Archer’s trip to the hospital

On January 24th I took Archer to the doctor for a cough. He had been coughing for a few days but it didn’t seem like a big deal. I was primarily taking him as a precaution since we were headed into the weekend. I’m so glad I did. He ended up being diagnosed with RSV, which came as a total surprise to me. We immediately put him on steroids and breathing treatments. He was doing so well, we anticipated we would be able to treat it at home with no problem. He did great the rest of Friday and Saturday. Except for his little cough he didn’t seem to be sick at all. However, by Saturday night he really began to struggle. Sometime during the night he stopped eating and would wake up screaming and inconsolable. By 7 a.m. I realized that we needed to get him to the hospital. I took him to Baptist hospital here in Edmond because it is so close to where we are living. They immediately told me that he would need to be transferred and admitted to Baptist downtown. That meant an ambulance ride across town.  I may have started to freak out a little at this point as lots of difficult memories started coming back.  By 11 a.m. we were in our room at Baptist.


Archer on Friday after seeing the doctor

By that time he was really struggling to breathe. His lungs were so tired and he was having to use all his tummy muscles to help. The doctor saw Immediately and put him on vapotherm, which is a heated and humidified high flow oxygen, hoping to help his lungs out enough to slow his respirations down. At this point I had stop trying to feed him because he was breathing so hard and fast. They put in an IV and started him on fluids.

I could tell from the moment we arrived on the floor that our nurse wanted to get rid him as quickly as possible.  He was way too little and too sick to have on the floor and she knew it.  She kept hovering over him and saying “he’s really working hard.”  We were only on the floor a couple of hours when the doctor decided that he needed to be in the PICU. He anticipated that Archer was going to get too tired to breathe on his own a would need to be intubated. This scared me to death. I was already having a hard time dealing with the fact that we had to ride over in the ambulance and that my little guy was being admitted to the same hospital where we spent so many months with Lilly. However, when we got to the PICU, I immediately had a peace about the whole situation. The doctor did not immediately intubate, to my great releif, and all the staff were friends from our Lilly days. It was so reassuring and comforting.  Despite all my fears and reservations, the Lord knew the whole time that we needed to be in the PICU at Baptist.  All the time knowing Archer would be strong enough to breathe on his own without additional help and only Mommy and Daddy needed the comfort and familiarity of the PICU.  Only HE is big enough to turn my biggerst fear (the PICU) into my greatest comfort!!


Still my happy boy!

Once archer was moved to the PICU, my parents decided to go ahead and come into town. My mom and Scott stayed with him Sunday night. It was a lot of work keeping him swaddled so he wouldn’t move around and would sleep as much as possible so his lungs wouldn’t have to work so hard. By Monday, he had obviously made it through the scariest part. He was past the danger of being intubated even though he was still laboring pretty hard to breathe. Me, Scott, and my mom rotated in and out of the hospital so we could all take care of Archer and the girls. My dad held down the fort at home–keeping the house clean, kids fed, and helping Liberty with school so she wouldn’t get behind. The doctor kept us in the PICU because they were so busy on the floor. This was such a huge huge blessing. There are obviously fewer patients in the ICU, which means we had fewer germs to contend with and Archer continued to be cared for by nurses we know and love!

Still happy and waiting to be discharged

By Wednesday he was almost back to normal. He was breastfeeding great and was being weaned from all the oxygen. Although he still had a cough he was doing really great and we were sent home Thursday morning.
I can’t believe how quickly he got sick and equally how quickly he recovered. As hospital visits go, it had to be one of the best experiences. I truly did not anticipate being in the hospital with my 6 week old, but it couldn’t have gone better. I am so thankful for my parents who made it so much easier on the girls and for amazing nurses to who immediately welcomed us as old friends and put us as ease. Not to mention our dear friends who brought us food throughout the week and prayed without ceasing for our entire family. We are so grateful.

