Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meeting His Sisters!

Grandma Smith flew into town that afternoon, picked up Hannah and Lydia from Alexis Shaeffer, and Alissa from school and brought them to hospital to meet their new sibling.  We hadn't told ANYONE about the gender yet because we had promised that the girls would be told VERY FIRST before anybody else.  (I did tell my parents when I called them after delivering, but they weren't going to spread the word!)  Tyson bought 4 balloons - 3 of them said "Its a Boy!" on it and the 4th one was a big baby foot.  Each girl would get their very own Brother Balloon and the foot was for our little Boy!

When Tyson brought the girls into the delivery room, they looked up at the balloons.  We asked them "So, what did we have...a boy or a girl?!"  Alissa smiled and responded "boy."  Hannah smiled and Lydia just walked in the room excited to see Mommy and Daddy and some balloons!  We captured this sweet moment on video which I was so thrilled about!  It will be fun to watch over the years.

Right then and there, my sweet friend who worked in the nursery, brought into my delivery room all the supplies  needed to give our baby boy a bath!  It was so special because the three girls got to stand next to the baby warmer and watch up close and personal as Tamara gave Him a bath.  She was so cute and even let them help scrub him.  It was PERFECT.  I watched my two older girls admire their new little brother as he lay there being bathed.  I could see their immediate love and affection and excitement toward him.  As a parent, it is so rewarding to watch that sibling love grow and develop...those friendships that start so young, truly do last a lifetime and into the eternities.  My heart was full.  My cup runneth over!

It was fun to hang out as a family of 6!  We enjoyed being a part of his first few hours together as a family.  We enjoyed sending out the message to family and friends that we did in fact break our mold...we had a BOY!  I got to stay in my delivery room (special priveleges of being a labor and delivery staff nurse) for the whole day and evening and night.  I moved to post partum early in the morning but it was so nice to be with my dear work friends that night and hold my sweet new baby boy.  I was in heaven and wanted to soak up every moment.  For these moments are truly what I have dreamed of my whole life.  Babies are my world and always have been.  Maybe that's why I love more than anything being a mother!!

It's A....BOY! The Delivery...

After 3 BOWS came a BOY!  Oh my heavens, We have a boy!  And here is HIS birth story...

We had originally planned to go to Labor and Delivery on the evening of the 10th to have my labor be induced, but my doctor decided to wait until the next morning, February 11th, 2014.

We awoke early, got dressed and ready, Cheri Taylor (a dear friend) came to be with the girls until school started, and we were on our way.  Funny thing, on this morning was an ICE storm.  Here in Texas, when it gets below freezing and there is any precipitation, then everything will be covered with a layer of ice.  It was undecided whether school would be cancelled or not, so until it was decided, Cheri was just going to be there to get the girls dressed and take them to her house.  We got to the hospital at 6 am and it was about then that we got the email/call/text that school was on a two hour delay.

I was welcomed warmly by all of the nurses in Labor and delivery who are also my friends!  It was fun to introduce Tyson to them and they were all excited to have me deliver my baby on our unit.  Krystal Pell was my nurse and she was so wonderful!  We checked in, got hooked up to the monitors, signed papers, started my IV, etc. and got my first dose of antibiotic at 7:30 am.  I was 3 cm already and so Krystal broke my water and started pitocin, but then shortly after, Dr. Orth phoned and said, don't start anything yet because her kids were still home from school because of the ice storm.  So we had to just hang out and wait.  We passed the time by watching the OLYMPICS!  They began pitocin finally at 10 am and I wasn't really feeling much of anything, although my ctx were already consistenly 2-3 mintues apart.  I felt some cramping but not any pain.  By 11:30 am, I was getting uncomfortable.  I wanted to hold out until I was in a lot of pain and so within a half hour I was ready for my epidural.  I was 6 cm and ready for some pain relief!  I got my epidural about 12 and was feeling relief by about 12:15.  Yay, I could relax and rest.  About 12:45 pm, I was started to hurt a bit more and also feeling my "normal" end of the labor nausea set in.  I knew I was close.  Within a few minutes and contractions, I literally felt myself completely dilate because I immediately felt the baby move QUICKLY down into the birth canal.  With that pressure, I called my nurse and my doctor came shortly there after.  They put me in stirrups and had me bear down but immediately told me to stop so they could get gowned up, and set up for delivery!!!

About 2 contractions later, my doctor said "This baby is coming out whether we are ready or not."  With the next contraction, I pushed for about 3 seconds, then the little surprise baby's head crowned.  I gave another short second push and out HE came at 1:20 pm!!  It was a fun delivery and soooo quick to push him out!

