the Maxwell's

the Maxwell's
Us at Easter 2012

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Phase Two of the Craziness

We have now entered phase two of the craziness. Before I talk about the craziness that is to come, I'd like to tell you about the end of phase one of the craziness. On Tuesday November 17th Josh flew from Atlanta to Philly and then drove up to Albany for his Nanas viewing and service. He then drove back down to Philly Wednesday afternoon and flew back down to Atlanta that night. I, along with a few of my friends, left super early Thursday morning and drove down to Atlanta so we could attend Josh's graduation on Friday morning. It was so amazing being at the home office for Josh's graduation. We got to take a tour of the home office and hear great stories of the beginning of Chick-fil-A. It made me even more grateful to be a part of such an amazing company. Then came graduation time. It was more like a party than a graduation. There was no sad sounding entrance song. Instead, it sounded like each Operator was being announced at a major league baseball game. It was so great and I was fighting back tears the entire time.
Josh was chosen by his peers to be the graduation speaker. I have no doubt that all those men have great stories, but I never tire of listening to his story. He did a great job sharing all that the Lord has done in his life over the years and what the Lord is doing now. He embarrassed me greatly with a little shout out to me, but I knew I was going to cry no matter what and so I let the tears flow. As great as it was hearing him speak, it was just as great sitting in a row with 4 people how have all played an active roll in his growing with CFA. Friday was also heard because my mom was having open heart surgery. She had to have a triple bypass and it was really hard to be away. But she reassured me that I was suppose to be in Atlanta and God gave me a great peace about her surgery. After shedding a few tears after I got off the phone with her, I felt God tell me "It's OK. I got this." and I was able to relax.... sort of. Josh spent a few days in Florida for Operator coach week, came home for thanksgiving, and then flew out early Monday morning. And so begins "Phase two of the craziness". Josh has officially started in his store in Jackson and has been spending the past few days getting into the swing of things. I am now trying to get back in the routine or kids, work, and packing. One great communal living perk is that I have been able to pack 90% of my kitchen stuff because Jess can just unpack hers stuff so we aren't missing anything. I still have a lot of packing to do, but I know it will all get done... eventually. Prayer: For a house. There are a few places we have been in contact with so now it's just making sure josh has time to look at them all and choose the right one for us. God has called us to Jackson so I know that he already has a place lined up for us so I have stopped worrying about it. Good time management. There are nights when I have no desire to do anything let alone pack. Please pray that I make good choices and have to energy to get everything done. Peace as we say goodbye to all our friends and family. This time of the year is busy for everyone and add moving across the country to that and it makes it a bit much to bear. Needs: Washer dryer. Most of the places have a W/D hook up just not the appliance themselves. So if you know someone who is selling a set for a good price, please let us know. Loading day help. The plan is to get the moving truck packed on Sunday the 27th. We'll need help packing the truck as well as taking apart all the beds. Moving help: We also need a few people to come with us to help us on the trip. We need at least one person so we can pick up josh's car when we get to Nashville. And it would be great to have someone in my car to help with the kids. ideas/supplies for car ride: I had stared a list of things that I will be needing for the car ride to make the trip for the kids fun. If you have any great ideas, please share or if you have some old clip boards or Magna Doodles you are no longer using please pass them my way. Thanks all for now. Thank you so much for spending the time to read about our lives. We know that everything is in Gods hands and my prayer is that no matter what, He will be glorified.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our journey so far

