Sunday, October 28, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Seven Random Facts About Me:
1. Today is my 12th wedding anniversary! (If it's still posting as October 28th)
2. I love writing, running, and karate...among other things such as knitting, crocheting, playing piano..
3. I love other languages and cultures! I took 2 years of German in high school and would love to re-learn German..I speak Finnish, and someday will be fluent in American Sign Language and Spanish (never mind the fact I know next to nothing in either ASL or Spanish!) :)
4. I come from a family of 4 boys, 7 girls and betwixt the lot of us, we have, ummmm, 52 children I believe! We have the best family get-togethers possible!!!
5. I love travelling! I've been to many states in the U.S., to Canada several times, lived in Finland for a year, then visited it again for a month once and almost 2 weeks another time, have been to Mexico twice and Sweden twice (while living in Finland). I even stood near the border of Russia while in Finland and watched trucks rumbling along in the distance and could see guard towers!
6. I can't stand mucousy body fluids! Especially vomit & dog drool!!!!!!!!! I truly do a full body shudder when I come into any contact with it, especially unexpected contact!
7. My mom died just after I turned 8. The kids in our family ranged in age from 19 to 2. I think this defined me to who I am today. I am a bit of a non-conformist and feel that this is due partially to my personality and partially due to my mother's death. Growing up without a mom forces you to grow up a bit fast and also to figure out a lot of life's lessons in your own way. I learned a ton from my sisters (and still do) as well as from everyone in my family. Then when you see people doing things just because (usually because that's just how everyone does it) it doesn't make sense to me so I continue to do things how life's school of hard knocks (or just life's school) has taught me!
Now, I'm supposed to tag 7 people...okay, now was it also 7 random facts or was I mixing it up with tagging 7 people? Oh well. I listed 7 facts and I'm stickin' to it! I will clarify with the people I tag if it is otherwise. I, however, don't know if I will be able to scrounge 7 people up from bloggers because I don't think I "know" 7 people yet but I will try! First, my sister, Kristin, then suburbancorrespondent, houseofdanes, shellie, (carrie tagged me so I can't pick her...) ummmmm, I'll go look at my comments because I know that there are a couple more I'm sure I could pick but can't remember off the top of my head what their names are! We'll start with these...I will have to go on and send the message to them on their blogs tomorrow because I am chronically sleep deprived and I have to be up in about 4 1/2 hours plus I'm sure my babycakes will have me up a couple of times between now and 5:30am, when my alarm will be going off. :)
Now this makes 3 posts in the last few hours!!! Boy, I was sure in the sharing mode!

"How old is your baby?"

I had to write both of these stories...they are the two of several that must have amused me the most because I still remember them (by two, I'm refering to this story and the one I just posted, "Sofi's got her thinking cap on")!
Friday evening, we went to visit my sister and her family. One of our friends and her family came to visit that evening as well, so we had a house full and a fun evening! My sister's husband is from Finland so of course they have a sauna. Theirs is in a small building of its own outside. After we had all visited for a while, we began our sauna turns. First, the other two guys went with their boys. Soon the boys came in to shower and my husband went to join the other guys. Then the other guys came in and I went to join my husband and a few of the girls followed and came to steam with us. Soon, my husband went in and the other ladies (my sister and our friend) came to join me and my girls for a good Finnish steam session. When my sister and our friend first came out to the sauna, I asked how my baby was doing. My friend said that she was just getting a little squirmy and fussy but her husband Eric was holding her so she was just fine. So I stayed out for a while steaming before my girls and I went in to shower. When we got in the house, I could hear the baby fussing a little but she wasn't outright crying so I knew I had a little time still. My husband tends to get a little panicked when our babies are so young and begin crying because usually the only thing that calms them is nursing...which he says he's no good at! I cruised myself and the girls through the shower and hurried upstairs. By then, Isabella was crying pretty good. I asked my Eric how long she had been crying and he said, "Not too long!" Later he told me that after he came up from the sauna/shower, the guys just visited..all the while our baby was still in the other Eric's lap, along with his youngest, a 1 1/2 y.o. My Eric said that he noticed the baby was kind of fussing off and on and at some point he thought, "Boy, Eric sure is calm with that baby fussing like that! It sure doesn't seem to bother him to hold a fussing baby!!!" From the time that my friend left Isabella in her husband Eric's lap until I came upstairs after sauna, at least 45 minutes, maybe more had elapsed. Just minutes before I came upstairs, my Eric had asked the other Eric, "How old is your baby?" The other Eric said, "A year and a half!" My Eric just kind of looked at him and said, "No, the other one. The little one!" It was the other Eric's turn to just kind of look at my Eric for a moment before replying, "This isn't my baby!" It was then that it finally dawned on my Eric, "That's right!!! We have a baby!!!!! That's our baby!" He promptly jumped up and went to relieve the other Eric from the fussing baby and moments later I came up the stairs, looked at my Eric, and thought, "Wow!!! He sure is looking calm with the baby fussing like that!"

