Getting Settled

It’s been quite an adjustment getting settled into a routine (because I can’t live without a routine) after Caisen arrived. He’s been a pretty flexible baby and very tolerant of his siblings’ attention. We’re finally getting settled, though we still aren’t getting sleep.
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/Sawyer loves books and words and letters and numbers and colors. He will bring books to us and ask us to “Ree! Ree!” to him. He can identify all of his letters and has the alphabet memorized up to P. If he’s upset, I can distract him with the alphabet. It’s very handy. He also likes to help me make Caisen’s formula and counts scoops for me. We start over after ten. He knows several of his colors and loves to point them out. He is finally getting some more teeth (he only has six. Yes, six). Sawyer’s other favorite request is to “See! See!” whatever we are doing. He loves to watch what I”m doing in the kitchen. If it’s something I can do with one hand, like make formula, and there is no heat involved, I’ll hold him while I do it. He loves to watch. I think he is going to be my kitchen helper when he gets older. He is just so curious about everything. Sawyer has become my cuddle bug. He is happy to be held or sit in a lap any time.
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/Brinlee is the only one of our children who has learned the magic word. What word? Please? Thank you? (ok that’s two words, but it’s not the one). She has learned to say “yes!” Music to our ears! Before, any question we asked any of them was answered with, “No,” even if they meant yes. That is so frustrating! If you ask Brinlee a question, she’ll respond, “Yah!!” like it’s the best idea she’s ever heard. It is so cute. She has also learned to sign please, which also makes us happy. Brinlee is doing her best to break hearts. Gran and Granddad have visited the last three weekends. The first weekend, just as they were leaving, Brinlee ran to Gran with her arms open and begged, “Up!” and got a big hug. Gran could hardly tear herself away. The rest of the day she would run to the front door and throw herself against it and let out a cry. The next week Granddad could hardly bring himself to drive away with Brinlee’s face pressed to the glass by the front door. Rip our hearts out why don’t you Brinlee! She’s good. She knows exactly what she is doing. If anyone sneezes, she replies with, “Achoo!” in her sweet little voice. All three have runny noses this week, and when Brinlee sees me coming with a tissue, she runs and wipes her nose on her arm, which just spreads the nastiness. Not helpful, Brinlee. She also knows several of her letters, numbers and colors, but it doesn’t fascinate her the way it does Sawyer. On the colors video our kids watch, the color yellow basically sings scales while saying yellow. Brinlee walks around singing this song. It is so funny to hear “yyyeeeeeeeewwwwooooooooowwwww!” all over the house. Our petite princess has finally found a way to climb up on the couch and make as much trouble as her brothers. She’s still too short to get her leg up there, but she is strong enough to pull herself up with her arms. Go Brinlee! Work those pull ups!
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/Kimball is on the go as always. He is still a softy, even though he doesn’t cuddle as much as he used to. In the middle of playing, he’ll run over to me and put my hands on his head. That’s my cue to rub his head. After a few seconds he’ll run off again. Kimball is getting his last four teeth all at once. He’s been a really easy teether, but he’s getting his vampire teeth, and those are the most painful, supposedly. He’s still not that fussy, considering what is happing. At least one of our kids will have all his teeth. Kimball has also learned to say “oops,” though he leaves out the P and says, “Oos.” We say “oops” when they fall or bump or drop something. The key to oops is it has to be an accident. Kimball has recently tried saying oops for intentional things like tossing his cup. No oops. That was on purpose. Kimball lifts his shirt, tickles himself on the belly and says, “Tickle tickle tickle!” when he wants to be tickled. He is definitely the most into wrestling, which is not high on the list of fun things for Sawyer and Brinlee while they are teething. He loves to grab Caisen’s toes and call them “toots!”
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/Caisen is growing like crazy! He is more than making up for the weight he lost after birth. We love our babies fat, and he is doing his best to comply. He is filling up his 3-month clothes quite well. He’s going to be out of them sooner than I thought, but that’s not a bad problem to have. He has had a lot of trouble with gas, but we are getting that figured out. He has reflux like the other three had, but we already know how to deal with that and implemented the system right away. Other than the gas, he’s a pretty content, easy baby and has meshed with the other kids’ routine pretty well. Every time he cries or opens his mouth I find myself looking for teeth. Can you tell teething is on the brain in our house? Why are you crying? Are you getting teeth? Oh wait, you’re too young to be teething. Fortunately, the other three should be done teething by the time Caisen starts. We had our first genuine smiles from Caisen this weekend, and they are adorable. I want more! It’s exciting to see his little personality starting to come through. He is much more aware of his surroundings now.
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/We’ve been working on please and thank you with the kids. They’ve never actually said the words, but we say it for them. If they ask for a cracker, we repeat, “Cracker please!” and after we give it to them we say, “Thank you mama!” They’ve only caught on to the mama part. So after I give them something, they’ll say, “Mama!” It’s a start. Brinlee and Kimball occasionally sign please, and sometimes they all say something that sounds like it could be thank you.
