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>> Thursday, October 18, 2012


>> Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12 & Summer Bucket List

Second day of Summer!

Man, I am really excited about summer! We are in such a fun stage with each of the girls, and our family as a whole. AND...............I am not pregnant like last summer! That contributes to my outlook.

Today was pretty chill. We hung out this morning, cleaned up, and then went to lunch with our cousins. My cousin Nikki and her boys. My cousin Sydney and my cousin Ashley's daughter, Ryleigh. My girls always LOVE playing with them. We're all built in besties. It's nice.

After lunch, I left by myself to run some errands. I signed the girls up for Vacation Bible School for next week. It's going to be at the church Saylor went to preschool at, and I am SO excited for the girls! I used to go to VBS every year when I was a kid, and I have so many fond memories from it. Maddie only went once when she was 5, and Saylor has never been. So fun!

I stopped by the fabric store to pick up some fun fabrics for a project we'll be doing soon!

Speaking of projects, we made a summer bucket list yesterday with lots of fun things that we want to do this summer. We kinda have a tendency to be lazy and lay low during the summer, and I really want to make sure we do fun things. While I was out and picked up some supplies for our list. Tonight, I wrote it all out. The girls are so excited!


>> Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Time!

Oh gosh, I haven't written on my blog in ages. But I really want to keep track and journal our summer, and my blog is such a great avenue for that. I ♥ looking back through my blog.

AND I would love to get back in touch with so many of my online friends. You know, the ones of you I'm not friends with on Facebook. :) 

Kallie is TEN months old! I wish I had blogged all this time, so I could look back on everything. She is such a precious baby. She has been such a blessing and brings so much joy to our lives. The girls love her to death, and are so great with her. She is starting to walk, taking two and three steps all on her own. Holding onto the couch or anything else--she's FAST! She definitely keeps up with her big sisters.

Maddie just finished fifth grade. She is going to be in the SIXTH grade! I cannot believe it. She has matured so much lately. She's more teenager than child.

Saylor just turned five last Thursday and she graduated from preschool last night. It was adorable. They sang a few songs on stage and then did a formal little diploma ceremony. So sweet. I can't believe she's off to kindergarten soon.



I consider today the official first day of summer break!! We had a super duper busy weekend, packed to the gills with Saylor's birthday party, a graduation party, etc, etc. So it was so great to sleep in until 9:00 am this morning. So nice.

Saylor was finally able to play with her new toys today. The girls dug into the Lite Brite this morning, and Maddie made an ice cream cone for Saylor. It was a super sweet sister moment. Shortly after, my mom came and got the girls and took them to her house for most of the day to cook together and swim.

Tahner and I took the opportunity to sort through ALL of the toys in the toy room, and all of the toys in the little girls' room. We had our house treated on Sunday for fleas (we have kitties on our front porch!) so we bagged up all of the toys. And we're having a yard sale on Friday, so this was the perfect moment to go through everything. I wish I would have taken a picture! Our dining room table was full of white garbage bags! Lots and lots of little girl toys. :)

Tonight we went to Target. Not much has changed with me, has it??  :)  Maddie climbed up into the cart, and we had to snap some pictures of it! Tahner said he's going to give them to her 6th grade teacher to put on the smart board the first day back to school.  :)

Maddie and I looked around my Pinterest boards tonight and made a Summer Bucket List. One of the things I have planned is a summer journal, like this one. I'll probably post it soon.

I don't know about you, but I am SO excited for summer!


>> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Newborn Pictures & Updates

Kallyn is 1 week, 3 days old today. It's strange how she's only been here for such a short amount of time, but yet I truly cannot imagine our lives without her. This last week has kind of been a whirlwind. I have so many things that I want and need to write about. So many pictures to post. Cute things to share. But I'm still adjusting to this new life with three children, all while still trying to heal, etc.

Professional newborn pictures taken at our home: 

I will write about Kallyn's birth story soon, but for now I'll just post a few updates and some pictures.

 Happy 10th Bday Maddison! 
August 9

First Sunday at church & dedication
One week old
August 14

One week, 3 days 
August 17, 2011

 First trip to Target
August 10, 2011

We had my mother in law stay with us last week, which was really nice. It was nice to have her here, period. It was also nice to have her here to give the older girls some extra love and attention as we transitioned, and to have extra arms to hold the baby. She helped keep the house going, did laundry, cooked dinners, etc. Such a blessing.

My mom and family have been absolutely amazing. My mom has filled in so many, many gaps over the last week. She's taken the girls when I needed, brought us food, come and visited with the baby, and even spent the entire day at the ER with me.

So ya, there's that. I'd been having really super bad headaches over the last week (they started probably Tuesday, 2 days after having Kallie). I figured it was from the epidural, and that they would go away soon. I was also having major back pains, which I also figured was from the epidural, and would go away soon. The headaches starting getting worse, and I woke up Monday morning in horrible, horrible pain. I called my doctor's office at around 8:00 am. I couldn't even wait until they opened at 9:00. I got the exchange and was in tears just telling them about my headache. They quickly got someone from my doctor's office, and said they'd call back as soon as the doctor came in. The nurse called back within 10 minutes. I explained to her that my headaches were horrible in the base of my neck, and would move around, up behind my eyes mostly. I didn't know anything about what was going on, but just wanted to check in to see if it was considered normal. She put me on hold to ask my doctor, and quickly came back and told me that I would need to go to the ER because it sounded that I had a spinal leak and they would need to do a blood patch. She also told me that I shouldn't take the baby, and that I should find someone to leave her with. I was a MESS. I strictly breastfeed, and am not a good pumper. I went and found my pump, which of course was missing the bottle. I was kind of in melt down mode when I finally got back in touch with my mom. She calmly figured out a solution: she would bring the baby with me, and stay nearby in a safer part of the hospital. My cousin would keep the older girls, and then other family members would switch off. Tahner was at his first day back to work, mind you. Like I said, I was a mess.

So, my mom came. She gave me my pain medicine, got me something to eat,  and got the girls and took them to my cousin's while I showered and the baby slept on my bed. We headed over to the hospital, and got checked in. At the triage, the nurse seemed a little alarmed when my heart rate was only 44. Ya. I know. I explained to them that I had a newborn and was nursing, in hopes that they could get me in sooner (at the suggestion of my doctor). It didn't work. I waited and waited. We brought the baby in with us, and decided after 2 minutes that they would be better in a separate part of the hospital. Even in the morning, that place is full of crazies!

There is definitely something to say about the bond between a mother and child. I sat and sat, and suddenly, I just had to go to Kallyn. I (in tears) told the front desk that I had to go feed my baby, and as I walked into the doors of the other waiting room, my mom was smiling as she bounced a hungry little Kallyn. I guess I just knew. My mom went and got us a sandwich and soda to split, and I fed the baby. My grandma showed up to help with the baby. She stayed with Kallie and my mom and I headed back to the ER.

At around 1:30, I was ready to leave. We googled to find out more about spinal leaks, and see if they heal themselves. Turns out, I had all of the symptoms of it. I didn't really even know. I called my doctor to see if I could just leave, and they wanted me to stay. They had me go to the front and make sure they knew what was going on with me, and that I should be considered more urgent. The ER didn't really care about that, lol. So we waited some more. I kept feeling anxious about Kallyn, wanting to feed her before I got called back, because we weren't sure how things would go, if they would let her back, etc. I sent my mom over to get my grandma and the baby, and here they came just a minute later. My grandma had already been on her way because the baby needed to eat. Once again, that bond is amazing.

Before they could even get to me, I was called back. This was around 3:00 pm. My mom was able to come back with the baby, and I got to feed her. My pain medicine was wearing off, and my head started hurting horribly. It increasingly became the worst headache I've ever experienced. We waited for a long time in the room, as they waited for an anesthesiologist. Finally, we got word that they were all booked, and would probably just schedule it as an outpatient procedure the next day, so I didn't have to wait. We agreed, and waited some more. They came back and said that they had someone that could do it in a hour, so we decided to wait. I fed the baby some more before they moved me back to another part of the ER.

Once I got over there, I lost it. I wanted my husband (he had to go straight from work to umpiring). I wanted my baby. I wanted my girls. I wanted to be home. And I did NOT want this procedure. I waited, and waited, and waited. I cried, and cried and cried. I listened to crazy people. I wanted my baby and Tahner. I cried some more. All of a sudden, a really nice lady came into my room, and asked me if I wanted my grandma to come. Once I realized that she was there, I lost it again. As soon as she came in, I bawled. She came and held me and smoothed my hair over and over. The nice lady came back and they both grandmothered me. They got me two heated blankets and put some socks on me. I'd been freezing. My grandma got me a wet washcloth (our family's go to cure all). She prayed for me and said "Grandma knows" and "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" over and over, which is my grandma's signature comfort method. And it works. I was able to calm down, and rest my eyes and head, which hurt beyond words. She also kept checking in with my mom and the baby, which helped me to stay calm.

It wasn't until 7:30 that the anesthesiologist finally got to me. I'd never had him before (I've had a few there between D&C's and births). He was really nice and soothing. They had to have my grandmother go out, but just knowing that she was there nearby and Tahner was on his way, helped me to feel calm. The blood patch was awful.