Sofi's Got Her Thinking Cap On!

This morning, just as we were singing the last hymn at church, Sofia suddenly asked Eric, "Why is God so rich?" Eric's explanation: "Because He made everything!" My explanation: "Because everything belongs to God! The universe, the earth, everything on the earth.." That was the best we could do. That was good enough for Sofi! Without missing a beat, she paused to ponder the next question for about 1.5 seconds, then, "Why does God have such of a small name but His bouncy ball is so big? (the earth)" Then a surprised, "You laughing at me?" How do you answer these things? Where does she come up with these questions? We are forever entertained by these girls!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


These are some pics of karate.. I don't have any current pics of the girls & me. The farthest left is me and the other "sensei's" or instructors at the end of my first semester of teaching, in April maybe? The other 2 are the end of this summer semester, I was striping Greta's belt. This was just in August. As you can see (or maybe not so obvious because of the uniform and pic is from farther away), I was largely pregnant at the time, about 28 weeks along...?...

Ummmm, I'm never sure how to spell that word but it's the battle cry we give in karate with our strikes. It's back to business as usual for us, as of tonight! We went back to karate for the first time since baby was born. Not too bad, considering that we only missed 3 sessions and get to jump in and test out at the end of the semester. This means that since we started a few years ago, we've never missed a semester, not even summers, not even to have a baby! I thought we would have to take this semester off since I was due 11/4, pretty much smack in the middle of the semester, but since Bella took things into her own hands and decided to bless us with her presence a mite early, we zipped into class on week 3 of the semester to show her off and tell them that we were ready to jump back into the action beginning this week. It sure felt good to be back into the routine, although I majorly laid low and more just monitored and verbally corrected the students but didn't physically get involved...except, I do have to confess, in doing KATA. I just couldn't resist joining the class in KATA (a 66 move routine that we have to memorize; we memorize about 5 moves, give or take a few, per belt ranking). I got my black belt last December so I need to know the full 66 move routine.

As a black belt, I have been an assistant instructor with the class, so I am my kids' "sensei", the word we use for "instructor" or "teacher". They like to jokingly call me "Sensei Mom"! Four of my girls are in karate but this semester our kindergartener might take the semester off. My husband is travelling most of the remainder of this semester and my 3 y.o. doesn't want to stay with my sister unless the kindergartener is with, which suits Greta (kdgtnr) just fine. I think she was ready for a break anyway! What a fun night though! And to top things off, our instructor (who is a 2nd degree black belt, the rest of us are 1st degree) started teaching us the KATA we will have to know to test out for our 2nd degree! Fun to learn something new!!!

Well, this was a major rambling of thoughts here that probably is a little difficult to follow! Is it a little evident who is a bit excited to be back into the swing of things? As you can probably tell, I love karate! :)


Yippeeee!!!!! I finally decided that if I just make a huge effort to clear the postpartum fog, remain focused for about 5 minutes, and think real hard where the most likely place would be that the camera case would have gone missing, I was sure that I would find it. Lo and behold, I followed this recipe to a "T" and found the case between the head of my bed and the wall within 5 minutes (added bonus: I found most of my 3 y.o.'s library books that were due yesterday). The battery is now charged and my finger is twitching in anticipation of taking pictures! Here we go:
Here's Isabella, a couple weeks ago, in her little teddy bear suit my sister and her family gave her for a baby gift.
Here she is today...notice her little chipmunk cheeks? I finally pulled out the Baby Bjorn because she loves being held and I love holding her. However, I really can't get anything done here with only about a half functioning takes about 1 1/2 arms to hold her.
Fresh out of the tub..the proud and loving (most of the time) big sister!!!
Another proud and loving (all of the time) big sister. She stole the Baby Bjorn right off my back (not literally)..she loves holding babies and especially in this carrier!
...and again!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ooohhh, I miss my camera!!!

