Thursday, April 26, 2018

all of a sudden, I'm fulfilled.

post by casey.





so a lot of days I feel like I should be doing more. I'd like to do more...as far as being more productive with my time, being more present with the kids, wanting less, spending more time outside, really taking advantage of our days while I get to sort of do as I please with our time, etc. BUT I've also struggled a lot with feeling like I should WANT to go back to work. I should WANT a career. I should want something more for my days than staying home with the kids. 

i had a 'break-through' of sorts after talking to my best girl, Gerdie:) and listening to Dax Shepard's Podcast - The Armchair Expert, Seth Green Episode. Love his Podcast!!!

from those two conversations it kinda hit me that I am fulfilled.
Being a wife to Jacob has given me the most self confidence I've ever known. Being a mom and staying home has made me feel more fulfilled than anything I've ever done or hoped to do. 

maybe not wanting 'more' than what you have right now feels like a weird place to be and that's not to say that my feelings on that won't evolve and I won't find myself back to work in a more traditional sense, someday. BUT it seems like a weight lifted to finally not feel like I'm not doing enough. Like I need to keep looking. 

is this what being content means, really!?

con·tent
[kənˈtent]
ADJECTIVE
  1. in a state of peaceful happiness.
how I look hardly ever.

how i look mostly always.



now, this is where I'm at. This is most likely not where you're at. And that's good! That's okay! What I hope for you, whether you're a stay-at-home-mom or a work-from-home-mom or a full-time-working-mom or an i-don't-know-what-the-fuck-I'm-doing-mom;) or if you don't have kids at all...this is more of a LIFE feeling...my hope is that you're fulfilled. That what you're doing, whatever that is, brings you joy and contentment. Is there anything worse than wishing you were doing something other than what you are at the moment? 


can I also admit that I woke up after a long night of NOT sleeping with a coughing baby. I was vomited on and cried on and my 4yr old joined me at 1AM. And I, luckily, insisted that Jacob sleep on the couch so that he could get sleep (I know they say not to keep score but you bet your ASS I'll be getting pay back for the last few nights;)...not surprisingly, I woke up in a foul mood. My husband sensed this...or maybe me saying: "hey, thanks for leaving the house a complete fucking disaster for me babe. Have a GREAT day!!!!" made it obvious that I wasn't feeling JOY this morning;). 

every day isn't going to be the picture of joy and rainbows and house-trained puppies;). Even at 35yrs old and finally knowing and accepting that I'm RIGHT where I should be....some days...I can't do the dishes one.more.god.damn.time. I don't WANT to get the kids milk. I don't WANT to change another diaper. Some days I think it might kill me if I have to. I would like to think that with any job, ideal or not...you're going to have some not so great days.

but this morning, I quietly cleaned and made my way to the dishes and washed my face and poured a cup of coffee and the sun shined for a bit and did the things that I need to do...it's not always easy. And there is no big plan today. No exciting adventure. But as I sit here, I'm overwhelmed with happiness - I'm also hearing the kids tear apart the DVDs and slide them across the floor...WHYYYY!?!?!?!?!?!;)


i hope you're happy today:).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

theo daisy turns FOUR.

post by casey.





i should have written this post a few weeks ago, when Theo actually turned 4. Not this morning...when she so clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed. There's never been such a wrong side. 
She's been kicking toys around. I've threatened to take her back to bed several times. She put a piece of toast in the toaster and then when I offered to butter it she freaked out cause "I don't WANT TOAST!!". Obviously, I read those signals wrong;).
The rest of the kids are still sleeping and so she's trying to be loud enough to wake them up...

she's trying to drag me down with her. I refuse. BUT I may have thrown my hands up and said: "SURE! FINE! BE THAT WAY! Kill bunnies and teach your friends how to spell the FWORD! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR LIFE!!!!".

suddenly, she's all smiles and comes to tell me that she just "tooted in the kitchen" and would also like to cuddle. Can she be trusted?!?!;)


Theo Daisy is 4:)

i remember when contractions began - check-out her birth story HERE and HERE. I remember knowing that she was a little chunk, compared to her older brother, the minute she arrived (she was 8lbs12oz and Homer was 7lbs4oz:). I remember that we went in with 2 names and Theo was the underdog. Neither of us really thought we'd end up using it. BUT once she was in my arms and they asked us what her name was...I looked at Jacob and said...Theo! He even asked me if I was sure because we had been so set on the other name! - I'm withholding that other name because it's still in our top 2 baby girl names and you just never know;).

theo is named after her Great Grandfather. My mom's dad. Alden Theodore Bieze. 

i remember Jacob, Homer and I had just moved into our current home and we were pregnant with Theo. While we were painting the bathroom, late one night, I muttered on for 30min about a potential middle name to go with Theo and Jacob finally had to tell me to just spit it out! I was almost embarrassed to suggest Daisy because I thought Jacob would think I was nuts. 