Everyone knew that we had waited with this baby to have the gender be a surprise, so I was sure to remind them that I wanted Tyson to announce to me what the gender was.  With the nurses and Dr. Orth's squeals and gasps of joy, I heard Tyson say questionatively "Its a BOY?!!"  I almost didn't believe those words were even possible in our case, so I exclaimed "Really?  Its a boy?!"  And my doctor lifted the babe up so I could see my son and the evidence:)  WOW, we have a SON!  It was an emotional moment as they laid him on my chest and I laughed and cried and looked up to see my loving and wonderful husband with tears of joy in his eyes too.  Nothing in life is as wonderful as these sweet moments between parents and a child!  That immediate bond is real and it was exciting to have another sweet blessing enter our lives!  We looked at him, admired him, tried to dismiss our shock, and loved this little boy, he already felt a perfect part of our family.

As he was on the scale, we learned the difference between little boys and girls!!!!  HE peed and it covered his whole body and even splashed himself in the face!  Yuck!   Good thing it was still probably sterile!

Baby Boy weighed in at 6 pounds 7 ounces 18 1/4 inches long.

Tyson and I enjoyed holding the little man for about an hour just to ourselves.  Wow, we couldn't get over the fact that we had a BOY!  Oh how our world of pink was now forever changed.  A part of me was saddened to not have just girls, but at the same time, we are blessed with a sweet baby boy who will be undoubtedly loved and adored by his three wonderful big sisters!  We are so happy, a little bit shocked, but just feel extremely happy and blessed that we delivered a healthy baby boy!  Welcome little buddy!  We are excited to get to know you!

My experience in my labor and delivery unit was wonderful and my friends/nurses took such great care of me!  I felt so darn spoiled!  I nursed the sweet baby boy and began to feel really light headed and was losing my vision and hearing....I knew what this meant, I was going to pass out.  I immediately had Tyson take the boy and I put the bed down flat.  Krystal came in to help me.  This was only the beginning of my post- delivery troubles.  But that's for another post!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Utica Mission Home

 SURPRISE!!  A few weeks ago, I called Dad and asked him what they were doing this weekend...or if Melissa and I could come visit for a few days.  He was totally shocked and a bit curious why we were wanting to come, but with Melissa moving back to Utah, this was her only chance to come have them meet MJ for the remainder of their mission.  We wanted it to be a surprise for Mom, even though it was father's day weekend...we knew Dad had to be aware so that we wouldn't be messing up their busy busy missionary life.  So with that, Melissa drove with her three girls and I flew in from Austin.  Mom and Dad, coincidentally, had to pick up a visa sister from the airport that was flying in around the same time I was flying in, so Melissa drove from Dayton all day and arrived at the Syracuse airport right when I landed.  

I got off the plane and dad had told Melissa that they were waiting for the "visa sister" outside the gates.  So Melissa and her girls headed up the escalator right as I walked out of the terminal.  Dad saw me ahead of time and redirected Mom to look to where I was walking out.  The look on her face was pure SHOCK mixed with some confusion!  Then she just started to smile big and yelled "what are you doing here?"  Then Melissa and her girls surprised her from the escalator and we all embraced in hugs and tears!  It was so fun and she was very surprised and proud that Dad kept the secret for so long!!!!
 The mission home in Utica is beautiful and very spacious...obviously since it hosts missionaries all the time!  We enjoyed dinner outside on the deck on evening!
 The mission home has a mini Sacred Grove in the backyard!  It is so beautiful!  I love those tall aspen trees!
 Mini "Sacred Grove"
 Sweet MaryJane
 Nana feeding her youngest granddaughter!
I missed my three girls SOOOOO much!  But it was very relaxing to be able to hold this sweet little peice of heaven and get baby hungry!  I enjoyed some relaxing craft time with my sister and mom, some brief shopping, some reading time in a book, and some cuddling time with a newborn!

It was a great weekend but I am ready to see my girls and hubby!

Adirondack mountains continued...

 We saw some wild deer and turkeys!
 Me and my cutie neice, Claire!
 I loved this view!  So amazing!  This made me want to move to New York!
 The beautiful wildflowers on the side of the road were incredible!
This was a mural on the side of a building in Old Forge.  See those chairs?  Those are called Adirondack chairs...I had no idea they were named for this very region of the country and they are so popular all over the country!

Adirondack Moutains, Old Forge New York

 After attending the Utica Ward and eating a yummy "Wirthlin Sunday" dinner, we took a long Sunday afternoon drive!  It was wonderful!  We drove up into the Adirondack Mountians and it was beautiful.  There was a new lake around each corner in the highway.  It was incredible!
This particular lake reminded me of the original movie "The Parent Trap" where the girls go to the girls camp in the mountains.