I've lost our camera case (or one of my kids has lost it....I think I will blame it on them!) and in it is our battery charger. I have been without my camera for over a week and with a newborn in the house, that is just plain old wrong!!! She has changed so much already, she's gotten some fat layers on those little sparrow limbs, is developing a admirable double chin and her cheeks are starting to look like chipmunks! Yay!!! She's growing!!!!

Last night my sleep was pretty nonexistant. My baby kept me up until after midnight, which has been pretty typical since she's been born. Then just as she was settling down, my 3 y.o. woke up crying and when I went to check on her, she was hot with fever. I was up with her, she needed to go potty, have water, and I tried to sneak a little Advil into her orange juice 'cause she hates medicine of any kind...she took a couple drinks and wouldn't have anything to do with it! THen I got her back to sleep by maybe 2 or so and was up with baby some more. Then about 4a.m. Kaisa (3 y.o.) started crying and I could hear her barfing. Thank goodness she had moved from my bed into her bed...hers has a crib matress on it (it's a toddler bed) so it was at least easy cleanup. I then got her into the tub, washed up, only to hear that the hubbub had woken our next 2 (the 6 and 8 y.o.'s) up and they were arguing about something. It was 4:20 a.m.!!! I snarled at them to just clamp it until it was legally morning or they will have loony mother on their hands. THey obliged!!! My head finally hit the pillow at a few minutes to 5. My alarm began ringing at 5:30 but I hit the snooze until 6:30 without realizing it! Luckily we had no issues to finish (like homework or showers) so we made it fine getting kids on the bus.

Well, now to quickly clean a bit while my 2 are sleeping...hopefully I will find my camera charger!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life continues....

Life just continues to fly along! Adding another baby has been such of a joy!!! I forget though just how quickly nursing, changing diapers, and just snuggling a newborn can make time fly. It feels like I have so little time to do anything else, especially get on here! I still have to say though that I have just loved having this baby.

We were out of town this weekend, visiting my hometown about 2 1/2 hours away. We stayed this time with a childhood friend's parents. My friend was also there with her husband and 6 kids. She had a baby about 3 weeks before we had ours so it was fun to have the 2 newborns there together. My kids fell fast and hard in love with "Mummu" and "Pappa"..they are Finnish and go by Finnish nicknames for grandma and grandpa. They have an old farmstead with a house that has to be about 100 years old and has all the fun little nooks and crannies that I remember wishing to be able to explore when I was a kid visiting there and now our kids were wishing they could explore!

This family grew up speaking Finnish and I always remember becoming quite determined that some day I was going to learn Finnish fluently and be able to fully understand and converse with them in Finnish when I visit there. My mom and dad both grew up learning Finnish but never taught it to us as a first language; we learned a lot of words and phrases in Finnish but the fall after I graduated from high school I went to Finland for a year and attended a school there. There I became really pretty fluent in Finnish and have been able to keep it up pretty well. My husband's family is from Finland, he was their first one born here. They grew up with Finnish as their first language so now I hear it on a regular basis..we even taught our first 2 daughters Finnish and they were very fluent but then as our oldest realized that most of her friends and cousins spoke English, she refused to converse in Finnish anymore. We eventually gave up speaking it with them so now they only know some words and phrases but I know that they would learn it very quickly then if they someday chose to spend some time in Finland. So, all in all we had a very fun, relaxing weekend, visiting them and my family, and of course, enjoying an old, outdoor sauna one crisp, cool evening.

