Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Life

I'm sitting at home now, while most of the Christian world is at church celebrating the most important day of the year - the day we celebrate new life. We've tried to spend some time as a family each night this week reflecting on the Savior's last week of his mortal ministry. The kids all seemed to love watching the videos our church recently produced. I've felt my gratitude and love for Jesus Christ strengthen this week too. Especially as I've gone though my own deliverance from nine months of pregnancy, and witnessed again the miracle of a new life beginning. I think no matter how they get here, every birth is incredible.
Lydia was in no hurry to come. It was last Friday night when I finally settled down for bed that I thought my contractions might be getting regular. I was kind of hoping for labor to come on naturally this time, so I was excited that this might be the night. After about an hour though, they stopped, and I woke up the next morning feeling rested, but also somewhat deflated. I just wanted to be done. With gestational diabetes during these past three pregnancies, I've gotten used to being induced, but somehow it takes some of the excitement out of it.
On Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning, I got the call from the hospital to come in. My Mom was there with the kids, so Paul and I left, getting there around 5. I watched with a tinge of envy the first time parents coming in before us- the wife obviously in real labor. After getting situated, the pitocin began at about 6:30. I decided to rest for a while, since I hadn't slept much at all the night before.
Our nurse, Patti, was wonderful. She was doing a rotation at our hospital, visiting from Oklahoma City. I told her I wanted to see if I could go "naturally" this time, or at least let my body help with progressing labor for a while. She was really supportive. After what I sensed to be pretty decent contractions, Paul and I walked around the halls for about a half hour. Then I made the mistake of getting into the tub for an hour. Labor pretty much stopped, and so had my progress.
So I made the (I think) very wise decision to get an epidural and sprint to the finish line. Once I was numb, they broke my water, and I was ready to push within a half an hour. We waited around for Dr. Smith to get there, and when she did, it took about three pushes before the baby came at 2:39 p.m. We were all shocked at how chubby she was. Her cheeks were huge, she had rolls down her arms and legs, and weighed more than any of my others- 8 lbs. 14 oz.! She had a healthy little cry, and a beautiful thick head of dark hair (which may have a slight reddish tinge to it- it's kind of similar to how Peter's looked when he was born). 
The kids came to see her as soon as Benjamin got off the bus. They were so excited. I think Benjamin especially was looking forward to being a big brother again. He tells us he has the magic touch to calm her down, and often asks if he can hold her.
 Nora was a little sad when she found out the baby wouldn't be coming home that first night. Having only ever done this with little boys, I was surprised at how easily she accepted and even welcomed all the new changes.
Peter's had a bit rougher of a transition. He'll tell me how much he loves the new baby, but generally shows little interest in her. Probably normal. And he'll probably warm up the older she gets.
 It is a little crazy when I realize how much my life has changed over the past few years. Our family is not so little anymore. I have four kids.
 I feel so lucky to be a mother again. I fully realize the challenges that lie ahead with four, but I'm ready for them. If motherhood has taught me anything so far, it's to take life one day at a time. The challenges I face tomorrow when my wonderful Mother leaves us will likely be different from the ones I face next week. But hopefully I will be that much stronger.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Last Day as a Family"

Well this is it- our "last day as a family," as we've been joking. After this, a new little stranger will be here, forever changing the dynamics of our home. It's always such a strange thought, especially when you look at your two-and-a-half-year-old, who already has a very strong personality of her own, and who you can't possibly imagine life without.
39 weeks
My Mom is here now, which makes the transition seem like no big deal. My kids are in heaven.
We were lucky she got here when she did! She came through a crazy snowstorm in Denver, which nearly cancelled her flight. And then the next day, we got our own thick blanket of snow which shut everything down.
The night she got here, we went to our favorite pizza place together and walked around town while we waited for a table.
On Sunday, we woke up to a light dusting of snow, which quickly turned into a heavy foot or so. Church was cancelled, which made for a nice, relaxing day of "home church."
 I'm afraid for our holly tree...the top is pretty weighed down!
Benjamin was supposed to go back to school today, but it was also cancelled.
We spent the day playing in the snow, running last minute errands, dressing up, and watching The Hobbit.
Oh, and then right before bed tonight, Peter swallowed one of those Nauvoo prairie diamond rings and it got caught in his throat....We debated whether to induce gagging, take him to the emergency room, or force it down by feeding him. Paul reluctantly took him to the hospital, but on the way, it somehow found its way down. I'm hoping that's a good sign?   (This is my only pacifier kid- and he always has something in his mouth- either his shirt or a toy, so I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later!)
Anyways, we're excited for what tomorrow will bring. Life is about to get even more exciting around here!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Day with the Birds

Yesterday was sort of warmish (there was sun) so we ventured off to the World Bird Sanctuary, which we'd never been to before. It was a perfect outing- not too much walking for me, but enough for the kids to run around as much as they needed to.
 The kids loved playing eagle chicks in the life-sized eagle's nest.
 And measuring up to the California Condor.
 They thought these pelicans were pretty funny.
Benjamin checking out the owls and hawks they had on leashes.
 There were a ton of bald eagles there. They really are cool looking birds.
 And of course we had to stop at every photo op to put our faces in.
 This morning, I got out some giant boxes we had sitting in the basement and told the kids to make them into their own toy worlds with roads, lakes, or whatever they wanted.  It was messy, but I think they had fun with it.
 And we didn't have to go anywhere to do it. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013


