What is this Adventure?

Full-time Mama & Part-time school social worker in the throes of toddlerhood at its best and worst. In my short tenure as a member of the prestigious Mamahood club, I find the reality of it all to be amazing, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, a blessing, lonely at times, nostalgic, guilt-ridden, and the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me...all at once. Sit back, read, laugh and cry with me on my adventure!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Swirling and swirling...

Yes, I feel a bit chaotic lately as if I haven't slowed down to take a deep breath since...well...um...I don't remember.

Let me tell you this funny story while it's on my brain, and then I'll get back to the rest of the updates (yes, this IS how my mind works lately, I'm all over the place!)

Yesterday Hazel looks at me so sincerely in the eyes and says, "Mama, I wish you never had a baby."
Woah.  This caught me off-guard, she has never expressed anything like this.
So, trying not to show any reaction in my face (as she is an EXPERT in reading non-verbals), I say, "Why's that, honey?"
She says super seriously, "because then you wouldn't have a dairy allergy."

I follow up with my best to validate her feelings while assuring her that I would choose a baby over eating dairy any day.  I think I have solved this issue for a while....until...

Today, this evening in fact.  She says, equally as serious to me as she is holding Paca (her doll), "Mama, I wish I never had a baby."  So I reply the same, "why's that, honey?"  And she sticks out her lower lip like a puppy dog and says (nearly crying), "because then I wouldn't have a dairy allergy!"

I did all I could not to giggle.  Instead, I gave her a big hug, told her that it was ok, and that I thought Paca would be ok if she ate a little dairy.  (This is after she has been "pumping" and nursing Paca on a daily basis lately...it's intense.)

Ok back to the life update.
Declan is growing up WAY to fast.  I walked into the family room the other day to see my eldest cheering on and enticing my seven month old to climb up the STAIRS!  AND HE DID!  Crazy.  Declan is my miracle baby.  I will always feel this way, I suppose.  The baby that some doctors told me would never make it, that I should have a DNC.  The baby that swam in a whole bunch of meconium.  The baby that was delivered in 2 1/2 hours while I ran a 102 fever.  He is the happiest little guy.  He squeals (literally) whenever he sees Kieran or Hazel walk into the room.  They simply walk on water to him.  I just love him to pieces.

Kieran is in his second year of preschool and loves it this year.  He finally had his first "play date" the other day and I thought he would float off into the clouds, he was so happy.  It nearly broke my heart when he said, "Mama!  I wanted a play date ALL year last year and I finally have one!"  What I couldn't bring myself to tell him was that his lack of play dates last year had much more to do with the fact that the kids' moms didn't call me after I gave them my number!  sniff sniff.  Sorry, Kier.  Mom has never been popular.

In family news, we are looking to move to a new place this fall.  We can't buy and still have to rent, but we will be making the move to Crystal Lake so that we can register Kieran for Kindergarten this winter.  Can you believe it?  KINDERGARTEN!?!?!  I'm trying not to think about it.  For fear I may cry up until Fall 2015.

Well, here are a few pic updates to check out...love you all!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I think of you often...

I think of you often, my love.
In the quiet times, mostly.
When I'm in the shower, looking down at my angel winged baby feet.
But today my heart broke a little bit for you again.
You see, I was always convinced you were a girl.
and Hazel cried today, "why can't I have a sister?"
I wanted to tell her that she does.
That you are still there, watching over her.
Maybe when she's older.
Til then, keep watching over us, my sweet love.
We love you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Does this look like the face of terror?

Don't let him fool you! 
Terror comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms of cuteness lately.

Now don't get me wrong, this little guy has me wrapped around his little cowlick, but he is wreaking havoc during his supposed nap and night sleep times. 
Not to mention he is a very private eater.  Please, Mama, only upstairs, in the quiet, no noise...oh and by the way, I mostly only like the right side please.  It tastes better.

Bottles?  None of that!
Pacifiers?  For pacifists!
No way, no how.  
He's been a fighter from the start....and thank God for that, really, because I believe he fought his way into birth!

Declan has been such a blessing in our lives.  No doubt he has rocked our boat, but he is just so beloved by his big sister and brother and of course his Mama and Daddy.  
Here's a little evidence of the love:

The kids adore him.  They fight over who gets to see him, play with him, talk to him, get their hair pulled by him.
And honestly, the kid is all smiles.  They are pulling at his limbs every which way, poking him, choking him....and he looks on with loving adoration.

Until bedtime.
(cue scary music)

But we'll get it under wraps.  Definitely by the time he's 18.

