Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our Weekend

Can we go back and have a weekend do over? I felt the last of summer slip away from us this weekend, and I'm not ready. I love fall, but I kind of want to live in this in between seasons phase forever. Warm sunny days where you can still run around barefoot, and cool nights that change the colors of the leaves. 

Somehow our house has become the place for the neighborhood kids to hang out. Harrison and Brooke have 3 close friends that are at our house at least a couple nights a week, so it's pretty common for it to be me and 7 kids chilling on a Tuesday night. Friday night we had 3 additional kids who joined our evening hang, so there were 10 kids running in and out of our house. If I had any alcohol I probably would have drank it. 

I kicked everyone out when it was time to get the babies ready for bed, and then breathed a huge sigh of relief. Having 4 older school aged boys hanging around is crazy. They want to jump off the deck, climb the fence, slam dunk on the babies' plastic basketball hoop. They're crazy, and I'm not ready for my kids to be that kind of crazy yet. I know it's coming, I can already see it in Harrison, but can we keep playing house and Legos for the next 5 years?

Once the babies were asleep, Harrison, Brooke, and I got to work painting their pumpkins they picked out during their field trip to the pumpkin patch. We watched Mickey's House of Villains while waiting for the paint to dry and finally called it a night close to 10:30. I think I may have been asleep before they were.

Saturday morning we woke up, bushed our teeth, packed swimsuits and a change of clothes and headed to the lake. One of the local churches was putting on a fall festival, so we headed up to check it out. Before we headed to the festival we took a boat ride while still rocking pajamas. Once at the festival we played carnival games, bounced in the bounce houses, checked out a fire engine and a police car, ate hot dogs and cookies, and bounced some more. Do everyone's kids love bounce houses as much as mine? Yes? Clark just ran around falling down and giggling. It was hysterical to watch him. We had a meltdown over suckers and some screaming due to the number of bees following us around, but overall it was a good time.

Naps followed the festival, and then the big kids wanted to go tubing. It was cloudy, windy, and only 71 degrees. They are so my kids, because I would have wanted to do the same thing when I was younger. We enjoyed the last boat ride of the year while H and B tubed behind the boat, and before we knew it, it was time to eat dinner and head home. I put all the kids back in their jams, and we took off. All 4 fell asleep on the drive home, it's about an hour, and I successfully transferred all of them to their beds without more than a squeak or grunt. Mom win!

Sunday morning was rainy, windy, and brought a nasty migraine along with the weather. Before my headache became unbearable, we made it to our cousin's first birthday party. The party fell right during nap time, but the babies managed to stay in good moods. Pizza, cake, and ice cream will do that to you. 

The birthday girl

Unfortunately my headache was a full on migraine by the time we made it home, so I spent the remainder of the day laying down in bed or on the couch. Mr. Dad of the year took over most of the dinner and bedtime duties so I could lay down and not toss my cookies. My migraine lingered all day yesterday and this morning, but has mostly passed on.

This morning we turned the heat on and it was cold enough that I made the babies watch for the bus from the window instead of walking down to the bus stop. They were not happy about that. Fall has finally arrived, and as sad as I am to see the last of summer go, I can't complain about sweater weather.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Whole30 - Here We Go Again

I have been reading about Whole30 for the past couple years and have found it very intriguing. If you don't know what it is, it's a 30 day clean eating program where you eat only whole foods for 30 days. I had either been cycling, pregnant, or nursing for the last 2.5 years so it wasn't something I ever felt I could do. When I realized I would have just over a month between stopping nursing Scarlett and Clark and when I would start cycling for our FET, I decided that would be the perfect time to give Whole30 a go. I managed to convince Rob to do it with me, although I don't think he really knew what he was getting into.

We got back from our west coast vacation on Tuesday, and started our Whole30 the Sunday of that week. I planned our first week of meals and thought we were prepared, but we really weren't. We did fine, but I really should have done some more research into Whole30 compliant products before we started. EVERYTHING has added sugar, soy, or color. Salad dressing, mustard, frozen potatoes, bacon. So many things I hadn't thought about ahead of time.

