Mother’s Day 2018!!

mothers day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to those mamas who have left this earth way too early, we must honor and remember them today! To all of you soon to be mothers, the ones who have lost their child(ren), the ones who day in and day out give all that you have have to make sure your children don’t go without.  You are NOTICED and appreciated!

I remember being pregnant for the first time with Lamar, and being so amazed that I could carry a life inside of me, and I was just amazed at everything that my body was doing, and just the feeling of being a mother already once we got pregnant. I felt this way with each subsequent pregnancies as well. I loved them so much before they were even born, just as Jesus did with us!

Parenting has been difficult at times and easy at other times.  I feel like with each age range (ages 4 months-7 years) comes different requirements, and I try my best to meet the needs of each one of them day in and day out, but there are definitely times where I fall short and that’s ok!  I look at it with the outlook that I never want to go to bed angry or upset at the kids(shane and I both try so hard to do this as well) and that each day brings a new start with a fresh beginning and I try to make the best of it (after my daily cup of coffee of course).

I have loved this season (past year) with finalizing ALL of the adoptions, and truly finding our new normal after such a big hectic year with fostercare.  I am looking forward to this summer with just being able to have a schedule with the kids, and be able to teach them more and more knowledge and growth over the next few months!

Motherhood is seriously such a major part of my identity (especially with so many of them a such young ages right now)but it is not who I am, my identity is found in Christ Jesus.  Being a mother to my five kids (and 2 in heaven) is such a gift, that I will never take for granted.

I tried to send this sweet little message (picture above) to ALL of the amazing women/mothers that continue to inspire me each and every day!

This year my parents kept the girls for the night and Shane took all of the boys to run errands so that I could actually get a NAP in ( I don’t even remember the last time that happened), and then I woke up with a bouquet of flowers and dinner cooked (and all cleaned up) and then today he brought me coffee and breakfast and then we went to an awesome church service and ended our night with spending it with my parents in Lockhart!

Shane helps me out each and every day in parenthood and it does not go unappreciated but the extra kind gestures on Mother’s Day are always loved and so thoughtful!

I will leave you with some pictures from today! Hope everyone had an awesome day!!

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(These are ALL of the sweet gifts my kids gave to me from school… SO precious)

 

And Mom, thank you for EVERYTHING.  These words are just a bit of how I feel about you!! LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!

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©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

4 months old!!

4-months

Image credit here

So somehow we have made it to 4 months already!? That is crazy and I love how much growth has happened over these last 4 months! From literally just eating/sleeping/pooping and peeing all day to now being so talkative, belly laughing, rolling over, trying to sit up by himself, and eating from a spoon (and still drinking milk/sleeping/pooping and peeing, haha)!

I am just amazed at laid back he is, how much he still loves to be cuddled up against us when he is napping/ or just sitting wanting to play and sit on your lap to watch everyone and how much joy he brings to the entire family.

It’s so precious that each one of kids are developing such a unique and special bond with him, that they are going to carry with them for the rest of their lives.  Brielle loves to feed him, cuddle him, and make him laugh (around 100 times a day), Joseph loves to play with him on the ground and just talk to him and introduce him to new toys, and activities.  Luke loves to laugh (and in return malachi laughs back) and loves to sing “twinkle, twinkle little star” to him to calm him down, and Gracelynn LOVES to say “kai kai” and show him all of her toys and she has started to sing him to him as well and loves to see him laugh!

So even though his doctor appointment isn’t until next week, I am just going by what we have taken here at home!

Weight: 15 lb 6 oz pounds taken at home scale

Length:25 inches (taken at home)

Likes:

-To be held! It’s so adorable how much he LOVES when we are holding him!
-To be talked to and play “peek-a-boo”
-To eat! He just tried baby food for the first time today and ate the ENTIRE bowl!! He loves food (just like his parents).
-To sleep! He has woken up past two nights 1 time for a feeding but before that we had a good stretch of sleeping ALL.NIGHT.LONG! Hallelujah! I just wish we could pass on the great sleeping to the girls in the house (including me).. but we are getting there!
-He loves to be hot! He loves to be pressed up against someone when he is napping!
-His carrier! He literally falls asleep in it almost instantaneously. We have now introduced the sling carrier as well and he has done amazingly well!

Dislikes:
– Clipping his nails! Though he is finally tolerating it a bit now!
– Changing his clothes.  He absolutely hates it now!

Teeth: None! 🙂 Though, the drooling has caused increase in spit up, so that’s fun! 🙂

Language:
I swear it’s like he is responding correctly to what we are saying at times! His cooing is incredibly adorable and his laugh literally melts my heart every time!

Milestones: Rolling over back to front on both sides now, trying to sit up on his own, and eating his first baby food!

Upcoming:

MD appt:  4 month appt May 14th

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks and today’s monthly picture!

Thank you all for following along his journey and growth! I believe crawling and sitting up on his own is surely going to happen in the next few weeks!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

In the trenches

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I was listening to a podcast (you can find out more here) and they spoke about being in the trenches and watching God speak to you (and through you) during that time.

Since May is National #fostercareawarenessmonth I wanted to let you know how we have been deep in the trenches, and what all helped us during that time.

Fostercare is kind of like riding on a REALLY long rollercoaster, most of the time.  Between court hearings (and there is usually between 3-5 within the first year), traveling to and from all of the required appointments, counseling, and visits with the parents, you sometimes find yourself in the trenches of it all.

I remember many times where I just broke down and asked God “can I really do this?” “am I made out for this” and many more similar questions.  The overwhelming paperwork, the countless amount of people in your house all.month.long and the having to put your trust in such a broken system, can sometimes catch up to you.  BUT you know what?  You don’t stay in the trenches and yes you can do it!   You see the milestones that your foster children are able to reach, you see the LOVE that is just poured out of them with happiness and joy, and you see that you are making a difference in the life of that particular child (regardless if they remember it) forever.

Every one of us has gone through something (or will go through something) that will test our faith, our friendships, our marriage, etc.. it’s what makes us human.  It’s how we respond to that test that shows who we are as a person.

Did it hurt when we had to say goodbye to Gracelynn and watch her go back to people that we knew wasn’t the best for her? Yes! Did it hurt watching the boys have to suffer for SO long watching their biological parents string them along the entire way, just to disappoint them in the end? Yes! But it’s those trenches that God called us so fully depend on him and trust that everything would work out the way He intended on them to!

I am so glad that I have been through the good times and the not so good times with foster care because I wouldn’t be able to write this post with three beautiful adopted children that I get to call mine each and every day.

So friends, remember that when you are the trenches, it’s only temporary and that you can and will get through it (through faith, prayer, and action)!

Let me know if there is anything that you have questions on that I could help you with! I thank you all for continuing to follow along in our journey and know that I love and appreciate every single one of you!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

The FULL birth story–details and all

Ok so it started out being my 37 week check-up on January 9th, 2018 and I for sure was hoping that I had dilated more to a 5 by this point since I had been dilated to a 3-4 the past few weeks and I was DETERMINED that this was the THE birth day of my child!

My doctor examined me and said that once he stripped my membranes it would dilate me even more (and I would be around 5cm dilated) and that I could be sent to labor and delivery at Detar North Hopsital in Victoria, Tx.  With my bags all packed in my car, and my mom with me, we grabbed a bite to eat (which I couldn’t eat much at this point because I was so nervous/anxious that today would be the day that I would get to meet this precious miracle of mine) and headed to the hospital.  Of course they had to examine me once I was admitted (I was just about 5cm dilated), and ask 1,000 questions (or at least it felt like it) that I have already answered when I was in pre-term labor 3 weeks prior, but I did not mind and was ready to get hooked up to pitocin and get this labor started!

It was near 1:15pm or so that I was initially hooked up to pitocin and I estimated that I would have the baby around 5pm (which I was way off) lol but I asked my doctor and the nurses this time if I could go at a slower pace on the pitocin so that I could labor all naturally again and be able to enjoy walking around and talking/playing with my kiddos (and they said yes).  During this time I had my step-dad bring up 2 of the kiddos to the hospital and Shane brought the other 2 when he get off work.

Every 2 hours just about I dilated 1 more cm and during this time, the day nurse that was taking care of me was SO sweet and made sure that I had enough ice chips and the super amazing thing she did was find me a wireless monitor so that I could be on the labor ball, and walk around with my kids in the room, etc and just have freedom from the uncomfortable bed.  I LOVED this and I will remember that forever!

During the transitional part of labor (about 7cm-10cm) I was doing fine with my breathing techniques and having Shane hold my hand and rub my back throughout the entire labor until this point (and then she broke my water).  I had asked to be checked and I was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced and I had nicely (because with Rochelle I was screaming and yelling the entire end of my natural-no pain medication labor) asked the nurse if she had anything that could lessen the pain ( I do this every time I am about to push lol) and she said “sweetie I am so sorry at this point if I give you anything, it could slow the rest of the labor down and you are about to start pushing so right now I don’t think that would be the best option” and I took a deep breath and said “ok thank you, could you please call my doctor right now I feel like I need to push”.

Well, she had come back a minute later and brought all the delivery supplies into the room–at this point my mom had taken Brielle downstairs around 8:45-9pm (She was the only child that stayed because she just HAD to see if I was having a boy or a girl since we had waited to find out until birth and they don’t allow visitors past 9pm in the delivery room) and I knew I was about to have our baby.

I had been in the bed towards the end of the labor because it hurt too much to get up and I REALLY needed to focus on my breathing and working through the intense pain I was feeling. I knew I was going to transition from 8cm to 10cm pretty quickly and was really trying to prepare myself mentally for the actual delivery.  Of course (yet again) my doctor did not make it in time because just after all the nurses turned on the warmer for the baby, and got everything ready with my bed (taking it all apart, make sure all the sterilization procedures where in place and put on gloves) and I felt a HUGE sensation to push! All three of the nurses in the room told me “hold the baby in by crossing your legs” so I did just that two times and on the third time I told the nurse that was right in front me ” I NEED TO PUSH RIGHT NOW! I am sorry but I cannot hold this baby in anymore, get ready to catch”!!

Well, let’s just say one push later at 9:22pm weighing in at  7 lb 15 oz and 19 1/4 inch tall baby BOY Malachi Andreas Johnson was born and THEN my doctor arrived (about 3-5 minutes after I delivered) to get out my placenta and to see if I needed any stitching (I think he may have done one stitch to prevent excessive bleeding but no tearing thank goodness).

I was so excited to meet my son right away, and put him directly on my chest and start breast feeding right away (and he latched SO good I didn’t need any help from the lactation consultant this time– even though help was definitely provided).  Shane was an AWESOME labor coach the entire time and went over and beyond to make sure I was ok, make sure kids were taken care of ( and tried to help my parents as much as possible with this aspect as well)  and I am SO very thankful and amazed at the goodness of God at how everything turned out!

We had to stay in the hospital for a day and a half because they don’t discharge at night so because of his birth time, we left about 39 hours after his was born, and we (Shane and I) were SO ready to head  home and see all of the kiddos and be a family of 7!

I will leave you with some pictures of the journey to bring Malachi into this world, and I thank you all for the MANY prayers, support, encouragement, and love that you all have provided us during his pregnancy!

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©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.