Now my husband just left for.....Nebraska! If you read a couple of my old posts, you will realize that this is quite the accomplishment for me to actually remember where he went this time right away instead of doing the "...Tennessee (which he never goes to), Idaho (never goes to), Iowa..?..Illinois (he flies into but drives to a neighboring area...can't remember town or state)...?...." I don't know why I am so challenged in this area but I am!!! So onward goes our fast-paced life, spinning, spinning sometimes out of control, sometimes just a mind-boggling but do-able pace!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Well, again I feel like a cow! This weekend I got pretty sick; on Saturday I had aches and pains everywhere and ended the day with a 102 degree fever. Sunday I actually started to feel better, no fever and fewer aches and pains but noticed some indications that I might have a breast infection. I went to a Minute Clinic only to find out after waiting almost an hour that they don't treat this kind of infection at a Minute Clinic! I had assumed that Minute Clinics were in the same category as Urgent Care clinics but I guess I was wrong! At that point in the day, I really didn't have time to then go wait another hour or so at an Urgent Care since most of them close at 5pm and the nearest one was 15-20 minutes away, it was already after 4pm, and I would have had to run home first and pick up my baby since she loves to eat every 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. I decided that my body was just going to have to fight it off on its own cause I wasn't going to worry about it....until I talked to one of my sisters who said that after she had a breast infection she basically lost her milk supply on that side! I absolutely had no interest in starting my baby on formula just because I decided to be stubborn and not go get treated for something easy enough to treat resulting in loss of milk supply. So after getting kids all tucked in last night, Baby and I took off to the ER...I had noticed that the red streaking I had seen on my left side had at least doubled in size since mid-afternoon when I had first noticed redness so I knew that by morning it could be really bad. After being brought back to a room and explaining my symptoms to a nurse, the ER doctor came into the room, sat down and said, "So, I understand you may be dealing with mastitis?" The first thing that came to mind was, "MOOOOO!" Again, I grew up on a farm and the only time I ever remember hearing the term mastitis was when my dad would say that some cow had mastitis. Being a nurse, I should have remembered that the technical term for breast infection is mastitis but nobody I know ever calls it that!!! And I'm sure if I would refer to it as that ("Yeah, I haven't been feeling too good...running a temp, aches and pains everywhere, I think I have mastitis.") I'm sure my friends and family, especially those who grew up on farms would probably all either respond with or feel like responding with a big, hearty, "MOOOOO!!!!" To make a long story short, after confirming that yes, I do have mastitis, I was prescribed an antibiotic and sent home with a wealth of information regarding mastitis!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Baby Isabella

Here Isabella is with her outfit, slippers and diaper bag that her 10-yr-old big sister drained her savings to buy her for a baby gift! Getting to leave the hospital after 8 days of being there...
Don't they just swim in these carseats at first? And to think that before too many months pass, her head will be hanging out at the top and her toes will be dangling over the bottom of this seat!
" Oh, oh, just is so much louder out here than in your tummy, Mommy!"

So very sleepy!!!! Time to tuck in for another piece of my 23 out of 24 hour sleep quota...My mom, on the other hand, ends up getting that one extra hour that I don't use up to fulfill her sleep needs every day! I keep her on my schedule day and night! I just cry out in my sleep for a feeding, then after I get my fill, I burp, then load my diaper, then wait for my mom to start changing me so I can try finish pooping and peeing right into her hand or my outfit or both just as she is wiping my teeny-tiny little bottom or to make it really fun, try time it so she is just pulling out one diaper and scrambling to push the impossibly tiny preemie diaper under my little rump! Gotta keep her on her toes. I've gotta hand it to her, after 6 babies, she's gotten pretty fine-tuned reflexes so I rarely get my load onto my clothes or blanket. I have managed to score a few times into her hand so I'm pretty happy with myself! Well, on to my dreamy dreamland........zzzzzzzzzzz-z-z-z-z-z!
Isabella's been eating better and better, meaning I have to "milk" (pump) less and less frequently. She is more awake (slightly) and doing everything she should be doing (which isn't much)! I have been feeling better and better as the days pass, so we have no complaints!!! Isabella's 2 weeks old today already!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mom's milking!!!