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/We ventured back to church a few weeks ago. It was an adventure, to say the least. Just getting three toddlers, a baby and a massive bag into the building was a trial. Once we were there, wrangling the three of them was something else. Sawyer was pretty calm and content to look at books. He recited his ABCs very loudly, but overall was not that difficult. Brinlee and Kimball were squirming and doing their best to get down. It was a loooonnnngggg hour. After that they went to nursery for the first time. I stayed in there with them and let Adam take Caisen to Sunday School for some adult time. They loved the play time. When they put up the toys and started to do singing time, our kids weren’t so interested. They went back to the (unlocked) toy cabinet and started dragging toys out. So I locked the cabinet. They then proceeded to pull all the books off the bookcase and “Ree!!” They also didn’t care for lesson time or sitting on a blanket for story time. Throughout the two hours, every few minutes Sawyer would come sit in my lap for about 30 seconds and then go play. For the most part, they did well. They’ll get the hang of sitting and listening. Eventually. There was no fighting or any negative encounters with other kids. They had a good time.
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/I’m currently on a starvation diet, but not by choice. If I try to eat when my kids are around, they eat it all, even if they had/have their own. The other day we gave them pears again for the first time in a long time. They weren’t very interested. After they finished snack, I got my own pear, and they flocked around my knees with their mouths open like baby birds. One after the other they took bites of my pear. When they finished that one, I got myself another one and they ate that one too! This morning I sliced some bread for myself (after they had eaten half a loaf) and they insisted on sharing again. My best bet is to eat when they are sleeping, but that doesn’t happen much during the day. How can I say no to those adorable, curious faces? I can’t.
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/Last Wednesday, Brinlee and Sawyer had their adenoids out. A few weeks ago it suddenly hit me that several things I had taken Sawyer to see the pediatrician for over the last 18 months were all due to the same thing: enlarged adenoids. He can’t breathe through his nose. He is always drooling because he’s breathing through his mouth. As a baby he wouldn’t seal his mouth around the nipple of the bottle and it took an hour to feed him every time. His growth curve has flattened because he’s working so hard to eat and breathe that he finally gives up on the eating part and gets down. Kids that age don’t have the patience to sit there forever eating. He also has days when he is super crabby because he didn’t sleep well because the breathing problems disrupt his sleep. Brinlee’s symptoms aren’t as obvious, but she is as blocked as Sawyer. I had the surgery when I was nine, so I know how much it will improve their quality of life. It’s scary, but I know it will help them. They are doing fine. Brinlee was hysterical and completely disoriented after surgery because she woke up from the anesthesia early. It lasted about 30 minutes. Sawyer slept through the disoriented part and was just very mellow, which was a nice change from Brinlee’s reaction. When we got home they ate a big lunch, had a good nap, ate a big dinner. Thursday they were mostly normal. Brinlee’s feelings were a little on the tender side, but that could be due to teething too. They seem fine. They are not supposed to rough house for a week. Tell that to them! They were on a soft diet for 3 days. Nothing that would irritate a throat.
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/I have avoided adding tooth brushing to our routine. Call me a bad mom who wasn’t teaching her kids good oral hygiene and was rotting their teeth, but the wrestling matches we had over checking for new teeth and administering Orajel were enough to keep me from it. I finally decided it couldn’t wait any longer, and now it’s all my kids want to do. I don’t know if it’s because they love the taste of the fruity toothpaste or that the brushing feels good on their gums or the novelty, but they beg to do it all the time.
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/The kids know how to give and request high fives now. It’s so cute when they slap our hands over and over saying, “High five!”
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/Gran and Granddad have spent the last three weekends with us and we love it! The first weekend we went to Stone Mountain and rode the skyride up to the top of the mountain and explored. The kids went crazy. Brinlee was ready to hike down to the bottom. She was all over that mountain. We watched the blacksmith and rode the train around the mountain. We had a very big day. The next weekend we went to a children’s exploration museum where they have different interactive play areas. It was a lot of fun, but hard work to chase all those kids around. Brinlee must have licked every piece of fake food there, and that’s how we came home with runny noses. Last weekend we stayed home and played in the yard and around the house. We had planned to go to the park, but the kids were pretty tired, and the day got away from us. Gran and Granddad have done night time Caisen duty every weekend they have been here! Talk about a great present! Adam and I have been so grateful for those nights of uninterrupted sleep. It’s nice to feel human for a few days, and it makes the days that follow easier to handle. They drive three hours here to do that. Thanks Gran and Granddad! The kids have had so much fun playing with them.
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/We’re having trouble with uploading pictures to the blog right now, but I’ll add them as soon as we get it figured out. Sorry.

