Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Henry's early days

 Our boy Henry is already changing and growing at a rapid rate.  These pictures are mostly from the first week.  Sadly, I don't think I've even used the camera in the past 3 weeks.  And honestly, most of the pictures on this post were taken by Nora or Caroline.  Caroline documented Henry's first bath at home for me when he was two days old.
 He still screams through most of his baths--not that he gets many of them.  Poor sad little boy is rarely dunked in the sink.  Between him not liking it and me not having time, he just doesn't get clean very often. 
 Grandma came and helped us for a whole week.  Oh joy!  She took over Tadd's jobs of dressing, feeding, lunch making dropping off at school each morning.  In addition to all the help with kids and house she brought two boxes of peaches for canning (and didn't get much help from me) and some fabric to make t-shirt dresses for the girls.  Nora talked her ear off each day.  We were very thankful for our week with Grandma.
 Tiny hands!
 Caroline took this picture of the three of us so that she could print it and hang it in a frame on her wall.  Sweet, sweet girl, she is. 

 Grandma and Grandpa got Henry this cute little elephant sleep and play outfit.  The colors are so fun--but the best part is that it closes with magnets!  No fumbling with buttons during every diaper change and in the middle of the dark nights. 
 It also happens to match this gorgeous blankie that Nora's best friend's Mom made for Henry.  Anyone know who that creative friend is?  In addition to all the pretty fabrics she personalized the quilt with an "H" on the back--and a bear silhouette graces the front.  SO cute!
Overall, Henry is a pretty easy baby.  He likes to be held and snuggled (especially at night) but he usually gives me some good naps during the day so that I can get some things done around the house and play with Nora.  Honestly, I don't mind the snuggling one bit.  It can get a little stressful when he wants to snuggle during the frantic get ready for school hours...But really, I just am reminded how quickly these days ended with each of the others.  Almost four weeks of his life have already flown by.  Time speeds up each and every day.  So, I'll take each snuggle, each feeding session, each kiss, each sniff of the head that I can get.  He is yummy.
The kids are good at helping with him.  Ezra likes to come hold him first thing in the morning, often.  This is a good opportunity for me to take a shower or get dressed--maybe even get my teeth brushed (please tell me I'm not the only mom out there who realizes about the time her husband comes home at the end of the day that she never got around to brushing her teeth??).  Caroline is great at burping him while I work on supper or setting the table for me while I have to feed him.  And Nora is my "run and fetch" girl all day long.  I'm not sure how I ever took care of a baby without all these helpers!  Not to mention that I'm getting royally spoiled by special folks bringing suppers and treats for our family.  It's a special time in life, that's for sure.  And Henry, how does he help?  Well, he usually starts out his night with a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep allowing me to get into a quick deep sleep.  Without that stretch I'd be pretty worthless. 
So far Henry's early days have been a bit  hectic, but fun!

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Day of School 2013

 School started three weeks ago tomorrow.  I just now uploaded these pictures from the camera.  Oops.  Nonetheless, we had the first day of school!  Daddy made it all happen.  He spent the first week feeding kids breakfast, packing lunches, finding backpacks and shoes and sweaters and, and, and...and taking them to school and picking them up...
 We have a new first grader...
 and a big old second grader.
 Yikes--time!  Always the enemy.
 The little girl in the picture below, took the photo of the Mama and the little boy in the picture above.  The little girl below spent the week chatting it up with her Daddy.  The Mama and the boy above spent the week taking a lot of naps.  It was wonderful.  Other than the recovery pain, I'd like to go back to that week and relive it whenever I can during my future years. 
 Oh--that boy!  Couldn't love him any more!  He was 3 1/2 days in this picture.  Already sporting a double chin, but still having some serious chicken legs. 
 Henry and I barely managed to get the "first day of school cookies" made for after school snack.  In fact, they were still baking when the kids got home.  But they tasted just as good late. 
And I should know, I think I ate a good half a dozen before dinner.


