Friday, November 29, 2013

Waking Up...


Well, they said it would happen...that these thirty-seven week babies wake up in the second week...and oh, boy...Max has definitely held true to that statement. He has woken up this second week...yep, he sure has...I kind of (no, I most definitely did) preferred the sleeping week...yes, I did. However, babies wake up...that is what they do...so, we are embracing week two with an awake baby.  And, we love our awake baby...just wish he would maybe go back to sleep just a bit more. In his first ten days of life, I had to wake him for every feeding - seriously, one night I let him sleep for almost seven hours (and yes, I did selfishly for me) and then I still had to wake him. We are not in that honeymoon phase any longer...no, we are not...we are in the wake zone now. He is still very sweet, even when he is awake...but he can definitely cry and is not afraid to make his demands known. No one ever said four kids would be easy.


So, what did week two bring for little Max? Well, besides waking up...it brought lots of comfort in breast feeding (shoot me). Let's be honest - I have no love affair with breast feeding - never have and probably never will. It is a means to an end for me. There is no romantics arounds breast feeding for me...no loving moments, sweet touch, etc...that stuff is for the birds (in my opinion). However, I do feel like it is going better for me than it ever has before - one of the main reasons, a (uh-hum)...nip cream that I have (I had it for Sam as well...but got it long after the damage was done on my ladies...this time around I was proactive...best decision ever). Honestly, this stuff is amazing - it is a prescription and I had my midwife in AZ write a script for me before I left. Every nursing mom should leave the hospital with this cream - no joke. Let's all be honest - Lansinoh sucks. Ok, enough on my crazy nip cream tangent (don't forget - I rarely get enough sleep each night). So, it is going fine...however, Max is EXTREMELY slow at nursing (oh.my.word) and he normally always falls asleep, which makes for efficient nursing so much more difficult. I am fairly certain, it will be the death of me. Also, Max can nurse for an hour and be dead asleep...BUT if anything touches his cheek, he wakes right up and starts rooting again. Ugh. I know he is gaining weight (midwives come to your house here for the first three weeks after the baby is born to do weight checks (check for jaundice, remove c-section staples, etc.)...love this - so much easier than getting ready and taking Max out to his doctor. However, I know the midwife would like to see more weight gain - hoping he packs on the grams (I am so Euro now) this week! So, I am hoping he starts to find some comfort in a pacifier and not my ladies all the time...working on it. I don't want anyone finding comfort in any part of my body - I know I don't! I think this could be a first for my boys that I haven't introduced the bottle in the first two weeks (I wrote this before my nightmare of a night on Wednesday...the bottle and formula have officially been introduced.). We all know that I am not anti-bottle, but I'll be honest - there is no love affair with Mr. Pump either (he would be devastated to hear this...but it is the truth). So, right now I am the lone cow...it is lonely job, but someone has to do it (sometimes, I wish that someone was Jake).  My favorite part of feeding Max is having all the other boys come in and watch (I am sure they'll need years of therapy)...but the best line is from Judah (as he watches Max eat), "You let Max eat your belly!?!" I laugh every time. And then, Judah proceeds to show me his other "belly" (his nips) and normally says, "Do you think Max wants to eat my belly too?" I wish, buddy - so funny. I'll be honest, my crazy is starting to come out this week - been a stressful week and I am certain Max has colic...or, it could have just been a REALLY bad night (like worst night ever as a mother)...or, something I ate that didn't agree with his tummy...who knows?!? What I do know, is that my crazy is starting to come out. Oh, joy. Jake is a lucky guy. Realizing my strength comes from the Lord, and His grace (and His grace alone) will sustain me...hard remembering that on those super hard nights.