I have decided to dust off my old blog in order to document this journey our family is on. Most of you know by now that my wonderful husband has been selected as the owner and operator of the Old Hickory Mall Chick-fil-A in Jackson Tennessee. This has been a crazy ride so far and it's only going to get crazier. As of right now Josh is down in Atlanta for his training. He has been there since mid October. He will be graduating from that class on November 20th which I get to attend with a few of my chick fil a friends. From there, he will drive to Jackson and conduct his interviews that weekend. Because he is the new operator he gets to choose who stays and who goes. Starting on that Monday he will be in Florida for his coaching week. He will come home for Thanksgiving (hooray), spend a few days with the family, but then he is back to Jackson to start in his store December 1st. He will fly back for Christmas and then we will all make the move to Jackson a few days after Christmas. Did you catch all that? Me neither. But so far everything has been working out. He has a great group of guys with him in his class, and I am holding down the fort with lots and lots of help. For me, I am working full time to help support our family. While Josh becoming and operator is what we have been working for, these weeks of him in training is unpaid. I have been blessed to be able to work at the Delran Chick fil A with a great staff who has been helping me in learning the business but also have been great friends while I am missing my best friend. I am going to miss them greatly. I also have some amazing women in my life who have sacrificed their own time (and sanity) to watch my kids so I can work. To work full time and then have to pay for sitting would be counter productive so these people are blessing my family more than they can imagine! For now, that is what sums up what has been going on with us. Some people have asked how they can be praying or if there was anything that we needed. I want to keep people posted on everything that's going on but don't want to shout it out over social media so this is where I am going to post prayer requests and needs. Here are some prayer request: For josh: He will be traveling a lot over these next two months. Pray for safety and that his car can make the trip. Also on Wednesday night josh's Nana passed away. He will be flying up for the viewing on Tuesday, staying for the service on Wednesday and then flying back down so he can graduate. Please pray for all his travels and for the time with his family. For me: That I keep my priorities God, Family, then everything else. I am struggling balancing it all and I'm getting my focus out of wack For the kids: With me working most days and having a different person watching them, they lack structure and consistency and it has taken a toll on them. Please pray they stay resilient and forgiving of my absents. Pray we find a house. We have put in an application for a house that, in our eyes, would be perfect for us. But it is in the Lords hands. We are getting down to a time crunch and it would be great if I could cross that off of my "to do" list. Need other than prayer: Packing stuff (boxes, papers, tape, motivation, etc) I will do my best to pick this stuff up or you can drop it at my place any time. Child care help: Like I said before I have a few great ladies who watch my kids but there are times when I need someone to help fill the gaps. It's hard for me to ask for help, but I know that I need to so if you are willing to help me when I am in a sticky situation please let me know. That's all for now. Thank you in advanced for all your prayers and help. Christmas will be here before we know it.... and then we will be gone. I am not ready.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sick Season Helpful Hints

OH Fall. What a beautiful season. The leaves change, the air smell good, and the sicknesses comes and invade our homes. Oh wait, that last ones not so great. But odds are if you have kids you will be dealing with vomit. Some are lucky and have the "One and Done". Others have the "I'm going to vomit all through the night". And others have the "You have plans but I'm going to vomit on you". Needless to say there is no good time for vomit. I think anytime we get in the car or go to the store and do not have a vomit incident we should count our blessings. As a mother of 5 I have dealt with my fair share of vomit and I would like to pass my wisdom onto you. Some of these things you may already know but hopefully I can suggest one thing that will make your vomit days a little easier. Pre vomit prep work Now is the time to get ready for the vomit season. First things first. Waterproof Mattress Protectors: Mattress protectors are great but having a waterproof one is even better. Yes they can be expensive but they are well worth the investment. The protector goes with the next step. Mattress protectors are also great to put on the couch where your sick kid will be camped out for the next few days. Bedding Sandwich: When your little one vomits you will have to change the bedding and having the bedding sandwich will help with the middle of the night bed change. Start with a protector over the mattress then a fitted sheet. Then put another protector and then another sheet. If you don't want to invest in that many protectors (because you have 5 kids like I do) then you could use pee pads or towels in the sandwich. Remember to do this BEFORE there are any signs on the vomit. Once the sickness has started then feel free to add more layers. Same can be said for the pillows. Layer with towels and protectors. Emergency Detergent: Worst case scenario you have a sick kid, go to the washer to start the load of vomit filled sheets and you are almost out of detergent. This is no good because you know you are going to have to do more and how are you going to get to the store with a sick kid? So do yourself a favor and the next time you are at the store pick up a bottle of detergent and stash it in your closet. Puke buckets: How many of us have caught vomit in our hands or used their blanket as a vomit catching device? Having strategically placed buckets will help with this. Put one under each of your kids beds. I tell my kids that they are there not because I think they are going to grab it when they get sick but because I don't want them to find them and think it's a fun toy, play with it and then it's not around when I need it. I also want the kids to understand that these are germ bowls that they are not to touch so they don't get sick. It is also important to have one of these in your car. Maybe one day I'll share the story of how I caught vomit in the car. The dollar store has great big plastic bowls that work great to catch vomit so stock up. Towels: Stash some towels under the bed with the bowl. Open windows: With the temperatures dropping the windows are being shut and the heat is being kicked on. That 70 something degree room is the perfect place for all those germs to thrive. So once a week open up those windows for about 15 minutes and air it out. Good things to have on hand: Disinfectant spray and wipes, an extra comfort item, crackers, Pedialyte, carpet cleaner (because sometimes it doesn't make it into the bowl, hand sanitizer (for those emergencies when another kids touches a sick kids puke bowl or sippy cup) Dress you and the kids appropriately: Ones kids are sick try to put clothes that are easy to get on and off and if possible don't need to go over their heads (or can slip off easily like older siblings t-shirt) Keep this in mind when you are getting dressed. Ask for help: We have all been there and things can get a little overwhelming. It doesn't matter if you have one sick kids or 5 there are some things you will need help with so be humble and ask for it. Tell your husband what you need from him. He can't read your mind and you may look like you have it all together so he may need a little guidance in the helping out department. Or you can let your friends know whats going on maybe someone could drop off a meal or run to the store so get some ginger ale or food for the B.R.A.T diet once you kids want to start eating again. As a mom we are constantly giving 100% of ourselves and when we have sick kids it jumps to 200%. If there is something someone else can do to help elevate the stress please ask for it. As of now that is all I can think of. I'm sure you all can think of something that you do that helps you get through this sick time so please share what has worked for you. Praying all of your families stay healthy and puke free this winter season.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NOT mom enough

While going through my news feeds on facebook I came across this blog and the topic was about being "mom enough". There isn't a day goes by that I don't feel like I am "enough" and that was before I had 4 kids. I am a sinful human and everyday, there are moments when I try to be enough. After reading this blog, I took a look around and I thank the Lord that I am no enough and that HE is because I am a big fat fail right now. Because I have two sleeping babies in the house unattended....
Laundry that is clean and folded and yet will sit on the landing for a few more days.
Dinner dishes still on the table (notice my nutritious dinner of a bowl of cereal and a glass of pepsi)
Finn playing outside with a dirty face and wearing a wet and dirty hat to complete is mismatched clothes because he already got his first pair of pants sopping wet.
Joshua with dinner still on his face
and shoes on the wrong feet. I look at all that, and all I can say is that I am thankful that my kids have more then me. They have a Savior who loves them and I can only hope and pray that they will one day choose to live their lives for Him. I know that I am not mom enough but I am thankful that I have a God who is enough and who gives more that enough.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

30 weeks and counting

I have no idea where the time has gone. One day I am reading a positive pregnancy test, the next I am taking the elevator instead of the steps at work. What is going on?
Today we had our 30 week check up but we are trying out a new OB. After our last visit with the PA OB I felt very defeated and like they were not even willing to talk about options. Today's visit was with Cherry Hill OB and let me tell you.... it was a great experience. I have not been so happy with an OB practice since I lived in Nevada. The doctor we talked to today was so nice and very informative. When I told her that both babies she said "Well you're 30 weeks so you still have lots of time for the babies to turn." That is the first time a doctor has said anything like that to me! She said that she understands why I would want to do a vaginal birth and that the recovery would be better especially with 2 little ones at home. I have another appointment with them next week and I am going to talk to them about any methods they recommend or have seen work for spinning breech babies. So now, instead of delivering in PA I will be delivering Virtua in Voorhees. Is there a chance I am going to have to have a c-section... yes but do I have a hope that if these babies turn they will encourage a vaginal delivery... yes. Ultimately I want whatever is best for these babies. I want them to come out safe and healthy!
Please continue to pray for the babies and for me as I grow bigger and slower every day. The boys don't really understand what is about to happen, but Joshua is super cute cause he always wants to kiss my belly or talk to the babies. He is already a big help with throwing away Finns diapers of finding a cup, so I think he is going to like helping me with two little ones.
On another positive note, Joshua is doing a great job in the potty training department. He is even waking up from nap with a semi dry pull up. Instead of having 4 kids in diapers, I will only have 3! That's exciting!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kidney News

Today we had yet another ultra sound. Waiting for this scan has been the hardest so far. I trust that the Lord is knitting my little babies together and I know He has a plan for their lives, I just have a hard time being in the dark when it comes to their health. It really is amazing how much I love these two little ones and I have never even met them.
Today we were very blessed to have a very nice ultrasound tech (we haven't really had a bad one yet). This time we knew that we were looking for the cysts on the right kidney so as soon as we got there she was very good about answering our questions.
This is his left kidney. It looks good and free of cysts.

This is his right kidney. All the black circles are the cysts that are taking over his kidneys.