A blood patch is where they basically do an epidural. Once in, they draw some of my blood out of my arm, and he then inserts it into my spine. When you have a normal epidural, you eventually become numb, so it helps with the pain. Well, no numbness here, so it hurt really badly after. And getting your own blood injected back into your spine is NOT pleasant. It was all very very painful. With a spinal leak and blood patch, he said you are supposed to feel relief within 5 minutes. At least 50% relief. I felt better, and then once I laid back on the bed, it came right back. That was the one thing that wasn't consistent with a spinal leak, was that they said it is supposed to hurt worse while sitting or standing. Mine hurt worse when I was leaning back, or would just sit up. Well, it hurt all the time, really. So the anesthesiologist was puzzled. They released me right away so I could go home with the baby and rest.

My headache finally started to go away by the time I got home. I'm not sure if it was the blood patch or my pain medication, but it went away. And it stayed away until today. The base of my head is hurting, and my neck is hurting really badly. I'm going to go see my chiropractor tomorrow to see if he can adjust my neck only and possibly massage it out, and see if that helps. I'm not sure what's going on, but they want me to see my regular doctor and possibly pursue an MRI or CT scan just to see if there is something else possibly going on.

I'm sure staying awake all night long with the baby and going on little sleep is not helping the situation.

Kallie is waking up to eat, so I'll have to finish some updates later. I'll be getting the full CD of our newborn & family pictures by Friday, so I'll post some more soon! And I'll be writing out her full birth story soon too!

♥ Amber


>> Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kallyn Hope Filkins

Kallyn Hope Filkins
August 7, 2011
8 lb, 10 oz
20.5 in

* Kallyn (Kal-lyn)


>> Friday, August 5, 2011

Here I am. NOT having a baby.

So, today has become quite the ordeal. I was supposed to go in at 5 am this morning. I worked SO hard last night: getting things packed, cleaning the house, getting Maddison's birthday party invitations ready to mail today, etc, etc, etc. Everything was ready, and I was completely ready to go.

At 3:30 am I got a phone call from the hospital. The message said that the hospital was full and they did not have any room for inductions. She told me to call back and hopefully they could get me in by 7:30 am. I called at 5:45, and apparently I was supposed to call back at 7:30. I called back at 7:30. They still didn't have anything available. The charge nurse told me that my doctor was NOT happy, but that I was first on the list. Sit tight and be ready to come when they call.

I called at 10:45 am. Still nothing available. I guess the deal was that every time a room became available, someone would come into the triage and be admitted. Yes, I understand that they need to be there. But it's still annoying. She told me to hold tight, and that if I felt like I needed to come in to be checked, I could do that. In between all of this, I got a few things done around the house. I was kind of okay with it because we were able to spend the morning together, as a family. Last night Tahner had worship practice, and got home around 8:00. My mom took the girls swimming in the afternoon, and when my dad brought them home around 7:00 pm, Saylor had fallen asleep. She slept all night, so I had been a little sad to not be able to spend any time together.

Around noon, we decided to pack up and head to lunch. Surely they would call us soon. And if not, we could run a couple errands, and then they should be calling.

Post office.
Old Navy.

At the gas station, I was feeling very discouraged and down.

By the end of Old Navy, I was getting really frustrated. It was 1:45 and I told Tahner to just head toward the hospital. I've been having a lot of contractions, and a lot of pressure, so I figured well I would just go in. Then, if I was 4 cm, they would HAVE to keep me. On the way over, I got increasingly mad and upset. Tahner & I talked about how what if they did keep me and I was stuck in a room with another person? That I wouldn't get the treatment that I should deserve? Over half way there, and we just decided to turn around. I got so mad that I decided even if they call me, I wouldn't go.

I took some time to get myself together and get back into a more positive attitude. We came home and have been on the computers relaxing and watching a disc of Everybody Loves Raymond. It has definitely helped a lot.

And thankfully I have a LOT of family and friends that have been praying for me. I've been getting all kinds of nice texts and Facebook messages all day long. I am truly blessed. A lot of YOU are the ones that have contacted me, and I am so thankful for you all!

My cousin helped me to put it into perspective when she told me, "Hey, you've been waiting for THREE years and you're finally about to have a beautiful baby girl. What's a few more hours??" Even another day. (God forbid).

But really.

I am so blessed. So thankful. So grateful that God is blessing us with this baby. So I will be (as) patient (as possible) and just wait on Him.

I'll keep you all updated as much as possible. Hopefully next time I post it will be with pictures of our beautiful baby girl!

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my other beautiful baby girls.

**4:30 pm: I just called again to let the charge nurse know that I didn't end up going to the triage, and she said she'd been looking for me because she's running it today. I wanted to know if I was still on standby and still on the list, and she said yes. My doctor wanted to still go ahead whenever they had space. So I guess it could still be today? Or maybe early tomorrow morning? We shall see!

**5:07pm: My doctor called me personally to see how I was doing. He said he's been at the hospital all day long, trying to fit me in. He said it's absolute chaos and getting worse by the minute.  He said there is literally a line down the hall with laboring women, with their waters breaking, etc. SO, the plan is to give it another go on Sunday at noon. Hopefully it will work this time!


>> Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby Update

Okay, sorry I didn't pop in to post an update last night. I thought about it, but wasn't up to it.

Yesterday afternoon I had my appointment. I didn't gain any weight (yay!) and was dilated to a 2. It was funny because as he was examining me, I whispered, "Please don't say 1.5". My mom and I were laughing later that he probably lied about me being a 2, just so I didn't freak out.

After examining me, he walked to my chart, flipped it out, folded his hands together and smiled.
Me: "Okay, what's the deal?"
Dr: "So, we have you set for Friday"
Me: (pause) "Friday??"
Dr: Yes, I've had this date since last week. I called last week to set it up for Tuesday. Couldn't get anything Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Me: "........okay"
Dr: "So, Friday at 5"
Me: "Am right?"
Dr: (With a smile) "Yes"

After leaving the office and processing everything, I have a feeling the nurse I talked to yesterday morning knew that my induction date was Friday, but she was just scared to tell me. It's not that I'm crazy, but I think they just knew that I was ready to be done.

I LOVE feeling the baby move. I am so thankful and blessed to be pregnant. I'm overjoyed to be having a baby.

But I am done. :)

Back to yesterday. You know when you're about to have a baby (which I thought was going to be today) you kind of get yourself into a zone. I really try to focus mentally, let alone start planning and getting things ready, etc. And even though on the way to the appointment I knew there was a possibility that it wasn't going to be today (Tuesday). I told myself that I would be okay with it. Wellll, I guess I had Wednesday or even Thursday in mind. Not Friday. So, after I walked out of the office, I was really disappointed. I texted Tahner (still in his seminar) and called my mom. I had to go to Macy's to pick up some foundation since I was on that side of town. Within the 5 minutes I'd driven from the office, I became so angry at the thought of people's responses and comments. And at the thought of having to answer the same questions over and over. "When are you due, what are you having, are you sure there's only ONE in there, are you having TWINS because you are HUGE". I decided that if one person, just one person asked me that in Macy's, I would just give them a dirty look and keep walking. Thank God no one did! The lady helping me at Clinique didn't even go there. I was the one that ended up bringing up the fact that I so glad to find a foundation because I didn't have time to wait for it to come into stock, which happened when I was there last week (and thankfully ended up being the wrong color for me). She was very nice, and talked with me about baby names, since we STILL don't have one!

By the time I got home, I was in tears though. My mom took the girls swimming, and Tahner had just gotten home. When I walked in the door, he knew. We talked a minute, and I told him that if anyone said something sarcastic or negative, we may not be friends anymore. Ha! So, he took the initiative to text all of our family & friends to tell them that Friday is the day, that we would appreciate positive thoughts & prayers. He got lots of response.

My phone was awfully quiet. :)

I think most everyone #1: thought that I didn't know he sent that text out and #2: was probably scared to contact me. One of my sweet friends was brave, and casually texted me to see if I'd gotten the pedicure I had mentioned to her before. I told her she was the only brave one to contact me, and we had a good little chat. She is just so sweet. She's in town for the summer since her husband is out to sea and she would have been at the base with her sweet little girl for a couple months. So she came home to spend time with parents, and I've had such a great time hanging out with her and the little miss. My girls have loved playing with her too.

Slowly I got some texts and calls from sweet friends, cautiously offering positive wishes and kind words. It was such a relief. And even on Facebook, I've had nothing but positive comments. SUCH a relief, because there were plenty of people that I could imagine saying something that would make me want to poke them, hard. :)

So, that's where we stand. Since we had a few extra days, I asked (begged really) my parents to lend me my cousin, who is working for them, so he could come and work on some projects at my house. So today my mom and cousin came over! He laid peel and stick tile in our master bath, and fixed the kick plate. The tile is so nice that it looks like real tile. He also replaced the vanity light in the girls' bath. Tomorrow he is going to finish the tile, replace the vanity light in our bath, hall light, and install fans in each of the bathrooms. My mom is going to paint the vanity in our bathroom. I got two more paint samples for our bathrooms, so after we decide on one, I will head out and buy some, and hopefully we can get those painted too. Ah, projects! I am so glad to get these done, because I know they wouldn't be done for awhile.

I got the car washed today, and hopefully I can actually install the car seat. It's been in the back, but not installed. Just a few more days, so I'm trying to just get a few last minute things done, and make sure that I rest in between.

I wish I had some good pictures to put in this post, but I don't. I always like taking pictures from around the house, so I can remember what it looked like right before baby came. I will make sure I do that soon! Maybe after our projects are done. :)

**I found that quote when I clicked over to Pinterest, just before publishing. I thought it was pretty fitting.

♥ Amber