Welcome Back… Finally!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

It has been half a year since I last blogged!

In my last post here, The Boyfriend and I weren’t having sex because I was at the very end of what felt like the longest pregnancy of my life. My posting had been sporadic for awhile and the process of carrying and birthing a child and adjusting to life with a new family member just took over entirely.

In August of 2016, we welcomed our fifth child into the world! Previously known as Baby #5, our fourth son, Cazzwell was born. Labor was short and painful and we were home within a day or so. He came exactly when we hoped he would even though we couldn’t have been less prepared – rushing around last minute to get a car seat and diapers and baby clothes.  We rushed so much that we entirely forgot to give him a middle name. He’s the only one of our kids without an amazing one!

The months that have followed his birth have truly been an awesome whirlwind. A bunch of the kids and I all had our birthdays one right after the other, I officially turned thirty, possibly the most boring and also sorta the greatest Christmas and New Year went by, my baby keeps growing up way too fast and finally, I shut down my website.

I fell out of love with everything about my blog. I hated the color, I hated the way things looked, I hated the disorganization that just naturally tends to occur whenever I blog for longer than a couple months. I expected that I would fall out of love with it all and I should’ve prepared for it, but of course, I didn’t. It resulted in a much longer hiatus than I had wanted!

However, those of you who may have seen my website prior to what I’ve dubbed #ReDesign2017, may have noticed that a lot of things have changed around here. There’s new categories (which you can learn more about here or by clicking on any of the categories in the menu at the top or bottom of the page), completely new types of posts and a lot of old ones updated to be better. The Archives have also undergone a major change to be a little bit more simple and again, better. And of course, the entire look and feel of the site has been overhauled.

I have a lot of big plans for the coming days and weeks ahead of us. Most importantly will be to add all new posts to all the new categories and continue the minor site improvements I’m making on the backend. I’ve never looked forward to returning to blogging as much as I did this time around and I’m absolutely excited for the future of ValerieRayne.com.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to get updates on new posts when I post them. And, if you like what you see and you’re excited for my return to blogging, let me know by liking this post and drop me a comment below! What are some posts that you’d like to see more of this year on ValerieRayne.com?

Where Did the Time Go?

The Rantings - For Everyone

I absolutely cannot believe that I haven’t written in over a month…! It does not feel like it’s been that long and it’s definitely not for lack of things to write about. June just whizzed by in a blur and while July has slowed down a lot, it feels like I haven’t had a moment for anything.

The summer started with dropping the older three kids off at their Dad’s. It’s been incredibly boring without them here and it’s probably the first time ever where they left and days later, I was missing them hard. It comes and goes in waves and sometimes, I’m relieved that they’re gone and sometimes, I just want my babies back. They’ve been there for about three or four weeks now and we’ve probably got another week until they come home. I cannot wait!

The Boyfriend also left shortly after they did, leaving Carter and I at home alone. He got an incredible opportunity to go train other managers up in the Northwest Territories. You have no idea how awesome it feels to say that my boyfriend had to go on a business trip. He wasn’t expecting me to be as supportive as I was and that made him very nervous about the trip. He spent two weeks up there and had a great time exploring this totally new-to-him place.

I knew I would start missing him pretty hard by about day three and I was totally right. The first couple of nights went by with ease and then that third day hit and it started dragging miserably to the point where it felt like it would never end. By day seven, we were both going pretty nuts and it became a bit of a battle to make it through the day without sadness over the absence. We’ve never spent that much time apart and I can’t imagine it happening very often in the future. It was such a relief the day we went to pick him up from the airport.

Carter and I had made a “Welcome Home, Daddy” sign and greeted him at his gate. I’ve never seen either of them look so happy as when they first saw each other. Unfortunately, he’s basically been working non-stop since he got back from the trip and only today has he finally gotten days off. We are both so excited about finally getting to spend some quality time together!

Have had a couple prenatal appointments over the last little while too and baby is doing really well. They sent me for another ultrasound – a biophysical profile to be exact. The last time I went for one of those, while I was pregnant with Kaeidyn, resulted in me being induced for labor the very next day – so I was a little nervous about it. All went well though and baby is looking great. Now we get to start doing prenatal appointments every week and we’ve only got about four weeks left!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to get this pregnancy over with. My body has ached like this, and worse, before now – but never has it made me so entirely miserable. I can’t wait to get this baby out of my belly and into my arms. I’m nothing but excited about the idea of having my baby here!