So, Max had his big "C" this week - it is not easy to find a doctor in Switzerland who performs the big "C"...not easy at all. We know it is not something Europeans do and we understand that, but being that his brothers all succumbed to the big "C"...we did it with Max as well. If this was our first son, we would have said forget it. I was nervous about finding a good doctor here to do it since it is so uncommon. Luckily, I found another mom who had asked the question on one of the mom's forum (and she suffered all the persecution so I could avoid it) and she gave me a name of a doctor...a good gynecologist (what the...?!?)...yes, the big "C" was performed by a lady parts doctor...hmmm, just embrace it...chalk it up to the ex-pat experience. He has been doing the procedure for over twenty years and was pretty much our only option - we liked him (he is SUPER French with a handlebar mustache and everything), but the procedure here if definitely different than in the states. So, Max is still healing - should be good in the next week.


His brothers still absolutely adore him and fight over who gets to hold him - even Sam is super into Max (definitely have to keep an eye on Sam around Max...Sam is a little unpredictable).  I am so very thankful that his brothers love him so much. Besides eating (like ALL the time!!!) and trying to sleep, Max hasn't done much - we don't go anywhere and he hasn't had really much planned wake-time. Part of me is itching for that schedule (I read that Babywise mom blog) and then part of me realizes that I am so NOT a Babywise mom and this is my fourth and final baby...and I just need to relax! Oh, so much easier said than done for me.  We are putting Max in the Woombie (love the straight jacket!)...however, not sure it really helps him sleep. We busted out the swing as well - I am pulling at straws for a little peace...and sleep. (I also bust out the wine...helps me sleep...too bad it doesn't help Max sleep.) Max HATES having his diaper and clothes changed (he hasn't gotten the memo that this is life and to stop peeing all over himself). Max is sweet - despite his screaming and shark attack at me for food...he has had a hard week...we all have.

 

So, I really do (honestly) want to enjoy this time...it is my last time and these days are flying away from me already. Max is so little and cuddly...and so needy, and he needs me. Oh, how I need to be okay with being needed...by one more person...one more little boy. God has shown me my ugly heart over the last five years since I became a mom - I am selfish, self-centered, put my needs before others, self-sufficient to a fault...and the list goes on...I pray that God continues to break my heart over my sin and I realize that my calling right now is to be a mother...to needy little boys...who need a mom who loves them with all of her heart, who puts their needs in front of her own, who realizes that being a mom to lots of little boys is passing her by quickly and the time isn't coming back...I pray I can be that mother (it won't happen every second of the day...I am human, but I pray that I am mother more often than not). Thanking God for my house of boys...as crazy as it all is and as sleep deprived as I may be!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome Sweet Baby, Max!

(This was a c-section, so pictures may be a bit graphic.)


Welcome Maxime "Max" Matisse Saylor to this crazy world! (Yep, we went all Frenchie this time around...and if he gets teased because of his name - it only builds character later on in life.) The jungle as we like to call it at our house! Seriously, it is a total jungle...with animals and all...and these animals are vicious at times. We know it is a matter of time before Max becomes an animal as well. Right now, he is just a sweet, little baby...so sweet, love myself a newborn baby! And, I am back to blogging (sadly, I still have so many posts from this summer and fall that I want to get done...luckily, I have an amazing memory so I won't forget anything and will eventually blog about it all...wait, what did I have for breakfast?!?)...blogging every week seems super overwhelming, but the thought of not doing the blog for my fourth baby puts me into this "mommy guilt" spiral that I am sure I would need years of therapy to get out of...so, back to weekly blogging I go. However, I give myself grace - and Max's birth story will be the week one post because we spent most of his first week in hospital anyway. Ok, baby boy...let's begin the story of your first year!