We finished our 30 days and I swore I'd never do it again. Toward the end I found myself becoming obsessive about what I couldn't eat. We went to Bravas the week we finished and I got a burger that was lights out. I remember thinking this was the best thing I've ever tasted. I was so happy not to be depriving myself of food I loved. I LOVE food. I really love food. Rob on the other hand loved it. He loved the strictness of it and how it kept him from having "just one" slice of pizza that then turned into 4 slices of pizza. He would have liked to have kept going after the 30 days were up, but I was very adamant about not cooking Whole30 compliant meals anymore.

As I may have mentioned a time or two, I love food, and am totally guilty of emotional eating. The two weeks following the miscarriage were filled with lots of ordering pizza, eating out, and over indulging in Phish Food. I didn't feel like cooking, or doing much else, so I didn't. Now that we're getting back to normal life I'm heavy, bloated, my skin is a mess, and I'm feeling just plain blah from weeks of terrible eating habits. Another round of Whole30 is just what I need to get my body back on track after the crazy month its been through. So here we are 2 months later and starting another round of Whole30. So much for that "I'm never doing it again."

We're going into this round with much more planning which I think will be key to a more enjoyable 30 days. I have a calendar made up for the month outlining our dinners. We have Whole30 compliant products already stocking our pantry, fridge, and freezer. I also think that doing this in the fall when the kids are in school and our days are more structured will help make it easier.

As we jump into round 2, I thought I would share some of our favorite products that helped us get through round 1.

  • Tessame Salad Dressings - Their ranch and balsamic viniagrette are delicious and compliant.
  • Coconut Secret Aminos - Necessary for stir fries and other Asian dishes (They also have a teryiaki style sauce we're excited to try this go round
  • Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk - The full fat version is so thick and creamy. Perfect for smoothies, scrambled eggs, or with compliant granola.
  • RX Bars - My 5 am pre workout staple. Also great to have in your purse for when hunger strikes.
  • Pederson's Bacon - This ish is hard to find because it's always sold out. We buy it at Fresh Thyme, when they have it.
  • Pacific Vegetable Broth - The only compliant broth I found that's ready available at major grocery stores. I use it in place of meat broths while cooking Whole30.
  • La Croix -  We drink this all the time anyways, but it's especially a great little carbonated almost sweet pick me up while doing Whole30. Simple Truth and Simply Balanced brands have some great flavors too.
I will make sure to share some of our favorite recipes each week, and I plan to share my guacamole recipe because I don;t think we would have made it through our last Whole30 without it. Have you done Whole30 before? Any products we're missing out on or must try recipes? I'd love to hear from others who have done this before.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Summer Weekending

Thank you to everyone who took a minute out of your day to share a comment, send an email, or say a prayer for our little angel baby. Your love and support is a welcome reminder that we are not alone and that we will get though this. I knew that if we stayed home this weekend I would spend too much time searching Google and focusing on the miscarriage. I might not be ready to move on, but I know it's not healthy to spend all of my time focusing on what might have happened. I needed a distraction, so we headed to the lake for the weekend. It also helped to have extra grandparent hands, because my crashing hormones resulted in major migraines. There's something about being on the water, or maybe it was the Imitrex, that always makes me feel better.

Aside from it being a great weekend to get away to the lake, it happened to be my parents 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Rob was able to get off work early and join us to take them out for dinner. We went to our favorite little spot in the booming metropolis of Blakeslee, OH. Scarlett and Clark discovered the joys that are Mosehoppers and floppy potatoes, my parents received a 50th anniversary picture mug, and Harrison and Brooke got to stand in the middle of the road for a picture, which they thought was the coolest thing ever.


Sunday we spent the day doing lake things and enjoying what will probably be our last warm weekend at the lake. Swimming, tubing, boating, early morning coffee on the deck. Fall is coming and we are going to miss the warm weather. Our lake season got started so late this year, that I feel like we didn't get enough. All 4 kids have lake water running through their veins, so it wouldn't surprise me if they insist on a quick dip sometime this fall. 