In other news, my house has never been and stayed this clean ever. I’ve even been tackling the huge amount of laundry that had piled up and I’m actually enjoying doing it, because it’s staying organized and tidy! Cleaning up after two people is a million times easier than cleaning up after six! I wish it was always this easy because I’d never have a problem getting it done. I’ve got a few little projects to do before the older kids get home but otherwise, my house has looked great for a while now and it definitely feels really nice!!

Ready to Get Back to Work

The Rantings - For Everyone

I hate these huge gaps between posts lately. I hate that I keep promising myself to change that and then just end up sucking at it. I hate that I’ve become such a huge slacker and that I want so desperately to change it but my body and mind just can’t seem to get on board with it.

I had spent quite awhile freaking out about baby stuff. We finally went in for the ultrasound that I had talked about in my last post and it went really well. It was fun because The Boyfriend got to come in for the whole entire thing and we got to watch it from beginning to end – two things that have never happened before.

All our worries were greatly relieved when we were told that everything is looking great. Baby’s heart is looking fine and he’s right on track for his growth. Now we’ve just got to go for the Glucose Screening Test and then probably another ultrasound closer to the end of the pregnancy.

The kids have all been a serious handful and a half these last few days, maybe even going on a couple weeks. We’ve left Kaeidyn to babysit a couple times while we ran to get coffees or whatever and the power goes to her head and she becomes little miss bossy, in the worst kind of way. It irritates the boys to no end and then she has the hardest time coming out of the wannabe-mommy-mindframe.

Carter is by-far the one that hates it the most. And he has just not been able to get along with anyone for anything. He’s constantly getting on someone’s nerves. He’s been really klutzy lately and has been hurting himself on a regular basis. He will literally sit at the top of the stairs and fall down them on purpose. He doesn’t even cry, just gets up and does it again. I tend to raise my voice in his direction a heck of a lot more than I’d like to.

Kenzie has been an emotional wreck and is prone to burst out into tears the moment he doesn’t get exactly what he wants. Lately, that seems to be going over to other people’s houses – whether it’s my Mom’s or a friend of his – and the moment you say “no”, he’s bawling on the couch. Or one of the kids will start copying him and he just breaks down in tears. It’s been days of calming him constantly.

Even Keirnan has been more of a pain in the butt than normal. He’s been noisier and has gotten to that terrible stage where he’s prone to hit long before even considering to use his words. And he is seriously getting so terrible for his lying, all the time, about everything. Even things that don’t need a lie. I don’t get it and I don’t completely get how to stop it either. We’ve tried all the tricks I remember from the other kids and they just don’t seem to be working…

The Boyfriend has the next two days off and we’ve got plenty of plans. First and foremost is a lot of cleaning. We have been seriously neglectful and I’m officially done with that. Upstairs, downstairs, laundry and yard – it’s all gotta get done. Then we’ve got dinner at both our Mom’s places, which I’m looking forward to, because I’ve been desperately wanting to get out of the house and have a reason to do so. I also hope that I can find time to focus some attention on my online stuff. I keep saying that I’m going to and then end up not and I’m just so ready to get over that. I’m so ready to get some work done!

Week of Nervous Wreckage

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Long time, no write! My apologies

It’s been a week, to say the least. Not necessarily a good week, not necessarily a bad week. It’s been a week that has been full of emotional ups and downs. It’s been a week that has me utterly exhausted and feeling pregnant in every inch of my body. It’s been a week that I am beyond ready to have over. And it’s definitely been a week that I haven’t wanted to write about (and I’m definitely not enjoying that.. the not wanting to write thing…).

We’ll start at the beginning, Monday. We had our second ultrasound to go to and we were all very excited. The older three kids were hoping to come along, but they ended up getting stuck out at their Dad’s for the day. Carter came with The Boyfriend and I. They waited out in the waiting room while I traveled back with the technician. It was a long ultrasound and after about forty-five minutes, she asked if we could do an internal ultrasound so that she could “check my cervix“. Another fifteen minutes passed and the official exam was over.

The technician helped me wipe up the cooled gel and told me I could go get The Boyfriend and she was just going to go talk to the doctor. It all started adding up in my head: super long ultrasound + external & internal ultrasound + talking to the doctor = something’s not quite right. I felt like a nervous wreck by the time I got to The Boyfriend and I grabbed his hand and whispered to him, “Something’s up…“. We went back into the room and I told him all the things I just told you and then we had to wait another fifteen minutes for the technician to get back, with no word about anything that had just happened.

