Dean Family Blog

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Third Tri
We've made it to 3rd trimester as of today! We had our appointment yesterday and there was still no change (that's a good thing) and the doctor very apologetically told us to stay on bed rest. That's exactly what we were expecting, but it was still a little funny to watch him debate whether there was any way to do something else, knowing that there isn't.

Yesterday was like an oasis in the middle of this situation. One amazing friend offered to take the kids ALL DAY LONG! It was wonderful to have some time alone and I actually got a few things done. I got out of the house for the appointment and then again to get a flu shot (I do find it amusing that both of those things counted as exciting outings) and came home to the smell of dinner cooking...and still no kids. Several of our friends were a bit sneaky and arranged for the kids to spend the evening with them so we could have a mini-date here at home. It was fabulous to have such a different change of pace and to get to feel a little closer to normal. And the kids had a great time; Josiah's already asking when they get to go play again. Thank you!

Josiah came home Wednesday night with his Cubby vest, bag and book and practically bouncing off the walls because he was so excited. He recited his verses and we've started working on new ones for this week. He also graduated from potty training and got his special graduation gift last night that Philip had picked out for him. We'd found toy cars called Automoblox when we were in Chicago and we were pretty sure Josiah would love them (he does). I'm expecting Philip to play with them as much as Josiah does.


The novelty of bed rest (if there ever was any) has worn off and these comments aren't exactly helping...

-'Well, Mrs. Dean, you'd qualify for disability if you were employed, but since you don't work....'(Insurance rep.) I'm not sure if I should be more upset that I'm considered disabled or her assumption that staying home isn't work.

-'Let's play bed rest now. Here's what you do. Lay down. Pick up your head. Put your head down. Eat a snack. That's it.' (Josiah) No comment.


Where We Are
We had our appointment Thursday and it went pretty well. Everything had stayed the same, which proved the bed rest was doing some good and we were told to expect 6 more weeks of it, which would get us to 32 weeks. At that point I may start to get some freedom back and should be moved to at least partial rest. The baby is doing great and measured right on track. There had been some concern that she was small, but it turned out she's just laying really low like Grace did.

It was strange to get up after a week of seeing nothing but my living room and bed room. The wild flowers had all changed, the crops were all brown and I was exhausted. I've lost a lot of my stamina and even though I spent most of my time either driving or sitting in a waiting room, I was shaky and a little sick by the time we got home. There will certainly be a recovery period when this is all over.

The wood burner is finally installed and Philip and a friend got the trench filled in yesterday so our backyard is getting somewhat back to normal. The next big project is to build a wood shed so we actually have dry wood to use all winter. Since Philip has about 2 minutes of free time each day I'm not sure how this is going to happen, but we're still working on it.

Josiah is still terribly excited to be a Cubby and has memorized all 3 verses and the motto for the next meeting. He carries his Cubby booklet around the house as one of his prized possessions. Not to be out done, Grace has learned her first really clear word other than 'mama' and now yells for the 'bible' after dinner each day.


Fringe Benefits
We've made it though 5 days, but it feels like much longer and we're getting to the point where it would be awfully easy to start complaining. In an effort to have a better attitude about this adventure and find a way to glorify God through it I've been looking for the positive things that are happening. Here's what we got so far...
  • Philip is apparently Super Mom in disguise. He's juggling work, kids, house, church commitments and major outdoor projects and somehow keeping it all together.
  • Our church family continues to amaze us at their willingness to help, despite how busy they are with their own families.
  • Of the friends who have come over to help, one has taught Grace how to get on the couch, another taught her how to eat at the table instead of her tray and another taught Josiah a clean up game that tricks him into cleaning up all his toys without ever realizing he's working.
  • Both kids seem to actually like the new schedule a great deal and Josiah has turned into an amazing helper. The little guy learned how to make us popcorn today all by himself. This may really help him learn a little independence.
  • While it may be humbling to need so much help, I will admit that it's pretty awesome to not have to cook every day.
  • Both kids have been taking amazing naps despite having contractors in the house hooking up the wood burner...about 30 feet from where Grace naps. I'm talking doors slamming, loud voices, drilling through METAL during nap time. The only explanation I have is that God is smiling on us.