We miraculously made it home and had everyone in bed almost on time, which meant I was in bed by 8:30. Yes! I told myself I was going to get caught up on everything around the house today, but Scarlett is sick, again, and had other plans. The school year has hit her hard, poor thing. As soon as she gets over one cold, there's another one waiting for her. Thankfully it hasn't hit Clark as bad. The laundry will still be there tomorrow, so I'll snuggle my bossy little blondie as much as she demands it.

The weather is supposed to be hot, hot, hot here this week, so we'll be living up the last week of summer. Are you relishing in this last bit of summer, or longing for fall?

Friday, September 15, 2017

If you missed the journey up to our transfer, you can find it here.

After our transfer We went home and I laid in bed all afternoon while Rob managed the kids.

1 day past transfer - The kids and I lounge around the house in our pajamas and take it easy all day. I don't feel strongly one way or another towards the embryo I know is trying to make itself at home.

2 days past transfer - Another quiet day hanging out with the kids. We venture out of the house for a Target run. I think about how crazy it would be to add a 5th child to our outings.

3 days post transfer - I realize I am already very attached to this embryo and will be disappointed if this cycle doesn't work.

4 days post transfer - I know it's early but decide to take a pregnancy test. It's negative. I decide to test again later in the day. It is the faintest positive I've ever seen, but it's positive. I am ecstatic! I am also out of pregnancy tests. Must get more tests. Rob sees the almost negative, barely positive test sitting out, and that's how he finds out the transfer was successful.

5 days post transfer - A definite positive first thing in the morning. I tell Rob we are for sure pregnant, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

6 days post transfer - I get another positive test with a darker line and a positive on a digital test. I decide to stop testing at this point and wait for my beta. I am so excited about this sweet little baby and am on pins and needles waiting for our beta.

I go in for my beta, quantitative blood pregnancy test, at 10 days past transfer. My HCG levels come back at 192. Yay! Even more exciting, my repeat levels come back at 466. We schedule our ultrasound for 7 weeks 2 days and I start counting the days until we get to see our baby.

The first couple weeks of our pregnancy are very normal. I am super tired, crampy, my boobs are sore all the time. I even get a few tinges of morning sickness here and there. Overall I feel great and am constantly thinking about the little life growing inside of me. I wonder if it is a boy or a girl. I see Scarlett with our friends' babies and with my nephew and know she is going to love being a big sister. I think about how crazy life with 5 kids is going to be. I think about getting to nurse one more baby and how sweet it will be. I think about how different it will be having just one baby. I think about how ludicrous it would be if our embryo split and we wound up with identical twins. I think about car seat configurations and who we're going to squeeze in the third row with H and B. I think about all of the wonderful things new moms to be think about.

Around 6 1/2 weeks I notice I'm not as tired as I was last week and I haven't really had any morning sickness. Maybe that's just the difference between how my body handles a twin pregnancy vs a singleton. By 7 weeks I'm not feeling much pregnant at all but I am so excited to get to see our baby in just a couple short days. I voice my concerns to Rob the night before our ultrasound, but he assures me my boobs have gotten bigger. Typical guy thinking. :) I notice a small amount of pink spotting before I go to bed and assume it's just from the progesterone suppositories. I lay down, rub my lower abdomen, and say goodnight to our little baby, the same as I have every night for the last 5 weeks.

This is where things take a turn for the worse. I wake up to a decent amount of spotting. It's more than I've seen the whole pregnancy, but it's definitely still spotting at this point. I put a call into the nurses at our fertility clinic and go about getting the kids ready for school. As the morning goes on, the spotting gets heavier, the cramping starts. I call Rob as I watch the bus pull away taking H and B to school, and I tell him I am pretty sure I am miscarrying and that he needs to be prepared for what we will see on the ultrasound.