Here's a funny story about Kieran and Hazel before I go...
We went up to the Retirement Castle the other week.  Before we left, I didn't have much time to clean up and take care of the house...so, unfortunately, (don't tell my mom, she'd be mortified), we left the house with toys all over the family room.

When we returned, the kids were extremely suspicious.  This is what they had to say:
Kieran:  "Mama, someone was in our house!  They made a mess!"
Hazel:  "Someone made a messy house!"
Kieran: "Who DID this?!  Who made this MESS!?!?!"
Hazel:  "Someone took my magic wand!!!!  Who DID this?"
Kieran:  "yeah, our TOYS are MISSING!"
Hazel (starts crying):  "and where's my strawberry book!?"

I had to hold my gut in, it was SO FUNNY.
I then had to explain that in fact, THEY made the mess and that we didn't clean up before we left.
We then went around and found all the missing toys that the mystery thief didn't take.
Holy cow, man.  Good stuff.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's a Miracle, I've showered. Thank you, I'll sign autographs later...

I admit I sat down to write this blog update about five times.
Each time, something prevents me...
The baby woke up
Someone needs their bottom wiped
The dirty dishes are starting to creep out into the living room
You know, the regular day-in-and-out needs of a household.
But today, I am not leaving this computer until I post at least one picture and write at least five words about each kid.
Now, how's THAT for dedication?!

Ok, I better get to it!

Five Word Updates:

Kieran swim lessons and t-ball

Hazel potty trained and gymnastics

Declan laughing rolling hates night-time-sleep

Phew!  Ok, for real though...

Life with three kids is everything amped up a little bit more:
More love, more laughing, more fun
More crying, more sleepless nights, more stress
More joy, more amazement in my children becoming best friends
More kids fighting over attention and more feeling torn over to whom to give that attention

All in all, some days I feel like a super mama.
and some days I feel like a total and utter failure.
Everything is amped up!

We are off to a busy summer this year - we have two reunions with the Shermans and Fanellis, one of which we will be taking our first long trek in the car -- Pennsylvania!
I'll be sure to fill you in on how much hair I lost on that car ride!

We continue to be in a transition phase of our life -- trying to figure out what our next steps are with careers, where we will be living, and what's next for us!  I'll update you as I know more...

In the meantime, I am trying to just enjoy each day, realizing that it goes by oh so fast and wanting to hold on to my little ones as long as they are little!

Monday, March 3, 2014

And in a flash, we became five.

It's nap time in the Krotser household.  A coveted, short-lived, quiet time.
I decided against my better judgement to fill you in on the birth of our third instead of napping myself.
I may regret this later...
First, a picture of our precious newborn...
So sweet.  Not a care in the world.  This couldn't possibly be the face of a baby who we've been worrying about for months and months on end....!!

...but his birth story followed suit, true to the pregnancy...a BIT rocky (with a wonderful outcome).

It all started out with an eviction notice set for 2 weeks post-due-date.  I was to be induced on Monday, February 24th, 2014.  Now if you look back at my other two births, I am no stranger to post-due-dates...and no stranger to threats of eviction either!

I had been doing everything under the sun to get baby Declan to come out naturally:  acupuncture with small jumper cables to shock the baby out, raspberry leaf tea by the gallon, sweeping my membranes a gazillion times like a $^$#ing chimney (you can tell I loved that process), using my pump....you get the idea, everything.

Anyway, I was starting to feel a bit hopeless.  It was inevitable.  I was going to be induced.

On the Friday before induction day, I wasn't feeling so hot.  The typical nausea.  My mom had spent the night after helping out with the kids the day before (just in case I went into labor).  In the morning, she waited around until after traffic passed, leaving around 10 a.m.  Shortly after, around 10:20, I began to feel sick.  Chills added to my nausea.  Ugh, I thought perhaps I was getting sick.

The chills continued all morning, I was literally shaking.  Kieran came home from school and we immediately ate lunch and I put the kids down for an early nap.  I passed out on the couch, convinced that my ill feelings were due to lack of sleep.

The children slept wonderfully, and about two hours later, they woke me up out of my deep slumber.  I was still shivering.  Something was wrong.  I called my husband.  For the first time ever, I asked him to come home from work to take care of the kids.  I just didn't feel right.  I took my temp.  No fever.  I called my midwife.  "Strange, but doesn't seem related to your pregnancy," was her comment.

So around 1:45 pm, when Paul came home, I headed upstairs for a bath to hopefully warm myself up and feel better.