 

Obviously, this pregnancy was a big surprise...and it kept us on our toes the entire pregnancy. Honestly, I have easy pregnancies - I am normally sick as a dog for much longer than "normal"...sometimes even up through thirty-six weeks...oh joy. It was such a blessing this time around to barely get sick at all - it was actually amazing since we were in a very CRAZY season of life. We found out at nineteen weeks that I had a "low lying placenta" - seemed harmless enough. The next week my midwife said it was a full placenta previa - she explained it was an extremely low placenta and she was surprised I wasn't bleeding at all, but all was good - no issues. I would tell people I had been diagnosed with placenta previa and lots of people told them they had been as well - don't worry about it because it will move...actually, it does move the majority of the time...more than 90% of the time. I felt pretty good it would move and all would be normal...and I had no symptoms at all. Well, fast forward...and this placenta is super stubborn and isn't moving, and when it did move a little, the main vessels of the placenta moved to the cervix...so, not good. We made the final decision at thirty-six weeks that we would have a c-section at thirty-seven weeks. With placenta previa, you have to deliver early since going into labor can be life threatening for Mama and baby. I would go into each appointment thinking, "do I really have this?" since I had no issues - but every ultrasound would confirm it...yes, I had it. I felt this same way when Hugh had dysphasia - I would always think, "does he really have this?" (since he had no issues...except he didn't want to drink)...but every X-ray would confirm that yes, he did have it. I realized that God heard the prayers of many faithful saints who were praying for us constantly - so, we praise God that I had no bleeding and no bed rest. In hindsight, this was a very uneventful pregnancy - praise God!


As many of you know, I am more of a crunchy Mama when it comes to birthing my babies - I like to deliver my babies with no meds and not in hospitals. So, a c-section was so far from my vision of a perfect birth...however, what is most important to me is healthy baby, healthy mama. I knew a c-section was my only option, so I embraced it and surprisingly, did very little "Google" on it...which is SO unlike me. The good news about the c-section...we could close up the shop...the baby shop. I had only one tube to remove since I lost my other tube in an ectopic pregnancy years ago...so, it made for an easy decision. So, no - we won't be trying for the girl...God blessed us with four boys...this Mama's heart is full...of lots of boys. And honestly, after this pregnancy - we are done...no regrets (however, I can get emotional at times holding Max being reminded that he is my very last baby...ugh, my hormones are a total mess). We checked into the hospital on Thursday, November 14th for the c-section (I'll be honest - it was a little surreal knowing the day we would have this baby...remember I am a crunchy Mama...no inductions for me). We get to the L&D floor and find out it is "Bring Your Child to Work" day in Switzerland...hmmm. It is not like I am taking my car to be serviced - I am going to be exposed...like all my girly parts exposed and I am meeting a bunch of ten year-old boys who only speak French...hmmm. So, you just embrace it - chalk it up to the "ex-pat" experience. We get checked in and we wait for our surgery time (which they have explained may get bumped if an emergency comes in).  I was a bit anxious during this waiting - just the fear of the unknown and the fear of the unknown in a foreign language. We are told it is time for my surgery and they wheel me back - Jake goes another way to get suited up for surgery as well (don't worry - he took a selfie so all can see him in scrubs...nice job on the selfie, Jake).

I am given my epidural which was a little odd - trying to figure out how to get my back in a rolled position with a big belly - not the easiest task. (For those of you wondering, most of the doctors speak great English...however, the anesthesiologists all seem a little on the young side and their English is the most lacking (in my opinion)...this is surprising since this is such a specialty in the US). I was very thankful for my nurse anesthetist - she was fantastic and helped me through the surgery. One of chief surgeons came in during the epidural to talk me through it since my anesthesiologist wasn't really comfortable speaking English. She was great as well and I was very thankful for her. (I know I need to learn the language here - but I have only been here for four months and have many young children...makes learning a language difficult. I am thankful that English is a language that unites the world and most professionals know it. I also have a lot more compassion for people who don't speak the language of the countries they are living in and have to have medical procedures done...it is scary.)


 Overall, the surgery went really well - I had more issues with the anesthesia than the surgery (passing out, severe body tremors, and dry heaving was not on my perfect birth plan). My doctor was great and made the decision to cut me low on the skin, but cut the uterus higher to lessen the risk of blood loss - it would be a bit of a guessing game, but was the best shot for a less bloody surgery. (You see, at almost every appointment and every one we spoke with - they reminded me that they had blood for me in case I needed it...that was so comforting to hear all the time...wait, not really.) I didn't feel anything in the surgery except a lot of tugging - and Jake got sucked into the train wreck (along with the ten year-old boy) and couldn't turn away...and he got some pictures so I got to see insides as well...just what I had always dreamed. Max was ripped out of me at 11:59am on Thursday, November 14th...weighing in at 2.83kg and 48cm (yes, we live in a metric world now)...so, for all you Americans - it is just shy of 6lbs 4oz and 19in.  - our littlest baby, but could have been our biggest boy if he had gone full term. Jake and Max left and they started to finish up my surgery - they came back briefly so I could see Max and they laid him on my face (hmmm...guessing that is a normal c-section thing)...then they left and I was alone...with my insides open where everyone around me was speaking French.


 

Again, another surreal experience - being awake during surgery, but not knowing the language of the people who are operating on you...chalk it up to the "ex-pat" experience. The surgery went very well and my doctor didn't have to cut through the placenta, which was amazing since I had an anterior positioned placenta (the baby was behind the placenta...yep, another thing that isn't very common...lucky me) - his cut was perfect on the uterus...just millimeters above the placenta. I asked him (once I was recovering) if the c-section was actually needed (placenta previa can move in the last days of pregnancy)...I needed to know that this c-section wasn't in vain...he said I was back to a complete placenta previa (very rare...less than 1% of pregnancies are a complete placenta previa at birth...lucky, lucky me) and we made the right decision...shoot, the only decision (at times, I am very thankful for modern medicine - these ultrasounds saved my life and the life of Max - praising God for His mercy and grace).





After my surgery, I went to the ICU to recover (that is how they roll here)...and I didn't get to see Max for three plus hours (I am fairly certain in the states that you recover with your baby, but not here...that was a little sad...and incredibly lonely...however, they do bring you a picture of the baby and Daddy...not quite the same, but better than nothing). I can say with certainty that I have no regrets never getting an epidural (honestly, I am not sure if I had an epidural or a spinal block) with my first three babies (and I am not starting a birthing battle - each to their own...epidural, no epidural...who cares).
 


I, personally, hated not being able to feel my legs (like no feeling whatsoever) - what a freaky experience...and I had the moment of "what if they jacked up the epidural and I am paralyzed forever"...yes, totally irrational...but totally freaked me out. After three plus hours, I got feeling back into my legs and could go back to Jake and Max (so, no worries - I am not paralyzed). And that my friends, is the birth story for Max...so different than my previous three births, but God's perfect story for this sweet boy.



Obviously, my recovery is very different this time around - I stayed in the hospital for four days (the Swiss don't boot out the mothers - I could have stayed ten days (shoot me) and regular births can stay up to five days) and I have a fair amount of pain. The care was great - like the rest of the world (excluding the US)...the L&D floor is run by midwives (OBs perform surgery and are not part of normal deliveries).  They spoke the best English they could - their English was much better than my French. Husbands don't stay in the hospital normally, so Jake didn't stay with me - that was a first for us and that was sad.  I felt bad for Jake and he felt the need to be in so many places at once. 



Pretty much everyone we met was horrified by the thought of four boys age five and under...this didn't surprise us (once I actually post about life in Switzerland, you'll understand that this is EVERYONE'S response to four boys age five and under). The food was much better than the states - you don't have as many options, but the food doesn't taste like it was mass produced. However, the food is Swiss...so, one night (before I picked my meals), they brought out a huge white sausage (very common Swiss meal)...make me barf...I still shudder at the thought of it. I was thankful to have a private room - that is not a given here (normally it happens, but not a guarantee)...but the thought of having to share a room after a c-section with someone who didn't speak English would have put me over the edge. The nurses were SUPER intense about making sure Max stayed warm - like dressing him in a onesie, a sweater, a thick sleeper, and then a quilted sleep sack.  I would start sweating just looking at him.  They were much cleaner than in the US with people coming in constantly to clean the room and bathroom...and they forced me to take showers. I am sure I took more showers at the hospital than I did for the prior two weeks at home (no joke). Overall, the hospital experience was fine...obviously, it was very different, but good different...chalk it up to the "ex-pat" experience...and Jake thoroughly enjoyed all the boobie pictures over every inch of the halls (they really push breast feeding here and one way is by adorning the walls with pictures of breast feeding mamas).