I have the joy now, until my baby grows at least back to birth weight, to both nurse and pump so that if I feel that baby didn't eat long enough at a feeding, I can back it up by a bottle. Having grown up on a farm, I was pretty involved with barn chores, especially around milking time so one evening, as I was pumping at the hospital, I just felt this connection with my past as a farm girl. I thought, "Boy, if nothing else, I could feel like a farmer...milking his cow!" Then suddenly I thought, "The only thing is, I would be that cow!" So I of course had to share that with one of my friends when she came to visit me that night at the hospital, "With all this pumping, now I get to feel like both the farmer and the cow!" She could relate because she also grew up on a farm. It was so cute then when on the following day and I was at home pumping for the first time in the presence of my 3-year-old, she just stopped in front of me, staring in absolute fascination. Then, as my husband walked into the room, she turned and told him in a half-whisper, her voice in awe, "Look! Mommy's milking!!!" Now she has no farming history in her so I'm not sure where she would have even pulled the term up from! She was my longest nurser though, (she nursed until she was almost 2...I had to put a screeching halt to it when she would drop into the nursing position whenever she got into my lap, even in church, at the mall, at a restaurant..everywhere! She was to the point of verbally requesting a nursing, which I always vowed I would be all done with nursing if I ever had a child request to nurse with words!!) and would often point to me after a shower or when she saw me dressing and say, "There are your 'milks', Mama!" So I think that's how she put the connection of pumping to "milking"! Then I really felt like a farmer...and a cow!!!

William Tell Mom Sayings

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Twinkle In Your Eye

This child is our artsy-fartsy, free-spirit, creative, spontaneous child. With spunk. This is an example of how her mind functions: Quite some time ago, Sofia was asking about some particular event or person, the details have escaped me. She was, at that time in her life, always inquiring, "Was I alive yet when that happened?" I am not one to resort to cliches often in my life but for some reason, kind of dismissively said, "No, that was before you were even a twinkle in your Daddy's eye!" or "...when you were just a twinkle in your Daddy's eye!" Now, I should know, having children, that you must never say anything without anticipating a full 20-question interrogation about anything that they don't quite understand. This time, however, I was surprised that the conversation didn't go much farther than that. So I didn't give the conversation another thought. Now, if I would have, I shouldn't have been so foolish to think the lack of inquiry=the cliche somehow just flew by her, unnoticed. It only meant that she fully understood what that meant. Some time later, my husband told me that one day Sofi parked her face not too many inches from his, just staring intently into first one eye, then the other, then back to the first eye. She finally said, "I'm just trying to see if I can see a twinkle in your eye," or something to that effect. Again recently, when we were at the hospital one night after our baby was born, I saw Sofi perch herself right on Eric's knees and had her gaze just pierced into his eyes. She again was searching for that elusive twinkle, and asked, "Is there another twinkle in your eye?" That night after they got home, she finally said something like, "Now, I don't get it! How do you get that twinkle from in your eye into Mommy's tummy?" She then said, "I know, do you take it out and when Mom's not looking sneak it into her food and then she eats it and it gets stuck in her tummy and then a baby grows from it?" I'm not sure that my husband even found an answer to that!