Even though we had seen that our technician got beautiful pictures of our baby’s face, during the actual showing-to-us part of the exam, she seemed to be focused on the legs and the “cute” feet. Carter quickly lost interest in what was on the screen and The Boyfriend and I giggled and held hands tightly. She asked if we wanted to know the sex and we both enthusiastically said yes and we were told we’re having a boy – not exactly the news we were hoping for (especially the older three kids), but we’re happy nonetheless.

Baby #5 - It's a Boy - April 2016
Baby #5 – It’s a Boy – April 2016

We left and I bitched to The Boyfriend about the whole thing and we went and picked up the kids and all was good. Two days later, I got a call from my doctor’s office saying that they wanted me to come in early to discuss the results of my ultrasound. The nurse says to me, “It’s important you don’t panic“. I hang up the phone after booking my appointment and immediately burst into tears thinking the absolute worst things possible. Those words, “It’s important you don’t panic“, had me panicking more as I worried “Is it important I don’t panic because it could cause harm to me or the baby or is important I don’t panic because there’s nothing to panic about?!?” and I had a good forty minutes of absolute nervous wreckage!

So then, I whip out all my pregnancy books that I’ve accumulated over the years and spend the rest of the night searching up anything dealing with ultrasounds and cervixes. Had myself almost entirely convinced that I probably had an incompetent cervix and why were my doctors dealing with it so stupidly. I was greatly relieved when we went to our appointment and found out that that was not the issue at all.

Most babies umbilical cords have 3 vessels. In approximately 1% of pregnancies there are only 2 vessels. We are the 1%. 

At this point, we are not worrying about these results. We’re waiting to hear from the perinatologist to book a more in-depth ultrasound that will tell us whether or not there is anything to worry about. In 75% of pregnancies with a 2-vessel cord, the baby is born normal and healthy and fine, and at this present moment, there is nothing to indicate that we wouldn’t be in that 75%. And if we’re not, we’ll deal with that when we know for sure! After a drive out to Calgary, an even longer ultrasound and then a wait until our next prenatal appointment…

The kids have been a handful and a half, especially during the weekend when they were home and full of energy on the cold and rainy days we had. None of them are getting along very well at all right now and it is driving the parents batty. Carter and Kaeidyn are always at each other’s throats and his favorite thing to say to her is “Enough!“, which seriously pisses her off. Really, I suppose, it’s Carter not getting along with anybody else and they all constantly want to have space from him and he just really doesn’t like that.

Today was Kenzie’s birthday and we also got a new-to-us couch. We’ve been saying for months now, maybe even years, that we needed to get rid of our junk furniture and get new stuff and today we made the first huge strides. Finally threw out my broken and ratty lamp and got The Boyfriend to get a new one. Finally moved two couches that were super wrecked out of the living room and moved the new couch in, which resulted in us having to push everything else in the living room over to the right by about a foot. We plan to actually take all the junk furniture to the dump tomorrow, but after all the work we did today, I seriously needed a rest.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since the kids went to bed. My feet are up and I’ve been laying out for at least an hour now in hopes that the spasm in my hip will go away and the baby will stop pushing on me uncomfortably. The Boyfriend has been taking super good care of me so that I can relax after working so hard today and for that I am super grateful. It’s a good end to a full day!

The Last Couple Days

The Rantings - For Everyone

It’s been a good couple of days around here, even if it has felt overwhelming at times and even though I’ve been struggling with worry. The kids have all been a handful and a half, especially the boys who are not only getting on each other’s nerves but everyone else’s as well. Then, more visits to the doctor than I would like are keeping me awake at night, plus my body feels all tight and cranky, so I’m exhausted!

We went to our second prenatal appointment the other day. We were hoping to get some answers, like if I would be put on medication for high blood pressure, but instead the appointment just swung open the door to even more questions.

First, we brought all the kids in to hopefully listen to the baby’s heartbeat and the doctor tried and tried past the point of every one of the kids becoming bored and we just couldn’t get it. The Boyfriend felt uneasy about that, but that’s probably because we never had a problem getting Carter’s heartbeat – so it’s new to him. Then we discussed my blood tests, which showed that my red blood cells are large. So now we’re going for further blood tests to see if it’s a Vitamin B12 deficiency or liver disease or just pregnancy-related. And then we ended up ordering a 24-hour blood pressure monitor to get a definitive answer on that, and I pick that up in a day or two.

After about six years of not seeing a doctor to seeing one every other week… It doesn’t sit well with me! It makes me nervous and I just want it to be over and done with.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days trying to catch up on some the online things that I’ve neglected for a long time. Tumblr kind of distracted me and I spent the majority of my time deleting, tagging and organizing my Tumblr. It’s looking pretty good and I can’t wait to hop on over there later tonight and get adding more. I’ve got a Top 5 Tumblrs to do AND the winter #TumblrFavorites is almost ready to go!

I’ve also been playing a ridiculous amount of The Sims 4. The Boyfriend tried for days on end to get me to play and I just couldn’t find the interest, even after I downloaded another Stuff Pack. Finally, after the kids bogarted it for a few days, I decided to go on. Created a new family, because I can’t seem to stick with one anymore. However, something happened and I ended up losing that because it didn’t save. So today, I spent a huge portion of the day on it.

I’ve been meaning to take screenshots or videos or something of my gameplay, but the last couple of days I’ve just really wanted to focus on playing. I feel like there’s still so much of that game that I haven’t even come close to experiencing yet. So, I’ve been taking my time to really explore and have been focusing a lot on Clubs lately. I even made my own Club for the first time today and managed to have about four gatherings, which allowed me to get quite a few Club Perks. I’m finding Clubs to be a very interesting addition to the overall gameplay.

And I’ve even gotten quite a bit of cleaning done over the last two or three days. I’ve been making The Boyfriend deal with laundry and interrupt his gaming the moment I realize the machine is done. The kids, even though they’re not listening and fighting, are being helpful when I ask them to. Today, they did an amazing job getting the living room clean as long as I could keep Carter distracted.

He has just been in a bug everyone type of mood. He wants to be best buds with Kenzie and Keirnan, but neither of them really have an interest in him or any of his interests right now. They’ve all been super-competitive lately, each trying to out-do the other. One boy will say that he was good at something and the other boys will insist that they’re better or that his good thing was simply a fluke. Carter, because he’s hating being the youngest right now, seems to be the worst and always has to have the last word.

Kenzie has been ridiculously loud lately and I can guarantee he’s not even noticing it. Today, we were all sitting in the living room and the boys were playing relatively quietly. Kenzie starts to get louder and louder and louder, when the parents turn and ask him to quiet down. This happens probably three or four times before he gets in trouble for being so loud after being asked so many times not to. Immediately he breaks down in tears because he had no idea that he was getting louder. It’s only really weird because he’ll notice when everyone else gets louder and asks them to quiet down but can’t notice himself at all.

Keirnan has been violent a lot lately and has gotten in trouble quite a few times over the last few days because he deals with every single issue with his fist. Then, when he gets caught in the act or after the fact, doesn’t matter, he’ll try to fib his way out of it. I don’t know if I’d call it an out-and-out lie because he’s been pretty afraid of getting in trouble for that again, but it’s like he’s trying to manipulate the narrative to better the chances of someone else getting in trouble – usually Carter. I tell ya, boys are hard!

Kaeidyn’s been Kaeidyn. She’s been sleeping in a lot later and we’ve even had a couple mornings where the parents were out of bed before her. That hasn’t happened in ages. She goes for her babysitting course soon and she’s incredibly excited about that and she’s spent the last little while trying to talk me into letting her throw a baby shower for me, so it’s been a lot of, “When I get babysitting license I can start saving money” and “When I get money, I’m going to buy you the cutest thing for your party” and “We could play this game and this game and eat this food and invite these people” and just on and on. I love that she’s so excited for a baby though!

Well, I think I’ve talked about everything there is to talk about. Good talk 😉

Still Strange

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Why is it that The Boyfriend’s babies always cause me so much joint pain? With the three older kids, during my pregnancies, sure I was beyond sick and in the hospital almost all the time because of gallbladder pain or kidney infections or premature labor. But never once did I experience any joint pain with them whatsoever.

Get pregnant with Carter and almost immediately start having severe knee pain. It lasts the whole pregnancy and then some and my doctor becomes concerned that I’ve got arthritis. Then, the pain subsides and I have no real issues for almost five years. Then, I get pregnant this time and the joint pain is back with a vengeance.

It’s been near impossible to get a comfortable sleep for a good three or four nights now. From my hands and wrists really bugging me to that damnable knee pain. It’s absolutely terrible and by far, my least favorite part of pregnancies with The Boyfriend’s babies!