 Me and my sis!  Love this girl and I am so grateful she is my best friend and sister! 
 So glad I got to see her this weekend!
 I loved this sign!  It makes me want to come back and canoe all over!  There were rows and rows of canoes and tiny resort towns to accommodate the summer visitors! 
 Loved this little bridge!  And I loved the sign in the background of the snowmobile...one of my favorite activities to do in the winter!
 It was fun to spend "Auntie" time with these two cuties, Kate and Claire!
Me and My folks!  Love these amazing people!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Alissa's First Dance Recital

 And so it begins...the first of many dance recitals to come with being the parents of three girls!  Alissa looked beautiful today in her pale yellow ballet costume!  She danced beautiful and was so good on stage!  We were so proud of her how she went bravely on stage and performed in front of the big bright lights and the audience.  She danced perfectly, remembering her dance and looking like the best one on stage!  She told us afterwards that she loved it and wasn't scared at all!  Her ballet dance was to "What a beautiful world."
 Proud Mommy and Daddy with our little dancer
 The family!
 My pretty little lady with her makeup and hair done!
 I volunteered to be the back stage Mom for her class, and it was fun to be able to spend time with her and her dance class during her recital!
 Practicing on stage before the actual performance.
 Alyssa Hall and Alissa- dancing buddies!
 Receiving her medal for dancing!  Wave to the crowd!
Daddy and Hannah and Lydia got Alissa purple roses for dancing so great!  Alissa was in heaven holding flowers after dancing!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Disneyland pictures are being added...

I took over 750 pics while in Disneyland a few weeks ago and so I am slowing getting them posted to the blog.   I do them chronologically, so scroll down a few weeks ago and you will see them!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dinosaur Tracks for Memorial Day

 We headed to Dinosaur Tracks today to show Daddy a fun place we often come to explore a riverbed!  The girls were being silly on their buckets!
 Water Cuties!
 Daddy and Lydia
 Daddy was trying to catch a fish for the girls....but was unsuccessful!
 Lydia and Mommy eating a snack!
 Little Lady Lydia
 Blowing kisses!
 Did you catch anything Hannah?
Alissa likes to collect sea shells in her bucket!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lydia is 18 months

Hard to believe that my precious little girl, Lydia, is 18 months old!  Time seems to just fly by and I can't wrap my head around it!  She weighed in at 25 pounds and 31 inches tall...80% for weight at 50% for height!  She is such a joy to our family. She has an adorable attitude and seems far more grown up at this age than our other two, probably because she tries to be like them!  She gives the best kisses, blows kisses when saying sorry, gives sweet hugs, and says "hi" to anyone who passes by us.  She is by far our more social one:)  She LOVES dogs and cats and can't handle herself around them because she is just so excited to be around them.  She squeals, giggles, and tries to grab them and squeeze them hard just because she wants to touch them so much!  We often have to remind her to be soft in many situations because she tends to get overly excited and her energy exceeds normal limits!  Her favorite snack is yogurt, cheese, fruit snacks, or squeezable applesauce.  She loves juice, black berries, and will eat chunky salsa anyday!  She eats sometimes more and better than her older sisters!
Lydia LOVES her bike.  Anytime we go to the garage to get in the car, I have to peel her off her bike.  She gets so mad that I won't let her ride it all the time.  She is amazing at riding her bike!  She bullets down the driveway at intense speed (so fast it makes me nervous,) then she is able to steer her bike onto the sidewalk before going into the street.  She pushes her little legs fast and then lifts them up when she gets up to speed.  It is hilarious to watch and honestly one of my favorite memories of this girl!
Lydia loves her blanket and binky and is almost ALWAYS holding a baby doll.  She plays with them more than any other toy, which is convenient since we have lots of babies to go around!  Her favorite song is Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree and just recently, she won't let us sing anything else to her at night before bedtime!  So we sing a lot of Popcorn at our house!  She loves to dance with her big sisters, but also loves to throw balls...she's got a great arm!  She is a bundle of energy and often gives me a run for my money when she runs out in the street (unlike my other two who wouldn't ever leave my side.)  I am learning what anxiety it gives when you put your child down, turn around one second later to see her running off and looking back with a grin that says "Come and get me Mom!"  I can't help but laugh my head off while I chase her knowing I look like a fool!  But her happiness is contagious and its so hard for me to get mad at her.  She is starting to grow out of her "screaming for anything" stage, now that she can say lots of words.  She says Mom, Dad, baby, puppy, Banana, Hannah, Zisah (for Alissa), please, cheese, beebee (binky), toes, tummy, shoes, and many more that I can't think of right now!
I have three of the greatest blessings in my life- my three daughters!  They are all such good friends, which is what I always want with my children.  They love to play with one another and are very patient with Lydia as she is learning how to share and play with her older sisters!  My life is so full with these beauties and I am more in love with them than I ever thought my heart could be! 
Sister kisses!  LOVE these girls!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alissa's Preschool Graduation- Future Class of 2026

 We have LOVED Alissa's preschool this year!  They had the cutest graduation program, slide show of pictures and memories, and then they had each walk across the stage and get their flower and diploma!  It was adorable and Tyson and I thought about how quickly our children will be growing up!  Make Time Stand Still!  They can't get so big so fast! 

 Cutest Graduate!
 Alissa and her best buddy Paige!

Church Buddies!
 Ms. J J and Ms. Karen- best preschool teachers ever!  

My three girls!!!

 Walking on Stage
Pose for the pictures!