Our kids have been blessed with many cousins ever since they were born.  Henry is the 10th grandchild on his Dad's side of the family.  All ten of those kids were born is under ten years--which is a lot of young'uns runnin' around.  It was not always easy in the early years--lots of fighting and not a lot getting along some days.  These days they mostly get along with a few fights thrown in for some spice.  
But until very recently, our kids have not had any cousins on their Mom's side of the family.  Back in April we were thrilled to have cousin Oliver join Jacob and Emily's family and become the first cousin on Mom's side of the family.  I was especially excited that Oliver would be only 4 months older than our baby.  I was always hopeful that I could have a baby close to one of my brothers having a baby.  When Henry was born and we realized that we have two boys four months apart we were very excited.  We know there will be those hard early years with lots of fighting--but that's okay.  Someday I hope they'll be pretty good buddies!

 Here they are together on Henry's 3rd day of life.

 Chicken Legs and Chubby Cheeks, Golden Hair and Dark Mohawk, Happy and Angry:  Cousins.
 We really wanted a good picture with all 5 grand kids together.  However, Miss "I don't like my picture to be taken" would not cooperate.  It didn't make it any easier that it was right in the middle of her normal nap time and her title of "youngest" had been twice taken over. 
 Here's to many fun years ahead!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We Have Boy!

Circuit on overload.  System experiencing serious delay.  Higher than normal call volume is being experienced, please expect delays.  You get the picture : )  Things are a leeeetle busy around here!  And while exciting things are happening every second--summer is almost over!--We have a new Baby!--The first day of School!--Soccer is in full swing!, etc.   I just don't have the time and energy to blog them.  I DO NOT want to skip a post on new Baby, however. goes an attempt!

Friday, August 30th we were officially 40 weeks and 1 day.  It was the start of the Labor Day weekend--a few last days before school started.  The day before we had made it through Open House at the school--the kids met their teachers, delivered their supplies to the classrooms, ate some Popsicles and played on a playground for an hour and a half.  Friday morning dawned and I felt the same as I had for the past few weeks--tired with a lot of contractions.  The contractions had gotten a tiny bit more painful as the weeks went on.  I did my morning workout and it did not stop the contractions--but it didn't bring them on any heavier either.  However, something in my this particular morning was insisting that I "move just a little faster, get a little more done, hurry, hurry!".  The kids were eager to help me get my chores done and made things easier by sweeping, helping to vacuum and dust and gather up laundry.  Tadd kept calling to see if he should come home.  He just had a feeling.  Somewhere along the way I called him back and said "yeah, you should.  It might be for nothing, but I'd feel better having you here."  I also called my mom and let her know that things might be happening and I'd call her back  before rush hour to let her know if she should start on her way up.  My worst nightmare would be to have Tadd at work and my parents in Gig Harbor during the Friday evening rush hour on Labor Day weekend.  We DID NOT want that happening.  Kiddos played quietly while I took a shower.  They were rewarded with a reading session--the kids on the couch and me sitting on my exercise ball.  Suddenly I needed to stop reading every six or so minutes to breathe through the contractions.  Hmmmmm.....
Tadd got home and took over reading while I got up to make lunch.  I wanted to move around.  After lunch I took Nora up to put her down for her nap.  Now here is where I must interject just how much the dear Lord Jesus spoiled me during this labor and delivery.  He answered prayers before I asked them.  He gave me helpers.  He put "feelings" into my husband and parents.  He spoiled me rotten.  So, now we've got Daddy at home playing with two kids.  I told Nora that I'd lay down to snuggle with her (possibly the last time with just the two of us and a baby in my belly) but that Mommy might moan a bit or even cry.  She said she'd hide her eyes under the covers.  However--contractions stopped for the most part for a good half hour and I got to cuddle my girl AND take a nice hard nap.  What a joy!  When I woke up, my parents were here and my contractions got pretty active.  I still wanted to be active, so I did some things around the house.  Then it was time to use a "contraction timer" app on Tadd's iphone.  I timed contractions while sitting on my exercise ball out in the sunshine, chatting with my mom and my kids in between.  The app is great, because it shows not only how often the contractions are, but it averages the time between and the duration.  Just like with Nora there was not really a pattern.  Sometimes I'd go as much as 6 minutes between and sometimes as little as 2.5-3.  They were getting more painful, though.  Tadd was pretty gun shy after our last go at this whole birth thing--so when he checked the average and it was 3:45 between, he insisted I at least call the hospital and would prefer it if I would do it from the passenger seat of the van.  I called from home while he readied things and the kids ran around yelling "we're having the baby!" and asking me "Mommy, do you think you're going to have it now???????  Do you, do you????"
And just like that (the hospital insisted I come in NOW when they heard me try to talk through a contraction) we were on our way.  So many answered prayers already.  My folks were with the kids.  Tadd was with me.  We were going against traffic.  The hospital was only 15 minutes away and they were ready for me.  Praise the Lord.
I'll stop giving so much detail at this point since it reaches into the "TMI" realm.  Suffice it to say that we were ready to have a baby when we got to the hospital 12 minutes later.  I was determined NOT to crawl in this time.  So, I lay on the curb until the worst of it passed, ran in to the front desk, scribbled on the 4 forms they asked me to sign, lay down on the ground for another "worst of it to pass" and then RAN down the hall to the room they directed me towards.  I hollered out that I WOULD be getting an epidural.  The nurse was heaven sent.  She put my IV in and ordered a rush on my epidural before she even admitted me!  She said she had been in my shoes before and knew what it meant to me.  So, again, leaving out the knitty gritty details, I got my epidural.  They soon determined that our Baby had passed meconium in utero and they brought the neo-natal team into the room.  It's never fun to have a NICU doctor and 2 or 3 of his nurses waiting in the room--but it is reassuring to know they are there.  He took a while to be born. 
As soon as Baby was out he was proclaimed to be a "he" and quickly passed to the NICU doc.  He was not allowed to take a breath while they suctioned him out.  It was agonizing.  They were so reassuring, telling us that he was a major fighter and having us listen to his strong heart rate on the monitor.  And then, finally, he cried--howled, really.  What a beautiful sound.  Life!  