Bad news is he has what is known as a multi-cystic kidney. This means the kidney is unable to function like it should.
The good news is his left kidney has NO cysts which means it is functioning just fine and it working doubly as hard to make sure he has fluid. And his fluid is measuring great as well as his weight. He is 2lb 9oz.
So whats the plan?? We are now going to meet with a pediatric urologist to see what steps will need to be taken once he is born. According to what we have been reading he could have it surgically removed, or we can have it monitored it with ultra sounds to see if it shrinks away into nothingness (since it doesn't function) and to make sure that it doesn't develop tumors. My plan is to make some calls tomorrow to see how we will be seeing.
Some other high points- The are both in the 45% in terms of weight. I love that they are growing well but it makes me more uncomfortable. 4 weeks ago I was measuring 27 and this time I am measuring 32 so needless to say I HAVE POPPED! I just posted some belly pictures so I will spare you of having to look at more. But I do have some pictures of the kids.
Baby Boy face

Baby boy profile (he has his arm up over his head)

Baby girl face

Baby girl profile (she also has her arm over her head)

After the high risk we drove over to our regular OB. After waiting an hour, we had 5 minutes to talk to the doctor. Because both babies are still breech he made it very clear that it is going to be a c-section. I have slowly been coming to that realization but to hear him say it made it all very real. It honestly scares me. I have never had a c-section, neither of my sisters have had one, and I don't know very many women who have had a c-section. Since it seems to be inevitable that I am going to have to have a c-section, I might as well deliver closer to home then driving to no mans land PA. More doctors, more waiting, more ultrasounds.... Such is life being pregnant with twins.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

tracking the twins thus far

Seeing that I am now 28 weeks, I should probably fill you all in on what has happen so far.
August- One day I fell asleep at 6pm so I thought to be safe I should take a pregnancy test. SURPRISE!!! I'm pregnant.

September- Go to the shore with my family and tell them by making shirts with a 1 for joshua, a 2 for Finn, and a 3 for me.
September 21st- We have our ultra sound and....Surprise it's twins.

October- another ultra sound. Both babies look good and have strong heart beats.

Me at 14 weeks

November- We switch to a new OB practice in Montgomery county PA. It's a little bit of a drive but they have two doctors who are trained to deliver breech and two untrained... so we have a 50/50 chance at being able to deliver naturally like we want.
Me at 20 weeks

December we find out "it's a boy and it's a girl"!!!!! For the first time I was right. I had been thinking it was one of each. It's nice to think about having a little girl who will (hopefully) be loved and protected by her three brothers. After letting the good news sink in, the high risk doctor comes in and tells us that the little boy has a two-vessel cord. What that means is that he is not getting as much blood flow as the little girl which can result in slower growth of organs (heart, lungs, kidney's) which can cause low birth weight or other medical complications. So they sent us to CHOP to have a fetal echo cardiogram just to get everything checked out. That experience is a different story for another day, but we did find out that everything looks good. His organs are growing fine and they didn't see any issues with the heart. They will double check his heart when he is born but other then that there is no other follow up needed. PTL!
The end of December- We go back to the high risk (because of having twins I get ultra sounds every four weeks) get to hear the good news again that the two- vessel cord has not effected him. Now comes something else. When they were looking at his Right Kidney they saw that he had developed some cysts which could mean- absolutely nothing because they will go away or on the flip side it could effect the function of his kidney and we would have to see a pediatric urologist to see what steps need to be taken when he is born. At this point there is nothing I can do but wait and see. We have another ultra sound on Thursday and we will get to see if they have gone away or gotten bigger. Since getting this news, I have had to come to a lot of hard realizations. I have been so overcome by the thought of having two little ones in my home, I never really focused on what could really happen. Will they both be ok? Will I come home with one, two, any babies or will they have to be in a NICU? What kind of special medical attention are they going to need after they are born? ect. I am sad to say that my worries have gotten the best of me. I find myself becoming over whelmed with the "what if's" of it all.
January- me at 25 weeks

And now on Thursday we go back to the high risk to find out about how his kidney is doing. I am thankful that we have an early appointment and we get the results right then and there. We might have to wait in the room for an hour for the doctor (again another story for a different day) but at least we (should) have some answers.
Now that you are all caught up, I will hopefully be able to post updates more often so you all can see my humongous belly. I also want to check with Josh and make sure it's cool if we tell everyone the names.