3 thoughts on “Getting Settled”

  1. I have been WAITING for an update! I guess I cannot yell at you since you are a new mom and all…BUT I WANT TO!
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    /Hope things are going well for you guys! I just got back from Jackie’s wedding (a phone call will have to take place for me to venture there…yes, Uncle “Moe” was there…he is HODNA uncle, in case you forgot). Glad to hear all my children are doing well! I see Brandi Lea (aka Brinlee) is as strong as she should be. She brings a lot to the plate with the three brothers she has now!
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    /Give all the babies my love. I miss you both and hope to see you sometime soon.
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    /The BEST, Brandi and Eric (I signed it to get on April’s nerves.)

  2. Brandi, you better call me and tell me all the good stories. I miss you too. When are you coming back to visit? I may never forgive Eric for making you move to Texas.

  3. The pictures are posted now…www.mikerossphotography.com look for Jackie and Matt.
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    /I don’t think I have your current number – hence the emails.
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    /I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!
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    /I am so excited 🙂 I have a week off between the two, so I don’t have much to do. Give me a call if you get bored (hahaha).
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    /You guys should totally move to Texas, then we could see each other and you wouldn’t be far from your sister (is she still living here?).
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    /Crazy story:
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    /I went to Florida last week for a girls’ trip with some friends from college. One of my girlfriends invited her cousin Stacey. So, we are sitting by the pool, hanging out and talking about our past. I told her that I used to live right outside of Atlanta…here is the conversation:
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    /Me: I worked for a non-profit health care company.
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    /Her: Really? Me too.
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    /Me: I don’t know if you’ve heard of it…WellStar?
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    /Her: That is where I work!
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    /Me: I work at the Kennestone Campus, across from the hospital.
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    /Her: I work at Kennestone in L&D…you look very familiar.
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    /Me: Really? I just went over there to visit and did a few press releases about the new wing.
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    /Her: Did you always want apple juice when you came over?
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    /Me: OMG – YES!
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    /Small world. We chatted forever about WellStar. I didn’t know Dr. Lipson died. In an automobile accident, no less (you know he hated to drive).
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    /Anywho, holler if you get a chance!
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    /Brandi Sherman (I just changed my name TODAY.)

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