I miss being able to just feel like myself (as much as you can after you have a new baby and get no sleep)...I hate being totally useless in my own house. My mom is a saint for being here to help - she will have spent a quarter of 2013 in Switzerland once she leaves. I am sure she won't be back for a LONG time. I am hopeful I'll start to feel better soon. Max is a sweet baby - I don't think he has really woken up yet though and I am not fooling myself thinking this is his temperament quite yet. And my breast feeding woes...maybe this will be a child that I don't have any and I don't whine about it (blah, blah, blah)...we'll see. So far, so good (except for all the common boobie issues that come along with feeding a shark)...except he is a super lazy eater and just likes to sleep. So, we tend to sit for a bit of time feeding. He is super cute and I love him to pieces - we cannot get enough of him and neither can his brothers...lots of love for little Max. He seems to be adjusting well to the chaos - the constant screaming and touching from his brothers (if I was him, I would already be plotting ways in my head to torture my brothers at a later date...his big brothers have not quite realized how incredibly annoying it is to be constantly touched while trying to sleep - of course he is going to open his eyes when you touch him eight thousand times!!!). Jake is having to really adjust this time around. Normally, Jake would be sleeping in the guest room since I keep baby in the room with me (let's be honest...in the bed with me)...but that would mean he would be sleeping with my mom and that would be super weird. So, he is adjusting to sleeping with all the little baby noises. And, I have never woken Jake up in the night to help me (Jake definitely gets up with our boys...but not newborn boys...I never saw the point in it since he couldn't really help (he doesn't breast feed...at least not that I am aware of) and I saw no point in having two exhausted parents...Jake pays his dues once the boys get older and oh, boy does he pay his dues)...so, this time around I am waking up Jake - I need the help since I am still in pain. He is great about it - and if anyone loves their sleep, it is Jake. And, Max cannot get moved to his room...Sammy still sleeps in there. So, we are closing our baby chapter by spicing it up all over the place. And, why not? We did move halfway across the world...right?!?  We aren't doing much since I can't do much, but Max did already have his first shower...we aren't worrying about the umbilical cord thingy falling off this time first...the Swiss are more laid back...here is to being laid back (Jake, did you read that?).



So, here is to my last little baby...my very last little baby (no tears...no tears). I want to enjoy it all...the sleepless nights, the breast feeding woes, the stretch marks, the nasty scar, the crazy hormones, the relentless sweating, the weight to lose, eating like a teenage boy, the needy cries, the sweet cuddles, the tiny fingers and toes, the sweet little nose, the kissable lips, the sleep smiles...and the list goes on. I know in my moments of weakness that I won't enjoy every moment...especially all my body issues, but I pray that I do cherish this sweet boy because children truly are a blessing from the Lord. Here is to fifty-two weeks my sweet boy...the crazy, the chaos...the life you'll come to know! Bring it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Trip

(This post is mostly words...with a super fun video at the end...feel free to skip the words, but don't miss the video.)

I knew from the get go that I would be traveling with three young children overseas by myself...this was not a secret. I knew that I would have months to agonize and stress over this trip...I know, so godly of me. Before Jake and I visited Switzerland for our house hunting trip (and before I knew I was pregnant), I thought to myself - I am kind of amazing and could handle this trip with my boys on my own (this would also guarantee me some type of awesome "I am going to hold this over your head" gift from Jake...because let's be real - traveling overseas (sixteen hours of travel and plane change...and customs) with three young boys (four and under) solo should get you something...I would pretty much be a martyr). Well, then I found out I was pregnant and I started doubting my awesomeness. And then Jake and I did the trip and we did customs after being awake for twenty-four hours straight...and reality set in, I would not be able to do this by myself...customs with three young boys would kill me...actually kill me. So, I did what any self-respecting daughter would do and guilted my mother into making the trip with us. Luckily, she loves me and had never been to Switzerland...so, win for all (at least in my book). My sanity started to return knowing that I would not have to make this trip on my own (however, I am fairly certain that if my mom wasn't able to go...Jake would have come back and made the trip...because he knows I would have made his life miserable reminding him constantly of my martyrdom).



Obviously, this was a BIG trip. Flying anywhere with young kids is a big deal, but international and long flights makes it an even bigger deal. I decided early on (and since I was the one traveling with the boys, I got to make the decisions) that I would buy another iPad for this trip. I am sure some people thought it was quite ridiculous to purchase another iPad for a flight and especially for a child. All I can say is, probably one of the best decisions I have ever made as a parent...hands down. Two boys fighting over an iPad...ain't nobody got time for that. I also bought LeapPads, movies and annoying baby shows with the music that makes you want to pull your hair out, every snack you can think of, candy galore, all sorts of small toys...and a tranquilizer gun (just kidding on that one, but if I could have, I would have).  I was ready for this flight (but no, I didn't put those cutsie little bags together letting everyone around me know that it was Sam's first flight (you know the bags...all over Pinterest)...I have a life and ain't nobody got time for that...and trust me, some Hershey kisses and ear plugs isn't going to get anyone to like a screaming kid for six hours...trust me).  In all of this preparation, the one thing I forgot was that my mom and I each only have two arms...and two of those four arms belonged to me...the pregnant girl (and I found out before leaving that I had placenta previa and needed to not put too much stress on my body...ha). We also had a double stroller to push and a car seat (you know the HUGE Britax ones) to carry on the plane as well.  Oh, and did I mention my mom was recovering from a surgery that she had on her wrist?!? Ugh. We were a total circus. Ok, back to the trip. We had lots of family see us off at the airport the morning we left - it was very sweet and I was a hot mess. Overall, I know God is leading us on this adventure and there is no other place I would rather be than with my husband and boys...but it doesn't change the fact that it is emotional and hard to leave "home" and "family". We asked United if my dad could come back and help us get through security...seeing that I was pregnant and my mom was wearing a brace...and we were a total circus. And United said, "No." United holds a special place in my heart after our whole experience with them...I'll leave it at that. So, we make our way through security and we get through fairly unscathed (I have to remind myself that we are only ten minutes into the trip). We find the elevator and make way to our gate...so, we get on the elevator and the door has a hard time closing...we don't see any issues, so we force the door to close.  And then, whoosh (think of a very dramatic sound)...I get pulled to the ground...that ridiculously long seatbelt strap (by the way, what is the point of that strap?!?) was caught in the elevator door. Yes, the elevator door was smarter than us. This will forever be etched in my head - it was scary...no joke. The boys were all freaked out and scared. It was the perfect way to start our trip...and no worries, the strap survived. So, we head to the gate (a little shaky...but all alive) - and we find out that United does not allow children to board early...shoot me now...but they'll let my mom board early because she is really old (kidding...because she is wearing a wrist brace)...and reluctantly, they let us all board early...thank goodness for my mom's wrist brace. I am fairly certain I would have burst into tears if we couldn't board early. I am not a person who likes to board early, but we had so much gear. So, we board...it is super awesome to board a plane with three small boys, an enormous car seat, ten bags, and breaking down a double stroller. Do you know how wide the aisles on an airplane are? If we had not boarded early, we would have taken out every last person sitting on the aisle on the way back to our seats (and we were sitting in the back of that big bus)...seriously. Honestly, the hardest part of our flights was boarding them. Sam was by far the biggest wild card of the trip - overall, he did really well...he didn't sleep much (even with the dose of Tylenol codeine (yep, no shame here)...but I bet he was feeling good). He had his moments of crying, but they were few and far between (nothing like his brother, Judah, on the infamous flights to and from Alaska)...just glad he had his own seat and was strapped into a car seat. Before the trip, Jake had said to me, "Of course, you'll take Sam out during the flight to give him a break from his seat." It was one of those smile and nod moments for me...knowing full well I would NOT be letting that monkey free at any moment on that flight...that is what the layover was for...I made a good call...a really good call. We were delayed on our connecting flight about an hour, which was a total bummer...because we were waiting in line to board (again, we had the issue with United about boarding early, but I won...sometimes, you gotta go all crazy and win). But, once we boarded and we were settled - all was fine. Judah fell asleep almost immediately and slept two plus hours...of our sixteen hour flight, this was the most that was slept by anyone. A few highlights from this flight: hearing Judah scream from the bathroom when my mom took the big boys (I assumed it was a disobedience issue, but he was just deathly afraid of the toilet flushing), having the worst arm cramp of my life after holding Sam's feet down for ten hours (I cannot control crying, but I can control my kid kicking the seat in front of him), the car seat getting stuck on the plane (that one sent me into a bit of panic - after no sleep for twenty-four hours, I just wanted to get off that plane...they were finally able to get seat off, but it was a nightmare)...overall, the flight went as well as it could have gone. And, for the next five years - I will always get to pick which two kids I want to manage on any flight we go on...and I will be booking my seats with those said two kids in a different location than Jake...fair is fair. And for my mom, she gets a medal.

Once we got to Switzerland, we assumed smooth sailing...except we needed to go downstairs for Customs...seems simple enough because of course it is 2013 and we are in a first world country...so, of course Switzerland would have an elevator...but we were wrong, so very wrong. We had stairs or an escalator....hmmm. We also had a double stroller with two tired children strapped in it, a whiney four-year-old, a massive car seat, and like twelve carry-on bags...ugh. So, I say to my mom, "You get Hugh, the car seat, and some of the bags and I'll get the double stroller and the other bags." And off to the escalator I went. In hindsight, there is always a better plan...but hindsight is only called hindsight for a reason...it is "hind", not "fore". So, I get on the escalator with the double stroller (with Sam and Judah strapped in - thank God) and some of the bags and we go down...and I come within a second of losing my grip on that double stroller and letting it fly down and take out six women in front of us. By God's sweet grace, I was able to bear down and grab ahold of that stroller. That experience was definitely the cherry on top of this trip (thankful I had the double stroller, I am fairly certain my mom would have lost the grip with her wrist...once again, God's grace). Customs was long, but we all made it through - some miscommunication, but with no really issues. And, off to baggage we went...the last step before we could see Jake (yes, in Geneva, you have to get through baggage before you can meet your peeps...shoot me...pretty sure the Geneva airport was thinking of how many ways they could torture me without killing me). We walk into baggage and praise the Lord, we see Jake...best surprise ever (at this point my cell phone was dead and my mom's cell phone didn't work at all...so, I had no idea where Jake was or where we would even meet him so seeing him was awesome). The boys were honestly more dazed and confused than excited, but once they realized it was Daddy and not just Daddy on iPad, they got excited. Our luggage was already there - thankful! So, we could just be on our way...oh shoot...there was no way we were fitting six people and all our luggage in our van...not.a.chance. So, after spending thirty minutes really trying to make it work...I put my tail in a taxi and left my kids...peace out...I deserved this break! The $250 taxi ride to the hotel was only forty minute sans kids...so, it didn't really count. I had told Jake for two weeks prior that once we got to Switzerland, I would be checked out...all done. I would want to sleep and I didn't want to see or hear my kids for at least three to four hours. This was no joke...I was dead serious. Call me a horrible mother, call me whatever - I called myself smart. I think Jake thought I was joking...but once we got to Switzerland, he knew I meant business...serious biznass. So, my mom and I went to sleep and Jake took his spawn...and I slept...glorious sleep. And, we began life in Switzerland...I officially became an "ex-pat"...here is to a new adventure!

video