Our appointment isn't until 1pm. 4 hours have never seemed so long. Every time I use the restroom, I notice more and more bleeding. I try to convince myself that it's a subchorionic hematoma and that I'm not losing the baby. When we finally get to our dr's office I use the restroom before our ultrasound and pass two large clots. I start sobbing hysterically in the bathroom. Any illusions I had about it being anything other than a miscarriage are gone.

Our ultrasound reveals a baby with no heartbeat measuring 6weeks 1day. Our doctor gives us the option of scheduling a D&C, but I decide I would like to miscarry naturally. We go over a few things like medications and what to do if everything doesn't pass on its own. Our doctor apologizes for the 684th time and then leaves the room. I know it was necessary, but having to endure a tv ultrasound while I'm bleeding everywhere and obviously miscarrying was one of the worst things I've ever had to endure.

Life goes on at its normal pace while my whole world is coming crashing down around me. Everything was so different two days ago. I was picturing telling Brooke and Harrison they were going to be big siblings again. Feeling baby kicks in my belly. Newborn pictures with all 5 of our sweet children. Dipping baby toes into the lake next summer. Another child's awe during the Christmas season. In a matter of hours, it's all gone. Now those are just memories we'll never get to experience. It's amazing how much you can fall in love with a baby over just a few short weeks. A baby we weren't even sure we wanted. Sweet little baby, you were so wanted.

At this point I don't even know if I'm still carrying our dead baby, if my body has reabsorbed it, or if it got flushed down the toilet of a BJs Brewhouse. The uncertainty of the physical aspect of it all is the most difficult thing right now. I know the baby is gone, but until I can move past the physical part of the miscarriage, there's no way I can start to heal emotionally. Every experience is different, and the only thing the doctor's office can tell me is call us next week and we'll rescan.

I am not the only women to lose a pregnancy. I am not the only women losing her pregnancy this very second. Knowing it's normal, there's nothing we could do to change the outcome, 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, none of that makes it any easier. I know how blessed I am to have 4 beautiful, healthy children. There are women who would give anything to have what we have. I know that and I don't take it for granted. That doesn't make right now any easier. I know we'll pick up the pieces and move on. We have to. We have 4 little people who count on us to be strong for them. I need to be stronger for them. I have been too short with them this week. They don't understand why and they definitely don't deserve it. They are the only thing getting me through my days. They put a smile on my face when I don't think I have any smiles left in me.

I am very lucky to have a great support system in Rob, the best girlfriends anyone could ask for, and family who have been through this before. It's still a very isolating experience, even though others are experiencing it with me. I made myself get out of the house yesterday which was hard, but good for me. We have plans to go to a birthday party this weekend and spend some time at the lake. Life will go on, time will make it easier, but there will not be a day that I don't think about our baby who left us too early.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Lone Embryo

I want to write about this while it's all fresh and the emotions are raw. This would be a super long post if I wrote it all together, so I am going to break it up into two posts. I want to be upfront and honest and let everyone reading know that there is no happy ending and cute pregnancy announcement at the end of this. I feel that it's equally as important, and maybe even more so, to share when things don't end up picture perfect or how I expected. With that being said, here's part 1 of Ethan Embryo's, as I so lovingly referred to it, story.

When we did our fresh IVF cycle that gave us Scarlett and Clark, we had 1 embryo that made it to freeze. As soon as we found out we were having twins again we decided our family would be complete with 4 kids and we would donate the last embryo. I remember sorting through newborn clothes with Rob when I was 35 weeks pregnant and insisting we should go ahead and donate the off season newborn clothes since we were never going to need them. Our family felt complete when the babies were born, but there was still the one embryo that we were responsible for.

By the time S and C hit about 3 months, I started reconsidering what we would do with our last embryo. Would I really be ok with the unknown of our DNA potentially being out there somewhere? What about an open embryo adoption where we could have contact with a child that shared our DNA but wasn't legally our child? There are couples that face these decisions every day. They're hard decisions to make, which is part of why there are so many embryos sitting in cryopreservation limbo. If we had multiple embryos left over we would have absolutely donated all of them to a couple battling infertility, but it was just one embryo. We can handle one more baby, right?

