!  Back at work, back at OSU, back to burning the candle at both ends.  I interviewed for this new job at the end of spring break, and was offered the position on the spot! What a day that was!  And while it is bittersweet on SO many levels to be working again, it feels good to be contributing financially as well as being among people taller than 2 feet.  I started a new job with the College of Education today, and it was exactly as I expected!  A bit overwhelming, a lot awkward, and fun to meet a lot of new people - all at the same time!  This position is "new" in the sense that they have had some moving around happening, and they are combining/splitting responsibilities, and I am the first person to have this specific role.  So, there are still a lot of questions to be answered and bugs to be worked out - and a lot of that won't happen until later this summer when the new full time Dean takes over.  So, for now, I am content to learn the ropes, find the bathrooms, and meet the people.  I know how to do all the tasks I will be assigned (although I am a bit rusty - haven't worked for over 8 months!), it's just a matter of getting to know the people and who does what to be able to help me.  Everyone is super nice and very friendly - as is the custom at Oklahoma State!  I hope to settle in quickly and not be "the new person" for long!

I sure missed my little man today!  This is the first time I have ever been away from him for this long.  Drop off was actually pretty good.  I teared up a bit as we drove off, but I was doing well.  Until mid-morning when our babysitter for today texted me a picture of Mr. Finn:

She just wanted me to know he was HAPPY!
I cried like a baby for 10 minutes after this came through on my phone!  Missed him SO much!

In other Finn news, he got his 3rd Synagis injection for RSV prevention last week (he'll get one more at the end of April and then we'll be done for this year) and the home health nurse weighed him in at 12 pounds 1.5 ounces!  Way to GROW, Finn! The new formula seems to be working out.  He has also pooped on his own a few times in the past week, so everything seems to be falling into place, there, too.  We did get a small setback when his appointment with the pediatric surgeon got pushed back an entire week.  While we are frustrated with that, it's better than having no appointment at all!

This past week, T-ball practice (2x a week) started for Jake, Volleyball practice (2x a week) started for Emma, dance is still going strong for Lara, and I worked my "second job" at the twice yearly Adorable Affordables consignment sale.  I also have so much fun doing that!  It is HARD WORK, but I am glad I get to do it.  It's high quality girl time,plus I get to shop for new (used) clothes for all my kids.  What could be better?!?  I was specifically looking for a few things for Finn "gear" wise and struck out, so I will have to spend some of my earnings on things for him, but that's why I do it!  So, between that as well as finding day care for Finn, shuffling the kids to all their activities, buying a new work wardrobe, parenting 4 kids, and being a wife, time has been a precious commodity.  And if we make it through this crazy week without dropping the ball somewhere along the way, it will be a miracle!  Thankful for my trusty Cozi Calendar that texts me when I have things I need to do, and a FABULOUS husband to help make it all go smoothly.  Plus, our very flexible babysitters, Nana and Grandpa!

Here's to a new chapter in our lives!  This is a crazy time for us, but we are looking forward to ironing out the wrinkles and making it all work.  Did I mention we are moving, too?  Oh yeah, and that....  We start settling into a new home on May 1...  The kids will go to a new school next year and everything.  We really are upsetting the apple cart around here!