Dean Family Blog

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We just survived our first outing with all three kids to somewhere other than church. We received some Christmas money and decided some of it should probably be spent on a carpet cleaner...3 kids and living in the country have not been kind to our carpeting. We took everyone to Best Buy to pick it up and it's certainly more of an ordeal (especially in a bunch of snow), but we did pretty well. Feeling rather brave we chose to take the kids to Wendy's for dinner and were surprised at how well it went. It helped that Kasia slept through it all and Grace was on her best behavior because she thought we were letting her eat cookies for dinner (they were really chicken nuggets).

Philip also took the big kids out to play in the snow for the first time this year. It took half an hour to get them dressed and they stayed out about 10 minutes, but I suppose that's to be expected. Philip tells me he got some good video of the kids playing before Josiah got too cold and then fell in the snow and thought his hands were falling off. I thought about trying to go out with them while Kasia slept and then realized it was 17 degrees outside. No way am I voluntarily going out in that and I realized I'd have frozen kids coming in very soon anyway. While Josiah kept his hands under warm water in the sink until feeling came back Philip had to drag Grace back in. Her hands and face had to be just as cold, but she didn't seem to mind at all and would have stayed out much longer if we'd let her. She may look like me, but she definitely got THAT from her daddy.

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Merry Christmas! It's been a big day, full of food, family and dinosaurs. We started the day with our nativity set and reading out of Luke and then the kids tore into the gifts. Actually, Josiah and Philip tore in...Grace opened her first one and was content to keep reading that book all morning. Kasia even came out for a bit but was only interested in eating. Josiah received tons of dinosaurs and they seem to be the big hit so far for both kids. After breakfast and good byes to Philip's family we all had a wonderful nap and continued the celebration by making individual pizzas and decorating Jesus' birthday cake with (what else?) dinosaurs. It was quite a cake and we ate WAY too much. The kids were totally covered in chocolate red velvet cake so they took a bath...with dinosaurs...and finished up the day playing with dinosaurs. It's been a great day.

Here is the video of the cake decorating. Looks like fun huh.


I'm happy to say that Kasia is doing much better now. She gave us a good scare earlier this week because her bilirubin levels weren't coming down, even with the help of the lights. Thankfully by Tuesday afternoon they had dropped significantly and she is no longer in the danger zone, which is really helpful since we're in the middle of a multi-day ice storm and our roads and power lines are not dependable right now. In fact we had to call a neighbor to tow me out of a snowdrift in the driveway on the way home Tuesday so he could plow it and I could get back to the house. This is the same neighbor who has towed me out of drifts every winter we've been here. My appreciation for him and hatred of snow grows every year.

Since Kasia was only allowed to come off her lights to eat and be changed for several days the kids didn't get to see her do much except glow. Now that she's been able to come wiggle on the floor with us they are ready for her to start doing something. Grace keeps trying to grab her hair and coax her to get 'UP!' and Josiah seemed patient with her until he asked, "So, will she start walking next week?" They're both still very interested in her, but a little disappointed that she won't wake up and run around with them.

Papa, Nanny and Aunt Carol made it here yesterday before the roads got too bad and brought more presents. The kids hadn't paid much attention to what was under the tree until it started to grow over the last few days and now they're ready to dig in. We're working on the last few activities from the advent calendar and looking forward to tomorrow morning's celebration. We've been acting out the journey Joseph and Mary made to Bethlehem with one of their nativity sets and Mary and the donkey are getting very close. Joseph has mysteriously disappeared and cannot be found so he's been replaced with a construction worker figure. It's the best we could do, but it changes the feel of the story a bit!


The Ultimate Glow Worm
My brothers and I loved playing with Glow Worms as kids but we never could have imagined the one I have right now. I had noticed Kasia was a pretty sleepy baby from the start, but she seemed to be getting more so each day, as well as becoming jaundiced, so I ended up taking her in for some blood work Sunday afternoon. Her bilirubin had almost doubled from the time we left the hospital so a bili-blanket was sent to our house tonight for her to sleep in for a few days. Our baby now does our entire room. She doesn't seem to mind it too much and is already able to stay awake for a full feeding.

Here is our little Glowbaby!!

The kids did great with Nanny and EmmaJo here, but had a rougher time when we arrived. Both of them love peeking at Kasia while she sleeps but get very whiny and demanding when I'm stuck feeding or holding her. Grace is having an especially hard time seeing me hold another baby, but is slowly getting used to it and has learned to feed her baby doll next to me while I nurse. Other people's reactions have been pretty typical and all seem to involve being amazed at her hair.

A couple of our friends have also brought home babies recently and we're very excited for Rachel and Kass with little Lydia and Scott and Kim with little Rachel. Many of you received letters asking for prayer and financial support for the adoption of baby Rachel about a month ago. She was born December 5th and the Freitags found out they'd be able to keep her this past Tuesday. We continue to ask that you'd keep them in your prayers and thank all of you who have helped them get this far. God has been good!


