This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

McKenzie showing off her 49er pride

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bottle feeding!!!

Today we starting going to visit McKenzie during the daytime instead of our usual nightly visits. This is mainly because we are going to be starting school for the girls on Tuesday and need them to be able to go to bed at a decent time and not 1130pm like we have been doing the past week or so. Not that they are complaining :-)

When we arrived today, McKenzie was awake and ready to get a feeding of Pedialyte from a bottle. I am not a big fan of the bottle, but it is a step in the right direction to transition to the breast. She was given 5 mL of clear Pedialyte to see how it would go through her system and drank about 4 mL of it. She had trouble staying awake so I had to massage under her chin to get her to start and continue sucking on the nipple. She is only 35 weeks today but she did so good. Being able to drink from the bottle and swallow without chocking is a great accomplishment.

We all enjoyed our time with McKenzie. Mike cycles the girls in 25 minutes at a time since you can only have 2 people at the isolette. The nurses McKenzie has are FANTASTIC!!! When Montana comes in they don't say anything about her not being 3 years old yet. Mikayla loves to rub all over McKenzie, her face, hands, ears, and head. She also talks non-stop to her the whole time she is at her bedside. Madison usually has lots of questions about what the numbers mean on her screen, what she is hooked up too, and what's going on with the other babies in the NICU. Marie just sits quietly and doesn't do too much talking, must be a pre-teen thing. I have learned that at this stage and age to ask open ended questions.

Still no stool but the x-ray this morning shows that it is there she just needs to pass it. Hopefully the Pedialyte will get things moving a bit more. Everyday is something new, a step in the right direction to coming home!!!

Friend Making Monday ~Fall favorites

It's time for Friend Making Monday hosted by Amber over at aefilkins. This week we are sharing some of our fall favorites and here are mine.







Sunday, September 6, 2009

All smiles...

Or is it just gas like Aunt Janice says :-) Probably a little bit of both. McKenzie had a great day today, she weighed in at 5 pounds even and she is completely off all medicine, including Tylenol. She is regulating her own body heat inside of her isolette, which is a step in the right direction toward getting an open crib.

1 week old: 5 lbs, 1oz

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Shopping for McKenzie

Today we ventured out to Babies R Us and picked out some items for McKenzie. We all had a great time shopping and picking out the necessities for her. Mike and I donated all but a few special clothes that all the girls have worn way back in 2007 when we thought we were done having kids. What were we thinking!?! Here are a few of the goodies we picked for McKenzie.

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*this was my first time using the picasa collage program so it's a bit choppy, but I will work on it*

She tooted!!!

McKenzie is off the ventilator and she is passing gas!!! The nurses took her off the ventilator at 330pm Thursday. I got to hold her for the first time since Monday, and let me tell you, as soon as she was in my arms I was like Old Faithful and my milk starting letting down. Uncomfortable to say the least but I will take it!!! She was fussy and it turned out that she had gas. Since that was the first time she passed gas she cried her little cat cry and passed more gas. This is great news since that means she has bowel sounds and the intestine is starting to work. She is doing really well and she is being weened off the narcotic drugs, that sometimes suppress the urge to breathe on your own. The tube in her nose is draining the bile from her stomach and it is starting to lighten up from the dark greenish-black color. Once it is clear she will be able to take breast milk from a feeding tube, then a bottle, and finally from the breast. Her sucking reflex is already present because she does take her soothie sometimes.

I rocked her for about 3 hours in the rocking chair. Mike would cycle the girls in and out so that everyone got a chance to see and touch her. McKenzie is still bloated from all the fluids she is getting and it is especially noticeable in her face. Madison & Mikayla were picking out who's features McKenzie has. She has the same unattached ears, eyebrows, puckered lips, etc. as the girls. Mikayla then says, "Hey, she has the same chin as Daddy" (referring to Mike's double chin). Gotta love it!!!

Today we are venturing out to Babies R Us to get some onesies, receiving blankets,the all important binkie in which Montana is in charge of picking out, and other necessities. Yesterday we found a cute thick pink blanket at Target as well as cleaning out of there supply of Preemie diapers. McKenzie looks big on the pictures but in person is a peanut. She can fit in both of Mike's hands comfortably. We can't wait to get her home, I don't think I will ever put her down :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

McKenzie Update

McKenzie is snug as a bug in her isolette. I didn't take a picture as she was still on the ventilator last night when we saw her. The "vent", as it is called in the NICU, is still in because her team of Dr's want to ween her off the meds slowly. They keep reassuring us that it is not because she has anything wrong with her lungs, since she has been breathing "room air" since birth.