About 10 minutes into my bath, I started having light contractions.  Strange again.  I was still cold, but the part of my body underneath the water felt good.  Contractions continued.  Hmmmm.  They were not strong at all, but seemed pretty close together.

I called Paul up to the bathroom.  I told him what was going on.  I felt like perhaps we should go to the hospital, but I was uncertain.  Luckily, Paul agreed.  I sent him to pack up the kids and some snacks and I called my mom, my midwife, and got dressed.  "We're headed into the hospital," was the message sent to all.

We left the house at 2:20ish.
It was NOT a comfortable ride.
My contractions continued to pick up, harder and faster.  We hit traffic (of course).  I pleaded with Paul to take side streets and go around cars.  Although I was trying to listen to my hypno-birthing music, I was starting to get nervous.  Baby music played for the kids in the background while I took deep calculating breaths through some hard labor contractions.

The hospital was an hour away in no traffic.
We HAD to get there.
When we finally got to Oak Park, the town where the hospital is, we began getting stuck in school traffic -- schools were just getting out.
I was certain I was hitting transition phase at this point and asked Paul to flag down a cop to get us to the hospital quickly.
This was too surreal.
Finally, Paul agreed and found a police officer who was willing to escort us to the hospital.  Kieran was thrilled!
3:40 p.m. we arrived.  Phew.

We went into the ER and made our way up to labor and delivery as a family of four.  My mom was on her way from Milwaukee, my sister was on her way from Racine, and my sister in law was coming from Chicago.  The plan was that the kids would be there for the delivery, but with at least two support people from the family.  I was uncertain as to whether or not anyone would make it...this was happening WAY TOO FAST.

In triage we learned that I was not going to be able to deliver in the alternative birthing room with the tub...I was running a 101 fever and Declan's heart rate was in the 180's.  Yikes.  I was nervous.

While the nurse assured me that I was "only at 5 cm," I assured her that this was not my first birth and that we should probably move to the delivery room quickly unless they wanted the baby to arrive in triage.  Thankfully, my midwife arrived and agreed.

My sister-in-law arrived, thank God, and took the two kids off Paul's hands.  We all moved into the delivery room and the kids set up with iPads and other electronics sent from God to keep them busy :)  Shortly after, my mom walked in as well.

What felt like minutes later, I was feeling the urge to start pushing.  My water broke while on my hands and knees and out gushed about 6 gallons of meconium (ok, maybe less than 6 gallons, but that's how it appeared!).  It was disgusting, to say the least.  "Thick meconium," I heard my midwife tell the other nurse.  I went into fierce mama-mode.  I needed that baby out, and now.

Three easy pushes later (yes, this was my easiest pushing out of all my labors...barely felt like a push at all), the baby was delivered.  The midwife later told me it was only 3 minutes from my water breaking to holding the baby.  10 pounds, 5 ounces, 21 inches...2 1/2 hours of labor....born on Friday, February 21st at 4:36 p.m.  Declan Joseph Krotser.

His cord was cut quickly and an entire team of pediatricians rushed in to suction him and get him moving.  I didn't see him at first and the next hour or so is still very blurry in my mind.  I remember feeling panicked...was he ok?  I couldn't hear him cry.  I needed to hear my baby.  The team surrounded him.  I heard arguments about Apgar scores.  A four to start.  Yikes.  A nine for the second score.  Ok...that's good.

I got to hold my dear little Declan and we took a couple of family pictures before he was again taken away to the nursery...an IV line for antibiotics, a glucose water drip for his low low glucose level, and constant watching.  This was NOT the natural, peaceful birth I had anticipated.

Declan ended up being just fine.  Our stay in the hospital was extended to four days due to the glucose at first and jaundice later.  He stayed 24 hours under bili lights (which he hated) and remained in the nursery the entire time.  I lugged myself back and forth every couple of hours to feed him and spend time before they sent him back under his light therapy.

The hospital stay was hard on so many levels.  I missed and ached for my other two children.  Thankfully, my parents brought them each day to visit.  While the hospital wasn't a good place for them, it was a blessing for me to check in with my babies.  I also ached for the fact that Declan couldn't be with me in the room.  He and I both hated the nursery and being separated...
but all in all, he left healthy and that's what counts.

Later on, Kieran would ask why Declan pooped all over me in the delivery room...this was a puzzling thing for him.  He and Hazel would also later talk about how they got to be there when Declan was born.  Pretty amazing.

Since being home, the children caught croup and have since recovered.  They adore their little brother and surround him at any chance possible.  They are excited and eager to help.  We are all so blessed.