During a discussion about temptation:
"If Satan said come this way and you'll have all the Lego sets in the whole world, then I would say I don't care if there are all the Lego sets, I just care about PEACE and GOD! Then he'll be surprised by it!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cuties

 Benjamin and Peter are really into St. Patrick's Day (maybe it's the red hair? or the fact that it's my Dad's birthday?), so I made them some little green ties to wear to church. I'm almost done with their Easter and summertime ties as well. I'm completely sold on this tutorial for making them. I love that they love to look like missionaries. Nora's had this green dress for a while. It was a second-hand find. I made her a simple shamrock bow for her hair.  Though she was happy with the bow, she definitely sensed that there was something different about how she was dressed.  Watching Daddy put on his St. Patty's Day tie she said, with a huge smile, "I too little for ties."

Benjamin was coming up with some pretty elaborate plans to catch a leprechaun all day. He thought if he took off every bit of green after church, then one would HAVE to come and pinch him and when it did, he could catch it. Peter took a more cautious approach, opting to help out with a box trap instead. He didn't want to get pinched, so he kept his green on all day.

One Spring Day

Spring Break started on Friday. We had beautiful weather, but it was probably the best we'll see all week.
We took advantage of the unusual warmth (the previous day and the day after this we had flurries) by going to a nearby lake with friends.
Nora quickly figured out that hanging out in her undies worked much better for wading.
The kids all had fun collecting rocks....
...and digging....
...and finding "shark teeth"...
....and finding large pieces of drift wood, which they of course insisted on bringing home.
I have mixed feelings about the week ahead. I know I should focus my mental energies on building relationships and memories with my kids before the big, impending baby changes. It should be fun to have this down time with no schedules or places to be (other than my LAST doctor appointment!!!).
But I also wouldn't complain if the baby came a little early, and we just made that our Spring Break adventure instead. :) At my last growth ultrasound on Thursday, she measured roughly 8 lbs. 1 oz. I'd say she's done in there!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Some Random Thoughts

1. I'm 36 weeks now. Technically, I could go at any time now, although it's unlikely considering my history of going full-term/until they induce me. I have been pregnant for almost three years of my life now. I feel like that's a fairly significant amount of time, seeing as I'm not quite 30. Ten percent of my life, in fact! That sounds like a lot. I think I'd like to be done now.

2. I would also like to keep the baby in for a few more weeks since I'm feeling nowhere near ready. I pulled out the old dusty car seat, only to realize that it is now expired. I need to replace Nora's dresser with something that will accommodate her clothes AND all the freshly washed baby clothes. I also need to replace the old rocker that I used to nurse all three babies that finally bit the dust sometime last year. I need to pack a hospital bag. I need to buy diapers and all that other stuff...I think it's finally dawning on me that we're actually going to have another tiny person living with us. Always such a strange (but also wonderful) thought.

3. Winter has finally showed up, which is another reason I want this baby to wait a few more weeks. I was envisioning a Spring baby, and for the past week or so, we've had non-stop flurrying (that usually doesn't stick), coupled with freezing temperatures. I think St. Louis might need to get it's own Punxsutawney Phil. I'm starting to doubt the legitimacy of a groundhog's forecasting that lives over 600 miles and a few states away. ;)

4. We are finally all better! February was such a blur, but I can finally say (with some level of confidence) that the flu that was pin-balling between all of us has finally left.  Hallelujah!

5. Peter is really funny. I've been needing naps more frequently these days, and he usually spends the time in his room, either playing Legos or doing "school" work. He has such high expectations of himself, that it's comically tragic. The other day, I jumped up, sure that someone had seriously injured themselves, only to find Peter, throwing a little tantrum in his room because he couldn't get his 5's right. He is like that at school too. His teacher tells me how bright he is, and how much he feels like he can do right now, but the obvious truth is, he's still four, and there are things that he's physically and emotionally not capable of doing yet. But that won't stop him from trying! I sure love this little firecracker.

6. I've finished a few "princess" touches to Nora's room, to help her half feel a little more her. For the picture, I just cut out a few silhouettes and taped them onto some scrapbook paper. And I let her pick out some fabric so she could have a princess pillow. Jut a few little things that I think make her feel special. :)

7. I finally got to see Les Miserables in the theater with Paul (we go on dates so rarely, but I felt like this was one I had to do before the baby comes)! I'm so glad we did. It did not disappoint. I saw Les Miserables about a decade ago on Broadway (essentially the nosebleed section), and I felt like the movie was even better (even though I kind of feel lame for saying a movie is better than a live performance). Probably because every viewer can intimately feel the emotion and development of the characters, as well as see the sweeping views of France and the conditions of the time. I even loved the music, enough that I think I'd buy the movie soundtrack over any theatrical versions. Oh, and Anne Hathaway never ceases to surprise me. I still have a hard time seeing her as anything other than an awkward teen in Princess Diaries, but she really was phenomenal.