"what about Theo Daisy?"....
Jacob: "........I like it!".

i've got a long history with daisies and they're my favorite flower and so here we are:).

although, I will admit that after she was born we somehow misplaced her little stamped feet and so we took her back in a few days later to get that redone. When they were filling it out they asked us what her middle name was and both Jacob and I looked at each other, both kinda embarrassed to admit that we'd given our baby girl the middle name Daisy!;). That being said...we said it out loud that day and we've never felt anything but pride since!




theo has been such a blast! She's so full of personality!! She's much less sassy than her older brother but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her days;). 

she's such a good helper. We 'clean-up' every day after Rocky goes down for his nap. She loves to help with Ike and soothe him if he's upset. She likes to wake Rocky up after nap time or in the mornings. 

she's so good at playing by herself! She loves figurines right now! Anything "Horsey or Unicorn"! She's obsessed! She lines them up. She plays house with them. As I'm typing this up, she's playing alone and telling stories and playing pretend...although, it seems that one horsey has died and one is in jail and the other horsey's sisters are helping him get out of jail...?!?!?!








we took Theo and WillB out to dinner for their birthdays:).
Theo was born on 3/30/14 and Will on 4/2/14.


as much as I'd love to have another baby girl...I really can't imagine Theo ever having to share her space in this family with another girl. I guess we shall see:)

Happy Birthday Theo Daisy!!!!
You are absolutely one of a kind!:)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

a complete softball team

post by Courtney

surprise!!!

just kidding ;)

photo courtesy of Dave

sharing this news isn't much of a surprise to anyone (except the dentist and his hygienist who I saw early this pregnancy. he asked me if this was my first: nope. then asked how many this was: our tenth... he was speechless. literally. and I am well aware how TEN sounds ;)

well before Coy celebrated his first birthday, we were being asked when the next one would be coming along. repeatedly.

so for everyone who has been so patient, baby Smith #10 is expected mid-October!
photo courtesy of Lia

my mood is better than when I wrote this post (you're welcome!) while pregnant with Will, but most of the questions you may have can be answered there. a couple extras/modifications I thought of: 

Q: Haven't you run out of names? 
A: Yes. Yes we have. Throw some letters at me. 
It may be a one syllable, two letter name this go around.

Q: Is this it for you guys then?
A: I am more receptive to more babies than Dave, but my body (and maybe mind) are receptive to no more babies. that doesn't really answer the question well... this is my second pregnancy holding the title of advanced maternal age {insert eye roll}  and I can't be sure when I earned the titles of multigravida and grand multiparity. I just like to think those titles make me extra special ;)


and what does one do after they find out they're pregnant. indeeeeed. online shop ;)
1 + 2
I've got a slight obsession with boat neck tops. yet I have not a single one in my wardrobe. why not get some maternity tops that I'll wear only a hot second. doh.

3
am I ready to wear a form-fittingish dress with my tenth pregnancy? we shall see. but this wouuuuulllllddd look adorable with my red Toms!

4
if you see me in this very outfit from August until the end of October... I'm not sorry ;)

5
I may or may not have eyed this up for each one of my October babies and never pulled the trigger. it's currently on sale and calling my name yet again! 
although, a friend's beautiful daughter had this one on and it's pretty dang adorable. 
wish I wasn't obsessed with hoods!

6 + 7
baby sandals are always adorable.

8
we're leaning toward girl over here. which means, in Casey's experience, it's a boy. 
but good golly, how cute is this romper!

***

let the online shopping continue! 
and the mint bonbon
:)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

ike: 5 months and rockyp: 28 months

post by casey.



these little hams are a month older! The months fly by and they're changing by the second and growing and learning...less Baby every day!:(

i can't EVEN with his chubby belly and those lips and those eyes and those cheekkkkkssss:):)

my little buddy, Ike!!!!:) If you missed it, Ike spent a few days in the hospital recently - read about that HERE. Luckily, he's feeling MUCH more himself. Ike has always been the happiest, most content, smiley little guy and so it was heartbreaking to see him so sad looking in the hospital! 

ike started rolling while we were at the hospital! He pushes himself all around on the floor and now we have to make sure to strap him into all his little seats cause he'll try and scoot out of them!

ike loves talking and cuddling and getting SO many kisses from the kids! He loves to be held but he's just as content laying on the floor or bed or in his seat!

he gives THE best smiles first thing in the morning. There's NO better way to start the day!!!:)

ike did lose a pound while we were in the hospital but I suspect that he's back to his 18+lbs already! He's a hefty guy;):).





and then there's Rock. RockyP. 

rockyp is a good guy! He's probably the only of my children that can whine as much as he does and that I can still completely tolerate!!!;) But because we can't quite understand 67% of what he says...his whining has reached a new level of annoying. MAYBE if I could understand what he was saying...all that whining wouldn't be SO bothersome!??!;). 