 They tossed him on the scale and proclaimed him to be 8 pounds, 15 ounces and...

finally, finally, finally he was plopped in my arms.  He looked huge.  And quite black and blue.  He had lots of bruising.  But he was alive and healthy and warm and wonderful.  His birth APGAR was a 2, but by his 5 minute it was back up (I think an 8, but I don't remember totally).

 We drank him in.  The kids and my parents were already out in the waiting room.  They had eaten a quick dinner at McDonald's and headed straight to the hospital knowing that it would be quick.  Tadd brought the kids in with their "I think it's a boy/girl" shirts on and we revealed the little...
 brother.  Here I am showing them the onesie that says "Hi guys, I'm Henry".  Henry Cole to be exact.  He was measured at 23 inches.  Tadd thinks they mis-measured.  It's nearly impossible to get a correct measurement on a baby.  Either way, he IS very long. 
 And that gift wrapped little package there on my tray is my sandwich and fruit--my reward for having a baby. 
 Uncle Jake, Aunt Emmy and little Oliver had driven in from Spokane that afternoon and they came straight to the hospital. 
 All the visitors eventually left Daddy, Mommy and Henry to our night at the hospital.  But they came back the next afternoon for lots of snuggles.

 Nora did not like the hospital and kept asking when we could get out of there and go home.  She would not come to me in the hospital bed and clung to Daddy.  She wouldn't even turn around for a family picture.

 Eventually we got our boy all bundled up and headed for home.  He had a super cute going home outfit that had been picked out by Daddy...but he got it soaking wet just before we went home.  Oops.
 Shortly after we got him home, Grandpa and Grandma brought the three others and they sat admiring their new Baby Henry.  And here is where I get yet another gift from the Lord.  Henry fell asleep in that there car seat at around 8 PM on his way home from the hospital.  We carried the car seat upstairs to our room while we showered three big kids and put them to bed.  He kept sleeping.  We went to bed.  He kept sleeping.  We slept.  He kept sleeping.  We woke and checked him.  He kept sleeping.  He kept sleeping until 5 AM!!!!!!!!!  No, that has not had a follow up performance.  But I'm okay with that.  An amazing first night is just what I needed!!!!
 Oh sweet boy.  I love you beyond comprehension.
 Last week you were inside me.  This week you are out.  Out where we can hold, and sniff, and snuggle, and kiss, and love and drink you in. 

 These newborn moments will be over before I can blink. 
 Time to drink them in now!
 Thank you all for your prayers!  They were answered in ways we never could have imagined.  We are enjoying life with our new boy. 
*I am aware that there are many misspelling and typos in this post.  Sorry!  I don't even have time for a read through before I hit post.  If I don't do it now, it just ain't gonna happen.