Wednesday, October 7, 2015

{Drew's Baptism}

I have lots to catch up on (I am not even sure where to begin!), but for now, here is our sweet baby Drew on his baptism day this past Sunday.

He wore the same baptismal outfit that Luke wore when he got baptized. Drew did wonderfully during the ceremony, but quickly got fussy once we got back to our seats. I had to walk him around for the remainder of the church service and he was one unhappy boy. I thought it was a bit odd and I realized why later that night. Poor boy ended up waking up with a fever and a terrible cold. So glad we made it through the ceremony though! 

This is my most favorite picture of Drew!

I love this little boy so much...look at those thighs and that sweet grin!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

{Drew: Two Months Old!}

My little buddy boy is two months old as of last Sunday! We went to his well check-up on Monday and got a good report. We had a little visitor with us...his big brother. I went to drop the big boys off at camp and Luke could barely walk or put weight on his foot. He had been complaining the night before as well and it seemed much worse that morning, so he went with us to get checked out (he was FINE by the way and jumping off the couch by that afternoon!). So things were a bit busier in that exam room since it wasn't just Drew.

Drew did great overall and is growing well! He weighed in at 15 pounds 3.9 ounces (96%). I looked back and he is the exact weight that Luke was at his two month check-up! He is 24.5 inches long (97%) so he is a tall boy just like his two big brothers. I think he definitely have Luke's build though over Ben's. Ben was HUGE by this age and Drew is big and long, but nothing crazy like Ben was.

Drew is holding his head up so well these days and loves to "stand" and "sit" mostly. He needs my help, but gets the biggest smile when I help him up to the stand position. He is sleeping decent -- no huge complaints from me (although I think I am too distracted with life to really notice) but he still has a ways to go. He does go down around 8:30 pm and makes a five hour stretch usually (he did make one seven hour stretch last week!), then up another time (or two), then wake up for good around 7:30 or 8:00 am. I am still swaddling him with this funny swaddle (his arms are up resting around his shoulders) and he is sleeping in the rock 'n cradle with a sound machine at night. Since we are still living in an apartment due to the flood, we didn't even bring his crib. Let's hope he doesn't start rolling over soon or we are in trouble. He usually cat naps during the morning and will take a longer nap in the afternoon. The swing has been a lifesaver the past few weeks in the afternoon.

Drew is wearing 6 month clothes for the most part and is in size 2 diapers. He is eating every two hours or sometimes more. Unless it is the afternoon and then he will go longer if he is in a deep sleep. He is starting to really 'talk' to us and smile a bunch. I still think he is our more serious baby out of the three, but he is still sweet and smiley. Unless you give him vaccines and then you get this...

I have never seen Drew so unhappy on Monday after his doctor's appointment. He screamed for hours and wouldn't even settle down to nurse (which has NEVER happened). He seemed like he was in pain. I am not sure if it was his little legs that hurt or if something hurt on the inside. But the boy was unhappy. Luckily I put him down that night and he slept and woke up like our sweet baby the next day.
Since Monday he has been having some tummy troubles. I am thinking it is due to the rotavirus vaccine or due to the antibiotics I am on for the mastitis I got for the second time over the weekend. He has tons of dirty diapers and they look and smell very funny. Poor boy blows out every night and several times during the day. I have been talking to the nurse and as long as he is happy and not dehydrated, it is okay. I still have four more days of antibiotics though, so we have lots more of this to deal with if it is due to that. He and I are both going to start some probiotics to help though. Poor boy! 

Time is going by fast and I just love this sweet little boy. Things are definitely challenging at times being back in the baby stage and especially during all this time of change for us and being displaced from our home, but I am so lucky to have this little one. It is nice when the big boys are at camp and we get to be just us. I cherish those (quiet and calm) moments :).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

{Father's Day 2015}

We celebrated Father's Day at my parents that morning and then Chat brought the big boys down to the pool later that afternoon and we topped it off with Chinese food that night. All in all a very nice day!

I am so thankful for this guy...and our three boys!

This has been a tough few weeks, but so lucky to going through it with him.

Happy Father's Day Chat!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

{Drew is Eight Weeks Old!}

Drew is 8 weeks old today! I will have a more formal update next week once he hits two months and we go for his check up at the pediatrician. As far as his milestones right now, I have no idea how much he weighs, how much he eats, or any other fun facts since life has been all about the flood and moving. But I will say he is making strides in sleeping (usually make anywhere from a four to seven hour stretch), his neck is definitely getting stronger (since he loves to sit up or even stand up with assistance) and he is smiling and "talking" now. When he smiles he scruntches his nose and it is about the cutest thing in the world. One day I will get a picture! Until then, here is our Captain Adorable.