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Operation Potty Train Emory — Complete!

love her!
On Jan. 2, against my will, we started potty training Emory. Scott has been on me about it for months but I was definitely not going to start whilst pregnant! I promised him I would start in Jan whether I wanted to or not. I don’t know why, but it just seemed like such a daunting task. Thankfully God gave me Liberty. As it turns out, it’s not as hard to be a mommy when one of my children is Liberty Grace. She basically potty trained Emory–taking her to the bathroom a hundred times a day for two weeks :). I was telling Scott the other day that Emory was basically trained and told him Liberty did about 80% of the work while I only did 20%. She promptly disagreed saying I only did about 1% :). I told her I get extra credit for the day I had to clean poo off the kitchen floor! She conceded. So we have one less kiddo in diapers and I’m so glad its behind us. My girls are getting so big!
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Archer – One Month Old

I cannot believe my sweet baby man is already a month old! Why is it when I’m pregnant a month seems like an eternity and once the baby is here time warps by at an unreasonable pace?   
I am more in love with this little guy everyday. I still have trouble believing I actually have a BOY!  So far he has been so sweet and easy.  He sleeps anywhere from 2-4 hours at a time although the 4 hour stretches are still pretty rare.  Typically during the day he still wants to eat every 2-3 hours.  I wish I knew how much weight he’s gained.  He looks enormous to me already.  He has almost outgrown most of his newborn clothes.
This is my favorite outfit 🙂

There are times when he is awake that he will sit happily and just look around.  However, most of the time he prefers to be held.  I actually have to wear him in his sling or front carrier to clean and cook or I would never get anything done. 

Things are still pretty simple around here–eat, sleep, and change a few hundred diapers.  The girls adore him, especially Emory.  I can’t wait for the next month when he starts to wake up more, smile, and start making all those sweet baby noises.
I am in complete awe of what a miracle Archer is.  I am so thankful the Lord would trust us with another one of his precious creations.  It’s amazing to think before the foundation of the world the Lord already had this little guy in mind.  He already knew that I would be his mommy and I’m thrilled that our fourth little blessing is this little man!
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New house…but not our house

When Scott and I started the process of building our new home we anticipated it to take 3-4 months tops. Now 8+ months in (counting the time it took the architects to get us a plan) we have found ourselves extremely frustrated on more than one occasion. We have to constantly remind ourselves that God's timing is better than ours and if he's telling us to put on the brakes then there must be a reason. Hmmm…someone remind me again next week when I've forgotten again :). Our situation became even more stressful when the owner of our rent house didn't extend our lease past January. We now have to be our of the rent house by the 30th and our new house is a least a month if not longer from being complete. Soooo….where are we going to live? Up until a couple of days ago, we had NO idea. Just the thought of having to move all of our stuff plus 3 kids twice is overwhelming. Not knowing where we were going was stress overload.

As it turns out, one of our friends has an extra house. Literally a house that is just sitting empty that they are going to let us stay in. But, that isn't even the best part. The house is fully furnished! The only things we have to move is our bed and our clothes. There are even dishes in the cabinets! That means we will only have to pack and unpack once!!! We can live in this house rent free for as long as we need and it's conveniently located in Edmond. When options like living in an RV for 30 days we're going through my mind, this is truly an amazing blessing! We looked at the house today and honestly it is so much better than even our rent house that I can't help but feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude at the generosity of our friends . Just the fact that we will have two bathrooms again is enough to make me want to do a little happy dance. So, now we are looking at the best of a bad situation.

Super thankful!

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Archer Flynn Haas

Archer Flynn Haas was born December 15, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.  He was 7 lbs 5 oz and 20 in long.  He showed us right away that he has a set of lungs.  Out of all four of our children, he definitely screamed the loudest and the longest!  It was a precious sound.
Big Boy!
The labor and delivery couldn’t have possibly gone any better.  Although I had been having contractions off and on for 2 weeks, I didn’t actually go into labor until Thursday.  I had a doctor’s appointment that day and was already dilated to a 4.  My contractions started about 4 p.m.  I called my parents to let them know about my progress and they decided to go ahead and drive to OKC rather than risk missing the delivery.  I was so nervous that it was another false alarm since the contractions weren’t regular yet.  Fortunately about 5 a.m. Friday morning the contractions were coming fast and hard.  I woke everyone up and we headed to the hospital.  Since my parents and my sister were all in town, we decided to take both Liberty and Emory to the hospital.  We were checked in and in our room by 7 a.m.  I totally chickened out and ended up getting an epidural :).  After that it was just a matter of waiting around.  By the time it came to deliver Archer, Liberty had decided she would like to stay and see her brother be born.  I had been trying to talk her into being in the delivery room for months but she insisted she wanted to wait with Papa in the waiting room.  I was so excited when she decided to stay.  So Scott, Liberty, Mom, and my sister were all there to welcome our little man into the world.  My OB was in surgery, so her partner ended up delivering Archer.  She was absolutely wonderful!  Overall our experience at OU was great.
Archer meeting the family for the first time.

We couldn’t be more excited to be adding a sweet boy to our family.  It still seems so wierd to have a son!  He is so sweet and, of course, all of us just adore him.
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First Smiles

Archer is only 3 weeks old and already staring to smile. I love these first big open mouth smiles :).

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In Haas Family News

There are a couple of big things going on at the Haas house.  The first is obviously the baby.  This pregnancy has been a little challenging because I am SO tired.  I know I was tired with the other three, but I seriously think this time its worse.  Maybe I’m getting too old.  I don’t know, it definitely feels different.  On the bright side though, I’m not as sick this time as I usually am.  Although I have plenty of nausea, I’m not actually throwing up.  Yay!!  I’m praying that the second trimester will usher in energy and less nausea!

We also have not decided who is going to do my prenatal care.  I will be 10 weeks tomorrow and it is a completely new experience for me not to have already seen an OB and have some sort of plan in place.  We have narrowed the hospital down to OU and we will probably see one of the midwives there.  Our first appointment with one of the Midwives was a bust.  Scott really hated her and it just wasn’t a good fit.  Since there are now 4 midwives at OU, I’m hoping one of them will work out.  It would be nice to have everything set before the end of my first trimester.

The other big thing going on right now is that we are about to start building our house.  Yes, after two years of working toward this goal, it looks like it is for sure going to happen this summer!  It has been seriously stressful to say the least.  We have just hit one obstacle after another.  Then, when everything finally did come together Scott and I have had a real challenge deciding what house we are going to build.  I’m not even sure we are 100% sure yet.  Nonetheless, its down to two.  We are just waiting on a few last details to make the final selection.  I’m just ready to go.  It is has been such a long, emotional process andow that I’m pregnant, I just don’t have alot of spare brain energy to devote to it!

Prayers for the baby and house are much appreciated!

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We’re Expecting!

Our newest little addition should arrive sometime in December.  We are so excited.  I feel like I have been praying for this sweet baby for so long.  Although I realize it hasn’t really been too long since Emory isn’t even two yet!

Even though we have been hoping to conceive, this pregnancy truly came as a shock to me.  Last Wednesday we were on our way home from church and I was complaining about how nauseated I had been feeling for the past few days.  Scott and Liberty started joking with me that I was pregnant.  By the time, we got back to Guthrie I was feeling so paranoid that I stopped at Walgreen’s for a pregnancy test.  It was about 8:30 p.m., and I took the test immediately when I got home.  I really couldn’t believe it was positive.  It took all my will power not to take the other test immediately.  Instead I waited til the next morning.  Of course, the second test was positive as well :).  Scott and I have never been good at keeping our baby news secret.  So, even though I am only 7 weeks, the whole world gets to know :).

Liberty is very excited to be a big sister again.  I am so thankful because until recently she wasn’t sure she wanted us to have any more children.  She didn’t leave my side for a full 24 hours after we told her.  I really think this is the first pregnancy that she will really remember so it should be so fun.  She is also very excited that Emory will get to be a big sister now too :).

As previously stated, I am already feeling quite yucky.  It isn’t too terribly bad though and I’m hoping it won’t get any worse.  The morning sickness gets better with every pregnancy, right?  Or, is it that the older I get the harder it is?

We haven’t decided on prenatal care yet or where we will deliver the baby.  Right now I’m leaning toward OU Midwives.

I hope you will join us in celebrating and praying for this new little life! 

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Footloose and binky-free

Well, I don’t know about the footloose part, but after 1 week, we are still binky-free.  I know I posted this picture last week, but I just had to post it again because I miss this binky-face :(.

Our biggest challenges are naptime and bedtime.  Somehow we got out of our naptime routine where Emory sleeps in her bed in her room, so this didn’t help when she no longer had her comfort object.  Sooo, naptime in her bed has been extra rough.  Bedtime, of course, is hard too, but since she sleeps with us at night, it hasn’t been quite as bad.

Other than that, it has actually been much easier than I anticipated and she doesn’t seem too distressed by it.  It has definitely been nice not to be constantly searching for binkies ALL the time.  I am hoping once we get out of the binky habit that for the first time in two years, we might actually have a baby that sleeps well…hopefully…please…that would be great  :).

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Homeschool Update

For starters I have combined my homeschool blog with this blog, so they will no longer be in two different places.

It’s been almost a year since I updated the homeschool blog.  I hate that I haven’t been great at documenting Liberty’s progress.  She has been doing so well and has learned so much this year.  First grade has been loads more fun for both of us and I anticipate that Second grade will be even better!

We have been using My Father’s World for the past two years.  I orginally chose this curriculum because it is an all-inclusive curriculum with very structured and detailed lesson plans.  Since I wasn’t quite sure what direction we were going to go with our home education, it was a great way to dive right in without a lot of stress for either of us.  Two years into it, I now have a much more research under my belt and a much clearer idea of what I want to accomplish with Liberty (and Emory) in our home education.  With a more defined philosophy of education, I have decided to go with a different curriculum (more on that later).

I do want to spend just a little time discussing the positives and negatives of MFW.  Since my girls are 5 years apart, it will take some serious brain power to remember what I did with Liberty when its Emory’s turn.  Better write it down :).

Positives….

1.  Structure.  It did just what I hoped it would and allowed us to get started and get a feel for home education without a lot of stress.

2.  Phonics.  The phonics program is absolutely the best.  Slow and steady wins the race is definitely the key to this phonics program, but for us it was totally worth the mind-numbing, snail pace.  We haven’t had a single moments trouble with reading.  I don’t really know whether to attribute this to the phonics program or a natural reader.  I’ll give a little credit to both.  We will definitely stick with the MFW phonics approach for future students!

3.  Bible.  The Bible Reader/Notebook was one of Liberty’s favorite things and I think she really learned a lot by doing her stories this way.  We are taking this concept and modifying it a little for next year.

Negatives…

1.  Math.  I think the expectations were too low and the program wasn’t as rigorous as I had hoped it would be.  Unfortunately, I think I waited a little too long, hoping it would get better.  We did end up switching to Math-U-See a few months ago.  That puts us behind where I was hoping we would be by now.  But, that is one of the beauties of homeschool.  We can go at our own pace without the pressure to perform.  I have full confidence that she will be on target before long.  At any rate, I think we have made a good change.

2.  Science.  I honestly felt like this was a complete waste of time.  I think its much more beneficial for children of this age to be experiencing the world around them through a more natural approach.  I wish I had had a better grasp on this concept this year.  Liberty and I are both getting better and being more perceptive of the world around us.

All-in-all I have been so pleased with Liberty’s progress, with the things she’s learned, and the strides we have made in developing the model for our homeschool.

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