regardless. Rocky runs. Rocky takes very. VERYYYYYYYY. VERY slow walks;). He loves his days home with Theo and baby Ike but likes to be constantly updated on where Dada and Homer are:). 

he started sleeping in a big boy bed recently! It's an Ikea mattress on the floor of his room - same one that we started Homer out on. He is doing SO well! Since day 1, he's never gotten out of bed! There have been a few rough nights where he just doesn't want to go to sleep but I don't get the feeling that has anything to do with the bed. And since Jacob and I are downstairs and he's upstairs, we keep a baby gate up to keep him from coming out of his room and that's worked perfectly so far. We'll keep that up until I'm more confident he can do the stairs all by himself!




i gotta say - cause I haven't said this enough;) - I love them. I love having them. I love keeping them. I'll take it all...the good, the bad, the insanely hard and the moments of pure bliss sprinkled in-between:). I want more. That is all:).

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ike vs. RSV

post by casey.



i'll start by saying: He's OKAY:). We have a strong and healthy little chubby boy on our hands!

we - myself and Ike - spent 6 days in the hospital. Ike was diagnosed with RSV - Respiratory Syncytial Virus - and we were fortunate to get there when we did. He struggled with eating and breathing and we spent every one of the next 6 days getting him back on track. Each day that passed I thought, surely we'll be going home today!! And I think I did that every day for 6 days! The denial is strong with this one;).



while we were there my sisters and mom took over caring for Homer, Theo and Rocky. Getting Homer to and from school (he only got forgotten at school once, so I'd say we did pretty damn good;)
Jacob was out of town the first few days - because kids never get sick when it's convenient. We are just so so fortunate to have our family. 

it's so good to have sisters that show up, even when you don't think you need them to. It's so good to have sisters that can sooth your baby as if he was their own. It's so good to have sisters that know a thing or 10 about some of the medical things and can be your ears when you immediatly zone out when a conversation about NICU comes up!:( It's SO good to have sisters who walk in without a word, take your baby - who's hooked to an IV and Oxygen - out of your arms so you can go to the bathroom and sob in the shower and come out with blood shot eyes and she says "nope, can't tell you've been crying...at.all;)".

and I have parents who take your 3 kids to a tool show and buy them fishing poles and take them to visit their dad and drive them around the country-side to spot deer and bear and Homer even claims he spotted a Moose..right here in Central WI!!!;)


our family, friends and neighbors brought company and distraction, food and necessities, support and encouragement:). We have chosen to do life with the right people surrounding us. 


some people - I'm looking at you Brooke and Monica Casey;) - are just caretakers. It's written deep within them to show up, even when you don't think you want or need them to:). I learned a lot from how they showed up for me and Ike and hope to put that example to use the next time it's not so obvious that someone else needs or hesitates to ask for help.




something else I learned through this experience, is that you can not compare your circumstances to others. 
It's down right impossible to feel like your struggle is justified. You're struggling and then you think: someone else out there has it harder! Why can't I do this when so and so is so clearly in a worse situation!
My emotion and stress came from exhaustion. I knew Ike would be okay. But that didn't make it any less of a struggle. He was sad and sick. I missed my kids and my husband. 
I think we don't give ourselves a fucking break or cut ourselves any slack...because you know, asking for help...accepting help...that would mean that we can't.do.it.all! And holy shit...god forbid we 'need' anything. Help doesn't mean weakness. But it sure feels like it sometimes. 



ike is loved:)



adventures in FaceTiming;)




i'm not crying, you're crying!!!!;') - seeing/holding my other babies for the first time in 4-1/2 days.
Also. If this face/eyes/bags don't scream: NO SLEEP SINCE BROOKLYN 2012;)
Also. One of my favorite photos of all time:)


it took them 4 times to draw blood. I saw a different doctor/physician/nurse/huck/cna/respiratory therapist every couple hours. They interrupted our sleep every.damn.time. The shampoo sucked. I slept on a cot for 6 nights - something my soon-to-be 35yo body wasn't a huge fan of;). 
But even after all that...I didn't get upset. I wasn't mad at anyone. The only time I came even close to throwing down with someone was with the Lunch Lady over how many pancakes she deemed TOO many. Bitch, do.not.test.me.



we're home and boy did it feel good to get home. But now it's 223AM and I'm struggling to get off hospital time;). Ike has adjusted well to not being poked and prodded every 27MIN:). 

he was sent home a pound lighter than when we arrived and with an inhaler to be used for as long as this cough lasts. He's such a good boy. It was hard to see him not himself. 

thank you guys. I know, had I shared this in real time, you would have all been so incredibly supportive. 
Now...let's get this terrible season of illness behind us!!!!:)