Oh to relax on the couch.
It's been an interesting week. At our appointment we learned that my cervix had thinned quite a bit over the week, even with partial bedrest. I was put on complete bed rest and told to stay laying down except for trips to the bathroom. For some reason neither Philip or I ever thought this would happen so it was a pretty big surprise and has required some serious adjustment to our life. I think I was just numb for the rest of the day, feeling like we'd been told to do something completely impossible, but by the time we went to bed that night it was already evident that God was providing a way to get through this. We're still working on the details and hoping for some help from our insurance company, but our church family immediately stepped up and started taking care of us. Within a day we already had meals coming and friends showing up at the door to help watch the kids. While it's humbling to watch someone else feed your children and put them down for nap from the couch, it's also an amazing feeling to know you have friends who will drop everything when you need them. As I think about all the families from our church who have already helped us with babysitting and childcare, meals, encouraging gifts and even the use of their house so we could still have a date night even though I had to be laying down the whole time, I feel very loved and grateful.

Although I seem to be getting most of the attention, in reality the whole family has been put on bed rest. The kids are adjusting pretty well so far and Josiah actually seems to like that I'm here to snuggle whenever he wants. Grace has learned to climb on the couch and is loving all the extra time I have to read to her...although I think I may go insane if I have to read Dinosaur Train to her one more time (I've actually hidden it for a while because I really needed a break from it). Philip has stayed incredibly busy the past few days and has done an awesome job of becoming Mr. Mom. He took both kids to Walmart alone for the first time today and did great, even with Josiah's potty training accident in the check out line. He's also learning how to fix Grace's hair...sort of. :) And while he's keeping up with them he's also bringing me flowers, movies, meals and all the random little things I realize I've left in other rooms. He is truly an amazing husband and I thank God for him daily.


We had a couple big firsts today...first night that Josiah was an official 'Cubbie' at AWANAs and first bald spot for Grace. Josiah almost refused to let me leave when I dropped him off tonight, but I hear he had a wonderful time and feels like a very big boy. He listened well during story time and earned a piece of candy, which he apparently refused to take because 'he's only allowed to have candy from home.' I don't remember making this rule, but we were proud of him for doing what he thought was right and I'm totally amazed that he turned down candy. He's counting the days until he can earn his Cubbie vest and is excited about next week.

When I went to pick the kids up after Bible study this morning all 3 helpers came over to talk to me with very serious expressions to explain that another little girl had really liked Grace's pigtails. REALLY liked them, like she tried to remove one. Grace has a small bald patch where the kid was partially successful. By the time I got there she was fine and had totally forgotten it ever happened so I didn't get upset, especially considering I'm somewhat surprised it wasn't Grace attacking someone else. Besides, the kid has so much hair that it's really easy to cover up.


One Week Down
We're almost done with the first week of bed rest and, strangely, it's not as bad this time around as it was last time. Maybe it's just that I knew better what to expect. I know I have about 4 hours in the morning to get all of my chores for the day done so I hit the ground running. Ok, not running since that's not allowed, but walking quickly. I have to be much more efficient in what I do and by the time I need to lay down I'm certainly not complaining...I'm pooped. Josiah decided this week that he didn't need naps anymore (great timing) and I informed him that his sisters still did so he was going to have to stay in bed anyway to let them rest. Amazingly, this worked. He's very interested in the baby right now and will do things for her that surprise me (like laying in bed for 2 hours when he's not sleepy). He's also learning how to work the system a little, like informing me that BG is in my tummy crying out for an M&M and a biscuit...meaning we need to find some so he can eat them too. We keep trying to show Grace where the baby is, but she has no interest in my tummy and goes to look for her 'babies,' which are my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls.

We've been at potty training for 3 weeks now and I'd have to say it's a success. It's still not easier than just putting a diaper on him because he melts down every time I make him pull his underwear up, but I have faith that he will eventually get over this. I hope. As independent as Grace is, Josiah is quite happy having someone do pretty much everything for him and with him. Grace likes to brush her teeth, undress herself (make her wait in a messy diaper too long and she just gets rid of it for you), walk on her own and plays pretty well by herself. Her big brother refuses to touch his toothbrush, cries when I make him learn how to take his clothes off and wants someone watching him constantly. One of his friends still eats pretty much anything inedible and her mom says their goal is that she will graduate from high school and not eat the diploma as she crosses the stage. We decided ours would be that Josiah actually carries his own diploma across the stage.

Ok, maybe I'm being a little rough on him so I should probably also brag a little too. He figured out how to go to the bathroom standing up tonight. He got pretty excited and his aim got a little wild, but we'll work on that. Since we were at a friends' house I made sure I cleaned up all the off-target pee before we went back in to tell his friends, who all cheered for him. Life is good when you get a stand ovation for peeing.


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