Kasia's Big Day...
Well, the dad here. Kim is laying in bed enjoying some pain meds. We all new it was going to come, just not sure when. Well, it was today. Kasia came into the world at 12:16pm this afternoon. She weighed 6lbs 7oz and stretched a full 19" long. As with the other two, she arrived in style.

After Kim spent almost 4 hours at home doing everything she could think of to make her contractions stop we finally decided we would make the second trip into the hospital. Within a hour of us arriving the contractions stopped and things calmed down. Go figure. After walking for about an hour and a half we were told to take a nap and wait until our doctor came on in the morning. Yeah for 2 hours of sleep.

When Dr. Pickering came in at 7:30am we were told that we were most likely going home, again. Fortunately he had a better idea. After checking Kim again and deciding that she was a good 6cm to 6.5cm dilated (up from 5cm when we came in). This meant that we were technically in labor. With that nugget of information and the fact that we are two days away from 39 weeks he broke her water. The rest is history.

Kasia can soon after. She did decide to come out looking up (sunny side up as it is known) which made the delivery a little more interesting. In the end all was fine. Dr. Pickering was tied up in a delivery at the other hospital in town so Dr. Sherrow delivered. As expected, she did a great job. So with three kids in three years with a practice of three doctors, we have had a child delivered with each. Impressive huh. :-)

We would like to give a big thank you to everyone that has been praying for us, helped watch the kids, been waken up at all hours of the morning and driven 300+ miles to help us. It is greatly appreciated!! Also, if you are on Facebook, there are a few more pictures up there if you are curious. Here's to the adventure of being out numbered. :-)

Here is a short video of her for you to enjoy. Here is one with her a little more alert.


Wishin' For An Ear Infection
We used to wish for things like toys for our hobbies or vacations...some how we've moved on to ear infections and labor. Grace has had a cold for a while that turned into a bad cough at night that turned into a scream-fest most of last night. I took her in to the doctor today praying for an ear infection since there's nothing you can do to help a 1 year old with a cough. Thankfully there's a small infection and we're hoping somehow that makes her start acting more like a human and less like a horrible little screaming monster (it was a REALLY long night). Philip and I both felt slightly guilty this morning for wishing I'd go into labor just so we could get away from her for a while. I'm pretty sure we don't win the Good Parents award for today.

Kasia is apparently very comfortable and not making any plans to come meet us. I'd been amazed at how calm I'd been about the whole thing and excited that I'd finally learned some patience, but that lesson seems to have been forgotten for now and I'm so ready for this kid to get moving. Our next appointment is Thursday and hopefully we'll have made some progress since last week. Until then, it's time to put these sleep deprived kiddos down for a nap and pray they wake up in better moods.


Babies and Blizzards - One Down - One to Go
It's been quite a week. Our first real winter storm came through and dumped around 12 inches of snow, which wouldn't have been too bad by Iowa standards except that it was followed by a blizzard (30 - 50mph winds) so it ended up in 3 foot drifts that were impossible to keep contained.

In anticipation of the mess we stayed with some wonderful friends in Cedar Rapids for 3 days until our country roads (and the hill) were cleaned up. Our friends have children almost exactly the same ages as ours so it was a bit like a huge family sleepover...with 2 sets of twins. It was actually a great deal of fun and was much more enjoyable than being stranded out here all alone.

We were all glad to see our own rooms (and Philip was glad to see his clothes since I forgot to pack work clothes for him and the poor guy had to wear the same outfit for 3 days in a row...sorry!) when we came home last night, but Philip and I didn't get to stay long as our appointment yesterday afternoon apparently got things moving in my body and we headed right back to CR about 2am.

When we arrived I was having some painful contractions about 2 minutes apart and was dilated to 4cm and it looked like this was it. And then it all stalled and we ended up walking the halls for 3 hours until being sent home with about 45 minutes to spare before the kids usually wake up.

By some miracle Josiah knew we had a friend watching them and didn't think she was awake yet so when he woke up at 7 he got himself undressed, pottied, picked out his own clothes (they even matched!) and put some toys in Grace's crib so she would be happy. He didn't wake us up until 7:45 when he finally got frustrated because he couldn't figure out how to get his underwear on by himself. After the night we'd just had those extra 45 minutes were a true blessing!

So now we're just waiting to see how long it takes before labor starts again. Considering that Grace did this exact same thing and we went back in 24 hours later, we're half expecting to go back tonight but I suppose it's anyone's guess. When I tried to explain to Josiah why Kasia wasn't here yet I told him only God knows when she's coming and he informed me that God decided Kasia needed a nap so she's going to stay put for a while.


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