The more time went past and the more we talked about it, the stronger our feelings were that we wanted to give our little embryo a chance to join our family. I met with our reproductive endocrinologist at the beginning of December, just before Scareltt and Clark turned 1. Rob and I were ready to go ahead with a natural FET cycle in January after we got back from vacation. Then we found out we would have to wait 6 months until we returned from the Caribbean before we could do the transfer. Thanks, Zika.

That 6 months gave me more time to nurse Scarlett and Clark and for us to reflect further on potentially adding another child to our family. Our resolve only grew stronger, and as soon as we made it to 5 months post vacation, we started getting ready for a FET cycle. I got blood work done, a saline sonogram, we got the insurance approval, we were ready to go.

I stopped nursing the babies a month before our FET cycle was set to begin. I didn't think anything about how the hormonal changes from stopping nursing might effect my hormones for our cycle, but they did and our cycle was canceled before it ever even started. I went on birth control and came back three weeks later ready to try again. Thankfully everything looked good and I started my daily estrogen pills.

Scheduled FET cycles are so easy compared to what you go through for a fresh IVF cycle, or even a medicated IUI cycle. We knew on day 3 of my cycle when our transfer would be. I took 3 estrogen pills a day for 14 days, then added in progesterone 2 times per day, and had a few days of antibiotics in there right before transfer. That's it. No injections, no daily monitoring, no waiting for the nurses to call with instructions.

We got the call at 9am the morning of transfer that our embryo had survived the thaw, so Rob and I hopped in the car and drove 2 hours to our fertility clinic's main office. On the drive down we were both excited but also very nervous. Neither of us were entirely sure this was the right decision, and we were definitely crazy for even considering 5 kids.

It was the right decision. We did the transfer. Everything went smoothly. Then I had the same oh shit moment I had after our transfer with Scarlett and Clark thinking "what did we just do."

The rest of our little embryo's journey can be found here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Annual Lake Week

Back at the beginning of August we spent a week at the lake with family. It's a week that we look forward to every year. This year was a bit different than in years past because my parents tore down their cottage, built a house on their property, and now they live up there full time. While sleeping 16 people in a 1 room cottage does offer family bonding time like no other, I think everyone slept much better in the new house that has multiple rooms and more importantly, actual bedrooms. We were still on top of each other the whole week, proving that everyone will still congregate in the kitchen regardless of whether there are people sleeping in the kitchen. 

I had two sisters, one brother, three brother in laws, and one nephew who were all at the lake with us for varying amounts of time. The first day we were there was the lake's annual poker run, which is always a blast. It's done by boat and most of the stops handout alcohol to the adults, jello and pudding shots FTW, and some stops have swag or treats for the kiddos. We participate every year, we never win, but we always have fun and drink a little too much.

We also celebrated my parents upcoming 50th anniversary, this Saturday is the big day!, while we were there. It's crazy to think they've been together for 50+ years. Our big, crazy family is in place all because two kids fell in love. They were 17 and 19 when they got married, so literally kids.

The rest of our week at the lake consisted of lots of swimming, a couple morning ski sessions, all the cold brew I could drink, and lots of cousin time. Harrison and Brooke love their older cousin, and S and C are pretty fond of him too. I wish we all lived closer, but it makes the time we do spend together even more special.

My oldest sister bought a poop emoji float for the kids that we dubbed the S.S. Dookie. The 3 older kids of course think it's the funniest thing ever and they spent the entire week floating on it, yet I managed to get no pictures, and jumping on it from the pier. We mastered jumping off the pontoon into the deep water and now it's all the kids want to do. That and go tubing. They'd really like to take the S.S. Dookie out to the middle of the lake or go tubing on it, but I'm a buzz kill and always vote safety first. There's a reason my younger brother calls me OLBK, old lady buzz kill. Safety first, then teamwork.