I just love him to pieces!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

{Life Since The Flood}

In attempt to try to play catch up, here is our life in pictures since the Flood. I feel like it has been the longest 2.5 weeks of our life and the shortest all at the same time. We have had some good times, but the time has also been filled with a lot of work, a lot of fighting between the boys and overall exhaustion. But we did have some really fun times, that I don't want to forget. Stress can overshadow anything, and I am trying to focus on the good stuff! But I will be the first one to say, this has been hard and I am hoping for better days ahead.

The Friday after the Flood, Chat took the boys to an Astro's game and Luke caught a foul ball (with a little help from Daddy!). He was sooooooo proud and it made his night! In the past six weeks or so Luke has become obsessed with baseball. Ben was just as happy with the pink cotton candy he got to eat that night at the game. That boy's stomach is an empty hole. He is never full!

Ben asks to hold Drew all the time. For as much as Ben has been struggling the past few weeks, the one person he is sweet to all the time is Drew. He is a wonderful big brother and it brings out the best in him. He will sit on the couch and hold him for quite some time -- way longer than any three year old should want to. And Drew usually is pretty content in his arms!

About five days after the move, Chat had to leave for work to Chicago and it was just the four of us to pack up the house. Those were a hard four days since I had so much to do all the while taking care of three little boys and exclusively nursing one of them. So I documented with a selfie :).

We stayed with my parents once Chat left and we started seeing mold in our house and it was a wild, busy week. And this poor guy kept falling asleep if he stopped long enough. If I didn't watch him like a hawk in late afternoon, he literally would fall asleep standing up it seems. I think he has finally caught up on sleep. Me on the other hand...

Our little captain adorable really found his stride once he turned six weeks. He was very fussy (or "fuzzy" as Ben insists it is) up till then, but slowly came out of it and became much more alert that week we moved. I also think it had a lot to do with the help I got from my parents. I was pushing him so much when it was just me. I had to put him down a lot and not give him the attention he deserved since it was so stressful with so much to do and pack. My parents helped give him that love and attention and coupling that with getting a bit older, he seemed to be much more content.

Sweet friends of mine took the boys one morning to the park and then to Chick Fil A so I could pack at the house with some volunteers from my neighborhood. My friend driving this car actually has two girls, but she took all the boys since they all wanted to sit together and my other friend took the girls in her car. Ha! I love this picture that she captured being a 'boy mom' for the hour!

And Ben found another place to fall asleep....

While Luke put on a show for my mom and me one night. He is such a funny kid!

More sleep for Ben. I have never seen him pass out more than last week. He usually is my night owl and doesn't ever need a nap. It just shows how empty we all were.

I had another friend bring by a care package for me and the boys one day since she knew we were going through a lot with the flood. The boys built this fun building one day with one of the toys in it. I was so thankful that the fighting stopped for about five minutes while they worked together to build it.

Daddy finally came home after four long days. His business was right near Chicago as you can tell. The boys got all suited up with Cubs gear! He came home around 7:00 pm on my birthday night actually. My parents gave us some time to catch up alone and went out to dinner. We ordered Chinese food and just sat and decompressed and watched the boys.

Target started carrying these kids carts near our house. Since we were homeless and needed to be out of my parents house while their housekeeper was there, we went to Target and filled those babies up. Note to self...don't go to Target to pass time unless you are prepared for the large receipt. And yes, the boys wore their Cubs gear for days in a row!

When the boys fighting got to be too much, I would make them go out on the porch at my parent's house. I forget what I was doing here to make them laugh, but screams turned to giggles for a few moments. So I snapped a couple picks so I would remember the happy times :).

Drew finally started smiling! I absolutely love this stage when they start smiling and responding to you. I actually think this picture is of him smiling in his sleep, but he does it awake too now! I still can't believe he is almost two months old.

Camp started this week and Luke got to go to basketball came at Rice University. He LOVED it! We will definitely be doing this again next summer! Ben was at his school camp this week, but needed some time at home too.

Luke improved a lot this week since he hadn't ever really be exposed to basketball. He still needs to some work on dribbling, but luckily he got to take home one of these balls to practice! Since I played basketball growing up, I really hope he plays for a few years.

We actually have some friends from school living in the same apartment complex that we are in. They are just here for a year while their dad is here for a medical fellowship, so sadly they are moving out in three weeks to head back to Iowa, but this has been the best week as far as impromptu play dates! The girls have enjoyed dressing the boys up. Ha ha!