Monday, October 1, 2007


And one more makes a half-a-dozen!!! Only about 4-6 hours after my last posting on this blog my water broke, so needless to say my days of bed rest came quickly to an end!! From the minute my water broke to the time I was chauffered to the entrance of the Emergency Room by my husband was exactly 20 minutes. That was pretty impressive considering the fact that when I make that drive on a normal day, it's a 15-20 drive alone. We, in the meantime, had some frenzied moments that went something like this.... Alarm rings at 5:40. My husband hits snooze and wakes me up so I could slowly start getting kids up for school while he finished packing for his business trip to Mexico. I told him that I had had the kids get their clothes on the night before so we had about 20 minutes extra so we decided to sleep until 6:00. I flipped over and my baby landed right on my bladder! I decided I can handle 20 minutes of bladder pain to sleep a little longer. A few moments later I felt my water break! I said, "Hey, Eric! Eric!!! My water broke!" He muttered, "Oh, no! What do I do? (his mind on Mexico)" I said, "For starts, get me a towel! Quickly! (my mind on water gushes)" He jumped and made some pretty impressive tracks to the bathroom and back, tossed me a towel and rubbed his head, very clearly just baffled what steps to take next.."NOW what do I do? (mind on Mexico again)" I said, "Help me get outta this bed! (mind on water gushes again!)" He came running to my side of the bed and pulled me up, "Now what?" "Gimme the phone, I have to call Kris!(our neighbor)" As I waddled to the bathroom with a towel between my legs, I was calling Kris. She was over within about 3 minutes at the most, bless her heart! Now to explain all the drama and panic, my second baby was born within 20 minutes of my water breaking and most of my babies are born within a few hours. My doctor had already told me that if I don't make fast tracks to the hospital if my water breaks, I would be delivering in the car, especially with me only be 34 weeks along (my doc and I had had the discussion just the day before) and doubtlessly would have a pretty small baby. Needless to say, my husband didn't want to be the lucky one to deliver a baby and I had no interest in him being my delivery doctor either! I ran out the door without shoes and we were off! I spent most of the 10 minute drive making phone calls trying to wake SOME family member up so they could go relieve our neighbor since I was sure she had to work. Well, once I got there, the nurses were given strict orders not to do cervical checks unless I felt like I was going to push...we needed to try to get to 12:30pm if possible since I had been given a steroid shot at 12:30 the day before to try to super charge baby's lung development since it looked like the end was nearing to my pregnancy. He said that it needs to be on board for 24 hours for it to be the most effective. I was scheduled to have my 2nd of 2 steroid shots that day but even one shot does a lot of good. By not moving much and unknowingly filling my bladder to it's maximum capacity (I had had IV fluids pumping into me..2 big bags and then 2 bags of antibiotics since they hadn't yet tested me for Group B Strep), baby's progression was stopped (the filled bladder pushes baby's head off the cervix so all the dilation quits). Thankfully we also held off until my doctor had lunch with his wife (a happy doctor makes a good doctor!) and passed the 24 hour mark by 38 minutes. I went from 5 to complete in a matter of minutes and from complete to birth in less than 30 seconds! Gotta love life in the fast lane!!! Again my doctor had me laughing with my last (and only) push by saying, "Oh boy!!! I think we got our dates wrong! It looks like another 9 lb baby!!!" I laughed and said, "Yeah, right!" and pushed out a BEAUTIFUL 6 lb 4.8 oz 19" long baby girl, Isabella!! She struggled to breathe for a little bit, was pretty grunty and was in an oxygen hood for a couple hours at the most, and has breathed on her own since! She since then has spent a couple days on IV fluids for nourishment and an oximeter for watching her oxygen saturation level in her blood. She was in a warmer since premies don't have enough fat to keep warm. She finally was my baby to hold, no strings attached, literally....for a few hours, then onto a bili-bed for jaundice. She is still in the hospital, now trying to gain weight! She is about 5 lbs, 8 ozs right now. I also had my share of drama after the birth. First, right after birth, my bleeding was a little excessive so I got an injection of hemobate to slow bleeding by helping the uterus clamp down. I had no sooner received my huge lasagna dinner, still in the delivery room (I was hungry!) when major nausea hit! Then diarrhea for hours. I finally felt good enough that night to eat, then spiked a temp, ended up on IV antibiotics through the night and oral after that. Then, just after I signed my discharge papers and the nurse was walking out of the room, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet to begin giving birth to a huge, huge blood clot. I couldn't pass it so the doctor came up. Since my hemoglobin was at only 6, my doctor said he couldn't put me under for a D & C (normal range for women is doctor had alread told me that since I was up and walking around he wouldn't do a blood transfusion, although my numbers merited that, but any more excessive bleeding, he might need to transfuse). He couldn't get the clot to pass either so he gave me an IM injection of a narcotic pain med (the lower of the 2 doses he could give cause he said I could stop breathing if I got more) waited about 2 minutes and proceeded to do a dig-out of my uterus (the clot was very hard, very large and stuck to the side of my uterus). I have had one baby without the courtesy of any pain meds and that was a cake walk compared to this!!! I endured the most painful 15-20 minutes of my life, then a few hours later spiked a temp again. I had very puffy eyes, which I learned is called periorbital edema, compliments of the low hemoglobin, which resulted in my eyes leaking fluids, like tears. So I ended up getting another big bag of fluids dumped into me, then a very powerful IV antibiotic then 2 units of packed red blood cells. Now I am feeling much better and am running marathons between the hospital and home, playing mommy to my big brood as much as I can! :)