She had a bout with low blood pressure and swelling yesterday morning because of the IV Bolus she was given during surgery. The fluid in her cells built up and expanded, but it was quickly under control and the swelling was gone when we arrived. Even though she is sedated she can still hear us and she has control of her bodily functions. She was moving her arms and opening her eyes peaking at us.

We will call at 1pm and get an update from the Dr.'s. Once she gets off the vent I will be able to hold her again. Hopefully we will be able to do some "Kangaroo Care" where she sleeps directly on my chest, skin to skin, recreating the feeling of being still in the womb. Studies have shown that using this type of hold releases chemicals that will feed her brain, causing it to develop better and speeds the recovery/growth rate.

Friend Making Monday ~A bit late

So I found Amber's blog, aefilkins by accident this morning and I am so glad I did! She hosts a Friend Making Monday meme were she asks 20 questions. Here is what she says:

"If you know anything about me, you know I'm kinda nosey. For instance, I like to know random details about people's lives and just how they live. I sometimes wonder if people get tired of me asking the most random version of '20 questions' in the history of anything. I like to know how people live their lives."

Check out my answers to this weeks questions, then head on over to her site and link up with your own.

1. Do you cook every night?
Usually, yes. I normally don't cook on Fridays, we usually have leftovers.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?
Tide HE a must for the washer. Dreft HE for the baby's clothes.

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?
With 7 people in the house, doing laundry daily is a must (except on Sundays). When I get behind it's crazy trying to get caught up. I usually put a load in the night before and then just press the start button when I go downstairs in the morning.

4. How often do you eat out per week?
Lately too much. Normally, just once a week or less.

5. Where do you usually eat out?
McDonald's, Burger King, Chinese food, or Subway.

6. What is your favorite retail store?
♥Target♥ I have been known to stimulate there economy

7. What's your favorite thing to drink?
Diet Pepsi and Cherry/Cola Slurpee's

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?
Everyday,Prenatal vitamins.

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?

10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc}

Yes, all the girls except McKenzie :-) I just ordered the Managers of Their Chores book by Steve and Teri Maxwell. I am in the process of implementing the chore packs for the girls. Currently they have a few set chores that they do regularly throughout the week and then we have our work day on Saturdays.

11. Do you go to church?

Yes. We have not found a church home yet since moving to VA, but we are working on it.

12. Do you have a housework schedule?
No, I am a list maker. I think the chore pack will help me with a schedule.

13. Do you keep a working budget?
Yes, I have too. We went down to one income since the move so I try to stick to my budget. Some months are better than others, but it's a learning process.

14. What do you do at night as a family?
We eat dinner together, baths for the girls, watch TV or play the Wii, laugh, read books, etc.

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?

I usually start planning on Saturdays and then fine tune on Sunday night.

16. What do your mornings look like?
My schedule has been thrown off a bit, but usually I awake between 530-545am, pray and have my quiet time. I shower and tidy up the room then head downstairs and check the email and blogs I read. At 7am I start cooking breakfast. We eat breakfast at 730am and then get morning chores done and will start school by 815am.

17. What time do you get up in the mornings?
Between 530-545am.

18. What time do you go to bed at night?
Trying to get to bed by 1030pm, but usually it's more like 1130pm.

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazines, ads, etc}
I have a basket for mail, I do the bills online, and then I am working on a binder filing system (will blog about it when I finally get it in place).

20. How do you keep your household organized? {calendars, charts, etc}
I keep a calendar on the refrigerator, one on my office desk, a planner in my purse, and I use the calendar on my Blackberry. Probably a bit anal, but it works for me:-)

Wordless Wednesday ~ I'm a BIG sister!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Faith McKenzie Caffey

just after delivery:

Born Friday, August 28, 2009 at 942AM at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. Faith was born a preemie at 33 weeks 4 days and weighed 4 pounds 13 oz, 17 inches long. We are all excited to have Miss Faith in the world and can't wait to spoil her just like her sisters. She is doing well after her surgery on Monday to correct the obstructed bowel that was found at 32 weeks gestational. I will post her birth story within the next few days and give daily updates for her progress in the NICU to come home. Thanks for all the prayers we all really appreciate it!!!

all cleaned up in Mommy's arms: