Wednesday, April 16, 2014

November: Nana, BlaBla, Baby Jane, Thanksgiving...OH MY!

Remember November?  Yeah, me neither.  I have been wanting to write this blog for a while, but for some reason blogger wouldn't let me upload pictures from the laptop, and a bunch of the pictures from this post were only on the laptop, and transferring them to the desktop downstairs was just the extra step that broke the camel's back and prevented me from ever finishing it.

But now I am here!  And the pictures are in! 

So now I can go back and fill in all the details surrounding the pictures I took in November.

I think a Princess Bride quote is applicable here,

"Let me e'splain. No there is too much.  Let me sum up"
Halloween night, Oct 31, 2013.  Daddy took the girls to a couple of houses, while I stayed home and passed out candy to kids, after about 20 minutes, the girls were back and they helped pass out candy for the rest of the evening.  I love that my girls favorite part of Halloween is passing out candy to the other neighborhood kids, getting to see their costumes, and their big smiles when they get candy.  It's such a fun experience.  We also get just the right amount of trick or treaters in our neighborhood, and all is usually quiet by about 8:30 pm.  I LOVE ROCHESTER!

The girls all got sick in early November, here is Katy sleeping on my super pregnant lap.  Nothing like being 9 months pregnant.  It's the worst.  Normally I love when my kids are cuddle monsters, but when I am that pregnant it seems smothering to have extra kids draped on me.  We all survived though!

We got our first snowfall (that stuck) the first week of November

Nana came to visit!  We were all so happy to see her!  It had been almost a year and a half since we'd seen her, so it was SO nice.  (Though in the future I think I will limit house guests during the month I'm set to have the baby)

Matt's school friends gave us a cute outfit and some serious gift card-age.  It was so sweet and we put it to good use!

 I started working on my super secret dollhouse project for the girls Christmas present.  I got this dollhouse that was all grubby/dirty white, but solid wood for $10 on Craigslist!  Woohoo!  I kept it in the garage and cleaned and painted it, then put in some faux wood flooring.  I got it all finished before I had the baby (whew!).  It was a super fun project.  Though I am sure if it wasn't freezing in the garage and I wasn't 9 months pregnant I would've made it a little more fancy and detailed, but I was happy with it.

Baby Jane is Born: The Birth Story
To catch you up to speed, my mom-in-law, Martha, was here for 6 days, leaving on Monday, November 11th.  My mom flew in that same day.  I had been having contractions all week especially after my mom got there.  There were 2 nights (Tuesday and Thursday) were I timed my contractions for several hours having them every 2-4 minutes, but still being completely moderate and manageable pain wise, only to have them stop after several hours.  Thursday night I even stopped by triage due to insistence from Matt and my mom that I check in, since when I start hard labor the baby usually comes fast.  They eventually stopped on Thursday night and I was still only dilated to a 2.  Then Friday and Saturday I had even fewer contractions than what is normal for me.  Until Saturday night.  In the night I had pretty steady contractions.  I was able to sleep off and on, and only occasionally were the contractions painful.  Matt was working at the hospital that weekend, so when he left for work at 6am I told him that I had a feeling it was going to happen today. 

Here is my last belly picture, taken Friday November 15th at 37 weeks!
So its Sunday morning, and Matt is at the hospital for his on-call weekend shift.  I decide to stay in bed and try and rest since I had a relatively sleepless night and my contractions are still mild, but very consistent.  My mom comes up around 8am and asks if she should get the girls ready and take them to our church (which starts at 9am).  I tell her that she better not, just to be safe, because I think it's possible I might go into labor and need her to drive me to the hospital.  My contractions are still mild and regular so I try not to put too much stock into them, but I just have a feeling.  Just before 9, I decide to get up and use the bathroom and wash my face and get ready for the day.  While I'm in the bathroom doing my morning routine, my water breaks.  I let my mom know and tell her that I want to wait until my contractions get more intense before going to the hospital, so no rush.  In the meantime I start to pack up all the last minute hospital toiletry and electronic items and put my pillow and bags by the door.  I brush my hair out and make sure I'm ready.  Around 10:30 the intense contractions start.  They are crazy intense, they paralyze me, and I just hold very still and try not to die.  I tell my mom that I want to wait 30 minutes and if they are still going strong head in.  I am not a fan of going to the hospital unless it's absolutely necessary and I felt bullied into it on Thursday so I am waiting until I am at the point of no return.  At 11 my mom brings the girls up has them start getting bundled up and she starts loading up the car.  At this point the contractions are coming hard and fast.  Lasting 90 seconds to 2 minutes and giving me less than a minute in between.  I think that in the car ride to the hospital my girls got a nice view of the fact that labor is NOT a pleasant experience.  "Mommy, why are you groaning?"  "Mommy, why are your eyes closed?"  "Mommy why are you breathing like that?" I managed to squeak out, "Because it hurts.  So much!  The baby is trying to come out of my body and it hurts."  At 11:35 my mom drops me at the hospital curb and goes to park the car and unload the girls.  I get about 2 steps before being hit by a contraction and stand there looking pathetic I'm sure.  A nurse notices me and asks if I'm OK, clearly I'm not, I tell her I'm in labor, she goes and gets a wheelchair, brings it outside and wheels me up to labor and delivery.  It was so nice of her to use up several minutes of her lunch break pushing me to triage (especially because she works on a totally different unit).  I never would have made it without her.  I seriously could not walk more than a step or two at a time between contractions.  I get up to Labor and Delivery and tell them to page my husband (who is in surgery) and let him know that I'm here.  They say that the residents are all busy and that there probably won't be anyone around to come check me for a while.  Not sure exactly what I tell them, but it's something along the lines of, "That's unacceptable, please check me in and get me into a room.  This is baby # 4 and I'd guess it'll be out of me in 1-2 hours max".  That seemed to do the trick, within a couple of minutes a very nice doctor came in and checked me very quickly, "Yep, your water is definitely broken, you're at a 5, and the baby's head is low."  They immediately wheeled me to a room and less than 10 minutes later I was meeting the epidural crew! (I didn't have an epidural with Izzie, and it wasn't an experience I was anxious to repeat)  While they're putting the epidural in Matt walks in.  I was so happy to see him!  After the epidural was in, I was able to relax for about 30 minutes.  Ahhhhh.  During that time I had the girls come into the room for a few minutes now that I wasn't in so much pain so that I could explain to them what was happening.  I didn't want them to feel scared for me or worried or anything. 
At 12:30 the baby's heart rate dropped and the nurse came and had me try rolling over.  She then said, "I know you said that you progress really quickly, do you feel like you need to push already (It'd been almost an hour since I was at a 5 and had last been checked)?"  I said not overwhelmingly, but they brought the Dr in to check me and as soon as she touched me I felt that indescribable sensation of needing to push.  So they set everything up, told me to not push too hard, like at 70% or so, so that the baby wouldn't be born too quickly.  That's what I did.  2 nice smooth and steady pushes and she was born.  The nurses, doctor, and resident were all oohing and ahh'ing that it was a beautiful delivery and couldn't have gone better and that it was like the ideal textbook version of what a perfect deliver could be.  That made me happy and proud, but I frankly was just glad that I had the epidural for that 40 minutes!  I know that 40 minutes doesn't seem like that long to endure something, but I was sooooo glad not to have to feel that pain for a minute longer!

Anyway, it was perfect.  As soon as I held her in my arms I felt so overwhelmingly that this was our Jane. I felt like I'd been waiting my whole life to get to meet her.  Matt and I experienced a sweet moment filled with pure love as we looked into each others eyes and felt the right-ness of the moment.

Jane Amelia
6lbs 3oz
19 inches

The day after I got home from the hospital my mom came down with the full on flu.  She spent the next 2 weeks quarantined in her room downstairs where I just brought her food, meds, and water.  So the above pic from the hospital is the only time she got to hold Jane.  It was incredibly crummy timing, especially because Matt didn't take any time off, so I was flying solo.

A week and a half after I had Jane was Thanksgiving.  My brother Charlie flew in to spend it with us.  Unfortunately, he ended up having to sleep on an air mattress in our main room upstairs so that he didn't have to share a bathroom or be in the general vicinity of my mom who was still out with the flu. 

Matt ended up having Thanksgiving off so it was AWESOME to have his help!  I was glad not to have to do the whole meal by myself.

We made my mom come up long enough to be in this picture and make herself a plate.  At this point the worst of her fever and miserableness had subsided, but she still wasn't well.  She didn't want to be photographed, so she threw on one of the girl's dress-up hats to cover her face.  We're a ragtag group, that's for sure, but it was still a yummy Thanksgiving!

The weekend after Thanksgiving we decorated for Christmas, and Uncle Charlie bought pizza.  We had a movie night and rented Monsters University and did facials.  It was lots of fun!  We sure love it when Uncle Charlie visits!

By this time my mom was feeling much better, though still not well, and I wasn't ready to let her anywhere near Jane, who was the only member of our family who didn't get a flu shot.

Charlie flew back to Ohio, and a few days later my mom followed suit.  I was so sad to have her go.  I'm always sad to have her go, but I was especially sad that she didn't get to spend much time with the girls while she was here, since she was sick for the majority of her stay, and I was especially sad that she didn't get any time to bond with Miss Jane.

Here are some pictures we took of Miss Jane during November

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello...Is this thing on...??

Hello, friends!!  It has been far too long, I apologize!  Here is a brief breakdown of what has been going on with us since I last blogged (on Oct 30th).
  • We celebrated Halloween
  • My mother in law came to visit
  • She left the same day that my mother arrived
  • I had a baby!!!
  • My brother Charlie came to visit
  • We all celebrated Thanksgiving
  • My brother left to go back to Ohio
  • A week later my mother left back to AZ
  • The day after my mom left my sister in law, Heather, arrived
  • 3 days later Heather left
  • We celebrated Katy's 3rd birthday
  • We celebrated Christmas
  • We celebrated New Years
  • We celebrated Izzie's 5th birthday
All that and it's only been 2 months and 1 week since I blogged!  And that doesn't even include all the fun small activities, those are just major milestones.  We also have all the "fun around the house" things, snow days, Christmas activities, etc.  I have been far too busy living life, or in some cases just trying to survive it, to stop and blog!  However, I am going to try and catch up, I even uploaded the pictures from my camera to this computer!!  (I haven't sorted through them yet though...)
But I wanted to take the time to say, we're all alive and well, blogging is definitely on my mind, even if it hasn't been at the top of the priority list, and I will be attempting to update the blog, and then not fall so far behind again.
If after all this time away, you are still checking my blog, and reading this boring post sans pictures, then you are a true friend!  Love to you, and promises of LOADS of cute baby/kiddo pictures headed your way soon!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baby on the Brain

In case you missed it, I'm pregnant.  Super pregnant.  Uncomfortably, miserably pregnant. 
 It is truly my, deep in my gut, honest to the core, belief that God made the last few weeks of pregnancy completely miserable so that women would over come their fear of childbirth and be willing to endure any pain in order to get the baby out of their body. 
So that's about where I am.  If we go by the pattern our other girls have set (and I am really, really hoping that we are--If this baby decides to break the mold and suddenly be over due, heads might roll), then I have about 2 - 2.5 weeks left.  I am having contractions all the time, rib and back pain, my hips seem to pop out of place every time I sit or stand (which is super painful), not getting any sleep and having to pee about every 30 minutes.  Literally.  I have also been getting severe hemiplegic migraines several times a week for the past few weeks (experiencing vision loss, numbness, confusion, and of course headache pain) which is a new development that I am hoping will go away once I deliver.  In other words, I am simply a delight to be around and in the best spirits ever!
Actually, I think I have done a pretty good job at controlling my grumpiness and being amiable.  Matt would be the best judge of that, and I am not really sure if he would tell a different story or not, but from my point of view, I've done a pretty good job being, if not pleasant, then at least not unpleasant.  Or at least not excessively so.  I hope.
I am hoping that I will get checked at my next Dr appointment, on Monday, so that I know if these contractions are actually causing any progress, or are making me uncomfortable for no good reason.  I know it doesn't really matter either way, since it can all change over night, but it's always encouraging to feel like things are happening.
So, since I am thinking that I only have another "safe" 2 weeks before I hit the "it could happen any day now" stage, I have entered the "prep for baby" zone, and I am working to get everything set up, pulled out, washed, rearranged, purchased, and ready!  It's a lot of work, but it's also exciting too.  It definitely makes it all feel more real, and fills me with gratitude for this sweet baby that we weren't sure we'd be able to have.  I feel like with this baby my "nesting" instinct never kicked in.  Cleaning/organizing/etc. have all been tortuously accomplished only by self discipline and will power.  I have zero desire to do any of the things on my "to-do" list and would much, much rather nap.
Baby Names
One thing that's been on my mind a lot the past couple of weeks has been this baby's name.  I am still not sure what we will name her, I think that we will meet her and see what feels right.  Our #1 contender right now is Jane.  This is the most likely name, our back-ups are Lucy, and Rosalyn.  We'll have to wait and see.  What's your favorite of the three?
I am thinking about doing something unconventional for her middle name.  All of our girls have middle names taken from family names.  I love this and I think it's great to establish family ties and give names with meaning.  Now that we're on girl #4, it's getting harder to find names that both Matt and I can agree on.  So this time around I am thinking of doing a mash-up middle name.  We did a mash-up name for Kate's middle name, using our Grandmother's names, EvaLou and Anna became LouAnn.
So, with this baby, I am thinking about using my sister's names, which are Andrea and Emily.  If you put their two names together it sounds like the name Amelia, which is a name I like a lot.  The unconventional-ness comes in the spelling.  Let me just say that I am generally against creative spellings of names.  Half the time when I see "creatively" spelled kids names, I just assume the parents didn't know how to spell it properly.  I mean, who wants to have to spell your name every time you give it to someone new, make an appointment, start a new class, sign up or register for basically anything, etc.  Plus 90% of people will probably spell your name wrong for most of your life.  That being said, I feel like there is a little more leniency with middle names, which really aren't used very often.  I still feel anxious about misspelling Amelia in order to make it a family name.  But, I think in the end, wanting to honor family ties is more important to me that people saying, "what the heck is up with that spelling?".  So here are the options:
Andrea + Emily =
I personally am leaning toward doing in Amilea.  Do you think that is too wacky?  (It is OK to say yes, as long as you realize that you are saying it to a 9 month pregnant, overly hormonal woman, and say it very, very, tactfully.   Preferably prefacing it with how witty, or pretty, or fun you think I am.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Fun!


My last post was on our anniversary and was just a little video for Matt.  I'll start by posting about our anniversary, then just post based on whatever pictures we've taken over the past month.  I am not sure I even remember what we did last week, so it will be a surprise for me as I look over uploaded pictures and realize what needs to be blogged about.  I have full-on late term pregnancy brain (which is a very real thing), which means that my memory and any reasoning, emotional, social, graceful, quick witted, skills I once had are all long gone, and have been replaced by a forgetful, hormonal, exhausted, waddling, slow and aching demeanor that really just wants to curl up and nap.  But I'll do my best to catch up and get rid of the "I can't blog, 'cause I'm too far behind" blues, so that hopefully when this baby does come out of me in a few weeks, I won't be behind.  So, buckle up, here is the big catch-up post!   whhheeeee!!!
 Matt got me the only thing I really wanted for our anniversary which was a few bags of crushed ice from the hospital.  It may sound silly, but I was in HEAVEN.  I am an ice devouring maniac.  It's completely out of control with this pregnancy, and Mayo has the BEST ice.  Best husband ever!
 I never posted about General Conference, but I want to just take a quick minute to.  I don't often go into a lot of detail about Matt's and my involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on here, but I want to take a minute to say how much I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for the scriptures that bear witness of Him, and for the modern day prophets and apostles we have.  I love being a part of a community that is dedicated to being a force of goodness, love, charity, and strength. Twice a year we get to listen to  a whole weekend's worth of talks and spiritual messages from the worldwide leadership of our church, when you add in the priesthood and relief society sessions, it ends up being over 15 hours worth of sermons.  That seems like it'd be exhausting and boring, but really it is so uplifting and brings such a great atmosphere and feeling of peace and joy into our home.  I love it.  The church isn't perfect, the people in it are not perfect, and there are definitely times and circumstances that challenge my faith, but I have a deep testimony of the perfect love of God, and of His son, Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the church and for all that its programs, teachings, members, and leadership does to bring me closer to my divine nature, and to help me to better understand God the Eternal Father.
I hit month 8 of pregnancy and really blew up.  I am big and uncomfortable and just trying not to groan every time I get up and down or waddle when I walk.  I think my next post will be a pregnancy update, so I'll leave it at that for now.
Halloween started approaching and fall started in earnest.  The trees changed colors and are beautiful (I really should take some pictures for all my AZ family who doesn't get to experience a real fall), and the weather cooled WAY down.  We went from highs in the low 70's one week to highs in the 40's the next.  The biting wind has made me realize just how much I am dreading winter.  We've had a few snow flurries, but not enough to stick.  Really barely even enough to notice.  But it does mean that it has snowed all but 4 months this year (June, July, Aug, & Sept we had no snow, but that's it!).  I love the fall and I am NOT ready for it to get cold yet.  I am loving all the fall flavors and decorations everywhere though!  It is awesome to live in a place where practically every home has some kind of decorations/pumpkins outside, it's so festive and fun! 
Speaking of fun and festive, my amazing friend Vanessa sent me an awesome Halloween package, with a cute gift for baby girl as well.  It was a total surprise and made my month!  Isn't the baby ninja shirt spectacular?!
We of course had our annual pumpkin painting night, which is one of our family's favorite nights of the year!  I am so glad we started this 4 years ago when Lily was just a toddler, we all look forward to it every year, and it's always a fun night.
 We put our pumpkins on our porch, because of the glare you can't really see our spooky glass door decorations and lights, but that's OK I guess.
Last Friday the weather hit 50 degrees, so we decided to go out and take advantage of the "warm" weather, and take some photos.  It was fun.  It didn't end up spectacular or anything, and we weren't super dedicated to it, but we did get a couple of fun images.
These 3 little girls are my whole world.  They are so different from each other and being each of their mommies is a challenge in vastly different ways, but they each make my heart sing, and my soul delight.  I can't wait to meet their little sister in a few weeks and see how being her mommy will be so much the same and so different all together!

My 4 favorite people!  I am so lucky that my girls have such a wonderful daddy.  I swore that I wouldn't have kids unless it was with a good man who would be a great dad.  I felt like I missed out on a whole lot growing up without a dad, and it made me determined that if I ever had kids, they wouldn't feel the same.  I couldn't have made a better choice in Matt.  He is the greatest partner I could've imagined and seeing him grow as a father makes me fall so much more in love with him.  I feel such an increase of love towards Matt for the strength and love and support he has given me through this pregnancy.  I love him more than ever, and I can't wait to see him with a tiny little baby again. He has had to be gone for school a lot, and dedicate a lot of time to research/school work, but he has really tried to make up for it by being a huge help and hard worker anytime he has free time.   Last Sunday, while I threw myself in an exhausted heap on the bed after church, Matt made the dangerous declaration "It's my job as a husband to cater to your pregnant whims, tell me what you need and I'll do it".  I was SHOCKED to hear him make such a bold, indenturing statement.  He totally followed through though and made crepes (for his first time ever) for dinner.  And they were delicious.  

 I finally got around to starting to sew "baby girl" 's baby blanket.  I'll have to find someone here in town with quilting frames, and also actually name the baby before finishing it, but I've got the two sides ready to go!
 The big girls got their school pictures back, first grade and pre-K.  It made me feel extremely old, and super sentimental.  I blame hormones, but really, where does the time go?!  And how do I make it slow down?
 Our church ward had a trunk or treat and it was lots of fun!

Poor Izzie got scared in the haunted house and started crying.  She got over it OK though and went back to having a good time!
The Woolley's are an amazing family in our ward.  They always go all out and everything they do is fun and spectacular!  Sister Woolley is Isabel's Sunday School teacher and she is simply fantastic.  Izzie love's her so much and to be honest, I wish I could be in her class too.  They always do something over the top and fun and BIG for the trunk or treat, this year they had a whole pirate ship set up and the kids has to walk the plank to get a treat.  I was disappointed when Matt didn't get a picture from the front of the ship so that you could see the full effect.  It was seriously impressive, and the whole family was of course outfitted like pirates.  It was awesome.
 The kids had a great time trunk-or-treating and got loads of candy, which is great because it means we won't have to walk around too much in the cold on Halloween night!