This little baby has had so many many people praying for him since day one.  We are so lucky and thankful that he is with us.  I keep thinking back to week 6 - 12 of our pregnancy...of the multiple medical professionals who told us that the "standard of care" would be to "discontinue the pregnancy"...and I know deep down that God and Declan have been fighting for our family since the very start.

We are so so very happy to welcome our new blessing into our family.  He's our little miracle.

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Hello Mold!" and other such Non-Glamorous Aspects of Pregnancy

Yep, this is my big baby belly that my lil ones painted.  
My entire body is pregnant - down to my pinkie and nose.  Lovely.

This pregnancy thing…is. not. glamorous…especially this time around.
I try not to complain too often, but my aches, discomforts and lack of sleep are about to do me in.
Week 35.  Counting down.  Hoping and praying that Declan is not as late as his siblings.

About the mold…
This evening, like most evenings lately, I can barely get my kids bathed, dressed, and ready for bed.  I am needing to lay down to read them stories, as I can feel my body contracting with each time I lift them in and out of our bed.  Tonight, again like most nights, I am in a tank top.  (yes, I know it's -41 degrees when you factor in the wind chill outside, but not inside my house!)  Kieran stops me mid-sentence in the story book.  

"Hey Mama, lift that arm again….what's THAT?"
I know exactly where he is heading with this one.
I have a mole on my armpit.  Too much information for you?  Yeah, oh well.  Hang in there.
So Kieran and Hazel go in for a close up look as I tell them what that is. (close-up = within 1 inch)
Kieran sits back, laughs, and says, "why HELLLLLLLO MOLD!" in a long, drawn-out, hysterical manner that of course is immediately copied by Hazel.


Simply G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S. yeah.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Called into the Principal's Office and other such failures as a mama...


Yup, that's about as good as it gets tonight, folks.
It could be that my 3rd trimester nausea is in back in full force.
It could be that I have developed a strange rash on the side of my huge stomach that is killing me.
Perhaps that I don't sleep well anymore...or at all really.
Or that my husband is back working two jobs again with insane hours.
I may even venture to guess that it could be that my heart is 2 sizes too small...
(if you missed it, that was a Grinch reference)

I have hit my cyclical bummed out time...cyclical because it comes around after a pattern of not being able to take care of myself...it was bound to happen.

The result?

I'm cranky.

Poor Baby Declan.  I keep thinking about how different this pregnancy is than the others.  Pregnant with your first...you relish at every second, every little kick, every moment is a new delight...or maybe I just pretend that was how it was?  Pregnant with your second, you are more tired, busier, not as focused on the pregnancy, but you feel guilty and think about how you wish you spent more time relishing the pregnancy.  Three?  I am cranky and just want to have this baby...as soon as possible!

Hm...I am now returning to writing this blog after a brief intermission to check on why the house smelt like it was burning down....why?  oh right, it almost WAS burning down.  Smooth mama move #314...I put a plastic bottle in the bottom of the dishwasher (the top was already full...meh, ok, I'll put it in the bottom, what could go wrong?"...I'll TELL you what could go wrong...wait, no, actually, let me go take a picture of it as evidence....

The top is what the bottle USED to look like.
The bottom....evidence of how my apartment almost burnt down.

Ok, then, back to the blog.  I'm cranky.

Tonight, Hazel pooped all over the carpet.  Kieran wrote in pen all over his bed sheets and pillow case.  (He tells me it was because he was writing "No jumping on the bed, Hazel" because he doesn't like how she jumps on his bed.  Funny, I don't like when he jumps on my bed, but I haven't advertised it in writing on my SHEETS!

But that's not what is making me cranky.

I'm just feeling like a bad mama.  and THAT makes me cranky.  I can't seem to make it through the day without getting completely overwhelmingly frustrated at one or both of my sweet angels.  Declan hears me crankier than I have ever been, and the poor baby is not even born yet!  :(

Oh, you're asking about the title?  Why was I called into the principal's office?  Apparently, for quite some time now, my son has been getting in trouble daily during carpet time.  I had NO clue!  He relays stories from school, even about how other kids get in trouble.  I ask how he does, even asking specific questions...but as far as he was concerned, he is nothing short of a perfect angel.

I should have known better. 

Anyway, we are working on it.  I say "we" because I know better, but I'm taking it a little personally.
I was kinda hoping he saved all his goofy naughty time for home, but I guess not.

I must get back to my work...plus the door to the porch is open (to air out the burnt plastic smell) and even the plastic dolls are starting to shiver in here...

Until a better mood comes around, 
peace and love to you all.

Oh, on a happy note, my children are still as cute as ever...here is some evidence: