When I asked my big boys what kind of "big brother/big sister" shirts we should get to celebrate the new baby they had one idea...super heroes! They wanted to each pick out their favorite super hero shirt. I decided I could work with that request. I ordered shirts for EJ and the kiddos from Old Navy and then I put Aunt DW to work making an apron for me and this sweet Captain America hat for baby E. She also made the blanket. She has mad skills. Then we waited for baby E to arrive and Aunt Rock Star to work her photo magic on us. Here are the results... I love them!
The crew was so excited to have baby E home. We came home during nap time so we got to greet the big siblings slowly instead of 5 at one time. It was precious to watch their faces as they held their new brother. They have prayed and waited for this day just like Mommy and Daddy.
It felt so good to be together again.
Everyone wants to know how we are managing with six children including a 5 month old baby.
Here is the run down...
I had a c-section so I am not allowed to lift more than the baby for 2 weeks. That means baby D and lil' Ruthie are too heavy for me to lift. As you can imagine, that is a problem. Lil' Ruthie is still just a baby at 1 year old and baby D is very much a baby at 5 months old. They need to be lifted for diaper changes and snuggles. Baby D needs to be fed his bottles too. We all knew this would be difficult.
Grammy and Pop set up camp here after baby E was born. They will be staying with us until we get past that 2 week mark.
We send EJ to work during the time while Grammy and Pop are here. He was off the week of baby E's birth but after that we try to free him up to work for a while. After Pop and Grammy go home, I will need him to work less hours to help out here. Pop is still working so it is just Grammy and me during the day.
Papa and Grandma, EJ's folks, are popping in from time to time as well. When they get here, we hand them a baby to snuggle or a book to read with the older kids. The extra hands have been a welcome sight! One time, Grandma walked in the door and proceeded to change 3 poopy diapers in a row. Ha!
When the Aunties come around we put them to work too. They bring automatic playmates for the older kids. They are always cleaning up the play room and sweeping the floor. Of course, they are excellent baby snugglers too!
Our precious friends have organized dinner deliveries every other night for the first few weeks. We fill in with the freezer meals I put up before E was born.
Here is what a typical 24 hours looks like at our house...
EJ feeds baby D his morning bottle and gets him up and dressed for the day. Then he brings him out to join Grammy and the rest of the kiddos.
I feed baby E and then get dressed so I can join the team as well. Baby E is usually due for a diaper change at this point.
Grammy wakes with the pitter patter of 4 older siblings. Usually they have begged for pancakes and she is happy to oblige. She makes her pancakes into shapes and they all special order them. If you ask them what shape mommy makes they will say circles only. I tell them that maybe when I am a Grammy to their children I will work on my pancake skills.
Pop and EJ grab some breakfast and head out the door for work.
We made sure to take some time for the traditional "Coffee with Pop" picture.
Grammy and I get the kiddos ready for the day and hopefully have time to brush our own teeth.
Baby E is usually ready to eat again. Tiny nurslings are never far from their next meal. I am fine with that since he needs to pack on those ounces right now! Sometimes he cluster feeds and sometimes he takes a nice nap. The name of the game is feed, change and snuggle the baby.
Baby D is ready for his morning nap before we know it. He rotates through a routine of bottle, play time and nap time all day. Not to mention diaper changes. He is an awesome baby and he likes his routine.
We have been keeping up with home school for the older kiddos as well as fun activities for all of them. We started our home school year in late June so we could take off several weeks with no problem but I find it is better to keep them in their routine. We did take a break from our typical curriculum to focus on read aloud books, science projects and art. Grammy has even thrown in some P.E. in the form of four square in the sun room.
Grammy gets busy doing laundry and dishes. She is interrupted often with diaper changes, snack requests and baby D's bottle and snuggle needs.
Lunch time is here before we know it and the kiddos are always ready to eat.
After lunch it is time for Q, lil' Ruthie, and Baby D to take a nap. Often times baby E falls in line and takes a nap then too.
Grammy keeps moving with chores. By the time she sits down to relax with a cup of coffee and visit a bit lil' Ruthie is usually awake and ready to play again. We think she knows when Grammy sits down.
We let them watch a cartoon or movie after nap while we wait for everyone to wake up.
If dinner is not being delivered that night, Grammy gets our dinner ready. If it is being delivered we can relax a little longer.
Before we know it Pop and EJ are home and it is time for dinner.
After dinner the kiddos usually want to play air hockey downstairs or maybe a game of shuffle board. They talk either Daddy or Pop into playing with them. Dinner clean up is going on while they are downstairs. When that is done it is time for showers and baths for the kiddos. We follow that up with bible time and then it is off to sleep.
Finally it is time for the grown ups to sit down and relax.
Well, sort of...Grammy is usually finishing a few more chores before she joins us to relax.
Baby E hangs out in the living room with the grown ups for a while.
Pop and Grammy call it a night and crash out downstairs.
Baby E has one last late night feeding before tucking in next to Mommy and Daddy.
EJ reads the word over me and baby E as I literally pass out.
Baby E wakes me at some point in the night for another feeding.
Baby D sometimes wakes EJ for a middle of the night feed but not always. He often sleeps through the night.
And in the morning...
We start it all over again.
It is a busy time but it is a blessed time too.
I am taking my restrictions seriously. I need to be healed and ready for the whole crew when it is time to find our new normal. I hate not being able to lift baby D and lil' Ruthie. I hug them tight anytime I get the chance and whisper in their ears that I love them and I will be all better soon. The other grown ups lift them onto my lap for a quick snuggle here and there. My nursing pillow actually works as a way to protect my belly from these snuggle times.
This crazy time will be just a memory soon. Little ones grow up so quickly. I am extremely grateful for the help and support we have. I will never forget the way we have been cared for and I will plan to pass on that love to others.
The day began way too early. We left the house at 4:30am. My C-section was scheduled for 7:30am. I prefer the early morning surgery time so I don't have to be hungry all day.
As we prepared for baby E's birth EJ read his bible. He got a text from one of his friends with this passage from Psalm. What a blessing to read those words right before we welcomed child number six.
I asked Pop and Grammy to join us early that morning to pray over me before I left for the surgery. The day started out pretty rough with 4 attempts to place my IV. I was feeling pretty shaken.
I also asked my sis, Rock Star, to come early to capture our time in photographs. I am so glad she did. It is such a blessing to have these memories documented. In the photo below Pop is praying over me while Grammy and I talk. Later Pop whispered in my ear, "We trust God with you." I needed to hear that. He could see that I was feeling anxious and that encouragement was precious to me.
This man is a rock. He has calmly walked me through so many of life's big moments. Look at him put on those scrubs like a pro.
He is also funny and he keeps me laughing. When you are about to be "gutted like a fish" (as my cousin Mrs. Okie says) it's good to laugh a little.
The moment we have been waiting for...
Baby E is here safe and sound!
Welcome to the world sweet baby boy!
Here he is in the hands of our favorite Dr. K.
(Baby E is grand baby number 8 that Dr. K. has delivered for my folks)
Tears of joy as I snuggle him. I got to hold him a long time right there on the operating table. I loved the chance to begin bonding right away. I even got the opportunity to sing the doxology over him as a praise to God while they wheeled me out of surgery.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Daddy is over the moon with love for him!
Isn't he so precious!
I love this picture. I have to lay flat for some time after the surgery so I don't throw up. Glamorous, right? Thankfully, this c-section was the first (out of four) that I did not throw up. I was so thankful.
Back to the picture...
These moments are hard for me to really see laying on my back. I love seeing everyone admiring baby E in this photograph.
Pop and Grammy are always excited to welcome a new grandbaby. He is number 15 for them and the 10th boy. Wow! What an incredible heritage.
Aunt Rock Star snuggles baby E.
Aunt Pretty Princess gets her first cuddle.
Papa and Grandma had been watching the older 5 kids all day. It was their turn to love on baby E. They always say they got a great return on their investment. They had one child and so far have 6 grandbabies. I love that attitude. They blessed me that day and often by caring for the children.
Aunt DW will be here soon from out of state. She is anxious to get her hands on this new little nephew.