A perk of the apartment is the pool! It is a little hard for me since I can't bring Drew in, but since our friends are living here, she gets in the pool with all the kids and I stay with Drew right next to it. I put the boys in floaties to be on the safe side since I can't be in it. They have a ball!

Benny being such a sweet big brother. He has really taken to his new role so well!

Drew is almost eight weeks and he is becoming quite the chubster. Look at those cheeks and that tummy!

The only thing Luke and Ben can agree on...that Drew is awesome. I am so thankful that they both love him so much.

We have spent a lot of time at my parent's house. I am so thankful for them and how much they support me with my boys. They love their Grandad as you can tell!

I put Drew down for some tummy time (for the first time in like three weeks) and he decided he would rather snooze than work on his neck muscles. Which was okay by me because he looked so sweet!

And then he wanted to sleep a bit in his swing and I couldn't resist taking a picture of his chubby lips and cheeks. The rolls are definitely here.

We took care of my friend's daughter when the older boys were in camp. It was only for 20 or 30 minutes till her husband could get to us, but I had to do a little photo shoot with her and Ben. They either love or hate each other...and they were loving each other this particular day. We secretly hope they wed some day :).

So the plan is that we are staying in the apartment till probably mid August or so. Then we will rent my sister's rental home in our neighborhood and probably tear our house down and build. So we will be temporarily displaced for about 18 months, but at least we will be in a house with a yard. And we can still walk to Luke's elementary school. My goal is to be settled before his first day of school!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

{The Great Flood}

It was 3:45 am and I heard Drew crying so I knew it was time to go feed him again. I heard the rain still pounding outside, but really didn't think anything of it. Then I went to get out of bed and put my feet down and I felt it. Water. I immediately yelled, "Chat! My feet are in water!" He flew out of bed and we realized that our house was flooding with the torrential downpour that Houston had that night/morning.

{Our front porch}

{Our driveway and garage}

{Picture from our doorway to the left}

{Our backyard as water receded}

{Our driveway in front at about 10:00 am}

{Front yard}

{Another front yard picture}

{Water finally receding and going down}

{To the right of our house}
We got anywhere from 1 to 4 inches in every room of our house. I initially thought "no big deal" but then I quickly learned that inches of water can ruin a house. By the next day, every floor in our house was buckled. The walls were wet. Mold started. It smelled so bad. We started up the fans and dehumidifiers which helped a ton with the smell. We lasted a few more days in the house, but realized with the mold, it wasn't good to keep kids there. So by that Sunday, the boys and I moved in with my parents and Chat headed out of town for work.

The insurance adjuster came that weekend as well and took measurements and pictures of everything. We had to complete our inventory list as well of anything damaged. And now we are waiting to hear about what we get from them. FEMA came as well and we got a little bit of assistance from them for housing, but not much. Only about a month. This has been a very expensive ordeal.

We also moved all of our stuff out of the house and into storage. By last Friday, we were able to get a short-term lease at an apartment and once Chat got home from his trip, we moved in there. It was by far one of the hardest weeks of my life -- packing up the whole house, taking care of three little ones and then moving into an apartment. I was maybe getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep and was literally on my feet from about 6:00 am to 11:00 pm every day. Drew was demanding as all infants are and I had about three days to pack up our entire house. Thank goodness for the neighborhood mom's group. I sent a Facebook message out asking for help and in an hour I had about 10 moms packing up my whole house. They got about 70% of my house packed in under three hours. I will be forever grateful to them.

So much happened in between all of that, but I don't know if I have the energy to write it or maybe I don't really want to bring it back up. It really was so challenging and I struggled. Some things it is better to just forget.

We have been in the apartment for over five days now and trying to find a new normal. We are on the second floor so it is exhausting going up and down with the kids and an infant carrier and taking the dog out when alone with three boys. But we are coping. It is only two bedroom so Chat and I are  sleeping in the den. We should be here two to three months and then our house will be either repaired or we will move into a rent house for the next 18 months and possibly tear our house down. It has now flooded twice and I honestly start to cry when thinking of having to do this again. I won't. It has been physically and emotionally exhausting and I can't imagine going through this again.

So we are in limbo a bit and living out of boxes. We are picking up a lot of take-out and using paper plates and plastic ware. But we are in one place and I am not having to put another thing in a box for a while. Well at least two months. Ben is probably having the most trouble with everything, but we are getting through.

I am not sure when I will update again, but hoping to have a plan soon !