I’ve been feeling very blah lately too. Last week, I would’ve told you I was excited and nervous for pregnancy and babies. This week, I’m feeling like it’s not real and like I’m not ready for it all. I’m hella excited for the baby, I’m not excited at all for the toddler or the 5-year-old. I’m dreading those toddler years something fierce.

I keep trying to remind myself that it will be easier this time around, because our situation is so different. It will be easier because it will only be one toddler instead of a handful of them. It will be easier because there’s so many more eyes able to watch a toddler. It will be easier because I’m not nearly as stressed out by things now as I was back then. I have to keep remembering that it will be easier this time. However, it doesn’t take away from the dread I am feeling towards those years.

I still just can’t get over the fact that four pregnancies, I knew I was pregnant long before I took any tests. This pregnancy, it still doesn’t feel entirely real even though we’ve now had multiple positive tests AND we’ve even seen the baby. And yet somehow, it still doesn’t feel real. When I wake up in the morning feeling nauseous and sore and terrible, I never think to myself, “Oh, it’s because I’m pregnant!”. And what the heck is that about?!?

It’s so strange being pregnant again after so long of not being pregnant. I say it at least once a day. Everything just feels so new and different.

Introducing Baby #5

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I can’t believe that I haven’t written anything in such a long time. I kept meaning to and then everything kept getting in the way of it. First was a terrible start to the New Year with a lot of arguments and upset. I spent the first three days of January in tears. Then, I ended up being sick for a few weeks and my butt was being thoroughly kicked. Then, I found out some news that I wasn’t expecting and have only now started to end my total denial.

I kept asking, the whole three weeks that I was beyond sick, “Why is no one else getting sick?“. Usually colds or flus in our house go through each member of the family like clockwork. One person get sick and then the next one and then the next one, until it’s touched each and every one of us. But no one else was getting sick, just me. I was convinced that I was dying of some horrible disease and I was terrified of going to the doctor to find out that I was dying.

A friend of mine messaged me one night, concerned that I was still sick after so long. Together, we went hunting around the internet to find out what was wrong. At the time, my symptoms included severe breast pain and constant nausea. The only things we could find that fit my symptoms were either PMS or pregnancy. After a long conversation, I finally gave in and asked The Boyfriend to bring home a pregnancy test.

I honestly did not think that I was pregnant, at all. Over the last six years, we’ve had many “scares”. And every time, I get the pregnancy test and it comes back negative and the next day, my period starts. I just assumed that that would happen again. As the lines for positive popped up before I had even finished, I began to shake and sweat. It was not what I was expecting.

Telling The Boyfriend was fun. He was sleeping and I went up immediately and woke him up. He rolled over and smiled at me like he always does and I said, “So, you ready for baby #5?” and he took a few minutes to realize that we only had four kids, so obviously that must mean she’s pregnant. A huge smile spread across his face and stayed there for easily a week. He’s been entirely excited by the whole thing.

We told all our family that same day. His Mom and Sister were first, because we knew we’d get nothing but support from them. Then, we told my Mom and her reaction was exactly what I had expected it to be. I knew that his side of the family would be happy – for him, it’s only really his second child. My family, on the other hand, thinks I should’ve gotten my tubes tied years ago. Plus, my Mom always starts out disappointed and then quickly comes around to being my biggest supporter.

We went for our first prenatal appointment. My blood pressure was pretty high, so the doctor asked if I could check my blood pressure over the next two weeks and then come back in for another appointment. We were hoping it would give some clear answer as to whether or not I should be medicated for high blood pressure at this point, but it didn’t. So, now we’re ordering a 24-hour blood pressure monitor to get a more accurate picture of what’s going on.

We also got to go for our first ultrasound. It was such a fast experience but The Boyfriend and I were ecstatic to get to see the baby and it was even more exciting to come home and show the other kids, who are all incredibly excited about having a baby in the house. Everyone but Carter is hoping that it will be a girl, because we have enough boys!

This week, we go for blood tests and then next week is our second prenatal appointment. I keep saying that it feels like doing it all for the first time – even though I’ve been pregnant four times before this. It’s interesting to see how much has changed for pregnant people in the last six years. At first, the uncertainty of it all really terrified me, but now I’m embracing it a little more and feeling a bit more comfortable.

It’s going to be so strange to have a baby around after so long of not having babies around…