We had such a great time at the lake and before we knew it, it was time to come home and start getting ready for school to start. I hope my kids look back on these weeks with their aunts, uncles, and cousins and cherish them as much as I do.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Rainbow Bridge

Rob and I were married for just over a year when we decided we wanted to add a puppy. We researched breeds, decided a boxer would be the right fit for us, met Tyson, and the rest is history. His sweet demeanor won us over the minute we met him. What we didn't know at the time was just how special he really was, and that adding him to our family would change the course of our lives.

4 months after we got Tyson we decided he needed a dog sibling, so we started researching breeders and found a responsible breeder a few hours away with a littler of puppies only a few weeks old. As soon as we brought Layla home, she and Tyson were as thick as thieves. A couple months later we had the opportunity to adopt a young boxer who was no longer able to stay with his current family. Harley fit in very well with our young pups, and we became a 3 boxer family, plus one Chihuahua who was really more like a cat.

Having two other boxers in the house shined a light on how unique Tyson's personality was. When we opened the doggie daycare a year later it became even more apparent that he was special. Yes he had the same spunk and wiggly butt as all the other boxers we met, but there was also a gentleness about him that always remained. It was the same thing that we loved so much about him when we first met him at 11 weeks old and it was what we loved so much about him every day he was with us.

Over time our dog pack went from 4 to 2, and those 2 dogs were everything to us. They came to work with me every day for 6 years. They were my favorite couch buddies. My best friends and often sole source of comfort when we battled infertility. The best walking partners. They were the perfect big brother and sister when Brooke and Harrison arrived. 

Layla was always the crazy younger sister and Tyson remained the gentle old soul that he was. He always listened, never strayed far, and would help keep his sister in line. He was so tolerant of everything. Our kids could do just about anything to him and he would just lay there and take it. I don't ever remember him getting upset with the kids.

He had a really hard time when Layla got sick and passed away. It became obvious that he needed companionship we couldn't give him so we adopted Jules, and he hated her. Our gentle old man who loved everything and everyone did not like the new dog we brought into his home. It took him almost a whole month, but he eventually warmed up and decided he could tolerate her b/s. Tyson was almost 8 when we adopted Jules, and she added some puppy life back into his old soul. She turned out to be just what he needed. 

A year or so later, when I was pregnant with Scarlett and Clark, we started to notice some changes in his behavior. A constant need to drink water, more frequent potty breaks, accidents in the house (something that hadn't happened since he was 14 weeks old). The vet could't figure out what was causing the issues, so we just carried on. Over the next couple years his health continued to decline. An arythmia and hart murmur caused him occasional problems. He lost a significant amount of weight. He couldn't stand up straight anymore because it hurt his hips. His obsession with drinking became so severe that he was constantly drinking until he would throw up, then rinse and repeat. More tests, more blood work, medications, and finally after ruling everything else out,  our vet told us he had a tumor pushing on his pituitary gland causing a form of diabetes and that there was no course of treatment. We tried a last ditch medication hoping maybe our vet was wrong, but she wasn't.

We had a really great week with him at the lake and towards the end I could really see how uncomfortable he was. The bad days started to outnumber the good and we made the decision we couldn't let him suffer anymore. The night before I took him to the vet to say goodbye, we took him to one of his favorite places where we let him run and have a steak dinner. It was the happiest I had seen him in weeks. The next morning he and I got up early and went out for breakfast. He ate a pyramid of sausage biscuits and then we went for a short walk. I told him all about how he was going to see his sister in heaven soon. When it was time to say goodbye, he went quickly and peacefully while I stroked his sweet face. He was so gentle even as he left this world.

The night before he passed we had the kids say goodbye. Brooke was an emotional mess, which I was not prepared for, and I laid with her as she cried herself to sleep. Other than that night, Brooke and Harrison have been very strong when talking about Tyson being gone. We were upfront with them and told them exactly what was going to happen, right down to the cremation. I know Scareltt and Clark won't have any memories of him, but I hope the big kids do. He loved to be outside with them while they played. He would kidney bean anytime one of the neighbor kids wanted to give him a pet. He lived for being their dog. 

Every pet is special. They are all wonderful and give us unconditional love, but I feel that some of them touch our lives in ways that go beyond. Tyson was one of those dogs. The effect that he had on my life will never be forgotten, and I will always remember how wonderful he was. 

Our sweet Tyson-son, McNubbin, Doodle Butt, I hope you are running in heaven with your sister and all of your doggie daycare friends that passed before you. I hope there's squeaky tennis balls as far as the eye can see. I hope there's a lake with boat rides and a walk in beach so you can swim, but not really swim, as much as your heart desires. I pray you're at peace and aren't in pain anymore. Know that we will always think of you as the best dog we could have ever wished for, and we will always have you in our hearts.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Weekend

We have been looking forward to this weekend for months, because this weekend was when Harrison, Brooke, Scarlett, and Clark got to meet their baby cousin. While the big kids were at school on Friday I packed, cleaned the house, and ordered groceries for pick up so we could load in the van and go as soon as they got off the bus, and that's exactly what we did. The entire drive up to the lake they kept talking about how excited they were to meet Baby Bear. Then we got there and he was asleep, of course. It was probably better that way though because it gave Clark a little time to warm up to everyone, some of who he hasn't seen since he was only 1 month old, and settle into the change in surroundings. When the kids did meet Little Bear, it was adorable. It was a 5 way stare off with lots of smiles, giggles, and H and B shoving every toy Bear's way to try and gain his favor.

Once everyone was fully acclimated, we went to the town fish fry Friday night, and I was that person with two screaming toddlers the entire time. They were over hungry, over tired, over stimulated, and just not having it. As soon as we got outside, they were just fine, until Clark tripped and fell. Que bedtime.

Saturday morning we all woke up early, but happy. There was a lot more baby loving and a nice walk uptown and to the park. The weather was more fall like than summer, so the usual swim and boat all day didn't take place. The big kids did manage to squeeze in a swim with Uncle Matt while the babies slept. After naps we headed to my uncle's lake house, and an over stimulated meltdown happened again, and lasted basically all evening. We are definitely at the age where we like what we know and everything else is bad until proven otherwise. They did discover how great golf cart rides are, so that was a major plus. They also got to play with their little cousin who just turned a year old. The mutual fascination between the three toddlers was strong.

When we got back to the house it was well past the babies' bed time. Thankfully Rob showed up right after we got back and helped expedite bedtime for our 4 kids. Once they were asleep we got to enjoy a little adult time with my brother and sister in law. Who would have thought it's hard find time for adult conversation when there are 5 kids 5 and under running, or laying in Bear's case, around. ;) We played Exploding Kittens and in true tired parent form I called it a night before 11pm.

Sunday morning was the last of our time with my oldest sister and her husband before they headed back to Nashville. Our visits are always fun, but never long enough. Another quiet morning around the lake house ensued, and then during nap time Rob and I said sayonara and headed to Indy to see John Mayer's last show of this tour. It was a great show and the venue was packed. I've never seen Deer Creek so full. It was late by the time we made it back to Fort Wayne and I couldn't imagine driving another hour, so I crashed at home for the night and then woke up at 6am to drive back to the lake.

Lots more baby snuggles happened on Monday and it was finally warm enough for the babies and I to go for a swim. Bear took his first dip too, which was very sweet to watch. It made me reminisce on when all my kids took their first dip in the lake. H and B were only a week old when their toes first touched the lake water. :)

It was a great weekend and while my kids were ready to get home by Monday night, I was not ready for the weekend to be over. My siblings are all back home, the laundry is washed, and it is feeling more like fall than summer. Having Harrison and Brooke in kindergarten this year is definitely making it feel like summer is really over. No more heading to the lake on a random Tuesday when the temps make it into the 80s. I'm glad we had a fun, family filled weekend to send summer off the right way. And if the warm temps want to hang around a little bit longer, I'd be ok with that too.